End Street Book 5: The Case of the Purple Pearl by Amber Kell and RJ Scott
Buylinks here when available: http://rjscottauthor.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/the-case-of-purple-pearl-end-street-5.html
Blurb: After failing in a quest to win the Fae Queen’s approval, Halstein is locked in a world of stone. Forced to remain a gargoyle he spends his days on Sam’s desk pining for his lost love.
Prince Idris’s lover went missing and was presumed dead. Alone, Idris lives a life away from court, starved of energy but unwilling to sleep in the room he once shared with his beloved.
Can Sam and Bob save these fated lovers before it’s too late? And will Bob’s ultimate sacrifice be enough to free Hal from his prison?
Volume 1 – Books 1 & 2
Volume 2 – Books 3 & 4
“What are you doing?”
Sam sighed. This was the fifth time today their visiting gargoyle had asked him that. Three weeks had passed since it had decided to stay at the house and wait for Sam to find it a master. And those three weeks had lasted a very long time.
“Taxes,” Sam muttered. The same answer he’d given every single time he’d been asked.
“I don’t like math,” the little gargoyle said. He waddled across Sam’s desk, leaving small muddy footprints on a neatly filled-in form. Sam couldn’t even muster the energy to get angry.
“Are you going to tell me your name yet?” Sam asked. He placed his pen on the desk and leaned back with a stretch, eying the small gargoyle against the hulking monstrosity that sat immobile on the corner of his desk. They were so dissimilar, in size and expression.
“You know I can only tell my master.”
“I can’t keep calling you the little gargoyle. I’m going to have to give you a name.”
The little gargoyle turned in a circle to face Sam, then squatted into a pose with his mouth open in a snarl. It looked pretty mean, and Sam edged back.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
The gargoyle’s expression changed back to the one he usually had; that of a dopey baby.
“Nothing, I was just giving you my fierce face so you can give me the right name. I’m not having you calling me Sunshine or Cutie. I want something strong like Zephariel Angel of Vengeance.”
Sam couldn’t help the snort of laughter, then immediately felt guilty when the gargoyle’s expression fell. “Sorry,” he apologized. “It’s just, uhm, that name is taken. How about Leo, like a lion, a brave, strong lion.”
The gargoyle tilted his head in contemplation, then nodded. “Leo, I like Leo. I’m done with you now. You already have a gargoyle. I’m going to find my true master.”
That decided, he jumped down off the desk and waddled over to the door, sidestepping awkwardly when Smudge slunk in with intent in every step. In a leap, Smudge was up on the desk, sitting right on the tax forms and staring straight into Sam’s face.
“What are you doing?” Smudge asked telepathically.
“Taxes,” Sam answered. He didn’t add a sigh this time.
“You should be tracking down what kind of other your uncle’s pet gargoyle is.”
Leo, the newly named visiting gargoyle, had declared that the old paperweight on Sam’s desk that looked like a gargoyle, walked like a gargoyle, and was stone like a gargoyle, wasn’t actually a gargoyle at all, but other.
“Where do you suggest I start? And why can’t you tell what it is, oh powerful familiar.” Sam couldn’t help the sarcasm. Smudge was capable of putting souls back in bodies and using heavy magic, but he couldn’t track down what kind of paranormal had been transformed into an ancient crumbling gargoyle paperweight?
“I’ll forget you said that,” Smudge said condescendingly. “I’ve been busy.”
“With what?” Sam asked. Privately he thought Smudge spent too much time cleaning himself with his paws up in the air and his tongue—
“I can hear you,” Smudge warned. “And who else do you think can keep your attic spider infestation at bay?”
Sam shuddered. He didn’t like small spiders at best, let alone the giant ones Smudge had suggested lived only a few floors up. “Good work,” Sam praised. “And as to our paperweight friend here—” Sam tapped the solid stone thing on the head with a stapler. “—I’ve put out a request to everyone I know as to who may be missing someone. I used the ParaGoogle to see if anyone knows anything. Not sure what else I can do at this stage.”
