Friday, August 28, 2015

First Fight Friday: Progeny of Sin: Dark Dreams by Aaron Speca & Dawn Treadway


Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads then it’s over.


Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share the first fight out of their latest book.



Fellow Harper Impulse authors

Aaron Speca Dawn Treadway 
    
are here for...

First Fight Friday 

with a scene from


 Progeny of Sin 
Dark Dreams

The Devil wants his due… 

The Daemon wants his out… 
Jade just wants it all to be over.

You don't always get what you want.
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She started muttering to herself, “Okay, this is too weird. I was just outside, and the sky was dark. Now I’m in somebody’s loft, where I can plainly see out that window,” she pointed a dizzy finger toward the floor-to-ceiling casement, “the sun isn’t even down; it is clearly twilight out there.” She was talking to herself out loud, to hear her own voice more than anything. She turned her body to figure out exactly where she was, and her chin ran smack into the denim-covered legs and steel-toed combat boots of the man who was responsible. And she screamed as loud as she could.
Nias fell to his knees and put his hand over her mouth.

“Woman, you are obviously upset, and at this point I can understand that, but if you would stop with the screeching and remain calm, I can explain everything.”

That was good because she wanted some answers. “Where am I? How did I get here? Did I pass out? Did you give me drugs? Are you some kind of kidnapper? If you are, I will let you know now you definitely have the wrong girl. I haven’t a dime in the world, so you might as well just save yourself the trouble and let me go!” Her words came out rapid-fire, a battering tempest of chatter that she could see nearly overwhelmed him.

In response to her questioning this large dark-haired man merely began to laugh out loud.

“I’m sorry, did I amuse you?” She squinted up at him.

“No, hellion, I just find your way of communication different, that’s all, and no I am not a kidnapper, I have not given you drugs, you did not pass out, and you are in California; San Francisco to be precise. As for the way you got here, I transcended us.”

“You what?”

“I transcended us – a process Daemons use to move around.”

“Daemons?” She looked up to take a real, solid look at this maniac…and ran smack into the eyes of the gorgeous man from the physical disturbance this morning in her bookstore. Criminy, I have been abducted by the hottest lunatic ever. Jade looked around her, trying to assess the likelihood that she could escape and outrun him. She saw an open window and on the opposite side of what seemed to be a living room, the front door. Door is further, but I probably won’t break a leg if I go for the door. Door it is. She shoved him away and was up and running!

Before she took three steps, he was in front of her, a giant wall of muscle. She turned on the tips of her replacement stilettos and bolted for the window. This time he gave her five steps. He was in front of her again. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Broody gently picked her up with one of his arms behind her back, swung her legs up and over his other arm and carried her to the divan, where he smoothly sat her down and smiled.

“Can I continue? Or would you like to take another turn about the room? If it’s exercise you’re looking for I can think of much better ways to expend your energy.” He folded his arms, as if daring her to make another run for it. His golden eyes flickered with unmistakable amusement.

“Oh, for crying out loud, fine. I will listen to what you have to say. Only because you outweigh me by at least a hundred pounds, are way quicker than I am, and clearly you are willing to use force to have your way.” She was waving her index finger in the air, much like Matt did when he got excited. “But stop grinning at me; I am a hostage, not a plaything.”

“Pity.” His eyes did a swift head-to-toe assessment of her body. “I can assure you I wish this could be done any other way. Unfortunately the circumstances at hand have forced me into your life.”

“That I can see,” she hissed.

“Jade, I’m afraid our time together has just begun,” he said, squinting his eyes a bit. “I, or rather my family and I, require your assistance, and your gifts. We know you have the ability to sense emotion; we also know you can, in various degrees, affect emotions around you. Also your ability to tell if beings are lying may come in handy as well.”

“How in the world could you know that? Or my name? Who the hell are you?” If it were possible, this conversation was starting to freak her out even more than what had already happened.

“My name is Nias, and let’s just say I have it on the best authority.”

“Well, then, Nias, do you know where this curse came from? Can you tell me?” She wasn’t sure why it had come out as a question and not a demand; maybe it was fear at finally having an answer. What she did know was even discussing its origin made her recall all the pain and sadness it had brought into her life. If there were a way to find out where it came from, possibly there would be a way to get rid of it. She would do almost anything to accomplish that.

“That, I cannot do. I am not at liberty to inform you of any more than you have to know in order to help us.”

“Why am I even having this conversation, then? For all I know, you found out somehow, got Matt drunk, maybe, I don’t know.”

Then it hit her. The strangest thing about this situation was she could tell he wasn’t lying. She always got a feeling when someone lied to her. Almost like a sharpness at the back of her neck and behind her eyes, like a fierce headache was coming on, and she wasn’t getting it from him. So there were only two possible conclusions; one, he believed what he was saying so strongly that it didn’t come out at her as a lie, which meant her half-sarcastic comment was correct and he was insane. Or two, he was being truthful. Surprisingly to her, it wasn’t the possibility of the former, complete insanity, worrying her the most; it was the possibility of the latter, that his story could reflect the truth, causing the bubble of nervousness and trepidation to rise up from her gut.

