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Sweet Sacrifice

by

L.D. Rose

THE LEGEND OF THE SOUL MATE TREE:

I am old, I am ancient, my purpose is clear
To give those who are needy a treasure so dear.
They who come to my roots, touch my bark, stroke my leaves
Find the soul of their lives if they but believe.
When I call and you listen, your prize will be great
If your heart remains open and you don’t hesitate.
Do you yearn? Be you lonely? Is your time yet at hand?
Reach for me and I’ll give to you. I’m yours to command.
For your trust, for your faith, keep my secrets untold
And I’ll gift you forever, to have and to hold.

An ancient legend spanning eras, continents, and worlds. To some, it’s nothing more than a dream. To others, a pretty fairy tale handed down through the generations.

For those in critical need of their own happy ending, a gift.

Former Navy SEAL Sebastian “Bash” Lockard died in Afghanistan after leaping on a grenade to save his comrades. Little did he know his act of heroism would grant him a ticket into Heaven’s elite army as one of the few and powerful Archangels. Struggling with his new existence, Bash still retains his human memories, leaving behind a wife he loves with all of his heart. Although he’s forbidden to see her, he can’t resist her lure, or the mortal desires he harbors for her.

As a young widow and nurse, Irene Lockard still mourns her husband two years after his untimely death. His absence is everywhere, and when her best friend weds, she hits an emotional rock bottom. As if summoned from the skies above, Sebastian appears before her, and they share an unforgettable night. But when he once again vanishes, she wonders if she’s truly gone mad with grief.

The only way Sebastian can remain with Irene is if he makes the ultimate sacrifice. But will she overcome her fear of losing him again to another war?

Excerpt:

Her eyes snapped open, her vision blanketed by huge white feathers, before a giant wing shoved her back. Her arms flailed as she fell hard on her tailbone, the impact rattling up her spine and clacking her jaw shut.

Pain and awareness ripped into her, the veil of fantasy torn from her eyes as she gawked at the rail in front of her.

She was outside. In the dark. Ready to jump from her hotel balcony.

Her sharp intake of air scraped her ears, her heart kicking against her ribcage as she covered her gaping mouth with her hand. Holy shit. Did I sleepwalk? Was she really about to plummet to her death from fourteen stories high?

And did a huge bird just save her life?

Backpedaling across the concrete, the air cool against her thighs now that she’d nearly torn her dress in half, she hit the glass of the sliding balcony doors. Reaching up with a shaking hand, she clutched the handle and pulled herself haphazardly to her feet, yanking the door open and stumbling inside. She slammed it shut behind her, the glass rattling from the force of the blow as she flipped the lock closed. Retreating farther, she toppled onto the bed, staring at the night outside with growing horror.

She recounted her steps from when she’d arrived at the hotel. The elevator, the housekeeper, entering the room, sitting, crying, falling asleep, the river, the blood, the panic, the tree—

The tree.

Climbing the tree, touching its leaves, remembering . . .

A loud thump hit the balcony outside, muted by the thick glass. Her bleary eyes shot to the figure standing on the ledge and she released a cross between a sob and a shriek, then stifled her mouth with a hand.

Tall, bare-chested, his suit jacket and shirt bunched in his fist as he tossed them aside. Tattoos covered his arms, shoulders, and the base of his neck. Closer now, she discerned the pattern of inked wings, pale muscles rippling, lines and cuts he’d never worn before. His dark hair fell a little longer on top, disheveled from the wind, his face still carved with gorgeous edges, but thinner, wearier. His eyes were black holes, endless, consuming. Infinite.

Sebastian.

His knuckles rapped on the glass, the sound sending a terrified jolt into her nervous system. His eyes bore into hers, cutting through the darkness.

“Reen. Open the door.”

Reen. Her nickname rumbled from his lips, his voice still that resonant timbre she adored. God, some nights she’d pleaded to hear that sound again, just to listen to him speak one last time.

This had to be another dream. He had to be a dream. She was hallucinating.

Christ, had Phillipe spiked her drink?

“Reen.” He grasped the handle, tugged on it, his inked bicep contracting. “I know you see me.”

She couldn’t move, nailed to the bed with fear, paralyzed by disbelief. He pressed both palms flat on the glass, big hands with callused fingers, hands that had memorized every part of her body. He broke eye contact, dipping his head as he murmured, “Please, baby. Let me in.”

