by Samantha Holt
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Alana sets eyes on Morgann for the first time in several years and what does he do? He captures her! But Alana refuses to go meekly with the sexy Highland warrior. Her kidnapping will reignite the rift that’s existed between the two clans since her father accused Morgann of theft and she doesn’t want to see her father harmed in the inevitable war that will ensue.
Unfortunately for Alana, the faeries seek to interfere with her plans to escape. The sidhe have a debt to repay and Tèile, the green faery, is determined to mend the rift between the clans for good. And that means ensuring Alana and Morgann marry.
Morgann has his own reasons for taking Alana and they are nothing to do with marriage or war. He wants to use her to reveal a secret from the past, the one that had him accused of theft. If only he didn’t find his childhood friend so attractive. When circumstances force them together, Alana’s life is threatened and war is imminent. Can Morgann reveal the truth without losing Alana? And will the faeries meddling help or hinder his cause?
Endless moments stretched on as she waited for Morgann to look away, to break the connection, but he stared brazenly on as his gaze trailed over her face. What did he see? As she gaped up at him, the irate warrior dissolved into a flesh and blood man and she recalled how much she used to adore him. When Morgann was banished from her father’s lands, she’d been heartbroken at losing her friend, but with the blazing sensation of having him flattened against her, she remembered that it wasn’t just the loss of his friendship that hurt her so. She’d always silently hoped Morgann would play a bigger role in her future.
But that didn’t change the fact that he was taking her against her will and she would not go meekly, regardless of what she once felt. If only she could ignore the sensuous pull of his lips or the darkening of his pupils as a rough finger drew a path over her cheek.
A crack ripped across the sky and they both jolted. Pushing to standing, Morgann helped her up and grimaced as he eyed her. Aware of the mud coating her, she swiped a hand across her face as her cheeks heated. Titling her head up, she hoped the rain would at least be useful for something and would not only rinse away some of the dirt but also cool her down. The way the man made her skin blister was extremely disconcerting.
Morgann muttered a curse, drawing her attention back to him as he raked a hand through his hair and yanked some rope from the leather pouch hanging from his saddle. As he turned back to her, rope held out, Alana shrank away. “Ye cannae mean to tie me up, surely?”
Samantha resides in Warwickshire, England with her twin girls and husband. She’s a romance addict and has been devouring all kinds of romance for as long as she can remember.
Having studied archaeology, Samantha likes to blend her love of the past with her passion for romance to create thrilling and passionate tales set to medieval backdrops. She thinks there’s nothing sexier than a rugged warrior and a feisty maiden falling head over heels for each other.
Website/Blog – www.samanthaholt.org.uk
Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/romanticfiction
A Victoria Storm novel, Loki’s Wolves series, book #2)
Melissa will be awarding a $25 GC – Amazon or B&N (winner’s choice) to two randomly drawn commenters during the tour. Enter via the Rafflecopter link at the end of the post. Here’s the link to follow and comment for more chances to win!
Valkyrie Victoria Storm desires nothing more than to provide her wolf pack with a safe haven, but her position as priestess to the Goddess Freya also brings with it certain… obligations. Not to mention complications.
War with the Barrett family resulted in the deaths of her parents and most of her pack. Now, hunters are hot on the trail of the remaining pack members. Sawyer Barrett, a human hunter hell bent on revenge, is convinced that Victoria murdered his brother. He will stop at nothing to see her dead.
Victoria must defend the survivors and somehow lead them to safety. Months on the run has weakened the pack, and there are newborn pups to protect, making swift travel impossible. Ahead, the promise of refuge beckons.
Their best chance for survival lies in Sierra Pines, California: Arik Koenig, a powerful, dominant male wolf. He promises to protect and provide for the pack, something Victoria knows the pack needs for survival. His mysterious past is riddled with violence and death, including the slaughter of his entire family twenty years before. His wife died under mysterious circumstances and his son, Logan, is rumored to be her killer.
