Dariel's World

Hi. I'm Dariel Raye, an award winning author of paranormal romance, and every day of this journey is a learning experience. I'm also a counselor, musician, and animal lover so I'll periodically segue into things music, animal, or psychology-related. The stars here, though, are all-conquering love and romance. Enter a world where werewolves, vampires, shifters, angels, and all things paranormal capture our hearts...

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Nobody Wants To, But Let's Talk About It...

fit girl working out at the field under rainbow stock photography

Let’s talk about aging – no flowery intro, no smooth segue. In a society obsessed with youth, we really need to discuss aging more (since most of us spend much more of our time on this earth aging than being young [not disregarding the importance of nurturing a young heart]). I had a birthday this month, and with it came sentimental (I’m seldom sentimental) memories of the last 20 - 25 years. No, not EVERY one of the last 20 - 25 years, but special moments related to my awareness of age, appearance, life decisions, and wisdom (or the lack thereof. LOL). So, here’s my list of things we should all do to help ourselves along this unavoidable progression of living.
1.     Set goals in your 20’s, do your research, and take the best action to achieve those goals. Oh, and please please get some kind of education (college, trade, military, online courses, etc.). Education opens door and gives us options we can’t even imagine without it.
2.     Start an exercise regimen including aerobic activity you enjoy.
3.     Add weight training (it’s even better with a lover or close friend)
4.     Develop healthy eating habits (click here for a foolproof way to find what works best for you.)
5.     Develop and maintain healthy friendships and family relationships with wise, progressive people (more on this later)
6.     Take stock of your goals, decide which ones are still important to you, and decide what’s next. Again, do your research before taking action.
7.     Maintain your exercise regimen and guard your time like a mother bear
8.     Reevaluate your eating habits. Sometimes our dietary needs change as we age, so repeat the prescription process from your 20’s.
9.     Nurture friendships and healthy family relationships by being a good friend or family member. This is your support circle and these people (and pets) become even more valuable over time. Steer clear of fair weather friends, fowl weather friends, ne’er do wells, and the temporary coat-tail hangers who only want to take. Also, you are grown! You really can avoid family members who try to bring you down and box you in.This is your time to fly. Get rid of any excess baggage.
10.  Make sure to take regular vacations and plan at least one day a week to pamper yourself (I know you’re busy, but this is a must). Guard your time like a ninja warrior.
11.  Okay, if you laid the groundwork in your 20’s and 30’s, this is the time to play more than you work. Travel, take lessons in something you’ve always wanted to learn about, spend more time enjoying life than working. Really. It’s important. Life is short, and you want to thrive, not just survive.
12.  One of the best ways to maintain your exercise regimen is to rev it up with some activities you can include during your vacations. I’d LOVE to visit New Zealand, speaking of revved-up activities.
13.  If you haven’t already, this is the time you’ll most likely be called upon to be a good, faithful, supportive friend. The easiest way to support a friend is to do for him/her what you would need done for you. First, actively listen and ask what you can do to help.
14.  Spend time with your loved ones. Go out for each other’s birthdays, host and share pot-luck get-togethers regularly, and share your lives.

I can't offer much info about the 50’s yet (I’m still new at this part), but I have learned one thing, and that’s not likely to change - everyone needs at least three things to thrive in life: purpose (something constructive to do), love (someone who cares enough to bear witness to and share our lives), and hope (something positive to look forward to). Focus on these things and aging might just be a bit less painful – in fact, it can be downright enlightening.


Friday, April 11, 2014

Six Days: Another Miracle

Vadrian Parrish - "Dark Sentinels Book Three: Parrish"

Bopping around in the drugstore, one of my favorite places, BTW, I received the phone call I'd been waiting for over seven years...
"This is the university transplant center. Are you still interested in receiving a kidney transplant?"
After the caller asked me a couple more questions I stopped her. "Do you mean there's a kidney there for me right now?"
Putting it mildly, I was in shock. I'd been on another university transplant list over seven years, yet I'd only been on this transplant list six days when they called me!

Most people know very little about kidney disease and dialysis, let alone transplant procedures, and neither did I until I was diagnosed with kidney failure in 2005. Surprisingly, 1 in 6 Americans have kidney problems during their lifetime. I received the call at 3:30 pm and the transplant team wanted me admitted to the hospital nearly four hours away by 8:30 pm.

