A Wicked Halloween Blog Tour and Giveaway: Sherrie Lea Morgan with Salem’s Embrace

 

Feed your paranormal cravings!
 
Halloween can’t get here soon enough! Especially when we have this tantalizing boxed set to look forward to.
A Wicked Halloween ~ 13 **BRAND NEW & EXCLUSIVE** paranormal romance tales that will thrill and chill you just in time for All Hallow’s Eve.
Preorder for only #99cent today!
 
Visit the page: A Wicked Halloween
 
 
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#paranormal #witches #salem #pnr #romance #preorder #giveaway #limitedtime


 







Five favorites:
 
Five Favorite Things: 
1. The Ghost Walk tour in Edinburgh, Scotland I went on three years ago.
2. Halloween (the movie)
3. Haunted Houses
4. Ghost Walk Tours
5. Roller-coaster rides
 
 
 
 
 
 
Solitary witch Meghan Nightshade is torn between hiding inside her self-made company in Atlanta and returning to stay in her hometown of Salem. One represents new beginnings, and the other her past. When an illness forces her to return to Salem for a short time, she realizes there are forgotten memories among the magic and nothing was the same as she remembered. Between preparing for the upcoming Halloween traditions and falling for the sexy Eathan Callaghan, Meghan is pulled back into the world of magic, covens, and witchcraft. Is she strong enough now to battle for the freedom of Eathan’s innocent sister, or will it cost her too much, and send her running back to the safety of Atlanta?

 

“I have a feeling not much surprises you, Eathan Callaghan.” Again, his earthy smell called to her. Her body trembled.
“That’s true. Living here for the past ten years has taught me a lot of things.” He squeezed her elbow. “Including the fact that there are many things that cannot, or rather, will not be explained through science. I’ve even had the honor of exploring Nathaniel’s House of the Seven Gables alone. The proprietor owed me a favor. It was…interesting.”
Meghan paused and stared at him. “You believe in magic and ghosts and such?”
“Of course I do. You can’t live in Salem and not believe there’s something different out there.” He grinned. “I’ve taken Karen to lunch at Pickering Wharf more than once.”
 

 

I live outside of Atlanta, GA. When not working my day job, I am either working on a manuscript, or furiously jotting notes for future stories. If time permits, I spend time with my daughter, twin sister and two cats and two dogs. Two years I fulfilled a life long dream of travelling to England. My sister and daughter joined me and we spent one week in London and one week in Scotland. I loved it so much! One day, I’ll be going back. My son returned home after serving four years with the United States Marines. I missed him and am happily spending time together. A few years ago, I was invited to guest blog about my adventures with two great writers. It was so much fun, thatI have created a blog for this site and am working on filling it.

Social links

http://www.sherrieleamorgan.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sherrielea.morgan

https://mobile.twitter.com/slmorganwrit

 
 
 
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Enter to ‪#‎WIN


 
 
Come to the party!
 

Put Your Ho Ho’s On Pre-Order Blitz and Giveaway

Put Your Ho Ho’s On

Coming November 1st from Yellow Silk Dreams and Muffy Wilson along with 21 of the freshest, most talented bestselling NYT, USA Today and Amazon authors with Sizzling Holiday Stories that’ll light your fireplace and warm your cockles!!

**AVAILABLE FOR PRE ORDER** NOW!! HERE:
http://amzn.to/1PE2tvg
Muffy Wilson
Christmas Marine
“Carpe Marine Christmas Package.”
Airicka Phoenix
Heads or Tails
“Heads, I’m yours. Tails, you’re mine.”
Website * newsletter * Amazon * Goodreads * Twitter * Facebook
Ashen White
8 Yule Swords
“A coven of skyclad witches initiates a novice on the Longest Night of
Winter.”
Blog * Twitter * Facebook * Amazon * Goodreads
Bernard Tristan Foong
Naughty Bad Boys
“Let’s be naughty and bad. That’ll save Santa the trip.”
 
Blak Rayne
Turkish Delight
“One box of candies, one blindfold, and in one night everything
changed.”


C.P. Mandara
Melting
“She’s waited ten years for one night.”
Erzabet Bishop
Naughty Cookie
“Wooden spoons will fly…”
Gale Stanley
Cry Uncle
“Dumped by her soulmate, Polly is afraid to trust another man—until she embraces a lifestyle where trust is everything.”
Gemma Parkes
Calendar Girl
“The camera never lies, but sometimes it can reveal more than was intended.”
Facebook * Twitter 

Gina Kincade
On Santa’s Naughty List
“Sometimes there’s more rewarding fun to be had on Santa’s
naughty list!”


Jacintha Topaz
Skid – Black Storm Pack 5
“Alpha finds a mate in the most unlikely man and place.”
Ju Ephraime
Pleasure Intense
“This Christmas he plan on taking her in every position possible…
all sixty-four of them.”


Kiki Howell
Silent Night
The peace of Christmas Eve eludes a vampire in love.”


Maddie Taylor
His Naughty Christmas Angel
“Will her dominant boss jump at the chance for some yuletide delights or will her naughtiness prompt a different response entirely?”
Pablo Michaels
Little Old St Nick
“Is sex before dinner with Little Ole St. Nick the true meaning of Christmas?”


Paige Matthews
A Devoured Christmas
“Christmas gets kinky and devoured”
Phoenix Johnson
A Bride for Christmas
“All he wants for Christmas is a bride to call his own.”


P.T. Macias
Blood Moon Mate
“Paranormal bad boys are sexy, wild, and full of suspense!”
R.B O’Brien
The Bed, the Blindfold and the Belt
“Will Michael allow Natalie to cum home for Christmas?”
Rebecca Lorenson
A Christmas Ornament
“Far from home, Dawn gets a little Christmas spirit.”
Sky Purington
A Christmas Miracle
“Love found across time is put to the test when tragedy separates a Highlander
from his lass.”

Sci Spanks 2014

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SCI SPANKS 2014

Sci Spanks 2014 is finally here! Please visit Governing Ana for the prize list, sign-up sheet, and free books. You can win from a prize pool valued at over $1,000, including a Kindle Fire or Nook HD donated by Blushing Books! Many authors will also offer a contest on their individual blogs.  Your comment on their blogs automatically enters you in both the main contest and the individual contests! How do you play?   1.Visit each blog between Wednesday, June 25th and Sunday, June 29th to read the posted stories and excerpts. Note: Natasha Knight’s story takes place in a nonconsensual setting, meaning the heroine has not consented to getting spanked. If you are offended or alarmed, you may prefer not to read her story.     2. Leave a comment answering the story question on each blog.  You will receive one entry per blog for the grand prize drawing.  You will also be automatically entered in that author’s individual contest, if she has one.   3.If you have visited all of the blogs, visit Ana’s blog to sign up for FIVE bonus entries to the grand prize.   4.Deadline is midnight EST (UTC -5) on June 29!!   5. If you successfully completed a previous challenge (Love Spanks 2014, Spank or Treat 2013, Spankee Doodle 2013, Love Spanks 2013, or Spank or Treat 2012), you may add “VIP” to your comments.  You will earn THREE bonus entries toward the grand prize.  (Yes, we will be doing this again.  Yes, if you successfully complete the Love Spanks 2014 challenge you can become a VIP for our next activity!)     6. If you are a writer of fiction (any kind), add “W” to your comments to be entered in the special author prize drawings.     7. If you are Sci Spanks 2014 Ambassador, please add “Amb” to your comments to receive your extra prize drawing. 8.Visit Governing Ana or any of the participating blogs on Wednesday, July 2nd to find out the lucky winners. Will it be you? We will also announce prizes on the Sci Spanks Facebook page.     Like these events? Want to support your favorite scifi authors? Become a Sci Spanks Ambassador! In exchange for promoting this event, you will receive one extra prize entry, AND you are still eligible to participate and win prizes! To find out the details, send an email to oliviastarke@ymail.com, with the subject line “Sci Spanks Ambassador.”   For more information, updates, and a list of participating authors, please visit Anastasia Vitsky’s blog. Like Sci Spanks on Facebook! Tweet #scispanks on Twitter! Join the exclusive chat with Sci Spanks authors! Message Anastasia Vitsky on Facebook or contact Anne Ferrer Odom to receive an invitation.   For more spanking fun, visit Saturday Spankings for additional snippets.   Find links to the rest of the Sci Spanks stories at Governing Ana! The more blogs you visit and comment, the more chance to win prizes!

