FREE Holiday Reads that Bite

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Hello and happy holidays! In January I’ll be delving into the vampire world  with my first vampire, witch, time travel series, A Times Journey. It is a three book series and book one releases on Jan. 11th and is available for preorder. The series is a journey through time for Zak and Cadence after a sinister witch sends them back in time. This short, holiday story takes place after books one and two. At the moment, Cadence and Zak are in Paris in the early 1800’s. I hope you have a great holiday and enjoy!
 
Zak clasped Cadence’s gloved hand as he led her through the snow-covered grass. The ground crunched beneath their boots and light snow fluttered around them. Their breath floated in the air. Cadence shivered next to him, drawing her wool cloak tighter.
He pulled her closer; wrapping an arm around her waist, praying his lukewarm body heat would warm her. Her teeth chattered as she burrowed against him. It was frigid for December—not that he felt cold like she did. Perks of being a vampire, he mused. His witch didn’t complain. She never did. He often feared she’d get frostbite in her eagerness to see the world before she’d ever admit to being cold.
“Almost there,” he promised as they neared the spot where the Eiffel tower would one day be built. Paris was one of his favorite cities. He’d visited the tower enough times to know where it was approximately. The only downfall was that he couldn’t show Cadence the real thing.
In this time, there was nothing here other than a large clearing with small, quaint houses. Paris was nothing like the modern city it would become in the next century. He couldn’t wait to show Cadence it again. It always amazed him how excited and genuinely happy she was to see the monuments of the world. Hopefully, the Towers absence wouldn’t disappoint her. It was Christmas.
He didn’t celebrate the holiday. Even as a human his family had never celebrated Christmas. His father had thought it silly and a waste of a perfectly good working day. As a vampire, he’d never found a reason to celebrate or enjoy the holiday either. Truth be told, he’d never had anything to celebrate until the day Cadence had given him a chance.
Part of him still expected to wake up from this dream and realize it all had been a figment of his imagination. Perhaps even some evil spell Liana had concocted to mess with him.
“It’s lovely out here,” Cadence commented as her teeth clicked together. She snuggled closer, resting her head on his shoulder as they continued over the snow. A few wisps of her sandy hair escaped her hood and blew on the breeze, tickling his nose.
The flurries were beginning to pick up and visibility was dissipating. As long as it didn’t ruin the experience for Cadence he wasn’t worried about the weather. He could have her home in a matter of seconds once they were done.
Zak peered down at the blonde beauty, meeting her brown eyes as she peeked up at him. He wasn’t entirely sure what Cadence wanted from him, but he hoped he could live up to her expectations.
Christmas was her favorite holiday, and he wanted this to be one that she remembered. There wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for her. Cadence was his light in the darkness.
He stopped and looked around as he grinned. They were here. “This is where it is,” he announced.
Cadence stepped away from him, pushing the hood of her cloak down so she could peer around. “It’s hard to believe an icon will be in this spot in another century,” she whispered as she turned around in a small circle.
“Change happens so swiftly that if we blink we don’t even notice it,” he replied. Take the two of them for example. In the matter of a few months they’d gone from enemies to lovers and something so much more. When they’d landed in the water so many months ago he’d never anticipated they’d end up here enjoying each other’s company. His mother’s spell, thought malicious, had inadvertently given him the one thing he desired. His mate—his true love. Cadence.
Cadence beamed as she nodded. “True. But the Eiffel Tower that’s…it’s an icon for the city. Whenever people think of Paris it comes to mind. Now, I can tell people I was here before it was built.”
“Not many people can do that,” he admitted. “I wish we could see the undertaking of it. Watching them build it always fascinated me.”
“You watched it?” she wondered as her eyes widened.
Zak chuckled. “I told you Paris is one of my favorite cities. My family was here during its construction.”
“It must have taken them ages to build,” Cadence said as she stared up at the sky.
“Not really. It only took about two-and-a-half-years,” he told her.
“Really? Wow!”
Speaking of building things, he drew in a deep breath. “I made something for you,” he murmured as he swallowed.
