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text 2017-04-25 13:11
Blog Tour Stop for Only a Mistress Will Do by Jenna Jaxon with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Jenna Jaxon’s Only a Mistress Will Do. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


AbtheB

 

 

The man of her dreams . . . belongs to another woman. Destitute and without friends, Violet Carlton is forced to seek employment at the House of Pleasure in London. She steels herself for her first customer and is shocked when the man rescues her instead of ravishing her. A grateful Violet cannot help but admire the handsome Viscount Trevor. But she must curb her desire for the dashing nobleman she can never have because he is already betrothed to another...

Tristan had gone to the House of Pleasure for a last bit of fun before he became a faithful married man. But when he recognizes the woman in his bed, he becomes determined to save her instead. Now, his heart wars with his head as he falls for the vulnerable courtesan. Unable to break his betrothal without a scandal, Tris resolves to find Violet proper employment or a husband of her own. Still, his arms ache for Violet, urging him to abandon propriety and sacrifice everything to be with the woman he loves...

 

 

 

 

 

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Chapter 1

London, November 1761

 

Shivering in the brisk wind cutting straight through her thin gown, Violet Carlton trudged across the small dirt-packed backyard, littered with tufts of dead grass and scattered brown and red leaves. Teeth clenched to stop their chattering, she mounted the short three steps of the back stoop, straightened her shoulders, and rapped three times on the dull gray door of the silvery clapboard house. Beyond the weathered board fence of the house next door a dog barked, but no one stirred. No prying eyes to witness her shame.

The door opened a crack, and a lad of about twelve stuck his head out. “What you doin’ ’ere this time o’ day?” “I would like to speak with Madame Vestry, please.” Perhaps she should have waited until later in the morning. Such an establishment would obviously keep late hours. But the ache in her belly had forced her here as soon as the sun had risen.

“She’s still sleep. Come back later today.” He started to push the door closed but Violet rammed her boot between it and the jamb. The boy kept shoving, squeezing her foot until she winced in pain, but she gritted her teeth, put her shoulder to the door and pushed back. If she didn’t do this now, she wouldn’t have the courage, or the strength, to come back.

“I need to see her now.” She raised her voice, and threw her weight against the rough boards. Despite her small stature, she was stronger. He staggered back and she fell into a narrow back foyer with a row of coat hooks and the devastating yeasty smell of baking bread. Her mouth watered and her stomach rumbled. She hadn’t eaten for days.

Blond hair straggling from under a mobcap, a girl, maybe fourteen, rushed into the room. “What the hell’s going on in here Willie?” She wiped her hands on her apron, streaked with flour and grease. Warily, her gaze shifted from Willie to Violet. “Who are you?”

“I’ve come to see Madame Vestry.” Violet focused on the girl’s narrowed eyes. “I need to talk to her, please.” Her heart gave a sickening lurch.

In one practiced glance, the girl took in her appearance, from what used to be her second-best hat to the rumpled and stained deep-purple dress to her scuffed black boots, and sniffed. “I see you do.”

The appraisal stung, but was probably fair. She’d come down fast in the months since her grandmother’s death. Her possessions long gone, her wardrobe—reduced to two dresses and a well-worn cloak—had been sold, leaving her with only the dress she stood up in. These clothes wouldn’t fetch a shilling in a secondhand shop now.

The servant girl nodded to Willie. “Close the door before we freeze to death, jingle-brains. Come on.” She led Violet out of the foyer. “I’ll ask if Madame will see you. But she won’t be happy being woke up this early, you can bet your dippers on that.”

The last thing she wanted was to antagonize her future employer. Still, she couldn’t risk waiting until later. Taking a firm grip on herself, she followed the girl down a shadowy hallway until she motioned her into an equally dim reception room. “Wait here.” The girl turned on her heel and left.

Violet let out the breath she’d been holding. She hadn’t fainted yet, though her empty stomach had tied itself in knots. The pain meant she was alive and by God she intended to stay that way. She strode farther into the room and perched on the red cushioned sofa. Let the woman arrive swiftly to get this over with.

