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SPOTLIGHT ~ More than a Phoenix by Ashlyn Chase

   

 
What do you get when you take

Two phoenix shifter brothers

Throw in one powerful witch

And one…monkey shifter?

Mallory Summers is losing it. She’s discovered she can talk to dead people—and she might be able to shift to monkey form. Firefighter Dante Fierro knows the quirky beauty isn’t crazy—just supernatural. But what would she think if she knew his secret?

Hothead Noah Fierro has his own sparks flying with gorgeous ER doctor Kizzy Samuels. While the attraction is mutual, so are the supernatural secrets. With this much sizzle going on, how do you not get burned?

Fighting fires is easy… Finding love is the hard part.

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Excerpt:

Mallory Summers was trying to chat with a nice young man about the weather, but couldn’t help being distracted by two old biddies sitting on the bus bench, peaking at her from under their umbrellas.

One old woman leaned toward the other and whispered loudly, “Tsk. Tsk. Such a sweet young thing…”

“It’s a shame,” said the other one.

Shame? Should I be ashamed for chatting up a nice-looking guy and offering to share my umbrella? Just to make sure the gossips knew how unashamed she was, she turned back to the young man and spoke louder. “Yeah, I saw the weather report this morning. It’s supposed to rain until about noon.”

The guy just nodded. He was a little hard to engage in conversation.

Still, she persisted. “That will probably keep people at home, so my work at the mall will be slow.”

Out of the corner of her eye, she spotted one of the women waddling up to a guy in uniform. They were farther away, so she couldn’t hear what they were saying.

A few moments later, he approached her slowly. He was a handsome devil. She could only imagine what the interfering old woman had said. Probably warned him not to be taken in by the young lady’s flirtatious ways.

“Uh, hi,” the guy said, smiling. He had stunning brown eyes, with thick, dark lashes most women would envy. One of the patches on his uniform looked just like the one on her uncle’s Boston Fire Department uniform.

She suddenly realized he looked familiar. “Hi. Do I know you?”

The young man paused. His smile turned into a grin, lighting up his handsome face. “I know you. You’re Mallory Summers.”

“Right—and you are…”

“Dante Fierro, and I’m wondering who you’re talking to.”

“Huh?” Well, that’s rude. Why should anybody care? She was about to say as much when she turned back to the guy in question to apologize for everyone else’s bad manners—but he was gone.

“Where did he go?” she asked.

“Where did who go?”

“The man… I don’t know his name. And—wait a minute… You’re the Dante Fierro from high school?”

“Yup. So you do remember me.”

“Of course.”

“Do you always hold conversations with blank air?”

“What the heck are you talking about?”

“Mallory, these ladies have seen you at this bus stop three times, talking to yourself. They won’t call the cops, because you’re not doing anything illegal, and they don’t want to call an ambulance, which would be expensive, but they’re worried about you.”

Mallory jammed her hands on her hips and strode over to the two old ladies. “You should be minding your own business.”

They leaned away from her as if they might catch an airborne virus.

“Mallory…” Dante gentled his voice. “I don’t live far from here. Why don’t you come over for coffee and we can talk.”

“Because I have to go to work. I take two buses to get to my job at the Union Mall.”

“I can drive you.”

The weather didn’t look like it was going to let up, and a nice warm car sounded good. She shrugged. “I don’t want to put you out. You look like you’re on your way to work too.”

“I’m on my way home, actually. Come on. It’s no trouble.”

She smiled. “Well, now that I realize who you are, it would probably be okay to accept a ride. After all, it’s not like you’re a complete stranger.”

“Good.” He stuck out his elbow like he was escorting her to a fancy ball. “Let’s go.”

She slipped her hand into the crook of his arm and gave the old busybodies a glare as they passed.

He lived around the corner in a nice two-family house on L Street, a stone’s throw from the main drag, which bordered the beach.

“I shouldn’t stay for coffee. I can get coffee at the mall. Is that your car?” She nodded toward a black Camaro with bright-red racing stripes down the side.

