Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Laird of her Heart Scorching, Funny, #Highland #TimeTravel #Romance

Laird of her Heart: Book One in the Dundragon Trilogy by Sabrina York
When Maggie Spencer is mysteriously transported to the Scotland of her ancestors, she is stunned to come face to face with him. Dominic Dundragon, the man she’s been half in love with her whole life. A man who’s been dead for 700 years.
They both have enemies aplenty. Will she have a chance to win his love, or will this adventure end in disaster?


Read an excerpt
Maggie yelped as, without warning, the burly warrior named Declan whipped her up into his arms and tossed her over his shoulder. To her horror, she lost the hold on her locket.
“Wait,” she cried. She wriggled to get free, but his grip was too hard. When she pummeled his back with her fists as he strode from the circle of stones, he chuckled. The beast. But to be fair, he was so large, it would have felt like a kitten batting him. “Put me down.”
“I willna,” he said. “The Mackintosh will decide how you die.”
All right. That shut her up. For a minute. “Die? Why do I need to die?” What the hell had she done to him?
The man following, an enormous blond with a scar tracking his cheek bent down to peer at her. “The Mackintosh’s doona tolerate spies.”
“I’m not a spy.” Seriously. She wriggled more and Declan smacked her ass.
Smacked her ass.
She’d kill him when she got free. Just kill him.
“Yer wearing the Cameron colors,” the blond said. “And the Mackintosh’s doona—”
“Right. I know. The Mackintosh’s doona tolerate spies.” Her head was starting to spin from being upside down and jounced around with each step. Her temper was on a short leash. “But honestly, if I were a spy, would I wear the Cameron colors? It seems a little counterproductive in my opinion. I mean, if I’m spying and all. I might as wear a sign that says, oh, I dunno, honk if you love spies.”
His brow rumpled but he didn’t respond. At least, not to her. “She speaks strangely,” he complained to Declan.
Her captor snorted a laugh. “She dresses strangely too.”
“Aye. She does at that. I’ve heard the Cameron lasses are a wild lot, but I had no idea—”
“I’m. Not. A. Cameron.” She reached out and smacked the blond, but only because he came close enough. He reared back and gaped at her—as though he’d never been smacked before—and then he quickly moved out of range.
It hardly mattered, because, apparently, they had reached their destination, a camp on the edge of the woods. The sounds of nickering horses and clanks of pots gave her her first clue—she was facing the other way, after all.
Her second clue was that Declan dropped her on the ground. She landed with an oof. She glared at him. He didn’t seem to mind in the slightest. “Go get my brother, Ewan,” he barked, and the blond trotted off to one of the larger tents.
When she stood and brushed off her jeans, Declan bristled and she shot him a sardonic glare. Did he think she was stupid enough to run away? For one thing, these enormous men had her surrounded. For another, she never ran. Not if she could help it.
Instead, she made a quick survey of her surroundings. The camp was little more than a huddle of tents with the forest on one side and a sweeping plain on the other. A small herd of horses were hobbled to one side and a deer roasted over a pit fire. An entire deer. Before she could silence the thought—she often had that problem—she said, “You killed Bambi.”
Declan’s brow rumpled. “I dinna kill anyone.” And then he asked, “Who is Bambi?”
“Never mind.” She crossed her arms and turned away pretending to ignore them. But she wasn’t. She was aware they were all staring at her like she was a curiosity in a zoo, but she was taking in tiny details as well. Like the fact that their clothes were all handmade and simple. Their hair appeared to have been cut with a chainsaw and their beards were scraggly and long. Their weapons were what made her mind really start to spin though.
One held a crossbow that dated from the thirteenth century. Another had a Mackintosh dirk that resembled one she’d seen in a museum once. Declan had a simple calfskin sporran tied to his belt.
Odd. Could she have wandered into some renaissance faire? But no. It had been evening when she stepped into the woods and now it was daytime. Early afternoon. And the acres of woods around the house belonged to the family. It couldn’t be—
“So.” She flinched as a deep, melodious voice wafted to her on a hint of humor. Shivers danced through her, along with a prickling sense of premonition. “You’ve captured a Cameron spy?”
She turned slowly and froze as her gaze landed on him. On that so-familiar face. Broad, handsome, savage. Much more captivating than the sketch had been. Much more captivating by far.
She must be hallucinating. She had to be.
He was the hero of her dreams come to life.
Dominic Dundragon, Laird of the Mackintosh clan.
Large, looming and in the flesh.
Her head went woozy. Her vision blurred. And then, for the first time in her life, she fainted.


