Where can you find a fiery blond haired fairy who drives a Jeep Wrangler and motorcycle, packs heat, with a mouth and a reputation for getting the bad guys, has a witch who bakes for a best friend, a sizzling Loki boss, a hot vampire lusting after her, and an equally hot ex-boss who still cares for her and she for him? We are speaking about the one and only Dulcie O'Neil, extraordinary heroine and good girl, and she can found in the pages of author H.P. Mallory's two novels, To Kill A Warlock and A Tale of Two Goblins. ReaderGirls are ecstatic to be participating in A Tale of Two Goblins Blog Tour. Today we have an excerpt from this very funny and sexy paranormal romance novel plus a giveaway.
About the Author:
Hi, I'm HP Mallory and I've written two series, the first about a fairy in law enforcement (To Kill A Warlock and A Tale of Two Goblins) and the second about a witch who can bring back the dead (Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble and Toil and Trouble).
I'm a mongo fan of anything that goes bump in the night and Halloween is one of my favorite holidays! (Quick tangent--the best costume I've ever worn was last year when I went as the Headless Horseman and my baby was my Jack-O-Lantern head!) I've always loved the Twilight Zone Marathons and if I ever saw a ghost, I think I'd wet myself.
I grew up in California although I've lived abroad in the UK (England and Scotland--woo hoo, gotta love those kilts!)
I'd categorize my writing as a blend of suspense, humor, light horror, and romance with a sprinkle of fantasy to tie everything together! If you are all about fairies and witches and vampires (oh my!), you love a good alpha warlock and you like men who get a little hairy during a full moon, I got the goods.
An Excerpt from A Tale of Two Goblins:
The door was closed even though Bram knew I was coming. He was such a sucker for pretense. I knocked on the door and there was no answer so I knocked again, irritated that I had to play his game.
His voice came from the other side of the door and with a shake of my head, I opened the door and took a few steps into the plush carpet of his office. There was even less light in Bram’s office and I had to make out the outline of the door behind me in order to close it. Inside, the music was muted and the smell of burning incense was thick in the air. I dropped my helmet into a nearby chair, my eyes still growing accustomed to the low light.
“Hi, Bram,” I said, once I noticed him sitting behind a desk, outlined by the glow of a candle just behind him. The desk was a new addition to his office but the black lacquer fit perfectly against the red, white and black motif of his office.
He glanced up as if he hadn’t expected me, as if he’d been poring over the papers in his hand, without any clue that he had a visitor. His fangs immediately descended as soon as he glanced at me, the papers falling from his hand, scattering across his desk.
“Are you okay?” I asked, wondering what the hell had gotten into him.
He shook his head in what appeared to be bewilderment and stood up. He took the five steps separating us and stretched a long, slender finger toward me, running it down the leather of my bike jacket, just above my left breast. I was reminded of what had happened the last time a man had touched me without asking permission but figured Bram wouldn’t take it well if I attacked him…or maybe he would. Either way, I wasn’t going to try it, not while I needed a favor.
He opened his mouth and inhaled, like a cat smelling the air. When his eyes found mine again, there was something in their depths—something I couldn’t put my finger on. Ever since Bram had turned three hundred, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from him, it was as if his power had increased twofold, and his aura emanated it. And it wasn’t something I liked. An unpredictable vampire was not an easily managed vampire.
“You exist merely to plague me.” His voice was rough, like diamonds cutting glass.
“What the hell are you talking about?” I demanded. I didn’t have the time nor the energy for this crap. I had to get in and get out—find out where Quillan was and move on. The night might have been young but Sam’s battle wasn’t.
“You…your outfit,” he started, giving me the once over again. “You try my will power not to take you right where you stand.”
I glanced down at myself, taking in the black leather riding pants and boots I’d magicked for myself. I was wearing a tight black turtleneck underneath the black leather jacket. My outfit was utilitarian—meant to protect from road rash, should I take a fall off the bike. Granted my pants were snug but Bram’s reaction was a bit much.
“Keep your distance, Bram,” I muttered and seated myself in one of his chairs. My hair had caught in the neck of my jacket so I pulled it free and allowed it to cascade around me in a flow of gold. Hmm, I was having a good hair night—maybe that was why Bram’s panties were all in a bunch.
Bram leaned over me, resting his hands on either chair arm, still staring at me as if I were a walking, talking vat of blood.
“The beauty of you, Dulcie Sweet, is that you have no notion, no knowledge of what you do to me. If you were any other woman, I would have had you by now…repeatedly.”
“Humble much?” I asked with a frown. I wanted to take my jacket off because it was hot in Bram’s club, but after that little display, I doubted if it would be a wise decision.
