Book Blitz & Excerpt: Blood Promotion + Giveaway

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Blood Promotion, by MJ Klipfel

Book 1 in the Crossed Souls series

General Release Date: 19th July 2022

Word Count: 85,942
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 353

Genres:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
PARANORMAL
VAMPIRES
WERESHIFTERS

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Book Description


Dying and falling in love weren’t in the job description.

Self-confidence, a steady paycheck and a swivel chair—that’s all that reporter Tessa Sanders wants. So when the megalomaniac mayor inadvertently gives her the ultimate career-making story, it’s reason to celebrate…until the lead lands her in a nightmare world of monsters, dead bodies and a new, unwanted title—werewolf. Seems humankind is on a deadline, and if she and her captor, a drop-dead-gorgeous vampire who can’t decide if he wants to kiss her or kill her, can’t break the story before their time’s up, humanity gets its pink slip.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence and sexual harassment, as well as the death of a character and scenes of ménage à trois.

Excerpt

Crusty armpit stains. That was the reason why I’d missed date nights with my sofa and coffee. After three months of running my editor’s shirts to the dry cleaners with his nasal whine echoing in my skull, “Make sure they use extra starch,” I’d had enough. Tonight, my life would change.

A blast of late autumn wind rattled through the pine forest bordering Glenwood Park. My impromptu hiding spot, a bush, provided dismal shelter against the elements. Exhaling a puff of breath at the cloud-covered sky, I fished out my phone. No need for night vision—the dilapidated streetlamp gave off a sufficient amount of light. Giddiness bubbled through my freezing bones. To ease the stiffness creeping into my limbs, I wiggled my toes, triggering a horrid case of charley horses burning through my calves. Shivering rewarded me with a branch poking the back of my head. Afraid of being ratted out by the bush, I didn’t dare tug my ponytail free.

To distract myself, I panned left and took a practice shot of the biohazard sign warning that Silver Lake was off limits, then I brought the empty bench overlooking the contaminated lake into focus. Perfect. My location gave me a balcony view for the shitshow about to commence. All I needed was for everyone to show up before I froze to death.

Right on time, two men hustled down to the lake. One I recognized as the mayor’s bodyguard. Crouching, he checked underneath the bench with a flashlight.

“Check up top,” he said.

Grumbling, the other man trudged up the hill. Each of his stumbles brought him closer and sent my heart slamming against my ribcage. When his gaze traveled to the bush, his brows pinched.

Adrenaline shot through my body, urging my tense limbs into a giddy-up and go. Not tonight. Gritting my teeth, I remained still.

With the approach of heavy footfalls against the jogging path, the man’s attention snapped from the bush to his partner, who was signaling for him to return.

After the men dashed away, I let out my breath. I’d have been lying if I didn’t admit to finding the danger invigorating. Writing obituaries lacked the whole pulse-pounding, undercover reporter, breaking news vibes.

A different group of shady meatheads walked over to the bench. After a few mumbles and a half-assed survey, the group parted, revealing the CEO of Safe Waters—the city’s water treatment facility. Tim McKay loved flashing his green credentials. However, his hired goons had taken it to a new level.

I cringed in remembrance of our interview. How his halitosis had tickled my earlobe as he leaned over me, sneaking a peek down my shirt. Ugh. I shook the memory from my head, focusing on the creep.

Setting his briefcase on the bench, McKay pursed his lips. A phone chirped and he shifted his weight to dig it out of his coat. The screen’s glow illuminated his plump face, reddened from the chill. Rolling his shoulders, he straightened up.

The two men from earlier escorted the mayor, muttering under his breath, over to McKay. As the bodyguards shifted to let him through, Mayor Brown transformed into a politician with a fake smile and puffed-out chest. With a confident swagger, he approached McKay.

“Sorry,” Mayor Brown said. “I got tied up.”

Flashing the mayor a tight-lipped smile, McKay gestured to the bench. The two men could’ve been twins, right down to the matching comb-overs and trench coats. I poised my numb finger, waiting. McKay handed over his briefcase while Mayor Brown pulled a manila envelope from his coat.

With the press of my finger, I landed the story no reporter had dared to investigate for fear of incurring the mayor’s wrath. After all, his brother owned the city’s newspaper. So much as an inkblot against the mayor’s squeaky-clean image and a reporter could kiss their career goodbye.

“How much longer?” The mayor unclasped the briefcase.

My interest piqued, I snapped another photo.

“Not much,” McKay answered, scanning the contents of the envelope.

Nodding, Mayor Brown closed the case. “Good.”

The men stood. After a firm handshake, they sauntered off in opposite directions with their bodyguards in tow.

Rubbing my hands together to move heat and blood back into the prickling digits, I forced myself to stay put. As minutes passed, the chattering of my teeth drowned out the soft lapping of waves and the rustling of leaves.

So far, the bodyguards had stayed out of sight and hearing. When I dragged in a satisfying breath, a rich aroma flooded my nose. Cologne was my first thought. A deeper inhale nixed that idea. The mystery scent wasn’t one of those drugstore deodorant sprays that men doused themselves with daily. No, it was something raw from nature and it smelled damn good.

