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Krystina Cole was a girl on a mission. She had big dreams and aspirations, none of which included a man by her side. She knew better than that – at least until she met Alexander Stone, the New York billionaire real estate tycoon. She saw the way that he looked at her, and the dark promises in his eyes. She was curious about his world and all that it entailed. But the shadows of her past haunted her, making her afraid to explore possibilities that she could never before have imagined…
Alexander Stone was a man who knew how to get what he wanted. He understood the value of finesse, and the importance of patience and diligence to achieve the desired result. He was successful and wealthy, relying on his naturally sharp instincts to guide him through life. But a chance run in with Krystina Cole quickly turned his world upside down. Her quick wit and firecracker attitude was the complete opposite of what he wanted in a woman, and his instincts failed him at every turn…
However, both Krystina and Alexander are clinging to the secrets in their past, and neither of them are willing to compromise. Krystina’s hardened heart makes emotional surrender a hard limit. But for Alexander, revealing his past could have devastating results.
The story of Krystina and Alexander continues in Stepping Stone, book two of The Stone Series.
Krystina Cole is flawed and damaged from a traumatic experience. A relationship with Alexander Stone will never work. She knows that her capacity for love is limited, and that only she alone can repair the pieces of her shattered heart. But Alexander is everywhere she turns. In her mind. In her heart. And in her soul. She cannot deny him. He is her addiction and she is unable to stay away.
Alexander Stone has accepted the inevitable. If he wants to hold on to Krystina, he must bare all and release the secrets in his past. There were risks, but she is worth it. No woman has ever affected him the way that she did. She is the sunshine in his darkness. The lightning to his thunder. She is his angel.
Bound by their passion to be together, Alexander and Krystina fight to let go of their pasts. Together, they embark on journey of self-exploration, relying on trust to be their ultimate bond. Falling completely into one another, there finally seems to be a beacon of hope for their future. But as they test their boundaries of desire, fate takes an unexpected turn, threatening their only chance at survival…
Two declarations of love. And a past that won’t set them free.
Alexander had rules. Krystina broke them. Together, they learned the hard way that life was too short to play the game. Choosing to not leave their relationship to Fate, they fell completely and irrevocably into one another. As two shattered souls, wrapped in each other’s arms, it was as if the world and all its troubles did not exist.
However, committing to love each other was only the beginning. Caught up in their blazing desire, they unexpectedly find themselves facing the shadows of the past once again. Just when Krystina thought she knew the man she committed to, more questions arise, causing her to wonder if Alexander is who he says he is. It should have been one of the happiest times in their lives, but the darkness still loomed, threatening everything they fought so hard to overcome.
Now Krystina is faced with a terrible decision: go against Alexander in order to save him or sit idly by and watch as his world shatters around him. For her greatest battle was the very thing their relationship was founded upon. Trust.
The heart-wrenching and seductive story of Alexander and Krystina concludes with Set In Stone, the powerfully moving finale to The Stone Series.
Dakota Willink is an Amazon International Bestselling Author. She loves writing about damaged heroes who fall in love with sassy and independent females. Her books are character driven, emotional, and sexy, yet written with a flare that keeps them real. With three published titles and a magazine publication under her belt, Dakota's imagination is constantly spinning new ideas. Her current work in progress is The Dahlia Project, a series of standalone books that will embrace diverse characters and current day world issues.
Dakota’s love affair with reading and writing began when she was in the sixth grade. Competitive by nature, she was determined to win a reading contest and blitzed through every Sweet Valley High book she could get her hands on. As a result, she discovered her love for words. Since then, she dreamed of one day writing her own book, but put her aspirations on hold to focus on family and a career that would pay the bills. However, her heart continued to be with fictional characters – whether they belonged to a favorite author or if they were just stories that she made up in her own head.
In 2013, Dakota gathered enough courage to turn her dreams into a reality. In between playing chauffeur to two very busy teenagers and working her job during the day, Dakota began to put words on paper. By 2014, she gave up the security of a steady paycheck and began working on her first novel full-time.
Dakota often says she survived her first publishing with coffee and wine. She’s an unabashed Star Wars fanatic and still dreams of one day getting her letter from Hogwarts. She enjoys spending time with her super-supportive husband and two witty teenagers, her two Labrador Retrievers, and her spoiled rotten cat. During the summer
months, she can often be found soaking up the sun on the Great Lakes with her family
I needed a place to hide. A place to start over. A place to figure out how to move forward with my life.
When my cousin Lena offered me a rent free apartment in Chicago, it seemed like the perfect solution. And it was until the legal tenant, a Marine named Josh, returned early from his deployment overseas.
The little security I had shattered. I had no place left to go, and I couldn’t live with a man I didn’t know. But I had no choice. If he knew how badly I was damaged, he wouldn’t want me around. After all, that’s what he had told me over and over. Nobody would want me.
Maybe sometimes you have to run away to find yourself.
The night of my wedding, I ran, but I hadn’t ran far enough.
Lynn Stevens flunked out of college writing her first novel. Yes, she still has it and no, you can't read it. Surprisingly, she graduated with honors at her third school. A former farm girl turned city slicker turned suburbanite, Lynn lives in the Midwest where she drinks coffee and sips tea when she's out of coffee. She’s the author of Full Count and Game On..
Lena and Ryder’s latest argument greeted me as I climbed the stairs to the second floor apartments. They didn’t fight very often, but with their impending wedding, my cousin and her fiancé didn’t hold back their tempers or opinions. Of course, Lena liked it. She had to tell me how the make-up sex was worth his stubborn attitude. Information I
didn’t want or need to know. Wisely, I kept my mouth shut. If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t have a place to live. Or worse, I’d still be in Des Moines. I shook the thought out of my head. Des Moines was in the past and the people, including my mother, could stay there.
They’d quieted down by the time I reached the top of the steps. The shouting had toned into loud whispers. I smiled. Lena and Ryder were perfect for each other. I put my key in the door, pushing it opened. My heard froze. The door had opened without unlocking it. I couldn’t move. A shadow darted from the living room toward the back bedroom, my room. My legs unfroze. I stepped away slowly, hoping not to make a single sound until I rapped on Lena’s door. My back pressed against the white wood. I knocked again. The door gave way and I fell back into my cousin’s fiancé.
“Val?” Ryder asked.
I pointed toward the open door across the hall. My stomach churned, threatening to clear the gallon of decaf I’d sucked down in the last hour. This wasn’t happening. Chicago was supposed to be my safe haven. Nobody knew I was here. Nobody was supposed to find me. I closed my eyes and prayed it was a robber, not somebody worse. I turned to move into Lena’s apartment, to push Ryder back in and away from the danger, but strong hands squeezed my upper arms. Ryder moved me out of the way like I was a rag doll. Just the mere touch of his fingers made me want to curl up in a ball. I couldn’t keep living like this.
Ryder pushed by me in his bare-chested glory, his sculpted muscles cut with scars from his days as a Marine. I’d never seen a guy with a prosthetic leg move with so much grace. He rushed into my apartment. Well, not mine, not really. It was Ryder’s and his USMC buddy Josh’s place. Since Ryder spent most of his time at Lena’s and Josh was deployed, they’d let me move in until Josh returned in a couple of months. I hoped to be out of their way by then.
Why didn’t he just call 911? Why didn’t I?
I ran after him. Nightmares of Des Moines invaded by mind, but I shoved them back into their compartment. Ryder could get hurt. I’d never forgive myself if that happened. Not that I had ever been able to forgive myself for much of anything. Lena deserved happiness, and I would make sure she had it even if I couldn’t.
It was still dark inside the apartment when a loud “oomph” sounded in the hallway. I flipped on the light, illuminating Ryder on top of the would-be robber. As I stared at the unfamiliar face, all I could think was thank God it wasn’t Sam.
“Jesus, Ryder, I know you missed me, but tackling hugs aren’t necessary,” the robber said.
“Josh?” Ryder sat up, still straddling the guy’s lap.
It would’ve been funny had the circumstances been any different. Or even slightly different. Suddenly I longed for the home invader and not the roommate’s return. I’d have to move. There was no way I could stay here.
Kate Benson was raised in Texas and currently resides in central Florida with her husband and their growing army of fur minions.She learned to read at the age of four and has been hooked ever since. She credits her passion for literature to her mother, her love of story-telling to her father and her unwavering faith in happily-ever-after’s to her husband, Sean.Some of her favorite things include rainy days, loud music, superhero movies, hot tea and of course, lazy afternoons with a great book.To find out more about Kate, her work or to just say hello, she loves hearing from her readers and can be found on social media.
Nate Winters loved Bailey Beckett from the moment he laid eyes on her, and she loved him fiercely, with all her heart. Together, their journey for eternity was mapped out, but one person held the power to alter their future...William Clayton.
