Sunday, September 27, 2015

#ScintillatingSunday *A Ravenous Beast * #Vampire #Romance @vampauthormaya

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#ScintillatingSunday

Stop 4




EIGHT PARAGRAPHS OF PURE SCINTILLATION






Veil of Seduction

by
Maya DeLeina


"A Ravenous Beast."


She stood there stripped, almost bare. 

He insisted that she remain in her black high heels and black lace thong. A cascade of pearls maneuvered their way between her plump breasts and came to rest at various lengths along the span of her bare chest and navel. A black silk scarf rested gently over her eyes. The smooth fabric smelled of lavender and combined delicately with the spicy aromatic release of the incense suspended in the room.

She stood still, delighting in the way her senses were finely tuned, compensating for her temporary lack of sight. A gentle wind coiled around her and dissipated slowly, imparting her body with a tingling sensation.

Then she felt the heat of his scorching eyes fixate on her from every direction.

Entranced by his rhythmic gait radiating completely around her, she honed in on his heavy breathing that accentuated his cadence. She became the exposed prey methodically encircled by a ravenous beast. The thought of her weakness in his dominance stimulated  her to no end.

What is he going to do me?

Her body swayed. Her legs shuddered in their place. Every shard of concentration she had left was summoned to the balls of her feet as she fought to keep herself balanced and stable.

Suddenly, the pacing movements stopped dead in their tracks. His heavy breath released behind her like a hungry creature ready to pounce. The heat radiating from his body tingled her backside. It seemed like an eternity that he stood there motionless, without a word, calculating his attack. She directed her focus on the ethereal flavor of the instrumental piece softly playing in the room as she awaited his touch. The music became his parallel, sensual and mesmerizing. 























Blurb

A newborn vampire. A powerful leader. An inconsolable woman.

The shaping of their eternity all lies within the eyes. 

Steffan Matthews is the devastatingly handsome vampire leader of Ambrose Heights. He cultivates social order and invents concoctions that allow vampires to feel human once again. But Steffan also has a devouring obsession that brings him to his knees. 

Her name is Anya. 

Steffan sets out to claim Anya, a mortal ripe for the taking, as his mate. But the blackness in the eyes of his newborn should've served as a warning. 

Anya is off-limits according to the vampire creed. 

It will take the strength of the kinship, the purity of love, a hint of magic, and a subterranean guardian to shield Steffan against the wrath of Ryan Evans, protect him from the fate of the Nemesis, and bridge a passage to his rightful destiny. ** A Siren Erotic Romance



Buy Maya DeLeina titles at 

Amazon - http://ow.ly/CZIop
Barnes and Noble- http://ow.ly/D75Nr
iTunes- http://ow.ly/CZIc6
Are- http://ow.ly/D76go




Maya DeLeina


Maya DeLeina is a multi-published Erotic Vampire Romance Author with Siren, EvernightEllora's Cave and Mystic Lotus Publishing.

Her current series includes Ambrose Heights VampiresMy Naughty VampireVampire Architects and Seasons of the Vampire.

Born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Maya could be seen at her favorite beach, Lanikai, performing with an all-girl band where she played keyboards, guitar and provided vocals, working as editor in her high school's yearbook and volunteering her time at a humane society through UH of Manoa civic groups.

In 2006, Maya relocated to Colorado. Her crystal blue oceans, waterfalls and eighty degree year-round weather were traded for four season weather, enchanting forests and majestic mountains that led to her rekindled love for vampires.

In winter of 2010, she penned her first manuscript and by 2011, Flesh Fantasy was under contract and released by Siren Publishing. To date, Maya has published  Flesh FantasyVeil of SeductionBlood of LunaDark Companion, Fire and Ice and Crimson Snow.

In 2014, she banded with other Colorado romance authors to form the group, Mile High Muses, in which Maya serves as "The Vamp". Catch her Forbidden Fruit Friday blog and guests she hosts on Sultry Saturdays.

Not only does Maya have theatrical book trailers that bring her vampires to life, all of her vampires were featured in Singer/Songwriter Jill Cohn's music video "Blessing Moon".

Maya's books can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, All Romance eBooks, Bookstrand, Smashwords, Createspace and more.





Keep the scintillation going....



Friday, September 25, 2015

For your #TBR list VEIL OF SEDUCTION *MYSTERY * PASSION * MAYHEM * #Vampires @vampauthormaya

FORBIDDEN FRUIT FRIDAY


Veil of Seduction



Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we set out to deceive.


Human beings can be rather capricious and some can even be downright selfish and only think of themselves and not bother to consider what might happen to others as a result of certain actions or events.


In Veil of Seduction, it only took two rather selfish human beings to set a chain of events into motion, which might otherwise never have happened.


This is the tale where the vampires are not the monsters.






Excerpt
Anya stood from the futon and reached for the chenille throw. “And you know, it’s been almost a year now, and still you shy away from talking about anything related to Dominic. Why can’t you open up to me?”


“No, Anya, there are a lot of reasons why I will not talk about him. It’s exactly as you said, I don’t discuss Dominic, and you don’t discuss your crazy need to donate absurd amounts of cash.”


“All right, I won’t push it.” Anya folded the throw. “Are you gonna stop by the house tonight?”


“Nope, I have a date tonight. We’re going out for some fondue,” Michelle said enthusiastically. “By the way, talk to any of your neighbors yet?”


“What can I say? They keep to themselves. It seems I have a connection with the workers rather than the residents there. They’re the only ones who talk to me. Actually, they’re the only ones I see around. Oh, but I did get some information on the owner of the castle.”


“Really?”


“Yes. I was talking to the caretaker, Vaughn. He’s a very nice man, a real father-figure quality to him. Anyway, the owner is a male, single and...our age.”


“And gay.” Michelle shook her head.


“No, I don’t think so. I get the strange sense that Vaughn was trying to set us up or something. He kept going on and on about him and was so intent in watching my reaction.”


“He’s ugly then.” Michelle shrugged.


“Michelle!” Anya picked up her purse and walked over to the floor- length mirror that stood in the corner of the office. The sight of the mirror evoked a flashback from her dream and made her blush.


“No. A freak. Anya, it’s a damn castle that looks like he transported it from Romania or something and plopped it atop the mountain here in Colorado. I mean, why didn’t he just finish off and put in a moat and drawbridge in, too—call himself Vlad?”


“You’re so shallow! Besides, I don’t think Vlad’s castle had a moat. I believe Castle Poenari actually sat Cliffside. Now, the Snagov Monastery, where his tomb is kept, I think that has a moat.” Anya smoothed out her clothes in the mirror. She beamed on the inside knowing that her knowledge of useless vampire pop culture details would infuriate Michelle.


On the outside, she kept the straightest face she could possibly muster.


“Castle what? Whatever! Look, the guy is what, in his thirties, loaded, and still single? Not very likely. I’m telling you, he’s probably gay or seriously beaten with an ugly stick.” Michelle got up from the futon and headed in Anya’s direction to plead her case.


Powdering her nose in the mirror, Anya responded, “Or, maybe he’s just a good-hearted man who hasn’t met the right woman yet.” She closed the compact and reached for her lipstick. “Believe me, you can’t just give your heart to someone. You never know how true they are.”







Blurb


A newborn vampire. A powerful leader. An inconsolable woman.

The shaping of their eternity all lies within the eyes. 

Steffan Matthews is the devastatingly handsome vampire leader of Ambrose Heights. He cultivates social order and invents concoctions that allow vampires to feel human once again. But Steffan also has a devouring obsession that brings him to his knees. 

Her name is Anya. 

Steffan sets out to claim Anya, a mortal ripe for the taking, as his mate. But the blackness in the eyes of his newborn should've served as a warning. 

Anya is off-limits according to the vampire creed. 

It will take the strength of the kinship, the purity of love, a hint of magic, and a subterranean guardian to shield Steffan against the wrath of Ryan Evans, protect him from the fate of the Nemesis, and bridge a passage to his rightful destiny. ** A Siren Erotic Romance



Buy Maya DeLeina titles at 

Amazon - http://ow.ly/CZIop
Barnes and Noble- http://ow.ly/D75Nr
iTunes- http://ow.ly/CZIc6
Are- http://ow.ly/D76go


Maya DeLeina


Maya DeLeina is a multi-published Erotic Vampire Romance Author with Siren, Evernight, Ellora's Cave and Mystic Lotus Publishing.

Her current series includes Ambrose Heights Vampires, My Naughty Vampire, Vampire Architects and Seasons of the Vampire.

Born and raised on the Hawaiian island of Oahu, Maya could be seen at her favorite beach, Lanikai, performing with an all-girl band where she played keyboards, guitar and provided vocals, working as editor in her high school's yearbook and volunteering her time at a humane society through UH of Manoa civic groups.

In 2006, Maya relocated to Colorado. Her crystal blue oceans, waterfalls and eighty degree year-round weather were traded for four season weather, enchanting forests and majestic mountains that led to her rekindled love for vampires.