Patting my windbreaker pocket, I hit on the cold metal of my pepper spray. An overreaction by far, yet a comforting one. Glenwood, New York, barely made city status with its population statistics. Most of our law-abiding citizens were snug in their beds watching sitcom reruns by nine, not waiting in the park shadows to grab me.

As I took another sniff, the musky lake odor jumped to my nostrils. The familiar stench marked the final all-clear to get moving. Groaning through my stiffness, I stood. No amount of frostbite would’ve kept me down. I got the bastards. Mayor Brown and McKay were covering up something at Safe Waters. Every fiber of my being believed it was the water contamination.

While blood flowed back through my legs, I sent the photos to my email. When the satisfying ping of a received message echoed through the deserted park, I stuffed my phone inside the windbreaker’s pocket and attempted a half-assed stretch before taking off.

Frigid air scraped my cheeks and stung my lungs as I crested the park’s tallest hill in record time. Overhead, the half-moon sent a silver glow across the frosted landscape. With the lengthening of my stride, I fought the impulse to stop and appreciate the scenery. The overpass tunnel came into view. Home stretch. Excitement propelled me into a full-out sprint. Nothing could have pulled the smile off my face except a patch of black ice.

In a series of violent somersaults, I plunged down the hill. My attempts to stop rewarded me with loose gravel embedded into my palms. To salvage the remaining layers of my flesh, I shifted onto my side. My hip smacked against the blacktop, grinding me to a halt inside the overpass tunnel.

As pain hammered my body, I shoved my bruised ego to the side and struggled to move. While my sharp inhales and ragged exhales bounced off the walls, an airy rhythmic sound filtered into the pitch-black tunnel.

Panting.

As I struggled to my hands and knees, an intense burn shot through my palms. With my groans and movements, the panting ceased.

Sweat trickled down my temples while I waited for the prankster to reveal himself. Since the high school stadium was a block away, I had seconds before a juvenile delinquent jumped out at me. “Go ahead. Pick on the klutz. Hope you recorded it,” I muttered.

The panting continued. Louder. Faster.

“Quit it,” I said.

A rapid clicking joined the panting.

I strained my eyes against the darkness. A huge mass charged me. Unable to move fast enough, I hunched over, bracing for impact. Avoiding a head-on collision, the ball of yellow fur adjusted its course, darting around me. Behind its tucked tail, a chain leash bounced and skipped along the blacktop.

“Bad dog,” I whispered through my clenched jaw. When I slumped backward to sit, my palm landed on a sneaker. A wiggling of my toes confirmed both my sneakers were snug on my feet. “Hello?” I asked.

Silence answered me. I tugged experimentally at the shoe attached to a foot. No movement or protest. Stretching my fingers to grasp around a pant leg, I gave it a sharp tug, and with minimal resistance, I pulled a severed leg over my lap.

Shoving the limb off my thighs, I scrambled backward. Pain erupted from my right ankle, which gave out. Once more, I crashed onto my hip. Instead of a gravel landing, something solid and squishy broke my fall. I righted myself as a warm liquid soaked through my running tights. A brush of my fingertips across a sticky mess of jagged bone and denim sent a scream crawling up my throat.

Terror froze me to the spot as my eyes grew accustomed to the darkness. Lumpy shapes littered the tunnel. My attention locked onto the shredded remains of a varsity jacket.

It took three tries to shove my blood-soaked hand inside my windbreaker. Relief raced through me as I touched my pepper spray. Clenching the metal cylinder to my chest, I dug back in for my phone.

Gone.

“That was quite a fall,” a masculine voice said.

I dragged my attention away from the body parts and up to a looming shadow which blocked the tunnel exit. The moon kindly made an appearance, outlining the stranger’s tall frame.

Unable to move or think, I sat there blankly gaping at the man—who was wearing a freaking three-piece suit—until a breeze rushed past my face, carrying the rich scent that I’d wanted to snuggle with minutes ago.

“I hit my head.” I nodded to myself. “This is a dream.”

“I assure you”—his voice curled around me—“you are not dreaming.”

“Really? What kind of guy wears a damn suit to go strolling in the park?”

He cocked his head. Confusion drew his brows tight. “I am not a guy.”

“I’m dreaming,” I whispered. Still, the blood soaking into my clothes and the pain throbbing through my bones yelled otherwise. Using the wall as support, I eased upward. When I added pressure to my right ankle, I gasped.

He took a step toward me.

I scrambled to aim my pepper spray at the stranger.

“Skittish?” His dark laughter sent goosebumps screaming across my body.

“Don’t move,” I warned.

He ceased his laughter, but a smile parted his lips. “You want me to move.”

Blood rushed to my ears, and my head spun at his words. Some minuscule part of me was happy to agree with the stranger. I aimed the pepper spray at his face. “I’ve called the cops.”

“I call your bluff. Remember, I saw you fall.” The smile slipped from his face. “Put that contraption away.”

Once more, his words assaulted me. The pepper spray took on the density of a twenty-pound dumbbell and I struggled to keep it leveled at the stranger’s face.

“Impressive”—his eyebrow arched—“yet foolish.”

“I’ll scream,” I gritted.

“No one will hear you.” He gestured at the severed leg. “No one heard him.”

