Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Christine Presents: “There's an epigram tacked to my office bulletin board, pinched from a magazine -- "Wanting to meet an author because you like his work is like wanting to meet a duck because you like pâté.” ― Margaret Atwood, Negotiating with the Dead

Well, this is an interesting quote. I'm not sure I agree with it. Meeting authors is fun and intriguing. Why would anyone want to meet a duck? Yes, I know it's an analogy but...

Highland Song
Christine Young
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 4

Buy at:

Ayr, Scotland

Lainie MacPherson let the crumpled wanted poster drop to the ground. Her stomach knotted and fear snaked down her spine. Beneath the shadows of the hooded cape she wore, Lainie searched the room for her enemies.

Every man here fit that description.

Forced into a trap of her own making, out of courage, friendless, and terrified Lainie did the only thing she could think of to bring the pig Bertram to his knees.

She would steal the temptingly displayed secret papers that were on the table in front of her. Papers she hoped showed troop movements--papers stamped with the King's seal--papers she could hand over to her brother, Hawke.

First Lainie made sure the shadows in the tavern hid her from view, shrinking into the dark interior, hiding her face with the hood of her cape. She tried not to stare at the dark-haired stranger who had absent-mindedly set his jacket and satchel on a table with the documents she sought poking out almost as if they challenged her with a secret invitation. The man’s dangerous, dark looks sent a strange sensation of heat coursing down her spine.

English soldiers like Jericho Manning and Rory Slater were more dangerous and more terrifying than any highland lass should have to deal with. To make the situation worse, she didn’t need a dark-haired stranger to make her fingers shake and her insides quake.

Lainie inhaled a deep steadying breath. Easy, she told herself. Go nice and slow. The stranger looks half-drunk and the tavern maid sitting on his lap has all his attention.

"What’s in it for me?" Rory asked Jericho, his haggard features lighting up with anticipation and snagging Lainie’s attention.

"Only what Bertram wants to give you himself." The dark stranger looked at the
English officer. The fingers on one hand tapping the oaken table top impatiently.

Rory’s toothless grin sent a shiver of fear down Lainie’s spine.

"Jericho always gives me his left-overs," Rory said. “You going to give me this one?”

Rory’s diabolical laughter sealed the darkness in her heart.

Jericho nodded then leaned forward. "I want the lass. And I’ll have her before I give her over to Bertram. She’s only a whore."

Lainie nearly gasped but stopped herself. Courage, Lainie, you’ve been in tighter spots than this. It was not her plan to give herself away to these men.

She inhaled a long, deep breath once more and reached for the satchel beneath the soldier's jacket. A few more seconds and all would be hers. A few more seconds and she would hand the papers over to a friend. Someone who would carry them to the Scottish King.

She committed no treason here.

She was Scottish to the core.

This was for the good of her country--not England. Besides she’d already been labeled a traitor by the crown of England. She had nothing to lose.

If Bertram suffered a set back, his lack of attention caused the problem.

Aaron Slade let his hands slide up and down the arms of the lass sitting on his lap while his steely gaze seemed to be riveted on Lainie MacPherson.

He knew what the young woman was up to before she’d committed herself to stealing. He had read the determination in the girl's posture when she backed into the shadow-filled corner of the tavern, pulling her dark cloak around her slender frame and letting her hood shadow her face. The combination of steady eyes and slightly trembling fingers had given her away.

He would make sure neither Jericho nor Bertram could get their sweaty hands on the girl. He’d heard stories. He believed them--every word.

Jericho didn’t even realize the girl he sought stood in the corner. Moreover, Slade didn't mean to tell Jericho. Slade had his orders. He was to find her and bring her to Edinburgh where she would be tried for high treason. The charges were lame. Now that he watched her stealing the phony papers he’d planted in the pocket of his jacket, he wasn’t quite so sure.
The rumors had it that a lot of men had wanted the lass, but none had gotten her. He’d thought all along Bertram had been one of those men. A cynical smile shifted the line of Aaron’s black mustache. There was nothing new in that particular game. Teasing and promising men something they wouldn’t give was a primal game played by every woman ever born.

But there was something very different about this woman.