William held a profound hatred for Nate and would do anything to see him suffer; even use Bailey in his crusade to torment Nate.
Will the love between Nate and Bailey stand the test of time? Or is William going to finally get his revenge, and the girl?
For a love that’s as deep as the ocean, anything is possible.
** First published as a part of the Titanic Tales charity anthology. This story has been extended and modified from the original**
DL Gallie is from Queensland, Australia, but she’s lived in many different places all over the world, including the UK and Canada. She currently resides in Central Queensland with her husband and two munchkins. She and her husband have been together since she was sixteen, and although they drive each other crazy at times, she couldn’t imagine her life without him.
Shortly after her son was born, DL began reading again. With encouragement from her husband, she picked up the pen and started writing, and now the voices in her head won’t shut up.
DL enjoys listening to music, drinking white wine in the summer, red wine in the winter, and beer all year round. She’s also never been known to turn down a cocktail, especially a margarita.
After boarding, Jason finds a table and I’m on drink duty, so I head to the bar. It’s pretty busy, it takes a few moments before I get served but there’s no rush so it doesn’t bother me. I’m staring at the bar top in my own world when I hear an angelic voice that I vaguely recognise. “What can I get for you?” My heads snaps up and I’m met with the most amazing hazel eyes and an electric smile. A feeling of déjà vu washes over me. “Have we met before?” I ask.
“I don’t think so. I’m new to town,” she replies, her voice seeming all the more familiar.
Without thinking, I outstretch my hand, “Hhh...hi!” I stammer like a bumbling fool. “I’m Nate.”
Her head snaps up and her eyes bulge open when she hears my name. With a smile that lights her up face, she replies, “I’m Bailey, Bailey Beckett.”
She reaches across the bar and places her hand in mine. I’m overcome with feelings and emotions that I have never felt before, not while awake anyway. My heart rate accelerates. My breathing becomes labored, and as I stare into her eyes, I know.
She recognizes me.
I recognize her.
We both recognize one another.
Our eyes bore intensely into each other’s soul and an electric current passes between us. Memories of us from my dream vividly flash before my eyes, and I know precisely what she’s feeling, she’s remembering exactly who I am.
Sawyer's in big trouble. Lord knows, she's never been a great student, but she never expected to be an inch away from flunking her economics class this close to graduation. Failing is definitely not an option and she's running out of hope. That’s when her roommate suggests contacting a warlock who will sell her an oh-so-illegal spell to help her pass the final.
Kane is almost a free man...er warlock. He has one last job to do for the magical cartel, and then he's out of here. He's tired of them taking all his money when he knows he can make more cash out on his own. But before he delivers the cartel's spell to them, he takes a call for a side job-- to deliver an outlawed spell to a desperate college student. Only, he screws up. Big time.
Both Kane and Sawyer must dodge the magical police, the cartel, and enemies neither of them knew they had. If they don’t fix Kane’s mistake, it will cost them more than Sawyer’s life; it will cost them everything.
Emily Cyr is a stay-at-home mom turned writer. She holds a degree in middle grades education with certification in English and social science. She has always had a love of all things paranormal and fantasy, but it wasn’t until Emily’s husband said the words, “Why not?” that she considered putting her thoughts and ideas into the book, The Lightning Prophecy. This trilogy was just the start for Emily. It seemed to open a creative door that had been locked.
Emily has always been an avid reader. Through reading came her love of writing. The more she read, the more she knew she wanted to create her own world. Many of her first works were fan fiction.
Emily and her family currently reside in San Antonio, Texas. She has an incredibly supportive husband, who is also an officer in the United States Air Force. They have three sons, ages 6, 5, and 2. Somehow, even with the demands of being a parent to three little boys, she finds time to escape to her fantasies and write them down.
Currently, Emily has two urban fantasy series out, but stay tuned via her web-site, www.EmilyCyr.com, for more!
JoJo Bartlett loves soft blankets, the color blue, and laughing so hard she snorts. She's never met a chocolate chip cookie she didn't like. If you ask her husband or two kids, they will tell you she considers being called "weird" a compliment. Should the opportunity to participate in shenanigans with JoJo ever be presented to you... seize it, with both hands (or however many you have).
He risked it all to save her from the clutches of evil.
She crushed his heart and walked away.
Nitara has spent her life waiting for Jinn to return to her, but when he finally does, it's far too late. Daegal, the evil
warlock who cursed the pair and turned them to djinn, has been defeated, but the effects of his dirty work are far from gone.
