Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Cyborg's Crusade - Day of the Deus Ex Machina by Benoit Lanteigne #SciFi #Giveaway




How did it come to this? My life used to be so simple. Back then, I hated it; I found it boring. Let me tell you: boring’s good. Boring’s great! I should’ve been thankful…


It was supposed to be a date like any other for James Hunter, a simple convenience store clerk. Nothing more than watching a movie in the town of Moncton. A place as unknown and unimportant as he considered his own existence to be. And yet, while walking to a cinema, James teleports to another world. There, a hostile crowd surrounds him, including various mutants with strange deformities.


Before he can even gather his wits or make a dash for it, a lone ally presents herself in the form of a winged woman named Rose. An important cultural figure in the country where James appeared, she offers him both protection and a home.


Soon, James learns that this new world is divided by a cold war. On one side is Nirnivia, home to Rose. The other, Ostark, led by a mysterious cyborg. James is unaware that the cyborg has him in his crosshairs, thinking of him as the Deus Ex Machina that will end the war in his favor.


But, the cyborg is far from the only potential threat to James. Soon after his arrival, BRR, a terrorist organisation, kidnaps him.


What would a rogue group out for revenge seeking to turn the cold war hot want with someone like James? Is there anyone also aware of this other world who will try to find him? Or is he on his own? If so, how is he supposed to escape? If that's even an option...

Excerpt Three:


Though initially shocked by the vehicle storming at them, the crowd soon recuperated. They glanced at each other and brandished their fists at the offenders. A few gave chase, but on foot they stood little chance of overtaking the pair. One of the chasers yelled, “Hey, it’s that Wrathchild traitor bitch helping the human asshole.”


Not concentrating on the road, Wrathchild offered her companion a side glance. “Don’t listen. Had veterinarians do test.” She smirked. “Ain’t no female dog.”


Despite their superior speed, she opted for caution and swerved into a small street. James exhaled as he hoped the retreat cut the hunt short. Then a soaring bottle grazed his ear. It shattered on the asphalt with a chink. A rock followed, and next a banana-shaped fruit of all things. The projectiles missed their mark, yet James’s muscles tensed up. He mumbled to himself in an attempt to calm his nerves. His worries proved futile. They outpaced the flock, who vanished in the distance in a second. Before he could relax, a rumbling sound arose from behind.


James gulped. He deduced the implications. Terrified, his brain ordered him not to look, but the temptation ended up too strong. Out of breath, he took a glimpse. A bare-chested thug covered in tattoos had mounted his own bike and raced after them. A lone hand steered; the other wielded a club. The message seemed obvious: he’d prefer to risk an accident than not to pummel them.




AUTHOR Bio and Links:


So, my name is Benoit Lanteigne and I’m a French Canadian (outside of Quebec) who’s trying to write in English. That can be tricky. I’m a computer programmer and I enjoy it. I see many inspiring writers who hate their jobs and hope to quit someday, but that’s not my case. Mostly, I’ve worked on websites and web applications.


Back in school, I enjoyed writing and according to my teachers and classmates; I had a talent for it. Well, not so much for grammar and spelling, but they liked my stories. Once I went to university, I dropped writing as a hobby. There were other things I wanted to focus on, such as my career. Then, in the early 2000s, around 2006 I’d say, I had a flash of inspiration. At first, it was a single character: a winged woman with red hair. I didn’t even know who she was, but the image stuck with me. From there, I began figuring out details about her origins and her world, but I only started writing for real in 2009.


It’s been roughly 10 years now, and it’s not yet finished. That’s in part because I write in my spare time, and in part because the scope of the project is huge. Maybe too much so. Still, I’m getting close to the point where I could release something. The question is what’s next? Self-publishing? Attempt traditional publishing? Nothing? I don’t know the answer yet, I’m trying to figure it out. Frankly, sharing my writing is difficult for me, and whatever I end up doing, as long as I make it available to people I consider the experience a victory no matter what comes out of it.






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Tuesday, March 26, 2024

PROPHET by Harley Wylde (Dixie Reapers Bad Boys Romance)


A Dixie Reapers Bad Boys Romance


Dixie Reapers MC, Book 20


Motorcycle Club Romance, Age Gap, Suspense

Date Published: March 29, 2024



Ares – My life hasn’t always been kittens and rainbows. I spent years as a captive, so when someone breaks into the compound and threatens my little siblings, I go with the kidnappers instead. I’ve survived being enslaved before, but the little ones wouldn’t make it. I can only hope the club will find me in time.

Prophet – I’ve been patiently waiting for Ares to not only be old enough for me to date her, but also for her to be ready. But I waited too f**king long, and now she’s been taken. The bastard who has her is going to pay, and once she’s back in my arms, I’m never letting her go again.

WARNING: Prophet is intended for readers 18+ due to adult content, darker themes, language, and violence. While it can be read as a stand-alone, you may enjoy the story more if you read Joker first.




Times had changed. The Dixie Reapers’ clubhouse no longer boasted loud parties and naked women. Well, the naked women were gone, at any rate. Music pulsed from the speakers as everyone took a much-needed break. My dad had been in Church off and on since this mess started, and more often than not, the members hung out in the clubhouse discussing the issue at hand. Except right now, the doors were open to anyone.

