Friday, December 2, 2016

Blog Barrage ~ ARES by Felicity Heaton


Ares, book 1 in New York Times best-seller Felicity Heaton’s hot new paranormal romance series, Guardians of Hades, is now available in ebook and paperback. To celebrate the release of Ares and Megan’s romance, she’s holding a FANTASTIC GIVEAWAY and sharing sneak peeks of the book. 
 

Enter the ARES international giveaway (ends December 11th) and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate by using the Rafflecopter form at her website, where you can also download a 4 chapter sample of the novel: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php
 
Here’s more about the book and the sexy Greek god hero and his heroine…


Ares (Guardians of Hades Series Book 1)
Felicity Heaton
Prince of the Underworld and Lord of Fire, Ares was banished from his home by his father, Hades, two centuries ago and given a new duty and purpose—to keep our world and his from colliding in a calamity foreseen by the Moirai.

Together with his six brothers, he fights to defend the gates to the Underworld from daemons bent on breaching them and gaining entrance to that forbidden land, striving to protect his home from their dark influence. Caged by the manifestation of his power, held apart from those he loves by his own fire and starved of physical contact, Ares lives a cold existence driven by duty and the desire to return to his world.

Until his world collides with a daemon who steals his power and a mortal female who shatters the ice around his heart and awakens the true fire within him—a soul-stirring passion both dangerous and seductive.

Megan has wandered far from her home, driven from everyone she loves by the devastating realisation that she is different to them all. Unsure who to trust in the world, she keeps to herself, until a fateful stormy night brings a temptingly handsome warrior crashing into her life and into her heart—a warrior who seems to hold powers more frightening and marvellous than her own.
When the New York gate comes under threat, and Ares is put to the test, will he choose his duty and regain the power he needs in order to save his world or will he choose the desires of his heart and sacrifice his fire so he can be with the woman becoming his whole world?

ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback. Find the links to your preferred retailer at: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php


ARES – Excerpt
The Frenchman ducked to evade a punch and threw his palm at the larger man. Was he trying to push him over? Megan couldn’t see why he would want to do that and it was the only explanation she could find for him pressing his palm against the man’s chest.

The immense brunet flung his head back and threw his arms out at his sides as he roared in agony at the storm. The lights on the wall of the alley died as his garbled scream filled the night, battling the growling thunder. He fell to his knees and arched backwards, the Frenchman’s hand still pressed against his chest. Orange light shone from the point where they connected, illuminating the blond man’s face as he grinned.

“It was too easy.” He drew his hand back and stared at his fingers.

Something glowed in the centre of his palm, strange light illuminating threads that ran around the back of his hand. He turned his cruel gaze on the large man.

The man collapsed forwards, palms pressing into the wet ground, and the lights on the wall blinked back into life again. His big body heaved as he breathed hard and she frowned as she realised something.

He was shaking.

Flames flickered over the Frenchman’s hand and a fireball grew from the centre of his palm. He aimed it down at the other man.

In an instant, Megan knew what he was going to do and she couldn’t allow it to happen. She couldn’t let this man kill the brunet. She wouldn’t stand for it. Her gaze quickly scanned the dimly lit street and darted back again. One of their guns lay on the wet tarmac only a few feet from her. She reacted on instinct, pushing off the ground and running for it.

She scooped it up.

Raised it.

Fired.

A loud crack like thunder split the silence and she jerked back from the force of the recoil.

The bullet nailed the Frenchman in his right shoulder, knocking him backwards, away from the other man.

An unholy shriek pierced her ears, more like the sound a bird of prey would make rather than a man, and the Frenchman turned his gaze on her. Megan hesitated, fear washing through her stronger than ever and her heart smashing like a jackhammer against her ribs. Eyes that glowed ethereally locked on to her.

What was he?

He raised his hand, the light from the fireball casting dark shadows across his face. She didn’t hesitate. She lifted the heavy silver gun and took aim again.

The fireball exploded from his palm.

The brunet launched to his feet and sprinted straight towards her, racing the twisting golden orb as it grew in size.

Megan stared death in the face, and it was fiery and painful and terrifying, and then there was darkness and heat. The man’s thickly muscled arms wrapped around her and he crushed her against his solid chest, shielding her, his heart pounding against her ear. He jerked forwards and she smelled the heat of the fire, felt the force of it rush past her, and curled into his embrace, waiting for the pain.

Waiting for the end.

Cold rain soaked into her scalp and slid down her face, and she opened her eyes as reality penetrated the haze of her fear and shock that she was alive and unharmed rushed through her.

The man loosened his grip on her and took an unsteady step backwards. He swayed on his feet, his face in shadow, head hung forwards. Smoke curled from his slumped shoulders.

“Need to get my powers back... going to kill the bastard...” he muttered and then his hands settled on her arms, heavy and trembling. His gaze lifted and met hers, red illuminating his irises. “You okay?”

She nodded.

