THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED!
THANK YOU ALL FOR PARTICIPATING. I HAVE NOW DONE THE DRAW, CONTACTED THE WINNER AND THE RECIPIENT HAS RESPONDED TO ACCEPT HER PRIZES. SO … THE WINNER IS:
BARBARA: COMMENT #19
CONGRATULATIONS, BARBARA. AND FOR ANY WHO DIDN’T WIN, PLEASE CHECK BACK AS THERE WILL BE MORE GIVEAWAYS IN THE NEAR FUTURE. CHEERS! 🙂
So … what do we have planned for this marvellous event?
I have some treats for you all in hopes of avoiding tricks!
First up is a little tale I knocked out called Halloween Hunting, told from the PoV of the lusted-after Ethan Holloway in his slightly younger days.
Then … if you travel farther down the page, you’ll find a giveaway of Darkness & Light, my paranormal romance novel, which features Ethan in a secondary role. I hope you enjoy getting to know him. See you at the bottom for the giveaway rules.
Author note: the following short story contains some profanity, definitely violence, and a scene of a mild sexual nature. Please only read on if you are comfortable with all of those. Cheers. Hope you enjoy.
Insanity confronted me.
Witches. Vampires. Fucking devils—angels and fairies, too. Girls dressed up to look like sex kittens auditioning for a pussified bondage movie—though those I didn’t mind so much.
Like ants they swarmed the pavements waving wands and tridents, and white polyester handkerchiefs stained with red.
“‘We’ll go somewhere different,’ you said. ‘Find some new entertainment.’” Lip curled, I turned to glare at Kyle—he’d spent months accusing me, Ethan Holloway, of being socially inept, unable to hold a civilised conversation with anyone outside the pack. “This is bloody different, all right.”
He scratched at his head as his gaze followed the waggle of a bunny tail attached to the arse of a female. “Yeah. Totally forgot it was Halloween.”
I twitched at a hand against my back, tried to shrug it off as it trailed across my shoulder blades.
A redheaded female appeared at my side dressed like a zombified hooker. “Lemme guess.” She jutted her hip out. “You’re going as a horny devil.”
My eyebrow shot up. “I look like a devil to you?”
Her lip pouted out far enough to balance a drink on. “Girl can hope, can’t she?”
Not too smoothly releasing my shoulder from her grasp, I nudged Kyle and strode off.
“What’s up with you?” he asked, matching my pace. “You totally could have had her.”
I thought about her bright red slash of a mouth and the putrefied-looking flesh she’d painted on. Not to mention the B.O. her cheap perfume failed to disguise. “She smelled bad.”
“Everyone smells bad to you. You’re gonna have to suck it up, Ethan, if you want some action.”
“I do. Every damn time.”
We ducked into the next bar we came across, barging doorway stragglers aside.
The problem with being almost two hundred pounds apiece? Kyle and I didn’t tend to squeeze through small gaps too well.
Way too many scents bombarded my senses from the far too many bodies crammed into the small space. Having only gone through our first transitions less than six months before, the two of us had yet to grow accustomed to the hulks we’d become, and humans stumbled left and right like skittles hit by a bowling ball as we passed them, drinks spraying with the jerk of their arms.
For some reason, their expressions of outrage and muttered curses lightened my mood—even more so when a few turned to confront us until they stared upward at my six-foot-five height.
“You’ve perked up,” Kyle said, as we rested our forearms on the walnut bar.
“Good. Because there’s a ghost trying to catch your attention. And she’s hot.”
I followed his gaze to my right.
The female staring at my bicep wore a thigh-length gossamer dress with underwear beneath that left pretty much nothing to figure out, and her dark hair like a Charlie’s Angel.
When I smiled, her cheeks flushed and her lashes lowered. Cute.
“Ask her if she wants a drink,” Kyle mumbled near my ear.
After an inhalation assured me she didn’t smell unsavoury—in fact, I detected only vanilla and cherry—I cleared my throat, gestured toward the bar. “You want a drink?”
“Smooth,” Kyle muttered beneath his breath. “Real smooth.”
“Sure.” The female allowed a smile. “Thanks.”
