Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Heroes of Stone

Since Stone and Sea releases this Friday from Ellora's Cave, I thought I'd give everyone a quick catch-up in the first book in my Heroes of Stone gargoyle collection. Gotta love a man who is--literally--as hard as a rock.

“Stone and Earth”
A Garnet Jewels of the Nile Quickie
By Cindy Spencer Pape
Available now at Ellora’s Cave:
Buy link: http://www.ellorascave.com/AuthorsBooks.asp?AuthorCode=CSPa

Gargoyle Damien St. Pierre has to find an ancient artifact needed by his people. When he meets Earth witch Katie Calhoun, he can’t keep his hands off of her. Because of the problems his people are having, Damien is afraid to attempt the conversion necessary to make her his mate. But Katie is determined to help him in his quest and to become the gargoyle of his dreams. Can her faith overcome his fear? Will the magic of love succeed in the mating of Stone and Earth?

Excerpt: (ADULT Language warning!)

Sleeping next to Katie was possibly the second best sensation in the world. Fucking her was without a doubt number one.

Damien knew he needed to be out of her sight before dawn, so he’d set the alarm on his cell phone to give him a half-hour leeway. If their relationship went any further, he’d have to let her see him by daylight eventually, but no way was he ready for that after only one night. She’d told him the other room on this floor was the bedroom intended for him. He figured he could hide out there until nightfall.

Even after the near-silent buzz had wakened him though, he couldn’t bring himself to move. There was something so seductive about lying on silky cotton sheets with Katie warm and soft in his arms, her bright auburn head pillowed on his chest. They’d made love twice more last night after leaving the roof, once in the kitchen and once more here in her bed. He closed his eyes and inhaled the scent of her hair. Moss and earth and spice.

Damien must have dozed off again, because when he opened his eyes, the first pale rays of dawn were filtering through the slats in the blinds. To horror, he felt his body beginning to change.

He tried to slip quietly from the bed but Katie’s long lithe limbs were twined around his own. She stirred, sitting up and blinking as he rushed to disentangle himself.

“Damien, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing, cherie. I just—need to use the bathroom.”

“Hmm. Then you’re heading the wrong direction. Nice wings, by the way.”

Merde! He’d turned his back to her trying to flee the room. “I need to go.”

“Damien. Relax.” She moved up behind him and circled his waist with her arms, rubbing her soft cheek on the leathery surface of his demonic wings. He wondered if she’d also spotted the long tail that he tucked forward between his ankles. Since she hadn’t run screaming yet, probably not. “So this is why you travel at night.”

“Yeah.” He knew his voice was deeper and huskier in this form. Hell’s teeth, she was dropping butterfly kisses on the pointed tips of his wings. “It tends to frighten the tollbooth workers on the turnpike.”

“I’ll bet.” Her gentle chuckle was a benediction, warm and curious but completely lacking the fear or disgust he’d expected. “So this happens every morning?”

“Sunrise to sunset.” Oh, fuck! Now her busy hands had found his tail and were exploring it. She traced her fingers along the coiled muscle down to the barbed tip. This was probably not the time for him to mention that when he was in demon shape, his tail was an erogenous zone. Of course, he’d never had a chance to prove that except by himself. He’d never fucked another gargoyle and he’d never let a human woman see him like this.

“Turn around, Damien.”

“No.” He knew the front was even more horrific than the back. Even some of his own kind found him painful to look at.

“Damien.” She kissed the ridge of his spine, then moved her hands to his hips, forcing him to either fight her or turn. “I know it’s too early to talk about this, but I fell in love with you last night. And the man I fell in love with just happens to be a gargoyle. I don’t know much about what that means, but apparently this is part of it. I do know that under this thick gray skin, you’re the same man who held me through the night.”

“Gargoyles are part demon,” he told her. “A curse of our race.” But slowly, he did turn. And forced himself to look into her grass-green eyes.

“And you said it was bad!” She tsked and shook her head, still studying him carefully. He followed her gaze, knew she’d seen the horns that poked through his hair, the heavier brow ridge and protruding jaw. Fangs poked out from both upper and lower lips. “Goddess, Damien, you still have the most beautiful eyes I’ve ever seen.”

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