New from Coral Moore and Evernight Publishing: Inspiration for Hire

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Inspiration for Hire

By Coral Moore

Genre: M/M, Paranormal Erotic Romance

Series: Purgatory, Inc.

Release Date: January 16, 2015

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

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Ramón Santos is a musician who hasn’t written a decent song in years. He owes one more album on his contract and if he misses his date his career might as well be over. Luckily, he knows someone who can help, or rather something.

Zuhal is a magical being who sells inspiration, and has helped Ramón find his groove in the past, but there’s always a price to be paid. Ramón might just get the music he needs, if he can survive the encounter.

*****

When my savior showed up, he sported jeans nearly worn through at the knees and a beat-up leather jacket a few seasons past its prime. He was the very image of a rock ‘n’ roll cliché, and somehow, that was perfect. The calling card in my back pocket had grown steadily warmer since I’d dialed the number embossed on its surface in glossy black beneath his name, Zuhal, and the tagline, Inspiration for Hire. I shifted on the uncomfortable chair my manager had parked me in to sign some autographs after my latest gig, wishing I’d never agreed to the farce.

The room was disappointingly empty, with only a few dozen people standing in line to wait for my attention. A couple of years before there would have been hundreds of fans crammed into the tiny backstage area. Strike that—I never would have done a show at a venue this small when my songs had actually been on the charts.

I distracted myself from the depressing reality that had become my downward-spiraling career by searching out Zuhal again. My pulse raced when our gazes met. Eyes the color of a fine, aged bourbon appraised every inch of me and made goose bumps rise along my arms. I had to convince him to help me with my next album. Since the last time I’d seen him I hadn’t written a song worth a damn.

A redhead that might have been appealing on a different night stepped between us and murmured, “Your music changed my life Mr. Santos.” A flush painted her cheeks bright pink.

“Call me Ramón, please.” I smiled, signed the t-shirt she put in front of me, and tried my best to make a passable attempt at conversation.

When the adorable redhead moved aside, I looked toward him again. He stood closer now, a sly not-quite-smile teasing his lips. Had he made the people in front of him think of something more important to do, or was his trickery more harmful? I really couldn’t afford to lose any more fans.

I signed another t-shirt, another album liner, another random body part. All the while I could feel his stare warming my skin as he drew closer. When he finally stood across the table from me, I hesitated before looking up.

Zuhal was lean in a way I generally didn’t find attractive, too much sinew and bone showing through his sun-kissed skin. Still, something about him drew me in a way no one else could since I’d met him. I had no idea how old he really was, but he’d seemed to be in his early twenties for the decade I’d known him, with the beauty of unspoiled youth clinging to him and refusing to let go. I told myself he was too pretty, but that was a lie; he was exactly pretty enough, devastating even. His face balanced hard angles with soft curves to perfection. Now that he was so close, I could hardly catch my breath.

“Why have you summoned me?” The words were part of the ceremony and he always spoke them when he appeared to me, his voice low and full of dark promises.

The backstage room around us was deserted. Was that another of his tricks? I swallowed to get some saliva back in my mouth before speaking. “I need an album.” I left off the part where if I didn’t produce new music soon, I was most likely out of the business for good.

His perfect lips twitched into a frown that didn’t make him the slightest bit less attractive. “And what makes you think I would help you with such an endeavor?”

“It’s your job.”

He turned away in a whirl of heated air and stalked toward the door without a word, his dark hair streaming out behind him. Every step tightened my throat. The fear of never being able to write another song bore down on me.

“Please!” I shouted after him. “I need you.” My voice echoed in the empty room, amplifying my plea.

Zuhal stopped so quickly that if he had been merely a man he would have tripped. For a few heart-pounding seconds, he faced away from me without moving, and then he lifted his left hand to make a beckoning gesture without looking back.

 

You can buy Inspiration for Hire Here:

Evernight Publishing | All Romance eBooks | Bookstrand | Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives her tales.

Prompted by a general interest in how life works, she studied biology. She enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writes mainly speculative fiction and has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Albertus Magnus College. She is a 2013 alum of the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop.

Currently she lives in Connecticut with the love of her life, who offers both encouragement and kicks in the tail when necessary.

List of places you can find her on the web:

About.Me Page

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

Goodreads

Google+

LibraryThing

Shelfari

Tumblr

Twitter

*****

Inspiration for Hire is part of the multi-author paranormal erotic romance Purgatory, Inc. Series.

