The Demon and the Succubus (A Sisters of Darkness Novel) by Cassie Ryan @TinaGerow

the demon and the succubus, cassie ryanThe Demon and the Succubus

Second in the “deliciously wicked and sexy” (New York Times) series starring four succubi sisters on the run from a deadly demon.

Amalya has spent the centuries using her succubus skills to become one of the most sought-after escorts at a high class brothel. Seducing and corrupting men to make her quota with her queen, Lilith, has left Amalya jaded about sex-until a devastatingly handsome new client triggers her most forbidden desires and delivers an enticing surprise.

Levi Spencer, Duke of Ashford, has been offered a deal he can’t refuse in exchange for safely slipping Amalya back into Lilith’s lair. But a demon with a vendetta is plotting something far more sinister than Amalya’s death. And if Levi and Amalya can’t stop him, it will mean the end of the world.

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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter One

“Not what I expected. But a lovely prelude to our relationship.”

Sunk deep in a relaxing hot bath, Amalya glanced toward the doorway to find a stunning stranger in a very expensive Italian suit devouring her with an amused hazel gaze. Irritation and surprise warred inside her and she bit them back. “I’m sorry. Did we have an appointment, Mr.¾“ She remained in her reclined state with her head resting back against the bath pillow and her arms resting along the sides of the ridiculously large claw-footed tub as she waited for him to fill in the blank as she mentally reviewed her calendar.

There were no appointments for today, and the Madame hadn’t informed her of any pop ups, which was why she’d slept in this morning and was now lounging in the tub.

After all, even succubi liked to relax on their days off.

“Levi.” His rich voice with a definitely upper-crust British accent softly echoed around the spacious bathroom as he walked forward uninvited. He grinned as he crouched and reached out to rub some strands of the long blond hair she’d pinned on top of her head in between his fingertips. “Soft and lovely.” His inflection told her he meant more than just her hair.

Surprised at the man’s bold actions, Amalya resisted the urge to define her personal space. Instead, she mentally shifted into work mode.

She cocked her head to the side and reached out to touch his hair in the same manner he had hers, smiling when he raised his brows as if she’d surprised him. His hair was soft to the touch, the color of rich milk chocolate, clean cut, but longer on the top where it fell over onto his brow. She traced one finger down his sideburns, which were worn long and ended even with the bottom of his earlobes.

He was definitely good looking, attractive with a strong jaw and rich hazel eyes that sparked with amusement.

He intrigued her.

A glowing aura of nearly white energy surrounded him like a pulsing mist. Amalya wasn’t in need of energy, having just entertained a client last night, but this man’s presence tasted human with an undertone of something exotic she couldn’t quite place. Her skin began to ache¾the succubus equivalent of a stomach growl, telling her he would give her a surge of energy better than any she’d had lately among the stream of humans and lower-level supernaturals. Not to mention he intrigued her, and she had a feeling she would very much enjoy spending some time with this mystery man.

Everything that made it well worth working on her day off.

“So what did you expect . . . Mr. Levi?” she asked with a small smile.

“Levi is my given name.” His gaze devoured her face as silence fell between them as if he were trying to put his thoughts into words. “Perhaps someone older?” His lips quirked up at the edges.

A lie.

Amalya bit back a smile. Each succubus had a gift and hers was being able to discern truth from lies. Not the most powerful gift among her people, or even her three sisters, but one she’d grown to rely on over the millennia¾and millennia was how long she’d lived.

From the way Levi’s eyes sparkled, he knew it.

His grin widened as he slowly stood and reached into the inside pocket of his jacket. “The Madame gave me this.” He held up a black old-fashioned ladies’ fan, and a spurt of surprise threaded through Amalya that she hoped hadn’t shown on her face.

Each different color of fan represented what the client had paid for and what he expected from his time with her. A very simple tool that kept all talk of money out of the bedroom and part of a philosophy that had made Sinner’s Redemption one of the most profitable legal brothels not only in Nevada, but in the world. The black fan meant this man had paid with an open account and he had deep enough pockets to cover whatever he wished to go on inside this room or out.

“My apologies, Amalya. I’ve caught you off guard.” He bowed from the waist as if they were in Victorian England, but the intense hazel gaze that bored into hers held no apology, only delight, intrigue, and anticipation.

“Not at all,” she lied, glad most others didn’t share her gift. “I must not have received the Madame’s message to expect a client. If you’ll give me a moment, I’ll get ready.” She sat up and braced her hands on the side of the tub so she could stand.

