Cover Reveal for River Spell (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 4)!

I’m SUPER excited to share this beautiful cover! Julie Schroeder has outdone herself with this gorgeous bit of magic and whimsy!

When’s it coming out? Why, I’m so glad you asked! Officially, River Spell (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 4) is scheduled for release on May 4, 2017. I’m going to be a part of a Griffyn Ink multi-author simultaneous release extravaganza, including some live events throughout Tennessee and Kentucky. I’m also gearing up for online events to celebrate the release, including giveaways aplenty. Stay tuned for details!

 

riverspell_seg4_comp_final125dpi

She’s out for vengeance. He’s seeking justice.

 

 

Exiled and alone in a strange land, Rhinemaiden Gwen is still traumatized from her capture and torture by mortal monster hunters. To exorcise her demons, she doles out vigilante justice on mortal criminals—until former cop turned private investigator, Kwame Johnson, stops her in her tracks.

 

 

Captivating and enigmatic, Kwame is more than another mere mortal, and he’s just beginning to understand the nature of the special sense that helps him track down missing persons. Gwen can help him reach his full potential, but can she trust a man who was hired by the monster hunters to track her down?

Available from Amazon and iBooks

Upcoming Release—Waking the Dead! And Happy 2017!

Happy (belated) New Year! I normally do this in December or January (yeah, yeah, I skipped last year), but I’ve been a little busy…

Good busy, I promise!

Waking DIGITAL V2

First off, I’m delighted to share that my very first book baby, the book of my heart, Waking the Dead, will be published next month by the wonderful folks at City Owl Press!

I’m thrilled beyond words and thank my agents (Victoria Lea and Natalia Aponte of Aponte Literary), my editor (Amanda Roberts), City Owl Press Gurus (Yelena Casale and Tina Moss), and everyone who has encouraged me over the years (especially critique partner Sophia Jones and author pals Jeff Lee and Debbie Herbert).

I can’t wait to share this story with the world!

 

 

Second, I spent the holidays cranking out River Spell (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 4)! Rhinemaiden Gwen (a.k.a. the bad twin) was a tough heroine to tackle, but I fell in love with her along with her hero, paranormal PI Kwame Johnson, as I wrote her story. They’ll be unleashed on the world May 4. Cover reveal below, and here’s a working blurb and teaser!

 

RiverSpell_SEG4_Comp_final125dpiShe’s out for vengeance. He’s seeking justice.

Exiled and alone in a strange land, Rhinemaiden Gwen is still traumatized from her capture and torture by mortal monster hunters. To exorcise her demons, she doles out vigilante justice on mortal criminals—until former cop turned private investigator, Kwame Johnson, stops her in her tracks.

Captivating and enigmatic, Kwame is more than another mere mortal, and he’s just beginning to understand the nature of the special sense that helps him track down missing persons. Gwen can help him reach his full potential, but can she trust a man who was hired by the monster hunters to track her down?

 

Okay, since I skipped 2016—how did THAT happen??—I’ll pick up from my 2015 goals.

1. Finish and Edit Works in Progress

Well, since it has been two years, I’ve really rocked this goal! Waking the Dead and Nixies in Dixie (which became Lorelei’s Lyric) are soon-to-be-published and published, respectively. Not only that, I’ve published 3 novels and 2 novellas in the Southern Elemental Guardians series. I’m counting this as a total win!

That leaves Going Dutch, the contemporary romantic comedy I’ve put on the back burner. Guess what’s going to be my new goal for 2017? Oh, and I’ll be working on Soul Broker Book 2, Southern Elemental Guardians Book 5, and some Southern Elemental Guardians stand alone/spin off novels. I’ll be busy, but good busy!

2. Learn All I Can About Marketing and Promotions

This is an ongoing process for all authors, I think, since the market is so dynamic, but I’ve screen-shot-2016-10-09-at-4-20-42-pmreached some pretty amazing milestones over the past two years. First off, my Romance Devoured sponsored giveaway garnered over 1,000 newsletter subscribers. I definitely recommend them—worth the money in terms of results. InD’Tale Magazine had become my absolute favorite review source, especially since I’ve received some amazing reviews from them on Southern Elemental Guardians—not to mention the 2016 RONE Award for Best Paranormal Novel (Lorelei’s Lyric)! The InD’Scribe conference was amazing and fun. I definitely want to go back and hang out with new author pals Mary B. Rose and M. Pepper Langlinais!

