Saturday, June 30, 2012

Book Promo & Excerpt: "Demonically Tempted" by Stacey Kennedy

Demonically Tempted
Frostbite Book 2
By Stacey Kennedy

Tess Jennings, now a member of the Memphis Police Department, is on her first cold case. The suspected suicide of Lizbeth Knapp ten years ago isn’t a theory her family accepts—they believe she was murdered.

But the case is only one of Tess’s worries. Ghosts are talking, and word of her abilities rapidly spreads. A dark ghost is terrifying the spirits of Memphis, and she must force the entity to cross over.

Tess doesn’t have to do this alone. Not only does she have her ghost-lover, Kipp McGowen, but the department has brought in a medium. Dane Wolfe might answer all her questions, but he also brings a world of trouble. Will Tess finally have all she’s ever wanted, or will everything she’s vowed to protect be ripped away?


Copyright © STACEY KENNEDY, 2012
Chapter One
The old farmhouse had seen better days. Not only could it use a coat of paint, but it also needed a dose of love. Dry, brown grass surrounded the home, and the only flowers topped four-foot high weeds.
I glanced next to me at Zach—a cop with the Memphis P.D.—and crinkled my nose. “Someone actually lives here?”
His blue eyes met mine and he ran a hand through his blond, stylish hair and shrugged. “Max said the victim’s sister still resides in the home where the death happened.”
As he lowered his arm, he cringed, and I winced at the memory. Heck, only weeks ago he’d been stabbed and shot in the shoulder.
The man who caused Zach’s injury got it worse—by my very hand, no less—but I was glad Hannah Reid’s murderer hadn’t returned to haunt me.
I might have suffered some serious remorse. That is, if I didn’t believe God wouldn’t punish me because I killed a murderer. Brody would’ve done the same to me if I hadn’t gotten to him first. I tried my best to stick with that theory. It saved me from the lingering guilt I might—and would never admit to—have for taking a life.
Sure, there was an internal investigation through the police department, and I had been questioned until my voice went scratchy. But in the end, the shooting had been declared self-defense, and I was perfectly happy with that. Or so I told myself every day until I finally believed it.
Besides, the cops that I now worked alongside had my back throughout the investigation, and nothing would change that. We’d grown close through the time spent during the Reid case, and even closer in the weeks that followed.
“I’m going to see if Lizbeth is out here somewhere,” Kipp—a ghost, and my lover—said, dragging me from my thoughts.
Yes, our relationship was complicated and it’s insanely sick that I’m in love with a ghost, but I wasn’t about to fight my heart’s desire.
“If you find her, then come tell us, immediately. The less time I have to spend in that house, the better.” Scummy houses and me didn’t mesh well. I like cleanliness and hate spiders.
“He’s going off on his own then?” Zach asked.
As of late, Zach had caught on to our conversations better. Seeing that I was the only lucky one—or not so lucky as I viewed it—who could hear ghosts’ communication was annoying, at best.
Maybe I gave more descriptions in my answers than I normally did, or maybe he’d gotten used to having to fill in the blanks. Whatever it was, I appreciated the ease of our conversations now. The back and forth got on my last nerve.
As Kipp strode away, I stared at his scrumptious ass filling his dark blue jeans. The man might be a ghost, but he was sex packaged into muscular goodness.
One of his eyes was chocolate brown, while the other was crystal blue, and he had untidy brown hair that no matter how messy only made him look more attractive. And he was all mine.
I blinked, pulling myself away from my ogling, and frowned at Zach. “Ready?”
His gaze danced with laughter, yet a smile never appeared. “For someone who accepted a job with the department, you would think you’d hold more excitement.”
“Just because I can officially call myself part of the police department—which is absurd, by the way—doesn’t mean I still don’t have hesitations.”
My gift took a while to adjust to but I knew when to see reason. Helping ghosts that had met a horrible fate wasn’t a bad job. That is, as long as I didn’t run into any more crazy-ass killers who wanted to make me a ghost, too.
Zach approached the house, and I trailed after him, not showing half the confidence he carried in his gait.
I climbed the old steps, slightly worried the wood would break under my weight, but seeing Zach went first and the man was all power, the wooden planks could support my slender frame.
He knocked on the door. And a moment later, it opened to a woman who matched the house. She appeared to be in her fifties, but the dark circles under her eyes and the hunch to her shoulders made her look well worn.
“Ms. Knapp?” Zach asked.
“Yes.” Her voice dripped with despair. “Are you the detectives?”
Zach nodded. “Is it still all right if we come in?”
She widened the door, and moved aside. “Please call me Anna.”
“Thank you, Anna.” Zach entered the home. “We appreciate you taking the time to discuss Lizbeth with us.”
I hesitantly followed and tried my damndest not to let my repulsion in the house show. Not an easy feat.
“Please, will you have a seat?” She waved out to a couch that I wouldn’t sit on even if it had a layer of plastic over top of it.
I held back my desire to gag, and twirled my finger in my brown, shag-cut hair. “I’m okay here, thanks.”
Zach grimaced at me before he took a seat and shed all emotion as he turned to Anna. “We’re aware that this will be difficult for you to discuss, but we need you to remember anything you can from when Lizbeth died.”
“I’m not sure I can tell you anything that…” She peeked up at the ceiling. I followed her gaze seeing dark brown stains, and restrained my shudder. “…Max, was that who I spoke with?”
