Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Coreene Callahan is here guest blogging today to tell us about her brand new release KNIGHT AWAKENED!

I fell in love with Xavian (the hero of Knight Awakened, the first book in the Circle of Seven series) the instant I met him. From the moment he walked into my head, I knew he was special, the kind of guy I couldn’t take for granted. The depth of character he conveyed—his self-awareness, the alluring combination of strength and heart-breaking vulnerability—struck me. Within seconds, I wanted to know more: about him, his pain, and the terrible circumstances that brought him to brink.

Complex characters intrigue me. Especially when one arrives fully formed and with a boatload of attitude. 

Xavian was like that. Hardened by war and brutalized by circumstance, he strode in and tried to take over, to control the pace, play and direction of the story. He did a good job of it too…making me scramble to keep up with him and the elite group of assassins he leads. A force of nature packed into a gorgeous package, he’s a bad boy with serious attitude: a lover, a fighter, a strategist with the cunning of a chess player and the skills to back up every move. But more than anything, he’s a man in need of repair, a wounded warrior desperate to find acceptance and be loved by the right woman. 

I could go on and on about him—he fascinates me just that much—but decided instead, to show you. Below is an excerpt from KNIGHT AWAKENED. I love this scene. It’s the first time Xavian allows himself to be vulnerable with the woman destined to be his. So here it is… 

A glimpse of Xavian.