A flicker of a smile curved his lips and then it dropped from his face as his expression went slack. He collapsed to his knees, his head landing on her chest and his grip on her taking her down with him. She hit the tarmac hard, pain shooting up her legs and spine. The man breathed heavily and rolled off her, landing on his front with his cheek pressed into the wet ground.

Megan shook so hard the gun still locked in her fingers rattled.

She stared down the alley to the Frenchman.

Steadily raised the gun and aimed again.

Slowly squeezed the trigger just as her grandfather had taught her.

The man disappeared.

The sound of rain filled the silence.

Megan let the gun fall from her grasp to clatter onto the ground near her thigh. She breathed slowly, her shoulders slumping as her tension melted away, leaving her chilled to her marrow as the adrenaline that had been fuelling her disappeared with it. Her gaze drifted down to the man lying on the cracked tarmac in front of her.

The scorched and smouldering back of his black coat revealed blistered skin beneath.

He had shielded her from the blast, taking the damage for her. She crawled over to him, removed her sodden coat and laid it down on the ground, and carefully eased him onto his back on it. He groaned. She welcomed the small sign of life and looked him over.

The front of his black t-shirt was missing and there was a dark burn mark in the middle of his defined chest, right over his heart. She didn’t know what had happened to him or what the fight had been about, but she knew one thing.

He wasn’t an ordinary person.

He was like her.

Megan gently laid her left palm on his pectorals, over the dark patch, and focused. The man flinched and his eyes slowly opened, coming to meet hers. He stared up at her, his dark gaze relaying his shock. She had always rejected her ability because it made her feel like a freak and an outsider, but she was quick to call it now. The burnt skin on his chest began to heal beneath her hand.

The man opened his mouth and then grimaced, his handsome face contorting viciously as he unleashed an unholy snarl that was more beast than man.

She focused harder, wishing she could do this painlessly. Healing a major wound always caused the injured party pain and it hurt her too. She was doing it as quickly as she could but for some reason, he was slow to heal and she was already beginning to feel the effects of using her gift.

Megan drew her hand away, revealing smooth unmarked skin. She stroked it and looked down at his face, checking on him. Rain poured down on them. It chilled her but he still felt warm beneath her fingers. She shifted her hand to his cheek and cupped it.

“Can you hear me?” She frowned when he failed to respond and she patted his cheek, hoping to rouse him. She didn’t want him to pass out and she could feel that he was barely holding on to consciousness. Fat drops saturated her clothing. They rolled down his face and soaked into his overlong dark hair. She picked the strands from his face and willed him to respond to her. “Please hear me. Move if you can. Do something to let me know.”

His eyelids fluttered and he moaned.

“I’ll try to heal your other wounds, but it might hurt. Just hold on, okay?” She waited long seconds before his mouth twisted into a grimace and he frowned. Her stomach rolled in time with the distant thunder. She had to heal his back for him, no matter how much it drained her or how much it hurt him, but she didn’t want to risk making him lose consciousness.

The voice of reason said that what she had to do was call an ambulance and then the police. She couldn’t. They wouldn’t understand if she told them the truth. The other man had powers, and he wanted to kill this one.

This man had protected her but the police wouldn’t care. They would throw him in jail for being a part of the fight and the other man would get away with everything.

She looked down at his face, absorbing how beautiful he was, strong and masculine, like a warrior. A fine layer of stubble coated his straight jaw and the slight crook in his nose told her he had broken it more than once. He was a fighter, and he had risked his life to protect her and now she would repay him by healing his wounds and taking care of him.

His lips parted.

Strange words fell from them, a language she didn’t understand, and pain speared her skull in time with each one. She snatched her hands away from him and covered her ears.

Her eyes widened as he stopped speaking and silence fell.

Darkness swirled in front of her, obliterating her view of the other end of the alley. She moved closer to the man, afraid it was the other one come to finish them off, and grabbed the gun.

Ribbons of black smoke separated to reveal two tall handsome men, both clad head-to-toe in dark colours and sporting black long coats like the one her protector wore.

Megan stared up at them, her fingers clasping the gun. She raised it and aimed, darting between the two newcomers, and breathed slowly to steady her nerves and her hands. Neither of them acknowledged her. They approached and she switched aim between them, and her fear began to get the better of her again.

She glanced at the man resting against her and resolve flowed through her. He had protected her and now it was her turn to protect him.

“Keep back,” she warned but they kept advancing.

She aimed at the white-haired one and squeezed the trigger.

Her finger stiffened and palm froze, and her eyes widened when she saw the ice covering the gun. It burned and she dropped it. The ice shattered, scattering across the wet ground and instantly melting.

“What the heck?” She stared at her palm, desperately trying to move her stiff fingers as they burned, numb from cold. Where had that ice come from?

Her eyes snapped to the white-haired man.

Had it come from him?

He towered over her now, his build slimmer than her protector’s was but not as lean as the other man beside him. His pale eyes held hers, glacial and dark.

“Did you do this?” the other, black-haired man snarled in a voice laced with darkness and she made the mistake of looking at him.