“That’s right. He’s the sergeant.” Zach smiled softly. “He told us the necessary information, but I’ve learned it’s always best to hear it directly for myself.”
In all actuality, I hadn’t heard all the details except that I was officially on my first cold-case.
“Well,” Anna paused, glancing down at her fingers as she fiddled them. “It started a year before Lizbeth’s death. She began to act differently.”
Zach pulled his pad of paper and pen from his pocket, and flipped the notebook open. “Can you explain that in more detail?”
I clasped my hands in front of me. Just because I was now part of team didn’t mean I would start acting like a cop in any official capacity. Let’s be serious now. I wasn’t really a detective.
Anna continued, “She’d talk to me about an evil presence around her.”
“Evil?” I gasped.
“I know how funny it sounds. At the time, it did to me, too. But looking back, Lizbeth just didn’t seem like herself, and maybe I should’ve listened to her.” Anna crossed her arms and shifted in her seat. “She used to be a very happy young woman. Full of life and spirit, but all of a sudden she seemed so dark.”
I gave my head a shake, trying to make sense out of her nonsense. “Dark how?”
“Depressed.” Anna exhaled. “She never came out of her room, and totally withdrew from life.”
“She was suicidal, then?” Zack asked with a gentle tone.
“I suppose you’d draw that conclusion from what I’m telling you now, but the truth is I never took her to be the type.” She gave a knowing look. “Like I said, she was well adjusted and quite happy.”
“But you just said she was depressed,” I countered.
“Yes, I did, but still, Lizbeth was a fighter. She used to tell me that this evil presence was overtaking her soul, and she tried so hard to fight against it.”
Zach made a face. I made one of my own. We were speaking English, yet gibberish would have made more sense.
Seeing that we were getting nowhere, and I suspected Anna had lost her mind a long time ago, I moved along. “Did her condition get worse?”
“It got so bad, my parents had no idea what to do. You have to remember it was a different time. The medications for depression that exist today didn’t back then.” Tears welled in her eyes, but they cleared just as quick. “My parents took her to a doctor, even admitted her into a hospital, but my mother couldn’t manage to leave her there. She thought love would bring Lizbeth out of her trouble.”
“Clearly, it didn’t.”
“That’s right, it only got worse. Lizbeth started to hurt herself.”
Zach’s eyebrows rose. “You mean, caused injuries to herself?”
“No one ever knew—and Lizbeth never said—how she did it. But she had lacerations all over her back.”
Zach scribbled notes, and then peered at Anna. “Did Lizbeth ever say anything to you about the wounds?”
Those tears now weren’t so easily pushed away. “She was adamant she had never caused them.”
One conclusion came to my mind. “No one believed her, did they?”
“Who else would have done it?” Anna retorted. “At that point, Lizbeth hadn’t left the house in over six months.”
Zach stared at Anna, his gaze probing. I inhaled deeply, understanding the frustration. The dust in the room settled into my nostrils. I rubbed at the tickling in my nose, and considered what she had told us.
It seemed to me Lizbeth had clearly been suicidal. I’d watched television shows were people cut themselves. Maybe this was all that was going on here. Case closed.
Zach scribbled a few more lines of notes then scrutinized Anna. “How did Lizbeth act in the days before she died?”
“Strange.” Anna wiped the tears from her face. “She always had this dark cloud over her, but in the week before her death it became much worse. She’d stopped eating and we had to force liquids down her throat.” Her chin quivered, more tears spilling. “But it was in her eyes where I saw her demise.”
“What did you see?” I whispered, not totally sure I wanted to hear her answer.
“She was already dead.”
Zach coughed. “Pardon?”
“Lizbeth was no longer in her body.” Anna shook her head, sending more tears rushing down her cheeks. “I know that sounds crazy, but that’s the only way I can describe it. She had already left.”
“Where did she go?” I urged.
“I have no idea. All I know is she was gone.”
My assumptions that Anna was off her rocker deepened. One question would solidify if I believed she held any sanity at all. “Why do you stay here…in this house?”
Anna’s eyes swam in sadness. “I’m afraid that Lizbeth is still here, and if I leave she’ll be all alone. I don’t have the money to fix the house. Since her death—times have been hard.”
Wasn’t I a shit? Her answer was clear and concise, and, well…I could understand her reasons. If she were insane, I assumed her purpose for staying here would be, too.
Zach closed his notebook, and placed it into the pocket of his black slacks. “Would you take us outside to the water and discuss what happened the night she died?”
“Of course.” Anna stood from the couch and approached the front door.
Zach gestured toward the hall. I took the hint. Since Kipp hadn’t returned yet, it confirmed he hadn’t found Lizbeth’s ghost. Before we left I needed to check out the house to see if she remained. “Do you mind if I use your washroom?”
“Not at all.” Anna dabbed her tears with a tissue, and then raised her chin. “It’s down the hall—third door on the right.”
“Thank you.” I headed toward the hallway while Zach continued to ask Anna another question as they exited the front door.
The hallway was in a similar condition to the rest of the house, completely in shambles. The flowered wallpaper was peeling off the walls and the color of it resembled something not worth discussing. I wrinkled my nose, catching a whiff of mold, and continued walking.
To my left was an open door to a bedroom. I peeked in and clothes were thrown over the light blue bedspread. Furniture was scarce, but the room seemed lived in. It did appear slightly more taken care of than the rest of the home, which drew the conclusion that this had to be Anna’s bedroom.
