A Love in a Bottle novella
An Earth Colony novella
Worlds of Lemuria series
by Rosalie Redd
Love in a Bottle Book One
Worlds of Lemuria series
A Lemurian god’s love potion falls through a portal and lands in Portland, Oregon’s Forest Park. Once discovered, the alluring liquid can ignite adventure and passion, perhaps leading to a meant-to-be love for those that open it—if they're brave enough to take the risk.
Cassandra Forsyth has a secret crush on a man she believes will never notice her.
Adam Harkness doesn’t feel worthy of the tall, beautiful, yet shy, Cassandra.
When they find themselves alone on a hike in Forest Park and discover an unusual bottle with a tempting fluid inside, their true passion inflames the hidden desires tucked away in their hearts.
Genre: Fantasy RomanceCome to Me Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Aliens, Magic, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: February 3, 2016
Excerpt, Unforgettable Lover & More
Come to Me Excerpt:
Cassandra slammed on the brakes. The Rabbit’s tires skittered on the gravel before bouncing against the cement bumper. The shift stick put up a struggle, but she finally managed to shove the handle into first gear. As the rumble of the engine died, silence filled the early-afternoon air.
She really needed to take her car to a mechanic, but who had time? As long as the Volkswagen still ran, well, that was a blessing. The good news—the parking lot was almost empty. The bad news—Adam Harkness caught the whole episode. Heat rose to her cheeks.
He leaned against his red F-250 truck. With his arms crossed over his chest, his denim coat fit snug over his wide shoulders. Even under the thickness of the material, the definition of his firm biceps molded to the fabric. Tight jeans hugged his hips and ended in a pair of Keen hiking boots. He covered his mouth, but couldn’t quite hide the grin that radiated from his piercing green eyes. Catching her gaze, he raised his hand. With a graceful move, he smoothed his shoulder-length brown hair away from his face. Shoot. No one had the right to look that good.
Cassandra leaned back in her seat and shoved her keys into the front pocket of her jeans. Her chest tightened. Usually, there was a group of four or five that went on these monthly hikes, but not this time. Her friend was supposed to join her and Adam. “Damn it, Jo. Of all the days to get sick. Why today?”
Jo, normally a bundle of energy, had woken up with a bad case of too much tequila last night. She’d insisted Cassandra go on this hike without her. Keep Adam busy. He needs to forget about Rachel. Besides, you’ll have fun, trust me. Three months ago, Rachel, a friend of hers from college, had dumped him claiming her need to “explore the field.”
Cassandra grabbed her coat, shoved a water bottle in the pocket, and glanced at Adam. How could anyone dump such a fine male specimen? She clenched her jaw and pulled on the door handle. The decrepit metal creaked, launching a small flock of pigeons into the air.
Boots crunched against gravel. She glanced up just in time to see Adam round the side of her car.
His eyebrows furrowed. “Cassandra, good to see ya. Where’s Jo?”
Cassandra’s mouth went dry. In the four years she’d known him, she’d never been alone with Adam. Why had she agreed to meet him? Until the breakup, he’d been safe, off limits. She’d heard through the grapevine that he’d taken the news hard. To her knowledge, he still hadn’t plunged back into the dating scene.
“Cat got your tongue?” His mouth curved into a wicked grin.
Her pulse picked up in response. “She’s…eh…sick.”
“But you came anyway.” His gaze pierced her, held her in place.
“I…yes.” Damn it. Her words sounded breathless. A wave of self-consciousness rolled over her shoulders. At five foot eleven, she’d always been a big girl. Most wouldn’t call her overweight, but she had a large, well-proportioned physique. Often, she’d been teased about her size, and her last boyfriend had dumped her, unable to handle being with someone the same height.
She slammed the car door and pushed her arms through her coat sleeves. “Since we’re both here, we should do this. Yes?”
He nodded. “Let me lock up.” As he sprinted over to his truck, she couldn’t help ogling him, appreciating how his jeans hugged his firm backside. She wanted to grip one of those cheeks to see if his muscles were as tight as she’d imagined. A new rush of warmth spread up her throat and across her face.
The trek to his truck was like walking through quicksand. Her limbs were numb not only from the cold January afternoon, but also from her own insecurities. A relationship or two of her own over the college years had been her attempt to move beyond her fixation over him. She admired his kindness and ability to see past other people’s flaws, and he’d won her heart at every party, every dinner, anytime they were together.
To be here with him now, alone, was a test of her self-control given that he’d never once shown an interest in her. She shook her hands to release some of her nervous energy, but the tension persisted.
His truck alarm beeped, and he shoved his keys into his jeans pocket. A sudden urge to chase after those keys raced along her nerves. She bit her lip and glanced around the parking lot. A few other cars were in the area, evidence that they weren’t alone on this unusual, sunny, winter day in Portland, Oregon.
