Friday, April 20, 2012

Launch Party for Darkness Seduced!!

I'm so excited to announce that my second Order of the Blade book, Darkness Seduced (Primal Heat Trilogy, #2) is officially on the e-shelves! It came out earlier this week and is already getting a huge response from readers. It's so exciting! Less than a month until the third book in the trilogy, Darkness Surrendered, comes out. I'm so excited! In honor of the release of Darkness Seduced, I'm giving away more books! Hooray! Details are below, but first I wanted to clarify some mis-rumors going around: the Order of the Blade series WILL continue after book three of the Primal Heat Trilogy. The trilogy is a special treat to launch the series, and subsquent books will be standalones. Kane's book, Darkness Reborn, will be coming out in early summer, so stay tuned for that!

I'm also excited to annouce that my new young adult novel, The Fake Boyfriend Experiment, will be coming out next week as well. Here's a sneak peak at the cover!

But let's not get distracted from what's important, and that is smexy, tormented immortal warriors, right? First a quick flashback to the first book in the series, for those of you new to the series. Here's the smokin' cover for book one (I love covers, can you tell???)

For more details about the first book in the series, and an excerpt, you can check out the release day party here., or check it out on Amazon or B&N. But now, let's get down and dirty with book two, the story of Gideon Roarke and Lily Davenport. Here's a blurb about their book:

Immortal warrior Gideon Roarke made an oath five hundred years ago to the woman who died for him. The ancient Calydon is ruthless in his quest to honor that promise, even if it means risking everything by teaming up with the one woman who will either destroy him, or finally bring redemption to his blackened, hardened soul.

After escaping from a two-year imprisonment at the hands of a madman, the only thing Lily Davenport wants is to go home and reclaim her life. Unfortunately for Lily, standing between her and that goal is a sensual, demanding protector whose dangerous seduction threatens to claim her life…and her soul.

The Calydons Destiny: The Calydons are a race of ancient immortals cursed with a dark side. Each Calydon is destined to meet his soul mate, to be so drawn to her that he is unable to resist bonding with her through the rituals of his race, but their destiny is to destroy each other and all they care about the moment their bond is complete.

Are you intrigued?  Do you want more? Fear not, I shall deliver! Here's a sneak peak that will make you realize exactly why Gideon is to die for...

Lily ducked past her assailant and sprinted up the cement stairs, her bare feet slapping on the concrete, her heart thundering in her ears as she vaulted up the steps toward the open door. She jumped through it then whirled around and threw it shut, catching a glimpse of the Calydon warrior as he came after her. She slammed the bolt home then tore down the hallway. There was a shuddering explosion behind her as the Calydon burst through the wooden door. She skidded around a corner as her mind whirred. She'd never make it to the kitchen. She needed to stall him—

She screamed as a heavy, sweaty body tackled her and her chin smashed on the wood floor. Her head rattled with the impact as she was flung onto her back, and Lily saw the Calydon leer at her chest. Lust flared in his eyes, the raw, uncontrollable sexual greed of a Calydon. She jerked her gaze down and realized he'd torn her shirt when he'd tackled her.  

Terror, raw visceral terror, tore through Lily, and for a split second, she was too numb to move, too terrified by the memories, by the moment, by what had happened before. Just like this. Again. God, not again. 

He reached for her breast, and the sight of that hand coming toward her jerked Lily out of her stupor and galvanized her into frantic self-defense, a chance she hadn't had all those years ago. "No!" she screamed. She slammed her foot into his crotch as hard as she could. 

Her attacker shouted and doubled over, and Lily scrambled out from under him, lurching to her knees— 

He grabbed her ankle and dragged her back toward him, his grip crushing her leg. "I have to bring you back alive and able to perform," he ground out as he tried to catch his breath from her blow. "But those are all the limitations I have on what I do with you." 

