Sunday, June 19, 2016

New Release: CATCHING DRAGOS by Gail Koger



Blurb:


Everyone calls Mariah Smith the Judge. No, she doesn't wear a black robe or sit on a bench. She provides a unique service to those who have been wronged. Mariah's an expert in paybacks both psychic and magical.

Mariah's next target is the famous supermodel Fabian. Smoking hot body, the face of an Italian sinner and dumb as a rock. His crime? Sticky fingers. The man whore makes millions of dollars a year, but can't resist seducing elderly women out of their jewelry? How does she resist all that tanned, male perfection and unmask Fabian as the gigolo he truly is?

Mariah soon discovers Mister Sticky fingers isn't quite as dim-witted as he acts.  He's actually the Dragos clan's top demon hunter who is stealing back magical artifacts that open gateways to hell. Now that she's attracted Fabian's attention, he's determined to possess her and her magical abilities.

Excerpt:


I observe my prey for at least a month before I decide how to tailor their punishment. My surveillance jobs have ranged from being a maid to a pilot to a dominatrix. For this gig I got to be a security guard. 

Why? Fabian had joined a male dance revue billed as “The Perfect Girl’s Night Out.” The promoter promised chiseled bodies, seductive dance routines, and cheap booze. Which meant drunk, horny women. Whoopee. 

In my line of work, a proper disguise is a necessity. Letting the prey know what I really look like could lead to unexpected confrontations, fights, or heaven forbid, police involvement. Law enforcement officials consider me a menace and are actively hunting me. Thanks to my magical family, most information the authorities manage to gather mysteriously disappears from their computers and paper files. Unfortunately, some agencies hired witches to protect their officers and headquarters. It was a good thing I belonged to the Vizzini clan. Not only could they deal with the witches, they kept the world safe from demons. 

I opened my box of stage makeup and started painting my face. I added wrinkles, zits, and a big black mole above my upper lip. Hmmm. I needed something more. I plucked two long black hairs from the box and attached them to the mole. They protruded outward like antennae on a roach. Yep, those lips were definitely not kissable. 

Adjusting my weapons belt, I eyed myself in the mirror. The ponytail had to go. I scraped my long blonde hair into an unflattering bun. Much better. The security uniform was a horrible shade of neon red that gave me the pallor of a long-dead corpse. A satisfied smile curved my mouth. My own father wouldn’t recognize me. 

Beep. Beep. Beep. I reset the timer on my watch and quickly popped in brown contact lenses to hide my lavender-hued eyes. Fabian should avoid me like the bubonic plague. But then again, he had switched from young nubile women to old wrinkly grannies. So maybe he would find the mole a turn-on. 

The Perfect Girl’s Night Out showroom was swarming with giggling, excited women of every age. All of them had paid good money to see Fabian’s dance moves. It was my job to keep rabid fans off the stage and gather intel on Fabian. Should be easy. Right? 

The lights dimmed. 

A husky male voice sounded from the speakers. “Are you ready to meet the man of your dreams? Fabian!” 

In unison the women screamed back, “Yes!” 

Fog rolled down the catwalk. 

Cannons boomed. 

Six pirates leaped out of the darkness. 

The cannons boomed again. 

Six redcoat soldiers complete with those funky white wigs charged onto the stage. 

The pirates attacked them. Their swords clashed loudly as they broke into a choreographed dance routine. I had to admit they were pretty good for male strippers. 

A spotlight blossomed, and there was Fabian, hanging from a rope twenty feet above the showroom. A sword clenched between his teeth, he slid down and dropped onto the walkway. 

“Fabian. Fabian. Fabian. Fabian,” the women chanted over and over again. 

He bowed elegantly to his giddy fans and prowled down the catwalk. 

Yeow. The man was sex on two legs. His red satin pirate’s shirt was cut to expose his muscular chest. Those skintight black leather pants cupped his great ass, and the knee-high black boots emphasized his massive thighs. 

Fabian raised his sword and shouted. “Monstrata!” Flames shot from the tip. 

If I didn’t know any better, I’d think it was an enchanted sword. Nah. It had to be some kind of special effect. There was no way that doofus could battle things that go bump in the night. His ass would be crispy fried in less than a minute. 

The redcoats morphed into pretty realistic-looking demons complete with red eyes, scaly skin, and sharklike teeth. They charged Fabian. 

The fight sequence was straight out of a Hollywood movie. The man-whore ducked and dodged their six-inch claws while wielding his sword to devastating effect. 

The demons’ roars of fury echoed around the room. Fabian laughed and swung his blade faster and faster. Whoosh.Whoosh. Whoosh. One by one, he lopped off the monsters’ heads. Poof! They disintegrated into stinky black ash. 