An air of sadness and vulnerability emanated from her. Aaron methodically lowered his lids when he glanced from the girl who sat in his lap to the woman whose fingers were closing over the sealed documents. He couldn't help but stare at her. The woman's eyes were a clear, uncanny blue that matched the color of the sky on a bright summer day. The few strands of hair escaping her hood were so blond they were nearly white. The cloak she wore was plain, but did nothing to hide the lush fullness of her figure beneath the cloth. The vision he imagined set him to thinking about what it would be like to unfasten the cloak, strip away all the other fabric covering her and touch the luminous skin that lay beneath the tattered cloak.

Aaron was irritated at the direction his thoughts went. He was certainly experienced and old enough to keep sexual need away from his mission. He had been taught and teased by the most expert females on this earth. He’d learned more than one lesson at their hands.

Looking at Aaron, Jericho swirled the contents of his tankard.

"I don’t figure I can trust any man. Who’s to say that if you find the girl, you won’t want to keep her for yourself," he said to Aaron. "She might be worth a damn sight more than what old Bertie is paying you to bring her to him."

The devil you say," Rory retorted with a smug grin. "I have it on good authority and knowing old Bertie for years, he likes nothing better than to share soiled goods. We both know he’s the only one who can save the girl from a conviction of treason."

Jericho looked coldly at Aaron but didn’t refute Rory’s statement.

Aaron urged the tavern wench from his lap and kept his eye lids lowered slightly. He watched the girl, and if he was right, she was about to dip her hand into the pocket of another man. She had moved from her spot near his table, using the shadows in the tavern to hide herself. She brought up a fat purse and slipped it inside a different sack than the one she’d put the papers she’d stolen from his satchel.

The stories about her were intriguing enough, but it was the rumors of Lainie MacPherson’s spying that held his interest. To him any one who could spy on his country was a traitor. But Lainie MacPherson, if she was anything like her brothers, was Scottish bone deep. To Lainie, what she did here would not be treasonous because she would be loyal only to the Scottish King James. In addition, the rumor--the ones of Lainie prostituting herself for information--didn’t bother him. Women did what they had to do to survive. And if the rumors were true, he would find a way to enjoy her charms while he took her to Edinburgh for trial. To him women’s flesh was sweet and soft, but women were as fickle as newborn kittens. They were far too easily corrupted, and so many times they turned out to be less than they seemed. He never let any woman touch his heart.

Silently, Aaron measured the distance between the door and the MacPherson wench and wondered at the innocence, or was it guilt, he saw flash in her eyes for one brief moment when she met his glance. From what he’d heard, the Scottish cause was everything to the MacPhersons. This would not be the first time they pitted their clan against the English crown.

But this time it was the most foolhardy.

The smile he gave Lainie made her look away. He watched as her shoulders quivered, and she shrank back into the shadows. He felt a wave of nausea sweep through him when he thought of Lainie being at the mercy of a man like Bertie for even a single night, much less until Bertie grew bored with her and gave her to Jericho and Rory.

Silently, he told himself he would never let her fall into Bertie’s hands, because he meant to bring her straight to the authorities in charge. If she were guilty of treason, she would be prosecuted. If she were not guilty, he would see she was set free and he would personally escort her home.

For the first time, he felt justified in his mission and the exorbitant pay he would receive for handing the girl over. If anything, there was a certain justice in cheating Bertie out of his spoils. He acknowledged that once he caught Lainie, he would have not only Rory and Jericho after him, most likely the MacPherson brothers would be on his tail as well.

A man bumped into Lainie near the door. Aaron thought he would see her pick this man’s pocket too. The movement was quick. Except for the slight of hand and Aaron’s vigilance, he would have never seen the exchange of the satchel from Lainie’s hand to the man's. The document Lainie just handed over was worthless, but the stolen goods were not. They would find out soon enough he had baited her, set the trap, and she’d fallen for it. Would he have Lainie in his possession when that was accomplished? Or would Jericho?

Aaron shifted slightly, not wanting to give Jericho and Rory any indication that he meant to leave. His hand was on the hilt of his sword. Silently, he measured the catlike elegance of the girl with the determined posture and long back. It would not be much longer when Jericho and Rory discovered their own missing goods.