Her Royal Hotness, Sabrina York, is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of hot, humorous stories for smart and sexy readers. Her titles range from sweet & sexy to scorching romance. Visit her webpage at to check out her books, excerpts and contests.

Get exclusive reads, enter subscriber only contests and be the first to know about coming books!


If you love hot highlanders, be sure to read Sabrina York’s Untamed Highlanders from St. Martin’s Press!

Lana and the Laird—Coming in 2016
RAFFLECOPTER HTML: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tweet and spread the news: Scorching new #Highland #TimeTravel #Romance from @sabrina_york Read an excerpt!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Krazy for #Kindle #Romance Kindle Fire HD7 Giveaway

Want a chance to WIN a Kindle Fire HD7???

Come join several New York Times and USA Today Amazing Bestselling authors on July 28th for our Krazy for Kindle Party and sign up for a chance to win! Lots of other prizes too. From 7-10 pm EST.

In addition to the Kindle Fire. These authors have donated a FREE book downloaded directly on the new Kindle!!

Sign up NOW!!! And share with your friends! You don't have to be present to win. The Rafflecopter signup form is on the Facebook party page.

Date: July 28th
When: 7-9pm EST

Here are the list of amazing authors:

Cathryn Fox

Lauren Hawkeye

Opal Carew

Zoe York

Sasha White

AC James

Eve Langlais

Sarah Makela

Lisa Hughey

Nina Lane

Kathy Kulig

Hope to see you there!

Friday, July 10, 2015

When the Real World Meets the Paranormal Romance World #PNR

Paranormal stories, myths and folklore are often times based on true events, embellished truths or superstitions. These stories have been passed down for centuries. It’s no wonder their themes didn’t wind up in our present romance novels. Does the paranormal romance novel get your heart racing? It does mine. I’ve been reading books on the supernatural since I was a kid and I love them now especially the steamy romance kind.

What types of paranormal romance gets your heart racing and keeps you up reading until the wee hours of the morning??? Shapeshifters, vampires, witches, demons, ghosts??? Or are you like me and love them all?? If you’ve noticed the ‘soup du jour’ in the paranormal romance genre is shapeshifters, mainly bear shifters. As with any trend, they change, (who wants to eat the same soup day after day?) so authors should write what they have a passion for and readers will look for something different when their taste for the soup du jour changes.

Readers and Authors!! Please feel free to share your favorite paranormal romance here, including your own. A tell us what your favorite paranormal theme is. See choices at the end.

Even though paranormal is for the most part made up, I do a lot of research for my books. The Cryptopedia: A Dictionary of the Weird, Strange and Downright Bizarre, The Writer’s Complete Fantasy Reference, Vampire Universe, The Science of Vampires, Vampires: The Occult Truth, and several books on Wicca, ghosts, myths and folklore. I’ve also talked to people about experience or their specialties. Like for His Lost Mate I met and spoke with an archaeologist who had been in the business for over 35 years. I also visited the pyramids in Tikal, Guatemala.