Damn, his swordsmanship was spectacular. Who would have figured? 

Two more demons jumped onto the stage. With a flurry of blows, Fabian decimated them. The demonic redcoats were reduced to nothing more than thick black cinders swirling across the stage. 

The audience erupted into thunderous applause. 

There wasn’t a mark on the man-whore. Yep. Special effects. Really awesome special effects, but the bottom line was, no one was that good. Not even me. 

An anorexic woman wearing a tiny pink dress that barely covered her hoo-ha tried to climb up on the walkway. “Fabian! Our children need you.” 

Someone was off her meds. I grabbed her leg and yanked her back down. “Guests are not permitted on the stage.” 

The heel on her sparkly, four-inch stiletto snapped off. The love-struck bimbo collapsed in a drunken heap at my feet. She waved the shoe at me and shrieked, “You whoring slut, my name is Terie, and Fabian is my husband.” 

“I don’t care. Go back to your table.” 

The nutcase held out her left hand and pointed to a cheap cubic zirconium set in a gaudy silver wedding ring. “Elvis married us at the Viva Las Vegas wedding chapel.” 

Sometimes surveillance really sucked. “Sounds like a real classy wedding, but I still need you to go back to your table, ma’am.” 

Terie shot to her feet and teetered unsteadily on her one stiletto. “Fabian is my soul mate. You can’t have him.” 

“I’m gay. He’s all yours.” 

She stared at my mole for a long moment. You could see the wheels turning in her psychotic brain. Was I after her man or not? 

Since I did resemble an ugly prison matron, I did my best to look butch. “Why don’t you give me your phone number, and I’ll have Fabian call you after the show.” 

“Do you think I’m stupid?” 

Just a bit. 

Fabian and the pirates danced across the stage, quickly shedding their clothing. 

The bimbo’s worshipful gaze followed them. 

The audience hooted and hollered. 

A red satin shirt landed on my head. Fuck

“Mine!” Terie shouted as she snatched it away. She cradled the sweaty shirt against her chest like it was the Hope Diamond. 

Enough was enough. I snarled, “Table. Now. Or I will arrest you.” 

“Fine. There’s no reason to be rude.” With that oh-so-cutting remark, off Terie went. Step. Hop. Step. Hop. She kind of reminded me of a crazed jackrabbit. 

I glanced up at the stage and did a double take. Fabian and the pirates now wore G-strings and boots. Gotta say, pretty damned hot. 

Screams erupted. 

Oh, dear God, now what? I hurried toward the screaming. 

“Give it to me.” A wizened woman in a motorized wheelchair had a death grip on the red satin shirt. The loose skin on her arms shook like gelatin as she struggled for possession of the shirt. 

Wobbling off balance, Terie, the love-struck bimbo, wrenched back with all her might. “It’s mine. Let go.” 

“No!” the old woman shouted, putting her wheelchair in reverse. 

Great. Just what I needed. A tug-of-war over the freakin’ shirt. 

Rip! The sleeve tore off in the elderly woman’s hands. Cackling madly, she zoomed off in her wheelchair. 

A heavyset granny wearing way too much makeup grabbed what was left of the shirt from Terie and ran for the exit. 

A tattooed teenager tackled granny. In a tangle of arms and legs, they rolled around and around on the floor, fighting over the shirt. 

Terie jumped on top of the combatants and began whacking the living hell out of them with her broken stiletto. “Give it back. Give it back.” 

Ten dollars an hour wasn’t enough to put up with this shit. “Illo scutella.” A small cloud of magical mace engulfed them. 

Screeching in pain, they broke apart and rubbed frantically at their burning eyes. 

I picked up the mangled shirt. “Get. Out. Now.” 

“Look! That guard has Fabian’s shirt!” someone shouted. 

Dozens of avid gazes locked on the red satin shirt. 

“Oh crap.” I took a step back. 

It was like some switch got flipped. The crazed fans went after the shirt like a pack of starving hyenas. 

“Ooooof!” A head slammed into my stomach. Arms wrapped around my legs and bam! I was on the floor and about a zillion women jumped on top of me. Now I knew how a quarterback felt when he got sacked. It totally sucked. I shoved my way out from under the pile of cursing, struggling women. 

Females were definitely meaner than men. I crawled over to the corner and leaned against the wall, waiting for the funny black spots to disappear from my vision. Once I could see again, I took inventory of the damages. My uniform shirt was torn in three places. The mole was now stuck up my nose. The antennae twitched with every breath I took. I touched my rapidly swelling right eye and groaned. Great. I was going to have a nice shiner in the morning. 

