Playing with Darkness is now available!

Hope everyone is having a great weekend.  I’m happy to let you all know that Playing with Darkness, book 3.5 of the Sensor Series,  has now been uploaded to all the retailers.  As of now Amazon and Barnes & Noble customers can grab their copies.  Hopefully Kobo and iTunes will follow soon.  For those of you who requested the novella ahead of time, I have sent out PDF copies to your emails.  If you haven’t heard from me and you were supposed to, please do let me know.

This story came to just over 16k words.  Much shorter than my other books, but I hope it helps tide you all over until Darkness Clashes releases.  There is some fun with Kerbasi and for those who need a bit of Lucas and Melena time, there’s some of that in there, too.  Hope you all enjoy it!

 

 

Playing with DarknessSUMMARY:

There’s no avoiding it. Melena must keep her promise to return the fae device that opens the portal to Purgatory. Except there’s one problem—Kerbasi. How can she go when she has one of heaven’s minions practically attached to her hip? One who will strike fear in the hearts of the fae the moment they realize who he is.

When her shape-shifter cat suddenly gets sick, she can’t delay the trip any longer. Only the fae can help get Sable healthy again. And if Kerbasi tries to cause any trouble while they are there, she’ll just have to find creative ways to keep him in line.

 

 

 

Purchase links:

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Amazon Germany

Amazon Australia

Amazon Canada

Amazon France

Cover reveal for “Playing with Darkness” book 3.5 of the Sensor Series

 

As I’d mentioned in a previous post, if the spin-off story for Melena returning the fae device to Feidlimid grew too long I would be publishing it with the retailers.  That did happen!  I hope no one minds.  At the end of the post you can see the cover and official summary for the novella.

Anyone who has contacted me already or who does so in the future will still be getting it free via email when it’s ready.  Those who have not specified their ereader type will be getting the PDF version unless they tell me something different before then.  Otherwise it will just cost 99 cents to purchase on Amazon, B&N, Kobo, and iTunes.

It will be available on May 31st and I will post links here and on Facebook as they become available.

When it was just going to be a short story I hadn’t needed a cover, but once I realized how long it was becoming I had to have one designed.  Sable has a key part in the novella so I thought it might be nice to include her this time on the cover.  Hope you all like it!

 

 

Playing with Darkness

 

SUMMARY:

 

There’s no avoiding it.  Melena must keep her promise to return the fae device that opens the portal to Purgatory.  Except there’s one problem—Kerbasi.  How can she go when she has one of heaven’s minions practically attached to her hip?  One who will strike fear in the hearts of the fae the moment they realize who he is.

 

When her shape-shifter cat suddenly gets sick, she can’t delay the trip any longer.  Only the fae can help get Sable healthy again.  And if Kerbasi tries to cause any trouble while they are there, she’ll just have to find creative ways to keep him in line.

 

************

 

Add to your Goodreads shelf here.

Snippet from “Tempting the Moon”

Most of you know I’ll be including a short story in the Stroke of Midnight anthology that will be available on December 26th.  It ended up being a little over 10k words and features Melena and Emily dealing with a werewolf problem.  Sable, the shape-shifter kitty, makes an appearance as well.  For now, I’m giving you all a snippet from the beginning to tide you over.  Hope you enjoy!

***Update- you can now grab a free copy in any format from Smashwords***

*****

“Hey, Mel?”

I didn’t look up at Emily as I continued doing sit-ups. Just a hundred more to go. “Yeah?”

“I sort of have a problem.”

She was almost sixteen. She seemed to always have some kind of crisis going on—and those were just the ones I found out about. “What’s the problem?”

“I, uh, seduced a werewolf and got him caught in a bear trap,” she rushed out.

Fifty sit-ups would have to do. I sat up and ran my gaze over her. She had scratches on her face and hands as if she’d been running through the woods.

“Maybe you should repeat that.” I rubbed at my ears. “Because I could have sworn you just said you seduced a werewolf.”

She shifted from foot to foot. “It was payback. Hunter broke into my locker at school and did something really embarrassing.”

“What did he do?” I hoped it wasn’t something that would require me to kill him. He wasn’t eighteen yet. I really needed to wait until after he’d reached the legal age to do something that extreme.

