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by D.S. Dehel
Genre: Contemporary Dark Romance
A musician. An angel. A hearing impaired artist.
Simple. Kinky. Complicated.
Lasciate vi stesso voi ch’entrate. “Abandon yourself, you who enter” are the words engraved on the invitation given to Rose Dantes by her fiancé, Nico. It is a chance to uncover her passions and unlock her darkest desires. It is a gift of magnificent proportions—one that will change her life irrevocably.
With the enigmatic Virgil as her guide and mentor, Rose endeavors to complete the gauntlet known as “The Nine,” a pilgrimage tailored to her fantasies. Doing so earns her nothing more than the praise and adoration of her fiancé, something she wants more than anything else. Her quest pushes her boundaries and makes her question her entire life. Yet, Rose is no shrinking violet. She has a mind of her own and an attitude to match, qualities she will need to complete her Pilgrimage. Inferno plunges her into an abyss of pleasure and personal pain, and in the end, she must face her very own Lucifer.
An eXtasy Books Editor’s Choice Book
“The story is told from the perspective of Rose, the primary character, who starts out on a sexual “pilgrimage” on the urging of her fiance Nico. Along the way, Rose finds out a lot — about herself, mostly, but also about people she thought she knew, including that she doesn’t know so much about them, after all.” ~ Editor
Midway through our life’s journey…
Rose absently ran her finger over the wax seal. The three days since her fiancé had given her the envelope had been excruciating, but knowing what was inside was even worse. Just the thought of the black and gold invitation made her stomach churn.
The raised figure on the seal was a gate barred by a portcullis, but other than being a medieval heraldic device, it told her nothing about the contents of the envelope. Thinking perhaps the portcullis was the logo of a company, Rose Googled it, but nothing she found even came close.
“Well, what is it?” Jackie asked as she flopped into her usual seat at their usual table. “A gift certificate for a day spa?”
Rose shook her head. “It’s something I never expected. Let’s wait for the others.” It was going to be difficult enough to tell this story once, let alone twice.
Jackie made a noise of dismay and rolled her eyes. The red-haired beauty had little patience. “Not even a tiny hint?”
The women had known each other since their senior year of high school, when the four outsiders had become their own little clique, but Rose and Jackie had grown the closest in the intervening years. She really should just tell her. After all, it was Jackie she called first when Nico proposed. “It’s just so odd. I―”
“Hello, darlings.” Astrid set a large gold bag on the table and sat down. She slipped off her designer sunglasses and carefully stowed them in their case, then smoothed her dark bobbed hair. “Happy birthday, Rosie. I see Leona is late, as usual.”
“It’s just a few minutes.” Jackie picked up a menu and pretended to read it.
“How are you, Astrid?” Rose carefully studied her friend’s face. She didn’t appear to be any worse for wear after her divorce, but it was difficult to tell with Astrid. She hid her feelings well.
Astrid straightened her shoulders and bared her teeth in an approximation of a smile. “Better, now the court case is over. Lionel got the house, but I got the Audi and the condo. Have you considered what I said in my email?”
Rose fiddled with her silverware. Astrid’s constant haranguing got on Rose’s nerves. “I’m not asking Nico for a prenup. If anything, he should have asked me for one.”
“Just because he does not have any sense, does not mean you shouldn’t, either,” Astrid huffed. “I’m just trying to protect you, Rosie.”
“The paperwork is already a nightmare just to get married in Rome, then there’s the whole citizenship issue.”
“I can’t believe John Malatesta is making you become an Italian citizen.”
“He’s not making me do anything.”
Jackie slammed down her menu. “Leave Rosie alone, Astrid. It’s her marriage. She can do whatever she wants. And for God’s sake, will you call him Nico?”
Astrid folded her arms and glowered at Jackie. “I knew him as John first.”
“We all knew him as John, remember? But if he has reinvented himself, who are we to judge? You do it all the time. We’re currently on Astrid version number four. Besides, I’d go by my middle name, too, if I had changed so much. He’s a far cry from the scrawny exchange student we knew in high school.” She waggled her eyebrows at Rose. “Right, Rosie?”
“You’re just jealous he asked me to Senior Prom.”
“I wasn’t then, but I am now.” Jackie grinned at her friend. “I’d love to take a bite out of that ass.”
Thank God for Jackie and her ability to redirect a conversation. “That ass belongs to me.”
“I think it always has.” Jackie sounded wistful.
