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About the author:
Darla Dunbar has been interested in paranormal romance since she was a teenager in high school. It was then that she discovered she could fulfill her fantasies through her writing.
What inspired you to write your book?
I love to combine the paranormal with romance and erotica and writing about mystical and powerful males and their female partners. I want my readers to take a romantic hot mysterious journey through my characters.
Here is a short sample from the book:
THE SOUND of footsteps jarred Juno out of the darkness of her memories. With her mind refocused, she realized she was back within the castle in Sicily. She gazed around, confused and tried to spot the source of the interruption. Amid the gloomy shadows of the tower door stood Apollo. Juno hid the confusion and annoyance on her face.
Juno needed to fix her mess before she could walk over to Apollo,. Moments prior, she used the scrying bowl to review images of her past. Now, she acted to hide any evidence. Although her memories were not confidential in any way, she did not want him to see some of her most painful recollections. She pulled a pinch of sand from her pouch and sprinkled it over the magical bowl. With a wave of her hand, she whispered, “Finite.” The replay of her past disappeared from the surface of the water.
With her most seductive face, Juno slinked toward Apollo, sexier than the best of sirens. “What brings you here, my darling? Weren’t you preparing the archers?” Juno circled his figure and leaned in to run her teeth down the edge of his ear. Biting lightly, she pulled away.
It did not matter how much time he and Juno spent together. Her scent still affected him in an intoxicating way. A hint of jasmine washed over his senses; he struggled to keep his face from responding to her physicality. Juno was more than a woman to him. She was a temptation and the physical embodiment of sensuality. He may be repulsed by her actions, but he could not control himself when he was around her body. Apollo tried to act nonchalant as he steadied his voice,. “There’s no point in helping the archers. They are positioned on the wrong side of the castle. Invaders will be able to surmount the wall with little effort while the boiling tar is placed above a wall that is too high for it to ever be needed.”
Juno smiled. A few hours earlier, she was thinking the same thought. Perhaps Apollo was smarter than he appeared. “I agree. What brings you to my lonely tower, my sweet?” She smiled. Even in the darkness, Juno saw Apollo watching her figure with hunger in his eyes. With slow deliberate strides, she allowed her hips to sway hypnotically. In one fluid motion, she sat down upon the settee. In a nonchalant manner, she shifted her skirt from her legs so Apollo could see the full length of her calves and thighs.
Apollo skulked toward her, feeling like the entire world stopped revolving around the poles. In its place, the new pole shifted to this very room. Nothing changed or moved in the tower while life revolved at its own pace in the world outside. In his chest, his heart beat ever faster as he cursed his lack of control. Before him sat the last woman he wanted to be with, but the only person he was physically mated to. He wondered absentmindedly what Juno did before he arrived. He opened his mouth to ask, but forgot his question as he caught her scent again. He gazed down her full body. “I… wanted to see you again,” he said.
Those words gave Juno much pleasure. “Well, here I am.” She leaned back along the couch and ran her fingers down the side of her neck. At the center of her bosom, she pulled on two strings that held her peasant blouse together. Her outer garment fell open to reveal a dark purple camisole that attempted to hide her nipples beneath them.
Unable to resist any longer, Apollo spread his legs across her body and pinned her to the settee. Without waiting to ask, he ripped her shirt into two pieces with one hand. Her camisole still hid her breasts from his view. Apollo glanced up at Juno as he reached for the straps of the camisole. He pushed the straps down her shoulders and allowed her breasts to break free from the constraints of clothing.
Apollo glanced up at her face and caught a fleeting glance that unnerved him. Unguarded for a brief second in time, her glance appeared almost loving or caring. Before the exact nature of her expression registered itself in his mind, Juno smiled and the moment evaporated. While ignoring this thought for the moment, Apollo lowered his head to her breast and began to lick her nipples. Her round, firm breasts were malleable beneath his giant hands. Ravenous and unsatisfied, Apollo knew he needed her. He also knew he would never stop needing her like this. Each curve of her body tempted him into a never-ending game of seduction.