Sitting rigidly, she stared at her hands clenched in her lap, then shook herself. She had better be stronger than this. Determined, she sat straighter. A classical-style painting in a large gilt frame across from her caught her interest. A naked woman lay on a chaise, her legs spread. Oh, good Lord. Her womanly parts were exposed and a swan lay with its beak pressed between her thighs.

Her face heated and she had to look somewhere else, anywhere else but at that painting. The fireplace on her right held two candlesticks, shaped like naked women. Wax had dripped onto the figures, drops hanging from the nipples. Was there nowhere in the room without a lewd image? Violet gripped the end of the sofa. The plush red carpet seemed safe to study. The smooth, polished wood under her fingers had been carved in an oval with folds in the middle. She traced the pattern absently, still unable to get the image of the painting out of her mind. The swan’s long neck lying at the apex of the woman’s open legs. Her forefinger stroked the wooden oval, so similar to the—

“Dear God!” She snatched her hand away and rubbed it against her gown. “Miss Carlton?” A small, dark-haired woman in an exotic scarlet silk robe seemed to fill the room.

Violet jumped to her feet, her heart thudding wildly.

“My maid said you wished to see me?” Madame Vestry’s dark eyes took in every detail of Violet’s appearance. She raised an eyebrow.

On the tip of her tongue to retort of course, she did not wish to see the owner of a brothel, she instead swallowed back her anger. She could ill afford to provoke Madame Vestry. “Yes, ma’am. My brother told me if things went very badly for me I should…” Words stuck in her throat like a fish bone.

“Come to my establishment?”

Face flushing, Violet nodded. “Yes.”

“Who is your brother, Miss Carlton?” A narrowing of the woman’s eyes echoed the suspicion in her voice.

“James Carlton, ma’am.”

Vestry’s head rose slightly and she relaxed. “Ah, yes, Jamie. You are his sister? Then I am sorry for your loss, Miss Carlton.”

“Thank you, Madame Vestry.” Thankfully, her voice held steady, the months since her brother’s death easing the grief to the point she did not weep instantly at the thought. Her current plight was enough to do that.

“And you have now come to that desperate point where you seek employment with me?” The business-like tone, neither condoning nor condemning, stiffened Violet’s resolve.

“Yes, ma’am. As of today, I have nowhere else to go, no one to turn to.” A sickening churn of her stomach that had nothing to do with hunger sent tension through her. “Nothing else of value.”

Except herself.

“You are how old, Miss Carlton?” “Nineteen, ma’am. Almost twenty.”

“Let me see you walk, please.” With a crisp snap, Vestry pulled the curtains open and nodded to the path between the sofa and fireplace.

Violet straightened her skirts as best she could. Suddenly stiff and self- conscious, she concentrated on putting one foot before the other until she came face to face with another obscene painting. She clenched her hands and averted her eyes. “Turn please.”

Feeling more and more like a horse or a cow at Smithfield market, she did as she was told, hopefully with a bit more grace.

In reward, Vestry gave her a slight nod. “You speak and move as befit your station, Miss Carlton. With a little training, I suspect you will be quite popular with our patrons. I should be able to command a high price for your virginity.”

Violet’s feet tangled in the plush carpet.

The scant approval vanished as Vestry glared at her. “I assume you are intact?”

Oh, the shame. How could this woman suggest she had already lain with a man? Bitterness flooded her mouth and her chest ached with mortification. Finally, she managed a curt nod.

“Lie down on the sofa please.” “What? Why?”

“I am not fool enough to take your word, Miss Carlton.” Vestry smiled mirthlessly. “A brief inspection will allow me to assure your buyer he is indeed purchasing a virgin.”

