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Bullets peppered the big screen of the Teatro de la Noche. Screams rang out around me, and I dropped to the floor, pulling my cousin Chandra down with me. Tension ached in my shoulders, and my heart pounded in my chest like a trapped animal, desperate to escape.
Gunpowder stung my sensitive nose, but through the overpowering scent, I caught a whiff of a hunter heading our way. “Chandra, we have to move.”
If Chandra and I didn’t get out of here we’d end up dead—or worse, test subjects for the Cazador—human hunters ordered to scour the land of nocturnes by the plutocratic government.
“How? They’re all around us.” Chandra peeked over the seats before dropping back down beside me. “A few of them are chasing down those who ran from the first assault, but two more are heading straight for us.” She ran a manicured hand through her honey-brown hair, which was only a shade darker than my own. “Come on. I have a plan. Let’s try to sneak out the side door.” She crawled in the opposite direction, down the row of seats.
The sight of my cousin’s butt cheeks hanging out of her short skirt filled my vision; some things were better left unseen. I lowered my gaze, particularly since Chandra had forgone panties. She almost always held herself with an air of power and purpose. Perhaps that’s what it took to get attention from other werewolves. Chandra got it in heaps, but her lower social status stopped a lot of relationships.
While it was a horrible time to second-guess my modest fashion sense, I couldn’t help wonder if I should take a lesson from my cousin. My own blouse and dark blue jeans had much less pizzazz. But I doubted my father would allow me to dress like Chandra; we had a privileged image to uphold.
I bit my lip, struggling to turn my thoughts back to the problem at hand. This was all too much. How could we get out of here unscathed when the roar of gunfire continued to close in?
We reached the end of the aisle. Chandra moved to glance over the seat, when a shout came from the opposite end, startling us both.
“Run, Chandra!” I barely kept my voice to a whisper.
She sprinted toward the bright red exit sign at the front of the theater, and I chased after her, trying to keep my pace natural though her long legs made it challenging. Maybe if they suspected we weren’t nocturnes, they’d leave us alone.
The stomping of heavy boots on the theater’s plush carpets said otherwise. Then again, they weren’t opposed to taking their fellow humans down too. The very rich in power thrived on oppressing those less fortunate. What better way to keep the populace down than to have their thugs strike whenever possible.
“We should split up.” Chandra shoved a heavy trashcan in front of the door, but that wouldn’t be much of an obstacle to the pseudo-military bastards.
“What?” I couldn’t believe my ears. “No way. If we do that, we’ll—” The trashcan scraped the cement as the hunters tried to open the door. Maybe she was right. If we were together, there was a better chance of them catching us both. Alone, we might survive the night.
I nodded to her, and we took off in opposite directions down the alleyway behind the Teatro. The door slammed open, smacking the wall hard, as I turned the corner and headed toward the main street. I had to find somewhere to hide out before the hunters spotted me again.
In front of me, another group of Cazador chased a few werewolves down the main road. I slowed to keep my distance from them, but if I didn’t get somewhere fast, they were going to catch me. Ugh. As much as I loved getting out of the house and going to the movies, I wished I’d listened to my instincts tonight and stayed home.
Two sets of feet pounded the sidewalk behind me. Perhaps they’d spotted me before I reached the corner.
I picked up speed a little, pumping my arms as I struggled to keep to a human speed while staying out of range. The temptation to race through the streets nearly drove me to action, but I glanced back, seeing my pursuers for the first time.
One of the men had greying hair and a rounded belly, which explained the slower, heavier footfalls, while the other guy appeared younger and super-athletic. No wonder I was having trouble getting away. If he hadn’t been so scary, he might’ve been attractive. Pure masculine aggression raged through him, tensing his shoulders as his gaze focused solely on me, his prize. Each man carried a large-caliber handgun. I was just glad they were too busy running to try to shoot me…for now, at least.
My sandal hit an uneven patch of concrete in the sidewalk. My body lurched forward, but I caught myself before I could go down. I should’ve been paying more attention to the street. Up ahead on the opposite side of the road, I spotted a dark alleyway running alongside a row house. If I cut through, I could safely turn up the speed without exposing myself, and lose them.
