Have A Haunted Halloween

It’s the spookiest time of year, and that means lots of delicious ghost stories to enjoy. Two of the themes I love writing about most are the paranormal and rock bands, and in The Ghost of You, I had the chance to do both (and borrow a title from My Chemical Romance, because they kind of deserve it…)

Good evening, horror lovers…

The Ghost of You follows what happens to Casey when his lover, rock star and recovering alcoholic Fisher Kelty dies from an overdose of booze and pills. The press think it was suicide, the coroner rules it an accidental death, and Casey tries to pick up the remnants of his life. But when strange things start happening to him, is Fisher trying to get back in touch with him, and if so, why?

Here’s an extract from the story that will hopefully give you chills of the nicest kind

Stepping under the steamy spray, I couldn’t help but let out a deep sigh of contentment. I reached for the bottle of shower gel, poured a generous amount into my palm and rubbed the creamy lather over my skin. The heady scent of lavender and chamomile, designed to relax and soothe, filled the little shower stall, and the steady pulse of the water beat down on me, like dozens of fingers gently massaging my scalp and back.

I relaxed into the sensation as it grew more intense, resting my palms against the tiled wall. It really felt as if someone were kneading the muscles in my shoulders, using their thumbs to ease out the knots of tension that had built while I’d hunched over the racks in Boardwalk Sounds, sorting the recently acquired albums.

“Mmm, that feels so good,” I murmured to no one in particular, overcome with the temptation to reach down and grab hold of my cock. Go on, a seductive voice in my head whispered, do it. You need this. How long is it since you jerked yourself off?

I let my hand drop to the base of my shaft and skim lightly along its length. Pleasure rippled through my belly and my knees went weak as I gave myself over to stroking and caressing myself. I closed my eyes and lifted my head, letting the hot spray trickle down my face and neck.

It had to be my imagination, but I swore I felt the press of a body against mine. The phantom touch moved lower, gliding down the planes of my lower back and coming to rest on my ass cheeks before digging in hard. I gasped in shock and stopped playing with myself. No imagining things now. The hard length of a cock nestled between my butt cheeks and something—or someone—had squeezed my ass.

When I glanced behind me, for the briefest moment I caught a glimpse of Fisher, hair wet, broad chest bare and so insubstantial I saw all the way through it to the clear glass door of the shower stall. Then he disappeared, and so did his grip on my ass.

Shocked, I shut off the water and leaped out of the shower. As I grabbed a towel and wrapped it around me, my cock stood up hard, proof of how turned-on I’d been—still was, if I were honest.

There’s no such thing as ghosts, I told myself as my hard-on wilted and my heart rate slowed to something approaching normal. And if even if they did exist, they’d roam the halls of ruined castles, or spooky old Gothic mansions, not this modern, glass-fronted home overlooking the beach. But try as I might to make myself believe otherwise, in my heart I knew I’d been up close and personal with a specter bearing Fisher’s face.

You can find The Ghost of You at First For Romance, Amazon US and Amazon UK. Have a happy Halloween!

A Chat with the Demon Zyriel – Guest Post By Melora Johnson

My guest today is Melora Johnson, author of the paranormal romance novel Earthbound. In a first for the Naughty Corner, she’s brought a demon along with her, so this could get very interesting (and makes me wonder whether I should have brought demon repellent with me). Welcome, Melora and Zyriel!

Melora: Thank you very much for having us here today. I’ve brought along Zyriel so everyone could get to know him a little better. Say hello, Zyriel.

Zyriel: (with a toothy smile) Hello, Ladies.

Melora: There may be men in the audience too.

Zyriel: Ooo, hello, gentlemen.

Melora: (hissing) Zyriel.

Zyriel: (eyebrows raised) What?

Melora: (clears her throat) My purpose in bringing Zyriel along is to let everyone know that there’s really nothing to fear from him. He wouldn’t hurt a fly.

Zyriel: Hey, now! I am a demon.

Melora: Really, he’s a pussycat.

Zyriel: (smiling slowly) Well, I do like…pussies.