3. Give Back

Probably one of the most rewarding parts of this journey has been encouraging other authors and watching them begin and/or continue their own journeys.

I’ve had the great fortune to beta read for some of my MCRW sisters, and let me tell you, these ladies have some fantastic stories to tell: from Kat Khatsilovich’s red hot contemporary romance to Victoria Raschke’s haunting Urban Fantasy, Who by Water, set in Slovenia, to Savannah Kade’s Contemporary Romance Wilder Series and Paranormal Romance Touch of Magick books, I’ve been thrilled to beta and promo some amazing work! Debbie Herbert’s New Adult Appalachian Magic Series is enchanting, not to mention her Dark Seas Trilogy and Bayou Magic Paranormal Romance Series—she’s definitely the kind of author I aspire to be when I grow up. Oh, and author pal Jeff Lee’s Hurricane Kretschman, aptly billed as Get Shorty meets Sons of Anarchy, is in the running for Kindle Scout. Fingers and toes crossed! It’s an amazing book.

Oh, and lest I forget, Lulu M. Sylvian has some awesomely hot, sexy, and hilarious Paranormal Romance reads coming out soon! She’d better them to me for a beta read or else!  And my buddy Mark Steinwachs needs to write more zombie goodness and release a compilation of his Ravishi the Asshole Unicorn stories that have kept me in stitches for the past two years.

In addition to being a kick ass editor, Jody Wallace has captivated me with her snarky, sexy reads and I hope I’ll be seeing more Mari Shu and other great stories over the next year.

So for 2017? More, more, more! I can’t wait to help the authors in my network and to add to that network!

Summary

me-and-skI’m counting 2015-16 as uber successful! Seriously, 3 novels, 2 novellas, and 2 novels scheduled for publication? Wowzers!

And here’s my requisite fangirl moment—meeting Sherrylin Kenyon at the MCRW September workshop was DEFINITELY one of the highlights of my year! She’s amazing, engaging, funny, and exceedingly generous with her time and advice. Inspiration flows from her like a river and I was honored to have the chance to soak it up.

Hoping for more amazing moments like this in the year to come!

Book Review – Firestorm

Awesome review and blog feature for Firestorm. Thanks, Romantic Reads and Such!

Romantic Reads and Such

I am so happy to be able to once again bring you this series.  If you like paranormal romances then this is a must read.  Make sure you hit the bottom of this post for your way to get a chance to get free reads!

*****

In Firestorm (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 3), Wind and Fire Collide in a Storm of Mythic Proportions

Mermaids and water elemental guardians have held center stage until now, and while they make an appearance in Book 3, Firestorm is all about air and fire. Air elemental guardian Bruce made a great wingman in the first two books—he’s one of those surprise characters who started out as a subplot in Book 1 and managed to run away with every scene in which he appeared. As the hero of Firestorm, readers will finally understand what motivates his quest to bring positivity and light to…

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Cover Reveal for Three Wishes (Southern Elemental Guardians Novella 2.5)

Woo Hoo! Gorgeous New Cover for my upcoming release! Had to share. Stay tuned for release date, links, and giveaways to celebrate Three Wishes (Southern Elemental Guardians Novella 2.5).

 

Three Wishes_ A Southern Elemental Guardians Novella - D.B. SiedersA Sylph, a Merman, and a Rock Star get into a car…

 

It was the Sylph’s idea—a guys trip to Las Vegas before Paul Pulaski and Vance Idol say goodbye to
bachelorhood forever. Bruce has big plans to show his buddies a great time while having a little fun of his own in Sin City.

 

Mischief and mayhem ensue when the trio hit the tables, the strip, and get roped into a surprise performance at the Bellagio that gives Cirque Du Soleil a run for its money. But when Bruce gets them an audience with a bona fide Genie, will their wishes come true, or will demons past derail their
happily ever afters permanently?

New Release! Making Waves: Southern Elemental Guardians Novella 0.5

Go back to the beginning as Rhinemaidens Lorelei and Ilsa cross the Atlantic in style on The Wavesweeper, and enchanted ship captained by surly Celtic sea god MacLir. Before our mermaids begin their own adventures, they’ll conspire to help MacLir reunite with his long lost love, sea goddess Calypso.

