#NewRelease – Moonlight Keeper #PNR #NewAdult #romance

MoonlightKeeperCover

Genre(s): New Adult, Paranormal, Mainstream
Published: May 3, 2017

Broken. Damaged. And nearly without hope.

Aria McFay has suffered at the hands of her uncle and his twisted pack, but she’s not giving up just yet. When she manages to escape, the first place she runs is to Ashton Grove, Georgia, and her childhood friend, Lucas Adams, in hopes the pack will take her in and protect her.

Heartbroken, yet determined.

Seeing Aria again only serves to remind Lucas that he’s known his destined mate since he was ten years old, except Aria never knew, because Lucas didn’t feel worthy of her. He’s worked hard to build a life for himself in Ashton Grove, but how can he claim her after everything she’s been through? Even he isn’t that selfish.

What the heart wants…

Aria may be damaged, but she still wants Lucas just as much as she did when they were kids. But the sexy wolf seems determined to keep their relationship as friends only. What will it take to make him see her as something more than his childhood friend? If Aria can’t have Lucas, she doesn’t want anyone.

Available Here:

Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iTunes / Kobo / Bookstrand

Excerpt

Aria’s body ached, her latest beating having left fresh welts and bruises. She felt like one, big, walking sore, but no matter what they dished out, no matter how severe her punishment, she refused to bend to her uncle’s wishes. It would be a long, cold day in Hell before she’d bow and scrape before the likes of Boudreaux LeBlanc, her uncle’s best friend. The man was insane, not to mention the meanest son of a bitch she’d ever met. He’d never had a kind word for anyone in his life, and now her luck had run out because he’d decided he wanted her for his mate. Even worse, her uncle was in complete agreement. Sadistic bastard.

Boudreaux wasn’t the first man her uncle had tried to pair her with. There had been three others over the past two years, and Aria knew what would happen when she refused to back down. The pain and horror of what happened those other times lived on in her mind. While it may not have scarred her physically, emotionally…well, let’s just say she wasn’t going to trust men very easily ever again.

She pushed the curtain aside and peered through the window. It had been quite a while since she’d been free to roam the pack grounds. Uncle Remus had deemed her unfit company until she’d give her word that she would mate with the loco Boudreaux. Because she had refused, she’d been locked in her room for a week now, and it was never going ot happen; she’d never give her word to mate with him. She was lucky her small closet had been turned into a tiny half-bath when she’d joined the pack shortly after her eighteenth birthday; otherwise, she wouldn’t even have had a toilet to use, or a sink so she could wash up. Her hair was filthy, the long strands greasy and repellent. She’d plaited it, doing the best she could with what little she was given.

Uncle Remus was afraid if he let her out of her room, she’d find a way out of the small cabin, and once that happened, he knew she’d hit the road. Well, swamp. It was a long way to the nearest town. What he didn’t realize was that the boards in the corner of her room were loose, enough so that she’d been able to dig a little each night. It wasn’t a big hole, but it was big enough for her animal to fit through. All she had to do was shift, dig the rest of the way out, and she would be free! Naked, but free. But hey, everything came with a price. At this point, anything was better than prostituting herself to an abusive asshole for the rest of her life. However long that might be. Boudreaux had already had one mate. She’d died less than a year after their mating ceremony. There were rumors that he’d killed her, not that anyone was going to step up and do something about it.

She winced as she moved, her muscles pulling and contracting painfully. Aria had heard murmurs in the hall earlier, when no one thought she was listening, or maybe they just didn’t care if she knew her fate. Her uncle was desperate and had determined the best way to control her would be to drug her. He’d ordered Ruth Ann, the pack cook, to dose her food with sedatives, like valerian root. She was certain there would be other things in there, things meant to keep her calm and docile. She had little doubt they would continue to dose her food until it took effect, and since she didn’t plan to eat it, that could be a while. Well, either that or she’d starve to death.

No, she needed to escape, and she needed to escape right now.

A glance out the window showed the sun was setting, which meant the guards outside the cabin would be changing shifts. If she was going to run away, it was now or never. Aria slipped out of her clothes, shifted into her animal, and dug her way out of the room. Once she popped out on the other side, nose twitching, she froze and scanned the area, looking for signs of trouble. It looked like no one was paying attention to her. Fast as she could, she made a dash for it, leaving the pack behind her.

Aria didn’t stop until she reached a small settlement not far from the highway. She shifted back, grabbed some clothes off a line in someone’s backyard, and made her way to the road. She’d have to be careful, if her pack had realized she was missing, they would be searching for her. Watching from the tree line, she waited until she saw a car with out-of-state plates on the front. Texans were friendly, right? Then again, they probably ate rabbit stew.

Stepping up to the edge of the highway, she held out her thumb, hoping they would stop and give her a lift. Hitchhiking was dangerous, but it had to be safer than staying with her family. Anything had to be safer than that.

The car slowed and pulled over. The man behind the wheel appeared to be in his sixties and gave her a kindly smile. Aria pulled open the door and slid into the passenger’s seat.

“Thank you for stopping,” she said.

“Young thing like you shouldn’t be hitchhiking.” He noticed the bruises on her arms and frowned. “Are you in some sort of trouble?”