Melora: (glaring, points a finger and mouths a word)

Zyriel: (pouts)

Melora: So, you like cats. Is that why you offered to take care of Ally’s cat?

Zyriel: (glaring) I didn’t offer. She recruited, seduced, connived. Anyway, I only made sure her co-worker got the cat. I didn’t actually take care of it myself.

Melora: Well, that was very nice of you anyway. (beams at him) Now, Zyriel did leave heaven because of a little problem with…lust.

Zyriel: It’s not a problem for me.

Melora: Which is something, as humans, I think we can all understand. Who hasn’t had a little problem with that once or twice in our lives, right?

Zyriel: (grinning) I’m willing to help anyone with that problem.

Melora: (under her breath) You’re barely in the second book and I can yank you right back out.

Zyriel: You never let me have any fun.

Melora: (shaking her head) So, you and Ally met some time ago when she tended your wounds.

Zyriel: A very long time ago.

Melora: And you became friends?

Zyriel: (grinning) Very good friends.

Melora: (aside) You want a book of your own? You’d best behave or I will not be writing your story.

Zyriel: You said if I came along we’d have some fun. This is not fun. I want to have some fun.

(Zyriel waves his hand and the buttons begin flying off Melora’s shirt one at a time, starting at the top. She clutches the shirt together and jumps up to exit the stage. Zyriel leans forward to the microphone with a grin.)

Zyriel: Now I can have a nice chat with all you lovely ladies and gentlemen out there.

Melora: (from offstage) Zyriel! They’re turning the microphones off!

Zyriel: (sighs) Well, it was a pleasure to meet you all. I’m sure I’ll be seeing some of you again very soon, hmm?

Earthbound Excerpt:

I had been eleven when I realized I might have something good in my hands, despite what had happened. The school bus had dropped me at the end of my street along with a couple other kids. We weren’t friends, but they weren’t mean to me either. They simply took little notice of me.

Sometimes I got invited to birthday parties, sometimes not. It wasn’t malicious. They just never invited me over to play. My mother considered birthday parties for family only. I honestly wondered if she would have remembered mine at all if it weren’t for my grandmother.

The other kids trotted down the street toward their own homes. I dragged my feet, enjoying the warmth of the Indian summer and the sunshine on the autumn leaves after several days of rain. Greens had given way to rich scarlet red, golden yellow and a cheerfully brilliant orange.

When I got to my front yard, a mourning dove sat on the ground under a tree, but it didn’t fly away as I approached. It just flapped around then stilled, its little feathered chest heaving for a minute.

I set my book bag down then moved toward the bird one careful step at a time. It hopped away from me.

“It’s okay, I won’t hurt you.” I hope. It turned its head to focus one black bead of an eye on me and stilled. “I just want to help you.” I didn’t know what I could possibly do, yet I had this overwhelming need to try to do something. Maybe I could take it home, nurse it back to health. I couldn’t take it in the house. Mom didn’t allow animals in the house; she said they carried dirt, fleas, and dander. Nobody ever went in the tool shed out back, though, because we had gardeners who came to take care of the lawn. They brought their own tools.

I knelt down, slid my hands around the bird, then gently lifted it. An intense longing to heal it seized me, and a jolt flew through my fingers, like walking across a carpet then shaking hands with someone but ten times stronger. I involuntarily squeezed the bird, then dropped it. I held my breath, scared I might have hurt it more, but then it cooed, stretched out its wings, and shook itself before taking off as if it never had been injured.

It was hurt, wasn’t it? Maybe I had been wrong or… a thought began to take shape in my head. Maybe, just maybe, my wish had actually healed the bird? Like in a fairy tale.

 

Blurb:

Her healing touch could start a fire.

Ally Reynolds is a veterinarian specializing in raptor rehabilitation in New Hampshire. Other than one horrific incident in her childhood and a little extra “spark” for healing in her hands, both of which she has kept secret from even her best friend, her life has been singularly boring. It has also been extremely lonely. Ally longs for someone to share her life with, but how can she trust anyone with her secret?