He rose and walked toward the door, barring her way if she meant to flee yet he was not sure he would stop her. "You sure you wouldn’t want to stay a while and keep me company, Miss…what was the name again?" Aaron asked, though he knew very well.

"’Tis naught your business," she said softly, lowering her dark sooty lashes as if she meant to flirt. "A gentleman would not ask a lady he didn’t know."

Lainie MacPherson’s voice sounded calm and controlled. Nevertheless, he knew she’d been in this position often enough, that she knew how to handle herself and no longer hesitated, knowing full well the consequences if she did. In any case, her compliance was not a part of his plan for her abduction.

Aaron’s instincts kept whispering that this woman was somehow different from women like Sarah and Anna, unfeeling women who cared nothing about anyone save themselves and the fortune and titles that could be gained from marrying into the right families. At the same time, he had no doubt Lainie MacPherson could kill a man.

"You should take heed," Aaron said softly, ignoring the other man who had now slipped quietly out the door.

"Remove your hand. sir," she told him indignantly.

Aaron shrugged, outwardly indifferent, his fingers settling once more on the hilt of his sword, ever wary of the girl and her next move.

The tavern’s hush changed into a humming of male voices as people left their drinks and focused on the pair standing so close to the door where unbeknownst to them an unspoken challenge had just been issued by both parties.

The stakes revolved around a woman named Lainie MacPherson and release from the commission he’d bought so many years ago he couldn’t remember. As for the bounty, Aaron Slade didn’t care a damn about it.

Aaron was certain he would end up the winner in this cat-and-mouse game. Besides the obvious, he wondered how the woman with trembling mouth and steady blue eyes had ended up on a wanted list issued by King Henry himself and standing in one of Scotland’s most infamous taverns. So intrigued by her he would move heaven and earth to learn her story.

"I know what you handed over to your companion," Aaron said with a bit of impatience, trying not to give away his purpose before it was necessary.

"I don’t know what you mean," she said softly with a sardonic smile gracing her intriguing mouth.

"You stole something that was mine. I mean to get it back. You need to remember that England rules this land--all of it." He inhaled deeply the soft scent of her that seemed to be hers alone. It seemed to possess all his senses.

Her shoulders stiffened as her gaze raked over him. "I’m Scottish, and loyal to James," she said, her voice wavering. "Henry doesn’t rule me or my kin."

"Slade," Jericho said, stepping forward, "what’s--"

The wolfish smile Aaron gave Jericho stopped him cold in his tracks.

"Who’s the girl?" Jericho asked pointedly. "You the sharin’ kind, Slade?"

"No one of interest," Aaron said smoothly lying to Jericho.

Aaron moved in front of Lainie, blocking the men from seeing her face and her hair. He didn’t know if they’d recognize her but something Rory had said earlier made him think Rory at least had met her. Given a choice, he would have taken her by the arm and escorted her away from these two cutthroats. Now he didn’t have a choice. He would have to let her go and hope he could catch up to her.

Lainie could melt into the forest if given a chance. She knew these lands better than most. And her companions were sure to be waiting for her a safe distance from the tavern. If her friend wasn’t waiting for her, where would she go? A sudden and unmistakable sickening feeling swept through him. Fear for this slip of a woman clouded his judgment.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Christine Presents: “Which of us has not felt that the character we are reading in the printed page is more real than the person standing beside us?” ― Cornelia Funke

The characters on my pages are damn real to me. They take over my life, invade my dreams as well as my waking hours. They even become part of my four mile run. When I jazzercise, I often build stories and think of my characters. As I told my sister once, I'm in my cave almost 24/7. I come out to excursive, eat, and sleep. What more is there to life than creating a world other people can live in. Hmm...

Title: Highland Miracle
Author: Christine Young

Genre: Romance/Fantasy/Paranormal
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 2

Buy at:

HURTLED THROUGH TIME, Sean Michael Sterling, landed in the midst of a May Day celebration he didn’t understand, assuming the role of Laird Sterling.
ILLIGITAMATE CHILD OF NOBILITY, Reagan Douglas searches for a way out of her half brother’s house.