He reached into his pocket and withdrew the creation he’d folded up in a handkerchief. His fingers trembled as he thrust it toward her. It was silly and he had no idea if she’d like the handmade carving. When she’d said Christmas was her favorite holiday the other night, he knew he couldn’t go through the day without giving her something. She already had the pendant he’d given her and he wanted to give her something that would mean something. He just prayed he succeeded.
Cadence blinked as she took his present from him and he watched as she unfolded the fabric and picked up the tiny carving he’d made for her. Her fingers trailed over his work and she smiled.
“I know it’s not the same as the real thing, but I figured you can keep it as a promise. One day I’ll bring you back to the Eiffel Tower and you can see it for yourself,” he promised her.
Her eyes flicked up to his and she smiled as she threw her arms around him, enveloping him in a tight hug. She crushed her body to his and kissed his cheek. “It’s beautiful. Thank you,” she gushed as her warm breath ghosted over his ear.
Zak held her close, enjoying the way her body clung to his. If this were just a dream, he never wanted to wake up. This moment was perfect and he could stay here for eternity.
“Thank you,” she said, pulling back and kissing his mouth. “I love you,” she whispered against his lips.
His heart flopped in his chest at her words and he kissed her harder, flicking his tongue into her mouth. He wanted to tell her he loved her too, but the words got stuck in his throat. Instead, he caressed her mouth with his tongue, praying that he could show her how he felt even if he couldn’t say it.
Part of him knew she was expecting him to say the words to her too, but he couldn’t. What if once he admitted his feelings to her everything faded away? What if it was just a dream? His heart would never recover. Monsters like him didn’t deserve a happily ever after.
Cadence pulled back and cupped his check as she brushed her gloved fingers over his skin. “I have a present for you too.”
“You do?” Zak asked. When had she had the time to get him something? He hadn’t let her out of his sight since they’d reunited. After losing her for weeks and wondering if she was okay while he scoured the countryside, he wasn’t leaving her alone for quite some time.
Cadence patted his cheek, drawing him from his thoughts. He flexed his fingers as he watched her. No one had ever given him a gift before.
She reached into the folds of her cloak and pulled something out, keeping the item in her closed fist. “I got this…well I’m not really sure where…I was a bit lost…in case you didn’t notice…when I was running from Malcolm,” Cadence rambled. “But uh…I noticed when I ran into your past self that you wore them and I remembered seeing one on you when we were home too.” She opened her palm, showing him a beaded wood necklace with a hand-carved charm attached to it.
Zak picked it up, running his fingers across the intricate woodwork of the sun and moon. Whoever had made it was skilled. The details rivaled his work. “Thank you, Cadence,” he breathed as he gazed at her gift.
“In witchcraft, the circle represents never-ending life,” she started, trailing her pointer finger around the circle. “The sun and moon represent light and dark. The sun is bright and powerful and exudes strength. The black night sky represents darkness, but as the moon rises it shows that nothing is ever as dark as you think. There is always light. And where there is light, there is strength,” she whispered tapping on the full moon on the carving.
“Where did you find this?” he wondered as he eyed the gift. It was perfect.
“When I was on my own. I saw it at a street fair and it reminded me of you. It reminded me that no matter how dark it seemed right then, my light was looking for me,” she confessed as her eyes darted away from his. Her teeth nibbled on her lower lip and she swallowed, clearly waiting for him to speak.
He cupped her chin and titled her face up to his. “I will always find you, Cadence,” he promised.
“I know,” she admitted, pressing her lips to his again. “It reminded me of you when I saw it. I held it in my palm at night when I tried to sleep and thought of you.”
“Thank you, Cadence,” he said stroking her chin. “This is the nicest, most thoughtful present anyone has ever given to me. Merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas,” she answered with a grin. “This has been the best Christmas ever. I’m so glad that we got to spend it together.”
Zak tangled his hands in her long, wavy hair as he pulled her close. “Me too.”
She was right. This was the best Christmas ever and it was because of her. Cadence was his light, his love, and his reason for being. He closed his eyes as he gathered her into his arms.
I love you, he thought as he pressed a kiss to her temple and sped them towards home.