“Yup. My brother Noah calls it my wife.”

“Your wife? Why?”

“Because I named her Joanna, and I take good care of her. He says it’s because she eats up half my paycheck.”

She giggled. “Okay. Well, nice to meet you, Joanna.” As they approached the passenger’s side, she realized how talking to an inanimate object might also make her look like a crazy person—and he’d already caught her talking to, what…a dead guy? Maybe someone who stepped in front of a bus many years ago… She still wasn’t sure what was going on. Could two old ladies be punking her?

He just smiled, dug the key fob out of his pocket, and opened the door for her.

She settled herself on the comfortable leather seat and looked around. His car was indeed in pristine condition. It didn’t have that new car smell, but it looked as if it could have.

He jumped into the driver’s seat and pulled out of the driveway. “Where to?”

“I work at the mall in Somerville. I thought I already said so.”

He drove in the general direction of the expressway, but stayed quiet for a few moments. At last, he asked, “Mallory, are you sure you should be going to work?”

She reared back and stared at him. What was he saying? And did she want to know? “Yeah. Why wouldn’t I?”

He glanced over at her. “It’s just that… Well, you… I mean…”

“Just say it, Dante. You think I’m nuts.”

“No, not nuts. I wouldn’t put it that way, but maybe…I don’t know, stressed?”

“Nope. I’m an artist, and having a creative outlet decreases stress. To pay the bills, I take professional portraits at the mall. Kids’ photos mostly. But I like kids, so that’s not very stressful either.”

“Please don’t be offended, but…are you on drugs?”

She burst out laughing. “No. Are you?”



About the Author

Ashlyn Chase was a registered nurse for twenty years.  During those years she wrote articles for professional journals and a thesis, but eventually, thank goodness, discovered the joy and freedom of writing fiction.

Ashlyn considers herself lucky.  Her degree in behavioral sciences is a combination of psychology and sociology, so she has studied people most of her life.   She doesn’t have to write out exhaustive character sketches to understand her characters or predict how they will behave.  That doesn’t mean they don’t surprise her.  Sometimes they take her on grand unexpected journeys. 

Ashlyn has learned to go with the flow.  To enjoy the journey is not only one of her writing goals, but also a challenge in life.  She tries to follow where the story takes her.  Her identified theme involves characters who reinvent themselves.  And why not?  She has reinvented herself numerous times—from artist, to nurse, to hypnotherapist, to author, and she has lived in seventeen different places.  At last, she’s all settled down and comfy in New England.

Is there a grand design or do we decide our own fates?  Perhaps if the powers-that-be have a plot, then they also give us the right to revise it.

10 Surprising Facts About Romance Novels

Ashlyn’s Take on the Value of Romance Novels

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SPOTLIGHT ~ Never Dare a Dragon (Boston Dragons #3) by Ashlyn Chase

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Blurb

Third in Ashlyn Chase’s light paranormal romance series featuring hot dragon shifters. No one would believe that lovely Lt. Kristine Scott of the NY Fire Department is an actual dragon, but there’s no denying the flames that ignite when she meets firefighting phoenix shifter Jayce Fierro.

One Boston Phoenix + One New York Dragon = Scorching Heat
You think it’s tough being a dragon? It’s a piece of cake compared to being a phoenix shifter. Dragon shifters just have to worry about accidentally setting their stuff (or a loved one) on fire. A phoenix can rise from the ashes, but then they have to start over…as if growing up once wasn’t tough enough..

Meet Lt. Jayce Fierro of the Boston Fire Department, and Kristine Scott of the FDNY. A long distance relationship could never work—especially not with the secrets they’re keeping. But when Kristine lands herself in a blaze of trouble, she’s in no position to turn down Jayce’s help. Even if it means letting down their guards…and giving in to their sizzling attraction.