“Don’t.” His voice sounded like more of a request than a statement and she stilled and glanced up at him.

He laid the fan aside and crouched again next to the tub, making the room feel very small as he loomed next to her. “Please don’t be angry with the Madame. She didn’t know of my arrival until just a few minutes ago, and I asked her not to disturb you.” He smiled¾the first genuine smile she’d seen from him, which made him look younger and more vulnerable. Now that she’d seen the real man behind the mask, he’d never be able to fool her with his masked expressions again. “And now I’m glad she didn’t.”

Amalya sensed no danger¾no special succubus talents needed. Pure female intuition honed over a long life. Not to mention that Jethro, her longtime friend and the bodyguard for Sinner’s Redemption, wouldn’t have let Levi through if he were any danger to her.

Amalya had been in Hell’s version of Witness Protection for just over seven hundred years. She couldn’t afford to let down her guard when the demon she’d helped lock away still had plenty of contacts within the human realm and would relish the chance to torture she and her sisters for the rest of eternity.

She searched Levi’s face, finally meeting his deep hazel gaze squarely. Pure logic told her there was something more going on here than a rich playboy who wanted some time with her. “What can I do for you, Levi? Really.”

“It’s what I can do for you that brings me here.”

The truth of his cultured words hit her like a slap before he stood and took off his suit jacket. “Do you mind if I join you? It seems a shame to waste a perfectly good bath, don’t you think?”

Amalya wanted to make him explain his odd statement but figured he’d get around to it in his own time. Years of isolation from her sisters and her own kind had taught her patience.

She studied Levi and debated saying no. She’d never let anyone join her in the bath before¾for her, baths weren’t sexual. A silly distinction for a succubus to make since she’d had partners in just about every other scenario, location, and position before. But there was definitely something about this man that intrigued her and made her want to share even this private sanctuary with him.

She mentally shrugged and relaxed back against the tub. “By all means. There are extra towels just behind that door.”

He smiled and opened the door to her spacious walk in closet, pulling a large green towel off the shelf and hanging it on the hook next to hers. He toed off his shoes and loosened his tie. “You know, I don’t think I’ve bathed with anyone since I was a child. Baths have always been my private thinking time.”

She smirked at the irony of his statement and raised one brow earning a short laugh from him.

“Touché. Apparently, we are very similar creatures, Amalya. And for interrupting both your day off and your private time, I promise to make it worthwhile.”

Amalya didn’t bother to censor the laugh that bubbled up from her throat. “You’re very sure of yourself, aren’t you?”

He stilled and met her gaze directly. “Yes. I have no doubt I can give you everything you need.”

She frowned at the strength of the truth in those few words. They hadn’t been said as a boast but almost as a sad fact.

Pure instinct made her add, “I have no doubt you already know I’m a succubus and everything that entails . . .” By which she meant that time spent with her would drain some of his energy.

He smiled slowly. “I’m well aware and not worried in the least, my beauty.”

A weight lifted from her and she sighed as anticipation slid through her. She hadn’t realized what a relief it would be not to have to hide what she was. Even supernaturals tended to try to forget to some extent what she was during their time together.

What would it be like to just be herself with no secrets for a while?

Intrigued by the man in front of her, Amalya allowed herself to relax as Levi continued to undress.

He draped his suit jacket and tie over the closed toilet lid before turning back to her and unbuttoning his expensive, designer shirt.

A surge of delight tripped through her. He seemed eager to be with her¾not the well-known courtesan from Sinner’s Redemption, but her. Which she knew was probably only her imagination, but she held on to the sensation anyway.

Each opened button of his shirt revealed a new tantalizing glimpse of firm skin dusted with crisp, dark hairs, and Amalya, riveted in place, couldn’t seem to look away.

Arousal slid through her like fine Cognac, a slow warmth that built in intensity until her nipples hardened under the hot water and familiar slickness formed between her labia. Apparently, her body wholeheartedly agreed with her decision to suspend her day off.

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5.0 out of 5 stars exciting erotic romantic fantasy, April 7, 2011
Amalya the succubus works successfully as an escort at the Sinners Redemption brothel in Nevada. Her job enables Amalya to feed and provide pleasure while, like her three sisters, pay off her debt to Queen Lilith.Semiazas the demon escapes with one thought on his mind: revenge against the four Succubi. Queen Lilith hires Duke Levi Spencer to protect Amalya from the enraged demon who dispatched two of his vicious bounty demons, Pestilence and famine, to attack her. Levi knows he is part demon on his mother’s side, but wonders if his paternal roots are angel or human. He accepted Lilith’s deal to protect Amalya in exchange for the Queen providing him information re his sire. However, an instant attraction stuns both of them even as they begin to realize Semiazas has a bigger scheme than attacking the succubae; a scheme to destroy humanity.