Or perish trying.

Scheduled for release on July 15. Want it sooner? Sign up for my newsletter and I’ll send you a copy for FREE before it goes on sale!

MakingWaves_SEG 0.5_FinalECvr_RBG150dpi

For disgruntled Celtic sea god MacLir, nothing beats the solace of Atlantic waves and mortal women. Disguised as captain of the luxury cruise ship Wave Sweeper, he gets his fill of both.

Until babysitting duties get in the way.

MacLir is charged with ferrying a pair of troublesome Rhinemaidens to the Americas, giving the mermaids their first taste of freedom. All he has to do is deliver them safely to their chaperone in the New World. Easy, right?

Unfortunately, Lorelei and Ilsa have a lust for adventure and a knack for causing problems. From full fins moonlight swims to bacchanal parties crashed by nymphs and satyrs, Captain MacLir has his hands full. But when the mermaids conspire to reunite MacLir with his long lost love, the sea goddess Calypso, they set off a storm fueled by old wounds and passionate desires.

Will love calm the waves, or will all on board perish in a fearsome maelstrom?

Teaser Tuesday – Three Wishes (A Southern Elemental Guardians Novella)

Three Wishes_ A Southern Elemental Guardians Novella - D.B. SiedersHey there, peeps!

 

 

Teaser Tuesday sneak peek at a novella in progress featuring the heroes from the Southern Elemental Guardians series!

 

 

SPOILER ALERT – If you haven’t read Lorelei’s Lyric or (especially) Crosscurrents – be warned!

 

Here’s the premise:

A Sylph, a Merman, and a Rock Star get into a car…

It was the Sylph’s idea—a guy’s trip to Las Vegas before Paul Pulaski and Vance Idol say goodbye to bachelorhood forever. Bruce has big plans to show his buddies a great time while having a little fun of his own in Sin City.

Mischief and mayhem ensue when the trio hit the tables, the strip, and get roped into a surprise performance at the Bellagio that gives Cirque Du Soleil a run for its money. But when Bruce gets them an audience with a bona fide Genie, will their wishes come true, or will demons past derail their happily ever afters permanently?

***

If you like what you read, grab a copy of Lorelei’s Lyric and Crosscurrents! Better yet, if you’re willing to leave honest reviews on Amazon and Goodreads, I’m giving away review eBooks for FREE until the end of the month. No strings. You agree to read, review honestly—no pressure from me for a specific star rating or review content—and you get free books. Fair, honest, and I get a boost in my review numbers for better visibility on Amazon and iBooks.

Teaser:

Get in the car.”

Vance Idol had seen some weirdness in his day. Oddly enough, the weirdest had been while he was sober.

But standing in his driveway with his soon-to-be brother-in-law, a guy who’d recently discovered he was a merman, and staring at Bruce the winged freak as he beckoned Vance and Paul to hop in a 1969 red Mustang?

This rock and roll life just got a whole lot weirder.

“Birdboy, do you even have a license?” Paul Pulaski, merman/future bro-in-law, appeared to be taking it all in stride. Maybe Paul hadn’t yet experienced one of Bruce’s “thrill rides.”

Bruce put a hand to his bare chest in mock indignation. Must’ve forgotten his shirt. Again. Either that or he just wanted to show off. Exhibitionism was his middle name. “You wound me, Flipper boy! I’ve been driving since cars were invented. Mustangs are my fave!”

Vance sighed. “Can I assume there’s enough space in there for our bags and my guitar? Looks a little crowded with the wings and ego.”

Bruce popped the trunk, hopped out, and started grabbing bags and tossing them in back. Vance held onto his guitar. Not that he didn’t trust the Sylph…mostly—after all, Bruce was an elemental guardian of air and wind. No matter how hard he threw the bags, enchanted air would soften the blow and protect their breakables. But his custom-made acoustic embodied his livelihood and his second greatest love: music. It had been gifted to him by his greatest love. Lorelei, Siren of the Rhine, had saved him from his demons and brought him back to sobriety and life. For reasons he still didn’t fathom, she loved him and had vowed to spend eternity with him.

Which meant he had eternal life so long as he honored her love and returned it.