I scanned the room and couldn’t see Lizbeth’s ghost, but that didn’t mean she wasn’t there. She could be hiding. “Lizbeth,” I whispered.
No one responded.
Leaving the room, I carried on down the hall to another bedroom on the right, but as I called out her name again, I received the same response.
The bathroom was to my left and another room lay on the right. The door was closed and I did my best to keep quiet as I opened it. I couldn’t hear Zach or Anna in the house anymore, but I didn’t want to chance it. I pushed the door open and it creaked.
I peered in and my heart skipped a beat. “Creepy.”
The room wasn’t in the same condition as the house. It looked brand new, even the paint on the walls appeared fresh, and Lizbeth’s name was written in wooden letters above the dresser.
Of all the rooms to keep nice, Anna chose this one. I couldn’t decide if that was sweet or freaky.
“Lizbeth,” I whispered again only to be met with silence. I’d never had a ghost hide from me before, usually they were so intrigued by my ability they always approached.
I closed the door, headed for the bathroom, and went straight for the sink. At least the room was clean. Yes, in horrible condition, but the yellow bathtub had been scrubbed recently.
At the sink, I turned on the faucet to wash the icky feeling off my hands. I wanted to get home and have a shower. Being in this house for even a few minutes had left my skin feeling filthy and downright gross.
I waited a moment to let the water warm since the pipes thumped indicating trouble stirred, and just as I placed my hands under the water, a voice startled me. “Why are you in my house?”
I looked over my shoulder and spotted a middle-aged ghost dressed in a double-breasted black coat, white dress shirt, and fitted tanned breeches.
“I beg your pardon,” I snapped. “But I don’t deserve to be glared at—or spoken to in that nasty tone—when I’ve done nothing wrong.”
“You can hear me?” His eyes widened. “You can see me?”
“Yes I can.” I returned the glower he not-so-kindly offered me. “Why are you so rude?”
“Classic.” I snorted. “The ghost is beside himself. Isn’t it supposed to be the live person who is shocked when they see a ghost?”
“You’re alive?”
Now he was being just downright mean. I shut off the faucet, and with the water dripping off my fingertips, I turned to face him. “Do I look dead to you?”
He gave me a once over with an expression that left something to be desired. “No, but why are you glowing?”
“Yes, well,” I wiped my damp hands on my skinny jeans, “that’s my ability.”
He examined my gold hue—or so I’d been told that is how it appeared—and by his huge eyes this revelation stunned him. “And this ability is how you can see me?”
I wasn’t in any mood to get into this with him. A change in topic was in order. “Have you seen a young girl around here?”
“No,” he responded without haste.
I nibbled my lip, considering that. “Not ever, or not lately?”
If Lizbeth died in misery, it made no sense that her ghost wasn’t here. Ghosts always lingered and needed help to cross over. Someone who committed suicide wouldn’t be a settled soul. And most of the ghosts I’d met returned to a place that had meant something to them. Considering Lizbeth was young when she died, I had assumed she’d come home. Where else would she have gone?
“How long have you been here?” I asked.
“I have no idea.” He paused, thoughtful, then said, “I think it’s been quite some time.”
His response didn’t surprise me. Ghosts never remembered much except what they needed to, to move on. Seeing that this ghost would lead me nowhere, I figured I might as well try and help one ghost today. “Do you want to cross over?”
He scowled. “Are you threatening me?”
“Good God. You’re foul. I’m asking to be nice. I can help you, if you’d like.”
“This is my house. I don’t want to leave. I want you to.”
I grunted. “Trust me, I want the same damn thing.”
He gestured toward the door in what might have seemed like a bow of respect, if his tight features hadn’t thoroughly flipped me off. “Best you see yourself out.”
I had just about enough of his bad attitude. I pointed at him. “You better not go scaring Anna. She’s been through enough.”
“I don’t scare her.” He scoffed. “She’s a lovely woman and I don’t mind her sharing the home with me.”
“I’m glad to hear it, but if I find out you’re frightening her, I will Ghostbuster your ass. Got it, jacko?” I flicked my hair over my shoulder, not waiting for him to respond because frankly, I didn’t give a shit.
I exited the bathroom, heard him grumbling something after me. I really couldn’t blame him, though. If I’d been dead since the eighteen hundreds, from the looks of his clothing, I’d be pissy too.
Once on the front porch, I spotted Zach and Anna. They talked down by a creek that was completely overgrown with weeds, rocks lining the shore.
On my approach, Zach glimpsed at me. I shook my head to indicate I hadn’t found Lizbeth in the house.
He visibly sighed, turning to Anna. “Now that Tess has arrived, would you please tell us what happened?”
I took a moment to scan the area, and listened hard to see if I could hear anything, but only the sound of rushing water and chirping birds filled my ears.
The air around the home smelled so fresh, and thrived with nature, it was a wonderful contrast to the dust and mold inside the house.
Anna drew in a long, deep breath. “It was a spooky evening that night. The fog settled above the water and the full moon provided a lot of light.” Her eyes glazed over, lost in memory. “I heard Lizbeth leave the house, so I went over to my bedroom window.”
I glanced at the house. One lone window faced the creek.
“I saw Lizbeth walking out to the water. She wore just her white nighty, and she was so frail.” Anna rubbed her arms. “She was all skin and bones.”
“She came out here alone?” I asked.
Anna nodded. “I didn’t see anyone with her, at the time. She stood by the water’s edge and was so pretty.”
