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Friday 24 May 2013

Help For Heroes

Image used with kind permission from Ron McGeary

An act of barbarity took place on the streets of my country's Capital this week; a young man in the prime of his life was brutally killed in broad daylight.

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I don't think I'll ever truly be able to understand why, but this husband and father to a two-year old son, happened to be a British soldier and he happened to step out of the barracks, wearing his Help For Heroes t-shirt. It was an act of terrorism committed by radical extremists, British men, whom that fallen soldier had served to protect.

This despicable crime horrifies and sickens me, on every level; as a wife, mother, daughter, aunt, sister, niece, cousin, friend, as well as former partner of a soldier, but more importantly, as a human being. Whilst many stood by and watched the horror unfolding, a small number of women shielded Drummer Rigby. Those regular women, who just happened to be there, made a difference.

I want to try and make a difference too...

So, I have chosen to donate all royalties for my story, For One Night Only, as featured in Serviced: Volume 1 to Help for Heroes.

Serviced is available from most major e-retailers but I will receive more to then pass on if you purchase direct from the publisher. Please see my website for details and the links you'll need, and feel free to try before you buy by reading the first chapter for free.

When I set out to write For One Night Only, I did not do it for the financial reward; I did it as a personal challenge to myself to see if I could write outside of my comfort zone and push myself as a writer. It turned out I could, with the story immediately contracted, and that is more than enough of a reward for me. With the backing of my family, I am happy to be able to give something back to show my support and appreciation of our troops, as per my dedication in the book itself:

And to all the other Heroes...

Thank you for keeping me, my family, and my friends—including the friends I haven’t met yet—safe and sound, and for putting yourselves on the line every single day.

Help for Heroes

Monday 6 May 2013

Progeny Series Day - Book 3: Blood Promise

Blood Promise (The Progeny Series #3)
by Ashlynne Laynne

Progeny Series Day

“Their love is fated by an ancient prophecy. Now the promise is fulfilled.”

Ascher Rousseau is a half-human, half vampire whose life has been a series of prophecies and predictions. After finding incredible love and passion with Shauna—a Wiccan with powers beyond anything he’s ever known—he seals to her and hopes for happiness. But his enemies seek to destroy all that he loves, and he finds that happiness never lasts for long. 

Darkness is descending and a vampiric revolution is nearing. A new brood of hatchlings is born to join their darkling brothers, in preparation for war. A preordained chain of events is set into motion that could lead to the rise of the demonic “cloaked one” and his half-human fallen children, while ending humanity—as we know it. 

Can a supernatural love and the loyal bond of a family save the Rousseaus and the world from certain extinction?


Shauna stood tall, her posture erect and with her shoulders squared. Her shaky hand tensed as she drew her arm back, the dagger clutched inside. “Here goes nothin’...” Determination blazed in her eyes as she aimed and released the dagger, sending it hurtling toward the target. The knife soared through the air but dropped short of the tree. 

“That’s okay, love. You did good, considering it was your first try. Let me help you.” He took a wide stance behind her, helping to reset her posture. “Now,” he whispered into her ear, placing another dagger in her hand. “Let’s see if we can get this right.” Winding his hand around her hand and the dagger, he guided her to the draw. “It’s all in the shoulders and wrist.” He wiggled their wrists back and forth as if they were one. 

She drew a harsh breath as her pulse thudded against his fingertips. 

Ascher pushed against the small of her back to lengthen her spine. “Stand tall.” His left arm held her waist steady while his right arm prepared her wrist to release the dagger. “Breathe deeply.” 

Her whole body tensed, as both their arms drew back then flew forward, releasing the dagger. It soared through the air, landing just above the bulls-eye. 

Ascher was proud and gave her an encouraging smile. He’d used minimal strength and only held her arm to give the illusion of his guidance. She’d done ninety percent of the work. “Great job, love.” He flashed over to the target tree, retrieving two iron poles from behind the bumpy bark—no way would he put a silver javelin in her inexperienced hands. He’d stowed them earlier in the morning while Shauna was showering. 

His mood perceptively brightened. Javelin fighting was his preferred method of battle. He held the bars out, whipping them in measured circle eights, each slice of the metal heating his blood. Handing her the second bar, he watched her again. 

She weighted it in her hands and advanced toward him with a smirk. 

Her championing of the rod with such easy twirls shocked him. “You’re pretty good at that.” 

“Part of cheerleading was learning to twirl a baton—you know for parades and stuff. Sometimes, I filled in for the girls who twirled the flags. Our football and basketball teams sucked, but I loved doing the dance routines. This bar is longer and heavier, but the movements are similar.” 

Cheerleader Shauna in her short skirt and swaying pompoms had been the star of a few of his fantasies. Watching her swing the pole made the skin on his neck prickle. This was a new sensation for him. He stilled, watching the strong muscles flexing in her newly sculpted body. Damn, that’s really hot! 