I dumped the unnecessary items I was about to purchase, dashed to checkout, hopped in my car and started making phone calls. I had to get a ride because nearly everyone was working, get my Dobie-Coonhound to his favorite pet motel, then get to the hospital ASAP. Thank God for good friends and family. Without them I never would have made it.

I'll spare you the gory details, but recovery is ongoing. Right now I have to make that four hour trip every week for labs to make sure everything is going well (again, thank God for good friends because I can't drive yet), I'm taking about 40 pills a day, and my body is slowly deflating from 25 pounds of fluid added intravenously to flush the new kidney and help it work well. My previously thin feet ache from the sudden, excess weight. In other words, not feeling my best yet, but grateful I no longer have to go to dialysis and looking forward to a full recovery.

The voices of Vadrian and Dana from "Dark Sentinels Book Three: Parrish" are starting to yell - kidney transplant or not, get to writin', lady! They want their story written, and I can't wait to update you on Sable and Akila as well as Torin and Steph from books one and two in the series.  Something else I'm really looking forward to is attending some writers' conferences. So, even though I'm taking a necessary sabbatical, I'll be back with you shortly :-)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Dariel's Feature: "Cupid's Heart" by Nicole Garcia

Cupid, God of Love, has not used his bow and arrow to create love in twenty-five years. Being solely responsible for producing love amongst the humans, had proven to be too much for him to handle. His only disastrous mistake made him feel guilty, and thought he deserved to be alone for the rest of eternity. Valentina Hart, a human, has a few problems of her own. A bad break-up and no sense of self worth may be the key to her undoing. When Cupid and Valentina meet, their attraction is instant. But, will that be enough to bring their worlds together, and save each other from the pain they both keep locked away? What happens when the God of Love has lost the will to create romance? Can Valentina give Cupid what he needs to mend his broken heart?

About the Author

Nicole Garcia is happily married and is a mother of four. She has two daughters and two sons. Both her sons have special needs since they are Autistic. She currently possesses a degree in Nursing, but has been a stay at home mom for the past 8 years. Her hobbies include but are not limited to music, gardening, and rescuing exotic pets. Their family has so many animals, they could probably charge admission to the small petting zoo. But, her absolute passion is reading. After spending so much time at home, she decided to make a career out of sharing her love for books. Writing and promoting has become a full time job for her now. She decided to follow her dreams and start writing her own books. She started writing poetry when she was just a little girl and had always loved the feeling it gave her. Currently, she writes Contemporary and Paranormal Romance, but later plans to explore other genres.

Contact and Purchase Links:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Dariel's Feature: "Stolen Valentine Kiss" by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku

Stolen Valentine Kiss by Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku
Publication Date: Feb 1st 2014
ISBN/EAN 13: 1495237931/9781495237935 (Paperback)
Genre / Categories: Fiction/Romance/Contemporary/Interracial/Multicultural

One broken heart. Two grieving minds.

To Lorna Ibe, Departmental Manager with one of London's multi-channel retailers, Valentine's Day lost its romantic flavour years ago. An unplanned holiday to New Jersey is her perfect getaway from the stress and emotional turmoil locked in her heart, just what she needs to take her mind off her troubles. That's until she runs into Logan.

Magazine publisher, Logan Blake has had his fair share of stress in the past few years. When his sister asks him to drop off old clothes to charity, he has a minor accident in front of the charity shop where Lorna volunteers. When he sets eyes on her bare midriff as she wipes the display window, he clears his busy schedule to volunteer his time. Two burdened hearts afraid to get entwined.

One Stolen Valentine Kiss. Will Valentine season bring them romance or will their fears keep them apart?

The brush flew out of her unsteady hands for the third time in a row.
Swallowing hard, she eyeballed her reflection in the silver scalloped round dressing table mirror. Bending over, she snatched the brush from the carpet.

''Stay still,'' she said through gritted teeth. Why is she doing everything to please her Aunt? You know the answer to that, her conscience whispered.
The door bell clanged. She heard the door open. Stumbling to her feet, she rushed forward and placed her ears behind the door, straining to listen to his conversation with her Aunt.

Her knees juddered. ''Only because I haven't been out on a date for so long,'' she muttered.
The knock on her door sent her stumbling backwards, landing slapdash on the bed. Her Aunt walked in, a bemused smile on her face.