The older hunter slowed; his breathing had become increasingly labored. He cocked his revolver’s hammer, and I darted across the empty road, making a beeline for the alley. The last thing I wanted tonight was to see Dr. Matthews. Just a little bit farther. A bullet smacked the ground at my feet, hitting me with fragments of pavement. I bit back a yelp, not wanting to give them the satisfaction of knowing my fear.
“I got this one, old kook,” the younger hunter grumbled, and his footsteps slowed too.
Another gunshot pierced the hazy night air. White-hot pain rocked my shoulder, nearly toppling me to the ground. I screamed, unable to hold it in, and picked up speed, no longer caring if I appeared human or not. The faint creak of a door barely registered before a pair of arms wrapped around my waist, jerking me inside the dark row house.
My rescuer softly shut the door, careful not to make a sound, and shoved a hand over my mouth. “Sshhh,” he whispered. “I won’t hurt you. You’re safe.” His voice was deep, with an English accent. He pulled me away from the door and hunched down in the darkened room, holding me close, waiting and listening.
Agony clouded my thoughts, but I couldn’t let myself lose focus.
Footsteps thundered through the side alley. I stiffened at the sound. The hunters’ harsh voices and the clanking of metal were the only differences between them and a herd of cattle. They made no attempt to disguise themselves, taking delight in the fear they provoked. The Cazador weren’t true predators, but they held power over their fellow humans and the weaker of the nocturnes.
I stayed silent in my mysterious savior’s arms. Thoughts of my cousin Chandra sparked inside my mind. She was still out there. What if the Cazador found her and killed her as they’d tried to kill me?
This man had saved my life. I needed to do the same for my kin.
His large hand flexed slightly, crushing my mouth. I placed my hand against his wrist, hoping he’d release me, since I no longer heard the disgusting Cazador who hunted me like an animal. How had I gotten myself into this mess?
Shifting my weight, I groaned as my shoulder brushed against his smooth chest, my arm hanging limply by my side. The bullet must be impairing my movement. I doubted even shifting into wolf form would fix this right now. What was I supposed to do? Not even my people were immune to blood loss.
The scent of death crept into my nostrils, which could only mean one thing: my savior was a vampire. In this weakened state, he could easily end my life, and I wouldn’t be able to stop him.
But why would he save me? Maybe he required his next meal. An icy shiver slithered down the length of my spine. For the first time, I felt real fear.
If only I’d insisted on returning home from the Teatro sooner instead of catching the night’s second movie, we wouldn’t have been there for the raid. Already my energy waned due to the rocky power of the three raging moons. The added exertion of running from the Cazador and getting shot strained my body even more.
Somehow, the Cazador had known nocturnes frequented the Teatro. Who would give that kind of information away? Wolves wanted the same pleasures in life that humans desired.
My savior readjusted his grip on me, brushing against my upper back. I swallowed a scream, unwilling to alert anyone who might be listening outside this man’s home. This vampire’s home. Clenching my teeth, I pulled at the vampire’s wrist. I would not be his victim.
He remained steadfast, proving my weakness. “Don’t scream. Don’t run. Don’t do anything that would force me to hurt you, because I’ve had a lot of practice.” His crisp voice caressed my ear, and his breath moved tendrils of light brown hair, tickling the flesh on my neck. “Do you understand?”
While he meant the words as a threat, I couldn’t help the way my body responded to his intensity. I nodded, forcing my thoughts back into place. If he attacked, I needed to remember my Militia training.
The vampire released me, but he stayed still, as if waiting for my next move.
Slowly and carefully, I scooted away and turned to face him. My eyes had gradually adjusted to the darkness, allowing me to see more clearly in the dimly lit room than a human would. What a sight he was. I brushed my fingertips over my sore lips.
Crouching in the shadows, he wore a navy-blue dress shirt with the buttons undone to show off his pale, sculpted chest, and dark jeans that snugly fit his long legs. I’d only seen a few vampires, and none of them had looked this exquisite.