Preorder Vanished for 99c on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo 

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Vampires are coming in January

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Zak knows he should kill the beautiful witch that betrayed him, but he can’t bring himself to do it. All he wants is a chance to get to know the bewitching beauty. His mother maliciously grants his wish and sends he and Cadence over a thousand years into the past. They both want to get home and stop his mother from doing more harm, but that is easier said than done. The only positive is that maybe, just maybe, while he has Cadence all to himself, he can win over the woman who has caused his undead heart to feel again.

Cadence is weary of Zak. Her coven is at war with his vampire clan and Zak is hell bent on ending her friend’s life. When they end up stuck in the past, she has no choice but to trust the vampire in this strange time. Enemies from Zak’s past surface, posing a threat to them, and forcing her to tap into her unstable magic. As they unravel truths, they learn more dangers lurk in the present as well. Both are determined to get home, but if they succeed, then whatever it is she feels for Zak she’ll have to extinguish. They can never be together, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to resist his charms.  

Preorder now for 99c available on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo

Happy Howlidays!

Healing Christmas is live and 99c. Check out an excerpt below.

release 10

 

Cooper pulled to a stop in front of Islands Boutique. He’d never been here before and wouldn’t be if he hadn’t drawn his oldest sister’s name for the family gift exchange. She was a jewelry whore. Darrell, his brother-in-law, said she frequented this shop often. Hopefully, he could get his gift and check one more thing off his list.

He shut the ignition off and opened the car door. The hot Hawaiian air seeped in through the opening and he grumbled under his breath. It was hotter than normal for this time of year. Not that it was ever cool in Hawaii.

Movement inside the shop caught his attention. A man waved something and his eyes darted to a woman being held by a burly man. Cooper’s hand flexed, going to the gun in his holster. Something wasn’t right. He ducked into the car and pulled out his radio while keeping his eye on the shop window. “Possible robbery in progress at the Island Boutique on Tropical Drive, requesting immediate backup.”

He didn’t wait for a response. The man with the gun was pointing it at the blonde woman. What the hell is wrong with her eyes? They glowed unnaturally, golden in color. Who cares what is going on with her eyes? He needed to get in there and help her.

His hand tugged his gun out of its holster and he crept to the door, hoping the men inside wouldn’t see him until it was too late. The guy holding the hostage yowled in pain and Cooper frowned as the woman tore her unusually long…claws…up his thigh. He shook his head and focused on the idiot with the gun.

Shit. He was going to shoot. Cooper reacted without hesitation, whipping his gun up, aiming, and firing a shot. There was an unexpected pause in the shop. The woman squeezed her eyes shut as his victim toppled to the floor.

“We got to go,” the guy holding the woman hollered. He shoved the girl to the floor and sprinted out of sight.

Cooper rushed in, kicking the gun away from the idiot he’d shot. The man whimpered as he cradled his left shoulder. Cooper picked up the gun, placed it in his holster, and turned to the woman. “You okay?” he asked, peering around the shop.

Beautiful cobalt eyes met his. Hadn’t they been golden moments ago?

“I think so,” she panted.

Cooper assessed her a moment. Blood trickled out of her mouth, dripping down her chin and a few drops had dribbled to her turquoise top. Her one hand was bathed in red, but the claws he’d seen earlier were simply nails now. Weird. He wasn’t one to imagine things, especially under these circumstances. It could get him killed if he didn’t take in every detail, which is why he needed to focus. “Is there a back door?”

The woman shoved a lock of wavy blonde hair out of her face and pointed to a curtain. Cooper glanced back at the man he’d shot. Blood pumped out of his shoulder and he was too busy withering on the floor to notice anything that was happening. He wouldn’t be a threat to the girl.

Charging ahead, he darted into the back room with his weapon at the ready. Bright light danced across the room from an open door. He growled, shuffling around boxes as he jogged to the opening. His gun poised and ready to fire he turned to his right first, peeking his head out, while using the door for cover. He turned to the left. No one was in sight. Crap. They’d gotten away.

Cooper made his way around to the front of the store again. The young woman was still in the same spot. She’d curled in on herself, hugging her knees against her chest and burying her face into her chest.

He crouched down next to her and placed a comforting hand on her shoulder, opening his mouth to speak.

“Don’t touch me,” she shrilled, scampering away from him like he’d smacked her. She jumped to her feet and quickly put distance between them.

Cooper held up his hands as he took in her tear streaked face and puffy eyes. “Whoa. It’s okay. I was just checking up on you.” He grasped his gun with one hand and pulled his police badge off his clip and showed it up so she could see. “I’m Detective Cooper Reed with the Honolulu PD,” he explained.

She squinted at his badge, but still took another step back. Instead of consoling her, the badge seemed to freak her out even more. Her bottom lip trembled and she looked frantically around the room as if she were contemplating running. Odd.

Sirens wailed in the distance and she covered her mouth with her clean hand and bit back a sob.

“It’s okay, miss…” he trailed off.

She blinked and looked around the store again, her eyes narrowing as she took in the wallowing man on her shop floor. Yeah, I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

“Amy Green,” she said out of the blue, drawing his attention back to her. In mere seconds, her demeanor had changed. The tears that had pooled in her eyes were gone. Her face was hard and jaw set. “I need to call my business partners.” She spun on her heel and walked behind the counter.

“After that, if you’re up to it, I’ll have some questions for you, too,” he said. Her change in mood was like night and day. She could be in shock.

Amy shook her head and pulled out a phone, quickly typing away at the screen. He would’ve thought the first thing she’d want to do was get cleaned up, but that wasn’t the case. Most people couldn’t stand the thought of having someone else’s blood on them. Maybe it was a good thing. Perhaps they could get some DNA off her hand to help them find at least one of the other suspects.