Back then, they had teased Rose about agreeing to date the painfully awkward, skinny Italian who had spent most of the school year in the chem lab, but she had said yes because she was equally shy in her own way, and he had written her a lovely sonnet in Italian that had made her blush with its ardor. The fact they had lost touch with each other after graduation had always been one of her biggest regrets.
“And aren’t you glad I dragged you to that fundraiser?” Astrid gloated. “You would not be wearing that rock on your hand if I hadn’t.”
Leave it to Astrid to focus on the fact Nico was rich, and had spoiled her, not the romance inherent in the fact they had reconnected instantly. “You know I am, Astrid. That’s why you’re my Maid of Honor.”
“Sorry I’m late. The babysitter didn’t show, and I had to get my mom to come over.” Leona bumped the table with her overflowing purse, jarring the glasses and causing a small flood. “Damn.”
Rose and Jackie grabbed their napkins and started sopping up the mess. Astrid stared balefully at the rivulet of water moving in her direction, as if daring it to drip onto her pristine white pants.
“It’s no big thing.” Rose shifted her present from Nico out of harm’s way and dumped ice from her hand onto the sodden placemat. Poor Lee was always so harried these days. Motherhood did not agree with her, or at least it didn’t appear to.
“Happy birthday, Rosie.” Lee hugged her and set a haphazardly wrapped package on the small pile.
“Shall we order?” Astrid snapped for the waiter.
It took time and a few drinks, but the women gradually loosened up, becoming the group they always were, as comfortable as well-worn jeans. Rose understood they each rounded out her life with their own individual quirks. Jacqueline Leopardi was the voice that urged her to not be so introverted and shy. Astrid Wolfe reminded Rose to think of her own needs from time to time and not always sacrifice her happiness for someone else’s, and Leona Price kept her grounded and focused. She would miss them when she moved next Fall, but knew they would always be a part of her life.
“I love this book! I hated for it to end…” 5 Stars – Lynn
“Such an interesting premise full of hot men, no matter what your type is.” – 5 Stars – Tonya
**Only .99 cents!!**
Veiled Eliminators #1
by Taryn Jameson and Gabriella Bradley
Genre: Sci-fi Romance
Extrications are dangerous, and Two is willing to risk it all to escape the Institute.
Two is an eliminator, a trained assassin. She has one mission—enter the portal, eliminate a rogue general, then activate her microchip to wipe her memory. But she knows a secret that would rock the foundations of the Institute’s training program. Armed with only a tiny dagger, and the truth of their future, she enlists the help of her partner, Four, to escape their fate.
An Extasy Books Editors Choice Book
“A new look at a possible future with a good mix of paranormal. As the first story of a new series, the excellent world-building and unique characters set a compelling precedent that will have you wanting more.” ~ Editor
“I hate to see you go, Two. I am very reluctant to send you on this mission, but you are our best operative, and this is a delicate situation.” He turned his attention to the office door when it opened and shut again. “Schmidt…you have the details of the mission?”
“Of course.” Schmidt settled himself into a chair, then gave her a nod. “Two.” She held her breath as he securitized her for a moment, a note of approval lighting his blue eyes. “She is an excellent choice for this exercise.”
Exercise? I am being forced into a deathtrap with a one-way ticket. She sighed.
At least Schmidt was a little easier to deal with. Although the two men had worked together for many years, he lacked the cruel edge that emanated from his partner.
“Sir, may I ask the objective of the mission and to which planet I will be sent?”
“Brevona, in the Omicron Galaxy. Your mission is highly classified and important to Earth’s survival. Do not share any of this with the other trainees.” He placed a tablet on the table and pushed it toward her. “Here are the details of your assignment.”
I’m not allowed to talk to the other girls. How on Earth would I share any of the details? Loser…
Two swiped her finger across the screen scanning through what were mainly photos. No names, no written details. Several of the pictures were of the planet, Brevona, another of a castle and the royal family, then one of a grossly overweight man with greasy hair, wearing a uniform. “The target?”
Schultz walked behind her and rested his hands on the back of her chair to peer over her shoulder, his face uncomfortably close to hers, his breath on her neck.
“That is General Nimera Xalo. He has led his army to revolt against the king and queen and has captured the royal family. They will be executed this week if the maniac is not stopped. WLO has informed us that Nimera is hosting a large party to celebrate his ascension to the throne. Many dignitaries have been invited, including several from Earth. You will infiltrate the celebration and seduce the general.” Schultz lightly caressed her jaw, then withdrew his hand. “Beautiful women are his weakness, and you are the most exquisite and elegant of all my girls.”
