Happy Friday! Is everyone ready for the Holiday weekend? I am....well except for some grocery shopping and cooking, but I have the presents wrapped! lol After all the work and stress I know a lot of you are going through right now, why not treat yourself to a fabulous giveaway?!?! SourceBooks is giving away three prize packs here, check out these fantastic books and look for my reviews on them coming soon!
HE'S EXACTLY WHAT SHE'S ALWAYS WANTED...Lucy was once the beloved Goddess of the Moon. These days the goddesses of the Etruscan pantheon are all but forgotten. The only rituals she enjoys now are the local hockey games, where one ferociously handsome player inflames her divine blood...AND SHE UNLEASHES HIM LIKE A FORCE OF NATURE...Brandon Stevenson is one hundred percent focused on the game, until he looks up and sees a celestial beauty sitting in the third row. A man could fall hard for a distraction like that...
Some days, it didn’t pay to get out of bed.
Especially if you happened to be a once-powerful goddess and you’d just spent the last half hour on your hands and knees cleaning the clogged drain in your bar.
Lucy Aster, still known to an ever-decreasing circle of followers as Lusna, Etruscan Goddess of the Moon, had filthy hands, stains on her shirt, and at least one streak of grease on her face.
So, of course, the door to Howling Wolf opened and a young voice called to her.
“Lady Lucy, are you here?”
The girl knew she was. Catene Rossini Ferrante was lucani, an Etruscan wolf shifter whose sense of smell was ten times better than any human’s. Catene had been able to scent her from outside.
But Catene was nothing if not polite and respectful. A beautiful young woman in every way.
Stifling a sigh that Catene would also detect because of her enhanced hearing, Lucy straightened from her crouch, pasting on a pleasant expression for the girl who had the brightest smile this side of Thesan, Etruscan Goddess of the Sun.
“Hello, Catene. How are you, sweetheart?”
The girl dropped into a curtsey when she caught sight of Lucy.
Catene’s lustrous, copper hair dipped over her shoulders as her blue eyes lowered in deference. “I’m fine, Lady. I just… I was in the area so I thought I’d stop to say hello.”
The girl was an absolute doll. Too bad she couldn’t lie worth a damn.
“It’s nice to see you, sweetheart. It’s been too long.”
Of course, Lucy could lie. She’d had so much more practice.
Lucy hated that she had to lie, but she wasn’t happy to see her. She adored the girl but Catene represented Lucy’s worst nightmare.
“I’m so sorry, Lady. I’ve been so busy—”
“That wasn’t a rebuke, dear.” Damn it, Lucy felt like she’d kicked a puppy. “Only an observation. Now, what can I do for you?”
Catene blinked and Lucy knew exactly why she was here. Sympathy made her stomach twist into knots. Young love really did suck.
“Tivr’s not here.” Lucy said it as gently as she could. “And I don’t know where he is.”
Catene tried to hide her disappointment, tried to keep her smile from faltering. She managed, for the most part. She might have fooled someone else.
But she couldn’t fool Lucy. The lucani were hers. More than two thousand years ago, she’d given a small village of Etruscans the power to transform their bodies from human to wolf. And for that, they continued to worship her—even if she no longer deserved it.
Life was too damn complicated.
“Oh.” Catene bit her lip and nodded. “I’m sorry, Lady. I didn’t mean to bother you.”
At least in this she could respond honestly. “You’re never a bother.”
Only a reminder of my obsolescence.
The girl’s smile rebounded and Lucy felt her black mood lift, even if it was only a little.
“Thank you, Lady. I just… Thanks.”
With a wave, the girl headed back out the door, bright hair flowing behind her.
Lucy stared at that door for several seconds, making sure she heard the girl start the bright yellow muscle car she and her father Kyle had rebuilt from the tires up, and peel out down the lane away from the bar.
Then, with a muffled screech, Lucy grabbed the first thing within reach.
The wooden bowl of peanuts on the bar didn’t stand a chance. She flung the bowl across the room, where it hit the wall and shattered, peanuts and splinters falling to the floor in a pile of debris. She reached for a second bowl but forced herself to stop.
Great Mother Goddess, she needed to get a grip. She’d been losing control more often and—
Well, damn. She was an idiot. The full moon approached. No wonder her mood swings were worse than a teenaged girl’s.
She really needed to get laid. Sex would go a long way to soothing her mood. But like everything else in her life, sex would have to wait. At least, for now. She had a business to run.
With a huff, she got the broom from behind the counter and cleaned up the mess she’d made. Too bad she couldn’t sweep her mistakes away as easily.
“Hey, Mom, everything okay?”
Tivr stuck his head out the door from the back room, sharp gray eyes narrowed in concern, short dark hair spiked in every direction.
Her child looked as though he’d just stepped off the stage of a metal concert in his sleeveless black t-shirt and ragged, skin-tight jeans. With muscles any bodybuilder would be proud of, Ty appeared to be only twenty or so in human years. In reality, he’d been born more than two millennia ago.
