#NewRelease - Her Real-Life Hero by @VickiBallante, a @DecadentPub #BeyondFairyTales #PNR

Today's post is a shout out for the lovely Vicki Ballante. She's got a new release from Decadent Publishing's Beyond Fairytales line, and it's a paranormal romance to boot! Check out the smocking hot cover, and the even hotter extended excerpt. 

Her Real-Life Hero

A Beyond Fairytales adaptation of “The Frog King” and “Iron Henry”

by Vicki Ballante

Romance Writer in Training…

Joanie wants to get her romances published but can't seem to get things right with her writing. She buys an antique bureau which the shopkeeper says has magic working through it. While using her new bureau, she begins to talk to the hero in her book, asking his advice on writing, all the while thinking it's her own imagination. She promises he can live in her home, eat at her table and sleep in her bed, if he helps her with her writing. She doesn't think he will actually knock on her door and insist she keep her promise.

He’s made a wish…

Theo has also bought a magic chest of drawers that brings him into Joanie's life. He wants to settle down with one woman, tired of shallow relationships, and Joanie seems like the perfect candidate if it weren’t for her insistence on getting rid of him.

Against her will…

The magic keeps on forcing them to live together and Joanie’s not happy. This is her first year alone and she’s been craving time to herself after looking after her younger siblings and an ailing aunt. Theo’s presence in her home, although unwanted, stirs up needs she’s suppressed for years. When they start to discover things about the magic and why it’s bringing them together, will Joanie recognize another type of magic at work? Will she succumb to the charm of Theo or will her need for breathing space pull them apart?

Also available at: B&N | Kobo | ARe | Smashwords

Excerpt (Mature Audiences Only!!)

According to her clock radio, Joanie lay on her bed close to midnight, the light out and her mind spinning with thoughts of her book. Talking to her character had helped. She understood deeper point of view and had been able to make Theo and Kaley come alive. The snake scene had flown by so fast that when she glanced at the clock, which read eleven, her word count for the day stood at…oh, right, she couldn’t work that out if written on paper. Not a hassle. She’d filled five sheets with her curvy writing and thrown away tons of blotting paper.

Tomorrow, she would find a way to put her computer on the bureau because writing by hand took too much of her precious time. She only had the evenings to create. Plus she would have liked to know how many words she’d written for the day.

Not that word count was everything. Quality mattered more—she had a feeling that had upped a significant amount.

The moment she started to drift into sleep, the doorbell chimed. She jerked upright, her pulse pounding in her ears.

Anyone visiting at such a late hour must have an emergency.

She slipped her dressing gown on and rushed to the front door. Peering through the peephole confirmed someone there. Oh dear, she’d forgotten to switch on the outside light and could only make out a shape.

“Who’s there?” she shouted through the door, too lazy to find the switch a few steps away and anxious to know who it was.

“Theo. Let me in.”

Theo? The only Theo she knew was her hero. Maybe I heard wrong. “What did you say?”

“It’s Theo. You promised.”

How…? She gripped her head. Maybe she’d entered dreamland already…but his voice sounded so real. She pinched her palm. “Ouch.”

“You okay?”

“No, not at all.”

“Let me in. It’s cool out here.”

“Used to the blazing sun on the desert island?” Whoa! She’d talked to her character again, but this time, he had come into her world. What the diddly-do is going on?

He rang the doorbell again, and she backed away a few steps.

“How can I trust you?”

“You know me well by now, don’t you?”

Her hero, Theo, tended to be closed emotionally but deep inside, genuine as gold. He would lay down his life for the woman he loved, and like a perfect gentleman, didn’t demand his own way. He wouldn’t hurt a fly. The persistent man outside her door acted very different from her creation.

“Why should I let you in?”

“Because a promise is a promise.”

Tingles ran along her spine. Those had been her mother’s words to her, growing up. A promise is a promise, Joanie. No matter what, you must always keep to your word even if it hurts. If you don’t, your life will become a mess and you will start to lose control of everything.

Her parent’s advice had been her motto for the last ten years, and she’d kept to it. She’d always kept her word to her younger sisters, aunt, and friends.

“What are you talking about?” She sort of remembered bargaining with Theo to help her with her writing. What had she sworn to do for him? Surely, he hadn’t taken to heart whatever she’d said. She stared at the door. Um…Theo isn’t real. So, who am I talking to?

“Open up, please. Then I can explain.”

“Wait a minute.” She ran to her bedroom to fetch her cell phone to dial Leonora.

“What’s wrong?” Her friend’s voice sounded sleepy yet a little panicked.

“I’m letting a man into my house. His name is Theo Bartok. I do trust him. But I thought I’d tell you in case something happens, so at least you can let the police know.”

“Who is he? Do you know him?”

“Very well.” She rubbed her forehead. “Too well in fact.”

“You never told me about him.” She sounded wide awake.

“It’s not what you think. He wants to talk to me about something.”

“At two-thirty in the morning?”

“Never mind, Leonora. I’ll survive. I thought I should inform you.”

“Now, how the heck can I sleep?” she moaned. “Let me know when he leaves.”

