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Throwback Thursday: Soul Solution

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For Erik Anderson, the Copenhagen line is his curse. He takes the train every night en route to collect souls. Like any lovelorn fool, he bargained his own long ago, and now pays the price—a lifetime of loneliness as a grim reaper. Stay distant—that’s been his mantra and what keeps him sane.

Until Mina Castner drops into his life like a whirlwind, one spilled drink leading to staying up until dawn with the woman. He believed one night couldn’t hurt, but he sorely underestimated her determination. Every encounter between them is reprieve from the guilt of reaping souls every night, but it can’t last. Even if she sparks long buried feelings, and even if her sheer presence intoxicates him, he can’t let this continue. For humans, his touch is poison, and if he slips up, it could cost her life.

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A Reflection of Ice Cover Reveal

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Lyra plunges into the woods for refuge, leaving the discovery of her stepmother’s affair and the woman’s ensuing rage back at the trailer park. However, a mysterious ringing in the forest leads her to a different sort of sanctuary, a castle of ice with a lonely prince living in his solitary kingdom.

While the castle holds haunting ballrooms, vast gardens, and rooms filled with more treasures than a museum, the cobwebs in dark corners whisper a different story. The longer she stays, the more she yearns to return to her rusty old home. Yet once she uncovers the secret of the ice prince in his castle, if she doesn’t find a way to escape soon, she never will.

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Beyond Fairytales Spotlight: Taliaschild

Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales series takes fairytales from well known to the obscure and then cranks up the heat! The differing stories delve into many different sub-genres and styles of erotic romance, but all of them have a fairy tale feel as the authors meld the old stories into something new.

Today we’re featuring Taliaschild by Anastasia Vitsky

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Six years after the mysterious talisman brought Queen Vina to Talia, it chooses a new owner in Sonna, a child of the streets. Unprotected by her amputee father and beaten by her mother for failing to bring home scraps for the family to eat, Sonna runs into the self-assured Kira, daughter and heir to Vina’s queendom.

Weary of endless rules and duties involved in training to become the future queen, Kira leaps at the chance to escape with a new friend. She places the priceless talisman around Sonna’s neck, but neither can remove the jewelry.

Alarmed at losing the talisman’s protection, Vina and Talia take drastic steps to protect the princess. In the process, the entire earth descends into chaos.

Five years later, nineteen-year-old Sonna forages for two-day-old fish heads while dodging street pimps. The talisman leads her to the mysterious Nicodemus, who offers one command:

Go to Kira. She needs you.

Baffled, Sonna embarks on her journey. What can a pauper offer a spoiled princess? Will the street girl end up surprising them all?

Sneak Peek into Taliaschild:

Against my chest, the talisman grows warm. It quivers, almost as if it is afraid. Or perhaps it creaks like an old, unused piece of machinery. I take out the metal to rub it clean with my spit, and the gems glow bright as the stars.

My child.

I jump backward, dropping the necklace. I’d throw it down the grate if I could remove the chain from around my neck. Sorcery! A necklace refusing to be removed spoke of magic, but I hoped it was benign. Is this a demon’s voice? Am I spawn of the devil?

I am not a demon, my child. I am one who loves you the way your mother does not.

I whimper. Demon or not, Mother will order an exorcism if anyone finds out. A little girl was possessed last year, and the shaman beat her with a wooden stick. Over and over, commanding the evil spirits to leave the child. I can face many things, but not the wrath of a demon chaser.

The one you love has locked her heart to you. You must find her, and you must remind her of the day you promised to love her.

Shaking from head to foot, I risk speaking out loud. “She never came back.”

That was not her doing. Do you still care for her?

Soft kisses, sweeter than any of the delicacies she fed me. The tingle of her touch, transporting me to a world in which my shame no longer mattered. Standing before her, scrubbed clean, and watching her eyes widen in surprise and longing.

Curling next to her side, trusting her. Believing when she told me to follow her. I would never be hungry again, she said.

She loves you.

No one ever loved me before.

She needs you. Find her.

Before I can think of a response, the gemstones fade to silver and the metal grows cold.

Find her. But how?

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Beyond Fairytales Spotlight: Club Beam

Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales series takes fairytales from well known to the obscure and then cranks up the heat! The differing stories delve into many different sub-genres and styles of erotic romance, but all of them have a fairy tale feel as the authors meld the old stories into something new.

Today we’re featuring Club Beam by Erzabet Bishop

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Based on the fairytale:

In the Shadow World, nothing is as it seems.

Detective Sydney Marr is having a very bad day. Her boss is on the warpath, she’s being treated for a werewolf bite, and her current case has hit a dead end. When her friend Erika talks Syd into going with her to Club Beam, she jumps at the chance, even if it means spending an evening without her spell arsenal. A high-class vampire bar and fetish club, Club Beam is fantasy made real.

Club owner and Dom Gideon Raines spies the red-haired beauty and is transfixed. A fight against a skillful murderer brings war for fae and vampire alike. Sometimes when you play with monsters, the monsters play back.

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Sneak Peek into Club Beam:

“Once upon a time….” Erika sang and waggled her eyebrows. “Come on, Sydney. Live a little. This club is smoking hot, and you’ll love it.”

Sydney grumbled under her breath and watched the club-goers parade past, each dressed like a fairy-tale character. The Little Mermaid trounced by in a see-through, diaphanous gown revealing too much in the way of personal attributes. Sleeping Beauty sashayed down the sidewalk with a leash around the neck of her Prince Charming. A woman in a way-too-short Red Riding Hood outfit approached. Her arm was wrapped around a seductress dressed in wolf ears, a tail, and a skimpy thong-style bikini. Red carried a basket full of what looked like pink fuzzy handcuffs and a can of whipped cream, which she swung into Syd.

