October 1st. #Halloween Guest Post~Author @keke_chanel #paranormal #book

September was a busy month. I went to a few metal concerts, celebrated my 42nd birthday, and worked, worked, worked, worked, worked. You know how it is. I blogged less, but chronicled most of it on IG and Twitter. That was just easier.

Today, Oct. 1st, I’d like to start the month off right, sharing something appropriate for Halloween, my favorite “holiday” season. Author KeKe Chanel just released a book entitled, Silence, and I think you’re going to love it.

Dicey: Tell me why Silence is the perfect novel for Halloween.

KeKe: If you love a good paranormal suspense, my book Silence is the perfect novel for Halloween. If you are looking for a book that isn’t your typical suspense plot. It will leave you on the edge of your seat, trying to figure out what’s happening in the mysterious town of Milledgeville. Silence captures your attention, attacking your imagination page by page. You won’t be able to focus on anything else once you read the first page. Just when you think you know, another element of surprise takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. I dare you to curl up under your favorite blanket, in your favorite reading spot and enter a mysterious world of intrigue, infused with heightened unpredictability. Silence is a must-read, sure to become a welcomed addition to your Halloween traditions.  Savannah Rose awaits…

Dicey: Congrats on the book release, KeKe! I love paranormal suspense and can’t wait to dig in. Thanks for gracing my blog today. Have a Happy Halloweeeeeeen!


Brief Synopsis: Silence

Savannah Rose was abducted from the Milledgeville County Fair when she was only eight years old. After searching for several months, all hope of ever finding her alive vanished. Her body was never found.

The town grieved the loss of such an amazing little girl, yet someone knows what really happened that day. When Savannah Rose returns, she isn’t quite what the people she encounter imagines. She isn’t the sweet, cheerful, happy little girl they once knew.

Savannah Rose roams freely, thundered with vengeance, stalking the people of Milledgeville for her life being stolen from her in the worse way possible. In her mind, they must pay! As Savannah Rose unleashes her wrath, secrets meant to be kept hidden forever are exposed.

Total damnation lives in the woods surrounding the quiet, close-knit town. It is up to the remaining founding-family members to keep the deal made by their ancestors intact before destruction wipes them off the map.

Seeking revenge on the town’s residents for not protecting her and finding out the true identity of her abductor is the only way Savannah Rose gains any sense of justice and peace. Will she solve the misery of her death so that she can finally transition or will her spirit stay trapped forever? Will the town of Milledgeville still exist once her mission is complete or perish before making good on the oath taken centuries ago?


Excerpt From Silence 

A soft thump caught his attention. It was darker in the backyard than Bobby remembered. The few lights surrounding him flickered, but he didn’t think much of it. Sometimes the lights did seem to have a mind of their own on their property.

The still of the night soothed Bobby, comforting his weary soul. He sipped his brown liquor allowing the robust taste to carry all of his troubles away. Bobby closed his eyes and exhaled. Suddenly, the wind began to howl, and the stars vanished. Rolling clouds of gray made the sky look as if it was about to reach down and collar him. The forecast hadn’t predicted any inclement weather. Then again, summer nights in Milledgeville were unpredictable.

“What is happening tonight?” Bobby said in a murmur. His eyes scanned the night. Dancing shadows caught his attention in the nearby woods surrounding his property. Rubbing his hand down his face, Bobby shook his head. He was tripping. Drinking alone always made his mind see things that weren’t there. Maybe it was time to join his brothers inside. Just as he was about to make his way toward the back door of the house, something stopped him dead in his tracks. Bobby wiped his eyes. Clearly, he was more than a few levels past tipsy.

Everything around him became calm, silent. Bobby’s eyes darted back and forth. Staggering toward the house, he paused to keep his balance. He could feel a presence close in proximity. He wasn’t alone. The shadows in the woods continued to dance, mocking him. Bobby nearly stumbled and fell. Light whispers engulfed him causing his heart to nearly jump out of his chest. He was unable to move. Although he told his mind to haul ass, his body wasn’t listening.

He focused his eyes. It couldn’t be. There standing, only inches from him was the little girl he had just been thinking about.

“I really should stop drinking,” Bobby said laughing at his paranoia. His brothers were trying to scare him.

“Bart, Blue, Bill and Bull, you sons-of-bitches must want a good old fashion kick in the ass. Stop playing around! I’m in no mood for games tonight,” Bobby called out in a long frustrated slur. He waited until one of them answered or started laughing, but that never came. Instead, walking out of the darkness with eyes that emitted embers was Savannah Rose. She fixated her attention directly on him, ensnaring him in her visage.

“What are you doing here? You’re dead! We left you bleeding to death that day. You can’t be real,” Bobby yelled in a frantic tone.

Savannah Rose didn’t dignify him with a response. She lifted her arm and flung it to the left causing Bobby’s body to go flying through the air. He landed next to an old pickup truck. He howled in pain. She moved toward him using her force to break each window. Glass shattered about, some cutting Bobby on his arms, face, and legs. He used his hands to shield his head. His fingers stung from the shards of glass nicking them.

The impact of the breaking glass should have been enough to get his brothers to check on him. Where were they when he needed them? The more he called for help, the more the silence submerged him. No one could hear him. No one would hear him.

About Author Keke Chanel

KeKe Chanel grew up in the small town of Greensburg, Louisiana in a home filled to the brim with siblings and personalities, so it’s a wonder how she found a quiet space for anything. “I hid under my bed.” That’s the answer she is likely to give if ever asked how she managed it. Sharing a house with three other children was very trying at times. Yet, KeKe always found solace in a book. In fact, she credits her aunt for instilling within her a great love for reading. It is what has brought her this far in the often tedious and exhausting quest for publication.

In third grade, KeKe began writing poetry. Over time, her collection of notebooks expanded as did her love for the art of writing. In 2006, she started work on her first book “Wicked Love” which will be released sometime in the near future. Many more books have been penned since then. However, Deadly in Stilettos is the first to be released. The years of waiting were hard, but KeKe considers herself nothing if not determined. This young author is ready to share her incredible talent -and Deminis Bradshaw’s red bottoms- with the rest of the world.

Starting a blog in 2010 opened up a great platform to showcase her work. Receiving positive feedback from her audience, KeKe decided to put her short-stories into book form and published Passionate Pleasures Volumes I & II. Since then, KeKe has published five novels and three books of short-stories. “I love to write different genres,” says Keke. “I have such a vivid and overactive imagination, I cannot limit it to one genre. I plan to release my first sci-fi novel Childhood Friends in 2015.”

KeKe Chanel won her first Literary Award May of this year “The Artie Award for Literature,” and has been featured in VTWILLI Magazine. KeKe has also been showcased on blog talk radio shows such as My Cultural Conversations with Verona Mitchell and Let’s Talk with Ms. Shanell. KeKe attends events within her community and throughout the state, as well as meet and greets with local Book Clubs who feature her work. “Giving back to the people who support me is very important,” says KeKe. In January of 2014 KeKe along with her best friend and Manager Latarra started The Purple Hugs Foundation. A non-profit organization geared to help teenagers, grades 7-12 prepare for life after high school. Their goal is to inspire and motivate youth with a positive mindset and environment. For more information about The Purple Hugs Foundation please visit: www.thepurplehugsfoundation.org.

KeKe is a wonderful wife and mother to three. She enjoys reading, making up her own songs, watching football and movies, shopping, spending time with loved ones, and playing games on her IPad. She resides in Louisiana with her family. For more information about Keke Chanel visit her website: http://www.thekekechanel.com.

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Hellooooo, #Halloween. #Author Guest Post~Ashley Nemer #FollowFriday

Welcome to the Halloween edition of my blog.  And a special, warm welcome to my guest author/blogger, Ashley Nemer. She will tell us why this season is especially awesome:

Hellooooo, Halloween…

Hello Halloween and welcome back to the world of mainstream buyers. If there is any holiday during the year that strums up the most fun in scary and exciting ways its Halloween. As an author I look at Halloween a little differently, I think. When I see the kids, or adults, dressing up and walking the streets I see stories coming to life. It is one of the ultimate Live Action Roll Plays that the whole family can enjoy. Who doesn’t enjoy dressing up as their favorite superhero or villain? It’s your chance to pretend to be the Dark Knight, the Man of Steel, or even Dracula.

Of course it is my desire to one day have an outfit hanging in the costume store that is of one of my characters. But until that day comes I will be happy dreaming of it!

When Halloween hits us I think back to one thing in particular of my childhood. MONSTER SQUAD! Now those of you who have seen this 80’s cult classic will either think I am insane or completely genius. This was my brother and my favorite movie as kids and even more of a favorite this time of year. Sadly both of our spouses think this is the worst movie on earth and believe he and I are crazy for loving it. But whatever, it’s our childhood and we own it!