Bits of shattered auto glass glistened among the gravel. Forest Park was the largest park in the United States within a city. Although Portland was usually a safe place, break-ins at trailheads were not uncommon. Adam was right to protect his truck. Her own vehicle? She’d count her blessings if someone stole the rattletrap. Not that she could afford one on her receptionist’s salary—the only job she could get with her history degree—but she wouldn’t miss the old beater.
She headed down the path to the Upper Macleay trail.
“Where you goin’?” His low, gravelly voice skimmed over her sensitive nerves, sending a ripple of feminine appreciation down her back.
She peered at him. “Macleay Park. The trail is—”
“Didn’t Jo mention you hiked that one recently? How ’bout we take the Wildwood Trail to Pittock Mansion?” He nodded toward the trailhead marker and a few strands of his brown hair came untucked from behind his ear.
Her fingers twitched. She longed to trace her hand over his cheek and put the unruly tresses back in place. Swallowing, she forced herself to concentrate on his words. “Sure. If that’s what you want to do…” She stopped mid-sentence, her mind floating to all kinds of things she’d like to do…with him.
His gaze wandered down her body and returned to her eyes. She couldn’t read his expression.
A strange twinge pulled at her gut. Her awkward body was not something she wanted him staring at as they walked down the trail, so she held out her hand. “Please, you first. That way, you can handle any spider webs.”
He let out a boisterous laugh. “Had I known you didn’t like spiders, I wouldn’t have dressed as Spider-Man last year for Halloween.” The coy smile she’d grown to love pulled at his lips.
An image of him in his spidey-suit was not what she needed right now, but she couldn’t help her own smile as his playful nature broke down her walls.
“Good news for you, most spiders aren’t active during the winter. You’ll be fine.” He winked.
She tensed, and glanced away. He wants me to go first. A ball of tension grew in her stomach.
“Hey.” He placed his hand on her arm. “No sweat. I’ll lead.” Even through the coat sleeve, her body reacted to his touch, and a shot of adrenaline rushed through her veins.
“Thanks.” That was the only word she could manage.
The trailhead started up a small path not far from the Portland Audubon Society. He took the lead and she followed, admiring the way his powerful legs moved. As they entered the forest, a strange sensation ran along her nerves causing the hair along the back of her neck to rise. Somehow, she knew this path they were on was one that would change their lives.
Come to Me Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
by Rosalie Redd
Earth Colony Book 0 Prequel
Worlds of Lemuria series
The Betram ritual, when the full moon occurs on the summer solstice, is a sexual rite—and a requirement—for all unbonded Stiyaha of age. The irresistible urge to mate drives their inner beasts. Some succumb and transform, while others hide behind masks. None can escape the compelling need.
For Leonna, Betram offers one night of freedom from a destiny she doesn’t want. Eager to participate, she’s drawn to a formidable male whose tenderness burrows into her soul. Despite discovering she’s below his status, she is caught up in their passionate frenzy, and loses her heart to a male she can never have.
Though reluctant, as an unbonded male, Prince Nicholai must participate in the Betram ritual. Because he fears harming anyone he gets close to, he dons his mask and vows to stay in human form. What he doesn’t expect is the intensity of his hunger for a certain honeyed female hidden behind a disguise. As much as he longs to forget her, he can’t, for she’s unforgettable.
Genre: Fantasy RomanceUnforgettable Lover Purchase links: Amazon iTunes Kobo B&N
Content/Theme(s): Aliens, Shifters, Magic
Release Date: March 5, 2016
Unforgettable Lover Excerpt:
“Why are we here, Maman?” Leonna raised her hand to shield her eyes from the bright sunlight.
A calm breeze filtered through the pines, whisking through the branches in a soft caress, but the familiar sound didn’t calm her nerves. On the contrary, the wind ratcheted up her excitement, her desire, her need. The prospect of participating in the Betram ritual sent a surge of adrenaline into her bloodstream. The evening’s rite was her chance to be free, if only for one night.
Maman glanced at her only daughter. Despite the scarf draped over her thin frame, the older female couldn’t hide the obvious pain evident in her stiff back. “This is a special place, Lea, one that changed my life. The Rock of Roan can change yours, too.”
“You really believe in the power of the stone?” A flutter built in Leonna’s gut.
“Roan’s rock and the sun brought your father and me together during a Betram ritual.” A familiar glimmer crossed her mother’s features, and her pale blue eyes held a radiant shine.
A small clearing surrounded the large boulder as if the old growth trees were afraid to get too close. Moss covered the stone’s northern edge, and the rock seemed out of place, a relic of a different time.
