Meet the Heroes from Dark Moon Falls

Oh, do I have a treat for you today! I’ve written a book that’s going to be part of a boxed set releasing on Nov. 12. There are fifteen total books in this set, all by different authors. The coolest thing about this set: all the books are set in the same world. It’s the same small town at the base of a mountain in the Pacific Northwest. The same wolf pack with the same alpha and enforcers and sheriff and all the excitement and challenges that come with being part of a pack. It’s the same witches coven that normally gets along swimmingly with their wolf-y neighbors, and yet, issues still arise. It’s the same small town bar (the Wolf Inn, for the record). The same grocery store, town square, local cafe…

It was such a fun project to work on, and I’m super excited for you all to read about this shared world!

To give you an idea of what the characters are like, I thought I’d introduce you to a few of the sexy heroes you’re going to be able to read about – in the authors’ own words:

lyall

Lyall (this one’s mine!)

When we were in high school, I thought she was “the one.” Until the day after graduation, when she ran away to the big city.
A decade later, she’s back in Dark Moon Falls, to settle her aunt’s estate. And guess what? That spark, that electricity between us? It still exists. But she’s determined to leave again, this time for good.
Problem is, somebody’s trying to hurt her, and whether we belong together or not, I’m damn well going to protect her.
I’ll figure out how to protect my heart later, when she’s gone again.

cooperteasCooper

I headed to the barn where Gloria sat, Kassidy right on my heels. I looked at her bare legs. Gorgeous bare legs that seemed to go on forever, but not the best for riding on my bike.
“You better go put some long pants on if you’re still hell-bent on coming with me.”
“We’re taking your bike?”
“We can’t exactly carry the rifles if we shift to our wolves.”
“Yes, but I thought we’d take the truck.”
“Gloria’s already got all my camping stuff on her and she’s ready to go.”
Kassidy stood there staring at the bike, her brows scrunched too tightly together.
“What’s the matter? You’re not afraid of riding with me, are you?”
She straightened her shoulders, obviously denying her fear. If I knew Kassy, she’d never admit she was afraid of anything. “No. I’ve just never ridden on a Harley before.”
“Trust me. It’s a piece of cake. Besides, all you have to do is sit behind me and hold on tight. I’ll do the driving.”
“Hmmm. Maybe that’s the part I don’t like.”
“Suit yourself. You can stay here.” I threw my leg over the bike and started the engine.
“Wait.” Kassidy ran to the house and two minutes later was back wearing a pair of straight-legged jeans. Was there nothing that didn’t look sexy on this woman? Then she hopped on behind me. “Just don’t crash, okay?”
“Trust me, baby. Gloria and I have a great relationship. I know how to handle her. Hold on.”
When she didn’t put her hands around me I decided to just go. I let out the clutch and we took off. I smiled when she let out a short yelp and then wrapped her arms tightly around my waist. And they felt good. Right. Like home.

jaxson-teaser-300x300Jaxon

Jaxson comes from old money and lives in a mansion on the mountain, but you wouldn’t know it to meet him – he’s down to earth with an unassuming way and oozes rugged masculinity. There is one catch, though… he harbors a closet full of emotional demons that stem from a devastating family secret, and it’s this very thing that ends up connecting him to Rhee, a wild child with a sharp tongue and the woman he wants to claim. Too bad for him, she’s only in town for three days.

easton-teaser-300x300Easton

Meet Easton Raines. Broody, hot, and, and currently battling demons from his past. If he wants to find peace, he’ll have to return to the one place he said he’d never go again. Only this time, his wolf isn’t letting him leave without its mate.

Ten years ago, Easton Raines left to start a better life. But a decade away hasn’t done much to solve any of the problems that sent him running. He returns home to find his world much like he left it: broken and empty.
Then he runs into an old flame.
Cat’s loved Easton since high school, but her knack for picking the wrong guy has put her in a dangerous spot.
Easton’s determined to heal himself and hightail it out of there, no strings attached. Will he love her and leave her—again—or will Cat’s past decisions catch up with her and break them apart for good?

ryder-teaser-300x193Ryder

When I saw her emerge from the forest, covered in blood and dirt, I had to help her, regardless if I had back up or not. The scent of fear permeated the air, something I loathed to smell on a female, and I hadn’t experienced one so strong in the past. Once I reached her, it took a moment to register that she was Kiera, the daughter of an Alpha, whose pack was hundreds of miles away from Dark Moon Falls.
With no other choice, I took her to my home to rest and recover.
In the days that followed, I realized that I’d found my mate.
Kiera told me she felt the same, but her body and spirit were too damaged from what happened to her to commit. She was resisting the draw we had to each other, and I vowed to make them pay for what she’d suffered at their hands.