Well, that wasn’t so tough, the love and fidelity part. Keeping his demons and bay, the ones that told him he didn’t deserve her? Yeah. Tall order.

“What are you waiting for, Idol? A gold-embossed invitation? No, wait, you’d want platinum, like your albums.” Bruce grinned like a freakin’ giddy schoolgirl. A six-foot-something schoolgirl sporting brown-feathered wings, yellow eyes, and those damned buckskin pants that blended in exactly nowhere.

“You’re going like that?” Vance asked, pointing at the pants. “If so, can I assume we’re hitting pride week out west or Comic Con? You’ll make the other cosplayers green with envy even if they don’t know what the hell you are.”

“Give it a few centuries, former mortals, and you’ll become as fashion savvy as yours truly.”

Yeah, Bruce could put the “fairy” in Fae. The guy always seemed comfortable in his own skin—shirtless and leather clad. And he’d lived long enough to try anything and anyone. Forget pansexual. The giant eagle dude was fucking omni.

Not that it mattered. They were all practically brothers. Besides, he’d never make a pass at Vance or Paul even if they weren’t. Between Lorelei and Ilsa, Paul’s fiancée and Lorelei’s sister, the Sylph wouldn’t live long enough to regret it. Plus Bruce was cool. Not that Vance would ever admit that out loud. The guy already had an ego the size of Montana.

Bruce chuckled. “Oh I’ll blend where we’re going. But don’t worry, I’ll be sure and make myself look like a respectable mortal man before we arrive. Now, put the guitar in the trunk, put your ass in the seat, and let’s get going.”

After Bruce jumped back in the driver’s seat, Paul turned to Vance and asked, “Do you have any idea where this crazy fucker’s taking us?”

Vance shrugged. “Not a clue. Just go with it. He’ll never shut up if we don’t.”

Paul’s eye twitched and his jaw clenched. So much for taking things in stride. Interesting. Yeah, maybe Pulaski hadn’t quite forgiven Bruce yet. Could still be harboring some jealousy over the fling Bruce had with Ilsa—before she met Paul. Some guys had trouble letting go of the past.

Vance should know.

And Pulaski had his own demons. Different flavor than Vance’s, but maybe as tough to wrestle.

Shit. If they survived this guy’s road trip, it would be a damned miracle.

But you know it’s going to be one helluva ride.

Pulaski called shotgun. Just as well. Vance slid his guitar case in the back and then planted himself on the smooth, black leather seat. Bruce had great taste in cars. He’d give the birdman that.

“Seatbelts, ladies,” Bruce said, fiddling with the console until AC/DC blared from the speakers. Apparently birdman had great tastes in music, too. This road trip might just turn out all right.

Paul groaned. “Why do we need seatbelts? We’re all immortal.”

“Because I said so. Because it’s my car. And because even immortals get big boo boos when they fall out of the sky.”

Fall out of the sky?

Bruce gunned the engine and the car took off. Literally. Vance yanked his seatbelt over his shoulder and buckled the damned thing just as the car went airborne.

“That’s right!” Bruce yelled over the music. “Buckle up, bros! Vegas, here we come!”

Teaser Tuesday – Firestorm (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 3)

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Hot on the heels of Crosscurrents, Firestorm (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 3) is coming along nicely!

Speaking of hot, Sylph Prince Tlanuwa, a.k.a. Bruce in the modern age, has his hands full with a fiery Phoenix. And, boy, has he ever met his match! What begins as an investigation into a rogue hybrid Sylph known as ‘Hawk’— who’s been misusing his powers on mortal skydiving adventures—takes an unexpected turn for the worse.

And the consequences be apocalyptic!

Here’s a sneak peek at what’s to come. If you want to get to know Bruce sooner, check out his appearances in Lorelei’s Lyric and Crosscurrents, available now on Amazon and iBooks.

***

Well done, little sparrow.

In addition to winning his bet with Dak, which was honestly reward enough, watching the small mortal woman overcome obvious fear and distress and complete the jump gave Bruce’s adventurous heart a thrill. Plus, she’d likely thrown Hawk off guard.

With any luck, the hybrid would compensate with wind power and give them the evidence they needed to punish the fool.

