Friday, 28 June 2013

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Book Review of Goddess (Starcrossed Trilogy #3) by Josephine Angelini


Synopsis:

She must rise, or they will fall . . . Helen's powers are increasing—and so is the distance between her and her mortal friends. To make matters worse, the Oracle reveals that a dangerous traitor is lurking among them, and all fingers point to Orion. Still unsure whether she loves him or Lucas, Helen is forced to make a terrifying decision, or risk all-out war. The final book in this heart-stopping trilogy.

Review:



Goddess (Starcrossed, #3)Goddess by Josephine Angelini
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review 6******

This is the third and final book in the Starcrossed trilogy. I loved it!

Helen Hamilton is a fantastic character! I loved her when I first met her. She is extremely beautiful, thanks to "that face" (Helen of Troy). She is about to face the hardest test (to stay away from Lucas) and a battle with the Titans. Will she be able to control her new powers before she and her friends get hurt or killed?

I have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of this book! I pre-ordered it as soon as it became available, because I knew it would be epic! I fell in love with all the characters in the first two books, and I wondered what trials and tribulations would affect them in this one. I was completely hooked from the first page, as it continues just after the ending of the second book. The love triangle between Helen, Lucas and Orion is intense. However, I kept routing for Lucas, even though he's Helen's cousin (or is he?...). Both of these boys are extremely hot! There is also a new character who has Hector in a tizz! I liked her (Andy) very much. I found her to be a nice inclusion to an already fantastic group of people.
This book is an action packed roller coaster ride! It had me in tears one moment, and biting my finger nails the next! The Titans are a vindictive and nasty bunch of Gods! But it's the betrayal by one of the group that shocked me the most! His death filled me with sadness, as he was one of the most likable characters, but when it's war, death is inevitable. The ending was suitable (trying not to give too much away here! ), and left me glad to know these fabulous people! I feel sad now that the trilogy is finished, but I can always visit them again when I feel the need!

Josephine Angelini has written a fabulous trilogy filled with Greek Gods and Goddesses, not to mention the Kracken! I have already added her to my favourite authors list, and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

I HIGHLY recommend this book (and series) as a "MUST READ" if you love YA Romance novels filled with strong characters and/or Greek Gods and Goddesses! - Lynn Worton

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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Cover Reveal: Parlor Tricks by N. Kuhn

Title: Parlor Tricks
Author: N Kuhn
Publisher: Nevermore Press
Blitz Organizer: Free Ebooks Galore
Release Date: June 25th



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Link to Book



Blurb:
Have you ever wondered what really goes on in the tattoo shop? Lots of hot guys, testosterone, ink and lust. Here's a compilation of short stories that divulge the innermost fantasy of what happens after the ink.

















Author Bio:

N Kuhn stands for Nicole Kuhn. She raised in a small town, in the middle of nowhere. Small town life is something she cherishes. Having spent her afternoons outside or with a book, she grew up with a love of reading and writing. Her mother and grandmother fully encouraged this in her. Many years later, after a husband and children, she made a promise to her dying grandmother to fulfill her dream of being an author. Her grandmother lived to see Nicole's name in print. This was a turning moment for her. Driven by ambition and a promise made, she has since published her first trilogy (The Mohawk Series). N Kuhn has also signed on with WheelMan Press for the much anticipated Tucked In (The Hollywood Files) series as well as Nevermore Press for Travis, the first in her Buffalo Rocker Series.
Nicole has several other books that will be out later this year. When she's not writing, she works full time, runs her blog, and promotes for other authors. She spends as much time with her family as possible. Nicole is known to exist purely on Coffee and Rockstar energy drinks!











Check her out on facebook. www.facebook.com/nkuhnauthor
You can also follow her on twitter @mrsnkuhn
And show some love to Nevermore Press https://www.facebook.com/NevermorePress  












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Cover Reveal: Alternate Connection by Chris Almeida & Cecilia Aubrey