New York City 1895

"I dinnae ken what this contraption could be. I must be aff my heid," he said reverting back to the old language his great grandfather had spoken from time to time.  Sean Michael Sterling walked around the tall red object he'd just come across in Central Park. His heart thundered with the realization this was an anomaly and for some reason...
"Is this a fire hydrant?" he murmured totally intrigued. Cautiously stepping closer, he rested a hand on the object of his fascination. The hackles on the back of his neck stood on end. The thing was smooth and touching it sent shivers up his spine. If this was a hydrant, it sure could hold a ton of water.
For some reason... his mind shifted and he thought time machine—Jules Verne—his favorite book.
He leaned in and smelled, nothing, just the scent of metal. He didn't recognize the odor. When he stepped back, he caught a hint of Daphne floating on the air. A slight breeze sifted through the meadow, filling his senses with new cut grass, wet dog, and something he couldn't quite identify.
Thoughts of pixie dust came to mind.
I am off my head.
A small dog ran around his heels, yipping and barking. "Crazy dog." Sean leaned down and rubbed the dog's ears. “You look like a bandit. Wonder where you came from? Go on, now. Where's your owner?"
The dog sat down, wagging his tale and stared at him. It seemed the animal was telling him he wasn't going anywhere.  "Now, Bandit, you need to go find your owner. I'm not one to be taking you home with me. Don't think my landlord would appreciate a dog in the building."
Strangely he was the only one in the park, or at least this corner of it. The sound of carriages could be heard in the distance. He suddenly felt isolated and completely alone. The damn thing compelled him to know more, seeming to reach out to him and beckon. An eerie keening started in the back of his mind and grew. The impulse to explore overwhelmed him. Even as he looked at the machine, his mind cautioned him to stay away, but his curiosity sprouted to an uncanny level.
A little voice in the back of his head urged him forward. Damn, but he needed to go home. His stomach growled complaining of hours without food. His eyes burned from the fire he'd just been on and his body cried out for sleep. Rubbing his sooty hair, he muttered to himself.
But thoughts of what was inside this monster contraption intrigued him more than the demands of his body.
Walking around the monstrosity, he kept his hand on the metal all the while looking for an opening.  What shocked him and what was more surprising was the fact that little Bandit found the opening for him.
Bandit sat down in front of what appeared to be a door and stared at him again. It seemed to Sean that Bandit dared him to see what was inside. Well, he'd never been a man who could resist a straight on challenge.
He inhaled a long and very deep breath. Closing his eyes he counted to ten. Even though the day was cool, sweat beaded on his forehead. He walked into fires, lifted burning timber, and he'd never really been afraid a day in his life.
This contrivance terrified him.
Nerves snapping, Sean pushed on the door. It slid sideways, revealing a dark abyss. He stepped back. Fear raced through him, caution cried out to him but he ignored all warnings.
Curiosity propelled him forward.
Bandit ran inside. "No," Sean cried out. "Dinnae....
Silence chilled him to the bone and a cold sweat broke out on his body. Birds chirped in nearby trees.
All seemed right with the world—except for this machine.
"Come here." He crouched down and called to Bandit. Bandit didn't budge. Instead the dog cocked his head to one side and seemed to be saying. You come here.
Sean wavered then stood his ground. Bandit seemed to like it in the machine.
And yet...
An extraordinary golden dust swirled around him, warming him like a golden rain.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Christine Presents: Bonded By Blood Vampire Chronicles

Please welcome Arial Burnez author of Bonded By Blood.

Arial will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card (winner's choice) to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and her Virtual Book Tour. Also, at every stop a randomly drawn commenter will be awarded a 5-Star Short Story eBook, Romance Trading Card set & signed Bonded By Blood series post card. A $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble Gift Card (winner's choice) will be awarded to a randomly drawn host between both tours.

Don't forget to comment for a chance to win.

