Spotlight & Excerpt: As Above, So Below Box Set + Giveaway

Deck the Halls with Books

As Above, So Below Box Set

Loren Rhoads
Genre:  paranormal romance
Publisher: Automatism Press
Date of Publication: November 30, 2021
ASIN:  B09KW5HWCC
Number of pages:  477
Word Count: 190646
Cover Artist: Carmen Masloski
 
If Romeo had wings and Juliet a barbed tail, could they find love in the City of Angels?
 
If Romeo had wings and Juliet a barbed tail, could they find happiness together in the City of Angels?
 
Combining the books Lost Angels and its sequel Angelus Rose, As Above, So Below tells the whole story, from the moment Lorelei met Azaziel in her master’s dance club to the conflagration in the cemetery following the discovery of Azaziel’s hoard of unsaved souls.
“Any angel can be tempted, any devil as well.” — Succubus.net
 
 

Excerpt

Lorelei licked the last traces of soul from her lips, then smoothed the knee-length hobble dress over her thighs. The black Lycra snuggled around her like a living creature. The barbed tip of her tail twitched as she scanned the dance club, seeking more prey.

Her violet eyes locked on the creature seated at the end of the zinc bar, dressed in a rumpled khaki trench coat. Through the smoke and flashing lights of the dance club, she saw him for what he was: an angel of melancholy. Hers. His wings weren’t manifest, but the unmistakable glow of his halo enforced a margin of emptiness around him. Shoulders hunched over his glass, he was doing his best to ignore what was going on around the club. Clearly not having fun, which was a damned shame, considering that fun was what Lost Angels was all about. Lorelei wondered what it would take to put a smile on his face.

She patted hair over the nubs of her horns and adjusted the dress’s zipper to be demure as could be, only the pale white column of her throat revealed. Once she’d made certain that the seams on her stockings were straight and her mortal glamour was flawless, she stepped out of the shadows. Let’s see if this one could be won without a fight.

The angel ignored her when she leaned across the bar at his elbow, straining the lycra dress just so. Lorelei waved the bartender over. “My usual,” she shouted above the music, “and whatever he’s drinking. On my tab.”

When another Crown Royal appeared in front of him, the angel made no move toward it. Lorelei breathed into his ear, “Say thank you.”

Vaguely in the bartender’s direction, the angel repeated, “Thank you.”

Lorelei touched her glass against the angel’s, then downed a good mouthful of her drink. More Absolut than cranberry, just the way she liked it. However, the angel continued to ignore her, tense and miserable, wanting his whiskey but apparently afraid to touch it.

“Thank you, Lorelei,” she prompted. She leaned against the angel, nestling his shoulder between her breasts. She reached around his waist to hold him close. He could escape her, certainly, if he wanted to cause a scene. She licked her lips, so close to his ear that he quivered at the sound. “What’s your name, Angel?”

He sipped his drink before answering, “Aza.”

There should be an ‘el’ on there somewhere.
Amused by the dropped honorific, she echoed, “Just Aza?”

“Aza will do.”

The nickname made him sound accessible. Not fallen yet, but unimaginably lonely. Lorelei asked, “Looking for company, Aza?”

The angel put his glass down very precisely on the bar. She was unprepared when his stormy green eyes turned to her. “Maybe I came looking for you, Lorelei.”

The timbre of his voice shivered through her like lightning. When she was sure of her composure, she purred, “Here I am, Angel.”


 

The Holiday’s Best Ginger Cookies

Since our friends observe so many different holidays, my family celebrates each New Year with a cookie party. Every year, we make these spicy ginger cookies and there are never any leftover.

2 cups of all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

2 teaspoons ground ginger

1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup molasses

1/2 cup sugar

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 egg

2 tablespoons minced ginger

3/4 cup candied ginger, minced

1/3 cup turbinado sugar

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line the cookie sheets with parchment paper. Scatter the turbinado sugar on a plate and set aside.

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, dry spices, and salt.

In a large bowl, mix the melted butter, molasses, white & brown sugars, and egg. Stir in the two kinds of minced ginger and incorporate the flour mixture.

Make 1-inch balls of dough and roll them in the turbinado sugar. Place them 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets.

Bake 10-12 minutes, until the cookies crack on their surfaces. For chewier cookies, remove them from the oven when half or more have deflated.

