Feb 27, 2011

Sunday Smooch

Welcome to another LoveCats DownUnder Sunday Smooch

Today we have a smooch from The Sentinel Mage, a fantasy novel with romantic elements, but first ...

the winner of last week's Sunday Smooch Giveaway is -- Ju Dimello!

Congratulations, Ju Dimello! Can you please contact Mel at

melteshco (at) yahoo (dot) com (dot) au

and she'll arrange for you to receive an e-copy of Moon Thrall.

Before we go into today's Smooch, I'd like to mention the Christchurch earthquake. Living only a few hundred kilometers from Christchurch, events there are very much in the forefront of my thoughts. For those of you who feel similarly helpless and would like to assist in some way, here's a link to donate to the Red Cross:


If the Red Cross site is overloaded, Oxfam are accepting donations on their behalf (100% of the donation will go to the Red Cross):


And here's a link to the Pet Emergency Earthquake Fund:


And now for today's Sunday Smooch from The Sentinel Mage by Emily Gee (me, when I'm not writing Regency romances)...

Her magic may be the only thing that can save a prince-and the Seven Kingdoms.

In a distant corner of the Seven Kingdoms, an ancient curse festers and grows, consuming everything in its path. Only one man can break it: Harkeld of Osgaard, a prince with mage's blood in his veins. But Prince Harkeld has a bounty on his head-and assassins at his heels.

Innis is a gifted shapeshifter. Now she must do the forbidden: become a man. She must stand at Prince Harkeld's side as his armsman, protecting and deceiving him.

But the deserts of Masse are more dangerous than the assassins hunting the prince. The curse has woken deadly creatures, and the magic Prince Harkeld loathes may be the only thing standing between him and death.

** Warning: Some Sensual Content **

Harkeld jerked awake, a shout in his throat and a feeling of fire in his blood. His heart galloped in his chest, kicking against his ribs.

‘Nightmare?’ a woman asked alongside him.

Harkeld took a deep, shuddering breath. He turned his head.

Fingers lightly touched his cheek, stroking. ‘It was just a dream.’

‘I know.’ He rolled on his side, reaching for her, drawing her close.

Slender arms came around his neck.

For several minutes he just held her, while the thunderous pace of his pulse slowed and the sensation of fire running through him faded. Then he bent his head and found her mouth. It opened to him shyly.

The kiss was slow, thorough. Heat began to rise in him again. Not flames, this time, but arousal. Harkeld slid his hands down the smoothness of her back and pressed her more closely to him—the softness of her breasts and belly, the tickling curls at her groin. Heat flushed sharply under his skin—and with it, urgency. He nudged her legs apart with his knee. This was what he needed: the warmth and softness of a woman, the uncomplicated pleasure of sex.

She broke their kiss and drew back slightly. ‘Harkeld... I’ve never done this before.’

He knew that voice. With the recognition came an image of her face: gray eyes, black hair, pale skin. Harkeld jerked awake. He stared up at a starry sky. Night air was cold on his face. A body was pressed against his side: Justen. He heard his armsman’s slow breathing.

Tell me I didn’t just dream that.

He scrubbed his face with a hand, squeezing his eyes shut, trying to erase the dream from his mind—the witch’s mouth opening for his kiss, her body pressing so softly and warmly against him. He’d been about to bed her, to bury himself in her. His body still wanted to. Arousal thrummed in his blood.

Not a witch. Never a witch.

To be in the draw to win a signed copy of The Sentinel Mage, please share with us the titles of some of your favourite fantasy novels and why you like them so much.

Come back next Sunday, when the winner of today's giveaway will be announced -- and a smooch from One Night With The Wolf by Anna Hackett will be posted.


  1. Yay :) Thanks so much for picking me a smooch winner !!!!

    Ouch, yes its hard to see the news regarding earthquakes and wishing everyone there is fine!

    Fantasy novels.. I loved the Georgina Kinkaid series from Richelle Mead. It is gripping, sensuous and overall a thrilling succubus set of stories :) Can't wait for the last one to be released ;)

    Then Rachel Vincent's YA - the soul screamers.. that's also really awesome :)

    And Gena Showalter's - the lords of underworld series...mouth watering ;)

  2. Congratulations on your win, Ju! And thanks for the recommendations. They all sound fabulous -- I'm going to have to hunt them down!

  3. Emily
    My heart go out to the people of Christchurch they are in my thoughts

    Denise Rossetti has written some great books that I have really enjoyed The Shadow and the Flame and The Thief of Light. I love the worlds that are created in these books so different authors that write fantasy novels have the best imagination

    Have Fun

  4. Emily
    I forgot to say how much I loved the excerpt this is a book I must read

    Have Fun

  5. I really enjoyed the excerpt too! I just recently got into reading this genre and my favorite author for last year is Kathryne Kennedy. I read Beneath the Thirteen Moons and The Fire Lord's Lover (first in a series) and can't wait for more. I've always loved being taken away in my reading and these new worlds are fantastic and have me totally convinced there could be such a place.

  6. Hmm...some of the recent fantasy that I've read and loved are The Magical Sword Series by Stacey Kennedy and Everlong by Hailey Edwards. I love Stacey's because of her heroines sense of humor. Hailey's are a favorite because of her sigh worthy heroes!