Bonded by Blood: Vampire Chronicles
by Arial Burnz


Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Christine!! I’m thrilled to be here!
 1)   What or who inspired you to start writing?
a)    Originally, it was Anne Rice. I dedicated my first novel—MIDNIGHT CONQUEST—to her. But my primary inspiration to keep writing now is my husband. He’s shown me what true love is, that love worth dying for, the love Broderick and Davina share. I hope my books are able to give people a taste of what that really feels like.

2)   How did you come up with ideas for your books?
a)   Twenty years ago, when vampire romance was just starting out, I was tired of the woeful vampire hero who hated his existence and thought he was this evil entity that didn’t deserve love. And these wimpy, immortal heroes were always thin and blond or brunette with pale skin. I decided to write what I wanted to read—Alpha male, hot Scottish vampire with flaming red hair, wielding a sword! Yeah baby! Such a man deserved a driving passion to become immortal, so I took everything away from him that meant anything—his family. Revenge was his motivation, but through the series, Broderick will be able to gain back everything he lost…though not without much effort and at a great price.

3)   What components are necessary for the genre of this novel?
a)   Hot sexy vampires with a dark side. That about sums it up! We all love the dark side of vampires and the lure of immortality, and there is that forbidden but sexy element of feeding off others, which vampires are known and loved for. But more importantly, which should be included in any story, is the struggle of the spirit. Characters need motivation and conflict, and I do my best to throw everything at my characters—immortal or not. I think part of that conflict is their struggle with humanity in light of their dark side, and how to balance those…or how they don’t.

4)   What expertise did you bring to your writing?
a)   Psychology. I’ve made it a hobby to study human nature and what drives us all to be so dysfunctional. I think it’s helped me create realistic characters. There are some traits in my characters that people say they don’t like, but they are true to the characters’ situations and the nature of their being. For example: I’ve had several readers tell me they don’t understand why Davina fights her attraction to Broderick so much. The reality is she’s the victim of extreme domestic abuse from her husband before she meets Rick. Rick’s size alone is intimidating enough for her, AND he comes on really strong. On top of that, she has a daughter to protect and isn’t going to let just anyone—especially this Gypsy rogue—into her life to endanger the one person she loves above all others. It’s not about sexual attraction. It’s about defending her heart and her family.

5)   What would you want your readers to know about you that might not be in your bio?
a)   I’m actually descended from Romany Gypsies! That was my primary motivation for putting Broderick in with the Gypsies. It’s part of my family heritage—the tarot cards, the natural remedies, the acceptance of the supernatural.

6)   As far as your writing goes, what are your future plans?
a)    Book 2—MIDNIGHT CAPTIVE—was just release in February, which I’ll be signing at the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas (August 7-11). Book 3—MIDNIGHT HUNT—is scheduled for a July 19th release. I have three more books in this series planned as well:
i)     MIDNIGHT ECLIPSE (Book 4) with Norse shapeshifters and pirates in the 1700s.
ii)    MIDNIGHT SAVIOR (Book 5) will take place in Victorian London, featuring Jack the Ripper—1888
iii)  MIDNIGHT DELIVERER (Book 6) will be 21st Century Los Angeles and the conclusion of the overarching story of the series, but I’m leaving it open for a slew of contemporary tales to follow.
iv)  I’m also planning a few spin-offs, one of which will be a male/male from one of the characters in Midnight Eclipse.
b)   Visit my website to see the other stories I have lined up—a series of short paranormal erotic stories with twist endings (One To Die For is already out); a three-book fantasy adventure series on a planet called Evanterra; an Old West, fantasy adventure with Norse mythology and a treasure hunt in New Mexico; and a nine-book YA Steampunk fantasy series (written with my husband under the pen name C.G. Henderson), which takes place on Evanterra 3,000 years after the adult series. There’s a ton more I haven’t put up on the website, so I have plenty of stories to keep me busy for years to come!
7)   If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?
a)   Broderick MacDougal! I know…it’s a male character, but he’s just so sexy and dynamic and…RAWR! I love his heart and how fiercely he loves those around him. They’re all good traits to have.

8)   Do you belong to a critique group? If so how does this help or hinder your writing?
a)   I do belong to a writer’s group and they’re very encouraging and supportive. I also have a critique partner who is also my best friend and my editor, so that relationship is one I most definitely cannot do without. She edits my stuff and I edit hers. It also helps that we’re both editors.