I’ll wait for her as long as I have to.

dane-teaserDane

I like to make the ladies laugh. It’s adorable how some of y’all giggle even when I’m not trying to be funny. But I only have eyes for one girl and her name is Kali. I’m ready to settle down and she’s everything I’ve ever dreamed of when it comes to a woman. She’s funny and independent, all wrapped up in one beautiful package. What more could I possibly ask for? But she’s in a dangerous situation that involves the entire town and pack. Now people are dying. I’m hoping my help is enough to take down this evil before it takes more lives. Will our new love survive? I hope so because I can’t lose her now that I’ve found her.

maddox-teaser-300x300Maddox

Thoughts of clearing my name dissipated when I saw her. She was the woman from my dreamscapes. The woman who appeared in my visions. But I wasn’t looking for something permanent.
She was supposed to have stroked my ego while I found the bastard who committed murder in my hometown. Once my name was cleared, I’d go back home.
But home was no longer a place. It had a face, and a body I couldn’t get enough of. And my wolf wanted her too.
When I was a kid, I had a relative who told me, “Our hearts chose who we loved.”
Maybe she was right.

ghost-teaser1-300x300Ghost

Ghost has been living the life of a nomad. A Lone Wolf. Riding his Harley, picking up odd jobs, and stopping only long enough to lay his head somewhere for the night. But life on the road is no longer as appealing as it used to be and he’s ready to settle down, find a mate, and begin the next chapter of his life.

Dark Moon Falls seems like a great place to do just that.

Mackenzie was born and raised in Dark Moon Falls, but ever since her ex-husband landed in jail based off of her testimony, she’s become a pariah to the shifters in town. Which is fine with Mac, because after being left to raise her son alone, she doesn’t have much faith in them either.

Ghost and Mac are two lonely souls, until fate finally intervenes and puts them in each other’s paths… But will they accept the gift of each other, or are they both too stubborn to see what’s right in front of them?

A man of my talents, I had no problem finding work, but as the years went on I found myself yearning for something more.

Something I’d never wanted… A pack. A mate. A place to put down roots.

After what felt like a lifetime of living out of a bag and roaming like a nomad, I was ready to have a touchstone. Somewhere to return to when the road got too long, and I grew weary of staying at the next motel.

A home.

That’s why I was currently pointed in the direction of Dark Moon Falls.

I’d heard of it numerous times during my travels. A town where shifters roamed freely and lived among humans.

A few of my buddies had settled there, and I’d met some members of the pack over the years, including their Alpha, Elias Grant, who was cool as a cucumber and had the respect of not only his pack, but the entire town.

Although I knew I’d never fully have the need to ride out of my blood, Dark Moon Falls seemed like a good place to settle down and begin this new phase of my life.

Christmas eveAbel

I loved her from the moment I saw her. I could give you a million reasons why but the only reason that matters is because we belong to each other. Leaving her was the hardest thing I ever had to do, but it was the only way to keep her safe.

Now that her father is gone, murdered, I may be the only one between her and those who would want to hurt her if they find out her secret. A secret she may not even know.

She once asked me, “What’s better? A man that would kill for you or die for you?”

I answered, “Both.”

dark-moon-falls-ebook

Like what you’ve read so far? Click here to order the entire boxed set from your favorite ebook retailer: DARK MOON FALLS

Thanks for reading! ~Tami Lund

 

Read & Support A Good Cause

Head Above Water promo pic.jpg

I’ve had books in a few anthologies over the years, including the one above. It’s the perfect way to do what I love (write) and give back at the same time. Like all the others, all proceeds from this anthology are going to charity. Specifically, the proceeds from HEAD ABOVE WATER will go toward relief for victims of Hurricane Florence’s wrath.

So if you enjoy paranormal romance, and you enjoy helping out where you can, then I encourage you to download this antho and curl up and get busy reading the four stories inside. And know that your few dollars are going to make a difference in the community.

Here’s what each of the books is about:

THE BIG BAD WOLF’S EX

Reece Lassiter was a ruthless bastard.

Jolie was the only woman he’d ever trusted. The only woman he’d ever loved. She had been his everything. Until the day she had betrayed his trust and eviscerated his soul. Reece had cut her out of his life with a ruthlessness that shocked even him. He had encased his broken heart in ice so thick and glacial that nothing could ever penetrate it again.

And he’d been wrong.

His mate had not betrayed him. He had betrayed her and destroyed them both in the process. Now he’ll stop at nothing to get her and their cub back.

SHIFTED UNDERCOVER

Nikki and Adam are newlyweds, flying through the silver skies, traveling to their honeymoon destination– or so it seemed on the surface.

Secret agendas and hidden plans begin to unravel after chaos erupts on the plane. Nikki is not willing to lose the love she has found in Adam over a flight plan gone wrong, and Adam is determined to risk it all for the love of his woman; revealing the beast that resides within.

FIERCE DANCER

Quentin Armstrong is a loner mountain lion shifter with a yearning to be a part of something bigger. When the Fourniers call him for a favor, he accepts, hardly expecting to fall in love with the woman they send him to find. The last thing he wants to do is expose Emma to the dangers of his shifter world, but soon he finds himself fighting not only to keep her heart, but to save her life.

MIRROR, MIRROR

Adelle Hendrix doesn’t believe in hocus-pocus. She doesn’t believe in happily ever after, either. So when she sees her best friend, Ben Jackson, in a supposedly enchanted mirror, she decides she’s not the crazy one, the loony old gypsy woman who showed her the mirror is. Or are she and Ben meant to be more than friends?