I weighed my dismal escape options. The overkill suit showcased his physique—he clearly outmatched me in strength, and he stood at least half a foot taller. A fight for freedom? Nope. A turn-and-run was also out, thanks to my injuries. Which left me with smarts as my one-trick-pony for survival. Rubbing the pepper spray trigger with my thumb, I cleared my throat. “Are you going to attack me or—”

He cleared the ten feet in a blur. No time to process or move—he shoved my back against the wall, pinning me by my shoulders. Freeing my hand between our bodies, I fought to get the spray to his face. He easily snatched it from me and tossed it over his shoulder.

My gaze locked with his black, mirror-like eyes which held my terrified reflection captive. I became weightless. If it weren’t for the man shoved against the entire length of my body, I’d have thought that I had jumped headfirst off a cliff. My heart hammered against my ribs as I forced myself to look beyond my reflection and into the dark abyss of his eyes, sucking me under, pulling me into—

The touch of his chilled finger trailing down my cheek snapped me from the trance. I tried to squirm away.

“How are you fighting me?” He grabbed my hair, pulling my head to the side.

Gasping for breath, I locked onto the lifeless gaze of the teenager whose body was nearby. His expression was frozen in surprised terror. The killer hadn’t played with him.

I must be lucky.

My attacker’s deep inhale over my throat cut through my thoughts.

“What are you?” His lips brushed against my neck.

“Stop—”

His needle-sharp teeth jabbed into my throat. Agony raked through every cell within my body as the frigid air surrounding me turned into an inferno. My ears popped with pressure. Energy swelled within me, prickling along my insides. In an explosion of light, it escaped my body and slammed into my attacker.

Unlatching from my neck, he shoved my back against the wall. “Who are you?” Blood speckled my face from his question. “Answer,” he ordered, digging his fingernails into my shoulders.

Taking advantage of his momentary lack of control, I bottled up my terror, then rammed my knee into his groin. He let go.

My palms and knees smacked against the blacktop. As I scrambled to the tunnel’s opening, he snagged my ankle and dragged me backward. When his other hand clamped onto my thigh, I twisted over, kicking with my free leg.

My foot slammed into his nose, sending his head upward with a crack. His grip tightened on my thigh, and I sent another kick to his throat. He released my leg to grab his windpipe.

I flopped to my stomach, crawling over the dead teen’s leg, then out of the tunnel.

The ice-slick hill greeted me. Shit. I’d ended on the wrong side of the tunnel, heading back to the lake and away from the city. If my attacker recovered, he could watch me slip and slide. Abandoning the path, I dove into the knee-high weeds bordering the forest. Clawing the frozen earth between my fingers, I waited for the pounding of feet through the underbrush.

Silence.

Inch by painful inch, I crawled, panting into the dirt with the hopes that my breath wouldn’t act like a smoke signal to the psycho. Still, it coiled upward against my best attempts while dead weeds groaned with each of my movements, tangling in my hair and snagging on my clothing. When I paused for a quick survey of my progress, I regretted it.

Blood trickled down my throbbing neck, slipping underneath my jacket then pooling between my breasts. When I glanced at the wetness darkening my windbreaker, the metallic scent of my blood filled my nose.

“Stop,” my attacker said from behind me. “I will not hurt you.”

“The hell you won’t,” I snapped.

My attacker jabbed his index finger at the forest. “They most certainly will.”

At the edge of the tree line, moonlight reflected off clusters of glowing orbs. Eyes. At least four large animals dodged and wove through the weeds.

Either from a crazed biting man or a pack of rabid beasts, Death was coming for me. Dropping my cheek to the dirt, flattening myself as much as possible, I hoped the beasts would see the psycho above me as the easier target.

The man yanked on the back of my windbreaker, flipped me over and tossed himself on top of me. When his lips grazed my ear, I screamed.

He covered my mouth.

Running on instinct, I sank my teeth into the heel of his palm.

“You fool,” he growled.

Snagging his free hand through my hair, he held me firm to the ground. I glared at his chest while flailing my arms. He easily dodged my blows, giving my hair a tug for my efforts. My teeth shredded into his flesh, but he still shoved his palm against my mouth.

“Drink.” His revolting order brought on a panic-induced awareness to the shot glass worth of blood rolling around in my mouth. Smothering me with his hand, he forced me to swallow.

As his blood slid down my throat, an electric current surged through me. In the same instant, the psycho tensed, hissing through his teeth.

Shifting his pale face an inch from mine, he entrapped me with his soulless eyes. “Do not move. Be silent.” He tore his hand from my mouth.

I tried to lift my arm, my leg… Nothing worked. My throat fought to produce a scream, but only air escaped. Breathing became labored. With each breath, an invisible chain tightened around my chest.

After a nod at my pathetic escape attempts, he moved off me.

Ear-splitting animalistic noises surrounded me, drowning out the thundering of my heart. Frozen in place, helpless, I stared at the cloud-covered sky. The ground vibrated against my spine from the impact of something large landing next to me. Trying to distract myself from the thing creeping its way over to me, I recited the different types of clouds.

Cumulus.

Hot breath fanned my fingertips.

Nimbus.

Grass exploded upward and the screaming beast was hurled across the sky. My fingers numbed from the absence of its breath.

Cirrus.

Tears blurred my unblinking eyes, while above me, a small shape pirouetted on the wind. It landed on my cheek, soft and wet.

