Tuesday, April 10, 2007

CHOSEN, Guardians' League Book 3, releases a week from today!

So, a week from today, my third book in the Guardians' League Series debuts at Samhain Publishing! I'm really, really excited. I had a blast writing Gareth and Alexa's story and I really hope everyone likes it. In other great news today, I found out that the first two books in the Guardians' League Series--Hunted and Outcast--are both listed in the Top 100 Gothic Romance Bestsellers on Amazon.com! Talk about putting me over the moon, especially when you remember that Amazon.com lists fourteen billion books. I mean, there are real authors on that list! Squeeeeee!

Anyway--ahem, try to act like you're a professional, Amelia--just to celebrate that great news and to give you a taste of the next installment in this series, I thought I'd tease you with an excerpt from Chosen. I hope you like it!



Gareth’s To Do List:

Defend New Orleans.
Fight a vampire war.
Keep humans ignorant of above.
Win the girl.

Not To Do:
Die.

Book Three of the Guardians’ League

Gareth Ambrocio is the charismatic and dedicated patriarch of New Orleans’ Arachnid Clan, as well as a senior member of the League’s Governing Council and the official Ambassador of the Clans. Fancy titles for a man who enjoys giving vampire tours around New Orleans to spread false information to tourists.

Despite being one of the oldest living vampires, Gareth has yet to find a mate or name an heir. Meeting the lovely dhampyr Alexa provides him the perfect opportunity to finally take a bondmate and create that heir. The problems start as soon as he begins his efforts to court her. All hell breaks loose in his city. Women go missing and wind up dead, Outcast attacks become bolder, and an upstart vampire challenges Gareth for his position… and for Alexa.

Keeping her safe would be a lot easier if Alexa would admit that vampires truly existed, but Gareth has always relished a good challenge. When the attacks and threats draw ever closer to her, Gareth must find out who or what is behind these strange events before he loses his Chosen mate, his Clan, his city and his life…

Warning, this title contains the following: adult situations, graphic language, violence.


An excerpt from

Chosen

Book Three of the Guardians' League

Copyright © 2007 Amelia Elias

All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication

Alexa turned to look with a sinking feeling in the pit of her stomach. Her jaw dropped when she caught a glimpse of the man chatting with Grace’s bartender friend. Tall, blond, and dressed in leather from head to toe, he was the epitome of everything Alexa had been avoiding for the last two years. He laughed and half-turned, denying her the sight of his impossibly tight butt lovingly cupped in black leather only to gift her with a glimpse of a face that would make Michelangelo’s David green with envy.

He reached for his glass and his jacket parted, revealing nothing beneath but golden skin and enough rippling muscle to wipe every coherent thought from her head. On anyone else, such an outfit might’ve made her question his orientation, but not on this guy. He radiated danger and masculinity, and sweet, hot seduction.

Adonis in black leather. He looked like the kind of bad news every girl secretly dreamed of finding.

Every girl but her, that was. Adonis laughed and Alexa groaned. She couldn’t believe Grace was actually making her do this, but further protests would only delay the inevitable. Taking a deep breath for courage, she turned her back on her friends and started across the crowded bar as though walking to her doom, pretending she didn’t hear their ribald shouts of “encouragement”.

She stopped behind Adonis and took another breath to steady her nerves. She instantly wished she hadn’t as his subtle aftershave swept over her—not too much, not too strong, and sexy as hell. Why it surprised her, she couldn’t say. Every inch of this guy was pure sex, and at well over six feet tall, that was a lot of sexy inches.

Don’t go there, Alexa. Stop that thought right there.

Before she could chicken out—a thought that was all too tempting—she reached out and tapped him on the shoulder. “Excuse me,” she said through a throat that felt much too tight. “Can I ask a favor?”

Adonis turned and her heart leapt into her throat. Up close he was even more devastating than he’d been from across the bar. Eyes the color of warm gunmetal met hers as he smiled at her.

“Hello,” he said, his deep voice caressing nerves she’d spent the last two years convincing herself she didn’t even have. He caught her hand and lifted it to his lips, his mouth skimming her knuckles in a gesture as gallant as it was unexpected. Her heart kicked against her ribs. “For you, anything,” he added, not releasing her hand.

For a moment Alexa couldn’t even speak. For Adonis to have the voice of a sex god and the manners of a knight was just too, too unfair. The urge to flee almost overtook her and she blurted the words before she could give in and run. “It’s a dare. I mean Truth or Dare. I mean… Oh, hell, I have to do a body shot with you.”

One golden eyebrow raised and for a second that was all. Then Adonis smiled. Not grinned, smiled. Kindly. “Nervous?” he asked as his thumb traced a feather-soft caress over her inner wrist.

That caress tingled all the way up her arm and down her spine before settling low in her belly as a curl of liquid heat. If she hadn’t tied her hair back she was sure it would be standing on end.

“You don’t have to if you don’t want to,” she said, her cheeks so hot it felt like she could fry an egg on them. She didn’t want to imagine the torture that would follow if he told her no. It was too horrible to contemplate.

He leaned close and murmured in her ear, “I wouldn’t miss it for the world, sweetheart, but I want nothing you don’t wish to give. Do you want to do this, or do you want me to help you get out of it?”

Alexa closed her eyes for just a moment, unable to stop herself from savoring the sensation of his breath on the sensitive skin of her ear and the warmth of his hard body inches from hers. This man was not the arrogant jerk she’d first assumed. He was quickly moving into too-good-to-be-true territory with that offer to rescue her from her pushy friends. There was nothing he could’ve done that would have surprised her more, and her reaction to it was downright shocking.