DEATH BY MISTLETOE

Survival Rule #16: Never kiss beneath cursed mistletoe… unbridled passion will get you every time.

My father and I hate each other. Usually, we make it work. Or did— until the bodies started piling up. Now, I’m in charge of the investigation.

Luckily, I have help. One Evan Knox, officially known as my own personal nightmare. Or daydream. Depends how I spin it.

Problem is: How the hell are we supposed to stop these murders when Knox himself breaks rule #16 and drags me along for the ride?

GREAT BALLS OF FIRE

Centuries-old Dragan Pyrrhus had never expected his fated mate to run from him. After years of wandering aimless and alone in the darkness, trapped in a cold, emotionless state of existence, his mate had finally returned, and it felt as if he had been reborn into the creature of fire and light that he was supposed to be.

At least it had until he realized that she had only come back to seek his help for the daughter he knew nothing about. The pre-teen, hormonal daughter with a bad attitude who was changing into the deadliest creature in existence, a fire-breathing dragon.

Here’s the link, so you can get started: https://books2read.com/HeadAboveWater?fbclid=IwAR2hlDVhuCjMXElrmQ29fBm4MuiiddBHeLkv7floO2NjdT8LfeHLeE5MxLg

Head Above Water Antho Cover

PS – Thank you for your support! 

Last Chance to Grab this Magical Antho

Back in December, I participated in an anthology that was published with the intention of donating all proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. It’s titled 12 Magical Nights of Christmas.

12 Magical Nights Antho Cover

I’m proud to tell you we’ve donated thousands of dollars over the past six months. (And there will still be a few more donations, as we will continue to collect royalties until September!)

But that was all it was intended to be; six months. And that time is quickly coming to a close. On June 24th, as a matter of fact.

Which means you have only a few more days to support this great cause, and add a fabulous collection of paranormal short stories to your E-reader.

So hurry!

PS – Here’s an excerpt from my contribution to this anthology. It’s called Gift of the Gods.

Seamless Wallpaper Pattern, set of six colors

 

 

Chapter One

 

“I know Christmas is still a few days away, but I’ve brought you a gift, to prove to you I’m sincere.”

With the horse’s reins in his hand, Asher paused before rounding the corner of the stone building, cringing at the sound of Prince Julian Montclair’s oily voice.

No doubt he was talking to Princess Charlotte of Mecosta. Julian had been chasing the princess’s skirts since that day, ten years ago, when he’d come across Asher and Charlotte kissing in the woods and had been so furious, he had Asher thrown into the dungeons beneath his father’s castle.

Sure, Asher was a pauper, and the princess—well, she wasn’t supposed to be locking lips with someone so beneath her station—but gods be damned, they’d been thirteen at the time. The punishment hadn’t exactly fit the crime.

Asher had intended to give Juniper a run, but not if it meant he would have to interact with those two. Shaking his head, he turned to trudge back to the stable, but paused when Charlotte spoke.

“Why do you think you need to prove your sincerity by giving me a necklace, Julian?”

“The serving girl comes to mind,” Julian said.

“You insisted that was entirely innocent. Are you changing your story?” Charlotte’s voice was frosty.

“No, not at all. It’s just … I know you were upset by it. Even if it was innocent. Because, of course, it looked … well, we all know what it looked like.”

Asher leaned forward to better catch her response, which was silly since he doubted she would say, “It looked like you were trying to convince that serving girl to share your bed that night. And considering you’re a prince, it probably happened. Even though you’re supposed to be courting me and treating me like the princess I am, the queen I will someday be.”

But in fact, she didn’t say anything at all, and eventually, Julian cleared his throat. “It’s enchanted. See how it has started to glow with a blue light? That’s how you know your one true love is near.”

Yeah right.An enchanted necklace? Asher could conjure magic like that in his sleep. And he’d bet last week’s pay that Prince Julian paid someone to cast a charm over it. Because everyone and the gods were fully aware the man could barely invoke the simplest of spells.

But power and control were all about the station one was born into, and Julian Montclair has been one lucky son of a bitch—no, son of a queen—since the moment he came into this world.

“It’s lovely,” Charlotte said. “And it’s warm to the touch.” Her voice drifted over Asher, making him hard like it always did. He grit his teeth, angry with himself for being so stupid. There were plenty of women in the village who were of an acceptable station and perfectly happy to warm his bed for a day, an hour, a year, however long he was willing—and he wouldn’t end up on the gallows the next morning, either.

Yet all he did was yearn for a woman he couldn’t have. A woman he didn’t really want.

Okay, didn’t want to want.

***

Gift of the Gods by Tami Lund

He’s a pauper. She’s a princess.

Ten years ago, he spent three months in a dungeon as punishment for kissing her. He’s never forgotten the experience—or her.

Now, they’re stuck together in a cottage in the woods, in a snowstorm, days before Christmas, when she’s to become betrothed to another. They can’t have forever, but what’s the harm in taking advantage of tonight?