Giving her a come-hither flick of his hand, Ascher widened his stance, gripping the bar between his down-facing palms. “This is a neutral position.” He waited for her to imitate his movement and only continued when he was pleased with her positioning. “All poses start from here.” Raising the bar in one hand and above his head, he gave it a series of turns, the velocity of the revolutions resembling the blades of a helicopter. 

She stilled, her eyes rounding with astonishment. 

“Ursula has never had to fight a battle on her own, so she’s not very good with weapons. Sure, she can overpower someone weaker and with less skill, but she has limited training with daggers and spikes and only a basic knowledge of sparring. Her strengths are evasion and swimming. She can swim for miles and submerge just as long. You’ll be strong sweetheart, but you’ll be a newborn with lingering human weaknesses.” Bringing the bar back to neutral pose, he motioned for Shauna to reciprocate. 

Her stance was now self-assured, cocky even and evident in her smug expression. “I can beat her. If she’s a novice, she’ll be easy to beat.” 

He sensed the wheels turning in her head; clearly, she didn’t take this seriously at all. “Damn it, Shauna! This isn’t a game. One false move—just one moment of lost concentration and that’s all it takes. She’ll pick up on your weaknesses and use them against you. Then, you—will—die.”


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Progeny Series Day - Book 2: Blood Bonds

Blood Bonds (The Progeny Series #2)
by Ashlynne Laynne

Progeny Series Day

“Forever. For always. For eternity.”

The ties that bind two hearts are powerful. For Ascher Rousseau and Shauna McCutchin, it’s more than just a blood bond. Their union is that of vampire legend. Their love is a predestined prophecy foretold centuries ago. 

It’s a week before Ascher and Shauna's sealing and the couple is making final preparations for their eternity, but Ascher's ex has other plans. Ursula is hell-bent on revenge—revenge fueled by lover's scorn and her father's death—and she begins breeding a fresh army of newborn darklings to do her bidding. 

When Ursula finds a new weapon—an ally with the capability to dismantle the Rousseau clan— Ascher and Shauna's bond is tested and they must stand together against Ursula or lose each other for eternity.


A devious smirk crossed his face as he grabbed the champagne bottle.

“What are you doing?”

He shook the bottle, his thumb plugging the opening.

She sprang to her feet, running to the far corner of the room, but he gave chase and willed himself to the opposite wall. His strong arms seized her and cornered her against the wall.

“That’s not fair,” she seethed. “You won’t always be faster than me.”

He chuckled.

“You wouldn’t dare!”

He shook the bottle more. “Wouldn’t I?”

She squealed, “No,” but it was too late.

The bubbly stream deluged her, raining down, soaking her with its sticky sweetness.

Ascher dropped the bottle then rubbed the stickiness all over her, massaging the liquid into her skin. His mouth journeyed between her breasts and lips, kissing, sucking and nibbling at her. “You’re so delicious.”

“I’m sticky. There’s a difference.”

“I’ll just have to prove my point to you.” He reached down, plunging a finger into her.

Her eyes widened with surprise.

Licking his finger clean, he said, “Nectar from the gods.”

He was so dirty and she liked it. His no fear approach to their sex life shocked and delighted her. His kisses migrated south, his lips and tongue equally stirring her hot skin.

“No,” she whimpered. “Haven’t you had enough?”

“I’ll never get enough of you.”

“Oh, no,” she faux protested.

He lifted her into the air, gently parting her thighs while his arms guided her legs over his shoulders. Her back was firm against the wall while his hands effortlessly supported her weight, holding her snatch at his face level.

He glanced up at her, grinned then growled, “Oh, yes.”

She squirmed, attempting to get away from him, knowing it was impossible and downright foolish to attempt it.

He squeezed the soft flesh of her ass cheeks, as his tongue burned hot laps onto her swollen clit. “You’re not getting away from me.”

“You’re—driving me—crazy!” she stuttered with spastic pauses, her fingers threading into his raven locks.

A muffled laugh came from below.

Her eyes rolled as her neck dropped back. She didn’t resist or protest—why would she when it felt so amazing. She let him have his way. When he wanted something, he always got it. She collapsed as the waves of orgasm flooded her violently shaking body.

He shifted her, cradling her into his arms, gazing at her with a hint of smugness on his face. “Guess I’d better clean you up. Care for a shower?”

“You’re such a bad boy.”

“True, but I’m your bad boy.”


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Progeny Series Day - Book 1: The Progeny

The Progeny (The Progeny Series #1)
by Ashlynne Laynne

“No fate other than the one I choose.” 

The timeless creed, and tattoo, bore by the Rousseaus— a vampire clan with the purest bloodline of any vampire family. Out of this clandestine group came one who was different, yet the same: Ascher-a half-bloodling— half- human, half vampire. 

Ascher questions the purpose for his existence and which world he truly belongs to: the human world or the vampire world. Two months from sealing to Ursula— a prearranged union to a woman he abhors — he’s at his wit’s end. He knows if he calls off the sealing, the Romanian clan will strike with deadly force, but he cannot see eternity with a cold empty shell of a woman like Ursula. 

Just when he thought life was complicated enough, he meets Shauna— a beautiful, bi-racial human Wiccan — and immediately develops an unshakable attraction to her. She makes him feel alive and vital despite his origins and Ascher makes a decision that turns his immortal world upside down.


