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We are writers mainly from Australia and New Zealand who write speculative fiction with romantic elements. Be it fantasy, paranormal, dark urban fantasy, futuristic and everything in between.

Friday 20 December 2019

Magic Thursday: The Devil Worshipper

with Cathleen Ross

It seems somehow fitting that as I drive up today to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains that the area is on fire because that is the place where I first met the devil worshipper. 

So let me take you back a few steps so you can see how it came about.

Next to Blackheath train station lies a sweet little shop where a lovely blond woman made beautiful medieval outfits. I liked to potter there, dreaming about medieval creations, except when I went in this time the energy had changed. My psychic side recognised it before I did. It didn’t feel right. Amongst the medieval gown were small, dark, Gothic gargoyle and dragon statues, and then I saw him. Radiating demonic energy, the man was over six foot, with a huge beard and large belly. Something about our energy recognised each other. He turned to face me.

Now I know another psychic when I see one but in those days, I hadn’t been trained to put up my psychic shield. Instead, I pretended not to see him, turned my back and left, my head full of images of a giant slab, a naked woman lying on it and people dressed in hoods. It was sexual and sadistic and the devil worshipper was looking for another victim.

I returned to Sydney, keen to put distance between us, but we all know that physical distance is not the same as psychic distance, right?

Source: Deposit Photos
That night in deep sleep, he came again, looking for me. He had the ability to scry and he had found me safely tucked up in my bed. I shut him out immediately, roared at him, swore at him for invading my privacy and closed down his energy. I can be quite fierce in my mind.

A couple of weeks later in Blackheath, I noticed the shop had closed but the lovely woman who ran it had opened up on the other side of the road. However, the door was locked. I had to buzz to get in. Gone were the statues, but the energy had turned to one of terror. I asked the woman what had happened and she told me a man had come in with a knife and had robbed her. I knew he was connected to the devil worshipper. I also knew the devil worshipper had seduced her in order to get his pamphlets and statues into her shop but of course, I couldn’t say that.

When I asked her about the devil worshipper, she admitted to the affair but she was terrified of him.  All she would say was, “I’m only interested in the costumes.”

She was too frightened to speak, but I knew so much more lurked beneath the surface.

Cathleen's latest release is Rough and Ready (Book 2, Outlaw Warriors)

Before special ops soldier Hugo Boudreaux can move on, he has one last thing to do–fulfill a wartime debt to the friend who saved his life. He must infiltrate a vicious Louisiana MC club to stop their next illegal weapons shipment and send the president to jail. What he didn’t plan on was ending up an unwilling bodyguard to the man’s daughter–innocent and attractive nurse Alice Kaintuck.

Alice wants a normal life with a nice guy. But her rough-edged bodyguard is the sexiest man she's ever met. Suddenly she can’t stop thinking about just how hot he makes her. Before she knows it, she’s tumbling into his muscular arms…though she'll be damned if she'll fall in love with a man as dangerous as her father. Only Hugo doesn’t make love, he consumes her and turns her life upside down with his carnal, erotic sex. Dreams of nice guys vanish when her enemy becomes her obsession…

Cathleen Ross likes to write about the quirky side of life. Her characters often have psychic abilities because she comes from a family of psychics. She thought she was a "Sweet" writer until she was asked to write her first erotic story, sold it immediately and never looked back. Her first novel, Man Hunt sold to Black Lace/Random House. Man Hunt became the number one best selling erotic novel on the Publisher's website in 2006 and has been translated into German. She is published with Harlequin Spice and Harlequin’s Escape publishing line as well as Entangled Publishing.

You can find Cathleen at her website: cathleenross.com 

Tuesday 3 December 2019

DarkSider News for December 2019


We've made it to December and again we have more great news for you. 


Kiss of Eon by Anna Hackett (Book 4, Eon Warriors) was released on 14 November in audio format.

When the vital alliance between Earth and the Eon Empire depends on her playing war games with an arrogant, infuriating Eon warrior, what could go wrong?

Terran Captain Allie Borden has her orders. Take her ship, the Divergent, and strengthen the alliance with the Eon by carrying out training exercises with the Eon warship, the Desteron. The only problem...one annoying warrior who gets on her nerves like nobody else. Forced to work with Second Commander Brack Thann-Felis, Allie finds her diplomacy skills stretched to the limit...and her body betraying her with a white-hot desire that’s getting hard to ignore.

Brack Thann-Felis is dedicated to his ship, his warriors, and his job. Watching his parents’ disastrous marriage has ensured that he will never mate or fall in love. Working with feisty, opinionated Allie tests his patience, but the more time he spends with the dedicated captain, the more he finds he can’t stay away from her.

