The first author in our Showcase is the very talented, Ophelia Bell. Once you start reading, you won’t stop. For mature audiences only. Are you over 21? If not, go somewhere else. Now!
The first book today is Animus (Sleeping Dragons Book 1). To me, this combines everything I love in one story. Archeology (Yep, I’m a wanna-be Indiana Jones), mystery, erotica… a strong female who’s determined yet relatable.
For Erika and her team of Ivy League-educated archaeologists, trekking through a hot, wet jungle and penetrating the depths of the elusive dragon temple they’ve been hunting is all in a day’s work. Little do they know that once inside, their minds and bodies will become immersed in centuries-old magic, the tantalizing effects of which they are powerless to resist.
To the First Chapter. See ya at the bottom.
Animus Chapter One
Erika always got a little damp between the thighs on the cusp of an archaeological find, but this wasn’t just any old pile of ancient bones she was about to uncover. Today her entire body thrummed with excitement. If the coordinates were right, this would be the find of the century.
The vine-covered rock wall in front of her was the final barrier. Her heart pounded in anticipation of what she hoped lay beneath. With passionate rips, she yanked the foliage away to display the elaborate, smooth carving of a dragon wound into a disc-shape.
The image sent a thrill through her. Hot-damn, we found it! The culmination of her hard years of graduate research rested in the darkness somewhere behind that slab of vine-covered rock. She and her team would be the first to set eyes on it.
In spite of her conviction that they’d finally reached the end of their quest, she glanced back to her geologist for confirmation, itching with impatience.
Eben’s eyes widened and he looked up from the handheld GPS unit. “I just sprung wood, baby,” he said, echoing her own thoughts. “Fuck yeah! This is it!”
Cheers erupted from the group behind them. They deserved to celebrate after enduring an exhausting trek through the remote reaches of the Sumatran jungle to get here, but the true celebration would have to wait just a little bit longer.
“Yeah, but it’s just a wall.” She swept her hands over the ridged face of the stone slab in front of her, ripping down more vines as she went. “How do we get inside, assuming there’s an inside to get to?”
Eben slunk up behind her, pressing his tall, muscular body against her back. His hands covered hers while they explored the rock face. The arousing scent of his heady musk hit her nose and she inhaled.
“Maybe extra hands are necessary,” he whispered in her ear. “Those old dwarves could be horny bastards, wanting their stones touched by everyone.”
“Dwarves… You’ve been watching too many movies. But I know someone’s a horny bastard,” she whispered, shifting her backside away from his obvious hard-on. He didn’t seem to notice, moving around her to inspect the wall more closely.
She let him take control of their exploration of the hard surface before them. Eben had an uncanny ability to suss out the secrets of just about any mineral. He also had a particular skill at sinking his rock-hard shaft into her deeper crevices whenever the mood struck them. It was why she’d been so attracted to him during their undergrad years. Post-graduation, she’d kept him around because he was every bit as ambitious as she was to explore the deeper reaches of the world and all its secrets. It also didn’t hurt that the tall, irreverent blond was very easy on the eyes.
But their relationship had shifted since the start of this expedition. Her desire for Eben was purely built from necessity. He had always been more than happy to scratch her near-constant itch but his remedy to her overactive libido was gradually growing less and less effective.
Erika’s drive to find this temple was ever present during her waking hours, overtaking even that craving for sex. When she slept it was a different story. The need to complete a successful expedition and bring back proof she could rub in all her colleagues’ faces was just the surface of what pushed her on.
The source of her itch – the strange dreams she’d had since she was a teen – had grown more detailed the deeper she dug into her research into the existence of dragons. Now the dreams haunted her nightly with images of a beautiful, virile, red-haired man. One whose voice still echoed in her mind during daylight hours, who promised her the kind of partner she had yet to find among even the most adventurous of her fearless friends and acquaintances.
She’d once been convinced it would take an older man to truly satisfy her, but the closer she got to proving dragons existed, the more she wondered if what she needed wasn’t even a man at all.
“Here,” Eben said, pushing her fingertips into a cleft she hadn’t noticed. She grabbed onto the edge of the fissure and followed it down, pressing as she went until she felt it give. She gasped when the entire face in front of them receded at least a foot and began to slowly shift aside with the rough grinding of stone on stone. More cheers sounded behind them as their team looked on.
“We’re inside!” she yelled, pulling away from Eben and raising her arms up in triumph.
Cool, dry air rushed out, carrying with it a familiar, pungent aroma. Her skin prickled with gooseflesh at the memories that surfaced in response to that scent as much as from the sudden chill of the air.
She’d been dreaming of this place ever since her dad had hinted at a mythical dragon race, spinning bedtime stories that rivaled those her friends heard from their parents when they were children. It wasn’t until she was older when the more suggestively sexual dreams began, but they were no less tied to that seed of curiosity she’d had from girlhood.
In retrospect, she believed her father had left his research notes out deliberately to entice her. She’d read them over multiple times from age ten onward and fantasized ever since about finding the elusive dragon temple her father had always been searching for. All he’d had were small clues, one of which was the tiny jade carving of a dragon she wore around her neck right now. Another was a jade bottle, empty, yet still holding the lingering, spicy scent of whatever substance it had once contained.
Her father had died wondering, and Erika had vowed afterward that she would continue his search. The dreams began around the time she graduated from high school, shortly after she lost her virginity and discovered the wondrous pleasure sex could bring. It was like her first real orgasm had flipped a switch in her mind, signaling that her deep subconscious was fair game for some mysterious, otherworldly dream creature to play in.