So is it possible for these paranormal themes to cross over into the real world? I can’t say I ever met a real shapeshifter or a demon. As for vampires…I’ve been in contact with a few who believe they are vampires. Ghosts- some believe, some don’t. Do you?? I do! I’ve seen them a couple times, heard them, felt them, smelled them. Just recently I had an experience at a restaurant/bar where I work as a part time bartender/server. It’s a lovely old Victorian house and the owner’s mother owned the restaurant and lived in the house above. Now the daughter runs it and the mother has passed on. It was a quiet night. The other evening, one of the servers went into the back room the check that the tables were set properly. It’s their formal dining area with a little alcove that has a fireplace and a hutch that hold our linens and glassware. No one was there. She said out of the corner of her eye, she saw someone walk in and into the alcove. She thought it was me. When she turned, no one was there.

She came out by the bar and told us about her weird experience, then I noticed the strong scent of vanilla. I asked if she sprayed perfume. She said no. The table of guests seated by the bar also noticed the scent. The owner smiled. I asked if that was a sign of her mom visiting. She didn’t say.

Besides the types of paranormal characters, what about locations and times?
Paranormal stories can take place in present ‘semi-normal’ day settings, future, alternative history, historical, or a time travel setting, a story that takes place on another planet or alternative universe. So many great locals and themes, so little time to write them all!

More crossover reality/paranormal experiences: the archaeologist I spoke with knows of others in his field who had experiences with ghost at excavations sites. I also had an experience while climbing one of the large pyramids in Tikal and had several nightmares after where I saw or imagined slaves or workers climbing the pyramid and building it or working on it, and hearing the screams of someone being sacrificed at the top. It shook me so badly, I froze in the middle of my climb and my friend had to coax me to finish climbing to the top. Maybe it was the heat and my overactive imagination, but it chilled me to the bone.

In my New Release: HIS LOST MATE, there’s a ghost. An ancient ghost of a shaman who claims to be the father of the heroine. He says in her past life, he was unable to protect her, he’s returned because she again is in danger, and so in the archaeology team working with her in the jungle. Lauren (the heroine) along with the Deven (the hero) must solve the supernatural mystery and the real threat, while battling an evil entity before it’s too late. The question is: Will history repeat itself and will the two lovers be lost again forever?


Available for PreOrder at the discount $2.99. or FREE for Kindle Unlimited. It will be Released on July 21st and revert to its regular price of $3.99. Print copy coming soon!

Don’t forget to share your favorite Paranormal Book here on your post then share on Twitter if you like!

Who’s Your Favorite Paranormal Hero? 
-         -Vampire
-         -Shapeshifter
-         -Demon
-         -Witch/Warlock
-         -Sexy Alien
-         -Ghost
-         -Immortal other than vampire
-         - Other (let me know what sexy creatures get you excited)

Monday, June 29, 2015

#NewRelease COME AND GET YOUR LOVE by Tina Donahue


 *****Check out the CONTEST at the end of this post*****

Buy Link:


Their desire wasn’t supposed to be real…

With millions willed to her in an incentive trust, Lissa can get the dough to start her own country music label when she meets one of the no-contest clauses. Namely, reach middle age in twenty years, work in the hated family business for a decade, or marry someone not in the music biz.

Marriage it is, at least for a year to satisfy her greedy brother who wants the inheritance.

Enter Cass, a hot Texas rancher who dampens Lissa’s panties. With a pile of medical bills from his brother’s accident, Cass agrees to wed Lissa. She’s sweet to look at, surprisingly pleasant for an Atlanta debutante, and makes his jeans feel tight as hell despite their no-sex contract.

Uh-huh. The devil’s in the details. Longing gazes turn to tender intimacy and wild nights with pretend feeling all too real.

Damn shame it may be too late with her brother gunning for them both.