Which, yes, made her even older. And no, she’d stopped counting birthdays long ago.
“I’m fine.” She forced a smile. “Just dropped a bowl. And covered your ass with Catene.”
His lips quirked in a smart-ass grin she loved with every fiber of her being but his eyes… oh, those eyes held their own secrets. “Yeah, uh, thanks. How’s she look?”
“Beautiful, of course.” She let Ty drift in the breeze for a few minutes before she took pity on him and switched the subject. “Are you here to go to the game with me tonight?”
Thank the Blessed Mother, there was a Railers game tonight. The minor-league hockey team filled her winter nights with hot guy-on-guy action. She loved hockey. Loved the speed, the agility. The fights.
Brawny, sweaty, messy. They let their hair grow, though no one would ever accuse them of being feminine, not with perpetual five o’clock shadow and bulging muscles. They skated with the grace of a ballet dancer and fought at the drop of a glove.
Who didn’t love hockey? Especially these past two seasons—
Ty shook his head. “Can’t go tonight, sorry. Told Caeles I’d cover for him in here. The band has an early gig but he’ll be here later for your set. I’m sure you’ll find someone to take.”
As Ty ducked back into the kitchen, Lucy knew he was right. Every night, she surrounded herself with people. Men, women. Mostly her lucani. They brightened her nights and helped keep the loneliness at bay.
After so many millennia, the nights could become interminable. Yet, for the past two seasons, she’d looked forward to each game.
Because of him.
Her chest tightened and she had to work to draw in a breath. How ridiculous was it that just the thought of him could make her sex clench and her lungs tighten with desire.
Brandon Stevenson. Six-two, two-hundred. Born 6/10/76. She could recite his stats in her sleep, which was a pitiful thing to admit, she realized.
Brown eyes the color of dark chocolate. A crooked smile that could taunt another player into throwing down his gloves or make a woman’s heart race. Dark blonde hair cut short enough to be conventional but long enough to run fingers through.
She entertained dreams of stripping his sweaty uniform from his body, piece by bulky piece, exposing broad shoulders, ripped abs and strong thighs. And every other piece of gorgeous flesh in between. Railers No. 17 ignited something inside her that she hadn’t felt in… Well, never.
It confused and confounded her. Vaffanculo, she’d never even met the man. Truth be told, she’d been reluctant to approach him. Didn’t want to discover how truly deep her attraction to this eteri, this regular human, was.
Yes. With good reason.
Her powers had steadily declined over the centuries, as had all of the Forgotten Goddesses. They were still immortal. But now they were useless.
Case in point, five months ago, when Charun, the Etruscan God of the Underworld, had begun to terrorize Sun Goddess Tessa in her dreams. Her sister goddesses had been unable to help her.
Now bright, sweet Tessa had been missing for weeks. Lucy sincerely hoped Tessa and her Cimmerian bodyguard, Caligo, had holed up somewhere safe. With a bed. Tessa needed someone to take care of her.
Lucy had been taking care of herself for years. She wasn’t frightened of Charun. Bullies tended to pick on weaker prey and Lucy had never been weak.
But she was obsolete.
Her wolves no longer worshipped her, not as they once had. And both of her sons were of an age where they didn’t need her. Ty hadn’t for longer than she cared to remember. Caeles, adopted when he’d been only a few days old, hadn’t truly needed her for almost two decades, the blink of an eye in an eternal lifetime.
And even though her boys still paid lip service to her maternal instincts, she knew the truth. She had become obsolete in more than one way.
Sighing, she checked the clock. Only an hour until she could leave for the game. And watch the man who made her hot and wet between the thighs for the first time in a very long time.
IN HIS ARMS, HER MAGIC POWERS ARE ON THE RISE...Tessa, Etruscan Goddess of the Dawn, is losing her powers and now there's an Underworld god determined to run her down. She needs a hero and fast, because only sexual energy can give her power. So she seeks out Caligo, whose sexual prowess is legendary...AND SHE'S THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN BRING HIM INTO THE LIGHT...Caligo is a fabled Cimmerian warrior determined to stay away from spoiled goddesses who trample hearts after they've had their fun. But there's something irresistibly hot and inviting about Tessa and he knows he's her only change to escape the encroaching darkness...
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Stephanie Julian is the author of the Magical Seduction, LucaniLovers and The Fringe series from Ellora’s Cave and the upcoming Forgotten Goddess series from Sourcebooks Casablanca. A former reporter for a daily newspaper, she enjoys making up stories much more than writing about real life. She’s happily married to a Springsteen fanatic and is the mother of two sons who love her even when they don’t have any clean clothes and dinner is a bowl of cereal.
Find out more about Stephanie and all her works on her website or connect with her on FaceBook and Twitter!
Thanks to SourceBooks I have What a Goddess Wants and How to Worship a Goddess to giveaway to three different US or Canadian readers! To enter, just leave a comment on this post and then fill out the rafflecopter below with your name and email address. Addition entries are available but not required.
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