Welcome! Please note this site deals with adult themes.
This blog is the often amusing, sometimes dangerous den of two British writers of contemporary and paranormal romance, and urban fantasy. Most of our stories are based in the UK and our heroes and heroines are passionate Brits - yes, passionate Brits exist! Come on in out of the cold, pull up a chair and see for yourself...

Monday, 21 July 2014

Want to win a copy of Stepping Stones?

Hey folks, I'm afraid it is going to be a very short post this week as I am heading out of town tomorrow and got a couple of things I need to get done tonight.

Firstly and most importantly, Stepping Stones is on tour again, which means there is another tour-wide competition going on, which means that you have another chance to land yourself an ebook copy of my sweet contemporary romance:

Stepping Stones
(Sweet Contemporary Romance)
By Elizabeth Morgan


There's nothing like a wedding to bring the family together....

If not for her baby sister’s impending marriage, Margaret West would never return home. But after six long years, she finds herself a maid of honor who must answer to the people she left behind.

If her parents’ interrogation doesn’t drive her to drink, facing her foster brother, Adrian, just might. To make matters worse, her ex-fiancĂ© is the vicar who will conduct her sister’s ceremony.

Everyone demands to know why she ran off. But the more time she spends at home, the more Margaret realizes even she doesn’t know the real reason.

Length: Novella (32,000/91 pages)| Content: Sweet Romance/Contemporary| Publisher: Bono Books

Or a swag pack with my hand made, book themed wine charms.

If you press here and then scroll to the bottom of the page you will be taken to the tour schedule, which is where I will be at over the next two weeks. The rafflecopter is on that page, so you could just leave an entry there. Otherwise, you will find it on every post.

Stepping Stones has been receiving some very lovely reviews:

"This was really a beautiful example of how loving someone, the right someone is never the wrong thing to do." - Teri Carter Lloyd (Sportochicks Musings)

"This book is a very sweet contemporary romance. I loved it! Elizabeth Morgan has written a wonderful contemporary romance. Her characters are lifelike and likable. I love her writing style, which was fast paced enough to keep me hooked from beginning to end, and the flow was wonderful." - Lynn Worton (Book Reviews by Lynn)

More reviews can be read on the Stepping Stones Goodread page.

I'm glad that - so far - everyone is enjoying Stepping Stones, but I'm also very glad that readers are understanding the story, and more importantly Maggie and her actions and reasons. Thank you to everyone who has bought a copy so far, and if you are interested in the book I will be giving 2 away in the tourwide giveaway - link above - so make sure to leave an entry on the rafflecopter to be in with a chance of bagging yourself a free copy.

On a final and completely different note, both She-Wolf & Cranberry Blood have been formatted and sent to my editor for the final read through. Eek. 5 weeks to go until the re-release of the Blood Series! ^_^

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Excerpt of Return Of The Wolf (Eye Of The Storm #4), published October, 2014

I've decided to give you a lengthy excerpt tonight, since you're all so endlessly patient and understanding of the breaks between books - enjoy! (Just over three months to go!)

Return of The Wolf, unedited excerpt, copyright © Dianna Hardy, 2014. All rights reserved. Excerpt may be altered or deleted before publication.

BEWARE potential SPOILERS if you have not read Releasing The Wolf, Cry Of The Wolf, or Heart Of The Wolf

She half-ran down the stairs and made straight for the front door, letting nothing but her intuition guide her to … whatever would make her feel better. She didn't know what that would be, but it was her three mates she scanned for with her senses, automatically and without thought. And what an ability that had become overnight.

Since she'd transformed, it was as if they somehow lived in her. If she focused hard enough, she could feel where she ended and her mates began, even though they might be miles away, and she could catch the trails of their emotions – even their thoughts.

It was fucking weird.

And pretty damn cool.

So, she let her feet lead the way, behind the huge house, part of her wanting to shift, but another part of her feeling too self-conscious to do so – the whole thing was still so incredibly new, startlingly personal, and her human side hadn't completely left her yet. Maybe it never would.

She felt him there way before she saw him, but seeing him caught her breath a little, as it always did. He always looked magnificent – statuesque – his tall gait perfectly balanced, his flaxen hair, setting off a golden sheen against the last rays of sun. The profile of his face, currently turned away from her, was almost Roman in its structure, yet it was the legacy of what surely must be Scandinavian deities that shone through the armoured visage.

Ha! Right, let's add fuel to that ego of his…

Still, she'd never been able to deny his beauty from the second she'd laid eyes on it, nor, to some extent, him.

She wrinkled her nose in thought as the memory of her undoing her blouse and practically coming for him, right there, in the very public theatre restaurant, sprang up in her mind.

But the way he had looked at her… Don't even get me started on those eyes.

He knew she was there – of course he did – without needing to turn. Because the way she could 'feel' her mates … it was reciprocated.

Lawrence reached an arm out behind him and stretched his hand towards her, still with his back to her, facing the dilapidated, boarded up outbuilding to the south of the mansion.

She almost shifted then.