As Leonna approached the old sentinel, morning dew coated her toes. She glanced at the youth sandals she’d outgrown. New shoes were not an option, not with her father’s declining health. She touched the seashell in the center of her necklace. The smooth texture eased the ache in her chest, at least for the moment. With her brother, Corbin, in the tryouts for the warrior class, she was the only one to help her parents with the honey cart. Her sense of honor burned a hole in her soul, but she wouldn’t let her parents down.
Maman circled her finger in the air. “Turn around, Lea.”
A thrilling shiver crept up Leonna’s arms.
Maman’s cool fingers caressed the back of her neck as she flipped Leonna’s braid over her shoulder. The long hair tickled the skin on her arm leaving a trail of goosebumps in its wake. The chain holding her most precious gift slid from around her neck, and the cherished trinket landed in her palm. The rare shell, gilded in fine gold, reflected the sunlight.
Maman had obtained the rare object in trade from one of the humans who shared the forests and lived in strange dwellings made of mud and wood. Given to her when Leonna was a child, this piece represented hope. Leonna never took the necklace off, even wearing the jewelry to bed. She felt naked without the familiar weight against her chest.
She faced her mother. “What—”
Shhhh. Maman held a finger to her lips. Her eyes sparkled with amusement, the creases of her skin wrinkling, aging her before her time. “You must be ready for the ritual.”
The warmth from the early morning sun already coated Leonna’s skin in a fine sheen of sweat. The temperature would soar later. Today was the first day of summer, and tonight was the full moon. The occurrence happened approximately every thirty years. The pull of the sun and the moon on the same day brought out their beast, along with the urge to mate.
Betram was a Lemurian festival created to celebrate life and allow the beast the freedom to rut for one night without attachments, without restrictions—and to prevent the havoc that would ensue otherwise. All unbonded males and females of age were required to attend. She’d been a newb during the last ritual, too young to take part in the events. This time, at thirty-two, she was old enough. Now, she couldn’t wait to participate.
“What do you need my necklace for?” Her heart tripped at the thought of losing her precious piece.
“The energy from the sun works in tandem with the magic in the stone, infusing the gold with good luck.” Maman looked into the distance. A small smile curved her bottom lip. She placed her palm on the rock, caressing the smooth surface with her fingers as if remembering her own ritual many years ago. “Find a place that suits you, and leave the necklace there. Return before nightfall and good luck shall be yours.”
Leonna scrunched her eyebrows together. The ritual was all about releasing the beast and letting go, having fun. “But Maman…why do I need luck?”
Maman winked at her. “Many a Stiyaha has found their mate on this night. Perhaps you will as well.”
Ugh. Bonding to a male was not something she wanted. She’d already had one relationship that hadn’t ended well. She didn’t need another one. “Why would I want that? Males are so,” she waved her hand in the air, “demanding and possessive.”
A thin laugh burst from her mother’s throat, startling her. “Yes, but you’ll find them alluring and hard to resist tonight.”
“That doesn’t mean I’m interested in bonding to one of them.” Leonna clenched her fist around the shell, the gold chain bouncing against the back of her fingers, teasing them with the promise of hope and love. Her heart skipped a beat, the traitorous organ giving away her innermost desire. She pursed her lips.
“If you don’t want to bond, then you won’t. The luck is the hope that you will find what you really want, be that love, courage, faith, or whatever your soul craves.”
Find what you really want. The words echoed in Leonna’s mind. A swell of energy made her chest expand. I want to paint. Her love of painting had been instilled in her from an early age. She still remembered her first brush and how she’d swayed to her own rhythm, creating her painted canvases. Others had marveled at her work, commending her for her style and attention to detail.
A sharp pain radiated from her chest. That was before the accident.
Leonna looked at her index finger, the one remaining digit on her right hand. She still painted, when she could get away from her responsibilities at the family honey cart. The paintings were good, but she’d lost her special touch. With a loud exhale, she bit her lip.
Maman placed a warm hand on her forearm. “My daughter, fear not. My maman did this for me at my first Betram ritual, as her maman did for her. This necklace,” she touched Leonna’s closed fist, “was made for this very occasion. I gave the shell to you on your first birthday in anticipation of tonight.”
Leonna stared into her maman’s green eyes, moist with unshed tears. Her chest tightened at the realization of how much her maman loved her. She threw her arms around her mother’s neck. The scent of cherries filled Leonna’s senses, and her heart swelled all the more.
“Thank you, Maman,” she whispered.
Stepping back, she studied the boulder, searching for the perfect spot. Placing the gilded shell on a small bump, she gently straightened the chain, making sure as much gold as possible absorbed the sun’s rays. She’d be back before nightfall to collect the precious gift. A lump formed in her throat. Now, if she only knew what she really wanted.
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Be on the lookout for Rosalie Redd's future release(s): Be with Me coming April 2016 and Untamable Lover coming May 2016
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