Some gifts are worth waiting for.

Grab the antho HERE, before it goes off sale on June 24!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund

…is an author, a wine drinker, an award winner, and a lover of romance. She writes happily ever afters, one book at a time. Check out her website for more books, as well as the many ways in which to stalk her on social media: http://www.tamilund.com

 

 

Vampire Love

BloodCourtesansBoxImage2SmallsansJJ

Happy Valentine’s Day! Seems to me such a drenched-in-red holiday should be celebrated with…vampires!

And I have the perfect boxed set to help immerse you in the vampire culture. While those other folks are gorging on chocolate, you’ll be indulging in something far more decadent, yet entirely unharmful to your thighs. In fact, you’ll probably end up accidentally exercising, as you clench them while reading these rather sinful stories.

So here’s the deal: I wrote a couple vampire books, and they are part of this series called Blood Courtesans.

What’s that, you ask?

In the Blood Courtesan world, humans are aware of vampires’ existence. In fact, humans can make a lot of money if they play their cards right, because vampires need blood to sustain themselves, and they’re willing to pay big bucks for the opportunity to put fang to neck.

Where’s the sexy come in?

You see, these vampires don’t just drink blood out of necessity. Oh no. The process of seeing to their needs involves seduction, wine, and sex. Once someone becomes a vampire, they no longer have need of food, but they still enjoy a delicious glass of wine. Especially if that wine is tasted through the blood of their courtesan.

Oh yeah, and drinking blood makes vampires horny.

If a Blood Courtesan is lucky enough to get chosen to provide sustenance for a vampire, she’s likely to be wined, dined, and then dined on. While experiencing the best sex of her life, I might add. These vamps have been around the block a few thousand times in their long, long existence. They’ve got the Kama Sutra down. They’ve probably written parts of it.

And you can read all about it.

There are 11 full-length novels or novellas in this set. All new stories, all taking place in the Blood Courtesan world. All written by different authors. Some are best sellers. Some are award winners. All are excellent story-tellers.

Want a taste? A nip? A sample?

Here’s a teaser from ETERNITY, the book I wrote as part of this boxed set:

“You don’t fight fair,” I stated flatly. “I can barely resist you.”

“Then don’t.”

An arm snaked around my waist, pulling me to her so that her front pressed against my back. She slid her hand under the hem of my shirt, her nails gently scraping my skin. I closed my eyes and didn’t move away like I should. Instead, I turned my head slightly and breathed in her scent: Magnolias and wine and sugar and cocoa from that cake she’d eaten earlier. I wasn’t hungry; I’d indulged in a courtesan only last night, but I still wanted a nip, a taste of her blood. There was no better dessert than my precious Abigail.

She swivelled her hips, rubbing against my ass, while her hand travelled south. When her fingertips grazed my erection, it was like she’d flipped a switch. I was gone. I couldn’t say no any longer. I needed this as much as she seemed to.

One night. I could handle one more night, couldn’t I? Letting her go the first time had nearly broke me, so I should know better, but clearly, she was a master at seduction. Or perhaps it was my obsession for her. I’d had far more skilled women in my long existence, and none made me remotely as lust-crazed as this one did.

Wrapping my arm around her back, I twisted us both, switching our positions so that her ass now rested against my throbbing erection. Dipping my head, I nipped at her bare shoulder, sliding my fang back and forth over her skin but not penetrating. Yet.

She cupped my backside and her other hand threaded into my hair. I pressed my hardness against her ass and gathered the hem of her dress in my hand so I could get to what was underneath. Her naked flesh, the gathering wetness and heat that was all for me.

“One more night,” I said, vocalizing my thoughts, as if that would somehow give me strength to follow through on the promise. I slipped my hand under the elastic of her panties; my fingers found her shaved mound.

“What?” she said, wiggling, which I took to mean she wanted more. So I pushed my hand lower until it slid through wetness. She arched and moaned and then said, “What did you say?”

No idea. I couldn’t even recall speaking at this point. My entire focus was on the task at hand. She needed an orgasm, multiple ones. I needed to ensure she never forgot this night when I sent her back to her human life.

“I want more,” she said, shifting her hips.

“I’ll give you more. We’ve all night, love.”

“No.” There was a touch of impatience to her voice now, and I finally realized she wasn’t struggling for more, she was trying to get away from me. I tugged my hand out of her panties and turned her around to face me. Her eyes were bright, her color high, her hair mused, and she looked so damn fuckable, I wanted to pick her up and toss her onto the bed and ravish her for the rest of our time together.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, my impatience matching hers. Now that I’ve made this decision, I didn’t want to waste a single moment.

“This.” She waved her finger between the two of us. “This isn’t just one night. I don’t want one night. I want all of eternity.”

All of eternity?

She wanted me to turn her.

Despite what I kept telling myself

And here’s one from UNDONE by Skye Jones:

I leaned forward and took a bite of the mango. As the sweet ripeness hit my taste buds, I gave a small moan. I had never tasted mango like it. This fruit was nothing like the mangos we got in our supermarkets back home. Some juice ran onto my chin and I reached for a napkin, but Dimitri got there first.

