Tuesday, May 14, 2013


One of the more onerous promotional opportunities for authors is creating free reads, usually short pieces of fiction designed to introduce readers to our style, or possibly present a teaser for a series. Just in case you're interested, I have two. One is with Ellora's Cave, a very short paranormal romance called  Sporting Wood. The other is a novella in the Gaslight Chronicles steampunk romance with a moderate heat level, from Carina Press.

If either of those genres appeals to you, I encourage you to try one of my free reads and see if my style is to your taste. Both of these books are available from Amazon, All Romance e-Books, and Barnes & Noble, as well as other e-tailers and the publisher's site.

Sporting Wood
erotic Paranormal Romance
from Ellora's Cave

Blurb: What happens when a werewolf and a dryad meet in the forest at night? For Cooper and Kyla, the result is smoldering hot passion beyond anything they’ve ever known. Even though there’s no real future for a botany professor and a nymph who lives in a tree, Coop keeps returning, night after night, for the steamiest sex of his life. When their fiery passion turns to love, it seems hopeless, unless a determined Kyla can find a way to keep her man.

Excerpt: (PG-13)

Coop trotted along in wolf form through the wooded grove. To a human, this area deep in the heart of the Olympic Peninsula’s temperate rain forest would seem impenetrably dark, but to his senses it was awash in the silvery light of the full moon. He’d never ventured this far into the forest before, but he knew he’d be back. There was something elementally soothing about this grove—as if it had never been touched by the hand of man. All the tension of his day slipped away, even more so than it always did when he was able to shift and run through the moonlight. Here in the forest, he wasn’t Professor Marceski, constantly worried about maintaining his grant funding or getting that next paper published, and he wasn’t even Cooper, the werewolf. He just was. 

He paused beside a particularly stunning red alder tree and lifted his leg.

“Don’t even think about it, Fido.”

That gave Cooper pause. He stood there, leg cocked, and studied the tree. Had it actually spoken to him, or was he more stressed-out than he’d realized after just finishing up his tenure approval?

“You heard me. Shoo. Go piss on somebody else.”

He yipped softly back, tipping his head from side to side.

“I know what you are. If you want to talk to me, fine, just project your thoughts, dummy. But first, go over in the bushes and relieve yourself. Don’t get any of that nasty stuff on my bark.”

The voice was decidedly feminine, if a little bit on the snarky side. Now that he thought about it, he could tell it was inside his head, not something he was hearing through his ears. Huh. Trees that could talk? While his scientific brain was processing the possibilities, he walked over to some huckleberry shrubs and took care of business. Then he went back and sat down in front of the alder tree.

What are you? Trees couldn’t talk. He was a botanist, damn it. He knew that.

A tree, you moron. You are a little slow, aren’t you?

The scruff of Coop’s neck stood up. He was considered a genius in scientific circles. He’d almost perfected a vaccine against Dutch elm disease, a breakthrough that could save thousands if not millions of trees a year. He was not a moron.

Really? Then why are you sitting on your butt, talking to a tree?

Photographs & Phantoms
A Gaslight Chronicles Novella
Available as a Free Download from Carina Press

Blurb: Brighton, 1855

As a member of the Order of the Round Table, Kendall Lake is overqualified to b
e investigating strange phenomena at a seaside photography studio. But since the photographer is related to the Order’s most powerful sorcerer, Kendall reluctantly boards a dirigible to Brighton.

Amy Deland is haunted by a shadow that appears in some of her recent portraits. In each case, the subject died within days of the sitting. Does she have her grandmother’s gift of foresight, or has she somehow caused the deaths?

As Kendall and Amy search for answers, their investigation draws them together in a most improper way. But it seems the evil presence in the studio is determined to keep them apart…

Excerpt (PG):

They wove among the tourists and barrows and tents. “Sergeant Peterson built me a steam barrow to carry my equipment and a small canopy. It even has feet rather than wheels to accommodate the steps.”

“Very thoughtful of him.” Kendall’s tone was utterly neutral. “Are you and the sergeant…an item, perhaps?”

“What? No, of course not.” While Michael Peterson was a nice enough young man, and relatively attractive despite his missing arm, he was far too…traditional for Amy’s taste. He’d hinted in that direction a time or two, but she knew he’d never tolerate a wife or even a lady friend with a profession of her own. “Whatever gave you that idea?”

“Just something in his demeanor. Whether you believe so or not, the man has a definite interest in you, Amy.”

“I’ve never given him any reason to. I’m not looking for a husband—or a lover, for that matter. Certainly not unless I find one who understands my need to work.”

“Your photography is a part of you—not just the way you make your living—is that what you mean?” He spoke as if he actually understood. “I’ve a cousin who’s a concert pianist. She feels much the same way. Her husband has learned to cope, so I imagine there are other males out there who can adapt.”

“If you happen across one, send him to Brighton,” she replied. “But I’m not going to hold my breath. I’m happy with my life the way it is.” Except—in the last few hours, she’d realized there were parts of the male-female relationship she wouldn’t mind exploring further. Kendall Lake did something funny to her insides in a way no other man ever had. He made her think of things, wish for things, that could certainly never be. He was a marquess, for heaven’s sake, and the heir to a dukedom. No good could come of imagining herself in his arms, his lips upon hers.


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