That was when I noticed the other security guards were hiding behind the bar. The bartender was filming the melee with his cell phone. 

A knockdown, drag-out brawl didn’t even begin to describe the carnage. Beer bottles, chairs, and drink glasses flew in every direction. Fabian and the dancers were long gone. Smart move. 

The doors to the showroom burst open, and cops in riot gear charged in. Yippee. Better late than never. I let out a long sigh. Time for more surveillance. Didn’t that sound fun? 
Copyright © Gail Koger


About me:

 I was a 9-1-1 dispatcher for the Glendale Police Department and to keep from going totally bonkers – I mean people have no idea of what a real emergency is. Take this for an example: I answered, “9-1-1 emergency, what’s your emergency?” And this hysterical woman yelled, “My bird is in a tree.” Sometimes I really couldn’t help myself, so I said, “Birds have a tendency to do that, ma’am.” The woman screeched, “No! You don’t understand. My pet parakeet is in the tree. I’ve just got to get him down.” Like I said, not a clue. “I’m sorry ma’am, but we don’t get birds out of trees.” The woman then cried, “But… What about my husband? He’s up there, too.” See what I had to deal with? To keep from hitting myself repeatedly in the head with my phone, I took up writing. Most of my ideas come to me in my sleep. Scary? Huh?


Catching Dragos won the TRR Reader's Choice Award for Erotic Romance - Paranormal Romance category - summer 2016.  http://erotic.theromancereviews.com/viewbooks.php?bookid=20566

Thursday, June 16, 2016

New Release: GIRL NEXT DOOR by Lyra Marlowe



Blurb: 

Despite being betrayed and robbed by his long-term lover, gay paramedic Nolan Crane remains an undaunted romantic. He’s looking for true love to heal his broken heart. His partner and friend, John Krulak, is straight and commitment-phobic. He’s not looking for anything more than his next one-night stand. But lately, the thrill of the hunt doesn’t satisfy him.

Lucy Bellino is Nolan’s oldest friend. She loves him dearly, but platonically. With his permission, she’s delighted to have sex with John – anytime, anywhere. But even wildly adventurous sex with Lucy (against the wall in an alley, in the stationhouse in the middle of a shift, or with Lucy bound and blindfolded in the back of a van) can’t satisfy John the way his alarming new fantasies about his partner do.

All three carry scars from their past. All three are looking for some kind of lasting happiness. But if they’re going to have a future together, they’ll each have to find a way past their fears. And when one of them puts his own life in danger, it’s clear that the time for waiting is over. Ready or not, Nolan and his best friends are about to become lovers. 

Excerpt:

He was checking out the woman even before he realized she was the one in the picture. She wore a T-shirt-knit dress, red, just a bit tight over her nicely proportioned curves, and flat sandals, no nylons. She didn’t need them over her perfectly tanned legs. To John’s practiced eye, the tan was natural, not spray-on; it matched her arms and face. Invitation to skin cancer, his medical mind knew, but the rest of him just admired the way it looked on her. She had a dark complexion naturally, long black hair soft around her shoulders, beautiful dark eyes. Her mouth was small, but her lips were full and red, like a Kewpie doll. 

He’d finished his physical assessment of her in the time it took her to pause in the doorway and look around. She seemed a little lost. John left his drink on the bar and went to greet her. “Lucy?” 

She smiled warmly. “Are you John?” 

“John Krulak,” he answered. She offered her hand, and he held it, not shaking it and not letting go. “Our table’s not ready yet. Can I get you a drink?” 

Lucy nodded, and he led her back to the bar. He had to let go of her hand then. She ordered herself a Scotch, neat. As if he needed another reason to like her. 

“I’m really sorry about this,” she said sincerely. “I know Nolan roped you into this at the last minute. If you had other plans—“ 

“I didn’t,” John assured her quickly. 

“I know how Nolan can be when he wants something.” 

“Relentless,” Krulak agreed. “But believe me, I’m glad to be here. Really.” He meant to leave it at that, but he heard himself add, “You broke about six hearts when you sat down with me, you know. You’re the most beautiful woman here.” 

Lucy smiled, flushed, and looked down at her drink. 

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that.” Suddenly John was babbling, and he couldn’t seem to stop. “I mean, it’s true, but I’m not hitting on you, I know you’re Nolan’s friend, I wouldn’t, you know, but it is true.” 

Her smiled brightened. “I was just thinking the same thing about you. Not that you were beautiful, but that you’re Nolan’s partner, and I shouldn’t—” She stopped and took a deep breath. “Well, now neither of us can talk.” 

