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Archive for September 18th, 2012

Julie James has shared the cover for Love Irresistibly on her blog! I really love how that red makes it pop!

 

HE’S USED TO GETTING WHAT HE WANTS…

A former football star and one of Chicago’s top prosecutors, Assistant U.S. Attorney Cade Morgan will do anything to nail a corrupt state senator, which means he needs Brooke Parker’s help. As general counsel for a restaurant company, she can get a bug to the senator’s table at one of her five-star restaurants so the FBI can eavesdrop on him. All Cade has to do is convince Brooke to cooperate—and he’s not afraid to use a little charm, or the power of his office, to do just that.

AND WHAT HE WANTS IS HER.

A savvy businesswoman, Brooke knows she needs to play ball with the U.S. Attorney’s office—even if it means working with Cade. No doubt there’s a sizzling attraction beneath all their sarcastic quips, but Brooke is determined to keep things casual. Cade agrees—until a surprising turn of events throws his life into turmoil, and he realizes that he wants more than just a good time from the one woman with whom he could fall terrifyingly, irresistibly in love . . .

 

Available April 2, 2013

juliejames.com

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Christopher Beckett is from an ancient line of wizards, but with one aspect that sets him apart. His wolf. Right now that wolf is howling for a mate. Knowing it’s only a matter of time before the wolf’s needs override everything else in his life, Chris casts the spell all the Becketts have used to call their mates to them.

His wish list is short: She must be of a lineage at least as old as his own. And she must accept his wolf. When his mate appears, he realizes his list should have been one item longer.

Alannah Evans, a powerful witch of the Evans Coven, has no problem with Chris’s wolf. It’s the wizard part that sticks in her magical craw. Witches and wizards have always been at odds, so by rights, she and Chris shouldn’t be striking sparks of attraction this bright. But Chris will not be denied, and gradually she finds herself trusting him—then falling into the fire of desire.

When it becomes clear an old enemy has targeted them both for death, Chris charges into a duel that could cost him his life. Or worse: Lana.

Product Warnings

Product contains explicit sex, graphic language, magic, mayhem, and a wet, naked wolf shifter bearing hot chocolate. Mmm… chocolate.

~~~*~~~*~~~

Do you believe in magic?

And is that song now running through your head? I know it does in mine whenever I research spells, crystals and magical auras, something I had to do a lot of when writing Shadow of the Wolf and Hecate’s Own. Now don’t get me wrong, I took quite a few liberties with the magic in the Heart’s Desire series (and I’ll continue to do so for Daniel and Gareth, the remaining Beckett brothers), but there were several things I wanted to make sure were absolutely one hundred percent on the money. At least as far as witches are concerned.

Take, for instance, knot magic. In Shadow of the Wolf, Lana uses a knot spell in order to stop a nasty storm that the bad guy, Cole, brews up:

 

Damn, Cole is strong. The storm should have been wiped out, but some force behind it was keeping it in place. Better work fast. She pulled out the black rope, carefully cut down to thirteen inches, and began tying it in knots. With each one she chanted, pouring her power into each knot until her hands were shaking with fatigue. If this didn’t work, the storm would return in full force.

“Knot of one my spell begun.

Knot of two my words are true.

Knot of three it comes to be.

Knot of four the storm is no more.

Knot of five this spell is alive.

Knot of six my protection fix.

Knot of seven, power is given.

Knot of eight protect my mate.

Knot of nine completes my rhyme.”

This ritual is based on actual spells that can be found in books like Scott Cunningham’s Earth Power and The Goodly Spellbook: Olde Spells for Modern Problems, by Dixie Deerman and Steve Rasmussen. It’s kind of fun to float through these looking for bits and pieces of what will and will not work for the story. I’ve broken down magic in the Heart’s Desire world to that which is ritualistic (Wizards), instinctual (Witches), and I guess you could say outsourced (Warlocks). I wanted each one to have its own unique flavor, meaning Lana is far more likely to carry around a pocketful of random crystals than Chris is. Chris is far more likely to have diagrams and a fully stocked research library.

But when it comes to casting a spell, they all have two things in common , no matter what kind of magic they’re using.

The first is intention. Whether for good or ill, a magic user’s spells will have the force of intention behind them. Lana intended to stop Cole’s storm in its tracks, and she succeeded by using a simple but powerful form of magic and pouring her willpower into each and every knot. And that leads us to the second: willpower. Whether you are a witch, wizard or warlock, the strength of the magic user determines the strength of the spell.

But not even intent and willpower can break every spell, as the Becketts learned when their ancestor pissed off a witch. Unable to break the hex that turned them into fearsome wolves, the Becketts learned to live with their beast, becoming the world’s only true werewolves. Passed down through the male line from generation to generation, each Beckett male has become true soul mates to the beast that resides within them. In doing so, they came to an agreement with their wolf. Each Beckett male, upon feeling the pull of their wolf’s loneliness, will cast a spell that will bring to them their one true mate. They will use the force of their will and their intent to love to summon their heart’s desire.

But what is in your conscious mind is not always what your heart truly desires, and that kind of surprise can lead to the best magic of all.

 