Beneath his fondling, Juno moaned. Distracted by her memories, she did not realize how much she needed him until this moment. Her legs spread, she forced him between her thighs. With her skirt pulled up, he caught sight of the gentle slope of her thighs and the soft mound between that welcomed him. He could no longer hold back. His head tingled with anticipation as it delved into her wetness. A low guttural moan escaped from within as he thrust his entire shaft into her.
Juno arched her back as she received the satisfaction she needed. Slight whimpers of desire rose from her lips as she urged him on. Her legs wrapped tightly around his form, she pushed her hips against his. The rocking and insatiable desire that emanated from her body only turned Apollo on more. He needed this. If this moment lasted forever, it would be his version of heaven. He thrust into her body deeper; she moaned and dug her nails deeply into his back. The sudden pain served as a catalyst for him and brought him closer to orgasm. Beneath his body, Juno’s body started to clench as orgasm approached. With their urges taking over, the couple came as one in a fit of ecstasy. In her mind, Juno floated away from the memories, the doubts and the stresses of the day. The only thing that existed was the body of Apollo and the sensation of him inside of her.
Juno moved Apollo’s body off hers as the bright, vivid sensation of orgasm waned from her mind, . His spent figure draped like a Greek god across the settee. Juno stepped away to admire Apollo’s form. Long, lean muscles stretched taut across his chest and arms. His golden hair was tousled from their recent exertion and his weary eyes followed Juno. The daily preparations for the daemon war took their toll on him. Juno smiled at him. In the last few months, she grew close to Apollo. Without realizing it, she even started developing feelings for him. She tried to hide it, but her emotions remained. With a sigh, Juno turned away. For sirens, having feelings was never a good idea. Without thinking about it, she rubbed the tip of her nipple as she stood above him. Only her skirt remained on. Her shirt was ruined, but it did not bother her. She would take Apollo’s button-up shirt later.
Juno looked back at Apollo. He would be asleep in a few moments, but she did not feel like waiting. She slid her fingers over his eyelids and muttered a quiet incantation. In seconds, Apollo fell asleep.
Juno wandered over to the scrying basin again and waved her hand across the surface of the water. In moments, the memories of her past appeared.
HER MOTHER, Circe, sat in front of Juno. The cold anger in her eyes remained barely hidden as she demanded the name of her lover. Young Juno winced. She may be naive, but she never doubted her mother’s ability to kill. Death would be the least terrible thing a full-fledged siren could do to Supay. Juno tried to think about what to do as her mother coolly asked for the man’s name again.
Uncertain about what to say, Juno blurted out the first name that came to mind that was not Supay’s. “His name is Yossele. He’s a golem.”
Circe raised an eyebrow. “This child will be half-golem. You… were… with… a… golem.” Each word sounded forced as it escaped from her lips. Her anger assaulted Juno from across the table. With a wince, Juno tried to shift away from Circe.
“Mother, what do you mean? What child?” Fear started to grow in the pit of her stomach as she realized the truth of her mother’s words. What she was too naive and innocent to see was true. She must be pregnant. The sudden realization she was with child brought about a new realization. Her mother would never forgive her.
Circe stood up and gripped the sides of the table so tight that her knuckles turned white. “You are a blathering idiot and a disgrace to sirens. What did you think would happen? Didn’t I tell you to stay away from men until you were old enough to control your siren urges?”
“But mother, it isn’t urges I can’t control. I love Su… Yossele,” said Juno, shrugging.
Circe shook her head. “Sirens do not feel love. We have desires… we enjoy the control and we take pleasure in seducing an unsuspecting man. We do not feel love for a man. Only our sisters are worthy of such a sentiment.”
