Billionaires and Bikers: Sinful Rewards by Cynthia Sax

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Belinda “Bee” Carter is a good girl; at least, that’s what she tells herself. And a good girl deserves a nice guy—just like the gorgeous and moody billionaire Nicolas Rainer. He is everything she wants in a man.

Or so she thinks, until she takes a look through her telescope and sees a naked, tattooed man on the balcony across the courtyard. Hawke is mysterious, the bad boy she knows will bring only heartbreak. He has been watching her, and that makes him all the more enticing.

But when a mysterious and anonymous text message dares her to do something bad, she must decide if she is really the good girl she has always claimed to be, or if she’s willing to risk everything for her secret fantasy of being watched.

Is her mystery man the reclusive billionaire with a wild side or the darkly dangerous bad boy?

Meet Cynthia

Cynthia Sax lives in a world where demons aren’t all bad, angels aren’t all good, and magic happens every single day. Although her heroes may not always say, “I love you”, they will do anything for the women they love. They live passionately. They fight fiercely. They love the same women forever.

Cynthia has loved the same wonderful man forever. Her supportive hubby offers himself up to the joys and pains of research, while they travel the world together, meeting fascinating people and finding inspiration in exotic places such as Istanbul, Bali, and Chicago.

Email Cynthia

Twitter: @CynthiaSax

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.sax

Harmless, if a bit screwy… Guardian of the Grimoire by Karen McCullough

Today I welcome Karen McCullough, who spotlights her novella Guardian of the Grimoire

Magic, mystery and romance combine in a gothic story that sees a peaceful, small-town library turned into a supernatural battleground. In the library’s basement a dangerous book lies hidden somewhere in stacks of old crates, and librarian Jess O’Rourke is caught in the middle of a battle between a demon and the book’s mysterious guardian for possession of it…

Librarian Jess O’Rourke already has her hands full with her father’s declining and health and the under-staffed, under-funded library she runs. A new preacher in town waging war on her books is just an annoyance at first, but an attractive mysterious stranger warns her that there’s more behind the reverend’s campaign than she can guess. The new preacher is a human possessed by a demon and he’s searching for an old grimoire that’s part of an uncatalogued collection of books stored in the library’s basement.

Gabriel Sutton has been the guardian of the book for a long time, a very long time, he claims, since that has been his penance for crimes he committed as a soldier during the Civil War. He convinces Jess that she needs to find the grimoire and use it to return the demon to where he belongs.

Their time gets short when the reverend realizes she’s searching for the book and resorts to desperate measures to either retrieve or destroy it.

Excerpt:

Jess studied the Reverend as he approached and had to admit he was kind of impressive—big, broad-shouldered, with over-long blond hair, sky blue eyes and the kind of looks that made women swoon and men jealous. He wore his own charm and charisma with obnoxious self-awareness.

He’d shown up in town six months ago with a few “followers,” and they’d set up camp beside the abandoned church. She had no idea who actually owned the church and whether the newcomers had arranged to buy or lease it, but a week later they were holding some kind of odd services in the building. A few of the townspeople had gone out of curiosity and some had continued to go, even dragging friends or neighbors with them.

Initially she’d deemed them harmless, if a bit screwy with their unorthodox beliefs, but within weeks, he’d begun leading groups on expeditions to her library. Then she’d started hearing that the Reverend preached against the “Godless” books the town library offered. When he set up a dais on the town square across from the library building and began preaching from there against science texts that lied, fantasy novels—with particular scorn for one series featuring a teenage British wizard—and “pornographic” romance novels, she became alarmed.

She didn’t find out about the next part of the program until his followers had checked out virtually every biology text that even mentioned evolution and sociology texts dealing with magic and religion. Checked them out and kept them out. When she asked about them, she was told they were lost. She’d just begun sending out bills for the lost volumes.

She kept her eyes on the Reverend as she asked, “Can I help you?”

He didn’t answer. His gaze had traveled beyond her and focused on the stranger who’d been haunting both the library and her thoughts the last few weeks. For a moment the Reverend’s composure slipped. Astonishment and alarm flickered in his expression, hardening for a moment into a glare of pure hatred, before he regained control.

“What is he doing here?” the Reverend asked in his most theatrical and self-righteous tone, pointing to the man who still sat in the shadows. “This is a creature who has done wicked things beyond your comprehension. How can you allow this walking evil to sit here among the good and decent people of this town?” His stare sharpened as he challenged the other man, “Do you deny it?”

They all turned to watch the stranger’s reaction, waiting for his denial. He stood, unwinding his long, lean length with deliberate care.  He glanced at Jess for a moment before returning his stare to the Reverend. “I deny nothing. Whatever else I’ve done, I’m not a liar.”

Jess sucked in a harsh breath. What the hell was going on here? Whatever it was, she wasn’t about to have it escalate into anything more in her library.

A nasty smile shone on the Reverend’s face as he looked around at her, Carrie, and the five or six other patrons who’d come to check out the fuss. He turned back to the stranger. “What do you call yourself these days?” he asked.

The other man answered quietly, with almost studied calm. “I call myself by the name my mama gave me. Gabriel Sutton. Gabe.”

“You dare—?