~~~*~~~*~~~

For more information, including excerpts, visit danamariebell.com. And for a chance to win a digital copy of Shadow of the Wolf, just leave a comment below. Good luck! 😀

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The Book

The Tease

The whiskey burned smooth all the way down, worth every penny Dallas charged, and Noelle barely had time to lift the empty glass triumphantly above her head before someone dragged her into the crowd. Lips landed on her cheek. Someone else swept her into a hug. The redheaded stranger from Dallas’s party snatched her away from Amira and planted a kiss right on her lips before passing her on to the next person in the circle with a grin.

So it went, all the way around the circle. Kisses, hugs, a few pats on the shoulder and one or two on the hip, but all fond and good-natured instead of lascivious. Ace got her last and sent her back to Rachel with a swat on the ass.

Noelle still held the shot glass in one hand, so she slammed it on the table upside down and laughed. “Do I do that every time?”

“Do what?” Rachel asked innocently as she handed over another shot. “Vodka’s up. Next is the tequila, so pace yourself.”

Sound advice, but Noelle downed the vodka and dropped the shot glass this time before she was whisked away by the revelers. Her skin tingled more this time around, and she was laughing by the time she reached the table again.

The tequila made her cough, but she drank all of that, too, before spinning into the crowd with a triumphant noise that felt right. Ace grinned and claimed his kiss before passing her along. It took longer, the hugs lingering and the kisses coming in twos and threes.

She was only halfway around the circle when the dizzy warmth crept from her stomach up into her chest, which was right about when the latest man relinquished her quickly.

To Jasper.

He looked down at her with a half-smile and rubbed her bare upper arms. “Sorry I’m late.”

The warmth of his hands shot straight to her core, though that could have been the tequila, too. Or the vodka. Maybe the whiskey, making its presence known with a slow burn that turned her smile wickedly bold. “You missed two kisses. I gave them to Ace instead.”

“Hell yeah, she did,” Ace called from the opposite side of the circle. “You gonna come get them, brother?”

“Wouldn’t be the first time.” Jasper tilted her head back with his fingers under her chin. “Three shots. Still steady on your feet?”

“Steady enough,” she lied, fidgeting under his unwavering gaze. He had a way of looking at her that made the rest of the room seem frozen, as if they couldn’t possibly be interrupting anything because nothing important would dare happen while his attention was fixed on her.

“Good.” He released her, but not before brushing his lips over hers. “Congratulations, sweetheart.”

No, that warmth wasn’t the liquor. It was all him, and it expanded to fill her as she leaned up to kiss him once more. “See you next time around,” she whispered against his mouth, then laughed and spun into the arms of the grinning man next to him.

She wasn’t steady on her feet by the time she came back around to Ace. He whirled her like a dancer, and the room kept on moving, dipping dizzily to the side before righting itself. She stumbled back toward Rachel and crashed into Jasper.

Again.

Blinking, Noelle pulled back to peer up at him. “Did you come to get your kisses from Ace?”

Jasper didn’t answer. Instead, he picked up the next shot Rachel had poured and tipped it back. Then he slipped an arm around Noelle’s waist, dragged her close, and bent his head to hers.

Liquor spilled across her tongue. Not the whole shot, not even most of it, but enough to give her the taste of it. His lips crushed against hers, hot and a little rough, the sensation a thousand times more intense with the entire gang forming a cheering, catcalling wall around them. She couldn’t forget that everyone was watching as he chased the booze with his tongue, and then she couldn’t care because he knew how to kiss her knees weak.

The Blurb

All Noelle Cunningham has ever wanted is a life beyond–beyond the walls of Eden, where only the righteous are allowed to remain, and beyond her stiflingly restrictive existence as a councilman’s daughter. But only ruins lie outside the City, remnants of a society destroyed by solar storms decades earlier.

The sectors surrounding Eden house the corrupt, the criminal–men like Jasper McCray, bootlegger and cage fighter. Jas clawed his way up from nothing to stand at the right hand of Sector Four’s ruthless leader, and he’ll defend the O’Kane gang with his life. But no fight ever prepared him for the exiled City girl who falls at his feet.

Her innocence is undeniable, but so is their intense sexual attraction, and soon they’re crossing every boundary Noelle barely knew she had. But if she wants to belong to Jas, first she’ll have to open herself to the gang, to a dangerous world of sex, lust and violence. A world where passion is power, and freedom is found in submission.

Available in digital now!

Available in print on October 2nd, 2012

kitrocha.com

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