Boston Dragons Series:
I Dream of Dragons (Book 1)
My Wild Irish Dragon (Book 2)
Never Dare a Dragon (Book 3)


What People Are Saying About My Wild Irish Dragon:

“This is a great addition to Chase’s stellar library.” — RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
“Fantastic.” — Night Owl Reviews, 5 Stars, Top Pick!
“A sexy and fun paranormal romance.” — Booklist


Excerpt

The rest of the dinner went well. In fact, Kristine was surprised by how well it was going. She hadn’t dated a guy like Jayce in a long time. Their connection seemed to be almost instantaneous. It was just too bad he was a firefighter—and lived three hours away as the Acela train flies. Actually, a quick plane ride would reduce the commute to only an hour and a half, but the hassle and time it took to go through security would make the trip even longer.
Walking down the wide sidewalks of Times Square, hand in hand, sure made her feel as if the trip might be worth the hassle. His hand was warm and rough. For once she wasn’t concerned that hers were the same way. No hand cream could stand up to a firefighters’ routine. Wet gloves, rough weather, unbearable heat… All of that detracted from the soft, supple skin she longed for.
They had decided over dinner to visit the top of the Empire State Building. Jayce had never been there before, and Kristine had only visited with friends—never a date. It was supposed to be romantic. She’d never understood why. Probably because her cynical ex-boyfriend thought it was hokey. As she glanced over at Jayce, he glanced back, and they smiled. One thing she wasn’t seeing in him was a city dweller’s pessimism. Its absence was a refreshing change.
Eventually, they arrived at their destination, and as luck—or the stars aligning at the right moment—would have it, they stepped into an elevator with no one right behind them. The doors whooshed closed while they were still alone.
She spun toward Jayce with a hand over her mouth. “I guess that wasn’t very nice of me. I probably should have waited.”
He stepped right into her space. “I’m glad you didn’t.”
As the elevator began to ascend, he leaned in and captured her mouth with his firm lips. She looped her arms around his neck, and he pulled her close. She immediately opened her mouth, and their tongues found each other and swirled together. Kristine wasn’t at all sure her light-headed feeling was due to the elevator traveling so fast. Unfortunately, she felt as if she were falling instead.
Don’t think about it. Whatever happens happens… She seemed to have found a new mantra. She heard the ding of the elevator doors opening, and they were greeted by chuckles and a wolf whistle.
“Yeah, yeah…” Jayce said, but he was grinning and holding Kristine’s hand as they made their way off the elevator.
When they spotted a space at the building’s edge that was fairly deserted, they walked over to it with no hesitation.
“You’re not afraid of heights, I guess…” Jayce said to her.
She laughed. “I’d be in deep trouble if I were.” Not only was she a firefighter in a company that specialized in high-rises, but she was a full-fledged, fire-breathing, wing-soaring dragon. She could hover at this height and enjoy the view.
Speaking of enjoying the view…
Jayce turned his back on the dazzling city lights and kissed her knuckles as he stared into her eyes. She felt as if her insides were melting. A deep shimmer in his eyes must have been reflecting the lights. Or not. His eyes seemed to glow for a moment, and then he quickly turned back toward the city.
She took her first good look at the city lights as well. Dear Lord. At last she realized why people thought this place was romantic. At night, so many lights against the velvet black sky were more beautiful than Christmas. Some even seemed to twinkle like stars. Below, white headlights and red taillights trailed through the landscape, but the sounds of the city were far away.
A chilly breeze ruffled her hair. Jayce enveloped her in a side hug. If she felt a chill, it was forgotten in favor of his warm, strong body alongside hers. Everywhere they touched, merging heat radiated through her. Wow. How she’d missed this! Or had she ever had this feeling?
Good Lord, Kristine… Get ahold of yourself!
“So, Jayce… What do you think of the view from up here?”
He turned her toward him and said, “I think the view right in front of me is as beautiful as it gets.” Leaning in, he delivered another toe-curling kiss, and she realized she was a goner.


About the Author

Ashlyn Chase has been a registered nurse for 20 years. During those years, she wrote articles for professional journals and a thesis, but eventually, thank goodness, discovered the joy and freedom of writing fiction.

Ashlyn considers herself lucky. Her degree in behavioral sciences is a combination of psychology and sociology, so she has worked with and studied people most of her life. She never has to write out exhaustive character sketches to understand her characters or predict how they will behave. That doesn’t mean they don’t surprise her. Sometimes they take her on grand unexpected journeys. For her, it gives “character driven novels” a whole new meaning.

Ashlyn has learned to go with the flow. To enjoy the journey is not only one of her writing goals, but also a challenge in life so she tries to follow where the story takes her. As such, she has lived in 17 different places over the years. At last, she’s all settled down and comfy in New England. 

Is there a grand design or do we decide our own fates? Perhaps if the powers-that-be have a plot, then they also give us the right to revise it. Ashlyn has certainly made detours on her path, but she thinks she’s better for it. She’s having fun at any rate and hopes that if she enjoys the journey, so will those around her—including her readers.


 

BOOK SPOTLIGHT ~ My Wild Irish Dragon by Ashlyn Chase

ONE JOB OPENING

TWO SHIFTERS APPLY…

SPARKS FLY

9781492610090-PR

Blurb:

Dragon shifter Chloe Arish is hell-bent on becoming a Boston firefighter. She uses her Irish charm and fake documents to score an interview, knowing she has to work every bit as hard as a man—harder if she wants their respect.

Born into a legendary Boston firefighting family, phoenix shifter Ryan Fierro can’t possibly let someone best him on the training course or the job. He’d never hear the end of it. When a feisty new recruit comes along who’s determined to do just that, Ryan plots to kick her out—until their sizzling chemistry turns explosive…


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Excerpt

“Are you sure you’re up for this?” Ryan asked.

Chloe had her gym bag over her shoulder and laughed. “Why? Did that little hotel fire yesterday tucker you out?”

He grinned. “What fire?”

“Exactly. I thought a big city like this would be a lot busier.”

“I know from listening to family members that it can be crazy busy. Sitting around and waiting for something to happen was the hardest thing about yesterday.”

“I’m looking forward to the physical exercise,” Chloe said.

“Me too.” He held open the door for her.

She had almost given up on trying to change his “ladies first” mentality. It seemed as if that was ingrained in his makeup. Obviously he’d had no sisters who were willing to run up and over his back to be first.

“So, what do you think of this twenty-four hours on and four days off schedule?” he asked as they waited for the elevator.

She laughed. “Yeah, the schedule is feckin’ crazy. But I guess we hit it right. It could just as easily have been three or four days round the clock, and then a day off.”

“That would have been fine by me. I get bored easily.”

The elevator arrived and they stepped inside. Chloe didn’t address his comment. It was hard to tell if it was his competitive nature again, or if he just meant it as an innocent comment.

She would see if his competitive streak showed itself again soon enough. They changed in their respective locker rooms and met at the weightlifting equipment.

As she spotted him, he lifted more weight than she thought the average man could manage. But Ryan was proving he was anything but average.

The weight he kept adding to the barbells was bordering on ridiculous. His skin glistened with a fine sheen of sweat, and she couldn’t help noticing his muscles. Damn it all, her mouth watered. Don’t drool, Chloe. He has enough of an ego without you feeding it.

At last it was her turn. He started removing the weights, and she said, “Leave ’em.”

He cocked a brow. “Seriously? You think you can lift this?”

“I can.”

He smirked. “All right, princess. I’ll let you try…but just so you know, I’m going to hover. You don’t need an injury before your next shift.”

She rolled her eyes. “Fine. Hover all you want. I’m tellin’ you, I can do this.”

As he stood behind her and she lay on the bench below the barbell, he chewed his lower lip. Ah, a tell. Now she knew when he was nervous.

Her toned arms looked even leaner as she reached for the barbell.

“Don’t,” he said and clamped his hand over the middle of the bar.

“Excuse me? It’s my turn.”