ALTERNATE CONNECTION is the third novel in the COUNTERMEASURE SERIES.
The next installment of the COUNTERMEASURE SERIES has a tentative release date set for November 5th, 2013. The story continues where TO RUSSIA WITH LOVE left off and pursues a parallel between Trevor and Cassandra Bauer’s quest and a daring attack on US nationals.
AlternateConnection_72dpi_300BLURB
CIA operative Nathan Nelson has built his life on secrets. Secrets about events that have shaped him into the man he has become. Events that taught him to keep his shields up. He has kept them buried in the past and nobody—not even Cassandra Bauer, the woman he claimed to love—knows of them. Now, those secrets have come barreling down on him at the worst of times.
Foreign Service Specialist Rachael Moore's personal crusade puts her in the crosshairs of very dangerous people. She would risk everything to achieve her goal even if it means exposing her battered heart and deeply concealed dreams to a man who doesn’t know the meaning of love.
Unbeknownst to both, their reconnection may not only bridge the chasm between the two of them, but shed light on a puzzling mystery. Their perilous journey becomes a race for their lives, leading them into a conspiracy rooted deeper than the tangled emotions between them.
Will their collaboration shatter the tenuous link woven in the past or forge a bond they never expected could exist in the future?
EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 5
Nathan shook his head and pulled out the first folder containing the personal file of Gerald Blair, U.S. Envoy to the Middle East. The report was thorough and contained a detailed account of both his professional and personal life. He raised his eyes to Hanson. “Do you want to split’em?”
“Nope. I’m done with them. They are all yours.”
“When—?”
“While I waited for the fax. I’m a fast read, Nelson. Keep that in mind.” Hanson’s lips quirked in a cocky grin as he leaned his seat back and closed his eyes. His disheveled appearance and the hickeys decorating his neck a clear indication he needed some shut-eye. “Let me know when you’re done so we can discuss the details.”
Nathan sank in his own seat, his mind teeming with questions. Questions he didn’t think he would have answers to any time soon. He had a long analysis ahead of him considering he was also looking for pieces of a puzzle unknown to Hanson. Unlike Hanson’s, Nathan’s focus also encompassed the files belonging to the two agents and two drivers who’d been killed in the attack.
With that in mind, he returned his attention to the folder and began studying the first of the people they were supposed to know inside and out before they set off for ground zero. As he read through the pages, he looked for inconsistencies, hidden information, or activities that could have made Blair a target. Anything that could have put them all in the crosshairs of whoever had taken them.
The situation was more complex than the usual hostage kidnapping. While religious extremists were quick to claim responsibility, those who’d abducted the six remaining members of the diplomatic convoy two days earlier hadn’t made any demands through the media. They’d simply dropped off the radar as if they’d never been.
There had to be a reason for that divergence from the usual and that reason could very well be tied to Nathan’s prime directive. The answer could be in any of their past or present and, if he was to be successful, he had to find it.
He beat his way through Gerald Blair’s file and took notes as he moved through. Blair had been in extensive contact with Palestinians and Israelis—unavoidable contact since it was an integral part of his job to mediate peace in the region—and that in itself could have placed a target on his back.
Nathan set Blair’s file aside and moved on to the next in the bundle. As he flipped it open, his whole body stiffened in his seat. A buzzing noise flooded his ears, and his sight dimmed. His field of vision narrowed to the picture on the page and the name listed—Moore, Rachael. Status: Widow. Rae.
His blood iced in his veins. For a moment, he felt detached from reality expecting someone to pop up in the seat in front of him pointing a camera and screaming, “Gotcha!” He fixed his eyes on the file again. Phillip Moore’s wife. Was that why Hanson had made that comment about setting personal involvements aside? Nathan stared at her familiar image for a moment before diving in. Some of the information in it was known to him. Some was brand new. He read the declassified report on Phillip’s death with a heavy heart and the thumping in his chest rose to such a loud racket he thought it would wake Hanson from his beauty sleep.
The more he read about Rachael, the more his frown deepened. Why was she working at the embassy in Israel? How had she come to be assigned as a personal assistant to Blair?
Phillip had been crazy about her, and Nathan understood why as soon as he’d met her. At the time they met, she’d been working on a business associate degree with some difficulty due to the sudden transfer to the US. Neither had mentioned she dabbed in international politics back then. Had she made a career change after Phillip’s death? Guilt punched him in the gut and he held his breath, squeezing his eyes shut to keep self-flagellation at bay.
He’d gone through that cycle many times before. He wasn’t about to slide down that road again. If that was how he could redeem himself, he was going to take it.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
cc_mediumSQUAREWriting had touched Chris Almeida’s and Cecilia Aubrey’s lives in different ways through the years but had never taken flight. It was in 2010, when Chris and Cecilia met and began role-playing online as a hobby, that writing placed itself front and center in their lives.
Chris and Cecilia have since chosen to release all their titles independently. They have several short stories and two novels published under their own label, √Čire Publishing, and are vocal supporters of independent publishing done right. They are currently working on the third novel in their series. Through all the chaos and laughter, they still hold true to their roots, bringing their favorite role-play characters and stories to life.
You can find them at:
Facebook:
Chris Almeida - http://www.facebook.com/Chris.Almeida.Author
Cecilia Aubrey - http://www.facebook.com/cecilia.aubrey.author
Authors Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/Authors.ChrisAlmeida.CeciliaAubrey
Countermeasure Series Facebook Page - http://www.facebook.com/Countermeasure.Series
Websites:
Chris & Cecilia- http://chrisalmeida-ceciliaaubrey.com
Countermeasure Series - http://countermeasureseries.com
Twitter:
Chris - http://twitter.com/CAlmeidaAuthor
Cecilia - http://twitter.com/CAubreyAuthor
Photography by Jenn LeBlanc of Studio Smexy for Illustrated Romance
You can enter the draw for one of 10 Countermeasure Series Swag Packs containing nine bookmarks and a bracelet (I <3 ALPHA GEEKS) and also enter the giveaway for a chance to win a digital ARC signed copy of ALTERNATE CONNECTION once it becomes available.
Thank you for joining us!
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Monday, 24 June 2013