He laughed and as if to continue his completely bizarre actions, dropped to one knee before me, wedging himself between my legs. I immediately sat up straight, on complete alert, and reached into my waistband, fingering the Op 6…just in case. I watched Bram grasp my wrist and I was suddenly aware of how much larger he was than I was. My small wrist was nearly swallowed by his hand. He pushed the leather sleeve up, bringing my wrist to his face.
“If you bite me, I’ll kill you,” I whispered and I meant it. I’d never been bitten by a vampire and I’d sworn I never would be. Playing dinner entree was not my idea of a good time.
“I want to bite you, Sweet.” His voice was low and his fangs tickled the sensitive skin of my wrist as he ran them back and forth.
As if death was of no consequence to him, he closed his eyes and inhaled just above the area where my veins were closest to the surface. I closed my fingers over the Op 6, wondering if I’d need to pull it free. I really didn’t want to shoot Bram…
He opened his eyes and focused them on me. “One day, my Sweet, you will beg me to bite you. And I will bite you and swallow your blood as I push into you and listen to you cry out in pleasure.”
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. “Okay, Barbara Cartland, can we stop the sex talk and, instead, talk about why I’m here please?”
He dropped my wrist but didn’t move out from between my thighs and I’m not sure why, but I allowed him to stay there. Maybe because I knew I was asking for information I shouldn’t have been.
“Please enlighten me,” he said although his tone was anything but interested.
I sighed, long and hard. It brought his attention to my face and when he realized I was less than thrilled with what was about to come out of my mouth, he was rapt, his attention mine.
“I need to know where I can find Quillan,” I said in a small voice.
Bram narrowed his eyes and stared at me for a long time. I stared back. He leaned into me until we were nose to nose.
“Are you asking this as a Regulator?”
I was asking for my own personal reasons, because I had to get my hands on some Gargoyle’s Mandrake. But, Bram didn’t need to know that. I swallowed. “No.”
He licked his top lip and smiled. I swallowed harder. “It would not look good for me to be offering location tips about those involved in street potions to a Regulator.”
I leaned closer to him and turned my head as I whispered in his ear. “I’m no longer a Regulator and I would never do anything to damage our…relationship. You can trust me, Bram.”
His hands found my upper thighs and he squeezed them suggestively. “Can I trust you, Sweet?”
“You once said my word was good,” I started and grabbed his hands before he got any other ideas.
He pulled away and stood up, a deep chuckle echoing through him. When he faced me again, his eyes were wild. “It does bother me, Dulcie.”
“The fact that I covet you so. You pose a challenge, yes, but on the flip side, this constant hungering for you takes its toll. Sometimes I do wonder if it would be better if you did not exist.”
“Are you threatening me?” I demanded, wondering if Bram was going to join my throng of enemies. I sincerely hoped he wouldn’t. Granted, I liked the fact that he was a bridge to the less than noble members of Splendor but beyond that, I actually did like Bram. He was….amusing.
He laughed again. “Me? No.” He shook his head. “I would never harm you but your death by another’s hand, hmm….I do not know what I should think of it. Perhaps it would be a bit of a relief.”
I stood up and frowned, figuring this errand had been a waste of time. It appeared Bram wasn’t in a forthcoming mood. I had to wonder if I’d interrupted his dinner. “Thanks for the vote of confidence.”
He walked to his desk and sat down, as if needing to put a buffer between us. I started for the door and just as I grasped the doorknob, his voice stopped me.
|Read more in the first book of this series.|
“Why do you seek Quillan?”
I didn’t turn around right away. “I need to ask him a question,” I said finally.
He nodded and rocked back and forth. “I imagine it was quite a blow to learn your partner was deceiving you all these years?”
I didn’t release the doorknob but turned to regard him, ignoring the pain that coursed through me at the mention of Quillan’s deceit. “Yes, it was.”
“Some people thought perhaps you were in on the operation all along.” He didn’t stop rocking.
I dropped my hold on the doorknob and faced him fully. “And what do you think, Bram? Do you think I was in on it?”
He shrugged. “I do not care.”
“Then why bring it up?”
He stopped rocking and stood up, taking a few steps closer to me. “You were going to leave and I wanted to prohibit you.”
I shook my head. “Bram, I really don’t have time to play games with you. People’s lives depend on you giving me the information I need.”
“I thought you said this was not involving the ANC?”
I gulped. “It’s not.”
He materialized directly in front of me, so close I could feel the cold steel of his belt buckle against my stomach. I couldn’t help my gasp. I took a step back until the door pre-empted me from further escape. My heartbeat was pounding. “I hate it when you do that,” I whispered.
He grabbed my jacket and slid it off my shoulders.
“What are you doing?” I insisted, growing more and more unnerved.
He smiled down at me and it was the smile of a shark. “There is too much heat radiating off you, Sweet. You must be suffocating under all that leather.”
