Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #DragonKisses #michelezurlo #menage

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Dragon Kisses #3 (Laurel, Niall, Jonathan)

banner rough1

Blurb:

In the months following Jonathan’s transformation, Laurel struggles to come to terms with her feelings for him and the horrific memories of time spent as a dragon’s slave. Jonathan struggles to be patient, but Laurel’s fear is breaking his heart. Niall and Cassie open a popular bakery and revel in the bliss of love and their new lives. Arabella pines for Tobin’s aspects to be reunited, and Nora discovers the secret of creating Zmaj offspring.

Meanwhile all Zmaj braces for the Inamanida attack that Tobin warned them about. When it finally comes, the Zmaj find themselves vastly outnumbered by enemy forces. In the violence that follows, everything changes.

Warnings: MFMM, MMMFF, MMFFM

Word Count: 32,450

Excerpt #1:

Giving her a half smile, I tried to move our conversation forward. “Can I get one of those baguettes?” I pulled a skirt from my bag. Evelyn and I were in business together, sort of. She made beautiful and functional clothing, and I modeled it so that people would want it for themselves. When I was little, my dreams hadn’t included becoming a fashion model, but that’s what I was. Without electricity or anything approaching technology, my Computer Engineering degree wasn’t going to do crap for me.

DragonK3500Cassie eyed the long skirt. I’d tie-dyed it red myself from crushed beetle shells. Those things were truly everywhere, even in a parallel dimension. They probably wandered through wormholes regularly.

“If you ask nicely.”

My head jerked around to the source of the voice before my brain processed the speaker. Turning, I found myself face-to-face with Cosmo. His jet black hair fell to his shoulders, curling slightly on the ends, and his black eyes regarded me intently. He had a strong jaw and sharp nose that worked to make him more imposing, yet it didn’t detract from his attractiveness.

He didn’t smile as he stood with his arms crossed and his weight leaning mostly on his left side. Our eyes met, and I quickly looked away. Yeah, I was a chicken. I wasn’t going to give sparks a chance to jump between us because I knew I couldn’t handle what he offered. I sidled a glance at Niall, but I turned my attention to Cassie and gave her the skirt. “Next time.”

She opened her mouth to say something, but Niall snaked his hand around her upper arm and jerked her to his side, hissing something for her ears only.

While Cosmo stared at me, Finley came into the store. He grinned when he saw me. “Laurel, you’ve been avoiding me.”

It was true. Though I was friends and business partners with his mother—Evelyn considered them all her son—I made sure my visits to her didn’t overlap with Jonathan’s. To my knowledge, Jonathan had been avoiding me as well. I’m sure if he wanted to see me, Evelyn would have made it happen by now. She wasn’t our matriarch for no reason.

I managed a small smile. “How’ve you been?”

His smile slipped a little. “I miss you. I thought we were going to be friends.”

I really didn’t know Cosmo or Finley, but they wouldn’t see it that way. “I told Jonathan we could continue to be friends, but he hasn’t been around.”

“It’s particularly hard for him to see you. If you reject Cosmo or me, you’re rejecting aspects of him, not the whole of me. Him. Us.”

Laughing at his pronoun slipup wasn’t something I could bring myself to do. Even he couldn’t decide if they were separate people or not.

He touched my hair lightly, bringing my attention back to him. “There’s still hope. That’s my point.”

There was no hope. “I don’t even know you.”

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Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

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Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

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Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #DragonKisses #michelezurlo #menage

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Dragon Kisses #2 (Arabella and Jonathan)

banner rough1

Blurb:

Waking with no memory, Arabella finds herself courted by three men claiming to be her mates. Dragon shifters Tobin, Gerrit, and Blakely woo her with sweet words and deeds, convincing her that she’s always lived this fairy tale existence. Life is perfect until the Inamanida King decides the experiment has gone on long enough—and Tobin is ordered to turn Arabella over to be tortured and used by the entire clan.

Meanwhile Jonathan is working to help settle the humans in Zmaj’s outer city. As the son of a prominent human leader, finds himself thrust into a leadership role and having to liaise with creatures he was raised to fear. Soon he falls for Laurel, a beautiful woman recently arrived from Earth, but as secrets emerge, he faces a stark truth that could cost him everything.