What is truth? Who can she trust? The desperate spirit of Arik’s murdered wife calls out for help, and Logan begs for assistance in clearing his name. Victoria must solve a murder that has pitted father against son, rooted in a mystery reaching back two decades. Her quest starts her on a journey from the human world to Odin’s Valhalla and back again.
Victoria will find salvation or face destruction beneath the Hunger Moon…
CHARACTER INTERVIEW – A special insight from Melissa into the Loki Wolves world!!
Fantasy Gab is a nighttime talk show dedicated to covering the latest developments in fantasy news, including the review of new books and movies. The host, Sam Smarmy is a tall, thin Caucasian man who has appeared to be in his mid-thirties for the last fifty years. His pale skin has a plastic quality and his fangy smile gleams with the wattage of a thousand light bulbs. Sam has worked on a variety of game shows and sitcoms, including The Newlywed Game and Family Feud, prior to becoming the host of Fantasy Gab.
As the opening theme music and the cued applause fades, the camera pans to reveal Sam seated in a large black leather chair. “Welcome! Today, I have sixteen-year-old Morena visiting with us. For those viewers not familiar with the Melissa Snark’s Loki’s Wolves series, Morena is a teenage werewolf.”
Cued applause goes for ten seconds and then fades.
Sam flashes fangs. “Morena, thank you for being my guest today on Fantasy Gab.”
Morena clears her throat, crossing and then uncrossing her arms. “Uh, thanks, Sam. Mr. Smarmy.”
“Just Sam,” he says, with a big toothpaste smile. “Is it okay if I call you Morena?”
The teenager stares straight at him. “Morena is my only name.”
“Only one, hmm? You seem bitter on the subject. Mind if I ask why?”
Morena scowls. “My author hasn’t given me a last name. Everyone else got last names—Sylvie and Paul Thornton, Arik and Logan Koenig. Even the guy who cleaned the pool following the meatball incident in “Hunger Moon” had a surname. But not me.”
“I don’t recall the pool man.”
“Well, he got written out of the final draft.”
“Heh, well at least that’s something, huh? Ms. Snark didn’t write you out or kill you off.”
“I guess.” Morena’s face works into a stubborn pout. “But for someone so young, I’ve experienced a tremendous amount of heart ache. As part of my back story, the author killed my parents and older brother off before the series even began. In ‘The Child Thief’, she killed my best friend.”
“The body count is high in Ms. Snark’s books, I take it?”
“Not all of them. She usually only kills bad buys in her romance books. But she says the character deaths are necessary to further Victoria Storm’s character arc,” Morena says. “I think it’s a crock.”
Sam chuckles. “Let’s talk about your role in the series.”
Morena slouches in her chair. “So far, I’ve only been a supporting character. I’ve provided comedy relief. I’m in a fight scene too and then I need to be rescued.”
“Who saves you?” Sam asks.
Morena’s teeth click together. “Victoria.”
“Does it annoy you to be stuck playing second fiddle to Victoria?”
Morena frowns. “Don’t get me wrong—I love Victoria. We’re packmates and she’s my Alpha and everything…”
“But yes. Sometimes I wish I had a stronger role in the stories.”
“Do you think you’ll get your wish? What does your future on the series hold?”
Morena perks up and smiles. “Ms. Snark is working on a sequel to ‘Hunger Moon’ called ‘Battle Cry’. The author has promised to more than triple the number of scenes I’m in. I’m being promoted from comedy relief to a full blown sidekick!”
“That’s very exciting. I can’t wait to see what happens next. Can you give us any spoilers for ‘Battle Cry’?”
Morena grins. “I just came from the set of ‘Battle Cry’. Let’s just say there’s one really sizzling hot scene where Victoria locks lips with one of the hunters.”
Sam’s eyes glow and his incisors lengthen. “Intriguing. Can you tell us who she was kissing?”