Book Review of Jumper (Time Travelers) by Jeff LaFerney



Synopsis:

After spending three years in jail and others completely alone, twenty-four-year-old Cole Flint discovers an amazing ability—he can time-travel and teleport. He’s a jumper. So what should the motorcycle-riding, cage-fighting tough guy do? He should protect an innocent eighteen-year-old girl who happens to be in possession of the Staff of Moses. Following the direction of a trio of angels who are determined to shake things up in the Middle East, Cole pairs up with Hannah Carpenter and her pet grizzly while he also tries to change his past and learn the mystery of his birth. Curiously, the King of Jordan knows all about Hannah, and he’s determined to gain possession of the staff. He’ll do anything to possess its power, but is it possible that he’s no more than a pawn, manipulated in time along with Cole and Hannah? Jumper is a mysterious roller coaster of action and a time-traveling adventure that will keep readers guessing right to the very last page.

Review:



JumperJumper by Jeff LaFerney
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is an exciting time traveling adventure from one of my favorite authors! I loved it!

Cole Flint is a fantastic character. Although he has spent 3 years in jail, I think he was wrongly prosecuted! I really liked Cole and I felt that he had been given a whole heap of bad karma! When he finds out that he's a "jumper", someone able to time travel, and he is given a mission to protect Hannah Carpenter and the Staff of Moses, he is thrown into a dangerous adventure!

Hannah Carpenter is also a fantastic character! She is a normal teenager. Or is she? I liked her sassy comebacks, and she is one of the bravest characters I know! She is extremely likable. She also has a grizzly bear called Teddy as a pet!

This book is told mostly from both Cole's and Hannah's point of view, but there are other characters that have their say too. This story could be a political thriller if you take out the paranormal aspects. However, the paranormal aspects i.e. the time travel, gives this story a fantastic twist. I don't know how the author kept the storyline flowing so well with all the different time lines. Some readers may be put off by the jumping backwards and forwards, but this is an action packed adventure that kept me hooked from the first page! There are meddling angels, a despotic King and not forgetting Teddy, Hannah's pet grizzly, and the Staff of Moses! I would love to see this as a TV movie! The characters are all so lifelike that I was expecting Cole and Hannah to come riding though my house! The political intrigue adds a darkness to the story, but doesn't seem so far fetched!
This book ends with some intriguing questions remaining unanswered, and that makes me anxious to read the next book in the series!

I have read other books by Jeff LaFerney, but I think this may be one of his best books so far! I love the way his stories flow! They are fast paced, but extremely fluid.

I highly recommend this as a "MUST READ" if you love YA or Paranormal genres. - Lynn Worton

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Saturday, 22 June 2013

Blog Tour: Review, Author Spotlight & Interview and Excerpts & Giveaway: Control by M.S. Willis


Today, I have pleasure in hosting M.S. Willis on her blog tour for her book, Control.  Please make her feel welcome by reading the excerpts and entering the giveaway at the bottom of the post. Thank you!

Book Cover:





Blurb:

***Content Warning - This is a new adult fiction with mature themes. It contains graphic sexual situations, mature language and explicit description of sexual violence.***

Paige Stone lived anything but a normal childhood. Having been raised around an abused women's shelter operated by her parents, Paige was a constant witness to the tragedy and heartache suffered by women at the hands of the men they trusted. Out of refusal to ever allow that to happen to her,... Paige built walls around her heart at a young age. Those walls were only fortified when tragedy struck on her sixth birthday and took from her the only friend and love she knew. Now at 22 years old, and working as a private investigator, Paige is driven by a deep need for strength, independence and a stubborn refusal to accept help from another person. Surrounding herself with her three best friends, Paige never assumed that the autonomy she had worked so hard to build could be challenged.

That was, until Paige met Daemon Pierce.

Mysterious, strong-willed, and breathtakingly beautiful, Daemon seemed to instantly know Paige better than she knew herself. Paige is disgusted by Daemon's reputation as a womanizer, but becomes intrigued when she is unable to discover his background. Paige's curiosity about Daemon proves to be her downfall as she is swept up in his charming and arrogant pursuit to possess her in every possible way.

For the first time in her life, Paige will struggle for control while Daemon slowly dismantles the walls she has built around herself. Only time will tell who will be victorious in their battle of wills as Daemon teaches Paige the weaknesses within herself that she never knew existed. Paige stays one step ahead in her struggle against Daemon's controlling ways, but when tragedy strikes her life a second time, she has to choose; will she put her life in danger, or will she finally accept a helping hand?



Review:

Control (Control, #1)Control by M.S. Willis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

This is a romance novel with a very dark edge to it. However, I loved it!

Paige Stone is a wonderful character. She is very strong willed and has an independent streak a mile wide. I liked her very much, but there were times I wanted to shake her! I can understand why she shut off her heart. If I had been brought up in a home, run by her parents, for abused women and children as she was, it would make me lose faith in the male of the species too! However, when she meets Daemon, her walls begin to break.

