Demon Hunting moms are forgotten for the next couple of months because Julie has a new series out and the first book is released today (31st of August) with the next two books following closely behind in September and October!
Enjoy the guest blog about her new books and then make sure you enter the contest for your chance to win an ARC!
Today is circled in red on my calendar, because today is Release Day for the first book in my Shadow Keepers series--the first book I've written as J.K. Beck: When Blood Calls.
I'm excited and nervous and thrilled and...well, it's cool all the way around.
You'd think release days would be old hat, after all, I've written a lot of books as Julie Kenner, but the truth is that tingle of excitement with a new book's release never goes away (at least not for me) and it's a billion-fold this go round, because this book is A First. (First as J.K, first dark paranormal romance, first set in this world.) And that means it's a bit like walking into a party you really, really want to go to, but filled with people who don't know you yet. There's that moment where you're hanging out by the fruit plate hoping those butterflies in your stomach will calm down long enough for you to get out there and mingle. And they do eventually calm down, but that doesn't erase that tickle of nervous excitement, and I think that's a good thing, actually. I don't want to lose that, because it's so reflective of what book writing is--sending a part of you, of your imagination, out into the world to share with other folks.
>At the bare minimum, Release Day is an introduction--of the author, the book, the characters, the world. And I thought that in honor of that, I'd share a few very short snippets from the two Shadow Keeper books (When Blood Calls, since it releases today, and When Pleasure Rules, since it's part of today's blog giveaway!) These scenes parallel that idea of introductions and first impressions. But of course, in romance, as in relationships, things aren't always the way they seem...
In When Blood Calls, Sara is a human prosecutor who's recent promotion to Division 6 has thrust her into a paranormal world and judicial system she never knew existed. It's fascinating, exciting, and wonderful--until she realizes that the defendant she'll be prosecuting for murder is the man she had a passionate fling with only a few nights before-- and that he has a few more secrets, too:
Sara had no time to process, no time to realign her reality with this new perception of the world. Luke was a vampire. Luke was a murderer.
A vicious, cold-blooded killer. The very epitome of the evil she'd dedicated her life to putting behind bars.
There had to be some sort of mistake.
And he wasn't simply a murderer. No, he was also an in-your-face, straight-out-of-your-nightmares vampire. It was outrageous. Unbelievable.
He'd had his hands on her. He'd touched her — he'd claimed her — and surely, surely she would have known if she'd been sleeping with a killer.
She remembered, though, the strength in those powerful hands and the determination in his amber eyes. She'd seen control there along with an undercurrent of violence that had both scared and excited her. He'd practically thrummed with a potency and raw carnality that had wreaked havoc on her. She'd wanted him, yes, but he'd wanted her, too, and he was a man who took what he wanted.
He'd taken her, leading her to where he wanted her to go and then watching with unabashed rapture as she'd shattered under his touch. He was dangerous, all right.
She'd seen it, and she'd simply ignored it. In his arms, she'd felt no risk. The opposite, actually, because he'd made her feel more secure than she ever had in her life.
Clearly, she'd been a fool.
In When Pleasure Rules, Lissa is a succubus used to having men fall under her spell, and Rand is a recently turned werewolf forced by circumstances to return to Los Angeles to hopefully stem the tide of a brewing unrest between the vamps and the weren. They first meet when he comes into her club, a place that serves a particular niche in the shadow community.
Lissa didn't want to know a man who could walk away from her despite that heat. A man like that was danger. A man like that could wrest control right out of her hands.
She tapped a finger on the back of a chair, undone by a sudden desire for a cigarette, not to mention the urge to turn around and look for him.
She had a million things to do in her office, and now was as good a time as any to start them.
Determined, she turned, intending to head up the stairs. Instead, she found herself only inches from him. She gasped, breathing in the smell of him, dark and woody and utterly male. "Nice place," he said, looking only at her.
"We strive to keep the customers satisfied."
He took a step closer. "Do we?"
Her breath hitched as he tilted his head to the side, the angle enhancing the feral quality that clung to him. He was watching her like prey. Like a conquest. But she wasn't a prize to be won. Not anymore. Not ever again.
"Your guard handled that situation well."
For a moment, she didn't understand, then realized he was talking about Marco deflecting the vamp/weren scuffle. "Friends of yours?"
She lifted a brow. "So you didn't come to babysit the young pups. Maybe you're here for happy hour?"
"That depends on how happy you're going to make me."
She ignored the way his words worked on her, easing over her like warm honey, overflowing with sweet promises. Instead, she forced herself to take them at face value. He was a client and he was in her club and what he wanted was perfectly clear. They were negotiating now, and that she could handle.
With a broad gesture, she laid the club out at her fingertips. "Let me take you around. I'm sure we can find a girl that pleases you."
She took a step, but he stopped her, his hand closing over her forearm. The shock of his touch ricocheted through her, and she took a second to adjust her expression before she turned back to him.
"I'm already pleased." Once again, his eyes took her in. This time, though, they traveled slowly, his inspection as intimate as a caress. The hot gaze moved over her breasts, then slowly, so slowly, down to her thighs.
Lissa forced her voice to stay steady, determined to keep a businesslike demeanor. "I'm flattered, but I'm the owner."
"I have a very limited clientele."
He wasn't making it easy. For that matter, she wasn't making it easy. Her thighs tingled in anticipation of something that was not going to happen, and she felt a bead of sweat drip down the back of her neck. She reached up to wipe it away, her fingers brushing over the quarter-sized scar just beneath her hairline, a reminder that in Orlando's, she was the one in charge.
She straightened her shoulders. "We have policies, Mr. ...?"
"Rand. Vincent Rand. And policies can change. It's your club. That's a perk of being the boss. You can do what you want."
He had a point. But no. Absolutely no. And not because it was bad precedent, and not because she had another client engagement lined up; she didn't.
No, she was turning him down because of the way he made her feel. Just being near him was like approaching a charged fence, as if her body could sense the hum of power even before she touched it. He was as dangerous as that fence, too. Touch him, and she wouldn't be able to let go. Grab on to him, and his heat would burn her straight through.
This was lust, plain and simple, and that wasn't acceptable. So what if he looked at her with heat in his eyes? What man didn't? Of course he wanted her—her nature, her very raison d'etre was to be an object of desire for males. But that didn't mean she had to fulfill those desires, not when another one of her girls would serve that purpose just fine.
"I am doing what I want, Mr. Rand," she said firmly. "Let's go find you another woman."
Surprise crossed his features, and she felt the thrill of a minor victory. Apparently he was a man used to getting what he asked for.
"I want you," he said, and she fought an unexpected rush of pleasure.
"And if I don't want you?"
He pressed a hand to his chest. "I think that would break my heart."
With her most seductive smile playing on her lips, she leaned forward and caressed his cheek. "I guess you'll have to learn to live with disappointment."
I hope you enjoyed the excerpts! And please check out the books. You can find them at any of your favorite booksellers. And me? You can find me at www.jkbeck.com or www.theshadowkeepers.com (where you can read more excerpts, join the mailing list, request swag, and find out about contests). And please check out my book trailer! You'll find it at http://jkbeck.com/the-shadow-keepers/fun-stuff/jkvideo/
One commenter will win an advance copy of WHEN PLEASURE RULES, Book 2 in the Shadow Keepers series.
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The contest will stay open until Sunday 5th of September 2010 4pm CET and the winner will be picked by a randomizer. Entrants should check back to see if they have won. I do not hunt down winners and will pick new winners for any prizes not claimed within 7 days.