I suspect women are your weakness, too, the way you touch me. She wrinkled her nose in disgust at both the idea of seducing the general and the touch of Schultz’s hand.
She shook the revulsion from her body to focus on her assignment. “Sir, isn’t the portal untested on humans? Why not allow me to travel with the Earth delegation to ensure the elimination of my target?”
Schmidt leaned forward and patted her leg. “You have nothing to fear. The portal is stable, and we can promise you that you will reach your point of destination. A return trip is another matter entirely.”
“Extrication is a story well worth reading. I am looking forward to more stories from these two authors.” – 5 Stars – Jennifer
“A complex and inventive plot that matches the book’s unique world building, completely unlike any romance I’ve read in some time.” – 5 Stars – Mickey
**Only .99 cents!!**
The Matawapit Family Series Book 1
by Maggie Blackbird
Genre: Contemporary M/M Inspirational Romance
It’s been ten years since Emery Matawapit sinned, having succumbed to temptation for the one thing in his life that felt right, another man. In six months he’ll make a life-changing decision that will bar him from sexual relationships for the rest of his life.
Darryl Keejik has a decade-long chip on his shoulder, and he holds Emery’s father, the church deacon, responsible for what he’s suffered: the loss of his family and a chance at true love with Emery. No longer a powerless kid, Darryl has influence within the community—maybe more than the deacon. Darryl intends on using his power to destroy Deacon Matawapit and his church.
Hoping to save the church, Emery races home. But stopping Darryl is harder than expected when their sizzling chemistry threatens to consume Emery. Now he is faced with the toughest decision of his life: please his devout parents and fulfill his call to the priesthood, or remain true to his heart and marry the man created for him.
This is very erotic book about a spiritual journey.
A meeting package bound in black spiral coils landed on the keyboard of Darryl’s laptop. Only one person possessed the audacity to toss stuff at him. He looked up.
Clayton stood in front of the desk, irritation hardening his dark eyes and a scowl twisting his thin lips into a grimace. He rapped the meeting package. “Did you read this?”
Darryl flung aside his pen. So much for getting work done. “I only got mine an hour ago. It’s ten o’clock. I have a list of stuff to do before I clock out for the weekend.”
“Read it now. It’s not good.”
Did this man live to order people about? “I have one already. Here. Take yours.” Darryl seized his copy off the to-do tray. He shucked Clayton’s package back at him. “Gimme a second. Why don’t you get a coffee or something from the staff room?”
Clayton strutted to the door. “Are there any muffins left?”
“Yeah. Fresh, too. So you’d better hurry before they’re all gone.” If Darryl didn’t do something to push this guy along, he’d have to endure another long-winded speech about the old ways and how they must preserve their culture.
Damn straight protecting the Anishinaabe traditions was important, but listening to Clayton drone on in his know-it-all tone gave Darryl ten headaches. He sank in the chair and flipped through the pages.
When the letter appeared, he sat up.
Dear Chief and Band Council,
Four years ago, Christ the King Parish hosted Healing the Spirit, a workshop developed by the diocese to reconcile First Nations and Christian communities by initiating recovery for the generations traumatized by the Indian Residential Schools the Canadian Government imposed on the Indigenous people throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Thirty people from Ottertail Lake attended. Based on the participants’ evaluations of the curriculum and facilitators, they deemed the workshop a success and commenced their spiritual healing journey.
Last year, additional members of Ottertail Lake approached the parish and requested another workshop. At the pastoral council meeting held in January, we passed a motion to host a second Healing the Spirit for this forthcoming September.
Although Christ the King Parish and the diocese can cover various expenses, we are seeking a financial contribution to offset costs, since special facilitators trained to deliver the workshop will require airplane fare to travel to our isolated First Nations community.
If Chief and Band Council could assist with a $500.00 gift, we would be most delighted.
Attached is information on the workshop. If you require a presentation, I am more than willing to meet with Ottertail Lake’s most esteemed leadership.
Yours in Christ,
Deacon Norman Matawapit, Christ the King Parish
Darryl’s muscles constricted and then quivered. He dropped the meeting package on his desk. The request for money shouldn’t shock him. Deacon Matawapit and his precious church did nothing but take from the reserve.