Daemon Pierce is an enigmatic character. I was on the fence about him at the beginning, but as the story unfolded, I think I've fallen for him myself! He is a dangerous character - one I wouldn't want to cross, but his pursuit of Paige had my heart pounding for other reasons besides fear!

I was unsure about reading this book at first, but I was completely hooked from the first page! The characters are extremely lifelike. As I previously said, this is a romance novel, but it has a very dark and real edge to it that took me on an emotional rollercoaster ride. This book is told from Paige's point of view, and there are flashbacks to her childhood and her first love, Buddy. These flashbacks are sometimes sad, sometimes happy. They gave me an insight as to why Paige shut off her heart - she was protecting it from being hurt again. I really felt for the 5 year old Paige, as she loved and lost for the first time. First love really never leaves you.
Paige and Daemon make a fantastic couple, but there are some other fantastic characters in this book too. I loved meeting David, Alex and Annie, Paige's room mates. I laughed at some of the scenes. I found David extremely likable. I loved his sense of humour! It's a bit disappointing that he's already spoken for - his boyfriend would probably laugh at me though!
Annie is a bit of a bubble head when it comes to picking boyfriends, and she sure picks the wrong ones!
Alex is another great character. I actually felt bad for Alex when Paige meets Daemon, but the heart wants what the heart wants!

M.S. Willis has written a fantastic contemporary romance! I am now looking forward to reading the next book, Conflict.

This book contains scenes of abuse and violence, and also scenes of a sexual nature (although not overly explicit or erotic), which I do not recommend for younger readers or those of a sensitive nature. However, I highly recommend this book if you love contemporary romance, older YA or New Adult genres. - Lynn Worton

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Author Interview:


I asked M.S. Willis a few questions, and she took time out of her busy schedule to answer them. Please find them below:

1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I've always wanted to be a writer and have been doing so since I was young.  I never took the time to write a novel previously because the process of seeking out a publisher was daunting and I was unwilling to go through the process.  Now that self-publishing has become an easy task, I finally took the time to sit down and write.  I’m loving every minute of it and I have so many ideas for different series and stand-alone books.

2. How long does it take you to write a book? 

It depends on the book.  I’ve noticed the emotional scenes tend to take me longer because I try to put myself in the place of the characters.  The process of writing and releasing Control took me two months, however book two, Conflict, took a bit longer due to the increase in emotional scenes.

3. What do you think makes a great story?

I believe a great story is made by a detailed description of what is going on in the story.  For instance, as a reader I want to be put in the story and able to not only see the characters and environments, but also be able to feel what the character is feeling.  Additionally, I appreciate stories that have different types of characters and characters that have depth.  I love to read about characters that are not the standard, cookie cutter type of person.  The more facets they have to their personality, the better!

4. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?

Unfortunately, I have a full time day job that takes away from my writing schedule.  I tend to write as soon as I get home and keep writing until I go to bed.  I also wake up early to write.  My favourite times to write are when the house is quiet.

5. How do you balance family and writing?

My husband is a huge help in that department.  He has been cleaning, cooking and taking care of the kids.  I’m not sure I would be able to continue writing without him.  I do set aside time to hang out with my family.  Luckily I can spend time with them and continue writing while they are watching T.V. or doing other things.

6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?

If I’m unsure about a certain situation that I’m writing about, I will research it.  Google is a big help in that department!  The underlying theme of Control developed as a result of lessons I learned in life.  Additionally, some of the scenes actually happened in my life.  I have many ideas for new books and series and those ideas come from topics that interest me.

7. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book/s? 

The entire process of creating the book was surprising.  I never understood the complexity of the business until trying it myself.  I was also surprised at how writing the novel could affect me emotionally.  I’m a reader, so I understand feeling like the characters are real.  As an author, that feeling of knowing the character occurs on a whole new level.

8. How many books have you written? Which is your favourite? 

Control is my first and only book at this time.  I’ve written the second book in the series, Conflict, and that was my favourite so far because I was able to go more into the twists and turns of the story.

9. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Paige’s parents are based on my parents and Paige is loosely based on me.  My parents worked to help victims of abuse and I was exposed to a lot of those situations growing up.

10. Do you have a favourite place you love to write?

I love to write while sitting on my bed.  The quiet and solitude of my room opens the door to more creative thinking on my part.

11. How hard is it to get published?

I have no idea.  I self-publish in order to maintain creative control over my books and to keep prices low for my readers.

12. What do your family and friends think about your books?

My family and friends are extremely supportive of my books.  I’m touched by the support and encouragement I’ve received from all of them.

13. What do you like to do when you are not writing?

When I’m not writing, I am a photographer and musician.  I also play far too many video games with the kids and I spend a lot of time outdoors.

14. Do you have any suggestions to help aspiring writers better themselves and their craft? If so, what are they? 

The only advice I can give is to sit down and write and don’t give up.

15. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up? 

I wanted to be so many things but mainly a marine biologist, a veterinarian and a superhero.  Lol.

16. What are your favourite books and which authors inspire you?

My favourite books are the Dark Duet series by C.J. Roberts and anything by Ernest Hemingway and Jack Kerouac.  I also love the Graveyard Queen series by Amanda Stevens and the Premonition series by Amy Bartol.

17. For an aspiring writer what do you feel are certain do's and don’ts for getting their material published?

I’m sure there are many, but, being self-published, I don’t know what they are.  I will say that it is important that the writer goes through a strong editing process. I’ve noticed that books that could have been great were destroyed by poor editing.

18. What are you working on now?


I’m currently working on two books.  I’m finished up the third and final book of the Control series and I’m working on a new series which will be entitled the “Cellist” series.  The Cellist series will be a much darker series than Control and I’m going to have to come up with some neon signs as content warnings.

Thank you MS for joining me on my blog today!

Author Bio:



M.S. Willis is a romance novelist whose debut novel, Control, was released in 2013.  Although currently writing in the romance genre, Willis has plans to expand her literary pursuits into multiple genres and has no fear conquering difficult subject matters in her writing.  Willis is a native Floridian who is also a photographer and musician.  When not absorbing herself in written, visual or musical expression, Willis is an adrenaline junkie, a ‘closet’ video game enthusiast, and an avid outdoors person and nature lover.
Visit M.S. Willis on her author page: Facebook
Find her on GoodReads here: Goodreads

Cover Artist Bio: Jason L. Lee:



Jason L Lee is a Florida Native. The arts have always been a big part of his life. Science, nature, and spirituality have been inspirations to him. He started displaying his work in 1993. In 1996 he started to venture from drawing & photography into acrylic painting. This led to painting live with local bands starting in 1998. His paintings are now created mainly at home. He uses a combination of impressionistic and illustrative painting techniques to create fantastical imagery. He is currently a Scenic Artist working for The Nassal Company and Co-Founder of the Arts Hub Organization.



Dragonfly Necklace Creator:  Verita Bolin:



I started making jewelry in the 80's. In middle school I sold bracelets. In 2004 I started selling my jewels to the public.  I went to The William Holland School of Lapidary Arts to learn stone identification, wire wrapping, and chain making. In 2009 I met Jason L Lee, an artist and curator.  He liked my jewelry and invited me to display in Creative Spirit Art Gallery, at 1st Friday Art Strolls and on Orange Ave.  I have a company with my mother, Tita. We set up all over Florida, have an Etsy store, and Facebook page. People around the country own my jewelry.


Control excerpt 1 
Just when I was starting to give up hope, an amazing set of arms wrapped around me and I was suddenly being hoisted up onto the speaker.  I was placed down and one of those arms stretched out in front of me to keep me from falling forward.  I took a second to catch my breath and turned to thank whoever grabbed me.  As soon as I caught sight of his clear blue eyes, my breath hitched and I was momentarily stunned silent.  I continued my exploration of the person beside me and discovered a chiseled square jaw lightly sprinkled with five o’clock shadow.  His face was framed with messy dark brown hair.  My gaze slowly wandered downward and found the most masculine pair of broad shoulders a girl could ever ask for.  His t-shirt was pulled tight over his chest and biceps and his mid-section dipped down into a perfect ‘V’.  His dark blue jeans perfectly accentuated his muscular legs which hung over the edge of the speaker.  I looked back up into those eyes and he smiled the most jaw dropping smile revealing two dimples on either side of his mouth.

He leaned over to speak closer to my ear.  “Sorry to manhandle you without permission, but you looked like you could use some help down there.”  His voice was a deep enough timbre that it wasn’t difficult for me to hear him over the music.  I continued staring at his sculpted mouth like an idiot and then shook my head to free myself from his spell.  I could feel my face getting hot from looking at him.

“Uh, yeah, thanks for that.  It normally doesn’t get that bad down there and I wasn’t expecting to get trapped.”  I smiled at him and then turned my attention back to the stage.  The band was starting in on their second song and the crowd calmed for a moment before picking it back up with the increasing tempo of the song.

He leaned over to me again.  “No problem beautiful, I’m always happy to assist a fair damsel in her time of distress.”  Even though his lips were brushing over my ear, causing tremors, and his hot breath rolling down my neck was doing wonderful things for my body, I was suddenly annoyed.

I shouted over the music at him.  “Please don’t say that.”

“What?” He looked at me and his confusion at what I had said was clearly written in his expression.

“Don’t call me a damsel in distress.  It’s degrading and I don’t appreciate being classified by use of a demeaning stereotype.”  I turned my attention back to the stage for a second time and we sat watching the show without speaking.  I was distinctly aware of his shoulder and thigh pressing into my side and I was disturbed by how his body heat was affecting me.  His cologne weaved a trail straight over to my face and I breathed it in deeply before realizing what I was doing. After a blissful half hour of music immersion, the band finished their set and I discovered that I had started leaning into him.  I also realized how thirsty I was and was thankful that I could go get something to drink.  The problem with being stuck on a speaker is that it doesn’t often present the opportunity to refresh your beverage.