 Excerpt #1:

Cass leaned to the left, but the sun still reflected off the car’s windshield, hiding the passengers from him. Not that it mattered since he knew who they were. An Atlanta debutante who wanted to get around a trust and her attorney who was helping her do it. Sweet Jesus, what had he gotten himself into?
It wasn’t like Cass to engage in fraud of any kind. Before the lousy drought, the drop in beef prices, and then his kid brother’s problems, he’d been doing well. Now, not so much with no financial institution wanting to help. Only the Bank of Lissa Lee had answered his appeal.
Now that she was there, Cass wanted to run.
He was certain she wasn’t only spoiled, but probably had a voice that would shatter safety glass, not to mention looks only a blind mother could love. Her attorney had refused to send Cass a picture of her, warning him not to search for one on the Internet.
“This is business,” he’d said in a soft yet nasty voice. “If you look into Ms. Lee at all, I’ll know, and the deal’s off.”
Cass hadn’t been certain whether the man had been blowing smoke or not, but couldn’t risk it. He’d told himself to be a good boy for the attorney and a bad boy for Lissa while also making a mockery of marriage. That wasn’t like him either.
He was ready to go back inside the house and throw the lock when the driver’s side door popped open and a balding blond guy got out. “Mr. Bronson?”
Unfortunately. “Uh-huh. Mr. St. Claire?”
“That’s right.” He went around to the passenger door and opened it.
Cass took a deep breath, reminding himself this was necessary to pay the bills, keep the land and house. He wasn’t even expected to consummate the—
His thoughts stopped dead at the young woman who stepped out.
Her hair fell in soft waves to her waist and was the color of a Texas sunset…shimmering red with a few gold highlights.. The dress she wore was short and sleeveless with a scooped neck but no shape. Didn’t matter. A stiff breeze pushed the pale yellow fabric against the faint curve of her tummy, smallish breasts, and tightened nipples.
She wasn’t wearing a bra.
Cass’ cock went instantly stiff, while his gaze prowled down her. Damn, he couldn’t detect a panty line either. Now his rod was beginning to ache. He glanced lower still.
Lord, but she had nice thighs, slender calves, and ankles too, not to mention tiny feet in her wedged sandals. They added about three inches to her height. Barefooted, she’d be one mighty small woman.
As she shifted her weight, which couldn’t have been more than a hundred and twenty pounds, Cass glanced up to see her creamy complexion—not one freckle—and one of the prettiest faces a woman could have, along with a surprisingly vulnerable expression. As though she wasn’t certain he’d approve of her.
How could any normal man find her lacking?
Her eyes were pale blue, circled with dark lashes, her nose as delicate as the rest of her features…all except for her mouth. It was pink, her lips as full as Angelina Jolie’s, and looking to be hotter than this day.
He swallowed.
“This is Ms. Lissa Lee,” Mr. St. Claire said.
Cass had to hold back a grin of delight since this arrangement was supposed to have zero fun, and she looked kind of daunted. Poor thing. Feeling oddly protective, Cass wanted to assure her that everything was going to be all right, but hadn’t a clue how it could be. They were supposed to live together in wedded un-bliss for a year, which meant they were both going to be celibate.
Somehow, Cass hadn’t thought of that until now, and suddenly realized he was fucked big time. Holding back a sigh, he took off his hat and went down the steps to claim her.


I’m an award-winning, bestselling novelist in erotic, paranormal, contemporary and historical romance for Kensington, Samhain Publishing, Ellora’s Cave, Siren Publishing, Booktrope, Luminosity, and indieYay! Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Romantic Times and numerous online sites have praised my work, and trust me, I’m forever grateful for that. I’ve had my books reach finals in the EPIC competition, one title was named Book of the Year at a review site, and others have won awards in RWA-sponsored contests. I’m actually featured in the 2012 Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market. Talk about feeling like a freaking star. Before my writing career, I was the editor of an award–winning Midwestern newspaper and worked in Story Direction for a Hollywood production company. Outside of being an admitted and unrepentant chocoholic, I’ve flown a single-engine plane (scary stuff), rewired an old house using an electricity for dummies book, and have been known to moan like Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally whenever I’m eating anything Mexican or Italian. Yeah, I like to eat (burp).