He tipped my chin and licked the juice from my skin, ending his shocking display by kissing me on the lips with sensual skill.

Oh my God, if he could make a kiss so damn hot, what would he do with the rest of my body to play with. My nipples, the traitorous things, went hard as granite in my dress, and when Dimitri finally broke the kiss and leaned back his gaze traveled down my body as he smiled to himself.

I felt vulnerable, on display, and horribly turned on. Why did he have this effect on me? I hardly knew him. He represented most of the things I hated in this world—apart from the cool factor of him being Russian—yet he made me tremble with a mere glance.

“Can I kiss your throat?” he murmured, his voice deeper than usual. Husky.

I swallowed and nodded. As he pressed close to me, I closed my eyes and waited for the soft touch of his lips on mine, but before he kissed me, he ran his nose up the length of my neck, inhaling as he did so and making me shiver.

“You smell amazing.”

“It’s Givenchy,” I told him.

“No, pretty one. Not your perfume. You.”

“Ah.” Not sure what to say, I shut up as his lips found the skin right below my ear by my jaw.

He kissed me there, feather light and oh so soft, and began to work his way down my throat. The kisses were so light, so chaste as to be almost nothing but wisps of breath against my skin, but they still made me shiver and sigh. I wanted more. So much more. To feel his lips pressed hard against me. His tongue laving me.

One of his hands slid under the table and gathered up the silky folds of my dress, pulling it up as his hand climbed my leg. When he reached the apex of my thighs, he stilled and left his hand there, cool and tempting against my overheated skin. So close to where I needed him, but still a million miles away.

His other hand played with my hair. He lifted it and let if fall through his fingers. Every now and again, he caught a heavy handful of it and gave a gentle tug, and when he did, he pressed his mouth that bit more firmly against my throat.

I wanted so much more. Between my legs grew obscenely damp, and I’d bet I had soaked the gossamer material of the dress. My breath came in rapid gasps, yet he’d hardly done anything of real consequence. But I needed him to.

“What do you want, pretty one?” He kissed my collarbone, murmuring something in Russian against my skin, and hearing the low words in that exotic accent made me weak at the knees.

“I want more.”

“How much more?”

I wanted it all, and he wanted me to say it, but I had my pride. He’d paid for me. He’d bought me. Why should I be the one to beg?

About to say as much, he chuckled darkly against my skin. “You deny yourself because of pride? I don’t know whether to be annoyed or impressed.”

Those deft fingers of his moved from their resting place at the top of my thigh, and stroked right between my folds, pressing against my most sensitive spot.

“So proud. So beautiful. So different.” He kissed me again when he finished speaking, and this time, it wasn’t gentle or soft. It was insistent and demanding and wild.

 

And, because this is so much fun (and hot), here’s one more. This one is from CONCEALED by Rosalie Redd:

“Don’t touch the Stradivarius.” Gavin’s cool, minty breath eased over my cheeks, tickling my skin.

Confusion wracked my brain, stalling my thoughts. “What?”

He smiled, and this close, I got a good look at his fangs. Long and pointed, they were nothing like the plastic pair I used to play with as a child.

He dropped his head to my neck, his lips trailing over my jugular once again. “I said, don’t touch the Stradivarius.”

“Why not?” My breaths, short and quick, eased from my mouth.

“Over the last one hundred and twenty years, only my hands have touched that violin.” He grazed his tooth along my neck, pricking at me.

120 years… “How old are you?”

“I was born January 14th, 1879.”

“So that makes you one hundred and thirty-nine.”

“Very good. Smart as well as…beautiful.” He chuckled, and the vibration travelled along my nerves, lighting up my senses.

I gasped as much from his touch as from the hateful word he said even after I’d told him how much I despised it.

With his free hand, he trailed his finger down my rib cage and over my hip. The movement was sensual, possessive, and I couldn’t stop the slow moan as it eased from my lips.

He pressed his knee harder against the wall, pushing up my skirt and encouraging me to spread my legs.

With a soft whimper, I complied.

“And, my spunky Alexandra, how young are you?” Gavin slid his fingers along my thigh until he reached the juncture between my legs.

“Twenty-two.”

“Ah, the perfect age.” He brushed his fingers over my panties, circling the outer edges of my mound. My body responded, my nipples peaking under the sheer top.

A groan eased from Gavin’s lips, and he rubbed his chest against mine, teasing the hard nubs. His one eye, vibrant red, stared at me.

Caught like a fly in a web, I couldn’t look away. “The perfect age for what?”

“For sex, of course, dearest Alexandra.”

Want more? Click here for a list of all the various ways you can download this delightful gift to yourself: AWAKENINGS

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes books, drinks wine, and wins awards. She also participates in fun, sexy boxed sets and anthologies. She currently has a short story published as part of the 12 Magical Nights of Christmas Anthology. If you purchase this anthology, all proceeds are donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. Grab it here: 12 MAGICAL NIGHTS OF CHRISTMAS

12 Magical Nights Teaser from Tami Lund

“I know Christmas is still a few days away, but I’ve brought you a gift. A small token to prove to you I’m sincere.”