The desperate gleam in Xavian’s eyes scared her to death. The hard press of muscle locked around her and his pace didn’t help much either. Each long stride took Afina further from safety, into the cool shadows of the stable and closer to full-blown panic.
Had she overstepped her bounds? Was he angry with her for interfering?
She bit the inside of her cheek and looked up into his face.
He didn’t seem to be. Anger no longer lined his features. But then, nothing did. And his contained expression frightened her more than his fury would have. Something churned just before the surface, suppressed emotion she couldn’t see but knew was there.
“Xavian?” She kept her voice soft as she looped her arms around his neck. Startling him wasn’t a good idea. He was wound too tight, and she was too vulnerable...within striking distance. Not that she thought he would hurt her. But honestly? Better to be safe than sorry. “Please, stop.”
He slowed, the echo of his footfalls fading as he halted in the middle of the aisle. She held her breath, listening to the thump of his heart as he tightened his grip under her knees and turned his face into her hair. Each one of his breaths whispered over her temple, the hot rush sweet with a hint of mint.
Not knowing what else to do, her hand stole to the nape of his neck, seeking, stroking to ease his tension. He murmured, pressed closer, curling around her as though he needed her touch as much as he needed to breathe. A small pang echoed in the center of her chest. Something was terribly wrong. He was hurting. The strong, brave warrior was in pain, and she couldn’t stand it. Couldn’t let it continue. The healer in her wouldn’t allow it.
“Please, tell me what is wrong,” she whispered, fingers playing in his hair, sifting through the thickness. Good goddess, it was a wonder, the softness. She’d never imagined a man could have such beautiful hair. Not that she was noticing. No, not really. She touched to reassure, not to—
Drat. Now she was lying to herself.
She ordered her wayward hands to still. When neither listened, she returned her attention to Xavian. “Let me help you.”
A fine tremor racked his large frame.
She tightened her grip. “Put me down so I can help.”
“Nay,” he said, his voice half-growl, half-groan before he shuddered and moved forward, continuing into the interior of the stable. “You’re mine.”
Mine? Or rather, his? What the devil did that mean?
“Ah, Xavian, I think mayhap...” She trailed off, catching a glimpse of movement in her periphery. Three stable lads, pitchforks hanging from limp hands, gaped at them, mouths wide open. Wonderful. Now they had an audience. She glanced at Xavian, knowing he wouldn’t approve. He was having some sort of breakdown, and no man worth his weight would relish witnesses for that.
Afina hung on as he took a sharp right at the end of the aisle. Two strides later, and he’d walked them through a doorway and into the tack room beyond. Sacks of grain occupied one corner,fat companions to the array of bridles hanging on the chamber walls. The long leather strips hovered above saddle horses, some in use, some patiently awaiting the weight of their next charge. With little room to maneuver, Xavian stopped in the center of the room and, one arm still around her, dropped her feet to the floor.
As she found her balance, he murmured, “La dracu, you feel good...so warm.”
The whispered words tickled the side of her neck then rolled like a dark wave down her spine. His voice was decadent. The resonance one of perfect pitch; deep enough to tie her up, light enough to make her want to relax and trust and give. But two years of running—of Vladimir—had ruined any chance of that.
Her hands flat against his chest, she pushed, needing distance. He tightened his grip, shackling her against him while he inhaled, burrowing deep to press his lips to her pulse point.
The contact—mouth to neck, skin to skin—hit her like a thunderstorm, and heat gathered with an alarming rumble. “I, ah...Are you all right?”
“I’m so cold inside...so cold.”
Cold? Afina frowned and rubbed his upper arms. Odd, he didn’t feel chilled.  
“Xavian, look at me,” she said, her tone tight.
One arm nestled against her back, he buried his free hand in her unbound hair, pulling her flush against him. Her fingers curled, and finding the edge of his sleeveless tunic, she shook him. He raised his head, blue eyes glowing with unsettling heat. Afina froze. She felt her eyes widen and heard her lips part on a strangled gasp. Could he be...what... Good goddess, was he—
“Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.” He cupped her cheek with a warrior-rough palm. Holding her there, his gaze half-searched, half-pleaded as he leaned in and kissed her, whisper-soft. “Please, draga. Warm me...make me forget the cold for a while.”
Afina’s breath got tangled up in the back of her throat. Wonder nipped at her, drowning out the little voice that whispered a warning. Somewhere deep inside she knew she should listen, heed the kernel of fear coiling low in her belly. But the fact he wanted her—the way a man did a woman—trumped good sense, spinning her into a world filled with new possibilities.
She wanted them all, craved the moment of freedom. Longed to let loose, and just once, do what she wanted instead of pleasing someone else.
And Xavian? His desire was the perfect foil.
Without shame or seduction, he asked, leaving the outcome up to her. But what to do...accept his touch or deny her yearning? Ignoring the lust-filled ache would be safer, but curiosity was a powerful thing. And as she stared into his eyes, blue as the Danube, warm as a hot spring, she remembered Bianca.
Ever since her sister had danced across their small cottage, Afina had wondered about her secret meetings with Bodgan. Her enjoyment had been obvious, a curious splendor that had left Afina dissatisfied with her own life.
The restlessness hit her full force. It wasn’t fair that everyone knew joy except her. Life had dealt her a series of denials, but not today. Today was about her, about what she needed—what she wanted—and for once, she followed desire, titled her chin up and invited his kiss.

A huge thanks to Vampires, Werewolves and Fairies for inviting me to be a guest today. I hope you enjoyed a glimpse into the pages of Knight Awakened. To learn more about the Circle of Seven series, and also, the Dragonfury Novels, please visit my website www.CoreeneCallahan.com. I’d love to hear from you!

Author Links:

Twitter: @coreenecallahan

As the only girl on all guys hockey teams from age six through her college years, Coreene Callahan knows a thing or two about tough guys and loves to write about them. Call it kismet. Call it payback after years of locker room talk and ice rink antics, but whatever you call it, the action better be heart stopping, the magic electric, and the story wicked, good fun.
After graduating with honors in psychology and working as an interior designer, she finally succumbed to her overactive imagination and returned to her first love: writing. And when she’s not writing, she’s dreaming of magical worlds full of dragon-shifters, elite assassins, and romance that’s too hot to handle. Callahan currently lives in Canada