“Good.” I nodded and turned in search of a barman.
“Man, do I teach you nothing?” Kyle’s harsh whisper more than told me he spoke through his teeth. “Ask her what she wants, for Christ’s sake.”
After offering up a scowl in his direction, I twisted back to the sexy spook. “What?”
She frowned. “But … you just asked me if I wanted a drink.”
Kyle’s groan hit my left ear.
I ignored him, keeping my gaze on the female. “I know. What did you want? To drink?”
Her lips formed a perfect ‘O’ before she shrugged. “Pimms, I guess.”
I peered round at him with a smug smile. “See?”
Who says I don’t know how to chat up the opposite sex?
‘Alice’ the ghost seemed to have a ‘thing’ for my biceps. Even once we’d found a corner booth and intimidated the occupants out of our way by snuggling in there with them, she didn’t stop touching or stroking my arm.
I, on the other hand, had a ‘thing’ for her breasts that puffed over her lacy bra each time she reached up a hand to do her caressing.
Across from me, Kyle scanned the dance floor barely big enough to host a solo performer, his gaze flickering left, right, left, his tongue playing across his lips. I knew when he’d spotted something he fancied—his eyes locked like some kind of homing device, and his head cocked to the side as though he needed to check all angles before he could be certain.
I twisted in my seat, following his line of sight.
Dressed neck to ankle in black lycra, a catwoman swung her hips side to side, swivelling down as low as her stiletto heels would allow before weaving the same gyrated path back up again. With each flick of her body, her attached tail lashed outward, drawing the eyes to the tight round buns that clenched and unclenched with each movement, her rhythm in no way matching the fast tune pumping from the speakers. As though sensing the scrutiny, she spun until her feline stare latched onto Kyle’s, a sultry smile tugging at one corner of her lips.
As I’d seen him do way too many times, he crooked his finger and beckoned her over—and as I’d watched happen too often, the female sashayed around every other male in the room toward my redheaded buddy demanding her company.
Reaching him, she leaned against the back of his seat, her body all but curving toward him. “You wanted something, Cutie?”
Without uttering a word, he patted his lap and the damn cat turned and backed right onto him—no complaint, no question, just total compliance.
“You going to at least offer me a drink?” the puss said.
“Not yet.” Kyle peeked around her at me. “We’re heading somewhere else.”
Catwoman swivelled to face me, pointed at the tall untouched glass of Pimms beside my almost empty pint. “You drinking that?”
“It’s not mine.” I cocked my head to my evening’s entertainment, whose stroking had begun to send my bloody arm numb. “It’s the spook’s.”
One perfectly plucked eyebrow arched up as she stared to the spot on my right before she looked back to me. “Oooookay, then.”
“I’ll get you something at the next bar,” Kyle said with a pat to her butt. “Come on, let’s go.”
Like she had no control over her own mind, she obeyed, grabbing Kyle’s hand as though to ensure he followed. Taking a leaf out of Kyle’s book, I jerked my chin at the ghost, flexing in triumph when she trailed behind.
Usually only Kyle could get the females to flock to him without even having to utter a word.
I sucked in a deep breath the instant we stepped outside away from the racket of music and stench of lager. The freshness prickling at the flesh of my arms seemed to cleanse me of the too-close proximity to human strangers, but beside me, Alice the ghost’s body wracked with shudders beneath her sheer dress.
I peered down at her. “Cold?”
She tilted her face up, her skin reflecting an ethereal glow beneath the streetlight. “Sometimes.”
“We’ll be somewhere warm soon.” I nodded, pleased with myself for the consideration.
Heels scraping loud against the pavement, catwoman spun, smiling. “Where exactly is somewhere?” Though her question came in response to my statement, Kyle seemed to claim all her attention. “Somewhere decent, I h—”
Kyle’s hands grabbed her hips, slamming her against his body at the same time as his mouth cut off her words.
I rolled my eyes. Here we go.
A giggle erupted as Kyle released the feline from his lip lock. “You don’t waste any time, do you?” she murmured.
“No point.” Kyle halted, arching a brow as the female began a slow grind against his groin. “Well, now you’re just giving me horniness that needs tending to.”