Clutching her head with both hands, Shauna screamed, “No!” The windows cracked as she ran towards the door, fresh tears flooding her face. 

Ascher grabbed for her—missing. 

“No!” The ceiling rumbled, water raining down from the sprinklers. Shauna pointed towards the door. “Move!” At her command, it flew open, nearly ripping off its hinges. 

Ascher appeared in front of her. 

She scowled. “Go away!” An unseen force removed him from her path. Turning, she backed away from both of them, her eyes fixated on the two. Her finger twirled and pointed at each of them. “Stay!” 

“I hope you’re happy now!” Ascher seethed at Ursula then sprinted after Shauna, catching her before she hit the stairs. He clutched her to him. “Shauna. Baby, please. Just let me explain.” 

A strange burn started in her legs. What’s happening to me? She’d had rage issues all her life, never anything like this. Her clear eyesight blurred gray. The hall she’d seen for three months and knew like the back of her hand, became an unfamiliar maze veiled by her fuzzy vision. 

Taking a stumbling step, she regained her balance against the wall. “I told you how important honesty was to me, and you’ve kept this from me the whole time. You told me she was nobody—that it was only physical curiosity. It doesn’t look that way to me. She talks like she owns you. You said that was over. How were you going to cover up getting married to someone else?” 

“I wasn’t. Please, just listen to me—” 

Shauna shook her head. “I’ve listened enough, and I can’t trust you. Without trust, we have nothing. All you’ve done is feed me lies. You’re a liar! I despise liars! I can’t believe I was going to sleep with you, allow you to be my first.” She gripped her stomach and doubled over as the nausea crept from her depths. “I’m going to be sick.” 

He reached for her again. 

“Don’t touch me!” Every ounce of restraint left her body, and chaos flooded her brain. She wanted to lash out. No, she needed to lash out. 

“Shauna, just let me take you home. I promise I’ll explain things to you.” 

“What part of I don’t want to hear your lies don’t you understand?” Pushing her hands away from her body, toward him, she barked, “Back!” He flew back and against the wall. “I don’t want to hear anymore lies!” She sobbed into her hands. “I hate you. I wish I’d never met you!” 

Pain and disbelief creased his face. “Shauna? You don’t mean that. You’re just upset. Let’s talk things through.” 

“There’s nothing left to say, Ascher. Just leave me alone. I never want to see you again.” 

“Shauna, I love you. Please. You don’t—” 

“Oh, yes I do. I mean it and I quit! I can’t work here anymore.” She ran out the emergency exit, setting off the door alarm, sprinting into the night.


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Tour Stop: The Progeny Series PLUS GIVEAWAY

To celebrate the release of Blood Promises, book three in The Progeny Series, I hereby declare today to be...

The Progeny Series Day

Keep popping back throughout the day to get the lowdown and read an excerpt from each book in the series. And don't forget to enter the giveaway whilst you're at it, you can't miss it ;-)

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to The Progeny Series, by Ashlynne Laynne...

About the series...

At its core, The Progeny Series is simply about a man and woman who fall in love, and the fact that he’s a half-blood (half-human, half vampire) and she’s a Wiccan human are secondary factors. When we meet Ascher, he’s grumpy. Frankly, who could blame him? He’s engaged to seal to Ursula—a cold and careless vampire who wants nothing more than to get her hands on a bloodstone— and he feels conflicted about his existence.

All of that changes when he meets Shawnette McCutchin. She’s beautiful, intriguing and possesses some of the most potent blood that he’s ever smelled. A war immediately begins inside Ascher. He craves Shauna’s blood just as much as he craves her body and the closer they get, the harder it is for him to control his urges. After Ascher calls off the sealing to Ursula, the trouble begins. His family’s peaceful period ends when Ursula’s army attacks the Rousseaus.

This series encompasses a family dynamic of which we’ve never seen. The Rousseaus share a common mortal and immortal bloodline, but loyalty is the thread binding this clan. Shauna and Ascher’s dissuaded love only strengthens the family bonds. Their unique union transcends bloodlines and completes the prophecy, defying the beliefs of centuries old covenants while shattering the wall between the Wiccan and vampire worlds that has existed for ages. This series is erotic paranormal romance intended for adults, as it contains adult sensuality, language and themes.

*All times UK British Summer Time

About the author...

Ashlynne Laynne has always had a soft spot in her heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun-loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, she tends to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for her writing The Progeny. The vampire/witch pairing is unique and different when most books pair vampires with werewolves.

Ashlynne loves writing on the edge—combining the erotica and romance genres—and thinks of Ascher and Shauna as the wicked, damned version of Romeo and Juliet. She is currently working on book four of her Progeny Series, book one of her upcoming Rocker Series, and an untitled novella WIP. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write exclusively one day soon. Find and follow here online on Twitter. Check out her Manic Readers page, Blog and Website, or leave her a note in her Reader Email.

Ashlynne lives in North Carolina with her husband and teenage son.


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