Knight AwakenedIn AD 1331, warlord Vladimir Barbu seizes control of Transylvania. But in spite of his bloody triumph, his claim to the throne remains out of reach. The king of Hungary opposes his rule, the Transylvanian people despise his brutal ways, and the high priestess needed to crown him has vanished without a trace. But Barbu hasn’t come this far only to be thwarted by a woman. He unleashes his best hunters to track her down and bring her to him — dead or alive. For Xavian Ramir, killing is the only life he has ever known. Torn from his family when he was a child, he was trained from an early age to be an elite assassin. But now he longs for something more, vowing to start anew after one last job. The bounty on his target’s head is enough to set him up for good — if he can resist the long-dead conscience that stirs to life when he meets his beautiful mark. Afina Lazar never wanted to become high priestess, but the brutal murders of her beloved mother and sister leave her no choice. Now she is running for her life, desperate to protect the magical amulet entrusted to her care. But when Barbu’s assassin comes for her, she realizes her only chance of stopping the warlord’s rise to power is to convince this enigmatic — and handsome — hunter that she is more valuable alive than dead. Dramatic and fast-paced, Knight Awakened is a stirring love story between two people searching for a second chance in a magical world of assassins, warlords, unearthly beasts, and nonstop adventure.

Be sure to also checkout Coreene's DRAGONFURY series

Fury of FireA clandestine race of half-dragon, half-humans known as dragon-shifters lives among us. Bastian, leader of the Nightfury dragon clan, is sworn to protect humankind at all costs. For him, honor and duty always come first. When the clan dictates he take a human mate to sire a son, he falters, aware that for a human to birth a dragon-shifter she must die. Myst, the woman given into his care, is the most extraordinary he’s ever met, and though he can’t bear the thought of harming her he is bound by duty.
Myst loves her life in the human world, but Bastian has captured her heart in an instant of electric connection. But Bastian and his warriors are in the middle of a deadly battle with the Razorback dragon-shifters, intent on killing every Nightfury clan member—and the humans they protect—the fate of their world and ours hangs in the balance.
An extraordinary blend of action, fantasy, and steamy romance, Fury of Fire brings to life a dangerous new world intertwined with the survival of humanity, all while exploring the meaning of honor and the nature of true love.

Fury of IceHomicide detective Angela Keen thrives on the city’s rough streets. But when she becomes the prize of all prizes in the dragon-shifter world due to her “high-energy” status, she gets more than she bargained for. Kidnapped by Lothair of the Razorback clan, Angela barely survives captivity before managing to escape. Hurt and alone with nowhere to hide, she faces certain death when Lothair uses the trace energy she leaves in her wake to hunt her down. But before he can reach her, a mystery dragon-shifter intervenes and saves Angela’s life.
Now a guest of the Nightfury clan, Angela regains her strength as her rescuer, Rikar, the last living frost dragon, gradually breaks down her mistrust. Surrendering to her desire for Rikar, but still uncertain of her feelings, Angela goes against his wishes and agrees to be used as bait to lure Lothair into the open. As the battle commences, the true struggle comes from within: Will Angela return home to the life she loves, or forsake it all to be with Rikar?

Fury of SeductionSuccessful landscape designer Tania Solares prides herself on living by her own terms, relying on no man to provide for her. But her carefully controlled life takes a turn for the extraordinary when her inquiry into the disappearance of her best friend thrusts her between two warring factions of dragon-shifters. Suddenly Tania’s survival depends on Mac, a newly initiated dragon-warrior who will break every rule to keep her safe.
Now that Tania knows the truth about Dragonkind, returning to her old life is too grave a risk. Ivar, leader of the Razorbacks, plots to decimate the human race, and Tania is just the tool he needs. Despite the danger, Mac cannot deny her a choice: Trade the independence she’s fought so hard to achieve for safety in a magical world, or turn her back on the man she’s grown to love in order to reclaim a freedom that might not last? It is an impossible choice. And yet a sacrifice must be made…

We will have 2 winners for Coreene’s giveaway. Prizes are one copy of KNIGHT AWAKENED, and then one copy of FURY OF SEDUCTION (one book going to each winner) will be up for grabs. Follow our rafflecopter, and leave a comment (along with your email address) to be entered.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. not so much a question as a comment...that teaser...holy crap! book sounds beyond amazing!!! thanks for the chance to possibly win one. *fingers crossed*

  2. Hi Patricia...and thanks! I had a blast writing KNIGHT AWAKENED! Good luck with the giveaway!

  3. Is is easier to write one book at a time or two or three at once?

    1. Some authors like to keep more than one project going at a time, but I write one at a time and then move onto the next. I honestly can't imagine writing 2 books at the same time! That might send me over the proverbial edge! LOL

  4. “Please, draga. Warm me...make me forget the cold for a while.” You put an excerpt like this ....So not cool... Well thanks anyway for this interesting glimpse, now I'm the one who is hot! And congrats for your newest release!

