Monday, October 20, 2014
Naughty Nights Press (NNP): Why Historical? (Giveaway!) #RomFantasy: I’ve been asked that question a few times, and I suppose it always comes back to the same thing. I grew up watching a lot of Westerns, an...
Friday, October 17, 2014
Fire and Ice
Seasons of the Vampire I
Title: Fire and Ice
Series: Seasons of the Vampire I
Author: Maya DeLeina
Amazon - http://ow.ly/ChF7d
Barnes and Noble- http://ow.ly/ChG0r
Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/dk1_U_3klvs
Noel Tierney thought she’d have enough time before the predicted storm to make it to her holiday retreat, but the snow hit sooner than expected. Caught unprepared on a treacherous pass, poor visibility and icy conditions lead to a crash. She lay immobile in her vehicle, stranded in a ditch in the most remote leg of her journey.
A faceless hero comes to her rescue and Noel has no choice but to wait out the blizzard in her rescuer’s unique cabin nestled in the woods. Everything about Grayson James peaks her curiosity—his valor, air of mystery and most of all, undeniable attractiveness.
For three days and nights, passions are unleashed and unexpected emotions are brought to life. When the storm breaks, Grayson vanishes into thin air, but not before revealing startling news that leaves her questioning her sanity.
Fast forward years later and Noel is in the southernmost part of the United States. She’d come seeking solace after her husband’s tragic death, but what finds her in Key West is more than she ever anticipated.
In the sultry summer, her unbridled winter’s ecstasy resurrects.
And so does the Vampire.
"In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.”
Dark yet welcoming, the restaurant pulled them in with its ambiance.
The plastered walls were sponged in color blocks of a deep red and black. The ceilings were painted in a high polish black and stone black tile lined the floor. Striking kabuki masks and detailed silk kimono robes lined the walls
The women shared the restaurant with no one except the spiciness of sriracha seasonings and robust scent of the rich soy sauce that filled the air. They sat on their high top stools at the bar, enjoying the food and the reprieve from the heat.
“Air conditioning is nice, huh?” Noel asked.
“Yes, I’ll give you that. I forgot how sticky this weather can be. I think we have to get used to having bad hair and make up days.”
“I think you’re right.”
Suzanne finished sipping the last of the broth. “The soup is amazing. It’s not the kind of cuisine I had in mind for our vacation in Key West, though.”
“I had no clue this was even here. But, I needed this…helped with my hangover.”
“Absolutely. I think I can tackle a Sandhill Hooker shot or two today. After all, we are on the infamous Duval Street.”
“Okay, pickle juice that way…now you’re talking.”
She looked around the place and smiled. “It’s pretty cool in here.”
Suzanne leaned her head back. “And look at how high the ceiling is. I like all that exposed ductwork. I wonder what this place was before?”
“This used to be a club,” said the waitress as she carried in a case of liquor from the kitchen to the bar.
“This was a club?” Suzanne asked.
“Yeah. You two new to Key West?”
“First time here.”
Noel sat quietly listening to the conversation unfold between Suzanne and the waitress.
“You want a little history on this building you won’t hear about on any tour guide?” The waitress asked as she unpacked the box and carefully placed the bottles on the lighted shelves behind the bar.
“This restaurant and the entire vacant spot next door used to be one big club.” The waitress turned around and pointed towards the ceiling. “There was an entire second floor up there. The owners of the restaurant demolished it since the place is small and narrow. The height makes it feel spacious. You can sorta tell how it looked like the second floor with that small area they kept above the kitchen. The red spiral staircase you see leading up to that area…that’s original to the building.”
“Yeah, taking the second floor out does make it feel bigger. So the club must’ve been packed all the time to have two floors, huh?”
The waitress laughed and leaned against the counter. “They didn’t advertise. And you notice it’s off of Duval right?”
The women nodded.
“Not much foot traffic on this street like Duval. This was the hush-hush place. You had to get invited. Secret door knock and password would let you in—extremely private and exclusive.”
“You ever get invited?”
“Oh, God, no. I have no idea who got invited, but I wasn’t one of them. In fact, I never knew the club existed until a friend told me that the owners were going to put the building up for sale a few years ago. I was like, ‘what club?’ And the thing was, I walked past the place many times and always thought it was an abandoned building.”
“So what was the deal? Why was it private? What went on?”
“Rumors claimed it as an adult playground.”
