Guest Post–Louisa Kelley

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Hi, everyone. Dirt Road Books has just released the widely anticipated Fianna the Gold by Louisa Kelley. DRB warmly welcomes Louisa into our little close-knit family and we hope that you check out her creative, clever dragon fantasy. This is book 1 in Kelley’s Shape-Shifter series.

Louisa is currently doing a blog tour, and today she’s at my place to play and offer a little taste of the book. Below the excerpt, you’ll find a schedule of her upcoming blog stops and a link to enter a giveaway drawing. So, grab a drink, sit back, and enjoy the excerpt from Fianna the Gold. I’ll let Louisa introduce it.

In this early scene, the three dragon shape-shifters meet Abbie for the first time. Abbie’s had a very weird night camping alone in the mountains, and has broken into the dragon’s empty cabin to sleep and recover. A magical beacon was supposed to alert them to her presence, but that didn’t happen.

Fianna motioned toward the unlocked door. No locks were needed in such a powerfully protected space. Only Draca could enter, or so they thought. Orla gestured to indicate she’d stay outside, on guard duty, while they investigated. Guin opened the entrance a crack and leaned her head in. The figure in the bed didn’t stir. The two of them padded inside, and as soon as they entered, the shining gemstone went dark, as if to say “mission accomplished.”  Fianna gave it a baleful look. Nice timing, magic beacon.

Fianna approached the bed with caution, taking in the threads of magical chaos that converged there. A series of feminine snores greeted her. Fianna choked back an incredulous snort and eyed her prey. A slender form curled under what appeared to be every blanket in the house—the lumps and bumps translating into a womanly dip at the waist and rounded hip. Dark, curly hair tufted over the pillows. Not much else was visible under the bed linens.

Fianna took a furtive sniff. Dirt and sweat and…blood. She inhaled—and something else, something intriguing underneath. She could think of only one explanation for this delicious and shocking surprise. Could they really be looking at the purpose of their entire mission asleep in their bed? How did the woman even get in here? Fianna gazed at the great jewel sitting placid and satisfied on its velvet cushion, and tried to get her head around what had happened. Nothing made sense.

Orla appeared, and gave the all-clear sign, indicating no one else was outside. She pointed at the bed. Should they wake her? Fianna’s decision. Of course she should wake her. Immediately.

Fianna leaned over and touched the woman’s shoulder, and was rewarded with another dainty snore. She tried again and the stranger stirred, stiffened, then let out a yelp. The woman jerked to a sitting position, exposing full, pink-tipped breasts. She gave a distressed squeal and yanked the quilt up, hitting her head on the wall behind her with a thud.

“Oh, god!” Her face was streaked in mud and bits of leaves stuck to her dark hair. She suddenly slapped a hand across her mouth and gestured in a frantic wave with the other. “Bafoom? Bafoom?”

“That way,” Fianna said, alarmed. She offered a hand to help, but the wild-eyed stranger ignored her and seemingly focused on getting to the toilet as fast as possible, sort of hobble-limped her nude, mud-streaked self across the room and slammed the bathroom door behind her.

Orla and Guin were doubled up. “Did that just happen?” Orla said.

Fianna wasn’t sure how she felt. Speechless, she stared at the closed door. Sounds of unhappy retching elicited more snickers from the fascinated Draca. Then, a short scream sounded and abruptly cut off, which caused everyone to stiffen. Fianna raised her hand to knock on the door. “Hey, you all right in there?”

The toilet flushed. “Is it…is it okay if I take a shower?” the woman asked in a weak voice through the door. “I know this is asking a lot, but I’m not feeling too good here and—”

Fianna called, “No problem. There’s shampoo on the shelf.” Guin handed her a stack of towels. Fianna gave a rap on the door. “Here, I’ve got some towels for you.”

The door opened a crack. A mud encrusted hand reached out, snatched the towels, and then closed the door with a snap. “Thank you,” a small, polite voice said. The shower started, accompanied by the sounds of intermittent moaning.

Vastly entertained, the group listened to every sound coming from their intriguing guest. “Some beacon our magic Fire Agate was. Boom!” Orla quipped, and set off another round of laughing.

“Hey, you’re joking about a sacred object,” Fianna fake protested, not hiding her grin. Anticipation thrummed in her blood. It shouldn’t take long to identify the mystery woman. Was she the Draca-human hybrid? Could it really be that easy?

Guin said, “You know, maybe we’re jumping ahead of ourselves.”

“What do you mean?”

“Doesn’t this seem too easy? We must be setting world records here. Our target delivers herself directly to the cabin?”

“Oh, very good Guin.” Orla said. “Trying to ruin the party again. Is it really so hard to imagine us finding favor with the gods?”