The crowd below us started to disperse from the pit and he jumped down from the speaker.  I scooted my butt as far to the front as I could and looked down preparing to jump.  It was at that moment I remembered I hated heights and I quickly determined that I was in the middle of an unfortunate predicament.    
I looked to my right and left hoping that someone had the foresight to install a ladder on the sides of the speaker.  When it became clear that I was out of luck in that department, I looked down into the eyes of my newest acquaintance.  He had a smug look on his face as he watched me attempt to get down.  He reached up his hands to offer assistance and chuckled.

“From where I’m standing, ‘damsel in distress’ might be an adequate category for you. This is the second time I’ve had to come to your rescue in the last hour.”

What the…!

This guy was really starting to piss me off.  Who the hell does he think he is anyway?!  If it wasn’t for him coming to my rescue in the first place, I wouldn’t be in this situation.  I slapped his hand away and scowled down at him.

“No thanks on that rescue attempt.  I can get down perfectly fine by myself.  Just step back so I don’t land on top of you.”

His eyes darkened and then quickly filled with humor. His voice lowered an octave when he replied, “Oh, the threat of you on top of me is supposed to make me move? Because, I can promise you damsel, I’m not feeling real motivated to budge even an inch.”

I flashed him my best menacing stare.  “I’ll tell you this one more time, Do. Not. Call. Me. Damsel.”  I pointed my finger in his face to drive my message home.  It must have worked because he removed his outstretched hand.  He stepped back from where he had been standing and held his arms out to his sides in defeat.

That’s right, mister, fear the ninja.

I turned my body around, determined to shimmy down the side of the speaker and then drop the last foot to the ground.  I got my lower body safely over the edge, but my shirt caught on the corner and I was stuck there with my bottom in perfect view of Mr. Arrogant standing behind me. 

“This is a delightful view.  I almost wish I had a camera.  Are you sure I can’t help?”

My air huffed out from annoyance before I freed my shirt and started shimmying over.   I finally dropped to the floor and looked over my shoulder to find my acquaintance openly staring at my assets.  His eyes wove a slow path up my body and stopped suddenly on the dragonfly tattoo on my shoulder.  His eyes widened and he looked up to my face, grabbed my shoulders and spun me around to face him.

“What is your name?!”

I was shocked by his sudden intensity and I couldn’t process what he had just asked me. I stared into his eyes but didn’t say a word.  He continued to hold me by the shoulders and was searching my face and body as if trying to memorize me.  He looked back up at me and slightly shook me out of frustration.

“Your name.  What is it?”

I shook away my stupor once again and jerked my shoulders out of his grasp.  I took a step back and looked up at him in challenge.  “Why the hell would I want to tell YOU my name?! Thanks for the earlier assistance, but you can forget that you know me now.” I turned to walk away and he called out to me again.

“That’s fine if you don’t want to tell me your name.  I’ll take your refusal as a clear indication that you wish for me to continue calling you damsel.”

My jaw dropped and I turned back around.  “If you really think I’m dumb enough to fall for that crappy manipulation tactic, then I should be upfront and honest with you now.  You are clearly confused about the type of woman that I am.  I am not the type that needs rescuing and I am not the type that swoons over a beautiful face and a deep rumbly voice...”  He grinned at that and I quickly realized my error.  Refusing to acknowledge that I just called him beautiful, I continued, “…and it is pathetic for any person, male or female, to refuse information about themselves in order to continue some type of crappy pet name.”

Those dimples of his popped out and his eyes smiled right along with his mouth.  “I’ll make a pact with you; you tell me your name, and I’ll leave you alone for the rest of the night.”

I considered his offer.  If he was telling the truth, I could end this aggravating encounter now just by giving him my name.  On the other hand, if he was lying, than at least he might stop calling me damsel. There really was no down side to this situation.  I decided to play hard ball anyway.

“I’m not enough of an imbecile to believe that you mean that.  How do I know you will stick to that agreement?”

He looked at me with a matter of fact expression and seemed to be considering my question.  After a moment of intense introspection he formulated his response.  “You don’t.”

Well, there you have it.

Defeatedly, I muttered, “Paige.  My name is Paige.” 

Control excerpt 2  Introducing Annie, Alex and David!
David turned to look at me and his face was a mixture of disgust and apprehension.  I raised my eyebrows at him in question and he used his head to indicate in the direction of the living room.  I heard Alex introducing himself to Annie’s boyfriend and Annie giggled again.  Alex came into the kitchen to join David and me.

Using his thumb to point back in the direction of the living room, Alex asked, “What the hell is that?”
David turned to Alex with a scorned look.  “That is Annie’s new boyfriend Chris.  He’s a 36 year old loser who works at the local flea market as a janitor.  He’s not going to be able to work for the next four to six weeks because of his injury and he’s already convinced Annie that she should loan him some money to help with his bills.  Annie thinks he’s gorgeous and believes she is in love with him.  They’ve know each other for a little over twenty-four hours and he’s convinced her to give him four thousand dollars!  Have I done a good job in explaining what that is?”

