Wednesday, May 20, 2015

From sweet to OMG don’t tell my mother I wrote that

By Killarney Sheffield (Guest Blogger)

As an author it’s all about the journey, not about where you are going, but how you get there. I started out 10 years ago as a stay at home mom of five. Writing took place mostly in the evening when the little ones were in bed. Why did I write? Well, because I had to, I needed to, it was a way to keep my sanity in a house full of kiddie chaos. I was inspired by an author whom I loved and read everything she ever wrote, Kathleen Woodwiss. I started out writing sweet and a little spicy historical romances, and as strange as it sounds saw my dream of being published in 2010 become a reality with my third ever manuscript. The strange part? That contract was followed by ones for my second manuscript and then my first, kind of a reverse play if you will.


The more I wrote the more I found myself wanting to explore more than just sweet romances. I dabbled with a short erotica and an all most over the mainstream line historical, The Courtesan, but never really attempted a full on erotic novel until 50 Shades Of Grey came out. I wasn’t inspired to write an erotica by the hype or the money, rather because (and I apologize if this offends anyone), I hated the series. Yes, I hated 50 Shades of Grey. I as a reader and an author had three major issues with the series; 1) A 21 yr old virgin in this day and age? Okay, not impossible, but highly unlikely. 2) The heroine had no driving force to sign a sex contract and to me a virginal curiosity just wasn’t enough. 3) What normal woman falls for a guy that screwed up??? I’m sure if the man wasn’t a billionaire no woman, or reader, would have given him a second look… and I don’t personally know anyone shallow enough to put up with creepy for money. So basically I wrote my own 95,000 word version of 50 Shades set in the regency period titled SINGED.




SINGED was supposed to release in May, however, due to the success of a couple of my historical romances right now, including a sweet one entitled, Love’s Magic, 2015 RONE award nominee, it has been delayed until fall. Until then how about a sneak, unedited peek at SINGED?

