King’s Bride – Release Tour

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King’s Bride A Reverse Harem Dragon Fantasy from Ava Sinclair.

Available Now
BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D1DKKXX/
or FREE on Kindle Unlimited

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“Queen Zara. My father once said patience is the greatest virtue. I find it difficult to maintain mine with you so close. I do not want to frighten you, but I fear if I am to disrobe you, I’ll tear the gown from your body.”

Her surprising answer raises the temperature of my blood. “Over these past nights, I have learned that love does not have to be tender to be pleasant.” She smiles. “Perhaps a queen would like to have the gown torn from her body.”

I step to her. My breath is ragged in my throat.

“Your eyes.” She looks up at me. “So golden.”

I pull her to me more roughly than I’d intended. My hand finds the neckline of her garment. The fabric rips easily in my hands. Two pulls and it is open down the front. I look down at her little breasts, the tight nipples tilted upwards. I can already smell the hint of musk clinging to the damp curls of her pussy. She is aroused. She wants me to take her. The queen has had instruction at the hands of my brothers. She is a woman ready to be fucked hard, I think. She is a woman ready to feel the blending of the line between pleasure and pain.

To test this, I take hold of a nipple and pinch. There’s a sharp intake of breath. The sensation has her rising up on her tiptoes, but even so she’s still so very tiny next to me.

“Does my little queen seek to know what it is to be mastered?”

Her eyes hold the answer. They are glazed with passion. Her lips are parted. She wanted this when she walked in. Her pussy was wet from the thought of how her final claiming might push against the boundaries her body has been testing.

I lift her from the floor, letting her torn gown fall from her body, and take her to my bed. I sit down on the edge and throw her across my lap. She is not expecting this, and begins to struggle.

“No!” My voice rings with stern authority. She looks back, questioning, then her eyes widen as my large hand begins to roam her little bottom. I start with a rub, then begin to squeeze, each squeeze getting progressively harder. When her bottom is tender from the impressions of my fingers, I raise my hand and bring it down.

Queen Zara cries out in genuine pain, but just as quickly as the blow lands do I rub the heated patch of skin, massaging firmly but gently. I repeat the action, and from between her kicking legs I can see the effect it’s having. Her inner thighs are slick, the folds of her engorged labia a shade pinker than her spanked bottom.

She’s writhing on my lap now, crying out alternately in pain as I spank and then pleasure as I slip my finger between her thighs to stroke her throbbing clit. When I delve my finger into her slit, her hot, tight pussy clamps down so hard I feel as if the rock hard cock jutting into her belly may erupt.

“Such a naughty little queen.” She moans as I taunt her, pushing her sweet round ass up to meet the blows of my hand. “One must not tease a Drakoryan unless she wants her bottom to be made hot as a dragon fire.”

“Oh, my prince!” She pushes back against the two fingers I slide into her pussy, and I am mesmerized. Zara may be small, but she was made for fucking. She revels in it, and it’s hard to marry the image of the shy, sad woman I first saw with this shameless, flame-haired minx.

“Take me my prince. Please!” She’s frantic with need, but I am not quite ready.

“Not yet, little queen.” I take her off my lap and position her face down on the bed. “There’s something I’d like to show you first.”

BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D1DKKXX/

What woman wouldn’t be happy to be claimed by a dominant prince. I am soon to be taken by four.

Amidst a backdrop of war with the ShadowFell, the four sons of King Vukuris battle among themselves as dragons- not only for the crown, but for first rights to my innocence. One will be victorious on the battlefield. But all will eventually seek to conquer me in the bedchamber with their combination of skill and strength.

But there is another battle, a silent one, and it rages inside me. My memories as captive to the ShadowFell are returning – memories that bring pain and doubt of my ability to be a good queen. Will those memories drive a wedge between me and my princes? It is a matter of life and death for the Empire, for within me may lie the secret to defeat the enemy.

BUY LINK ->-> https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D1DKKXX/

Variety is the spice of life and Ava Sinclair writes a little something for everyone, from dark romance to menage to kinky AF age play. But the one thing that is consistent in her books are strong storylines, alpha males, and strong women whose hearts and bodies aren’t given up without a fight.

Ava lives in southern Virginia, where she enjoys hoarding books, hiking, running, spoiling her cats, and spending time with her Eurasian eagle owl, Lucius.

