Currently viewing the category: "Shara Azod"

Forever True by Shara Azod

Forever True

White Witch, Book 2
by Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 06773-02180

Dionne can’t deny what she needs, craves, aches for. Her wolves have taken care of her over and over again. However, this time she fears that not even four alphas can handle what’s about to hit home in a very literal sense…

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Chapter One

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The True One by Shara Azod

The True One

White Witch, Book 1
by Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 06320-02031

Dionne no longer knows what’s real and what’s make believe. Instead of the little adopted orphan she believed herself to be, she is actually a white witch who shouldn’t even exist. Her kind is rumored to be extinct. Yet, she’s alive and well with abilities shifting into place she never knew she had and four possessive males not willing to continue without their true one, whatever that means.

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Chapter One

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The Fin by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

The Fin

Badland Savage, Book 1
by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

Changeling Pres

eBook BIN: 06142-01972

The time had come for Que, King of the Fin, Raf, Right Hand of the King, and Kor, Master of the Guard, to find a queen. Not from the corrupt lands ruled by humans striving for a second chance to ruin the Earth for once and for all. Their queen has to be pure of heart and as courageous as any warrior. Like the Rebels, the humans who reject the lies of their own kind to carve out a new life in lands rife with danger.

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Chapter One

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Marines by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod

Marines
Badland Warriors, Book 4
by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 05970-01915

Michael, Alec and Vic are on a mission to rescue little Juliette’s mother, the Warrior they are convinced is their mate. It will take the help of many Warriors and Mutants to get them across the Badlands to the Great Abandoned City in the East. Most women wouldn’t stand up to the pressure. Fortunately, Evandra isn’t most women. She can take anything the Badlands — or her Marines — can dish out.

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Chapter One

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Netjer's Fall by Shara Azod

Netjer’s Fall
The Chosen, Book 4
by Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 05982-01919

Netjer is tired of living in his brother’s shadow. All he needs is one of those mysterious women who seem to enhance the amazing abilities every warrior is born with. He’ll leave no stone unturned; he’ll stop at nothing until he has one of these women in his grasp. Then he can finally take his rightful place on the throne.

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Prologue

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Release of Bres
The Chosen, Book 3
by Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 05811-01863

It’s dangerous to be an informant amongst those who pride themselves on death and destruction, but none is as good at subterfuge as Bres. When Neit, one of the most treacherous of his kind, displays a sudden increase in power, Bres knows he must report it to the king immediately. Neit could upset the delicate balance between the Amesha Spentas and the Angra Mainyu forever.

But then Bres runs into a power outlet of his very own — a female who appears out of the mist whose very presence is enough to bring him to his knees.

Chapter One

It shouldn’t have been this hard to evade his so-called brethren. In the thousands of years Bres had worked reconnaissance for his king, it had never been this hard to evade the notice of the others. As unimaginable as it was, someone was following the son of Prince of Things Hidden. Subterfuge was his nature, his claim to fame, the reason he was given this most serious role in the scheme of all things preternatural. The symbol of the rose with thorns at the base of his neck tingled in silent warning. He needed to find shelter, fast. Getting caught would be catastrophic; he could not allow that to happen. Only he wasn’t sure where or how he would be able to hide.
Bres had no idea who was following him, but someone was more than a little interested in the fact he’d slipped out of the gathering he had been ordered to attend. There had been no choice but to leave, and leave right away. He couldn’t wait. What he had witnessed was a threat to the throne, to their way of life, to the delicate balance that must be kept at all costs.
The sudden, unexplained jump in powers of one individual who was never to be trusted had left the brethren at the gathering speechless. It heralded very bad things to come. King Ba’al had to be informed immediately. A lieutenant of the Mainya had openly declared war — or something very close to it — on the throne of the Angra Mainya. Bres was still unsure what he had seen, or what it meant.
The Angra Mainya, Mainya for short, were in essence the same as the Amesha Spentas, also known as Spentas, only without the order and loyalty and — well, they were the flip side of the Spentas. Over the centuries the two factions had battled endlessly. Bres willingly admitted the Mainya were often the antagonists, looking to drag countries into war, leaving chaos and destruction in their wake for no other reason than that they could. They had been bred to counter the Spentas, and they did so with a single-minded obsessiveness that drove men in their number crazy.
It was a game no one won. Unless the Balance was tipped, no one ever would really “win.” Spentas protected humans without the weaker race even being aware of their protectors. Spentas keep the other supernaturals in line. Spentas were the world’s light. The Mainya were what humans cowered from in the darkness. They led astray, deceived, and destroyed.
The reasons had always been murky, but most took their role as the darkness to the Spentas’ light very seriously. That had never bothered Bres before; he had a job to do, a mission to perform. That was his singular purpose.
Perhaps he shouldn’t have chosen the Mexican rainforest to make his escape. Teleporting or traveling by thought was an option, but it left a psychic trail that could be easily followed. Bres’ quickly hashed together plan was to get far enough away to teleport without drawing notice. His trail would be cold by the time anyone found where he had gone.
Hurry to me. I can help you.
He almost stumbled over his own feet as he stilled and listened.
Come, Bres. Hurry to me. I can help you. I will help you.
The voice was definitely female, which made no logical sense. There were no female Mainya, no female Spentas. No female should be able to communicate with him like this. Unless this woman was like the one he had seen back at the gathering of the Mainya. It wasn’t the same woman, of that he was certain, although the female back at the hotel had not spoken a word. For some reason all had been in awe of her, with her wild, copper-and-midnight curls and startling blue-green eyes. No Mainya had dared to say it, but it was acknowledged her power was far greater than that of the collected warriors gathered.
While the voice inside his head was not the same person, she was a lot like the female he had witnessed beside one of the greatest enemies to Balance there had ever been — the Mainya warrior, Neit. Bres wasn’t sure how he knew that, but it settled on him with such certainty he didn’t question it. The voice seemed to lead him away from the direction in which he was going, back toward the hotel he had all too recently fled.
Any species, humanoid or otherwise, didn’t survive without a healthy dose of self-preservation. While Mainya and Spentas could not die, they could exist in a state that was very similar. Many a warrior had gone to a deep, dream-like sleep for several hundred years or more. Some went into the sleep and had never woken up. It was in a way a defense mechanism, but it was also a result of a psychic injury so deep, a break inside the soul so severe the warrior lost his sanity.