In winter of 2010, she penned her first manuscript and by 2011, Flesh Fantasy was under contract and released by Siren Publishing. To date, Maya has published Flesh Fantasy, Veil of Seduction, Blood of Luna, Dark Companion, Fire and Ice and Crimson Snow.

In 2014, she banded with other Colorado romance authors to form the group, Mile High Muses, in which Maya serves as "The Vamp". Catch her Forbidden Fruit Friday blog and guests she hosts on Sultry Saturdays.

Not only does Maya have theatrical book trailers that bring her vampires to life, all of her vampires were featured in Singer/Songwriter Jill Cohn's music video "Blessing Moon".

Maya's books can be found at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, All Romance eBooks, Bookstrand, Smashwords, Createspace and more.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Life Cut Short and Love That Remains #PNR #AmReading

Murdered, Shane's life ended abruptly and he can't let go of the love he had...
Sierra had never thought she'd lose her fiancé or become entangled in a love triangle with a ghost...
Alex wants her to remember that she's still alive and can have an extraordinary life if she'd only release the past...
Reviewers calling it "a decadent, emotional, and intensely romantic read" 
Featuring the paranormal erotic romance novella, Blurred Lines, on Molten Monday
An excerpt of Blurred Lines...

Sufficiently warm and dry, Alexander looked through his bag for a pair of pajama pants and a t-shirt. He couldn't shake the idea that something was really off about Sierra. Maybe they weren't friends, but working together so closely over the past year had familiarized him with her moods. In the past hour while he thawed out, he thought about the real reason he'd followed her from the studio after her tantrum.  Although he didn't quite know how to define it, he cared about her even if she did know how to push all of his buttons—or maybe because of it.

