For millennia, dragon and fae have peacefully co-existed, but the fae themselves have lived segregated and very different lives.
Now a malevolence threatens to separate them all permanently. Can a Queen's guard and a rebellious outlaw join forces to defeat this common enemy?
Tyler's touch sparks fierce desire, drawing Issie to him, but she despises his way of life and all that palace society represents. If he learns she wields majic to help the less fortunate escape the kingdom, he'll charge her with treason. Her punishment - death.
Issie, is a sassy rebel who is constantly looking for ways to circumvent the conventions of their society. Tyler's head warns that she's a non-majical lower, beneath him. His heart sees by her inner strength and outer beauty. Only a binding love will lend them strength to save her life - their world.
Can either of them bend enough to trust that love?
EXCERPT- LOVE CHOSEN
Tyler pushed his way through the onlookers. They reeked of sex and sweat. The foul odor made his eyes water and his vision blur as he forced his way to the front of the crowd, almost stepping on the female lying in a heap on the floor. He turned, saw his guards at the rear of the crowd, and addressed the unfortunate Lowers. “Leave now.”
He turned back to the scene, expecting them to follow his orders. Disgust filled him as he assessed the scene. Blood pooled on the bed where two bodies laid holding each other. The heads from both bodies were missing. He wouldn’t bother searching for them now. He wouldn’t find them. The killer, it seemed, liked to keep the heads as trophies.
Tyler sighed, becoming aware again of the others crowding the room. When he found those heads, he’d find the sick bastard who did this.
“But what ‘bout Lenore?”
“I ‘eard Issie scream.”
“She all right?”
One chattered over the next in their efforts to find out what happened. They weren’t listening to him.
His eye twitched. He hated when that happened.
How could he make these dullards leave? Did they not see the violent murders on the bed? Or did they not care? Were their lives so barren and meaningless, death didn’t bother them?
His gaze fell on the female at his feet. Her face covered by her mass of honeyed tresses, she lay in a limp pile, her robes undone and revealing a creamy swell of ample breast.
The two victims in the bed were beyond help, but this unconscious female held the concern of the others.
He knelt by her side and lifted her in his arms. She smelled clean, like moss and sea air, instead of the sweaty body he’d expected. Her hair caressed his arm when he stood with her nestled to his chest. It fell like a lowered curtain and hung almost to his knees. A waterfall of honey.
She felt right in his arms; her neck fit into the crook of his shoulder, her breath warmed his chest like she belonged there. Where had such a thought come from? He didn’t associate with the powerless Lower class. Ever.
He pushed aside a rising need to draw her even nearer.
Tyler faced the crowd again. “As you can see, she sleeps. She’s not injured. Now go. All of you.” He fixed a few of them with the glacial silver stare which always yielded results. “Go back to your beds. I’m Tyler, of the High Council. My warriors will take care of this.”
“But, Issie. Is she hurt?” one barmaid asked, wrapping her arms around her waist as if she feared retching.
“You, take me to Issie’s rooms. The rest of you, go. She’ll be fine.” Or at least I’ll be, if I can have some quiet to think.
”What ‘bout Lenore? She pass through the gates?”
Everyone began speaking at once, like a gathering of Lower younglings after a sweet. They had no regard for his orders. Such disrespect was unacceptable. He had to get this under control.
”Go,” he roared, silencing the room.
The crowd shuffled down the hall and disappeared behind different doors. Bits of conversation-- “Can’t believe Lenore’s gone,” and “who could do such a thing?” --floated back to him.
Who indeed? The fae were peaceful caretakers for the dragons. Murder didn’t happen among them. It was a coarse crime of the mortals--until three moons ago. And now, it had happened again--to another messenger and another whore-maid.
*** Copyright © 2012 Marne Ann KirkAll rights reserved — a Crescent Moon Press publication
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All Fomorian Hells are about to break loose on earth, making human souls the daily special, if the Tuatha de Danaan can’t stop it.
Teagan, a Celtic demi-goddess hiding from her destiny in small-town Colorado, wants nothing to do with her mother’s forgotten realm or the drama of a battle of the gods. And Merric is forbidden fruit she’s too smart to taste.
Merric, leader of the Tuatha de Danaan warriors, has other plans. Teagan holds the key to salvation, for both him and their worlds, whether she wants to or not. He’ll do whatever it takes to convince her of her duty.
But can he find the key to her heart?
EXCERPT – GODDESS ON THE RUN
Great. Just fan-friggen-tabulous. Not even halfway through her shift and Teagan had an ass-grabber.