“Hey!”

The red-cloaked vixen sent her a wink and traipsed on by, joined by a near-pornographic version of the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland. Any shorter and the skirt would show her naughty bits. Or maybe that was the plan.

Syd had just gotten off her day shift as a detective, and the last thing she wanted to do was be around more people. Especially people with more skin showing than on late-night cable shows. Her head hurt from the lights and the pulse of the music, and her stupid witch costume was pinching her toes. Erika’s scant fairy costume hugged all her curves, her breasts bursting from the bodice. The skirt barely covered her backside, and the strappy silver sandals showed off her silver-glitter nail polish.

The building loomed next to them. A giant warehouse-like structure, it was large enough to house all manner of mischief, and Syd was itching with the desire to get inside and find out just what was going on behind its doors. The sidewalk was flagged by trees lit up with twinkly white lights, adding an upscale ambiance to the area. What in the daylight looked like an industrial area gone to the dogs had been transformed into an attractive and well-attended venue.

She didn’t have the heart to tell Erika she’d been here once already today for the case she was working on, but the entrance had been sealed up tighter than a drum. Sydney’s recourse was to infiltrate Club Beam by night as a patron. Her sergeant, Debra, would kill her if she realized Syd had even considered going in without backup. So would her partner, James. Erika had asked her to come so she wouldn’t be alone, and, despite herself, Syd couldn’t resist. To catch a vampire, you had to go out at night, and Club Beam was the hot spot. After last month’s fuckup, she had to do this and do it right, even if it killed her. James was on medical leave, and it remained up to her to get this guy before someone else got killed or turned furry.

I will not think about becoming one of the terminally furry. It’s over. Move on. Take the pills the doctor gave you and freaking pray.

“Oh look. I think I see Snow White.” Erika stood on her tiptoes and craned her head along the huge expanse of line they still had to navigate to get inside.

Syd peered into the crowd and grimaced. Hairy legs. More makeup than a Mac commercial. “Nope. That was a guy in drag.”

Erika narrowed her eyes. “God, Syd. You’re the world’s biggest wet blanket ever.”

Sydney shifted her weight and moved another two steps toward the door as the line inched forward. “I told you, I’ve had a hard day. We had a homicide case come in, and I’ve been out beating the street. I want to go home and bury my head under my pillow. But, no. Out of the kindness of my heart, here I am standing in line at a vampire bar with a bunch of overgrown kids playing dress-up in fairy-tale fetish wear.”

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Beyond Fairytales Spotlight: Rain by Taryn Kincaid

Decadent Publishing’s Beyond Fairytales series takes fairytales from well known to the obscure and then cranks up the heat! The differing stories delve into many different sub-genres and styles of erotic romance, but all of them have a fairy tale feel as the authors meld the old stories into something new.

Today we’re featuring Rain by Taryn Kincaid:

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Based on the fairytale: Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping Beauty in a post-apocalyptic land…

In a world gone mad, where little remains but a vast wasteland of sand, the leader of a troop of roving warriors welcomes a brave young woman into his midst.

Much as he burns for her, Major Clay Worthington swears to keep his distance from the mysterious woman, so sensitive even the stinging rain can wound her.

Rosina Brierly is besotted with the formidable soldier and will gladly trade her life for one torrid night of blissful passion in his arms.

But when sleep overcomes them, will true love prevail?

Sneak Peek into Rain:

            Does the major ever feel lust? Does he covet a woman’s touch? He never gave any sign he did. Too aloof and austere, too remote from the simple emotions of mere mortal men.

He shook her again. “Wake up, princess. The rain will come soon.”

The men looked forward to the rain. They hated the relentless sun blasting down upon them, as if they thought it would incinerate what was left of the earth beneath their boots, baking the soft sand into badlands as hard as concrete. They’d strip off their T-shirts and boots, their combat fatigues, and sometimes even their camouflage boxer shorts, and dance and play, naked or nearly so, in the slanting gray soup, laughing, tossing round balls or throwing saucer-shaped plastic discs to each other.

For her, the showers had the opposite effect. The stinging rain sliced into her sensitive skin like acid, raising blisters and sores, sometimes bloodying her.

She did not know why the major called her princess. Perhaps he didn’t know either. Whatever royalty once walked the earth had long gone, fled underground or died in battle or simply disappeared. The war engulfed every human on the planet, every inch of land, and had waged so long she doubted anyone remembered anymore. Well, maybe Nicodemus. At least he sometimes hinted he did in the stories he told. And she had seen him whisper into the major’s ear, unknown things that made the major pale beneath his weathered tan.

Major Worthington did not treat her like a princess, though, except when she slumbered, when he knelt before her in her fantasy world, his head bowed, his fist over his heart, laying his sword at her feet and claiming the role of knight. Her hero. Her champion. When she awoke, he remained one of the elite warrior breed roaming the planet, bristling with weapons like the soldiers he led. He treated her as the translator she was to him, sometimes barking orders to her as if she were one of his men, only occasionally seeking her counsel.

She came fully awake as he jerked her up from the ground and yanked her toward him. The glare of the setting sun broadsided her, hurting her eyes. Why was he so insistent about the impending rain? No clouds yet darkened the sky, although the hour sped toward evening dusk now. But no hint of shadow yet blotted the horizon.

“I can smell it,” he muttered.

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