Category Archives: paranormal romance

Through The Storm by Meredith Bond

RELEASING TODAY!
From Award Winning Author
Meredith Bond
Some plans are made to be brokenÖ
Through The Storm
THROUGH THE STORM
Meredith Bond
Series: Storm Series Book 4
Genre:†Regency Romance, Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Anessa Books
Publication Date: May 31, 2017
Some plans are made to be brokenÖ
Being judge, jury and executioner for the magical Vallen people is Kat Havelockís hereditary duty, but sheís desperate to live a normal life. Her plan is to enter Regency society, fall in love, and live happily ever after.
Jack the Lad, the notorious smuggler, has a single-minded quest to destroy his wealthy and intolerant father, who had driven Jackís late mother to penury and despair. It has taken him ten years, but now the powerful Vallen is finally ready to put his plan into action.
When Jack tries to use his magic for revenge, Kat is obliged to stop him. He convinces her to give him another chance, entangling her into his vengeful scheme. Can Jack and Kat carry out their dreams? Or does destiny have a better plan to steer them together through the storm?

Purchase Links

Other Books by Meredith Bond

Within Regency society itís not easy being different, but Tatiana Vallentyn, high priestess of a magical people known as the Vallen, is trying to reconcile the two sides of her life. From falling in love to dealing when plans go awry, she is trying to make it through the storm.
 

Storm on the Horizon
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Bridging the Storm
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Magic in the Storm
$3.99
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“A true paranormal romance book…
this book is perfect example of what a paranormal romance should [be].”
– Booked Up

Giveaway

WIN $25 AMAZON GIFT CARD
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Contest runs from May 31 – June 6, 2017.

About†Meredith Bond

Meredith Bond

Meredith Bond’s books straddle that beautiful line between historical romance and fantasy. An award-winning author, she writes fun traditional Regency romances, medieval Arthurian romances, and Regency romances with a touch of magic. Known for her characters ìwho slip readily into oneís heartî, Meredithís paranormal romances include her Storm series set in during the English Regency, her post-Arthurian fantasy series, The Children of Avalon, and a series of traditional Regenciesówithout magicócalled The Merry Men Quartet. Her newest series, The Grace Sisters, is a spin-off from The Merry Men Quartet. She has also written two non-fiction books: Chapter One: A Fast, Fun Way to Write Fiction and Self-Publishing: Easy as ABC.
Want to know more? Come visit Meredith at her website, http://www.meredithbond.com or chat with her on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/meredithbondauthor) or Twitter (@merrybond). If youíd like to be one of the first to know of Meredithís new releases and get a free short story every month, join her email list here http://meredithbond.com/subscribe/.
Official website: http://www.meredithbond.com
Connect with Meredith Bond†on social media:
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Bound by Darkness by Valerie Twombly #iartg #asmsg #newrelease #pnr

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Passion Awakened by Valerie Twombly #EnchantedKeepsakes @fangedfantasy

Love Across Time: Historical Romance and Time Travel

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Shades of Desire 2 Preorder #99cents w/ Sultry Nights Excerpt & giveaway #iartg

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Fall Into Darkness by Valerie Twombly & Interview with Craig Gierish

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F I D

******Price Reduced to $1.99 for Pre-order ONLY******

Fall Into Darkness
By Valerie Twombly
Release Date: November 9, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Eli lives by his own rules and bows to no one, even when summoned before the Tribunal Seven. They deem the hunter has lost his humanity and sentence the angel to earth with one mission: find some compassion or be condemned to Hell.

Ashley considers herself a freak. With one glance into a person’s eyes, she foresees their death. When an attack brings a handsome stranger to her rescue, she can’t help but be drawn to his steel-blue gaze. Fate will bring them together but desire could bond them for eternity.

A Special Heavenly Treat

Who wants to meet the real-life Eli? Valerie Twombly tells us how he came to be on the cover of her latest book. 