Asher cringed as the royally annoying Prince Julian Montclair spoke in his oily, far-from-sincere voice.

And no doubt he was talking to Princess Charlotte. Julian had been chasing the princess’s skirts for nearly as long as Asher has known him. Since that day, ten years ago, when he’d come across Asher and Charlotte kissing in the woods and had been so furious, he’d gotten Asher thrown into the dungeons beneath his father’s castle.

Sure, Asher was a pauper and the princess, well, she wasn’t supposed to be locking lips with someone so beneath her station, but gods be damned, they’d been thirteen at the time. The punishment hadn’t exactly fit the crime.

Shaking his head, Asher turned to head back to the stable. He’d intended to give one of the horses a run, but not if it meant he would have to interact with the two people around the corner—out of sight, but not out of earshot.

“You’re giving me a necklace? Why do you think you need to prove your sincerity, Julian?”

Asher paused, curiosity overruling the knowledge that being anywhere in Julian’s vicinity was never in his best interest.

“The serving girl comes to mind,” Julian said, and Asher’s fist tightened around the reins until the leather bit into his skin.

“You insisted that was entirely innocent. Are you changing your story?” There was a layer of frost to Charlotte’s voice now.

“No, not at all. It’s just … I know you were upset by it. Even if it was innocent. Because, of course, it looked … well, we all know what it looked like.”

Asher leaned forward to better catch her response, which was silly since he doubted she would say, “Yah, it looked like you were trying to convince that serving girl to share your bed that night. And considering you’re a fucking prince, it probably happened. Even though you’re supposedly courting me, presumably falling in love with me, treating me like the princess I am, the queen I will someday be.”

But the words were only in Asher’s head. In fact, she didn’t say anything at all, and eventually, Julian cleared his throat.

“It’s enchanted,” he said. “See how it has started to glow with a blue light? That’s how you know your one true love is near.”

Give me a break. An enchanted necklace? Fucking parlor tricks. Asher could create magic like that in his sleep. And he’d bet the ten silver pieces he was paid last week that Prince Julian either bought the necklace that way or paid someone to cast a spell over it. Because everyone and the gods were fully aware the man could barely invoke the simplest of spells.

But power and control were all about the station one was born into, and Julian Montclair has been one lucky son of a bitch—no, son of a queen—since the moment he came into this world, wailing like a gods-damned banshee.

“It’s lovely,” Charlotte said. “And it’s warm to the touch.” Asher grimaced as her voice drifted over him, like it always did, making him hard, making him grit his teeth, making him angry for being so stupid. There were plenty of women in the village who were of an acceptable station and perfectly happy to warm Asher’s bed for a day, an hour, a year, however long he was willing—and he wouldn’t end up in the gallows the next morning, either.

Yet all he did was yearn for a woman he couldn’t have. A woman he didn’t really want.

Okay, didn’t want to want.

“It’s channeling my feelings,” Julian’s unctuous voice said. He was touching her, too, no doubt. He’d likely removed his gloves so he could rub his hands over her arms, his fingers probably grazing the sides of her breasts. Asher had seen him do it too many times to those serving girls he swore he wasn’t sleeping with. It was his signature move.

Bastard.

Wait, no, Julian wasn’t the bastard. That was Asher. He was the one born without a father, while Julian had been born into royalty, his mother a queen, his father, the king, standing by, prepared to declare him heir to the kingdom.

Clearly tired of skulking here instead of going for the ride Asher had promised, the horse nickered and pawed the ground.

Damn it.

“Oh. Who’s there?”

And then the princess stepped around the corner, resplendent as ever in a pale blue cloak lined with white fur, white leather gloves, and a matching hat perched at a slightly off-kilter angle on her golden curls. Those almond-shaped blue eyes widened for a moment when her gaze fell onto Asher, and the sides of her rose-colored lips lifted into a smile. For him. And the fact that they moved at all meant she hadn’t been smiling before.

Gods be damned, he’d spent his whole miserable life pining for things he couldn’t have, and this woman was most definitely the farthest out of reach of all his unobtainable dreams.

“Asher.” The way she said his name, slightly breathy, almost hopeful, slammed into his balls like it always did, and he shifted his hips and willed his hand not to reach down to adjust his swelling cock.

“Were you taking Juniper out for a ride?” she asked.

He glanced at the snow-covered ground, at the woods on the horizon, at the garland of evergreen boughs dressed with red ribbons adorning the stone structure next to them. Pretty much everywhere but at her and her companion.

Clearing his throat, he finally nodded. Julian glared at him like he wished he could conjure daggers with his mind and toss them at Asher. Too bad for Julian he couldn’t even create a simple poison and convince Asher to drink it.

“Perhaps I would like a ride,” Charlotte said, brushing her gloved hand along the horse’s neck. “Julian and I are heading to the stable so he can be off. He really needs to go so he is home in time for Christmas.”

“I told you, I’m happy to stay—”

She shook her head and talked over Julian’s protest. “Nonsense. Go home and spend the holiday with your family. You’ll be back again soon enough. Too soon, undoubtedly.”