“I know, but I can’t let you do this. Even if you did manage to lift it, the strain isn’t worth it. You need your arm strength for the job.”

At that moment a woman appeared dressed as if she were auditioning for a remake of the ’80s movie Flashdance—complete with leg warmers and a poofy perm.

“I need to speak with you, miss,” she said.

“I’m in the middle of—”

“Now!” The woman grabbed her hand and all but yanked her off the bench, then marched her to the ladies locker room. When they saw a couple of women chatting, the staff member barked, “Leave!” They immediately scurried out.

“Jaysus, there’s no need to be—”

Suddenly the woman transformed into none other than Mother Nature herself. Her hair turned white, long, and loose, and she wore her signature ivory robe, belted with a vine.

Chloe gasped. She had only met the deity once, but it was a meeting she’d never forget. One isn’t often lectured by the Goddess of all. And here she was, almost breaking the rule she’d been lectured about.

“What do you think you’re doing?”

When she recovered her decorum, Chloe answered, “Defending the right of women to be as strong as a man.”

Mother Nature paced, staring at her with narrowed eyes. “Are you an ‘idjit,’ as your people would say?”

Chloe folded her arms. “Not a’tall.”

“I beg to differ. What if I had been a real staff member? Without the muscle to back up your ability, you’d reveal that you’re supernatural. You know that’s not allowed.”

“I—I…”

“Yeah. I-yi-I! Not. Good. Downright stupid.”

“I get it! You don’t have to insult me intelligence.”

“Oh, I think I do. If I were sweet about it, would you listen?” She mockingly said in a meek voice, “If it’s not too much trouble…that is, if you wouldn’t mind…would you kindly refrain from trying to show your strength?”

Chloe had to agree. She’d steamroll a request like that and do whatever she wanted. And she wanted to show Ryan she was his equal.

“I understand your competitive nature. Hell, I gave it to you! I thought women might need it, being the smaller, gentler sex.”

“So you knew we’d have to prove we’re equal?”

Mother Nature rolled her eyes. “Again. Just who do you think you’re talking to?”

“Oh.”

“Now, go out there and take at least half the weight off that barbell. If you can’t do that, make up an excuse to leave.”

Chloe sighed. “Yes, ma’am. I’ll make up an excuse and go home.”

Mother Nature’s eyes widened and she rose about a foot off the floor. “I hate being called ma’am! It’s Goddess, or Gaia, or Mother Nature. Understand?”

“I do. My apologies, Goddess.”

She nodded and floated to the floor again. “That’s better.” She patted Chloe on the head. “Now be a good little dragon and pretend to be normal.”

Oh, that rankled. But when dealing with the Goddess of all, the least of her problems was a little patronizing behavior—or would it be matronizing? Whatever. The woman could reduce her to ash if she wanted to. Her fireproof gift could be removed in the blink of an eye, and then where would she be? Reduced to competing with the others on a human basis. Ugh.

Chloe changed into her street clothes and found Ryan. She waved her cell phone. “Sorry. I got a call from my brother. Apparently he needs me right away.”

“Oh. Sure,” Ryan said as he put the free weights back in the rack. “Just give me a minute to change and I’ll drive you home.”

“Not necessary. I can find my way.”

“Are you sure? I don’t mind leaving early. Maybe I can help.”

“Ah, no. It’s a family matter. I’ll see you at work in a few days.”

When she saw the disappointed look on his face, she impulsively invited him to their session at the Boston Uncommon Tea Room the following night. During training she had told him that her family formed a small Irish folk band and he’d said he liked that kind of music.

Now she had to think up a plausible family emergency and ask Rory and Shannon to play along.

 


About the Author10371298_671881672894214_5703264970652933328_o

ASHLYN CHASE specializes in characters that reinvent themselves, having reinvented herself numerous times. She has a degree in behavioral sciences and has worked as a psychiatric and a Red Cross nurse for several years. She lives with her real-life hero husband in New Hampshire.

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