Singed
Chapter One
Nice young ladies don’t sneak out when they are supposed to be in bed. The thought sticks in my mind. Well, perhaps I am not such a nice young lady, at least not beneath my obedient debutante exterior… With an un-lady-like snort I push the sentiment from my head. The streets of the city still flirt with shadows at this hour and I need to be careful to keep my wits about me as I make my way along them. Cory's waiting. His penned note is clipped, filled with something sinister I can't quite put my fingers on. It simply says, 'Must meet. Please come to Colt's Foot Inn, Hyde Street'. There is trouble. I can sense it. My twin and I always sense each other's feelings. My footsteps echo across the cobblestones as I round the corner. Up ahead is the marker to the Colt's Foot Inn. My father would be furious if he knew I was out at this hour and without a chaperone. Something moves behind me. It's not an audible noise, more of a feeling someone or something is there. My heart pounds in my chest. No one but Cory knows I'm out. A hasty glance over my shoulder picks up a dark form. It's tall and frightening. Terror quickens my steps. I'm running now, running to the Inn. In the door I burst, breath puffing in white clouds of steam. The door slams shut behind me and I lean against it. The tavern keeper looks up and nods. I'll be safe here. A quick scan of the room shows I am the only one here, besides the barkeep that is.
“I am looking for Cory Sexton, good sir. Is he here?”
The man jerks his head in the direction of the stairs. “He paid for room five last eve.”
Frowning I make for the stairs, taking them two at a time in a most un-lady-like fashion, much to my mother's horror and my father's chagrin, were they to witness it. The hallway at the top of the stairs has a musty, sour ale odor to it. Wrinkling my nose I glance at the numbers on the doors in passing. Again, my father would be disgusted to see me in such a rundown establishment as this one. An earl's daughter should not be seen in such a place, even attired in a demure dark blue velvet walking dress. My father would be dismayed to see his only son in such a place too, but then again it has been almost a year since he's seen Cory. The two always had a volatile relationship. A year ago they had the argument to end all arguments. Cory left and my father refused to utter his name again. To this day I have no idea what the disagreement was even about, neither will tell me. It is not a woman's concern. We must not strain our pretty little heads with a man's problems. Men can be so foolish sometimes.
Catching the number 5 painted in a faded, crooked splatter across a door to my right I stop and knock on it. The sound echoes. When no one answers I try again and tap my slipper on the worn red carpet. Has he forgotten he summoned me? Perhaps he has gone back to sleep. Impatient with his rudeness I try the knob. It twists easily in my hand. Upon opening the door I am greeted with chaos. My gasp fills the room. The floor is littered with parchment, clothing, ink pots and linen. The cot in the corner is sliced open and the straw ticking yanked out in a heap at the foot of it. Cory is nowhere to be seen. Fear prickles the hairs on my neck. Where is my brother? Has something terrible happened to him?
A book lying open spine up catches my eye. I cross the room and pick it up. Flipping it over I realize it is a journal of sorts. In my brother's spiky hand is written the date and a simple entry.
February, 12th 1820. A toast to radical socialism. Spencean Philanthropists.
The Spencean Philanthropists is none other than a group of radical socialism and violent republicans. It's rumored it is run by a man named Arthur Thistlewood. Just who he is no one seems to know. What side is my brother on? Though one would assume he is on the side of our sovereign king I am not so sure. I have long suspected he may have an interest in a new government. To support this openly means death if you are caught, either by the hangman's noose or the guillotine. Either way, dead is dead.
There is only one page in the journal. Where the rest should be are jagged edges, giving evidence that someone didn't want anyone else to read the previous entries. It is a mystery that would make the great Scotland Yard wonder, though I suppose they are much too busy hunting down criminal masterminds to bother with the writings of one young heir to the Sexton fortune.
Something shiny on the bare floor under the small window garners my attention. Upon inspection I find my brother's emerald stick pin. He loves this pin. It is his favorite because it matches my eyes, our eyes. Picking it up I twirl it around in my fingers and it glitters against my white gloves. He wouldn't leave without it, not intentionally. Fear so consuming rolls through my limbs. Closing my eyes I clutch the pin to my breast and will it away. “What have you done, Cory?”
The curtain billows in the morning breeze as I open my eyes. Stepping to the sill and leaning out I discover a trail of broken branches and vines leading to the ground. Someone's entry ... or exit. Good deduction Victoria, Scotland Yard would be proud. A lantern keeper strolls down the cobblestones bathed in the rosy glow of the sun starting to slip above the horizon. One by one he snuffs the wicks in each dome atop the tall lamp posts. I must get home before father or one of the maids discovers me gone.