Tobin and Jonathan must risk everything and deal with consequences that could cost them the fragile relationships they’ve built with the women they love.

Warnings: MFMM, MF

Word Count: 30,453

Excerpt #1:

2DK2sz500When Mom tried to get up, I grabbed her arm and forced her to sit still. My mother was nobody’s maid, and Laurel was capable of serving herself. A food-filled plate waited for her on the counter. Laurel tossed her long, sun-bleached hair over her shoulder, grabbed her plate, and joined us at the table.

“How did it go today?” Laurel flashed a friendly smile at my mom.

“We sold almost everything,” Mom said.

“No thanks to you,” I added.

“Jonathan!” Mom hissed, probably appalled at my lack of manners.

“She took off and didn’t do shit to help. We provide her with food and a bed, and she does nothing to help with that effort.” The apple-cinnamon bread turned sour in my mouth.

Laurel’s shirt had slid sideways, exposing one shoulder. It was a new design of my mother’s, and we’d sold out of them today. If she wasn’t so annoying, I might have noticed and appreciated the smoothness of her supple, tan skin. The sight of her sexy shoulder might have stirred me, so I focused on what I disliked about her. Laurel didn’t seem fazed by my bad mood. Her grin grew. “I modeled the shirt, Mr. Grouchy. I walked around all day, showing it off and telling people where to get it. I even approached a few of the Zmaj ladies. Did we make any headway there?”

Mom tilted her head and half nodded. “They need a certain fabric that is difficult to obtain. It works with their shifting abilities, appearing when they’re in human form and disappearing when they’re in dragon form. It doesn’t rip or become distorted. I’ve worked with it a few times, but my Zmaj never let me do anything out of the ordinary with it.”

Laurel nodded. “I bet if you ask Cassie, she’ll get you some. Her Zmaj seem to do anything she wants.”

“You sound jealous,” I said. “Did you leave your Zmaj because they wouldn’t do what you wanted?”

“Nope,” she returned smugly, her dark eyes sparkling and setting off something inside me. “I left because I’m not ready to settle down with men who inject venom into me to ensure my compliance.”

A flame lit in my belly—ignited by her look, not her words—and traveled up my spine. The heat threatened to overwhelm me, and so I gulped my water. My mother leaped to her feet. “Jonathan, are you all right?”

“Fine.” I waved her away, but she pushed my hand down and felt my forehead.

“You’re burning up.”

I felt like I was on fire. Across the table, Laurel merely smirked. I ignored her and concentrated on not burping smoke. Pain knifed through my midsection, and I doubled over, toppling to the floor. Laurel and my mother moved the table and bench out of the way, and as their shadows disappeared, I saw that my fingers had become talons. Horrified, I clutched my fist to my stomach and waited for the spasms to pass. This wasn’t the first time I’d had an attack of this kind, but this was by far worse than any of the others. Never before had my hand morphed. Deep down I knew Illion was right, but I refused to think about that right now. I desperately didn’t want to be a fucking—heartless, soulless—dragon.

After a time, the pain faded, as did the heat. Thankfully, my mother ceased trying to make me move or talk to her. Exhausted, I let my mother and Laurel help me to bed, where I immediately fell into a deep sleep.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #DragonKisses #michelezurlo #menage

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Dragon Kisses #1 (Cassie and Niall)

Blurb:

banner rough1Waking up in a strange barn was just the tip of the iceberg. Cassie and Niall find themselves transported to another world, one full of dragon shifters who want to possess them. Cassie is claimed by Illion, an electric blue dragon who shifts into five hulking men, and Niall is claimed by Wynn, a lime green dragon who shifts into two men and two women.

The Zmaj feed from the sexual energy of humans, and finding a cache of five in an abandoned barn is a momentous occasion. Convincing them to stay and protecting them from the Inamanida, their sworn enemy, is another task altogether. And falling in love? Zmaj don’t do that.

When Cassie runs away, Illion is forced to confront his prejudices and his brethren in order to save her from a fate worse than death.

Warnings: MMMFF, MMFMMM, light bondage, dominant dragon shifters

Word count: 32,650

Excerpt 1:

DK 1 Draft“Cassie.” The deep voice calling my name belonged to the dragon man standing next to the one who had watched over us. “Come.”