Morena shakes her head. “I’m sworn to secrecy but I can say this! No one was very happy about it afterward.”
“I’m pleased you brought up romantic entanglements on the series.” Sam flashes a lustful sneer. “Can you confirm for our viewers that you’ve got a crush on Logan?”
Morena’s dark eyes spark with annoyance. “Is it true what they said about you in ‘The National Enquirer’?”
Sam’s face becomes blank. He casts a quick glance at his bare wrist. “Look at that! It seems we’re out of time!”
Morena grins. “Or maybe you’d like to tell me why you smell like you bathed in lime Jell-O, Mr. Smarmy?”
Waving his arms, Sam jumps to his feet. “Turn off those cameras! Cut!”
The screen goes black.
The closing credits for Fantasy Gab roll.
Victoria felt him before she saw him. His power washed over her with the force of an incoming tide, as dark, mysterious and unstoppable as the ocean. Her wolf rose to answer his in instinctive response, defiant and determined. She challenged his power and altered the irresistible flow so it passed around rather than over her. Before she reached the office entrance, the male werewolf responded to her presence and surged to his feet. He rounded the desk, demonstrating extraordinary grace and strength, and she braced for a physical confrontation. He dwarfed her in both height and weight.
As soon as their gazes met, they locked in a dominance contest. His narrowed eyes pierced hers; the light-pigmented brown irises were the color of honey and eclipsed the whites and round black pupils. Wolf eyes.
Victoria did not approach with her head low or avert her gaze. Instead, she challenged him outright, radiating defiance, posture stiff and erect. While they faced off, she regretted the tactical error, but it was too late to rescind. Her stubborn pride permitted no retreat, and it went against her nature to submit.
“Let’s take this outside where there are no humans to bear witness,” he said in a deep, resonant voice she found appealing.
Aroused, her wolf took an immediate interest in him as a fine, fit male animal. For the first time, Victoria noticed his physical appearance, and her wolf found him more than acceptable. She estimated his age as being in his late thirties. He in no way suffered for the smattering of silver hairs that peppered his dark head. He was a perfect specimen of a man.
Distracted, Victoria broke eye contact, but not to submit. She ran her gaze over his body with blatant approval, lingering on his broad shoulders and chest, muscular arms and legs. He wore a tailored navy suit with a light shirt and dark blue tie. From the way his clothing fit, there was not an ounce of spare fat anywhere on him.
His features possessed splendid symmetry, though a silver scar on his right cheek marred his perfection. The shape of his brow, nose, and lower face hinted at a distant Roman heritage. High cheekbones alluded to his Nordic blood. He cleared his throat, and Victoria scented both his arousal and amusement.
“Did you come to challenge me, or do you have something else in mind?”
His devilish smile hinted at a sense of humor, and Victoria seized on the opening. A ballsy gamble carried inherent risk, but her initial inept blundering had left her with no other graceful out. Her eyes rose to meet his once again.
“I am Victoria, daughter of Adair and Katherine, High Priestess of Freya, Lady Valkyrie, shaman, and healer,” she said, making her boast. “I am also the Alpha of my pack, and I am seeking a mate. I have come to assess whether you would make an acceptable suitor.”
“You’re kidding.” He registered surprise and disbelief.
Victoria arched her brow. “I am not.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
A friend asked me once how I chose my pen name. I told her the following: “Melissa, because when people mix up my first name, it’s the most common goof up. Snark, because it amuses me. A) I love the word ‘snarky’ and B) I love Lewis Carroll.”
As an individual, I’m sarcastic, stubborn and blunt to a fault. I have a strange sense of humor and I like to laugh (usually at my husband or children), but also at myself. I’m not particularly extroverted, although I do enjoy time with my family and close friends a great deal.
At the moment, I’m a stay at home mom who writes in my spare time. I’ve got a B.S. from Arizona State University in Business, and I’ve worked a variety of different jobs, including as a medical device documentation specialist, a technical writer, and an auto liability adjuster.
