Friday, November 10, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Cover reveal and Release date for Scandals With Bite Book 6!!

If you're subscribed to my Newsletter, you've already seen it... which is another good reason to subscribe, since I suck at blogging.

Anyway, without further ado... here it is!

The Highwayman's Bite Releases December 5th!

You can PreOrder it on:
Google Play

An excerpt will be posted on the "Coming Soon" page of my website, so you can stalk that, or subscribe to my newsletter, because my excerpts are released there first.

I'm also expecting release date news on Hearts of Metal Book 5 any day now.

And speaking of Hearts of Metal, I have a freebie offer going on that I will talk about soon.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Cover and Title Reveal for Hearts of Metal Book 5!

I've been quiet for most of August, being busy fighting writer's block, then I went on a small road trip, and THEN I started designing the cover of Scandals With Bite book 6! The reveal and release date are sooner than you think.
In the meantime, my editor sent me the finalized cover for Hearts of Metal book 5!

What do you think? 
I can't wait until it comes out. So far it looks like it will be out in mid to late September, but with small presses, you never know. I will tell you as soon as I either hear a date, or if my publisher decides to just spontaneously release it like they did with Rock God.
Speaking of Rock God, in the epilogue, you see that Quinn's little sister gets on Bleeding Vengeance's tour bus with none other than reputed man-whore, Cliff Tracey. 
Forbidden Song is the story that unfolds from there, where you'll learn that things aren't always what they seem.
Back to Scandals With Bite, one of the books was approved for a free deal on Bookbub on September 9th, so please follow me there to be notified! LINK Here!
Honestly, lots of awesome book stuff will be going down next month, so stay tuned!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Last chance to enter! Contest ends on the 30th!


Hey, everyone! I'm doing an awesome giveaway over at Fresh Fiction! I'll be giving away a signed paperback of Unleashing Desire and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Go HERE to enter! 

Also, I'll have news about my Hearts of Metal series forthcoming soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Metal and Mistletoe on sale for 99 cents!

Hey, everyone!
Today is chaos for me. The deadline for Hearts of Metal book 5 is tomorrow and I still have to finish the last chapter and epilogue. My publisher is holding an awesome party today too, (More on that later)
And my interracial, death metal, Christmas romance is on sale for 99 cents at the Borough's site... which means you can get formats that work no matter what country you're in!
Get it HERE!
Now back to the party. It's on Facebook and every author has a half hour slot where they're giving away prizes. I go on at 8:30 Eastern. Come say Hi!
Link to the party is here.
My next newsletter will hopefully have the cover reveal and release date for the next Hearts of Metal book. 
...And maybe a tidbit about the next Scandals With Bite book too!
Until then, I hope to see you at the party and have a great summer!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Christmas in July is coming with lots of giveaways!

Fun News, you guys!

Boroughs, the publisher who oversees my Hearts of Metal series, is having a Christmas in July party on Facebook, where multiple authors, including yours truly, will be doing tons of giveaways!

Go to this link: to join in the fun!
In other good news, I've reached the 90% mark on Hearts of Metal book 5. I'm warning you, you're not going to like Quinn in this one, but we'll see if he starts being reasonable at the end.
Then I'm taking a week or so off to pick huckleberries so we can make more syrup, jam, and jelly.
I hope everyone's having a good summer and I'll talk you you again soon!
Thank you so much for being one of my readers.

Brooklyn Ann

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and an autographed copy of Unleashing Desire!


Hey, everyone! I'm doing an awesome giveaway over at Fresh Fiction! I'll be giving away a signed paperback of Unleashing Desire and a $25 Amazon Gift Card. Go HERE to enter! 

Also, I'll have news about my Hearts of Metal series forthcoming soon, so stay tuned!

Friday, June 30, 2017

One Bite Per Night is on sale until July 3rd!

My publisher has my 2nd Scandals with Bite novel, ONE BITE PER NIGHT on sale for $1.99. It's a regency vampire romance where I have a lot of fun playing with the guardian/ward trope.