At the bottom of the stairs I pause, looking for the barkeep. He enters the room from a curtained off area in back. “My brother, Lord Sexton, is not in his room. Did you see him leave? Did he say when he would be back?”
He shakes his head. “I don't keep tabs on me customers, miss.”
“Could I leave a message for him?”
“Ye could, and 'e'll get it if'n I remember.”
Frowning I cross the room to the bar. “Have you perhaps a quill, paper and ink?”
“Nope. No need fer such things. I can't read nor write.”
“I see.” The man is uneducated and coarse, probably of no mind to help me either. “How long did my brother rent the room?”
A smirk lingers on his lips. “'Till the end of the month. Now, ifn you'll excuse me, I've got things t' do.” With that he turns and disappears once more behind the curtain.
The only thing to do is head home. Later, when no one is about during afternoon retirement I can send a note around to my brother and hope he answers. Perhaps there is even another message awaiting my return at my father's townhouse. I pray there is.
The journey back to the well to do homes is uneventful. Except for a few curious stares no one seems to bother with a well-dressed woman about at such an uncivilized hour. Thankfully. My courage is flagging. When the townhouse looms ahead of me, all red brick and sandstone against the tangerine sky a sigh slips from me. I'm home. My brother is not.
Easing through the door I close it as soft as possible behind and tiptoe up the main staircase. Before long I step into my safe and protected room. Pink frills adorn everything, from the deep pink velvet bedspread, to the matching canopy and on the trim of all the paler pink cloths draping the tables. Even the carpet is a lighter shade. Why? The designer designed it that way. My tastes have not really been reflected here for I am not the lady of the house. My mother is, Lady Gwendolyn Sexton.
As quick as possible I slip off my cloak and out of my gown, hanging them neatly in the amour. It wouldn't be good to be caught sneaking back in. Good thing I left off that annoying and much hated whalebone corset my maid insists I wear each day. I'd never get it off myself, or on for that matter. After donning my nightdress I slide between the sheets, make myself comfortable and try for a few hours more sleep before it is time to greet the day. According to mother, a proper lady does not rise before ten.
****
“Miss?”
No, not now. Sleep is still calling.
“Miss. It is time to rise. Your breakfast is here.”
Groaning I roll over. I know ladies aren't supposed to make inappropriate noises like moaning, groaning or grunting. Not in public anyway. After sitting up she places a tray across my lap containing a cup of hot chocolate, a coddled egg and half a dozen buttery toast fingers. I swear the mice in the pantry are better fed. Good thing I have my own personal stash of treats and sweets hidden in the trunk in the amour. Besides, the cook likes me and often slips me extra rations when mother is not around. It is lucky women don't starve to death, though I have seen many faint due to corsets that are too tight. Sometimes I wish I was born without a silver spoon in my mouth. My maid Mary doesn't have to wear a corset, go to silly parties, starve herself or submit to dozens of costume changes a day. On the other hand she works so many hours in a day I doubt she has anytime for such pursuits. And did I forget she is able to marry for love? Those of the 'ton' don't marry for love. We marry for wealth and social status. I don't know anyone who actually married someone they love, most hardly even know each other before tying the nuptial knot. All this I mull over while eating my meager meal. Most girls my age are worried about fashion plates, beaus and what they will wear to the next ball …
“Miss?”
Blinking I put aside my thoughts and turn my attention to the maid. “Yes Mary?”
“Would you prefer the pink muslin or the yellow satin this morning?”
Rolling my eyes I shrug. “Which ever you think, Mary.”
“Yes, miss.”
She goes to the amour and returns with the pink muslin. Emerald eyes and rich chestnut hair go with everything. Unlike Mary's mop of wild red curls she tries to hide under her odd looking white cap. With a roll of my eyes I shove the tray away and it is time to dress. It takes the usual hour to be primped, curled, pinched, corseted and dressed. To make matters worse my first clothing change is before noon tea, in two hours. After dressing I head downstairs to the small family parlor. Mother will be there by now, no doubt fretting because I am ten minutes late ... as usual.
“Victoria, you are tardy, my dear,” my mother scolds the second I set foot in the room.
“Yes mother. I am sorry.” Suitably chastised I take my seat in front of the easel. My paintings are ... not terrible. Honestly, I haven't much talent as far as that is concerned. My drawings are basic and the color slopped on them too bright and sometimes garish. The painting instructor tried hard, I'll give him that. Still, a well-bred lady should be able to paint, embroider, dance, play an instrument and of course bore a gentleman to near death with simple, inane chatter. It also helps if you can master a charming smile and eyelash batting. In my case, well, I have to admit I am quite good at playing the pianoforte. The music teacher is the only one of the instructors who did not require extra payment to ... nurture my un-talents.