“He rigged my locker so that when I opened it a song played loud enough for everyone to hear.”

Well, it could have been worse. He could have filled it with snakes or spiders or something even more horrifying. With a werewolf, the possibilities were endless.

“Which song?” I asked.

She pushed back some of her long, brown hair behind one ear. “Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner.”

Ouch. He must still be upset with her for breaking his nose and kneeing him in the balls back on Valentine’s Day when he’d tried to crash her party. The song was sort of romantic in a weird kind of way, though.

“How did he manage to do that?”

She shrugged. “Not sure. He had his iPod in there with some speakers and I think he had a remote in his hand. That must’ve been how he turned it on.”

“What did you do?”

“Everyone was looking at me and laughing.” Emily’s face turned red. “It was right at the end of school so I shoved everything into my backpack and took off. He’s been calling me ever since wanting his stuff back.”

I wanted to be angry with the guy, but nothing he’d done so far had really hurt her. Just minor pranks like this and sending her badly written poems. Oh, and that time he showed up outside our house on a full moon with a bloody rabbit between his teeth. He’d left that for her as a gift, though Emily hadn’t found it very amusing.

“Is that why you’ve been shutting your cell phone off every time it rings lately?” I lifted my brows.

Emily appeared to be a cheerful and open person, but if you tried to dig too deep she’d put up defensive walls. Life had already damaged her pretty badly by the time I found her and it was taking a while for her to open up. I tried not to push her too hard, hoping she’d learn to trust me and talk things out when she was ready.

“Yeah.” She glanced back at the door. “I don’t know how he got my number.”

“So you decided to seduce him and get him caught in a bear trap? Is he okay?”

Emily looked down and stared at her feet. “That’s sort of the problem. He’s still caught in it and now he’s turned into a wolf so I can’t get him free.”

*****

You can add this book to your Goodreads TBR list here.

*****

The Stroke of Midnight Promo Graphic

New Year’s short story for The Sensor Series…

I was waiting until I got official confirmation on this, but now I can share the news with you all.  Pure Textuality invited me to contribute to a New Year’s anthology they will be releasing on December 26th!

As some of you know, there was a short story I’d planned to post featuring Melena and her new pet, Sable (who got her name through a contest I held a couple of months ago).  Because the anthology requests we submit stories between 5-10k words, I thought I’d write it for that instead and expand on the idea I already had (Emily will have a role in it as well).  The bonus is you’ll get to read something longer than what it would have been if I’d only posted it on my website.

The theme is for New Years (with paranormal elements) and works out well with the Sensor Series timeline because it falls perfectly between events from Chained by Darkness and the next book, Darkness Divides.  It will be totally free for readers, so it costs you nothing.  When I get the file with the ebook, I’ll put out an announcement here and on Facebook.  Anyone who wants it is welcome to email me at that time 🙂

If you’d like to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads, click here.

The Stroke of Midnight Promo Graphic

Furry Temptation- Short Story Set in The Sensor World

For those of you who have read Darkness Haunts and are patiently waiting for the next book in the series, I have a short story that takes place approximately six weeks after the first novel.  It will give you a brief glimpse into how things are going for Melena and hopefully make you even more ready for when Darkness Taunts releases.  I wrote this last summer, but haven’t released it for anyone to read until now.  Enjoy!

*****

Furry Temptation

I wanted to ignore the mewling sounds coming from a box beside the dumpster, but mama had been hit by an idiot driver moments before.  The helpless cries pulled at me.  October in Fairbanks, Alaska would not be kind to these little ones.

“Damn.”  This was the last thing I needed.

I took a step closer, but caution kept me from going further.  A sweep of the parking lot revealed nothing but a pair of stumbling drunks from the nearby bar I’d left.  I couldn’t go back in there and ask my former date for help.  He wouldn’t be too obliging after the drink I’d thrown in his face.  My only regret was that the glass had been half-empty.

My attention returned to the box.  Those felines were going to turn me into a bloated vegetable.  Cats and I did not go well together, but I also knew what being an orphan felt like.  Maybe someone else could take them in for the night.  Felisha might be willing.  I couldn’t trust them with the vampires or werewolves.  God knows what they might do with them.

