W are thrilled to show off the latest from Brenna Lyons in her bestselling Night Warriors series: MAHER MEN. It's available today on Phaze.com and coming to ARe, Amazon, and BN.com soon. By the way, you can get the rest of this series for 25% off at All Romance just for today.
About the Book
The blue-eyed Maher men have always caused a stir. When Kord finds his mate, he doesn't know that the stone has a hand in destiny once again. The stone needs a suitable warrior for the König princess, and a mixing of the bloodlines alone will make the match.
Julia Farmer doesn't know she was bitten in childhood. She doesn't know she was transfused with Warrior blood. While she's not Blutjagdfrau, she shares the Warrior's drives, much to her father's dismay. There's instant attraction between Kord Maher and Julia, but when she hides the fact that she's a Warrior daughter from him, he ends up on the wrong side of the Rules of Sanction.
Shana has never taken chances. She never wanted excitement in her life. Then, her world was turned upside down. Vampires are real, and one vampire hunter seems intent on her safety--and on her. Bryant will not call a halt until Shana accepts his protection--and him--no matter what.
Adam is inflexible, abrasive, and full of himself. Jo is...completely unimpressed. Too bad, because Adam never backs down when he sees something he wants. Jo wants nothing more than to dump the warrior Kord assigned to her, but ditching one of the Maher trackers isn't as easy as one might believe. Adam Maher is one of the most infuriating men Jo has ever met. So, why can't she get him out of her mind?
Gabriel is Adam Maher's younger son. By all accounts, he's inherited the Maher hot blood. He printed at 17 and was refused. Then he made a pass at the wrong woman and found himself vilified in Hunter range. To top it all off, one of Adam's enemies has set his sights on destroying Adam by destroying his son. The beast doesn't know how effective his plan might be. The chosen bait to draw Gabriel in is the same protected who refused to be Gabe's mate a decade earlier, and his blood still hasn't cooled.
“What is it?” Maman’s voice was a whispered plea.
Julia opened her eyes, stretching beneath the light spring quilt on her bed.
“You know what,” her father commented. “Stay here. Paul and Jack will go with me.”
That simply, Julia was wide awake. Jack was going somewhere with Father. They would take her along if she was fast enough. Father would take her with them. Father never denied her anything.
She slid from her bed and pulled her shoes on over her bare feet. She strode down the hall and out the back door, turning the knob with both of her tiny hands, then bolted across the lawn to the garage. She stumbled, her nightgown catching on her shoes; Julia lifted it and ran on. Father would demand she dress before they left, but if she took the time to dress first, they might be gone before she reached them.
Julia stopped in the doorway to the garage, looking around in confusion. Her father and brothers weren’t there. She couldn’t have missed them. All four cars were still inside.
She turned back to the house, confused. Where could they have gone this late at night?
She turned to the sound of the whisper, her brow furrowing at a dark outline disappearing into the tree line. Julia smiled. Jack was playing with her as he often did after her nap. Was it a game of tag, then?
She rushed into the trees, following the faint rustlings and movements from tree to tree until the tree house rose high above her. “Jack?” she called, looking up the slats nailed to the tree trunk.
There was no answer.
Julia looked around; Jack was nowhere to be seen. He couldn’t ghost from her while she wore her amulet. She touched the disc to assure herself it was still there. No, he wasn’t ghosting, so he had to be teasing her. She scowled. Father didn’t allow the boys to tease her.
“Jack,” she demanded. “Show yourself, or I’ll tell Father.” Julia planted her fists on her hips.
Still, her brother didn’t show himself.
“Father will hear—” She stopped, taking a step back in surprise.
A man stepped from the trees, but it wasn’t Jack. “There you are, Julia,” he greeted her in a heavy accent she couldn’t place. “I’ve been looking for you.”
She shied from his offered hand.
The man chuckled. “Come now. Don’t you recognize me?”
Julia shook her head shyly. This man looked like a Warrior save his clothing, but it was no Warrior she knew. Who else would come here? Strangers didn’t come to their estates.
As if he read her thoughts, the man knelt down a few feet from her. “You needn’t be frightened. Could anyone harm you on Landwirt soil?”
She laughed at that, pressing her chubby fingers to her mouth. It was true. No one would dare harm her here—not while her father was Lord Farmer.