The second Sisters of Darkness erotic romantic fantasy is an exciting tale due to the romantic subplot taking a backseat to the danger lurking throughout the Ryan universe of heaven, hell and points in between; just like in Jezebeth’s tale, Seducing the Succubus. The lead couple is a solid pairing while strong support characters like Jethro add depth to the perils confronting Amalya and Levi. Readers will relish Amalya’s adventures as the demons keep on attacking.

Harriet Klausner

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TOP Cowboy M/M Cactus Creek Cowboy Singles #gay cowboys

cactuscreekcowboysTOPFor whatever (gay?)(M/M?)(Erotica?)reason, this 99¢ novella is NOT showing on my list of books on Amazon…which really, really sucks

TOP COWBOY

Book Description

This Short Story is a continuation of the Cactus Creek Cowboy Series. One man’s past bisexual lifestyle has significant and lingering consequences. Spence Thorin, the total top becomes a total mess when his past collided with his present…
Spence was once on top of the world, a golden boy, rich and accustomed to getting what he wanted. Fate has conspired against him. When his best friend Zandra was attacked everything chanced. It was time to grow up. Now he’s also faced with the possibility he’ll have to sell the home he inherited from his grandparents.
His fate, however, is about to change. Just when he finds the perfect gay cowboy to love, he’s blindsided with a complication of epic proportions. A pregnant woman claims he’s her baby’s daddy…and his “perfect cowboy” is the woman’s unsuspecting half-brother.
Paul never knew falling in love could be so problematic. When the man of his dreams also knocks up his sister, can Paul get past it? To make matters worse, he has hot-blooded Latina prejudices against rich white men who don’t have a clue how the other half lives. Spence could be one of them…

More Pros and Cons on Writing a Series #erotica

brainsmThis is more of my personal views on writing. I was talking about this subject on my Brit Blaise blog and didn’t get very far. I read a post where someone said they didn’t do series because of POV complications…which just made me scratch my head.

My pros for writing a series are:

1. I get to know the characters really well.

My con to #1 is that I forget something about a past character that my reader points out I’ve screwed up.

Yep. It’s happened. rp_cactuscreekcowboysbundle3D-2-263x300111.jpg

I have one particular reader who will catch what I’ve done wrong and let me know right away. To remedy this…she’s now become a beta reader who I adore! Lately, I’ve started making a chart, and probably should have done this sooner rather than later.

Pro #2: Readers really like series too! For the con to this wonderful truth…(see con #1) If you don’t remember the chronology of your own characters, be prepared to be cactuscreekcowboysbundle2-3Dembarrassed. My case in point is Mike and Ray Kale…these two cowboys have each become my personal nemesis. (I know that word should be plural, but I’m feeling like $h!t at the moment and can’t deal with the plural.) I have to invest too many brain cells with these two. However, they are worth it. Both are at the top of my favorites list.

Pro #3 With a popular series you can afford to reduce the price of the first book to gain more readers. 99¢ Special! 

Con #3 You might have a hard time ever increasing your price. Some authors give away the first one for free. I’ve not learned the secret of how to make a book free on Amazon. I’ve tried with IN PARADISE which is free on Smashwords, but I’ve inparadisebeen unsuccessful in getting enough people to complain it’s cheaper elsewhere. This could be a myth in my mind, but I’ve read that’s the only way to make a book free on Amazon. And now this post is getting away from me…like the plural of nemesis. 

Pro #4 There are lots of characters to keep me busy.

Con #4 The characters might begin to bore you as an author. I remedy this by keeping my stories short.  

Pro #5 Brand recognition

Con #5 Brand recognition. What if you write more than one series and the two are nothing alike? In the past, I created another author name to fix that particular problem. However, now that I’m re-releasing a boat-load of books, I’m not keen on releasing those six stories under that second name…so I’ve done nothing with them as of present.

I realize this isn’t going to be a common problem, but it happens. (I’m proof) Plus I have a hard time staying with just cowboys, so my latest is Warrior Cowboy. Actually, this worked really well. But not everyone can be a cowboy…can they?