Fur.

“I killed one.” The psycho paced back and forth, no longer attempting to be quiet. “The rest scattered.”

Another wet clump landed on my lip. More tears fell. Minutes ago, he was all about tearing out my jugular. Now, the asshole was making me wait so he could take a call.

“We have a problem. They made a kill,” he grumbled while leaning over me. Tilting his head, he paused. “Understood.” My attacker held no phone. He was freaking talking to himself. “I will return before dawn.”

As blood trickled down my neck, a sick satisfaction came to mind—if he waited any longer, I’d bleed to death on my own.

“You’re a mess,” he said to me, not his imaginary friend. Crouching beside me, he plucked the fur off my cheeks and lips.

You’re a psycho.

“What am I to do with you?”

Let me go. Call 911. Order me a pizza.

“You have placed me in quite a predicament.” Carefully, he brushed away a freezing tear from the corner of my eye. “You may blink.”

I did, and half wished I hadn’t. Through the shredded remains of his suit, a deep gash ran the entire length of his sternum. Bile burned the back of my throat. Forcing my gaze away from the white of bone glistening in the moonlight, I focused on his face. His nose bent at an unnatural angle. Point for me. Apparently, he had a high threshold for pain, because he smiled.

To drive up the psycho factor, he parted his lips, revealing bloodstained fangs which he pricked his index fingertip against. Blood welled up and rolled down his finger.

“You will do all that I command.” He brought his bloody digit to my temple and traced an arch across my forehead. His blood seeped into my pores and raced through my veins. “You may speak. What is your name?”

Unable to refuse his question, I whispered, “Tessa Sanders.”

His finger slid to my neck and massaged over his bite while he spoke. “Tessa Sanders, you are under my protection.”

“I’ll pass on that.” I glared at him.

“How naïve you are.” He lowered his face to mine. “You fell while running tonight.”

“No shit.”

In a swift movement, he brushed his lips across mine. No lust. Just a slap in the mouth, because he was in control. As his thumbs touched my temples, a flash of light blanked my racing thoughts. Once it dimmed, a picture show flipped through my mind. As if I were a bystander, I watched myself fall on the ice. It became imperative for me to remember the event playing in my head. Struggling to remember anything different about the fall, all I recalled was the out-of-body experience.

Fear poured through my veins, freezing my blood. He controlled my body and my mind.

Finally, his lips left mine. Dipping his face against the crook of my neck, he inhaled. “Your fear is intoxicating,” he said.

When he pulled away, our eyes locked. My terror mixed with his hesitance, catching us both off guard. I clenched my jaw. His eyes narrowed. In an instant, smoldering hate rolled between us.

“Forget me”—his words flowed like a stream through my mind—“and go home. Once you are there, you will sleep. When you awake, you are to leave town.” The stream turned into a current that swallowed me whole. Darkness enveloped me as his last words echoed through my mind. “Never run at night again.”

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About the Author

MJ Klipfel

When not writing stories, where the villain and heroine fall madly in love, I can be found daydreaming, singing all the 80’s songs, drinking copious amounts of coffee, reading books in headstand, protecting wildlife, and advocating for students with disabilities.


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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Badge + Giveaway

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Badge by Ellen Mint

Book 4 in the Coven of Desire series

Word Count: 80,841
Book Length: SUPER NOVEL
Pages: 305

Genres:

ANGELS AND DEMONS
CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
MÉNAGE AND MULTIPLE PARTNERS
MULTICULTURAL
PARANORMAL
REVERSE HAREM
WERESHIFTERS

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Book Description

They’ve found her.

Layla’s life is a mess. Thanks to Ink’s big mouth, Cal knows that she knows about the big red wolf, and he is pissed. She can’t find a way to bring Daniel back from death and even worse, Ink seems to think that’s the perfect time to dissolve their bond. Naturally, the second she’s abandoned by her guys, the witch hunters strike.

After yet another argument between his bond and her wolf, Ink’s grown exhausted with their arrangement. He has every intention to break their bond and return to his old hunting ways, until Layla goes missing at the hands of his greatest enemy. If they harm her, he’s on a one-way trip back to hell. Enraged, Ink enlists the help of both wolf and ghost to try and track her down. But the cursed hunters have learned. Anti-demon wards cover every surface of their underground lair. His only hope to save her is by wearing a cloak of mortality.

For the first time in his existence, Ink not only knows pain but the true threat of death.

When Layla arrives in the Witch Hunters’ bureau, Detective Stone comes to her not with a torch, but a job offer. If she doesn’t agree to work with them, then she’ll die. How will she escape from a trap-filled dungeon crammed with already captured monsters? Are her guys hunting for her, or is she truly alone? And why does Stone make her blood boil in all the wrong ways?

If she gets out of this alive, there will be hell to pay.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, and a dream scene including dubious consent.


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Excerpt

Ink

A hand pierced the grave, shattering the witch’s pentagram as it strained for the sky. Lightning crackled through the dark clouds above, the fully emerged arm somehow perfectly lit despite the night around it. While the sorceress cackled in glee, the dirt fell away, revealing a face of ashen pallor with minor skin inflammation and a withered nose.