Matthew Blake, an ornithologist at Cornell University, calls Ally, asking for her help with an injured raptor. Matthew grew up in New Zealand and has lived around the world. He has read about Ally’s high success rates in raptor rehabilitation and suspects there is more to it than is generally known.

Matthew has some secrets of his own; he is a demon hunter. He suspects Ally’s healing powers could benefit him. He wants her to join him and thinks they’d make a great team.

Can Ally trust him or is he just using her? Matthew definitely has more secrets, and some of them are about Ally.

Buy Links:

Kindle USKindle UK
Kindle CAKindle AU
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Author Bio:

Melora Johnson is a poet and novelist living in Upstate New York with her husband, daughter, a black cat, and quite a few chickens. Her most recent published work includes A Sanctuary Built of Words: Poems of Peace, Grief, and Passion, and publication in The Sexuality Poems from Foothills Publishing. She also runs a large and thriving writer’s group for adults. Of course, into every life a little rain must fall as well as the occasional tornado, but you’ll find that amply covered in her writing. Find out more about Melora and her writing:

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Win A $20 Amazon Gift Card With Earthbound!

To mark the release of Earthbound, Melora is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with Rafflecopter. To enter the prize draw, simply click on the banner below to be taken to the Rafflecopter site, and good luck!

This blog tour is brought to you by Writer Marketing Services.

 

Book Review: Earthbound By Melora Johnson

Allyson Reynolds is a vet specialising in the area of wild birds, specifically raptor rehabilitation. Since childhood, she’s carried a secret that means she’s ideally suited for her job – she can cure animals by laying on her hands and sending healing energy into them. Her job brings her into contact with handsome Matt Blake, an ornithologist at Cornell University. Matt needs her to look at an injured bird, and when he and Allyson meet, sparks fly. What Allyson doesn’t know is that Matt is completely aware of her special powers – and that he needs her to help him in his role as a demon hunter. And that’s just the beginning of the secrets he has in store for her. Before she knows what’s happening, Allyson is plunged into a nightmare fight for survival against the most evil of demons, not knowing who she can trust, who wishes to harm her, and whether she should act on her growing attraction to the very sexy Matt…

Earthbound may start with the cliched set-up of a feisty, intelligent, high-flying woman who has everything going for her but still can’t find a man. However, it soon transforms into an entertaining and fast-moving paranormal adventure which will appeal to readers who were raised on the likes of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Allyson is faced with a variety of adversaries, some of whom are far more attractive – and familiar – than others, and though she at first struggles to adapt to all the things she learns about herself, as the book progresses she gains an increasing mastery of her powers. She and Matt make a compelling team as they fight all the obstacles that are thrown in their path, and they have a sizzling chemistry in and out of the bedroom, swapping wisecracks and complementing each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Matt is skilled and resourceful without being a boring typical alpha male hero. Meanwhile, Allison may be more than human but she never loses her compassion for her friends, family, and her pet cat, and though Matt is on hand to help out when the forces of evil threaten to overwhelm her, she’s definitely no damsel in distress.

The end of the book, while not a cliffhanger, sets up the possibility of more adventures for Allyson and Matt – here’s looking forward to them kicking more demon ass in future!

Earthbound is published by Tirgearr Publishing. To find out more about the book, read an excerpt, and find a full list of retailer links for the title, visit the Earthbound page at the Tirgearr website.

I was given a copy of Earthbound by Lucy at Writer Marketing Services in return for an honest review.

Book Review – Vampire Claus by Robert Winter

A vampire without a territory, Taviano arrives in Boston on Christmas Eve. When he was turned, in 19th century Italy, he was studying for the priesthood, and he still finds himself drawn to the familiar ritual of Midnight Mass. While lurking near the church, he manages to prevent a young short order cook, Paul, from being robbed of the presents he’s taking to a shelter for homeless LGBTQ children. Taviano is drawn to Paul, but even though it’s obvious Paul wants him, too, anything that happens between them can only be a one-night thing. Unless, of course, they can experience a Christmas miracle…

Taviano is the kind of vampire romance readers will adore. While the other vampires that feature in this novella are undead monsters, not afraid to use extreme violence to get what they want, Taviano still retains a soul and a moral code. He satiates his need to feed (here personified as a ‘bloodbeast’, a literal demon living inside him) by drinking the blood of muggers, rapists and other lowlife, and he still has strong memories of his life before he was turned. Paul, meanwhile, is poor but good of heart, willing to put others before himself and with a recklessness to his personality that makes him embrace the desires of a vampire rather than run away from them. Both are loners, so naturally they’ll be drawn to each other, and when they have sex it’s hot and sensual and deliciously described.