“If the place was still in operation, somehow I know Suzanne would get an invite,” Noel chimed in.
Suzanne flashed a wicked smile.
“Possibly,” the waitress said. “Get’s your thoughts going, right? Like, what exactly happened in there? Who went there? But the one thing I was always curious about was seeing the place. They say it was like being on another planet.”
Noel awaited a break in the conversation to jump back in with her questions. But movement from out of the corner of her eye caught her attention. She snapped her head to look at the loft area and gasped.
“What?” the waitress asked in a concerning tone.
She scanned the area in confusion.
“What’s wrong?” Suzanne asked.
“I-I thought I saw something up there.”
The waitress peered into the kitchen. “Can’t be. No one else is here except Jesse and he’s at sink.”
“What’s that door up there?”
“That’s the access point to the space next door, but its sealed shut from the other side. Trust me. I’ve tried to see if I could get in to sneak a peek.”
“What is it that you think you saw?” Suzanne asked.
She shrugged her shoulders as goose bumps paraded along her skin. The same feeling stirred again—as if she were being watched. “I thought I saw someone looking down on us from that railing.”
Suzanne turned to the waitress. “We partied a bit last night.”
“That tends to happen in Key West.”
“I think we’ll take the check and I’ll get this one out for some much needed fresh air and vitamin D.”
“I’m not crazy, Suzanne,” she whispered as she reached for her purse.
“I didn’t say you were. I just think you need to get outside.”
“Sammy told you right?”
“The boat? Me freaking out that someone was watching me last night?”
“Yes. But, honey, I think you’re just thinking of Dante being in this place and visualizing him. That’s all.”
The waitress slid the check across the counter and Suzanne immediately snatched it up. “My treat. You get drinks tonight.”
Suzanne placed the cash on top of counter. “Keep the change, darling. Thanks for the 411 on this place. Very interesting.”
“No problem. You guys go have fun.”
Character: Noel Tierney Character: Grayson James
About Maya DeLeina:
Maya DeLeina is a multi-published Erotic Vampire Romance Author with Siren, Evernight and Ellora's Cave Publishing.
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, which 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’s titles includes Flesh Fantasy, Veil of Seduction, Blood of Luna, and Dark Companion, with Fire and Ice and Crimson Snow being added to her bookshelf by the end of 2014.
In mid 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 sexy vampires to life, Maya and her vampires were featured in Singer/Songwriter Jill Cohn's music video "Blessing Moon".
About me: http://about.me/maya.deleina
Barnes and Noble: http://ow.ly/BQwac
Maya’s Gypsy Groove Station: http://www.pandora.com/station/1335009332057028278
Maya’s Arabian Dream Station: http://www.pandora.com/station/846337414931101366
Thursday, October 2, 2014
**This book is currently selling on Amazon at the reduced price of $0.99 **
I’ve long been an author who doesn’t linger long in any one genre, so imagine my surprise awhile back when one of my lesser promoted and known books suddenly climbed to the #17 spot on Amazon’s best-seller list in Westerns! A week later it was still sitting at #24, and has received some incredible new reviews on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
I’ve always considered myself more an Historical writer than contemporary, though in recent years I’ve become very associated with both contemporary and paranormal genres. The thing is, when I am feeling lost about where to go next, I inevitably go back to the Old West. My first heroes were cowboys and the love affair has never died.
Winner Take All is a combination of influences for me, and Dylan Coulter is many heroes rolled into one. He has Paladin’s charm and easy grace, Chris Larabee’s intensity and deadly accuracy with a gun, and probably both men’s tempers when pushed. (For those who don’t recognize those names – Paladin is Have Gun, Will Travel, played by the late Richard Boone, and Chris Larabee is The Magnificent Seven, played by Michael Biehn.) The heroine, Maggie, is a lady with fight, brains, and independence–she’s the heroine I often wished had graced the screen with the heroes I love.
This particular novella has an odd history. It was first published back in 2005, and sold virtually nothing. Once I got the rights back, I filed it away for a number of years. In 2012, I decided it was time to bring it back for readers. It was a disaster, the company I contracted it with was the wrong publisher for it, and it languished again. I think it was on their catalogue for a couple of months, then I requested termination. Winner had lost again, and I put it back in the literary vault. XoXo Publishing asked to publish it months later, and I decided to let it go again. Another doomed release. So, earlier this year, New Dawning Book Fair, a company I love working with, put out a call for Westerns. This is one of my best books, and I am fond of it. I considered it for a time, then decided to take a chance again. This time I think the book has found a home. Less than six months out, Winner Take All has found its audience.
