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 Witch Bound

Twilight of the Gods 2

by

Eleri Stone

For Eric.

Dear Reader,

I’m writing this just after having returned from Disney World. It wasn’t my first trip to Disney and it won’t be my last. Even though I’m not fond of big crowds, I get sick if I even look at a twisty ride (though I still like to ride a few) and by the end of our visit we’re all invariably cranky, I still love it there. Disney truly has created something magical.

Luckily, for those of you who don’t have a trip to Disney in your future, they’re not the only ones who can create something magical. Every month, Carina Press authors deliver us books that transport us to new times, new places and new adventures. This month is no different!

I’m pleased to introduce New York Times bestselling author Stephanie Tyler’s new series, launching this month. This romance, set in post-apocalypse America, centers around the survival of the fittest: the motorcycle gangs of the future. Dark, edgy and steamy, Defiance is the first in this can’t-miss new series.

Another New York Times bestselling author, Marie Force, is back with the next installment in her bestselling romantic suspense series. An error on the baseball field leads to murder in Fatal Mistake.

And I’m happy to welcome Victoria Davies to Carina Press with her newest paranormal romance, Seducing the Demon Huntress.

Joining these three is a lineup of fantastic authors returning to Carina Press. Don’t miss the latest installment of Love Letters Volume 3: Wicked Whispers. Verbal foreplay goes a long way in these four steamy stories. From author Christine d’Abo comes Sexcapades. Sparks fly between two rival internet bloggers in this erotic contemporary romance.

Our last erotic offering for the month of June is the long-awaited sequel to Dana Marie Bell’s Blood of the Maple. In Throne of Oak, dark forces are converging on Maggie’s Grove, and a horde of hunters stalk supernaturals from the shadows.

If you’re looking for more paranormal romances, Sheryl Nantus, PJ Schnyder, and Eleri Stone all have releases this month. Check out the new installments from Sheryl and Eleri respectively, Family Pride and Witch Bound. Meanwhile, join PJ on a new adventure as she kicks off her London Undead series with Bite Me. Zombies have taken over London and a werewolf finds himself protecting a woman who seems determined to put herself in harm’s way.

Still in the “other world” genres, we have two releases: Fae Sutherland’s Sky Runners, a delicious male/male space opera; and the conclusion to Vivi Anna’s steampunk romance trilogy. The League of Illusion: Destiny wraps up with sorcerer Sebastian Davenport’s story.

If you’re a fan of Downton Abbey, you’ll want to make sure you’re not missing out on Julie Rowe’s War Girls books. World War I generated many heroes—only some of them were men. Check out Enticing the Spymaster, her newest release, and go back and catch up with Saving the Rifleman, the first in this series. And while you’re in the past, why not stay there? Wendy Soliman’s Beguiling the Barrister also transports readers to a past time in this regency romance.

Last but not least, two powerhouse authors have new releases to center you in the here and now. HelenKay Dimon explores love and lust in her return to Holloway with contemporary romance Just What He Wanted. Sexy Travis is the story we’ve all been waiting for!

Adrienne Giordano rounds out our month of magical releases with Opposing Forces. In this romantic suspense, when a pharmaceutical distribution manager uncovers secret drug shipments at work, she and a savvy executive with political ties must risk everything—including their hearts—to stop the criminals and stay alive.

No matter where your reading tastes take you, whether it’s the past, the future, or an alternate world, we’ve got an extensive catalog to help give you a magical experience without ever leaving the comfort of your own house (or needing to stand in line!).

We love to hear from readers, and you can email us your thoughts, comments and questions to generalinquiries@carinapress.com. You can also interact with Carina Press staff and authors on our blog, Twitter stream and Facebook fan page.

Happy reading!

~Angela James

Acknowledgements

Many thanks to Ella Drake for reading the early draft and for making a suggestion that sparked the creation of one of my favorite scenes. Thanks also to Al for your constant encouragement and support. Couldn’t do this without you.

Chapter One

Standing in the backyard of her childhood home with her family gathered around her, Raquel tried to ignore the doubts swirling inside her head. Relief, excitement, hope and fear all blending into a toxic concoction that made her stomach churn and her palms sweat. This is the reason the elders consider it taboo for the partners in a contracted marriage to meet prematurely.

No time to plot an escape.

Her father, the clan Odin, rested a hand upon her shoulder as Kathy, their witch, made her final preparations to open the portal. Raquel shoved her bare hands into the pockets of her wool coat as the first caress of magic brushed against her senses. It started out as a light sensation like fine mist, but soon surrounded them, saturating the air.

The tide passing through the nearby ley lines still ran high from the new moon, making it dangerous to open the portal directly above the fault. Too easy to swamp the wards. Even here, several miles away, Kathy’s slender body trembled as she struggled to contain all that wild energy.

Kathy stretched out her arms, drawing power into herself, forcing it down into the earth to serve as an anchor. The mountains here were old and very strong. Raquel could feel the exact moment they latched onto the power to pull it deeper. Kathy extended her right hand in front of her, fingers splayed as she drew the next thread, braiding it through the anchor and then forcing it out, piercing the fabric of space and reaching toward the witch on the other side.

Within seconds, that small tear expanded from the size of a quarter to the size of a bowling ball. Not much to look at really—a shimmer in the air, a distortion that warped light so subtly it couldn’t be detected unless viewed from exactly the right angle. On an overcast day like this, it was even more difficult to see. Visible or not, any ?sir

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