I sat at the bar with a soda. Portia sat on one side of me and Venom’s youngest, Dawson, was on my other side. Patched members lined the bar on either side of them.

“Pass me a beer, Ares,” Bull shouted from farther down. I reached over the counter into the ice chest, then slid the longneck down the bar top. I caught a smirk from my father as he watched.

“Hey, Pres. Think your girl has a future as a bartender,” Bull said. He chuckled and twisted the top off. “She’s got good aim.”

“Better than Foster’s aim last week,” I shot back, a playful jab at his son’s appalling shooting during target practice. He snorted and took a swallow of his beer, while Foster shot me a glare.

This place was my home. Dad and the Dixie Reapers had been my salvation, pulling me from the abyss with hands as rough as the life they led. Even though I couldn’t be a patched member, I was a Reaper’s kid. My dad had given me permission to get the club colors inked on my shoulder blade. It was a super small one compared to the ones the guys here had. I’d seen quite a few with the colors covering their entire backs. In addition, I’d gotten a phoenix rising from the ashes inked on the outside of my right thigh -- a mirror of my own rebirth.

Foster might be mad at me right now, but I knew he’d get over it. In a lot of ways, he was like a brother to me. All of the kids here close to my age felt like family. Although, Foster, Owen, and Dawson were all older than me. Not that I could tell when it came to Foster.

Cowboy’s son, Jackson, entered the clubhouse, his cowboy boots thudding against the wood floor as he came closer. He put his arms around me and hugged me from behind.

“You smell like horses and dirt.”

“Mom always said it was the best scent in the world.”

I couldn’t help but laugh a little. Yeah, I could see his mother saying that. “Well, it’s better than sweat, I guess. Preparing for your next rodeo?”

“I was planning to head out in the morning, but with everything going on…”

I tipped my head back to look up at him. “You should go. If you put your life on hold every time something bad happens around here, you’ll never get to do the one thing you love most.”

He kissed the top of my head. “Yeah, I know. You’re awfully smart for someone so young.”

“You’re only six years older than me, Jackson. It’s not like you’re ancient.”

“In rodeo years, I’m over a decade older than you.”

I really did laugh that time. “Is that like dog years or something?”

“Close enough. Hand me a beer. I’m going to go with Akira. She’s in the corner with her nose in a book again.”

I reached over for another longneck and passed it to him. He patted my shoulder before wandering off. I watched him, noticing he hadn’t lied. Akira, Wraith’s daughter, really did have a book in front of her face. From the cover, no one would realize she was reading smut. If her parents had any idea of the types of books she bought, they’d both have a fit.

I sipped on my soda and just soaked up the atmosphere. My friends and family were all talking or laughing. Despite everything going on outside the club gates, they seemed at peace in this particular moment. Happy. I hoped things could stay like this. I didn’t want anyone here to suffer the way I had.

“Never thought I’d see the day,” Tank said, approaching with a smile on his face. “Ares Black, quiet as a church mouse.”

I smirked, nudging him with my elbow. “Just soaking it all in. Some days, I don’t remember how blessed I am, until we’re all together like this. Family. Friendship. As long as we have those, we can weather any storm.”

“Damn straight.” He clapped a heavy hand on my shoulder. “We’re always in your corner, Ares.”

“Same here,” I replied. It wasn’t just words -- it was a promise. We were the Dixie Reapers, and we protected our own with the ferocity of a mother bear defending her cubs. I might not be a member of the club itself, but as the President’s daughter, these people were still my family, and I’d die to keep them safe.

I glanced at my watch and stood. Joker wanted Cleo to feel welcome here, and while I wasn’t quite ready to be friends with the woman, I also knew what it was like to be the outsider. I’d promised to head over and play a board game. Instead of driving, I decided to walk. The fresh air would be nice, and it would give me time to get my thoughts in order. It felt like utter chaos inside my head these days.

Ridley and Isabella were already there when I arrived. I fell into step behind them as they entered Joker’s home. Ridley had a few board games tucked under her arm. At least they’d come prepared, because I doubted Joker had any. I’d already given them a few of the ones we had at home that I thought might be fun.

“Hey, Cleo,” I said.

“Good to see you guys.” Her voice sounded hollow, and it looked like she hadn’t been sleeping well.

Isabella walked over to her first, giving her a hug. “How are you holding up?”

“Counting down the minutes,” she said.

Ridley clapped her hands together, the sound sharp in the quiet room. “We’re here to take your mind off things. Right, Ares?”

I nodded. “Yeah, we brought some board games. Thought we could all use a distraction.”

“Thanks,” she murmured.

We settled around her kitchen table. Before we’d even had a chance to set up the game, someone knocked on the door. Joker went to answer. Ridley started to set up one of the games, and Isabella and I helped. I noticed Cleo kept glancing toward the door.

He returned with an envelope and handed it to Cleo. “For you.”

“Who’s it from?” she asked. She ripped open the envelope and as she read the contents of the paper inside, she paled a bit.

“Everything all right?” Isabella asked.

“Fine,” she said. Did anyone else notice the tremor in her voice or the way her hands trembled? “Just a reminder about my appointment.”

