Beltane is an erotic paranormal romance by Erin O’Riordan. Its main characters, twin sisters Zen and Allie, are a pair of witches in the contemporary Midwest. After all, what’s Halloween without a few witches?
The Excerpt: Orlando dreamed of the shaded wood, of a forest so lush and thick with springtime foliage that the sunlight came in indistinct and hazy. In this dream, he closed his eyes, his feet firmly planted on a grassy hillock strewn with wildflowers. He breathed in their scent, breathing in too the scent of the still, green lake that lapped at the foot of the hillock. A memory of Slovenia, perhaps. Then, strangely, he heard laughter. Little giggles from the shrubs. Women. He opened his eyes in this dream, and saw them all around him, surrounding him. They wore gauzy gowns that covered little. Zen was there. Zen, the beautiful stranger, with her pale-blonde hair, loose and falling down her back, her bright blue eyes full of mischief. She beckoned him down the hillock, toward the water.
Orlando shook his head. He looked around at all the faces of the women. They were beautiful, all of them, the blondes, the redheads and the bronze-skinned women with the curling black hair. But something about them saddened him. There was something about them not quite natural, not quite real. Something about them was not to be trusted. They circled around him, dancing, their voices rising to the forest canopy with high, ringing laughter.
At last he found Catherine’s face among them. Catherine, the most beautiful woman of them all. She wasn’t laughing, only smiling the reassuring smile that told him she loved him and that everything was going to be all right. At the lake’s edge, Zen splashed in frustration. Zen stuck out her bottom lip and pouted. But Orlando ignored her, holding out his arms toward Catherine. If he could only reach her, he thought, everything would be all right. If he could only reach her. But she seemed to slip further and further from his grasp, until he lost sight of her among the women. He thought he faintly glimpsed her blonde hair disappearing into the darkness of the woods.
He felt the water lap over his foot, and thought Zen had splashed him. Instead, he looked down and saw his foot—was no longer his foot, butut a goat’s hoof where his funky red-and-brown suede shoe had been before, and it was sinking into the lake. Zen had a hold of his arm now. She was dragging him down the hillock and into the lake. He tried to steady himself, tried to grasp at the grasses and flowers as if they would hold him. But Zen’s strength was much greater than he’d ever imagined. He was in the lake up to the waist now, and she was still pulling. A strange song rang through the woods.
The Giveaway: Just leave a comment and an e-mail address for a chance to win an e-book copy of Beltane! If I get more than 8 comments, I’ll pick two winners. The book is suitable for readers 18 and up.