Falling into some kind of supernatural trap had felled more than a couple of immortal warriors. Bres had been alive too long, seen too much to fall for a trap so easily. And yet he kept moving. His speed picked up with every thought, until he was moving too fast to be mistaken for a human. A huge mistake. Speed would make him easier to track. He was using his powers, and powers left psychic residue. But the need to get closer rode him too hard not to move as fast as he could.
The most puzzling part was that he could stop himself at any time. He was not being compelled to go toward the voice — he was choosing to go. Bres was aware he could have turned the other way at any point to try to cover his tracks.
Bres, where are you going in such a hurry?
That wasn’t the mysterious female — that was Neit, the very warrior he was trying to avoid. Of course, using power had alerted Neit to his whereabouts, and now Bres could feel the wannabe Mainya general moving fast to intercept him. Neit was in his thoughts, trying to probe his intentions.
Unaccountably, there was another presence too… hers. Bres had no idea how, but she was blocking Neit somewhat, not allowing him to see Bres’ intention to get to King Ba’al.
Bres almost stumbled as he came to a dead stop, trying to fight the war going on inside his head while also attempting to puzzle out the identity of the mystery woman, who was coming up on him at an alarming speed. This was not possible, could not be real.
Perhaps Neit had found a way to turn Bres’ own abilities against him and trick him into running straight to the person he was trying to escape. Then again, Neit still seemed to be too far away to be the fast approaching entity. Bres squinted into the dense vegetation in the distance, noting a mist forming not far from where he stood. The Mainya appeared and disappeared at will, as did the Spentas. Neither announced themselves by even the slightest stirring of the wind.
“I did that on purpose. I didn’t want to alarm you that I was coming.”
The woman who appeared before him in a swirl of mist threatened to make his knees buckle. It wasn’t that the female was beautiful; despite what modern humans seemed to believe, beauty was relative. No, she was stunning for everything she embodied from first glance. Thousands of years, countless numbers of lovers — female, male, and the curious in-between — and Bres had never been stunned into absolute silence.
Not one person, human or otherwise, had seized control of his desires so completely his cock started to throb, pre-cum leaking as if he were attempting to ease his way inside a lover while he was fully clothed, not even touching the person in question.
Lush, wild, with power Bres could not conceive of, she stood before him in a gauzy white slip of a garment that wasn’t the least bit tight but seemed molded to the curves that made a woman a woman. Full, flaring hips invited a male to ride hard; thick, dewy lips inspired fantasies of kissing them or having them wrapped around his cock. With skin that was a mixture of gold and bronze, she looked like the very embodiment of an ancient fertility goddess, with a wild mane of tight, spiral curls that cascaded down her back.
But it was her eyes that captivated Bres the most. As green as the foliage around them, they sparkled with something rarely seen in any supernatural — joy. They were more enticing than the nut-brown nipples clearly visible through the garment she wore.
“Come quickly!”
The temptation of her outstretched hand was too much to ignore. Bres took her hand and pulled her flush against him. Neit’s presence was gone from his head, but there was a pulsating warning in the very air around them. They had to get out of this place. It was too exposed, left them too vulnerable… Wait — them? Why was he suddenly so concerned about this creature he didn’t even know? If she had the power to block Bres from Neit with all his newfound abilities, who was to say this female was not some vicious monster sent to lure him to his doom?
“What are you?” Bres demanded, his face bent so close to hers he could feel her mint-scented breath against his lips. Such a lush, inviting mouth she had. It would take nothing at all to close the gap between them. He couldn’t allow himself the pleasure. There was too much at stake.
“I am my mother’s daughter.”
Her voice flowed over him, soothed him like a calm spring on a hot summer’s day. Despite himself, Bres found himself relaxing, giving over his will to her, which allowed her to dissolve both of them, moving them by her will to a crude dwelling hidden under the blooming branches of a massive tree. Where it was, he didn’t know, but it was far from where he’d stopped seconds ago.
He’d just been in a mountainous area of Mexico, and now he could swear he was deep in the rainforest somewhere in the southern part of Central America, but his bearings were off. Everything was off. No one but the ancient warrior sects could do this. The other supernatural beings could move at blinding speed, and older mages and wizards could travel through the air at small distances. This woman had moved them both beyond those usual limits.