You can get it on: 
Here's the Blurb: 
                                                        He wanted her off his hands...
Vincent Tremayne, the reclusive "Devil Earl," has been manipulated into taking rambunctious Lydia Price as his ward. As Lord Vampire of Cornwall, Vincent has better things to do than bring out an unruly debutante.
Now he'll do anything to hold on forever
American-born Lydia Price doesn't care for the stuffy strictures of the ton, and is unimpressed with her foppish suitors. She dreams of studying with the talented but scandalous British portrait painter, Sir Thomas Lawrence. But just when it seems her dreams will come true, Lydia is plunged into Vincent's dark world and finds herself caught between the life she's known and a future she never could have imagined.
Still need more convincing? Check out this hilarious review:
Donna C on Lit Bites wrote:
"While my taste for sexy times in books is growing, the more traditional bodice rippers have really never done it for me. I like historical fiction and I like sex but that particular time period just isn’t my forte. Worlds of the ancients, yes. Regency era propriety? No. I’m not big on the traditional romance coming out of that time either, like Austen or the Bronte sisters so really, no surprise. It’s all a yawnfest for me, despite the sex.
Until Laura found a hidden gem on NetGalley that I was in no position to deny. Regency-era bodice ripper. WITH VAMPIRES. Yes. Immediately, yes. Because vampires make ANYTHING better. The sexytimes escalate, the bodices get even more ripped. NOTHING BAD COULD COME OF THIS. I knew it in my heart of hearts.
Now this is my first Regency-era bodice ripper. I have nothing to compare it to. But I know my writings and I know my plots and I know what works for me and what doesn’t so lets go from there, shall we?
The second the book started I was reading it with an accent in my head that kind of sounded like Shelby Foote, well to-do person from the upper echelons of the south that have a more cultured drawl about them. That was the tone of the book for me. And it fit oh so well. The over the top level of propriety and gasp and SCANDAL was just ungodly amusing to me as I sat there reading it, squealing in delight at the moments of SHAME and FLUTTER and QUIVERING THIGHS. Clutch the pearls, ladies. It’s wonderful.
It was very much over the top in terms of writing style but it fit. The story was over the top, the situation was over the top, the gasping and lack of propriety was over the top but you know what? I couldn’t get over the top enough. The sexual tension between Lydia and Vincent was extravagant and I just wanted to scream DO IT ALREADY. I’m imagining this is indicative of writing within the confines of this era because that tension was drawn OUT until no one involved, including this reader, could take it anymore. FINALLY it happened and oh steamy thigh quivering it was phenomenal.
Although I have to say when I think of things springing out I think of maybe a Jack in the Box or snakes in a can. Not an erection. When those start springing out I start thinking boi-oi-oi-oi-oi-oi-ing and then the mood is momentarily ruined. There were a couple of other instances were body parts were getting a little too technically described and it kind of ebbed the hotness of the situation but certainly not enough for me to stop reading. Never that.
I was engrossed in the scandal of the familially spurned Lydia, rejected pariah of the Morley family getting shunted on this Devil Earl and becoming a pawn in a competitive game of marriage. I was hooked by Vincent’s rather emo-Louis plight of being a vampire and the night world he lived in with Angelica and Ian, two rather incredibly awesome vampires that I need to read more about in book one of this series immediately. I wanted more sneakiness from some of the characters that would otherwise prove to be as straight-laced as they come. Oh the surprises!
I do wish there was a bit more focus on the vampire actions, though. That seems to be very much skirted over and left to the imagination. I don’t necessarily mind in this instance because I was so incredibly entertained otherwise but I usually like to see more vampireness where vampires are concerned. Although Vincent’s vampire powers were used quite often when he needed them.
I have found a new love in ONE BITE PER NIGHT and Brooklyn Ann’s work. I can’t wait to get my greedy little hands on more of it.
4 1/2"

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


It's here! Book 5 in my BRIDES of PROPHECY series has arrived!
You can get PLEADING RAPTURE on:
This was among the toughest books to write because of all the characters and subplots coming together. But I hope you all enjoy it!
I will be formatting the paperback this weekend and hope to have it available next week. I'm also in the process of putting together a cool Brides of Prophecy-themed prize pack! To be able to enter that giveaway, you'll have to sign up for my Newsletter.
So with all that work ahead of me, this newsletter will be short and sweet. But I'll have some discounts, giveaways, and other news coming soon!