Clayton leaned against the doorway. He held a mug and muffin and wore his usual smug smile. “Say it. I was right, wasn’t I? What are we going to do? It’s Friday. The meeting’s on Monday.”
Through gritted teeth, Darryl choked out, “Give me time to review this. We can meet at the diner this evening.”
“See ya then.” Clayton disappeared from the entryway. The heels of his boots clicked against the floor.
Darryl huffed across the room and kicked the door shut. The noise in the hallway vanished.
Healing the Spirit. He shook his head. This time he wasn’t running to Winnipeg to lick his wounds. He’d face the Matawapits head-on after what they’d done to him.
“Gimme one sec.” A tray of drinks rested against Raven’s flat stomach. She trudged to a back table where a group of teenaged girls huddled. They giggled and pointed at one another’s cell phone screens.
Warm fuzz coiling around Darryl’s spine cooled the raw fire that had sizzled under his skin all day. Kiss the Cook remained the same hangout for the youth to gather on Friday nights. The girls would stay put until the drum group began. They always sat in the bleachers at the Treaty Grounds and watched Darryl instruct the boys.
The girls waved, and he raised his hand. Although the Traditionalists Society’s mission was to preserve and teach the Anishinaabe ways, the reserve’s future women needed their own personal group that built character and pride. Starting a new job and concentrating on her addiction recovery left Raven little time for volunteering, but she did her best to engage the young ladies in cultural activities.
The diner door banged open. “How about the shore lunch special, sis? I’m starving.” Clayton promenaded to the counter.
“Okay. What about you?” Raven set some dirty glasses on her tray.
“Get me a ham sandwich on brown and the soup.” Darryl flipped the menu closed.
The nurses at the health station would sing his praises. Like a good boy, he’d stuck to his diabetic diet.
Clayton stood behind the counter. He grasped the coffee pot. “Want some?”
“Sure.” Darryl flipped over his mug.
Once Clayton poured, he sat. “I’m not surprised the deacon’s looking for another hand out. I bet he wants to drum up more support for his church. He’s scared we’ll yank the monthly donation now that you’re part of the leadership. He should be scared. The Society’s numbers are growing while the church’s are shrinking.”
Darryl shifted on the stool. He couldn’t fault Clayton’s frigid words. The guy was twelve years older and had served on band council three times, which meant voters supported him, and so did Auntie. “I assume you have something in mind.”
Clayton stared straight ahead at the cluttered shelves behind the back counter. “We have to reject their request at the meeting on Monday and—”
“I agree.” The reserve shouldn’t keep forking out money to the church. The diocese was responsible for their parishes. Darryl raised his mug and sipped.
“Maggie Blackbird’s debut novel hits it out of the ballpark. Well written, deep in eroticism, and two flawed but easy to love main characters. Highly recommended!” – 5 Stars – Valerie
**Only .99 cents!!**
Horizontal Bunny Hop
A Fairy in the Bed Book 2
by Lark Westerly
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Two flat batteries… and a fairy in her bed.
Single Mab spends her Easter birthday in the attic of a boutique hotel. Her sister’s joking gift of a Bunnyhopper sex toy provides some amusement until the batteries run out. Mab’s mad enough to make a wish. Enter Derry; a fairy with a taste for chocolate. Room Service has never been so much fun.
Mab’s allotted room was in the attic, so small the three-quarter bed took up almost all the floor space. The bathroom, a converted broom closet, was mostly shower stall. She’d have to keep her elbows clamped to her sides.
“Hmm,” said Mab. She had her sister’s friend to thank or to blame for this free weekend under the rafters. The way Mab understood it, Frances had won a mystery voucher for Easter weekend.
“She and I can’t use it because it’s for a single,” said Bess. “So—happy birthday, single sister.”
“Cheap bitch,” said Mab. “I don’t like singles holidays.”
“It’s not a singles holiday. It’s just accommodation for one for tonight and tomorrow. Check out Monday.”
“Dunno,” said Bess. “It’s a mystery voucher from a company called Vouch-Safe. You get collected, delivered and brought home.” She handed Mab a gift bag. “Here’s the rest of your presents. Your ride’s due in ten minutes.”
“Ten minutes! You—”
“Pack!” said Bess.
Mab shoved her giggling sister out the door.
She pushed a few necessities into an overnight bag, crammed the gift bag in with them, locked up the flat and hit the street just as a van pulled up outside. Vouch-Safe Mystery Weekends said the lettering. Mab assumed it was the promised ride.