Her cheeks heated at the humiliation this woman suggested. The cold inevitability of her situation rolled over her, engulfing her as though she was drowning beneath a relentless sea. Madame Vestry demanded almost nothing compared to the real horror awaiting her at the hands of her buyer. Still, she had chosen to live. She could no longer afford the luxury of respectability.

Vestry stood immobile, a flicker in her eyes the only hint of interest.

Steeling herself, without word or plea, Violet lay down on the disgusting sofa, raised her knees and turned her head toward the garish red satin cushion. Cool air rushed past her thighs. Hot tears slipped down her cheeks. She hadn’t wanted to cry. The time for weakness had passed.

“You may sit up now.”

Indignant, Violet sat up and raised her chin. “Are you satisfied as to my honesty now?”

“I always was, Miss Carlton.” Madame Vestry stared into Violet’s eyes, her gaze seeming to penetrate to her soul.

“Then why—”

“I needed to test your mettle.”

Rising, Violet scowled. Simply coming to this place should have shown her determination.

“Respectable women often believe they can eschew respectability to save their lives, only to find, in the end, starvation far pleasanter than immorality,” Vestry continued matter-of-factly. “You, however, I believe will do, Cassandra. Come with me.” Motioning her to follow, she headed out of the room.

“Cassandra?” Violet hurried to keep up. “All of my girls have false names, false identities.” At the end of the hallway, they headed up a flight of stairs.

“The life they lead in the House of Pleasure is just as fraudulent. Cassandra is the mask you will wear to protect a vestige of your self-respect.” When they reached the landing, Madame twitched her silky robe out of the way and turned to her. “Think of it as a role, very like one an actress might take upon the stage. It is not who you are, unless you allow it be.” The vehemence of the last sentence rang in the cramped stairwell.

Violet stumbled back a step. “Why Cassandra?” It was a classical reference she couldn’t quite place.

A peculiar smile curled Madame Vestry’s red lips. “She was a prophet and a spoil of war. A woman men used but dismissed because they could not understand her prophecies, although they came true with a vengeance.” A fire glowed in her cunning eyes as she scrutinized Violet’s body.

More than her earlier examination, Vestry’s calculating perusal made Violet uncomfortable.

“What prophecy will you reveal to your customers, I wonder, Miss Carlton? A promise of pleasure or one of pain?” The light extinguished as quickly as it had come. “This way.” She started down a corridor to the right. “You will have a room of your own on the second floor. Depending on circumstances, you will entertain your clients either there or in one of the ground-floor rooms.”

Violet followed, each step hardening her heart.

“I will see to your training during the next week.” Passion drained from her voice. The businesswoman had returned.

A shiver shot down Violet’s spine.

“I will also inform certain special clients I have an item of interest for them.”

No going back now. She had become a whore. Tears threatened, but she beat them back.

“You can only sell your virtue once and I will make sure you receive the highest price, my dear. Half of those proceeds are yours.”

Violet wavered between fainting and nausea, then steadied. Perhaps thinking of the encounter as a business deal might make the situation tolerable. Madame Vestry showed her into a small, clean room boasting no lewd artwork, only a wide oak bed, a chest on chest, an armchair and table.

“This room is yours as long as you work for me, though should you receive a better offer, I’d advise you take it.”

“A better offer?” Who on earth would want her after this?

“Many of my girls have gone on to become exclusive mistresses to the noblemen who take a fancy to them. Such arrangements are often quite lucrative. With judicious saving one might have enough to start their life over after four or five years.” A mischievous smile flitted across Madame Vestry’s face. “One of the girls who passed through here briefly—very briefly, mind you—ended up marrying a marquess. That smacks more of fairytale than reality. Still the tale is true.”

The animation drained from her face as the brusque woman of business returned. “I will leave you to settle in, although I’ll expect you ready for your first lesson this afternoon. We serve late luncheon at four and supper after midnight. The house opens for clients at dusk.” She looked Violet up and down once more, lingering on her face. “You might want to stay in your room tonight. Just ignore anything you may hear. You’ll get used to the noise rather quickly.” Abruptly, she shut the door.