The reason that’s important is because as an author of creatures that go bump in the night we often times think back to our first experiences with those evil creatures. And MONSTER SQUAD was my first exposure. There the big bad vampire Dracula wasn’t a strong sex appeal of a man, he was a villain, one who wanted to kill and slaughter. Wolf man was vicious and could be killed by silver bullets and only changed at the full moon. Then there was Van Helsing, who chased Dracula but didn’t succeed until the ‘virgin’ said the spell in German.

None of that is the vampires and werewolves of today. Those are the creatures of the past. And I think that is to some degree why my vampires aren’t just sex appeal lovely creatures. They are evil, vicious and cruel.

So what kind of goblins and dark creatures do you like to read about? Do you like the old appeal of vicious and evil or the new trend of sexual and honorable? I’d love your opinion!

Check out my website, www.ashleynemer.com or shoot me an email Ashley@ashleynemer.com and tell me what you think!


What an awesome question, Ashley. *off to think about it*

Okay, I’m back. I think I like a mixture of evil, vicious, cruel, and sexy. They can skip the honorable part though. 😉

I’d love to know what others think. Sound off below.

Thanks, Ashley! Happy Halloween!

Trouble writing your story? #Author Kevin A. Ranson has this #writingtip.

12182182_10153535926927702_9617671_nI had the pleasure of meeting Kevin A. Ranson at a Creatures of the Nyght local book club meeting a few weeks ago. In an industry where you meet lots of people who just want to know what YOU can do for THEM, not how you can be there for each other, Kevin was a refreshing change of pace. Definitely a cool guy, and an amazing writer to boot. I’m honored that he agreed to guest post on my blog. If you’re in a writing rut, Kevin’s got the skills to pay the bills…so check out his writing tip.

Without further delay…

Taking the Time to Write the Right Story

When people find out I’m a writer, I’m asked, “How long does it take to complete a novel?”

One book took me over two decades to write: The Matriarch, a vampire novel set in and around my old college town in central West Virginia.

Truth to tell, it wasn’t ready to be written. I was telling the wrong story.

The original main character’s name was Daniel, a young man lucky enough to have the love of a young woman. One evening while left alone, the young woman is attacked by something or someone but doesn’t remember what happened. As Daniel mistakes her transformation for severe illness, he is forced to watch as a person dependent upon him ends up no longer needing him. She becomes a creature of the night and destroys her maker in revenge. In the end, she asks Daniel to join her – forever – but he’s too afraid to trust and accept…and she is lost to him.

It was supposed to be an emotional journey, but it never worked. Fortunately, I knew just enough to know I didn’t know enough to make the story work. I had neither the real-world knowledge nor the writing skill yet. After two complete drafts, I shelved it…forgetting it ever existed for a time.

Life went on.

Twenty years later, I found and skimmed through the manuscripts again, realizing the biggest problem: there was no reason to care anything about Daniel. He wasn’t the protagonist; he was a narrator. He didn’t do anything. It was the young woman’s story, and the first thing I needed to do was to give it to her.

In my own life growing up, I had several matriarchs on both sides of my family, willful and capable women who 12182207_10153535927187702_1549625341_nsought their spouses as partners instead of rescuers. My new protagonist, Janiss, needed these qualities but also the opportunity to develop them. I recreated her as an only child encouraged by her father and groomed by her mother, but I also tempered her with a childhood spent with two neighboring brothers, one of whom was Daniel. Janiss had the capability and the means to become whatever or whoever she wanted to be, but there needed to be a catalyst to spark her vampire hero’s journey.

But what to do with former boyfriend Daniel: her safe bet for a normal, peaceful, and uneventful life? He had to die, of course…and Janiss would be the one to kill him. If he couldn’t be a good example, I was going to make him a dire warning. Yes, I tried to save him – I never intended for him to die – but I couldn’t see how he could survive because of the second story problem.

In the original draft, the transformation had been a cakewalk. The flu? Nah. Vampires, I thought, should be both dangerous and deadly, and that needed to be seen and felt immediately. The antagonist couldn’t make it easy for Janiss and neither could I. Killing the person she meant to spend the rest of her life with (after being murdered herself) was truly the loss of everything. Worse yet, how could she go to anyone for help when she might murder them, too? It made no sense telling a story about bloodthirsty monsters if they could too easily resist their killing nature; only living human blood would do.