As mysterious, dangerous sabotage events strike their ships, it becomes evident that someone wants their alliance to fail. They might have traitors among their crew and they both know it has to lead back to their enemy - the ravenous insectoid Kantos. Soon, Brack and Allie find themselves in a fight for their lives, with only each other to depend on, and a growing desire that will not be denied.

Available from:

Flour, Eggs, Sugar, and Magic by Daniel de Lorne (released as a standalone ebook and as part of the 2019 Advent Calendar) was released  by Dreamspinner Press on 1 December.

Wannabe witch Will Brand’s attempts at making magic cookies for the kids at a local shelter go awry when his ex-boyfriend messages and turns Will’s good energy to anger. Will has no idea there’s anything wrong with the cookies until his hunky roommate, Lucas, scarfs three of them, cursing himself with bad luck, unfettered hate, and ill health. In a race against time, Will must find a way to break the spell before accidents, ex-lovers, and a sudden illness make this Christmas Lucas’s last.

A story from the Dreamspinner Press 2019 Advent Calendar "Homemade for the Holidays."

Available from:

Silver and Solstice by TJ Nichols  (released as a standalone ebook and as part of the 2019 Advent Calendar) was released  by Dreamspinner Press on 1 December.

Calvin is good at two things: stealing and being the worst boyfriend ever. He can’t help his sticky fingers, even though Rafe has pleaded with him to stop. When a job goes horribly wrong, Calvin’s fate is in the hands of his silversmith boyfriend.

Rafe has done everything he can to put distance between himself and the restrictions of being a princeling. He has a craft, a shop, a shifter boyfriend, and lives a completely disreputable life.

But to save Calvin from spending Solstice in a cage, Rafe will have to step up and face his father, head of the city guard. Rafe’s father has had enough of Calvin flouting the law. Shifters are supposed to be collared in the city.

Calvin finally knows what to make for Rafe for solstice, though it breaks the promise they made to each other….

Available from:
Dreamspinner Press

The Vampire's Dinner by TJ Nichols was re-released on 14 November.

For vampire Charles Redfort, Christmas is a bitter reminder of the day he was killed by a werewolf. After fleeing the vampire army he was created to serve in, he has lived in exile in England. Once a year he allows himself to tell the truth about his life over dinner. Then he eats the man he’s hired for the night.

Blake Wells is an engineering student by day and escort by night. He works Christmas because he doesn’t want to see his father, and his mother doesn’t want to see him. When he meets Charles, he thinks he’s gotten a bonus present that he can’t wait to unwrap. But as the truth is revealed, Blake will have to think fast to live until morning and convince Charles to give up his lonely life.

Available from:

Elf on the Beach by TJ Nichols was re-released on 1 November.

Roone Sorley is an elf on a mission. He has one year to live in the mortal world and experience everything it has to offer before deciding if he is going to return to the North Pole and immortality or stay and become human. Christmas in Australia is all sun, sand, and surf. For Kyle Morgan, that means lots of tourists wanting to learn how to surf, but he hates Christmas. This time of year always reminds him about the family he doesn’t have.

With the clock ticking and only days left, Roone plans on making the most of the heat and the beach and his hot surfing instructor. Beyond that he has no idea what he wants. However with a little magic, he might be able to give Kyle exactly what he needs.

Available from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |

Princess Avenger by Bernadette Rowley (Book 1, Queenmakers Saga) is now available in print.

An Avenging Princess
Alecia is determined to protect her people from her tyrannical father. Her only worth is to have a son, who will be heir to the kingdom.

A Dangerous Shifter 
Vard is tasked with guarding a princess who refuses to be shielded from danger. His dark secret could spell the end of the woman he’s sworn to protect.

And yet, when thrown together, neither of them can deny the forbidden attraction. As their lives spin out of control, will love be enough to pull them from the vortex and perhaps save the kingdom?
Princess Avenger is the first book in the epic Queenmakers Saga, combining the sweeping high fantasy world of Thorius with sizzling romance. If you like magic, political intrigue and mythical creatures, wrapped up in a ‘beauty and the beast’ love story, then you’ll adore Princess Avenger. 

***This book contains sex scenes and is intended for mature readers.***

Available from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |

Redemption by Christina Phillips (Book 1, Realm of Flame and Shadow) was released 28 November. This book was previously published by Penguin US under another title and pen-name, but the current book has been completely re-imagined, rewritten and edited.