I had a hard time imagining anyone as pretty in the way Anna had described. But I wasn’t about to bring up that point and merely listened as she went on.
“Lizbeth looked over her shoulder, and I’m still not sure how she knew I was watching her, but she smiled one of the coldest smiles I’d ever seen.” Anna hugged herself. “I’m sure that smile will haunt me forever.”
I gulped, a sudden nervousness wrapped around me and icy fingertips ran up my spine.
“What did she do after that?” Zach asked.
Anna inhaled sharply, clearly pulling herself away from the horrifying memory. “She turned toward the water, walked in, and killed herself.”
Had I heard her right? “Are you saying she drowned herself?”
“I know that’s hard to believe, but the second I saw her walk into the creek, she submerged herself into the water. That’s when I ran out after her.”
“What happened when you reached her?”
“She was floating, head first, and so I pulled her out.” A tear slid along her cheek, and she wiped it away. “I tried to do CPR, but it didn’t matter, she was already gone.”
Silence drifted around us. I welcomed it. This story needed some time to process, and even after a minute or so, I still came up empty.
Anna gazed out at the water, as she cried. I couldn’t imagine what it’d be like to be here, staring at this water, and remembering what happened. How did she continue to live in that house?
A nudge on my arm had me glancing over at Zach. He mouthed the words, “Is she here?”
I shook my head.
His brow puckered.
Lizbeth’s lack of appearance seemed unusual even to me, but I hoped Kipp had better luck.
Zach cleared his throat breaking the silence. “After you pulled Lizbeth out of the water, what happened?”
Anna wiped her damp cheeks. “My mother and father came down and chaos erupted. They yelled, wanting to know what happened to her. When I told them, it was no surprise they didn’t believe me.”
She brought up a good point. “Where are you parents now?”
“Both, long dead.”
Insert foot into mouth! “I’m sorry.”
Anna sighed. “It’s for the best. Lizbeth’s death hit both of them very hard. My mother was never the same and my father became an alcoholic.”
Saddest thing I’d ever heard.
“I can’t find her outside.”
I glanced over my shoulder and Kipp approached, lips pressed into a thin line. Seeing that I couldn’t answer him with Anna here, I simply gave a short nod to show I understood his defeat.
“At what point did you see Hector?” Zach asked.
I gasped, unable to hide my shock. “Someone else saw her in the water?”
Zach nodded. “He’d been the main suspect in her death but—”
“My statement ruled him out,” Anna interjected. “He probably would’ve been found guilty of her murder since he’d been the only other person present at the time of her death. But I said it then, and I’ll say it now, he didn’t kill her. I saw Lizbeth walk into the water and drown herself. I couldn’t make up what I saw.”
“Ask her how she can be so sure,” Kipp said to me.
I shook my head, which I tried to hide by shifting my stance. There was no way I would argue with Anna. Kipp hadn’t heard the rest of the conversation and I believed every word she said.
Instead, I pressed on. “Did you know he was there when you first came out of the house?”
“No,” Anna replied. “He showed up out of nowhere. I hadn’t seen him near the house at all and his arrival startled me. But I’ll tell you one thing, his eyes were exactly like Lizbeth’s.”
My heart did that full skip-a-beat thing, indicating whatever she meant by that, scared me shitless. “They were?”
“When Lizbeth smiled at me, Hector did the exact same thing when he approached. To say it was creepy is really putting it mildly, but it was as if I stared at Lizbeth again—or what Lizbeth had turned into.”
The side of my temple hurt. I zeroed in on Zach. “So after they questioned Hector, they released him?”
“That’s right. But he’s now serving time for an unrelated crime he committed a month after Lizbeth’s death.”
I gave Zach and Kipp a knowing look, and they returned it. As much as Anna was sure of what she saw, I suspected she was wrong. A person in a state of shock might not be able to think straight. I surmised that’s exactly what happened.
“I know what y’all are thinking, but I know what I saw,” Anna said, adamantly. “Lizbeth walked into the water and killed herself. Trust me, I’ll never be able to forget it.” Sadness gone. Determination risen. “No matter how much everyone wanted me to retract my statement and pin it on Hector, I wouldn’t send an innocent man to jail for something he didn’t do.”
Innocent, my ass!
Zach inclined his head, as if he agreed with her, but I knew better. “Is there anything else you can tell us, Anna, that could help us?”
“I’m sorry. That’s all I know.”
“Thank you for talking to us.” I smiled, reached out for her hand and squeezed it. “We’ll do what we can to find out what happened to her.”
Anna returned the smile, but on her, it was despaired. “I appreciate y’all working on this case again. I do hope that you’ll discover what truly happened to Lizbeth. If it’s all right, I’d like to go into the house now.”
“Yes, of course. Thank you for your time.” Zach shook Anna’s hand, and then she started toward the house.
“This is by far the weirdest situation I’ve ever been in,” I whispered to Kipp. “I’ve never experienced a missing ghost before.”
“Quite unusual, to say the least,” he grumbled. “Let’s go to the station and fill Max in on what we’ve discovered.” He sighed. “Or not discovered.”
Without hesitation since I was more than happy to leave, I headed to the truck with the boys following. Anna climbed the steps of her porch, and I remembered there was something I needed to tell her. “Anna,” I called.
She turned.
“You have a very grumpy old ghost in your house, but don’t worry, he likes you.”
She didn’t appear nearly as surprised as I’d expected. Maybe she already suspected a ghost lived with her. Maybe not. But my job was done.
Now on to finding a missing ghost…