“Ah, can’t forget that,” Ridley said.

“Let’s focus on the game,” Cleo suggested.

I rolled the dice and gave a little shout of excitement, hoping to make things seem as normal as possible. “All right!”

Everyone took their turns rolling the dice and moving their tokens. When it went around to Cleo, she stared at the board, almost as if she wasn’t fully present. I glanced at Ridley and Isabella, and realized they’d noticed it too. Cleo must have a lot on her mind between the issues with her family and her heart problem.

“Your move, Cleo,” Ridley prompted.

“Right,” she mumbled.

We played for quite a while, until the sky started to darken. I didn’t know if this had distracted Cleo or not, but it had kept me from focusing on things for a while. I hadn’t realized how much I’d needed this until now. I helped clean up the games, then we told Joker and Cleo goodbye.

Ridley offered me a ride, but I waved her off. The walk would do me some good. I paused at the clubhouse and stared at my car. It didn’t make sense to leave it here overnight, but at the same time, I’d prefer to get home on my own two feet than by driving there. I decided to leave it and kept walking.

A sudden chill prickled my skin, a whisper of danger that tightened my muscles. A feeling of unease skittered down my spine, and I wondered if trouble was drawing closer than any of us realized.

When I got home, there was a wrongness I felt all the way to my core. I slowly approached the house, keeping an eye on my surroundings, just the way Dad had taught me. I twisted the knob on the front door and pushed it open.

“Mom? Are you here?” I called out. Nothing. Not so much as a whisper of sound. I eased farther into the house, wondering if I should call Dad. Dessa’s car was outside, which meant she had to be here. She hadn’t ridden with him to the clubhouse earlier, even though she’d been there with the kids.

“Junie, Judd, Marnie!” I shouted.

No one answered, and I couldn’t find anyone at home. I went back outside, wondering if maybe they went to a neighbor’s house. Before I’d made it to the end of the driveway, I felt the cold kiss of metal against my neck.


About the Author

Harley Wylde is an accomplished author known for her captivating MC Romances. With an unwavering commitment to sensual storytelling, Wylde immerses her readers in an exciting world of fierce men and irresistible women. Her works exude passion, danger, and gritty realism, while still managing to end on a satisfying note each time.

When not crafting her tales, Wylde spends her time brainstorming new plotlines, indulging in a hot cup of Starbucks, or delving into a good book. She has a particular affinity for supernatural horror literature and movies. Visit Wylde's website to learn more about her works and upcoming events, and don't forget to sign up for her newsletter to receive exclusive discounts and other exciting perks.


Author on Facebook, Instagram, & TikTok: @harleywylde


Publisher on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok: @changelingpress


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Thursday, March 21, 2024

DARK GODDESS by J. Raventós #thriller



Date Published: November 16, 2023



January 2009. In the midst of the financial crisis, a mysterious figure, Satoshi Nakamoto, publishes the Bitcoin code. The disruptive power of this digital currency is enormous, as it has been designed so that it cannot be controlled by any banking or government authority and allows for completely anonymous transactions. Special Agent Harris is assigned to find out who is hiding behind that identity. Meanwhile, a powerful cybercriminal organization is also searching for Nakamoto and will stop at nothing. Ada, a young prodigy studying in Barcelona, and L30n, an elusive hacker, will be swept up in this pursuit.

Reality and fiction intertwine in this techno-thriller that weaves a tense plot exploring the power of money and technology.

About the Author

J. Raventós is an engineer and serial entrepreneur. After working in Silicon Valley, he founded several tech startups in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, 5G, and telecommunications networks. He is currently working on a new AI and data security startup. He also serves as a technology advisor for a venture capital fund.


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Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Hencha Queen ~ Tales from Tharassas book 3 by J. Scott Coatsworth #SciFi #Giveaway

The Hencha Queen - J. Scott Coatsworth

J. Scott Coatsworth has a new queer sci-fantasy book out, Tales from Tharassas book 3: The Hencha Queen.

"A richly painted world that is both beautiful and sinister, evoking landscapes that are as much science fiction as Tolkiensian fantasy. 5 stars." --Ulysses, Paranormal Romance Guild


Silya finally has everything she always wanted. She's the Hencha Queen, head of the Temple, and is working to master her newfound talents. So why does the world pick now to fall apart?

Her once-nemesis Raven is off riding dragons, and their mutual friend (and her ex) Aik is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, a new threat menaces the Heartland from the East, and if she can't convince a reluctant Gullton city council to prepare for the worst, she may lose everyone and everything she's ever cared about.

As she uses her magic-like abilities, wit and sheer determination to try to save the city, she's joined by Raven and his new friends. Will their help tip the scales? And will they finally find out what happened to Aik as a dark storm threatens to sweep them all away?

Forget messy. Things just got apocalyptic.

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About the Series

The Tharassas Cycle is a four book sci-fantasy series set on the recently colonized world of Tharassas. When humans first arrived on planet, they thought they were alone until the hencha mind made itself known. But now a new threat has arisen to challenge both humankind and their new allies on this alien world.

Tharassas Cycle Sales

Books 1 & 2 are on sale through March 31st for just 99¢ each (eBooks, all vendors). And if you buy one (or all three) of the main series books, email and let him know and he'll send you a free copy of Tales From Tharassas, the prequel.