“My family can’t find me,” she confided. “I need to get as far from here as possible, as fast as possible.”

He nodded and put the car in gear. “Buckle up. I’m on my way to Chattanooga. You just tell me when you want to be let out.”

“Is Ashton Grove, Georgia on the way? I think it’s in the mountains.”

He smiled at her. “Well, if it isn’t, I’ll get you as close as I can. You just sit back and rest. We’ll have you somewhere safe soon.”

“Thank you.” Aria let her eyes drift closed, finally able to relax for the first time in a while. Not much longer and she’d be safe with Amber, the shifter she’d been talking to in Ashton Grove.

When the call had gone out last year that the Ashton Grove pack was seeking new members, she’d contacted them, without her family’s knowledge. She knew at least two members of the pack and thought it would be a nice place to call home. Now, things were different. She didn’t delude herself into thinking she’d have a happily-ever-after there. It would be a resting spot. Maybe the alpha would be able to give her sanctuary while she figured out the next leg of her journey. That’s all she would ask of him. It wouldn’t be fair to bring danger to his door, not after everything the pack had been through. Her friend, Amber, had told her demons were on their way to Ashton Grove; of course, that was more than six months ago now. She hadn’t heard from Amber in a while, and she worried about her friend, but she was trying to keep her contact with Ashton Grove to a minimum so her family wouldn’t look for her there first.

Letting the hum of the car lull her, she fell into the first restful sleep she’d had in a week or more.

About the Author

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child. Her first stories may have been written in crayon, but now she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words “marry me” pop out of his mouth–and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.

You can follow Jessica at:

Her website: http://www.jessicacoultersmith.com
Her blog: https://jessicacoultersmith.wordpress.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jessicacoultersmithauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/kitcatjms

SPOTLIGHT: Beauty and Her Beast

beautycover

AMAZON    B&N    iTUNES    KOBO    ALLROMANCE    BOOKSTRAND

Maggie Miller has lived a hard life. She’s been on the streets since the age of sixteen and has learned the hard way how cruel men can be. Despite the fact that she knows nothing is ever free, when alpha wolf Zach Drake offers her a hot meal and a place to clean up, she cautiously accepts. After not having eaten for days, the thought of food that doesn’t come from a dumpster is too good to pass up, no matter the consequences. It wouldn’t be the first time a man suggested she pay with her body.

Broken wolf Zach Drake is appalled to find the small, stuttering woman living in a box behind the town bar. With dirt smudging her face, she could be anywhere from barely legal to thirty, but none of that matters to the insistent wolf in his head that is begging him to take her home. The thought of anyone harming sweet Maggie is enough to send him into a rage, but he holds himself in check as he coaxes her into his truck and back to his house. It’s the first time his wolf has seemed happy since they lost their mate twenty years ago, and Zach isn’t ready to let go of the sensation just yet.

EXCERPT

Zach snarled at the woman who approached him. It was a dark night for him, the one day of the year he dreaded most. Several buxom beauties had approached, but he’d sent them all running. Monster. Beast. He’d heard the whispers and didn’t much care. No one could understand the pain he felt every day. His brother and sister-in-law tried, but even they gave him a wide berth when he was in one of his moods.

Between the two brothers, Weston was the one everyone fawned over, the one ladies dreamed of when they lay down at night. Zach was the nightmare parents told their children, the story of how not to live your life. As alpha of his pack, he held his position more from fear than respect.

A braver woman than the others settled on the stool next to him and ran her finger down his bicep, a sultry smile on her lips and a world of promise in her eyes. She was attractive in a fake, made-up sort of way. Her hair was teased and styled to fall in chaotic curls past her shoulders, but the honey blonde of her hair was as fake as the rest of her, the dark roots a testament to the time she spent at the salon.

“What do you say you buy me a drink and we can get to know each other better?” she said, licking her lips.

“I have a better idea. You can take your hand off my arm and scurry your fake ass back over to your table of friends.” His eyes narrowed on her, and he showed a bit of fang. It was enough to make her blanch, and she nearly toppled from the stool as she ran away.

The bartender sat another beer in front of Zach.

“You’re going to scare off my best customers tonight. Any other night you’d have taken that woman up on her offer, hauled her into the alley, and had her suck your cock. And don’t tell me you wouldn’t.”

Zach shrugged. He wasn’t about to tarnish Delfinia’s memory tonight of all nights. Sexual pleasure was the last thing on his mind. He sipped at the cold brew in his mug. He really wasn’t the heartless bastard everyone thought. Zach loved his brother, and he loved his sister-in-law. In some way, he loved every member of his pack, even if he didn’t always show it. What he couldn’t do was fall in love, not ever again. Losing Del had killed part of him, and it was a piece that would never heal and never be replaced.

He tipped up his mug and drained every drop before slamming it down on the bar. Even though this was his favorite place in town to hang out at night, it just wasn’t the place to be right now. After a few days had passed, he’d come back, and he’d be in a better mood. Maybe then he’d be ready to take up the blonde’s offer and haul her into the alley like the bartender had suggested. For now, it was better for him to take his ass home and be miserable alone.