Red Moon Rising By Erzabet Bishop   Bare branches of the tree line dotted the twilight sky. A brisk autumn breeze blew past and Kendall shivered. She huddled next to her car for warmth, but it wasn’t helping. The acrid smell of burning leaves tickled her nose. Mischief ran freely in the air tonight. She could sense it. Not much longer till Samhain. Just another month or so.  Time enough before the Witch’s Ball for her to make a bit of cash to get her costume in order. The park lay silent, save for the chirp of an occasional cricket and animals running in the brush. A refreshing change after her hectic day at the needlework shop. The pre-holiday sale had gone a little too well, and Kendall was exhausted. Endless hours winding skeins of yarn and teaching women to wield crochet hooks and knitting needles tended to fray her nerves. Especially the gaggle of stitchers that always seemed to show up on Wednesday mornings. They brought their samplers but for the last three weeks she swore not one x got crossed or one needle actually got run. Clueless the lot of them. She’d never seen a bunch of women take hours to accomplish absolutely nothing. Well, except make her miserable and drink the shop out of iced tea. “Unbelievable.” She muttered to herself. Her nerves were still smarting after one of them had complained to Astrid, her boss, that she had given them attitude. Astrid had rolled her eyes and dealt with the woman but she was pretty certain the discussion wasn’t over. Talk about the last freaking thing she needed. What was it with busy body women anyway? Her mother and Astrid were in the same coven. She was more than capable at setting up her own curses, thank you very much. She didn’t need help. The bitch had better watch her step the next time she came into the shop. Spit might not be the only thing she needed to worry about being in her tea. Kendall let out a throaty laugh that echoed in the silent parking lot. “Okay. This isn’t a serial killer special here. WTF? Dude I have to go.” She stomped her foot and checked her phone for the time. She wanted to get this meeting over with.  Her girlfriend Cybelle waited for her. They planned on looking though the costume shop site once she got paid. After weeks of nothing, a bite on her ad came through.  She texted the client shewould meet him after her shift at Cast Two Stitches. Things were lean and she needed the cash. Spell work for hire. Pretty straight forward. A love spell. A banishing or two. No biggie. What she didn’t like was meeting random weirdoes in the city park after dark. Astrid would kill her if she knew. So would her mom for that matter. The coven kept harping about not going out alone. Get real. It was the city. She was within earshot of practically everyone. If something happened, she could scream, and somebody would come running. The news reported another murder a few days ago.  Kendall wasn’t worried. She felt around in her pocket, palming the pepper spray she kept on her for just these occasions. Her stomach growled and she flipped her black hair out of her eyes impatiently. He had kept her here twenty minutes already. She should have stopped by the drive in on her way but she wanted to get Chinese take-out with Cybelle. The wind cut through her thin outfit, and she let out a curse. “Damn, I should have brought a coat.” Kendall ground out.  Her long black dress and clunky shoes did little to stave off the chill. She rubbed her hands along her arms to try and gather some warmth. If she got back in her car, the guy might miss her and leave. “Okay. Anytime now.” Kendall’s eyes scanned the growing darkness. So beautiful. So quiet. She missed coming here. It’s not like the park was in the country or something. It was only a few blocks away from the store.  The timing was pretty much right on with her needing costume money. At least it would have been if the guy had been on time and she wasn’t starving. The moon hung full and low in the sky and she sensed the pull deep in her bones. In the darkness to her left a light flickered. Kendall turned her gaze and found a dark form bounding out of the tree line right toward her at breakneck speed. “Jeez buddy. Are you okay?”  Kendall took a step back as the guy rushed closer. “Holy shit buddy. Stop! StoooopppNoooooo!”  The wolfen face was twisted, the eyes manic as the jaws opened and snapped against her face. The creature knocked her against the car. The fetid breath blew warm into her face. Kendall reached for her spell bag, but the beast came upon her too quickly. Grabbing a hold of the strap, he tore it from her. A bottle of potion burst, letting loose a spell of confusion.  The creature slipped and fell to the side, allowing her a brief window of escape. Kendall darted off into the woods, running like the hounds of Hell were after her. Branches and twigs snapped as she burst through the trees. No trail visible to her hurried glance, her eyes strained to see in the darkness. Clouds covered the moon. Another light twinkled in the distance. She ran toward it. Someone was there. Maybe they could help. Her feet bounded against the earth, her breath hard and fast in her ears. Behind her she heard the wolf making progress. The source of the light came from a small clearing.  Kendall burst through the trees, her breath labored. Her chest burned. A form stood in the center of a crudely drawn out pentagram gouged into the earth. “You.” Kendall rasped. “Why?” “Why ever not?” A flash of silver emerged from the woman’s robes. Kendall swung around to run. The beast countered her movements, blocking her way. Its yellow eyes glowed in the darkness. She never felt the blade enter. Only the sensation of falling as the ground rose up to meet her face. *** Detective Devi Watson pressed the mask against her face and sighed. The changing room at The Blue Minx was quiet and for the moment deserted. Time enough to get her identity hidden behind the black velvet and sequins.  She scooped her brown hair up into a messy up do and un capped a tube of blood red lipstick. She stared at the brilliant shade, her mind traveling back to when Astrid first gave her the silver tube. Astrid. Goddess she missed her. It had been three years. Yeah. And whose fault was that? “You look sexy in that shade of red.” Astrid came out of her bedroom with a small object in her hand. The florescent glow of the bathroom lights brought out the silvery blue in her eyes and the inky black waves of her hair. All ready to hit the club, Astrid was a knockout in her blue micro skirt and black corset. It was their place. No one from the coven went there and they could be themselves. Not a witch or a cop, but a couple.                 “Thanks.” Devi zipped up the side panel on the dress and adjusted her cleavage. Her breasts filled out the top portion of the vintage pinup outfit to a tee. Her hair was styled in old fashioned large curls parted down the middle, letting her long brown hair flow in waves down her back. One glance at her girl and her pulse pounded in her throat. “Are you sure we have to go? You’re good enough to eat.”                 Astrid laughed, her lips curling up into a smile. “You’re just afraid one of your cop friends is going to see you.”                 Devi’s eyes met Astrid’s in the mirror. She’d hit home and Astrid immediately frowned. Cops and witches didn’t get along. It was well known Devi’s family were hereditary witches and it had taken her a long time to help them see her as a cop, not a supernatural freak they had to worry about.                 “I’m sorry Devi. Your mom is still really pissed at you quitting the coven. Now I hardly ever see you anymore.” Astrid wrapped her arms around Devi and kissed her on the cheek. “I thought going to the club was good for us. You love to be adventurous.”                 “I love the club. But tonight I just wanted it to be us. Here. Together.” Devi protested, moving out of Astrid’s embrace to find her earrings. If Astrid wanted to go, then she would, but with great misgivings.                 “If you want…only I sort of reserved us one of the special rooms. It is our anniversary after all.” Astrid’s lips quirked into a flirty smile. “My mother knows full well why I left.” A slow burn of anger began to simmer in her gut. Her mother found ways to ruin everything. First her coven family and now her time with her girlfriend. She jerked the back off the earring and fastened it, repeating the action with the other ear. Two diamonds sparkled back at her in the glass. She could never tell Astrid why she’d left. Only that she didn’t want to be in the family business. Witches…great. Fine. Whatever. She looked at the tell-tale scars along the fleshy part of her arm. What she would not be was a monster.                 “Are you ever going to tell me what happened?” Astrid put her hand on her arm.                 “No. Just drop it okay?” Devi sighed. “I want to enjoy the night.”                 “So let’s get out of here.” Astrid looped her arms around her and held out a small silver tube. “This is for you.”                 “What is it?”                 “Can’t you guess?” Astrid purred, running a finger down between her breasts.                 “Oh you are  naughty tonight. I ought to take you over my knee and give you a swat for teasing me.”                 “Is that a threat or a promise?” Astrid taunted, turning around and wiggling her very sexy derriere at Devi.                 Devi caught her by the hand and swung her around into her arms. “I’m going to paddle your backside until you won’t be able to twitch that sassy ass for a week.”                 “Oh really?”                 “Yes really.”                 “Prove it.” Astrid reached up and planted a kiss on Devi’s lips.                 All the anger at her mother leached out of her in that second. The only thing was the warm and caring woman in her arms. Astrid ground her lips against Devi’s, urging them to open wide. Her tongue slipped inside and mated with Devi’s, making her weak in the knees. Then Astrid reached up and pinched Devi on the backside.                 “Come here you wicked girl.” Devi ground out. She led her to the bed and sat down. Careful not to wrinkle the vintage costume, she pointed to her lap.                 “Over my knees, saucy wench.”                 “Well whatever for?” Astrid lowered her lashes and tried to look demure. Her long black hair framed her face, making her appear like a child playing dress up. A very adult dress up.                 “Three swats for that pinch, missy. Then we’ll see.”                 Magic sparked in Astrid’s eyes, making the blue swirl bright purple. “You think I’m going to make it easy for you?”                 Devi smiled her own brand of wicked smile. It was only the two of them and she could be herself. If she was careful. Harnessing the element of air, she reached up and snapped her fingers. Astrid hurtled toward her, Devi catching her mid-flight.                 “Never think I’ve given up on being a witch. I just choose how and why.” She whispered in Astrid’s ear.                 “Oh.”                 “Now. I want you to count with me.”                 Devi raised her hand and lifted up the flounce of the micro skirt. Her hand struck Astrid’s ass and she smiled.                 Read more this summer in: Red Moon Rising coming in late summer or early autumn 2014.