“Ah, he suffers from the great pox,” I said aloud, and a shushing broke from the blubbery lips beside me. There was no doubt a person was attached to said flopping skin bags, but I could not discern them in the darkness. The air bulged with barely coherent desires, the shadow in the chair beside me wishing only for my death.

A shame, for after two thousand years I had yet to ascertain any way to cause such an end. I began to lean over the divider keeping us separate, when a palm graced my knee.

The chasteness of the touch nearly caused me to chuckle, when my bond whispered, “Watch the movie.”

I folded my arms. Having already dispatched the box of chocolate balls, I had grown bored of this display of flickering images ten minutes in. I tipped my head to her, spotting the blond locks of the wolf to her other side. He seemed to be enraptured with the tinny trite, a full fist of popcorn raised to his mouth. I intended to tell her I’d had my fill, when her eyes darted to me.

Please let me enjoy this.

Her desires did not require my talent of reading through the colored fogs surrounding the gray mass of humanity. I felt her request singing through every nerve and a smile replaced my smirk. Taking her hand, I raised it to my lips and whispered against her knuckles, “As you wish.”

She rubbed my knee once more and left her palm upon my thigh. The greens and purples of the giant screen reflected off her fingers, each digit delicate and also hard as stone. She’d chipped a nail recently, no doubt the damn specter’s doing. I clasped my hand over the back of hers and held tight when a finger jabbed into my shoulder.

The wolf had raised his hand from Layla’s shoulders in order to prod me. “This is the best part,” he said in a harried but exuberant voice.

I jerked my gaze to the grumbling guardian of silence beside me, but it remained resolutely still. I see, so Calvin can speak whenever he wishes, but I must be held to a higher standard. Humans never could wrap their minds around the concept of justice.

Rather than pick a fight, I turned my gaze to the screen. The syphilitic man was moaning, no doubt from the pain he now found in urinating. Around him circled the sorceress, her silver cloak flapping in a wind that did not move the trees in the background. She spoke gibberish Latin and lightning lit up the white sky. In an instant, all of the graves cracked open like elevator doors and people climbed out.

“Is she attempting to build an army of undead?” I scoffed. “No villain worth their salt would waste time with such a foolish plan. You have, at most, three days before rot causes your army to bloat, then explode. Even less in the summer.”

“Will you shut the hell up?” My neighbor greatly disapproved of my logic, even if it was sound. Humans were basically walking candles—one light and the whole of the army would go up in smoke, leaving the sorceress alone and awkward on the battlefield.

“Ink…” Layla leaned closer to me when the man with the pox leaped forward and bit off the sorceress’ nose. As I said, a very foolish endeavor. My smug righteousness only lasted a moment when Layla gasped and clung tight to my leg.

My heartbeat increased with hers, a flush of those endorphins she devoted her study to rushing from her to me. While the undead man crunched on the offscreen sorceress’ body, my bond turned to look at me. Pink tinged the soft tan of her cheeks, the dark depths of her eyes wide in shock.

She glanced to where her nails tried to dig through my flesh and blanched. “Sorry,” Layla said, but before she could retract her hand, I pressed it tighter.

“You need never apologize for that,” I said, catching her chin. I pulled her closer and whispered against her lips, “I am built for your punishment.”

The kiss sent a wave of spicy pink desire through me. It radiated down my tongue, encouraging said nimble organ to toy with Layla’s lip. As I plunged deeper and tasted of her mouth, the desire pulsing from her transformed to a sultry fuchsia. I let my touch land on her shoulder, all manner of horrific undead attacks forgotten. Each traipse of my fingers winding down the ribbons on her blouse toward her breast sent a touch of satiety through me. It was little more than a bite, a nibble really, but the fuel fed my fire.

Layla’s wily hand had found itself trailing up my thigh then retreating. She fought the internal war far too many of my prey carried the mantle for. What I desire versus what society deems proper. Ever at odds, never satisfactory. The whole concept of morality had been invented to keep people anxious, unsatisfied and in search of a cold bath. But within my bond, the electric desire was winning out.

I took her breast in my hand and Layla bit down to silence her moan. That seemed to shatter the mood and she froze, causing my elaborate dance to pause as well. “Ink, we should…”

“Take advantage of the flickering ambience of mutilated corpses in this foreboding dungeon?” I whispered, tucking back her hair and tracing around her ear. She closed her eyes, lost in the simple pleasure of my touch.

Alas, it was my neighbor who once again could not cease to thrust himself into my affairs. “Will you shut your fucking mouth already?”

I scoffed and shook my head. “No. I do not believe I shall, and you are the better for it.”

The man, for his visage grew more evident in the rising light of the screen, folded his hand into a fist. He popped it up as if he intended to knock my teeth out, which only caused me to smile. Whatever nerve he thought to have had fled, and the man rose and abandoned his seat in the back of this darkened theater. As he stomped his feet and cursed under his breath, his shadow cast over the screen, hiding away the funeral march.

“Down in front,” I called to his retreating form.

“Now you’ve done it.” The cursed specter slipped into the vacated seat, proving I was never afforded a moment of peace in this world. He managed to look smug despite being without a body and forced to stand in the aisle.

“What? You think he will challenge me to a duel? Even with two of his sturdiest gentlemen at his side, it will be nothing more than a jumping behind the pub.”