''So...so...so, Logan is even more manly...more striking than you let on. Wow! You look gorgeous in that red dress.'' Breathing easier, she stood up.
''Do you think this dress flatters me?''

I am Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku, a fun loving mother of two, married to my very own gorgeous alpha male. I recently 'retired' from an eighteen stint working as a Quality Assurance Manager. Writing romance novels is an exciting adventure.

In 2010, I created Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels. There are six contemporary romance novels in the kitty, varying from sweet & sensual to spicy hot & steamy - LOITERING SHADOWS, STORMY DEFENSE, BEYOND the LADY, THE GARDNER'S ICE MAIDEN, SPARKLING DAWN and HUSBAND to RENT. STOLEN VALENTINE KISS is my first series and my first Novella.

On my writing desk at the moment, my first historical romance, a trilogy is taking shape. A daunting challenge I must confess, but I love the characters and their journey so far. In my leisure time, I go swimming, read romance novels, go to Cinema, and watch TV.
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Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dariel's Friday Flash: "Whipped"

Friday flash time! Every Friday, our fearless leaders choose a pic and we all write 100 words using the pic as inspiration. After you've read "Whipped," visit my friends' sites for more! We love to hear from you, so please feel free to comment. Here's the pic for this week's flashes. Enjoy!

The sweetest dreams come with a price. People say David’s too controlling, you know the drill, and maybe choosing my wedding gown seemed a bit much, but little do they know. Wonderful hands undress me, caressing...

just the way I taught him.

Stretching, I snuggle up, still tingling with power from our wedding night. David rumbles against my back, obviously ready for action again.

“I can’t believe you’re finally mine,” he croons.

I close my eyes and smile, grateful for the respite. No, actually you’re mine, I think to myself. Succubus life is hell, and I needed a vacation.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Dariel's Friday Flash: "Gateway" - "Again"

Tantalizing Tuesday

Welcome to another Tantalizing Tuesday Teaser. As usual, we're flashing with an inspirational pic and maximum 200 words. Here's my pic for this week, and please stop by to check out my friends' teasers when you finish :-)

"Gateway - Again"

“Again” commences immediately, his fingers taking a stroll from the soles of my feet, making tiny circles along my calves, slowly massaging my inner thighs and caressing my folds, already slick, a welcome mat, and I gasp. “I don’t do this! I never do this.”

My brain is quickly overruled when he lifts me like a feather, which I most definitely am not, and carries me to the shower.

I once understood the need to save myself. Now…not so much. His essence overwhelming, infiltrating every corner, my single-minded, traitorous core blossoms, quivering to receive him again.

He smiles, water flowing in sheets, no comparison to the tumultuous waves pummeling against my inner walls, imaginary fingers fluttering against my clit, molding me to fit when he plunges inside. “V’s” walls dance in simultaneous submission/possession, grasping, clutching.

Vesuvius erupts from my center, shrapnel flying violently outward, knees buckling, but he steadies me. Enthralled and vaguely aware of his facial features shifting, changing, piercing gray eyes and a wicked smile the only constants during his welcome invasion, I close my eyes, unwanted questions surfacing.

“Let go,” he whispers, bending me over for full access, each stroke burning hotter than the last. “Ask your questions.”

Friday, March 7, 2014

New Release: "Witch's Bounty" by Ann Gimpel

Witch’s Bounty  
The Witch Chronicles, Book 1

By Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Taliesin

Release Date: 3/6/14

Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance
63,000 words

A demon-stalking witch teams up with a Sidhe, but their combined power, never mind their love, may be too late to make a difference.

One of only three remaining demon-stalking witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way out the door to help, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to northern England to quell a demon uprising there.

Duncan swallowed uneasy feelings when the Sidhe foisted demon containment off onto the witches two hundred years before. He’s annoyed when the Sidhe leader sends him to haul a witch across the Atlantic to bail them out. Until he sees the witch in question. Colleen is unquestionably the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Strong and gutsy, too. When she refuses to come with him, because she’s needed in Seattle, he immediately offers his assistance. Anything to remain in her presence.

Colleen can’t believe how gorgeous the Sidhe is, but she doesn’t have time for such nonsense. She, Jenna, and Roz are the only hedge Earth has against being overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it. Sensing victory is within their grasp, they close in for the kill.