“Well, can you get rid of it? I want to get it out of me; it is awful, to tell you the truth. You are looking at this thing as a gift, but it isn’t. This thing has made me a freak. My own parents couldn’t handle it. Or I guess it was me who found it hard to tolerate their loathing of my oddity. It wasn’t just them; try making friends when you know their every feeling and lie. It crashes into my head, and did I mention it hurts? Can you, they, who, whatever, make it go away?”

* * *

Nias was not completely surprised to see the look of pain in her eyes, but it had an effect on him he did not expect. He had an overwhelming need to make that look, the causes of that look, go away, but he knew it was impossible. He needed the part of her causing that pain.

“No, I can’t. I was asked to find you, explain the situation, and obtain your help. And to be honest, I doubt they would be willing to take away something they find useful.” He couldn’t help but place his hand on her forearm, to touch her, to soothe her. And then, as quickly as he had placed it, and felt the warmth of her skin, her eyes flickered straight towards his own, and he yanked his hand away.

He would not do this. This human would not affect him. He pulled himself together and got back to the business at hand.

“My brother has been kidnapped by some very bad individuals.”

“I feel his pain, as I seem to be in the same situation.” He appreciated her sharp wit and snappy comeback, and smirked despite himself.

“Trust me, Jade, you are not in the same situation. I will not hurt you. If you try to run, I will bring you back. But I will not ever hurt you.” And he suddenly realized he meant every word of it.

* * *

Again Jade could feel he wasn’t lying. He meant what he said, and strangely she didn’t feel like she was in any immediate danger.

“I need to get to him, and I need you to use the abilities you possess to help me do it. The place I have to take you is evil beyond your reasoning; it will be like nothing you have ever seen or imagined,” he continued to explain.

Jade shuddered at the sincerity and seriousness in his voice. “Where is this place and who are these people?”

“I cannot give you any more information right now, but we need to start with your training immediately, if I ever expect to see my brother alive again.”

“Why in the world would I get involved with this? It sounds extremely dangerous, and I’m sorry to be harsh, but it just isn’t my problem.” Even as she spoke the words, she thought of the one and only thing that could possibly make her do something so crazy; to actually have a normal life, to be rid of this blasted curse. This man might not know where the curse came from, but even if there was an infinitesimal chance she could find its origin and maybe, just maybe, find out a way to make it stop, she wanted to try.

“Unfortunately, Jade, the moment you came into contact with me you started being watched and it became your problem. The Shaitan have eyes everywhere. They have, no doubt, seen you by now, so you are involved already. You’re just not safe without me or one of the Djinn beside you anymore.” Nias looked into her eyes and she thought she saw a tiny glimmer of regret. Then she experienced a flash of anger that he had put her in this position. If what he said was true, he had already endangered her life.

All thoughts of agreeing to this madness had flown out of her mind. She clenched her teeth as she responded.

“I appreciate you want to retrieve your brother, but I don’t know anything about these … these Shaitan, or Djinn, or Daemons, or whatever they are called. I have a business to run, I have a life!” A sad and pathetic life; one where I cannot keep a relationship intact, prevent my head from erupting into spontaneous bursts of pain or even manage to stay out of dreamland long enough to cope with the madness. But right now she didn’t care, she needed some air to breathe not full of super-hot “I’m a Daemon” guy. She needed to get away and think, time to sort through this mess.

She continued her tirade getting up and taking a step toward him. The tension in the room was palpable. “I am going to go, please do not stop me, do not contact me, do not drug me or drag me across the country anymore!”

She paused for a time, looking at him, and when he made no move to stop her, she stormed past him and out the door. To her surprise, he let her go.

As Jade walked out of the flat, she wondered what kind of fiendishness was truly involved in getting her there. She had been to San Francisco before, and as she looked around she realized quickly he was telling the truth on that count. Did he take her across the country, unconscious on a plane? Surely not a public one. How long was she out? She had not felt herself go under or come out of a blackout. What she did know was she needed to find a way home.

Luckily she was a credit-card-in-the-pocket, and not a purse kind of a girl, because she was going to need a cab ride and a plane ticket before that hot but vexatious man came looking for her. She was not sure why he had let her walk out, and right now she did not give two shits about the why’s, she just wanted as far away from here as she could get.

Unfortunately, as far away as she could get was two blocks, when something metal slammed into her stomach and then hit her over the head, and this time everything did go black.

Copyright © Aaron Speca
Copyright © Dawn Treadway
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Dark Dreams by Aaron Speca & Dawn Treadway 



Jade Shear is an ordinary girl with an extraordinary ability that’s literally about to send her to Hell. When Daemons discover Jade’s power to read and manipulate others true feelings, they force her to assist with the rescue of their sibling; thrusting her from her everyday normality deep into the Underworld with the tall, dark and deliciously demonic Nias Hu’dor assigned as her guide.





All Nias wants is to live out his life without being involved with anyone else. No more emotion, no more connections, especially to pain in the ass humans. But when he sees Jade twisting a long curl of her wild red hair, and showing off the most amazing backside he’s ever been privy to; Nias just knew he was staring at a world of trouble.