The ghost only stared ahead, not saying a word to me, but his eyes flickered to Layla who was quickly losing the thread of desire. That would not do. I had seen little of her in the past week, though I’d had more than my share of the vagrant ghost we’d acquired. Whenever I would reach for her, either the wolf or the dead man would be there first. Typically, I could work with such a scenario, but the ghost was without form and the wolf…

I sighed, staring askance at the man doing his best to ignore his own animalistic urges and the tenting in his trousers. What everyone needed was to break this tension with a day-long celebration of the joy only three bodies could bring. The ghost could sit and watch for all I cared.

“My bond.” I pulled aside her spirals and breathed heavily in her ear. That sent the heat rolling once more and she clenched her fingers tighter to my thigh. “Why hesitate?”

Her deep eyes opened wide and she stared as if in shock that I could yet read her mind. “I know…” Gently, I dropped my finger to the top of her cleavage.

“What you truly…” I swept it down between her breasts and over her belly.

Where her thighs split, I clutched onto her skirt, and began to raise it. “Desire.”

Layla squirmed in her seat, her eyelids heavy as she succumbed to my logical charisma. I abandoned any prelude of remaining in my seat and turned to press my cock against her thigh. She struggled to fight a gasp and I drew my touch up the hot spread of her underthings. I never needed to test if she was wet, but I quite liked the glide of the proof of my pull and how she flexed to let me in.

As I tugged aside the edge of her panties, I leaned into her ear. “Go on,” I whispered, toying with the succulent lady lip at my finger. “Tug on him.”

The wolf turned, his eyes blazing with a hunger I knew he too was fighting and failing to ignore. For him, it ran either burning red or muted yellow. Tonight, it burned hotter than the flames of Hades. Cal took Layla’s cheek and pulled her in for a kiss just as she reached for the waistband of his jeans…and slipped under. His groan trembled through my hunger, smelling of a feast but failing to satisfy. I paid it barely any heed, Layla’s response to him far more delectable.

Her body burned with a rising tide of desire, and my innocent little flick of the bean wouldn’t do. I abandoned the seats entirely and took a knee to the floor. The wolf was trying to not thrust his hips in his seat even as he rolled a hand over Layla’s breast and panted. Their deep kiss broke and she looked at me in shock.

“What are you doing?”

“I’d think it’d be rather obvious,” I answered. Her heart thundered like a rain of timpani. I wrapped my hands under her thighs, clenched her hips and pulled her to my mouth. The underthings meant nothing to the slip of my tongue or the press of my lips. I licked and sucked around, under and over them, soaking her already drenched panties to total saturation. Layla raised her leg and placed it on my shoulder. As she did, Cal reached over to run his hand over her thigh and lift it higher.

Her hand worked fast under his jeans, bringing the unresolved tension to a proper crescendo. I too felt the swell inside, the only way I knew sex to feel. The slumbering hunger sharpened its fangs, my metaphorical mouth drooling while my literal one supped upon the beautiful woman’s clit. She arched her back, pressing more of herself to me and pulling her head down the chair.

I glanced up a moment, delighted by the response, when I spotted the ghost standing behind watching. No, he was whispering words to her, no doubt ones stolen from better men. But they seemed to be working to bring Layla to a frenzy. I dipped deeper, every pulse of my tongue filling my body with the strength of a dozen men.

When she began to clench, nearing her climax, my first instinct was to stop. Not in pleasuring her—that I could do for days without end. No, I nearly paused in pulling her energy lest I take too much. But that was the joy of taking a witch to bed—there was never an end. Her magic fed me, letting me feast without risking her loss.

“Ink…” Layla whimpered. With one hand, she clung to the wolf’s impressive John Thomas. With the other, she wrenched on my hair, ordering me to finish her off. Gladly.

I dipped back for the last taste that’d fill me to bursting when a bright light blinded me. Blinking against the harsh rays that highlighted the nearly empty theater seats ahead of us, I turned to find a man not yet old enough for a hair on his chin dressed in a crimson uniform with his arms crossed and a glower on.

“Hello, my good man,” I said, rising to my feet. He flinched as I held my hand out to him. “Would you care to join us?”

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About the Author

Ellen Mint

Ellen Mint adores the adorkable heroes who charm with their shy smiles and heroines that pack a punch. She recently won the Top Ten Handmaid’s Challenge on Wattpad where hers was chosen by Margaret Atwood. Her books, Undercover Siren and Fever are available at Amazon as well as a short story in the Lucky Between The Sheets anthology. Married, she lives in Nebraska with her dog named after Granny Weatherwax. Her hobbies include gaming, painting, and halloween prop making. The basement is full of skeletons because they ran out of room in the closets.

You can find Ellen at her website here and also on Bookbub.


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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Blood Omen + Giveaway

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Blood Omen by Kegan Tyler

Book 1 in the Blood Crusades series

Word Count: 34,844
Book Length: SHORT NOVEL
Pages: 142

GENRES:

CONTEMPORARY
EROTIC ROMANCE
GAY
GLBTQI
PARANORMAL
WERESHIFTERS

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Book Description


In the dark of the night…

Thomas is a lone shapeshifter living in a world where vampires and lycans are known to man. He has the unique gift of shifting into any living being, but he feels lost and alone.