Probably no surprise that I’m creating a new Western, too – one with some amazing and sizzling possibilities. It’s called Parlour Photography, and I think readers will love the idea!
When Dylan Coulter rides into Sparkling Springs, he quickly discovers the woman who runs the local saloon is worth the risk of facing the hangman. Things get ugly fast when Dylan is accused of killing the only son of the richest rancher in the area. Unwilling to leave her behind, Dylan takes Maggie with him as he tries to dodge bounty hunters and a determined Pinkerton agent who just happens to be Maggie's old love...
It was well into the night before Maggie was able to herd the last of the night’s customers out of the Spur and lock the doors behind them. When she dropped the key in her pocket and turned around, she was startled beyond reason to find herself face to face with Dylan Coulter.
“Mr. Coulter, I thought you’d gone upstairs,” she said, feeling instantly foolish when he grinned at her discomfiture.
“Where am I supposed to go upstairs, ma’am?”
Her annoyance with herself went up another notch. “I’m sorry. I’d forgotten that you’ve just arrived. I’m on my way to my rooms, so I’ll show you the way.”
“You stay here?” He sounded surprised and she gave him a sidelong glance.
“Of course. It’s comfortable, and convenient.”
“Yes, ma’am.” He nodded, still smiling broadly.
He took the oil lamp from her hand and gestured for her to lead the way. A slight scowl marring her face, Maggie set her jaw and headed for the stairs, the soft pool of golden light steady at her back as heavier steps trailed hers up the plain flight, and along the shadowy corridor.
“Your room is number three, Mr. Coulter,” she told him, pointing, “at the end of the hall, on the left. I had your things sent up earlier. Your horse is stabled across the street.”
“When did you have time to do all that?” he challenged, pleased, but also curious.
She laughed. “While you were busy taking money from foolish drunks.”
“You’re quite welcome, Mr. Coulter.”
“It’s Dylan, ma’am.” He handed her the lamp and touched the brim of his hat before walking away, humming softly to himself.
Before she could think about it, Maggie stopped him by calling out quietly, “Dylan, have you had any supper?”
He turned, watched her for several indeterminate heartbeats, and then shook his head.
“Would you like to join me?” Some inner voice was already laughing at her, and Maggie ignored it. She never socialized with customers. This was not only uncharacteristic; to her mind it was absurd. Yet… “Jonas Wilkins runs the café a few doors down, and he often stays late for me,” she said by way of explanation.
The amusement in Dylan Coulter’s blue eyes was already making her regret the impulsive invitation, but she bit back the tart words that would retract her cordiality, and waited for him to walk back to stand in front of her.
“I’d be delighted to have supper with you, Miss Watson,” he assured her and offered his arm.
“Maggie,” she said. “If you wouldn’t mind waiting for just a few minutes, I’d like to tidy up before we go.” She knew full well that she looked more than a bit harried after a long shift in the bar.
“I’ll meet you downstairs in twenty minutes, ma’am,” Dylan said with a smile.
* * *
Fifteen minutes after they’d separated upstairs, Maggie was waiting in the main room of the saloon. She heard a heavy footfall on the stairs and swung around to look at him.
For the second time that night, Dylan Coulter took her breath away. He’d changed from his riding clothes into a suit of rich, dark blue. His shirt was pale blue, ruffled at the cuffs and down the front. His silk tie was black, and the jacket he was pulling on drew her attention to broad shoulders and the undeniable impression of strength and power. He hadn’t bothered with a hat, and his dark brown hair was neatly combed, the deep waves gleaming when he passed under a lamp.
As he continued his walk toward her, her eyes drifted over him. Narrow hips flowed into long legs that were muscled from many hours spent on horseback. His boots were polished black leather, and the silver spurs were more ornate than functional. A gold chain dipped gracefully from the pocket of his burgundy vest, and the watch fob was a small, exquisitely carved replica of an old-fashioned flintlock pistol. At his hip, once again, rested a polished black gun, holster and shell belt lacking ornamentation.
A tiny sliver of ice formed at the base of her spine and began a swift ascent, chilling the back of her neck in heartbeats. He knows how to use that gun, too, a tiny voice murmured inside her head. The knowledge scared her a lot more than she wanted it to, though she wasn’t sure why it should.