Her legs seemed to tremble at his presence, and although she was still a little pissed off he continued to have that affect on her, she could now also appreciate the splendour of it. The wolf in her had always relished her reaction to Lawrence. Human Lydia, however, would rather have that reaction to pretty much anything else. What ever happened to going ga-ga over a pair of Jimmy Choo's like a normal woman? Not that she'd ever been able to afford Jimmy Choo shoes…

Her bare feet led the way, not waiting for permission. She reached out and laced her fingers through Lawrence's own.

Return Of The Wolf is released on 30th October, 2014. All info on the series can be found here - http://www.diannahardy.com/eye-of-the-storm-series.html

Monday, 14 July 2014

Peek at Cranberry Blood!

So, I received my final edits for Cranberry Blood at the end of last week. Breezed through them. Formatting is also complete on Book One in the Blood Series, and today I started the final read through.

My editor is looking over the formatted - as in ready to publish version of - She-Wolf one last time, and once I have read through Cranberry Blood for the final time I will be sending it back to her for its final check.

Needless to say that by the end of next week - give or take some days - review copies will go out, and I will be uploading the e-book for pre-order and hounding my lovely co-blogger with questions about print formatting. Yes, I do intend to put the Blood Series out in paperback. Firstly, because a lot of people don't like ereaders/kindles and they want to actually hold a book in their hands. Understandable, nothing beats the feeling of actually holding a book. Secondly, because the covers are too beautiful to be left as an image on a screen, and thirdly - and I will admit this is somewhat selfish - after three years of being a published author I would really like to hold a book I have written in my hands, and to see it sitting on my bookshelf.

As crazy as it may sound, I am fully aware that I am an author and as I have said above have been a published one for three years, but it has never fully sank in. Personally, I think that holding something you have created would be an amazing feeling, and I can't wait for that moment.

So yes, needless to say everything is on schedule - *knocks on wood to not jinx everything* - and since I teased you with an excerpt from She-Wolf last week, and since I am working on Book One at the moment, I think it would be only fair to let you have a peek at Cranberry Blood. And since this book is about 30k longer than its prequel, you get a longer excerpt. Enjoy! ; )

~ * ~

Lights spluttered above me, fighting with some relentless attempt to come back on, even though the battle appeared hopeless.
It is hopeless. I’m trapped.
Fresh waves of pain rippled around my skull and down my spine as I fought to see everything around me, but thick grey smoke flooded the corridors. It crawled down my throat; the taste and feel of ash coated my tongue, making me gag. The need to cough kept grabbing me while ash blocked my nose and stung my watering eyes. My head throbbed, pressure in my skull tightened, as I fought hard to keep my eyes open.
There has to be a way out.
My eyesight had clouded from the smoke; my nostrils burned with it.
The awareness under my skin burned as hot as the fire that currently threatened to bring the entire structure down on my head, but I had to walk down here; every impulse in my body forced me forward. I had no idea what I hoped to find, but I knew in my gut that I could get out.
My right hand hit the uneven wall before me; my heart sank as I stood before the dead end.
My lungs burned as the smoke continued to consume my body.

I wasn’t supposed to die down here.