Was it wrong that his commanding tone had me close to coming? Nora’s assurance came from, I knew, deep inside my psyche. After all, in a dream all the characters were aspects of myself. Niall was my caution, and Nora was my sense of adventure. I pried myself from Niall’s hold. “We’ll be fine.”

Even facing the weirdest situation and the worst odds, I was an optimist. Before Niall could process what I was doing, I left the safety of the group. Taking those first steps toward a new life was easy when I knew I’d soon wake up in the safety and comfort of my bed, and I figured nothing was to be gained by huddling against a barn. Plus, this would make one hell of a diary entry when I woke up, and it would help keep my mind off Chad, the jerkweasel who’d dumped me yesterday.

Laurel and Oliver followed me. Both of them seemed to be dazed and confused. The blue-haired men morphed into a dragon, and we climbed onto its back. The three of us fit easily. I sat forward of the wings. Oliver situated himself behind me, and Laurel wrapped her arms around his waist.

“Hold onto the scales,” Nora shouted.

I slid my hands around the edges of two blue scales. Each was a large as a dinner plate, but they had ridges on the top which were perfect for holding. One leap, and it took off.

Flying on the back of a dragon was unlike anything I’d experienced. My tummy fluttered from the quick ascent—or from that niggling bit of sense that told me I wasn’t playing it safe, and wind whipped through my hair. I had the feeling the dragon was flying slower than normal, and I appreciated his restraint. Any faster, and I might have freaked out.

Or not. Who could be afraid of heights or strangers in such a wonderful fantasy?

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #released #michelezurlo

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Re/Leased

Honoring a promise he made to his late mother, David Eastridge, part owner of SAFE Security, returns home one final time—to help his father find the culprit responsible for embezzling three million dollars from his company. It should be an easy job—his father already has a suspect in mind.

After a series of tragic events that robbed her of a father and put her sister in a coma, Autumn Sullivan was forced to take on several jobs just to get by. She’s an accounting assistant by day, an occasional service Domme on the weekend, and a thief-for-hire by night.

David’s strategy of hiring Autumn—as a submissive—backfires when he finds himself enchanted by her sense of humor and playful attitude. Determined to prove her innocence, he enlists the help of Malcolm Legato and Agent Keith Rossetti to dig deeper. This enigmatic submissive is openly hiding things from him. Her secretive nature and the bread crumbs she drops about her past don’t add up—not even when he assigns Jesse Foraker, his SAFE Security buddy—to tail her and search her apartment. None of them are prepared for what the FBI uncovers.

Falling in love wasn’t in the plan, but David makes her believe that she isn’t doomed to live a solitary life. Plunged into a world of lies and espionage—with a serial killer after her—Autumn is forced to come to terms with her past if she is to have any hope of a future with David.

Warnings: BDSM party games, sex toys, bondage, flogging, spanking, and a trip to the beach

 

Excerpt 2:

Bracing her foot against his—without crossing the line—she leaned over and picked up a mint with her teeth. Before he could pull her, she was back. He bent his knees to line up his mouth with hers. “This doesn’t count as kissing.”

released 500With the peppermint effectively gagging her, she couldn’t respond.

He used his tongue to take the candy, dipping into her mouth to snake it around the treat. His bowl was closer, and he was taller, so he didn’t need her leverage to make the deposit.

She didn’t dawdle. As soon as he was upright, she grabbed the next one. They worked quickly and efficiently, though each time his lips came into contact with hers, he had to force himself not to take his time and explore the sparks that kept igniting. Later he’d dazzle her with his tongue wrestling skills.

“Time!”

The verbal buzzer sounded as Bree was on her way to get another peppermint. David pulled her back to him, wrapped his free arm around her bare waist, and reined in the passion simmering in his veins. Her gaze fixated on his lips, and he wondered if she truly was a switch and, if so, was she in submissive headspace right now? Pushing aside the reasons his mission sanctioned his actions, he traced his thumb along her lower lip before cupping the side of her head with the hand still bound to hers. “This counts.”