“Good morning, my dears,” father says and saunters into the room carrying his newspaper. I enjoy spending time with father. Sometimes he understands me, or maybe he just humors me.
“Good morning, Father.”
He pauses and kisses my cheek before moving on to kiss mother's hand. Then he settles into his favorite chair to read the paper. The minutes tick by in time with the clock on the mantle. The swish of mother's needle and thread, the crinkle of father's paper and the scratch of my charcoal stick on the canvas as I create my newest master piece ... of manure. Oops, did I just think that? Well, it’s not as if I said it out loud.
My attention shifts from the bowl of sad looking fruit I'm sketching to the door as the butler arrives. Something to break the tediousness of the morning would be most welcome, a letter, an invite to a party, anything.
“Excuse me, my lord. There is a Lord Dominic Davil here to see you.”
Father puts away his paper. “Show him in, Jeffries.”
Into the parlor and my life walks the most beautiful man I have ever seen. Men aren't supposed to be beautiful, but this one is. He is a modern 1820s version of Adonis. Dark and mysterious are the first two words that come to mind as his gaze settles on me. Wavy black hair neatly tied back with a puce ribbon, to accentuate a strong square jaw, unmarred by stubble or hair rises to full lips, wide cheek bones and an aristocratic nose. A well cut black coat studded with glittering ruby like buttons stretches over broad shoulders and matching trousers without a visible crease anywhere mold his God like torso, hips and thighs. All this topped with Hessian boots polished to an almost glowing shine. Adonis. I allow my stare to travel back up his impeccable dress to his face and catch the glint in his eye. Is it amusement at my slack jawed admiration? Yes and no, I think. There is something dangerous about his deep blue, almost black eyed attention. A shiver trails icy fingers down my spine. Deliciously dangerous. That gaze promises something, wicked, hungry and intoxicating.
The lord in question looks away, a slight smirk on his lips and crosses to my mother. “Good afternoon, Lady Sexton.” He gives an elegant bow and kisses my mother's hand. I notice she blushes and squirms slightly in her chair, eyes wide and smitten. He releases her hand and turns away. “Lord Sexton. I have come bearing news.”
Father rises to his feet and sets aside his paper. “Good afternoon, Lord Davil.”
Blinking I look away, the spell broken by my father's greeting. My heart beats an aroused tattoo against my chest and my breath is coming in small gasps. Does Lord Dominic Davil have this effect on every woman he meets? I hope not.
Father holds out his hand to me. “Have you met my daughter, Victoria?”
Rising with as much grace as I can muster I cross the couple steps to him on shaky limbs.
Warm fingers caress mine in a light grip, his thumb stroking the back of my knuckles. “Charmed to meet you, Miss Sexton.”
Someone is charmed and I suspect it is not him, but rather only the women in the room. I fight the urge to moan and sigh, “Oh, my,” instead in a breathy whisper.
This time his lips turn up in a quirky grin. The scoundrel is certainly aware of the effects he has on women. His lips descend to brush my hand and I almost squeal as the rake twirls his warm tongue against the skin unbeknownst to my father. He releases my hand at the hitch in my breath and straightens. A cheeky glint in his eyes shows he approves of my reaction. Heat creeps up my neck to my cheeks. I sidle a quick glance at mother. Her lips are pressed into a thin line. Did she catch his inappropriate gesture, or did he do the same thing to her and she suspects?
“Shall we retire to my study, Lord Davil?”
Regret at the stranger's leaving forms and I return to my seat as he tips his head in acquiescence. He follows father to the door, but pauses on the threshold of the room and fixes his cool gaze on me. “Until we meet again, Miss Sexton.”
Is it just me, or does my name roll off his tongue in a blatantly seductive way? Before I can reply he's gone. I glance at my mother.
Her eyes sparkle with anger and her lips are still pressed in a thin line. “Victoria Sexton, I am appalled! Your performance was disgraceful.”
Head bowed I bite my lip. My performance? What about his? “Yes, mother.” There is no point in arguing. Last time I pressed my luck I was confined to my room for the Wellsbrook hunt. All because I complained it wasn't fair I could not ride father's stallion Windwalker in it. Women do not ride unmannerly stallions she scolded. Looking back I suppose I shouldn't have pressed my luck by retorting Windwalker had more manners than some of the so called gentleman attending. Me and my big mouth. It gets me in trouble all the time.
Glancing at the mantle clock I smother a groan. It is another hour yet before I can be excused to change again.