Robert Winter tends to overdo Paul’s use of slang to emphasise the difference in age and attitude between him and Taviano (does anyone really say “amazeballs”, and if so, please can they stop?), and there’s a rather too contrived revelation about Paul’s family background late in the story, but these are minor quibbles. If you’re looking for a heart-warming slice of paranormal romance to stuff your Christmas stocking, Vampire Claus is the one for you.

Vampire Claus is available from Amazon US and Amazon UK. You can find out more about Robert Winter at his author site.

I received a copy of Vampire Claus from Indigo Marketing in return for an honest review.

Have A Hot Halloween With Pride Publishing

To celebrate Halloween, Pride Publishing is running a special offer on all horror, paranormal, wereshifter, vampire and shapechanger books. You can get 30% on ebook titles with those themes between now and November 1st, and the list includes my Lionhearts MF lion shifter books. You can find out more about the Lionhearts series here, or to browse the Pride Publishing books store, just click on the cover below.

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The Responsibility Of Choice – Guest Post By Christine Blackthorn

My guest today is Christine Blackthorn, who has not only written an unusual and engrossing paranormal novel, but has some very interesting thoughts on BDSM. Welcome to the Naughty Corner, Christine.

This post is the result of reading too much BDSM erotica and blog posts. Oh, and actually a real life avarietyofchainsconversation. It is also not a new sentiment – I have said so before. The summary of my point is easy – and really hard: you always have the responsibility of choice. No one can take that from you. No one is allowed to take that from you. You choose to submit and you choose to submit to whomever it is who holds the reigns.

You cannot get around the responsibility to choose – or the right to choose.

Every time you get tied up, every time you get flogged, every time you are punished, every time you serve — you make that choice. It’s a silent choice, you made that choice when you trusted the man or woman you gave your submission to. But it is still a choice. It gives you rights and duties.

You have the right that the other person acts with your best interest in mind — and the duty to do the same. The other is not a mind reader. The other is not perfect. He/She has accepted the responsibility when you play, or in the times you serve Him/Her, but, at the same time, you have the responsibility to talk to Him/Her.

If it is something old or new, somewhere in this there has to be the time, and the courage, to discuss what you do — even do some research together. There will come moments when you are asked to do something you are uncomfortable with, frightens you. There will be moments when you do it anyway because He/She asks you to. That is great — but it is still your choice. And there might be moments in which you are asked to do something, to endure something, you definitely cannot. It is your responsibility to tell the other what you feel and think. That is your duty.

If they then ignore you and harm you, they have not fulfilled their own responsibility. They chose to betray you — and that is never ok.

The choice is always with both of you, just as abuse can go both ways. If as a submissive you do not talk, are not honest, do not take responsibility for your choice, you harm the person who accepted your trust. It is not fair, it is not ok — and no fantasy can get you over that.

You are an adult. You can choose to do what you want, you can choose to submit, you can choose to be hurt and loving it, you can choose to give up control over every decision of your life — safe one decision. You cannot choose not to choose. And you cannot choose not to talk about it with the person you chose to trust for however long you decided to play — a few hours or a lifetime.

A Variety of Chains excerpt

Slowly, he lowered more and more of his weight to rest on her until she could feel his hard and still clothed limbs against her nakedness. His arousal was unmistakable as it rested in the embrace of her body, only separated from her skin by the fabric of his trousers. His hand stroked down, over her hip to her knee, before he hooked a hand underneath it and brought it up to his waist, opening her further to him.