Violet dropped into the chair as her legs finally gave out, praying to God she could get through this nightmare, if only one moment at a time.

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

Jenna Jaxon is a multi-published author of historical and contemporary romance. She has been reading and writing historical romance since she was a teenager. A romantic herself, she has always loved a dark side to the genre, a twist, suspense, a surprise—so expect her to incorporate these elements into her work! She lives in Virginia with her family and a small menagerie of pets where she is currently working on the next House of Pleasure book, Only A Mistress Will Do, as well as a Regency series. When not reading or writing, she indulges her passion for the theatre, working with local theatres as a director. She often feels she is directing her characters on their own private stage when she writes. Jenna equates her writing to an addiction to chocolate—once she starts she just can’t stop!

 

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Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-mistress-will-jenna-jaxon-excerpt-giveaway
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text 2017-04-25 13:10
Blog Tour Stop for Wolf by Crimson Syn with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Crimson Syn’s Wolf. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway. Happy Reading :) 

 


 

AbtheB

 

 

Scarlett Chase is every man’s wet dream. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I knew she’d be mine. That is, until I found out she was untouchable. One kiss, one forbidden touch, will have me out on the streets and stripped of who I am. Yet I want her. I need her. And I’m done following all these damn rules.

Wolf Stone is my obsession. Ever since he pulled over on that empty road, I’ve been tormented by the man. His possessive words and heated looks have me tightly wound. One touch, and he lights me on fire. But I want more. I not only want him in my bed, I want to keep him for myself. But he won’t budge, and now it’s up to me to entice his sleeping wolf.

 

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“Wolf.” I breathed, dragging my hands along his tussled hair. I felt the hot slickness of his tongue lick me from the base of my shoulder up along the curve of my neck. He stopped briefly before nipping my earlobe and I nearly came, right then and there. “You taste so goddamn good.” He whispered. I gripped his hair and whimpered. “Don’t stop, Wolf. Please, don’t stop.” My words seemed to snap him out of his trance and he stepped away from me. I glided down the wall and a feeling of emptiness surrounded me as he moved away. My hands reached for him, but he turned away. I could tell his breathing was labored, and he was just as, or even more affected by this, than I was. I reached out and touched his back and I suddenly found myself pressed once more against the wall. My body arched like a cat in heat, trying to bring every inch of him against me. The movement was futile as he gripped me by the shoulders and half shook me awake from my lust filled moment. “Stop it. Stop, Scarlett. I won’t be able to do this if you don’t stop.” He pressed his forehead against mine and ran his hands down my arms, gripping my hips. His mouth said one thing, but his hands wouldn’t stop touching me. “Stop. Please.” My body stilled at his request, but it remained thrumming alongside his. “Don’t stop, Wolf. Please. Please, don’t do this.” He dragged his rough jaw against my cheek and breathed in. “I can’t. I just can’t.” He squeezed his eyes shut, almost as if it hurt. He waited a few minutes, hid body vibrated against mine, and his hands continued to hold me. “I won’t have you wandering down here. You need to leave.” “What?” I whispered. He gripped my waist tightly. “I want you to leave, Scarlett. You don’t belong here!” I rubbed my hands across the muscles of his chest and his breath hitched. “I don’t want to leave. I want to stay here. With you.” He growled and leaned his body into mine. “Me too, gorgeous. Oh God, me too.”

 

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

 

My name is Crimson Syn, not really, but what fun is it to use my real name. Instead I’ll use my inner goddess’ name, it’s much more fun that way. I grew up in New York City where I had a wonderful education, loving parents and awesome friends. What more could a girl ask for? I started writing at the age of sixteen. The first romance I read was Stephanie Laurens’ Devil’s Bride. Since then I have been influenced by dozens of flourishing romance authors and even more dashing and daring rogues. I must say it, but Fifty Shades was not my first erotic romance, nor did it influence me to start writing them. If you’ve never read Mary Balogh, Elizabeth Hoyt, Lisa Kleypas, Bertrice Small or A.N. Roquelaure’s Sleeping Beauty trilogy, then you’re missing out. Those were my sweet introductions to erotic romance, and boy were they hot.

