Hey everyone, I just wanted to drop a quick update.
It's been a rough month for me. Life has been a bit chaotic, and my mental health hasn't been the best. I'm feeling much better now, but I had to take some time away from writing, so of course, I'm a little behind. Don't worry. We're not talking months or anything. Just a couple of weeks.
Angel and Anarchy, the first book in the new spin-off to the Blackhaven Manor series, will now release on or around June 15th. (Just depends on how long Amazon takes to review it.)
While the Hunters Hollow series does share the same world as Blackhaven Manor, and some previous characters from that series will make an appearance, you can read these series completely independently of each other. There will be no crossover storylines. No plots that start in one series and pick up in another.
So, I think that's it for now, but more updates coming soon!
Until Next Time,
XoXo - Arden
Slinging drinks in New Orleans' French Quarter isn’t the most glamorous job, but Braeden Burke loves the lights, the music, and the excitement. As a long-time believer—even before Otherlings had waltzed out of the paranormal closet—spending his nights flirting with gorgeous werewolves and smooth-talking vampires isn’t exactly a chore. His life is easy, colorful, and for the most part, free of drama.
Until fate throws him a curveball.
It was supposed to be his day off. Instead, Zarrik Cox is called in to investigate the murder of a high-ranking member of the Ministry of Otherling Affairs. Tracking down the only witness to the crime is easy. Discovering the vulnerable human is his mate is a complication he wasn’t expecting.
He might be a nephilim, but he’s no angel, and he’s damn sure no one’s savior. But with a killer on the loose, and Braeden caught in the crosshairs, there's no limit to how far he'll go to keep his new mate safe.
The 5th Blackhaven Manor book is now available on Amazon and free to read with your KU subscription!
I've loved Emrys since he was first introduced in Purrfect Harmony, and Cyrus is the perfect mate for him. Fair warning: this hellhound is growly, sexy, and he says fuck A. LOT. I tried to rein him in, I really did, but he's impossible. ;-)
PIXIE LITTLE LIAR: BLACKHAVEN MANOR, BOOK 5
There’s a heaviness to the air, the kind that makes the hairs on the back of Emrys Whitehill’s neck stand on end. Something is going to happen. Something big. Something that will change him forever. Despite his powers of precognition, however, a hellhound walking into the hotel to arrest him for a crime he didn’t commit is the one scenario he never saw coming.
As a seasoned bounty hunter, Cyrus Rathborne thought he had experienced it all, but realizing his most recent target is his mate throws him completely off his game. While he can’t deny the connection, Emrys is wanted for the murder of a royal, and he won’t let those big innocent eyes deter him from doing what is right. Yet, the more he gets to know the sweet pixie, the harder it is to shake the feeling that the guy might actually be telling the truth.
He should have trusted his instincts.
It soon becomes clear that someone is determined to make Emrys disappear—permanently—and the only thing standing in their way is him. Transforming from hunter to protector, Cyrus will risk everything to keep his mate safe, because what started as just another job is now the one mission he can’t afford to fail.
“Enough.” Emrys didn’t speak loudly, but everyone present turned to stare at him. Once he had their attention, he pushed his chin-length hair back from his face and nodded a couple of times. “I appreciate that you want to protect me, but let’s be real for a second. Nothing you say is going to change anything.” His gaze flickered to Cyrus, his resolve manifesting piece by visual piece. “I’m assuming there’s evidence against me, and you didn’t just pull my name out of a hat.”
Fuck, Cyrus hated this, but his mate was right. Nothing anyone said would change the facts. “There is evidence.”
Emrys regarded him for another moment, then nodded again. “I’ll go with you.”
“What?” Kol shouted. “Em, that’s a really bad idea.”
“You didn’t do anything wrong,” the other male—Simon—added.
“You don’t have to go,” Skye said, still calm and collected.
Emrys gave her a sad smile. “Thanks, but I think I do. I know I didn’t kill anyone, and the best way to prove that is to just cooperate.” With only the smallest amount of hesitancy, he strode around the counter, coming to a stop mere inches from Cyrus. “Besides, my mate won’t let anything happen to me.”
