Happy Halloween! It’s official! We made it through the week of scares! Here are the posts from the rest of the week, just in case you missed any:
Intro, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Don’t forget to leave a reply if you want a chance at the prizes! (I’ll announce the winners tomorrow.)
Thanks for stopping by for the fun and the scares. 🙂
The first excerpt is a wonderfully dark and disturbing scene from Kathryn R Blake’s ‘Deadly Enchantment’.
Lynwood Manor – The Dungeon
Although a peer of the realm, Terrence Nathaniel Moreland, Earl of Lynwood, cared not at all for the trappings and social amenities associated with being a member of the nobility. The title offered him certain privileges, which he made use of as they suited him, but for the most part, he preferred to seclude himself in his laboratory where he could work his spells and potions undisturbed and unquestioned.
And today he was attempting something a little different. Something he’d never been entirely successful at before, but curiosity and a feeling of restlessness impelled him to try again. That and the fact that the young woman seated near him had ruined his breakfast by overcooking his eggs.
She was unconscious now, which was just as well, since Terrence was finding her screams a bit tedious. Not that he minded inflicting pain and suffering on others, but this one had a particularly shrill voice that grated on his nerves. Even so, she had turned out better than most of the others. Her skin was red, dried and wrinkled as if she’d been left out in the sun too long. Years, too long. If he touched her, her flesh would peel off into his hand like the skin of an over-baked chicken. She’d cooked much better than her eggs had.
He was regarding his handiwork when Basil, his manservant, requested permission to enter. Basil was the only person whom Terrence allowed to enter his laboratory and leave in the same condition he arrived. He’d placed a magical barrier around his domain barring anyone else to enter without his permission. It was a useless formality, since no one else dared to even ask permission for fear of earning his or her lord’s displeasure. Rumors circulated that not all the rats Terrence’s cat took great pleasure in chasing and devouring began their short lives as rodents.
Terrence called his permission for Basil to enter. He was done with the girl, and Basil would see to her disposal.
Basil came down the steps and halted.
“She’s alive,” Terrence informed him, “but she won’t be for long. You’d best get a blanket or rug to carry her in, else you’ll have a mess on your hands.” He regarded the girl with a critical eye. “I’d say the spell was a success this time. Wasn’t precisely the effect I intended, but close enough.”
Basil’s nose wrinkled slightly, but he held his tongue.
Terrence turned back to his spell book. “That’s all. You may go.”
Basil cleared his throat. “I do have something to tell you that I believe will be of great interest to you, my lord,” he murmured deferentially.
“Go ahead, then. Say it.”
“I believe Mr. Westcroft may have found a new mate.”
“Really. And what makes you think I’d care to hear tale of some new trollop my bastard brother wishes to mount?”
“I have good reason to believe that the woman is none other than Felicity Cunningham’s sister, my lord.”
“Rumor mills can be notoriously inaccurate. Who’s your source?”
“I’ve been passing the occasional evening with one of Westcroft’s serving maids, and she overheard the girl talking to her cousin. She says the girl is using her cousin’s name instead of her own and that Westcroft isn’t even aware of the girl’s duplicity.”
Terrence rubbed his chin. “Now that is interesting. His dead wife’s sister is living under his roof, and my bastard brother has no idea. I may just have to pay my little brother an unexpected visit this week.”
Serena Cunningham did not trust Dominic Westcroft, since she was almost certain he had brutally slaughtered her sister, his first wife, in a fit of jealous rage, and she was out to prove he was the cold-blooded killer she believed him to be. All she needed was the opportunity.
Next up is a fun and scary excerpt from Darling Adams’, ‘Loose Morals’.
Sasha exited the Tucson Center for Developmentally Disabled at midnight, exhausted from her shift. She scanned the dark downtown streets for anyone she ought to avoid on her five block walk to her duplex. Downtown should lend comfort in numbers, but unless it was a weekend, the only people who roamed Congress Street after midnight were looking for trouble.
A man approached and while he didn’t look menacing, she held her keys pointed through her knuckles the way she’d learned in her self-defense class, then added her own self-devised protection—imagining a giant ball of light surrounding her.
The moment she pictured it, the man stopped in his tracks, staring as if he could see it. Her breath froze in her chest, heart pounding.
A slow grin spread across his face. “Is this for me?” he drawled in a faint British accent.