He closed his mouth over hers, taking what he wanted. She tasted of mint and a sweetness that had nothing to do with sugar. Her body softened against his, and she tilted her head a little more to give him better access. Chemical reactions burst through his senses in a series of tiny detonations that drove him to deepen his foray. She grasped his sleeve, her nails digging the slightest bit into his arm, and a soft, kittenish moan sounded in the back of her throat.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #KissMe #michelezurlo

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Kiss Me by Moonlight

Hey there. It’s Lacey again. Falling in love and landing Dylan hasn’t been the panacea I thought it would be. For starters, he moved into my apartment without asking, and he continues to have no respect for my need to have things in sets of six. Pile that on top of my emotional upheaval after losing my stepfather, and you have a recipe for disaster no amount of German chocolate cake can cure.

Kiss Me By Moonlight

Kiss Me By Moonlight

Yes, Lacey Hallem’s life remains fraught with challenge, but you know she’s a fighter. Forming a talent management agency with her best friends has been the best career move she’s ever made—even if it’s the only thing currently working according to plan. Lacey’s OCD is getting the better of her, and this time her hands aren’t the only casualty. When her lies ruin her relationships with both Kiss Me Goodnight and Dylan, she’s forced to confront her demons in ways she’s never had to before. As she once again faces her past, can she learn once and for all to let love and friendship through the barriers she’s built?

Both harrowing and hilarious, this conclusion to the tale of Lacey and Dylan will leave you laughing, crying, and fanning yourself—sometimes all at once. Michele Zurlo triumphs again in this moving story about life’s quirks and what we all have to do to get by.

12 killer quotes from Kiss Me by Moonlight:

  1. No man should own that much footwear. Call me sexist, but if the closet is going to be full of shoes, they should be my shoes.
  2. Dylan is king of the man-look, during which he can’t find anything by himself, even if it’s blinking neon lights in front of his eyes.
  3. He took me to that desperate place quickly, the one where I feel the wall for places to hold on to even though I know there’s nothing
  4. You know it’s bad when he’s actively trying to trigger my compulsion.
  5. People you’re mad at aren’t supposed to be right or accommodating.
  6. I shrugged and lied lightly. The truth was no longer significant.
  7. It’s part of life, making mistakes and hurting, but you have to learn from them. You have to put these lessons to use and grow as a person, or there’s no point.
  8. “We had goodbye sex. I’m not going to sleep with you anymore.” “What if we had hello sex?”
  9. And Dylan had that extra added dash of I-want-to-get-into-your-pants that I found irresistible.
  10. I know for a fact that I partied hard in college. But what I saw on tour with Something Wicked made me doubt memories of my stamina.
  11. When he passed me, I slapped his ass. He turned, probably meaning to glare harder, but the look of surprise on his face ruined that attempt. I blew him a kiss.
  12. This song was Dylan’s declaration of love for me. By the time he finished, tears ran down my cheeks.

Praise for Kiss Me by Moonlight:

“The relationship between Lacey and Dylan was battered and bruised throughout the story but ultimately became stronger because of their issues and confrontations. Lacey’s journey was realistically and heartbreakingly portrayed… Dylan was sweet and sexy and every girl’s dream boyfriend. From start to finish this was an engaging story that kept me fully immersed in Lacey’s struggle and those looking for an intensely emotional read with a flawed yet genuine heroine will find this exactly what they’re looking for!” –Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

 

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #KissMe #michelezurlo

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Kiss Me Goodnight

Kiss Me Goodnight Cover

I’m Lacey Hallem, and I have a few secrets. These aren’t them: I wash my hands a lot and lie when I’m stressed. Also, I have horrible taste in men. That’s how I knew Dylan was trouble the first time I saw him…

Life can be challenging for Lacey, especially when things don’t come in sets of six, but she’s smart and funny and able to keep her demons at bay–most of the time. She might have sensed trouble when she set eyes on Dylan, a delectable musician in a vintage T-shirt, but that doesn’t stop her from thinking about him, or spending more and more time in his company.

Enter Thomas. Wealthy, handsome, and completely adoring of Lacey (flaws and all), he’s everything a man should be. So why can’t she convince her heart to fall in love?

Prepare to be swept up in Michele Zurlo’s emotional and compelling story of learning to trust yourself, facing the past, and finding strength you never knew you had.