He was incredibly handsome but there was endless cold in his dark eyes. A ring of vivid blue encircled his irises and she shrank back, afraid of the sensation of danger that washed over her and told her to run. He might be slimmer than the other two, but he wore an air of lethal darkness, a threat that beat in her blood as though every sense and instinct she had was warning her that he was dangerous and would kill her without hesitation.

The man with softly spiked white hair stepped in front of him, placing himself between them, and turned his head and looked over his shoulder at his comrade.

“A gun did not do this.” He turned his pale eyes on her. “Why did you turn his gun on us?”

The black-haired man moved past his friend, swept both sides of his open long black coat behind his hips to reveal a worn grey-blue shirt and lighter grey scarf, and crouched beside her protector. His black jeans stretched tight over his thighs and she noticed he wore the same leather army boots as her protector, but the ends of his jeans had been loosely tucked into them.

He tunnelled his slender fingers through the long lengths of the top of his hair, pushing it back from the shorn sides and back, and ran dark eyes over him. Fine black eyebrows met hard above blue eyes that seemed strangely bright in the low light, swirling like a stormy sea.

“What happened?” It was the white-haired one who spoke but the question was there in the black-haired man’s eyes too.

“Another man attacked him,” she said, and then added, “and he protected me, so I protected him.”

She was still intent on protecting him. They didn’t seem like a danger to him, showed no sign of attacking, but if they made a wrong move, she was going to grab the gun again and use it this time.

They both stared at her and then exchanged a glance that told her the man wasn’t in the habit of risking his life to protect people.

The white-haired one moved forwards and frowned down at her protector too. “We must get him to safety. Take his arm but be careful. We should be safe while he is unconscious, but it is hard to tell.”

“You can’t move him!” Megan snapped.

Neither man looked at her.

She was getting tired of this.

She grabbed the gun and turned it on them again. She wouldn’t drop it this time, no matter what happened. The white-haired man pinned cold blue eyes on her and reached towards her, his black leather gloves glistening with what looked like frost in the dim alley lights.

Her protector jolted to his feet so quickly that the black-haired one fell on his backside.

“Don’t touch her,” the brunet growled and grabbed the white-haired man’s wrist, yanking his arm away from her.

He instantly turned to the other man. “Something is wrong.”

The black-haired man looked at the hand her protector had locked around his friend’s wrist, shock rippling across his face. “No heat?”

Megan got to her feet and steadied her gun with her other hand, aiming it back at the white-haired man. “Let him go.”

He gave her a pointed look. Yes, she was aware that her protector was the one manhandling him, but she didn’t care. She had to protect him.

The brunet growled something foul at him and swayed on his feet. He shoved the white-haired one away and stumbled towards her. “Must go... got to go.”

Megan dropped the gun again and caught him as he collapsed, taking her back down to the ground. She kneeled with him leaning in to her, his head on her shoulder and arms limp beside her hips. Her fingers touched the wrecked back of his black coat and the blistered skin there. It began to heal and she focused, trying to soothe his pain for him as he breathed heavily in her arms.

The two men stared at her.

The white-haired one spoke first.

“Change of plans. We take her with us. We need to know what she saw and she might prove useful.” He turned to the man standing a few feet behind him. “Esher, bring the female.”

The man called Esher cast him a dark unforgiving look and the strange glow around his pupils brightened but turned a deeper shade of blue, veering towards stormy grey. “You better not be serious.”

The white-haired man nodded.

Esher’s expression blackened into a scowl. “You are one cold bastard at times.”

The other one smiled and shrugged.

Was the man cold because he wanted to bring her, like a captive, or because he had told Esher to handle her?

She could sense his reluctance, a palpable disgust that he didn’t bother to hide as he rounded her and grabbed her upper arm. He towered over her, far slimmer than the man slumped against her but just as lethal in appearance.

The white-haired one pulled her protector to his feet and settled his arm around his shoulders, supporting him. Esher dragged her onto her feet too, the force behind his actions almost tearing her arm from the socket.

He tossed her a grim look.

Megan opened her mouth to unleash the scream burning up her throat.

Everything spun around her.



ARES is available from Amazon Kindle, Kobo Books, Barnes and Noble Nook, Apple iBooks stores and other retailers. Also available in paperback.

Find all the links, a fantastic 4 chapter downloadable sample of the book, and also enter the giveaway and be in with a shot of winning a $75, $50 or $25 gift certificate at her website: http://www.felicityheaton.co.uk/guardians-of-hades-ares-paranormal-romance-book.php


Books in the Guardians of Hades paranormal romance series:
Book 2: Valen – Coming in 2017
 
About Felicity Heaton:
Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you're a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, her best-selling Her Angel romance series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm romance series or any of her stand alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try her Vampire Erotic Theatre romance series. Or if you like hot-blooded alpha heroes who will let nothing stand in the way of them claiming their destined woman then try her Eternal Mates series. It’s packed with sexy heroes in a world populated by elves, vampires, fae, demons, shifters, and more. If sexy Greek gods with incredible powers battling to save our world and their home in the Underworld are more your thing, then be sure to step into the world of Guardians of Hades.

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places: