Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Bottle Banished: Dreaming of Genie by C.L. Riley

When Fantasy Becomes Reality.
C.L. Riley

What if your wildest fantasy walked into your world …fangs or fur, and oozing sex appeal like warm honey on a hot buttery bun? Would you be ready for a taste?

That question is answered at some point and in some degree by every paranormal romance/fantasy heroine. There comes a point when her eyes are opened wide and an extrodinary world beyond the ordinary is revealed.

Imagine opening your kitchen blinds some morning and instead of your neighbor’s messy backyard, you see a giant beanstalk or mushrooms the size of skyscrapers, or, better yet, a hot, hunky, man-beast eager to sink his teeth into your neck and his you know what into you know where… STOP! Cold shower please!

That’s what happens when women meet Jinn Kûru in Bottle Banished: Dreaming of Genie. They definitely want his you know what. Now, granted, he doesn’t sport fangs nor is he covered with fur, but he does just fine without those added “accessories.”

Towering over 6”5 with a rock solid body, ripped with muscles, he’s a sight to behold. Add his clan’s tribal tattoo markings, inked with magic across his upper body and wrapped around and down his arms, and he’s one sexy beast of a djinn, or as most refer to him, a jinn. But it’s not just his looks that cause such a stir. It is the fact that jinns have a certain, sexual aura that makes them irresistible to human women. And once a human female experiences steamy sex with a jinn, she is forever doomed to crave his affections. No human male can come close to competing with a jinn. Add to the package his wish-granting ability and you’ve got one heck of a fantasy male at your disposal.

Remember, Kûru is an Alpha Male extreme. He. Will. Own. You.

I will confess; I’d be okay with him “owning” me for a night or two or forever. That’s the problem, resisting him would be futile (not that I’d want to). Only one female has ever spurned his advances, a genie named Genie. Now he’s found a human woman who seems to be immune to him as well. He wants them both and isn’t sure how to manage the consequences of claiming two headstrong women.

Excerpt of Kûru’s first interaction with Cassie (the human):

