Happy Halloween, Passionate readers! Author Corrina Lawson is so excited to be today’s guest on Night’s of Passion, she came in costume! I’m glad Corrina chose to dress up as Wonder Woman. An appropriate pick for a wonderful author!
Corrina is offering Nights of Passion readers a great chance for a giveaway! Leave a comment below for a chance to win a digital copy of THE CURSE OF THE BRIMSTONE CONTRACT. An excerpt of this story (appropriate for Halloween!) follows below. This contest is for North America only and ends at midnight Eastern time on Oct. 31, 2017. One winner chosen on Nov. 1st. Void where prohibited by law.
EXERPT FROM THE CURSE OF THE BRIMSTONE CONTRACT
She started on the desk. She had read enough magazine mystery stories to guess she should look for hidden compartments. She opened each drawer and felt around the sides, bottom and top. She even resorted to polite taps. Nothing sounded hollow.
“Here,” Sherringford whispered, and she rushed to his side. He had his light shining on a blank spot on the side of the tall wooden file cabinet set in the back corner of the office.
“There?” she frowned. Nothing was there. “Nothing could be here. This is only our old receipts and orders.”
Sherringford placed his palm on the side of the cabinet. “This space is unaccounted for inside the filing cabinet. The drawer only goes back halfway. Something is hidden in this empty space.”
She tilted her head. That made sense. “How do we open it? Do we pull out the drawer?” That would be noisy.
“That would be the easy way, which is not open to us.” He sighed. “I can sense that it is sealed with a spell, the same way I could sense magic in your pendant. I can break it but I need your help.”
“Whatever you need.”
“Ah, be careful what you offer, Joan Krieger. You don’t know your value,” he whispered as he took her hand yet again. “I need to prick your finger and draw blood.”
They were so close that she felt his breath caress her cheek. He looked strange and fey, so unlike the detached scientist of earlier in the day or the earthy workman he had played.
As Sir August’s smile and touch made her recoil, Sherringford’s touch made her hum inside.
Simple biology, she scolded herself. He was young, attractive and intelligent. Two things, perhaps even three, that Sir August was not.
“Yes, blood,” he said. “This is a blood seal, and we’ll need blood to break it.”
“Why not yours?”
“This place is more yours than mine. Your blood has a better chance of working.”
“Oh.” She cleared her throat. “Is this magic?”
“There’s no time to explain,” he said. “Are you afraid to prick your finger, girl?”
And just like that, her temporary enchantment with him vanished. “I have pricked my fingers with needles many times, sir. That holds no terror for me.”
“Give me your palm.”
He encircled her wrist with his fingers. She swallowed, almost shivering. It was not his touch. Now that she was close to the cabinet, she sensed something wrong and dangerous in the room. Now, why had she not sensed that before? Was it because she usually was focused on placating her father while in his office? She tended to linger at the doorway, in case a quick escape was needed.
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Sherringford tapped her finger with something sharp. She barely felt it. That finger had plenty of sewing calluses. Still keeping a light hold on her wrist, he eased her hand to the blank space on the cabinet. She let out a deep breath as he tapped the space with the bloody tip of her finger. He chanted something under his breath. Not English, not German, not Hebrew. It was in a language completely unfamiliar to her.
Something grabbed at her hand, as if icy claws fought to skewer it. Agony stabbed into her palm. She stiffened and bit back a scream.
“Courage, Joan. Trust me.”
The urge to run screaming into the night increased as her hand felt as if it were being turned to stone, finger by finger. Her head began pounding, and her throat grew thick, rendering her incapable of words. She could not scream. Words could not escape.
She closed her eyes and concentrated on the feel of Sherringford’s hands on her. The icy claws couldn’t be real. She was afraid…she had had many shocks this week…she was imagining a threat where there was none.
Or, this was magic, not illusion. But Sherringford was her protector and he would handle this. Yes. Focus. Think of the pendant and how it would keep her safe.
Sherringford chanted again.
The cold and the pain that seemed ready to slash her hand to ribbons vanished.
Sherringford cursed. “Damn. ‘Too eager, boy,’ as my mother would say. I have done you a horrible disservice, Miss Krieger.”