I peered away—some stuff, I preferred not to watch—and caught the intense gaze of the little spectre as she stared up at me.
Another giggle rolled from catwoman. “What did you have in mind?”
“This.” A few strides to the side enshrouded Kyle in the shadow of an everlasting gulley.
The cat’s quiet squeal echoed off the bricks before quieting to moans and groans, a gasp or two.
I shrugged at my ‘date’, tried a smile. “Looks like it’s just you and me.”
She nodded, her head tilted to the side.
I rubbed at the back of my neck. “You want to, um …” Oh, hell, just do it.
Taking a step closer, I ducked my mouth down to hers, bracing myself for her to run screaming into the night. When she didn’t, I nudged a little closer until our lips met, her vanilla and cherry aroma filling my senses.
The contact sent tingles through me that bulleted straight into my groin. Lids lowering, I slid a hand to the back of her neck and held her right where I wanted her. More weird sensations fluttered across my skin.
A shuffle forward, matched by her steps back, shepherded us toward the darkness of the alley Kyle had vanished into. At some point, the shade swallowed us. Brick stalled our route.
Grunts, sighs, scuffles carried down from higher along the pathway, somewhere beyond a huge bin that the ghost’s perfume ensured didn’t bother me.
I reached down, grasped a thigh, flinching at the chill of her flesh—I’d have to do something about warming the spook. My mouth took more, demanding, as I hooked one slender leg over my hip, already cupping her arse to lift her higher. My dick throbbed out its approval when it pressed against the V of her crotch.
Growls resounded the length of the gulley. Scuffles, too.
Kyle’s getting it on. I blinked the thought away, returned my focus to the task pinned to the wall before me.
A thud followed.
Kyle wasn’t known for playing it rough. I paused, as an outraged, feminine, “Hey!” bounced through the air.
I whipped my head round to the sight of the catwoman flying backward.
She landed with a thud and a grunt on her rear, her crown slamming far too fast toward the pavement.
Alice dropped from my grasp as I dived to the right, my hand outstretched to stall the female’s head bashing into the concrete. Gravel scraped across my T-shirt, the friction breaking through to my stomach, and an inch from impact, my palm slid beneath her hair and softened the blow.
“You okay?” I asked, already lifting my face to search for the assailant.
A growl rumbled through my chest at the sight of Kyle pinned by his throat to the wall by some male I didn’t recognise.
I kept my attention on them as the catwoman groaned and rolled to her knees, ignored her muttered, “Fuck.”
“Lady, you okay?” I asked again, climbing to my feet and bringing her up with me by her elbow.
“What the hell’s going on?” she murmured.
I steered her away—though it took every ounce of willpower to move farther from my pack brother—and beckoned to the wide-eyed ghost as I neared the gulley mouth. “You see the bar across the street?” I pointed at the neon ‘Dale’s Wine Bar’ sign, waiting for the pair of them to nod. “I want you to go straight inside, find a booth, and wait for us. We’ll come find you.”
As though too shocked to argue, one white and one black clad figure drifted across the road toward where I’d directed them. As soon as they hit the far kerb, I whirled back to grunts and thumps, and marched along the alleyway.
The attacker pounded a fist into Kyle’s gut before pausing to face my approach. Beside him, doubled over, Kyle spat a glob of phlegm to the ground, painting the path a sickly red as it landed.
“You want to step away from him,” I said, still striding forward.
“You have no right being here.”
I drew in a deep inhalation, my muscles stiffening at the telltale scent of werewolf masking his natural body odour. “Says who?”
“Says me. Runts like you need teaching a lesson.” He grabbed Kyle by the back of the neck and gave him a shove.
Only then did I spot the blood streaking Kyle’s face, the glaze of his eyes. Fury roiled through me, spilling out as a snarl. “Who the hell do you think you are? We can go any damn place we please.”
“Man, how wet behind the ears are you two? Didn’t your daddy teach you about territory?”
Reaching Kyle, I gripped his arm, steadied him on his feet. At his nod, I gave my full attention back to the affronter. “Mind your tongue about my father.”
