Author: Erzabet Bishop
Lies, betrayal, and maybe a battery-operated boyfriend…
She’s done with men. But someone needs to tell her wolf.
When Laurel’s Alpha female is found murdered and her Alpha
turns up missing, the Briarwood Pack is turned upside down. An unwanted blast
from Laurel’s romantic past puts her to the test as the fine line between love
and hate is redefined. If she can keep herself alive. Love can be murder…unless
it saves your life.
Nerdy, hunky boys with a knack for the dead need love too…
With his roommate back from the dead and his future as
Montelier College of Witchcraft and Arcane Sciences new necromancer on staff on
hold after his mentor’s murder, James Merryweather finds himself looking for
answers in the one place he never thought to find them. And when a chance encounter
leads him to his heart’s desire, will he have the strength to claim the woman
he loves before she’s ripped from his arms forever?
The crowded streets of Salem a few weeks before Halloween
“Blixana. You shouldn’t be out here. What if someone sees
you?” Esmay, her brownie watchdog tugged at the sleeve of her shirt.
Frustrated and in no mood to listen to the lesser fae, Blix
marched out past the boundaries of the old churchyard and found herself in a
world of mortal enchantment. She’d observed for far too long and tonight she
was going to taste everything. Nothing in Faerie could ever compare to the
bustle and sheer humanity of the sights in front of her.
The streets were chock full of people, mostly on foot. Human
women dressed in a combination of riotous colors and black, some sporting
broomsticks and others giant gourd like creations with faces. Men dressed in
black walked along, their eyes caressing the women next to them, no doubt in
anticipation of what else the night had to offer behind the thrall of closed
The scent of baking and sugary snacks sent her mouth
watering. And the loud raucous laughter from a place called The Copper Kettle
beckoned her the loudest. What did these humans have that drew so many inside?
Was their ale as good as the Summer Meade in Faery? No doubt it was better.
She ran a hand down the denim fabric she’d seen the humans
wear and a thin top that still let the chill of the October winds dance along
her skin. She would have to return before the Dark Queen found her missing. But
for a little while she could wander in a world where what you saw was very
often what you got. It was not so in Faerie.
“Get back here. Do you want the Fenris to see you?” Esmay
hissed. “He’s the guardian of the Gate. Did you not think he would notice you
Blix locked her jaw and turned to face the little
tattletale. “Go ahead, Esmay. You tell him. All I wanted was to come across
before it got locked down for Samhain.”
Esmay let go of her and crossed her arms over her chest,
looking up at her with a belligerent expression. “If you go out there, I can’t
protect you from the wolves. Or anything else that comes prowling.”
“You won’t need to,” she scoffed. “Now go. I’ll be back soon
enough. I’ll even bring you back a sweet.”
The greedy brownie’s eyes glittered in the dark as Blixana
stared down at her. Esmay was already caving in; she could read it in her eyes.
The promise of sweets always won, whether it was back home or sneaking a treat
from a trespassing human on a picnic in their churchyard. Her mother served in
the Dark Court, as did Blixana’s and they both knew their way to enjoy a moment
or two without the intrusive eyes of the Court watching. Thus far they’d only
gone through to visit the Gate protected churchyard, but as in everything else,
Blix was given an inch but preferred to take a mile.
“Fine. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Boundaries for a reason.
Pix addled pixie. Going to get killed. See if I care.” The brownie stomped off,
leaving Blix to her own devices.
Where should she go first? No human money graced her
pockets, but she didn’t need it. A simple turn of the wrist and a light step
made anything she wanted ripe for the taking. Her slippered feet rested on the
concrete sidewalk and she frowned, taking in the footwear of the passersby.
With a wink and a nod, she glamoured the slippers into black
boots, rocking back and forth on the two inch heels, marveling at how they felt
on her feet.
Striding forward, she brushed a strand of hair out of her
face and let herself be absorbed into the crowd. With the costumed folk all
around her, no one would notice her differences, but all the same, she made
sure the pointy tips of her ears were hidden beneath her hair.