Stacey Kennedy’s novels are lighthearted fantasy with heart-squeezing, thigh-clenching romance, and they even give you a good chuckle every now and again. But within the stories you’ll also find fast-paced action, life-threatening moments and a big bad villain who needs to be destroyed. Her urban fantasy/paranormal and erotic romance series have hit Amazon Kindle and All Romance eBooks bestseller lists.

Stacey welcomes comments from readers. You can find her at

Website | Blog | Facebook |Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon Author Page

Friday, June 29, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: "The Seduction of Phaeton Black" by Jillian Stone

Today I have Jillian Stone, author of "The Seduction of Phaeton Black", here to do a guest post on her book tour. She is also hosting an awesome tour wide giveaway.

Welcome to the World of Phaeton Black, Occult Detective.

According to Wikipedia, if you combine the tropes of the detective story with those of supernatural horror fiction you begin to get close to defining the occult detective. Unlike the traditional detective the occult detective is employed in cases involving ghosts, curses, and other supernatural elements. He or she is often a doctor inclined to metaphysical speculation. In my case of The Seduction of Phaeton Black, the character of Doctor Exeter plays a consultant/sidekick (a Doctor Watson to Phaeton’s Sherlock).

When I first began thinking about The Seduction of Phaeton Black, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about a supernatural demon chasing detective. But then, when I began to seriously work on the plot, it became obvious that Phaeton Black was going to become if not an occult detective, a paranormal investigator. 

Here’s a brief blurb:

THE YEAR IS 1889 and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Occult detective Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted.

Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, Phaeton is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.

On his first surveillance, Phaeton pursues an elusive stranger and encounters several curious, horrifying beings. But the most intriguing creature of all is a Cajun beauty who captures him at knifepoint and threatens to spirit away his heart.

WARNING: Phaeton Black is a Byronic hero is every sense of the word. He starts out a brooding, debauched, libertine, and ends up risking both his life and his heart for the young woman he is falling in love with. I must also warn you that the love scenes are SCORCHING HOT. (According to RT BOOK REVIEW!)

As the storyteller of this tale, I knew Phaeton must grow as a character, but I also wanted to preserve and protect his irreverent, lust for life––the thing that makes Phaeton, Phaeton. When it came to America Jones, the heroine of The Seduction of Phaeton Black, I wanted to create the perfect foil for the bigger than life, misanthrope detective. Almost immediately America sees through his disagreeable personality and eventually brings out the softhearted side of Phaeton. Along the way, there are adventures galore: Phaeton is after a wicked female bloodsucker and America is after the pirates that stole her father’s shipping business. As their two plots interweave, Phaeton and America still find plenty of time to get to know one another! 

What's next? The Moonstone and Miss JoneS (release date September 28, 2012). Phaeton is shanghaied in Shanghai and America chases him all the way back to London, where they both become involved in a struggle to save the city from any number of beasts, terrors––and power grabbers.

I have a question for commenters: Do you have a favorite occult detective? Here are a few characters for you to consider: Hellboy, Agents Mulder and Scully from X-Files, Constantine, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Harry Angel in Angel Heart. 

The Seduction of Phaeton Black
Jillian Stone
Kensington Brava

Purchase links:

Blurb #1

THE YEAR IS 1889 and Queen Victoria, exemplum of decency and sobriety, is in her fifty-second year of reign. Paranormal Investigator, Phaeton Black, on the other hand, couldn’t be less interested in clean-living. He has recently taken up residence in the basement flat of London’s most notorious brothel. A dedicated libertine with an aptitude for absinthe, he wrestles with a variety of demons both real and self-inflicted. Unfairly linked to Scotland Yard’s failure to solve the Whitechapel murders, Phaeton is offered a second chance to redeem himself. A mysterious fiend, or vampire is stalking the Strand. After a glass and a consult with the green fairy, he agrees to take on the case.

On his first surveillance, Phaeton pursues an elusive stranger and encounters several curious, horrifying beings. But the most intriguing creature of all is a Cajun beauty who captures him at knifepoint and threatens to spirit away his heart.

Alternate Blurb #2

Hold onto your knickers ladies, Phaeton Black has arrived!

He's the man with the magic touch. A master of deduction and other midnight maneuvers, Phaeton Black is Scotland Yard's secret weapon against things that go bump in the night. His prodigious gifts as a paranormal investigator are as legendary as his skills as a lover, his weakness for wicked women as notorious as his affection for absinthe. But when he's asked to hunt down a fanged femme fatale who drains her victims of blood, he walks right into the arms of the most dangerous woman he's ever known.