See All the Pre-Release Deals


Scott is giving away an eBook copy of Tales from Tharassas, the prequel, to everyone who enters the sweepstakes:

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The Hencha Queen meme

A sharp crack filled the wine cellar. Kerrick swung the heavy mallet back and then assailed the flopwood boards that blocked the tunnel entrance again. The ancient wood splintered under the blow, sending shards clattering across the stone-paved floor.

It felt good to work out his frustrations. Still, the stubborn wood held out against his assault.

He rested the mallet on the black-tiled stone floor, wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand. Even after a hundred years, the barrier was strong. He’d tried to pry the boards out of the solid stone, but they’d been fastened in too tightly. Brute force it is.

“You’re doing great!” Cor’Lea’s voice was artificially bright, and she was as tall as he was, maybe a little taller, peering over his shoulder at the sealed tunnel entrance.

Silya had tasked her with bringing him down here to check out these hidden caverns under the Temple, in preparation for the coming war. Important, sure, but also clearly an excuse to get him out from underfoot while she prepared for her official Raising.

He grunted. “Thanks. These boards are hard as iron.” And hard as Silya’s will.

One day things would be different between them, once this crisis was over. I just have to be patient.

Coral laughed. “I’m sure a big, strong man like you can break through them easily.” She squeezed his bicep appreciatively.

He shrugged her off. He wasn’t sure if the gawky initiate was flirting with him or just trying to encourage him to get on with it, but either way, he wasn’t interested. “Stand back.” He hefted the hammer again, and she scurried out of his way.

He suppressed a smile, swinging the mallet around for another heavy blow.


This time the board buckled inward visibly. Another few hits should do it.

He pulled back the heavy iron hammer again and hit the same spot with blow after blow. Craack. Craack. Craack.

The mallet broke through and a board fell away into splinters, clattering across the stone floor. One down, three more to go. “Why did they seal this cavern up?”

Cor’Lea gestured at the natural chamber. “There was a winery here before the Temple. Sister Dor said they used to use it for extra wine storage.” She looked around the natural chamber, which was now filled with wooden shelving holding a variety of bottled food stores. “When Jas ordered the Temple to be constructed, they kept this wide cavern and blocked off the rest of the tunnels.”

“Just in case the gully rats got in?” That thief Raven had apparently made his home in one of the underground tunnels. Who knew who else—or what else—lived down there?

Cor’Lea snorted. “Maybe.”

Are tunnels all connected, somehow? That was one of Silya’s most urgent projects, to map out the network of caverns beneath the city. Another reason she sent me down here—to get me out from under her robes.

A few more whacks at the next board served to both break it and let out his frustrations at the situation preventing him from doing his sworn job and keeping them apart. And at what she said was coming.

Craack. Craack. Craack.

The board snapped in half, and he judged that he’d cleared enough space to step through into the blocked-off tunnel. “Hand me that lantern?

Cor’Lea complied, taking the opportunity to brush his hand.

He rolled his eyes. I should be flattered. But his heart was already taken.

It was times like these he wished his brother Enrick were still alive. He’d know what to do. He’d been absurdly confident about everything, even though he’d been younger than Kerrick.

Kerrick wasn’t great with women.

He took the lantern and stepped over the bottom board, holding it in front of him. The bright light temporarily blinded him as he sought to get his bearings.

“What do you see?” Cor’Lea peered through the hole behind him.

His sight adjusted, and the tunnel’s walls came into focus.

He whistled. Stacked along the side of the tunnel were hundreds of crates, all strapped together in groups and sealed. “It’s… I don’t know what it is. But I’ll bet Silya will be surprised.” They’d have to find a place to put all this stuff—whatever it was, it was likely rotten after all this time. Silya needed somewhere to store people, not ancient goods.

Cor’Lea stepped carefully over the splintered boards to join him. “What do you think’s inside them?”

The long row of crates disappeared into the darkness. Who knew what the ancients had considered valuable enough to stash down here. Coin? Lost treasure? “One way to find out. Does the Temple have a crowbar?”

Author Bio

J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott lives with his husband Mark in a yellow bungalow in Sacramento. He was indoctrinated into fantasy and sci fi by his mother at the tender age of nine. He devoured her library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were.

He decided that if there weren’t queer characters in his favorite genres, he would remake them to his own ends.

A Rainbow Award winning author, he runs Queer Sci Fi, QueeRomance Ink, Liminal Fiction, and Other Worlds Ink with Mark, sites that celebrate fiction reflecting queer reality, and is the committee chair for the Indie Authors Committee at the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA).

Author Website:

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Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Ghost by Dana Cask #mc #romance @changelingpress


(Shiva’s Road MC)


Motorcycle Club Romance, Interracial & Multicultural

Date Published: March 22, 2024




Ghost -- Against my better judgment, I went to Chicago to meet my father. Instead I find a sexy siren who’s fighting a daily struggle to survive. I claim her for my own the first chance I get, but that’s when our troubles really start. She won’t leave without my sister Rachel, her best friend, and I’m a long way from home and my brothers. When the bad guys attack, I’ll do whatever it takes to keep them both.