 

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Saving Sam by Me (Nikka Michaels) is out now!

 

Stay tuned for these Purgatory, Inc. titles coming soon from Evernight Publishing:
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Sam Schooler’s Writing Your Own Ransom Note is coming January 23.

Deidre Meyrick’s Heart of Atlantis is coming January 30.

 

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Want to try a dip in some Deep Water?

DeepWater

Check out Coral Moore’s short story in Dreamspinner Press’ Mended Anthology: Deep Water.

 

Mario Guzman is trying out for the swim team, his ticket to paying his way through college. When he meets Jordan Lewis, an outspoken writer for the school’s paper, he considers coming out even though he’s been very private about his sexuality all his life. 

Violence intended for Jordan takes Mario out of consideration for the team and threatens his best hope for an education. He lashes out when Jordan tries to help him in his time of need. Eventually Mario regrets driving Jordan away, and his need to apologize takes him to the scene of the attack, where he confronts his pain and terror. This time Jordan is there to help him face the biggest obstacle in his path.

 

MARIO STARED down into the clear water. Dark pieces of leaf and grass danced along the painted blue bottom of the pool. The chlorine tang rising from the surface stung his nose. He glanced at the depth marker across from him. Three feet—the water would barely pass his waist. There was nothing to be afraid of, yet bands of tension held his neck and shoulders stiff.

He hadn’t been in water above his knees in years, not since he’d almost drowned in their backyard kiddie pool the last time his dad had been home. In his dreams, sometimes he felt the impossibly strong hand holding him under the surface. He’d been certain he was going to die. Water had poured into his mouth and down his windpipe as he flailed and struggled to get free. He’d choked and swallowed more water, and in the end, the darkness claimed him. He wasn’t sure how he’d made it out of the water and into bed where he woke the next day, but his dad had left during the night and never returned.

From a few feet away, his pal Bobby splashed him, laughing. “What’s wrong? Don’t you know how to swim?”

Mario wasn’t sure he could answer without sounding like a complete chickenshit. He’d agreed to come because it was so damn hot at Bobby’s place, and he thought once he got here it would be easy. Swallowing, he shook his head.

“You probably should have mentioned that. Whatever, you don’t need to swim. Just stay here in the shallow end.” Bobby pushed off the bottom and floated on his back, paddling his feet lazily.

Not far off, three small kids were playing a game where one of them chased the others around with his eyes closed. The water was up to their chins and they didn’t seem to care at all. Mario couldn’t imagine how unnerving it would be to have water splashing all around his face, trying to find its way into his nose and mouth. His heart thumped as he remembered what drowning was like: unable to catch his breath, water filling his lungs. He caught himself just before he took an unconscious step away from the edge.

Bobby turned in a graceful circle and came back toward him. “Are you coming in or what?”

He curled his fingers into his palms, skin gone cool and clammy with nerves. Bobby would never let him live it down if he didn’t go in for at least a minute. Mario moved slowly, bringing himself to sit on the edge of the pool with his feet dangling over. The concrete ledge dug into the back of his thighs, rough and unforgiving.

The water engulfed his feet and calves, cool and remorseless. Mario’s throat tightened. He wouldn’t let this beat him. Before he could further consider the thousands of gallons of water below him, he pushed himself off the ledge. Feeling the water splash around his torso, he drew in a sharp breath.

“Take it easy, man. The water’s only a couple feet deep.” Bobby grinned. “This is way better than sweating our balls off at my place.” He took off swimming across the pool without a backward glance, hands and feet raising gouts of water with every stroke.

Awkwardly, Mario lowered his hands to the water, fingers glancing over the small waves moving over the surface in Bobby’s wake. His pulse drummed in his throat. He tried to shut out the insistent buzzing of fear without much success. Turning around, he reached for the concrete ledge intending to boost himself out of the pool.

A girl in a pink two-piece bathing suit stood in front of him, her toes curled over the edge. Her ribs showed clearly, and the bones of her wrists and ankles stood out on her ungainly limbs. She was probably close to his age, but her slight build made her seem younger. She favored him with a gap-toothed smile. “I used to be afraid too, but I’m not anymore.”

He wanted to deny that he was afraid, but he didn’t like to lie if he could help it. “I almost drowned once.”

“At least you have a good reason.” She pushed up to the balls of her feet and leapt, her long body performing a graceful arc to break the surface of the water next to him with almost no splash. She gathered her dark hair and twisted into a bun at the top of her head. “Come on.” She bounced through the water toward the middle of the pool.