Brooklyn Ann

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Exclusive Excerpt of PLEADING RAPTURE and discount on BITE ME, YOUR GRACE

I did it! I finished PLEADING RAPTURE on time! Between getting sick, going to RT, hurting my ankle, and fighting bouts of anxiety and depression, I was afraid I wouldn't make it. It releases on Monday on Amazon and Tuesday everywhere else.
You can get it on
I hope to have the paperback available in the next week or two.
And at the end of the newsletter, I'll have an exclusive excerpt.
In other awesome news, my publisher is doig another Scandals With Bite promo. Now BITE ME, YOUR GRACE is on sale for $1.99! It's been two years since they've put any of these on sale, so you'll want to get these while you can.
I think they might do another book next month, but I'm not 100% sure.
Wondering what these are? Well, I'll tell ya! Sexy Genius and I went to a rock and gem show and I picked up my favorite gem: Idaho star garnets. They can only be found in two places in the world. Northern Idaho, and someplace in India. Well, those of you who've read Conjuring Destiny also know that they were also found in Xochitl's mom's kingdom and Zareth polishes one and puts it on top of the mage's staff that he gives Xochitl. :)
I thought it would be cool to show you what they look like.
And I may just feature one of these in the big Brides of Prophecy themed giveaway I have planned this summer.
In other book-related news, I'm working on Hearts of Metal, book 5, which as I'd mentioned before, will be Cliff's book. I'm keeping the heroine under wraps for now, but I will say that you have met her in previous books. ;)
After that, I hope to start my next Scandals with Bite book. There will only be two more books in that series, and it's going to be tough to say goodbye. So tough that a spin-off is not off the table.
I also need to come up with another series idea for my agent to pitch. I wonder where my muse will lead me.
Until then, I will talk to you all on Tuesday with my release announcement and leave you with this excerpt of PLEADING RAPTURE:

Chapter One

Aurora Lee, drummer of Rage of Angels and de facto band manager, took a deep hit of a joint and looked up at the red gold sunset in the sky of Aisthanesthai. Even after nearly seven months in this world, it was a trip.
Speaking of trips... she looked back at the courtyard where Xochitl, lead singer of the band and Aurora’s best friend was learning to fly. But it wasn’t the sight of the black and silver wings sprouting from her friend’s back that tripped Aurora out. Xochitl was always so weird. Aurora wasn’t surprised to discover that her friend wasn’t human. Instead, those wings and her magic explained a lot of unanswered questions.
When she learned that Xochitl wasn’t human, Aurora was relieved to finally have an explanation for her friend’s otherness. However, a wave of pity clenched her heart. While growing up in a practically all white town, it had been difficult for Aurora to have some time with other black people, especially since her love of heavy metal caused her to be alienated by many of her race. But Xochitl didn’t have any of her people growing up. They’d long been wiped of the face of the Earth and they’d been exterminated from Zareth’s world before she was born. Her mother had moved to Earth to keep her hidden. As a result, humans shunned Xochitl without her understanding why. It wasn’t until she met Sylvis, and later Aurora and Beau, that Xochitl even had any friends.
No, what was tripping out Aurora’s world was the sight of Xochitl’s mother teaching her. Kerainne Leonine had died five years ago. Aurora and her parents had gone to the funeral. Had seen the coffin lowered into the ground. Her mom and dad had taken Xochitl, Sylvis, Beau, Aurora, and their new friend Akasha out to Denny’s afterward, where they had cried, commiserated, and shared memories of the loving preschool teacher who had treated the whole band as her own children.
Yet when Xochitl had sunk into a coma after first sprouting her wings and killing Zareth’s half-brother—who’d been intent on world domination—Kerainne had waltzed into the sorcerer’s tower, alive and serene with wings of pearl and gold, and awakened her daughter. Aurora had cried like a little baby at the sight of her.
Apparently luminites— which is what Kerainne was— were truly immortal. When their bodies died, they transcended to their home realm and formed another body. But Kerainne couldn’t just go poof back to Earth, standing next to the shell of her old body. So Xochitl had mourned her for years, never knowing that her mom was still alive. Aurora thought it was kinda shitty of her not to tell her daughter that she wouldn’t truly be dead, yet at the same time, knowing how good and honorable she was, Kerainne had to have had good reason for keeping quiet on that.
However, Aurora was still a little salty about Kerainne never telling her, Beau, or Sylvis that they too had luminite blood running through their veins. Aurora had always felt different. And it wasn’t just a matter of her skin color. It had been a palpable, lonely sense of being an outsider until she’d met her band.
One of her braids was yanked sharply, pulling her from her thoughts and almost making her drop the joint. “Ow! What the fuck?”
Beau laughed above her. “Are you going to camp on that doobie all night?”
“Shit, I’m sorry.” She passed him the joint. “I’m just tripping out on Kerainne.”
“Me too.” Beau took a hit and returned to his task of beading Aurora’s hair. “I can’t believe she’s here.”
“Do you think she’ll be able to come with us when we go back home?” Maybe they could get Kerainne a fake ID or something. She could stay in Seattle with them, and if they kept pictures of her off social media so no one from Idaho saw her, they should be good.
“Who says we’re going back?” Beau said as he passed her the joint. “We have it good here. Xochitl is the queen of the world, the people here adore us, and we’re finally learning more about what we are. Art’s been telling me—”
Aurora held up a hand, sick to death of hearing the latest about Artavian, the Wurrak healer who’d attended Xochitl during her coma and was now acting as Zareth’s apprentice. Beau had the hots for him, and would not shut up about him even though he didn’t have the balls to find out which way the guy swung. “We have a career back home, not to mention friends and family wondering where the hell we are.”
Guilt suffused her as the words poured out with more sorrow than she meant to reveal. Her family probably thought she was dead. Dad was probably grief-stricken, and though Aurora and her mom rarely saw eye to eye, Loretta Lee loved her and was probably heartbroken. And then there was her brother and Grandma. Oh God, she didn’t want to think of how Grandma had felt when the band had disappeared. And how had she found out? Had Mom called the police after Aurora hadn’t answered the phone? Or had she heard about their disappearance on the news?