…The bells around the shop door clanged a discordant riot of notes. “Crap!” Jenna shot to her feet. “I should have locked the damned door.”
“Back to cat form.” Colleen flicked her fingers at Bubba, who shrank obligingly and slithered out of clothing, which puddled around him. She snatched up his shirt and pants and dropped them back into the canister.
“I say,” a strongly accented male voice called out. “Is anyone here?”
“I’ll take care of the Brit,” Colleen mouthed. “Take Bubba to the basement and practice.”
She got to her feet and stepped past the curtain. “Yes?” She gazed around the dimly lit store for their customer.
A tall, powerfully built man, wearing dark slacks and a dark turtleneck, strode toward her, a woolen greatcoat slung over one arm. His white-blond hair was drawn back into a queue. Arresting facial bones—sculpted cheeks, strong jaw, high forehead—captured her attention and stole her breath. He was quite possibly the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on. Discerning green eyes zeroed in on her face, caught her gaze, and held it. Magic danced around him in a numinous shroud. Strong magic.
What was he?
And then she knew. Daoine Sidhe. The man had to be Sidhe royalty. No wonder he was so stunning it almost hurt to look at him.
Colleen held her ground. She placed her feet shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her chest. “What can I help you with?”
“Colleen Kelly?”
Okay, so he knows who I am. Doesn’t mean a thing. He’s Sidhe. Could have plucked my name right out of my head. “That would be me. How can I help you?” she repeated, burying a desire to lick nervously at her lips.
“Time is short. I’ve been hunting you for a while now. Come closer, witch. We need to talk.”
Duncan Regis eyed the grim-faced woman standing in front of him. She was quite striking with such stunning bone structure—high cheekbones, square jaw—she could have been a runway model. Her unwavering pale blue eyes held his gaze. Dressed in brown wool slacks, a multicolored sweater, and scuffed leather boots, she had auburn curls that cascaded to waist level. A scattering of freckles coated her upturned nose. Her lips would have been full if they weren’t pursed into a hard line.
He knew he was staring, but couldn’t help himself. Colleen was tall for a woman, close to six feet, with well-defined shoulders, generous breasts, and a slender waist that flared to trim hips. He smelled her apprehension and was pleased she was able to cloak it so well with the defiant angle of her chin and the challenge in her icy stare.
Despite his earlier command, she didn’t move. Annoyance coiled in his gut. He could summon magic and force her, but he wanted—no, make that needed—her cooperation. Compulsion spells had a way of engendering lingering resentments. He smiled, but it felt fake so he gave it up. “I like women with spirit, but I’m used to being obeyed.”
She frowned and tilted her chin another notch. “I’ll just bet you are. I’m not coming one angstrom closer until you tell me why a Sidhe is hunting for me.”
Surprise registered. He tried to mask it, just like he’d attempted to disguise himself in a human glamour. Duncan tamped down a wry grin, wondering if his second ploy had worked any better than his first.
“Not really.” She tapped one booted toe. “I read minds. You’ll have to do a better job warding yours, if you want to keep me out.” Colleen exhaled briskly. “Look. Maybe it would be easier if you just told me why you’re here. I’m sort of busy just now and I don’t have a bunch of time to spar with you.”
“You don’t have any choice.”
“Oh yes I do.” Anger wafted from her in thick clouds. Along with it a spicy, rose scent, tinged with jasmine, tickled his nostrils and did disconcerting things to his nether regions. He resisted an urge to rearrange his suddenly erect cock. Colleen unfolded her arms, extended one, and pointed toward the door. “Out. Now.”
“You’re making a terrible mistake—”
“Maybe so, but this is my turf. If you force me with your magic, you’ll have broken the rules that bind your kind—and the covenant amongst magic-wielders.”
Duncan’s temper kindled, but it didn’t dampen the lust seeping along his nerve endings. Rules be damned. He could flatten this persnickety witch, or better yet, weave a love spell and bind her to him that way. Maybe he should do just that and have done with things. He clasped his hands behind him to quash the temptation to call magic. The movement stretched his trousers across his erection, making it obvious if she chose to look down.
Something dark streaked from the back of the shop and planted itself in front of him, hissing and spitting. Gaia’s tits. A cat. He stared at it. Hmph. Maybe not a cat after all. Duncan reached outward with a tendril of magic. Before it reached the creature, Colleen bent and scooped it into her arms. The not-a-cat wriggled and hissed, but she held fast.