She's the devilish Miss Jones. Pressing a knife to his throat and demanding he make love to her––Miss America Jones uses Phaeton as a willing shield against the gang of pirates chasing after her. As dangerous as she is with a derringer tucked in her garter, Miss Jones is not the vampire killer Phaeton is stalking––but she may be just what he needs to crack the case. As the daughter of a Cajun witch, she possess uncanny powers. As a fearless fighter, she can handle anything from Egyptian mummies to Jack the Ripper. But when an ancient evil is unleashed on the world, she could be his only his salvation...or ultimate sacrifice.

Author Bio:

Jillian Stone’s Victorian Romantic Suspense novel AN AFFAIR WITH MR. KENNEDY won the 2010 RWA Golden Heart and is the first novel in The Gentlemen of Scotland Yard series for Pocket Books. Her sexy, supernatural Steampunk novel, THE SEDUCTION OF PHAETON BLACK, won the 2010 Romance Through The Ages Erotica category and sold to Kensington Brava. Jillian lives in California and is currently working on the next adventure for both series.

Facebook:  G Jillian Stone

Twitter: @gJillianStone

Pinterest: Jillian Stone

Website: Jillian Stone

Jillian is hosting a tour wide giveaway of ten paperback copies of "The Seduction of Phaeton Black" and a beautiful necklace made by Ula Kapala pictured below. All you have to do to enter is fill out the rafflecopter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Guest Post & Giveaway: "The Unsacred Gift" by C.S. Dorsey

I have C.S. Dorsey here today on her book tour of "The Unsacred Gift. She is here to do a guest post and she is hosting a giveaway for 2 Kindle copies and 1 signed paperback copy of her new book.

About The Unsacred Gift

When Sissy was six, she had her first vision of her sister’s (Misty) disappearance. Her mother (Tina) said she had a bad dream, but not long after that Misty vanished before Sissy’s eyes. No one believed her, so Sissy acted like everyone else. Like she never disappeared. Like she never existed.

Sicily “Sissy” Monroe attends the University of Washington, majoring in Psychology. She has all the makings of a perfect young lady, ageless skin, flawless long black hair, full kissable lips, and eyes shaped like almonds. But deep lying in the pupil of her eyes holds something she cannot get rid of, which is interfering with her plans.

For years Sissy tried to avoid having friends and relationships because she feared their fate. Most importantly she tries to avoid her family. She has no plans of ever going back home to California. When her mother calls her to tell her about her granny’s birthday party, she is reluctant to go. Going back home was not on her list of priorities, but she is going for her mother. 

During her weekend at home, new developments surface. Her mother has been dating (Mark) for the past two years, her grandmother has the same gift she does, an old high school fling (Chris) comes clean about his love for Sissy, and an unknown girl from the grave begins stalking her dreams. Sissy begs for someone to admit her to the hospital, but she just can’t get the words out. Her grandmother is the only one who can help her, but even then it’s too late.

Two days after her birthday party, Sissy’s grandmother dies leaving Sissy alone once again. Sissy has no one to turn to, but she will soon discover that her sister Misty, the visions, and the dreams of the unknown girl were just a mere image of herself. 

The Unsacred Gift
C.S. Dorsey

Book Description:

Have you ever had a dream that came to life? How about losing the one you love and not being able to save them? What about a gift that you were cursed with? Well image having all three like Sicily "Sissy" Monroe.

"Some might say what I have is a gift. I say, I want to return it." Sissy declares.

Sicily "Sissy" Monroe has all the qualities of a perfect young lady. She is almost where she wants to be in life. But lying deep in the pupil of her eyes hold something that she cannot get rid of which interferes with her plans. She fights everyday with no one but herself. After having her first vision at age six of her sister's (Misty) disappearance and the dreams of failing to save her, Sissy wants no part in another person's fate. For years Sissy tried hard to avoid contact with people because she feared foreseeing their death. In keeping with this, she tries to stay away from her family. Little did Sissy know she could not run from her past, or her gift. She hopes someone will put her out of her misery, but she will soon discover that her visions and dreams were just a mere image of herself.

About the Author:

C. S. Dorsey currently lives in Northern California. She graduated from the University of Phoenix with an Associate’s Degree in Financial Services, and is currently working for a financial institution. She never thought about writing until one day this girl started talking to her in her head and never stop.

 C.S. Dorsey is hosting a tour wide giveaway of 2 Kindle copies and 1 signed paperback copy of "The Unsacred Gift". Just fill out the rafflecopter below to enter.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Interview with Hailey Edwards author of "Eversworn"

On today's book tour I have author Hailey Edwards here for an interview. Let's welcome Hailey to the Romance Book Junkies.

I know you get asked this question over and over but can you tell us a little about yourself?

I’m a wife, a mother, and a dachshund wrangler. I write fantasy and paranormal romance for Samhain Publishing and Grand Central Publishing’s Forever Yours imprint. I love to craft, read, bake, read, and write (when I can pull my nose out of a book long enough to get work done).

When did you first start writing? Are you a full time author or do you do it on the side?

I’ve been writing for about four years. For someone who had never written as much as a short story, I was surprised when the idea to write a novel struck me.

I am a full time writer by virtue of the fact I’m a stay at home mom.

Do you have an author that has really inspired you?