She wanted to blame the hour, so close to the fourteenth, for the wetness soaking his trousers, but knew that would not be entirely honest. Her body was wet with arousal and spasms of pleasure were tightening her womb. He started to roll his hips, stroking the fabric over a part of her that she had not realised could become so sensitive. With each stroke of his body against hers, something tensed in her a little more. His lips started to play with hers again, teasingly stroking over them and then nipping her with lightning speed. She needed something she did not know she needed, and with every second it seemed to come closer. The sound ripped from her throat was between a moan and a sob – and it stopped him in his tracks.

His brow came to rest against hers on a moan. “There is nothing I want more than to continue this so that when I ask you again if you have ever had an orgasm, you are in no doubt at all, but unfortunately now is not the time. Now is too close to midnight, and it would be careless of me to lose control.”

Blurb

Kathryn McClusky is an ErGer – a rare and highly prized individual in the supernatural world.

She has spent her life running and hiding, but circumstances have changed and the only way to protect her family is to hand herself over to the Vampire Lord of London to face slavery or death.

Lucian Neben runs his London court with a stern but fair hand, but political pressures are building from both the human and fey worlds, and taking possession of an ErGer would cement his position of power.

Kathryn is vulnerable and broken almost beyond repair, but she holds in her hands the one treasure Lucian desperately wants – the possibility of home and family.

Can he teach her to open herself up; to choose to life, and him, before reality forces him to take her freedom?

Sales links

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2aq8Kc8

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2avj1Fd

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/BandNVoC

Google Play: http://bit.ly/GPlayVoC

Kobo: http://bit.ly/KoboVoC

Apple: http://bit.ly/AppleVoC

Add to Goodreads: http://bit.ly/GoodreadsVoC

Author Bio

christineblackthornIn “real” life, I am an academic with degrees in Political Science, Economics, Philosophy and Law and an insatiable desire to confound, baffle and disconcert my students. Someone once suggested to me the reason for my stories lay in the desire to offset the tedium and rationality of academic life. He wasn’t an academic or he would have known better. It is best to use research against tedium, students to offset the rationality and an unlimited supply of stressballs for the faculty meetings. The stories? Well, they are just for me – like a mental manicure.

I also write a blog on Feminism and Erotica – come talk to me:

Blog: http://christineblackthorn.eu/blog

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cnblackthorn

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CBlackthorn

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GIVEAWAY!

Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway. The tour dates are here: http://www.writermarketing.co.uk/prpromotion/blog-tours/currently-on-tour/christine-blackthorn/

Enter the giveaway at http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/8b9ec5be166/?

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Open Wide And Say Ah!

So I went for my regular scale and polish at the dentist’s today, which is about the least glamorous thing in the world. However, it turns out that my dental hygienist hails from Málaga, and if my mouth hadn’t been full of pointy hurty equipment I might have been able to let him know that part of my latest book release takes place in that city. See, there had to be a reason for my bringing this up…

animal passionsAnimal Passions, Book Six in the Lionhearts MM shifter romance series, is set in southern Spain, which is a beautiful (if occasionally way too humid) part of the world. I’ve tried to make all the books in the series very different from one another while still taking place in the same universe, and this time I’ve dabbled with a murder mystery, which was great fun, even if I did like the characters I was killing off. The book is now available for early download from Pride Publishing, ahead of its general release in July, and here’s the blurb to whet your appetite:

He’s destined to meet his mate on a killer vacation.

Horror author Mason Wells is having a midlife crisis. He’s burned out as a writer and he keeps falling for guys who are way too young for him. So when his agent, Nora, arranges a birthday getaway for him and a few close friends in the Spanish Sierra Nevada, it’s just the break he needs—until Nora is found drowned in the hotel swimming pool. It seems like someone has a hit list of victims, and Mason’s on it. Can the hotel’s gorgeous owner, Xavi, step in and keep Mason safe?