“We will be safe here, for now. We must mate to ensure your safety, to ensure our safety.” The woman took a step back, bestowing a beautiful smile. “I am Tiamat, by the way. And you are Bres. I’ve waiting a long time for you.”
“Mate? Are you –” Bres’ indignant response was cut off when his gaze wandered just beyond where she stood.
It was a simple dwelling, a wooden structure of one wide-open room full of natural light. He hadn’t seen the massive bed before, nor had he noticed what lay on it. Bres didn’t need a closer look — he could see clearly, and his senses now awakened to alert him of the presence of a Spentas.
Quick as lightning, he grasped the woman’s wild mane of midnight curls, jerking her back against him so that not even air could move between their bodies. Ruthlessly crushing the intense spark of need that spiked from touching her, from having her all too succulent body so close to his own, he forced the woman’s head back.
Tiamat, the goddess of chaos, but also of sacred marriage. No such woman had ever really existed. The concept of “goddess” came from the childish games of Mainya and Spentas to stop humans from looking at or questioning their own existence too closely. Whatever game this was, he had no time to play.
“Is this some kind of trap?” Had he escaped one peril to fall into the next like some untrained novice? What kind of magic was this to make him forget centuries of careful deception, plotting, and training? “I will kill you where you stand, female, if you don’t explain yourself. Now!”
“He is no threat to you, as you know. Use your senses, Bres. All of them.”
Her words seduced every bit as much as the rest of her. Closing his eyes, he reached out with his mind to identify any threats. He found none. The Spentas on the bed was in deep sleep. The kind that lasted for a century or two.
“I cannot wake him.” Tiamat grasped his hand, leading him over to where the Spentas lay on the bed. The warrior lay as if dead, completely nude. Bres had already been throbbing hard, but the specimen that lay there unmoving was a thing of beauty. Siva, a general in the Spentas army.
Bres was from a time when people took lovers no matter their sex; it was about the individual and compatibility. Modern humans seemed to be so hung up on labeling, separating. They had no idea it made it so much easier for those on the dark side to seduce them and spread discord. Right now, Bres couldn’t quite work up the usual animosity toward the Spentas, the kind ingrained in him as a Mainya.
He looked down on the nude figure of a man of ancient Persian, Indian, and Scythian descent. The man was as beautiful as he had been deadly while leading Spentas into battle. Siva had disappeared, as so many had when the world began to change, oddly retreating into human beliefs and ideas even as human technology advanced. Bres had given him little thought for centuries, though he had always desired him. His desire was not something he was ashamed to admit, but there was nothing he could have done about it. Nothing he could do could now, either. Could he?
“We were meant to be together.” The woman whispered everything he wanted to hear, laying his hunger bare, open and raw. Yes, he wanted this warrior as much as he wanted her. She was breaking down all his defenses, leaving only base cravings. “You have labored for centuries for your king, never questioning, always watching and reporting. But you have never wanted the role you play. You have never chosen the side you were bound to. Now it is your chance, your choice. Mate with us — with me and with Siva. You don’t have to be bound to the caste in which you were born. All you have to do is reach out and take him, take me. Combined with us, you will be free to choose.”
That was not possible. Mainya were born Mainya as Spentas were born Spentas. But how Bres wished it were otherwise. How he longed to believe the honeyed words that fell from her lips.
“What are you, witch?” All his yearning was evident in his voice, which made him even more vulnerable to the seductress. Despite himself, he had moved closer to where Siva lay in all his golden glory. How thick and heavy the Spentas’ cock was, lying there, not truly as dormant as the rest of him. Bres’ mouth watered just looking at it. Such well-appointed thighs, such a wonderfully sculpted body. And all he had to do was reach out and touch, if he dared.
“Have you been sent to drive me insane?” He hated her. He wanted her. To lay her down on top of the Spentas and take her would be more of heaven than he had any right to glimpse. His knees almost buckled at the thought.
“I am the daughter of Lilith,” Tiamat answered. “And I am here to free you. Both of you.”