Con #6 If a reader doesn’t like the first book they’ve read in your series…they aren’t going to buy more. However, this a confusing for me. My second boxed set, Volume II which looks like it has two stories, but in reality has three, has out-sold Volume I.  Go figure. Volume II has hotter stories, including a F/M/F and an M/M/F, so perhaps that’s why more have sold. 

rp_cactuscreekcowboysbundle2-3D-263x300.jpgrp_cactuscreekcowboysbundle3D-2-263x300.jpg

  Volume II             Volume I.

60 Helpful & Snarky Tips for Writers #WritingTips @TinaGerow

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I’ve been writing seriously for publication since August 2003. I’ve spent since then collecting writing tips (not really in a document or anything) but just mentally collecting them. And since it’s my blog day I thought I would jot some of them down and share them. Some are snarky, some are amusing, but all are actually helpful :) There are TONS more, but those are for another day :) So enjoy and feel free to share with anyone else who might appreciate them…

And here we go…

1. Remove 99% of your exclamation points, use your words to carry the emphasis, not throwaway punctuation that distracts the reader.

2. Avoid ‘Body Parts Gone Wild’ – If a cock leaps to attention, it should have little feet and be ready to run across the room…LOL.

3. Beware of wimpy verbs that don’t give the reader a visual picture. Words like ‘put’, ‘got’, and ‘went’. Use a more descriptive verb.

4. Keep in mind that it’s your job to paint a word picture for the reader so as they read, they can see the picture you have inside your mind when writing the scene.

5. Beware of over repeated actions. If your heroine is always sighing the reader is going to want to kill her by the 10th time…seriously.

6. Make sure the action is with the character, not the body part. Fists won’t clench on their own, the character clenches his or her hands into fists.

7. If your heroine’s vagina is “weeping” there’s salve for that…LOL. Get her to the doctor! Ewwwwwwwwww!!! SO not sexy.

8. Remember even when writing that heroes usually don’t want to kiss a heroine right after she’s “swallowed” – That’s jarring for the reader.

9. Don’t use flowery writing – readers like simple writing that paints a visual picture, not something schlocky that makes them groan.

10. “Mary was scared.” = Telling. “Icy tendrils of fear raced up Mary’s spine.” = Showing. Paint a visual picture.

11. If you’re writing a sex scene and you’ve never done whatever it is you are writing about – talk to someone who has. Seriously.

12. Don’t be afraid of words – use them, but use them well. Her yawning moist cavern is just icky. Soooo not sexy. :(

13. KNOW your reader demographic – for romance – mostly highly educated women 18-50’s. Don’t talk down to them.

14. Word choice – jizz or love juice – YUCK. Just use come. Don’t gross the reader out.

15. Usually if a sentence begins with ‘And’ or ‘But’, the ‘and’ or ‘but’ can be removed without changing the sentence and it will read better.

16. If writing anal scenes – don’t do the ‘BrokeBack Mountain” thing – sliding in with one stroke with no lube or just spit – that would HURT. Ouch!!

17. If your hero’s “member” has a head the size and color of a large plumb, he’s got medical problems and his partner will NOT be excited. Get that man to a doctor!

18. Purple prose is distracting and annoying and doesn’t help your story, it only discredits your writing in the eyes of the reader. Just say NO!

19. Watch the body parts gone wild. Eyes can’t fly across the room unless they have little wings. Gazes can though…

20. Write what you mean. If a heroine leans INTO a hero – that’s gonna hurt and require surgery – she’s probably leaning AGAINST him.

21. Get rid of “filler” words like ‘that’ and ‘just’ which don’t add much value.

22. Who vs that. If you are talking about a person – use ‘who’, if you are talking about a thing, use ‘that’

23. If the heroine’s heart clenches inside her chest and she’s short of breath, she’s not in love, she’s having a heart attack!

24. Beware of wimpy verbs that don’t give the reader a visual picture – words like ‘put’, ‘got’ and ‘went’ Use a more descriptive verb!

25. Save often and in multiple places.

26. Watch out for rolling eyes – Always reminds me of dice…LOL.

27. Avoid clichés – find a new, fresh way to say something. Make it yours. Cliches are distracting to the reader and don’t add value.

28. If your hero is ‘hard enough to drive nails’ he needs to call the number on the back of the Viagra box!! That’s not healthy! OUCH…

29. Make sure your events aren’t out of order. If someone needs to retrieve a book from a room – walking OUT of the room before grabbing the book and then walking in the room doesn’t work unless you’re Harry Potter and you can ‘spell’ the book to you or reverse time…

30. Read widely. Pay attention to writing you enjoy and writing you don’t and then figure out why.

31. If your pacing is slow and dragging – go back and make sure your conflict is big enough and difficult enough! Conflict drives pacing.