Cloaking his presence, he flew as close as he dared to the pair in free fall, balancing the necessity of detecting whatever weak elemental energy signature Hawk might unleash with the need to avoid detection himself. The woman’s eyes remained tightly closed, her body stiff in spite of the force of the fall, her face twisted in a rictus of anguish that cut Bruce to the core. Whatever tormented her clearly went beyond the fear of hurling through the air. She seemed on the verge of losing her very soul.

An unexpected blast of heat hit Bruce and knocked him off his flight path. What in the name of the gods? How did Hawk manage that?

Bruce regained control and signaled to Red and Dak. Someone was channeling some serious elemental energy. If Hawk had allies with that much power, they’d need back up. But a hybrid Sylph should only have dominion over wind, not fire.

Bruce came back abreast of Hawk and the woman in spite of the growing heat. Blast, why hadn’t the fool deployed the damned parachute yet? Every other mortal in the party now soared above the earth under the support of flimsy fabric. Red and Dak were floating in a sea of flying humans, for gods’ sake.

What if the parachute had malfunctioned?

Bruce calculated the distance to the ground and gauged their rate of descent. Hawk couldn’t afford the fall. Most hybrids weren’t immortal, and no one, not even Elemental Guardians, were immune to pain. Bruce could wait a bit longer before intervening.

If not for the woman.

Busting a rogue hybrid wasn’t worth the cost of a mortal life.

He banked right and prepared to send a blast of wind to buoy the pair until he could improvise a way to get the to the ground safely and without detection. Just as he inhaled a deep, fortifying breath, he caught the scent of smoke and a surge of power the likes of which he’d never experienced. Hawk rolled, hurling the pair toward the ground as he and the woman fought over some small object.

Then it hit him. She was the source of the elemental energy.

Great gods!

“Dak, Red! Sweep the mortals to safety! We have a fire elemental in the mix. A pureblood. And she’s getting ready to blow!”

His Sylph brothers whipped up an east wind that sent the mortals on what was likely a terrifying ride. No matter. The experienced instructors could land them safely on the adjacent field. With any luck, the hapless mortals wouldn’t witness whatever was coming next.

Bruce dove, sucking as much air as possible away from Hawk and the female elemental in hopes of suffocating her fire. The pair suddenly shifted away under the power of another’s wind. Damn it! Why was Hawk moving away? Surely by now he must have realized how far out of his element he was with his passenger. Bruce gave chase, dropping his shield charm and appearing before the pair.

They didn’t notice. They were too busy grappling with each other over some metallic orb like a pair of petulant children fighting over a ball.

“Stop, you fools! You’re violating almost all of our kind’s rules of secrecy and giving me whiplash in the process!”

The female’s head jerked up and her glowing gaze met his. He’d never seen anything so beautiful and so horrifying.

“What are you?” he asked, his voice barely carrying over the wind.

“Help me!” she screamed, her warped voice full of terror.

Aw, Hades. She was scary as fuck, but she’d asked him for help. He didn’t understand why a creature packing that kind of heat, literally, needed his help, but clearly the situation had escalated to more than a rogue hybrid misusing his powers. And Hawk seemed hell bent on slamming himself into the ground and taking her with him.

Dakota showed up and grabbed Hawk by the neck, slowing their descent while Bruce tugged on the female. His hands burned and his lungs filled with hot air and smoke, but he fought to loosen her straps. He managed, but she refused to let go of Hawk and the small orb.

“Let go!” he yelled, fighting through waves of pain his cooling winds couldn’t quite soothe.

“No!” she screamed. “You don’t understand. I have to destroy it!”

“Keep this up and you’ll destroy us all! Dak, heave!”

The wiry Sylph Lord channeled his considerable strength and power to wrench Hawk away from the female, which sent Bruce and his fiery cargo hurtling toward the earth. Bruce summoned gale force winds and storm clouds to break their fall and carry them away in a violent, and blessedly cooling, downpour.

He held on to the trembling creature in his arms, or perhaps his flesh had melted into the fabric of her jumpsuit. Fighting pain and exhaustion, Bruce crash landed on top of a nearby hill and dropped his burden unceremoniously to the ground. He shouldn’t risk it, but he needed to heal. It wasn’t as if he could fight whatever flavor of elemental she was in his current state.

If he could fight her and the raw power she wielded at all.