About Me

Well, before becoming a published author I used to be a natural horsemanship trainer, farrier and English & Western riding coach. I currently live on a Canadian cattle ranch with my family, though one day have dreams of seeing the world and moving to Australia. I am still as passionate about my horses as my writing but have to work hard to balance the two these days. Which is my greatest joy? Probably my registered Thoroughbred stallion 'Stamp de Gold' whom I lovingly refer to as 'Love Monkey'. In a horse person's life there comes that one very special equine who seems to know exactly what you want and what you are thinking. I have been blessed with 2 of those amazing creatures over my years of owning, training and showing, my dear departed 'Melderman' and 'Stamp de Gold'. For all those 'horsey' readers and authors out there I also have a blog dedicated to all kinds of horse info which you can find on my links page.  

http://killarneysheffield.blogspot.ca 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Sunday Snog #174: The Ingredients of Bliss

My kisses this Sunday comes from The Ingredients of Bliss, my steamy BDSM ménage. The excerpt is a bit long, so I’ll skip the blurb. (You can find it here.) Hope you like the snog!

Don’t forget to visit Blisse Kiss Central for lots more sexy kisses!




Youve got nothing to hide now.With his lanky frame, mussed hair and crooked grin, Harry almost looked like a teenager. A very horny teen, considering the substantial erection bobbing hopefully at his groin. He flipped back onto his side and fixed me with a slightly fuzzy gaze. He was irresistibly cute without his glasses.Everythings out in the open.

But its all socomplicated!As usual, my objections began to melt in the warmth of his smile.

He danced his fingers up my outstretched thigh and my pussy clenched in anticipation.

On the contrary, I think this considerably simplifies the situationMs Wong.Etiennes voice was deferential, but I read a mirror of Harrys mischief in his expression.I serve you. You serve Harry. Each of us gets what he or she wants.

Theres no more need for secrets, love. Or for surreptitiously administered enhancements to the libido, either…” Harry slipped a fingertip between my moist lips and grazed a fingernail across my clit.

My annoyance paled next to the flare of pleasure kindled by his touch. Before I could clamp down to hold his hand in my crotch, however, he’d snatched it away.

Oh no!I groaned, fighting arousal and disappointment.You told him?

I had my suspicions in any case. It doesnt matter. Your methods might have been dubious, but Im grateful for the results.Etienne glanced down at the livid marks from my beating, a set of parallel strips leading up his lean thighs toward his rearing cock.I might never have had the courage to act on my desires if not for yourumintervention.His voice held quiet pride.

You dont have to be ashamed or embarrassed,Harry added.All we wantboth of usis to satisfy you. To please you and make you happy. Cant you just accept that?

Harry hooked an arm around my neck and pulled me down into lush kiss. His tongue was assertive as ever, yet I caught a hint of uncertainty in his manner. Under his brashness, he worried that Id reject the solution he and Etienne had worked out. If I did, would I choose him, or the suave, glamorous chef?

I relaxed and let him plunder my mouth, offering reassurance via my physical surrender. His hands roamed over my body, visiting all the sensitive spots hed discovered in our months together. There was no pain now, only bliss, pouring from him into me.

Warmth pressed against my back. I smelled vanilla and thyme. Etiennes fingers joined Harrys, tracing along the top of my corset. He stroked the tender flesh under my arm, making me shiver, then let his palm wander down my side to the curve of my hip. His uncharacteristic boldness increased the thrill of his touch. Youll be sorry, I thought, giddy with desire, as Harry continued his hungry kisses. Ill trash your butt until you cant sit down.

Etienne knew hed be punished. We both knew that was part of his motivation.

Only part, though. I felt the hair lifted off my neck, the moist, gentle pressure of Etiennes lips between my shoulder blades. The eloquence of that simple gesture almost brought tears to my eyes. I eased my lips away from Harrys, beaming him a look I hoped was full of love. Then I swiveled to offer my mouth to Etienne.

The chef accepted my kiss with the eagerness of a starving man. He opened to the probing of my tongue, letting me drink my fill of him. I tasted the walnut mousse hed sampled earlier at LAuberge de Francois-Martine and the Courvoisier hed used to wash it down. Under it all, I caught a hint of some half-bitter flavor that reminded me of rainy autumn afternoons in Jardin les Tuileries. As I kissed him, I realized Id been craving this since the first day hed graced me with that haughty smile.

While his mouth was subservient, his hands became increasingly more brazen, palming my breasts and thumbing my nipples, then sneaking down to tease my lower lips. Meanwhile, Harry was busy unlacing my corset. I hadnt appreciated how much the garment had constrained me until he managed to slip it off, somehow without breaking the lip-to-lip connection between Etienne and me.

I paused to draw in a lungful of the sex-scented air and looked from one man to the other. Had Harry minded my kissing Etienne? Did Etienne think I was rejecting him for Harry?

Both of my lovers wore broad smiles. Relief washed over me. The last vestiges of guilt evaporated. And I was too horny to be embarrassed.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Sneak Peek: The Alpha Match by Leigh Archer





Red Hot Romance Goes on Safari!

