Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter Blog Hop

Hello! I’m so glad you stopped by my blog during the Easter Blog Hop. There are dozens of authors participating in the this year’s Hop and I’m so glad to be a part of it. To check out the other participating authors, just click on the picture on the left.

Over the 3 days, I’ll be posting excerpts from my books along with opportunities to win 1 of 3 prizes I’ll be giving away.

First Prize is a lovely necklace and bracelet set made by me. For this set, I’ve incorporated a few different types of beads: glass, pearl, seed, and glass bugle. To keep with the Easter spirit, I created these pieces using white, gold, and pink beads. It’s a lovely set that can be worn with casual clothes or even a nice dress.

Second Prize is a pdf copy of one of my books, winner’s choice. To check out my backlist, please see the right sidebar. All my book covers are listed there. Just click on a cover to find out more about the book.

Third Prize is a 4-piece set of wine charms, handmade by me. They are fashioned with Easterish colored beads and silver accents. All four are adorned with a beautiful pendant and are sure to be a lovely addition to your favorite wine glass.

How can you enter to win one of these fabulous prizes? It’s simple. Just stop by my site one or more days during the Blog Hop (April 6-8th) and leave a comment about my post for that day. The more days you visit and comment, the more chances you’ll have to win. At the end of the 3 days, I’ll draw 3 winners. See, simple. Be sure to put your email address in your comment so I can reach you if you win.

If you happen to have missed the previous days’ posts, here’s the links to them so you can be sure to enter for each day:

Okay, so let’s get on with today’s excerpt...

Stairway To Heaven
Genre: Fantasy erotica, shape-shifter, magic, mystical being
Purchase: Amber Quill Press
Excerpt rating: PG

“Please, don’t,” she begged, struggling to sit back up. He held her in place.

“Don’t what?” he asked with a lazy drawl, as though he were slowly inspecting her from head to foot.

Rhea imagined she could feel his careful gaze moving along her flesh, looking for the most vulnerable point of attack. “Don’t hurt me.”

Her voice was a tremulous whisper.

“Oh, I’ve no intention of hurting you, Rhea. On the contrary, I plan on giving you pleasure unlike anything you’ve ever known.”

Rhea felt the air leave her lungs and the color drain from her face. As though seconding his intent, her body shuddered violently in response. Then a strange heat crept along her lower limbs toward her thighs, and she realized it was his hands.

“No!” She tried to scoot away, but his fingers gripped her calves, preventing her escape.

“No? Why do you deny what your heart desires, Rhea?”

Rhea shook her head as she stared into the glittering haze hovering above her. “No, you’re wrong. I don’t desire anything from—”

“Rheaaa…don’t lie to me. I know what longings lurk within your soul. I only wish to fulfill them.”

Rhea tried to push herself up once again, and this time, he let her go. She scrambled back a few feet while her gaze darted about, desperately seeking some indication as to where he might be. But the churning clouds kept their secret, skillfully hiding their mysterious master within their billowing depths.

Rhea felt movement behind her. The soft brush of a hand against the back of her neck. She let out a startled scream and quickly moved away. He chuckled softly, seeming to mock her once again.

“What are you?” Rhea demanded, feeling like a terrified rabbit being hunted by its prey.

“A rabbit? I think not, Rhea. You’re a seductive tigress. You just don’t know it. Yet.”

His words seeped through her skull to caress her mind. It felt as though a million bees were let loose in her brain. Rhea clasped her palms over her ears.

“Stop it! Get out of my head!”

The invader immediately retreated; the buzzing stopped.
She slowly lowered her hands, searching the billows once again.

“You took my blood, didn’t you? You’re a…a vampire.”

He roared with laughter, apparently finding her accusation amusing. The deep sound filled the air with echoing waves, causing the satin to roll and vibrate beneath her. Rhea struggled to keep from being unseated by the undulating waves.

“No, Rhea. I didn’t take your blood. And I’m not a vampire. At least, not in the sense you think.”

The clouds began to thicken a few feet before her. Then the satiny ground weighed down, as though someone were walking toward her. Rhea hurriedly got to her feet and backed away.

“Then, what are you?” she demanded, throwing out her arms for balance as another wave threatened to tumble her over. “And what did you take?”

The bouncing stopped, his approach momentarily halted. “I am…the Guardian of the Stairway to—”

“I know that!” Rhea felt on the verge of hysterics. His mind games were driving her crazy! “But you took something from me. I feel it.

What was it?” She was nearly screaming.

“Your essence, Rhea. I took your essence.”

The satin sunk down a few feet away, then bulged upward, as though he’d just jumped into the air. Rhea let out a shriek of distress as the residual wave threw her backward. But she didn’t fall as expected.

“Why?” Rhea cried, as she felt his arms encircle her from behind.

“What do you want with it?”

He held her effortlessly above the shifting satin before gently placing her feet down. But even though she now stood safely on the surface, he didn’t let go.

“I am bound to my duty as Guardian. And I can only gain freedom through the essence of another. So in exchange for my services, you shall give me a doorway to the living.”