As if his plea granted her motor skills, Irene was suddenly on her feet, hurrying across the carpet toward him. She struggled to control her shaking hands, trembles reverberating through her entire body. It took her three tries to flip the latch, and then she backed away, recoiling, afraid of this man who looked so much like her dead lover.

He pulled the slider open in a smooth, fluid movement, the cool ocean breeze escaping into the airless hotel. Setting his sights on her, he stepped over the threshold, his presence filling the room, overwhelming her entirely. When her back hit the main door, the opportunity to flee opened up wide, but she stilled as his scent wafted into her nostrils, a blend of sandalwood and her husband.

Sebastian. Her Sebastian.

The slider closed behind him, the finality of the sound echoing through her bones, and she couldn’t run.

Not from him. Never from him.

An almost strangled sigh escaped him and he swallowed hard, his Adam’s apple bobbing in his throat. A gut-wrenching pain glittered in his dark eyes while he drank her in, his gaze skittering over her from head to toe, as if reacquainting himself with his broken disaster of a wife.

Finally, he approached her in the dark, closing the distance between them, and she pressed harder against the door. If he held her, if he so much as touched her, she would be lost to him, squandering any semblance of sanity she’d managed to retain in these awful years without him.

Blistering tears flowed freely down her cheeks as he halted mere inches away, so close, so goddamn close his warmth radiated off his bare chest. He lifted a hand and she flinched, stopping him as if she’d slapped him. The pained expression on his face yanked a wretched sob from her throat, and she just couldn’t believe it, couldn’t believe he stood right there in front of her.

The medal, the flag, the decorated casket, the salute . . . had it all been a lie?

His finger brushed her cheek, tentative, soft, waiting for her to strike. When she didn’t, he cupped her face in his hand, his skin still rough and callused, wiping away her tears with his thumb. She leaned into his touch, unable to resist his warmth, and he framed her face with his free hand, staring into her eyes with a need so raw it stole what little breath she had left in her burning lungs.

“My God.” He whispered the words, as if he didn’t have the strength to give them voice. “I’ve missed you.”

Links:   Sweet Sacrifice

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074KJTJT8/

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B074KJTJT8/

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B074KJTJT8/

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/d/B074KJTJT8/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35912787-sweet-sacrifice

Pinterest Board: https://www.pinterest.com/writerldrose/sweet-sacrifice/

Spotify Playlist: https://open.spotify.com/user/12150626565/playlist/4nG0R3mLB36hP2osulBBJp

 

Book Trailer for The Soul Mate Tree Series:

Bio:

      L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a PAN member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.
Sign up for her newsletter for the latest on the Senary, sneak peeks, giveaways, and other fun stuff: http://eepurl.com/bKvuXD. You’ll receive a free horror short story with sign-up!
You can also join her reader group on FB for more shenanigans. 😉 DEVOUR THE NIGHT: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1544747369161573/

Find L.D. at:

Website      Amazon       Facebook       Author page       Twitter       Goodreads       Instagram       Pinterest      Tumblr       BookBub

Other blogs/info on The Soul Mate Tree books:

Soul Mate Tree Page

Book One: Realm of the Dragon, by CiCi Cordelia, Blog post

Book Two: Can’t Stop the Music, by C.D. Hersh, Blog post

Book Three: Between Venus and Mars, by S.C. Mitchell, Blog post

Book Four: The Trail to Love, by Tina Susedik, Blog post

Book Five: Make Me a Match, by Mackenzie Lucas, Blog post

Book Six: A Promise Remembered, by Erin Riley, Blog post

Book Seven: Never Give Up On Love, by Maggie Mundy, Blog post

Book Eight:Once Upon a Lady by Addie Jo Ryleigh, Blog post

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Friday Features

Talking with H/H of

Releasing the Demons

By

L.D. Rose

 

Hi! Thanks for joining us on Friday Features Blog Series.

Today’s interview is with Blaze Knight, a half-vampire mercenary from the Order of the Senary, and Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective from south Bronx, NY. They’re here today after their many adventures from RELEASING THE DEMONS, talking to C.D. Hersh!

How did you two meet?

*both exchange looks and laugh*

Blaze: *jerks his thumb at Valerie* She arrested me.

