Welcome to January edition of The Pen Review! Today’s reviews are for author, Desirée Lee. I got the chance to read Desirée Lee’s work and I have to say she has amazing work. I enjoyed each story and it’s characters. Characters, dailouge, and plot are were rich in content. Be sure to add these wonderful stories to your reading lists! Check out the great covers, hot and exciting excerpts!
Title: All Hallow’s Haunting Author: Desirée Lee Author’s Website: http://www.desireelee.com
Publisher: DCL Publications
Format: ebook PDF Purchase Link: http://www.thedarkcastlelords.com/all-hallow%27s-haunting.htm
Teenagers Dane Grissinger and Kit Eisley never meant for things to go so far when they snuck into the Coulbourne cemetery on Halloween. Dane’s idea of a séance to contact the wife and son that Silas Coulbourne had murdered seemed like a scary, but thrilling prospect for the night.
When Dane disappeared during the ceremony, nobody believed Kit’s story that a ghost took him.
Now, 10 years later, Kit is visited by an apparition claiming to be Dane. Kit must bring herself to deal with her ghosts from the past and find the truth about what happened to Dane on that fateful night.
Some secrets, however, do not want to be unburied.
Together, Kit and Dane hurried to the Coulbourne Manor. They had done some trick-or-treating earlier so that they’d have candy in their sacks and could prove to their parents that they weren’t fibbing about their Halloween activities. Dark clouds loomed overhead, blocking out most of the stars and casting an eerie haze over the moon. The chilly October air bit right through their makeshift costumes. Kit shivered but kept pace with Dane. The running was helping to keep her warm.
They slowed as they approached the ominous structure. Kit didn’t care what Dane said about castles only being in England. This place was huge and made of stone. It looked like a real castle to her. Too bad it didn’t have a moat.
“Be careful. Don’t trip,” Dane warned as he led her along the side of the structure. The grass was thick and weedy.
“I hope there aren’t any snakes in here. That would freak me out.” Kit didn’t want to admit she was pretty freaked out already. She clutched her treat sack as if it were her only connection to something rational and sane. Following Dane into the graveyard on Halloween certainly was not the brightest thing she’d ever done.
Dane let go of her hand so he could open the gate leading in to the graveyard. An agonizing creak came from the gate’s rusty hinges. It only budged a few inches. “Here, hold this.” Dane handed his treat sack to Kit, then pushed harder on the gate with both hands. With a snap, it gave way, hanging askance.
“You broke it!” Kit’s jaw dropped in horror. “Someone is going to know we messed with it now!”
“Nobody comes back here, Kit. Look at the place. The weeds are all grown up here. This place is deserted. We’ll be safe.”
“Safe is the last thing I feel right now.”
Dane stopped and hugged her. “Don’t worry. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
“Dane, this better not be a prank. I swear, if one of your friends is hiding here and jumps out from behind a gravestone to scare me, I’m going to kick your butt so hard…”
“It’s not a prank, Kit. It’s a séance.”
“Don’t you need stuff for a séance, like candles or something? What about a book with the magic words in it?”
“I already have it memorized. Candles are just for show. The ghosts like to make them flicker and it is just for atmosphere. We can’t burn candles out here. I don’t want to set anything on fire.”
“What about a Ouija board?”
“Dang it, I should have brought one! Oh, well, I know words to call the ghosts. We don’t need it.”
“Where should we do it?”
“Over there by that big gravestone.”
Kit looked around at the tiny cemetery. There were only three stone markers. One of them towered over the others. That was the stone Dane was pointing at. She still held both treat sacks as she followed him toward the gigantic monument. They hadn’t brought a flashlight and there weren’t enough stars in the sky to illuminate the stones well enough for her to make out the names. She knew who was buried here, but not which grave belonged to which Coulbourne family member.
Dane stamped his foot in the grass to flatten it down, then sat. “Sit down here and face me.”
Kit complied, sitting across from him. She put the treat sacks down beside her. “Now what do we do?”
“Take my hands.” He extended both hands to her.
Kit grasped his hands. “OK, now what?”
“Only the person in charge of the séance needs to talk. You don’t have to say anything. Just watch and listen.”
Kit nodded her understanding.
“Spirits of the Coulbournes, we seek you. We ask you to show yourselves. Mrs. Coulbourne and son, we want to talk to you. Come to us.”
An icy shiver ran up Kit’s spine. The hairs on the back of her neck prickled. The wind blew harder, scattering fallen leaves around the duo. She wanted to get up and bolt out of the graveyard, but Dane’s grip kept her riveted.
“Spirits of the Coulbournes, we seek you,” Dane repeated. “Grant us this wish so that we may bridge the gap between death and life.”
Kit thought that was a careless and irresponsible remark for Dane to make, but she was too scared to reprimand him. Besides, she had agreed to just watch and listen.
The wind circled harder. A cloud of dust choked both teens. Suddenly Dane’s hand jerked from hers.
“Kit!” Dane shouted. His tone showed pure terror.
Kit blinked against the maelstrom of dust and twigs to see Dane’s body being pulled backward. His arms and legs were splayed out in front of him. His fingers flexed, reaching for her.
“Dane!” Kit stood up and tried to follow him. Suddenly, he disappeared. “Dane, where are you?!” Kit looked around but there was no sign of her compadre. She heard a hideous laugh and ran from the graveyard, screaming all the way home.
“Mom! Dad! Help! Help!”
“Calm down, Kit! What is it?” Both parents were on their feet immediately.
“Dane! Dane got kidnapped!”
“Oh, my goodness! Thelma, call the sheriff,” her father instructed. “Kit, tell me exactly what you saw. Who did it? Did you get a look at the person who took him? Where was it? Did anybody else see this?”
Tears flowed down Kit’s grimy cheeks, creating muddy rivers of sorrow. “We were at the Coulbourne Castle.”
“What in the hell were you doing there?”
“Dane wanted to do a séance. He said it would be creepy and fun to do on Halloween. I think we got a real ghost, though, because something picked him up into the air and then he was just gone! He disappeared!”
“Kitrina Eisley, this is no time to be telling ghost stories. Tell me now exactly what happened or I’ll tan your hide.” Her father’s tone deepened severely.
“I’m not lying, Dad! You can beat me if I’m lying, but that’s what happened! A ghost kidnapped Dane! He’s gone!”
“Thelma, tell the sheriff we’re going over to the Coulbourne Manor to look for Dane.”
Kit sobbed silently as her father drove. The spooky old manor loomed in the distance like a tangible nightmare. She shuddered and closed her eyes tightly, hoping it was just a prank, even though Dane told her it wasn’t. That must be it. Dane was just kidding. He was hiding there and they’d find him. She’d smack him hard for scaring her like that, but he had to be safe, right?
Kit and her father trudged up to the manor, flashlights in hand. “Dane!” she called. “Dane, this isn’t funny! If this is a joke, so help me I’m going to kick your butt!”
“Kit, don’t be talking like that,” her father admonished. “Dane! Come out, boy! If this is a joke, it’s gone far past being funny! Dane!”
Several minutes later, flashing lights cut the darkness. A sheriff’s deputy approached the duo. Kit and her father walked toward the deputy. “Hello, Sheriff. We’re looking for Dane.”
“Did you find him?” Deputy Joe Kaminski towered over the slight teenager. He was even taller than her father and much stockier. Nobody thought of messing with Deputy Kaminski. Nobody in their right mind, that is.
“Not yet,” Mr. Eisley shook his head no.
“What happened?” The large deputy looked pointedly at Kit.
“Dane wanted to do a séance, so we came here and had one in the graveyard. Then the wind was blowing, leaves and sticks started to swirl. I think we summoned a real ghost. Something grabbed Dane from behind and dragged him up into the air. I’m not lying. You have to believe me!”
“Something dragged him into the air, then what?”
“He disappeared. One second he was there, then he was just gone.”
“If this is another Halloween prank, young lady, I have a good mind to take you down to my office and arrest you for making a false report.”
“I swear I am not making this up! Dane is gone and I don’t know where he is or who took him!” Kit cried harder. Nobody believed her. She should have known. It sounded stupid, she had to admit. Who would really believe that a ghost kidnapped Dane?
Title: Scorpio Risen
Author: Desirée Lee
Publisher: Tease Publishing, LLC, http://www.teasetarot.com
Format: ebook PDF
Purchase Link: http://allromanceebooks.com/product-thechariotscorpiorisen-10694-140.html
Pages: 65 Price: $3.99
Deylen Troika is the new Alpha of the Centruroides clan of scorpion shifters and the owner of a toxicology lab to appear legitimate amongst mortals. Forced to hire a new employee for his lab, Deylen has to go outside of his clan to find someone with the qualifications. He can’t help but notice his new employee Seneca McLane is stunningly beautiful. If only her personality wasn’t so abrasive. If only she wasn’t mortal…
Deylen uncovers a secret Seneca harbors, bringing them closer together, more closer than he would have imagined. It also puts his own secret in danger of being discovered.