The hostess rescued them from their silence and led them to a table in the corner. By the time they were settled with menus, John had regained some of his composure. “The steaks are excellent here.” Then alarmed, he asked, “You’re not a vegetarian, are you?” 

“Oh hell no,” Lucy answered firmly. “I’m a drug rep. Being a meat eater is part of the job description. And also I don’t chant, believe in reincarnation, or think that I’ve ever been abducted by aliens.” She looked at him sidelong. “You?” 

“None of the above.” John laughed. “You’ve done this before.” 

“The first-date tango? Oh yes. I like to get the weird stuff on the table right up front.” 

“Thank you. You have no idea what a relief you are.” He wondered how take my old friend to dinner had somehow turned so quickly into a date, but he was glad. He loved how upfront and open she was. After the bar-crawl routine, she was like a breath of clear air. “I could tell you stories,” he said ruefully. 

“Do it.” 

“What?” 

Lucy put her menu down. “Tell me your best date-from-hell story.” 

John thought about it. Usually women wanted to hear his paramedic stories—tell me your best save, tell me your worst scene. One particularly creepy young woman had wanted to hear all the details of a car crash decapitation, in excruciating detail, during sex. He hesitated a few seconds, then told Lucy all about her. She listened, and she laughed, and she sympathized. 

He liked talking to Lucy. 

They ordered steaks. When the waiter had gone, he said, “All right, your turn.” 

She pondered for a moment. “I dated a paramedic once.” 

“Anybody I know?” 

“No, up in Chicago. He was a nice guy, mostly. Except he had this kink.” 

“Wait, let me guess,” John said. “He wanted to tell you all the gory details of his runs during sex.” 

“Worse.” Lucy leaned closer and spoke softly. “He dressed up like Elvis.” 

“In bed?” 

“Yes.” 

John laughed. “I think you win.” 

“Actually, it would have been okay if he’d warned me,” Lucy mused. “But he went into the bathroom and came out in this white jumpsuit and black wig…” She shuddered. “I suppose the jungle bedroom decor should have tipped me off.” 

“Probably. Maybe people should come with little cue cards or something. You know, like business cards, only with all your kinks on the back, so potential partners would know what they were getting into.” 

Lucy nodded. “And a fake name and phone number on the front.” 

“Right. Exactly.” 

Their salads arrived, and John ordered a fresh round of drinks. 

“What would yours say?” Lucy asked. 

“What?” 

“Your card. What would it say on the back?” 

John glanced at the hovering waiter and then back at her, grinning. “You’re kind of a brat, aren’t you?” 

“Yes. Didn’t Nolan warn you?” 

“No.” The waiter finally retreated, and John changed the subject. “How long have you known Nolan?” 

Lucy sipped her drink. The look in her eyes said she knew why he’d changed the subject, but she let it go. “Since before kindergarten. We grew up next door to each other. I think we were probably six or seven before we knew we weren’t brother and sister.” 

“Hmm.” Since John knew they’d later ended up in bed together, it was an interesting statement. But he didn’t know if she knew that he knew. “Has he always been so stubborn?” 

“Yes. Always. When Nolan was six, his dad bought him a two-wheel bike, and he was determined to learn to ride it that day. He was out there for eleven hours. My mom timed him. Eleven hours. He couldn’t even walk, his legs were so shaky. But he learned to ride that damn bike in one day.” 

John smiled. He knew his partner. He could see it all too well in his mind. “We were out on a run this time…” he began. 

They talked through dinner, first trading stories about Nolan, then about themselves. She was a good talker, intelligent and witty, and she was a good listener. They talked through dessert and coffee. Eventually, the conversation turned back to Nolan. “How did his parents take it when they found out he was gay?” 

“They didn’t,” Lucy answered simply. 

“They don’t know?” John was surprised. His partner had always been completely open about his sexual orientation. But then, he was hundreds of miles from his home town. 

“His father died the summer before Nolan started college, before he came out. He told his mother, but she just doesn’t believe it. She’s not upset or angry; she just refuses to believe it’s anything but a stage.” 

“Even after he lived with Kevin all those years?” 

Lucy snarled. “That asshole. I never liked him.” 

“Nolan did.” 

“I know. And I smiled and was pleasant every time I saw him. But I always knew he was an asshole. And by the way, thank you for taking care of Nolan when they split. He told me you really went all out to be there for him.” 

John blushed. “I tried, but I don’t think I was really much help.” 

“You were there. That’s the best help there is for a broken heart.” 