Then he meets André, the alpha of the Bramwell pack of lycans, who offers him a new life—and a home. Gunter, the pack beta, sees something in Thomas. Their attraction is magnetic and undeniable. Their primal desires take hold and Thomas falls for this beautiful man—hard.

But when a coven of vampires arrives, showing great interest in shapeshifters, Gunter must protect the one he’s grown to love.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of smoking, the discussion of past sexual abuse, the accidental turning of someone into a werewolf, violence, character death, and scenes of sex whilst in a werewolf-shifted state.


Excerpt

Thomas Allen Wright ascended the steps to the front entrance of his apartment building, sopping wet from the relentless rain and craving a cocktail. He realized as he entered the passcode into the security pad that he’d be walking into an empty apartment, and he would spend the night alone for the first time in a week.

His ongoing affair with Jonathan Greer, a corporate snooze with money and a raucous lifestyle, had come to a screeching halt as of late. For a long while, Jonathan had stayed with Thomas in his apartment, and was always there after Thomas’ late shift at the café. Thomas reminisced fondly about the countless nights they’d shared in each other’s company, all the hot lovemaking they’d indulged in. Jonathan liked to call it ‘fucking’ as he was still putting up a straight-acting façade for his black-tie boys in the office, which, much to Thomas’ discomfort, translated into Jonathan’s day-to-day life as well. And, somehow, it translated to the bedroom.

But perhaps that was why Thomas had been so drawn to him. Jonathan’s macho disposition coupled with his impossibly sculpted tan body made him irresistible. So much so that Thomas had found himself in the most ridiculous situations to be at Jonathan’s beck and call. He was too devoted, and for what? A good lay?

All this swirled in his head as he progressed down the hallway and to the elevator at the far end of the building. He slapped the Up button and waited for it to descend. He set his briefcase down on the checker-patterned carpet and ran his fingers through his dark brown hair, wringing out the excess water dribbling down his leather jacket.

Thomas knew deep down that he was an attractive man with his cerulean eyes and timid smile. But he didn’t believe it himself. He’d often stare at his feet when good-looking men walked past him, or when girls smiled and winked at him on the street.

Like his mane of brown hair, his loafers were unkempt—scuffed, scratched and faded—and their age clearly showed. He looked about thirty, but he never disclosed his real age to anyone, not even his closest lover.

He was a shapeshifter. The animal he transformed into most commonly was a wolf, though he could take on many forms at any given moment. He’d once been a panther, which was his second-favorite creature to shift into. He so often chose a werewolf for the obvious reason—if anyone in the area were to see him in his animal form, he’d not be blinked at more than twice. Werewolves were accepted as part of society now, no longer a myth. If anyone had come across him as a panther, he’d be on the local news and, more than likely, a hunt would be called. How unusual it would be to see an exotic animal that was most prominent in the jungle in the Great Lakes. Lycans had been ‘out’ to the world for about ten years at this point, so he figured he’d blend in posing as one.

Perhaps the most useful part of his unique gift was the ability to not just shift into an animal but to shift into another person. He had first discovered this when he was twelve, in the bathroom stall of his middle school. A bully, whose name he’d long since forgotten, had maneuvered him into the girls’ room and was taunting him, shouting obscenities at the top of his lungs and banging on the stall door with his meaty fists. Desperate for an escape, little Thomas had shifted into Becca, a classmate he was friends with, and pranced out of the girls’ room, laughing under his breath at the look on his bully’s face when she exited the stall instead of him.

This became a fun little game in his youth, and it had expanded in adulthood. By now he’d adopted the appearances of some ten or eleven figures, a couple of them celebrities, and he had found it amusing to trick and confuse those around him. He quite enjoyed living someone else’s life now and then.

The result of this special ability was that he had an alter ego. Evan Winston was his name, and he was a British scholar from Edinburgh on visa in the United States to study biology at the University of Wisconsin in Oshkosh. Or so he told people. A completely fictional character with an appearance Thomas had appropriated from a fashion model in the UK, Evan was blond-haired, blue-eyed, and had a nice large cock which was useful in bed. Thomas’ own was a bit smaller with a modest girth, and this, paired with his prominent ass, meant that he bottomed all the time…in his true form. As Evan, he enjoyed the pleasure of being on top and having a sizable eight-inch cock. What a dream it was to be Mr. Evan Winston.

Jonathan did not know Evan, and Thomas intended to keep it that way. As a personal rule, he never used his trickery on those closest to him. Presently, the two people that met that criterion were Jonathan and his best friend Shalese.

One other secret that Thomas carried with himself was that he could never visibly age past where he was. His real age was sixty-two, though every time he shifted back to himself, he looked about thirty. He had the most coveted ability in all human existence—immortality, or at least that’s what he considered it. He had the pleasure of watching the world evolve around him, passing through multiple generations while maintaining an appearance much younger than all he interacted with. He’d see friends age and once they noticed that he looked the same as he did when they first met him, it was time to pack up his life and relocate. He’d traveled from New York City, where he was born, to Sacramento and all places in between. For a brief time, he’d lived on the Mediterranean coast, but had decided that the community was too closely knit. Others looked at him with suspicion, and he suspected that several of the city residents knew what he was. He had lasted five months there.

