Hello again! I hope this post finds everyone busy and enjoying summer. Here in New England it’s raining, again, but there’s a bright spot on the horizon. Could that be the sun? I believe so. We definately need a little sunshine around here, and thought, since it’s starting to clear up, it’s time to showcase a few excerpts from Seductive Persuasion and Rhiannon’s Pride! 

As previously posted, both books are part of the Panthera series. First, here’s an excerpt from Seductive Persuasion, book 1 in the Panthera series, featuring Garrick Forrester and his mate, Aisley Reeves.

Aisley faced the child, attempting to smile, to soothe as best she could from the slight distance. She would love to trace the girl’s wispy brown hair back behind her ears and wash away the dirt streaked across her plump, round face.

“You will be all right, sweet angel. Fear no more.” She paid no mind to the rush of voices warning her to stop.

“Healer, touch what belongs to me and I will make you pay dearly for it,” Sedgewick threatened in a voice so frightening it sent tremors down her spine. “Take your hand from that door or I will cut it off.” The sound of a sword being removed from its scabbard sang close to her ear. From the corner of her eye she saw the stranger raise his arm. She was certain he was about to let the blade slice through her wrist if she didn’t let go of the cage, but she was too frightened to move.

“Threaten what is mine, knave, and you will face a wrath unlike anything you could comprehend!” A man’s unexpected voice rumbled behind them. The unusual sawing she’d heard from the woods reached her then and she trembled, yet she couldn’t understand why no one else reacted to it.

Aisley turned slowly and looked about, discovering that the dastard’s sword rested on the ground. A man pressed Sedgewick Haywood to the cage, his big hand wrapped about Haywood’s throat. Belatedly, she noticed how big her savior was and for a moment she couldn’t move or look away.

Larger and broader than any man she’d seen before, her rescuer towered above Sedgewick. His straight, dark brown hair fell between his shoulders and elbows, looking as soft as fur. There was enough gray light left in the day to reveal his green eyes. Though she knew it was wrong to look right at him, Aisley couldn’t avert her gaze.

His face was free of beard growth, allowing her to see the sharp arch of his cheekbones, prominent nose, squared chin and wide mouth. Finding herself staring at his full lips, she felt an odd flutter in her belly. There was no doubt that the man was strong, powerful, his bearing so proud she thought he must have been trained as a knight.

Dressed in the finery of a nobleman, his shoulders were broad, his waist trim. His long, muscular legs were encased in black braies and thigh-high boots. The expanse of his chest was apparent in a silver and blue cote-hardie. Though he’d not given in to gluttony, it amazed her to think such a big man could come upon the villagers without being heard.

As she stared, soldiers on horseback closed in on the common, joining their lord, who must have arrived on foot.

Suddenly, Aisley knew who’d come to her rescue. The Earl of Danford maintained a lethal hold upon Sedgewick’s throat, and the rumbling continued, freezing her to the spot.

If you’d like to read more, please visit my website www.francesstockton.com, for excerpts and here’s a link to Cerridwen Press! http://www.jasminejade.com/p-6809-seductive-persuasion.aspx

Seductive Persuasion is available in ebook format and in print!

And now, check out an excerpt from Rhiannon’s Pride, available now from Cerridwen Press, in ebook format!  This book features Dante Luciano and his mate, Rhiannon, and there are several returning characters from book 1, although the story can stand alone.

As Dante progressed toward the Palazzo Vecchio, his keen eyes raked the crowd, alighting upon the back of an Englishwoman. Her scent became stronger, drawing him to a sudden halt. Si, she was the one he’d been looking for.

Unlike Florentine women and servants who wore fabrics that conveyed their household’s status and wealth, this woman wore a faded brown dress with a linen apron. Her pale blonde hair was confined in a severe knot at the nape. She was at least a head and shoulders taller than most women in the piazza, including the older maid hovering nearby. The woman’s thinness bothered him, as it hinted she may have recovered from a recent illness or gone hungry too long.

Frowning, Dante moved close enough to pounce should she attempt to run and far enough away to observe her without detection. Her cassia scent tugged at his conscience, warning there was something about her he might miss if he did not take the time to study her.

As he watched he realized why her scent reached him over and above the other women. Cassia shared origins with cinnamon, two spices often used in Abcynian sustenance for flavor. The Englishwoman’s fragrance was inherent, not the result of perfume. She moved slowly, with both grace and purpose. He guessed she would be strong, that her movements were made to avoid hurting herself or someone else.