When he didn’t move she came back, grabbing his left hand in strong, cool fingers. He resisted her effort to pull him away from the edge.

She turned back to him, one corner of her mouth lifted up in a smirk. “You want to be a full-grown man who’s afraid of the neighborhood pool?”

The glint in her eye got under his skin. Clenching his jaw, he stepped forward. “No. I’m tired of being afraid.”

Buy Deep Water Here:

Dreamspinner Press (Individual Story)  / Dreamspinner Press (Full Set Anthology) /  Amazon US / Amazon UK

About Coral:

 

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Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters, and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives her tales.

Prompted by a general interest in how life works, she studied biology. She enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writes mainly speculative fiction and has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Albertus Magnus College. She is a 2013 alum of the Viable Paradise writer’s workshop.

Blog: http://www.chaosandinsanity.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/coralm
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorCoralMoore

Huge congratulations to Coral Moore with her first sale!

Coral is a hugely talented writer whose Broods of Fenrir series featuring wolf shifters is a personal favorite of mine. “Deep Water” from Dreamspinner Press’ Mended Collection is coming soon! For more information check out Coral’s blog here.

Book Rec: Marked By Odin by Coral Moore

Marked By Odin by Coral Moore

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If you love urban fantasy, paranormal romance and shapeshifters you’ll love Coral Moore’s Broods of Fenrir Series.  Read the first book (Broods of Fenrir) then follow Gunni’s continued story in the second book, Marked By Odin. While the first book was m/f this one was m/m. If you know me, I have a soft spot for m/m romances. Both Gunni and Leo are flailworthy and you won’t want to miss this sequel.

 

Blurb

Some scars are more than skin deep.

After killing his sadistic brother, Brand inherits the responsibility for his brother’s brood. Now, he must convince the brood that their barbaric way of life belongs in the past and demand change in order to secure their future.

Crushed by the death of his mate, Gunni believes it’s only a matter of time before he succumbs to the loneliness that plagues his life. He follows Brand out of loyalty, but he secretly craves the peace that death will bring—until he is confronted with the most infuriating human he’s ever met.

Leo is a throwback who has never quite fit in with human society. Drawn into the savage world of the werewolves, not entirely against his will, he discovers that the Broods of Fenrir don’t fear much… except him.

These three conflicting personalities unite in pursuit of an unscrupulous trapper who has taken a member of Brand’s brood captive. They must track him down before he uncovers what they are and their secret is revealed.

Warnings: Violence, Strong Language and Sexual Content

Excerpt:

When the moon was twenty-four hours from full, Gunni awoke, right on schedule. Though the wolf was certainly prowling, it seemed more subdued than it had been in weeks. The light leaking under his door and the clock in his head both informed him it was just before midday. He turned as gently as he could to face Leo.

A part of him did wonder if perhaps Leo was influencing him through the link they shared without realizing it. Brand could certainly project emotions through brood bonds, and if Leo had a similar ability, didn’t it stand to reason that he might be able to as well?

Gunni studied the sleeping Leo with a critical eye. In the muted light, the scars seemed unreal, as if his face were merely cast in shadow. Leo’s face was broad, angular, and unmistakably handsome. Gunni followed the rugged jaw and muscular neck down to the almost invisible mark his teeth had left. The memory of the taste of Leo’s skin made his mouth water, and the wolf within clamored for another bite.

Sometime in the night, Leo had taken off his shirt. His lean torso rose and fell with each breath, creating a hypnotic display of musculature that was only marred by the bandage covering the wound on the right side of his chest.

With the tips of his fingers, Gunni traced the curve of one rib to the sternum and then let his hand drift down Leo’s stomach. He imagined following that same trail with his mouth. His heartbeat drummed in his ears and just as strongly between his legs. He flicked his gaze back up to Leo’s face, still relaxed in sleep. The desire was there, and Leo had nothing at all to do with it. The realization that the emotions were his without question eased a knot of doubt.

Leo jolted awake. When he met Gunni’s gaze, he smiled. “I was just having the nicest dream about you.”

“Was I naked?”

Chuckling, Leo shook his head. “No, although I like the way you think. You were in wolf form, running in the woods with another wolf.”

“How did you know it was me?”

“Don’t know. I just did.”

“What color was I?”

“Brown with black points.”