She fought, she kicked, she tried everything, and she was no match for his strength as he yanked her across the floor, back toward him, toward the lust gleaming in his eye— 

Oh, crap. His eyes. They were glowing red, pulsating with evil, and her heart stuttered. 

He'd gone rogue. He'd crossed the line from sanity into raging, crazed killer, a beast who would feel no pain, have no empathy, ravage mercilessly until there was nothing left. There was no compassion, no humanity left in this warrior. No matter what his orders, she was doomed now. He wouldn't be able to stop himself. 

Again. It would all happen again. Just like before— 

"Get off me," Lily screamed, scrabbling desperately for a handhold to try to get away from him. Her fingers hit a table leg and a cord. Tears streaking down her cheeks, she yanked on the cord and covered her face as a lamp crashed down on both of them, shattering glass everywhere. Oblivious to the glass, he grabbed her other calf and hauled her until her legs were around his waist, her back slicing across the broken glass as she fought him, desperate, frantic— 

"Get the fuck off her!" An enraged bellow blasted through the hallway.

Her attacker didn't even flinch, lunging for her skirt with the furious insanity of a rogue Calydon. She pounded on his shoulders, then heard the whoosh of wind behind her. Lily looked up as a throwing axe spun past her head and slammed into her assailant's chest. The fatal blow flung him backward against the wall, a gaping wound opening over his heart.  

Lily scrambled back, barely noticing the glass sinking into her hands and her feet as she struggled to get away from him. He hit the floor with a thud, and the axe yanked itself out of his body and sped back past her head. She heard the slap of it hitting someone's palm.

Another Calydon. 

She whirled around, and her breath caught. At the end of the hall stood the largest Calydon she'd ever seen. He had to be close to seven feet, and he was wearing all black, even his heavy boots and his tee shirt that barely covered his broad shoulders. 

Everything was dark about him, except his dusty blond hair hanging raggedly about his angular face and the shiny metal throwing axe in his right hand, stained with blood on one of its blades.

His face was wrenched with fury, his blue eyes raging, his stance wide and ready, prepared to take on all threats. He was darkness, he was danger, and he was death.  

His eyes weren't red, but Lily could sense he was far more dangerous than the Calydon that lay motionless behind her. This new warrior radiated danger and heat and something she couldn't identify. Something that eased the terror beating at her. Something that calmed her need to flee. Something that made her want to rush over to him and throw herself in his arms, just to feel his body against hers... 

Oh, crap. What was wrong with her? 

He held up a hand for her silence and cocked his head, and Lily realized he was listening for others. Oh, God. Others? 

She lurched to her feet, staggering as a wave of dizziness caught her and she nearly went down. She braced her hands against the wall, holding herself up as she stumbled away from him, toward the kitchen. Glass cut through her feet, and a cry of pain slipped out. 

"Lily!" he commanded. "Don't move!" 

Lily? He knew who she was? Was he also working with Frank? Had he killed her rogue assailant to ensure she made it back to Frank?  

The Calydon was striding toward her, his face dark with fury. Energy was swirling off him, and his well-defined muscles were taut with rage. He was terrifying, but at the same time... he was pure, elemental beauty. He was pure grace, reminding Lily of a wild cat loaded with sinewy muscle and a lightning-fast strike that would bring instant death to his enemies, but one that would curl around her and protect her, keeping her safe, claws safely sheathed just for her.  

He was all male, a testosterone-laden specimen of strength and aggression, a threat to all she was as a woman. He was ruthless temptation calling to her deepest, darkest desires, the ones she'd hidden away even from herself. In his presence, everything that made her female flared to life, longing for this man, this warrior, this enemy. 

Lily backed up as he neared, holding out her hand in a pathetically useless attempt to stop him.

"My name's Gideon. I'm here for you." His voice was forceful and unyielding, but to her surprise, he eased himself to a stop several yards away from her. He spread his hands as if he were trying to appear harmless. Hah. There was no chance he could ever be mistaken for anything harmless, and it wasn't simply the weapon in his right hand or the axe-shaped brands burned into his forearms. Danger bled from his pores, darkened his expression, weighted his broad shoulders. "Don't run," he said. "You'll slice your feet."  