So here I am, after reading so many wonderful stories, I have too many sinful tales of my own not to share. I like my alphas rough and possessive, and I have no shame in saying it or writing it. I had delightfully wicked teachers growing up, their books took me to new worlds and brought me new loves. So, I want to do the same for you. I want to indulge my readers in those steamy reads that will send them into the arms of dangerous alphas and deliciously sexy rogues, without leaving the confines of their nice warm bed. If I am able to entice your inner goddesses, then I have done my job and I am satisfied. 

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Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/blog-tour-stop-wolf-crimson-syn-excerpt-giveaway
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review 2017-04-24 15:13
Mask of Shadows (Untitled #1) by Linsey Miller
Mask of Shadows - Linsey Miller

  

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Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home. 

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge. 

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

 

 

my though

 

 

I got this book for mainly three reasons:

The blurb, it stated that it is something you would enjoy if you are fan of both or either Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo. And it has a gender-fluid main character, which we don’t see often if at all in YA fiction ligature.

Unfortunately, I was disappointed by almost all three things why I requested this book.

The only thing it really had incoming with Sarah J. Maas’s and Leigh Bardugo’s books was that they all wore masks and the main character was a thief. If anything it reminded me more of the Hunger Games than anything else. Which is okay because I liked the Hunger Games.

While there were some new and interesting things in the story other things of it, for me, a bit slow and sometimes even boring. There were also some plot holes and some other things just didn’t make sense at all.

The characters were a little to flat and I had a hard time connection to many of them, they were really hiding behind those masks in more than one way.

Even Sal, our gender-fluid main character. While of course we get a lot more things of Sal, it still was hard on some parts to connect with him. I loved that he was gender-fluid and it was rather well portrait and written, for the most part. But sometimes it was, as if that all Sal is, that being gender fluid id all he stands for.

I really enjoyed Sal, I just wish I would have known a bit more of him other than he is gender fluid and wants a better world to live in.

Overall, unfortunately this book was not for me, but that does not mean others won’t like it. I’m sure a lot of people will love it and I hope they do.

I rate it 2 ★

 

 

 

 

*I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!*

 

 

 

 

Will be available August 29, 2017

 

 

 

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

Linsey Miller

 

 

A wayward biology student from Arkansas, Linsey has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology coming in September 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.

 

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Snoopydoo sigi

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/mask-shadows-untitled-1-linsey-miller
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text 2017-04-24 13:05
Blog Tour Stop for The Thief by Michele Hauf with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Michele Hauf’s The Thief. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 

 


AbtheB

 

 

 

The Elite Crimes Unit works behind the scenes of Interpol—and employs some of the world’s most talented criminal minds. Because as everyone knows, it takes a thief to catch a thief—or to seduce one. . .

The old farmhouse in the French countryside is a refuge for former jewel thief Josephine Deveraux. Admittedly, there aren’t many men in the vicinity, but she has her cat to cuddle up with. It’s a far cry from her former life, constantly running from the law, and she’s enjoying her peace . . . until the intruder in the three-piece suit tackles her. He wants her back in the game, helping with a heist—and he’s not above making threats to get his way. Little does Josephine know that notorious—and notoriously charming—thief, Xavier Lambert, is after the very same 180-carat prize she’s being blackmailed to steal. To his chagrin, he’s doing it not as a free agent, but as a member of the Elite Crimes Unit—the team he was forced to join when his brilliant career came to a sudden end. And little does Xavier know that his comeback is about to include a stranger’s kiss, a stinging slap, and a hunt for missing treasure—along with the infuriatingly sexy woman who’s outfoxing him . .