She didn’t appear willing or able to fight at the moment. She curled up on the ground in a fetal position, shaking and keening in the scorched earth upon which she rested.

Disappearing into the air, he let his element rush through his essence, soothing, cooling, invigorating. Great gods, what had happened out there?

Red landed nearby, feathers ruffled but thankfully unscorched. He approached the elemental on the ground with caution, amber eyes wide and posture stiff with tension. “Tlanuwa,” he called. “You are unharmed?”

Bruce materialized. Judging from the look Red shot him, he must have still looked like fried chicken. Made sense, since he felt like fried fucking chicken. “I’ll do,” he muttered, joining Red and trying to wrap his mind around what had just happened.

“Where’s Hawk?”

Red waved a dismissive hand. “Dak took care of him. We’ll deal with him later. It would seem we have more pressing matters.”

No shit. The fire elemental showed no signs of aggression. She seemed damned near lifeless. Whatever. She could talk at least. Throwing caution to the wind, Bruce knelt down on the ground, yanked her chin, and got right up in her face. “You’ve got some explaining to do. Care to start?”

A blast of fire threw him to the other side of the hill and into a pile of rocks.

Red landed right beside him.

“My Prince, you know you have my undying loyalty and fealty, but as your trusted advisor and friend, I must advise you to, for once in your existence, shut the hell up.”

“What?” Bruce replied, staggering to his feet and shaking the dust off. “It’s a legitimate question.”

The fire elemental rose with flames rippling from her form, burning mortal garments, and searing the foliage all around her. She turned her gaze to the far horizon and unleashed a blood-curdling scream. Bruce and Red turned and saw a cloud of smoke, ash, and flame rise in the distance as a figure emerged, its fiery plumage blinding and brilliant as it soared away.

“Great gods,” Bruce muttered. So much for rumors. The Phoenix had arisen, at least two. One more and—

Something crashed against his temple. “Ouch! What was that for?”

The female Phoenix, for that’s what she was, no doubt about it, pointed to the shiny metal orb resting on the ground at Bruce’s feet. “Kill me. Kill me now, put my ashes in that, and scatter them to the four winds before we all perish!”

The Creative Process – Digital Images and Cover Art

I LOVE the creative process, and I thought you folks might enjoy a glimpse at what goes into digital image creation.
I had the great fortune to acquire digital art from Tobie Cote of Framebox. Check him out if you have the chance – he’s done amazing work for film, games, and all kinds of stunning, visually oriented projects. Honestly, if I’d thoroughly cyberstalked, er, researched him before I sent a message asking about image availability, I might have been too star struck to ask!

 

I’m glad I did, though, since he was able to offer me a deal on the absolutely GORGEOUS image that became the basis for the Crosscurrents cover.

 

Here’s his video showing how the image was created. Very cool! I hope you all enjoy his incredible work!

Book Review – Crosscurrents

So very pleased and grateful to Romantic Reads and Such for the awesome review and book feature!

Romantic Reads and Such

We’ve seen Sieders before with Lorelei’s Lyricand I’m so excited to get a chance to see book 2!

*****

The Adventure Continues in Southern Elemental Guardians Series Book 2

After her sister Lorelei finds a happily ever after, mermaid princess Ilsa is next in line to rule the Rhine kingdom. But she’s having way too much fun playing with mortals in the New World to let a crown cramp her style. Responsibility isn’t her thing, so she’ll need to find the will and courage to embrace her duties as an elemental guardian before she can transform into a worthy ruler. Enter Paul Pulaski, mortal scientist, adventurer, and hot geek. Paul’s all about responsibility, but he’s got a chip on his shoulder and a lot to prove in his pursuit of professional prestige—he doesn’t have time for fun. Until he meets Ilsa. Worlds collide and sparks fly when these two unlikely…

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Teaser Tuesday – Crosscurrents!

SEG2_Comp_FinalRGB_125dpi_ThumbRelease day for Crosscurrents (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 2) is coming soon from Amazon and iBooks! Here’s a sneak peek at what’s in store when Rhinemaiden Ilsa meets Paul Pulaski, her hot geek rescuer, ally, and soon-to-be hero.

 

They don’t hit it off right away, and their first (but not last) sparring session is highly entertaining. Enjoy! Also, click here for information about my launch day celebration giveaway. Plenty of mermaid-themed jewelry and other prizes up for grabs!