Daniel’s death also served a greater purpose. The antagonist set Janiss up to choose evil, gift-wrapping the boy like a Happy Meal in a scheme to destroy who she was. Instead, she chose to cling to his memory, a reminder to keep it under control. Vampires in my world are cursed with a piece of the soul and memories of those they kill through blood drain. Daniel wasn’t just her first victim; he would always be with her. Most would call that a curse, but she embraced it to hold into her humanity.

Finally, there was a local legend, a century-old ghost story about a tragic event I knew about but hadn’t before fully researched. Names, places, and a still-unsolved mystery…every element ripe for fictionalization. The novel then took on a life of its own as well as retained a distinctly Mountain State flavor. I could no longer limit the story to one book! Fully formed characters appeared from nowhere that become integral to the series, all of whom were inspired by people or personalities I have known in my life. It’s more than I could have ever hoped for, and it often continues to surprise me what my characters do next.

If you’ve been sitting on an idea for a book that feels unfinished, don’t fret; maybe you’re right. Your creation may not be ready for birth and you may not be ready to parent it into the world. Work on other things and live a little; revisit your idea from time to time. Inspiration is everywhere and in everything, so look for it all around you.

When you’re ready, it will be waiting.


Kevin A. Ranson is a content creator, horror writer, and film critic.

Heeding a macabre calling listening to “Mother Ghost Nursery Rhymes” in kindergarten, Kevin started writing in grade school and filled countless notebooks with story ideas while touring the Mediterranean in the US Navy. He is the author of The Spooky Chronicles and the vampire thriller series The Matriarch at CedarcrestSanctum.com, creator/critic for MovieCrypt.com and “ghost writer” for horror host Grim D. Reaper. Jedi master of Google-Fu, Bing-Jitsu, and buttered toast.

Author Blog: http://thinkingskull.com

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#Vampire Anthologies #NewReleases $.99

Dead body with toe tag, under a white sheetMy short erotic vampire story, ALONG CAME A KILLER, is one of nine (9) stories included in Crimson Desires: An Erotic Vampire Anthology. There are ten (10) New Adult stories In Crimson Dreams: A Vampire Anthology. Both anthologies are only $.99 each. Both will set your nights afire. That’s quite the Halloween deal.





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Get Along Came a Killer.

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Chapter 1

Punch looked down at his attire and shook his head solemnly. I can’t believe this shit.

He was in utter turmoil, ready to bang some skulls. Angry with himself for letting her talk him into this. On his one night off. Pffff. He should have just stayed at home, but no. He couldn’t refuse her. She was his weakness. After overcoming so many adversities in life, he’d allowed her to become his Achilles heel. He’d allowed it. Somewhere underneath all his machismo, his lust for this woman had made him sink this low.

Not only was he promised to another, which made his lustful desires all the more illicit, but there was no way a self-respecting man would ever step out of the house like this. Not a real one. Not under normal circumstances without a gun to his head. Had he really agreed to this because she’d convinced him his bodyguard skills were necessary when she scoped out the human Halloween party off Westheimer? Or did he get dolled up like a dick so he could spend time with her outside the ever-watchful eyes at Hades? He’d wager the latter and that bothered him.

Sure, she’d played up his altruistic side, even used the label “team player”, like he’d ever displayed a selfish bone in his body. Fact was she knew how to get to him. She’d played him like a fiddle, stirring up his protective syndrome, and he fell for it every time.

Right about now, Punch decided being a team-player was overrated. So was lust.

He changed his mind as she parted the crowd and walked towards him, her crimson gown swaying at her ankles, her pearl earrings and bracelet sparkling under the disco light. He could smell her divineness from across the room. There was no one else like her. No other scent like that. His heart started to race, and he cursed under his breath. She’d know the effect she had on him if she tuned in to the way his chest boomed with excitement like a teenaged groupie around his favorite rock star. Then again, she was no idiot. A bit sassy and eccentric maybe, but not dumb. She wouldn’t and couldn’t be surprised by his reaction to her. She knew. Had to. It had been like this since he’d first met her. He would have cursed the day if he hadn’t believed all the prophecies that foreshadowed their intertwined fates.

“Ahoy there, matey. Arrrrrrr,” Willow snickered as she curtsied in front of him.