Praise for Kiss Me Goodnight:

“Funny, quirky, dramatic, musical (there is a band and lots of awesome lyrics!), and romantic…deep and intense in parts” –Crazy Four Books

“With its unconventional heroine…, Ms. Zurlo has crafted a compelling read. [This] first person narrative [gives] great insight into Lacey, …an unrepentant heroine whose antics at times left me smiling.” –The Scarf Princess

“I found myself captivated by this interesting and unique love story…If you are like me and know the wonderful Michele Zurlo based on her “kinkier” stories, you will be blown away by this beautifully written and endearing tale.” –Booklover Sue

Here’s a taste! Eleven important quotes from Kiss Me Goodnight:

  1. My name is Lacey Hallem, and it’s been sixty-seven minutes since my last lie.
  2. He oozed sexy badness, and whoever says they don’t have a weakness for that has a serious case of the pants-on-fire syndrome.
  3. I’d walked out on two men in one day. Both encounters had left me tingling, and neither was likely to result in anything. Hell of a Monday.
  4. Fake emotion isn’t difficult. It’s the real stuff that bewilders me.
  5. Lying was easy. The truth was hard.
  6. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t regularly check him out. I couldn’t help it. When that much hotness is thrust into your face, I dare you not to look.
  7. I’d finally met the perfect man, and he wasn’t in a position to make any fairy tales come true.
  8. Even though I had a serious crush on Dylan, I couldn’t seem to look away from Junior’s penetrating hazel gaze. Hopefully he hadn’t come over to murder me.
  9. His hand paused on my ankle, and he lifted his gaze to meet mine. I expected an apology, but all I got was a bit of a cocky smirk.
  10. From that moment on, Alice was dead. I was Lacey. Always and irrevocably Lacey.
  11. I tasted his lips once to banish the misery. Twice to obliterate the pity. Three times because I loved him, and I was too tired to fight it.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormichelezurlo/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MZurloAuthor

Blog: https://michelezurloauthor.wordpress.com/

Website: http://www.michelezurloauthor.com/

Buy Links: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1RAak9CqlQo4ckl68HnulIfifLOC4kZDUN6om0ywg77s/edit?usp=sharing

Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

Kissing Bandits Weekend Teaser #BladesGhost #michelezurlo #paranormal

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Blade’s Ghost

Blade's Ghost 500 by 750Emmaline Force has dedicated her life to using her gift of seeing and hearing ghosts to help the living understand the spirit world. Devastated after catching her fiancé cheating, Emmaline allows her best friend and partner-in-crime, Matt, to take a ghost hunting case far away, at Paradise Island Ranch Resort. However, she isn’t prepared for the deep and inexplicable connection she feels for one of the owners.

Haunted by more than a ghost, Blade Sanchez is tormented by dreams of a past he can’t recall. Tender, loving moments are interspersed with nightmares of a malevolent spirit murdering his wife and unborn child. Once Emmaline sets foot on his ranch, the pieces begin to fall into place, and he recognizes the woman of his dreams. He finds himself torn between this timeless love and the ghost who threatens to take Emmaline’s life—again.

Finding each other was fate, but it will take more than that to overcome the malevolent spirit intent on destroying their happiness.

Word Count: 68,418

Excerpt 1:

He tried to move past her, but she reached out and snagged his shirt. She held the flannel material in her fist, the small buttons digging into her palm. “Blade, be reasonable. Maria called us, so why would you think we’re trying to trick her? Or you?”

He crowded her, pushing her back until the edge of the desk pressed into her upper thighs, and then he kept going. She had to release her hold on his shirt to brace herself against the table or she’d fall backward. Blade followed, pressing his hard body against her softer one, and resting his palms on the desk on either side of her. “How much do you charge for your services?”

The urge to take a swing at him was almost overwhelming. Fury overrode any fear she might feel. “Are you threatening me?”

His eyes roamed from her lips, down to her heaving chest, and back up. “I don’t take kindly to people who take advantage of my sister’s good nature or her unfounded fears. Now answer my fucking question.”

Oh, damn. He was so sexy when he was angry. Emmaline pressed her thighs together and licked her lips. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

He got in her face and growled. “Don’t play games with me. I’m not some stupid guy who’s a sucker for a pretty face, sexy legs, and a spectacular rack. You came all the way here from Michigan, and you’re planning to stay a while. How much are you charging my sister for your time?”