“Shush!” Fianna hushed. This was not a conversation she’d want overheard.

Guin shook her head. “I’ve got a feeling,” she whispered. “And you know what happens if we ignore my feelings.

Fianna was about to respond, but the bathroom door opened a little and in a slightly more energetic, though hesitant voice, the woman asked, “Do you, um, have a robe or something I can borrow?”

Guin, who had guessed what was next, stood ready with sweat pants and a tee shirt. Orla tossed a pair of black thong panties onto the pile with a wink. Guin handed them through the door without a word.

A few minutes later, the woman emerged with clouds of steamy moisture billowing behind her. Her short, wet hair was plastered back and her eyes were red and puffy. She had a scratch on her left cheek that looked recent. The offered clothing hung on her tall, thin frame. She seemed to be maybe in her mid-twenties. There was an edginess to her, a don’t-mess-with-me brittleness that intrigued Fianna instantly. “I’m so sorry,” the stranger said. “I really hate myself right now.” She sniffed. “My name is Abbie, by the way. I’ll be getting out of your hair, um, as soon as I know where I am and everything.”

* * *

Abbie eyed the women, sizing them up. How much trouble was she in? Her aches and pains seemed better. Oddly better. Her head, however, was another story. Maybe they’d have some ibuprofen. Thank god her stomach had settled down. Then, she remembered what she’d thrown up in the toilet and fought a gag.

 The one with reddish hair was speaking to her. “You don’t know where you are?”

“No, I’m so sorry. Seriously. I got really lost up here.” Abbie’s vision cleared enough to focus on the tall redhead. Wow. Thick, wavy auburn hair fell to her shoulders from a side part. She had classic cheekbones, full lips, and her green eyes twinkled under delicate dark eyebrows. Gorgeous. “Sorry. What did you say?”

Most distracting was the way her eyes sort of…gleamed, like a secret message was being conveyed, except Abbie couldn’t understand the message. Or, was it a question? A tiny warning bell went off. She’d blanked for a second, overwhelmed.

“Why don’t we have some tea?” the redhead asked in a soothing voice, as if she sensed Abbie’s confusion. “Perhaps we can help you sort out how you ended up here. And maybe what happened to your clothes?”

Abbie flashed back to last night. Tent. Mushrooms. No wonder she felt off her head. She glanced at the group of women and braced for their anger at her intrusion. The impact of three sets of similar green eyes staring at her with the same, very interested intensity made her breath catch. Her brain went on tilt again and she had no idea what to say.

“My name is Fianna,” the redhead said. A round of introductions followed.

Guin and Orla grinned at her in a friendly way that triggered a twinge of paranoia. What was with all the smiling? She’d broken into their cabin and slept in their bed. Yet they’d handed her towels, let her take a shower, and given her clothes. Even so, her uneasiness increased.

She cleared her throat, unnerved. “Ah, yeah, um, thanks. Look, I’m okay, really, just a little fuzzy on the details right now.”

Making matters worse, her unruly brain further derailed at the surreal collection of hotness surrounding her. The sharp, hazel and green eyes, the matching sweep of elegant cheekbones, the arching dark eyebrows and the similar tall, buff, and toned look, all seemed to indicate a very “wow” family resemblance.

Guin’s inky black hair cascaded down her back, and fake jewel buttons lined the front of a clinging purple blouse. Tight, black pants gripped legs that went on forever, ending with sculpted thighs and an altogether stunning sultry look. Abbie had to yank her attention off the shiny button that gleamed in the middle over Guin’s curvy breasts.

Abbie swung her sights on Orla, nearly as tall as Guin and poured into faded blue jeans and a tight, tucked-in white tee shirt. Her ash blonde hair was shaved on one side, while on the other, it reached to the bottom of her chin in a perfectly sculptured edge. She exuded the same subtle, sultry look as Guin and Fianna. Orla’s hazel eyes locked onto Abbie’s. Piercing intelligence shone in them, along with great amusement that both confused and intrigued Abbie. It was like being under one hot, alluring, mysterious microscope. Abbie wasn’t sure whether to purr or run.

_______________Louisa Kelley

Louisa Kelley is the author of a series of well-regarded erotic paranormal books and urban fantasy stories, including the trilogy, Daughters of Draca. Her writing features fantastical stories of sensual romance, intrigue and magic, often with modern day characters based in Portland. ‘Fianna The Gold,’ book one in her newest fantasy series, has just been released by Dirt Road Books.

She resides in Portland, Oregon where, in a strangely perfect combination of rainy winters and urban skyline, her writing inspiration abounds. She’s also slightly obsessed with dragons.

To hear an audio excerpt, click HERE.

To enter the giveaway, click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Or go HERE.

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