Simone -- I need a way out. When Ghost arrives, I take a chance and ask him for help. But he’s the son of the man who sells my body. I don’t know how far I can trust him. My life and Rachel’s hang in the balance. Ghost says he wants me by his side forever. I’m trusting him with our lives, but can I trust him with my heart?





“This place is something else,” Beowulf said over the sound of their idling bikes.

Ghost didn’t respond, knowing his best friend didn’t expect him to. He just stared at the place his mother had called home for the last twenty-five years. The McMansion and surrounding grounds presented a vulgar display of wealth against the suburban Chicago backdrop. The pink granite drive wound around the two-story house, lit by spotlights in the center of the immaculately manicured lawn. In bright sunlight, he’d no doubt need darker shades to withstand the glare of the mica-flecked walls and white shutters. He’d known about the setup from the intel Bytes had gathered on his father before they left the compound in Central Ohio, but seeing it in person shocked the man who had grown up dirt poor in a single-wide trailer on the Mescalero Apache Tribe Reservation.

“Name,” snapped a male voice from a box built into the brick column to the left of the wrought black iron gate.

“Lucas Blackfoot,” Ghost replied. His voice sounded rusty, even to his own ears.

“You were told to come alone.”

Ghost shrugged, sure the security cameras would pick up his response.

After a long pause, the voice instructed, “Park your motorcycles in the open garage bay. You will be met at the interior door. Do not enter without an escort or you will be shot.”

“Friendly type, your Pops.” Wulf chuckled.

Ghost let his unease out by revving his old Harley. The Knucklehead vibrated the ground as the gate with a stylized W in the center pulled back to allow them entrance. They followed the drive to the right of the house, moving at a slow pace on the loose gravel, and found the place they were to leave their bikes without issue.

Almost as soon as they swung their legs over the fenders, a door at the far end of the far end of the garage opened. A limo occupied one bay. Midlife crisis cars sat in the remaining two, each of which probably cost more than Ghost had seen during his entire childhood.

A large, bald man in a black suit he couldn’t button over his flabby stomach -- a security drudge so stereotypical as to be laughable -- motioned them to come closer.

“What do you wanna bet he gets handsy?” Wulf said loud enough to be overheard.

Ghost grunted. This was gonna suck. He had planned to get in and out as quickly as possible, having minimal interaction with his sperm donor.

“Which one of you is Blackfoot?” the guard asked as they approached.

Like that wasn’t obvious. Even a toddler could tell the black-haired Native American from the Nordic blond. “I am,” Ghost replied.

“Your… companion… can wait here.” The guard put a wealth of innuendo into the word companion, still trying to get a rise out of him.

“No.” Ghost didn’t make a threatening move, but he wasn’t going into this house alone. He’d never spoken to Donald P. Willard, never went looking for his parents after his mother left the Reservation when he was eight. His father should be happy he’d only brought his best friend for backup. No way in hell would he allow himself to be separated from Wulf this early in the game.

“You come alone, or you don’t come at all.”

“Fine,” said Wulf, “We’ll be home in our beds by morning then.”

The dumbass reached out to grab Ghost by the arm. “I said --”

Ghost grabbed the guard’s hand by the thumb and bent it back. When the man tried to twist out of his grip, Ghost held on long enough to make sure the man knew Ghost was choosing to release him.

Another man, this one a little older and in better shape than the first, appeared in the doorway. “Problem?”

“He doesn’t want to come quietly, boss,” Dumbass said.

“Let him bring his little friend if it makes him feel better,” the new arrival replied. “I’m sure they won’t cause any trouble. Right, boys?”

“We’re housebroken,” Wulf assured him. “Can’t say the same for your team though. Need a lesson in manners.”

“Boss” stared at them for a few beats, then turned on his heel and walked back into the house. His lapdog followed, leaving Ghost and Wulf to take up the rear. As soon as they cleared the doorway, another man came up behind them, closing the door and walking practically on their heels. They moved through the mostly dark house in that formation until they reached a closed door with soft light spilling through around the cracks.

A knock on the door received a curt, “Enter.”

A hand on his back pushed Ghost ahead of Wulf into the room. No less opulent than the rest of the house, the study had dark built-in shelves at the back wall and thick, velvet green drapes bracketing the floor-to-ceiling windows along the side. Donald P. Willard sat behind a polished walnut desk. A Tiffany desk lamp illuminated Donald’s thick features and extremely short-cropped, graying hair. His hands were laced together in front of him, resting over a sizeable belly straining the buttons on his tailored shirt. His blue suit jacket hung on the back of his leather executive chair. The picture of a prominent light-skinned black businessman, surrounding himself with obvious signs of wealth and opulence. Ghost was pretty sure it was all a front, meant to impress.

“Son, please have a seat. The rest of you are dismissed,” Donald said.

The three bodyguards tried to grab Wulf to remove him bodily from the room, but he evaded their grasps and sat down on the green leather sofa which rested against a creamy damask wallpaper. “I think I’ll stay. I like it here,” Wulf said mildly.

“This is a private conversation between my son and myself. Please do us the courtesy of letting us have this family moment,” Donald replied.