Krulak stared at the candle in the center of the table. In a weird way, his heart had broken too, for his friend’s grief. He wished he could have done more. He wished there were bandages for broken hearts. Nolan was such a good man, a giving man, and to have Kevin cheat on him like that… 

He felt the heat rising in his cheeks again, this time in anger. He shook his head. Lucy would not understand. John barely understood himself. 

He changed the subject again. “So his mom thinks he’s going to wake up one morning and decide he really likes girls?” 

Lucy nodded, graciously allowing him to steer the conversation away from the painful topics. “She thinks he’ll end up with me. Of course, she also thinks I’m still a virgin.” 

With a little jolt, John realized that he’d been so involved in having an actual conversation with the woman that he’d forgotten to flirt with her. But her last statement seemed like an open invitation. “You mean you’re not?” he teased with wide-eyed shock. 

She bit her lower lip and shook her head solemnly. “But sometimes I pretend to be.” 

John grinned. She was flirting with him. He liked it. He doubted it would go anywhere—in his mind, she still had PROPERTY OF NOLAN stamped on her forehead—but it was pleasant anyhow. The evening had turned out so much better than he’d expected, and he didn’t want it to be over. 

Lucy folded her napkin beside her plate. “I know you worked all day. I should let you get home.” 

“I don’t want to go home,” he answered quickly. “Let’s go dancing.” 
* * * *


The club was called Old School, and it was just up the street. The crowd on a weeknight was small. John and Lucy settled at a table next to the dance floor, ordered a round of Scotch, and hit the floor. They generally played oldies and classics, but the first song was something new, techno rap with a skull-shattering bass line. 

“This sucks,” Lucy pronounced. “Be right back.” 

She crossed the floor and climbed the iron spiral staircase to the DJ’s nest. She had, John reflected as he watched her, exceptional legs. Swimmer’s legs, probably, trim and strong without being bulky. For one moment he imagined those legs wrapped around his waist, holding him deep inside while he— 

He felt a stirring in his groin and made himself stop thinking in that direction. He drifted back to their table and took a long pull on his drink. Nolan’s oldest friend, he told himself firmly. Don’t forget it. 

When he looked back, Lucy was leaning against the control board, chatting with the DJ. She was smiling. He was nodding and gazing openly at her breasts. They reached some agreement. The DJ reached for a new disc, and Lucy came back down the steps. 

If he’d been standing there, John thought ruefully, he could have looked right up her dress. 

She joined him at the table and downed her Scotch in one shot. The rap faded, and the opening beats of Bob Seger’s “Her Strut” began. The small crowd applauded. Lucy took John’s hand and dragged him back out on the floor. 

John was usually a little—okay, a lot—self-conscious about his dancing. But the minute he saw her move, he knew nobody was going to be watching him. She gave herself to the music, shaking, grinding, circling him. Was she coming on to him? The stirring between his legs refused to subside. Maybe he was imagining things. A girl could dance, couldn’t she, without it being an invitation? 

Seger faded. John sighed. Maybe he could sit down now, catch his breath, get his hormones under control. But Seger was replaced by ZZ Top’s “Legs,” and he knew they weren’t going anywhere. 

His arousal grew, watching her move, and she seemed to be dancing closer, brushing against him more often. You’re imagining things, he told himself. She moved in, brushed against his thigh. 

Then, for one beat, she pressed against his groin. 

Nolan’s friend, Nolan’s friend, Nolan’s friend, he chanted desperately to himself. The chanting had no effect. 
Copyright © Lyra Marlowe


About me: 

Lyra Marlowe has been writing since – well, since she learned to write. Her very first book was selected to be read at the Young Author’s Conference for elementary school students.  They told her she could write, and she’s never stopped.
As a teen, she conspired with her best friend to write a young adult novel. In college, she wrote plays that were performed by the theater department, and managed to hook an actor boyfriend in the process.  She wrote poems, newsletter articles, and even a short story about a head in a box. After college she married the actor. One year he suggested that they write erotic stories for each other as Christmas gifts.  She tried it. She liked it. A lot.  
Her first erotic romance, Thirteen Silver Moons, was published in December of 2007.   The Flavor of Summer was her first fictional foray into the world of BDSM, and its Fling-length short follow-up, First Taste is available as a free read. 

Lyra has lived on the shores of Lake Erie all her life, but dreams of a land where it never snows.  She and her husband have three children, two dogs, and one demanding cat. They share a Victorian century home with a gentle grandmother ghost who loves babies but hates painted woodwork and the color purple. 


www.LyraMarlowe.com  ***  Twitter @lyramarlowe  *** Facebook: Lyra Marlowe