Would those dreams come true today? She was here, about to cross the threshold with the same familiar smell from her father’s old bottle filling her lungs with each breath. All she could think about as that aroma inundated her was how her dream lover smelled when his hot body was wrapped around her, his cock buried deep inside, and his deep voice rumbling in her ear, “Mine.”
She shivered involuntarily at the memory, her nipples hardening. At least she could pass the reaction off as a response to the temperature of the air inside and not her arousal at the memories those scents drew from her mind.
Doesn’t that just make you want to read more? The best part? It’s free. It’s available at numerous outlets so everyone can get their dragon fix. Check out Animus today. You won’t be sorry.
Head on over to the Very Sherry Terry blog on Wednesday. She’ll have a review for ya and you can ask some questions. Give some feedback, make a difference today. Authors love to hear from their readers. You’re our favorite people!
Best off? I’ve another story for you. This one is available on audio books! Yeah! And yes, my lovelies… it’s free, too! You rock, Ophelia!
Night Fire Chapter One
Rowan rested on her barstool, sipping her tequila. There was a kind of depravity in seeking out a new lover. A desperation in the act of looking that she hated as much as she loved finding him. Bodies drifted by, carried by the colorful strobing lights and rhythmic music.
She preferred dark places like the club because her vibrant red hair didn’t stand out quite so much. She’d grown up with an unusual set of features that doctors just explained away as a genetic anomaly. She wore colored contact lenses to avoid startling people with the strange, red color of her irises, but the hair color wasn’t so easy to cover up. For some reason no dye would stick, but at least that part she could pass off as a fashion statement, and it did catch the attention of potential lovers. Not that it was difficult to catch their attention, with her unique looks. Even though most women looked at her like she was some kind of alien creature, the men were barely able to keep their dicks in their pants.
Some nights she’d come to this place just to watch, have a drink, and wonder at the eventual crumbling of the women’s wills against the men who found them. What woman would let herself give in so completely to a man? She never would, and neither did she need to. She’d been drawn to lucrative financial opportunities from an early age, forced to find her own opportunities as an orphan. Now she enjoyed collecting rare, ancient carvings, a passion that had proved to be the only occupation that really fulfilled her.
She wore one small piece of her collection now—a tiny, red jade medallion with a dragon carved into it. It was set in gold and hung from a delicate chain around her neck resting just at the base of her throat. She touched it absently, believing she could feel some power in it, but knowing it was all her imagination. The only power was in her ability to seduce a man, but the right one had yet to present himself. She entertained herself watching the club patrons in the meantime.
A couple tumbled into a corner a few yards away and embraced. She watched covertly, entertained that they thought the corner was private even though it clearly wasn’t.
The woman tilted her head back against the wall, inviting the man’s lips to trace down her throat. She wore a tiny little dress that barely covered her. Easy access, Rowan supposed, taking a sip of her drink.
A dark shape sat down at the bar beside her. “A round of drinks says he’ll fuck her right there,” a rough, thickly accented voice said near her ear.
She didn’t look at him, but her skin tingled in a way that let her know he was the one. Sexual premonition? Maybe. Whatever it was, she never needed much information to know a man was worth her attention. This one’s voice—the gruff tone and foreign accent—were enough for her to know without even seeing him. And she smiled at the challenge he’d offered.
“Two shots of tequila says he goes down on her.” She said it without turning back to look at him, though she could feel his presence beside her.
“Oh, darling, that’s cruel. To yourself, I mean. A man never goes down on a woman unless he loves her.”
The small hairs on the back of her neck stood up when he said “darling”.
“That is patently untrue.”
The hot breath of his laugh caressed her shoulder. She heard him shift closer. Out of the corner of her eye she glimpsed a large, manicured, gold-ringed hand holding a glass. Ice clinked and the aroma of expensive whiskey hit her nostrils. She’d bet anything that the shiny watchband secured a Rolex to his wrist. None of it impressed her as much as his presence, so palpable he may as well have already been sinking inside her, right through her little black dress.
“You’re right. I’d go down on you in a heartbeat and I don’t even know your name.”
Jesus, she was turned on just by his voice. She’d forgotten the couple in the corner, though she still kept her eyes fixed on them. Instead, she imagined she was that woman, and the man was her new friend.
The man had the woman turned around now, pressed against the wall, chest-first. His fingers tugged at the hem of her skirt, pushing it up above her hip. Not even the shadows could conceal the white, round shape of the woman’s ass, a thin strip of dark fabric crossing one hip. That disappeared with a jerk of the man’s hand.
Rowan felt the touch of a large, warm hand at her hip, a thumb grazing a pattern into the bare skin of her back just above the fabric of her low-cut dress. His touch was gentle and cool, but left a promise when he removed his hand. When his hand disappeared, he murmured behind her, “I think you owe me a drink.”
“Wait for it,” she said. Whether it was the way the man in the corner was clutching the woman’s ass, or some particular change in his posture, she had the sense of what he might do next. She had to restrain a laugh when he sank to his knees and buried his face between the woman’s ass cheeks. Rowan could imagine the ecstatic sounds coming from the woman’s throat by the way her chest thrust out and her head flew back, mouth open while the man tongued between her legs from behind.
“Did I call it or what?” she asked, turning around to gloat, only to be greeted by an empty barstool.
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