32. Try to avoid using was/ing combos – makes it kind of passive. ‘was running’ can become ran…

33. Watch repeated words used close together. That really becomes distracting to the reader.

34. Schedule a time each day to write. Sit your butt in the chair and write. Your brain will get the hang of being productive on cue.

35. Use appropriate language for your characters. If your 20 year old professional and savvy heroine says, “Golly gee” – that’s odd and jarring.

36. Use of ‘locks’ for hair has become cliche – seriously. People have hair, not locks unless it’s a padlock in their hair. Odd bondage scene??

37. Try to avoid giving all your characters in the same book names that are too similar or all start with the same letter. Gets confusing for both you AND the reader.

38. Anything that pulls the reader out of the story and gives them the chance to put the book down – weed it out of your writing!

39. Avoid using euphemisms that will make most people laugh – “his hairy man sack” is just gross! NOT sexy…LOL!

40. If your prologue is just an excuse to do a backstory dump – cut it. Only use those when absolutely needed to set up a scene.

41. Make sure you know your book’s timeline. Keep a chart. If 3 nights have passed, but it’s never been dark, it better be a paranormal.

42. World Building: Make the rules for your world and characters and then don’t break them. You’ll lose the reader’s trust.

43. Tie up all lose ends at the end, even if it’s a series. Each book must have a satisfying ending or you’re going to lose the reader’s trust… You can have a story ARC for the entire series, but you must have an ARC for each book in the series, each with a satisfying ending.

44. Avoid complicated names for characters – pain in the butt to type and hard for the reader to remember, pronounce etc is a dissatisfier.

45. If a scene doesn’t move the story forward – cut it!! Seriously.

46. If the heroine or hero are chafing and handcuffs aren’t involved, get them some freaking lube people!! That’s just not sexy. LOL…

47. Word choice matters. Thigh is sexier than leg. Breast is sexier than boob or tit. Clit is sexier that ‘love button’ – ACK!

48. Afraid of using the “C” word? It can be done… Read my Seduction series – used in non traditional way, but most of my readers loved it. Ceremony of Seduction – the first book in that series is my best selling book out of all that I’ve written under both pen names!

49. Call it what it is. It’s not a “man rod” or a “love shaft” or a “steely length”, it’s a penis or a dick or a cock. Really…

50. If the hero and heroine are running for their lives and they stop to have sex – they kinda deserve to die…Just sayin’…

51. Be realistic. Most guys (sorry guys!) can’t come four times in an hour…some women can… Don’t make your reader’s roll their eyes.

52. If your hero knows every brand name your heroine is wearing – he might be gay and/or a designer… Which is fine if you’re writing M/M romance or Chick Lit, but I don’t know too many straight men who even CARE what brand names a woman is wearing…

53. When writing romance, a hero who is a jerk or treats the heroine badly is NOT a hero. Readers want a romantic hero – give it to them.

54. A hero who looks at, fantasizes about or ‘plays with’ other women than the heroine (unless it’s a menage book) is NOT heroic.

55. Your heroine can’t flirt with or cheat on the hero either. NOT heroic. If they both agree to a threesome etc, fine, but not outside of that. And even then it has to fit with that genre.

56. Don’t forget to SHOW emotions in your scenes. How are the characters feeling? SHOW US! Don’t TELL us.

57. Action/reaction. Let us see the character’s reactions to things – internal thoughts, emotional reactions and physical reactions.

58. Make sure your hero and heroine’s internal thoughts and dialogue sound different. Each character should be unique.

59. If you aren’t getting hot and bothered while WRITING your sex scene, no one will while reading it!

60. Yes your story MUST have a plot – even if it’s erotic. Most readers like an engaging story with their hot sex! I know I do!

Tina

Stealing Liberties by @LisaPietsch

stealing liberties, lisa pietschWith hefty bounties on Vince, Sarah and Will’s heads the team has to be creative in finding a way to do their job as well as stay one step ahead of the powerful man who wants them dead. The way they choose is creative but it is also deceptive, inconvenient and very dangerous. A new guy who isn’t at all what he seems must be brought into the fold.
What happens when people start Stealing Liberties is likely to turn everyone’s life upside down.
But that may not be such a bad thing after all.

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5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, December 5, 2012
Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
This review is from: Stealing Liberties (Task Force 125) (Kindle Edition)

How can each one be better than the last?

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