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For a sample read: http://www.ylva-publishing.com/excerpt/excerpt_sigil-fire_erzabet-bishop.pdf   Amazon   ARe   Smashwords   Barnes and Noble

Release date: June 11, 2014

Description: Sonia is a succubus with one goal: stay off Hell’s radar. But when succubi start to die, including her sometimes lover, Jeannie, she’s drawn into battle between good and evil. Fae is a blood witch turned vampire, running a tattoo parlor and trading her craft for blood. She notices that something isn’t right on the streets of her city. The denizens of Hell are restless. With the aid of her nest mate Perry and his partner Charley, she races against time before the next victim falls. The killer has a target in his sights, and Sonia might not live to see the dawn.   Excerpt:   Blood pounded in her temples, and Sonia’s feet hit the pavement. Tears blurred her vision as the reality of what almost happened sunk in.   Also check out:

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Amazon

Demons. Angels. And strippers… Oh my! Enter the exclusive world of Club Rook, an erotic women’s club… built over a portal to hell. Demons walk the streets but angels do, too, and which is which may surprise you. No other 500+ page novel is released in weekly installments of 10,000+ words each accompanied by a music video and original EDM/dubstep song. Watch and listen every Monday at http://clubrook.angelsofanarchy.com or buy the soundtrack now at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00K2DM7SS/ An erotic hybrid of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Lost Girl,” “Club Rook” is drenched in secrets, sex and monsters. Hunter Echo Abeje may own the Rook, but witch/seer Shanti sets the wards; alchemist/dealer Jules brews the potions, and musician/dominatrix Heather is a fierce fighter. And don’t forget Temperance Ruiz, the newest dancer at the Rook, and so much more. All Angels of Anarchy serials are published weekly in a television-like format (with an ensemble of characters) written by a team if writers each in charge of her own characters. Check out all our serials at http://www.angelsofanarchy.com and read them weekly or in complete season editions of twelve episodes each. Dive into a new episode of “Club Rook” and immerse your senses — read, watch and listen.   Giveaway:   Answer one of  the questions for a chance to win an e-book copy of Sigil Fire!   What supernatural creature do you like to read about?   Are you a frequent reader of lesbian fiction or f/f erotica? What do you like about it and what are some things that you want to see more of/less of?