You can check me out here – yes, I am everywhere!  J

Amazon author page:
My page at TRR:
EC Author Page:
Samhain Author Page:
Sweet ‘n Sexy Divas:
Romance Books 4 US:


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

#NewRelease WINTERFALL Super Alpha Guys & a Super Volcano Disaster

Winterfall (The Wasteland Trilogy #3)
Denise A. Agnew


Thanks Kathy for having me on your blog! My idea for this trilogy came about when I studied super volcanoes for another novel I’m still writing. Because I like to write about military and former military, I wondered what would happen if I put some hot former military guys together with strong heroines caught in the aftermath of a super volcano explosion in California. (Yellowstone isn’t the only supervolcano in the U.S.) Although the characters are in Maine, there would still be problems to face if a super volcano erupted in California.

Winterfall is the third story in my Wasteland Trilogy, though there will be a novella coming out later this year that is an addition to the trilogy.


A firefighter and a former soldier have survived an apocalypse, but there is still danger lurking in the winter light…

Firefighter Juliet Van Pelt’s strength comes from previous adversity, but there’s an arsonist in town who wants to crank up the heat. When threatening letters target her, she turns to the one man she has never forgotten.

Former Army Ranger and sniper Mark O’Day can’t forget the woman he met months ago when their city was in chaos and they shared a dangerous moment. When opportunity brings her into his life again and danger threatens, he knows there is no alternative but to keep her close and never let her go.