After taking several deep breaths, Circe tried to control her anger. “This disgrace will be fixed. If you plan on the child remaining alive, we will kill the father. No sirens will know of your mistake and you will tell no one about this. Where is the father now?”
Juno’s eyes widened. “Kill..?”
Circe nodded. “Did you not think through the repercussions of your actions? Of course, something will happen to Yossele. No one can discover that you broke the cardinal commandments. You better hope this child is ready for birth before siren training starts. If I have to, I will cut it out of you before training so that no one knows your secret.”
Juno swallowed and tried to think fast. There had to be a way out. “Mother, it is okay. It was my mistake and I will fix it. Consider the father killed… the child will be born as you wish.” She refrained from saying anything else. With her mother’s well-known fury and the rules of the sirens, Juno would be lucky if she escaped this situation with her own life and the life of her child. Without thinking about it, she rubbed her belly. Until today, she did not know her womb held a child. What an unusual idea.
Circe nodded. “You will take care of this and I will check. If this is not done to my satisfaction–or if you exhibit your weak ideals about love–your lover will not be the only person who dies.”
IN THE darkness, Juno peered around the corner. She asked her mother for an incantation to hide her swelling abdomen before leaving. In front of her, was the family farm of Supay. From their many talks, Juno knew she would find him in the loft of the barn. He was beginning to exit adolescence so he still shape shifted every so often during his sleep. Although he mostly transformed between his preferred dog and human forms, he had occasionally woken up as a horse or an elephant. Until his control was greater, he would remain in the barn at night.
Juno was pleased that no one heard her while tiptoeing into barn. The task she had before her was a difficult one, but she could handle it. For her life, Supay’s and her child’s, she would have to handle a difficult and traumatic task. She saw the sleeping figure of a black dog after rounding a corner. The dog’s keen hearing and sense of smell picked up her presence as she approached. In seconds, Supay shifted back into his human form.
Still half asleep and smiling, he opened his arms for her. Juno let out a sigh of relief. Her mother’s incantation had successfully hid their unborn child. After rushing forward, she spread her legs across his strong waist and let herself be encapsulated by his embrace. For a few moments, everything was normal again.
Supay held her close and ran his hand along the ivory white of her back. A sudden thought occurred to him as desire started to intermingle with his drowsiness. “Juno,” he asked. “What’s wrong? I thought we agreed to never meet here. We weren’t supposed to meet until I come home from the mines in another month.”
Juno shook her head and pouted. The next few hours would take all her acting skills as a siren. “Mi amor, I cannot stand being without you for long.” She ran her hand down the front of his body and stopped upon his cock. It was hard in expectation. Supay did not stop to ask any more questions but groaned in pleasure instead. It had been months since they had been together and he would no longer wait. He pulled her body down on top of his and entered her in one fluid motion. Surrounded by her pleasing moistness, he groaned again. It was impossible to last any longer.
Above him, Juno rocked in anticipation. The task she had before her tonight did not prevent her from desiring his body. For a siren, unending desire was a fact of life. She moved her hips faster in time with his. Over and over, their hips met together until they orgasmed. Juno cried out in pleasure and fell across his body. “I love you,” she said without thinking. Beneath her, Supay turned his head for a kiss.
“I love you too, darling,” he whispered. Juno winced and started to run her hands along his body. She had not intended to reaffirm her love. She rubbed her hands along the muscles of his arms in a way only a siren was able to. The hypnotic movements brought Supay back to a drowsy state of mind. Within five minutes, he was asleep again.
Cautiously, Juno pulled her body off his and began to tiptoe around the area. In the corner, she found his jacket. Inside, he still had the words for controlling Yossele. She sighed as she glanced back at Supay. It was going to be better this way. She grabbed her shirt from the floor and began buttoning it as she walked toward the house. From Supay’s stories, Juno guessed Yossele would be in one of the top corners of the farmhouse before her. It was time to put her plan into action. Juno took a deep breath and glanced back at the barn. This would most likely be the last time she would ever be with Supay in a romantic sense.