  7. The book I loved as a kid (and watched as a show on TV) was "Under the Mountain", one of the books your father wrote. I still have it - a lot worse for wear - and I've read it to all my classes and they've loved it.

    The elements in it that stood out for me first, Rachel & Theo were red-headed twins (how cool!), the book was set in NZ (a "local" book), and just the idea of the tunnels and stones the twins used with their minds was fascinating to an 11y.o.kid.

    My first trip to NZ was inspired by this book and I made sure to check out Mt.Eden, Rangitoto and the Auckland harbour. I was so thrilled to discover and walk the same carpark Theo did in his quest to throw his stone into the crater. Really, really cool.

    As a teen I read The Last T'En series by Cory Daniells (aka Rowena Cory Daniells) and anything by Mercedes Lackey (although I adored the Heralds of Valemars series). The world-building was incredible in both author's books, and the characters unforgettable.

    The Dragons of Pern series (Anne McCaffrey) - another world-building masterpiece - but I do love dragons, so reading the series was a must. LOL

    I'm afraid I have a long list of good fantasy books but I'll stop there. And don't even get me started on paranormal romance books!

  8. Hi Helen -- Denise is a good writer, isn't she? Thanks for the recommendations, I'll chase up those two books.

    Glad you enjoyed the excerpt!

  9. Hi catslady! That's a very strong recommendation for Kathryne Kennedy -- I'll look out for her books!

  10. Emily, that smooch is so intriguing! Can't wait to read this one - I love stories that involve magic.

    Re: fantasy, I distinctly remember a Christmas holidays when I was a teenager when I read the entire Dune series. Not interested in reading them again, but it was so absorbing at the time!

  11. Two more new names for me to read, Cindy L -- and for such excellent reasons! Humour is always good, and as for sigh-worthy heroes... Thanks for the recommendations!

  12. Wow, Kylie -- thanks SO much for sharing that! My Dad will be so chuffed when I tell him! The twins were red-headed because the book was for me and my sister, who both have red hair (no, we're not twins). And yes, it's fun to visit the places in Auckland where the action took place!

    That's a good list of recommendations you've got there -- and they're all names I know, for once! There are so many good fantasy writers, aren't there?

  13. The entire Dune series? That must have been a marathon, Rachel! I recently reread Dune -- he was one heck of a writer, Frank Herbert!

  14. OMGoodness, Rachel, the ENTIRE Dune series in a summer? I read them over a year. Like you, they were great but I've never gone back to them.

    Oh, what a thrill that your dad featured a bit of his girls in the book, Emily. I should've made the red-headed connection! LOL

    Say hi to your dad for me and a huge THANK YOU for a wonderful book. It's been a terrific story to share with the kids in my classes - some of those "kids" are now in their late teens but a couple have told me they remember certain books that I read to them in class.

    One girl (actually her name is Rachel!), remembers UNDER THE MOUNTAIN quite vividly. I'd say it's the name association thing. She admitted to having dreams about the Wilberforces (not sure they were good ones considering) - LOL!

  15. Kylie, I just read both your comments to my Dad and he was very chuffed and asked me to thank you -- so thank you, Kylie! We're all thrilled that you loved Under The Mountain so much!

  16. Okay, need to modify my earlier claim. Just read the synopses of the Dune books on Wikipedia (and am now cross-eyed after reading all that small font!) and realise I only know the plots of the first three. So I only read 3 of the series on that summer holiday. Very interesting to read what happened next on wikipedia, though!

  17. Ooh, great excerpt, Emily. The more I read about The Sentinel Mage the more I want to read it.

    I haven't read much fantasy in recent years. I have the next installment of the Thomas Covenant series in my tbr pile (am waiting for the right moment). Ooh, but I did read the Phillip Pullman Amber Spyglass trilogy and that was a big wow!

    Perennial fave is The Lord of the Rings. I used to read it every Christmas holidays.

  18. Only three? Rachel, that's much less impressive -- but still two more than me!

  19. Thanks, Michelle. Yes, Phillip Pullman's great, isn't he? Have to confess, I haven't read The Lord of the Rings -- I found it too long-winded . Glad you enjoyed it, though!

  20. Gorgeous smooch, Emily - I felt quite sorry for Harkeld that it was just a dream!

    Reading the comments about fantasy novels for children reminds me about a book I read - I would have sworn it was called The Tesseract but after doing some Googling, I've realised it was Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time. Elements of the story have stuck with me for years. Same with The Hobbit. That was read aloud in class when I was about nine years old. I was terrified of that particular teacher and those reading sessions were the only bright spots I remember from that year at school!


  21. Ha! Yeah, poor old Harkeld has a hard time in this book -- he's definitely not a happy camper.

    Gosh, it sounds like The Hobbit was a lifesaver for you that year at school! I bet you'll be keen to see the movie when it comes out?

  22. Typical plot of a hero's quest to right a ancient wrong and save the world. The main characters are well rounded and have enough emotion to be interesting but not too much to be annoying. The other characters are also fleshed out enough to keep the story moving along. The plot moves fairly quickly and usually sticks to one story line. There is a second story line but it doesn't even begin to make its place in the novel until the very end of the book-kind of confusing as to why it is there at first. The plot is complex enough not to be boring but simple enough to follow with out difficulty.

  23. Hi Emily. I have been searching in vein for news or plans for the publication of the rest of the cursed kingdom series. Could you please share ...