“Yeah, and we’ll have a breach of contract lawsuit slapped on us the moment we set foot back on Earth, not to mention the press in our faces demanding a story we can’t tell,” Beau said glumly.
“So?” Aurora snapped, taking another hit. One thing she could say about this world was that it had excellent weed. “We can make up some sort of bullshit excuse, pay whatever settlement the lawyers agree on, and go on making music. It’s not like we don’t have money. And if it’s astronomical, Silas would float us another loan. He’s rich as fuck, and knows we’re good for it.”
Beau made a noncommittal sound. “But what about when we have to come back here? Xochitl has responsibilities as a ruler, there’s the Prophecy saying we have to prepare for a war, and the people here like our music. Remember when the Kanuri ambassadors came to hear you play?” Beau finished a braid and started the next.
Aurora blew out a puff of smoke and nodded. They had been black like her, and their priestess had borne an eerie resemblance to her grandmother, who was an honest to goodness voodoo priestess. The Kanuri priestess had examined her palms, her hair, and even smelled her before declaring her to be of their blood. And their response to her drumming had verged on rapture. “They wanted me to go live with them, which would have been interesting, except they wanted me to marry one of their shamans. I’m not interested in marriage at the moment, much less a marriage where I have to learn a whole new culture and language. Although it is cool that the women are in charge in their country.” She passed Beau the smoldering stump of a joint and continued driving her concerns, which writhed inside her, more restless every day. “Xochitl wants to go home too. She says she has a feeling, and I don’t think we should ignore it like we did when she was acting weird before Halloween. We know how that went.”
Beau nodded. “You might have a point.”
“Mmm-hmmm.” She did, and she pressed it. “Besides, who says we have to deal with things in Seattle right away? Whenever Xochitl asks Zareth to teach her how to create a portal, she talks about Coeur d’Alene. About Silas and Akasha, about my folks, about your mom.”
“Pssh.” Beau flicked the roach onto the grass and ground it out with his boot. “Mom and I barely talked before all this. But I do miss Silas and Akasha. Razvan too.”
They heard Xochitl yell, “I’m doing it!” Her great black wings carried her upward, coasting on an air current, but then she flapped awkwardly like a baby bird and dropped like a rock onto the grass, right next to the edge of Zareth’s nightmare forest.
They all flinched at the solid thud.
Xochitl groaned as her mother rushed to her side. Aurora would have gone to help too, if her friend hadn’t landed so close to the forest. Whenever Aurora went near it, ghosts poured from the trees and flocked around her. And only her. They didn’t bug the others.
Xochitl scrambled to her feet, closed her eyes, and took a few deep breaths before the wings melted into her back. “Fuck this, I’m done for the night.”
Aurora and Beau watched her slink off with her mom at her tail. The moment they passed from view, Beau met her gaze and they burst into maniacal laughter.
“Oh hell,” Aurora said, wiping tears from her eyes. “I know we’re assholes for laughing at her fall, but that just looked too damned funny!”
“She would have laughed too,” Beau countered. “And anyway, we can blame it on the weed.”
Still, under unspoken agreement, they remained out on the grass even as the sky grew darker and the light from the tower windows wasn’t enough to help Beau with his braiding job. Just in case their friend heard them laughing at her fall.
The door behind them opened and Sylvis emerged, shaking her head. “Even though you’re outside, it still smells like you guys sacrificed a skunk.”
“Yeah. Zareth has good shit,” Aurora said agreeably. Sylvis was usually the straight arrow of the four of them, but when that girl decided to let loose, she blew them all out of the water. Aurora would never forget the time that Sylvis shocked them all by dancing naked in the rain after they did a show in Thailand. Damn, they’d been lucky no one was around with a camera.
“Hey,” Sylvis interrupted the memory, running a hand through her blue hair, which had begun to grow out and show her brown roots. “Do you think it’s about time we asked Zareth if we could go home?”
Before Aurora could answer, the unmistakable roar of Xochitl’s Datsun tore the peaceful night air.
“Xochitl!” Zareth’s shout echoed through the obsidian walls of the tower.
Sylvis, Aurora, and Beau ran across the grass around the tower to see the blue Datsun burn rubber down the cobblestone courtyard. Suddenly, a purple-tinged white oval of light appeared in front of the car and grew into a gaping mouth that swallowed the car whole.
Aurora didn’t think. She ran to the portal and dove in. A flash of bright violet light blinded her as gravity disappeared. She tried to shuffle back, but she didn’t know which way was back, or up, or down. But it was too late for that anyway.