Web site www.avasinclairauthor.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Author-Ava-Sinclair-490738981084361/

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The House of Baric – Blitz

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Historical Fiction/Saga
Date Published: May 2018
Publisher: Hillwalker Publishing
 
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The House of Baric is a story about . . .
~ soldiers in and out of war, their friendships and their struggles to come to terms with their dutiful roles in life.
~ a mismatched young Ottoman woman sent into this Venetian world in 1648 to marry a stranger.
~ a clash of cultures; a clash of sexes.
~  everyday, and not so everyday, happenings in the lives behind the walls of The House of Baric.
Most of all, it is a love story–Mauro and Resi’s.
Set in the Venetian Empire’s colony of Croatia in the decadent baroque era, this first novel in the trilogy is a fast-paced read with many colorful characters and promising romances. Open the pages of “Shields Down” and enter the House of Baric.
“Part One: Shields Down” introduces you to the young nobleman, Mauritius “Mauro” Baric. Mauro was the last of his family bloodline. With the sudden death of his father, Mauro unhappily took his title as Baron Baric. His first duty in this new role was to marry and make an heir.
Resi Kokkinos was not interested in marrying an aristocrat any more than Mauro wanted a common, Ottoman Greek girl as his bride. Betrothed as children to settle Resi’s father’s debt to the Barics, the two had no choice in their paired future together.
After the long war brought Mauro and his soldiers home for good, the mismatched lovers could no longer deny their arrangement was more than tolerable.
The Baric’s story takes flight after the couple’s first wedding anniversary. Unexpected visitors arrive at the castle and add a new dimension to their predictable lives in Solgrad. Cultures will clash, and sexes will too. Mishaps and adventures are a certainty for Mauro and Resi as their saga unfolds over the three parts of the trilogy.
Journey along with the Barics, their soldiers, servants and friends during one pivotal summer in 1649. Can they avoid their allotted fates hiding behind the high Baric walls? In part one of this engaging trilogy, you will discover, as they do, that it is not so easy.
Praise for The House of Baric Part One: Shields Down:
“Overall I highly recommend “The House of Baric Part One: Shields Down” by Jillian Bald. The book has something for everyone: romance, drama, history, action and adventure, and the brilliant engaging storytelling ability of the author will have you soon craving the next installment in the series. Excellent read.” – Reader View
 
“An engrossing, research-heavy tale of Croatia in the early modern period.” – Kirkus Review
 
“The series starts off in the summer of 1649 and pulls the reader immediately into the complex and colorful world of Venice at the zenith of its power. Bald’s period research is everywhere evident … This is a delightful series.” – Historical Novel Society Book Review
 
“The House of Baric has all the makings of a great read; romance, action, mystery, and even a little comedy.” – Boundless Book Review
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Other Books in The House of Baric Series:
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The House of Baric Part Two: A Brother’s Defense
Published: June 2018
Part Two of this fast-paced tale of aristocratic life in the17th century Venetian Empire begins where Part One left off: the mercenaries arrive in Solgrad to visit Resi and her new husband, Baron Mauro Baric.
You’ve met the colorful characters of the House of Baric, witnessed their loyal bonds of friendship, watched their willing romances, and wondered what other family secrets will be revealed.
Mauro’s buried pain can no longer be ignored. In Part Two: A Brother’s Defense, he must face his demons. But first, his new brother-in-law’s arrival stirs up trouble, while the elegant Venetian guests fill their idle time at Baric Castle with new romantic pursuits.
Set in the summer of 1649, this gripping saga of love, redemption, and revenge does not disappoint. Questions will be answered, and more will come to light, as this engaging trilogy speeds along.
Swords will be drawn. The House of Baric must be defended. But from whom?
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The House of Baric Part Three: Widows and Weddings is expected to be available in paperback and e-book beginning July 2018 from most online retail sellers.
This is the final book to the adventurous story of The House of Baric.
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Book Excerpt
The House of Baric Part One: Shields Down
Author Jillian Bald
ISBN 978-1-943594-08-5 ebook
ISBN 978-1-943594-07-8 print
=====================================================================
The change of pace woke the sleeping women, and Jero and Ruby caught up to the wagon. Most of the two-lane road until now had been densely lined with hardy pines, low scrubby oak, and wild olive trees. Ahead of them was a full view of the Adriatic Sea. Its azure expanses sparkled with the late-morning light streaming down. The gentle tide was a lighter blue, almost green, against the pebbly sand shore of the sheltered lagoon. It was a calm day with only a light wind, and they could hear the hungry cries of seabirds still fishing for their morning meals. Resi sat up and broke the silence of the group. “That was not so far, Mauro. Have I been sleeping long?”
“I would say you were sleeping almost two hours. My arm is about numb from you leaning on it.” She sat up completely, now self-conscious. He reassured her, “I will be your pillow any day, Resi. You were tired and needed the nap, so I dared not move you.”
He maneuvered the wagon through the narrow path between the overgrown tree bows. He stopped at the end of the track just moments later and hopped down, holding the reins to tie to one of the long overhangs.
The women sat up in the back of the wagon and looked out at the view onto the sea. Fabian pulled alongside them and dismounted, loosely tying his horse to a narrow tree trunk. “Oh, Mauro, this is a beautiful spot. Where are we?” Resi asked.
“This is Neven Leopold’s beach. He does not have the fields for crops on his land that I do, but he has a very accessible coastline. This is where his family spends their leisure time; at least they did when I was younger,” Mauro explained.
He took his wife by the waist and lifted her down from her seat. She walked in front of the two horses, admiring the view. She saw the path leading down to the beach and small dock, and without a word, she disappeared over the low hill to the water like a happy child. From the beach she shouted back, “There is a small sailboat, Mauro. This will be a perfect outing.” He did not feel the same joy for sailing that she did, but he smiled at her genuine delight.
Fabian took charge of unloading the quiet cargo from the back of the wagon. The women were stiff from their uncomfortable sleeping positions. They crouched awkwardly now while they waited to be lowered onto the soft, sandy ground.
“Are you pleased with yourself?” Isabella asked Fabian after he set her down. She had allowed him to lift her this time, since her long skirts made it too hard to find her footing.
Fabian still held her by the waist, but was not smiling this time. He told her in a quiet voice, “You should try to enjoy the excursion offered you, Isabella. The sun is shining, there is good food packed for our lunch, and you will have shelter to sleep under. It is not the opera, but Lady Terese finds this outing to be a luxury. Do not insult her with your negative opinions today.” Then he released her and turned to help his sister down.
 