Transfer to racks to cool. Try to save some for the guests!



About the Author:

Loren Rhoads is the co-author of Lost Angels and Angelus Rose — the As Above, So Below duology — with Brian Thomas. Loren’s stories about the succubus Lorelei have appeared in the books Sins of the Sirens, Demon Lovers, and Unsafe Words, and most recently online at The Fabulist. 
 
Check out more of her work at: 
 

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Santa’s Destiny + Giveaway

Deck the Halls with Books

Santa’s Destiny

by Tami Lund
Genre:  Paranormal Romcom/Chick Lit
Publisher: Tami Lund
Date of Publication:  12/1/2021
ISBN:9781005702335
ASIN:  B09HQ2XDFZ
Number of pages:  68
Word Count: 17,851
Cover Artist: Kathryn R. Biel 

*

This elf is in for the sleigh ride of her life
 
Des (don’t call her Destiny—she hates that name) is an elf with a problem. A jolly, red-suit wearing, gift-bearing, reindeer-loving problem.
 
Turns out, someone has stolen Santa Claus’s magic. And it’s three days before Christmas. What’s an elf to do?
 
Help him out, of course. That’s her specialty, after all.
 
Except that creates a whole new problem: Des has to work closely with the Man in Red while keeping her presents under wraps, because there is definitely one thing she will not do.
 
Ride in Santa’s sleigh tonight.
Amazon US      Apple      Nook      Kobo

“Get up. It’s time to go.”

“I’m already up,” Santos, aka Santa Claus, replied while rolling his hips, which earned him a scowl from me and a giggle from his companion.

I turned to the blond bimbo. Okay, to be fair, I had no idea if she was a bimbo. Santos had the ability to pull pretty much all women from rocket scientists to, er, candy cane lickers under his seductive spell. Truth be told, they all became candy cane lickers once he set his sights on them.

“Listen, honey, he’s a one-and-done kind of guy. He’ll use you to get his rocks off”—Christmas euphemisms were Santos’s thing, not mine—“and walk away and never talk to you again. Is that what you really want?”

She eyed the still-impressive bulge in his shorts. “If I get an orgasm out of it, I’m game.”
Mentally, I slapped my palm against my forehand. In actuality, I ground my teeth. “You’ll be out of luck. Giving, at least in that respect, is not how he rolls.”
“Hey—” Santos started.

“How do you know?” Blondie interrupted.

“Yeah, do tell,” Santos added. “Did I miss something along the way? Did I stuff your stocking and neglect to eat your milk and cookies?
Maybe we need a do-over.” He eyed me like I’d seriously ever give him a first time let alone a do-over.

“Never have I ever, and never will I ever,” I proclaimed. “I know of him. His reputation. We’ve run in the same circles for a long time.” A
few centuries too long, but who was counting?
Blondie’s focus shifted to my outfit. “Why are you wearing so many clothes?”

“Yeah,” Santos said, “you should take them off. Unwrap that present for me.”

Blondie giggled. I glared at her. “Do you even realize that he’s flirting with me?”

She shrugged. “He flirts with everyone. And everything he says makes Christmas sound so dirty.” There she went, staring at his candy cane again.

I bent and grabbed a sheer wrap and tossed it at her before slapping Santos’s leg. “Time to go, Father Christmas. You’re under my protection now.”

He groaned. “You aren’t seriously still doing that whole saving souls gig, are you, Des?”

“As you well know,” I retorted, “since you’ve been dodging me for days now.”

“Sugar plum, if I’d known you were chasing me, I would have slowed my sleigh so you could have a ride.”

“Don’t fucking call me that.”

He waggled his eyebrows. “Should I call you Mrs. Claus instead?”

“Don’t ever fucking call me that.”

The jerk had the gall to laugh at my obvious indignation.

“Do you ever stop?” I demanded.

He rolled his hips again. “Wanna climb my North Pole and find out?”

Flash Fiction – The Perfect Christmas by Tami Lund

Anna stood in front of the French doors, staring out over the darkened landscape, dotted with multi-colored tiny Christmas lights. Jesse stepped up behind her, smoothed his hand up her back and then cupped her neck, massaging gently.

“You okay?” he asked, his voice laced with concern.