Smudge gave a feline version of a huff, deliberately washed himself on the desk for a good five minutes, then disappeared out of the room. Sam shook off the fur that had fallen on his paperwork. This needed to be done and, unless he finished it soon, he’d have the authorities fining him all over the place.
A knock on his office door jerked Sam from his sad contemplation of the bills he had to pay. Although he’d earned some money recently and he owned the building where he worked and lived, the flow of money going out far exceeded the money rushing into his pockets.
Taxes were a bitch.
Competition to win $15 Amazon/Are giftcard, and 2 further prizes of RJ Scott e-books – closes 6th December at 00:01 GMT (London)
RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.
As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.
With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.
Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.
www.tumblr.com/blog/rjscott (some NSFW (not safe for work) photos)
About Amber Kell:
Amber Kell is one of those quiet people they always tell you to watch out for. She lives in Dallas with her husband, two sons, and one extremely stupid dog.
Book 1 – The Psychic’s Tale by Chris Quinton
Four hundred years ago in rural England, a mob burned two men to death, but not before one of them, Jonathan Curtess, hurled a dreadful curse at the mob’s leader, Sir Belvedere Fitzwarren. The curse has followed the family through the centuries, bringing grief and loss to each generation.
Mark Renfrew is a closeted psychic and openly gay. When his grandmother discovers a family link to a 17th century feud and a still-potent curse, she insists he investigates and do his best to end it. When he travels to the village of Steeple Westford, he meets and falls for Jack Faulkner, an archaeologist. He also meets the Fitzwarrens, who are facing yet another tragedy.
Then Mark learns that the man who cursed them had twisted the knife by leaving three cryptic conditions that would lift the curse, and he knows he has to try to break the curse his ancestor had set.
Book 2 – The Soldier’s Tale by RJ Scott
Corporal Daniel Francis has returned to his childhood home in England to heal; the only one of his unit that survived a roadside bomb. His reasons for skipping medication are based on a stubborn refusal to become an addict, and he is overwhelmed with survivor’s guilt.
Doctor Sean Lester has joined his father’s surgery and when he is held at knife point by a patient high on drugs it is Daniel that leaps to his rescue-much to his horror.
When Sean nearly runs Daniel down in the dark he finds a man who needs help, and resolves to be the person to show Daniel that it is possible to live through guilt and find happiness.
Set against the backdrop of the Fitzwarren family curse, The Soldiers Tale is a story of one man’s fight to find his place in a new world outside of the Army.
Will Daniel and Sean fill the second of three cryptic conditions that can lift the curse?
Book 3 – The Lord’s Tale by Sue Brown
Phil Fitzwarren is surrounded by death and tragedy as a result of the curse imposed on his family by Jonathan Curtess. The estate is riddled with debt, his parents and brother killed and his young nephew and much-wanted heir to what is left of the Fitzwarren estate fights for his life after being born prematurely.
Phil also has to admit that as his friends and family pair off and marry, he is lonely, and maybe a little jealous. He takes his anger and frustration out on the climbing wall, only to be picked up by a gorgeous guy when he freezes twenty feet up.
Lee Curtis is a force of nature, inserting himself into Phil’s life before Phil has time to breathe. But there is the third part of the curse to break, “when the one who seeks in danger is sworn to the landless lord”. Phil realises that Lee is the final piece of the puzzle and the curse which has plagued his family for centuries may finally be broken.
NOEL MUROHY made that choking noise that Dan associated with really good sex—when you want to speak, but all your brain functions are totally scrambled.
Dan Young looked up from his e-reader to see Noel staring at the screen of the laptop. “Are you all right, babe?” Dan asked, concerned at the glassy-eyed expression on his husband’s face. He’d been reading while Noel scrolled yet again through the listings on one of the realtors’ sites.
“This is it. The one. This is the fucking one.”
To Dan’s consternation Noel slammed his hand on the table, making the laptop leap into the air.