When a rival clan challenges Deylen for the city, Seneca is caught up in to a world she knows nothing about. Can Deylen keep his clan affairs separate and protect her innocence or will she become an unwitting pawn in the fight for supremacy amongst the arachnid shifters?
“I think you need to come over to this side of the tub. The view from over here is great.”
“Oh is that so?” She laughed and shifted position, scooting over to straddle his legs. “I still see the same thing, only closer.”
“But it’s a great view.”
“It damn well is.”
“I’ve wanted you ever since I first saw you. I admit I thought you were a real bitch at times, but a damn sexy bitch.”
“I am a damn sexy bitch. Don’t ever forget that.” She leaned forward and pressed her lips to his, noting the lingering taste of champagne and dessert on his tongue.
Deylen gripped her hips as they kissed, trying to position her over his cock. Seneca helped him and soon he was at her opening.
She moaned in to the kiss as she took him inside. He filled her so well. The water churned from both the jets and their motion as she rode him in the hot tub.
Deylen’s voice of reason was far gone by now. He was inside the velvety folds of Seneca McLane. In the small hot tub, he couldn’t control the motion much so he left that up to her. She seemed to know what to do. His hands moved to those voluptuous breasts and fondled. He broke the kiss and leaned forward, taking a supple nipple in his mouth. Big mistake, it tasted like the bubble bath. He didn’t suckle long before kissing back up to her neck. His hands slid around to her beautiful, heart-shaped ass, gripping it firmly.
He had a reason to resort to carnal pleasures. He needed to mate. He needed to sire the next Alpha of the clan. This was wrong though. He should not be fucking a mortal woman but he could not resist her.
Seneca quivered and moaned as she reached orgasm. Deylen kissed her throat softly, pulling her down to him harder to bring her to peak again quickly. Their sex was vigorous, forceful. They splashed water out of the hot tub but neither cared. Thoughts were primal as the instinct of their shared act took over. Deylen kept his eyes closed, lest she see them darken over to solid black.
Her back arched as she came again and Deylen was there with her. Keeping his hands on her ass, he pulled her down on him again as he peaked. He knew he shouldn’t have come inside her. This could be bad. Too late now.
She leaned forward, resting her chin on top of his head. Her breasts heaved against him as she panted. “Holy shit,” she whispered.
Title: Brothers at Arms
Author: Desirée Lee
Publisher: Tease Publishing, LLC, http://www.teasetarot.com,
Format: ebook PDF
Purchase Link: http://allromanceebooks.com/product-thechariotbrothersatarms-8855-140.html
Genre: Paranormal/Vampire. This is part of the Dark Tarot line.
Pages: 109 pages
For 250 years, the Arcée brothers have been in conflict. The vendetta between these two powerful vampires has shown no signs of resolve or waning. The concession made between the two is that the location of their ongoing war is moved every five decades to help prevent hapless mortals from discovering them. It was determined that the new locations would be chosen by a delegated Keeper, symbolized by a custom-made tarot card. Where the card goes, so do the Houses and also the war.
When the card changes hands, each House sends out Seekers, specially trained vampires who race against each other to be the first to discover the card’s new location. The first one to find the card and take control of the new keeper has the upper hand in the battle for that duration as they gain first foothold in the new city.
This year is a Turning Year. Julio Mendoza receives the card in the mail, unaware of its meaning. When he learns of the history of the card, he realizes he has been thrust in to a war that holds nothing for him, yet he cannot escape his fate. Still he will not accept his role meekly.
Michelle Bryson is a Seeker for the House of François Arcée. She is pitted against a ruthless rival from the House of Pierre Arcée to get to Julio first. Michelle is a young Seeker and if she fails to capture the Keeper, her life may be forfeited. What Michelle did not plan on was to find the Keeper to be a sexy, rebellious man who has a spirit in him unlike any Keeper she has seen in the past.
Julio knows the vampires are coming for him. He knows that he cannot hide forever. When the Seekers find him though, he cannot deny his attraction toward Michelle – an attraction that they will both pay dearly for if the Seeker from the House of Pierre Arcée has anything to do about it.
Julio and Michelle were oblivious to the conflicted vampire outside. Here, she was held tightly in his arms. Julio tilted his head and nuzzled his cheek against her hair. He hadn’t had a woman in his arms since he had broken up with Evelia. It felt good. Michelle was tall. It was easy to hold her. If only his gesture could bring her some comfort.