Alex’s eyebrows shot up and I dropped my face into my palm and groaned.  I began shaking my head in silent protest.  I looked back up at David and he looked like he was about to explode.  I turned to Alex to ask his opinion.

“So, is he a bad looking guy?”

David let out an insulted gasp. “Well, if any man in this room should be judging the beauty contest, it should be me.  He’s not a bad looking guy, it’s just that his personality is obnoxious and he is an obvious mooch.  Poor Annie is completely smitten with this guy and she has no clue that he’s using her.  I mean, what kind of person asks another person to borrow money within twenty-four hours of meeting them?”

I thought that over for a moment and then voiced my guess. “A bank customer?”

Alex laughed and David gave him a pointed glare. “Oh sure, chuckle it up chuckles, but while you’re busy finding this amusing, we’ve got a serious problem in there. What are we going to do about this?!”

I crossed my arms over my chest and huffed out a breath. “Unfortunately, Annie is a grown woman.  If she wants to give her money to some guy, the only thing we can do is suggest against it.  She’s ultimately the one who will make that decision and there’s nothing we can do to prevent her from making that mistake.”

David shot his head towards me. “Nothing you can do?  Are you kidding me?!  We can lock her in her room, take shifts watching her, deny her outside communication and internet access, and install a two way key lock and not give her the key.  There’s plenty we can do.  My question is, just how far are we willing to go to keep her from doing this?”

Alex patted David on the back. “How will Annie go to work if we have her locked up?”

David put his finger to his mouth to think about what Alex said and then responded. “I’ll tell them she’s ill.  I’ll take over her cases until she comes to her senses and then she can have them back when she gets over this idiot.” He gave Alex a thumbs up. “Good attention to detail.” He turned to me. “Paige you should take some notes from Alex’s good thinking.  It might help you out in that investigation career of yours.”

I uncrossed my arms and pushed myself up from the counter.  “I guess I need to go in there to see what we are dealing with.  Maybe if I can find enough issues with the way he looks I can appeal to Annie’s superficial side.”

David pointed to the living room.  “Go.”

I sighed and turned toward the living room. “No problem.  I’ll just go in there and take control of this situation.”

I took a few steps towards the room when I heard a low moan and a high pitched sigh.

Ew.

I turned around.  “Um, no.  I’m not going in there.”

Alex tried to suppress a grin while David acted like he was dry-heaving over the sink; well, at least I think he was acting.  I walked back over to where they were standing and hopped up to sit on the counter.  “Guess we’ll be here for a while.”

David finished hacking up his hairball, looked up from the sink and stamped his foot.  “Oh no, I am not getting stuck in the kitchen while she gets her dirty going on the living room couch!” David marched into the living room and cleared his throat loudly. “Excuse me!  Could you two possibly stop licking, and tugging and touching all over the community seating area?  There are other people here, although I can understand how it would be difficult to know that with your eyes closed and your tongues shoved down each other’s throats.”  

David crossed his arms and  forcefully nodded his head. “Now have some decorum people and stop pretending like you are horny teenagers in the living room.”

Control excerpt 3
When we reached the back room, Daemon opened the door and motioned for me to walk through.  I walked straight to the other end of the room, taking the position that I had the other night.  Daemon closed the door and locked it and then blocked it when he continued standing in front of it.

I spoke first.  “Well, here we are…in a locked room…together.  Feels familiar, although, I’m not a raging lunatic tonight so there’s really no need for the lock and barricade.”

He let out a low chuckle and my knees started giving out beneath me.  What is up with this guy and how is he doing this to me?

Daemon looked amazing as usual.  He had on a dark blue t-shirt that brought out the crystal blue of his eyes and his dark jeans hung off his hips, yet still perfectly hugged his bottom. His hair was stylishly messy and he had his usual five o’clock shadow peppered along his jaw. I imagined what that stubble would feel like scraping across my skin and had to stop the mental imagery before I lost it. He was slowly stalking towards me when he finally responded. “Yes, it does feel familiar.  However, I never know what you are going to do next, so the lock is just added security.”  He stopped when he was a few feet in front of me.  “Why are you here, Damsel?”

I flinched at his use of that word but I played it off and acted like a professional.  I cleared my throat. “I’m here for the same reason everyone is I guess; music, alcohol, dancing.  You know, fun with the boyfriend and all.”

By the time I was done spewing out that pathetic excuse he had walked closer and was standing directly in front of me. I could feel the heat coming off his body and I had to look up to meet his darkened eyes.  He looked like a predator and I froze. We stood there staring at each other for what felt like minutes and my heart felt like it was going to come through my chest.  He reached his hand up to my face and starting tracing the outline of my bottom lip.  I couldn’t tell what he was thinking by the strange expression he had on his face.  He leaned over slowly and replaced his finger with his mouth.  His kiss was feather light but sensual.  My traitorous body trembled again and he softly laughed and ran his hand over the goose bumps that broke out on my arms. He pulled back to look me in the eyes and I continued my statue impression while he backed up to put a small amount of space between us.

