Thank you so much, Claudine, for letting me guest-blog on your beautiful site.  I’ve really enjoyed celebrating Valentines with you all. 

I’d like to offer an excerpt from before the “Morning After” of Guardian of the Onyx Empire:

“Ye comin’, stick?” Gray called over his shoulder, seemingly unafraid of what likely hid in the shadows.

He had to be the stupidest dwarf of them all. This was a trick. “There’s no one here to buy your awful trophies. Wizards don’t leave survivors.”

“They do when they lose,” a stranger’s voice sounded from the shadows. Deep and masculine in perfect elven tongue, it resonated down her spine.

Every muscle in her body went rigid. Oh no. Lizeria spun about, expecting a ball of wizard fire to hurtle from the darkened recesses of the ruins.

Instead of a testosterone-laden wizard, a human’s well-proportioned silhouette stepped out from the dark. Fiery light outlined flashes of his perfect form as he approached, cloak billowing from his broad shoulders.

A human couldn’t hurt her. Yet the need to run away and pee pushed on her bladder. She couldn’t lift her feet. At the same time, warmth spread from her chest in the most exhilarating way.

What the hell was wrong with her? This wasn’t a blind date. Earth, were her eyes glowing? Heat pooled there, enough to emit faint beams of amber light. Only lust or rage lit elves’ and hybrids’ eyes.


He stopped before her and towered nearly half a foot above, unusually tall for a human. In the dim light, shadows fell into the hollows beneath his elven-like cheekbones. His broad forehead and strong profile also seemed elven. But pointed ears didn’t poke out from the dark waves that jutted out at all angles. Elven hair shouldn’t curl or tangle. Would it be inappropriate to run her fingers through it, just to straighten it? Or to squeeze his nicely muscled body? Thicker than an elf, yet slighter than a wizard—just right.


Dark brown and captivating, his eyes met hers. Desire and bewilderment shone clearly through them, unguarded and beautiful.


Was he the one who defeated the wizards? Oh she hoped so. “Hybrid,” Lizeria breathed and quickly flushed. Not all mixed elves accepted that term.


“What makes you think that?” A hidden grin formed as tiny creases at the corners of his eyes and a deep dimple on his right cheek.


She shouldn’t want to touch his thin lips, to force them all the way up and open. She didn’t know this man. Lizeria tried to read his thoughts but his mind didn’t seem to exist. She couldn’t even find the mind shields that had hummed so loudly only seconds ago.


Maybe she just needed sleep. She wasn’t thinking straight.


“I’m Alexander, by the way.” He held out his hand to her but Gray shook it.


Meddling dwarf.


“Gray,” he rumbled. He straightened as if to seem taller on Bessie’s back. “Where be the shop to trade me goods?”


Alexander pointed to an intact building further up the street. Close-up, his cloak appeared red, the favored color of magic races. A circular serpent pin held it to his white tunic. The thin fabric rippled around the ball of his shoulder and thick bulge of his biceps. Nice. But the way his arm moved didn’t seem right. Elves, thousands of years old, moved with that grace.


“You’re ancient,” Lizeria stated bluntly. He had to be the one who defeated the wizards here. Her lungs filled with a bubbly sensation. Maybe she could convince him to help her.


His grin revealed itself. It started as a small, thin curve, before spreading into a glow on his tanned face. His dimple lengthened to line up with the deep groove of his neck. “That doesn’t mean I’m hybrid. I could just be a bizarre human.”


“Your accent’s too perfect.” Like everything else.


“Beautiful women bring out perfection in me.” He winked and stepped closer. His musky, masculine scent wafted to her with the heat of his body. “I didn’t catch your name.”


She feared she’d choke on her own saliva but managed to swallow. Oh she wanted to press up against him and kiss that divot at the center of his neck. “Lizeria.” Did that come out too breathy? She moved to shake his hand like Gray had but Alexander turned her palm up.


He kissed the heel of her hand and then her wrist. The soft give of his lips teased her with barely there suction. His breath fell heavy and hot on her skin. Much warmer than elves. He was probably warmer in other places too.
Uncover more at Ellora’s Cave.


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