She showed the voucher to the driver, a taciturn woman in her forties, and boarded the van.
It was packed with amorous couples.
Rub it in, won’t you, Mab scolded the universe. These evidently had couples’ vouchers.
The van had fixed cloth curtains, so Mab had no idea where they drove, only that it took a long time. Every so often, the van stopped to disgorge or embark another couple and once a single girl who never raised her eyes from her social media.
It was dark when the van stopped again.
“Voucher eleven,” said the driver, checking it against a passenger manifesto. “Flannigan House Boutique Hotel.”
Mab squeezed past two remaining couples and stepped out into a balmy evening.
Flannigan House Boutique Hotel lorded it over newer, smaller buildings, keeping them at arms’ length via a wide garden.
Mab checked in. “Voucher eleven? You’re in the attic,” said Reception, an efficient woman in her late twenties. “Here’s your key. Dial nine for Reception. No charge for any services. Enjoy your stay.”
Mab hoped the attic was a creative name for a top floor studio. She mounted the creaking stairs, and let herself in with the key. Oh. It was a literal attic.
She glanced at her phone. Eight P.M. She might go out on the town for dinner, but why not order in? It was freeeee!
Mab opened her bag and hung her hastily assembled clothes on the rail provided. She put her toilet bag in the broom closet bathroom. Then she turned her attention to the gift bag from Bess and unpacked her birthday luxuries. Out came a carrot-coloured, rabbit-shaped bottle of body lotion, a gift from her niece. So she’d smell of carrots. Next came a box of six miniature top-of-the-range silver-wrapped Easter eggs from her nephew. Her brother-in-law’s contribution was a mini bottle of genuine Dutch advocaat.
“Hmm,” said Mab. She’d never tasted advocaat, but she knew it was made with eggs. That figured.
The last gift, in discreet brown paper, bore a tiny label proclaiming itself as a Limited Edition Bunnyhopper. Obviously, Bess had ripped off the address label and dumped that one in the gift bag just as it came in the mail. They were all joke gifts, of course. Her family vied to find gifts with a nod to Mab’s Easter birthday. One year it was a live rabbit, living in lettuce and carrot bliss with her amiable ex, from whose sunny yard and devoted care Mab had not had the heart to remove it when their lives diverged two months before.
**Only .99 cents!!**
Prize 1 – $10 Gift Voucher to eXtasy Books Devine Destinies
Prize 2 – $5 Gift Voucher to eXtasy Books and Devine Destinies
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About the Authors
D.S. Dehel is a lover of photography, good food, and the Oxford comma. When she is not immersed in a book, she is mom to her kids and spoiling her rather pampered feline, Mr. Darcy. She can also be found at the gym training for her next Spartan race and generally avoiding all adult responsibility. She adores literary allusions, writing sex scenes, and British television. Her devoted husband is still convinced she writes children’s books. Please don’t enlighten him.
Taryn Jameson is a mother, artist, and avid reader who lives in an enchanted forest that sparks her imagination to create. Her latest outlet is the written word. She is the alter ego of cover artist Angela Waters.
She loved designing the covers for this series and thought it was a lot of fun bringing the Crimson Realm to life both with words and visually with the covers.
Gabriella Bradley lives in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, amidst rugged mountains. She more than often has a grizzly in her backyard searching for food. Other critters that visit on a regular basis are cougars, coyotes, squirrels, raccoons.
She has been a writer all of her life, though only ventured into erotic works in 2003. Her hobbies include hiking, gardening, swimming, sewing, embroidery. Favorite movies are old timers like Gone with the Wind, Spartacus etc. Favorite music is Abba.
An Ojibway from Northwestern Ontario, Maggie Blackbird resides in the country with her husband and their fur babies, two beautiful Alaskan Malamutes. When she’s not writing, she can be found pulling weeds in the flower beds, mowing the huge lawn, walking the Mals deep in the bush, teeing up a ball at the golf course, fishing in the boat for walleye, or sitting on the deck at her sister’s house, making more wonderful memories with the people she loves most.
Lark Westerly lives in the island state of Tasmania, a place of wind and rivers, wild places and hidden delights. She enjoys walking over the hills, gardening, collecting china dogs, listening to music and wallowing decadently in a hot bath. Lark has been married for some years, and has two grown children. She writes under a variety of names, and lives in many worlds- most of which don’t bear much resemblance to the 21st Century.