Tag Archive | Indie Romance

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.

 

Howling for Jessi Gage’s ‘The Wolf and The Highlander’

I’m am over the moon excited to welcome Jessi Gage back to my blog so she can share juicy details about the latest installment in her Highland Wishes series. I adored Wishing for a Highlander, a historical romance mixing unforgettable characters and setting with a dash of the paranormal. Jessi is a master of genre mash-ups and isn’t afraid to tackle complex and unconventional heroines, as she proves in The Wolf and the Highlander.

 

 

Screen Shot 2018-01-03 at 10.28.31 PMAnya’s been a bad girl. A vindictive plot against one of her clansmen backfired, resulting in her grave injury. Scarred and crippled, she finds nothing lovely about herself, and doesn’t expect anyone else to either. But when a magical wishing box sends her to another dimension, she becomes the most valuable prize imaginable.

While hunting a rare marbled boar, Riggs, a trapper in Marann’s western forest, hears a strange cry. Distracted from the hunt, he loses the sow but finds instead something more valuable than a whole cart packed with marbled boar skins. A woman. She is delicate, and her ears are curiously rounded. She is not wolfkind. Maybe she is the miracle his people have been hoping for.

Riggs must bring Anya to King Magnus, because breeding rights belong first and foremost to His Majesty, who needs an heir. But the female calls to a primal part of him. He longs to keep her in secret and take her as his mate. But if he gives in to the temptation, he could single handedly bring about the end of civilization.

 

 

If my gushing isn’t enough to convince you, getting the insider scoop from Jessi ought to do the trick.

I love redemption stories, and you’ve created quite a set-up for Anya. As the spiteful villainess in Wishing for a Highlander, her come-uppance is brutal and seemingly final. Though she’s a strong woman (my favorite kind of heroine), she’s got quite a long way to go on her journey to her HEA. What inspired you to write her story?

 

Hi DB! Thanks for having me! I love stopping by to talk shop with you, and your enthusiasm means the world to me!

I’ll be honest, I had a book written that had been rejected by a ton of agents. It was called Wolf Bride. It featured what I now understand to be a waifish heroine who had a lot of interesting things happen to her but who never acted and took matters into her own hands.

I ended Wishing thinking I might like to give Anya a story. But Wishing was finalized when I realized that Anya would be a much better heroine for my wolf-man-hero, Riggs, than the waifish character I had originally written.

After 2 years of doing nothing with the story, I opened up Wolf Bride, retitled it The Wolf and the Highlander, and started rewriting it with Anya as the heroine. As I rewrote it, I felt the magic happening. Chapter by chapter, Riggs’s world became more vivid to me. The plight of his people, wolfkind, became more desperate. I fell in love with my fantasy world all over again and got to give Anya a chance to earn her redemption.

Riggs and Anya work so much better than Riggs and my waif, Elsa, whom I am glad the agents I queried didn’t fall in love with the way I had hoped back then. Just goes to show you, sometimes those gatekeepers know what they’re talking about *winks*

 

How wonderful that you were able to turn Wolf Bride around and link it to the Highland Wishes series! It just goes to show how it pays to hold on to old manuscripts, because you never know when they’ll turn into gold later!! Tell us a bit about your hero Riggs and his wolfkind and world. What makes him the ideal hero for your tortured heroine?

 

Riggs is wolfkind. Created by the goddess Danu, wolfkind were designed to have the bravery and loyalty of wolves and the beauty and longevity of the Fae. Long ago, wolfkind rebelled against Danu, and she brought a curse down upon them. The rate of female births dropped slowly over the years until now there are only a few females left who are young enough to conceive. This is the world my heroine, Anya, gets swept to by the magical wishing box from Wishing.

One of my favorite authors is Karen Marie Moning. She writes the Fae as sexy, smart, diabolical, and magical beings. They meddle in human affairs because, secretly, they’re fascinated by us, but if you catch them at it, they’ll sniff and say they only did it to amuse themselves.

I wanted to write a world where there this kind of mischief (magical wishing boxes, feuding gods and goddesses) goes on behind the scenes and where a little bit of the magical breaks through to help the hero and heroine find their destinies. I’m hoping to bring more of that magic out into the light in future books in the Highland Wishes seriesJ

As to why I wrote Riggs, well, I kind of like a hairy hero. Beards are in, right? They are for me, anyway. It’s hard to tell who is more in love with my 6’8” hairy, bearded, virginal hero, my heroine, or me!

 

Hmm, hairy men are all kinds of sexy! And I love that you’ve woven such a fascinating mythology into your fictionverse. In spite of being of another realm, do kilts play a big…role in the story (pleasesayyespleasesayyespleasesayyes)?

 

YES! There are kilts! LOL!

I based my fantasy wolf-world on Iron-age Ireland. I made my wolf-men sort of Celt-y. Noble wolf-men wear kilts, but they take them off to hunt (Don’t want to get blood on the tartan).

 

Hooray! I cannot wait to dig in to this installment, and I’m sure it will leave me wishing for more. Can you give us any hints about what’s next in the series?

 

I’m working on Constance and Wilhelm’s story (mentioned in Wishing when Melanie and Darcy go to Skibo Castle in Dornoch). It will be called The Highlander’s Witch. It’ll probably be a novella, though I’ve been known to say that and then end up with a novel on my hands…

Then I’ll be writing the story of King Magnus and Seona. These are characters you will meet in The Wolf and the Highlander. It’ll be a delicious story of magic and healing, maybe even magical healing of the sexy kind, LOL! I can’t wait to write it.

 

Wonderful! I very much enjoyed Constance and Wilhelm in your first book and look forward to their story, as well as another visit to the Wolfkind realm. How have you found the transition to Indie publishing?

 

I love indie publishing. Like love LOVE it. I love the control. I love the freedom. I love being able to monitor everything and make changes if needed. It’s a lot of work, but so rewarding. Most of all, the indie community has been hugely helpful. They are so free with information and advice.

 

Any other projects on the horizon? I’m always looking for great new reads!

 

Oh my goodness, yes! Keep an eye out for a contemporary romance box set by me and Wendy Ely and eight other awesome authors! It’s going to be out in July if all goes according to plan, and it will contain ten full-length novels for the price of one ebook.

All the books are “book one’s” in a series, so you can spend the price of one ebook to try out 10 authors and possibly discover your next guilty pleasure series. My book will be Reckless, the first in my Blue Collar Boyfriends series.

Later this year, I’ll be releasing Jade’s Spirit, BCB book 2 and Cole in My Stocking, BCB book 3. It’s a busy year for me, but an awesome one too!

Awesome! The BCB series is such a wonderful concept, and I very much enjoyed Reckless. Thank you so much for the wonderful interview. To learn more about Jessi, please visit her website. The Wolf and the Highlander is available now:

Amazon | B&N | iTunes | ARe | Kobo | Google Play | Goodreads

 

Thanks for having me, DB! For your readers, here’s a link to my Rafflecopty GIVEAWAY. It runs though the 23rd. Up for grabs:

1st Prize Ecopy of The Wolf and the Highlander & a $25 Amazon gift card

2nd Prize Ecopy of The Wolf and the Highlander & a $5 Amazon gift card

3rd Prize Ecopy of The Wolf and the Highlander