“Gentlemen,” Jess interrupted, raising her voice enough to cut across the Reverend’s theatrics. “This man,”—she turned to glance at Gabe—“whoever he is, hasn’t done anything wrong that we know about.

Buy Links:

Author bio:

Karen McCullough is the author of more than a dozen published novels in the mystery, romantic suspense, and fantasy genres and has won numerous awards, including an Eppie Award for fantasy. She’s also been a four-time Eppie finalist, and a finalist in the Prism, Dream Realm, Rising Star, Lories, Scarlett Letter, and Vixen Awards contests. Her short fiction has appeared in several anthologies and numerous small press publications in the fantasy, science fiction, and romance genres. She has three children, three grandchildren and lives in Greensboro, NC, with her husband of many years.

 

Guest Post: Antonia van Zandt

I am privileged to host Antonia van Zandt today talking about a subject I love: Vienna. I was fortunate to study for a summer in Vienna with my husband (who was then my fiancee). Our hausfrauen (house mothers who welcomed us to live in their homes for the summer) lived in the outlying area of town called Mauer. Read on to learn about some unique places to see in Vienna.

Vienna’s Hidden Charms

Hundertwasserhaus facade

My latest paranormal erotic romance novella, Vienna Valentine, has just been published and, as its title implies, the story is set in the magical, majestic capital of Austria.

Think of Vienna and you probably think of Strauss waltzes, Christmas markets, Wiener Schnitzel and Sachertorte, but there is so much more to this glorious city. Home to 2.2 million people, it used to be the capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire. But, following World War I, this country, with its disparate peoples, was carved up, leaving a small republic in the east of Europe. Now Vienna recalls its days of grandeur with the Grecian architecture of Emperor Franz Josef’s ambitious Ring and visitors need little imagination to transport themselves back in time to the days of the Grand Tour, horse drawn carriages (they’re still there!) and the old Empire.

Tourists tend to concentrate their efforts on the Ring, which encircles the inner city. They visit the Opera House, the Town Hall, Schönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg, Spanish Riding School and St Stephen’s Cathedral. They window shop along fashionable Kärntnerstrasse, pose for a photograph next to Johann Strauss’s statue in the Stadtpark and relax in one of Vienna’s famous traditional coffee houses (please avoid Starbucks. You’re in the coffee capital of the world after all!)

All fabulous pastimes and, if that is all you do, you will have a wonderful time. But, why not be a little different? Here are a couple of my favourite haunts which so many tourists miss:

Hundertwasserhaus and the Kunst Haus Wien

Friedensreich Hundertwasser was an artist with a unique vision which centred on creating harmony between nature and mankind. He abhorred straight lines and believed every window should be decorated. He said, “Each individual window has its own right to life”. He was an eccentric and his work can be seen in some very unexpected places in Vienna. He was commissioned by the local council to design a housing project and the photograph shows what he came up with. You can read more about his project here: http://www.hundertwasser-haus.info/en/

It’s a quite extraordinary place. The walkways are uneven, there’s a fountain. Lotsof greenery and enterprising inhabitants have set up little shops to tempt you to part with your Euros.

A short distance up the road, you’ll come to the Kunst Haus Wien, which houses the HundertwasserMuseum and the most delightful café, where you can enjoy a relaxing snack or full meal in a little oasis of peace and tranquillity. The museum itself gives you a chance to learn all about the extraordinary life and work of Hundertwasser and, believe me, you’ll be fascinated! To find out more, click here: http://www.kunsthauswien.com/en

The Third Man Tour – Underground Vienna

Firstly, let me say that you need to be fairly fit to go on this one. You’ll descend to the old sewer system which featured in the 1949 classic film starring Orson Welles as the evil Harry Lime and you’ll retrace the steps of the famous chase scene. You’ll also see how director, Carol Reed used some artistic licence! It’s not all underground though, as you’ll also see some of the other inner city locations used in the film including the famous doorway from where he first emerges.

There are a number of these tours, varying in length from around 45 minutes to two and a half hours. In every case, you’ll learn a lot, not just about the film and locations used, but also about the context in which it was made and the accompanying history of Vienna. It’s a tour you’ll never forget. Wear sensible shoes! Here’s one of a number of links: http://www.drittemanntour.at/en/index.html

Now for a taste of Vienna Valentine:

 Blurb:

 On a hot summer’s night in Vienna, wolves dream of passion…
Escaping from a disastrous marriage, Nina comes to stay with friends in Vienna for a much-needed holiday. Love is the last thing she’s looking for, but when she sees the hot couple in the apartment below making love on their balcony, she can’t take her eyes off them. When they invite her to join them for a night of pleasure, how can she refuse? Captivated by the handsome, seductive Karl, Nina agrees and has the hottest sex of her life. It’s just supposed to be a bit of fun. A one-night stand.

But one night of passion with this gorgeous, mysterious man is not enough. There’s something unusual about him. But what is his secret? And why won’t he let her look at him when they make love? When she finally learns the truth, Karl’s life hangs in the balance, and Nina must leave, never knowing if she’ll ever see him again…

Vienna Valentine is available from:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca
Barnes and Noble
Kobo

You can connect with Antonia here:

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