English conservationist, Caro Hannah, and South African, Ben Duval, must work together on a project to introduce endangered wild dogs to an African game reserve, four years after their love affair ended. The challenges of their profession pale into insignificance beside the personal obstacles they must overcome in order to either bring closure to the events of four years before, or reignite a passion hot enough to burn up the African bush.

The Alpha Match is the first in a series set in the African bush where luxury tented camps and romantic hideaways are havens for royals, celebrities and the adventurous at heart. The Untamed Safari Series places unforgettable men and women in this captivating setting and holds its breath as they play out their red-hot passions.

Excerpt

Caro was aware that her voice was rising, but she could do nothing to stop it. Now was as good a time as any to speak her mind. ‘As a matter of fact, if you could stop all the wars on this planet, solve world hunger and reverse the effects of global warming, I’d still feel nothing for you.’

It was the briefest look of pain flitting across his face that silenced her. Then his mouth hardened and his eyes blazed. ‘I’m your boss, Caro.’ He spoke very slowly, his voice vibrating deep in his throat. ‘All I’m asking from you is some respect. Your unwillingness to greet me at the meeting today; that wasn’t very mature, was it? How far do you think we’ll get on this project if that’s the way things are going to be between us?’

Caro was stung. ‘If you think I’m going to be anything other than professional, then you really don’t know me at all. I’ve worked for five years to save the African wild dog and I’d never do anything to jeopardise this project.’

Oh, I believe you,’ Ben said. ‘Nobody knows better than I do just how ambitious you really are. As a matter of fact, what was I thinking? Of course you’d never let anything get in your way, least of all other people’s feelings.’

Caro gaped.

He leaned towards her. ‘I’m right, aren’t I, Caro?’

Again he stared into her eyes, his own narrowed and filled with fire.

She could see the cords of muscle beneath the golden skin of his neck. Her breath came in small, silent gasps, and she pressed a hand to her chest.

Ben’s gaze travelled slowly from her face to the hand against her naked skin. He opened his mouth, closed it again. His body tilted towards her, his fingers heading for the bunch of towel between her breasts. Then he snatched his hand back, shook his head, turned and started for the door.

Buy Links


About Leigh Archer 

Leigh writes romance novels set in her native South Africa. She has always had a love affair with Africa’s wild open spaces, the intensity of its people and sunsets. Her love of storytelling began as a child when she spent every spare moment playing barefoot in golden grass, watching meerkats, learning to track spoor and dreaming up heroes and heroines dynamic enough to stand out in all the beauty and drama of the African landscape.

Always in search of adventure, Leigh’s journey as a writer has taken her from journalist to communications specialist, and now novelist.

AUTHOR URLs:

Friday, May 15, 2015

Welcome to the Shadow World




Blurb

In the Shadow World, nothing is as it seems.

Detective Sydney Marr is having a very bad day. Her boss is on the warpath, she’s being treated for a werewolf bite, and her current case has hit a dead end. When her friend Erika talks Syd into going with her to Club Beam, she jumps at the chance, even if it means spending an evening without her spell arsenal. A high-class vampire bar and fetish club, Club Beam is fantasy made real.

Club owner and Dom Gideon Raines spies the red-haired beauty and is transfixed. A fight against a skillful murderer brings war for fae and vampire alike. Sometimes when you play with monsters, the monsters play back.

Release date: May 5, 2015
Pages: 106
Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Line: Beyond Fairy Tales, Shadow World Series
Genre: Paranormal Urban Fantasy, Fairy Tale, m/f

Inspiration and motivation

When I first contacted Decadent Publishing to inquire about their fairy tale line I was assigned a story called “The Beam.” I looked it up and found out it was about a wizard who is bested by a woman and he exacts his revenge. Whenever I encounter a new project like this, I have to sit down and think about what all the moving parts mean. In this case, how to turn a story like this into a modern romance that readers would find appealing. Since I tend to write urban fantasy slanted pieces, I immediately laser beamed in on the wizard and witch part. I mean, how cool is that to have a ready-made story ripe for the picking? I just had to add some modern twists. What would be more modern than a witchy karaoke event and fairy tale fetish night?