A fallen archangel saves a woman from a deadly fate, and unleashes an ancient power that could destroy the universe itself…

Gabe has no time for humans after the way they betrayed the ones he loved so long ago. But when he snatches a woman from the jaws of the hellish Guardians, he’s compelled to protect her at all costs. Even if she does drive him crazy with her smart mouth and refusal to fall under his archangelic spell.

Desperate to discover her true heritage, Aurora opens a rift between dimensions. But before she can enter her mother’s world, the most breathtakingly gorgeous man she’s ever met teleports her to an impossible island.

Thrown together, they can’t ignore the scorching lust that risks consuming them, or the threat to Aurora’s existence. When raw sex evolves into something far more dangerous, it’s more than their lives that are on the line.

As Gabe and Aurora race against time to outwit the Guardians, they come closer to uncovering an explosive revelation that will challenge everything they’ve ever believed in.

But deep in the shadows, the immortal Guardians lurk. And they have no intention of allowing Aurora to escape their clutches. Even if it means defying the wrath of an archangel.

Available from: 

Mercenary Ethics by Shona Husk (Book 2, Dead Suns) was released on 22 October.

Left for dead on a forgotten planet by his enemies, he’ll do anything to escape, including team up with the scientist who held a knife to his throat.

Mercenary Emry Dan made one mistake on a job and was captured by the powerful arms dealer Riel. While Emry suspected Riel had a place to test his weapons, he never expected to be one of the subjects. From the moment he wakes, he starts planning his getaway.

Scientist Marita Aleric worked for Riel until she started questioning how her research was being used. For ten days she’s survived on the weapons testing planet, fighting, scrabbling for supplies and weapons, and avoiding the infected. Any people who eat the plants become cannibalistic zombies.

When she finds Emry she wants to believe they can escape, especially when their reluctant partnership blossoms into romance. But can anything survive on a dead planet?

Note to readers: this is a gritty survival romance. There’s action, fighting, zombies and desperate sexy times.

Buy links

Shivers (2019 anthology by the Rockingham Writers Centre) contains two short stories by D.D. Line and was released in November.

A collection of spooky stories that is sure to haunt the reader long a fter lights out. Ghostly visitations, crimes of passion, cold-blooded murder and strange experiences that beggar belief feature in this anthology of short fiction by 16 writers connected through their passion for story-telling. Although the stories are linked by a common theme, they reflect a diversity of styles. Prepare to be chilled and entertained.

Available from:
Rockingham Writers Centre

Non spec-fiction

Mission: Her Freedom by Anna Hackett (Book 6, Team 52) will be released on 26 November.

A badass combat medic will do anything to save her friend and teammate, but on the run from some very bad guys, she starts to look at her tattooed tech geek friend in a very different way…

Former Naval Intelligence officer Brooks Jameson might have lots of muscles and ink, but he’s a proud geek. He loves computers and his job—taking care of all things tech for his covert, black ops team of badasses—Team 52. But when he finds himself snatched off a Las Vegas street and in the hands of some very bad people who are after a powerful, dangerous artifact, he knows he’s in a fight for survival. Then his teammate Callie Kimura—gorgeous and way-out-of-his-league—strides through the door to rescue him…

Callie’s childhood and career in the Air Force taught her to never risk loving anyone, because losing them leaves you bleeding. She has everything she needs as the medic for Team 52, and when Brooks gets abducted, she’ll do anything to get her friend back. But when they end up on the run together, Callie starts to see the hunky geek in a very different light.

As Callie and Brooks battle to stop a deadly artifact being used in an evil plan, they ignite a scorching desire that shocks them both. But some scars—and the demons that made them—run deep, and Brooks knows he’ll need all his intelligence, patience, and love to convince the beautiful combat medic to let her heart be free.

Available from:

Festive Love by Maggie Mundy (Book 4, The Connor Clan) is expected for  release on 19 December.

Christmas in Australia. The Connor Clan of Portland Oregon look after their own. Their Australian cousins do the same.

Jaxon Connor has nearly lost his farm in Tasmania and his father is sick in hospital. The last thing he needs is a nosey journalist poking around in his family’s past.

The fact is he spent a wild night of passion with this journalist and she got under his skin is beside the point.

Kathryn needs an article or she may lose her job. She needs to know more about Jax and his family.
Will she let her growing feelings for him get in the way of doing her job?

Available at:

How to Kiss A Bad Boy by Amanda Ashby (Book 1, How to Kiss) was released on 31 August.

A girl with a plan. A guy with a past. And a summer that could change everything.