He needed to tell her about knowing Shane.
Hungry, he decided to help himself to whatever she had in the kitchen. His flight from Los Angeles had been rocky and the drive on the road from hell had sapped his energy.
Annoyed at the anxiety rustling beneath his skin, he slammed open a few cabinets before finding a box of pancake mix. Nothing made sense anymore. Not the loss of his best friend in Nicaragua, his sudden career change, the fact that his family thought he needed serious therapy, or that he felt guilty as hell for not telling her that he'd known her murdered fiancé. Fuck it all.
"You make a lot of noise," she said as she crept up behind him on bare feet. "What are you doing?"
"Making pancakes." He motioned to the skillet in front of him.
"It's midnight."
"So it is. That's early for us, isn't it? We've pulled a lot of all-nighters together, what's one more?" He poured milk into the bowl in front of him. "I thought you'd gone to sleep."
"Couldn't sleep, too much thinking."
"I can relate to that." He grinned over his shoulder, hoping to relax her again and maybe coax out another smile.
She'd changed into pajama pants and a t-shirt, too, in the hour she'd been locked behind closed doors. They almost looked like a pair. He tried to ignore how her breasts looked beneath the thin material. Damn it, did she abandon bras when out of the office? Crazy or not, she looked like sex personified.
His dick twitched to life. He shifted his hips to hide the sudden tenting of his pants.
Just stir the damn mix and ignore her. She's harder to handle than a box of angry rattlesnakes. Stay focused on work. Only. Work.  
"I might quit the show."
Her admission stilled his hands. "What do you mean?"
"Quit. You know...leave. End it all."
Alex dropped the wooden spoon and faced her. "What in the hell are you talking about? You want to quit a hit series that you helped create? Why would you do that?"
"I can't write anymore, not like I used to. I don't give a damn. It's useless." She folded her arms across her chest, which only drew his focus squarely on the nipples poking against the material.
"What is wrong with you? Is this all because of your grief about your ex? He died, not you. Are you going to let one shitty thing in your life define you? Is that it?"
Her lower lip trembled, but her eyes spit fire at him. "Who the hell do you think you are anyway? You come up here uninvited, spew out your opinions on my life, make goddamn pancakes in my kitchen, and I'm supposed to accept it all? Why? We work together; we're not friends."
He squinted at her, sick of this never-ending day. He'd spent good money on a last minute airline ticket to Lake Tahoe, had trekked through blinding snow, and wasn't in the mood to have a heart-to-heart. He wanted to eat and sleep. That's it.
"We're not friends, huh? I've spent more time with you than anyone else this past year," he said.
"That's pitiful. You probably shouldn't tell people that story." She motioned toward his t-shirt. "What happened to you anyway? To your chest? What tore you up like that?"
"That's a story I only tell my friends. What do you care?" He turned away from her, hating that she'd seen the result of his torture.
She paced behind him, her restless energy eating up the small space. "I don't like you being here."
"You've made that clear." He poured some batter into the skillet and pretended not to care that she'd acted horrified at the sight of his naked chest.
"Why is it so important to you that I stay on as head writer? You'd be in line to take it over. That's what you've wanted, isn't it? I went a little nuts today. I'm surprised Charlie hasn't had my credentials revoked at the studio."
"Yeah, there's no denying you overreacted." His lips twitched at the memory of her meltdown. She had merely said—yelled—what the rest of them had been thinking.
"I don't understand why you care so much about what I do or what's going on with me." She kept up with her pacing. "I hate that you pulled some strings or whatever it is you did to find out where I went. If you're such a clever federal agent—"
"Former agent," he corrected out of habit.
"Then what do you care about some screenwriter with a bad attitude? I'm no one's favorite person anymore."
He spread his arms wide and motioned toward their surroundings. "Can we make the best of this instead of overanalyzing? As for not being anyone's favorite person anymore, that's not true. I don't want you to quit. You can't."
She slammed her fist against the counter next to his hip and glared at him. "You need me more than I need you, that's why you really followed me up here. If I quit the show, I'll be fine. Is that what this is really about? You're afraid they'll revamp the entire writing team because of me, right? The show is all you have, all you know because you quit the Drug Enforcement Agency for reasons you like to keep secret. What happened? Did you get fired? Did the heat get to be too much for you so you left before you got hurt?"
"Wow, you really are a bitch."
"Yes, I am."
"Or maybe that's what you want people to think so they leave you alone to wallow in your misery."
"What do you know about it?"
Damn it, she pissed him off like no other human on the planet.
"I'll show you what I know about it." He grabbed the bottom of his shirt and yanked it up to mid-chest to show her the scars and burns zigzagging across his chest and abdomen. "I was tortured in Nicaragua, left to die in the jungle while my partner and best friend bled out next to me. I guess you could say that all made me reevaluate how I wanted to live the rest of my life. People have accused me of wallowing, too, but they can all go fuck themselves because they have no idea what I'm thinking."
He yanked his shirt back down, immediately hating his confession. A good-looking man, he had used his charm to get him places during his undercover work. He'd used his appearance as an asset and it had always gotten the job done. What vanity remained made him hide his bare chest from anyone and everyone. Hell, he even wore a t-shirt or a rash guard at the beach these days. He never spoke about that with anyone and had no idea why he'd needed her to know he hadn't slinked off like some coward.
She took a step back, anger transitioning to regret. "I'm sorry. I'm...I didn't mean it."
"You push all my damn buttons and I don't know why, but I sure as hell know you can't give up." He grabbed her forearm when she tried to retreat and made her look at him. Maybe this wasn't the best way to tell her, but he'd never been one to pass up an opportunity. "The same people who killed Shane tried to kill me on the same day. We were working together...Shane and me."
"What?" Eyes wide, she met his gaze.
"Yeah, I knew your ex, but I didn't know he was your ex until after we were working together. I had been consulting—"
"What is this? Why are you saying this to me?" She yanked her hand free and backed up until she hit the wall.