Asher bit the inside of his cheek to keep from chuckling, while Julian gave the princess a look as if he couldn’t quite determine if she was insulting him.

“Would you mind saddling a horse for me, Asher?” Charlotte asked.

He was the horse trainer, not the stable boy, but those of high stations didn’t always understand the difference. Or care. Sighing, he followed along behind when she and Julian began walking toward the stable.

Asher watched as the prince reached out as if he meant to clasp Charlotte’s hand, and she tucked her own into the folds of her heavy cloak. It may have been an entirely innocent movement, but Asher wasn’t convinced. Which was interesting, because he, like nearly everyone else in the kingdom, was under the assumption Charlotte welcomed Julian’s advances. For most of the last ten years, the king and queen have been anticipating the day they announce their betrothal and therefore finally make the move to merge the two kingdoms.

For Asher, it was the day he planned to move on, to pack his meager belongings and strike out on his own, to go in search of a new home. He would never live in a place ruled by Julian Montclair.

“Hey, stable boy,” Julian said when they stepped inside the stone and wood structure.

Asher snorted. His arms were twice the size of Julian’s, his chest wider, his legs thicker and stronger. With the mop of dark hair on his head and the thick growth of beard on his face that he was too lazy to shave, he was far from being a boy, and Julian bloody well knew it.

“Horse trainer, actually,” Charlotte said. Asher caught her eye and arched his brow. She didn’t need to defend him. He didn’t give a fuck what this loser thought of him.

“Well,” Julian muttered, flapping his hand. “Do you see a stable boy around anywhere? I presume one who trains horses can also prepare them for a journey.”

“I presume one who rides horses can too,” Asher snapped back before he could catch himself.

Julian narrowed his eyes and glared at Asher, who didn’t flinch or look away. Julian may carry the title of prince, but until he married the princess, he had no authority while they stood on her father’s land. Not like ten years ago, when he claimed Asher and Charlotte were on his parents’ property when they’d been kissing by that stream that created the boundary between the two kingdoms.

“Oh gods above,” Charlotte said, and she shouldered her way past the two men and stomped toward to the stall where Julian’s horse had been housed for the past seven days while its owner called upon the princess and tried to woo her into becoming his wife. When he wasn’t wooing serving girls into his bed, at any rate.

Not wanting the finicky animal to bite or kick Charlotte, Asher hurried after her, reaching the stall door first and nudging her out of the way so he could tend to Julian’s snorting, glaring beast. The necklace around her neck glowed more brightly for a scant second.

Stupid parlor tricks.

Asher shook his head and guided the horse to where Julian’s saddle and tack were being kept, near the stablemaster’s office. The moment the last strip of leather was secured around the horse’s belly, Charlotte stepped up to the beast, Julian trailing along behind her.

“Thank you for visiting,” she said, patting the horse’s shoulder. “And for the token.” She touched the slightly glowing gem, a bright blue resting against the pale blue of her cloak.

“I’ll be back on Christmas Day,” Julian said.

“That really isn’t necessary,” she said. “You should stay home, be with your family.”

Julian reached for her and hesitated. “Could you give us a moment?” he said, glaring at Asher, who shrugged and led his horse outside into the snow, securing it next to the one he’d intended to take for a run before he bumped into the courting couple.

In short order, the prince strode from the stable and snatched the reins, smoothly leaping onto the horse’s back. Glancing down at Asher, he lowered his lids and said, “Paupers don’t marry princesses, boy. Perhaps you should set your sights lower.”

Asher arched his brows. “I’m not the one unsuccessfully courting the princess. Or whoring around with serving girls in the interim. I recently heard another has discovered herself with child, and with no man about to lay claim to her bastard.”

Julian’s face turned as red as his cloak, his ungloved hand squeezing the reins so tightly, the knuckles were white. “Do you recall your visit to my father’s dungeon? Do you recall the smell? The sounds? The fear that permeated the place?”

Asher still regularly woke from a restless sleep, bathed in sweat, his heart beating erratically, as his mind relived those moments when he’d thought he was going to perish in that underground prison.

“It’s gotten worse,” Julian continued, one side of his lips quirking. “And I cannot wait for the day I make the princess mine. Because that’ll be the same day you return to that place—and this time, you won’t leave alive.”

Magic coursed through Asher’s veins and he struggled to control the urge to knock Julian from his horse and beat the man to a bloody pulp. Instead, he touched his fingers to the horse’s rump, giving it a slight zap, which caused it to snort and jump, bucking and leaping around in circles while Julian tugged on the reins and shouted at the animal.

Turning away from the sight, Asher came to a stuttering halt when Charlotte stood not ten feet away, holding Juniper and another horse both by the reins. While he’d been verbally sparring with Julian, she had saddled her own horse.

“I would have done that for you,” he said.

She shrugged. “Like you said, if one can ride the beast, one should know how to prepare it for the journey.”

Right. He hadn’t meant for her to take that particular insult to heart.