Of course, this moron's lack of respect for personal boundaries was why she'd gotten this table of five. The girls had named her The Enforcer for a reason.
She'd let him play for a moment. He wasn't hurting her, after all. But soon he'd pay, and she'd make certain it did hurt him.
Yep, a little public humiliation, and he’d never touch another lady without her permission again.
But first, money. A girl had to have her priorities.
"Can I get you boys anything else?" she asked, setting a Corona in front of each of them.
The Friday night band sang their standard classic, "Friends in Low Places," and several patrons whooped or sang along. Lively crowd tonight--at least a couple hundred cowboys, college kids, tourists, and locals were bound to mean good tips. Everyone was lookin' for love.
Blondie, the man sitting across the table from where she stood, smiled and tossed down a hundred dollar bill. "Tequila shots?"
Mr. Hands, on her left, inched his grope further up the back of her inner thigh. If he went any higher, he'd be fondling parts of her only seen by her doctor and her vibrator.
She snapped her teeth into a grin, ignoring Mr. Hands, as she pulled the Jose Gold from one holster on her costume’s gun-slinger's belt and six shot glasses from the cartridge loops on the other hip. Between the rowdy saloon atmosphere and the waitressing costumes--leather vest, gunfighter's belt over short-shorts, Stetson cowboy hat and boots--it was no surprise Tommie's Knockers drew the largest crowd in the Canyon.
Someone cursed a stream of words his mama would’ve washed his mouth out for, on the other side of the main stage. Chaos exploded in the far section of the bar as a chair shattered and a beer bottle exploded--probably on some poor fool’s head. A girl screamed and Teagan straightened up, glancing over. The bouncers didn’t need her help, though. Six were already hustling over and stepping in, pulling two men apart and bringing things back to order. It was under control.
So why did she feel on edge tonight? Like all hells were about to break loose.
"If you're buying one for me too, sugar," she said, shaking it off and bringing her attention back to Blondie.
When he nodded, she twisted the cap off the bottle, pouring tequila into each glass before sliding them around. The shot glass she slid to Mr. Hands barely stayed on the table. Damn. She'd hoped to distract him from his blind-man's examination of her butt--no such luck.
Nope. Yesteryear’s Quarterback just kept on going with one hand, like her backside was his winning season’s playbook.
She lifted her shot, saluted the men, and tossed it back. Oh, it burned good. Too bad her kind couldn't get drunk on human alcohol. She could use a little something right now. Something to dull the sudden itch along her spine, urging her to run without motive. She wasn't fooled. Whenever she had that itch, there was a reason.
She forced herself to smile at Blondie as she set her shooter back on the table, then tipped her head so she could surreptitiously study the bar through the shield of her bangs.
Several men milled about the dance floor, looking uncomfortable and awkward, while couples danced the two-step around them. Nothing out of place about that in a bar.
Blondie slid the Franklin across the table and tapped her hand. "Keep the change."
"Why thanks, baby. If you need anything at all, raise your hand. See the brunette, Kelly, over by the bar? She'll see to your every need." Teagan slipped the bill into a pocket inside her vest.
Time to play enforcer, and just in time. She needed to clean this mess up and go on break, if for no other reason than to unwind and figure out why she felt this strung out. If she were human, she’d worry she’d been slipped something, she was so twitchy.
Was it a full moon tonight?
She turned to face Mr. Hands, leaning down slow and low, until his eyes were level with her cleavage.
He grabbed the sides of his chair, leaning closer to her.
Right where she wanted his hands--off her body.
She let her hair fall over one shoulder. "Sweetie, sometimes a little naughty is nice, but every so often, naughty goes, well, too far. Then it’s time for a little lesson in manners. Are you up for a--” She licked her upper lip, sliding her hand up his thigh until she almost brushed the bulge in his jeans. “Lesson?”
***Copyright © 2012 Marne Ann Kirk
All rights reserved — a Crescent Moon Press publication
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Marne Ann Kirk grew up wild, exploring the vast high deserts and mountains of the West with her family as a child. Marne Ann loved making up stories and, well, lied about just about everything. Thankfully, she grew out of the lying stage...now she calls it story-telling.
Now she lives with her husband in Western Colorado, where they enjoy their children, grand-children, and too many Shih-Tzu beasties.
She hopes you enjoy Love Dared. You can find out more about Marne Ann and her stories through her publisher, Crescent Moon Press, or visit her at: www.marneannkirk.com or www.cowboysndragonscafe.blogspot.com