Rhea’s insides turned to ice. “No…please. I don’t want to—”

“Shhh… I am not the monster you think me to be, Rhea.”

His arms tightened around her, hugging her even closer. Rhea looked down to where she knew his limbs encircled her. But a band of smoke speckled with glitter was the only visible indication to his presence.

“You will see me, when next we meet, Rhea. But you must not tell anyone about the stairway. Do you understand? When you find it, you must not tell. Very few are allowed to see it. And I am offering it to you. Do you know where the stairway leads, Rhea?”

Rhea shook her head, overwhelmed with all he was telling her. She didn’t understand what he meant by a "doorway to the living." And she wasn’t sure she wanted to, either.

“Whoever ascends the stairway shall find their own personal Heaven.” His voice caressed her earlobe.

“And what part…do…you…play?” The question came out in choked gasps as she felt his mouth move along the curve of her neck.

“Why, I’m the…tour guide.”

Although she couldn’t see his face, or any part of him for that matter, Rhea could sense he was smiling. Before she could respond, he swept her into his arms, then carefully laid her back down on the pile of downy pillows.

Rhea held her breath when she felt him drop down beside her.

There were so many questions she wanted to ask. Clarifications that needed to be made. Her mind demanded she not fall prey to this…Guardian. Yet, her body seemed inexplicably drawn to him.

His fingertips stroked along her jaw line, then moved down to her collarbone. When his palm closed over one of her breasts, Rhea’s calm gave way. She sat up and scooted a few feet away.

“I have to know some things first.”

“Ask,” came his reply.

She could just make out his form, lying casually across the pillows—if one could consider a thick mound of sparkling mist a form.

Rhea instantly thought of the man she’d seen earlier on the trail. Was that what her mind wanted her to see? Was that what she desired?

“Yes,” he answered, even though she hadn’t asked him anything at all.

“Stop that!” she snapped, feeling rather than hearing the return of the buzzing she’d felt before.

“Stop what?” he asked innocently.

Rhea huffed with annoyance. “Stop reading my mind.”

He chuckled. “As you wish, my love. As you wish.”

“What do you mean by ‘I’ll be your doorway to the living?’ Juanita said she only went to you once. It’s…not going to be the same for me.

Is it?” The last words were more a declaration than a question, for Rhea already sensed the answer.

“It was different for Juanita. She happened upon the stairwell, I fulfilled her need, then set her free.”

Rhea felt a jolt to her insides. “You’re not going to set me free, are you?”

The sparkling mist seemed to thicken, the glitters intensified. “Will you want to be freed?”

“Stop talking in riddles! How am I supposed to know what I’ll want? I don’t know what the price is.”

“There is no price, Rhea. Only a mutual agreement.” His form sat up.

Rhea crossed her arms over her chest. “Which is?”

“No matter where you are, I can be with you, if I want—walk among the living in human form, dine at an expensive restaurant, dance on the veranda, live as I so yearn to live.”

“And what do I get in return?” she asked, hating the question even as it left her lips.

She’d never cared about getting her share of anything. In reality, she’d always been the one to give, and the one who ended up being used. A picture of Steve flashed through her mind.

“The thing you need most, a loyal companion, a giving lover, a…”

He hesitated, as though not sure he should say the next word.

“A what?” Rhea asked, although she felt an intuitive sense of unease. His arms encircled her from behind once again. But this time, the action was strangely inviting. Before logic could kick in and remind her to be rational, she leaned back against him.

“A husband.”

Thanks so much for stopping by today, don't forget to comment and enter for a chance to win one of my prizes!


Savannah Chase said...

I have not read this books but hope to. I want to wish you a very Happy Easter.

M. S. Spencer said...

Very interesting--really builds the suspense and atmosphere. Thanks Shannon! Happy Easter, M. S. Spencer

Ollie said...

Oh My, I can't wait to read more!!!!

Thank you,

Ollie Moss

Megs said...

Thanks for the hop! Happy Easter!

cheralyn said...

Sounds like a great book! Thanks for the giveaway! Happy Easter! cheryllynne(at)rocketmail(dot)com

Sherry said...

Sounds like a very good book. Thanks for the giveaway.
sstrode at scrtc dot com

Krysykat said...

Sweet excerpt :)


Lisa said...

WOW, this book is definitely going on my TBR list.


JessS said...

Thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to enter if it's international.


savannah said...

Thanks for the giveaway :)

Happy Easter

Vanessa N. said...

I haven't read your books but will definitely have to.

Mel B said...

Love the cover! Very unique!
bournmelissa at hotmail dot com

Ann Montclair said...

What every girl wants; a man who not only reads he mind but turns her on in the process. Ideal.

Shadow said...

Happy Easter! You have a wonderful time and have a great night! ;) Thank you for sharing and for the giveaway! Your book sounds very good!

Barbara said...

Hoppy Easter! Loved the excerpt...FAB cover too, he can come stand on my stairway any time! LOL! Thx for the giveaway! ;)

barbbattaglia @

June M. said...

Happy Easter! Thank you for the giveaways!
manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com