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Tar’s Challenge
The Chosen, Book 2
by Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook BIN: 05645-01808

Dahlia isn’t just any human woman. Protected by a centuries old mage, Dahlia can handle an ancient Spentas warrior just fine. Tar finds himself wanting to tear her away from the irritating mage and lock her in his fortress on the Russian Steppes. But he’s going to have to work for it.

Prologue

Targitaus stared at the emaciated corpse that had once been his wife. Not the first time he’d been forced out of necessity to marry a human, but it had been one of the most distasteful. Meredith had once been a beautiful, vibrant creature. In death she resembled a dry, shrunken mummy. The people who hovered around him in the exclusive hospice believed she had suffered from some kind of wasting disease that had robbed her of her youth, her beauty, her sanity, and finally her life. But Targitaus knew the truth. The little fool had dabbled too deeply in a game she could not begin to comprehend. She had not realized she was slowly being drained of her very life force. But he had known. Even now he could hear the whispered words flowing around him as clearly as if the nervous humans were shouting in his ears. They pitied him. They all believed he was devastated to be free of the silly, vain woman he had married only as a means to an end. His only regret was that he was not able to track her killer.
Frowning now, Tar looked closely at the empty shell obscenely dressed in the purest white. It was more than troubling he could not trace the one that had done this to her. Only the darkest magic had the power to kill in this manner, aging the victim beyond their years. Meredith had been canny. She only visited her mystery lover while Tar was out of the country. Unfortunately, due to the ambitions of his father-in-law, Tar was rarely stateside. He knew he could have easily done more, but he had honestly believed whoever Meredith was seeing was only toying with the childish debutante while the true target of interest had been her father, the senator. He had been wrong.
Tar ground his teeth as he sensed the approach of his main objective, Senator Whatley, his father-in-law. Meredith’s death was some kind of message to Tar more so than the senator; someone or something knew he was really a Spentas, of that Tar was certain. The question was, was it a warning or was it payment? Whatever the senator was up to, he had made a deal with something he believed he could control. But then, humans always were a proud, foolish lot.
The only emotion Tar could detect from the senator was mild irritation. He had believed Meredith deepened his hold on Tar — he actually thought Tar was besotted with his empty-headed daughter. It was almost enough to make Tar smile.
“Peter,” the senator began gruffly, “Patricia and I want you to know we are here for you. Why don’t you spend the weekend with us at the country house? You shouldn’t be alone. You are still our son, no matter what.”
It took a moment to realize the old man was referring to him. Ah, yes, the name he had taken in service to his king. Tar smothered the laugh that bubbled unbidden just below the surface. Patricia, the senator’s third attempt at wedded bliss, and the second time he had chosen a brainless beauty of a trophy wife, hanging off his arm, gawked in horror at Meredith’s corpse. Tar doubted there was a single cohesive thought in her blonde head. Half the age of her husband, her entire existence seemed to revolve around being eye candy for her husband and organizing parties and fundraisers. That and studiously avoiding her stepdaughter, who had hated the woman who was barely older than she. With a slight nudge from the senator, her wide blue eyes swung to Tar.
“Yes, yes, of course you must come to the house for the weekend,” she responded breathlessly.
Just the sound of the woman’s voice grated on Tar’s nerves.
“Actually,” Tar replied, “I put in for leave. I’m thinking about going to Vail for a while.”
He wasn’t going anywhere near Vail. He was going home to his fortress castle on the Russian steppes as soon as the funeral was over. Thank God humans still buried their dead fairly quickly.
“I really need the solitude.”
Just a tiny bit of force behind the suggestion had Whatley nodding his head in agreement. Tar allowed himself a wry grin. Whatley believed himself to be in complete control of himself and all around him. He could not begin to fathom what he had as a son-in-law. He believed he had instigated the relationship from the beginning, when actually Tar had married Meredith in order to appear beholden to Whatley, to move into his circle. Whatley did not trust Tar, but he needed him. And Tar needed to see just what it was Whatley needed him for.
“Of course, of course,” Whatley agreed distractedly. Tar could have covered his mind manipulation far better than he had, but he perversely loved the vague sense of confusion he could feel emanating from the older man. “Then you will come see me. We have a lot to discuss. Plans must be made…”
Tar looked in astonishment at the little man before him. Whatley was actually trying to use a pathetic amount of mind persuasion on him! It would be laughable if it weren’t so sad. It was a simple thing to read Whatley’s emotions. What Tar found shocked even him. The older man was actually relieved to be rid of his only child. The senator’s only regret, a fear really, was that he might lose control of Tar. As if he could ever hope to control a being as ancient as time. The very notion was ludicrous. Whatley had known Meredith would die and he had welcomed it. Interesting…
Faking a mixture of grief and sympathy, Tar placed a hand on Whatley’s shoulder, murmuring reassurances that shouldn’t have pacified anyone with more than a passing interest in magic. Mankind was forever dabbling in things better left to those who could handle it.
Quickly ridding himself of the now irritating small crush of people that surrounded him, he swiftly made arrangements with the staff to have Meredith removed to the funeral home, who would take care of the details of her burial. Even in death it was impossible to think of her as his wife. The Brotherhood of the Amesha Spentas had no wives, cursed to walk forever alone fighting a battle that never ended. Before now, all any of them could hope for was a hundred years or so with a Daughter of Inanna, companions specifically created for the Brotherhood. It had been centuries since he had felt the urge. Believing himself to be far too old to crave such human needs as closeness or love, he had been content with brief encounters with whatever willing woman was available, and to the brotherhood, they were always available. Physical release was all he thought he would need. Until he saw the new reporter on some asinine cable news network.
Never in the centuries of his life had his blood boiled for a woman the way it did at the mere thought of her. Dahlia Garcia. There was a true puzzle he was bound and determined to solve. And to do so, he must make himself known to the mage masquerading as a television network bureau chief. The man had a lot of questions to answer, and Tar had a woman of interest to meet — though why it was so urgent escaped him. All he knew was he needed answers; he needed to see this Dahlia face to face. It was past time he secured both of those goals.

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Ukko’s Discovery
The Chosen, Book 1
by Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60521-768-0

Ukko is a general of the Spentas. He fears nothing, backs down from nothing, questions nothing — until he finds something he can’t explain. Who is this mysterious female with powers equal to his? Who sent her? What is her purpose? And the most important question of all — why doesn’t he care about any of that?