There was no remorse in his face for the body on the ground behind her, yet at the same time, heated desire brimmed in his eyes as he studied her intensely. He was a Calydon, a warrior of hot passions and cold death, both of them hopelessly intertwined. His overwhelming presence was stirring up heated feelings of longing deep within her, even as her heart froze in fear at all he was, for how her life could fall at his hands in a split second.  

Lily tugged her torn shirt closed over her chest, knowing it would do nothing to protect her from the raw sensuality pulsing from him, from the painfully intense yearnings rising within her, responding to his call, desperate to fall into the fire he was already kindling between them.

She'd met dozens of Calydons in the past. She'd always felt their pulsing sexuality, their intense stares that made desire rush through her, preying on her heritage and how it called her to their kind, but this was different. With all those others, she hadn't felt anything for them. It had been easy to turn them away, to ignore the beastly desires of her kind. 

But Gideon was different. He was stripping her raw, branding her with his gaze, making her body ache with need for him, for all that he was and could offer her.  

His eyes darkened, and she knew he could sense her reaction, the need pulsing so strongly within her.  

Her cheeks flared with embarrassment, and she began to slide along the wall away from him, using it as a support to keep herself vertical. She winced as her foot landed on something sharp, and she jerked her foot off the floor, brushing off the glass by running her foot over her calf.  

Gideon's jaw tightened, and his hand went up, as if to grab her, but he stopped himself when she flinched. "Lily. There are more Calydons outside that my teammate is dealing with." There was an urgency to his voice. "We need to go." He snapped his fingers impatiently. "Come on. Now." 

Lily gritted her teeth against the almost uncontrollable urge to drop her shields and bolt into his arms. To give herself over to him. Gideon was death, but he was also temptation. As she stared at the hand he was holding out to her, she felt an unshakeable conviction that he was her sanctuary. For the first time in years, she could be safe, if she would just reach out and take what he offered, his violence, his sensuality, his overwhelming desire, his protection. 

But she'd trusted Nate when he'd invited her into his house so she could interview him for her latest research project, and she'd wound up his captive for two years. Despite all Lily knew about Calydons, she'd forgotten all her lessons and walked into Nate's house and paid dearly for it. She wasn't stupid enough to trust a Calydon again.  

Never, ever again.  

Not even the warrior who'd killed to save her. Next time, it could be she who fell victim to Gideon's weapon. Or it could be Gideon who turned that uncontrollable lust onto her.  

And if he didn't turn on her next time, he would eventually. Of that, Lily had no doubt. The warrior standing before her was her salvation, her passion, and also her ultimate destruction.

Want more info? Check it out on Amazon or B&N!

Yum, yum! Raise your hand if you want Gideon to come save you if you ever need to be rescued. Me, me, me! Leave a comment below about the sexist thing there is about paranormal heroes (or on any topic!), and be entered your choice of any of my books (whether you get a print copy or an e-book will depend on which title you select). For every 15 entries, I will add another prize to the pot (up to 5 winners), so spread the word! Contest ends Thurs at midnight and winners will be announced here next Friday. And, lest I leave you without enough immortal warriors to think about, here's a sneak peek at the just released cover of DARKNESS SURRENDERED (Primal Heat Trilogy #3), coming May 15th!

Which of the three Order of the Blade covers do you like best so far? I know which my favorite is, so I'm curious as to what you think!


A Page Away said...

I actual like Darkness Surrendered the best :)

deanna said...

The sexiest thing about paranormal heroes are the ALPHA personalities. What woman doesn't want a strong, dominant male to slay the dragons for her? On a side note I have a thing for tortured heroes so I want to know more about Kane :)

I think I like Darkness Surrended the best.


Brenda said...