“Noel, babe, what’s going on?” Dan rolled off the sofa. “You’re scaring the shit outta me.”
Noel pointed to the screen. “I’ve found the house we’re going to buy. This is it. Our Forever Home.” As usual, his voice rose an octave in his excitement.
Dan didn’t rush over to the laptop. There had been other forever homes. At least six in Maine, if he remembered correctly, and a couple out of state. Noel had been just as enthusiastic about each one, although they hadn’t provoked the choked sex noise. Still, Dan wasn’t going to go into raptures about yet more bricks and mortar. Location, location, location. That’s what everyone kept telling them. If they were going to find their forever home, it wasn’t enough that the place was big or it was in a gated community. The next house had to be everything they had been looking for all wrapped up in one neat package. Their forever home, because they both hated moving, and the next time was going to be the last time as far as they were concerned.
Dan dropped his chin onto Noel’s shoulder. “Show me the fucking one. Let me see what’s got you all worked up.”
Noel pointed again, and there it was. Barnacles Cottage, three bedrooms, with an attic or a garage that Noel could use as his studio. Painted a deep blue, the cottage seemed to blend in with its surroundings. Ocean-fronted in a thriving rural community, and a place that was within their price range. Even to Dan, it seemed perfect and close enough to Portland that Dan could still travel to work.
“Thank you, Granddad,” Dan murmured.
Noel reached back and stroked Dan’s head. The only reason they could afford a place like Barnacles Cottage at their age was the sizeable inheritance from Dan’s grandfather, who had died earlier in the year. Otherwise, they lived on Dan’s just about okay salary and Noel’s bar money. Once in a while Noel sold a picture, and then they really celebrated.
“It has a pool,” Noel said, as he read the details.
They shouted it out simultaneously, and Noel started giggling as Dan blushed.
“Look at you. Your mind slipped straight into the gutter. I’m so proud.” Noel said.
Dan gave Noel a shove. “I was innocent before I met you.”
Noel gave a derisive snort. “Sure you were. And where did I meet you?”
“I told you. It was an accident.”
“You mean you just happened to be passing by the pole in the strip club and your clothes fell off?”
“With a little help from you,” Dan agreed, burying his burning face in the back of Noel’s neck.
The truth was not far from that. He had been innocent, and starving, and desperate to supplement his student income. His friend had mentioned that they were looking for dancers at a local club. Still new to the city and unaware of the nature of Hot Wired, he’d visited the club during the day. The club had been dark and empty. The only person in sight had been the barman, a gorgeous man, probably a couple of years older than him, with black, wavy hair, dark eyes, and a filthy mind. Once he had stopped laughing at Dan’s youthful innocence, Noel initiated him into what exactly he’d be doing. Noel had laughed even harder as Dan’s face heated up. But needs must, and Dan was sick of being hungry. Once he’d gotten past the shame and embarrassment of taking his clothes off and wriggling around a pole, Dan discovered he enjoyed his new life, and he enjoyed the barman even more.
Noel was an artist. Every second he wasn’t serving overpriced drinks, he was painting huge canvases with the verve and passion he brought to everything, especially initiating Dan into the art of making love. Dan had been as innocent about that as everything else. Eight years on, the passion hadn’t decreased. Noel loved his young lover, and Dan returned it tenfold. That didn’t mean they wouldn’t look at hot pool boys, though.
Still buried in Noel’s neck, Dan closed his eyes, his eyelashes teasing the sensitive skin below Noel’s hairline.
“You’re doing that deliberately,” Noel murmured.
Dan smiled, pressing a kiss into Noel’s skin. “Yeah,” he agreed. “I like touching you.”
“Hmmm.” Noel leaned back against Dan. “So are we going to buy Barnacles Cottage?”
“It’s probably already gone,” Dan said, practical as ever.
“Then it’s gone. But there’s no harm in checking, is there?”
Dan straightened up and took another look at the cottage. It was amazing, and it seemed to have everything they were looking for. “Give them a call, babe. Don’t get too excited, yeah?”