~ * ~

Air scorched my throat as my body jerked into consciousness. Eyes wide and unfocused, I shot into a sitting position, fisting my hands against my chest as I fought to breathe. My heart hammered, each beat loud and clear as it thumped in my ears. My gaze darted around the room. Relief settled over me like a gentle summer’s breeze as each small familiarity of my bedroom filtered into my jumbled mind: the tall, old mahogany wardrobe to the right side; the window, where light desperately tried to seep through the blinds; and lastly, across from the foot of my bed, the vanity table in the same dark shade of wood. Everything exactly where it should be, including me, in my bed, exactly where I should be.
I inhaled, the simple motion causing a stitch to run up my sides, but I ignored it. Sinking against my pillows, I rested my head against the wooden bed frame and closed my eyes. One breath, two, three; my heart steadied back into its usual rhythm. I rubbed my hands across my face, wiping away the sheen of sweat that had broken over my skin. On my exhale, the quietness of the room embraced me. The usual knots in my stomach started to tighten as the confusion of the recurring dream faded. I forced my mind to reach out and grab the escaping images, but, as always, reality quickly settled in and made my vision nothing more than a blank canvas.
Dull throbbing picked up at my temples. Shit. A sigh escaped me. Not again.
I threw back the covers and stumbled out of bed, suddenly aware of something gripping the skin of my stomach and back.
“What the—?” The raised hem of my black vest allowed a glimpse at the white bandage strapped around my torso. “How the hell did that get there?”
Shuffling steps took me over to the mirror on the vanity table where I studied the clean dressing that clung to my washed-out skin.
Brow furrowed, I stared at the white patch. “Okay. I really don’t remember hurting myself, let alone bandaging myself up.” My focus snapped to a smaller bandage, taped on the left side of my forehead. I studied my half-naked reflection with confusion. My already pale, peach skin looked pasty white, my golden curls nothing more than flat frizz. The throb in my temples increased as I forced my mind to conjure some memory of what had happened last night.
Blurred snippets of my most recent trip to London skipped through my brain. Standing on the roof across the way from some club . . . . Then nothing but blank.
I grabbed my comb and sat down on the edge of the bed, a hiss escaping my lips as pain shot up my left side. I took a deep breath and began to pull the comb through my matted hair, clenching my teeth as agony bit at my skull with each sharp tug. My mind continued to sift through snips of the night: going out to look for Carlson, finding him with Antonio. They had followed three drunken women from a club and dragged them into a loading bay behind one of the larger shops. Me following them and helping the three women get away . . . . At least, I think I did.
But what happened after that? More blankness. Damn.
Hair pulled over one shoulder; I plaited the limp mass and then placed the comb on the vanity table. My forehead began to tighten, and the painful awareness of the familiar thirst that started to crawl up my dry throat assailed my system. My stomach gurgled.
God, I feel rough. I needed food and my mixture, followed by a long, hot shower.
Rolling my head in a circle, I listened to the small pops of tense muscles as I walked to the head of the bed and reached behind the pillows for my sword. My hand met the mattress. My heart stopped. I threw the pillow aside.
Where the hell is my sword?
A strange reckoning tickled below the surface of my skin as my gaze tripped over the room. Something isn’t right.
I walked around my bed to my wardrobe and pulled out a pair of black jogging pants. My focus landed on my sheathed sword, which leant against the white wall behind the bedside table. I slipped into the garment and grabbed my sword, unsheathing the blade as I tiptoed to my bedroom door.
The leather sheath got tossed on my messy bed and the door eased open. Daylight flooded through the slim stairwell window, lighting up the narrow, cream-coloured hallway.
I walked over to the next door and opened it gently; the familiar smell of my Grandmother’s musky perfume hit me as I stepped into the room. I lowered my sword since no one stood there, but my feet refused to move. Her furniture sat where the pieces always had been. The purple bedding laid neatly, not a crease in sight. A layer of dust covered her bedside table. The faintest trace of her scent still lingered. A ball of grief swelled in my chest, lodging tightly between my throat and heart.
I hadn’t taken a single step in here for over a month. She would have wanted me to clean, to open the window and air out the room, but I honestly couldn’t bear the thought of dusting her away just yet.
I backed out of the room and shut the door, letting out a breath I didn’t even realize I’d been holding.
I’m finally going crazy. Somehow, I got myself home; it doesn’t really matter how. Maybe I came in, sorted myself out, and then passed out in bed? I must have. What other explanation could there be?
With a sigh, I walked across the landing to the bathroom door. The throb in my temples increased. My muscles felt tighter than a bowstring. A shower and something to eat and drink; these should do the trick. Then maybe my brain would decide to start working, and I could fill in the blanks.
The scent of wet dog flew into my face once across the bathroom threshold. My clothes from last night sat in a shredded pile on the black marble floor, along with my set of daggers. The first aid kit lay open in the sink.
A deep inhale revealed more; combined with the smell of dog, the bathroom held traces of blood. My blood.
I stepped into the room and peered into the waste-bin to see a large amount of dried, red cotton wool.
“I don’t remember doing this.” My eyes bugged at the mess.
Surely, I would remember doing this? Why the hell do I smell dog? Another inhale. And pine?
Something really didn’t feel right. I had never been so bad that I couldn’t remember what had happened on a hunt, and by the looks of things, I’d been in real bad shape.
Back into the hall and to creep quietly down the stairs. The odour of dog grew with each step, the smell of coffee and bacon gradually joining in. My stomach clenched at the familiarity of walking down these stairs every morning to find my grandmother happily cooking breakfast in our kitchen. Minus the smell of animal, though.
I couldn’t believe she’d died almost six weeks ago. God, I miss her.
As I stepped into the lower hall, a glance out of the side window showed my black Range Rover sitting in front of the house, between the front door/porch and the closed, wrought iron security gate. A long, silver scratch marred the paintwork on the bonnet. Antonio’s face flashed through my mind.
I remembered stumbling back to the car to find him there, waiting for me. The bastard had dragged his filthy claw along my Rover. That son-of-a-bitch!
I killed him, though. I think. He lunged and . . . . I looked down at my left arm. Two pale lines slashed across my skin. He’d stumbled and caught me on the arm, but I got him in the neck . . . .
The sudden sound of rustling paper snapped me from my thoughts. Tension grabbed me, the awareness crackling beneath the surface of my skin.
Someone is in my house.
Stepping through the open living room door, a new scent invaded my nostrils. Tangy, manufactured, like expensive cologne. An unfamiliar, black travel bag sat tucked away between the red leather sofa and the TV stand. The papers rustled again. I moved lightly toward the archway that lead into the dining room, my sword still gripped comfortably in my right hand.
“Your breakfast is getting cold, Heather. I suggest you stop trying to sneak in here and just come in so that we can get this over and done with,” said the deep male voice of whoever was in my kitchen.
What the hell is going on? Who is he? Why is he in my house? How does he know my name? And why the hell has he cooked me breakfast?