She didn’t know how she could tell, but the word had entered her mind clearly.
His grin broadened, showing sharp canines. “Yes,” he purred as if she’d spoken the word aloud. “And you are…what? A witchling?” He cocked his head to the side, “Priestess?” He extended his fingertips in the air, touching what would be the edge of her ball of light and suddenly she saw it, too—a shimmering white wall of protection that rippled and repelled his touch.
Even in the streetlights she could tell he was beautiful with rumpled blond hair and pork chop style side burns. Deep dimples crinkled now as he looked at her creation with apparent fascination. He turned the glittering gaze on her, locking eyes.
Energy shifted within her and her belly seemed to move to the left as her chest moved to the right. Her bubble of light vanished. Gasping, she tensed to run, and he smiled wider.
“Oh yes, do run, little witchling. I so love a good chase.”
She stumbled backward. “I-I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m not a witch or a priestess. I’m nobody. I’m just a counselor at the School for the Disabled.”
He walked casually forward as she continued backing away. “Where’d you learn to do that?”
“What? The bubble?” She shook her head. “I don’t know—I just invented it, I guess.”
“Powerful,” he muttered, more to himself than to her. “Do you do other magick?”
She shook her head, looking around for anyone who might help her. “No, sir.” She didn’t know where the “sir” came from, but it amused him and he beamed another toothy grin, his fangs seeming to lengthen before her eyes.
It had been the eye contact that had burst the bubble. All she had to do was avoid looking directly at him. She threw another bubble up around her and took off running as fast as she could. She heard his laughter behind her, but did not hear footsteps in pursuit. Still, the hairs on her head stood up, warning her of something. She ran the five blocks to her duplex and jabbed her key into the lock. Once inside, she checked the latches on the doors and windows, trying to catch her breath.
A stake through the heart. That was how you killed a vampire. And garlic. She looked around wildly for any kind of wooden stick. There—the dowel in her little wall hanging. It might work. It was three quarter inches thick and 18 inches long. She brought it to the kitchen and began frantically carving the end into a crude point.
She almost screamed when she heard a knock on the door, but then her neighbor’s voice called out, “Hey, Sasha, you got any smokes?”
“No, Jane! I don’t smoke, remember?” she called back.
“Well, can I come in?” Jane asked.
She went to the door, sharpened stake in hand, and opened it. Somehow, she was not at all surprised to see the vampire leaning in the door frame.
“Go back to your side,” he said softly to Jane, whose eyes were glassy and unfocused. She trotted obediently away, clearly mesmerized by the vampire.
Even as her brain processed it, her eyes slid to his and she became lost in the ice blue pools, her belly moving to the left as her chest moved to the right.
“Come in,” she heard herself say.
He grinned broadly and pushed past her into the apartment.
The moment their gaze broke, her wits returned and she launched herself at him, aiming for the middle of his upper back with the sharpened dowel.
He whirled and caught her wrist so quickly she didn’t see it happen, but the outrage on his features registered clearly, fangs elongating as he hissed. Wrestling the dowel from her, he snatched her up around the waist and carried her, kicking and squirming to her living room. She panicked, wishing she had eaten garlic or had some other defense against getting drained by a hungry leech. To her surprise, he plopped down on her sofa and pulled her ass-up over his lap. “That was extremely rude,” he informed her. “I expect a more gracious welcome when I come to call.”
When Sasha Deschamps unwittingly attracts the attention of a strange man on her late night walk home from work, she winds up with a supernatural guest she can’t get rid of. The dominant immortal demands her complete submission and cooperation, refusing to free her until she has performed an act of magic, one which she does not know how to even begin. Charlie sees the power in Sasha and believes she has the ability to undo the curse placed on him by a jealous lover over one hundred years before. He also loves toying with the feisty witchling, doling out humiliating punishments while arousing a lust in her that leaves them both hungry for satisfaction. Emotionally detached to the point of amorality, his motto has been “friendly with many, close to none”, but he finds himself falling for Sasha, believing he might be able to trust a woman again. When he discovers she is actually the reincarnated witch who cursed him, though, his world turns on end. Can he accept she has returned to his life to heal the rift between them? Or will he walk away from her again, as he did so many years ago? Publishers Note: This book contains elements of BDSM including anal punishment, figging, spanking, bondage and erotic sex scenes.
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