Noel had been devastated at the loss of some of the other potential buys.
“Yeah, yeah,” Noel said, sounding distracted.
Dan sighed as he sat back down on the sofa and picked up his e-reader. It was like talking to a brick wall sometimes. He’d be there to pick up the pieces when the sale fell through.
Drew never believed in magic. Then three years after his wife’s unexplained death he unearths a book of spells in his attic. Reading the first ‘stupid poem’ seems harmless, until he acquires his very own familiar, Felix.
Drew and Felix soon realise an attraction that goes beyond their magical bond. However, there’s a coven of demon-worshipping witches out to steal Drew’s newfound power. If they want to survive long enough to see where their mutual desires take them, Felix must teach Drew the art of witchcraft. But will he be ready in time?
Available now at Wilde City Press
Vince Voss is obsessed with physical beauty. Influenced by his aunt, with whom he runs a modeling business, he has become unfeeling and cruel. Vince’s mother, who was a witch in life, returns to show him a better way to live. She casts a spell to take away his good looks and he finds himself challenged with searching for someone to love him, without the use of physical attraction.
Vince eventually meets a lonely male vampire, Peter, and despite his reluctance to get involved with him, he decides to use Peter to help him lift the spell. Little does he know that at first, Peter is using him too, and he finally realizes what’s really important when he falls for Peter along the way.
Available now from Wilde City Press
A good demon?
Ezra is a timekeeper in Hell, responsible for building and maintaining the clocks that tick away eternal torment. He’s never believed he deserves to be in Hell, and when the reason he’s there is revealed, he’s horrified…yet filled with hope. But is this just another form of torture? When Ezra’s given a chance to go to the surface, he’s determined to uncover the truth, but his fellow demons seem just as determined he won’t survive the journey.
A bad angel?
Roman doesn’t understand why an angel who failed his training the first time round has been given the job of policing paranormals in the UK’s capital city. He’s consumed by unhappiness. He might not be in Hell, but sometimes it damn well feels like it.
When Roman meets Ezra his failings come back to haunt him. Ezra makes him want to break the rules, but an angel protecting a demon? Discovery would bring an eternity of suffering, and with a boss none other than the archangel Michael, it’ll take more than a miracle for the lovers to stand together.
Excerpt: (found at Loose-Id website)
As Roman followed Ezra from the shelter, he’d told himself to stop several times and each time ignored his own advice. He’d watched the dark-haired guy run, seen him hide, witnessed the incident with the dog when Roman had almost broken the rules and interfered. Ezra wasn’t a demon. There was no aura around him. Nor was he a vampire, shifter, or angel, but there was something…unusual about him. Unusual? That was one way of putting it. Roman felt an irresistible pull, a need to see his eyes.
The voice in his head chimed in. Liar. You want to see more than his eyes.
I want to help him.
You want to fuck him.
His stomach roiled in discomfort.
The guy’s clothes were thin, dirty, and torn. Too thin. Too dirty. No one with any sense would wear so little in weather like this. What had happened to him? Maybe he had been in a fire, and all he had was what he stood up in. But why did he wear sunglasses and keep his head lowered?
Roman followed him out of the park to Marylebone High Street, watched him glancing into the windows of cafés and food stores. Hungry? He seemed jumpy and anxious. When he started to speak to passersby, Roman guessed he was asking for money. No one stopped; no one gave him anything. Everyone hurried past, either ignoring him or shaking their head. Ezra sagged against railings and sank down onto his haunches. He took the snow globe from his backpack and shook it.
Roman risked nipping into a Starbucks to buy two coffees and a croissant. He was relieved to see Ezra still there when he emerged. He crouched down a few feet away and put a coffee and the bag with the croissant on the ground between them. “For you.”
“You look cold. I thought you could use a coffee and something to eat.”
The snow globe went back in his bag, and he rose to his feet but kept his face averted. Roman stood.
“No, thank you.”
Why the fuck was he refusing? Roman had just seen him begging. Roman picked up the coffee, grabbed the croissant, and held them out.