“There you go using that 'boyfriend' word again.   Somehow, I don’t think you are being very forthcoming with me, Damsel.  Care to guess why I think that?”

I looked up at him and in an attempt to appear angry, I narrowed my eyes at him. “I have no idea why you would think that, Daemon.”  I angled my head to the side. “I will tell you though, that if you attempt any more funny business like you did just a second ago, you’ll be lucky if you don’t walk out of here with two black eyes.”

Daemon’s eyes got wide and he suppressed a grin. “Can’t wait.”

I was suddenly under the impression that Daemon wasn’t believing my cover.  He continued. “Although I’m thoroughly enjoying this back and forth that we are having currently, I believe I brought you back here to answer a question, which I very much would like to do.”

I was confused for a second but then remembered what I had asked him while sitting at the table.  I started to chastise myself for having opened up that line of questioning.

“You wanted to know what I meant by saying ‘if you were my girl’.”   He moved closer to me again and tilted my head up by placing his finger underneath my chin.  “If I had you, Paige, I would not only be with you, but I would own you, I would control you, and I would, in all ways,possess you.”

A shocked laugh burst from my lips.  “You would own me and control me? What kind of crap line is that?!  I mean, do women really fall for that shit?”  My laughter continued bubbling out. “I don’t know who you think you’re talking to, Daemon, but I believe you have me mistaken for the slutty redhead you were with the other night.”

His eyebrows shot up at that comment and he chuckled.  “No.  I don’t have you mistaken for anyone, Damsel.  I know exactly who I’m talking to at this moment.”

I crossed my arms over my chest and glared up at him. “Well, then it’s obvious you’ve suffered an unfortunate head injury and have forgotten what I told you about myself.  NOBODY owns me or controls me or dictates my life in any way.  Besides, I don’t even know anything about you.  For instance, what is your last name?”

He gave me a knowing look and answered. “Pierce.”

My head shot up in shock at how easily he had given up that information.  He smiled and then continued explaining his statement.

“I think you may be misunderstanding what I am saying.  I wouldn’t dictate your life and you’d be free to do whatever you like, but when you are in my bed, you will do as I say when I say it. Thus, the control.  And if you were in my bed, I’m not sure I could stand it if any other man touched you again after that.  Thus, I would own you from that moment forward.”

I didn’t understand why he was telling me this.  Even though I now had the information that I needed and I should be walking back out to the club, my curiosity got the best of me and I couldn’t help but question him further. This was just too good to not fully discuss.  “So, if I’m understanding you correctly, if I were to sleep with you, you would own me or control me, just like the rest of your lady friends?”

He eyed me for a minute before responding. “No.  Not like my other lady friends.  I couldn't care less what they say or do once I’ve had my night with them.  I just know that with you, it would be a different story altogether and I think it’s only fair that I warn you ahead of time.”

His eyes were the deepest blue that I had ever seen in him.  His jaw worked over itself and it made his face appear even more masculine.  He crossed his arms over his chest and I wanted nothing more than to reach out and run my hands over the definition of his arms.  I tucked my hands behind myself to keep them from reaching out on their own accord.

I couldn’t help it that my voice was husky when I responded.  “I guess it’s a good thing that I’m spoken for.  I suspect we’d have a few issues if we ever attempted being anything more than we already are.  I’m not one of your women waiting around to be tamed and I don’t enjoy being told what to do, or pain, or crazy bondage shit, or whatever the hell else it is you are implying that you would like to do to me.”  I started moving forward to indicate I was leaving when he grabbed my shoulders and forced me to look at him again.  His look was intense as he searched my eyes.

“Once again, Paige, you are mistaking what I’m saying.”  He bent down to whisper against my ear.  My breath hitched at his closeness and I tensed up in an attempt to control my body’s reaction to him.  “I would never hurt you.  I would never do anything to you that you haven’t asked for.  There is no crazy bondage shit; no whips, no chains, nothing like that.  What I want to do to you doesn’t require props or toys or anything else.  Just me and you.  But I would control you and I know that you would like it.”
The tension within me was more than I could handle and I started feeling woozy. Damn my traitorous self and this annoying swooning. I shook it off.

I spoke slowly so as not to give away what he was doing to me. “I can guarantee you, Daemon Pierce, that you can set whatever it is you are suggesting aside.  I’m not the type of girl you think I am.”  I looked up into his face in challenge and he released me.  I started to walk past him and he called out to me again.

“Whatever you say, Damsel. But I’ve felt how you react to me and I’m sure I’ll be seeing you again.  Enjoy your evening with your boyfriend.”

I didn't look back at him as I walked to the door, unlocked it and then let myself back out into the club.

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