She’d gotten half a block when she felt the chill breeze of
Other at her heels. Scuttling forward on the new boots, she scurried deeper
into the fray of partygoers.
What could be trailing her? A nymph perhaps? Or even a
sprite? They both loved the thrill of adventure and chomped at the bit to delve
into the human world.
Or was it a selkie, easy to transform into human form and
then back into the body of a seal? She turned her head upward, letting her
senses run wild but she couldn’t tell in the crush of people.
“Damned brownie. Probably ratted me out already.” She
spotted a tavern up ahead. The Copper Kettle. A smile turning up her lips, she
darted forward, only to be yanked back by a fist in her hair.
“Going somewhere, pixie?”
She collapsed to the ground, two large men standing over
her, the moon shining in their eyes.
A shiver tore through her. She’d heard tell of their
ferociousness but had never seen them before. But still not as deadly as a
sidhe warrior could be. How could they be? Mayhap she could outrun them and
make it back to her churchyard. She scrambled up, only making it a few feet in
an alley right next to the pub before they downed her a second time. A well
placed boot had her sprawling out amidst the damp grass and discarded beer cans
“What…what do you want?”
“You broke the treaty. Fae don’t belong here.”
She blinked, her mouth gaping open like a fish. That was
supposed to be an old wives tale. No one but Fenris guarded the Gate.
“Please. Let me go.”
“I don’t think so, little fae.” The larger of the two knelt
down, his teeth much too sharp in his mouth.
Then he smiled. Blix started to scream, lashing the wolves
with a dose of pixie dust, the only curse she knew thrown in for good measure.
Fang and claw were the only truths she knew as they tore at her flesh.
“Get off me!” She doused them with an inconsequential burst
of pixie dust to no avail.
Battered and bruised, she fought and struggled to remember
the vibrant colors of Faery, instead of pain and the greasy beer smell of the
mortal plane. Esmay was right. She had been a fool, but she was not yet without
a parting gift for her attackers. One more spell. One more burst of power from
the deepest parts of her. The only spell she’d ever read from her grandmother’s
book of the arcane.
As she slipped from the world, sight leaving her eyes, she
smiled as the gleam of crimson found its way into the eyes of the now cursed
wolves and surrendered freely to the welcoming darkness.
About the author:
Erzabet Bishop is a USA Today bestselling author who loves
to write naughty stories. She is the author of Lipstick, Crave, Malediction,
Map of Bones, Sanguine Shadows, Arcane ,The
Science of Lust, Wicked for You, Heart’s Protector, Burning for You, Taming the
Beast, Mistletoe Kisses, Burning Midnight (Cimmerian Shade), Surrender, Torment
(upcoming), Hedging Her Bets, Cat’s Got Her Tongue (upcoming), Waking Up Wolf,
Arcane Imaginarium: Spirit Board, Holidays in Hell, Mallory’s Mark, The Devil’s
Due (upcoming), Charity Benshaw’s Enchanted Paddle Emporium (upcoming), Baked
with Sass (upcoming), Club Beam, Pomegranate, A Red Dress for Christmas, The
Black Magic Café, Sweet Seductions, The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires,
Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation along with being a contributor to many
anthologies. She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often
be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet
projects and watch monster movies.
Follow her on Twitter @erzabetbishop.
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Muffy, likened in style to one of the Bronte sisters and Anne Rice, is a USA Today, International Bestselling and Award-Winning Author of provocative romance about love, sex, hope and passion. An American author of the popular Shadow Seduction Series (a paranormal love story) and the Ribbons of Moonlight Series (a contemporary romance), she has penned a dozen other books and anthology collections.
Muffy was born in Texas to traditional parents. With two older brothers, she was the youngest, the family “princess,” indulged and pampered. Her father was a career Colonel and pilot in the U.S. Air Force which required the family to travel extensively. Muffy spent her formative years in Europe and ‘came of age’ in France which forged her joie de vivre and love for books and writing. Married and living in the tropical paradise of SW Florida along the Gulf Coast, Muffy writes and enjoys life in the sun with her husband and wee Havanese pup, Buddy.
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