Juno dismissed any doubts from her mind and began to tiptoe into the farmhouse. Around her, the dark halls were filled with silence and random pieces of furniture. A slight creak of the step underneath her foot reminded Juno that her shoes were still on. Ever so silently, she slipped the shoes off and placed them at the bottom of the staircase leading to the second floor. Cloaked in darkness, she managed to make her way up the stairs without making another sound. After peeking into a guest room and the empty master bedroom, she approached the corner she assumed would be Yossele’s bedroom. She opened the door and stepped into the room. In front of her, the humongous body of Yossele was sprawled across the bed.
Juno raised the slip of paper toward the moonlight and struggled to say the words. Written in some unknown tongue, the words flowed weirdly across her tongue. She finished the sentence and looked back at Yossele. “I command you, get up,” she whispered. Nothing happened. She must have said the phrase incorrectly.
With annoyance in her eyes, she turned back to the window. Being a golem meant that Yossele could be brought under her power. It would only work if she said the correct words. She growled under her breath in anger. Her plan was falling apart. Juno jumped in surprise as she turned back toward the bed. Yossele was staring at her. His large brown eyes and features were so similar to Supay’s, but something was off. Instead of the rogue-like dark skin of Supay, he had a cracked clay-like texture to his brownish-gray skin tone. It dawned on her in an instant why they appeared so similar, yet so different. One of the men was from a different mother. Surprisingly, Supay had never mentioned this detail to her.
As she tried to think of something to do or say—or a way to escape—Yossele motioned to her. “Come,” he whispered huskily. She crossed the room and perched upon the edge of the bed. Uncertain about what to do, she remained motionless. Next to her, Yossele ran his fingers through her glossy black hair. He smiled and she saw that sleep was quickly leaving his eyes. “You’re beautiful. I’ve never had a dream seem so real before.”
The vivid white of Juno’s teeth flashed as she bit her plump red lip. He thought she was a dream. Perhaps there was hope for this situation yet. Thanking whatever goddess was watching over her tonight, she pulled herself together and smiled seductively. “I suppose this would be called a lucid dream, my love.” Juno leaned forward to run her lips along the curve of his neck. Beneath her, Yossele shivered in pleasure.
Juno closed her eyes. She couldn’t do this. Bits of her soul flaked away as she leaned in to kiss Yossele. He was not Supay and she did not love him. Although she needed his help for the plan, this betrayal cut deep into her soul.
Yossele sensed her hesitation and pulled back in confusion. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
She realized that she was about to lose her only chance at saving Supay and her child. Juno shook her head and said, “Nothing’s wrong, dear Yossele. Lean back and let me pleasure you.” Juno pushed him back with the tips of her fingers and straddled his body. Between her legs, she felt him harden and twitch with anticipation. Despite the revulsion of being with anyone other than Supay, she responded to a sudden surge of desire. Apparently, her siren genetics did not understand monogamy. She would have to push her moral discomfort aside as she pulled Yossele’s cock out of his sleeping garment. Like his height and hulking figure suggested, Yossele was more than well endowed. Juno moved her hips until they lined up with his member and slid down. The sudden thickness between her legs caused her to gasp. Beneath her, Yossele was thrusting into her with a rapid, insatiable desire. His sheer strength was leaving bruises on her hips, but she did not care. She moved her hips in time with his and began to orgasm. She threw her head back and started to scream in pleasure before Yossele’s hand muffled her cries.
As she orgasmed, Yossele sat up and pulled her legs tighter around his waist. Juno glanced down in surprise realizing he had yet to orgasm. He moaned and thrust deeper inside her; she rocked her hips harder against his. They moved as one in a perfect rhythm that rippled within the stillness of the night. Time ceased to exist for either of them as the act of their passion rose to a crescendo. With a cry of pleasure, Juno began to orgasm around Yossele. His warm semen filled her as he reached climax. While her intense desire faded to a memory, Juno allowed her body to collapse around Yossele. This encounter would not make her task any easier.