It was naïve, far too trusting, and also absolutely fucking correct. No one would lay a hand on his mate, except for maybe him. Preferably both hands. Without any barriers between them like those preppy white chinos that hugged Emrys’ ass like a second skin.
Cyrus bit back a groan. Gods, he was so screwed.
“Okay.” Emrys bobbed his head a couple of times, then pushed his wrists together before offering his hands up to him. “Do you, uh, need to restrain me or something?”
That really shouldn’t have been as sexy as it was, but his cock apparently hadn’t gotten the message. Down boy.
“No, I’m not going to restrain you.” Gently, he curled his fingers around Emrys’ wrists and pushed his hands back down to his sides.
“Oh, okay.” An adorable frown pulled at his lips. “Sorry. I’ve never been a suspect before. I don’t really know how this works.” He held his hands up again. “Are you sure you don’t want to tie me up?”
Cyrus bit back another groan when his dick jerked against his zipper. Gods, it was going to be a long drive back to New Orleans.
Grin and Bear It: Blackhaven Manor, Book 4 is live a little early on Amazon! As always, it's available to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription.
Thorne McIver is no ordinary bear shifter. He’s the monster whispered about in the dark, the beast feared in battles, and for hundreds of years, he’s used his formidable gifts to protect the royal families of the paranormal world. So, when he’s tasked with escorting the elven prince to a council meeting at Blackhaven Manor, he figures it’s just another assignment.
Until he meets a stunning human who fills in all the pieces he didn’t know were missing.
When he’d first started working at the hotel, Wren Covey had been a mess. He’d known almost nothing about Otherlings, their culture or rules, and everything had terrified him. Barely a year later, there’s not much he hasn’t seen, and hardly anything fazes him. Or so he thought, because nothing could have prepared him for being the mate to a genuine living legend.
When an attack on the hotel tests his already divided loyalties, Thorne finds himself torn between love and duty. Though honor-bound to protect the prince, his instincts will always be to put his mate first.
Now, he’ll have to find middle ground and figure out how to do both, or his happy ending will be over before it even begins.
Tired from the journey, annoyed about his argument with Orrin, and frustrated over the situation with Wren, he grunted when he heard the knock at the door. Shutting off the water, he exited the shower, grabbing a towel and wrapping it around his waist as he stomped out of the bathroom.
Ten feet from the door, his steps slowed, and his anger at being disturbed abated when a bright, earthy scent hit him like a wrecking ball. It reminded him of rain in early spring, when the days were still slightly chilled, and the winds gusted, sweeping away the last remnants of winter. There was only one being on earth who carried such an alluring fragrance, and he was the last person Thorne expected to be standing outside his room.
He took a deep breath, groaning quietly as the scent invaded his nose and made his head swim. Then, he arranged his expression into a mask of indifference before opening the door. “Can I help you?”
Wren stared up at him, his mouth slightly open, and his eyes so big they dominated his round face. The tip of his tongue darted out to wet his lips, and he looked down, only to jerk his head back up to meet Thorne’s gaze again. Though it looked like he might several times, he didn’t speak, but his shoulders rose and fell with every shallow breath.
His heart pounded frantically, the sound loud enough that Thorne probably could have heard it even without supernatural senses. A thin sheen of perspiration coated his brow, and the scent of anxiety soured his natural scent until it was the only thing Thorne could smell.
Putting it all together, he mentally sighed. His mate was absolutely terrified of him.
Abandoning all hope of remaining neutral, he softened his expression and let his lips curl into a subtle grin. “Wren, right?” He spoke quietly, trying to be as unintimidating as he possibly knew how. “What can I do for you?”
“I, uh…” He swallowed hard, his gaze raking over Thorne’s bare chest, all the way to his hips before snapping back to his face. “I’m…supposed to…”
When he trailed off and made the same trek with his eyes again, Thorne had to fight back a chuckle. “Would you like to come in?”
“No!” Wren practically shouted at him. Once he realized what he’d done, his eyes grew impossibly bigger, and the look of abject horror on his face was borderline comical. “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean that. I—”
“So, you do want to come in?”
“Yes.” He shook his head. “I mean, no.” He stopped again, frowning. “Can you please put some clothes on?”