9)   When did you first decide to submit your work? Please tell us what or who encouraged you to take this big step?
a)   That was over twenty years ago and I’ve never turned back. I’ve never had a problem with getting my stuff out there. I’ve always believed in my own writing and stories, though always open for learning more and improving.

10)         What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)
a)    BEST advice: Self-publish
b)   WORST advice: It’s not actually advice but LACK of advice. I WISHED someone would have told me YEARS ago to pay an editor to edit a short story or the first chapter of my book. NOTHING is more educational than having your own work professionally edited. And writers always have that Catch-22: You can’t get edited unless you’re good enough to get a contract…but you can’t get contracted until you’re writing well enough to get an offer. So anyone who is starting out writing: The BEST money you will ever spend is to pay an editor to edit a short piece and finally get the experience of understanding what you’re doing wrong. BEST experience ever because it will literally save you YEARS of learning time.

11)         Do you outline your books or just start writing?
a)   I’m a total plotter. I have to be, especially when writing a series. I love to add layers to a storyline and characters and the overarching plot of the series. There are many things I’m planting all the way back in the early books that won’t even manifest until Book 6 and beyond, so I have to plan everything out to insert those little Easter eggs along the way.

However, that doesn’t mean my characters don’t take on a life of their own. I plot my stories for a general guide, but my characters will often do things unexpected and will actually improve upon the original ideas. I love it!

12)         Do you have any hobbies and does the knowledge you've gained from these carry over into your characters or the plot of your books?
a)   I would say my love of vampire novels, of which I’ve probably read over 200 of them through the years, has given me a wide sampling of what’s been published and helps me avoid what’s already been done. My love of history has helped with the research for the historical backdrops in my books. And going to the Renaissance Faire in full garb has done wonders for understanding the wardrobe of the times in which I write.

13)         Do you have an all time favorite book?
a)   I’ve read so many wonderful books through the years, it’s so hard to choose. I would say the ones that influenced my writing the most would be The Hobbit, Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth Series, and Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles.

14)         Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your book?
a)   As mentioned above, MIDNIGHT HUNT is coming up next and I’m in the middle of writing that one, already plotted. This one takes place in the mid-1600s during the witch trials and religious Reformation sweeping across Europe. I’m excited to introduce my own lore for werewolves and why they’re enemies with vampires. That’s never really explained in a lot of vampires vs. werewolf plots. And the heroine of this story is pagan through and through, so we have real witches involved in the tale, too, but from a more nature-loving religious perspective instead of the sparks-flying, Harry Potter kind of magic.

15)         Do you have any family traditions or recipes you might like to share?
a)    Not really, but how about a curse? My great-grandmother said we had a Gypsy curse in our family and its origin is unknown. We are forbidden to give or get a watch from our spouse. If we do, the relationship always ends in divorce. Strange and I never believed it until it happened. My first husband gave me one watch. We divorced, but it was a very amicable parting and we even had the same lawyer. My second husband spit at the curse and bought me five watches during our eight-year marriage. That divorce was horrible! Dragged out, emotional and cost thousands of dollars. What a mess! I told my now-husband about the curse and he said, “I will never, ever, EVER buy you a watch. You can count on that!”

16)         What is your favorite reality show?
a)   Don’t watch reality TV. In fact, I only watch some TV shows, but on Netflix or Hulu. Looking forward to Dracula and Sleepy Hollow. I watch Vampire DiariesGrimmOnce Upon a Time and Supernatural. I’m sooo behind, though. Don’t have time! Too much writing to do!

17)         Who is your favorite actor and actress?
a)   I have quite a few of those, but I would say Gary Oldman and Michelle Pfeiffer for the same reasons: They are such versatile actors, chameleons in their field. They are not only good, but always different.

18)         Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?
a)   Not without spoilers!

19)         If you were a casting director for the film version of your book, who would play your lead roles?
a)   Oh, that’s an easy one and already done!! Chris Hemsworth IS Broderick MacDougal. Gemma Arterton is Davina. And I would cast Liam Hemsworth as Angus Campbell. (see attached pictures). As for appearance, I’ve picked out David Gandy for James and Kelly Brook for Cailin in Midnight Captive. Can’t think of actors for them right now. My Pinterest boards have pictures featuring the actors or models who match how I envision my characters, as well as the story setting and mood.