The author that inspired me to write was Karen Marie Moning. I used to read mystery/crime novels, but stumbled across a copy of Darkfever at the library. (The original cover was sort or crime novelish.) I devoured it, and hit Books A Million the next day to pick up my own copy and the second book in the series. It was through that series that I began to read KMM’s backlist and discovered the paranormal romance genre. I was converted on the spot, and now I primarily read paranormal romance and urban fantasy.

How long does it normally take you to write an average book or your last book?

It takes me about six weeks to write the draft for an 85,000 word (or 380 page) novel.

What do you think makes a story great?

Character and conflict. I’m drawn into books by great characters and exciting or interesting conflicts.

Can you describe your book "Eversworn" in one sentence?

Eversworn is the story of a woman’s mission to rescue her daughter, and her journey toward falling in love with the demon hell-bent to save them both.

Have you done lots of research for your books or do the stories just come to you?

I dedicate several weeks to research during the course of writing any book. I have several contacts I consult for accuracy and plausibility. Among them are doctors, archeologists, nurses, biologists, vets, and arachnologists.

It’s all part of trying to bring as much reality to my fantasy as possible.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently writing a novella (book 2.5) in the Araneae Nation series. It’s the story of Brynmor’s second chance at finding love.

Can you tell us about some of your prior achievements?

My debut novel, Everlong, was a 2010 EPIC awards finalist in the fantasy romance category. My latest release, A Hint of Frost, was chosen as Grave Tells Review Top Pick for April of 2012.

Is there anything that I didn't cover that you would like to talk about or say to your potential readers?

I think, sometimes, that readers are intimidated by the idea of reading fantasy. I think the word fantasy conjures up images of Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones, but there are several flavors of fantasy. I would encourage readers to give the genre a try, and I’ll suggest a few of my favorite examples in the most popular subgenres.

Contemporary Fantasy: Rachel Caine’s Weather Warden series (One of my all-time favorite series.)
Urban Fantasy: The Mercedes Thompson series by Patricia Briggs and The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher (Both auto-buys for me.)
Dark Fantasy: The Black Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop
Traditional/Epic Fantasy: The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Just for fun:
Hardback or Paperback?  Digital! I’m a Kindle addict.
Dog ears or Bookmarks?  
Bookmarks. Dog ears wound me.
YA novels or Adult novels?  
Adult (unless we’re talking Harry Potter…)
Library or Bookstore?
I’d prefer a bookstore, but there isn’t one near me. So Amazon is my local store.
Reading glasses or No glasses?
Glasses. I was outfitted with my first pair last August.
Snack while reading or No snacks?  
No snacks. I’m usually too involved to stop for munchies.
Beach or Mountain?
Beach. I’m afraid of heights.
Vampire or Werewolf?
Can I have both?
Hot or Flirty?
Movie 1st or Book 1st?
Book, definitely.
Contemporary or Historical?
Neither. Give me PNR or fantasy any day.
Page-Turner or Tear Jerker?
Page-turner. I’m not a big crier…until my favorite series end. *sniffle*

Title: Eversworn
Author: Hailey Edwards
Series Title: Daughters of Askara
Release Day: June 26, 2012
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Genre: Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Buy Links

Amazon            B&N


Steal the salt. Bind the grimoire. Escape the male.

Daughters of Askara, Book 3

When an exchange of stolen goods in the Feriana marketplace turns sour, Isabeau stumbles from the encounter bruised and laden with new orders to complete an even larger heist. With her child’s life at stake, there’s no room for error—or allies.

Armed with a lethal book of spells, she strikes a dangerous bargain with Roland Bernhard. Steal a shipment of salt from the Feriana colony, and she’ll have her freedom—and her daughter. It’s all she’s ever wanted. At least it was…until she runs into Dillon Preston.

Dillon is out of commission after a mine explosion, and itching for a distraction. He gets it when the female who saved his leg arrives at the colony with nothing but flimsy excuses and even flimsier attire. She’s after something, but is it him—or the salt?

Trapped in a desperate bid to gain true freedom, Isabeau is willing to sacrifice her life for her daughter’s, but Dillon has other plans. He wants a package deal, and he’s not willing to lose either female, even if it means the future king of Sere’s head will roll.

Warning: This title contains a heroine desperate to save her daughter and a hero determined to make them a family. It also includes wings, horns and other assorted appendages. 

Hailey is a wife turned mother turned writer, who loves her husband, her daughter and alone time with her computer. Whenever southern living strikes her as too ordinary, she can be found squinting at her monitor as she writes her next happily-ever-after or with her nose glued to her Kindle’s screen. Wings and/or cupcakes are usually involved…

She loves to hear from readers. Drop her a line here.

You can also swing by her blog or subscribe to her newsletter for all her latest news.

Author Links

Monday, June 25, 2012

Guest Blog & Giveaway: "Patchwork Hearts" by Cindi Myers

I'd like to welcome Cindi Myers to the Romance Book Junkies today. She's here to do a guest blog about first love and true loves and she is also going to be giving away a copy of her book "Patchwork Hearts". 