Now she has to return to a place that holds her heart hostage. Things aren't what they seem. Her time away has weakened her position and now she is faced with a choice: fight or flee. However, fleeing just isn't an option.
Tyrellis is the unrightful ruler of Reverie, land of the vampires, and because of Daegal, he now possesses control over Nitara. As long as she is by his side, his rule will last unchallenged. While she is away his enemies act to stand against him.
Will Nitara save Tyrellis from the vampires who seek to dethrone him or will she let him fall in hopes of her gaining own freedom? Will Jinn forgive her for breaking his heart?
Find out what happens next in the second installment of the Djinn Rebellion Series from USA Today Bestselling Author, Jessica Cage!
Award winning and USA Today Bestselling author, Jessica Cage was born and raised in Chicago, IL. Writing has always been a passion for her. She dabbles in artistic creations of all sorts but at the end of the day, it's the pen that her hand itches to hold. Jessica had never considered following her dream to be a writer because she was told far too often "There is no money in writing." So she chose the path most often traveled. During pregnancy, she asked herself an important question. How would she be able to inspire her unborn son to follow his dreams and reach for the stars, if she never had the guts to do it herself? Jessica decided to take a risk and unleash the plethora of characters and their crazy adventurous worlds that had previously existed only in her mind, into the realm of readers. She did this with hopes to inspire not only her son but herself. Inviting the world to tag along on her journey to become the writer she has always wanted to be. She hopes to continue writing and bringing her signature Caged Fantasies to readers everywhere.
The rowdy group fell through the doors. Each member was already overly intoxicated, but the group wanted more. This was what she’d come to expect from most of the vampires who frequented the bars. They were self-indulgent and had no sense of personal limits. Nitara remained cloaked in the shadows, as she watched them make complete fools of themselves. The bartender frowned as two of the drunken goofs fell onto the bar and knocked a bowl of cherries onto the floor. Without so much as an apology, they pounded on the bar and demanded service. The leader of their group—a tall, blond moron—laughed as he boasted about their latest roguish deeds.
“It’s only a matter of time, boys!” he yelled as the previous patrons began to leave. They wanted nothing to do with the chaos the group would undoubtedly cause. “Tyrellis is going down!”
“How many times have you said that shit, man? Cast, give it up! Tyrellis is the king and you’re here drinking and dreaming with the rest of us,” another smaller vampire with short, dark hair and eyes too big for his face joked.
Nitara chuckled from her shadowed position. Even she had heard the leader of the drunks give the same speech more times than she cared to count.
“Yeah, but the difference now is that his little genie bitch is gone! And I happen to know something that none of you do.” He lowered his voice and narrowed his gaze. “He can’t get her back!” Cast strutted across the bar to the empty table that sat in the center of the floor. Plopping his ass down into the worn chair, he
leaned back and stretched out his arms and legs. “Our blessed little king has run out of that convenient little fountain of luck!”
“What makes you so sure about that?” the odd faced vamp questioned as he hopped up onto a stool.
“I have my ways, and my sources. My guy on the inside tells me that she is no longer his to command.” He kicked his feet up onto the table. “We all know Tyrellis ain’t shit without Nitara! Hell, he’s a fucking baby compared to most of us. How else do you explain him being on top?”
The others nodded and grumbled; it was a common complaint. The oldest were always in power. That was how it had been since the very first vampires were made. Even before the order of the fae, vampires lived in a system of nests—each one reporting upward to a stronger nest which was made of older vampires until the very top. Age determined rule. When it came time, those who were of power had the option of fighting for the chance to lead. Barbaric perhaps, but it was their way.
“Is that why you stole her bike?” Mick, a frail vampire who held his arm around a human girl’s shoulder, asked. In Reverie, the human population had become property. Each were tagged with their owner’s code by a tattoo on their neck. Besides being fed on, they lived good and healthy lives because they said it made the blood taste better if the humans were fit and happy. There were even a few farms which operated like resorts. The human population was well cared for. In fact, some even said that it was one of the best places for a human to be in the new world order. “I thought you grew some balls. Guess the truth is just that you’re no longer scared shitless of her because you know she isn’t coming back!”
“I have never been afraid of that puppet!” Cast hissed at Mick who simply laughed in response. “That’s all she is, a damn toy for him to play with! You can’t be afraid of someone who has no control over their own actions!”
“Is that right?” Nitara appeared, cool strands of her signature purple smoke dancing around her and emphasizing her presence. “Don’t I spark just the tiniest bit of fear in your heart, Castius?” She called
him by his full name, same as every time before, and he stiffened, just like always.