He laughed. “I admire your courage, pup. But you should accept the sensible option, pick up your buddy, and take yourselves on home.” He jerked his chin. “Go on now. You have no idea who you’re dealing with.”
“Actually, you’re the one with no fucking clue.”
As though he’d heard the threat in my tone, his entire body tensed, and his hardened stare zoomed in on me. “Who the hell do you think you are?”
Three steps took me to within a foot of him, and I silently congratulated Kyle on the trickle of blood oozing from the werewolf’s split lip. His chest met mine for height. His shoulders easily outweighed mine for power. I could not have given more of a shit. “I’m the one who’s going to teach you what happens when you mess with one of mine.”
“Ethan, leave it,” Kyle muttered behind me.
“Like hell, I will.”
“Go home, kid.” The fisting of the wolf’s hands hit my periphery. “Last warning.”
Fingers folded over the waistband of my jeans. Kyle gave a tug. “Let’s go.”
I allowed him to jerk me back a step, followed by another, and smiled at the threat. “You got luc—”
My head snapped to the left. Pain exploded through my entire face. As I staggered backward, only Kyle’s hands prevented my fall, and with a roar, I thrust toward the attacker before I’d even fully regained my bearings.
Fire raged through my shoulder as I bulleted into him. A whooshed breath blasted against my cheek. His hands grappled for a hold, scratching at my biceps as I dug fingers into his thighs, hauling him from the ground before driving him back down.
His head hit concrete with a crack. He expelled a loud, “Ooomph!”
Without waiting for retaliation, I yanked back my fist and drove it right for his face. The agony in my hand told me I’d likely broken a bone. Vibrations rocketed the length of my arm. Still, I pulled it back, hit again, drew back, pumped him once more.
From somewhere behind me, Kyle’s Holy shit!’s broke through my haze, but I didn’t stop—someone had to take care of him. Four months behind me for his first change, Kyle’s muscles had yet to fully form, his coordination was still askew, his strength hadn’t quite hit its prime—not like mine. From beneath me, I heard only groans.
Grasping handfuls of shirt, I dragged the wolf from the ground, swinging him around and ramming his back against the wall. More draw backs of my fist. More facial pummels.
Within seconds, only a bloody, pulpy mass stared back.
Still, I didn’t cease.
Bone crunched when I switched to his torso, merging with his gasp.
A stronghold enfolded my chest, tugging back.
Still, I threw one punch after another, grunts bursting out with each thrust of my arm.
The smack to his chest stung my hand, burning through my forearm.
More yanks backward from the vice about my chest. “Ethan! For fuck’s sake, you’re killing him.”
I blinked. Took an unsteady step back. Blinked again.
As though his strings had been cut, the werewolf slid down the wall and slumped in a broken heap on the ground. Only his groans and rapid breaths assured me I’d stopped in time.
A hand slapped my shoulder. A blown out breath rushed my ear. “You okay?”
I nodded—a jerky action—and shrugged out of his hold. Dropping to my haunches, I wrapped a hand around the shirt of the werewolf, ripping the material from him before handing the soiled fabric to Kyle. “Clean yourself up. You’re a mess.” He stared at me a second but took the offering, and I turned back, tapped the cheek of the face I’d bloodied. “Hey.” Another couple of taps. “Hey, wake up.”
A groan preceded a twist of his head to the left. One swollen and deformed eye fluttered open.
I gripped his chin and ducked to ensure he could only see me. “Listen carefully. My name … is Ethan Holloway. Don’t ever forget it. Because if you, or anyone else, ever screws with my family again, they won’t be as lucky as you got tonight. You understanding me? We clear on this now?”
A mumble I took to be an affirmative rumbled from his lips as his head gave a spasmodic nod.
“Good.” The muscles screamed through my thighs as I straightened to stand beside Kyle. “Any eavesdroppers?”
“Surprisingly, no.” He dabbed at his face. Most of the blood had been cleaned away. Only swelling and bruising remained. “You’re a frigging state.”
I snatched the shirt from him, swiped at my own T front, before dragging it across my face and neck. “Time we left.”
He spun to match my pace as I strode back along toward the mouth of the gulley. I wiped some more at my face, though no amount of primping would rid the stench of the other werewolf. Like his scent had crept into my nostrils and clung to my nasal hair for its life, I could smell little else other than him.
“Where’d the girls go?” Kyle asked as we passed the massive wheelie bin.
I pointed ahead. “Bar over the road. I told them we’d meet them there.”
His gaze skimming over me, he shook his head. “Looking like that?”
“You don’t look too pretty yourself, Romeo.” I rolled my shoulders, stiff from the mini-workout. “But it’s not like we have anything to lose. If nothing else, we should go check they didn’t call the police, or anything stupid like that.”
“Sure.” He grinned. “And if we’re lucky we’ll get to finish what we started.”
Pedestrians criss-crossed our path as we emerged onto the street. We didn’t stop, just kept walking, daring anyone to challenge us. A step down took us into the road, where we dodged the couple of cars claiming the space, and a step up took us to the bar’s exterior.
“They’re never going to let us in,” Kyle said, looking me over again.
“’Course they are.” I pushed through the door into the dimmed lounge, thankful for the dodgy lighting, scanning every corner for the females. Spotting catwoman on a barstool at an island, I kept my eyes aimed forward and marched across the room like I had every right to be there.
She looked up, her gaze fluttering from me to Kyle. Her shoulders sagged—in relief, I guessed. “You’re okay?” she asked when we reached her.
“Just peachy.” I climbed onto a stool on her left as Kyle took the one on her other side. A quick peer through the patrons didn’t reveal the spook. I checked over each shoulder, hunting out the door to the ladies, before turning back to the puss. “So … Alice? Where’d she go?”
She frowned. “Who?”
“The ghost he picked up at the last bar?” Kyle said.
She twisted to him. “Ghost?”
With my pissy mood yet to dissipate, my teeth ground, and I unclenched them to speak. “She left the damn bar with us. You asked for her drink.”
She swivelled back to me, gave a nervous little laugh. “Darling, I hate to break it to you, but you’ve been on your own all night.”
As my eyes met Kyle’s wide ones, a shiver raced through me.
What the hell?
I have THREE prizes that will be awarded to ONE winner of this giveaway. The prizes are as follows:
1) ONE E-Copy of Darkness & Light (E-PUB or mobi. format):
Jem Stonehouse, a housewife with a neurotic husband bent on keeping her in line, dreams about werewolves in, what she believes, is a bid to escape boredom.
Sean Holloway is a werewolf, living a charade within the human race, whose mind drifts to a bond he shares with a woman he hasn’t met–at least, not in this lifetime.
Apart, the two are safe but live unfulfilled lives.
Together, they’ll become prey to rival packs just as they have been for hundreds of years.
When their worlds collide, and not for the first time, instinct takes over. Dreams become reality. Futures are uncertain. To keep history from repeating itself, Sean must teach Jem about his heritage, convince her of her role, and win her love.
Can Jem accept her destiny before it’s too late, or is her inner wolf buried too deep to save her future with Sean?
2) ONE signed Darkness & Light bookmark (front & back images shown):
3) ONE bar of Cadbury Dairy Milk chocolate to nibble on whilst reading your copy of Darkness & Light:
So … what do you have to do to win these spanking goodies, you ask?
1) Subscribe to my blog.
2) Answer the following question: In Halloween Hunting, what two fragrances did ‘Alice’ the ghost smell of?
GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!
A couple Terms & Conditions:
As stated, winner must follow my blog AND answer the question CORRECTLY to be eligible for entry.
Winner will be chosen using random.org.
I will notify the winner within 24 hours of the closing date (which is midnight 31st October).
Once notified, winner will have 72 hours to accept the prize, or another winner will be chosen.
Once the winner has accepted their prize, it will be announced here in this post.
Prizes are as stated–no [cash] alternatives will be offered.
And if you fancy a fast and easy read this weekend, why not grab yourself a FREE copy of my short story Fated Encounter?
For E-Reader, click HERE!
Or for Kindle, you can nab yourself a copy HERE!
And don’t forget to visit the other participating blogs for more great giveaways–they can be found by clicking on the blog-hop badge and scrolling to the bottom of the post.