Wulf looked to Ghost, who gave him a slight nod. Beowulf could take care of himself, and it didn’t seem like anyone was going to talk in front of his friend.

“Come on, boys. Show me the kitchen. I could use a snack after the long ride.” Wulf jumped up from the couch and led the way out into the hall.

Once they were alone and the door shut, Donald gave Ghost an appraising glance. “You look like your mother.”

Ghost knew what he meant. His father’s African American heritage didn’t show much in Ghost’s features. There didn’t seem much point in replying so Ghost didn’t bother.

Donald sighed. “Have a seat, son. We have a lot to talk about.”

Ghost sat in one of the chairs in front of Donald’s desk that matched the leather sofa. It was as uncomfortable as it looked. Still, he said nothing. He’d learned a long time ago prolonged silence had a way of getting people to start rambling just to fill the void.

“I have to say, your existence came as quite a shock to me. In all the years I’ve been married to Caroline, she never once mentioned you. Do you know why?”


“Has she ever contacted you since she left the Reservation?”


“I’ve always wanted a son to carry on my legacy. Surely, she would have known I’d have welcomed you with open arms.”

Ghost shrugged. His mother had signed over custody of him to his grandfather when she left, giving no explanation. His memories of her were happy, but dim. He couldn’t say why his mother did what she did, and wouldn’t tell this man even if he did know. He owed this man nothing.

“Did she tell you anything about me before she left? Anything at all?”

“No.” Ghost knew he sounded like a broken record but really what was there to say? He’d received word of his mother’s death from a lawyer, closely followed by a summons from Donald P. Willard to discuss her “affairs.” Ghost already regretted his decision to come here and couldn’t wait to get the fuck out.

“Man of few words, eh? I can respect that. Too many people don’t stand by their word these days. I’m not one of those. Old school to the core, just like my daddy.” He probably practiced his “trust me” smile in the mirror. Ghost wasn’t falling for it.

“Why am I here?” He knew why, but he wanted to see how the other man would spin it.

“I wanted to meet you, talk to you. I am your father, after all.”

“Are you sure?” Ghost was. Bytes had done the research. Donald’s name wasn’t listed on his birth certificate, but his mother had left a letter with his grandfather. The old man never said a word, but the document had been among his things given to the tribal leaders upon his death. An old friend read it to him over the phone. His father had been a high roller at one of the casinos on tribal land. His mother worked there and caught his eye. Eventually they started a relationship. She got pregnant. Eight years later, she left the Reservation to be his wife.

“Of course, I am. Your mother was faithful to me, even before we married. Or are you trying to tell me you know otherwise?” The thought seemed to anger him.


“Well then, there you are. You’re my son. And I’d like to think we could have a good relationship now that we know about each other.”

Ghost almost said no again, just to see what the other man would do, but managed to stop himself. Instead, he changed tracks. “Your letter promised legal action if I didn’t show. That’s not very… fatherly.”

“That was before I got to know you. My security team did a little digging. Can’t blame a man for wanting to get to know all about a son he suddenly finds out about, can you? And now I know you’ve served your country well, but you’ve fallen on hard times. That motorcycle club you’re with, well, I’d like to see my son socializing with a better class of people. I can and will help you there.”

“No.” The word came out fast and emphatic. Shiva’s Road MC was his family now. Not this man.

“OK, OK, I can see I’m moving too fast for you. A habit in my business. You don’t make money letting grass grow under your feet!”

Donald’s business, according to Bytes, barely paid the mortgage on this eyesore these days. Donald’s father had been a solid contractor for large scale buildings in downtown Chicago. But cutting corners to underbid other contractors, shoddy supplies, and other bad business practices had given the family business a bad name. Donald scrambled to cover his monthly debts and if he didn’t hire better lawyers, he’d be facing jail time. Then there was the little matter of his gambling debts…

Instead of replying right away, Ghost let his attention drift around the office. There were business books, decanters containing various kinds of alcohol with the usual glasses, and several framed pictures. One of the pictures caught his eye. Two young women were laughing with their arms around each other in front of a fountain. One had black hair, dusky skin and a more than passing resemblance to Donald. She must be Rachael, his half-sister.

The other woman -- he didn’t recognize her -- was nothing less than stunning. Platinum-blonde hair surrounded her tanned face in a halo as the sunshine poured down on her, seeming to illuminate her from within. The red top she wore hugged her more-than-a-handful breasts and rode up enough to show a strip of her belly. The matching skirt flared out from curvy hips that begged to be gripped with his large hands and held onto for a wild ride. Though he couldn’t tell the exact color of her eyes from the photograph, they seemed to sparkle with mischief. And her full lips, painted the same red as her shirt, were a form of temptation all their own. He wanted to lick and suck and taste every inch of her. His cock came to life behind his zipper as he studied the image. He’d never had such a visceral reaction to a woman, let alone one he’d seen only in a picture, in his life.

About the Author

Every book is a mystery to Dana. Whether it’s writing one or reading one, she delves into the who, what, when, where and why with a thirst for knowledge. Getting to know the characters and following their journey as it unfolds gives her a thrill she hasn’t been able to duplicate in any other activity. She’s been known to devour as many as three books in a day, and would write until her fingers bled if her muses allowed.