My eyes widened as he ran a hand through his shoulder-length black hair. His gaze had dropped to my lips, and I lowered my hand. Hunger burned in his deep blue eyes; I prayed it wasn’t bloodlust.
What was I thinking? Our species didn’t see eye to eye on anything except survival. The Feud between vampires and werewolves had raged on for centuries now, since well before bickering humans shot the moon with a nuke after a resource dispute and nearly killed the world’s population. Little did my ancestors know just how much and how fast the world would change. Instead of bridging the gap, vamps and wolves had grown even further apart. No one remembered what or whom first started the divide, but neither race spent any effort on diplomatic relations.
Kill or be killed.
I took a deep breath and sat a little straighter. With space between us, my fear lessened. The Militia had taught me to defend myself against hunters and other nocturnes. They made sure I wouldn’t be easy prey for the enemy. Of course—they preferred to have my womb protected, since it ensured our race would live on.
Bitterness soured my taste buds, and the urge to spit overwhelmed me.
Admittedly, vampires were the hardest foes to defeat, and I couldn’t practice my skills much these days. Not with Father keeping me almost literally a prisoner in my own home.
But if I had to fight this vampire, I would go out having inflicted a lot of pain.
“Why did you help me?” I asked, keeping my gaze on the wall near his head. No way would I look into his eyes. While I was strong, I wasn’t stupid. His kind could easily manipulate, and I had no idea what he had in mind.
“I think it was your caramel-brown eyes, love.” He leaned into my line of sight, but I looked away. Instead, he closed the space between us in a heartbeat and gently stroked his index finger along my jaw.
The sudden intrusion on my personal space had me jerking away, but with my back so close to the wall, I had nowhere to run. “How could it have been my eyes?” I crossed my good arm under my breasts, but that drew his attention down to my chest. Not what I’d intended. “I’m sure you couldn’t have seen them while I was running from the hunters.”
With a sensual swipe of his tongue, he licked his lips. His gaze lifted to meet mine, but I quickly averted my eyes. “You caught me.”
I’d love to know your thoughts on the excerpt!
Until next week,
Alpha shifters are on the prowl, and they’re used to getting what they want. But there’s more to claiming a destined mate than raw power, and they’ll have to prove themselves worthy – in more ways than one.
Alphas on the Prowl is page after page of passion and pleasure in this box set featuring eleven tantalizing shapeshifter tales from NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors!
I’m excited to be sharing the cover for Alphas on the Prowl. It’s part of a joint effort that authors of The Wolf Pack are doing. The first one, Alphas Gone Wild, is already out if you haven’t checked it out yet.
Tasha Black, Amy Lee Burgess, Lashell Collins, Bethany Shaw, Gina Kincade, Phoenix Johnson, Annie Nicholas, Jami Brumfield, Sarah Makela, Anna Lowe, and Catherine Vale are in this boxed set. It’ll feature new shifter romances!
My story, Captive Moonlight, is going to be in this. There’s a short excerpt below. Click the author names above to visit the other authors participating in this set!
Excerpt from Captive Moonlight
Joe frowned at the sudden change of expression on Charlotte’s beautiful face. What had caused… The rapid sound of boots hitting dirt next to him penetrated his thoughts. He’d been so focused on his lover. Damn it.
Twisting around, he faced the men, wondering what they wanted. More importantly, he wished he knew if they’d seen him come from Charlotte’s window. He didn’t want her to be looked down upon by anyone because of what they’d shared that night. Her father would never let Joe near his daughter again if he knew.
The men closed in on him, standing much closer than Joe felt comfortable with. He watched them in turn, keeping an eye on each of them. His wolf instincts were going out of control.
He’d never met these men before, and he didn’t want to hurt anyone, especially when he knew Charlotte was watching. He didn’t want to turn people away from him even further. Not when he had so much to lose. “What do you all want?”
One of the men, a guy with graying hair who looked to be their leader, stepped up. “We have a job opportunity for you.”