Juno ran her fingers along Yossele’s arms as she waited for him to become drowsy again. She hated herself intensely for everything that was about to happen. In her mind, she tried to justify her experience with Yossele as the only way out. It most likely was the only way to gain his trust, but she feared it was more than that. In the recesses of her mind, Juno wondered if this is what it meant to be a siren. Would she be consigned to spend her entire life with a desire she was not able not control? Worse, would she have to continually perform such distasteful tasks to remain a part of the siren community? Each time she took a step closer to her mother and towards becoming a full-fledged siren, a piece of her humanity and spirit fell away. Once she was finished, Juno was afraid nothing would be left of the girl she was and the woman she had hoped to be.
Yossele was almost asleep again. With her eyes raised to the heavens, she murmured a prayer to Venus that everything would run smoothly once again. She reached for the piece of paper.
“Yossele,” she whispered. “Yossele, darling. Please read this to me?” She held out the piece of paper and she waited.
Still drowsy from sleep, Yossele cracked his eyes to read the paper. “Ja sam mogę ci rozkazywać, golema,” he said.
Yossele’s eyes widened as the meaning of the words dawned on him. Before him, Juno whispered, “Ja sam mogę ci rozkazywać, golema.” She paused, uncertain if the words had worked. “Sit up, Yossele.”
Yossele sat upright as commanded. He gulped. “You don’t know what you are doing. The more I am commanded, the more likely it is I will lose my mind like the other golems. This is not a good thing.” He closed his eyes in pain. How stupid he had been to think this woman was a dream.
Juno took a deep breath. “I can’t help it. This is how things must be. Behold.” She waved her hand across her abdomen and her mother’s spell lifted. For the first time, Yossele saw her growing belly. “This is Supay’s child. My mother thinks you are the father. If I don’t do something, the child, Supay and I will all be dead. Sirens seldom forgive and their vengeance is total.”
Yossele’s eyes widened in disbelief. He reached out his hand and rubbed her belly gently. With a heavy heart, he took a deep breath. “I’m familiar with sirens. Your family of daemons is not the group to be crossed. This is my nephew… or niece?” He glanced at her again and waited.
In the darkness, Juno nodded. “Yes, it is. Before I give you the order, I want to ask you if you will help me. I will still force you to carry out the task, but I want to know if you would do this first. I know you just met me, but it is Supay’s life and his child’s life that also matter.”
Yossele took a deep breath and tried to calm his mind. Over the span of a few moments, his entire life had changed. She had not said it yet, but he sensed the end was near. For his brother, he would do anything. They had both been raised by their father together and spent a lifetime trusting each other without question. It was only a matter of time before someone discovered the way to command Yossele. Once that occurred, it would only be a few more years until the constant commands and subservience began to break his mind. At least this way, he would be able to go out in style and save his brother’s life. He turned to Juno again and nodded. “Yes, you can. As long as each part of tonight leads to the continued life and happiness of my brother, I will help you.”
Juno stood up and threw some clothes at Yossele. “Put these on. Once you are ready, it will be time to go out to the barn. You are to attack Supay and make him fear for his life. He needs to think you have succumbed to the madness of the golem and are beyond hope. No matter what, he is supposed to win the fight and kill you. All this, I command you, golem. Ja sam mogę ci rozkazywać, golema. Do you understand?”
Yossele stumbled while trying to put on his clothes. He nodded at Juno without responding. As if in a dream, he finished clothing himself and began to walk down the stairs. At the bottom, Juno motioned for him to pause while she grabbed her shoes. Dashing into a strand of trees downwind from the barn, she peered out in pensive agony. Here was the moment where she would discover if her plan worked. She had to save Supay from her mother’s wrath and the potential anger of any siren that discovered them.