She wanted to answer, but her brain had short-circuited. His dark chocolate eyes mesmerized her, as did the waves of furious passion emanating from him. The stable and office fell away, and she had the sense she was traveling through time. The way he held her became intimate instead of threatening, and she felt her body softening, yielding to his touch. He kissed her, his lips warm and insistent, stealing a moment of forbidden pleasure.

His hand cradled her head, controlling the kiss and holding her as if she were precious. His tongue invaded her mouth, and dizzying feelings erupted in her core, the likes of which she’d never experienced. When he broke away, she gasped for air, but he wasn’t finished. No, his lips grazed her neck and chin, marking a damp path to her ear. He licked the shell and nipped at her lobe, and she moaned when his lips found a sensitive spot just below her ear. Seeking an anchor, she grasped his shoulders. When he pulled her closer and pressed his body to hers, she melted into his embrace. Only when his questing hand lifted the hem of her shirt did she shove him away.

The spell broken, Emmaline gazed at Blade. Her heart pounded wildly, and she was more than a little shocked. He blinked a few times, bewildered, and then he stepped back.

Emmaline smoothed her skirt and tried to step past him. The curious turn of events had left her very confused. His hand shot out, and he grabbed her arm. “Wait. You never answered me.”

“Right.” She exhaled and closed her eyes. Their exchange seemed so long ago. “How much am I charging Maria? Nothing.”

“Liar. It costs you in time and resources to be here. How much, Emmy?”

She shook her head, but she didn’t look at him because she didn’t want to chance drowning in his bottomless eyes. “I do this because I want to help people, not to make money. I charge nothing. We usually stay at a hotel, but there aren’t any around here, and Maria said we could stay in an open room. This is costing Maria one room and meals. That’s all. Please let go of me.”

His grip slackened. She pulled free and fled the stable.

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Author Bio: I’m Michele Zurlo, author of the Doms of the FBI series and many other stories. I write contemporary and paranormal, BDSM and mainstream—whatever it takes to give my characters the happy endings they deserve.

I’m not half as interesting as my characters. My childhood dreams tended to stretch no further than the next book in my to-be-read pile, and I aspired to be a librarian so I could read all day. I ended up teaching middle school, so that fulfilled part of my dream. Some words of wisdom from an inspiring lady had me tapping out stories on my first laptop, so in the evenings, romantic tales flow from my fingertips.

I’m pretty impulsive when it comes to big decisions, especially when it’s something I’ve never done before. Writing is just one in a long line of impulsive decisions that turned out to showcase my great instincts. Find out more at http://www.michelezurloauthor.com or @MZurloAuthor.

 

Jessica’s Forgery–Deleted Scene

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As I wrote Switching It Up, I had to figure out what was going on with Jesse and Jessica because it impacted what was going on with David and Brea. In doing so, I wrote Forging Love, a prequel novella for Jesse and Jessica’s story.

Once I finished Switching It Up, I went back to clean up Forging Love because I knew that you guys would want to read this story! One thing I realized was that I’d overwritten the story. If you’ve read these, you know that there’s a point when Their stories all overlap. I didn’t want to tell that from too many point of view, so I cut the ending of Forging Love. Some of what I cut wasn’t an overlap–it just didn’t fit into the timeline I’d established.

So this is an unedited scene I cut from Forging Love. It features Jessica and her father working together to create the diary that sends Jessica and Brea on their adventure.

Deleted scene from Forging Love

At home that afternoon, I fired up the stove and the coffee maker. Warren watched me, his chin wrinkled in confusion. “I thought you just had lunch?”

Leon had met Sylvia and me at a place renowned for crab legs, and I’d stuffed myself because who can stop when such deliciousness is in front of them? Not me.

I set out some papers where I’d handwritten the text of a false journal, the first step in the forgery process. Then I took one sheet and crumpled the edges. “I’m making a present for Brea.”

Warren studied the situation. “It looks to me like you’re aging paper. Are you forging for fun now?”

Though my parents knew a little about my past, we didn’t often discuss it. Certainly my father had never brought it up in a joking kind of way before now. I met his gaze and smiled. “Art is fun and fulfilling. Forging is an art.”

“Therefore forging is fun and fulfilling.” He pulled out a bar stool and settled on the opposite side of the counter. “Can I help?”