About the Author

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Jillian Bald lives surrounded by spectacular mountains in Oregon with her longtime partner in life, now and then with her grown boys, and always with her faithful lap dog–her partner in writing.
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Tribal Affairs – Blitz

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Tribal Affairs cover

YA/Fantasy
Date Published: 07/31/17
Dahlia, a centuries old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.
 Excerpt
He slowly turned away, changing the stance of his feet as if preparing his body for motion. That was it? Liana felt her emotional capital building back up and could think of only one thing to spend it on: getting what she came for. She looked at the collar of Stefan’s turtleneck as he walked away. It was time to go on the offensive. Liana turned and followed him offstage.
         Stefan entered the next room with the satisfaction of a hoarder returning to his nest. In fact, according to Jamison, the only reports of ever seeing him smile were at times when he was nestled comfortably among the scattered lumber, various tools, and bolts of muslin in this, his special room. Just as he was about to make another impression of his backside in a pile of sawdust on his chair, Liana bolted in like a superhero.
         “Wait, Stefan!” she called.
         He turned his head like an owl, and just as quick.
         “I wanted to make sure everything was okay with the harness.”
         “Oh, yes,” said Stefan. “I’m so sorry about what happened on opening night. It was a total fluke. I promise it won’t happen again. These brand-new harnesses are top-of-the-line.”
         “Great.”
         Liana began to notice the subtle tells in his body language and revealing tones of his voice. He was apologetic and submissive and would certainly help her.
         “Also,” she started, “I know this may seem a little strange, but, that tattoo on the back of your neck; I think I’ve seen it somewhere else before. What does it mean?”
         Stefan smiled. “That old thing? I got it back when I was in high school. I was a wild one back then.”
         Liana smiled, insisting on another answer.
         “It means about ten different things,” Stefan obliged.
         “Really?”
         “Yes, strange, isn’t it? Some ancient language, I forget the name of it. I’ve got a whole book of different translations in the back. Would you like to see it?”
         “Sure. I’d love to.”
         Stefan sauntered over to a large metal cabinet with Liana in tow. He seemed to glide across, around and through the mass of stuff about the room, while Liana dodged everything like navigating an obstacle course.
         “My wife says I collect too much crap, so I’ve started keeping things here at the theater.”
         He opened the large metal cabinet and began rummaging through piles of old dusty books. The search seemed to go on forever.
         “I don’t want to be a bother,” Liana said trying to come up with a suitable excuse to leave.
         “No, don’t be silly. It’s my pleasure.”
         Maybe so, but Liana began to regret her actions. The wrestling match wasn’t over, and reality had started gaining ground. Without a struggle, Liana gave up her dominant position and started to back away from Stefan. Assuming her place as the submissive, she was afraid to turn away from him and didn’t notice the door behind her closing.
         “You have her eyes, you know,” said Stefan.
         “What?”
         “Her eyes, the woman in your dreams.”
         As Liana began to panic, Stefan continued rummaging through the old books.
         “How do you know about—?”
         “I know everything about you.”
         He turned to look at her. He was different, no longer the slow-moving turtle but rather a dominant silverback gorilla. His shoulders bulged as his eyes pierced into Liana’s mind.
         “What do you mean?” said Liana.
         “You can see things with those eyes, can’t you?” he asked.
         Liana backed away as he gained ground on her.
         “Amazing things,” said Stefan.
         His eyes became black, and Liana felt herself going into a trance. Images of the beautiful woman from her dreams and the elder man flashed into her head, she standing on the cliff and he advancing on her. Still, Liana couldn’t see his face. Why couldn’t she see his face? The images continued to flash, faster and faster; the beautiful woman, the elder man, the hanging man, the laughing band of ruffians, the beautiful woman, the elder man, the beautiful woman, the elder man, the elder man, the elder man. The images stopped. Liana looked directly in front of her and saw his face. It was him.
         “Xethalis,” she whispered.
         Stefan smiled. Liana thrust out her arms and pushed Stefan across the room with the strength of twenty men. His back slammed against the opposite wall, causing it to collapse on top of him.
            Liana’s trance broke. She looked down at her hands then across the room at Stefan, buried beneath the collapsed wall.
About the Author