“You’ve never seen me in wolf form.” Though the coloration was common enough in wolves, a chill raised goose bumps on his skin. “What color was the other wolf?”

“White. She was about half your size.”

Gunni closed his eyes.

Leo hesitated a few seconds before asking, “It was Alice, wasn’t it?”

“I’m sure you’ve seen white wolves. Maybe I even mentioned what color she was at some point.”

“Maybe. There were two lines on her right side where the fur didn’t grow right.”

“I know I didn’t tell you that.” Suddenly uneasy, Gunni moved to the edge of the bed.

With some effort, Leo sat up. “I shouldn’t have said anything. I didn’t mean to upset you.”

“I just don’t understand what’s going on.”

Leo shrugged. “I’m not sure it’s something we’ll ever figure out.”

“How did you know it was her?”

“I couldn’t imagine anyone else would have made you so happy.”

Sitting forward, Gunni leaned forward with his elbows on his knees. “I wondered, before I met you, if I would ever smile again.”

“I’m glad I could bring that bit of light back into the world.” Leo put an arm around him and rested a cheek against Gunni’s shoulder. “We need a way to make Disa smile once we find her.”

“I’ve got an idea on that.”

“Do you?” Leo moved to the edge of the bed and placed one bare foot on the floor so their legs were nearly touching.

Heightened senses tuned by the nearly full moon made Leo’s casual closeness a tempting distraction. Gunni wanted to bask in the warmth of his skin. “She has a son. I met him when we first got here.”

Leo put a hand on the back of Gunni’s neck and stroked gently. “He must be frightened. Can we go see him?”

“Later.” Gunni pulled an unresisting Leo into his lap with a knee on either side of him and buried his face in the hollow of Leo’s throat. Leo started to say something, but the protest transformed into a breathy moan when Gunni’s open mouth touched his skin.

The intoxicating aroma that was uniquely Leo flooded Gunni’s head. “I’ve never in my life tasted anything as good as you.”

With a wordless murmur, Leo arched his neck, offering more.

Gunni growled with approval. He placed a few careful nips, enjoying the way Leo tensed at the touch of his teeth, before forcing himself to back away.

Concern clouded Leo’s face. “What’s wrong?”

Gunni stroked the side of Leo’s neck with his knuckles. “Too big a risk with the moon so close to full.”

Leo’s expressive mouth compressed into a thin line. “I don’t have any say in that?”

The urge to kiss him until he smiled again was nearly irresistible. “No, you’re not the one with impulse control issues.”

“What exactly is it you think you’re going to do?”

Gunni shook his head. “I’d rather not think about it.”

“That’s a copout.”

Gods. For starters, I could rip your throat out.”

“You’ve had your teeth at my throat a couple of times now, Gun, and I’m still here. I refuse to believe you’re going to become a ravening beast just because of the moon.”

“You have no idea what I’m capable of.”

“Bullshit. What’s really worrying you?”

Gunni gritted his teeth. Bringing his fears into the light of day was the right course, but it still stung. “I could overpower you, and you wouldn’t be able to stop me.”

Leo considered, and then bared his teeth in a wicked grin. “That sounds like a good time to me.”

Gunni couldn’t help himself; he laughed.

“I know you’re worried because you care about me, and I’m flattered, but I’m also a little insulted. I’m not a child, and I’m certainly not afraid of you.”

“I can’t imagine there’s anything in the world you are afraid of.”

Leo frowned and after a moment seemed to steel himself. “I’m afraid you’re going to wake up tomorrow and realize being with me is a mistake.”

About Coral:

Coral Moore has always been the kind of girl who makes up stories. Fortunately, she never quite grew out of that. She writes because she loves to invent characters and the desire to find out what happens to her creations drives the tales she tells.

Prompted by a general interest in how life works, her undergraduate schooling was in biology. She follows science news and enjoys conversations about genetics and microbiology as much as those about vampires and werewolves. Coral writes speculative fiction and received a Master of Fine Arts in Writing at Albertus Magnus College.

Currently she lives in Connecticut with the love of her life, who offers both encouragement and kicks in the tail when necessary. Also in residence are two mammals of the families Canidae and Felidae.

She released her first novel, Broods of Fenrir, in November 2011.

Links:

Website: http://www.coralmoore.com/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/coralm

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

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5341919.Coral_Moore

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Coral-Moore/e/B006ARAWQO

Broods Series Website: http://www.broodsoffenrir.com/