Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sexy Snippet: Heart of the Demon by Cynthia Garner + Giveaway (US)

Meet Cynthia:
Cynthia’s interest in writing got an early start when her sixth grade teacher told her class to complete the following sentence: “It was a dark and stormy night…” With that Cynthia’s love of all things paranormal was born.

She didn’t start writing with an eye toward publication until 1999. She had a few short stories win some contests and get published in now defunct publications. A move to Arizona in 2000 and a new job put her writing on hold. In early 2005 Cynthia couldn’t keep the stories inside any longer, and made the decision to focus on a writing career, beginning with electronic publishers. Under the pen name Sherrill Quinn, she signed her first contract in September 2005, and her first novella was published in March 2006. In 2009 the first of three Kensington Brava books was released.

Cynthia is very excited that her Warriors of the Rift series found a home with Grand Central Publishing. You’ll get to meet vampire Tobias Caine and half-demon Nix de la Fuente (KISS OF THE VAMPIRE), werewolf Victoria Joseph and human cop Dante MacMillan (SECRET OF THE WOLF), demon Finn Evnissyen and fey princess Keira O’Brien (HEART OF THE DEMON) plus many interesting secondary characters that make up the dark and dangerous preternatural world of the series.

By day Cynthia is a mostly mild-mannered Human Resources Manager for a non-profit organization. She’s originally from northeast Ohio and fled the snow over ten years ago to live in the heat of southeastern Arizona which, this time of year, is about to kill her.

Connect with Cynthia: Author Site | Facebook | Twitter

Feeling the need to appreciate beauty of a different kind, Finn watched Keira, enjoying the way the lighting, strategized to enhance the art, played off her dark red hair. As she scrutinized the painting she chewed on her lower lip. The longer she did it, the more he wanted to be the one to nibble on that plump lip. And he wouldn’t contain himself any longer.

With a low growl, he took her arm and guided her to an alcove a few feet away. The atmosphere and contents of the art gallery might be calming to him, but this woman fired him up like no other. “I’ve wanted to do this since that damned slow dance at the club the other night.”

She looked at him, startled, but he saw no alarm in her eyes. Then humor replaced the surprise. He wasn’t discomfited by it because she always seemed to find something about him that struck her funny bone. Which was all right by Finn. He could laugh at himself, too.

“Someone might come in,” she whispered. She stroked her fingers down his cheek, letting her thumb play across his mouth. He assumed she wasn’t overly concerned by the possibility of being interrupted.

He took a moment to listen to the sounds in the gallery. He couldn’t hear anything but the music and the faint sound of their breaths. He pressed a kiss to the pad of her thumb. “Other than Rudi, we’re the only two in here right now,” he murmured back. “And he’s not going to bother us.”

She looped her arms around his neck, her hands cradling his skull. Her eyes were as blue as he’d ever seen them. “Well, then,” she said with a delectable lilt in her sultry voice, “let’s not waste any time.”

He bent his head and set his mouth on hers. The feel of her lips beneath his was as arousing as the first time he’d kissed her. Giving a low groan, he closed his eyes and pressed her deeper into the alcove, enticing her to part for the sweep of his tongue into her mouth. God, she tasted good. Fresh and sweet with a hint of tartness.

Finn left her lips to explore her jaw, the slope of her neck, the hollow of her throat. Keira shifted, slowly rocking her hips against his, the slide of her body making him hard all over. His muscles tensed, his hands tightened around her waist, pulling her closer. He went back to her lips, determined to make a meal of the honeyed depths of her mouth.

When she sighed, he drank down her breath like it was the finest of wines. She tightened her fingers in his hair, her mouth becoming more demanding.

After a few minutes he drew back and rested his forehead against hers. She was breathing as harshly as he was, and once he had enough breath to talk he said, “You’re addictive, you know that?”

“No more than you are.” She lifted her head. Looking into his eyes, she said, “Why am I so drawn to you?”

To Finn she sounded like she was trying to work through a particularly knotty problem. “Because I’m so good-looking? And charming. And smart. And—”

“And so obviously modest, too.” She grinned, making the smallest of dimples flash near the left corner of her mouth.

“You didn’t let me finish.” He leaned down and brushed his lips against hers. “And a fantastic lover.”

Keira’s expression went serious. “That you are.” She reached up and pushed her fingers through his hair, the tips sliding against his scalp in a caress that made him tilt his head into her touch. “I’m not sure you’re good for me.”

He knew he wasn’t. He was the son of a ruthless demon, and he’d done things he wasn’t proud of. Things that had needed to be done, but still, his past wasn’t something to be gloated over. He wished he could have met her a thousand years ago. A time when he hadn’t been as hardened or as cynical. “If either of us was looking for a long term relationship, I’d agree with you. But we’re not, are we?”

She shook her head. Sadness flicked through her eyes before she chased it away with a smile. “You’re a bad boy through and through, and pure temptation.” She slid her arms around his waist. “Yet you’ve always treated me with nothing but respect and gentleness, in spite of that tough image you project.” Her smiled grew wider. “It’s a good thing I like bad boys.”

Excerpt from Heart of the Demon ©2013 by Cynthia Garner. All rights reserved.

Genre: Paranormal
Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Forever (February 26, 2013)

Once a generation, the rift between the paranormal world and the human world opens, allowing supernatural entities to cross. Vampire, demon, or shapeshifter, they can save the world–or send it spiraling into chaos.

The next opening of the rift is coming-and its consequences will be deadly. A rogue group of human-hating preternaturals is planning an apocalyptic attack, but the Council of Preternaturals may have found the key to saving the world: Keira O’Brien, a fey with a long criminal record, whose empathic abilities once made her the queen of con artists. If she successfully infiltrates the dangerous faction, the sins of her past will be forgiven.

Keira isn’t the only agent working against the rogue prets. Finn Evnissyen, a powerful demon with a dark lineage, is a hired assassin looking for a way out. If he stops the threat, he will finally earn his freedom. As the rift fast approaches, and danger escalates, Finn and Keira must discover if they’re on the same side-or sleeping with the enemy . . .
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Cynthia is offering one(1) copy of Heart of the Demon to one(1) lucky US reader. Here's how to enter:
  • Leave a comment for Cynthia about your favorite paranormal books or ask her a question.
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A huge thank you to Cynthia for sharing a snippet and donating a giveaway copy.

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