Chapter One

Ukko’s heart pounded in alarm and excitement. An urge that couldn’t be explained drove him to the seedier side of downtown. There was something, someone out there he had to find. The pull was as tangible as if it were tethered around his waist.
Picking his way through the dregs of human existence, he pressed farther and farther into the area where drug addicts, the mentally insane and the just hopelessly lost humans existed in a filthy squalor, not really knowing what he was looking for or why. It was the why that worried him. He gave the souls he passed little thought other than to mask his presence from them. He didn’t trust this compulsion. Anything with that strong a pull had to be dangerous.
Ukko was a Spentas, older than recorded time, more powerful than piddling supernatural types that humans used to fear and now dismissed as myth. Oh, such myths existed about Spentas — they were once worshipped as gods. Not that they invited this kind of thing, not that they asked for it. Immense power in the eyes of those who had none had led them to believe Spentas must be the ultimate of supernaturals. More feared than the very real vampires, shifters, warlocks and others who skulked in the night. Ukko himself had once been known as the god of sky and thunder. He could call lightning from the heavens, but it was nothing another Spentas couldn’t do.
There! He’d found what he had been searching for. Unbelievably, it was a woman — or more accurately a female. Ukko could sense the nature of most beings, but he was getting nothing from her. Humans didn’t read as nothing, nor did most creatures. Using all his power, he couldn’t break the block she had on her own mind, keeping him out so he couldn’t probe. Long ropes of multi-colored braids fell down her back as she bent over what should be a man, but wasn’t. What the hell was going on here?
Moving silently, Ukko pressed forward to get as close as he could before capturing her. This being had a lot of explaining to do. How had she called him, and why? What was this attraction that not even a siren could manage to pull off? Her figure was pleasing, and though he couldn’t see her face, he was sure that would be equally appealing, but he was never moved by such things. True beauty was an intangible thing that emanated from within.
Then she sensed him — and ran.
There was no way a mere slip of a woman should be able to run so far, so fast, making him actually put in an effort. Although there was hardly anyone on the darkened street, he didn’t dare use the true speed he was capable of. He could move without touching the ground, but that might be seen by the naked eye and Spentas never, ever drew attention to themselves in this modern time. Nor could he dematerialize, which he could also do at ease, appearing before the fleeing woman. Besides, he wasn’t altogether sure she wouldn’t be able to beat him trick for trick.
It shouldn’t be possible. Had she been a shifter, a vamp, even a witch, her aura wouldn’t be able to repel him. Were she human, he could have easily reached into her mind and forced her to his will. What in the hell was she?
Ukko had only been in this new country, the United States, for four short months. The king had sent all the senior Spentas to positions of power, places where Mainyas, their arch enemies, were likely to show up. Ukko had been stationed in San Diego, where he’d sensed something at work. He was sure some dark force was gathering here, but he hadn’t run across a Mainya, hadn’t run across anything he could put his finger on.
He’d been searching through downtown streets when he’d first seen her, among the homeless and insane in the wee hours. The last thing he had expected was a female bending over one of the unfortunate souls huddled beneath cardboard boxes. Her hand had been outstretched, a light glow emanating from her palm.
She wasn’t hurting the male thing, whatever the hell he was. In fact, Ukko could tell she was doing quite the opposite. What had been a mind clouded with delusion and fear was clearing; slowly but surely she was healing the psychosis from which the man suffered. Could it be she was in some way involved in the weird atmosphere descending over the city?
You will stop, Ukko projected, trying to implant his words inside her head. His words rebounded, coming up against an invisible brick wall inside her head. Okay, that never happened. The urgency to catch her increased, forcing him to move a little too swiftly. She could be dangerous, a threat, not to him, but to humanity and those who dwelled among them.
Ukko followed her, determined to find out what she was, who she was. Later he would return and find out about the male. Her partner, her mate? The very thought infuriated him, as if he had that right. What manner of creature healed random homeless people and for what purpose? She must have had a vested interest. None of those around her had been healed.
With renewed determination, Ukko took a chance and increased his speed, moving faster than he should. He wished he could say he was surprised when the woman increased her own speed without bothering to turn around to check his progress. She could feel him, just as he could feel her.