I Hope you enjoyed the excerpt. PLEADING RAPTURE releases Monday on Amazon and Tuesday everywhere else! You can pre-order it on:
Thank you so much for being one of my readers! ((Hugs))
Brooklyn Ann

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Snag the Brides of Prophecy Box Set for 99 cents!

I have a Bookbub deal going on! My Brides of Prophecy Box Set is 99 cents!
You can snag it on
I didn't do the deal for Google play because they delayed the price changing so much that they messed up some other vendors on my last deal.
Also, if you could follow me on Bookbub, it would help immensely with me getting approved for future deals. I'm trying to arrange a discount for Wynter's Bite in the near future and more followers will make that more likely to happen.

In other news, I'm packing up for the RT Booklover's Convention at the Hyatt in Atlanta

Here are my main appearances:
Brooklyn Ann will be signing at the Giant Book Fair Saturday, May 6, 11am-2pm. The book fair is open to the public
Brooklyn Ann will be participating in the FAN-tastic Day Party, Saturday, May 6, 6-7:30 pm.
And then I'll be signing MORE books at the RT READERS AND WRITERS ROUNDUP on Sunday from 10 am to 1pm. This one is open to convention attendees and those who buy a ticket for the signing. I'll have the most books at that one.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Love in the City Book Feature. Free and 99 cent books!

I am so glad that spring is finally here! Well, it's still cold and rainy in Coeur d'Alene, but Sexy Genius and I are partially glad for that... I'll tell you why later.
And speaking of Coeur d'Alene... I'm in an author group called "Binders Full of Women Romance Writers" because with a name like that, who can resist? Anyway, one of the authors suggested that a bunch of us put together a sale of our various-genred romances around a theme. And she said books that take place in a city will be featured. 
So I'm in. Because even though Coeur d'Alene is no Paris or New Orleans, it has its own beauty and is strongly featured in my Brides of Prophecy Series.
The "Love in the City Sale" is a one stop page where you can pick out free and 99 cent romances in every genre from Christian to Western to Paranormal to Erotic. Check it out here!
But I'm sure most of you already have my freebie, Wrenching Fate, so I'm more sharing this so you can check out all the other fun stuff.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Excerpt of Pleading Rapture and other fun news.

Anyway, I'm about a third of the way through PLEADING RAPTURE and it's coming along pretty well, though I've had to stop a few times to do research about the kinds of things a black woman has to deal with when she's in the heavy metal world. I read the most fantastic book about that very thing. If you're interested, it's called "What are you doing here?" a Black Woman's Life in Heavy Metal.
It was a real eye opener, to say the least. Being a woman in the male-dominated metal world is tough, but if you're a woman of color, you have a whole new layer of difficulty. I am in awe of the women featured in Laina Dawes's book.
Anyway, back to the book. I'll have an excerpt for you below.
Also, PLEADING RAPTURE is available for preorder!
You can get it on 
Something awesome that happened is that I won these METAL business cards! 
I'm going to come up with some way for people to get one at the RT Convention in May.
In other news, Wynter's Bite has been nominated for Cover of the month over at All Author. If you vote for it HERE, you'll be entered in the giveaway.
We've also been having some crazy flooding at the lake. If you read the excerpt, this video shows where Aurora pops out of the portal back to Coeur d'Alene. Of course, it's not flooded in the story because it's June.