“I’m sorry, sir, but I already have work. Thanks for the offer.” Joe stepped aside to move around them, but the whistling of metal sounded near his head. He turned and grabbed the barrel of the pistol. The thin man whose gun he had grabbed had wide, surprised blue eyes.
Pain filled Joe’s head, and his legs went out from under him. He cursed himself for getting distracted.
The older man stared down at him as Joe’s world darkened. “That wasn’t the answer I was looking for.” The man faded until Joe barely heard, “Load ’em up, boys.”
Reads: Ten Paranormal Romances
Shoshanna Evers, Cathryn Fox, Sarah Mäkelä, A.C. James, Jan Springer, Milly
Taiden, Lisa Hughey, Jessie Donovan, Titania Ladley, and Mina Carter
sexy paranormal romance novels, written by New
York Times and USA Today bestselling
romance authors. With shifters, vampires, demons, and otherworldly creatures
all looking for their own forever-loves… This box set bundle will get you in
the mood for a sensual Halloween!
Wicked Hot Reads: 10 Paranormal Romances would cost over $30 to buy
individually. Save $29 by getting the bundle for just 99c for a limited time!
re-imagining) by NYT & USA Today bestseller Shoshanna Evers:
The Beast can’t let his little Beauty go free, not while there’s still hope
that she might be the one to end his decade-long curse…
Knocking on Demon’s Door by NYT & USA Today bestseller Cathryn Fox: When Michelle discovers what’s
really going on at the resort, will her trust in a demon turn her in to one of
the missing, or will he save her from the real monsters?
changed the lives of those close to her, but when her soldier boyfriend, Ethan,
goes missing on duty, she harness every magic power she possesses to get him
first moment he met her, but the long-standing feud between the faeries that
run the Chicago Crew puts Holly and other fledgling vampires in danger. Can
they stop a vampire-fae war that’s been brewing for nearly a century?
Bared to Him by NYT & USA Today
bestseller Jan Springer: Human by day, and a tentacle shapeshifter by night,
sexy Gray Wagner, is the last male that Miranda Bolton dreams of falling in
love with, until she begins to fantasize about all the naughty things he can do
A Mate’s Bite by USA Today bestseller Milly Taiden: After an explosive night of
passion, Karla is sure she’s a one-night stand for the man she’s wanted for
years, but Nate has marked Karla. Only true love and a wolf’s promise can hold
together a relationship created with a bite and a hope for tomorrow.
Angelina’s only respite from her overwhelming life is in her dreams with a
stunningly hot angel, but when an unexpected threat puts both the Angelic Realm
and Earth in jeopardy, Angelina will need to accept her destiny before it’s too
from a prison for magic users, Kiarra is now a wanted criminal and must rely on
a mysterious Brit to help her evade capture. Before long, her handsome rescuer
becomes much more than just her trainer…
After a catastrophe unleashes Josie’s Serapathian witch magic, she suspects her
sexy, mysterious lover is a Kynthian vampire ordered to kill all Serapaths.
Despite the risks, passion explodes between them, threatening the future of the
duty. Undercover. As human. Simple. Until shadow-dragon Baron realizes the
woman they’re protecting is his mate. Add in a crazy warlock…and Baron might
have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her.
Times and USA Today bestselling
author Shoshanna Evers has written dozens of sexy stories. She is best known
for The Enslaved Trilogy, The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby, Overheated,
Make Me, and How to Write Hot Sex. Evers is also the cofounder of SelfPubBookCovers.com, the largest selection
of premade book covers in the world.
“sensuous, delightful, and sizzling” with stories where “the plot is fresh and
the pacing excellent, the emotions…real and poignant.” Shoshanna used to work
as a syndicated advice columnist and a registered nurse, but now she’s a
full-time romance writer and a home-schooling mom. She lives with her family
and three big dogs in Northern Idaho, and loves to connect with readers!
wants to stay in touch!
releases first, and read excerpts you won’t find in the sample pages! ShoshannaEvers.com/newsletter
Times and USA Today bestselling
author, Cathryn Fox is a wife, mom, sister, daughter, and friend. She loves
dogs, sunny weather, anything chocolate (she never says no to a brownie) pizza
and red wine. She has two teenagers who keep her busy with their never ending
activities, and a husband who is convinced he can turn her into a mixed martial
arts fan. Cathryn can never find balance in her life, is always trying to find
time to go to the gym, can never keep up with emails, Facebook or Twitter and
tries to write page-turning books that her readers will love.