“Thanks. It shouldn’t be long.”

After ending the call, she went to open the door, still hoping the intrusion must be a mixed-up dream from too much writing.

Theo strode in straight away, heading for her living room as though he knew the place. He lay down, propping his head onto the arm of the sofa, thick muscles tightening the sleeves of his shirt. “Phew, I’m exhausted.”

“Make yourself at home.” Sarcasm streamed from her mouth. “While you’re at it, can I get you coffee, a muffin, and a blanket?”

“Coffee and the muffin sound great. The blanket isn’t necessary yet.”

She rolled her eyes. Should she leave him alone to roam her house while she made the coffee?

He appeared just as she’d imagined—tall, sculpted muscles, dark-blond hair in straight bangs, and bronzed skin. A whiff of island and animal skin wafted to her. He couldn’t smell of that, could he? An image of the Tarzan skin he’d worn in her imagination flashed at her, as well as the memory of her brief, teasing touch. Did that happen for real?

At least he wasn’t still wearing a pouch around his hips, else she would be tempted to let him stay. Her breath came in choppy pants. A foreign sensation surged through her. No guy was so yummy—not even Richard, the resident heartthrob at work. She was all ready for sex—and he made her furious. The two didn’t mix. They shouldn’t.

About Vicki Ballante

Vicki writes erotic and fantasy romance. She loves taking her characters into an alternate world where strange and sexy things happen. She lives with her patient husband and three noisy kids in South Africa. In between being a busy stay-at-home mom who hates housework and spends half her life cooking everything from scratch, she runs several blogs, writes under another name, and buries herself in the delightful world of her characters.

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#NewRelease - The Love Commission by Vicki Ballante (@VickiBallante), A @DecadentPub #PNR

I must admit to major cover envy when it comes to Vicki Ballante's new release. It's set in Africa, features fairies, and has an environmentally friendly premise. Have I managed to pique your curiosity? Read on for a sneak peek. 

The Love Commission

by Vicki Ballante

Gelsey is a savannah sprite—a fairy in Africa who works to preserve the earth. She’s a pro at eco-balance, but when the fairy queen gives her a commission to become a human to learn the meaning of love, she’s miserable. She has to give it her best as it’s the only way to get her dream job—to save the African Wild Cat.

 After a short time in her new life, Gelsey is swept into the world of Evan’s love. Now, she must make an impossible choice—give up her life with the man who owns her heart or lose her fairyhood forever.

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Excerpt

The queen must have chosen the noisiest moment to give her the commission.

“You are to enter the human world…as a human.”

Gelsey blinked, her wings trembling against her back. Four fairies had entered the human world and only one had come back safe, having succeeded in her commission. Two others had remained human, and the last one had been killed.

“I don’t understand….”

“You are a young fairy who has an amazing ability to calm down the most frightened bird or insect. I believe you will be as suitable for this commission as you are beautiful and humble. You know you aren’t perfect. Someone humble enough to admit her weaknesses would be just right for the human world. You won’t lose your personality at all when you take your new form. You won’t even lose your wings. They will merely remain dormant. You will be divested of some of your powers, though. But your power to calm down the distressed will remain. That power will enable you to succeed in your commission.”

“What am I to do?”

“You are to marry a man for a year. You will find out why the humans want love and sex but not children. As you may have learned in your studies at nature school, Homo sapiens reproduce differently to fairies. They reproduce by sex between a male and female. But the species have devised several means to prevent babies from being formed in the female body even though they continue to have sex. This has lowered the reproduction rate of the creatures who are important for the balance of the earth, specifically in South Africa. For this purpose, I want you to enter into their world and feel what they feel. You are to know what it is to love a male human with their type of love. You will go at the first break of spring and will be able to return home at the start of the following spring. We will give you your own vial of fairy dust. The gold dust should be used only twice. The first time is when you find a suitable man to marry. When you find someone who is single and who cares about the balance of nature, you must sprinkle the fairy dust on his head. The magic will make him want to marry you. Once the magic has worked, you cannot find another man. He is the one for you. If you mistakenly choose a married man, you will get one more chance.”

Gelsey’s wings beat against her back until they ached. Become a human and marry one? How would she know what to do? And a whole year? She would miss out on spring. It had been a long, cold winter, and she wouldn’t get to see or hear all the new baby birds or play with the flying ants when the rains came.

“The second time you should use the fairy dust is to come home. You are to sprinkle the dust on the man you have chosen to make him turn away from you. He will forget every instant shared with you. He will forget his marriage, and so will everyone he knows. Then you can come home without arousing any suspicion. Ziana will explain where you are to go and what job you will take on in the human world to make you fit in there. You have a month to find this man you are to wed. While you are married to him, you need to find out from him or anyone else you meet, like other females, the reason for the humans not wanting as many children. You are to research your own emotions and those of the male’s, and work out what is happening to humans to change their future.”

“What if I don’t find anything of importance?”

“By becoming one of them, you will automatically understand how they think and what is happening in their hearts. Although you may not comprehend in the beginning, marrying a male human will help you to understand. Well, that’s what we believe.”