 

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters.
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Fire Born: Queen of the Seven Stars – Cover Reveal

Fire Born: Queen of the Seven Stars Book 1

A brand new series from Kallista Dane.
A Reverse Harem romance set in a faraway fantasy world.
Coming July 5, 2018

Fire Born: Queen of the Seven Stars book cover

After her father’s death, Melisandre, the virgin queen, must unite with a sexy dragon shifter, a dominant warrior, a seductive wizard, a charming rogue and a mystic to fight to save her kingdom from an evil being who’s broken the spell that bound him for a thousand years.

She’ll have FIVE powerful men sent by the Goddess to help her defeat the enemy. There’s magic and mayhem, mystery and adventure and plenty of hot sex! But at the core, it’s a love story. Five incredibly hot males, each with his own special gift, all devoted to her. The Oracle says they’ll all claim her. But which one will win her heart?

USA Today Bestselling author Kallista Dane’s steamy romances have hit #1 in Amazon’s Sci-Fi and Western Erotica as well as making the bestselling lists in Sci-Fi Romance, Historical Romance, Contemporary Romance, and BDSM.

She combines eroticism with adventure and intrigue, weaving tale of strong, independent women tangling with the hot Alpha and Omega males who appear in their lives when they expect it least but need them the most.

Kallista loves gardening, chocolate, traveling, chocolate, scuba diving… and did we mention chocolate? She likes to say she’s a little like Goldilocks – she’s lived in northern Michigan, where it is way too cold and the Florida Keys, but that was way too hot. Now she makes her home in North Carolina where it’s (usually) just right!

To find out about her newest releases, sign up for her newsletter at www.KallistaDane.com

Connect with Kallista on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/kallista.dane.5

Website: www.KallistaDane.com

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Kallista-Dane/e/B00D54IW6M/

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/kallista-dane

 

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CLAIMED BY THE KING – REVEAL

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CLAIMED BY THE KING

by Lorelei Moone
Shifters of Black Isle, #1
Publication Date: July 20, 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Shifters, Novella, Standalone

CLAIMED BY THE KING cover

SYNOPSIS

Abandoned by her people, a young woman was being sent to her doom.

Kelly was going to be a prisoner; a slave. At least that’s what she thought as she waited for the mysterious giants that lived on the Black Isles to claim her. A human sacrifice, once every eight years. That’s what it took to keep mankind safe from these savages.

The human would ensure the survival of his bloodline. Whether he liked it or not.

Broc’s reign as King of the Black Isles had lasted seven years already. That was a long time to go without a queen and therefore, an heir. He knew what he had to do; to claim the human offering and make her his own.

When they met, it changed everything. A glimmer of hope, even of love, in unexpected places. But life on the Black Isles was far from simple. And there were powerful secrets, yet to be uncovered, that could change everything yet again.