First Loves and True Loves

My first love was a skinny, curly-haired red-head named Gerald. He was a twin from a big family, funny and sweet and the first guy to ever kiss me, in eighth grade, after a movie his mom drove us to. Somewhere I still have a little gold necklace he gave me for Christmas, and a pair of porcelain angels that were another gift. I thought my heart was broken when we split up, but of course, it mended. I went on to date other guys, and eventually met and married my true love, my husband.
But there’s always something about a first love that holds a special place in your heart – a fond, sweet memory we treasure.
For a writer, a first book is like a first love. Though we love all our stories, and like to think there’s something special about each of them, there’s something extra special about that first book.
Back in 1997 I finalled in the Golden Heart contest, Romance Writers of America’s competition for unpublished authors. I didn’t win, but one of the editors who read the finalist manuscript said she couldn’t use it, but what else did I have? That led to the sale, three months later, of my first book – Patchwork Hearts. Unavailable for some years, Musa Publishing has rereleased Patchwork Hearts – my first book has a new life, and a new group of readers get to enjoy the story.
Set immediately after the Civil War on the Texas frontier, Patchwork Hearts is the story of Lucy O’Connor, a young woman who plans to sew quilts and sell them to finance her dream of owning her own cattle ranch. Having witnessed the unhappiness of other married couples, she’s determined to remain independent. Trace Abernathy, a former Union soldier, has come to Texas to make a new start raising cattle. Burned by love to a headstrong woman, he wants nothing to do with independent Lucy. But love has other ideas for these two, and they find out together they are stronger than either is alone.
Patchwork Hearts combines three of my loves – romance, history and quilting. I had fun weaving lots of quilting trivia, superstitions and traditions into the story. The story still feels special to me, after all these years.
So, on the topic of first loves and true loves – what’s your story? Do you remember your first love? How about the first romance novel you read and fell in love with?  What made that first one (book or person) special?

Cindi Myers is the author of 50 novels – historical and contemporary romance and women’s fiction. When she’s not writing, she enjoys quilting, knitting, gardening, camping, skiing, and hanging out with her husband and two spoiled dogs. You can learn more about Cindi at her websites – and

Patchwork Hearts

Word Count: 97000  

Author: Cindi Myers

From the first time she laid eyes on handsome Yankee Trace Abernathy, Lucy O’Connor felt an undeniable thrill between them. Her friends noticed, too, and urged Lucy to finish the traditional bridal quilt that would ensure a loving marriage. But Lucy had always planned to use her skills creating quilts that could make her money before she married, giving her the freedom to marry out of love, not need. And yet, try as she might, the independent woman couldn’t resist the stubborn man who made her heart beat father. So when he faced danger from vengeful enemies, Lucy had to stand up for the man she cherished – and show the whole town how to patch things up...with love.

"Dance with me, Lucy," he said, and swung her into the waltz. "Everyone is watching. Show them you're not afraid to dance with a Yankee soldier."

She stopped struggling, though she still held herself stiffly away from him. He grasped her right hand in his left and rested his other hand at her waist, conscious of the warmth of her skin through the fabric of her clothes. Or was that merely the warmth she kindled in him at her touch?    He looked around the room, anxious to distract himself. "I see despite the deprivations of the war, the ladies have managed to keep up with fashion," he remarked. "I haven't seen so many elegant dresses  since before the war.”  He looked down at her skirt. "Though I dare say I'm not the only man who wishes these ridiculously wide hoops would go out of style."

She giggled. He looked at her in surprise. "What do you find so humorous?"

She leaned forward. "Promise not to tell?"

He frowned  "Tell what?"

She lowered her voice to a whisper. "They're not real hoops."

His frown increased, as did her laughter. "We haven't been able to get the real, steel hoops out here, so my friends and I made our own -- out of grapevine.”             She gave an exaggerated thrust of her hips to the side, which made her skirt sway like a tolling bell. "Works pretty well, don't you think?"

He laughed. "You continue to amaze me, Miss O'Connor. Not only are you a writer and business woman, now I learn you're a fashion designer as well."

"Are you mocking me, Mr. Abernathy?” She looked indignant. "Some people seem to think that just because a woman takes an interest in business or a career that she's less of a woman."

"And who might those people be?” His hand tightened on hers. "Not me. I've already sampled your cooking, and your uncle was quick to point out to me that you are a model housewife."

Her eyes widened. "When did you talk to Uncle Nate about me?"

He looked away. "I came into the store the other evening. . . to buy more supplies. The subject just. . . came up."

She flushed and ducked her head. "Uncle Nate was just being kind. Some of the older women think I'm hopeless because I don't have even one quilt in my hope chest. And the one I've started isn't coming along very quickly."

"That would be the bridal quilt your uncle mentioned."

"I imagine your wife had dozens of quilts made before your wedding."

He smiled at this transparent attempt to fish for information. "I don't recall," he said. "If she did, I'm sure she didn't make them. She had slaves for that sort of thing."

"She must have been from a very wealthy family."


She fell silent, and he allowed himself to revel in the feel of a woman in his arms again after so long. Her hip flared enticingly from her slender waist beneath his hand, while above her corset he was conscious of the swell of her breasts. Lucy was tall for a woman, the top of her head coming even with his nose. The scent of her hair filled him, delicate and sweet as the passion flowers blooming outside. The dark locks looked like silk. His fingers ached with the urge to loosen the pins in her hair and lose themselves in the tumbled curls.

 Musa Publishing will be giving away a ebook copy of "Patchwork Hearts" to one lucky commenter. So this giveaway is international just leave a meaningful comment for Cindi with your email address.
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