Sexiest thing is that the hero is strong and dominant without being overbearing, but also caring. Can protect you at the same time without making the heroine feel helpless or weak.

Stephanie Rowe said...

Thanks for your vote, A Page Away!

Hi Deanna, oh, Kane is definitely tortured. I'm so excited about his story!

I agree, Brenda! That sums it up perfectly!

Rhapsdyb said...

Think I like Darkness Seduced best.

Melissa P said...

Darkness Surrendered. The hand placement does it in for me.
I need to get into this series. It sounds hot. I read The Fake Boyfriend Experiment. It hit home and felt like real life. A Great read. I have read a few others of your books and really enjoyed them. Now there is more...hmmm. might have to clear my schedule.

butterflikisses82 said...

I like Darkness Awakened. I have to admit the tortured soul helps but the pure raw heat and passion is what gets me on the paranormal heroes. I love a man that can take charge and knows just when to back off as well. I think Stephanie Rowe has it down pat on how to excite and stimulate her readers. She defenately keeps me reading.

States of Decay said...

I agree with Brenda's answer on the sexiest thing about paranormal heroes! :)

I like the cover for Darkness Seduced the best (and I like the YA cover). Thank you for the giveaway!

SandyG265 said...

I like the fact that the heros are larger than life.

Barbara E. said...

I would choose Darkness Surrendered as my favorite cover so far, although they're all pretty hot. :D I think the sexiest thing about paranormal heroes is that they're not like every man I know, they have special powers.

CrystalGB said...

I like Darkness Surrendered best. I think the sexiest thing about paranormal heroes is that they are strong, alpha males who are never boring.

Phyllis M said...

Oh my, the cover for Book 3 of the Primal Heat series, Darkness Surrendered is really, well hot! I can't wait for it to hit Kindle shelves and I am so very happy that you will be continuing their story further! Yay!
Of the three covers out, I have to say that I love Darkness Seduced the most.
To name the sexiest thing about a paranormal hero is tough, but I think it would be a combo of his Code of Honor and his humor in dealing with everything.

Thanks for the giveaway. :)

Jennifer Mathis said...

great covers I think I like Darkness Surrendered the best

Tanya said...

My favorite cover is definitely Darkness Awakened.

Ms. Hobby said...

The best part about paranormal heroes is that many of them are Alpha, yet still has a sensitivity combination you just can't find in real life.

Stephanie Rowe said...

I totally agree, Ms. Hobby! They are that amazing combination that doesn't seem to ever occur in real life!

Oh, cool, Tanya!

Thanks, Jennifer! I love hearing everyone's opinions!

HI Phyllis! I'm so glad you like the covers! I'm so excited that you're excited about the series. YAY!

Hi Crystal! Thanks for sharing! And yes, they are never boring for sure!

I agree, Barbara! Their special powers are HOT!

LOL, Melissa on the hand placement! It's so funny but I didn't even notice her hand until people started pointing it out. I was just all about his torso...

Thanks, Liz!!!
Good point, Sandy!

Oh, yay, States of Decay! A vote for the YA cover! :) I like it, too! :)

And thanks for all the kind words, Butterflikisses! That's so nice of you to say! YOu made my day! :)

cardinole said...

I like the Darkness Awakened cover. Very sexy! The best thing about paranormal heroes is that they are afraid of nothing and always puts their women first!!!

Laura G.
cardinoles (at) gmail (dot) com

Amanda Collins said...

I like darkness awakened best. my favorite thing about a paranormal hero is they have undying love, and they Will do anything to protect the ones they love

gamefreak said...

In my opinion Darkness Seduced is the best.

JessS said...

One of the sexiest things about paranormal heroes is that they're always good looking. Like ridiculously, drool-worthy good looking. But they can also be sweet and REALLY protective.
Of the covers I like Darkness Seduced best; it's sexy and mysterious. Thanks!

alainala said...

i love how they tend to be protective towards their mates... and know when to back off at the same time!