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Alls Fair_Love & Warlocks_Updated_Cover

“Why the hell am I here? Why me?”

“Talking to yourself, even for a witch, is generally thought to be a bad sign. Unless you’re casting a spell.”

Adanna jerked her hand away from the thick, wooden door handle and glanced over her shoulder at the person who was speaking. The curtain of her hair obscured her view somewhat, but she saw enough to know she did not recognize the handsome warlock with thick, dark hair and gray eyes. At least, she assumed he was a warlock. Most covens frowned upon making their otherworldly selves known to humans, even though they all lived in the same world.

“Not casting a spell. Do I know you?”

“Probably not.” He offered his hand. It was a human custom, but most were.

“Anton Burke. I’m from New England. Salem, to be exact. Weather’s certainly nicer here at this time of year.”

Salem. Humans, of course, were obsessed with the town, as so many (non) witches had been executed there, several centuries ago. It was a particularly troubling period in their history. And witches, despite their disdain for humans, were just as enthralled with the area.

“It’s pretty mild in Savannah, with the exception of July and August. Your coven is the one that’s taken over all of New England, isn’t it?”

Something akin to a grimace darkened his face but did not dim his handsome features. He had the kind of rugged good looks that screamed bad boy, the kind that caused red-blooded women to tumble into his bed and ask questions later. Her grandmother’s lessons to always read people before interacting echoed in her head. She pushed away the memories, the reminder of who she was, what she was.

“Yeah. It’s easier that way, I guess. So many small covens; it just wasn’t, you know…”

“Personal?”

He smirked. “Economical. Hard to support all those mini empires. Made more sense to create one mega-coven. More money, more control over issues and stuff.”

“I heard your coven now stretches all the way to South Carolina.”

“You sound suspicious.”

Adanna shrugged. “I’ve belonged to the Savannah Coven my whole life, and we’ve always been pretty small-town. Seems hard to believe all those covens were willing to be swallowed up by Big Brother, so to speak.”

“Times are changing. Most of the covens were run by older witches. They were tired, wanted to retire. And there aren’t enough marked Supremes to take their places. What else were they supposed to do?”

Adanna raked a hand through her long locks and focused on steadying her temper. Why it flared at the mention of the conglomerate of covens along the east coast, she had no idea. What did it matter to her if an abnormally larg group of witches and warlocks wanted to band together under one Supreme? Everybody knew witches needed someone to manage them, or at the very least, help when they ended up in hot water, which happened more frequently than it ought to.

***

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All’s Fair: Love & Warlocks

All's Fair_ Love & Warlocks

Happy reading & happy Halloween!

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund writes romance, drinks wine, and wins awards. If you want more, check out her website: http://tamilund.com

 

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!

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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 Virgin and a Prisoner Walk into a Bar…

It’s a new release. It’s the end of a series. It’s the story of a woman who’s job is to save the world, and a man who’s job is to destroy her. Good thing he’s a prisoner. Except she’s become friendly with him, which cannot possibly bode well, for, well, anybody…

Here’s a taste of PRISONER OF FATE, Book 3 in the Twisted Fate Series:

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The First’s pet Rakshasa lounged in the wicker chair, one cotton-covered leg crooked over the armrest, the other perched on the floor. He hummed a tune Lily didn’t recognize, while he twirled what looked like a grilled jumbo shrimp on a stick.

He abruptly stopped humming and lifted his face and sniffed the air. Lily scuttled behind a nearby pillar. She waited until her heart wasn’t beating quite so erratically, then she peeked out from behind the column.

The shifter stared directly at her with unblinking black eyes.

“Oh,” she squeaked, unnerved by the solid, steady stare.

“Chala.” His voice was deep, like that actor from the insurance commercials she saw on television.

Lily felt that intense sense of awareness sweep through her again, licking at her insides, making her feel both hot and cold at the same time. She dropped her head back and leaned against the cool pillar and gave in to the racking shiver.

“No need to hide, Chala. I cannot harm you so long as you remain outside the reach of my lovely necklace.” He chuckled at his own joke.