I live in the San Francisco East Bay of Northern California with my husband, three kids, and three cats. My hobbies include roleplaying, cooking and reading.
I maintain a blog, which I update regularly at http://melissasnark.blogspot.com/
I enjoy hearing from my readers, so please drop me a line at MelissaSnark at gmail dot com.
Book 2 – HUNGER MOON
Book 1 – THE CHILD THIEF
Where to find Melissa on the Internet:
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A high profile murder of a Wall Street executive in Westchester pits three people against the criminal underbelly of Manhattan nightlife. The key players are two ex-cops turned private investigators—Kevin Whitehouse, whose sharpest tool is his keen analytical mind, and David Allerton, a former Special Forces operative—and Margaret Alexander, Kevin’s lover. In their search for a killer, they are forced to travel to the edge of sanity and morality, while stumbling onto their own confusing secrets as well. The Cover of Darkness is a gritty noir saga that untangles a web of deceit in the course of tracking down a brutal murderer.
David first opened the door to a closet on the left, searching it with the gun muzzle, before approaching the door at the end of the hall and kicking it open. An angry, naked man stood on the other side, his anger changing to fear in seconds once he beheld the gun pointing in his direction.
“Get back into bed,” David ordered.
The pale-bodied man responded as he staggered backward. The foot of the bed struck the back of his knees, sending him seated on the mattress. The woman on the bed had by this time covered herself with the sheets, and curled her legs up.
While Kevin stood nervously in the doorway, David searched the room and the closets, the muzzle of the shotgun again serving as a probe, but found no one.
“What the…?” Chase asked David.
After searching through the room, David tossed the shotgun to Kevin.
Suddenly, Chase went white-hot heat, crawling backward into the arms of his woman in sheer panic screaming, “What do you want?!”
“I want information,” David demanded, going to the foot of the bed, standing before them with Kevin directly behind him. “I want to know who whacked Osterman.”
“How am I to know?!” Chase shouted back. His hair was a wild tangle, his eyes wide as saucers with fright.
“Don’t yell at me,” David said calmly. “I want answers. I’m not interested in killing you.”
“You bust into my crib and start throwing guns around. You’re crazy, man, what do you think I’m thinking?”
“You were moving dope for Osterman,” David persisted, ignoring Chase’s remarks.
“Osterman! He jerked me.”
“With the Colombians.”
“And you didn’t like that.”
“No, I didn’t.”
“So, you had one of your soul brothers do him in.”
“Oh hell, no. My people don’t kill. We don’t mess with weapons like you do.”
“And the reason for that?”
“More jail time . . . What are you? A cop?”
“Don’t worry about what I am,” David growled back. “You are moving weight. I want to know what happened after Osterman jerked you.”
“He jerked me. That’s all.”
“That’s all? You didn’t go to the Colombians? Liar!”
“Yes, yes, I did that!” Chase corrected. “I went to the Colombians as soon as I knew he jerked me. I begged them to give me another chance. They said they would, if I replaced their one hundred kilos. One hundred kilos! How do I do that?”
“Put bullets into Osterman for revenge.”
“How is that going to get me my one hundred kilos?”
“Let me explain it to you, genius. The Colombians trust Osterman enough to give him a heavy shipment. You find it, whack him, and take his shipment back to the Colombians. Paid in full.”
Chase thought that over for a second or two. “But that’s not what happened.”
“Convince me otherwise.”
The word “Freeze!” were suddenly heard from the doorway. David frowned as he glanced over his shoulder to see a scruffy looking black male, armed with his own shotgun.