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 About the author: Erzabet Bishop has been crafting stories since she could pound keys on her parents’ old typewriter. She has only just learned that it is a whole lot more fun writing naughty books. She is a contributing author to the Silk Words website with her Fetish Fair choose your own romantic adventure stories, Elemental Passions (upcoming), Potnia, A Christmas To Remember, Taboo II, Forbidden Fruit,  Club Rook: The Series, Sweat, Bossy, When the Clock Strikes Thirteen, Unbound Box, Milk & Cookies & Handcuffs, Holidays in Hell, Corset Magazine: Sex Around the World Issue and Man vs. Machine: The Sex Toy Issue, Smut by the Sea Volume 2, Hell Whore Volume 2, Can’t Get Enough (upcoming, Cleis), Slave Girls, The Big Book of Submission (upcoming Cleis), Hungry for More (upcoming Cleis), Gratis II, Anything She Wants, Dirty Little Numbers, Kink-E magazine, Eternal Haunted Summer,  Coming Together: Girl on Girl, Shifters and Coming Together: Hungry for Love among others. She is the author of Lipstick(upcoming), Dinner Date, Tethered, Red Moon Rising, Sigil Fire,The Erotic Pagans Series: Beltane Fires, Samhain Shadows and Yuletide Temptation.  She lives in Texas with her husband, furry children and can often be found lurking in local bookstores. She loves to bake, make naughty crochet projects and watch monster movies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to review music and books.

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Follow her reviews and posts on Twitter @erzabetbishop.

 

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To enter the Sci Spanks round of blogs visit the above web address or:

http://erzabetsenchantments.blogspot.com/2014/06/sci-spanks-2014_25.html

Uncovering You Blog Tour

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Book Info:

Title – Uncovering You

Genre – Dark Romance

Release Date – March 27th, 2014

Series (Y/N) – Yes, first book in series.  Second will be out April 20th, 2014.

Synopsis-

When I wake up in a dark, unfamiliar room, I have no idea what’s waiting for me in the shadows. My imagination conjures up demons of the worst kind.

 

Reality is much worse:

 

A collar with no leash. A prison with no walls. And a life stripped of meaning.

 

I am presented with a vile contract and asked to sign. It outlines the terms of my servitude. The only information I have about my captor are the two small letters inked at the bottom:

 

J.S.

 

Armed with only my memories, I must do everything I can to avoid becoming ensnared in his twisted mind games. But in the end, it all comes down to one choice:

 

Resist and die.

 

Or submit, and sign my life away

 

GoodReads Link:

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20512700-uncovering-you

Links:

 

www.facebook.com/ScarlettEdwardsAuthor

www.scarlettedwards.com

www.goodreads.com/scarlettedwards

 

Excerpt One

I wake with a gasp and bolt upright.

Water. I need water!

As my groggy brain starts to recognize my surroundings, I feel sick. I can’t stop the reflex. I turn to my side and hurl. I vomit until the full contents of my stomach are spewed up. It’s not enough. My guts keep contracting, making me dry-heave again, and again, and again.

Bile burns my throat. Tears stream down my face. My back is covered in sweat. I feel so weak. So pathetic. I gag on the putrid smell and endure another attack. It feels like my stomach is turning itself inside out. My insides hurt.

When the final convulsion subsides, and I’m sure the worst is over, I collapse onto my side. I bring my knees up and curl into a little ball, holding my arms tight over my chest. It’s the most protective position I know.

The stink of my vomit is all around me. It’s so bad I almost start puking again. I roll to the other side to get away.

I’m shocked when I see the marble pillar inches from my nose. I was so far away when I blacked out…

That means somebody came in here and moved me.

Even more revolting than the stench is the thought of the author of that letter laying his hands on me. I start to cry. What else did he do to me while I was unconscious?

My blouse is a wet mess of sweat. My cheeks are stained with tears. I can’t get away from the smell. Breathing through my mouth is no better. It brings attention to the taste of vomit on my tongue.

It’s a wonder I haven’t pissed myself yet.

Cope. I can’t cope. I can’t deal with this.

You can, a strong voice tells me. You’ve done it before. Remember?

I close my eyes and drift away to a place where the pain isn’t so bad…

 

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Chapter One

October 2013. Date unknown.

(Present day)

 

A faint hiss, like the sound of an angry cat, jars me from my sleep.

I open my eyes to pure blackness. I blink, trying to get my bearings. A vague memory forms in the back of my mind, too far away to reach.

Why can’t I see anything?

My breath hitches. Panic rips through my body as the horrifying answer comes to me:

I’m blind!

I scramble onto hands and knees and desperately claw at the dark, searching for something, anything, for my senses to latch onto.

A dim overhead light comes on.

Relief swells inside.

I plop back on my butt and close my eyes, taking deep breaths to dispel the rush of adrenaline released by my body. When my heart’s not beating quite so fast, I open my eyes again.

The light’s gotten brighter. I look up at the source. It’s far above me, like a dull, miniature sun. It spreads a little sphere around me, maybe ten feet in diameter. Past that, everything is swallowed by darkness.

An irksome memory keeps gnawing at me. But my head is too heavy to remember. I feel… strange. Kind of like I’m hung over, but without the telltale pounding between my ears.

Cautiously, I try to stand. My limbs are slow to react. They feel heavy, too, like they’ve been dipped in wet clay. I steady myself. Only when I’m satisfied that my knees won’t give out, do I strain my ears for that hissing sound again.