I crept closer.

The wind whipped up my hair to sting my face and blur my vision.  I’d left it down and gave it a loose curl to look nice for my date.  Too bad that hadn’t worked out.  Human men were as difficult to understand as their supernatural counterparts—not that I’d ever consider being with a sup.  My kind and theirs didn’t mix well together.

I burrowed into my wool coat and cursed the Alaska climate for the thousandth time since coming here a couple of months ago.  My last escape attempt hadn’t gone so well, damn Lucas and his ability to track me, but there was always next time.  They couldn’t keep me in this town forever.

The tiny chorus of meows echoed out even louder than before.

It was impossible to resist the call, even for me.  I reached the box and found crumpled papers and napkins littering the inside.  Small bodies were wriggling through it.  I wrinkled my nose at the pungent odor coming from all around.  It was too dark to make out their coloring, but a flash of white caught my attention.  At least mama had cleaned them up before meeting her demise.

My breath stilled as I reached out.  The kitten fit in the palm of my hand.  A place in my heart I’d thought long dead warmed as it snuggled close to my chest.  The decision of whether it lived or died was up to me.  I’d seen far too much death.

Two more warm bodies came out to join the first.  My eyes watered.  I had to grasp them tight when a series of sneezes shook me.  All three of them had taken an unhealthy liking to my neck.

They protested when I put them back in the box.  No matter how cute they were, I couldn’t take responsibility for them.  The little guys didn’t understand the effect they had on my allergies.

I pulled my phone out.

“Melena?”  Felisha never got a call from me this late.

“Yeah, it’s me.  I need a favor.”  I didn’t give her the full details.  My sneezing and wheezing were enough to send her on her way once she had the directions.

She pulled into the parking lot ten minutes later.  A few patrons came out of the bar at the same time.  They shouted suggestive comments at her as she passed, but she didn’t bother to glance their way.  The red-headed woman could have passed for a model.  Instead she chose to run a local herb shop and cater to the local supernatural population.  She’d been trying to get me to work for her, but I hadn’t decided yet.  The idea of working for a sup—even a nice one—galled me.

I stood up as she approached.

“Oh, Melena.”  Sympathy filled her eyes.  “Look at your face.”

I scratched my swollen nose.  “It’ll pass.”

At least the drunks wouldn’t be bothering me—probably.

She knelt down and inspected the contents of the box.  The kittens crawled eagerly into her hands.  I took a couple of steps back and pretended not to be envious at how easy she held them.  Cats were not my thing, but these were kind of cute.

“Can you take them?” I asked.

She sighed.  “I’ve already got two at the house.”

“I know.  That’s why I never visit.”

“There is a way around that.”

I shook my head.  “I’m not drinking vampire blood.”

“You did before.”

“Dying will make you do strange things.  Will you take them or not?”

Felisha rubbed her face into their fur.  Of course, she didn’t sneeze.  “I’ll take them on one condition.”

I crossed my arms.  “What’s that?”

“You’ll come visit them once a month.”

“I can’t.”  Nope.  No way would I go near them again.

She started to put them back in the box.

“You wouldn’t.”  She was too kind for that.

“In this case, I would.  You have to stop hiding from the things you fear.”  Damn, she would.  My senses told me she spoke the truth and they were never wrong.

“That’s ridiculous.  I don’t fear kittens.”

“But you fear the cure that would allow you to be near them.”

Tiny stars lit up the sky.  I wished I could be up there with them right now.

“Fine, I’ll visit once a month—for a few minutes, but that’s it.”  I could suffer for that long without drinking vamp blood as a temporary fix.  She wouldn’t win this battle entirely.

A smile spread across her face.  Her green eyes might have twinkled as well.  With fairies anything was possible.

“Good,” she said.  “Don’t back out of it either or I’ll bring them to your house.”

I shuddered.  Cat fur in my home would be a disaster.  I’d fought hard to have my own place—even if it was only a five-minute walk from Nik’s home, the master vampire of Fairbanks.  Orphaned kittens were not going to mess that up for me.

“I won’t back out,” I said.

“Then it’s settled.” She took the box in her arms.  “We’ll make an animal lover out of you yet.”

“Not likely.”