  5. I am downloading as we speak!!! I am sooo excited!!!
    THANKS for writing GREAT books!!!

  6. As I was posting this with Shonna, I told her I can't wait to read this book, great excerpt and I'm looking forward to getting the book today. Thank you for stopping by

  7. I love the cover to Knight Awakened! I have to read this series! All the books sound amazing!!

    Julie K

    1. I love the cover too, Julie. It really captures the hero of the book. Happy reading! I hope you enjoy each book!

  8. I love this cover!! Congrats on the release!!

    1. Thank a bunch, Eliazbeth! Good luck in the giveaway!

  9. I am in love with the covers, did you have a big say so in them?????
    thanks for the giveaway!! heheheh


    1. Hi Bella...I did have a say in all my covers. I have a background in interior design, so I can usually figure out what works and what doesn't with a cover. My publisher was amazing enough to take all my input! Good luck with the giveaway!

  10. I see it was already asked but I also want to know...Do you find it easier to focus on one book at a time or multiple books at once?

    I know my hubby would rather write in just the one book until it's done...he obsesses over it until completion lol

    1. I'm stricking a one book at at time girl. But I've honestly never tried to write two books at once. It might be the end of me! LOL

  11. I have recently read Fury of Fire and am getting ready to read Fury of Ice. I love these books. Thanks for the giveaway. The new books look great.


    1. Awww, you're so welcome! That's such a nice thing to say! Thanks for picking up my books!

  12. I was wondering...Why dragons?

    1. I've often wondered that same thing, Tala. I fell in love with dragons when I was thirteen. No rhyme or reason. I was looking through a history text book, searcing for a topic for an essay. I turned the page...bam! There was a beautiful picture of a dragon and my imagination took flight. I've been hooked every since.

  13. Love all your book covers. Love the dragon shifters and the premise for your new series sounds great. Can't wait to dive into it! Thanks for the giveaway. Damaris dsr002(at)gmail(dot)com

    1. Thanks a ton, Damaris! I hope you enjoy the books! Good luck in the giveaway!

    2. Thanks for stopping by and the giveaway. I enjoy the dragonfury series. I was wondering if you had a favorite in the series? Also the new series is on my TBR. sandracarol123@yahoo.com

  14. Wow this books sounds great I don't have a question but Thanks
    crystaley73 at yahoo dot com

  15. Right now I am reading FURY OF SEDUCTION. I absolutely love this series! Next on my list is KNIGHT AWAKENED, for sure. I really enjoy your books.

  16. “Please, draga. Warm me...make me forget the cold for a while.” I really enjoyed this now will she warm him???
    diane dot sadler at gmail dot com

  17. All the books sound so wonderful! I haven't had a chance to read any of your books yet, but they are on by "to-buy" list now.

    Deb Thomas
    mammy4423 AT yahoo.com

  18. I love reading about tough guys, but I was wondering Coreene, have you ever thought about writing about a not so tough, sensitive guy? I think they might need their stories told too. :D

  19. I loved reading and reviewing your others books.. and so looking forward to this one.. thank you for stopping by

  20. These books sound really good!

    jmcgaugh (at) semo (dot) edu

  21. thankyou for the fab competition. definitely going to add these books to my wishlist!

  22. opps forgot to leave my email address! lol


  23. It looks and sounds like a very interesting read. Thanks for the giveaway.
    olga_sergejeva (at) hotmail.co.uk

  24. These books sound interesting.