Lily risked another look. He still lounged on the wicker chair, although the shrimp on the end of the stick was gone. And he still watched her with that breathtaking intensity.

“I–I didn’t think you would be awake,” she stuttered.

“I wouldn’t think you would be awake,” he countered. “It is terribly late. Is it not past your bedtime, Chala?”

Lily slowly stepped out from behind the pillar and stood next to it, feeling oddly exposed. Not returning to her room to change suddenly seemed like a poor decision.

“It’s Lily,” she said. “Lily Gallow. I hate it when people call me Chala,” she said, hoping he would appreciate the show of solidarity. She had to believe he hated to be referred to as “Pet.”

“Why? Are you not a Chala? Have my senses finally gone askew, after all this time?”

“Yes, I am. But I have a name, and I prefer people use it. Just as I imagine you do.”

“Are you asking for my name, Chala?”

“Yes,” she said boldly. “You must have one. Everyone has a name.”

“The First does not,” he pointed out.

“She does,” Lily countered. “She just chooses not to use it. You, I assume, didn’t have a choice in the matter.”

He paused, watching her for several heartbeats worth of time. “No,” he said finally. “I was not given a choice.”

Lily rolled her eyes. “I take it you aren’t going to tell me.”

The shifter chuckled. “Maybe I do not remember. I have been called Pet for a thousand years, you know.”

Lily shook her head. “You remember. I’m sure of it.” She paused, and when he still did not offer his name, she asked, “What do you miss most about your freedom?”

The shifter stared at her, blinking far less frequently than most other people she’d encountered. Finally, he sighed and kicked his foot into the air.

“I haven’t had a good kill, a good steak, or a good fuck in a thousand years. I miss everything, Lily Gallow. Everything.”

Fall in love with the entire Twisted Fate series…

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Of Love and Darkness – Meet Gavin, a cursed Rakshasa, and Sydney, the last remaining Chala on earth. It’s up to her to save her species. A species, by the way, that Gavin’s kind wants to destroy. Except he’s cursed and believes he’s like her. Oh, and he happens to think they’re mates. This is definitely not a match made in heaven.

Amazon US        Amazon UK        Amazon AU       Amazon CA     Free in KU

Prim and Proper Fate – After double-crossing Gavin and nearly getting him killed, Brandon now finds himself in the precarious position of actually trying to save the cursed Rakshasa, because, well, some dumbass Fate un-cursed him. Brandon reaches out to the one person he knows can help—a prissy, too-good-for-her-own britches Fate named Prim, whose body makes him think anything but proper thoughts. Prim also happens to have a secret. One that could save their kind.

Amazon US               Amazon UK       Amazon AU      Amazon CA      Free in KU

Prisoner of Fate – Lily is a 170-year-old virgin shifter who has been hiding out on a desert island for her entire life. Now that she’s joined the real world she resents her responsibilities to her species: To choose the right mate and get to work repopulating the world with Light Ones who will protect the humans. Which is the very last thing she wants to do.

And then she meets Matteo, a Rakshasa—those shifters who like to eat humans as snacks. He’s been a prisoner of the Fates for a thousand years, and she has no business befriending him.

Lily never knew she had a thing for bad boys…

Amazon US           Amazon CA         Amazon AU        Amazon UK           Free in KU

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

 

Tami Lund is a wine drinker, award-winner, and writer of sexy and funny book series. There’s more at www.tamilund.com.

 

A Sexy Daddy, A Determined Nanny, A Precocious 3 Year Old…And A Goat

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“Do you like golf?” I ask.

“Yep. Daddy says I’m a natural.” She’s distracted by something over my shoulder, and I turn my head in time to watch as Garrett makes contact with another golf ball, sending it soaring past the 250-yard sign again. Abby jumps to her feet, clapping enthusiastically, and I follow her as she runs up to once again bump fists with him.

“Hey,” he says to her. “Erin here doesn’t know anything about golf. I bet she can’t even swing a club. Want to show her how it’s done?”