"I worked with him on that case. I was his expert witness, but I swear to God I didn't know your connection to him until after I started with the show." He followed, unwilling to stop now. He'd come here to hash out their differences and save their careers. Maybe it was time she heard the hard truth.
"You're cruel. Stop this."
"Maybe I am a coward because I quit the agency, but I'd always wanted to write. The opportunity fell into my lap, that's true. I didn't work my ass off for it like you did. I didn't want to die in a jungle face down in the mud with nothing to show for it besides my mother receiving condolences at my funeral. Fuck that." He had her pinned against the wall, noticed the fire in her eyes and the balled fists at her sides, but he couldn't stop now.
"You knew Shane, worked with me all of this time, and said nothing. Why?"
"Because you're like a borderline insane person. Don't you notice how people walk around you like they're on eggshells? You snap at everyone, retreat into silence in your office when you're not on a rampage, and then...you look so damn sad all of the time." He stepped back, hating himself for pushing her and not knowing the right thing to do.
She frowned, but didn't make a move to leave. "Do I really?"
"Do you really what? Go on rampages, scare people, or look sad all of the time?" He grinned at her question, knowing full well what grief felt like.
"All of the above, I guess," she whispered before looking away from his face.
"Yeah, you do. I've heard stories about you, though. I hear you used to be a really fun person to know, although I see no evidence to support that."
"He died...not me," she repeated with a twist of her lips while staring down at her feet. "Do you know how many times I've heard that? Everyone says that to me. He died, not you. Repeat. No one gets it. I don't want to live like this, trapped in numbness."
He sighed, realizing that maybe he'd gone too far. Maybe he'd wanted to shock her, he didn't know. Too late now. He'd not only crossed a line, he'd bulldozed over it.  
"I know grief sucks, Sierra. I know it's been rough for you."
"I'm not a borderline insane person." When her bottom lip trembled, he felt like the biggest ass on planet earth.
"Yeah, right. I'm sure every person currently in a mental institution says the same thing." He couldn't look away from her face. Ever since he'd met her, he'd thought her beauty eluded any stereotype.
Her lips twisted into a crooked grin that pulled at his heartstrings. "You didn't happen to bring a straightjacket with you, did you?"
The idea of restraining her turned him on in ways he had denied himself for far too long. "You are a walking contradiction, has anyone told you that before? One minute I want to throttle you and the next," he shook his head and turned away from her, "it's a shame, that's all."
She grabbed his wrist and closed the space between them in one stride. "I want to feel again, I do."
He looked down at her, torn between lust and fear. He wanted to fuck her. Hard. Make her feel him inside of her for days. Relieve his frustration at the same time. Expend all of this manic energy.
Without saying another word, she stood on her tiptoes and mashed her mouth against his. The soft breasts he'd been fantasizing about pressed into his chest and he ached to touch them.
"You don't know what you're doing," he said because he knew he needed to warn her. His self-control bordered on paper-thin and he'd been jacking off to fantasies of her for months.  
"You're real," she said against his lips. "I need a good dose of reality. Isn't that why you came here? To wake me up?"
"Wake you up, yes; not fuck you blind."
"But that's what you want to do, isn't it? It wouldn't be the first time we crossed that line."
"Sierra..."
"Alex...We both want the same thing. It's just sex, who cares? Fuck me." She flicked her tongue over his lips.
"You've lost your mind."
"Probably."
"You'll hate me afterward, just like last time."
"I hate you now so you have nothing to lose."
One look into those blue eyes of hers and he knew he'd do whatever she asked. Lunatic or not, her body had been made for a man's hands.
Hands beneath her ass, he lifted her to the counter and ground his mouth against hers in a kiss meant to punish as well as satisfy his lust. He tugged at the hem of her pajama pants, anxious to prove her wrong about everything, especially him.
Her hand slid over his hard cock while her feet slid up the back of his thighs. Desperation transmitted through her kiss, but he didn't care. Maybe they were both desperate to connect with another human.  Their one night stand six months ago had kept him tossing and turning every night since wanting to ask her about it or thinking about going on a date with someone else; but he'd remained behind closed doors masturbating to fantasies of the exact woman who now held his dick in her palm.
Without hesitation, he yanked the t-shirt over her head and feasted his eyes on her naked breasts. He cupped each one before bending to kiss her neck. She tasted like vanilla and wine. He liked the combination.
Her toes looped into the back of his pants and edged them down past his bare ass.  Her hand increased its rhythm over his erection with an urgency that matched his own.
"Fuck me, Alex," she muttered against the top of his head.
He rolled his tongue over her hard nipple, skimmed his teeth across it, until she squirmed with need beneath him. One hand remained on the other breast while he sucked at her flesh. His other hand pulled at her pants as she wiggled her hips until they fell free.
Without pulling his mouth from her breast, he slipped two fingers inside her wetness. "Damn, you're so hot."
"I need you inside me." She yanked at his hair and brought his face up to hers. "Fuck me now like you've never fucked anyone else."
Oh, he'd fuck her hard. If that's what she needed, that's what he'd give her. He thrust inside her, pushing deep into her wet tightness until he felt the tip of his penis up against her cervix.
He shoved his tongue into her mouth as he rammed his cock into her cunt, going as deep as he could go, filling her to capacity.
Her nails sank into his shoulders, holding on tight. The heels of her feet dug into his ass, holding him tight.
Her tongue slid against his. Their mouths devoured one another as if they'd been long starved for the taste of another human being.
He broke the kiss long enough to look down at the weight of her breasts jiggling up and down as they rocked against each other.
"Deeper," she said, hands squeezing his ass.
Surrendering to the sensation of her pussy clenching around his girth, he plunged harder and deeper until he felt he would surely break her in two.
Her abrupt laugh shouted through the room as her entire body shuddered with ecstasy. He came then, holding her as close as two people could ever be, and buried his face into her neck.
He rested there for a minute, listening to his own heartbeat drown out all other senses.
"You're definitely real, better than a wine bottle or any dildo I've ever had," she said against the side of his face, her hands stroking his hair. "Damn, I'm not sure I can walk after that."
"You say such strange yet fascinating things." He grinned against her shoulder before lifting his head to look into her eyes. He pushed his hands into her hair and held her still. All of his life had consisted of one-night stands or temporary relationships. Undercover DEA agents didn't have a good track record with long-term personal commitments and the Los Angeles crowd didn't handle scars well so he'd been focused on work—and her—for too long. Not that this would be more than what it was—a hard fuck to prove he was 'real', whatever that meant.
Face flushed with sexual satisfaction and eyes alive with curiosity, she slid her feet down the back of his thighs and smiled. "That was unexpected."
"We both needed a good release." He caressed her cheekbones with his thumbs. "I think I'll get back to making those pancakes. I'm starving."