“Oh shit,” the short vampire muttered, backing as far away from Cast as he could.
“Oh shit is right.” She winked at the short man before returning her attention to the one who’d so openly boasted about her inability to act as she pleased. “Castius, please, tell me one thing …” She looked through the window to the sleek Harley that sat waiting. She hadn’t seen it since Daegal had snatched her from her miserable existence for one that was far less appetizing. “Why do you have my bike?”
“Well, there was no point in letting it just sit there, wasting away until you returned.” He laughed nervously. “Thought you would appreciate it being cared for.”
“Oh, that I do. And now, you will return her to me.” She held out her hand. “Keys.”
Cast dug the keys out of his jeans pocket—still intact with the pink skeleton head—and handed them over to her. “See, no harm no foul. I even had it cleaned today. We can just call this even, right?”
“Even? I don’t know, Castius. I doubt I would call returning property stolen from me even. You did steal from me, isn’t that right?” Peering over his shoulder at the group watching them, she knew without a doubt that she would need to make an example of the vampire.
“Borrow, I borrowed from you!” He laughed nervously. “Borrowed, cleaned, and returned!”
“Semantics. Still, in all, I can’t just let you get away with that, free and clear. What message would that give to the others?” She circled him, boots tapping loudly against the floor. She snapped her finger and the music stopped. The only sound was that of the nervous breaths of her target. “I mean, how does that sound? ’Feel free to steal from Nitara, she will just pat your back and let you off, as long as you return her belongings intact.’ I don’t know.” Pausing in front of him, she rubbed her chin in thought. “No, I don’t think that sounds good, do you?”
“I think it sounds fair.” His lips spread around perfect white teeth. “Makes you sound easy going.”
“Well, we’re going to have to agree to disagree in this instance. Easy going isn’t exactly the look that I’m going for.” Nitara waved her finger and the chair beneath Cast dissolved into nothing; his legs straightened until he was upright, standing in front of her, against his own will. “So, let’s discuss this puppet theory of yours. Tell me, how does it feel?”
“Look, I—” Cast began to plea, but his lips snapped tightly together. No matter how hard he tried to speak, he couldn’t.
“Don’t bother with begging, I’m not in the mood for it.” She waved her hand and streams of purple smoke reached toward the terrified vampire as they turned into solid strands that wrapped around him and restrained his movements. “You know what I am in the mood for? A puppet show!” She snapped her fingers and Castius began to dance to the music that piped through the speakers. Laughing, she conjured another shot of whiskey, and then knocked it back. The others groaned as they watched their leader be humiliated. Once satisfied with his performance, she snapped her fingers again and he fell to the floor. Nitara turned and strolled toward the exit, dragging the bound vampire behind her.
“What are you doing?” Mick spoke up, giving voice to the fear they all shared.
“Oh, don’t worry about our dear friend, Castius. We’re going to go for a little ride, considering how much our buddy enjoys
smoke danced between them. Mick shook his head and moved out of her way as she exited the bar with her prisoner in toe.
Once outside, Nitara admired the artwork that was her bike. Accented in purple, the beast stood under the moonlight in all its glory. She tied her haul on to the back of the bike and waved at the small crowd that formed around them. Straddling her baby for the first time in far too long, she grinned as it roared to life. The sound of her hog had become her calling card in Reverie. The vamps knew it and got the hell out of dodge whenever it sounded off. As she pulled away from the bar, she grinned. What better way could she announce her return? What better way to reinstate the fear of the king’s “puppet”? She drove through the center of Reverie where she knew she’d be seen.
Castius hung from the bike, floating behind her like a flag. This punishment was good, but not enough. She had to drive the point home. She continued following the road until the town and all of the onlookers were behind them. Out in the center of the large field that separated Reverie from the surrounding towns, Nitara found a place to plant her flag. The light from the moon washed the scene in a calming glow that contradicted the panicked energy that bled from the vampire.
Nitara looked up to the sky; soon the sun would return and he would be without cover. “Don’t worry, you’ll only burn a bit before the ropes dissolve. I trust you’re full of blood and able to make it to hiding before it gets too bad.” She winked. “Oh, and, Castius, keep your hands off my bike!”
Cast choked on the dirt that was kicked up by the back tire of her bike as she drove away. Nitara didn’t want to be in vamp land, but hell, if she had to be there, she was going to have some fun!