“Take them, or I’ll throw them in the trash. I can’t drink two coffees, and I’ve had breakfast.”
Ezra hesitated but accepted what he offered. “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome.” Roman’s heart had started to beat fast. Fine black hair under that matted dirt, a thin face with sharp cheekbones, pale lips, and a long, slender, possibly undernourished body. Not forgetting those fucking marks on his wrists. But Roman’s heart lurched at the glimpses of bare skin revealed by the slashes in his pants. Had the dog done that? Not on both sides.
“You don’t have any money,” Roman said, part in question.
“I was robbed.”
He looked as if he’d been sleeping rough for a long while. “Have you told the police?”
Ezra shrugged. “They wouldn’t be able to find who took it.”
“You look frozen. Don’t you have any other clothes?”
“Take my coat.” He started to unbutton it.
“No,” Ezra snapped. “Thank you for the coffee, but I don’t want your coat.”
He took a bite of the croissant, and Roman could have sworn he heard a quiet groan. A few bites and it was finished. Ezra brushed the crumbs from his lips, and Roman felt a pull in his groin. Walk away.
“Take your sunglasses off and look at me,” Roman said.
Ezra shifted in obvious discomfort. “I can’t.”
“My eyes hurt, and I don’t look… I don’t want to upset people.”
What the hell? There was nothing wrong with this guy’s face. The sunglasses only hid his eyes. Maybe it was his eyes that were the problem.
Ezra sipped the coffee, and this time the sigh of pleasure was quite clear. Roman’s cock began to fill. Shit. At least it was hidden by his coat. He wondered what on earth he was doing. Tempted by the most unlikely of guys, some filthy homeless guy with a secret, and if he wasn’t careful, he was going to fall. The best thing to do would be to hand Ezra money and walk away. His good deed for the day. His sensible deed for the day. I have a lot of other things to do that are more important.
“Come home with me,” Roman whispered. Oh crap. Do I have no self-control? “You can have a shower. I’ll fix you something to eat. You need warm clothes, or you’re going to freeze. I won’t ask questions. Let me help you.”
He didn’t know if Ezra would agree, and Roman was definitely going to ask questions, particularly about those marks on his wrists and the tears in his clothes. He was counting on Ezra being too cold and hungry to refuse the offer. Roman could have tried a little…persuasion, even though he wasn’t supposed to, but he wanted Ezra to go with him of his own free will.
Roman let out the breath he hadn’t known he’d been holding. He hailed a cab; for once there was one available when he needed it, though when the driver spotted the state of Ezra, he tried to turn them down. Roman didn’t let him. Money worked as well as angelic persuasion. Often better. Ezra climbed carefully into the back and sat against the window on the far side.
“Put your seat belt on.” Roman watched Ezra fumble before finally clicking the belt into place.
The guy clutched the edge of the seat as the taxi pulled into the traffic but kept his face pressed against the window, facing away from Roman. Why the hell did he think he’d upset people? Scars around his eyes? Weird color? Squint? An eye missing? Why am I so intrigued? Why am I unable to walk away? I know better than this.
That was true, but Roman had no idea what he was doing. He had an invasion of demons to deal with plus an influx of angels, one of whom was going to bring back memories he’d tried to bury. He really had enough on his plate without offering shelter to a dirty, stray mutt, particularly one who wouldn’t look him in the eyes. Roman didn’t try to engage Ezra in conversation. He had a feeling the attempt would be doomed. Better to let the guy come around on his own, assuming he ever did.
He was still wondering if he’d done the right thing when he led Ezra into the elevator inside his building. The guy acted as if he expected someone to leap out at him at any moment. Plus he kept touching things. Walls, doors, glass, though never Roman. It was almost as if he went out of his way to avoid even brushing against him. Ezra wasn’t just wary of people but a whole load of stuff—doors that opened on their own, the movement of the elevator, the disembodied voice announcing the floor. Roman stared at the marks on Ezra’s wrists. Someone had tied him up. The someone who’d stolen his money? The someone he was running from? The reason he was on edge?