Valerie: For good reason, even if he wasn’t the right guy!

Blaze: I was definitely not the right guy.

Valerie: *pitches a sigh* I’m never going to live this down, am I?

Blaze: Nope.

What attracted you to her? Him?

Blaze: Her eyes. Always her eyes. Everything else was just a bonus.

Valerie: *blushes* Honestly, I was completely terrified of him when we first met. And even though it took him awhile to show it, he’s a good man…an amazing man, really. I couldn’t resist someone who sacrificed so much for those he loved.

Were there any fireworks in the first kiss? If so, how big?

Blaze: *lifts eyebrows above his sunglasses* Very big. It was more like a bomb went off.

Valerie: *turns bright red* Let’s just say it led to many more firsts…

When was your first kiss?

Blaze: Not too long after we met. *chuckles* When she finally started giving me the time of day.

Valerie: *whacks his arm playfully* Stop it! It was when he first came to my place. He made up some excuse to check my apartment and make sure it was safe then ended up staying the night.

What was your first date? What do you remember most about it?

*both of them laugh and say in unison* We never had a date.

What was the first meal you shared?

Blaze: Blueberry pancakes, eggs and coffee. She made it, even though I insisted on picking something up.

Valerie: He tried to convince me to let him cook, but I’m sure he would’ve burned down the entire apartment complex. Besides, I actually enjoy cooking when I have time for it.

Name three things that irritate you about him? Her?

Blaze: She’s a stubborn shit.

Valerie: No, you are!

Blaze: And she never asks for help.

Valerie: Neither do you!

Blaze: And she’s a neat freak.

Valerie: He’s a slob!

Blaze: *shrugs* I’m just messy.

Valerie: *rolls her eyes* My only major qualm was his smoking. But he’s quit now. Or he’s attempting to quit.

Blaze: *sticks another piece of gum in his mouth* Mmmhmm.

Where will you live?

Blaze: She’s living with me and my brothers at a compound in New Rochelle, NY.

Valerie: *laughs* It’s a country club disguised as a barracks.

Blaze: You love it. *looks back at C.D.* She loves it.

Valerie: Not denying that. I moved out of my apartment in Marble Hill, so it’s definitely a step up.

Are you going to start a family soon?

*they both shake their heads in unison*

Valerie: I refuse to bring a child into the world we live in, not when we’re constantly fighting an uphill battle against the leeches. It’s too dangerous and our lifestyle isn’t exactly safe. Definitely not an environment to raise a baby in.

Blaze: *laughs* I can’t even take care of myself, never mind a kid!

Thanks for visiting with us Valerie and Blaze.

*they respond in unison* This was fun.

Now for a little bit about RELEASING THE DEMONS, a dark paranormal romance and the first novel in The Order of the Senary series.

HOOK:

Hell-bent on revenge, Blaze is out to set the world on fire, and Valerie is the only one who can tame him. Will she pull him back from the brink or fall headlong into his dark past?20150918 RELEASING THE DEMONS2_505x825 (2)

BOOK BLURB:

Blaze Knight has been through hell and back, but the nightmares aren’t over yet.

Five years after Blaze was maimed by Cyrus Chimola, a powerful vampire with a penchant for torture, he’s still trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered life. As a genetically engineered mercenary with the ability to bend fire to his will and to see in infrared, Blaze’s mission is to protect what’s left of humanity. When Chimola and his crew return to the Bronx gunning for Blaze’s blood, Blaze is forced to face the demons of his past. Hell-bent on revenge, he seeks the help of Valerie Medeiros, an NYPD detective who manages to steal his heart and save his life in more ways than one.

Motivated by her sister’s gruesome death, Valerie has made it her life’s goal to bury every vampire in the ground where they belong. When she brings in Blaze Knight for suspected murder, she discovers he’s not only innocent, he isn’t a man at all—he’s a half-vampire hybrid working with a band of brothers for the U.S. military. Valerie has a hard time trusting anything with fangs, yet she quickly falls headlong into Blaze’s life, a life full of darkness and horror she can’t even begin to fathom. The bodies are stacking up, but Valerie can’t seem to let go of this hybrid, a beautiful monster filled with pain, rage, and passion unlike anything she’s ever known.