Speaking of the excerpt, here it is!
(Not quite the beginning of the book, but I thought I'd start where Aurora's action does.)
Soft grass cushioned Aurora’s fall. She struggled to sit up, but her head spun from passing through the portal. Closing her eyes, she counted to ten. When the dizziness passed, she sat up and looked around. Xochitl’s car was nowhere to be seen, but the light from the moon and lamp posts made her realize that she knew where she was, the Fort Sherman Park. The wooden fencing and little fort structure brought back memories of her and her friends climbing the fort and going down the slide at night, when there were no kids around to point out that they were too big for that.
She peered around and saw no sign of Xochitl’s car. Had it gone off toward the lake or to the parking lot? She didn’t see any tire marks on the grass. Maybe she’d dropped from the portal in a different part of town since she and Xochitl weren’t connected when she jumped in after her. Hell, she didn’t even know if Xochitl had seen her running behind the Datsun.
Aurora scrambled to her feet and stretched, groaning as her back popped. At least she knew where Xoch’ would go. With no family here, Silas and Akasha were all she had. Well, she could possibly go to Sylvis’s parents’ place, or even Aurora’s, but that was doubtful. No one tolerated Xochitl’s weirdness more than Silas and ‘Kash. That’s why they all practically lived there until they moved to Seattle.
Music and laughter from a distance reached her ears. Aurora turned around and saw a glimpse of light from the beach ahead. Was there some sort of party going on over there? She perked up. Maybe someone there had a phone she could use. Hopefully Akasha hadn’t changed her number in the last six months.
As she crossed the park and came to the sidewalk and short concrete wall that separated the park from the beach, she had to do a double take. Instead of bikinis, shorts, and tank tops, the people there were decked out in tuxedos and fancy gowns. Tables were set out on the edges with fancy glasses and plates with slices of a big white cake. Now it made sense. This was a wedding party. She wondered if they’d needed a permit, or if you could just head out to the beach and do it. Maybe that was why it was going on at night, so they didn’t have sunbathers and kids and swimmers in their way.
Oh well. Someone would have a phone. And maybe they’d let her have a piece of cake and a glass of champagne. The munchies and cotton mouth were kicking in from that blunt she’d smoked with Beau. She hefted her leg over the short concrete barrier and hopped onto the sand.
As she neared the party, a man split off from the group and approached her.
Aurora sucked in a breath as he passed under the lights strung up around the area. He wore a tailored suit that clearly did not come off the rack and hugged a fit frame that she knew would be a work of art beneath the cloth. His hair was almost shoulder length, black and wavy, framing a face that could have been stamped on a Roman coin. Eyes the color of coffee bored into hers.
When he spoke, her knees went weak at the rich timbre of his voice. “What brings you out to the beach at this hour?”
“I… um…” Aurora swallowed, trying to find sensible words. Not only was it impossible to say that she’d been dumped in the park by a portal, but it was hard to speak period to a man as luscious as this. And then came the old wariness as she remembered where she was. A town that was ninety-eight percent white… a town where about ten percent of those people hated her race. She peered back up at him, looking for that tell tale gleam of scorn or disgust at seeing a black person. All she saw was mild curiosity and something else that made heat flood to her belly. He wasn’t exactly checking her out, but there was some sort of interest there. “Um, you didn’t happen to see a blue Datsun station wagon come by here, have you?”
His inky black brows drew together at the odd question. “No. I haven’t seen a Datsun wagon in years. A few Zs and pickups, though, but not tonight.” He had a trace of an accent that she couldn’t quite place. Somewhere back east, definitely. The hot guy stepped a bit closer, his features growing even more gorgeous as he came more into view. “Are you all right? You look a little disoriented.”
She nodded in agreement. “I suppose I am. Would you happen to have a phone? I need to call a friend and see if they can pick me up.”
“Not on me, I’m afraid. It ruins the lines.” He smoothed his hands down his suit.
“And what fine lines they are,” she blurted. Heat rushed to her cheeks. “I am so sorry, I couldn’t help myself.”
He chuckled, a low, velvety sound that should be rated for mature audiences only. “Forget about it. I am flattered.”
Another wave of dizziness made her knees buckle for a second. Clearly interdimensional travel and being high didn’t mix.
The man grasped her shoulder with a firm, but gentle hand. “Hey, are you okay?”
She nodded. “Yeah, just had a dizzy spell. I forgot to have dinner.” No way was she revealing to this classy, hunk of sexy that she was kinda baked. Not to mention the whole dropping through a portal into the park.
“Well, why don’t you sit down for a moment and I’ll bring you some cake. Would you like some champagne?”
“That would be wonderful.” Her mouth felt like Death Valley. “And could you…” she trailed off as he jogged back to the party before she could ask him to see if someone had a phone she could use. Everyone here probably had seven hundred dollar iPhones. Gone were the days of the cheap but sturdy Nokias.
Mr. Hottie McHotstuff returned with a large slice of cake and a delicate flute of champagne. Aurora thanked him and had to use every bit of her will not to gorge the cake like a heathen. But damn, that was good cake, white and fluffy with custard filling and cream cheese frosting. Even then, she was subconscious of every crumb that stuck to her lips.
“Are you feeling better?” The man took the plate and handed her the champagne, which she tried to sip as ladylike as possible when she was more accustomed to chugging beers and downing shots.
“Much better, thanks.” She looked back at the party that was about thirty feet off. The people were laughing and talking and only casting her occasional curious glances. “So, is this a private party?”
He nodded. “A double wedding. I do not want to offend, but I’d rather not interrupt it.”
“Don’t worry, I understand,” she quickly assured him. "My mom is a dragon when it comes to outsiders at family gatherings. My brother wasn’t even allowed to bring girlfriends over until they were absolutely certain things were serious.” A lump in her throat formed as she realized just how much she missed her family. She took a sip of champagne and closed her eyes, savoring the taste. This was definitely a top shelf brand. “I should probably head over to the resort and find a phone. My friends are wondering where I am.”
“I have one in my car,” the man said.
She chuckled. “I know better than to get in a car with a stranger.”
“My name’s Tony.” He extended his hand. “Now we’re not strangers.” His eyes narrowed as he peered at her with an intensity that made her shiver despite the warm summer night air. “In fact, I’m not no sure we are strangers. I swear I’ve seen you before.”
Doubtless he had, for the news probably ran stories on her band’s disappearance. But he definitely wasn’t a metalhead, or he would have recognized her immediately. And she wasn’t about to tell him she was a missing person. Not before she was reunited with her friends and they announced their return together.
“I’m Aurora,” she replied and took it. His grasp was warm and vibrating with barely suppressed strength. “And I know we’ve never met. You don’t seem like the kind of man I’d easily forget.” She instilled a flirtatious tone that sounded unfamiliar to her. Damn, why did this man have to affect her so intently? He seemed to be everything a girl could dream of: handsome, kind, wealthy. But now was not the time for her to try dating again. Not with all that crazy prophecy stuff going on and her career on the line.
That rich and sinful laugh once more emerged from Tony’s lips. “Again, such charming words. Are you a writer?”
She smirked. “Sometimes.” She usually wrote lyrics for at least half the songs on every album.
He looked back at the wedding party and then back at her. “No offense to this lovely gathering, but you are far more interesting company. I don’t suppose you’d want to go for a walk with me during your quest for a phone. And again, my offer still stands to use mine.” He pointed at a sleek black sports car in the parking lot under the streetlight. “As you can see, it’s near the street and in the light, so you’re perfectly safe. Or, we can go to the resort and have a drink, maybe some dinner since you're still hungry.”
Damn, a drink sounded nice. A drink and a few minutes not worrying about the chaos of her life. But she needed to find Xochitl and… You know what? Xochitl had her car. She was probably at Akasha and Silas’s place by now. Who says she couldn’t relax and have a drink with a hot guy for a few minutes. A few minutes of blissful normality after months of weirdness. Then she could just call Akasha and they’d pick her up.
“Well,” she began.
“Aurora!” Beau shouted from beneath one of the huge pines in the park. Sylvis stood beside him, eyeing the wedding party quizzically.
Her eyes widened. Zareth must have brought them over. She glanced back at Tony. “I have to go. My friends found me.”
He inclined his head in an old-fashioned way. “While I’m glad you’re situation has been resolved, I do regret that our talk has been cut short.”
“Me too.” She grinned and lifted herself up on her toes and kissed him on the cheek. He smelled like a heady combination of expensive tobacco and vanilla beans, and for a moment she was tempted to wrap herself around him and explore him further.
She turned and hefted herself over the concrete barrier and jogged back to the park before she could gauge his reaction to her stolen kiss. Though it didn’t really matter one was or another.
She’d never see him again.