Thorne couldn’t stop himself that time. He laughed. “All the indecent parts are covered.” It was an interesting development. While his mate still wreaked of nervousness, Thorne also detected subtle notes of desire. “Please, come in, then you can tell me whatever you were sent here to tell me.”
When Wren didn’t move, he reached out, keeping his movements slow and unthreatening. Placing his palm against the back of his mate’s shoulder, he applied a gentle pressure, encouraging rather than forcing him across the threshold.
“There,” he said, closing the door to prying eyes, “that’s better, right?”
Wren huffed. “Not really.”
Dragon it OUt: Blackhaven Manor, Book 3
As some of the last remaining dragon shifters in the world, Uriah Maddock and his siblings are regarded as something akin to royalty in the paranormal community. It’s one of the main reasons their hotel has become such a coveted destination for Otherlings. All he wants, though, is to be left alone. He’s not looking for love or romance. In fact, he actively avoids relationships and all their damning consequences.
Too bad his meddling sister didn’t get the memo.
Kit Meyers is pretty sure he’s hit rock bottom when his car breaks down in the small, mountain town of Echo Falls. He has no money, no place to live, and no prospects. When a not-so-chance encounter leads him to the infamous Blackhaven Manor, he figures he’ll stay for a few weeks, earn some cash, then head back to the safety of the road. But all that changes when he meets a surly dragon shifter with wounded eyes and even more baggage than himself.
Uriah can’t commit to a houseplant, let alone to being someone’s mate. Convinced that Kit is better off without him, he’s prepared to leave everything behind if that means the skittish human will be safe and happy. Yet, as the days pass, he keeps finding new excuses to stay, until he’s finally forced to admit that he’s not going anywhere.
Especially when he realizes he’s not the only dangerous person in Kit’s life.
Read it Free with Kindle Unlimited!
Uriah resisted the urge to roll his eyes as he returned to his desk. He didn’t like conducting interviews, and he certainly didn’t have the knack for it that Skye did. However, he wasn’t completely useless. Besides, as much as it pained him to admit it, if he did decide to take over the new hotel, his sister had a point. Hiring a new staff would be one of his first duties, so he might as well get used to it.
He took a moment to straighten his black T-shirt and smooth any wrinkles from his dark-wash jeans. Then, he tidied up his desk as best he could without disrupting the work he’d been doing. On the bright side, if he did the interviews, maybe he could talk Skye into finishing the inventory.
A soft knock sounded at his office door just as he settled down in his desk chair. A young woman with a pixie cut in a startling shade of bubblegum pink entered the room when he waved her in. She approached his desk cautiously, her hand shaking when she passed him what he assumed was her application and resume.
He skimmed it quickly, asked her a few appropriate questions, then hired her on the spot—pending a background check—to replace one of the missing housekeepers. Sadly, the next three interviews didn’t go nearly as well.
One guy had spent the entire interview flirting with him. Another young lady had been so terrified she had actually burst into tears and ran from the room. The other male had been decent, but unfortunately, Uriah had no choice but to send him away when he realized the kid was only sixteen.
An hour later, he had conducted eleven interviews and only managed to find one more member for the housekeeping staff and one porter. He didn’t even know if they needed another bellhop, but the girl had been sweet, and she’d clearly needed the job.
For all his bravado, by the time he reached the last name on the list—according to the two-word text Skye had sent him—he was starting to remember why he didn’t do interviews.
Tentative, muffled footsteps reached his ears first, followed by a nervous cough and a long, shuddering sigh. Goddess, he could smell the anxiety wafting in the air, and the guy hadn’t even reached the office door yet. Taking pity on the poor soul, Uriah arranged his features to appear as non-threatening as possible.
As the footsteps crept closer, however, the scent began to change, gradually deconstructing all of his careful preparation. The nervousness was still there, still the most prominent fragrance, but it was now tinged with something sweet and almost earthy. He couldn’t quite put his finger on it, couldn’t place the scent, but it was the most intoxicating thing he’d ever smelled.
It called to him, beckoned him closer. As if lassoed by some invisible line, he found himself halfway out of his seat by the time the newcomer reached the threshold of the doorway. That close, the scent hit him like a battering ram, nearly knocking him off his feet. If that wasn’t bad enough, it emanated from the most gorgeous man he’d ever seen.