He had complete awareness of her in a way that shouldn’t be possible without being able to read her thoughts. Although he got no closer, he could feel her presence. The need to catch her grew more intense with every passing second. Wild braids whipped behind her as she ran, like tiny ropes waving in the wind, seeming to invite him to wrap them around his fist, pull her face close and take her lips. The cock that usually lay dormant between his legs grew harder and harder. A Spentas’ phallus only became hard when he willed it. That proved whoever she was, whatever she was, she couldn’t be human.
He wanted her. How badly he wanted her shocked him. If he could just –
Then she stopped. Without rhyme or reason, she came to a complete standstill on the edge between the seedier part of downtown and the shiny, busy part. All she had to do was go a few more steps, and he couldn’t possibly use any of his powers to catch her — all he could do was follow. But she didn’t do that. Ukko was so surprised he came to a halt himself, watching, waiting.
When she turned, the vision she presented hit him with the power of a punch from an Elder, undeniably the most powerful beings in creation. Beautiful was not the right word for her face. It was an intriguing face; he hadn’t seen such a countenance in thousands of years. In these times it was easy to trace the nature of origin from one’s features.
Not so with this woman. Her skin was a mixture of dark and light. Gold, copper, espresso, and burnt umber blended together not only in her skin, but her multi-colored braids. Her eyes sparkled a clear, bright forest green, almost glowing in the darkness. Having crystal clear vision in the pitch darkness of a moonless night allowed him to witness the jewels of her eyes glittering back at him. Ukko found himself unaccountably staring at her, searching for any truth to be found in her expression. He knew better. Expression can lie as easily as the lips.
What the unholy hells was this about? Never, not ever, had Ukko felt such obsession for a woman. Spentas didn’t fall in love. They didn’t mate. Their lifespan was infinite, and there was no death, not even by the hand of a Mainya. There was no relief in insanity or oblivion. They lived, they endured, they suffered to watch the march of history pass, trying to shape it, but not always succeeding. This feeling swelling in his chest was foreign to him; he couldn’t comprehend what was happening.
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, snap out of it! They’re coming!” The woman’s words had meaning, he was sure of it, but he was mesmerized by the sound of her husky voice.
The first hit stunned him a moment, knocking him completely off his feet. Mainya. The dark to the Spentas’ light, they were tenaciously evil. Out of the corner of his eye he saw two Mainyas, ancient rivals to his warrior breed, closing in on the woman, circling her warily as if they were afraid. Two of the faithless bastards came at him. One had struck him from behind, probably unable to wait to attack, the impatient bastard. They might share an origin, but other than a homeland they had nothing in common.
“Walk away and we will not chain you to the bottom of the ocean… again,” one Mainya sneered, trying to strike again.
After so many centuries, one would think they would learn to attack in concert. Maybe then they would have a chance. They never learned. One struck while the other watched and looked for an opening. Tonight Ukko had no patience to play. Two of these heaps of dung held the woman. He had to save her.
Ukko had expected the charge. It was a good thing because the fiend struck with blinding speed, coming right at Ukko’s head with one huge fist. Ukko spun, sidestepping the big oaf in a smooth move, striking a powerful blow of his own as the Mainya fell past him. The motion flowed into the next as he moved to attack the next Mainya, not waiting for the other male to attack.
Before Ukko could reach him, however, the woman shot the remaining Mainya with a blinding flash of light from the palm of her hand. Energy crackled around them, charging the air and making Ukko’s skin crawl. He was certain the hair on his head stood straight up. He didn’t wait to see the result, however. He was on the surprised Mainya before the other male could do much other than scream.
What had happened to the other two, the ones who had attacked the woman? Ukko tried to look as he hit the two he battled over and over again with bolts of energy, cast by pure rage. He’d never let Mainyas under his skin like this. Fighting a Mainya was as natural as breathing; no anger was required. Yet he had been so angry, so desperate to get her away from these monsters. There had been a rush of protectiveness he’d never experienced with another being.
This was far beyond protecting a female from the horrible fate that could await her. Once either a Mainya or Spentas slept with a human, chances were good she would become addicted. The poor females captured by Mainyas became hollow shells, depraved and debased, craving more despite themselves. Most chose suicide over the constant depravity they were forced to endure. They couldn’t have this woman. He couldn’t allow it.