She twisted her head to look over her shoulder and smiled.
“It’s perfect. Everything is perfect.”

“Good.” He motioned with his empty beer bottle. “I’m going to go get everyone another round. You want one?”

She pulled the bottle out of his hand. “I’ll do it.”

“I’ll help.”

Anna and Jesse exchanged a surprised look, but neither said anything out loud when Jessica walked over and interrupted their conversation. Jesse dropped his hand and Anna led her sister into the kitchen.

“So Mom says she’s using one of your ideas to redesign their kitchen.”

Anna shrugged. “Jesse’s going to do the work. I just gave him the idea.”

“Just,” Jessica muttered under her breath. Then she added, “What can I do?” She stood in the middle of the room, looking slightly lost and as gorgeous as ever.

“Um, how about you get a bottle of wine from the rack? The opener is in that drawer over there.”

Anna snagged three bottles of beer from the fridge. When she turned around, Jessica stood, facing the counter, her palms planted on the smooth surface, her shoulders shaking slightly. Anna placed the beers on the counter and walked over to press her hand against her sister’s back.

“Hey. What’s wrong?”

Jessica shook her head and tore a paper towel from the roll perched near her elbow. She dabbed at her eyes and cleared her throat. “I didn’t think I would cry.” Fear sliced through Anna’s body, shooting from her extremities straight to her heart, where it wrapped its slimy, dark tentacles and squeezed. She tried unsuccessfully to suck in air.

“Are you … are you changing your mind?”

It had been ten years. Cora knew her as cool Aunt Jess. She breezed through town less than half a dozen times a year, and life was always a party when she was around.

And then she left and life returned to its nice, normal routine.

While Jessica and Anna no longer argued and fought like they hated each other, Anna was always relieved when her sister left again – without her daughter.

Anna was Cora’s mom now.

“About what?” Jessica asked.

“Cora.”

Jessica turned around and leaned against the counter. Her face wasn’t even splotchy. If Anna had been crying, her face would look like she was having an allergic reaction.

“No. Mom and I said we would take both your girls for a spa day for Christmas, and we meant it. And if you’re worried we’re going to corrupt them, don’t be. You have had far too much influence by now. For God’s sake, Cora wants to become a partner in yours and Jesse’s business someday. What twelve-year-old wants to be a carpenter?”

The slimy tentacles retracted and Anna blew out a relieved breath. “Of course,” she said, her voice shaking only a little.

She waited while Jessica dug around in the junk drawer, searching for the wine opener.

“She isn’t mine,” Jessica said into the silence. “I mean, she is, but, you know…”

“I know,” Anna reassured her. “And I can never thank you enough for that gift. Both of them.”

“Cora and Gina?”

“Cora and Jesse. And Gina.”

“You and Jesse did make a pretty cute kid. Funny that she looks just like me.”

Anna did not rise to that bait. Secretly, she was pleased that both of her daughters had inherited Jessica and her mother’s beauty. She’d confessed as much to Jesse last night, and in an effort to demonstrate just how beautiful she was, he’d seduced her on the rug in front of the Christmas tree.
She hadn’t minded the reassurance.

Not in the least.

“We should probably get back with the drinks,” Anna said.
“Mom’s wine glass was empty when we came in here. I’m surprised she hasn’t come charging in, demanding her refill.”

“Danny and I split.”

So that’s the cause of the tears. Jessica wasn’t feeling sentimental over seeing her biological daughter and ex-husband during the holidays. She was upset over the loss of her relationship with her rock star boyfriend.

“I’m sorry.”

“He’s big time now, you know. Hot young bimbos are throwing themselves at him at every turn. It was only a matter of time. I guess even I have begun to age.” She sighed deeply.

“You’re just as beautiful as you’ve always been, Jessica.”
Anna fed her sister the obligatory compliment, but the thing was… it was true.  Jessica waved away her words and filled the wine glass she’d brought with her into the kitchen. “It’s okay. I met this twenty-two year old at the bar the night before last. I’m actually going to meet him again in about an hour.”

Anna probably should have been shocked, except she’d learned ten years ago not to be shocked by her sister. When Jessica said, “You take them. I don’t want a kid or a husband, but you do. And you’d make a perfect family,” Anna had realized her sister could never trump that proclamation.