Gelsey wasn’t so sure. The queen had much more wisdom than the general fairy, but what if she didn’t know everything? Fairies knew little of the human world. They had never understood humans and their strange behaviors.

“If you succeed at your commission, you will be promoted to Head Endangered Animal earth fairy for South Africa.”

Gelsey gasped. To be able to save an animal from extinction had been her dream for years. But could she fulfill this commission?

About Vicki Ballante

Vicki writes erotic and fantasy romance. She loves taking her characters into an alternate world where strange and sexy things happen. She lives with her patient husband and three noisy kids in South Africa. In between being a busy stay-at-home Mom who hates housework and spends half her life cooking everything from scratch, she runs several blogs, writes under another name, and buries herself in the delightful world of her characters.

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New Release Spotlight & Giveaway - At Second Glance by Vicki Ballante ( A @DecadentPub #Romance )

I'm delighted to welcome my pub-buddy Vicki Ballante here today. At Second Glance is a brand new contemporary romance from Decadent Publshing's Escape to Africa line.  Here's a sneak peek!


Giveaway

Vicki's giving away a $20 Gift Card to celebrate her release. Don't forget to scroll all the way down to check out the Rafflecopter widget. 


Content Notice: 18+ Excerpt Below


At Second Glance by Vicki Ballante

Four years after her divorce, Merryn decides she’s ready to find someone. Joining an online singles site, she connects with the perfect guy. Funny, sexy, sensitive. When he suggests they meet, excitement compels her to say yes.

Kirk pines for his ex-wife, but realizes he must move forward. After several stimulating online chats, he believes she might be the one for him. Smart, sexy, willing to experiment and learn. But when he happens across his ex, all his plans fly out the window.

Will Merryn learn to relax and have fun without giving her heart? Can Kirk forget the past and become the man he longs to be?

Amazon | B&N | AllRomance | Smashwords | Decadent

Excerpt

“Where did you meet this guy?”

“Online.”

“That’s not safe.”

“I trust him.” Fire spurted from her gaze.

She’d never trusted him when they’d been married. Never let him take the lead. How come time hadn’t healed the wounds? Instead, they’d festered inside him.

Online relationship? He felt the blood drain from his head.

“What?” Panic rose in her voice. “Are you Panda?”

He considered pretending otherwise. He could make his escape now and forget about the crazy mistake of meeting a strange woman in a restaurant because of an internet connection. Then he wouldn’t remember all those times he’d tried to reach out to her and she’d pushed him away and read her book or gone to sleep. The accusing words when she’d found out he’d been looking at porn. The hatred in her eyes when she’d asked him for a divorce.

“Are you?” She collapsed on the chair opposite him.

“I…I can’t do this.” He rose. “I’m sorry. You shouldn’t meet guys you don’t know.”

“It’s a public place.” There was a catch in her voice.

“I don’t remember you being so pale. Blonde doesn’t suit you.”

She wrapped her face in her hands and became as stiff as a corpse. A crack of sympathy passed through him for a moment, but he pushed it away. Yet, she was Hedge. The woman who wanted to experiment. Who hurt from a previous relationship.

He’d called himself a loser.

A laugh came out, sounding out of place, and then he laughed recklessly.

She jerked her head towards him, anger evident in the harshness of her features.

“I called myself a loser.”

“What?”

“It’s ironic, isn’t it? If we’d both gotten over all our baggage from our messed up marriage, maybe we wouldn’t be here, digging up all the past hurt.”

“I didn’t know who you were. I wouldn’t have said those things to you. It’s the first time I’ve told anyone how I feel.” She didn’t look good with her face screwed up.

He glanced at her body. Had that changed? Her breasts pressed tight against the black shirt she wore. He remembered the first moment she’d shown herself to him on their wedding night. Merryn had insisted upon waiting for that special night. Her reserve had made her all the more desirable to him. In the beginning.

What if he could have another chance to touch her body? She was still shaped to perfection. None of the other women he’d had compared to the beauty of Merryn’s body. The shape of her twins, those pink taut nipples, and the peaks contrasted against her narrow waist. The gentle dip from her slight stomach to her intimate area. He sighed.

“You still want to experiment?” He’d always been impulsive, but seriously, had he said that?

About Vicki Ballante

Vicki writes erotic and fantasy romance. She loves taking her characters into an alternate world where strange and sexy things happen. She lives with her patient husband and three noisy kids in South Africa. In between being a busy stay-at-home Mom who hates housework and spends half her life cooking everything from scratch, she runs several blogs, writes under another name, and buries herself in the delightful world of her characters. When growing up, her school friends asked her if she wanted to be a nun. She always said “no.” Wonder whether they’d agree if they read her books.

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Tara Quan

Globetrotter, lover of languages, and romance author, Tara Quan has an addiction for crafting tales with a pinch of spice and a smidgen of kink. Inspired by her travels, she enjoys tossing her kick-ass heroines and alpha males into exotic contemporary locales, fantasy worlds, and post-apocalyptic futures. Visit Tara at www.taraquan.com

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