“Does that mean the cold grip on my hand was real? And that my ordeal was for nothing?”
“Real. A magical trap.” He pried her hand off the file cabinet.
She flexed her fingers, assuring herself she was whole and uninjured.
“The hidden door is carefully warded,” he said.
“If by warded, you mean it tries to injure or kill anyone trying to get in, I would agree, sir. What now?”
“You go back to your bed. I have more research to do, obviously, before trying this again.”
“You aren’t leaving without further explanation, Mr. Sherringford.”
Sherringford grabbed her elbow. “Down!” He pulled her underneath the desk with him.
They squashed together under the desk. She heard the footsteps coming down the hall. She clutched Sherringford tighter. This was a ridiculous hiding place. Surely, whoever had been clever enough to put a hidden magical compartment in the file cabinet would see them cowering under the desk. Not to mention the fact that it had been a mage who had booby-trapped it. And now a desk was somehow protection against a mage?
But Sherringford seemed unconcerned. His breathing was deep and even. His arms were tight around her and his mouth was right next to her ear, close enough that she heard him whisper something in the same strange language as when he had tried to open the invisible door.
Again, his odd words had the sound of a chant or prayer.
Inky darkness began to surround them.
Her eyes had adjusted to the dim light in the room but now there was nothing to be seen at all. It was pitch-black. It was almost as if they were the only ones who existed in this void. No desk, no floor, just…nothing.
BUY LINKS FOR CURSE OF THE BRIMSTONE CONTRACT
Link to Curse of the Brimstone Contract on Amazon: http://amzn.to/2y11Zt1
On Pronoun with all the other sales links: https://books.pronoun.com/the-curse-of-the-brimstone-contract/
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READ ABOUT STACY HOFF’S NEWEST RELEASE: HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN was released October 18, 2017. (Each book in the “Building Love” series can be read as a stand-alone novel.)
HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN – In the Caribbean, the secrets, sex, and scandals are hotter! AMAZON BUY LINK: http://amzn.to/2xW3WtJ
Book blurb for HOTTER THAN THE CARIBBEAN (Building Love #2)
Luis Serrano, the unwanted love child of a hotel construction magnate, is determined to reach his father’s level of success. When Luis finds himself pitted against his half-brother for control over their ailing father’s company, sibling rivalry comes to a head. The stakes are high—the brother that best completes their portion of the Caribbean construction project will gain control over the entire company. To win, Luis hires an interior design firm. But the firm will have to perform difficult work under serious time constraints.
Melanie Merritt is used to sibling rivalry. She’s always been second best to her older sister, the “golden child” of their parent’s interior design firm. Melanie’s desire is to be an artist. She works for her family to appease them. Her newest task is to implement a complex project for Luis Serrano in an impossibly short deadline. If she fails, her family’s company may go bankrupt. But Melanie can’t keep her too-creative ideas away from her family, and the client.
Completing work on time won’t be easy. Especially when dual sibling rivalries threaten to destroy the project—and a passion hotter than the Caribbean.
BETTING ON LOVE IN VEGAS – Love is the biggest gamble of all
Book blurb for BETTING ON LOVE IN VEGAS (Building Love #1)
Catherine “Cat” Warner has problems. The profits from her inns are down. The pressure from her parents is up. Her love life is non-existent. But Cat did manage to get the attention of tough, powerful, gorgeous hotel magnate Ty Orland. Unfortunately, his interest in her is for all the wrong reasons. Instead of wanting Cat, this debonair CEO only wants her land—a parcel he desperately needs for his next big development deal. Too bad, it’s not for sale. A people pleaser by nature, Cat knows to stand strong. If she caves in to the demands of this sexy, alluring man, it will be her own neck on the line.
Ty Orland has a lot of things going for him. Success. Power. Respect. Unfortunately, he’s also got an old chip on his shoulder and a new financial nightmare. His development deal is going down in flames—and fast. His only way out is if Cat sells him her strategically located parcel. But romancing the land from her is not easy when love gets in the way. The woman is as beautiful as she is beguiling. And Ty no longer knows which prize is more valuable.
BETTING ON LOVE IN VEGAS (BUILDING LOVE series, #1)
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