When I was young and learning the trade, BS had spent many an hour helping me perfect my skills. I didn’t know how I felt about essentially doing the same thing with the man who actually was my father. I took a deep breath. “Sure. We need all the cookie sheets.”

He got up and searched through the cupboards. “You can’t use the flat ones because your mother would kill us if they got ruined.”

Sylvia had an impressive collection of baking pans, and when the convection baking sheet craze had gripped the world a few decades ago, she’d signed on wholeheartedly. “We need ones with edges.”

“You’re going to soak them in coffee.” Warren caught on quickly. “I thought you were supposed to brush it on.”

“Brushing it on leaves obvious markings. I prefer to use a sponge.” I smoothed out the paper I’d crumpled. “First we wrinkle the papers on the edges. Since this is going to be a booklet, it’s reasonable that the middle of the pages wouldn’t be wrinkled, though they might be torn.”

I walked him through the process of aging paper. First I took some wet coffee grounds and strategically sprinkled them over a few of the pages. Then I poured a thin layer of coffee around the papers. “Never pour it directly on the paper. That’s an amateur move.” We scored small holes in some of the pages, and we mined an extra sheet for small bits to roll into balls. I showed Warren how to press these to the papers so that they melded together to create irregularities in the pulp.
Warren sponged away excess liquid. “Paper was made by hand back then, so irregular is the normal look.”

“True.” I rummaged through the deep drawer where Sylvia kept the graters, mashers, and other kitchen gadgets. I found a measuring spoon and a grilling fork. “These can be used to make additional marks on the pages.” I showed him how to use just the right pressure. Letting him help at all was taxing on my nerves. Not only was I beating back flashbacks of BS coaching me through the rudiments of forgery, if Warren messed up one of the pages, it would take a lot of time to recreate the text, and I’d stayed up really late last night composing these.

We stepped back to inspect our work. “Now what?”

“Now we bake them.”

Sylvia came into the kitchen, her hair still wet from her recent shower. “Bake what?”

“Pages of a journal detailing the location of buried treasure.” Warren beamed.

“Jessica is teaching me how to forge stuff.”

Sylvia’s mouth opened and closed like a fish out of water as she searched for a response. Finally she focused on me. “Do you think it’s wise to start down that path again?”

“It’s a present for Brea.” When Sylvia continued to give me a stern look that must have sent Leon scrambling for cover, I elaborated. “She won’t be fooled. She knows my work.”

Sylvia didn’t buy my story. She wasn’t as desperate as Warren to connect with me. She crossed her arms. “What do you hope to accomplish by giving this to her?”

I decided it was best to come clean. “David and the rest are heading out on missions tomorrow. I’m hoping Brea will decide to go somewhere with me instead of just sitting around, waiting for them to get back. She’s been researching legends of buried treasure in San Tesoro, so I thought this presented the perfect opportunity to go looking.”

Warren removed a sheet pan from the oven. “They have nice beaches. I hope you’re not going hiking through a jungle and up a mountain. While you’ve come a long way in the last nine months, you’re still not up for strenuous physical activity.”

I wasn’t about to rule that out. Maybe I wasn’t fully recovered, but that wasn’t going to stop me from pushing myself. “I’m sure we’ll spend some time looking for treasure. There’s a treetop hotel there where we can basically stay in treehouses.”

This was a true statement, and I used it to put Sylvia at ease. The last thing either of them needed right now was to spend time worrying over Brea or me. This was why Jesse, David, Dean, and Frankie treated most mission details as if they were classified; they didn’t want us to worry about factors that were beyond our control. Lying was sometimes a sweet and thoughtful kind of manipulation.

“You’ll miss PT,” Warren said. “You’ll miss your session with Doctor Eliachevsky.”

I hoped to be back in time to make my Thursday appointment with my shrink, but I kept that to myself. “I’ll be fine. This’ll be a kind of therapy for me.”

“Do you want us to come with you?” Sylvia abandoned her firm stance. “It’s been a long, long time since we’ve gone on vacation with you girls.”

I’d been inspecting the finish on the dried pages. Once the booklet was put together, I’d distress the edges. Sylvia’s wistful tone made me feel guilty. I straightened up and looked her squarely in the eye. “Maybe next time. I’m thinking this’ll have more of an irresponsible feel than a bring-your-parents-along feel.”