The process of writing for me is an organic one. It begins with a legal pad and a series of colorful sticky notes and a foam board. I start thinking about the chapters and what needs to happen to make the story move and there you go-plot points on sticky notes I can adjust as needed. It works too. Sydney had lots of thoughts on where she wanted to go and believe me, she is still in there talking. The second book in the Shadow World series is already writing itself (think dragon shifters and a psychic) and I can see the fireworks shaping up nicely.

Stay tuned for a short story featuring Sydney in the upcoming Sci Spanks event (https://www.facebook.com/scispanks?fref=ts). You might just get invited for a session behind the Red Door. Master Gideon has a paddle and he’s ready to play.


I hope you will enjoy the introduction to my Shadow World series and return to Club Beam for many more adventures.

Buy links:


Excerpt

Once upon a time….” Erika sang and waggled her eyebrows. “Come on, Sydney. Live a little. This club is smoking hot, and you’ll love it.”

Sydney grumbled under her breath and watched the club-goers parade past, each dressed like a fairy-tale character. The Little Mermaid trounced by in a see-through, diaphanous gown revealing too much in the way of personal attributes. Sleeping Beauty sashayed down the sidewalk with a leash around the neck of her Prince Charming. A woman in a way-too-short Red Riding Hood outfit approached. Her arm was wrapped around a seductress dressed in wolf ears, a tail, and a skimpy thong-style bikini. Red carried a basket full of what looked like pink fuzzy handcuffs and a can of whipped cream, which she swung into Syd.

Hey!”

The red-cloaked vixen sent her a wink and traipsed on by, joined by a near-pornographic version of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Any shorter and the skirt would show her naughty bits. Or maybe that was the plan.

Syd had just gotten off her day shift as a detective, and the last thing she wanted to do was be around more people. Especially people with more skin showing than on late-night cable shows. Her head hurt from the lights and the pulse of the music, and her stupid witch costume was pinching her toes. Erika’s scant fairy costume hugged all her curves, her breasts bursting from the bodice. The skirt barely covered her backside, and the strappy silver sandals showed off her silver-glitter nail polish.

The building loomed next to them. A giant warehouse-like structure, it was large enough to house all manner of mischief, and Syd was itching with the desire to get inside and find out just what was going on behind its doors. The sidewalk was flagged by trees lit up with twinkly white lights, adding an upscale ambiance to the area. What in the daylight looked like an industrial area gone to the dogs had been transformed into an attractive and well-attended venue.

She didn’t have the heart to tell Erika she’d been here once already today for the case she was working on, but the entrance had been sealed up tighter than a drum. Sydney’s recourse was to infiltrate Club Beam by night as a patron. Her sergeant, Debra, would kill her if she realized Syd had even considered going in without backup. So would her partner, James. Erika had asked her to come so she wouldn’t be alone, and, despite herself, Syd couldn’t resist. To catch a vampire, you had to go out at night, and Club Beam was the hot spot. After last month’s fuckup, she had to do this and do it right, even if it killed her. James was on medical leave, and it remained up to her to get this guy before someone else got killed or turned furry.

I will not think about becoming one of the terminally furry. It’s over. Move on. Take the pills the doctor gave you and freaking pray.

Oh look. I think I see Snow White.” Erika stood on her tiptoes and craned her head along the huge expanse of line they still had to navigate to get inside.

Syd peered into the crowd and grimaced. Hairy legs. More makeup than a Mac commercial. “Nope. That was a guy in drag.”

Erika narrowed her eyes. “God, Syd. You’re the world’s biggest wet blanket ever.”

Sydney shifted her weight and moved another two steps toward the door as the line inched forward. “I told you, I’ve had a hard day. We had a homicide case come in, and I’ve been out beating the street. I want to go home and bury my head under my pillow. But, no. Out of the kindness of my heart, here I am standing in line at a vampire bar with a bunch of overgrown kids playing dress-up in fairy-tale fetish wear.”

About the Author

Erzabet Bishop is the author of Club Beam, Sigil Fire, Written on Skin, Tethered, Fetish Fair, Temptation Resorts Jess and Marnie interactive choose your own adventure romances and more. She is a contributing author to The Big Book of Submission, Slave Girls, Hungry for More and many other anthologies. She is a finalist for the 2015 Goldie Awards and an active member of the Romance Writers of America. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and is often playing at local bookstores. Follow her posts on Twitter @erzabetbishop.