“Leave him alone,” she said through clenched teeth. “He’s mine.”
Duncan narrowed his eyes. “Damn if it isn’t a changeling. How’d he end up with you?”
Her foot tapped the scarred wooden floor again, its beat so regular it could have been a metronome. “I asked you a whole lot of questions.” She took a step backward. “But the only one I want to know the answer to is—”
“What the fuck are you doing?” Jenna wavered into view, having teleported in from somewhere. Her gaze landed on the cat. “Thank Christ! For a minute there I thought the little bastard got away from me.”
“Jenna,” Colleen snapped. “The Sidhe have deigned to call.”
The other woman whipped around and stared at Duncan. He stared back. What was it with these witches? Had they taken some sort of potion to supersize themselves? She made Colleen look positively petite. Jenna sidled closer to Colleen; part of her height came from high heels, but she was still an imposing woman. “What does he want?” she growled.
Duncan cleared his throat. “I’m right here. You can ask me.”
“Fine.” Jenna put her hands on her hips. “What are you doing here?”
“How do you know I want anything?” he countered, trying to buy time to figure out what to do now. He hadn’t counted on two witches, and a changeling.
“Because if you didn’t, Colleen would have shooed you out of here by now. You really do need to leave. We’re busy.”
He snorted. “Yes. Colleen made that abundantly clear.” He looked from one witch to the other. At least his erection was fading a bit. Crowds always had a dampening effect on his libido. Many other Sidhe thrived on group sex, but he’d never appreciated its appeal.
“Either tell us what you want right now,” Colleen moved toward him, cat still in her arms, “or leave. I’m going to count to three—”
“Maeve’s teeth, witch! We’re on the same side.”
“Generally speaking,” Jenna joined Colleen about three feet away from him, “that’s probably true, but the Sidhe have never helped us.”
Colleen quirked a brow. “No, they haven’t.” Her eyes narrowed. “And I have this prescient feeling that Sidhe-boy here is about to ask for a pretty big favor.”
“Sidhe-boy?” The dregs of his lust scattered; he crimped his hands into fists. “Show some respect.”
“You’re not respecting me,” Colleen said. “I’ve asked you to leave—twice. No, make that three times.” The not-a-cat finally twisted free. He skimmed over the distance to Duncan and buried his claws in his leg.
“Why you changeling bastard!” Duncan shook his leg. The thing didn’t even budge. He bent, curled his hands around the furred body, and tugged. The thing bit him. Anger flashed. Magic followed. The changeling howled and fell into a heap on the floor.
“Goddammit!” Colleen shrieked. “He was just trying to protect me. If you’ve killed him…”
“I didn’t. He’s only stunned.” Duncan rubbed his ankle, glanced at the puncture wounds on his hand, and directed healing magic to both places.
Colleen sprang forward and gathered the creature into her arms. Duncan felt her magic quest into its small body. She blew out an audible breath. Cradled against her, shrouded by her long hair, the changeling mewled softly.
Duncan shook his head. He’d hoped to be subtle, accommodating, encouraging, so the witch would at least hear him out with an open mind. The time for that was long past. “All right.” He spread his hands in front of him. The flesh wounds on the one were already nearly closed. “I’m here because we’ve had problems with Irichna demons—”
“Christ on a fucking crutch,” Jenna cut in. “Seems like they’re on everyone’s mind these days. We were just—”
Colleen rounded on her. “Shut up!”
“Oops. Sorry.” Jenna held out her arms for the changeling. “I’ll just take him and—”
“No.” Colleen’s voice was more like a growl. “You’ll stay right here.” She placed the changeling in the other witch’s arms and turned to face Duncan. “I know you’re Sidhe, but who are you?”
“Duncan Regis.” He held out a hand. She ignored it, so he let it drop to his side.
“Regis, Regis,” she mumbled, her eyes narrowed in thought. “Ruling class from somewhere in Scotland.”
He nodded, impressed. “Northern England, at the moment, but the border has moved around a bit over the years. I do lay claim to Scottish roots. I didn’t know witches studied our family lines.”
“Witches don’t, but I did.”
“Any particular reason?” He was almost sorry he’d asked. She had strong feelings about the Sidhe, and he was about to find out why.
The changeling yowled, obviously recovered from his semi-comatose state. Jenna cursed and set him down. “Damn it! He scratched me.”