It’s coming from somewhere behind me. I turn back—and nearly smash my head on a gleaming white pillar.

What the hell?

The sound is forgotten as I reach out and brush tentative fingers against the pillar’s surface. It’s cool to the touch. Smooth, too. I put my other hand on it. If I had to guess, I’d say it was made of marble. But what is a lone, white marble pillar doing in the middle of this room?

The memory is like a gong going off inside my head. But trying to reach it is like grasping at a smooth, slippery stone at the bottom of an aquarium. Just when I think I have it, it slips through my fingers and falls even farther out of reach.

I walk a slow, measured circle around the pillar. If I tried wrapping my arms around it, I doubt if I could even span half the circumference. Something far in the back of my mind tells me I should be alarmed. I look behind me and frown. By what? A dark room?

No, you idiot. By the reason you’re here!

My eyes widen. The reason I’m here? I don’t… I don’t remember.

I wince and bring one hand to my temple. Why am I having so much trouble remembering?

I gasp as a second gruesome thought hits me. Did I lose my memory? Do I have… amnesia?

I sink down with my back to the pillar. Desperation starts to take over. I hold my head between my knees and close my eyes to focus.

My name is Lilly Ryder. I was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on May 17th, 1990.

My eyes pop open. Joyous tears form in the corners. I do remember! I take a deep breath and try to keep going.

I was raised by my mom. I do not know my dad…

Suddenly, all my childhood memories come streaming back. Moving around as a kid. Never staying in one place longer than six months. All the cities I’ve lived in. All the apartments my mom and I called home. Even the revolving door of her boyfriends. There was Dave, and Matthew. Tom, and Steve. There was…

I shake my head to stop myself. I don’t doubt my memory anymore. But that still does not explain why I have absolutely no recollection of this place, or how I got here.

I push myself back up. The spotlight above me has gotten progressively brighter. The little enclosure of light doesn’t feel quite so tight anymore. I trail my eyes up the length of the pillar. I can’t see where it ends because of the light. But I can tell it’s tall, at least twenty, maybe twenty-five feet…

There’s also something about its surface that calls out to me. My hands itch to run over the smooth stone. A giggle bubbles up as I picture myself stroking it. The column is quite phallic.

I waver at the unfamiliar thought and have to catch my balance against the beam.

Focus, Lilly! I chide myself.

I have no idea where that thought came from. I have never been overtly sexual.

Nothing feels right. The fog that’s heavy on my mind is starting to lift, but not yet enough for me to understand—or remember—where the hell I am. This place is unfamiliar. I know that much. But right now, I feel almost like a surgery patient whose anesthetic kinked out: fully awake mentally, but completely impaired physically.

I go back to my memories. I can remember high school. I remember college. That’s where I spent the last three years of my life, isn’t it? Yes. Yes, it is.

“Hello?” I call out. My voice echoes into the surrounding gloom. “Is anybody there?”

I wait for an answer. All I get is the hollow repetition of my own voice.

anybody there, there, there…

I spent the last three years in college… but that’s not where I think I am right now. No. I shake my head. I knowthat’s not where I am. My memories are fuzzier the closer I bring them to today. Time feels… skewed. Freshman year’s easy to remember. So is sophomore, and most of junior… but things get weird toward the end.

I… finished junior year, didn’t I? Yes. Yes, I did. And then…

And then I took an internship in distant California for the summer, I remember with another gasp.

Suddenly, my mind is crystal clear. That pressing memory hurtles into view. It’s from yesterday. The last thing I recall, I was alone in a booth at an upscale restaurant. The waiter brought me a glass of wine. I took a few sips, contemplating my future….

Oh, God! Fear wraps a stranglehold around my neck.

The restaurant. The wine.

I’ve been drugged!

I can’t breathe. A suppressing tightness constricts my throat. I feel dizzy, and terrified, and most of all… ashamed.

Holy shit, Lilly, way to look out for yourself! My semi-mad inner dialogue pans with a generous dollop of sarcasm.

I’ve always known about the dangers of sick men preying on unsuspecting girls. I just never thought I’d fall victim to it.

I’ve been on my own since I turned eighteen, after the final falling out with my mother. I’ve always been proud of how well I managed. Even the shabby holes I’ve lived in while saving up college tuition were an improvement over living with her and all her low-life boyfriends. At least there, I had autonomy.

I’ve dealt with landlords selling crack on the side and the junkies they attract. Always, I’ve been known as independent, and strong—maybe offputtingly so. But, those were the character traits I had to develop to have any chance of getting ahead.

And all that lead to what? To this? To letting my guard down for one night and ending up… here?

Wherever “here” is, I think to myself.

The shock of the revelation has subsided a bit. I push off from the pillar. I can figure this out. I take a deep breath and look at my hands and feet. I am not bound. I pick at my clothes. They are the same ones I wore last night.

Do you know what might be lurking in the darkness?

I shove the meddlesome voice down. I don’t need more worries. Not now.

Carefully, I place one foot in front of the other and edge to the outer reaches of the light. The strange hissing noise has gone away. I don’t know when that happened. Maybe it was in my head the entire time.

I strain my eyes, trying to pierce the surrounding darkness. It’s impossible. I reach out with one hand and find nothing but air. This far from the pillar, I can barely see my outstretched hand.