He narrowed his eyes. Red coated her fingertips, palm, and wrist. She’d cut her captor deep, but from what he could tell, her nails were perfectly trimmed and short. Nowhere near long enough to do that kind of damage. It’d looked like she’d mauled him with her fingers. The man had seemed to be in pain, too. At least from what Cooper remembered.

Blue and red lights danced across the shop, drawing him from his thoughts. Backup was here. Cooper dragged a hand through his russet hair and went out to meet his comrades. He’d no doubt get some shit for going in alone, but at the time there hadn’t been another choice. If he’d waited for backup, Amy Green would be dead.

Have you picked up your copy yet?

Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo 

christmas teaser

Vampires and Witches Oh My

Just finished submitting Vanished for preorder. Release date is 1/11/16.

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Zak knows he should kill the beautiful witch that betrayed him, but he can’t bring himself to do it. All he wants is a chance to get to know the bewitching beauty. His mother maliciously grants his wish and sends he and Cadence over a thousand years into the past. They both want to get home and stop his mother from doing more harm, but that is easier said than done. The only positive is that maybe, just maybe, while he has Cadence all to himself, he can win over the woman who has caused his undead heart to feel again.

Cadence is weary of Zak. Her coven is at war with his vampire clan and Zak is hell bent on ending her friend’s life. When they end up stuck in the past, she has no choice but to trust the vampire in this strange time. Enemies from Zak’s past surface, posing a threat to them, and forcing her to tap into her unstable magic. As they unravel truths, they learn more dangers lurk in the present as well. Both are determined to get home, but if they succeed, then whatever it is she feels for Zak she’ll have to extinguish. They can never be together, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to resist his charms.  

7 More Days

Only 7 more days until Healing Christmas is live. Preorder links are coming soon.

Everything bad that’s ever happened to Amy Green has happened around Christmas. The holiday is cursed. This year is no different; alone in her shop, she is robbed, but what’s worse, the cop who comes to her rescue sees her defend herself. No big deal, right? It is if you’re a werewolf and were partially shifted. Detective Cooper Reed seems determined to find out her secret and Amy is forced to come to terms with her harsh past and delve into a new future—one she never thought possible.
Cooper springs into action when he sees Island Boutique is under siege. What he can’t explain is the beautiful shop owner’s golden eyes or the claws—and weapon that have mysteriously disappeared. Determined to unravel Amy’s secret, Cooper finds himself enthralled with the shy and captivating young woman. Will his curiosity be his undoing, or open the door to a whole new world?
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Coming Soon

Healing Christmas is coming 12/14/15.
Healing Christmas
 
Everything bad that’s ever happened to Amy Green has happened around Christmas. The holiday is cursed. This year is no different; alone in her shop, she is robbed, but what’s worse, the cop who comes to her rescue sees her defend herself. No big deal, right? It is if you’re a werewolf and were partially shifted. Detective Cooper Reed seems determined to find out her secret and Amy is forced to come to terms with her harsh past and delve into a new future—one she never thought possible.Cooper springs into action when he sees Island Boutique is under siege. What he can’t explain is the beautiful shop owner’s golden eyes or the claws—and weapon that have mysteriously disappeared. Determined to unravel Amy’s secret, Cooper finds himself enthralled with the shy and captivating young woman. Will his curiosity be his undoing, or open the door to a whole new world?
 
Want the story now? You can get it and lots of other goodies in the Sugar, Spice, and Shifters Holiday Box Set.

Imagine the sand beneath your toes as you Read…

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👀 Sneak Peek Saturday 👀

Enjoy the Newest Addition to the Wayward Wolves Series.
Get ready to 1-CLICK
MIDNIGHT RUN on 8/18/15
#bethanyshawnovels
#waywardwolves
#newrelease
#bethanyshawauthor

~☆A man jogged a few hundred yards behind her. A ball cap shrouded the man’s face in darkness. He wore a black tee and black pants further adding to her discomfort.  Chills zipped down her spine. Even though she was a werewolf, capable of defending herself, she was still a woman alone at night.
Why was he wearing all black? I thought you were supposed to wear bright clothes at night. Or is that just to keep you from getting hit by a car? She glanced up to the road that ran alongside the beach. Empty. Not a car or soul in sight. Perfect.
Rhea licked her dry lips and pushed her legs to move a little faster. Too bad she wasn’t in her wolf form. She could outrun the man in a heartbeat. As a human, she was fast, but not as quick as she’d like. Maybe he’ll go away. I’m sure he doesn’t want any trouble.
She peeked back over her shoulder. Crap. He’s gaining on me. What if he’s a werewolf too? Oh God. What if the pack found me? No.
Her calves burned as she pushed herself to run impossibly faster. She gritted her teeth together. I’m not going back. ☆~Rhea
Author Bethany Shaw