Gregory Delaurentis spent his adult life roaming from job to job, working for Lockheed in California, various law firms in New York, and financial firms on Wall Street. Throughout this period of time, he was writing—unceasingly—finally producing a large body of work, albeit unrecognized and unpublished . . . until now. Cover of Darkness is the first in a series of upcoming books that include Edge of Darkness, Pale of Darkness and Cries of Darkness. These novels follow the lives of three individuals who do battle bringing criminals to justice, while they struggle to understand the complex relationships that exist among themselves. This intriguing trio has absorbed the attention of Mr. Delaurentis for the past year and a half, so much so he decided to self-publish their stories to bring them to a wider audience.
[AUTHOR’S DISCLAIMER: These are works of fiction. Name, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.]
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“How do you recognize your soulmate?
In glittery 1980’s Los Angeles, Beau Kellogg is a brilliant Broadway lyricist now writing advertising jingles and yearning for one more hit to compensate for his miserable marriage and disappointing life.
Amanda Harary, a young singer out of synch with her contemporaries, works at a small New York hotel, while she dreams of singing on Broadway.
When they meet late at night over the hotel switchboard, what begins will bring them each unexpected success, untold joy, and piercing heartache … until they learn that some connections, however improbable, are meant to last forever.
STEALING FIRE is, at its heart, a story for romantics everywhere, who believe in the transformative power of love.”
STEALING FIRE was a Quarter-Finalist (Top 5%) in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest.
Oh, God, it was him, the bastard who had upset the switchboard operators and bellowed through the lobby loudly enough to alert all five boroughs. At three o’clock in the morning, asking for room service. Unbelievable.
Amanda leaned back in her chair. Her stomach was tightening inexplicably. “I’m sorry,” she said finally, when she could control her voice. “Room Service closes at midnight.”
There was a pause. “Oh. What time is it now?”
She looked at her watch. “Ten after three.”
“Then whom am I speaking to?”
“I’m the night operator. This is the main switchboard.”
“Well, main switchboard, you must all sound alike down there. I could swear I talked to you earlier tonight.”
Well, how about that. “You’ve got a good ear, 704. I was on duty earlier.”
“Good Lord. How long are the shifts around here?”
“Eight hours for everybody else. I’m working a double today.”
“Maybe I just love it here.”
“I guess you do. But I hope you’re well compensated.”
Trust a man to think of money first. “That’s not my major concern.”
“Glad to hear it.”
Okay, enough’s enough. It’s been a long day, made even longer by him. No reason to shoot the breeze with this guy. “Excuse me, I have other callers. Sorry I couldn’t help you.”
“Well, better luck with them.”
“Look, if you’d called earlier—”
“Absolutely. My fault entirely, for falling asleep after a cross-country flight, a time change and a screw-up in hotel administration. Forget I even mentioned it.” The phone clicked in her ear.
She sat for some moments before she noticed she was trembling. This was the second time he’d undermined her—and it bothered her.
Susan Sloate is the author of 20 published books, including FORWARD TO CAMELOT (with Kevin Finn), an alternative history of the JFK assassination, STEALING FIRE, an autobiographical love story, and REALIZING YOU (with Ron Doades), for which she invented a new genre – the self-help novel. FORWARD TO CAMELOT was a #6 Amazon bestseller, took honors in 3 literary competitions and was optioned for film production by a Hollywood company. STEALING FIRE was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award Contest. Susan has also written young-adult fiction and non-fiction, including RAY CHARLES: FIND ANOTHER WAY!, which won a silver medal in the 2007 Children’s Moonbeam Book Awards, AMELIA EARHART: CHALLENGING THE SKIES, a perennial Amazon bestseller, and MYSTERIES UNWRAPPED: THE SECRETS OF ALCATRAZ, which led to her appearance on a special for The History Channel in 2009, as well as books for five girls’ fiction series. As a screenwriter, she has written an informational film for McGraw-Hill Films and optioned two scripts to Hollywood production companies. As a sportswriter, she’s covered the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Mets. She’s also managed two recent political campaigns, founded the East Cooper Authors Festival (which put 18 professional authors in 17 area schools in one day) and serves on the Culture, Arts and Pride Commission of the Town of Mount Pleasant.