That did it. He refused to take the ridiculous yellow parrot perched on his shoulder, or the ridiculous black leather eye patch strangling his head, or the ridiculous plastic sword swinging on his hip any longer. He started ripping those pieces of his costume off until they landed on the floor one by one. He felt some satisfaction in watching other ridiculously clad, non-self-esteem-having folks trample all over what he’d formally worn as part of his costume.

“I can’t believe I let you talk me into this,” his voice rumbled partly because it was always a deep baritone, and partly because he was growling from anger at himself for letting Willow get to him. He couldn’t even blame her for this like any other warm-bloodied male worth his salt would. He was in a roomful of people wearing masks and elegant costumes, and though he should feel humiliated that his costume was out of place, he was more upset over his lack of will power where she was concerned. He had let Willow entice him into coming to this shindig to begin with, and that was unacceptable, if not gay. He hadn’t even fucked her and he already acted whipped and ball-less.

“Hey, what are you doing?” She tried for concern and fell short, unable to hide her amusement.

“Getting out of this mess and going to find my dignity and testosterone.” He pulled the string of colorful beads looped around one of his long dreadlocks and tossed them to the floor, watching them scatter around like fruit loops. Men didn’t wear barrettes. Men of his stature and position didn’t go against their better judgments over women just because they got boners either. Well, maybe some men did. Not Punch. He preferred to stay on the sidelines and make sure everyone else had a safe environment to play in rather than dressing up and actually participating. Role playing was not his thing. Cosplay was definitely not his thing.

All that time he’d been working at Pit of Hades Fetish Club, he’d never once gotten involved in the kinks. He’d observed. He’d kicked some ass. He’d delegated security tasks to others. He’d done whatever he had to do to keep the place safe for those who had their minds in the gutter. That was his role, his calling. He sacrificed to make sure others could enjoy themselves. He was a straight-laced, all-American, wholesome good ol’ boy who did not dress in costumes and attend parties on his nights off of security duty.

This IS all Willow’s fault. Thankfully, he’d finally found half a nutsack before he did something really stupid like curtsy back.

She threw her head back, exposing more of her ample brown cleavage in the low cut gown, and laughed. “It’s a masquerade ball, silly, not a pirate convention.”

“Well, you just told me I needed a costume. I’ve never been to anything like this…” he looked down at his ruffled sleeves and growled, “and I shouldn’t have come tonight.” With one palm, he grabbed the Jack Sparrow hat from his head, tossed it on the floor, and kicked it across the room. While en route, it was kicked again twenty times by masked people waltzing around the nightclub. He smiled at the ruined hat getting just what it deserved. “I’m outta here. Call me if you need backup.”

From what he could tell, it was a party with several bars for humans who liked to get drunk and pretend to be someone they weren’t. As long as she didn’t start biting them while she searched the crowd for supernaturals, Willow would be fine.

“Party pooper,” she pouted.

“I came. I saw. I left.” Fuck this.

“Please don’t go.” Willow removed her mask and gave him the full weight of her hazel eyes.

Damn. Why she have to go and do that? Whether she was intentionally trying to spell him with her magic or not, didn’t matter. The chemistry between them was undeniable, irresistible, and fully charged when they made eye contact for more than a few seconds. He sighed, intending to look away but was unable to do so. As long as she asked him to stay, it would be hell to refuse her.

He had to appeal to her sensibility. “Your clan and my pack are spread throughout both floors. If there are any supernaturals here, they will be found and urged to come with us. You don’t need me here for that.” He spread his arms, looking downward to indicate his emasculating brown knit pants and striped sash. “We all have our roles to play, and this isn’t mine. I’ve humiliated myself enough for one evening.” His eyes formed a question, begging her to release him from her non-magical hypnotism. Feeling like he was letting her down was even worse than parading around in his clown suit. Thank Baal she couldn’t actually captivate him. Their particular blood bond bound him more than he could stand already.

She reached behind her head, smoothing hair from her nape to the top of her head where it was piled neatly in some kind of bun. “But we hardly have a chance to spend time together anymore. I want you here.” She looked at the dance floor and swayed left and right. “I want to dance with you. You’re always so serious all the time. So intense. You never have fun.”

“Oh, I have fun. Plenty of it. With my wife.” It was a cheap blow, its childish bite magnified by the look on Willow’s face. She looked offended that he would bring Fire up at a time like this, but it was more for his benefit than hers. He had to be reminded that he belonged to someone else, a dragon that would eat them whole and spit out their eyeballs. Knowing their destinies did not include death in the near future, did nothing to make the image in his head of Fire eating them seem any less likely.