She squeezed her eyes tightly to dam up the tears. She would not cry for Luke. She had cried so many nights when he left before that she swore she had no more tears left inside of her for him. The tears that she shed would turn to shards of glass. They would fall and shatter, along with her vainly held hopes of Luke’s joyous return. She was now in the arms of another man, a position she had not been in for more years than she cared to count. Julio’s strong arms were beams of support that she did not want to admit she needed right now, though deep inside she knew she did. She did not fight it. She let him hold her and accepted the tender warmth of his touch. She felt him nuzzle her and it was strangely consoling, more so than she expected it to be. A tingle sparked deep inside of her. This was wrong though. It was wrong to be attracted to the Keeper. Such an attraction would only complicate things, wouldn’t it?
Julio did not assuage her confusion. He shifted and leaned his head down, capturing her lips with his own. Yes, Michelle had noticed his lips before and now she knew she was right. They were sublime. He was a good kisser. No, he was a great kisser. The fortitude that normally gave her so much pride was now failing her as she returned his kiss with a wanton zeal, barely keeping her fangs in check. Reason was cast aside. She was emotionally wrought but none of it mattered at this moment. All that mattered was that this man, whose scent on the pillow had helped coax her to a warm slumber this morning, was kissing her. This man desired her.
He didn’t realize how tormented she was inside over this kiss. He didn’t even really think of why he was kissing her. She was troubled and he had tried to comfort her. He wanted to show her that he cared. He cared. When did he start caring? When had this bossy vampire ever given him reason to show her any caring? Why was he even thinking when he had a woman in his arms?
His hands moved downward, caressing her back. He lifted her tight shirt, exposing the creamy skin of her back. The warmth of his fingertips sent shivers up her spine. She gave a soft moan, pressing her ample chest to his.
His mouth pressed more firmly to hers, more demanding. She did not deny. Her lips parted, permitting his tongue entry. The kiss deepened to ravishment. Her mouth held a salty tang that beckoned to him, spurring him to sample more. He heeded the call, putting out of his mind what it was that made her taste so salty. He drew back from her only for a moment. In that split fraction of time, he pulled her shirt upward, removing it from her in one fluid motion. It happened so fast that Michelle had no time to protest.
His lips met hers once again. His toned arms lifted her up. Their kiss remained unbroken. He carried her in to his bedroom, leaning over to lie her gently down. He stood at the foot of the bed, rapidly shedding his own clothing. His jeans dropped to the floor in a crumpled heap. His t-shirt was tossed, landing haphazardly on top of the dresser.
Michelle gawped at him, standing there in nothing but his dark grey briefs. His underwear were the color of a rock and the hard bulge contained within only accentuated that fact. She pushed her own pants down, hooking her thumbs in the hem of her panties to remove them at the same time. Her emotional state was in a complete frenzy. She knew that she should not be here, in his bed, naked. She knew that having sex with Julio is the last thing that should be on her mind but her physical desire won out over all of her mental protests.
Julio licked his lips as he gazed upon her nakedness. Her breasts were large, rounded and in a word, perfect. Her pale skin provided a stark counterpoint to the passel of dark curls that were now exposed. He crawled up on to the bed, stalking toward her on all fours like a predator. He hovered over her and eyed her hungrily.
She gave him a grin and reached down, pushing his briefs down. She glanced downward, taking her first glimpse at his now unconcealed manhood. He was huge! She had never been with a man that large. Wow, did they know how to grow them down here or what? Even Luke, her past love, could not compare to Julio’s size.
Julio moved his legs to slide the briefs off, then rocked backward on to his knees, sitting upright, legs bent beneath him. His hand cupped her mound. His fingers slid deftly in to her crease, seeking her clit. He found it quickly. The man obviously had talent in the art of pleasuring a woman. He rubbed her swollen nodule with his thumb, pressing two fingers up inside her. Even now, he was amazed that her flesh was still cool to the touch.
Michelle closed her eyes and moaned. All of her experiences with masturbation had never equaled a man’s touch on her most sensitive region. “Deeper,” she whispered, raising her hips to his touch. She began to caress her own breasts, tweaking her nipples to give him a show. If she had opened her eyes to see the expression on his face, she could tell that he was enjoying it.
Julio obliged her order. He didn’t accuse her of being bossy. He simply complied. His fingers probed deeper, wiggling against her g-spot. He grinned wickedly, expecting her to react strongly.
She did not disappoint. Her hands stopped caressing, instead squeezing her breasts tightly as she writhed at the sensation. She was wet when he first started kissing her but by now she was more than ready. She had a brief second of relief that she was not wearing her only pair of panties or else they would be soaked now.
Julio withdrew his fingers, now glistening with her moisture. He wondered what she would taste like. The curiosity was too much and he licked her essence from his fingertips. Her flavor was indescribably alluring. He shifted and started to crawl toward the nightstand.