Buckleport, Maine
“Damn, Van Pelt, the way you’re polishing that tumbler is giving me ideas,” Firefighter Decker Okono leered.
Juliet Van Pelt broke from her trance long enough to throw a glare his way. They stood at the sink in the kitchen area of Fire Station Three finishing kitchen duty. Soon she’d take the mandatory forty-eight-hour time off, even if they needed every hand they could get. Besides, her accounting job waited at home, demanding she take care of her “day job” business. As a volunteer, she didn’t get paid, she fought fires for free. Okono, on the other hand, was a full-fledged firefighter with a few years under his belt and the paycheck to go with it.
She continued to dry the glass, turning her attention back to the busy street beyond the station house. “Keep on dreaming, Okono.”
She’d been dreaming all right. Pretending that January’s Long Valley Super Volcano eruption in California hadn’t jacked up their world. Hadn’t wreaked havoc across the United States. Bangor’s population had increased tenfold since the disaster, as waves of refugees from the western states poured into the eastern seaboard and points north. Traffic jammed the streets, and they’d worked a record number of car wrecks in the last week. Fires, too. The job never ended. In the months since the volcano had destroyed the world as they’d known it, things had improved. Riots had ceased, but crime had skyrocketed, and poverty and a general economic downturn had made life a far grimmer situation.
She opened the cabinet to her upper right and deposited the glass.
“Baby, there’s no need for you to dream,” Okono said. “I have everything you need right here inside this uniform.”
Seriously? She almost choked on the idea of sharing anything intimate with the ex-Navy SEAL, especially sex. Even meaningful conversation with this goober seemed completely beyond the realm of possibility.
“I thought Navy SEALS were supposed to be all honorable and shit,” she said, injecting toughness into her voice.
She felt rather than saw him bristle, and for a second wondered if she’d crossed the line. She didn’t know him, not really. If he decided to go postal, she was in deep kimchee. Okono grunted and rinsed another glass. He handed it to her and she dried it thoroughly before adding it to the cabinet.
“I’m as honorable as you’re gonna get, little lady.” His accent changed to fake southern. He was from New Jersey. “There aren’t many good men out there, Van Pelt. A woman needs a protector in this big, bad world. You could do worse than me.”
She laughed, but the sound held nothing but derision. “Yeah, right.”
“I’m serious. This is a different world. More dangerous since Long Valley. And it isn’t getting better anytime soon.”
Got that right. But not this guy. No, she didn’t want or need his protection. Especially not a man who thought his status as a former SEAL entitled him to front row seats to everything, including sex. He seemed to never have heard of sexual harassment, and she could report him. Thing is, she didn’t want the conflict. She could handle his brand of idiocy with one hand tied behind her back.
No, there were other men...far more agreeable than Okono. Her mind flashed back to April when a nasty fire had taken down a warehouse. A serial arsonist had been operating in Buckleport for months now. Scores of buildings had burned and the arson investigators hadn’t closed in on a suspect yet. During that fire she’d met a man who continued to intrude on her thoughts day and night. Hell, he’d done more than that. The nameless man had been part of a security team making sure firefighters weren’t harassed by some bad-ass-wannabes. Her mind drifted to the conversation.
The fire had cooled down, the destruction pretty complete, the old warehouse a smoldering ruin. They’d be here for hours more knocking down any flare ups. One of the rednecks who’d harassed the crew stepped toward her when she’d stopped near the ladder truck to strip off her self-contained breathing apparatus.
“Hey, pretty lady,” the man said, his big body and ham-sized biceps showing pure power. “What the hell are you doing out here? Women shouldn’t be taking a man’s job.”
“What?” she asked, not even sure she’d heard him right. She wasn’t up for games--she was hot, tired, and grimy as hell.
He crossed those beefy arms. “Women ain’t designed to be firefighters.”
“I’m not taking anyone’s job, bub. I’m a volunteer. I don’t get paid.” His mouth dropped open, but before he could say anything else stupid, she continued. “If you don’t mind, I have work to do.”
The man’s glare grew hot with anger. “Listen, bitch--”
“Move along, sir,” a deeper voice said from slightly behind her.
She turned her attention to the man the voice belonged to, and he approached with his semi-automatic clasped in front of him. Her rescuer stood taller than six feet and had dangerous written all over him.
The dipwad who’d given her a hard time stepped back and held both hands up. “Hey, hey. No need to get all violent with me, cop.”
“I’m not a cop. Move back and let the firefighter do her job.”
Her rescuer wore a black baseball cap, tactical or flak vest over a black t-shirt, a pair of khaki cargo pants, and a seriously thunderous frown. She’d seen two men and one woman pile out of an unmarked black SUV not long ago and realized they were one of the private security teams who now supplemented police and military in protecting the city. Security dude owned a powerful, ripped physique that said he might have been in the military at one point. Sunglasses and a baseball cap didn’t camouflage his craggy good looks. His dark hair, almost black, was cut military short as well. All of that wouldn’t have normally drawn her attention, but his voice had a certain intense, whiskey-deep sound.
“Move along,” the private security man said to the redneck wannabe.
When the guy backed away and left, security dude took his glasses off. His dark chocolate eyes held an intensity that slammed into her with a force she hadn’t expected. She saw undeniable curiosity and attraction in the way he looked at her, but his attention didn’t feel slimy.
“You all right?” he asked.
“Of course.” Defensiveness dripped from her tone. “I can handle myself.”
His gaze swept up and down her body, the look in his eyes telling her he liked what he saw very much. Unlike the slimeball who’d just left, the security dude’s attention sent a wild thrill through her belly.
“I’m sure you can,” security dude said. “But I’m here to help if you need me.”
“Oh, don’t worry. I won’t need you.”
Her captain called her name right then, and when she saw security dude next he was at least fifty yards away.
After that day she hadn’t seen him again, but God she’d dreamed about mystery security man. Hot, sexy dreams that made no sense.

Winterfall is out at:

Bio for Denise A. Agnew

Denise A. Agnew is the author of over 60 novels. Denise has written paranormal, romantic comedy, contemporary, fantasy, historical, erotic romance, and romantic suspense. Archaeology and archery have crept into her work, and travels through England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales have added to a lifetime of story ideas. Denise is also a paranormal investigator, Reiki Master and Certified Creativity Coach.