Thick, wheat-colored curls haloed a round, youthful face with soft lips, a petite nose, and big, mesmerizing eyes the color of cinnamon. A baggy shirt and loose-fitting khakis flared around a slender, narrow frame, and the little bit of exposed skin on display looked too pale, too delicate.
That single word boomed inside his head, finally shaking him free of his hypnotic state. His mood plummeted, his emotions spinning from elation to fury in the span of seconds. And to think he’d actually believed his lying, conniving, meddling sister.
“Practice my ass,” he grumbled under his breath.
“Umm…Mr. Maddock?” The young man came forward a couple of steps. “I’m—”
“Sit,” Uriah barked, cutting him off and pointing at the armchair in front of the desk.
“Oh. Right. Okay.” He hurried to do what had been asked of him.
Sparing him only a passing glance, Uriah stalked past him and marched toward the door. “Stay there,” he commanded. “I’ll be back.”
“Is there a problem?”
Even in his anger, his instincts wouldn’t let him leave the room without offering some type of comfort to his mate. “You didn’t do anything wrong.” He still couldn’t bring himself to look at the guy. Instead, he stared through the open doorway and growled. “I just have to go murder my sister.”
Back in November, I promised more updates. It took a little longer than anticipated, but here we go!
In my last post, I had mentioned that I was working to release a book by the end of 2020. Obviously, that didn't happen. Just a couple of days after I wrote that, I ended up in the ER with severe stomach pains. A couple of days after that, I was at the surgery center having my gallbladder removed. Recovery didn't quite go as quickly or smoothly as I had hoped, either.
The holidays were a study in chaos. Then, shortly after Christmas, my oldest son came home from work with muscle pains and a cough. I'm sure you already know where this is headed. He tested positive for Covid-19, and of course, that meant everyone else in the house contracted it as well.
We were fortunate that our symptoms were fairly mild. In fact, my youngest had no symptoms at all. For me, it felt like a really bad cold with a lot of fatigue. The cold symptoms passed in about a week, but I'm still struggling with feeling exhausted all the time.
Now, I could have a pity party. Especially when you add in our leaking roof (that is only 5 years old), a broken toilet, a sick dog, and what I worry is the beginning stages of early arthritis. When I look at it all, it does sometimes feel like I just can't catch a break.
But, such is life.
So, I'm going to be optimistic. I'm going to believe that the bad times will fade, and good things will be waiting just around the corner.
As for new books, I'm feeling better every day, but writing is still going pretty slowly at this point. For now, I can tell you that the next release will be the third book in the Blackhaven Manor series, and it will be a bit longer than the first two. I'm hoping to release it the first week of February, but it really depends on just how long it ends up being. As soon as I'm confident of a release date, though, I'll announce it.
Beyond that, I'm just taking it one day at a time.
I do have plans for 2021, though. More books, a new series, a couple of joint projects, and another group giveaway with a brand new FREE story. All of which I'll provide more information for as I know it.
Night and Fae: Blackhaven Manor, Book 2 is now available at Amazon and free to read with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!
Colorful and eccentric, Leelan Rivers knows he’s a little too “extra” for some people. Since those people are exceedingly boring, he couldn’t care less about their opinion. Yet, when a night out leads him right into the arms of fate, he never expected the broody vampire to deny the connection between them.
Wealthy and powerful, Sebastian Delgado is used to people wanting things from him. He’s not even surprised at the lies they’ll tell to get them. So, when Leelan claims to be his mate, he’s skeptical to say the least. Leelan might be beautiful and enchanting, but Sebastian has been disappointed too many times in the past not to be suspicious.
All it takes is one bite to reveal the truth but claiming Leelan as his own comes with its own set of problems. Especially when he realizes he’s not the only vampire at Blackhaven Manor interested in the faerie.
“No need to play hard to get. You know you want it, or you wouldn’t be dressed like that.”
While true Leelan had been hoping to attract someone to take back to his room for the evening, that didn’t mean he lacked standards or self-respect. “I really think you should leave.”
Too fast for his eyes to follow, the vampire reached across the table, grabbing Leelan’s wrist and squeezing it roughly. “I think you should be nicer—”
“Now, now,” a smooth accented voice interrupted. “Is that any way to behave?”