Times and USA Today bestselling
author Sarah Mäkelä loves her fiction dark, magical, and passionate. She is a
paranormal romance author, but she’s written all over the romance spectrum with
cyberpunk, sci-fi, fantasy, urban fantasy…even a sweet contemporary romance!
a night-light. In her spare time, she reads sexy books, watches scary movies
(and Ghost Adventures), and plays computer games with her husband. When she
gets the chance, she loves traveling the world too.
Times and USA Today bestselling
author A.C. James writes paranormal romance and erotica, including Eternal Ever
After which was featured in the bestselling Spice Box anthology. She pounds out
sexy scenes at her keyboard where romance is laced with horror in hot stories
of vampires and bad boy werewolves. Her stories feature strong heroines and
alpha heroes, with plenty of action, twists, and turns that will keep you
entertains her husband with her imaginative yarns and quirky sense of humor.
She spends her time drinking large vats of coffee while taming two toddlers by
day and writing by night. Recovering video game beta tester and tech geek who
grew-up going to cons and watching SmackDown. There’s probably some cosplay
pictures around somewhere of her dressed up as Bloodberry from Saber Marionette
J. Just don’t tell anyone.
Times and USA Today bestselling author
Jan Springer writes in scenic cottage country, Ontario Canada. Hobbies include
hiking, gardening, canning preserves, painting ceramics and dodging mosquitoes
in the spring, summer and fall. Her best friend is an electric snow shovel in
winter. She’s a member of RWA, Passionate Ink and the Author’s Union of Canada.
write sexy stories. They’re usually either paranormal or contemporary with a
large dose of heat. My paranormal stories can be anything from wolf-shifters
(my favorites) to witches, demons and anything in between.
known as the Dominican Republic. Currently, I live in New York City with my
hubby, the bossy kiddo and our little dog “Needy Speedy”. Don’t ask.
isn’t, right?) and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.
Milly? Sign up for my newsletter at http://mad.ly/signups/87477/join
get the latest news on my releases.
fourth grade, which was also about the time she began her love affair with
spies. Harriet and Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys later gave way to James Bond
and Lara Croft and Jason Bourne.
requires subterfuge and lies fascinates her. She loves combining her two
passions into fiction. As evidenced by her Black Cipher Files series.
paranormal but after spending time in the Angelic Realm, it won’t be her last.
At their heart, the Seven novels are about the dynamics of family
relationships. But the really hot Archangels don’t hurt.
Family novellas, four stories about a blended family of brothers and sister who
have a lot more in common than they realize. But of course she couldn’t just
write about family and romance. There are complex plots, bad guys, and suspense
places you can connect with her, although, shh, Twitter is her favorite.
and after discovering the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey in
junior high, realized that people actually wanted to read stories like those
floating around inside her head. From there on out, she was determined to tap
into her over-active imagination and write a book someday.
degrees in Japanese, Anthropology, and Secondary Education, she buckled down
and finally wrote her first full-length book. While that story will never see
the light of day, it laid the world-building groundwork of what would become
her debut paranormal romance, Blaze of Secrets.
reading a book or traipsing around some foreign country on a shoestring, can
often be found on Facebook and Twitter.
information at: www.jessiedonovan.com
nurse and erotic romance author living in Wisconsin, USA. She is published with
Ellora’s Cave, Samhain Publishing, and Red Sage. Her erotic romance genres and
sub-genres include menage M/M/F, menage M/F/M, lesbian, gay, paranormal, historical,
contemporary, vampire, and many more including light bondage BDSM. Keep
up-to-date on Titania’s website or join her newsletter for news, contests, and
a prolific digital artist, and a photographer. She lives in the UK with her
husband, daughter and a bossy cat who prefers to sleep on her desk rather than
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