She blinked a minute before laughing again. He hadn't seen her laugh like this until now. Genuine, unguarded amusement transformed her face from beautiful to stunning.
He took another long look at her bare breasts, stroked his fingers over them, and slipped himself from her. He liked that she let him look at her without bothering to rush to get dressed. He slid his hands from her breasts over her flat abdomen before moving them along her thighs.
"You're so beautiful."
She grabbed a fistful of his shirt and held him when he would have stepped away. Amusement slipped from her eyes and he wished he could bring it back. For about thirty seconds, he'd glimpsed the woman she must have been before tragedy had dimmed her light.
"I'm not crazy. I'm not," she said.
"Jury's still out on that."
A one time fuck wouldn't be enough, he knew that with a certainty that reignited his desire. Now that he'd had a taste of her, he needed more and that could be dangerous for both of them. He doubted either would be considered 'stable' by the masses and to label their volatile relationship as complicated would be an understatement.
Smoke wafted from the skillet where one pancake had burnt to a crisp. Sighing, he tossed onto a plate before focusing on the batter.
His heartbeat slammed against his ribcage and his body hummed from the orgasm. Every move he made felt like dragging limbs through water, heavy and warm.
She moved from the counter and dressed in silence while he washed his hands.
"I'm sorry about what I said," he muttered before picking up the wooden spoon to resume his pancake making.
"About what? Me being a crazy bitch or about Shane being dead and not me?" She reached around him for a glass from the cabinet, careful not to touch him, but he noticed the shaking of her hands.
He closed his eyes and sighed. "Sierra..."
"It's okay. Really. I get it. I know what people say, nothing you told me was a surprise." She washed her hands before reaching into the freezer for ice. Her long hair fell back around her shoulders. Once again, he realized she'd put her shirt on inside out.
"It would help your image if you knew how to dress yourself." He poured more pancake batter onto the skillet and tried to ignore the primal urge to toss her over his shoulder and carry her to the bedroom.
Yep. Once would definitely not be enough.
A crash from the living room startled them both. The framed picture from above the fireplace lay on the floor, the glass shattered.
She moved around him, squatted above the mess, and shoved her hands through her hair. "Oh, my God. What have I done?"
"How did it fall?" He looked beneath the counter for a trashcan.
"I'm haunted," she whispered without looking away from the mess. "I see him everywhere. He was here earlier, with me. I could touch him, hear him," she looked over her shoulder, eyes shrouded with pain, "I'm not crazy, I'm not. Shane haunts me."
He froze and met her gaze. She believed what she said, every word of it. He could see the truth in her eyes. Swallowing the words he wanted to say, he exhaled a slow breath.
Nerves still amped up from sex, he rubbed the center of his chest with a closed fist. In front of him sat the most beautiful, passionate, talented woman he'd ever known, but he feared that no one would ever break whatever bond she shared with her deceased fiancé, that she had trapped herself in despair.
If that turned out to be true, that would be the tragedy.