“Help me up?” she asked. Apparently the interaction with Julian had made him bold, because instead of lacing his fingers so she could use his hands as a step up, he grasped her around the waist and tossed her into the saddle. She gave a startled eep and covered the glowing pendant with her hand. “Thank you.” Her voice was breathy again, like she’d gotten some sort of enjoyment out of that brief moment of physical contact.

He nodded and leaped onto Juniper’s back, tugging the reins to guide the horse down the path leading to the woods where he often exercised the animals. Julian, he noted, had gotten his own beast under control and was cantering away in the opposite direction, toward the road that would take him back to his home. The same path Asher and Charlotte had taken that fateful day ten years ago, when their innocence had been striped in more ways than one.

Asher spurred his horse on, needing the speed to help chase the demons away—not to mention the lust swimming through his system. Which was ridiculous. Charlotte was untouchable, a princess; one who was all but engaged to another. To Julian Montclair, no less.

When would he ever learn to stop yearning for things he could not have?

Sound interesting? It’s the first chapter of my contribution to an upcoming Christmas anthology called 12 Magical Nights of Christmas. Releases on Christmas Eve. The cover reveal is in a couple weeks, September 15-17, over on Facebook. Here’s the link:

12 Magical Nights of Christmas Cover Reveal Party

Head on over; it’s guaranteed to be fun. There will be prizes, books, and a bunch of authors having a grand ole time. Pretty sure the book will be up for pre-order by then, too. Oh yeah, and all proceeds from sales of the anthology will be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital. This same group of authors worked together on a Valentine’s anthology and ultimately donated thousands of dollars to St. Jude’s!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

 

Tami Lund is an author, award winner, wine drinker, and contributor to fun anthologies. Her website is here, if you want to scope it out for a free read: http://tamilund.com.

 

A new collection from Holley (and friends!)

The Great Outdoors collection
With temperatures starting to heat up, this is a timely, bargain-priced collection of eight outdoors-themed romances you can glom while traveling to your vacation spots! (Or while under a large umbrella at the beach.)

The first in my Desert Guards paranormal romance series, The Cougar’s Pawn, is in included. The entire series jumps off from a camping excursion that goes very, very wrong. (I might have some particular feelings about camping.)

You can get The Great Outdoors at one of these retailers:

·Amazon US
·Amazon CA
·Amazon UK
·Amazon AU
·Barnes and Noble
·Google Play
·iBooks
·Kobo

Tami Lund’s Shifters & Lightbearers

I am Xander Wulf, and I am a shapeshifter. This means I have the ability to change forms at will. And not just one form, either, like werebears or werepanthers. I can shift into a hawk to fly over a tall, steep cliff; or I can become a cheetah to quickly get across country. I can even shift into the bear or panther I mentioned.

Or a lion. It’s good to be king.

Yes, shifters are king. We are the most powerful of the magical community. We are also the only ones who share this world with the humans. Everyone else has their own world in which to live. Well, almost everyone.

There are also the Lightbearers. Those elusive magical creatures with their golden blonde good looks and magic they get from the sun. It regenerates each and every day, as well. They can deplete their stores entirely, go sit in a shaft of sunlight, and a few hours later, the magic is back. Damned impressive.

And I want it. I want that feeling, that ability. Changing forms is not enough. My magic manifests itself only in that way. I’ve witnessed Lightbearers create light, make food, build structures—and summon weapons. They can even heal one another, all with magic.

Sometimes I wonder how shifters were able to claim the position of king, when our magic feels so … limited. But then I see how the Lightbearers scurry away, run and hide when they sense a shifter in their midst. Like lambs and wolves. They are afraid; shifters rarely feel fear.

They are afraid because my kind believes we must kill them to inherit their magic. When a Lightbearer dies, there is a great flash of light as their magic or spirit or whatever is released. Some shifter at some point along the line convinced himself that meant if he were the one doing the killing, that magic would go to him, instead of release into the air.

True confession: I’m not so sure of that. Plenty of Lightbearers have been killed by shifters. I’ve killed my fair share. And not a one of us has inherited a lick of Lightbearer magic. We convince ourselves it’s our fault; the way we kill them, the position we stood in when it happened, the fact it was nighttime instead of daytime. Whatever it took, we’ve been full of excuses for decades.

I’m all out of excuses. I still believe I can gain their magic, but perhaps killing isn’t the way. Maybe there’s another way. And maybe that feisty Lightbearer with the unruly blonde curls knows how. Hell, maybe it’s her magic I can inherit. Considering the last thing I want to do is kill her, I’m now officially convinced.

There’s another way.

Read the F*R*E*E prequel to the Lightbearer series to find out if Xander gets what he wants from the Lightbearers: FIRST LIGHT

(PS – Xander’s story continues in BROKEN LIGHT, the prequel part two, which is part of an anthology called CLAIMING MY VALENTINE. It’s fourteen shifter love stories for only 99 cents, all of which goes to charity. So why not give it a try, too?)

Lovely Woman Posing With a Wolf       Claiming My Valentine Antho Cover

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and occasionally a channeler of characters from her books. If you want more, take a look at her website: TAMI LUND