Claimed by the King is the first in Lorelei Moone’s brand new fantasy romance series, Shifters of Black Isle. Shifters, magic and relatable characters; set in a mysterious, distant land, where anything seems possible, and yet all its inhabitants hold dear could be destroyed in an instant.

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CLAIMED BY THE KING teaser

EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT- CLAIMED BY THE KING

Chapter 1

Once in every eight springs, a girl will be put forth by one of the coastal regions. A peace offering, a condition of the truce between the Giant Warriors of Black Isle and the men of the mainland.

  1. No one shall remain with the offering when the time comes.
  2. None shall attempt to lay eyes on or follow the giants.
  3. No girl shall ever come home, or her village shall feel the giants’ wrath.

By this ritual we are bound, so long as our truce may last.

My life is over.

Kelly sat down with her head in hear hands, making sure she could no longer see the eerily dancing shadows created by the candle on the kitchen table.

They never did waste much time between the lottery and the banishing.

Perhaps that’s for the best, Kelly thought. If I had a lot of time to think about this, perhaps I’d be less likely to cooperate.

Of course, she still wasn’t willing to accept her fate, no, she had other plans.

After dusk, she would be left on the shores of the Northern Sea, tied up to the strong wooden post erected solely for this purpose, until the giants claimed her.

Perhaps they wouldn’t like her. Perhaps they’d leave her behind, demanding a prettier, daintier candidate? Kelly could only hope as much. Or perhaps her ties would be loose enough to wriggle free, allowing her to run before the giants even arrived.

Ever since her mother passed when she was only eight years old, she hadn’t felt this alone in the world. Her father had betrayed her. He was meant to keep her safe, those were her mother’s last words. Keep Kelly and Ferris from harm, swear it to me.

Instead, what has happened under the watchful eye of their father? She’d been chosen in the lottery.

It’s an honor, he had said. Your sacrifice ensures the safety of our people for the next eight summers.

Kelly was to be made into a prisoner and slave, never to be seen again by her people, all of whom were just pleased none of their own daughters were chosen. She’d never got along with most of the villagers, most of whom took great pleasure in pointing out that her mother’s death was God’s punishment or other such nonsense. Kelly wasn’t lady-like enough apparently. As a child she’d played with the boys out in the field rather than stayed at home and helped with the housework. If that was sinful enough to warrant her own mother’s death, then she wanted nothing to do with such a God, or the feeble-minded people who believed in him. Of course she could have never said that aloud or they would have branded her a witch and punished her. So she had kept these thoughts to herself all these years.

And yet, she was chosen to protect those same people. Oh, the irony. She would love to see their faces when they realized that there’d be hell to pay for her upcoming escape. All those years playing with the boys would pay off. Now that she had reached a full eighteen years of age, Kelly wasn’t half as weak as most girls she’d grown up with.

A horn blew in the distance, signaling that her wait was over.

It was time.

Her father opened the kitchen door, his weather beaten face tense – the only indication so far that he even cared what happened to her. An honor. What a joke.

He’d get over the loss of his first born daughter soon enough, at least he still had a son to focus on.

Ferris would miss her the most. Three years younger than she was, he’d always looked up to his big sister with admiration rather than the disdain others had shown her. She had been there for him more like a mother than a sibling, making sure there was food to eat, clothes to wear, even toys to play with.

Their father had never realized that he had been suffering the most after their mother had passed. While father had stuck to his same old routine; heading off to the tavern after nightfall, as though nothing had ever changed, she had been there for Ferris.

Yes, Ferris would come looking for her as soon as he realized what had happened.

Father had conveniently sent him off on some merchant ship as a deckhand only weeks before the lottery. As if he’d known what would happen…

“Kelly. Our fate lies in your hands.” Her father waved her forward with an outstretched arm.

She hesitated for a moment, but took a deep breath and finally got up.

“Yes, father.”

Mother, I wish you were here. Kelly swallowed hard.

“Come in,” Father called out.

A group of villagers made their way inside the cramped little kitchen. They surrounded Kelly, who had already assumed the position expected of her: her arms were crossed behind her back, ready to be tied. They wouldn’t take any chances, because in the heat of panic, many an offering had attempted to flee in the past.

Oh, Mother. Why did you have to leave me to this fate?

Kelly’s eyes stung uncomfortably, though she tried not to let it show. A cold gust of wind from outside dried her tears.

As soon as the rough ropes were tightened painfully around her wrists, it was time to head towards the shore. A long procession had already formed outside Kelly’s modest family home, which in this dimmed light looked like nothing more but a dilapidated shack.