Sixteen-year-old Frankie Hargreaves has her summer all figured out. Work at her aunt’s retro food truck, and have her first kiss with the cute guy from the surf shop. It’s foolproof. Until her aunt hires local bad boy, Jackson Lang to help out. Sure he’s cute. Okay, really cute. But Frankie knows what guys like him are like. All she needs to do is ignore him and stick to the plan. How hard can it be?

Jackson’s always lived in the shadow of his father’s criminal past, and is used to the world judging him. Which is just fine. He’s happy to keep to himself and look out for his mom and kid sister. That way he can’t be disappointed. Problem is the longer he works with the gorgeous Frankie, the more he starts to think perhaps there’s a chance for him to have a different life. 

Jackson isn’t the only one falling hard, but after two dates things get complicated and Frankie soon discovers her first perfect kiss might just lead to her first painful heartbreak.

Available from:
Amazon US | Amazon Aus |

How to Kiss Your Enemy by Amanda Ashby (Book 1.5, How to Kiss) was released on 13 November.

She doesn't know whether to kiss him or kill him...

Worst summer ever. It’s bad enough that smart girl, Via Mackenzie has been stuck in the middle of nowhere on her family’s annual camping trip, but it gets worse when her nemesis, Hudson Trent turns up. Still, she’s managed to avoid him for two years, and it’s not about to change now.

Hudson's having a bad week. Make that a bad year. Ditched by his warring parents and ignored by the girl he's been crushing on forever, he knows he only one he can rely on is himself. Which is a great plan, until Via literally falls from a tree and lands on him.

His quick thinking might have saved her from serious injury, but he ends up with a twisted ankle and a girl who thinks she owes him something. Forced to spend time together, Hudson remembers how much fun they used to have before everything went wrong.
Via's also struggling to ignore the spark between them, but can she trust him not to hurt her again?  Either way it’s going to be a summer they never forget.

Available at:

How to Kiss Your Crush by Amanda Ashby (Book 2, How to Kiss) was released on 15 October.

It’s been nearly a year since Blaise moved to the country in the name of love, and Dusty opened her heart to a city boy. It hasn’t been smooth sailing for either of them. This is their first Christmas together, and it could make or break them.

Has he proven his worth as a city boy to be able to survive living on the farm? Does he really need to prove himself, or is Dusty expecting too much?

Blaise wants to move to the farm, but Dusty is hesitant. Can she really trust him? The irrational doubt has risen from nowhere, and she’s grappling to work through it. It doesn’t help that the farm is also her mom’s home and three can be a crowd.

Can they work out their differences and make the final commitment to a future together?

Available from:


Witch Born by LJ Swallow (Book 1, Ravenhold Supernatural Reform Academy) is now expected for release in August 2020. 

I'm a hybrid witch born with the forbidden ability to wield all schools of magic. My family successfully hid me for years, but last week I accidentally raised the dead and revealed my illegal gifts. Now I'm facing time at Ravenhold supernatural reform academy.

Ravenhold detains dangerous juvenile offenders on a remote island until they're rehabilitated. All teens at the paranormal academy either possess forbidden powers from dark bloodlines or have used illegal magic. Ruthless hybrids walk amongst the shifters, witches, and vampires. They hold control over the academy, but they won't control me.

I plan to keep my head down, attend the classes, and hope for an early release from this supernatural prison. Until I meet the infamous Dorian Blackwood, the vampire-witch hybrid born with unparalleled supernatural abilities. Few people dare confront the cruel and charming savage, but Dorian's powers won't work on me--and his charm definitely won't.

Dorian may rule the academy's halls, but others challenge him. There's his main rival, Zeke, a shifter hybrid whose laidback manner hides a vicious streak. Ethan, the dragon shifter with elemental witch powers who's reserved but volatile. I'm the new hybrid at Ravenhold, and I intend to bring the ruthless Dorian to his knees.

Ravenhold places the four of us onto a new rehabilitation program. The academy tells us the program is a fast-track to release, but I'm not so sure. Something sinister is happening, and I no longer believe the hybrids are the most dangerous thing inside Ravenhold.

Will we be forced to unite to survive?

Witch Born is the first book in the Ravenhold series from USA Today bestselling author LJ Swallow. The stories are set in a supernatural reform academy with deliciously dangerous guys, a badass heroine who won't bow to anyone. Ravenhold is a slow burn, enemies to lovers reverse harem romance.

Pre-Order from: 

Please note this is a different link to the previous pre-order link made available. 

Congratulations to all our DarkSiders!

Thanks for sharing in our news. Until next time, happy reading!
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