 

 

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Excer

 

 

Josephine Devereaux strode through the open front screen door into the kitchen. Creamy golden evening light spread quiet warmth across the aged hardwood floors. The old farmhouse had stood on this plot in the southern French countryside for centuries. She’d had the pleasure of owning it for two years. Setting a clutch of fresh carrots pulled from the rain-damp garden into the sink, she spun at a tiny meow. Behind her, the two-and-a-half-year-old Devon Rex cat with soft, downy fur the color of faded charcoal batted at the hem of her long pink skirt. “Do you want fish or chicken tonight, Chloe?” She opened the refrigerator to find the only option was diced chicken, left over from last night’s supper. Her neighbor, Jean-Hugues, had butchered a rooster yesterday morning and brought her half. The cat went at the feast she’d placed on a saucer with big elf ears wiggling appreciatively. Chloe had come with the farmhouse. The couple moving out hadn’t wanted to bring along a kitten on their overseas move to the United States. It had been love at first purr for Josephine. She smiled at the quiet patter of rain. And then she frowned. “Mud,” she muttered. And she hated housecleaning. She had never developed a domestic bone in her body and didn’t expect to grow one. She’d spend the evening inside, maybe finish up the thriller she’d found on Jean-Hugues’s bookshelf. He always encouraged her to take what she wanted—she was a voracious reader of all topics—and she gave him vegetables from her garden in return. Not that she was a master gardener. Jean-Hugues tended the garden, along with the few rows of vines that produced enough grapes for one big

barrel of wine. Jean-Hughes was sixty, but he flirted with her in a non- confrontational, just-for-fun manner, which she appreciated probably more than a twenty-six-year-old woman should. Living so far from Paris made it difficult to find dateable men, let alone a hook-up for a night of just-give-it-to-me-now-and-leave-before-the-sun- rises sex. But that’s what grocery trips to the nearest village were for. If the mood struck, she’d leave in the evening for eggs, bread, and a booty call, and find her way out of bed and back home by morning. Sighing, Josephine forgot about the dirty carrots in the sink and padded barefoot to the lumpy jacquard sofa that stretched before the massive paned window at the front of the cottage. The window overlooked a cobblestone patio, which stretched before the house and also served as a driveway, though no cars used it. She didn’t own a car. And she never had visitors, save Jean-Hugues, and on occasion the neighbors who lived on the other side of him. They were newlyweds, Jean-Louis and Hollie, and they spent most of their time by themselves. And that was exactly how Josephine preferred it. She picked up the book, and the creased spine flopped open to the last page she’d read. An hour later, she had to squint to read because the sun had set. Splaying the book across her chest, she closed her eyes and breathed in the fragrance of rain on fieldstones. Chloe nestled near her foot, keeping her ankle warm. The screen door, still open, squeaked lightly with the breeze. Everything was…. Peaceful? Was that a word she was supposed to embrace? To somehow understand? “I am embracing it. Life is good.” Or rather, more different than she could have ever imagined it would be. She set the book down, but the sound she heard was not of a paperback book hitting the wood floor. Josephine closed her eyes to listen intently. The floor creaked carefully above her, where the bathroom was located. It did not indicate the aches and pains of an aging house. This house had settled long ago. Curling her hand beneath the sofa, she gripped the cool bone handle of the bowie knife she’d tucked up into the torn fabric amongst the springs and pulled it out. Pointing the blade down, she took a deep breath and stood up. Moving sinuously, she crept around the end of the sofa. Her free hand skimmed over Chloe’s body, comforting and promising she’d return. The cat purred but thankfully didn’t follow.

 

 

Abouttheauth

 

 

 
 
Michele Hauf has been writing romance, action-adventure and fantasy stories for over twenty years. Her first published novel was Dark Rapture (Zebra). France, musketeers, vampires and faeries populate her stories. And if she followed the adage “write what you know,” all her stories would have snow in them. Fortunately, she steps beyond her comfort zone and writes about countries she has never visited and of creatures she has never seen.
 
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