I had been. Between the anxiety pounding through me and the temperature in Bram’s office, the heat had been squelching. He pulled the jacket off me and carefully laid it on the chair. I glanced down at myself and realized the material of my turtleneck was slightly see-through. I could see the outline of my black bra. I glanced up at Bram and found his gaze fastened on my breasts.
“I’m up here,” I snorted.
He didn’t look up from my breasts. “I do appreciate a woman with an ample bust line.”
“Are you going to help me or aren’t you?”
“Help can come in many forms, Sweet,” he said, finally returning his eyes to mine.
“Tell me where I can find Quillan.”
“Why must you speak with Quillan, Sweet?”
Bram regarded me curiously. “Tell me, Dulcie, has Quillan ever sampled your body? Does he know what your face looks like when in complete bliss?”
I pushed away from him. I’d been hanging on his every word, hoping he was going to help me, hoping this little act would be short lived. Apparently I’d been stupid. “Holy Hades, Bram, what the hell is wrong with you? Do you need to feed or what?”
“Answer the question,” he ordered. “Does Quillan know what it means to taste you?”
I counted to three in my head. No, I didn’t have time to play cat and mouse games but it was easier to attract flies with honey than vinegar and in this case, it was easier to get Bram to give me the information I wanted if I played his sex games.
“No, he doesn’t.”
Bram grinned, his fangs cresting his lower lip. “But you were attracted to him, no?”
I gulped down an acid response. “Yes.”
“And have you imagined what it would feel like to take him into your body?”
I forced myself to hold his gaze, and not to look away. “Yes.”
He chuckled without mirth. “I do enjoy playing with you, Dulcie. Your one flaw is your inability to tell anything other than the truth.”
“Those are your words, not mine.”
“Tell me, have you imagined what my lips would feel like against your skin? Have you imagined making love to me, Dulcie?”
It was my turn to laugh. “Game’s up, Bram. You’ve exhausted your interrogation for the night. Now it’s my turn.”
He sighed and backed away from me, returning to his desk. “I have heard your Quillan has been spending time with a…rough crowd. I would not advise you to seek him out alone.”
“So, what, you’d be willing to go with me?”
He was quiet for a moment before nodding. “I would.”
“Thanks but you’d spoil my cover.”
“It is too dangerous for you to go alone,” Bram said, his former playfulness now absent from his voice.
“Weren’t you just saying you wanted me dead?”
He shook his head. “You always turn my words against me, Sweet.”
“Where can I find Quillan, Bram?” I demanded.
“Sanctity. The Devil’s Harlot.”
“What the hell is that?”
Bram smiled and revealed the fact that his canines were still in full effect. “A strip club, Sweet.”
I shook my head. “Figures.”
“You will be taking your life into your hands,” Bram continued. “There are wards reinforcing the building. You will not be able to use magic to change your appearance and I daresay most there would recognize you as an ANC Regulator.”
I nodded; I’d figured such would be the case. I picked up my long blond locks and sighed as I thought of dying them. “Guess I’ll have to change my appearance the old fashioned way then.”
“I would still escort you. Perhaps my being there would attract attention away from you.”
“If anything, you’d attract more attention. I can do this alone.” I paused for a second or two as I thought of riding the Suzuki clad only in some slutty getup. “But, I could use a lift.”
Bram threw his head back and laughed heartily. “Of course you could, Sweet, of course.”
“Is that a yes?” I asked, feeling exhaustion in the very depths of my soul.
“Yes, I will gladly drive you.” He eyed me for a few seconds, a smile still gracing his handsome face. “When we arrive, do not enter through the front door. If you walk around to the back of the establishment, you will see a small door off to the side. Knock twice and when the bouncer opens it, tell him you are there as a gift for Quillan. Tell him I sent you.”
I eyed him for a second or two while I tried to make sense of the statement. “So, I’m going as a whore then?”
Bram smiled and his eyes twinkled. “When you play with the big boys, you must play big boy games, Dulcie Sweet.”
“Wonderful,” I grumbled. “Anything else?”
“It is the only way you will make it into the club. And do be careful not to blow your cover; I do not want this to come back and bite me in the ass.”
“I’ll do my best.” I turned the doorknob and opened the door before glancing back at him. “Can you pick me up in about two hours?”
He steepled his fingers and regarded me with amusement. “I will be there with bells on.”
Then I walked out and closed the door behind me.
Intrigued? Of course you are! Here's where you can find A Tale of Two Goblins:
Purchase at Amazon
Purchase at Barnes and Noble
Purchase at Smashwords
Check out the next stop on the tour at Bewitching Books on Monday
For a list of the entire tour go to The Bookish Snob Tours
For more Dulcie, pick up To Kill A Warlock, Dulcie O'Neil #1 at Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Smashwords. Look at H.P. Mallory's Smashwords page for more of her books.
Thanks to H.P. Mallory and Bels at The Bookish Snob Tours.