Abby nods and rushes to the nearby golf bag while Garrett follows behind and plucks a miniature club from the depths. He then places a ball on the tee and hands the iron to Abby, briefly suggesting she modify her stance before letting her take a swing. The ball flies through the air, landing near the 50-yard sign.

“Is that good?” I ask dubiously.

“Considering she’s three, I’d say yes,” Garrett replies. She rushes up to him and he enthusiastically tells her how great she was, and my heart pitter-patters uncomfortably. Despite my discomfort, I want this job more and more with each passing moment. I’m already half in love with the kid, and the dad isn’t so bad either.

“Your turn,” he says, pulling another club from the bag and offering it to me.

“I’m good,” I say, waving it off.

“Hit the ball,” Abby says.

“Yeah, why don’t you play with my ball?” Garrett taunts, holding one with his thumb and forefinger and twisting it to and fro.

I take back my almost-positive thought about Frost. “Fine,” I say, shrugging out of my coat and snatching the club from his hand. “What do I need to do?”

I know he intends to stand behind me, snuggle up close, and wrap his arms around me, all under the pretence of giving me a golf lesson. And I don’t want him to because really, I want him to. I want to know what that hard body feels like pressed against mine. Will he develop a hard-on? Will he rub himself against me while he whispers in my ear? Will I be turned on?

What a silly question.

“Stand over there,” he says, pointing at the area between two plastic triangles that separate each practice area from the others. “Now grab a ball from the bucket and place it on the tee. Okay, spread your legs, about a shoulder’s width apart. Good. Now hold the club like this.” I copy what he’s doing and place the head of the club on the ground. “Now…” He goes on for a solid five minutes while he continually tells me to adjust my stance and then explains which foot I want to put my weight on and how to swing my hips and a whole bunch of other instructions that pretty much go in one ear and out the other until I’m itching to just swing the damn club already. And he does it all from ten feet away, so I literally get no pleasure from this interaction.

None. Nada. Not even—

“Swing.”

Automatically, I do as he says. The club connects with the ball and sends it soaring … And it plops down a few feet from Abby’s ball.

“Wow,” the little girl says. “That didn’t go very far.”

“You should probably keep your day job,” her dad says.

“First I have to secure one,” I snap back. Shit, I’ve just made a fool of myself and now he probably won’t give me the job.

“What do you think, Abby?” Garrett says. “Should we keep her?”

“I’d rather have a goat.”

My gaze flies to Garrett’s face, and he’s laughing so hard he has to swipe away a tear. When he finally manages to regain his demeanor, he winks at me and says to his daughter, “You and a goat, alone together, would cause more trouble than a barrelful of monkeys.” She giggles. God, she’s cute. I suppose it helps that she looks just like her dad.

“All right,” Garrett says, this time focusing on me. “Trial run. Today. I’ve got about two more hours of this. I’ll break for lunch, and then I need to play a round. I spoke to the agency this morning and they swear you’re trustworthy—with kids.”

Oh shit. They didn’t tell him about the incident, did they? They’re supposed to be bound by law not to tell.

“So why don’t you let Abby show you around the club? You keep her entertained and then meet me for lunch in the clubhouse, say, 12:30. After that, if everybody’s still happy, I’ll give you the keys and you can take her back to my place to hang out until I’m done here. Deal?”

“Deal.” I automatically thrust out my hand, and he glances at it for a moment before grasping it and shaking. It’s an odd sensation since he’s wearing a golf glove, but who cares? I got the job! “You won’t regret this,” I promise him, and then I grab Abby’s hand and ask her to give me the tour.

I can feel his gaze on me as we walk away, but I understand. He’s nervous about leaving his daughter in the care of a stranger, even if said stranger was sent to him from a reputable nanny-placement agency. He’ll learn soon enough that he has nothing to worry about.

His daughter is in good hands.

And these hands are going to stay away from him.

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SEXY BAD DADDY

 

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Tami Lund drinks wine, wins awards, and writes sexy bad books. Check out her website here: http://tamilund.com