She picked up shards of glass delicately with her fingertips and tried to ignore the silent man behind her making pancakes. Dread and anger cooled the satisfaction she'd had after spontaneous sex.
If Shane is here, then he saw me having sex with Alex.
Why would he be here?
What if I have lost my mind? What if everyone is right?
Damn it, he's dead and I'm alive. Why should I feel guilty for living?
I feel guilty for living, for being attracted to someone else, for not believing, for so many things.
All the thoughts tumbled through her mind like somersaults over a spongy mat, rolling and bumping in every direction.  
"I don't not believe in ghosts," Alex said after she had cleaned up the mess and stood on trembling legs. "I've seen too much in my life to rule them out."
"You don't need to patronize me." She met his gaze and, for the first time, saw him as a sexy man standing in his pajamas rather than her archenemy from the studio. She could still feel him inside her, knew she would for days. The memory of his cock stimulated both desire and regret.
Him standing there with his shaggy black hair falling past his ears and sticking out at intervals from where her hands had been, wearing frog covered pajama pants, and a t-shirt that declared DEA across the front, created an endearing image that threw her off her game.
Since when was she someone who had game?
Sighing, she walked past him toward the garbage. She'd practically begged the man to screw her brains out, had confessed about seeing the ghost of her deceased fiancé, and now he made her pancakes. This night couldn't get any stranger.
"How do you manage to pull off sexy in those frog pants?" She grinned despite herself when she met his gaze, determined to ignore any topic involving the supernatural.
Why did I mention being haunted?
"Senor Frogs, Cancun." He looked down at his pajamas as if they were his most prized possession.
"I've been there." She folded her arms across her chest. "My friend Jane and I sang 'Girls Just Want to Have Fun' to karaoke. We managed to silence the place. It was pretty bad. Too many jello shots and borderline heat stroke, I guess." She looked away from his steady gaze.
"I bet it wasn't so bad." He plopped two pancakes onto a plate, poured some syrup on them, and slid it toward her without looking at her face. "You're a master at changing the subject. You should have been a lawyer."
Her grin faded as she picked up the plate and walked into the living room.
At thirty-two, she'd expected her life to be a helluva lot different than this. Ghosts. Career in jeopardy. Screwing her writing partner. With a sigh, she cut up a pancake and shoved it into her mouth. The rush of flavor sent her back toward ecstasy.
"What did you add to the mix? These are amazing."
He sat on the sofa with her, his plate propped on his knees. "I found some cinnamon and vanilla in the cabinet."
She savored another bite and propped her back against the arm of the sofa so she could study his profile. How many nights had they worked until dawn? They'd spent more time together in the past year than they'd spent with anyone else, yet she had no idea who he was outside of work.
He mirrored her action, their bare feet touching in the center of the sofa while they ate their pancakes with the fire crackling next to them.
"Should I be worried about the ghost?" he asked with an arch of his brow. "I mean, is he the jealous type?"
Embarrassed by her confession, she shrugged. "I'm probably imagining things."
He set his plate on the floor before looking her in the eye. "You can trust me, Sierra. I want to know what's happening so I can help. I'm not judging you...well, I did. Initially."
Warm tears burned her eyes, sudden and unwanted. She fought to hold them back. It was all too much. She scrubbed at her eyes with a closed fist and shook her head. "What do you do outside of work?"
The question obviously surprised him based on his expression. He tilted his head back and blinked at the ceiling before answering, "I sleep. I work. That's it."
"That can't be all that you do." She reached for the blanket she'd wrapped him in when he'd arrived at her door shaken and nearly frozen to death. "I'm sorry I didn't react better when you showed up earlier."
He looked at the blanket in her hands, his crooked grin doing strange things to her heart. "We have a complicated relationship, sort of a love hate thing. I get it."
"Love hate?"
"I admire you and your work. I watched your documentary on illegal immigrants. Not only was it brilliant, it captured the human element so clearly I felt heartbroken at the end." He pulled his knees to his chest and stared at her. "I think you're sexy as hell and all those late nights writing together sparked a lot of 'me' time, if you know what I mean. But you're a ballbuster, a hard person to know. Aloof. Scary."
"I'm not scary." She paid extraordinary attention to smoothing out the lines on the blanket.
"That cup you threw could have killed Charlie."
"He deserved it, the moron. Do you know how much money I've made him? I'm sick of the writer being the one who gets screwed. Where would any of them be without us? Huh? Unemployed, that's where. I wish I would have hit him squarely between the eyes." His burst of laughter made her smile. With a sigh, she met his gaze and shrugged. "Okay, so maybe I'm a little scary."
"And you hate me." His smile faded as he stared at her.
"Alex, I—"
"I'm not your enemy. We're partners. If you leave the show, I go with you." He swallowed visibly and conflict shadowed his dark eyes. "And if you say there's a ghost haunting you, I believe you."
She frowned. He didn't make sense. Not just his words, but his entire way of being in the world confused her. "Why? I'm horrible to you."
"Not really." He grinned, his gaze sliding over her face like a caress. "You bring me coffee every morning, although sometimes I don't think you realize it. The first time you did, I couldn't hide my shock that you actually remembered how I liked it. You stand up for me with Charlie, even though I can fight my own battles. You always refer to us as a team in public, but everyone knows it's your show. You gave me one helluva rocking orgasm less than forty minutes ago. Not so horrible."
She blushed at the memory of the way she'd grabbed his dick and urged him to go deep. "Yeah, about that, we didn't use a condom, which was pretty reckless of us." She met his gaze again. "I'm on birth control but...I don't suppose you have any with you? For next time?"
"Next time?"
"I'm a realist."
"Who believes in ghosts."
She sighed and rubbed her hands over her eyes. Exhaustion drummed in her head, making it hard to concentrate. Between the long day at the studio, traveling to Tahoe, having sex with both a ghost and a man, drinking too much wine, and eating pancakes, she'd maxed out her stamina for one day.
"I need to sleep." She pushed away from the sofa and walked toward the bedroom. As an afterthought, she turned toward him. "You don't need to sleep on the sofa. You can stay with me if you'd like."
He stared at her without saying anything. Perhaps she'd gone too far, said too much. Sex was one thing, sleeping together was quite another. That implied intimacy, shared breaths and embraces.
She walked into the bathroom to brush her teeth. When she looked into the mirror, she saw Shane's reflection standing behind her. When she turned, no one.