When Thomas touched a living being, the DNA of that life form would transfer to him, and his body would keep a record of that form at that point in time—the age, the shape… Everything about that being as it was when he touched it, he would transform into. He could shift into a variety of life forms, such as a snake, a dove and a Northern cardinal.

He’d never forget the time he met his childhood crush, Ava Charlotte, in person. A superstar pop icon, she had been much more reserved and humble than he’d imagined. He’d shaken her hand, and she’d given him the warmest smile in passing. She was thirty-four at the time, so whenever he shifted, she looked the same as she was that day. He carried the memory with him fondly and would shift into her physique every now and then to remember it.

He’d seen all kinds of men from all parts of the United States, and he’d gotten pretty good at guessing what their cocks looked like. He estimated he’d slept with close to seven hundred men throughout the country. His favorite were the solid boys with a southern drawl and an appetite for ass. They always had the nicest cocks. It was the Jersey boys and the surfers that had the most obnoxious personalities, and the smallest penises.

Thomas reached his apartment door and dug into his pocket for his keys, brushing against the head of his half-hard cock. He fumbled for the right key and, as he slid it in, it reminded him of the times he’d don Evan Winston and slide into those beautiful country boys. He overheard a conversation between a police officer, Thomas’ landlord and the tenant of apartment five. The man was irate, shouting something about an intruder shattering his balcony door. The officer asked if anything was stolen, to which the man said no, not that he could see. The landlord muttered a comment about not paying for the damages. When the man’s voice raised an octave, Thomas took that as his cue to hide.

He flung the door open and closed it behind him, then shed his clothes, tossing them to the floor. He slumped down onto the black sofa and played with himself, fantasizing about Jonathan and the way he so expertly made Thomas come while giving him oral.

Thomas was aware of the fact that he lived in Jonathan’s shadow, and no amount of pity or self-reliance could change that. His mind was always glued to Jonathan’s body, to his full, pink lips, to his sizable prospect too often concealed behind slim jeans. When he came on himself, he ran his fingers through the fresh hot cum and imagined Jonathan’s sensual hands sliding along his torso. Then he envisioned Jonathan spreading his ass and nuzzling his crevice into Thomas’ face. As he fantasized about licking Jonathan’s tight hole, his eager hand traced his abdomen and reached for his cock again, working it until he came a second time.

In a daze, he rolled off the couch and grabbed his nearby shirt, using it to clean himself off. Then he grabbed his other forgotten clothes and stashed them in his laundry basket just inside the bedroom. He dipped into the bathroom and indulged in a hot shower, all the while letting Jonathan’s hypnotic trance take over him.

After he’d stepped out of the shower and dried off, he wrapped the damp towel around his waist then reached into the pocket of his jeans in the basket for his phone. He looked up Jonathan’s contact and dialed.

Four rings later, he was greeted with a melancholy woman. “Your call has been forwarded to an automated voice message system…” He pressed the End button and tossed the phone onto his bed in a mild fit of annoyance. Of course, whenever he wanted to get ahold of Jonathan, he was never available. But the second Jonathan wanted to get ahold of him, Thomas answered at the first ring.

He knew he was too tied up in this delusion that he and Jonathan were meant to be, or rather that they were good together, which in itself was a fallacy. He knew for a fact that Jonathan couldn’t give a damn about him and what he spent his time doing. He guessed that if Jonathan knew that he thought of him so often, he’d probably either shrug it off or ditch him altogether. This thought ravaged Thomas’ mind as he made himself a vegetable stir-fry.

As he was about to dish up the food, his cell phone rang. Eagerly, he bolted into the bedroom and answered. The rough, sexy voice on the other end was unmistakable.

“What’s up?”

“Hey, Jonathan,” Thomas said with a sigh. “What are you doing tonight?”

“I just got back from a twelve-hour day,” Jonathan grumbled. He sounded worn. “Mounds of paperwork and bitchy clients. My head fuckin’ hurts.”

“I bet it does,” Thomas sympathized. Then, feeling ballsy, he said, “Would a blow job help?”

Jonathan sighed, and there was a brief pause. Then he said, “Yeah, it would. I’ve been thinking about your ass all day. I want it.”

“Come over. I’m making stir-fry.”

Another sigh. “I can’t drive.”

“Why is that?”

“I’m a little drunk,” Jonathan confessed.

“Already? When did you get home?”

“Yeah, already. About an hour ago. Downed five shots and I’m on my second beer.”

“How about I bring the food over to you?”

“Mmmmh,” Jonathan moaned. Thomas imagined he was biting his lip. “Sex and free food. Sign me up.”

“I can be there in twenty.”

“Make it fifteen.” Click.

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About the Author

Kegan Tyler

Kegan Tyler was born in Pennsylvania in 1993. He has always been a creative—at the age of eight, he created a comic book series, and he wrote his first novel at age fourteen. His love of vampires and werewolves paired with his love of gay erotica resulted in his passion project, The Blood Crusades.

He enjoys pop music, horror flicks, Halloween, science fiction, the works of Stephen King, and video games. In his writing, he strives to represent LGBTQIA+ individuals. You’ll find his works full of LGBTQIA+ characters living their lives passionately and with conviction.

He lives in Wisconsin.


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