How could his family have enlisted him to obtain this girls
help to traverse Sheol?

This dark paranormal romance takes you from Jade’s everyday existence into the world of the Djinn Sentry; an army of demonic solders determined to protect the human race; and then plummets you straight down into the seething malevolent Underworld where a multi-levelled caste system of Shaitan and the Devil himself welcome you.


Progeny of Sin: Dark Dreams 
is available on 
Amazon US ~ Amazon UK ~ Kobo ~ Nook 


Author Bios:

Dawn Treadway is the author of the award winning flash fiction story "The Prisoner". Presently she can be found in beautiful coastal California, with her exceptional children, Cooper and Waylon and two orange feline beasts. Dawn holds a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing and works in Mental Health. When not actively enjoying dark dreams, she is otherwise cultivating her love of everything dark, gothic and sexy as Hell.

Aaron Speca is an “accidental author” who fell into creative writing at the age of 39, joining a writing group at the behest of his wife and her friends. Since then, he has published two short stories with writing partner Patricia Laffoon, and is co-author with Dawn Treadway on the novel Progeny of Sin: Dark Dreams. He currently resides in Virginia with his wife, three children, and a precocious Boston terrier.



Follow Aaron Speca online
Follow Dawn Treadway online



Thanks for sharing Aaron & Dawn!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Friday, August 21, 2015

First Fight Friday: Touched to the Soul by Elsa Winckler


Goats solve their differences head-on. They don’t give the silent treatment or yell, they butt heads, and then it’s over.
Cowboy Marvin has learned humans resolve issues differently especially those romantically involved. His curiosity sparked, he has invited authors to stop by on Fridays and share a first fight from one of their books.



Author and a Fire Writer for
Written Fireside 
in 
I Looked Away & Can't You See?


   Elsa Winckler      



    is here for ...


First Fight Friday 
with a scene from 

Touched to the Soul

Zoe Sutherland can't stand the pushy, arrogant architect 
David Cavallo. He was just too damn sure of himself.

David has one goal: get rid of the pesky interior designer. 
But since he's been forced into close proximity with 
the beautiful Zoe, everything's gone downhill.

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Dale leaned back in his chair and stared at her. She looked calm and very collected. Her dark hair was swept up, leaving just a few tendrils curled softly against her face. His fingers itched to touch them, he remembered the silkiness.

And then she swallowed. He bit the insides of his cheeks to prevent him from smiling. So, the lady wasn’t as cool as she pretended to be.

“I tried to contact you after Don and Caitlin’s wedding but you never answered any of my messages.”

She narrowed her eyes. “You know perfectly well why I ignored those messages,” she said primly.

He leaned forward, enjoying her obvious discomfort. “You see, that’s just it. I don’t know. You kissed me, stormed away, and ignored all the messages I sent you.”

Her lips trembled slightly. “You were the one who kissed me,” she said, her eyes stormy.

“You didn’t kiss me back?” he asked, not quite understanding why he couldn’t stop baiting her.

She inhaled audibly, bent her head for a few seconds before she opened the file. “We can go ahead with the contract. That is, if you still want me to.”

“Oh, I still want you…” he said solemnly, waiting a millisecond before he added “…to.”

Her flared nostrils were the only indication that she’d caught his meaning.

“Good.” She got up. “I’ll ask Susan to contact you for the next meeting. Please make sure whoever you send has all the information available—budget, timeline and of course if…”

He also got up slowly. “Seeing that my brother suggested we make use of your firm, I will be working with you. Directly.” He emphasized the last word. “I don’t mind doing favors, but when money is involved, I have to protect the investment we’ll be making. I have to make sure you are not just a pretty face but can actually do the job. You obviously don’t really want to work for me, but you’ve realized it’s good for business. Therefore, I have to make sure our business doesn’t suffer because of yours.”

Copyright © Elsa Winckler

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Touched to the Soul by Elsa Winckler 

Zoe Sutherland can't stand the pushy, arrogant architect David Cavallo. He was just too damn sure of himself, too handsome, too…everything. Maneuvered into working as the interior decorator on his latest project, a glamorous new hotel, Zoe can't keep her mind on the job. And worse, the strange man won't give her access to the hotel's floor plans. How is she supposed to finish the design when she doesn't have the plans? And when the obnoxious man distracts her with every smoldering look, every touch...


David has one goal: get rid of the pesky interior designer. Since he's been forced into close proximity with the beautiful Zoe, everything's gone downhill. And to make matters worse, she's only out to further her own career—and he's not about to give her the hotel's plans so she can steal his ideas. He needs to get her out of his system, and sleeping with her seems like the best way to do that. When it comes to women, he's found the best way to handle them is to love 'em and leave 'em. But something strange is happening...because after a night of loving Zoe, he's finding it harder than ever to leave…


Touched to the Soul
is available on


Check out Elsa's 

Elsa's bio:

I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 39 years, 3 beautiful children and 3 grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong. And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous! My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.


Follow Elsa Winckler online


              
Thanks for sharing Elsa!



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