“Hello?” I try again. “Who’s there?”

There’s no answer.

What kind of madman would do something like this? I wonder. What is hidden in the shadows?

Without warning, my imagination starts to run wild. Torture devices? Bondage equipment? Something… worse?

Snap out of it! I tell myself firmly.

I refuse to give in to despair, even if my entire self-preservation mechanism is on high alert. Despair is what whoever brought me here wants me to feel.

I will not succumb to that.

I look down at the floor. It is made of some expensive stone. I kneel down and brush my hand over the large, square tiles. They feel solid. Sturdy. They don’t belong in a dingy basement or a dirty warehouse.

Somehow, that thought strengthens me. Things aren’t quite as bad as they could be.

I stand up and peer into the black. I glance back at the safety of my pillar. If I venture past the light, I can always find my way back.

Go slow, I warn myself. Who knows what might be waiting for me out there?

I’ve seen the horror movies. Just because I don’t get the dungeon vibes here does not mean I’m not in one.

Haltingly, my foot reaches past the edge.

A thousand bright lights flood the room. I gasp and shy back, shielding my eyes on instinct.

After a few seconds, I lower my arm, blinking through the sharp pain that shoots through my head. I can almost groan. Light sensitivity, too?

Then I see the room.

Holy shit.

It’s huge. Massive. It must be at least five thousand square feet of pristine, flat space. I’m smack dab in the middle of it all.

The lights come from embedded ceiling lamps high overhead. Three of the walls, far away from me, are decorated with black and white abstract paintings created in bold brush strokes. The fourth wall is shielded by a heavy red curtain. The entire floor is made of rich, creamy white tiles reminiscent of steamed milk.

The ceiling is so high above me I almost feel like I’m in a cathedral. It’s made of exquisite dark oak beams.

But this is no church.

I do a slow turn. Something about this is all wrong.

So wrong.

Why am I here? What is behind the curtain? Other than the massive pillar and the paintings, there is nothing in the room.

If I’m being kept prisoner, why am I unbound? Why waste so much space on me?

I cup my hands around my mouth and yell.

“HEY! Anybody? Where am I?”

As before, I’m greeted with silence.

I take one more careful look around. If I got in, there must be a way out.

My eyes dart to the curtain.

Behind there.

I start toward it, my bare feet making determined slaps against the cold floor. I’ve not even gone ten paces toward it when I feel a small tug on my ankle.

I stop and look down. I discover a thread, so thin it’s almost translucent, tied loosely around my foot. The other end is attached to the base of the pillar.

I bend down and finger it.

What on earth is this?

The thread looks like it should snap with the smallest amount of force. I wrap my hands around it and tug.

It doesn’t give.

I frown, and apply a little more effort.

This time, it breaks in a clean cut.

I shake my head as I straighten.

Strange.

I half-expected something to happen when I did that. Alarms to blare, the lights to go off, something.

That’s when I notice a small white envelope leaning against the pillar. It’s right where the thread connects. In fact, it blends so well with the marble that I’m sure I would have missed it were it not for the string.

Exploration forgotten for now, I pick up the envelope. Maybe it will give some clue about what the fuck is going on.

It’s made of heavy paper. A wax stamp seals it, imprinted with a two-faced drama mask that I would find unnerving no matter where I saw it.

The only time I saw a wax-sealed envelope was when my ex got tapped by the Spade and Grave at Yale. I can understand the need for antiquity in New Haven. It makes no sense here.

My finger slips under the flap. I carefully ease it open. A foreboding sense of doom swirls around me as I pull the folded letter out.

I stare at it for a long minute. This is all so surreal. It feels like being caught in a bad dream. Once, I play myself right into my captor’s hands.

My natural inclination to resist, to fight back, tells me to tear the paper up without another glance. But that would be madness. The only clue I have to my whereabouts might be contained inside.

My thirst for information gets the better of me. I sit on the floor, cross my legs, and slowly unfold the paper.

It’s handwritten in swift, flowing blue ink. The rows of words make perfect strides across the page. Precision is the first word that comes to mind to describe the owner of the handwriting.

I set the sheet on the floor in front of me, lean forward and begin to read:

 

Two items require your immediate attention.

 1.   You may spuriously assume you are being held here against your will. Nothing could be farther from the truth. You are a guest. As a guest, you retain full ability to leave my home at any time. The door behind the drapes shall remain open for the duration of your stay. There are no physical barriers to speak of—though I would advise you to read to the end of this letter before making decisions based on a flawed understanding of your situation.

2.   You may have already noted the new adornment around your neck. If so, well done! I applaud—

 

Adornment? I stop reading. What adornment?

I bring my hands to my neck. I feel the unfamiliar shape against my skin. Why hadn’t I noticed it before?

I scamper closer to the marble pillar to try to make out my reflection. I can’t see much, but I can make out the “adornment”. There’s a black collar around my throat. I touch it with one hand.

It’s smooth and flat. It’s made of some kind of matted plastic, like the edges of a computer screen. It’s not tight or uncomfortable.

It frightens me. If it warranted a place in the letter, there must be something to it. I need to get it off.

My fingers dart around the edges, seeking the clasp that opens it.