 

Lorelei’s Lyric (Southern Elemental Guardians Book 1) is also available from Amazon and iBooks!

 

Excerpt:

 

Returning her focus to the screen, Ilsa caught the blurry image of a boat coming toward the camera in spite of the desperate cries of warning she’d heard from its operator. She sat down in the desk chair and scooted close to get a better view. Horrified but unable to look away, she heard a sickening crack that must have come from her skull hitting the hull of the boat, followed by more shouts. At least two men were yelling. One denied culpability while the other seemed focused on…rescuing someone.

 

Her.

 

One of the two men rescued her?

 

Well, perhaps it had started as a rescue mission, but once the men spotted her fins it had no doubt turned into an entirely different scenario. After all, mortals were greedy, selfish beings who couldn’t be trusted. Oh the males had their uses, ones she’d particularly enjoyed during the course of her long life, but it didn’t change their nature. Ilsa’s human father had betrayed her mother because of her nixie nature, so what else could be expected of mortal men?

 

And yet, the jumbled audio feed suggested her rescuer’s outrage at the boat driver, especially as he fled the scene. The remaining man had apparently pulled her from the water and transported her here, wherever “here” might be. Confused and still a bit achy, she struggled to reconcile the evidence in front of her with history and experience.

 

“Are you okay?”

 

She yelped when the deep, familiar male voice came from behind her.

 

Ilsa jumped up from the computer chair, nearly knocking it over. She whirled around and held her arms out in front of her. Channeling her remaining power, she prepared to hit him with a blast of nixie energy that would make an electric eel jolt seem like a tickle. And if that didn’t work, she’d put him into a stupor with her Siren call.

 

Instead of attacking or running away, however, he simply stood and stared at her.

 

She’d been right in calling him a giant. The man stood at least six-three. With disheveled auburn hair and an even more outrageous goatee flanked by shorter stubble, he reminded Ilsa of the homeless vagabonds she’d encountered throughout her tour of the Americas. His worn T-shirt and ragged jeans solidified the look, though his sharp gaze and firm stance made Ilsa think twice about dismissing him as a fool.

 

The man slowly raised his hands, palms facing her. Though he regarded her with apparent caution, his actions didn’t seem threatening. Instead, he looked concerned.

 

“I don’t know if you can understand me, but I want you to know that I won’t hurt you. You were injured and I brought you here to help you…”

 

He stopped speaking when he looked down the length of her body. Her naked body. Well, what with one thing and another she hadn’t had time to conjure clothing to cover her—

 

Oh dear. Now there was another complication she didn’t need.

 

“My God,” he whispered, eyes wide with shock and apparent disbelief. “What happened to your fins?”

 

* * * * *

 

When the mermaid jumped up from Paul’s computer chair, whirled around, and held up her arms as if prepared to attack, he was first struck by her strength and apparent lack of fear. She seemed pretty nimble for someone sporting a major head injury. Or maybe she was simply running on adrenaline, given that she’d woken up in a strange place with a big guy crashed out beside her on the bathroom floor.

 

Nice going, Pulaski. Real smooth, scaring the poor thing.

 

As he tried to reassure her, wondering if she could speak at all or understand English, his gaze fell on her lower body. Her fins were gone. Instead, she sported a pair of legs. What the hell? Between struggling to find a rational explanation for the sudden change in anatomy, and the fact that a bare-assed naked female of perfect proportions now stood in his apartment, Paul figured both of his heads might explode.

 

“Perhaps you should sit down before you fall,” she suggested.

 

She spoke.

 

Not only that, she spoke flawless English with a beautiful accent he couldn’t quite place. Then again, the traffic jam tying up his neural pathways left little room for linguistic analysis. How was this possible? He’d examined her. Those fins hadn’t been fakes, they absolutely could not have been fakes, nor could those gill slits. And yet, the creature now stood before him on human legs that couldn’t be fakes either could they?

 

“Um, yeah, sitting might be good,” he said, shaking his head. “But you sit, too.”

 

She arched a slender brow, but then lowered herself back into the computer chair and waved her hand at his beater of a sofa in an elegant gesture of invitation. Her deep sigh made him curious about her lung capacity relative to gill function. It also made him itch to find out if that delicate skin around her pert nipples was as soft as it looked.