“Listen, before you go …” Anna reached out, touched her sleeve, then pulled back, unsure of what to say, where to start. How did you thank someone, when they didn’t even really understand they’d given you a gift in the first place?

“Yes. I will.”

“Huh?”

“Jesse told me about your plans for your tenth anniversary. I said I’d come back into town to watch the girls.”

“You … you will?” Never in a million years would Anna have dreamed to ask her sister to watch her two children while she and Jesse slipped away for an anniversary trip.

“What? Would you rather leave them with our parents?”

Anna laughed, then slapped a hand over her mouth. Jessica tossed her a wry grin and sipped from her wine glass.

“Jesse’s parents will watch them. Or his sister.”

Jessica shook her head. “No. I want to. It’ll be good for me. For them.”

Those slimy, scary tentacles started to advance again. “You won’t …”

“Suddenly develop maternal feelings? Not a chance. I’m digging this Aunt Jess status. It’s pretty cool, actually. And it’s only in short spurts, which is even better.

So stop worrying. It’s been ten years, Anna. How much longer will it be before you are convinced that Cora and Jesse are yours, and they always will be?”

Anna impulsively grabbed her sister and pulled her into a breathtaking hug. Jessica endured it for approximately ten seconds, and then she pushed Anna away. “Go.

Get in there and deliver beers to the guys. And then go hug on that husband of yours. You know he likes it more than I do.”

“Yeah. He does.”


About the Author:

Tami Lund—author, wine drinker, award winner. Lover of romance. Writing happily ever afters, one book at a time. 
 
Those happy endings come in contemporary and paranormal, so pick your poison. Or try them all. You’re bound to find something that curls your toes and makes you smile.
 

 

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Stolen in the Dark + Giveaway

stolen in the dark

Stolen in the Dark

Fae Bureau of Investigation
Scarlett West
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Passion Press
Date of Publication:  July 20, 2021
ASIN:  B0915V6MY2
Number of pages:  269
Word Count: 70,069
Cover Artist: Lori Grundy
 
He forced me into their world. Now dark enemies want me dead.
 
When an attempted kidnapping leads me to be rescued by a dark and sexy Fae, I assume life can’t be any stranger… Until I discover I’m his fated mate, and that he needs my help to stop a ruthless enemy from kidnapping his kind. 
 
If someone doesn’t stop the brutal attacks, it could lead to earth’s ultimate destruction, so if I want to survive, I have to join the Fae Bureau of Investigation, with Damien as my superior. 
 
But while Damien may be both hot as hell and my one-time hero, my unearthly ability to sense things through my hair is telling me to run: Damien can’t be trusted, and I would hate him as my boss. 
 
With the enemy closing in, though, time is running out for me to make my choice: join the Bureau…or return home to my death. 
 
Readers who enjoy Karen Marie Moning, Laurell K. Hamilton, Amelia Hutchins, and Lindsay Hall, will love this dangerous and sexy urban fantasy. Scroll Up and One Click to start reading this hot paranormal romance today!

Excerpt

I narrowed my eyes at Damien. “Does that mean we would have to work together?”

Damien smirked. “Yes.”

I groaned. As it was, Damien set my nerves on edge in so many different ways. I wasn’t sure I could stand to be close to him. Every f*cking day. And the way he touched me? His hands on my hair? My senses swam when I recalled that embrace.

 “Though I don’t like the way I was thrust into this situation, I believe you now. Except for the bracelets. I don’t know if you put them on my arms or if they’re even still there. But what can I do to help?”

He raised his eyebrows, and a flash of heat blazed in his eyes. “Thrust, huh? I like your choice of word.”

My cheeks burned, and I was sure I was turning all shades of red.

Then, as usual, his expression snapped back to ice. “But this is no game.”

I opened my arms wide.

“I’m aware of that. Explain it to me. What would I have to do?”

Still holding the folder, he crossed his arms and jutted out his chin. “Give up your life and join the FBI.”

I frowned at him. “The Federal Bureau of Investigation? You work with them?”

“Correction. The Fae Bureau of Investigation.”


Top Ten Christmas Drinks

Along with all the sparkling lights and festive decorations, one of the things I most look forward to each holiday season is the many delicious drinks that are served. Let’s check out some alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and find out which one is my favorite!