I don’t find one.

The collar is smooth inside and out. It feels like a single piece of plastic. I trail one finger around the rim on the inside, and, finding no discrepancies, do the same on the outside. Again, I feel nothing.

There’s no crack, no edge, nothing to indicate how it was put around my neck.

I jam all my fingers between my skin and the plastic and pull with all my might. The collar flexes ever-so-slightly but doesn’t give.

Dammit! I cry out and try again.

I pull with all the strength God gave me. It’s not enough. I try again, and again, and again.

I realize I’m panting at this point. The exertion has me almost hyperventilating.

I drop my hands. It’s just a stupid, harmless little piece of plastic. Why do I want it off so much?

Because the idea of having anything foreign touch your skin is repulsive.

The voice is right, as always. But what can I do? The collar is bound to be part of the mind game in which I’m an unwitting participant. Reacting the way I just did is probably exactly what my captor wants. He—and I am certain it’s a “he” now, from the wording of the letter—wants me to feel terrified.

I will not give him the pleasure. I return to the letter and continue to read:

…applaud your perspicacity! You should know, however, that it is not an ordinary collar. Contained inside is a small positioning chip and two electrodes. They become activated the moment you stray outside your designated safe zone.

The string around your foot offers a conservative estimation of the distance you may roam past the marble column. Stay close, and you will remain untroubled. I am told that the electric shock the collar provides, while not lethal, can be quite unpleasant.

 

Holy fuck!

My spine goes absolutely straight and I forget to breathe. Now the collar has meaning. It feels like a live serpent wrapped around my neck.

My eyes are wide as I look down to my foot. The piece of string is still there, but it’s not connected to the one linked to the pillar.

I’d ripped it like a moron.

How far do I dare go? I’ll have to retie the string—unless I find a way to get the collar off my neck, first.

Another thought occurs to me:

Maybe this is a bluff? Does the collar really have an electrode in it? It’s so thin. Where would it draw power from?

I stand up. Assuming the collar is rigged, and the pillar is the center point… but that’s just what he wants me to believe, isn’t it? The letter claims there’s a door behind the drapes. It could be my path to freedom. I would have to be an idiot to stay here without testing the boundary myself.

I can’t trust anything the letter says. But, I can’t give in to despair, either. My only choice is to contest everything that’s thrown at me. If this is supposed to be a battle of the wills, the guy chose the wrong girl to mess with.

I pick up the remainder of the string and hold it in my fist. I square my shoulders to the long, drawn curtain. I hold my head high. My free hand itches to tug at the collar, but I keep it still. If my captor is watching me—which I’m sure he is, because I’m positive there are cameras hidden all around me—I will not give him the satisfaction of seeing me hesitate.

I take a deep breath and start toward the curtained wall. My strides are strong and purposeful. I will not waver. I will not turn back. Fear of a little shock will not keep me from testing the true limits of this prison.

The string goes taut, and I stop.

So far, so good.

It’s the next few steps that will determine everything.

I glance at the floor to mark my position. So, he expects to keep me in an invisible cage, does he? A cage of my own imagination?

Yeah, tough luck.

I drop the string and take one solid step forward.

Nothing happens.

I risk one more.

Nothing happens.

The corner of my lip twitches up in a hint of a smile. I called his bluff. But, I’m not home free yet. The veiled wall is another thirty-odd paces away from me.

I take two more steps forward, and, when nothing happens, start to walk more briskly.

My stroll is cut short by a sharp little zap beneath my left ear.

I tense and wait for more.

Well, color me surprised.

It looks like the collar does have bite, after all. When a second jolt doesn’t come, I can’t stop my smile from becoming a satisfied smirk. I knew the collar couldn’t possible have enough juice to hurt me. Where would the battery go?

Extremely pleased with myself, I venture onward, toward the curtain and its promise of freedom.

The violent torrent of electricity blindsides me. One second I’m on my feet, the next I’m writhing on the floor.

The current pours into me. I thrash about like a grounded fish. Fierce convulsions rock my body. And all I know is pain, pain, pain.

I can feel the source of it, snug around my neck. I’m helpless to fight the onslaught. My head flails about on the ground, throwing hair into my face. A high-pitched squeal sounds in my ears and I desperately hope that pathetic sound is not me.

My eyes roll up and all goes black.

 

scarlettedwards

 

About the Author

I’m Scarlett Edwards. I wrote my first book as a college sophomore. After six months of edits, it made its debut as Yours to Savor.

That was at the start of 2013. I’ve written more books since then. You can find them all here.

 

It’s funny how quickly life changes. I used to think I’d need a degree to get a “Real Job.” Then I wrote a few books, they got somewhat popular, and now I’m living the life as a full-time romance author.

 

Thanks to all my readers for making my dreams come true!

 

Stalker Links

www.scarlettedwards.com

https://www.facebook.com/Author.Scarlett.Edwards

https://www.goodreads.com/ScarlettEdwards

Giveaway Details

 

10 Uncovering You audiobooks

20 Signed paperbacks of Uncovering you

50 ebook copies of Scarlett’s books (Change of Heart, Change of Heart Part 2, Never Let Go, Yours to Savor, Uncovering You)

 

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