20)         Anything else you might want to add?
a)    Just to give readers an idea of what’s in store, these vampire stories do each have their own HEA, but they’re similar to urban fantasy books in that the love affair with Broderick and Davina is ongoing through the series. The characters get together at the end…but they don’t. I can’t say more than that without spoiling a few plot points.

And I would highly recommend reading the books from the beginning. The series is not like reading Sherrilyn Kenyon’s books where you can read them out of order. Bonded By Blood’s storyline progresses chronologically.

 Midnight Conquest

Masked in a Gypsy guise, Broderick MacDougal hides his vampiric identity while seeking to destroy the man who slaughtered his family. When an old Clan rival ensnares Broderick in a trap using an enticing widow, he is compelled to discover if she is bait or an accomplice, and the cinnamon-haired beauty is his next conquest.

Widow of an abusive husband, Davina Stewart-Russell clings to the only image that gave her strength during those dark times—the Gypsy rogue who stole her heart as a youth. After nine years, she is finally face-to-face with him again, but reality clashes with fantasy as she is confronted with Broderick’s passionate pursuit.

When Davina’s past returns to haunt her, Broderick is forced to reveal a dark secret worse than anything Davina thought possible. The challenge before them has fatal risks and neither of them is prepared for the sacrifices expected for the sake of eternal love.

Midnight Captive

Cailin MacDougal has lived a dangerous life being the adopted daughter of vampire Broderick "Rick" MacDougal, so she had no choice but to learn to fight in order to protect herself. However, such behavior is hardly desirable in a dutiful wife who's supposed to embroider and run a household. This aggressive side of her behavior should be easy enough to hide from her betrothed...shouldn't it?

After being away at fencing school for seven years, James Knightly has returned as a master swordsman, ready to captain his own ship and finally wed his childhood sweetheart, Cailin MacDougal. What he finds waiting for him is a dagger-toting hellion for a bride, an immortal father-in-law, and an enemy bent on extracting revenge by threatening the family James holds most dear--the MacDougals.

Broderick MacDougal is lured away from his family with the promise of-at last-learning a way to protect those he loves from his clan enemy, Angus Campbell. Broderick knows he's headed for a trap, but the bait is too tempting to resist...and he unravels the beginning of a prophecy that will lead to redemption for all vampires. The cost of such redemption, though, may be the very soul of the woman he would die for...his wife, Davina.


Midnight Conquest—Excerpt 1

Seeing the erotic images she entertained in her mind, mimicking his dream, was his undoing.

With a groan, he dashed around the table, and before she could gather her wits, he pulled her to her feet, wrapping her in his embrace and crushing her arms between them. Davina’s hands upon his chest spread warmth over his body. The wild thumping of his heart beneath her palms matched her own heart’s cadence, pounding in his ears. Davina stared up at him with parted lips, full and tempting, begging to be tasted, and his mouth descended upon hers. With a dexterity that surprised him, she dodged him.


Amusement played havoc with his features and he eased the tension of his embrace just enough to allow Davina some breathing room. His voice purred, “Stop? You are ripe and ready, lass. What say we indulge in each other in a more private atmosphere?”

Davina stepped out of his embrace and cracked her hand against his cheek.

“What in—” Broderick’s brow scrunched in confusion, and then smoothed as he tipped his head back and hearty laughter poured out of his mouth, his fists planted on his hips. Oh, I like her!

Arial Burnz has been an avid reader of both paranormal and fantasy fiction for over thirty years. With bedtime stories filled with unicorns, hobbits, dragons and elves, she had no choice but to craft her own tales, penning to life the many magical creatures roaming her mind and dreams. And with a romantic husband who's taught her the meaning of true love, she's helpless to weave romance into her tales. Now she shares them with the world. Arial Burnz lives in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with her husband (a.k.a. her romance novel hero)—who is also a descendent of Clan MacDougal—along with their dog and two cats.



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