10. Apple Cider

I love the mix of sweet, tangy, and spicy flavors of a hot, apple cider. On a cold evening with sparkling Christmas lights, a toasty drink like this warms the body and soul.

9. Mulled Wine

This isn’t a drink I see commonly in the USA but one I enjoyed in Austria. They may drink it elsewhere, as well. The base is red wine, then spices like anise star or cinnamon are added, and topped off with orange slices.

It’s a hot beverage, and because of the spices and wine, it leaves you feeling warm and cozy. Mulled wine is often served at parties or outside at the lovely Christmas markets.

8. Hot Chocolate

What’s a list without this classic? Hot cocoa is a wonderful hit for all ages! At my house, we often drink Mexican hot chocolate with all the yummy spices, but the pure chocolate version topped with whipped cream is also delightful.

7. Hot Buttered Rum

This is the ultimate comfort food drink! Prepared with rum, spices, and of course butter, this drink reminds me of a paranormal romance alpha male. Sexy, spicy, and served warm, it’s sure to knock your socks off with its smooth flavor.

6. Holiday Martini

There are so many versions of a holiday martini. What caught my eye were the lovely colors these beverages display. Red cranberry, creamy, snickerdoodle, pecan, the list goes on and on!

5. Eggnog

Smooth, creamy, and sweet, what’s a holiday without eggnog?  With a mix of nutmeg and light texture, it’s a perfect dessert beverage. And if you like it spiked, don’t forget the brandy or cognac.

4. Raspberry Bubbly

So what if you need to make a toast? Check out this lovely drink made with grape juice, and frozen raspberries. And, if you want it alcoholic, that’s an easy twist to arrange. So simple, yet so pretty.

3. Booze Grinch Punch

Omg. You’ve got to look this one up to see the color alone! Whoever thought of mixing lime Kool-Aid, limeade, and juice, created an amazing holiday drink that looks good enough to make virgin or alcoholic. It just sounds so tasty, and it’s fun-looking! (See below.)

2. Mexican Christmas Punch

Another wonderful drink some people might not have access to, but worthy of mentioning. I know it from my Mexican family, though some other countries might drink it as well. It’s made with hibiscus flowers, tamarind, a variety of fruits, and spices plus sugar cane. Many people make it virgin, and some like to add alcohol. If you ever get a chance to try this tangy, sweet, and warming drink, I highly recommend it!

1. Salted Caramel Mocha or Peppermint Mocha

You might be rolling your eyes right now, like how is this lady making coffee her number one choice? LOL! I have a great reason so let me explain. Every other drink in this post I might enjoy once, maybe twice, or maybe not at all during the year. But coffee on the other hand is a daily necessity and joy for me, and I ADORE holiday coffee drinks! My favorite holiday coffee drink is Salted Caramel Mocha, but I added Peppermint Mocha for other coffee fans.

Thanks for reading my holiday drinks post. If you liked any of them, search by name on Google, and they will pop right up. Delish had A LOT of party drink ideas! Happy Holidays and here’s the Grinch Punch Recipe.

 

Grinch Punch Recipe
Ingredients:
• 2 packets Kool-Aid Lemon Lime mix
• 1 Can Frozen Limeade Concentrate
• 4 cups pineapple juice
• 1-liter ginger ale
• 2 Cups Sugar
• 8 Cups Water
• And if adding alcohol, 2 cups vodka
• Ice according to your taste
• Red sanding sugar, for rimming your glasses
 
Preparation
 
1. Combine the Kool-Aid, limeade, water, sugar, and pineapple juice.Stir to combine completely. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. When ready to serve, combine ginger ale with the juices.
3. Serve in red sugar-rimmed glasses.


About the Author:

Scarlett West writes steamy, paranormal romance featuring sexy Fae. Deep characters and hot romance are her thing. An avid reader and writer who will never stop dreaming, Scarlett has traveled to many countries and been on tons of adventures. She draws her stories from these places, life experiences, and her grand imagination. Besides writing, she’s a hobby herbalist and a dancer. If she’s not by the computer typing these things up, she can be found in a forest, on a mountain, or by the ocean. She would like to thank her three F’s: Fans, Family and Friends. Thank you forever for your support.

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