“I don’t want to fuck you. I just want to dance. I thought it would be nice to, you know…hang out as friends, instead of us just working together all the time.”

His heart thumped harder as he caught the motion of her tongue licking her bottom lip. But I don’t trust myself around you. Her eyes narrowed so subtly, no one else would probably have noticed. It had happened, letting him know she’d caught her effect on him. She clamped her mouth shut and looked away.

Good thing she never did anything intentionally. If she ever tried to seduce him, he’d be weak. Working with her and being bonded to her was already too much. She was forbidden fruit, ripened to his liking with a big stamp on her forehead that said DO NOT TOUCH. She’d done her best to make sure nothing sexual transpired between them. At least in that regard, she had shown herself to be someone who respected him. Even inviting him to a public place under the disguise of recruitment showed she wanted to keep things platonic. At least it hadn’t been to a hotel room. She genuinely did consider him to be her friend. Somewhere underneath the overwhelming animalistic need to drive his dick in her deep, he felt the same way about her.

If only Fire had been off tonight too. He could have given the excuse that he wanted to spend the evening with her. Willow would have accepted that.

Enough of the wussies. He hadn’t been scared of a woman since he was a boy. He was a grown-ass man. He could do this. He was already here. The music was nice. No harm in dancing with her.

Punch offered one hand out to hold one of hers. She smiled triumphantly and took it. They both winced as the low electric current pulsed where their palms met. That had started happening ever since she’d become a maistress and he a pack leader. The power between them was literally electric. They had been practicing how to harness that power so it would reach its full potential by the time it was necessary. During the times they weren’t practicing, they did their best to pretend it was nothing more than static electricity produced by shoe soles on carpet. Even when there was no carpet.

He placed his other hand flat and chaste against her side, high enough that he didn’t feel her hour-glass waist curve into her luscious hip. He found a strobe light in the ceiling to stare at to avoid concentrating on how good she felt in his arms, and the irony of them slow dragging as Alicia Keys and Maxwell sang “Fire We Make” through the speakers.

Though the hand holding her mask gripped his back intimately, there was still space between them. He was grateful for that. Grateful and comfortable. He let his guard down and tucked his chin on the top of her head. Sway to the left. Now to the right. Repeat. She leaned further into him, resting her head on his chest. He got a good whiff of her scent. It was still all Willow, but it had changed somewhat. He closed his eyes to savor it. Sniiiiiiff. She was aroused. Being this close to him, touching him had started it. Her arousal aroused him.

No. On second thought, he couldn’t do this. If that made him a pussy, so be it. He stepped back suddenly, letting her go before she called the wild beast in him to the surface. “Thanks for the dance. I’m going to go now.”

The loss of his body had caused her to stumble forward, but she regained her footing quickly. “Why? We just got started.”

“You lied.” He adjusted himself through a pants pocket with more conspicuousness than he had intended.

She looked puzzled. “I really do believe there will be supernaturals here to recruit for our team and to take back to the safety of—”

“You lied about not wanting to fuck me.” He tapped his flared nose. “This doesn’t lie, and neither does your scent.”

She stared at him for a moment as if contemplating whether what he’d said was true. After getting bumped a few times by other dancers, she finally nodded a confirmation of sorts and returned her mask to her face. Arguing against Punch’s nose and her desire for him was futile. “Well, shiver me timbers. No matter how hard I try, there’s no escaping my nature, is there, bucko?” She smiled real sweet, the kind of smile that made his dick twitch. “I swear I had the purest of intentions, but—”

It happened so fast, there was no time to react. One second, his and Willow’s eyes were locked on each other again, fighting the temptation to indulge. The next, they were surrounded by people dressed in black uniforms with guns drawn. The floor was covered with fabrics from costumes that had been ripped in half and slipped to the floor. A quick glance around, and he noticed different members of their entourage had several black-uniformed humans with guns trained on them as well. The sudden silence was more deafening than the music that had been setting the festive scene.

Guess the party was over.

With Punch’s instincts on high alert now, he had a really bad feeling it had been a trap all along. The whole ball was a sham. He’d walked right into a setup on his night off. He looked down into Willow’s startled eyes and snarled. This was all her fault. Arrrrrrrr!