Visit Denise’s websites at  and

Learn about new releases and freebies through her newsletter at HERE

Twitter @DeniseAAgnew

Saturday, June 20, 2015

#PreOrder HIS LOST MATE a Sexy Supernatural Romance

Ready to STEAM up your summer reading list? 

Take one hot, alpha male scientist, add a smart and sassy female psychic, toss them into an exotic jungle and a sizzling affair is bound to happen? Right?

Well... it's not that easy...These two lovers have a supernatural connection and a ghost of an ancient shaman is trying to warn them of danger, while a deadly evil lures them into the jungle and threatens their lives. Will the be lost, separated forever? = One steamy erotic adventure.

His Lost Mate is available for a ***SPECIAL discounted PRE-ORDER*** rate!!!! 

He lost her once hundreds of years ago... Now he must battle a new entity. Will he lose her again forever?
Archaeologist and psychic Lauren Halpern is determined to uncover an ancient mystery in a sultry and exotic jungle, but everything is getting in her way. Deven Chandler, the drop-dead gorgeous leader of their excavation is a serious distraction she does not need, and she's desperately trying to guard her heart. But the heated passion between them is undeniable, and they simply cannot find a way to stop the inevitable. Lauren senses the supernatural connection between them holds a secret deeper than the hot sex they're trying to resist. And Deven, the scientist that he is, simply won't believe her esoteric beliefs or warnings.

Once they tumble into a sizzling affair the real trouble begins. From the ancient ruins, a ghost of an ancient shaman lures them deeper to into the jungle where lies the deadliest evil of all. When danger arrives, can Deven learn to trust her and risk everything to save her?

HIS LOST MATE was previously published under the title WILD JADE and has been revised and updated.