Leelan’s eyes rounded as the most gorgeous specimen of male he’d ever seen stepped up behind his date and wrapped a hand around the back of the vampire’s neck. Dressed impeccably in a tailored black suit that molded to his broad, muscular frame, the stranger looked like he could have stepped right off of a runway.
No visible tattoos marked his tawny skin. He had no piercings, wore no jewelry, not even a watch. His dark hair was cut short and styled in a conservative though stylish side part. While not really the type Leelan usually went for, he still somehow managed to embody every wet dream Leelan had ever had.
But that wasn’t why he couldn’t stop staring.
“Get your fucking hands off me,” the vampire growled as he struggled against the hold on his nape.
The new guy stroked the side of the male’s neck with his thumb. “Even a limited vocabulary doesn’t excuse poor manners.” As he spoke, his thumbnail grew, lengthening nearly two inches before ending in a sharp point. “Now, apologize.”
While he spoke calmly, danger practically radiated from his very being. The vampire must have felt it, too, because he subsided in his chair and lowered his head in obvious submission.
“I apologize,” he mumbled.
Leelan’s rescuer smiled then, revealing long, lethal-looking canines. “Not to me, fledgling.”
The guy seemed far less inclined to offer Leelan an apology, but he eventually lifted his head just enough to meet his gaze. “Sorry.” He winced when the sharp claw dug into his skin. “I’m sorry for being such a dick.”
The other vampire—Leelan was pretty sure the newcomer was a vampire as well—turned his dark, penetrating stare on him. “Well, it wasn’t very eloquent, but will that suffice?”
Leelan nodded numbly.
“Very well.” Releasing the younger male’s neck, he grabbed the collar of his tank top instead and dragged him to his feet. “Off you go.”
The guy wasted no time getting the hell out of there, and honestly, Leelan really couldn’t blame him. That had been simultaneously the sexiest and most terrifying thing he’d ever witnessed.
“Thank you,” he blurted. “For, well—” He waved his hand vaguely toward the exit. “—you know.”
“Of course.” Lowering himself into the now vacated seat, he reached across the table with another of those oddly chilling smiles. “Sebastian Delgado.”
Leelan took the proffered hand and shivered as a jolt of electricity raced up his arm from the contact. Distracted by the sensation, as well as the misty haze of pure golden light that surrounded the vampire, he lost all train of thought.
He knew he should say something, but by the fae, he couldn’t even remember his own name. Everything in his brain had been shunted to the side, allowing just one word to repeat on an endless loop.
It's day five of the official lockdown in my city, day 20-something of #socialdistancing, and day... 9,000?? of my kids being home from school. We're also headed into week 3 of online distance learning, and let's just say I am not cut out to be a teacher.
But, otherwise, me and mine are safe, healthy, and doing our part to #flattenthecurve.
Unfortunately, I wasn't expecting to have everyone in my family constantly in and out of my office for the past 3 weeks. I also wasn't expecting to have to homeschool two teenage boys.
Finding time to write (without interruptions, distractions, or crippling anxiety) has been a challenge. I was supposed to have Mr. Big Shot, the second book of the +One series, finished and off to my editor by now. Well, guys, that hasn't happened. I'm still working on it, but it's not the book that has been calling to the muse. After two weeks of trying to fight it, I finally had to accept that it wasn't the story I wanted to be writing.
Honestly, I think I just needed a major break from reality, and what better way than vampires, shifters, werewolves, and faeries to accomplish that?
So, Night and Fae: Blackhaven Manor, Book 2 will be releasing in April instead. I know it's not the book you were expecting for April, but I hope you'll enjoy it just as much.
As for Mr. Big Shot...it's coming. I'm hoping to have it out in May, but I might have to push it back to a June release. It's really a wait-and-see game at this point, and like everyone else, I'm taking it one day at a time. As soon as I have a clearer idea of when I can have it ready, I'll be sure to post an update.
Until then, wash your hands, stay inside if you can, and be safe!
Purrfect Harmony is live early! Read it for free with your Kindle Unlimited subscription!