“I think you got them down, big boy.” The light touch on his shoulder calmed him immediately, his rage falling away as if it had never been.
It was then he noted the Mainya who had been circling her sprawled unconscious on the filthy street. How in the unholy hells had she managed that?
“What are you?” He had meant his voice to be commanding, compelling. A certain tone worked on most creatures, forcing them to say things they would rather bury deep inside themselves. “Who sent you?”
The woman rocked back on her heels. She was wearing the kind of boots he had seen in magazines and television, rarely in person. The soft, pliable leather rose to her knees, and the heels were at least three inches. He never understood this modern fascination with walking on miniature stilts. Her legs were encased in tight denim, showcasing her curves. Though the night had a chilly bite, she wore a simple T-shirt that clung to her body as if the cotton were attached to her skin.
Ukko was momentarily outrageously jealous of the cotton, which got to cover skin as he longed to do — still. Worse now. Blood rushed through his veins, centering on his heavy shaft. He wanted to touch it, to relieve the painful need wracking him. His heart beat impossibly fast, his head spinning trying to place her or her kind. “Who are you?”
“I’m Nimah.” She shrugged, her visage becoming clouded with doubt and a touch of fear.
Ukko could feel her tumultuous emotions bombarding him, felt them inside of himself. What was this?
“I have no idea what I am. I just knew I had to come here — to you, Ukko.”
There had been many times when Ukko had seen men obsessed with a female to their detriment. He’d watched brave warriors felled by batting eyelashes, witnessed proud chieftains and kings reduced to sniveling, callow youth by soft words and sweet promises. That was not ever supposed to be him. Yet her hurt, pain and confusion touched him.
Without a thought as to why she could defeat not one but two Mainyas by herself, Ukko gathered her into his arms. He was a fool. He didn’t care. The temptation of plump lips was too much to turn away. Amidst the fallen enemy he took her kiss with a force that frightened him, but he couldn’t stop. Forcing her mouth open with his own, Ukko’s tongue delved into her mouth, tasting the sweetness and pain there.
The kiss ended far too soon for Ukko.
Heavens, she clung to him naturally, became pliant in his arms. This could all be some elaborate trap to capture him, to keep him imprisoned somewhere while the Mainyas worked some devious plan or another. It was about time for them to make another bid at world dominance. That was the excuse Ukko used to dematerialize them both, taking her to his compound by the fjord, not far from where he had been born.
In the time before kingdoms, Ukko had known happiness here, as a boy. No other had ever breached the walls of the long, house-like structure he had built over five hundred years ago. It was a mansion, really, in the shape of the homes of the Vikings. Certainly not the first structures to exist in this land, but it was a period of which Ukko had been fond.
“This is your birthplace,” the woman — no, Nimah — said with awe. “I’ve seen this place in my dreams. Your mother was honored by her people when she was pregnant with you. She led your tribe after you were born, but then they came and took you away.”
He closed his eyes against those memories. After all the centuries he remembered the day when he left his people with vivid clarity. There wasn’t much he didn’t remember as if it had taken place yesterday. One of his many curses. But how did this woman know?
“What are you?” he ground out, refusing to open his eyes. If he did, he would be lost in the green pools that were surely his path to the lowest level of hell.

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Comanche by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

Comanche
Badland Warriors, Book 3
by Marteeka Karland and Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60521-703-1

Trapped in a horrible earthquake, Aylen is rescued by First Generation Warriors. They shouldn’t exist! And they certainly shouldn’t make her blood boil and her heart melt. One, touch and Aylen’s life will never be the same.

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Vampires' Mate: Demetri by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod

Vampires’ Mate: Demetri
by Marteeka Karland & Shara Azod

Changeling Press

eBook ISBN: 978-1-60521-680-5

It takes a brave human soul to dare offer themselves up to a Vampire Dungeon. Demetri and Vlad are vampire royalty, so they’ve seen their share of submissives come and go. The one they name Blossom, however, piques their interest like no other ever has. Together, they intend to discover if the little human has what it takes to be the Vampires’ Mate.

Note: This title has no chapter breaks, so please enjoy the first page.

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Page One

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