Lion shifter Xavi Bianco loves the peace and solitude of his boutique hotel in the mountains. It’s a shame the place still holds the memory of his ex, Ramón. When the group of brash Americans arrives for a vacation, he doesn’t expect to find himself falling for one of them. But everything tells him Mason Wells is his destined mate, bizarre as it may be, and when Mason’s friends fall victim to a series of horrific attacks, Xavi knows he must do everything to protect Mason, even if it means risking his own life…

 

Cover Reveal: Pride Under Fire

A hunky firefighter who’s also a lion shifter. A hard-working detective with a disastrous love life. A small mountain town plagued by a series of life-threatening arson attacks. All those ingredients come together in Pride Under Fire, Book Five in the Lionhearts series, and here’s the fabulous cover for the book.

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This one is seriously hot!

Summoning Milo

It’s Halloween, and here’s a spooky short story for all those of you who love things that go bump in the night…

Two minutes to midnight. The lights are extinguished, a candle gutters on the table before me. I’ve surrounded myself with all I have left of him. A detective novel I borrowed from the teetering pile in his bedroom and never had the chance to return. A string of friendship beads he tied around my wrist the summer before we went away to college. A photo, creased and dog-eared from being carried in my wallet. His parents took it on some family vacation, right after he graduated. He’s in board shorts, his chest bare, his hair sun-bleached. He looks so ridiculously handsome, laughing and carefree. Unaware that he only had another three months to live.

I wish I had more, but the fire claimed almost all our possessions, as well as his life. If I hadn’t been on shift that evening, one year ago to the day, I’d be dead, too. The guilt and pain I carry haven’t lessened. I know there’s nothing I could have done to save him, but I let the sun go down on my anger and I need to put this right. To say the words I left unspoken when I stormed out of the apartment, late for work and angry at him for not hanging the laundry out to dry.

The clock chimes. It’s time. I speak the words, culled from the pages of a book so old it threatened to crumble to dust when I opened it. They’re hard to pronounce, so many guttural syllables to wrap my tongue around, but I do my best. I have to get this right, for the sake of my sanity.

For the longest time, it seems nothing’s going to happen. Foolish of me to believe it might, really. Then the air shimmers, as if I’m looking through a smoky haze. Peering through it, I see the outline of a figure. It grows more solid, till I’m looking at a full-grown man.

“Milo?” My voice cracks around his name.

“Jen.” He comes a step closer. I fight the urge to scream. His skin is blistered and burned; most of his hair is gone. The pajama pants he wears are charred shreds of fabric. I should be terrified, but I’m not. He’s still my gorgeous Milo, for all that. “It’s so good to see you. But I don’t have long…”

“Oh, Milo. The spell worked. It’s really you.” Tears course down my cheek and I swipe them away, determined not to let him see me so upset.

“Hey, babe. Don’t cry.” When he puts his arms out, I stumble into them. I’m almost afraid to touch his ruined body, but he smiles. “It’s okay. You’re not going to hurt me. Nothing can any more.”

There’s so much I want to ask him, but the words won’t come. Glancing up, I see his blue eyes shining, the depth of emotion obvious. When he bends his head and presses his lips to mine, I don’t resist. Returning the kiss with all the passion I possess, I let him guide me to the floor.

He kisses my cheeks, my eyelids, the tip of my nose. I run my hands down his back, all the way to the cheeks of his ass. Our bodies grind together. His erection is a thick bar, trapped against my belly. Without thinking, I reach to hold it, surprised to feel it warm and pulsing in my grasp.

“I want you,” he murmurs.

“Me, too. I’ve never stopped wanting you.”

Milo tears open my shirt, sending the buttons flying. He takes my nipple between his rough lips, sucking hard. Desire courses through me, fierce and urgent. I tug down my underwear, desperate to feel him inside me one last time.

He slides home in one long thrust. I’d almost forgotten how well he fits, like he was made for me. We move together, quickly finding a rhythm that suits us both. Milo’s eyes never leave mine as our pleasure mounts in unison.

My pussy convulses around him in the moment before he comes deep within me. I cling on tight to him, riding the waves.

“Milo, I’m so sorry for fighting with you about nothing,” I whisper, when I can find my voice again. “I love you. I always will.”

“And I…”

He’s fading before my eyes. The candle flame sputters and dies. All that remains is an acrid smell of smoke and his voice, lingering in the air like the Cheshire Cat’s grin.

“…love you too.”