“We have to leave tonight,” Kayab said, clasping Cimi’s hand. He didn’t dare look at her or she’d detect the fear in his eyes—and a Mayan warrior never showed fear. Kayab was not afraid for himself. He was afraid for Cimi.
Sitting on a rock ledge above the lagoon, Cimi dangled her feet in the cool water. “Why now, Kayab?”
“It’s too dangerous to stay. Your father said we must leave tonight, when Chac meets with the shamans in the temple. They will be praying to the gods until morning. We’ll be far away by then.”
She stared up to the heavens and sighed. “I know we have to go. I didn’t think it’d be this soon. I hate leaving my father, my friends, this forest…”
Kayab glanced around the lagoon. What had once been a roaring waterfall only a few seasons ago was now a thin trickle. Surrounding the lagoon, the giant ferns, orchids and palmettos had browned or withered and the tall, lush trees were now spidery, brittle branches.
In the village, the maize crops barely produced enough food for their people. Chac, the ruler, demanded more offerings to the storm god to bring the rains. The storm god was angry, only more blood would satisfy him. The thought made Kayab’s stomach churn.
“Our last afternoon in our secret place,” Cimi said with a teasing grin as she slid one delicate toe up his leg. Then she slowly stroked her hand up and down his thigh. He shivered and felt his loins stir and his shaft grow hard. How could she be playful during these dangerous times?
Restraining his desires for a moment, he untied a leather pouch secured to his belt. He removed a small object wrapped in a black woven cloth and tied with a thin branch of violet orchids. The orchids he had found at the far end of the lagoon, still thriving on a dead mahogany tree. It had to be a sign of hope from the gods. “Cimi, I have a gift for you.” He handed her the package. “Open it.” He’d carved the owl himself and had Muan, Cimi’s father, bless it with special powers of protection.
Cimi unwrapped it. “It’s beautiful,” she whispered as she turned it over in her hand. “An owl made from jade.”
“It will protect you from harm. Keep it with you always.”
“But women are not allowed to own jade. If someone sees this, they will take it from me.”
“Then hide it, but keep it close to you.”
“I will, Kayab. I promise.”
Kayab rose and touched her cheek. He breathed in her musky feminine essence blended with the fragrant jasmine blooming around the lagoon. One of the few flowers not yet killed off by the drought.
“Come swim with me.” He was sorely hard now. If he didn’t get into the cool water soon, he’d take her, but he did not want to rush this precious time.
After removing his beaded necklaces, he untied the leather belt and pouch then dropped the black cloth wrapped around his waist in a pile on the rock. He stood naked before her, studying her expression. Although violence and starvation had been common in the village for many years, he expected Cimi to show fear about leaving, because they would be breaking the laws of their ruler, Chac and the gods. But he didn’t see any fear in her eyes. She was braver than he or Muan thought. She seemed to think exile was more of an adventure, so unlike a Mayan woman. He loved her strength and innocence.
Silently, he beckoned her to follow him. Her sultry look and her parted moist lips said she wanted him too. He stepped to the edge of the rock and dived into the pond.
The water was cool, but did not ease the throbbing heat in his loins. When he surfaced, he flung his long hair out of his face, spraying water droplets in all directions.
Standing naked at the edge of the stone ledge, her dark hair cascading down her back, Cimi offered him a full view of her firm, small breasts. When she cupped her breasts and massaged them, he struggled for breath as if the gods were stealing the air from his chest. Then her hand slid down her belly and stroked between her legs.
He froze and gazed at her in disbelief. She had never been so bold. “Come be with me, Cimi.” He groaned like a wild animal.
She dived into the water and swam to him.
Grasping her arms from under the water, he pulled her to him, kissed her hard and hungrily. The water made her skin slick and smooth. He felt the curve of her breast, the roundness of her buttocks, felt her arms reach around his neck and cling to him.
“Cimi. I burn for you.” With his lips, he caressed her neck, her breasts, then sucked her nipples until he felt her body quiver. Her hand covered and guided his, pushing his hand down between her legs. Her urgency inflamed him.
When he found her slick folds, she moaned and arched her hips into him.
His fingers probed and opened her, sliding inside her sex. She sucked in her breath and rocked against his hand. As her moans became louder and her body trembled, he knew she was ready. With a whimper, she shoved his hand away, gripped his shaft and pressed it against her sensitive flesh. For a moment, he thought he would lose all control.
“Now, Kayab…take me.”
Kayab lifted her legs around his hips and drove into her, thrusting deep and hard as Cimi dug her fingers into his shoulders.
The cool water sloshing around their heated bodies didn’t cool the fire building within his erection, but he held back while her soft cries of pleasure increased with each thrust.
Focusing to keep his control, he held her gaze, then her body jerked and Kayab supported her tightly while she soared in ecstasy. Then he plunged faster and deeper as his sensations grew, his muscles tensed and passion claimed him. He flung his head back, groaned and his body quaked his sexual release.
While his body continued to pulse, he held her close and waited for his strength to return. When he slid from her body, Cimi moaned in protest. Her hands caressed his chest and she kissed his neck. “Kayab, lie with me in the grass.”
“Oh my beautiful Cimi.” He kissed the top of her head. “It is late. We must go back or we will be missed.”
“Why don’t we leave the forest now?”
“Your father said we don’t dare leave before the evening meal or Chac will have the warriors track us.” He stroked her cheek with his fingers, kissed her hard, then scooped her up in his arms and carried her to the shoreline, where he laid her on the grass. Living in exile was a frightening choice for a young woman, but the risk to stay was great. Even the daughter of a shaman was not safe, but he and the jade owl would protect her.
Seeing her naked stirred his shaft again. She noticed his erection and giggled. He loved making her laugh. “I burn for you, Cimi.” But their playful afternoon was over. They had a long and frightening night ahead of them. “We must go now. Don’t be afraid. I promise, I’ll always protect and love you.”
A slight breeze stirred the dried grass and ferns surrounding the lagoon and long shadows crisscrossed the trail back to the village. Kayab and Cimi quickly dressed.
“After the evening meal,” Kayab instructed, “meet me at the small northern pyramid. It will be safer to escape at night.”