Kol Livingston believes in the so-called fairy tales, the clichés—love at first sight, soul mates, and happily-ever-afters. He wants it all, but after a series of failed relationships, he’s beginning to think he’ll never meet Prince Charming. He loves his job at Blackhaven Manor, but with all the gorgeous paranormals strutting around the hotel, why would anyone choose him?
When cheetah shifter and infamous bad boy, Remington Raines, is asked to perform for the Heritage Festival at Blackhaven Manor, he can’t say no. Literally. Still, an all-expenses-paid vacation from tour buses and screaming fans might be just what he needs. Falling for the quirky concierge with big, brown eyes and a smile that melts him, however, wasn’t part of the plan.
He’s used to people—men, women, supernatural and human—throwing themselves at him, but Kol doesn’t care about his fame or his money. He’s been hurt, and he’s not about to give his heart to just anyone.
Image is everything, but if Remington wants to win over this jaded human, he’ll have to dig deep and show Kol the man behind the reputation.
“Are you sure you’re okay?”
Kol backpedaled when Remington took a step toward him. “Yes, of course,” he said, inching around the other side of the sofa as he did up the buttons on his shirt. He frowned when the shifter followed. “What are you doing?”
He wasn’t afraid, and he had no reason to think the guy would hurt him. That didn’t stop his pulse from racing or his hands from shaking, though. Damn it, nobody had any right to look that good, especially when Kol was dripping wet and about nine shades of embarrassed.
“I just wanted to make sure that you—”
“I said I’m fine,” Kol snapped, then instantly regretted it. Taking a deep breath, he held it for a count of three before releasing it slowly. “Thank you for your concern, but I assure you, I’m not hurt. I should be getting back to my duties. If there is anything else you need to make your stay more enjoyable, just ring the front desk and ask for Kol.”
“Kol.” Remington bobbed his head as he said it, his smooth, deep voice wrapping around it like a caress. “It suits you.”
Since Kol had no idea what to say to that, he just dipped his head and moved closer to the exit.
“Actually,” Remington said, stopping him before he could make his exit, “could you do something about the candles and roses?”
Pausing with his hand on the frame of the open door, Kol glanced around the room, his brow furrowed, and his lips tugging down at the corners. “Would you prefer something different?”
“I’d prefer it if they were gone.” The shifter tucked two knuckles under his nose and sniffed. “It’s a little overwhelming.”
Wet, cold, and confused, Kol’s patience had reached its limit. “Then why did you request them?”
Remington arched an eyebrow at him. “I didn’t.”
“Yes, you did.” Great, now he sounded like a fucking toddler. He cleared his throat and tried to explain in a politer, more mature tone. “I was informed that the guests for the Orion Suite had several requests, including a precise number of vanilla-scented candles and exactly sixty-three white roses.”
Remington’s eyebrow quirked even higher, disappearing into his side-swept fringe. “I don’t know who told you that, but I assure you I didn’t request any of this.”
Great. Just freaking great. He’d nearly set himself—along with the entire room—on fire for nothing. “I apologize for the mix-up, and I’ll see that they’re removed right away.” He tried to rein in his temper and smile, but really, it felt more like a baring of teeth than anything remotely friendly.
“Will there be anything else?”
Breathing a sigh of relief, Kol nodded once. “The hotel has several excellent restaurants. Do you have a preference?”
“Nope.” Shoving his hands deep into the pockets of his faded, ripped jeans, Remington shrugged. “Whatever you think I’ll like best.”
He would want somewhere private, probably with low lighting so he wouldn’t be recognized. Cheetah shifter, so probably not a vegan, but fastidious about cleanliness and order.
“Will seven o’clock at Matchstick work?” He smiled a little more naturally when Remington indicated that it would. “Someone will call to confirm your reservation. I’m assuming a table for two?”
The guest list indicated the suite held a double occupancy for the duration of the stay. Kol didn’t know Ruger Raines, but if he went by context clues, he had to guess the man was related to Remington in some way. Maybe a brother. Possibly a cousin.
The shifter arched an eyebrow and gave him a disarming smile. “I guess that depends.”
“On?” He clenched the doorframe more tightly and tried to ignore the way that lopsided grin made his stomach do cartwheels.
Remington took another step toward him, his lips parting wider to reveal dazzling white teeth with extended canines. “What time do you get off work?”