He smiled wider.
“Do you know Father?” she asked.
The man settled on the grass. “We have met each other many times.” He leaned closer to her. “I would ask your help, Julia,” he whispered in a conspiratorial tone.
“You need my help?” No one ever asked for Julia’s help. When she offered, people patted her head and sent her to play. “What kind of help?”
“I have lost my amulet.” His eyes were pained, much as Alan’s had been when he’d broken Maman’s favorite vase with his wooden practice blade.
Julia smiled. “I can get you one. Father has a whole drawer—”
“No!” He put up a calming hand as she startled. “Your Maman might see you. How would you explain your actions?”
She bit her lip, working at the problem and at a loss for an answer to it.
“I would be in even more trouble then,” he confided.
“Then how can I help?” she asked in confusion.
“If you give me your amulet...”
Julia fingered the metal disc over her chest uncertainly. “Father says—”
“Never to take it off?”
“Your Maman has told me you’ve lost yours before.”
Julia winced. She had lost it twice. Once, the chain broke while she was swimming. The other time, she lost it while she and Jack played in the woods.
“Did anything bad happen to you, Julia?”
“No,” she admitted.
“Do you think anything bad could happen here?”
“No.” That was said with more conviction. What could happen? Maman called this their sanctuary, and Jack said that meant it was their safe place.
“Was your father angry with you for losing your amulet?” He smiled a knowing smile at that.
Julia giggled. He knew Father well. Father was never angry with her.
“Will you help me, Julia?” His eyes were serious, hopeful.
She fingered the amulet. She’d never lied to Father. If she told him she lost the amulet—
“Julia,” he whispered.
She looked at the doll in his hand with a gasp of surprise. “Babette.”
“Yes. It is very like your Maman’s Babette, but this one has dark curls like you do and not golden like your Maman’s.”
Julia nodded, touching the doll’s beautiful pink dress.
“Trade with me,” he offered. “I will give you this Babette for your amulet.”
She nodded again, incapable of begging for the beautiful doll. It was even prettier than Maman’s Babette. Julia had longed to play with Maman’s doll for as long as she could remember. The man set the toy in her outstretched hands, and she hugged it to her chest.
“Julia,” Maman called. “Julia, where are you?”
“Quickly, Julia,” he urged her. “I must be well away before your Maman arrives.”
She pulled off the amulet and handed it to him. It slipped through his fingers and fell to the grass. Julia laughed, looking to him, intent on commenting on his clumsiness.
She went still, caught in the red glow of his eyes. Fangs sprouted in his mouth, and claws took the place of the fingernails on his hands.
Julia turned and ran, dropping the doll at the base of the tree and scrambling up the slats toward the tree house. Strictly speaking, she wasn’t allowed up there without Jack or Paul, but there were worse things in life than a broken arm.
“Julia,” Maman called again, annoyance in her tone.
A hand fisted in the back of her nightgown and yanked Julia from her perch. She screamed as she fell, kicking as fingers bit into her upper arms.
“Julia!” Maman was closer now, her voice panicked.
Julia screamed again at a sharp pain in her shoulder. Her body went leaden and her mind disconnected from the world around her. Memories danced in her mind: playing with Jack, riding on Father’s shoulders, cuddling in Maman’s arms when she was ill.
“No!” Maman screamed.
About the Author
Brenna Lyons wears many hats, sometimes all on the same day: former president of EPIC, author of more than 95 published works, office administrator, columnist, special needs teacher, wife, mother...and member in good standing of more than 60 writing advocacy groups. In her first nine years published in novel-length, she's won 3 EPIC e-Book Awards (out of 15 finalists) and finaled for 3 PEARLS (including one Honorable Mention, second to NY Times Bestseller Angela Knight), 2 CAPAS, and a Dream Realm Award. She's also taken Spinetingler's Book of the Year for 2007. Brenna writes milieu-heavy dark fiction, mainly science fiction, fantasy and horror, straight genre, romance and erotic crosses, poetry, articles, and essays. She teaches everything from marketing to choosing an indie publisher, and she's been called "one of the most deviant erotic minds in publishing today" by Fallen Angels. Find out more about Brenna at Youtube or her site http://www.brennalyons.com