Of the sun, already vanished behind the mountain ranges towards the west, remained nothing but a reddish glow.

Fittingly gloomy, Kelly thought.

A few wisps of clouds did nothing to conceal the full moon shining down on Kelly’s march towards her doom.

Towards the front of the procession two drummers would set the pace for everyone. Some of the villagers carried torches, deep shadows cast over their solemn faces, making it seem like they were wearing masks. These were not the features of the ordinary folk of West Hythe. Tonight, everything had changed. More change was yet to come.

Kelly lowered her head as she stepped forward, positioning herself between the butcher and the tanner, two of the strongest, most impressive men of her village. Their function was ceremonial as well as practical during this ritual: supposedly they’d ensure she was delivered to the right people, and not snatched by anyone on the way to the beach. Actually, it was more likely they were there to prevent her from bolting out of fear.

The drums started to roll, before settling into a comfortable marching pace and the procession started to move. Kelly resisted for a split second, before being hauled forward by the butcher on her right.

Fine. I’m going.

The march was short, Kelly’s house was one of the few outside the village limits nearer the shoreline, and yet in her perception it seemed to last forever. With each step, her legs felt heavier.

But soon enough, the outlines of the misty Black Isles came into view in the distance, illuminated only by moonlight. The crisp cold sea shimmered in the light, like diamonds. Not that Kelly had ever seen a real diamond before, but she’d heard it said they were even shinier than fresh ice.

A glimmer of curiosity overcame her. That’s where she was headed; if she was to believe the stories. What secrets did those dark rocks out in the Northern Sea hide? Nothing good, for sure.

The villagers surrounding her had initially seemed calm and reserved, but now on the rocky beach, their faces had become tenser, more nervous. Typical, Kelly thought, I’m the one being served up to the barbaric giants, and they’re the ones who are scared.

The butcher’s large, calloused hands seemed to be trembling slightly as he attached the rope from Kelly’s wrist to the huge iron ring on the half-eroded sacrificial post. He didn’t even meet Kelly’s gaze, which despite the incoming darkness were burning with anger and betrayal. Her earlier tears had long faded in the harsh wind. All that remained was a growing urge to fight.

She’d find a way to escape. She had to.

“Sorry, lass. May God be with ya,” he whispered, before joining the procession again, ready to retreat back to the village.

Kelly pressed her lips together. God had nothing to do with what was happening here. She watched scornfully as everyone backed away.

It was one of the rules of the ritual. No one shall remain with the offering. None shall lay eyes on the giants when they collect their prize.

Those rules were now etched into Kelly’s mind, so often had she heard the stories. Every eight years, one of the coastal villages will put forth an offering. As prescribed, none of the girls had been seen since they were left at this exact spot.

This had been going on for as long as anyone in the village – even the elders- could remember.

All those lives ruined by such an archaic and stupid ritual!

There hadn’t even been any sighting, any evidence that giants still roamed the Black Isles. None, except that the sacrificial post was always found empty the morning after an offering. Anyone could have taken those girls. Who knew what had become of them.

Kelly glared at the retreating villagers, last of whom her father, who looked back once, but then hurried on home, or more likely, towards the tavern.

Bloody cowards, the lot of them.

How convenient to have a rule that nobody was allowed to stay and watch. Who knew who these giants actually were? Whether they even existed.

The last torch flickered away over the dune surrounding the beach, and the sound of the drum faded into the distance. The ritual was over, life could go on as normal until eight years from now when another girl was to be chosen from a neighboring village.

But for Kelly, the night was far from over.

A dense fog had rolled in from the Northern Sea, covering the beach like a damp blanket. Kelly blinked a few times, but was unable to see a thing. How long had she been here for? Minutes, hours? It was impossible to tell, although dawn still seemed impossibly far away.

Mother, don’t leave me here.

Kelly’s eyelids grew too heavy to remain open.

My darling, rest. You’ll need it, a familiar voice seemed to say.

Mother! Was she dreaming already?

The regular crashing of waves had already hypnotized her. One could only be upset for so long, until it took a toll. Kelly tried her best to lift the heavy blanket of exhaustion; to stay alert. But it was hopeless. It would take a lot more than some fog to scare her awake.

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ABOUT LORELEI MOONE

Lorelei Moone is an author of paranormal / fantasy romance based in London. A lover of all things sweet, and caffeinated, when she’s not writing about sexy bear shifters and their strong-willed curvaceous love interests, Lorelei can be found baking cookies or cakes for her family.

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