Although Dana is just getting started on her publishing career, please join her on Facebook and Goodreads, and visit her website often as her MC collection grows to see what Dana has in store for her readers next!


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Once We Were Witches by Laura Daleo #supernatural #fiction #giveaway


Immortal Kiss Series, Book 4

Supernatural Fiction

Date Published: 03-08-2024



The mysterious world of witchcraft, murder, and mystery thrusts Raven Sagestone into an adventure whose main goal is to unlock the secrets of her powers. To do this, she teams up with Brandon Cass, an outsider with knowledge of the supernatural world. Raven is introduced to Eve, a psychic who reads destinies. Despite this, Raven is protected by a strong magic barrier, preventing Eve from seeing her. Brandon and Raven search for the truth at Bloodthirst, a vampire club. Visiting The Council's haven with Margarete and Caleb is Raven's chance to find answers to the questions that have plagued her.



Chapter 1


A breaking news alert flashed on the TV screen as I bit into my bagel.

As the reporter stood by, the camera panned over to the lifeless body of a young woman hanging from a tree branch. “Witch” was carved into her gray, blood-stained forehead. He sighed and hung his head. “A seventh victim has been added to the list.”

I shoved my bagel aside as a sick feeling gripped my stomach. My heart ached as I stared at the girl’s lifeless face. How could someone be so cruel and sadistic? This was not just a random act of cruelty. And where were the police in all of this?

My mom walked in, grabbed the remote, and shut off the TV.

“I was watching that.”

“There’s no need to watch some sicko murder young women. Life’s too short to fixate on people like that.”

“I’m not fixated,” I clarified. “I’m concerned. There’s a difference. That’s seven girls now. Each with the word ‘witch’ carved into their foreheads. What are the police doing? Nothing?”

She blew me off. “Investigations take time. The police are doing everything they can. Your dad and I see a lot of accidents at the hospital. Sadly, crime is a real thing. But you,” she kissed my forehead, “don’t need to worry about that. Your focus should be on college and the class you need to get to.”

Mom was wrong. I had to worry. The creep pursued young women, specifically witches, a trait I shared and kept to myself. While my parents were blue-eyed and blonde-haired, I had pitch-black hair and brown eyes, and I also had strange birthmarks covering my forearms. It might seem like I have a tragic story, but I believe everything happens for a reason. Maybe I was destined to be abandoned outside the hospital where my adoptive parents worked. As they headed home after a long shift, they heard a faint cry near the emergency entrance. Rushing to investigate, they found me abandoned on the front steps, bundled in a pink blanket. As fate would have it, they immediately took me in and showered me with love.

As a baby, a toddler, a teen, and now at 19, a college student, they never saw me as anything but sweet, curious, sulky, and smart. They had no idea what I was hiding, the power I perfected, the spells I practiced, the magic I shed. In their eyes, I was like them. I knew I was someone beyond their comprehension, someone powerful. But who was I? Who were my birth parents who should have taught me how to use the gifts given to me at birth? The only information I had about my past came from visions—an image of a dark figure dropping me outside the hospital. There were no records of my birth, my parents, a location—as if I never existed. Bringing my questions to my adoptive parents wouldn’t do any good. They’d kept these secrets hidden from me. In spite of me knowing the real truth, my adoptive parents provided a birth certificate, giving me the name, Raven Sagestone. I love them, but I want answers. I wanted to know the truth, and it was clear it wouldn’t come from them. This was something I had to figure out for myself.

I put on my cropped denim jacket, kissed my mom on the cheek, and hit up Uber on my cell. My driver’s tests were a total disaster. I failed every time. It creeped me out when the instructors stared at me with their beady eyes. So…my driver’s license was out, and Uber was in. Having someone else do all the driving was a much better plan, for now anyway.

Forty minutes before class, the Uber driver dropped me off in front of the massive steps leading up to entrance of Granite Bay University. It was one of the oldest schools in Jodence, like something straight out of a fairytale. Its structure was reminiscent of a castle, with its towering columns, decorative arched windows, and cone-shaped roof; yet modern-day people dressed in jeans, T-shirts, and sneakers surrounded the ancient building—me being one of them.

In the past fourteen weeks, my daily agenda had consisted of visiting the library before class and researching its extensive collection of witchcraft, magic, and supernatural books. One of those books was certain to contain the answers to my birthright. I absorbed every word I came across about soul-bending, mental conjuring, healing rituals, protection rituals, binding magic, and the lore of fire, water, and air. One of the most fascinating things I discovered was the witch’s mark. It has likely been around for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. However, between the 15th and 18th centuries, it had a much darker history than it does now. Witches were often burned, hanged, drowned, and tortured, and those with red hair and extra fingers and toes were often suspected of witchcraft. Witch hunters used moles, birthmarks, scars, and extra digits to identify witches. It was a myth that a particular god or bloodline was associated with the presence of a mole cluster or rose-colored mark. My arms were covered in black symbols like ancient ink, and neither a cluster nor a mark applied to me. Thank goodness I wasn’t born back then.

With my arms full of books, I walked beneath the library’s massive brick archways, combing its numerous aisles for books I hadn’t read. When I rounded the corner, I tripped over a guy sitting on the floor. My books flew through the air and landed with a thud. I groaned as I hit the ground, hoping I had not damaged my books. The guy on the floor, on the other hand, quickly sprang up and apologized profusely.