Am I sure he’s not a demon? I should see or feel it if he was, and I don’t, but… If he was, Ezra was unlike any Roman had ever come across. But no demon would have stepped in front of a dog to save a child. No demon would be this…anxious. They were mostly cocky bastards. Unless it was all an act. He needed to be on his guard.
Roman strode out of the elevator and headed down the corridor. Ezra slowly followed.
“My name’s Roman, by the way. What’s yours?”
“You already know.”
Roman spun round.
“John told you my name was Ezra, though how he knew, I have no idea.”
Roman gaped at him.
“I heard you talking to him at St. Agnes. When you spoke to me on the street, I recognized your voice. I assume you followed me when I ran from the shelter.”
There seemed no point in denying it, and it explained some of the jumpiness, but Ezra had to be mistaken. He must have told John his name.
Ezra seemed to shrink into himself. “What do you want with me? Why did you follow me?”
You don’t want to know. You don’t want to hear that I want to shove you up against the wall and ram my cock into your arse, that I want you on your knees with my cock in your mouth, or that I want to do every depraved and disgusting thing I can with you.
That was helpful. Now his cock ached.
“I help and protect people who are in need.” It was true but still a minor miracle that that was what had come out of his mouth, because his mind was a long way from help and protect.
“You like to do good?” Ezra asked.
And bad, at times. “Doesn’t everyone?”
Ezra’s laugh sent another spike of lust into Roman’s groin. “Today I asked twenty-seven people for help. Twenty ignored me. Seven turned me down. Three of them swore, and one spat at me.”
“You know not everyone is like that. You had a warm place to sleep last night. A meal. You could have had breakfast if you’d stayed. The volunteers at St. Agnes are decent, kindhearted people.”
“You’re right. I’m used to people not being kind. It’s what I expect.”
“Someone tied you up.”
Ezra glanced at his wrists. “Yes.”
He said nothing more, so Roman opened the door of his apartment. “You can have a shower or a bath. Both if you like. Maybe you should shower first. Want to show me those dog bites? Do they need attention?”
Ezra didn’t move.
Give him some money and show him the way out. That’s the right thing to do.
“No strings,” Roman said. “I’m just being hospitable.” Oh damn, an outright lie. Roman hadn’t wanted anyone so much in a long time, though he had no idea why. There might be a lot he liked about Ezra, but there was a hell of a lot he didn’t. Plus he was making a rather large assumption about the guy’s sexuality. Have I ever been wrong? That didn’t mean he was right this time.
He pushed the door farther open. “Your choice.” No, I can’t let it be. He couldn’t help but employ a little angelic persuasion.
You really want to come into my apartment.
Plenty of hot water.
You can be clean again.
There’s nothing to be afraid of.
I mean you no harm.
Much to his surprise, Ezra didn’t move an inch. Roman wished he could see his eyes. He tried again with the persuasion.
A hot bath.
Soak away all that dirt.
I’ll make you something to eat.
When Ezra showed no reaction, Roman swallowed hard. Have I lost my touch? Unless Ezra was a demon, he should have responded to that. Or maybe Michael had disabled his ability to manipulate humans.
“Make up your mind,” Roman said more sharply than he’d meant to.
“Sorry. I guess I’m not used to people being generous without some ulterior motive.”
Ezra smiled. Just a little one, but it was enough for the hook to sink deeper into Roman’s heart. I’m a weak, pathetic, bad angel. As he watched Ezra walk into the apartment, he wondered how he still even deserved to be an angel. What the fuck was angelic about him? He swore, lied, cheated… Shit, don’t begin that list. You’ll never stop.
Roman closed the door to the apartment and pointed to the bathroom. “There’s everything you need, including towels. Help yourself.”
Ezra went in and closed the door. Roman didn’t hear the lock click, and he groaned as his cock pushed against his zipper. I am such a shit.
Available now at Loose-Id