"Why are you doing this to me?" she asked the empty space.
"I love you so much, Sierra." A whisper. Faint. Barely noticeable.
Every inch of her pulsated with restrained emotion. She gripped the edge of the sink with both hands and cried because she felt torn between wanting the confusion to stop and needing it to be real to save her sanity. Some days it took all of her strength simply to fake normalcy.
She'd cheated with another man. Right or wrong, that's what it felt like. She had had sex with Alex and loved it, wanted to do it again. But if Shane still existed, wasn't it wrong? Confusion rocked her world.
She held onto the sink as if were the only thing keeping her upright. Sobs began deep in her gut before ripping through her body with deep convulsions. Silent screams caught in her throat. Tears she'd been battling to hold back for too long streamed from her eyes. Unchecked.
She'd come here wanting to quit her job and her life, to hide away, to give up. All of these months spent working and fighting and pretending to have it all together had taken a toll. She couldn't do it anymore. She had come here to break down.
A ghost? How many times in the last months had she prayed Shane would walk in the door and tell her it had all been a mistake? Why hadn't he come to her then? Why now?
Every inch of her vibrated with unrestrained agony. For an hour, she'd felt normal again, with Alex of all people, and it had felt damn good. But now guilt ate her up like an infection devouring her from the inside out. Each sob abused her body and twisted her gut into knots. She couldn't stop. She'd held the grief at bay for too long and now it had busted loose.
"It's okay." Alex wrapped his arms around her from behind and whispered against her hair, "I'm here. You need to trust someone, let it be me. It's going to be all right. I'm not leaving. I'm here."
She turned within the circle of his arms; eyes closed for fear of seeing Shane's face again, and gripped Alex's shoulders as if he were a lifeline.
She cried, unable to hide her pain any longer. Tears of both confusion and sorrow fell. She clung to the one man she'd never anticipated trusting or needing while he whispered against her hair, "I'm here, it's going to be okay."
"Sometimes I feel like I'll never be normal again," she confided against his shoulder once the sobs had subsided and her voice returned.
"It's all going to be exactly as it needs to be."
But that's what she worried about...that she'd go so far away from what she'd ever known herself to be that she'd be lost forever. She'd been fighting to hold on to who she'd been with Shane and who'd she'd been before him. The two images didn't mesh and the battle seemed pointless.
What if surrendering—accepting—meant that she'd be like this, an angry woman who couldn't break free of the sadness? Every fiber of her being begged her to stop fighting; she didn't know if she had the strength for surrender.



From the back cover....

Only the good die young. When Shane Weston is murdered before prosecuting a key member of the Mexican drug cartel, he can't accept the idea that all of the plans he had had for his life will never come true. More than that, he can't let go of the love he has for his fiancée.

Love never dies. Sierra Daniels is crushed after Shane's death. Head writer on a successful television series, she can't get back into the groove of life. All enthusiasm for work is gone. Ready to quit everything, she travels to her cabin in Lake Tahoe in hopes of escaping everyone's expectations and disappearing for a while.

The lines between right and wrong often blur. Alexander Blaine has risked his future on a career change from DEA agent to lead consultant and writer on hit television series. Sierra's grief has shadowed everyone around her, including him, and jeopardizes both of their careers. Unwilling to accept defeat, he follows her to Lake Tahoe determined to break through the barrier enveloping her and make her see that life is still worth living.

             Letting go is like a death. Sierra never thought she would be caught in a love triangle between her writing partner, Alex, and the love of her life, Shane—especially because her ex-fiancé is now a ghost. Tormented with both guilt for moving on with someone else and a desire to be free of the past, she's into the gray area of right, wrong, life, death, ghosts, dreams—the part of life where all the lines are blurred.