Warren coughed, and his face turned red. “Pack sunscreen. And condoms.”

I lifted a brow. “I hadn’t planned on it being that fun, but I’ll make sure I’m covered.”

Sylvia eyeballed the baking sheets. “Since you have those out, let’s make snickerdoodles.”

It ended up being a nice family bonding experience.

The next morning, Warren dropped me off at my treasure store. He hauled my bag inside. “You’re sure about this?”

“Yes. Even if we don’t go anywhere, I’ll stay with Brea while David is away.”

“You’ll call and let me know either way?”

I kissed his cheek. “I promise.”

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Thoughtful Heroes

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When I was a teenager, I had a subscription to Sassy magazine. As a 13 yo, I loved it. By the time I was 14, I’d outgrown it. I decided to let the subscription run out, but it didn’t. It just kept coming. Finally one day, I remarked on this puzzling event to my dad, and he laughed. “I keep finding those subscription cards on the kitchen table, so I send them in. I thought you were leaving them for me because you wanted to renew the subscription.”

Thoughtful, right? I think about things like this sometimes when I’m creating my heroes.

David and Brea have been through a lot in their three books, and part of what he had learned is to be mindful of how her perspective is different from his (and vice versa) due to their previous experiences. He know that she has a ton of baggage, too much to tell him in a few months. He could literally spend a lifetime finding out about everything she’s said and done. At the end of the day, he has to trust that he knows her well enough to respond appropriately to anything that might come up. Here’s an excerpt where he finds out some pretty damning things about her, and he responds like a true hero.

Excerpt from Switching It Up:

I sat in my chair and opened the file. It contained eight-by-ten glossies. The top one showed a much younger Brea deep in conversation with an older man wearing wire-rimmed glasses. He looked familiar, but his name didn’t come to me. The next one was a satellite image that showed her in some kind of compound, a rifle slung over her shoulder. The third featured a swarthy man kissing her cheek, and the last two showed her speaking with groups of people. I picked out a known gun runner, two high-level drug dealers, and Eugene Bowen, the kidnapper she’d known as Brian Sullivan.

I closed the file folder. “What’s all this?”

“This is the woman you’re planning to marry. Are you aware of her background?”

While I knew a lot about her background, there was a ton that was still a mystery. For the most part, Brea didn’t like to talk about her past. She had secrets and things she just didn’t want to talk about, and I’d promised to respect her wishes. I lifted my shoulder in a noncommittal move. It was the ultimate passive-aggressive evasive maneuver.

Grayson chuckled. “I have to be honest, David. I never thought you’d be blinded by love. It’s kind of sweet.” He perched on the arm of the chair on the other side of my desk. “I looked into how the two of you met. The FBI agents with whom you worked filed reports, and I followed up with phone calls. Liam Adair and Keith Rossetti were quick to come to Brea’s defense, and that’s when I realized that she was a master con artist.”

Verbal games and intrigue weren’t funny when they involved my fiancée. “I’m aware of her past, as are you. Cut the bullshit and tell me why you came. I’m not changing my mind about the mission.”

“Fair enough.” He got to his feet, opened the file folder, and tapped his thumb on the older, bespectacled man speaking to a teenaged Brea. “That’s Luis Ramirez, wanted for smuggling drugs and arms in sixteen countries. He’s involved with human trafficking and efforts to arm home-grown insurgents in the US.” He flipped to the next picture. “This is a training facility for a Columbian drug cartel.”

I dismissed them both. “She’s never been to Columbia.” Of course I had no way of knowing if she had or not. In her secret box that she kept hidden from even me, I knew she had a stack of fake driver’s licenses and passports.

This time, Gray did the shrugging. “Associating with many of these people is treason. I don’t even have to arrest her or charge her with anything. There won’t be a trial. She has sensitive information that we need for purposes of national security. I can lock her in a cell in a black site and throw away the key.”

Cold fingers of rage wrapped around my vital organs. I rose slowly, facing my former CO, and it took every ounce of self-control not to kill him. Even if the photos weren’t real, I had no doubt that Gray would follow through on his threat because he believed in violence and retribution.

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Word Count: 57,400