Duncan thought about saying something cheery, like welcome to the club, but bit back the words.
Colleen rolled her eyes. “He wants to talk. There’ll be no peace until he shifts.” She flicked magic toward the creature winding itself between her booted feet. The air shimmered and a rather large gnome took form.
He rocked toward Duncan with a bow-legged gait that made him look like a drunken sailor; his open mouth displayed squared off teeth. “I’ll tell you why she knows about you.” The changeling drew himself to his full height of about three-and-a-half feet. “She came to the Old Country looking for help during the last demon war. You Sidhe were too high and mighty to get your hands dirty, so she had to settle for me.”
Colleen snickered. “Not exactly the way I might have described it, but close enough. Hey, Bubba! Get some clothes on.”
“Later,” the changeling snapped without looking at her.
“Which of us did you approach?” Duncan made the question casual. Whoever turned Colleen down had broken the covenant binding magic-wielders to come to one another’s aid in times of need. He wondered if she knew.
“Of course I do.” She sneered. “Your thoughts are as transparent as a child’s. Even Bubba here,” she pointed to the changeling, “does a better job masking his feelings when he puts his mind to it.”
“Thanks.” The changeling glowered at her before transferring his attention back to Duncan.
“What kind of name is Bubba?” Duncan linked to the changeling, and was surprised by the complexity of his thoughts. Maybe the witches had been a good influence.
“You didn’t have to just push your way in.” The changeling screwed up his seamed face in disgust, but didn’t draw back. “My true name is Niall Eoghan.”
“Clothes,” Colleen reminded him.
Bubba made a face at her, turned, and walked behind one of the display cases. When he emerged, he wore wide-bottomed green trousers and a black shirt.
“Irish.” Puzzle pieces clicked into place and Duncan transferred his attention back to Colleen. “You never did tell me who you’d asked for help. It appears they not only turned you down, but chased you across the Irish Sea.”
“We left voluntarily,” Jenna said.
Colleen’s lips twisted in distaste. Whatever she remembered apparently didn’t sit well. “We spoke with two Sidhe at Inverlochy Castle outside Inverness. They refused to give us their names, but said they were princes over your people. They heard us out and sent us packing. Gave us twenty-four hours to leave Scottish soil.”
“I was all for staying,” Jenna chimed in. “After all, we had passports.”
“Was it just the two of you?” Duncan asked.
“Roz was with us,” Colleen said.
Understanding washed through him. “Three. You brought three to maximize your power.”
Colleen’s full mouth split into a chilly smile. “We were under attack by the Irichna. Would you have done any less?”
“Probably not. So after we, that is, the Sidhe—”
We worked fine,” Bubba said flatly. “Unless you’ve decided to renounce your heritage.”
Duncan traded pointed looks with the changeling. “Speaking of magic, you’re stronger than any changeling I’ve ever come across.”
“That’s because you’re used to our feeble Scottish cousins. They were stronger before you stripped their magic and diverted it for your own purposes.”
“Enough.” Colleen snapped her fingers. “Or I’ll change you back into a cat. We don’t need a history lesson just now.” She shook her hair back over her shoulders. The movement strained her sweater tighter across her breasts. Duncan dragged his gaze elsewhere.
“About the Irichna—” he began.
“We can’t help you,” Colleen said flatly.
“Why not? We’d pay you well.”
“It’s not a matter of money, although I’m not sure you could afford us.”
“We have an, um, previous engagement,” Jenna offered.
“Whoever it is, we need you more than they do.” He looked from one witch to the other.
Colleen dropped her gaze and rubbed the bridge of her nose between her thumb and index fingers. When she looked up, the skin around her eyes was pinched with worry. “I’m not sure it’s a matter of who needs whom more.” She speared him with her pale blue gaze. “Do the Sidhe know why the demons are so much more active here of late?”
He debated how much to tell her. Given her ability to burrow inside his head, it was unlikely he’d be able to hide much. If he told her everything, though, it might piss her off. Hell’s bells, it annoyed the crap out of him. “Not exactly.”
Her nostrils flared. “You can do better than that. If you can’t, the door is behind you.” She folded her arms beneath her breasts. “Talk now or leave now. It’s all the same to me.”

@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)

Short Bio:
Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2014.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.