She actually started at the sound of his quiet, richly timbred voice. His accent, like so much else about him, was something of a mystery; it revealed lingering traces of the south, but also the precision of an education obtained abroad. There was a subtle, growling purr in the texture of his speech A sound that made her feel awkward and vaguely disoriented. She’d felt a shadow of that kind of feeling only once before, and the reminder of it unsettled her further.
“Mr. Coulter.” She tried to smile, and knew it was only a partial success when his eyebrow rose, curiosity lighting the deep azure gaze that studied her. “Dylan,” she corrected softly. “Shall we go?” It was safer than standing around looking at him. She was distinctly certain that too long in his presence would not bode well for her peace of mind.
“Ma’am.” He nodded and offered his arm. “How far is this café?”
“A few doors down,” she said, and waited while he locked the saloon and pocketed the key. She opened her mouth to question the action, then chose not to bother.
“How much money did Billy Madison lose to you?” She asked the question carefully, a deep reticence about the answer stirring something akin to dread in her heart.
“A fair bit,” Dylan replied, his tone casual. “He assures me his daddy will be happy to pay the debt.” He looked down at her, a tiny smile lifting the corners of his mouth. “Is that true, Maggie. Or is the boy really as stupid as he seems?”
She sighed and shook her head. “Unfortunately, both.”
Dylan nodded. “Is this the place we’re looking for?” They’d stopped outside a small building with several windows in the front, and a sign above the door that read Wilkins Café.
She glanced at the door, with its shutter down but a light clearly burning inside. She smiled. “Yes, this is it.”
* * *
“She’s pretty friendly with that stranger, Billy,” Gil Horner noted as they watched from the concealment of an alley across the street from the café. He wasn’t much interested in Billy Madison’s attempts to win Maggie Watson’s heart, but Billy’s father paid him well to keep the kid alive. He had the feeling this would be one night when he had to earn his pay by more forceful means than the threat of his presence. If the kid went after Coulter, Gil knew they didn’t really stand much of a chance. Coulter had an air about him that Horner had encountered before; he was dangerous, cool, and confident. All the things Billy Madison wasn’t, of course. “Why don’t you just leave it, kid?” he advised, knowing as he spoke that the boy wouldn’t be deterred.
“Maggie and me have an understandin’, Gil,” Billy objected. “I don’t aim to leave her alone to face the likes of Dylan Coulter.”
Grinding his teeth in frustration, Horner grabbed the young man by the shoulder and spun him around so he could look Billy in the eye.
“What you and Maggie Watson have is a misunderstandin’, kid,” he snarled. “She’s out of your league, Billy. Leave her alone before it gets you killed!”
He waited, and in a detached corner of his mind, he gave the kid a once over. Billy was a good-looking boy, with light brown eyes and hair as black as his Indian mother’s had been. He carried the best features of both his parents, and there wasn’t a girl within a fifty-mile radius who wouldn’t be eager to marry him. Nature being perversely absurd, the only woman he’d ever expressed an interest in was the one who didn’t want him. Maggie was twenty-five to Billy’s nineteen, and Gil had wondered a few times if that wasn’t her primary objection to the kid. Horner had made a play for her once, and like others, she'd shot him down with kind, but firm words.
“You still hankerin’ for her yourself, Gil?” Billy asked with a sneer. “That why you want me to give up?”
“I’m not a man who likes to be turned down more than once, kid,” Gil snapped. “She said no, and I’m willin’ to leave it at that. Unlike you,” he added pointedly.
“Go home, Gil,” Billy ordered. “If I need backup, I can find Boyd.”
“Billy,” Horner began with forced patience. “The Sheriff’s out of town. Boyd ain’t in a position to be doin’ you favors. He’s the deputy, let him do his job.”
Billy started to object, just as Horner knew he would. Gil’s closed fist rose straight up, clipping the boy soundly beneath the chin, snapping his teeth together and knocking him out cold in a matter of seconds. Sighing heavily, Gil caught the kid’s weight, hefted him onto one broad shoulder, and headed down the alley to the waiting horses. Billy would be madder than a caged bobcat come morning, but that was better than dead. At least in Horner’s book.
* GIVEAWAY *
To anyone who leaves a comment behind, and an email, you'll be entered to win your choice of this lovely handmade lace choker/collar or the bracelet.