“Let’s do it.”

He chuckled in her ear and she shivered from head to toe. “Words no man can ever resist,” he teased before pulling back. He released her hands and spread his arms. “I’m all yours, sweetheart. Do with me what you will.”

She laughed. “Has that line actually worked for you?”

He smiled, but his eyes were serious. “More importantly, is it working now?”

Alexa chose to ignore that—she could handle a little light teasing, but serious flirting with Adonis was out of the question. She turned to the bartender to order a tequila shot and found one already waiting for her, a shaker of salt and a lime on a napkin beside it. The bartender, Luc, was leaning against the bar, his eyes twinkling. “Give him hell, girl.”

“More like heaven, if you ask me,” the guy on the next barstool commented.

Luc laughed and opened his mouth to say something else but Adonis cut him off. “Leave the lady alone,” he commanded. There was no other word for it. His voice shimmered with authority though his eyes never left Alexa. “Where do you want me?”

Now that was a loaded question if she’d ever heard one. She cleared her throat and summoned a smile of her own as she lifted the shot, salt, and lime. If she really had to do this, she’d make it something even a man like him would remember.

“On the bar,” she said. That golden eyebrow rose again and her grin widened. “On your back.”

Luc laughed and the other guy gave a low whistle as the people around them lifted their drinks, but Adonis said nothing. He braced his hands on the bar and lifted himself up with one smooth ripple of muscle before turning and lying back in the vacated space, knees bent. One big boot rested on the bar and the other on his barstool. Alexa could all but feel her friends’ disbelief radiating across the crowded bar but refused to turn around and glance at them. The slide of his jacket across that golden skin as he laced his fingers behind his head, silently giving her free run of his body, had her full attention.

And what a body it was. She gave herself a moment to stare, wishing she could take an hour to give this man the attention he was due. His jacket fell completely open, exposing a palm-sized tattoo of a spider on his left side. She touched it with a fingertip, wincing at the thought of needles in such a sensitive area. “That must’ve hurt.”

He winked at her. “Other things have hurt more.”

It was a perfect opening and she absolutely wasn’t going there. Her fingertip left his side and traced a circle around his navel. “If I put the glass here, will it spill?”

A quiver ran through his muscles and a wave of purely feminine satisfaction made her bite her lip. He watched the movement like a hawk.

“’Fraid so,” Adonis said, still gazing at her mouth. “I’m only human.”

Luc laughed again and Adonis shot him a glare. Alexa ignored it.

“I guess I’ll have to get creative, then.” She set the shot aside and lifted the lime and salt. “Ready?”

His eyes smoldered when he answered. “I’ve been ready all my life, sweetheart.”

She lifted the lime to his lips. He opened his mouth willingly, his gaze never leaving her face as she positioned the lime between his teeth. His warm breath tickled her fingers and she could almost believe it had quickened in anticipation. When she had the lime just how she wanted it, she lifted the salt and glanced down his body, her own breath coming a little faster at the thought of where to sprinkle it.

Her attention kept returning to the strong column of his throat. She could see his pulse throbbing temptingly just above the collarbone. As she stared, the throbbing sped up. Before she could talk herself out of it, Alexa bent and ran her tongue over the spot.

His low hiss of pleasure thrilled her. She licked his skin again, closing her eyes to better savor the warmth of his skin beneath her lips, the slight saltiness on her tongue. She couldn’t resist one final swirl before she pulled away and sprinkled salt over the spot, not quite daring to look up into his eyes and see if he was as affected as she was.

Ignoring the shot glass by his hip, Alexa dropped the salt shaker onto the bar and returned to his throat. This time he groaned aloud as she painstakingly licked every bit of the salt away, taking her time and making a very thorough job of it. Obeying an instinct she didn’t even know she had, she nipped at his skin right over his pulse and was rewarded with what sounded like a low oath muffled by the lime as he shivered. She couldn’t resist doing it again. She knew she should stop this before she marked him, but his obvious pleasure at what she was doing made it hard for her to think rationally.

Only then did she lift the shot glass and meet his eyes. The desire in his gaze was enough to send molten heat through her veins. She winked at him before bending to his navel and filling it with tequila. He groaned again in anticipation and Alexa quickly bent and sucked the liquor from his body. A tiny rivulet escaped and she chased it down with her tongue as it rolled down his side. His body arched like a bow when she flicked her tongue into his navel to make sure she’d gotten every last drop.

Finally she made herself pull away and quickly bit the lime, keeping her eyes closed so she didn’t have to look at his expression. His breath definitely came faster, just like hers. He angled his head to give her greater access as she sucked the tart juice from the fruit. His lips were firm and warm against hers and Alexa pulled back from that temptation almost at once. She was already far too close to getting seriously carried away here.

When she pulled away she realized half the bar was cheering and knew she should be mortified, but when Adonis swung his legs off the bar and caught her in his arms, everything else faded to the background. She saw his intention in his burning eyes a moment before his mouth descended and got her fingers between them just in time. “Not on a first date, Adonis,” she murmured, his lips kept from hers by nothing more than the width of her finger.


CHOSEN debuts at Samhain Publishing on April 17, 2007!

2 comments:

Cat Marsters & Kate Johnson said...

Oh, I could do naughty things to that man.

And I LOVE the to-do list!

Amelia Elias said...

Cat... me first.