Saturday, November 01, 2008

Excerpt: Masqued Tails by Dawn Montgomery

Masqued Tails
by Dawn Montgomery

Cover art by Sahara Kelly
ISBN (13): 978-1-59596-990-3
Genre(s): Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Theme(s): Shapeshifters, Magic and Mayhem, Elves, Dragons & Magical Creatures, Shunga
Length: Novella



Magickal null Alaya Bellemore is stuck in a mansion where murder-mystery games become a little too real, midnight encounters with a certain shape-shifting fox becomes the norm, and even the walls and doors are alive.
Shad’s been trapped for far longer than he’d care to remember. When the luscious Alaya walks into his life he finds hope beginning to burn in his heart and soul. And when their passion explodes in an inferno scorching enough to temper their resolve, Shad finds there’s another way to give life to hope.
Can Shad help Alaya escape the clutches of an eclectic collector before she becomes part of his living museum?


This e-book file contains sexually explicit scenes and adult language which some may find offensive and which is not appropriate for a young audience. Changeling Press E-Books are for sale to adults, only, as defined by the laws of the country in which you made your purchase. Please store your files wisely, where they cannot be accessed by under-aged readers.

A loud banging echoed from below the window. Alaya slammed the book shut, and shivered at the sudden cool breeze. She wiped the sweat off her brow and set the book on the dusty sheet next to the old trunk.
Another round of hard rapping below had her scrambling out of her comfortable spot. She shoved off the floor and raced down the stairs, brushing her soaked bangs off her forehead with an impatient swipe.
“I’m coming!” You wish. Alaya ignored the jibe from the back of her mind. She jumped the last two steps and jogged to the front door. With an impatient tug on the lock, she pulled the old oak door open, wincing at the heavy creak. Those hinges really needed to be oiled.
“Can I help you?” The question died on her lips when she caught sight of her visitor. A vision of leather and lust greeted her at the door. He stood at an angle, the flow of his body at odds with the tension radiating from his shoulders. Ash-colored hair flowed down Mr. Dark and Dangerous’s back, coming to rest on the curve of his ass. He easily topped her by a good foot or so. He turned to her with a killer smile and a dimple.
“Alaya Bellemore?” The soft-spoken question had her leaning closer to hear him. He pursed his lips and took a slow inhalation.
She watched a dark emotion cross his perfectly formed face before it smoothed to calm once more.
Alaya cleared her throat and tried to slow her racing heart. “Yes, that’s me.”
He nodded and lowered his sunglasses. Ice blue eyes beckoned. She glanced behind him and noticed a sweet motorcycle parked in the driveway.
Get a grip, girl! Her mind whirled.
“Can I help you?”
Lines crinkled his eyes as a soft smile teased his lips. “I hope so.”
Alaya wondered why anyone would be looking for her at this house. Her mother’s house. “I’m sorry; are you sure you’re looking for me?”
“Can I see some form of identification? I have a delivery here for Alaya Bellemore and I have to make sure you” -- his smile turned predatory -- “are the intended party.”
Without taking her eyes off the tall and handsome delivery man, Alaya pulled open the drawer of the entryway stand. She pulled out her license with fumbling fingers and handed it to him. “I don’t have to tell you that you look nothing like any delivery boy in my neighborhood.”
With a quick glance and a smile, he gave it back to her. She slipped it into her back pocket. He reached inside his leather jacket and pulled out an odd-sized envelope.
Its wrapper was an iridescent blue. The large square seemed packed full of something, sort of like an invitation. He held it toward her. Alaya Bellemore was elegantly penned across the front.
“Touch the envelope please, Alaya.” He held it with bare hands, so she knew it wasn’t dangerous. Maybe.
She took a soft breath and tentatively brushed her index finger against it. A sudden violent sneeze erupted, squeezing her eyes shut and forcing her to cover her mouth. “Excuse me.”
“Of course, Mistress.”
She opened her eyes and blinked. The envelope was now a rich burgundy.
“How did you do that?” She took the envelope from him and turned it over, wondering if he’d slipped a different one to her. Her name was now a shining silver, almost glowing against the envelope’s dark paper.
He stared at her, his eyes shimmering. For a moment, pity darkened his lovely face. “You’ve been confirmed. All instructions will be in the envelope. See you soon, Alaya.”

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