He could snarl at everyone in a few days just as well as he could today, but maybe his wounds wouldn’t be quite so painful then. Fake it ‘til you make it. Zach had lived every day of his life that way since Del had been ripped from his arms, and he’d continue down that path until he either became so nasty that the pack rallied to take him down, or until a miracle happened and some light finally shone in his dark world.

Anything had to be better than merely existing.

teaser-graphic1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Award-winning author Jessica Coulter Smith has been in love with the written word since she was a child. Her first stories may have been written in crayon, but now she’s a multi-published author of over seventy-five novellas and novels. Romance is an integral part of her world and spills over from her professional life into her personal one. When she went on that first date with her husband, she never expected to hear the words “marry me” pop out of his mouth–and judging by the shocked look on his face, he hadn’t meant to say them either. But, being the hopeless romantic that she is, Jessica said yes and they’ve been married since 2000.

Follow Jessica on Amazon

Check out Jessica’s Website

Sign up for Jessica’s Newsletter

an Ashton Grove Thanksgiving by Jessica Coulter Smith

 

An Ashton Grove Thanksgiving

Ashton Grove Werewolves series

Thanksgiving Cover

Can a brokenhearted wolf find love a second time?

Autumn O’Roarke joined the Ashton Grove pack in an effort to change her destiny. After being mated to abusive wolf, she isn’t sure another mate is in her future, but she does want a place where she can be happy and made to feel welcome. But when she’s sent to the alpha’s house, things take a turn she hadn’t anticipated.

Gabriel Andrews has shut himself away in the old Victorian since the death of his mate and child. Having turned the pack over to his cousin Connor, he’s surprised when Connor’s mate sends a woman to his door with a problem. One sniff tells Gabriel there is something unique about the human woman standing in front of him, and the secrets she will reveal are enough to bring him to his knees. Determined to do the right thing, he swears to watch over her and protect her.

Two broken souls, Autumn and Gabriel face more than their own fears. A darkness surrounds Autumn as she faces a threat she can only overcome through love. Her love for Gabriel. But having been battered and bruised by her previous mate, can she learn to trust again?

Available for Pre-Order!

Amazon  Bookstrand   ARe   Smashwords

wolf 2

Excerpt

Autumn stared at the man in front of her. She’d heard the whispers in the pack and knew he’d gotten the scars on his face and arms from the demon attack several months before. The Ashton Grove pack had reached out to other packs seeking both men and women to grow their numbers after losing so many. Having lost her mate to a drunk driver, Autumn had taken the chance for a new start.

“Do you know why you’re here?” Gabriel asked.

“Aislinn told me to come here,” she answered softly.

“She seems to think you have a problem. If that’s true, why didn’t you go to Connor with the issue?”

“I don’t have a problem. I pay my rent on time and attend the pack functions. I promise I haven’t caused any trouble.”

His gaze softened. “No one said you were troublesome. They just think something is wrong. Have you had problems with anyone in the pack? Maybe a male who’s being too persistent?”

She shook her head.

“Perhaps one of the females has taken issue with you?”

She shook her head again.

Gabriel sighed. “Well, something has to be going on. Aislinn wouldn’t have sent you here if she didn’t have a reason.”

“I don’t want to cause any problems. I’ll pack my things tonight.” Autumn fought back tears, but one slipped down her cheek.

“Hey,” Gabriel said softly. “Easy, Autumn. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

He placed his hands on her shoulders, but she needed more comfort than that. She couldn’t remember the last time a man had touched her so gently. With a broken sob, she melted against him, wrapping her arms around his waist. At first, his arms held her loosely, as if he didn’t know what to do with her. But after a moment, he tightened his embrace and held her close. A hand stroked her hair.

Autumn knew she needed to pull herself together. It wasn’t the alpha’s fault she was crying. Living with her mate had broken her in some way. She’d thought his death would free her, but she couldn’t have been more wrong.

With a sniffle, she eased her arms from around him and took a step back, wiping the tears from her cheeks. Gabriel reached out and caught a stray tear as it dropped from her eyelashes.

“Better now?” he asked.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to…” She didn’t even know how to finish that thought. She didn’t mean to be so weak? To cry all over him? To disturb the solitude she knew he wanted? Maybe she was apologizing for all of it.

“It’s okay. Sometimes you just need to let it all out.”

 

About the Author

What happens when you get two artist romantics together? An impulsive marriage proprosal – and a woman who says yes (on the first date)!  While Jessica’s husband may not have intended for the words “marry me” to pop out on their first date, she surprised him even more by saying yes! That was over 14 years ago and they’re hoping for many more years together.

Jessica Coulter Smith began writing at an early age, but it wasn’t until 2008 that someone convinced her to have one of her stories published. When she received her acceptance letter in August 2008, it set her on an incredible journey, one she hopes will never end. In 2010, she decided to stay home with the kids and write full-time. It’s a decision she hasn’t regretted, and one that will hopefully result in many more stories to come.

Jessica loves to interact with her readers on Facebook and Twitter! But if you send her a friend request, be prepared for cute kitty pictures and kids getting into mischief, as well as updates on her writing.