Instinct told him she was only part panthera Abcynian. Had she been fully his kind, he’d have sensed her the moment she stepped into the piazza. He assumed that she had either been converted or she was the child of a converted pair.

Drawing in her spicy fragrance, Dante found himself hesitating. This Englishwoman could well be his mate. If he spoke to her and she acknowledged him, he would claim her as his mate by right of Abcynian law. He didn’t know if he was ready to be mated, regardless of being an Elder.

Being mated meant sacrifice. Mated meant he could no longer take another lover. Dio knew he loved women, too many to count if he were honest. Whether they were young or older, heavy or slight, tall or short, their uniqueness touched his soul and made him long to become as masterful in bed as he was with a paintbrush and chisel. He’d lived two hundred and forty-two years, forty-two of them as an Elder. Was it right to claim one woman and ignore the rest?

With a start, his concerns became inconsequential when she turned. Lifting her chin, she revealed her face, reminding Dante of the first time he’d seen a naked woman. He’d been unable to move then, unable to find his voice or do anything other than stare.

This woman was neither naked nor pleasantly attired. But she was beautiful with her honey colored skin and pale blonde hair. Her face was blessed with the high cheekbones and elegant, straight nose of a female panthera leo, a firm though feminine chin and a lush mouth that made him groan. Her lips were as ripe and plump as berries, begging for a man’s kiss. Yet it was her eyes that caught his heart. They were pure, haunting amber, hinting of a woman’s vulnerability and a lioness’ curiosity.

Unwilling to delay further, Dante spoke to her with his mind. Bella, per favore viene.

Waiting in silence, he watched her look over at the older servant. “Mary, I think someone spoke to me,” she said. Her voice was huskier than he’d imagined in a woman so beautiful. In an instant he was intrigued and aroused by it.

Smiling when she’d acknowledged hearing his voice within her mind, Dante stalked toward her.

Testing her, he continued to speak in the way of Abcynian mates. Come si chiama, bella?

Her pretty scowl sent need pooling low and deep in his groin. Already, he wanted to take her home and consummate their pairing. Surprised at how quickly he responded to her, he recalled Lucien Hunter’s advice before he’d come to Florence. “Always remember, my son, it will take a moment for your panthera half to recognize your mate. But it will take a lifetime to love her as she deserves.” With his guardian’s words echoing in his mind, Dante ignored his aching groin.

Again his mate spoke to the older woman at her side. “Mary, I’m worried. Do you see anyone looking at me?”

Dio! Dante grimaced, looking about. His mate possessed the inherent grace of all Abcynian women, drawing favor from the men and envious glares from the wealthiest women. She seemed not to notice the curious stares.

Dante’s instinct to claim her warred with his humanity for dominance, forcing him to swallow hard to keep from roaring. It would not do for him to challenge every man that dared to look upon his mate.

I see I shall have to speak English to gain your attention, cara. In the way of our kind, tell me your name and I shall tell you mine.

“Rhiannon, are you feeling well?” The older maid revealed his mate’s name before Rhiannon could answer.

“I’m fine, Mary. I thought I heard a man whisper to me.”

Do not ignore me, Rhiannon. This is not a whisper. Your maid should not have been the one to answer your mate.

“Your mate!”

Now that you’ve read a little from each book, here’s a link for Rhiannon’s Pride! http://www.jasminejade.com/p-7223-rhiannons-pride.aspx

I know I’ve posted quite a few entries today, but since the ladies of Coffee Time Romance told me to post away, that’s what I’m doing! LOL, it’s such fun to share the stories with you and introduce myself to readers and writers. Later, I’m going to be posting a question involving the Panthera and the differences between Garrick Forrester and Dante Luciano, so do return and be on the lookout for the question. You can win an autographed copy of Seductive Persuasion!

For further information, again, here’s my website: www.francesstockton.com. You can also email me at romance@francesstockton.com and follow my blog connected to my website or MySpace and Facebook. My MySpace url is http://www.myspace.com/francesstockton and Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/frances.stockton. If you’re on Twitter, I have that too! Follow me at http://www.twitter.com/francesstockton.  I admit, that’s a lot of urls and information, but I do blog regularly and hold contests, too.

Until later, feel free to email or comment, I love to hear from readers and other authors!


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