I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful photographer by the name of Eric David Battershell at RT Booklovers in Dallas this past May. After chatting with him I decided to try my first custom shoot for the cover of Fall Into Darkness. I saw Craig and instantly knew he was it. He fit the image I had of Eli perfectly. I have to say; I’ve grown very fond of him. Let’s face it, not only is he sexy, but smart, and determined. I hope you enjoy getting to know him as much as I have and I certainly hope you enjoy Eli and Ashley’s story.                                                                     ~Valerie Twombly

CRAIG GIERISH

c1

The ALPHA movement is upon us.

Gone are the days of excuses and reasons not to progress.

We ALWAYS give our ALL,

Striving to be our best in ALL aspects of life.

We motivate, encourage and empower others,

RISING to greatness hand in hand.

Join us, sisters and brothers.

Together we can accomplish anything!

TOGETHER WE WILL RISE!

 

What inspired you to start the site?

I always wondered why there was never a place where adults and children could be educated in a fun, imaginative way TOGETHER. I took it upon myself to bridge this gap! It saddens me to know the amount of misinformation out there.

Supplement companies and the food industry will use clever marketing to sell their products. They do not care for your health. Like any big corporation, they are after only one thing…your money.

Children are brought up to eat what the generations before them ate. As a result, we see a DRASTIC increase in the obesity rate, health risks, and many other problems associated with diet in children and adults alike.

The Alpha Alliance was created to teach not only the benefits of eating healthy and living an active lifestyle, but we also teach how to better yourself in mind, body, and spirit/the belief in yourself to achieve ANYTHING you set out to do. The Alliance will have recipes for adults and children alike. The goal is to make it fun and help set our Lil’ Alphas down a path of success that they can sustain for the rest of their lives, while simultaneously helping to educate the teens and adults on all of the misinformation they have been fed all their lives. Most health problems ARE reversible by making simple life changes. I hope that you will join me and become an ALPHA ALLIANCE RECRUIT once my Web site is ready for launch!

What is your favorite word? Cookie

What is your least favorite word? Can’t

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? I feel I can draw inspiration from anything…most times I cannot turn my brain off! lol

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Well, I have been a firefighter, a personal trainer, a life coach, a model, a Web designer, soon to be a Children’s book author… Should I try astronaut? Lol

How can people help you to achieve your goals?

You can “Like and Share with all of your friends, family, and loved ones” my Alpha Alliance Facebook page. This is where you will get all the content and updates until the Web site is ready to be launched.

Big things are coming, and I hope you will be a part of my journey!

https://www.facebook.com/alphaallianceheadquartersfanpage

Your Social Media Links

Website: http://www.risetoalpha.com/alpha-alliance/

Facebook Page:

Alpha Alliance- https://www.facebook.com/alphaallianceheadquartersfanpage

Model Page- https://www.facebook.com/fitmodelcraig

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RTA_Craig

Instagram: RTA_CRAIG

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/craiggierish

I truly appreciate all your time and your willingness to listen to my story.

TOGETHER WE WILL RISE!!

CRAIG GIERISH

Excerpt

Ashley wandered through Eli’s bedroom, noting how bare it was. Except for a queen four-poster bed, a dresser, and a fireplace, there was nothing else here. She wondered how lonely he must have been to never make a real home in one place. Eva had told her this small cabin in the north woods was always his favorite and that was why she’d asked to be brought here.

After stoking a fire, she donned the short red nightie that hardly covered her breasts and left her long legs exposed. There was no way he could resist, not if he were half as needful as she, and something told her he would be more so. She hoped he’d be so lust ridden he’d complete the bond. Guilt filled her for what she was about to do, but she’d do anything to save him. She’d worry about the aftermath later.

The double-winged tattoo on the back of her hip burned, and she’d learned it meant Eli was close by. Was he watching from a distance? She stepped into the soft light of the fire, knowing it cast a sensual glow across her skin. Yeah, she was pulling out all the stops. A cool breeze whispered across her skin causing her nipples to tighten.

He was here.

She turned, and when her gaze fell upon him standing in the shadows she gasped. His naked chest glistened in the firelight that reflected across the room. A thick rope of muscles coiled just under his skin, and her fingertips itched to touch him. Dark jeans, settled so low on his hips, she could see the dusting of hair that led to his sweet spot. However, it was the massive black wings that stretched out and brushed the ground that really drew her attention. Her fallen angel was dark and sinister, yet every fiber of her being said he’d never harm her. He’d come to her and she was determined to finish what they’d started.

She was determined to save his soul.

“Eli.” She took a step closer.

He flashed a set of fangs. “I’ve never been weak in my entire life, but with you… You are my weakness. Look at me Ashley, I’m one step away from claiming you. Being mated to me will be a fate worse than death.”

Another step. Careful not to scare him off, she stopped short of being able to reach out and touch him. Opening her mind, he could feel everything she did should he choose to. “You’re wrong. Walking away from you would be a worse fate. You’ve touched something deep inside me. Fate brought us together because we need each other.” She took the last step and placed her hands on his chest. He stiffened beneath her touch.

“I need you and I don’t mean just the physical. I mean emotionally as well. You have my heart as well as my body. All of me, it belongs to you.”

His adam’s apple rose and fell then he gripped her waist and tugged her close. He bent his head and slanted his mouth over hers. Sucking her bottom lip through his teeth, he gave a nibble; his fangs gently scraped her sensitive flesh before his tongue slipped inside. She dragged her nails down his chest, and he deepened the kiss. They both became lost in the moment.

Eli broke the kiss and licked his way down her neck and across her clavicle. Ashley tipped her head back on a moan.

“You have on too many clothes,” he whispered.

“Then I suggest you get rid of them,” she urged.

He wasted no time. Gripping the top of her nightie, he ripped it wide open then shoved the satin material off her shoulders and let it drop to the floor. She stood before him, her body bathed in only the firelight.

“You should be laid out on a bed of silk and worshipped. Instead, I tear your clothes from your body.” He unbuttoned his jeans and shoved them to the floor, stepping free from them before he kicked them aside. She started to reach for his erection, but he spun her and pinned her back against the wall. “I can’t stop myself. I’m so damn cold, and I need to feel your warmth wrapped around me.”

“Take what you need.”
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I’m one step away from claiming you.” ~Eli, Fall Into Darkness. Preorder today!

Amazon – http://amzn.to/1JzkRk6

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Free short of Fall Into Darkness – http://www.instafreebie.com/free/vt1Ed

Author Bio577VALERIE copy_small

Award winning and bestselling author, Valerie Twombly grew up watching Dark Shadows over her mother’s shoulder, and from there her love of the fanged creatures blossomed. Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby, and her two German Shepherd dogs, in Northern IL. Valerie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Writers. She is also the founder of Sexy Scribblers, a group of romance writers who bring readers new and fresh stories every month.

Author Links

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |Google+ | Tsu | Pinterest |Newsletter

Facebook Fangroup: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ValerieTwomblyParanormalPalace/

Sexy Scribblers: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sexy-Scribblers/861027850651180?fref=ts

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5 Star Review: Divine Passion by Valerie Twombly

Divine-Passion

Published: 07/22/2015
Publisher: Resplendence
Genres: fantasy, paranormal romance
Tags: demons, dragon shifters, Fae, gods, vampires

Baal is a demon that likes to make his own rules and the thought of being tied down to only one woman makes his skin itch. When he rescues the human Ranata from becoming a sacrificial lamb, he gets more than he bargained for. With Hades insisting his fate is to bond with the beautiful female, he can either resist or risk losing his heart.

One minute Ranata is tending bar in a small hole in the wall, and the next she fears for her life. When a sexy demon comes along and saves the day, his golden eyes and hard body make him difficult to resist. With her sister in the clutches of the enemy, she must plan a daring rescue. Fate however, has other plans. Will she choose the path destiny has laid out for her?

Buy Links:

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     Resplendence Publishing     iBooks     Goodreads

 

Review

by Aubrey Wynne

Valerie Twombly has done it again. Her world just keeps getting better and better with each new storyline in this series. Baal is protective, arrogant and hot as hell. He has been burned (pun definitely intended) and very leery of love. He has no desire to commit to another relationship. Even as you roll your eyes at his opinion of women, you feel sympathy for his past and root for him.

Enter Ranata. A sassy bartender in the human world with enough attitude to catch his attention. She is headstrong (which drives Baal crazy but he really loves her for it), loyal (which he admires) and smart (which irritates him.) Her background and present situation are at odds and gives yet another layer to her character and their relationship. When they mate, they both convince themselves that love is absent.But their hearts know better.

Twombly’s stories are always strong in love and relationships. Divine Passion is no exception. Through the action and plot twists, the romance remains at the forefront along with a cast of steamy male characters and sizzling heroines. Paranormal fans, enjoy!

5 blazing hot stars

Excerpt

Baal had never been turned down by a woman. Not once. Ever. He stared at the female behind the bar, who’d refused to give him even her name. He’d closed down the place a couple of nights ago with Seth, the guardian he’d been charged with babysitting—or had it been longer ago than that? After taking a couple of those damn pills that helped immortals get drunk, he couldn’t remember. Either way, he remembered craving a piece of the vision who currently gave him the evil eye. He still did. He hadn’t come across a female like her in a long time.

Black hair curled around her shoulders; thick lashes fringed blue, almond-shaped eyes. Add to that high cheekbones and pouty lips, and you had exotic perfection. Not to mention curves he wanted to sink his fingers into while he fucked the hell out of her. “Seriously, why are you working in this shit hole? You should be strutting your stuff in designer clothes and high heels.”

She laughed. “I suppose you’re going to promise me a starring role in your next movie?”

He reached into his jacket pocket and pulled out his card. “Nope, but I need a hostess for my casino.” He tossed it on the bar. She rolled her eyes then threw her towel aside and picked up the card.

“Dragon’s Cove?” She eyed him suspiciously. “I’ve heard of it.” She snorted and tossed it back on the bar. “Right, and I suppose you’re gonna tell me you own the place?”

He shrugged. “Okay, I won’t tell you that, but I do.”

“Please, I’m not that stupid. Why would someone who owns a highly successful Vegas club be here in, as you called it, this shit hole?”

“I came to help a friend who’s down and out.”

She reached for an empty beer bottle, rinsed it then tossed it in the recycling. “The dark-haired guy? He seemed like he’d seen better days.”

“He has, but I think things will improve for him soon. Now, back to my offer. I was serious when I said I need someone. You think about it, and if you’d like, I’ll fly you in for an interview and discussion of terms.”

She wiped her hands and picked up the card again. She stared at it while pulling her bottom lip through her teeth. He could almost see the gears turning. “I don’t get it. Vegas has to be full of people qualified for the job. What do you want from me?”

No way in hell could he tell her that what he really wanted was to strip her, toss her on top of the bar and taste every inch of her. He’d have to work his way up to that one. “You desire more than this; I can tell.” No lie there. The ability to read a human’s desire was bred into every demon. It was how the evil spread. Some chose to use it for bad and others for good. In this case, his intentions were for a little of both. “Your beauty shouldn’t be wasted here.”

“I’ve always wanted to leave but never had the means to do so.”

“Well, this is your chance.” He tipped back the last swig of his beer and set the glass on the bar. “I have to leave and head back. You can Google me all night long and see that I’m who I say. Call that number, and I’ll send a limo and my private jet to pick you up. You can have a room in the hotel. I promise; no strings attached.” His charm and demon good looks would bewitch the pants right off her. He just needed the chance.

“I’ll think about it.” She tucked the card into her back pocket, and suddenly, he was jealous of the tiny piece of glossy paper.

He tipped his head. “Fair enough.” Then he headed for the door.

“Wait!”

He stopped dead in his tracks and held his breath. Had she made up her mind already? “Yes,” he said and turned slowly.

“My name, it’s Ranata.”

 

About the Author

569VALERIE

Award winning and bestselling author, Valerie Twombly grew up watching Dark Shadows over her mother’s shoulder, and from there her love of the fanged creatures blossomed. Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby, and her two German Shepherd dogs, in Northern IL. Valerie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Writers. She is also the founder of Sexy Scribblers, a group of romance writers who bring readers new and fresh stories every month.

Review: Taken By Desire by Valerie Twombly

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Title: Taken by Desire
Series: Demonic Desires, Book 1
Author: Valerie Twombly
Release Date: May 18, 2015
Genre: Paranormal Romance

Synopsis

Greydon has two important missions: Find his brothers and rescue his people. His duty becomes complicated when he’s forced to beg a human to save his life.

Aimee Jarvis always considered her bookstore a detour to bigger things. Little did she realize her next stop would be the intriguing world of a demon prince. Yet, she finds the dangerous Greydon alluring.

While their attraction continues to burn, they both deny what their hearts already know. It will take the mystery of an ancient civilization and a shocking discovery for them to admit their desire.

Review

By Aubrey Wynne

Taken By Desire starts off with a bang and doesn’t let up. Greydon’s life is turned upside down when his world is attacked and their goddess overpowered. For years, he works to free his people and claim his place as king. When he confronts one of the enemy attacking a human, Aimee’s life is then turned upside down. Though he saves her from the clutches of the demons, Greydon is injured. Needing someone to nurse him from poison inflicted by his enemy, he takes Aimee to his underworld home.

Aimee realizes there are sinister forces invading her world, but she has no idea of the battle between good and evil that has existed for so long. Greydon both frightens and arouses her. Together, they learn of Greydon’s legacy and a civilization that had been considered lost for centuries.

They fight against the attraction and bond they feel for each other but create some steamy, delicious scenes that keep you turning the pages. The action is exciting and will cause the occasional twinge, reading the vivd details of battle. While the heat level is high, the emotion will also pull the readers in and make them root for Aimee, Greydon and his people. Twombly has created an interesting plot, great romance and witty, humorous secondary characters. In her trademark fashion, she leaves us on the edge, grumbling and tapping our feet as we wait for the next in the series.

Rating: 5 stars

 

excerpt

Greydon and Fang checked the perimeter of the compound to be sure there was no trouble. Greydon didn’t trust Zolar, even if it was impossible for the god to enter. It would only be a matter of time before the god succeeded in finding a way in.

“So, how do you feel knowing that Aimee is part demon?” Fang asked.

Greydon shrugged. “How am I supposed to feel?”

The demon protector snorted. “You have the fucking hots for her. Why won’t you simply admit it?”

Greydon stopped outside the front door to the palace. “Just like you to speak what’s on your mind.”

“Will you deny it?” Fang raised a brow.

Greydon laughed. “No, I guess I’m not.”

“Well that’s good because her scent is all over you. So, what are you going to do about it, or have you already?”

“I don’t know.” He opened the door, crossed the threshold with Fang on his heels and immediately sensed Aimee’s restlessness. He was driven to find her. “Fang, I have something I need to do.”

“Of course you do.” The demon walked in the other direction, laughing to himself.

“I’m glad he finds this humorous,” Greydon mumbled under his breath as he followed both Aimee’s scent and the pull his tie had to her.

Seconds later, he found himself standing in the doorway of the expansive library, staring at her as she stood in front of the fire. The black yoga pants formed to every inch of her lean body and the pink tee allowed her midriff to peek out.

“You look far away.”

She jerked and spun to face him. “I didn’t hear you. I wasn’t tired so thought I’d come in here.”

He walked into the room and made himself comfortable on the couch in front of the fireplace. “Something bothering you?”

She rubbed her arms as if cold, but he knew better. She was anxious about something. He could smell it. “I’ve been thinking. I want to help you, but I’m not sure how. Maybe you can guide me in the right direction?”

He cocked his head and stared at her, then patted the seat next to him. “Come sit and we can discuss it.”

She plopped down beside him and stared straight into his eyes. “I want to get one thing straight. I know you think that your attraction to me is from the blood bond, and maybe it is. However, I’m attracted to you as well and I have no bond to blame. I liked the kiss, and well, I hope you’re not discouraged from doing it again.”

At a loss for words, he figured the best place to start was with her request to help. “Okay, let’s deal with one thing at a time. I think you might be a big help in deciphering our society. We’re taught when we are very small about this world and what happened here. However, there are many gaps. You studied ancient languages and have a love for old books.”

She nodded. “I think I know where you might be going with this. You want me to do some digging around here to see what I can learn?”

“Would you mind?” he asked, watching her eyes light up and a big smile spread across her lips. He realized he liked seeing her happy.

“Absolutely! I would be honored. I have to admit, it would also give me a chance to learn more about my supposed heritage.”

“I guess you probably have a lot of questions. I know I sure as hell do. In the morning, Fang and I plan to go back to the compound where you were held, and see if we can locate the others.”

Aimee stared off into the flames. “I’m sure by now they know I’m gone.” Her pleading gaze came back to meet his. “You have to save the other humans there too. God only knows what they’ve done to them.”

The need to provide comfort coursed through him so he brushed his thumb down her cheek, desiring the intimate contact. “I’ll do my best, but you have to understand. My people, and especially my brothers, come first. After that I will not hesitate to save who I can.”

“Of course I understand, and I wouldn’t expect any less.” She leaned into his palm and desire darkened her hazel eyes.

He couldn’t stand it anymore, so he leaned in and brushed his lips across hers. He wanted more, and even though she’d admitted being attracted to him, he still held back. However, it took him by surprise when she placed her palms on his chest and pushed him back into the couch. Her lips never broke contact with his and when he could go no further, she wrapped her arms around his neck. Her tongue pressed and he opened, allowing her to sweep in and taste him. She positioned herself between his spread legs and the next thing he knew, she was grinding against his swollen erection.

She laced her fingers in his hair as her tongue continued to plunder his mouth. Never before had he given control to a woman. He wondered why, since he was loving every second of it.

He slid his hands down her back and cupped her ass, digging his fingers into the firm flesh. She moaned into their kiss and pressed harder against him. Heat radiated between her thighs and caused his shaft to ache. He needed both his cock and his fangs buried deep inside her, but damn he had to stop this and quickly.

Taken purchase links

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Also Available for Pre-Order: Shades of Desire, including Spanish Nights.

99 cents for a limited time; includes 10 full novels.

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author bio

About the Author Valerie Twombly pic

As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying. “It will give you nightmares.” She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find.

Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked.

Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd dogs, in Northern IL. Valerie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance Writers.

Connect with Valerie:

Website| Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |Google+| Pinterest | Tsu

Book Trailers:

Eternal Flame, Guardians #1 http://youtu.be/qkQkcFT-6Q0

Fatal Desire, Guardians #2 http://youtu.be/WN4jAlcYhnM

Primal Hunger, Guardians #3 http://youtu.be/TlyH1gVkTgQ

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Sale Blitz: Guardians Series by Valerie Twombly

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A huge welcome to my very good friend, Valerie Twombly. Author of addictive, sexy, action-packed paranormal romance. And this week Eternal Flame is only a buck.

Title:
Eternal Flame
(Guardians,
Book 1)
Author:
Valerie Twombly
A woman he cannot have, a man who is only a dream…

When guardian Marcus Dagotto, discovers the gods have gifted him with a mate, he is pissed. He has no room for love and even less for a human who has no idea he exists. Cassandra Jensen has a shattered heart and has given up on men. Only one man can set her body on fire, but he is a fantasy that haunts her sleep.

Two worlds, one desire. When the two collide, fate will rip them apart and test their resolve. Will darkness and evil prevail? Or, will love conquer all?

Excerpt 1
Tears stung Marcus’s cheeks when he raised his sword. “I am so sorry, love. I have
failed you. It should be I who dies this day.” 
Eliza’s cocoa eyes looked at him but didn’t see him. Dead inside, her soul was lost. She would never again be the woman he loved. He sucked in a breath and flexed his arms, the sword swung, slicing across her neck. The blade tore through sinew and bone and sent her head rolling across the stone floor. Reality nearly sent him to his knees, but there wasn’t time to mourn the death of his mate. The fighting outside echoed in his ears, the demons were strong and put up one hell of a fight.
Marcus advanced down the corridor of the abandoned castle. The scene played out the same in every direction. Blood bathed the floors, and his brethren’s heartsick screams echoed off the walls as they killed their mates. A demon jumped out from behind a door. Its claws tearing the flesh on his arm. He wielded his sword and sent another head flying across the room. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a Draki dispatching another demon. The shifter, a
friend who also searched for his mate. Not even the dragons were immune to Drayos and his fucking misery.
The dragon turned his head. “Be careful, my friend. My brethren will soon be setting this place on fire.” Caleb’s cerulean body shimmered as he shifted back to human form.
Have you found your mate yet?” Marcus asked as he searched the adjoining room. Empty.
“Not yet, you?”
 He stepped beside his friend. “I killed her.”
Caleb laid a hand on his shoulder. “I am sorry, my friend. Drayos will die this day for what he has done.”
Marcus nodded and moved forward in his search for the demon Drayos. He opened up the psychic path leading to his prince. Aidyn.
Marcus, did you find my sister?
He closed his eyes, so many hearts broken today. She is dead, I am sorry, my lord. I will kill Drayos with my bare hands.
Aidyn had already lost his brother and father in this battle. His pain ripped through Marcus. No doubt the other guardians felt it. It was a blessing and a curse to be connected to each other. He tried to pinpoint the prince’s position, but something blocked him.
Aidyn, where are you? Do not engage Drayos.
The prince would die as well if he tried to kill the Demon Overlord. Aidyn was far too young; his two hundred years were no match against a thousand-year-old demon. He took our women, used them to carry his spawn. He has killed everyone I love.
Tired muscles carried Marcus up a flight of stairs. He stormed from room to room, kicking in locked doors only to find them empty.
I know my lord, and he will pay, but it is not wise for you to confront him.
He knew Aidyn wouldn’t listen. Perhaps the gods would help.
“Zarek!” Marcus summoned the god, nothing. No surprise. After all, the gods could have stepped in and saved the women, but they had all been left to fate. Fuck fate, he was sick to death of it. The sound of clashing swords filtered in from the hallway. He flashed into the room, not caring what he stumbled across. His vision filled with Aidyn and
Drayos, they were face to face.
Drayos had morphed into a full demon and stood at least three feet taller than Aidyn. Blood seeped from the wounds that covered the demons blackened skin. Marcus tried to run toward them but found himself behind an invisible barrier.
“What the fuck?” He balled his hands and banged on the wall. “Aidyn!”
The prince ignored him. He was stuck, helpless as he watched the events unfold in front of him. Thoughts of telling Daria, his queen, she had lost her entire family in this battle sat like arsenic in his stomach. He pressed his palms against his prison.
Aidyn, my friend, I can’t bear another loss today.
The air behind him shifted, a cool breeze lifted his hair. He moved his gaze over his shoulder and found Zarek towering over him in a Scottish kilt rather than his beloved Egyptian shendyt. His raven hair held a beaded braid on one side.
So this is why he ignores us? He is busy playing dress-up with the goddess Quadira.
“Get me out of here!” he demanded.
“You will not interfere, my son.”
Marcus growled; his fangs elongated; he wanted blood. Yes, he would take the blood of his god if it ended the pain and suffering of his brethren. “You would let the prince die?” He tried to lunge toward Zarek but found his feet pinned to the
floor.
You are our creator, we your warriors. Why would you do this to us?
Zarek gave him a leveled gaze. “What makes you think the prince will die this day?”
He looked back toward the fight. Aidyn had lost his sword; a small dagger was clutched in his hand. Both the demon and the vampire bore bloody wounds. He turned back to Zarek. “The prince is too young to fight one as strong as
Drayos.”
Marcus dropped to his knees, he would beg the god if he had to. “Send me in his place…please.” He was three hundred years older than Aidyn and could defeat the demon. “We have lost so much today.”
Death haunted him like a fucking plague. He was a healer, but today, he healed no one. The anguished cries of his brethren still echoed in his ears. They had slain their mates, and then turned on each other to end their misery. Marcus would like to end his suffering as well, but he would continue on; his skills were needed.
Zarek laid a hand on his shoulder. “I am sorry, my son, for all the pain you will encounter this day. However, today must shape the future.” With those words, he vanished.
The future? Aidyn was their future, the line that tied them all together. They all hoped the prince would persuade the gods to find a cure for the curse Drayos had placed upon them. The curse would devour them, creating an imbalance that would darken their souls.
When Zarek created his vampires, he used light and dark, good and evil. The light fueled the guardian of humanity, the darkness the warrior. A perfect balance, but once Drayos’s curse took full effect, the light would fade, the
darkness turning them into pure evil, destined to destroy everything in their path. Not even the humans they guarded would be safe.
He jumped to his feet but found the shield still erected around him. Aidyn’s body lie still on the floor, and Drayos stood over him, sword poised for the fatal blow. He beat on the invisible wall. “Aidyn!” He sucked in a breath, his heart trapped
in a vice that squeezed the life out of him. He could do nothing but watch his prince die. A tear slid down his cheek for the death of his mate, his brethren and now his prince, his best friend.
I am no guardian. I am a failure. I have failed them all.
Drayos swung his sword. Everything moved in slow motion as Marcus waited for the blade to connect with Aidyn’s neck. Lightning sizzled from the sky and sent debris flying in different directions. The room crumbled around them as the earth shook. Drayos’s head rolled across the floor. Marcus sensed the shield that encased him drop, and he rushed forward to where Aidyn stood.
“What the hell just happened? Are you alright?” Marcus asked.
“I am not exactly sure. I think I caused the lightning.”
“You?”
He looked over the prince, his pants torn and his shirt missing. Dust from the debris covered his bleeding wounds. There was something different about the prince. He seemed stronger. Marcus noticed the dark marking on Aidyn’s chest
and reached out to wipe away the gray dirt so he could get a better look.
“Sweet deity!” He jumped back.
“What?”
Aidyn looked at his chest. His jaw dropped. “I never felt it.”
Like many of the other guardians, Aidyn had been given his mark. An indication of his position and abilities. Marcus bore the Ankh, a pair of angel wings spread out over the top. The ancient symbol meant life or living. A healer, able to
repair the sick or injured with his energy. 
The naked skin over Aidyn’s left breast bore the mark chosen by the gods. The eye
of Ra, the symbol of protection and power, sat atop a pyramid encased by a blazing sun. This could only mean… Marcus.
His thoughts interrupted by the almost unrecognizable voice. Father?
Come to me, son.
Aidyn touched his shoulder. “I am fine, let us go help your father.”
Together they flashed to the position his father communicated. When Marcus arrived, his father was on his knees holding the bloody, headless body of his wife, Marcus’s mother. His sword lay beside him covered in blood. He knew what had happened. His mother’s belly heavy with child. Drayos’s demon spawn had been growing inside her, and like the other women, her soul had been darkened. There was no cure, Marcus had tried to heal Eliza, but it had proved fruitless. Like him, his father had taken the head of the woman he loved.
“Father.” He knelt next to the frail man and placed his arm around his shoulder, pulling him tight to his side. “I am so very sorry.” Tears welled in his eyes, he refused them escape. He would remain strong for the man beside him.
His father looked at him, his eyes rimmed red. “You will do the honorable thing.”
Marcus closed his eyes, again. He would have to mourn later. “Yes,” he whispered. How much more destruction could he take before he crumbled? Somewhere, he would find the strength needed to end his father’s misery and begin his own.
“Take care of your sister.” It was the last command his father would ever give him.
“I will. I love you.” He kissed the man on the cheek then stood, his sword flashed through the smoke-filled sky and sliced through his father’s neck.
Marcus dropped to his knees, the heartache so severe he nearly passed out. His lungs contracted as he screamed to the heavens. Another failure, so many broken hearts he was unable to heal. Why couldn’t he heal the broken hearts? Strong arms circled him from behind and held him tight.
“I have you, my friend,” Aidyn whispered.

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About the Author: 
As a child, Valerie would often get into trouble for peeking at her mother’s favorite TV show, Dark Shadows. She can still hear her mother saying “It will give you nightmares.”
She was right of course, but that did not stop Valerie from watching. As an adult, her love of the fanged creatures never waned. She would watch any vampire movie she could find.
Being a true romantic, Valerie was thrilled when she discovered the genre of paranormal romance. Her first read was one of Lara Adrian’s, Midnight Breed Series and from there she was hooked. Today, Valerie has decided to take her darker, sensual side and put it to paper. When she is not busy creating a world full of steamy, hot men and strong, seductive women, she juggles her time between a full-time job, hubby and her two German shepherd
dogs, in Northern IL.
Valerie is a member of Romance Writers of America and Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal Romance
Writers.
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