In a world where the line between good and evil is blurred, Blaze and Valerie will find danger at every turn, risking everything they’ve come to know and love, including one another.

EXCERPT:

Valerie kept her eyes locked on the glass windows covered with cigarette prices and beer ads, watching Tattoos pay up at the cash register. Once she reached the side of the building, she pressed her back against the warm brick wall. Sweat trickled down her spine and she wiped her clammy hands on her jeans before she drew her Beretta. She listened for the bell hanging above the store entrance, and when it jingled, she peered past the corner of the building.

There he is.

Holding a pack of Marlboros, he slipped it into his back pocket along with a silver money clip. He walked back toward the Chevelle, scanning the area one more time as he stepped off the concrete elevation.

This is it. Do it. Now!

With her gun pointed at the ground in a two-handed grip, Valerie pushed off the wall and turned the corner, staring at his back. Her voice was loud and clear as she called, “Blaze.”

He stopped and pivoted around. A fleeting expression of confusion filled his face, but it quickly turned into shock as she lifted her gun and shouted, “Freeze, NYPD!”

Gasps and shouts resounded as everyone turned their attention on her. Some people ducked while others gawked, and she wished they would just climb into their cars and get the hell out of here. She did her best to ignore them, keeping her focus solely on the man before her as she carefully approached him. He didn’t make any sudden movements, his brow furrowing as a muscle in his jaw ticked.

Valerie flashed her badge to prove she wasn’t bullshitting. “Get your hands in the air where I can see them.”

He slowly lifted his arms and spread his hands out wide. Then spoke with a voice like black gravel, matching his appearance all too well. “What’s going on here?”

She closed in on him, his presence becoming more and more overwhelming. Sirens resonated in the distance, sending a trickle of relief through her. He didn’t appear armed but that didn’t mean jack.

“Turn around and get down on the ground. Now!”

Anger consumed the confusion on his face but he surprisingly complied, giving her his back again before dropping to his knees with his hands above his head.

She kept her gun aimed and her mind submerged in the well of her calm. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d arrested someone; she usually shot to kill. “Cross your ankles,” she ordered, and he did so, crossing his booted ankles as if he’d done this before.

Valerie placed her foot in the space between his legs, so if he attempted to stand he would end up flat on his face. People finally backed away as she removed her tungsten carbide handcuffs from her utility belt, gripping the Beretta with knuckles white as chalk. Tungsten carbide was the only metal strong enough to hold a vampire, but she used it on everyone, regardless of species. Two New Rochelle cruisers whipped into the gas station, blocking off both exits before four officers leapt out of their respective vehicles. Valerie put the gun up and cuffed Blaze’s dominant hand, swinging his right arm around before latching onto the left.

He didn’t put up a fight. He didn’t even flinch. But he balled his big hands into fists at his back. She read him his Miranda rights as she cinched the cuffs around both of his thick wrists.

“You have the right to remain silent—”

“I have the right to know what’s going on,” he growled, showing her his savage profile.

“Anything you do or say can be used against you in a court of law.”

“What are you arresting me for?”

“You have the right to an attorney.”

“Fuck the attorney—”

She yanked the chain of his cuffs, bringing his solid body against her as the faint scent of cologne tickled her nose. She leaned into his ear, anger flashing through her as she thought of bloody grass and charred flesh.

“You’re under arrest for the murder of Elena Delgado. Now get the fuck up and move.”

BUY LINKS:

Amazon US: http://amzn.com/B013GVCC7I

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B013GVCC7I

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26063603-releasing-the-demons

Now a little about L.D. Rose and where to find her.

BIO:20150918 LD Rose Headshot

L.D. Rose is a neurotic physician by day, crazed writer by night, and all around wannabe superhero. She writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy, but she’s been known to delve into horror, sci-fi, and medical suspense on occasion. L.D. Rose is a member of the RWA, FF&P, NEC-RWA and CoLoNY. She currently lives in Rhode Island with her studly hubby, her hyperactive boxer, and her two devious cats.

Website: writerldrose.com

Facebook: facebook.com/writerldrose

Author page: facebook.com/ldroseauthorpage

Twitter: twitter.com/ld_rose

Goodreads: goodreads.com/ldrose

Pinterest: pinterest.com/writerldrose

Tumblr: writerdoc.tumblr.com

 

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