His hands steadied me as he blurted, “Whoa, sorry.” He helped me gather my books and ensured I was okay. An adorable smile swept along his lips as he brushed sandy-brown hair out of his hazel-colored eyes. He was probably one of those guys unaware of how cute he was, but cute or not, he’d parked his ass in the middle of the aisle, causing me to trip.

“What the hell, dude? There are tables to sit at and read.”

“Yeah, I see your point,” he grinned, revealing dimpled cheeks as he flipped through the books. “So you’re into witches? Or maybe it’s research for a paper about what’s going now right now?”

“Does it matter?”

He squished his eyebrows together and tilted his head to the side. “Do you know my sister?”


“Never mind.” He tucked the books under his arm and bobbed his chin toward the tables. “Here, let me help you. It’s the least I can do.”

With a smile, I accepted his offer. “Thank you.”

He arranged the books on the table before shoving his hands into his pockets. Then he stood there, studying me.

“Stare much?”

“Has anyone told you, you’re difficult?” He didn’t wait for me to respond. “But hey, I apologize for staring.” He spread his fingers and moved them in a circular motion over my face. “You remind me of someone, Eve. She’s got the same dark hair, ivory skin, and red lip look.”

I shrugged. “I don’t know anyone named Eve.”


 The sound of a distant scream sent chills down my spine. My eyes darted around, searching for the source. “Did you hear that?”

“That was definitely a scream.”

Students leapt from their seats, hurling books onto the floor as their gazes swept the room. Librarians abandoned their posts and spilled into the aisles. Panicked voices shouted, “Who screamed?” “What happened?” Me and the guy were thrown into madness by a stampede of people charging to the exits and pushing us out of the building and onto the library’s steps.

The echo of my thumping heart filled my ears as I tried to figure out what was happening around me. The once orderly campus had become a chaotic mess as hundreds of people rushed by, pushing and shoving, their faces filled with panic. As I fought my way through the crowd, I couldn’t help but wonder where everyone was going and what had happened to cause such chaos.

“There!” the guy pointed toward the sculpture of the university’s tower in the courtyard.

I gasped as my eyes landed on the bodies. Three girls hung from the white tower with their necks bound together, now covered in blood. As I looked at their lifeless eyes and saw the word “witch” carved across their foreheads, a chill ran down my spine. An eerie, tragic, and horrific scene surrounded the stained white tower. As students and teachers huddled together, whispering in disbelief, a shrill of sirens echoed in the distance, intensifying panic and fear. Police authorities were under pressure to find those responsible for these horrific acts.

“Damn, three this time,” he uttered with shock.

I couldn’t speak. My throat swelled with a huge sob as I slowly shook my head.

The police rushed in, their footsteps pounding the sidewalk as they raced toward the tower. Their faces were determined as they cautiously approached the cordoned-off area. They quickly pulled out their clipboards and meticulously documented the evidence, taking photographs of the area.

An officer, wearing an exasperated expression, yelled. “Get back! This is a crime scene.”

I flinched, staggered backward, before firmly planting my feet on the ground. I wasn’t going anywhere. This was my battle. I needed answers. Those poor girls needed answers too. My eyes grew wide as I demanded, “Why don’t you find this sick creep before we all die?”

The guy’s gaze burned into my flesh as he snapped his head toward me. “What are you doing?”

The officer thrust his shoulders back and barked out, “You need to step back.”

“Are you trying to get arrested?” the guy whispered in my ear.

Just as his words entered my head, I overheard someone say, “They’re ice cold; not a drop of blood in them.”

My eyes locked on the authoritative policeman. “Blood? Is that new? Were the other girls drained of blood too?”

A pair of squinted eyes glared at me. “You can retreat or go downtown and think about your actions in a jail cell.”

“Omgeez, man up much?” the guy said as he grabbed my arm and hurried me away. “You need to calm down.”

I tore my gaze away from the dead girls and locked it on him. “Don’t tell me what to do. You don’t know anything about me. I want answers for those girls.” And myself, I privately declared. “It seems nobody is fighting for them.”

“It might seem that way on the surface, but I’m sure they’re doing everything they can to help.”

“I wish I could believe that, but dead bodies keep showing up…” My voice cracked as the sob squeezing my throat broke free. My shoulders quivered, and I buried my face in my hands.

He wrapped his arm around my shoulders and softened his voice. “They’ll catch ’em. It’ll be okay.”

Sniffling, I sighed, “I can’t concentrate. I can’t be in class.”

“We can walk to The Grind, get a coffee, and just relax.”

I nodded and then hung my head as he led me away from the gruesome scene of dead girls.

About the Author

LAURA DALEO is a multi-genre author, specializing in Dark Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Supernatural/Paranormal fiction, Science Fiction, and Young Adult Fiction. Immortal Kiss, her best-known vampire series, explores the Egyptian pantheon that gave rise to vampires. Currently, she is working on her eighth book, I am Wolf, an urban fantasy.

A native of San Diego, California, Laura now lives in Tucson, Arizona with her two dogs, Rose and Cooper.

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