 

Not that he was looking.

 

Oh shit, he was really trying not to look.

 

“You have many questions, no doubt,” she began. “And I wish to know how I came to be here in your home. So let’s—”

 

“Here,” he said, trying not to groan as he grabbed the blanket draped over the back of his sofa and tossed it to her. “You must be cold.”

 

“Not particularly.”

 

“Just put it on. Please.”

 

He closed his eyes and tried to think of something, anything, other than those gorgeous breasts. Baseball stats, the Krebs cycle, his aunt Ethel…nope, the image of those high, firm peaks had been burned in his brain and his body seemed hell bent on responding. Man, of all times to throw wood, why now? She wasn’t even human.

 

Was she?

 

“What are you?” Paul blurted out, opening his eyes as much as he dared. Relief flooded his addled brain when he saw she’d wrapped herself up in the blanket. Her golden curls spilled over bare shoulders, and sharp blue eyes filled with intelligence and power gazed into his.

 

“Wait, let me rephrase that. Who are you?”

 

She appeared momentarily surprised, but recovered quickly. “I’m called Ilsa. And you are?”

 

“Paul, Paul Pulaski. Listen, are you feeling okay? You were hit pretty hard on the head. I can’t believe you’re up and about, especially—”

 

“I heal quickly. It is the nature of my kind, as is coming and going between the water and land,” she interrupted, gesturing to her lower body.

 

“But how? The bone structure of fin versus leg is so different, and it isn’t possible to shed scales and magically sprout skin.”

 

“Of course it’s possible,” she replied, flicking her wrist in dismissal and looking annoyed.

 

He crossed his arms over his chest, her tone hitting him like a slap in the ass. “I don’t believe it.”

 

“The evidence in front of you should be proof enough.”

 

“Doesn’t explain the mechanism.”

 

“Then I’ll have to show you sometime,” Ilsa said, rolling her eyes. “That was a joke, by the way. We may walk among mortals still, but we take great pains to remain concealed. By rights, you shouldn’t have seen me in the water at all. My injuries must have caused my concealment charm to fail. Strange, since it takes so little energy to fool you mortals.”

 

He probably should’ve said something, but if he opened his mouth, ugly was likely to fall out. Probably more than a few four letter words, too. His mama did raise him to have good manners where ladies were concerned, but her brusqueness and flippant attitude pissed him off.

 

As if sensing his irritation, she dialed down the attitude and said, “I’m guessing you’re a bit overwhelmed at the moment, so let’s move on. What happened to me? How did I get here?”

 

She was probably right. Assuming she could manage to sprout fins again right in front of him, he’d probably pussy out and faint right in front of her. In fact, he was more than a little light-headed already. Best to file that holy shit discussion under to-be-continued-later.

 

“Like I said, you were hit by a boat, so I pulled you out of the water. Got the surprise of my life when I saw the fins, but you were unconscious and we couldn’t just leave you there at the river. Kinda figured the hospital was out of the question, too, so I brought you back home.”

 

Ilsa gave him another eye roll, which coupled with the blond and buxom really chapped his ass. This new source of irritation bothered him more than the sore arms and aching back he suffered thanks to hauling her around, not to mention his assortment of scrapes and bruises. Yeah, she was little too much like those high school cheerleaders who used to give him the cold shoulder for being a working class geek.

 

“Hey, I could have left you there for the snapping turtles, or maybe Lance Ross, assuming he had the balls to come back after hitting you.”

 

“And what were you planning to do with me?” she asked, squaring her shoulders and giving him a look of pure defiance.

 

Fair question, but still—would it kill her to show a little gratitude? Given her commanding aura and haughty attitude, he had the feeling that “thank you” was not a phrase often uttered by Ilsa.

 

Damned supernatural ingrate.

 

“I was planning to get your back on your feet, um, fins, or…hell, I was going to try and get you well.”

 

“And after that?” she challenged.

 

“Take you back to where you came from. In fact,” Paul said as he stood up and ran a hand over his face and goatee, towering over her at his full height and challenging her right back with his stance and glare, “I’d be happy to drive you right back to the river now if you’re ready to go.”

 

 

Excerpt From: D.B. Sieders. “Crosscurrents: Southern Elemental Guardians 2.” iBooks.