Relaxing against the leather seat, Kûru gazed through the limo’s open skylight. He searched the heavens, seeking the stars’ comfort. It was difficult to see their blinking beauty with the city lights competing for attention. An intense ache for his desert home permeated his chest. He had never felt more homesick, a condition that interfered with his mental planning almost as much as the nagging vision of the man wearing only his bathrobe back at the hotel. He was certain he’d seen him somewhere before. More memorable than his strange attire was the way the man’s nostrils had flared and his eyes had widened at the sight of Kûru.
It almost seemed as if the man had identified him for what he truly was, which was odd, considering he’d given off no obvious hunter vibes. Kûru couldn’t be certain, but he suspected the man was ill. Why else would he wear such an undignified garment in public?
Humans. Swine. All of them.
Sick or not, Kûru wouldn’t set foot outside his private quarters without appropriate attire. Speaking of which…
He glanced down at his Armani shirt and pants. It was far too hot for a full suit, but he’d managed to make casual look elegant. He’d chosen a deep, plum-colored button down shirt and black slacks. The purple complimented his eyes, making them appear violet with streaks of silver. He knew he’d chosen well by the appreciative glances and lingering stares from every woman in the hotel lobby. In addition, he’d earned several harsh glares from their male companions. Lucky for them, he didn’t have time to toy with their females.
“Sir,” the driver’s voice drew his attention. “We have arrived. Would you like me to wait?”
Kûru was surprised by the bar’s everyday appearance. It lacked the outside sophistication he’d expected from a business that catered to Portland’s elite. “Are you certain this is the right location?”
“Quite sure. Don’t let the outside fool you. Cantina Carmella is the newest hot spot for Portland executives. The owner, Carmella, arrived from New York a few months ago and turned this old building into…”
“Fine. I believe you.” He didn’t need a history lesson. “And, yes, I’d like you to wait. I don’t know how long I’ll be.”
Too impatient to wait for his driver to open the door, he grabbed his jacket, and slipped from the limo with inhuman grace. Side stepping him on the sidewalk, the driver raised a brow, clearly impressed by his quick reflexes.
 He would need to be more careful.
Toning down his unnatural speed and flexibility wasn’t easy, but he had to make every effort to blend in. Nodding at the driver, he headed toward the entrance, energized by the thrill of the hunt.
A young woman pushed by. “Excuse me. I’m late for a meeting.” She bustled in without giving him a second glance.
Usually just a brush against him triggered a heated response. He entered after her, intrigued. He wasn’t sure what she looked like. She’d been so quick all he had noticed was her hair’s ginger waves. Scanning the room, he struggled without success to spot her through the crowd.
True to the driver’s word, the place looked like a Wall Street after-hour-hangout. He could smell wealth and desperation. Like him, not everyone here was who they appeared to be. There were women hoping to snare rich patrons and men who had lost everything, eager for invitations back into the world they’d been barred from. Most curious was the scent of magic. It was faint, but nevertheless, all too real.
On guard and acutely aware of his surroundings, he made his way through the crowded tables, forcing himself to bump against a chair. “Pardon me,” he muttered, hating the farce.
How could humans live with their clumsiness? Just faking it disgusted him. Until he identified the magic’s source, he would remain wary and make every effort to appear human. He couldn’t afford to be blindsided by an enemy jinn or hunter.
Finding an empty stool at the long bar, he leaned back, arms crossed, and faced the room.
A jazz band played on one of several stages under a canopy of colorful lights. The atmosphere and décor were indeed designed to reflect the customers’ wealth. Waitresses wore simple, form-fitting black dresses with basic low-heeled pumps and carried their silver trays with expert ease, while the male servers moved through the room, spinning and ducking to avoid accidents with their own practiced precision. Their black dress shirts and slacks were casually classy. Over all, the place was sleek but simple.
As expected, women were starting to notice him. Men had spotted him as well, marking him as a rival to their chances at business and pleasure. He understood he was also what regular attendees might refer to as “fresh meat.” He shook his head at the ridiculous comparison.
A perky waitress stopped in front of him. “The bartender looks pretty busy. Can I get you something?” She pressed out her breasts and smiled, looking too young to be peddling liquor.
“Scotch, Johnnie Walker, blue label, minimal ice.”
She waited for him to say more, but he didn’t. He was on a mission and didn’t have time for frivolous pleasures, not tonight. Cocktail waitresses were off the menu no matter how tasty they might be.
A few minutes later she returned with his drink. He gave her a sizable tip, regretting he couldn’t give her what she really wanted.
After enduring sixty minutes of flirty advances from intoxicated women and challenging stares from the men, he was weary of the whole scene. Despite their social standing, the humans were predictable and boring. No one stood out, and he’d yet to locate the woman from earlier.
Ready to leave, he headed through the crowd to the men’s room. He wanted to wash his hands of this place both literally and figuratively.
At a table near the back, surrounded by gossiping females, he recognized the woman he’d been searching for, her fiery curls giving her away. Apparently the meeting had been her birthday celebration. She was tearing shiny paper from a box. A half-eaten cake with candles, surrounded by empty glasses, took up the table’s central spot. Unlike the rest of her party, she paid him no heed. The others had stopped watching her to stare at him.
“Ladies! I’m over here! What’s wrong with…?” She finally lifted her head to meet his gaze. She scowled. “Can I help you with something?”
Her friends tittered nervously. “Cassie,” one chided. “That’s rude.”
He looked over his shoulder and back. She had to be kidding, right? No human female had ever rejected him. Only his genie could claim that feat.
Fighting the urge to turn up his sex appeal, he slammed through the bathroom door, humiliated. Another man followed. “Don’t feel bad. We’ve all tried to hit that tonight. She’s one of those ice queens. Her friends seem pretty impressed with you, though. At least you don’t have to go home alone.”
He wanted to strangle the man now humming as he faced the urinal, but instead accepted a towel offered by the bathroom attendant who kept his expression neutral.  He handed over a tip and made a quick escape before he’d be forced to hear anymore sage advice from a useless human.
Frustrated by Cassie’s rejection, he stomped by their table, focused on the exit.
“Wait! Please!”
He stopped, turning slowly. Cassie waved him over. Too curious to resist, he found himself standing beside their table.
“I’m sorry. I was impolite. You didn’t do anything. I’m just sick of …”
“Men,” the woman on her left supplied. “She’s sick of men.”
Not sure what to say, he raised an eyebrow.
“You look about as lost as I feel,” Cassie laughed. “Come on, have a seat. I’m sure one of these other non-man-hating ladies will buy you a drink.”
Feeling oddly uncomfortable, he pulled out a chair.
Before he could sit, the scent of magic, stronger this time, assaulted him with its one of a kind sweetness. The nearby employee entrance was flung open and a handful of masked men poured into the room, weapons drawn.
The need to protect Cassie was both sudden and unexpected.
He leapt over the table and pushed her behind him. The band stopped and people scrambled to hide under tables; others cowered on the floor crying. An ammonia laced odor was evidence that bladders had emptied the second the gunmen entered.
Keeping their weapons pointed into the crowd, the men parted like the red sea for Moses, but rather than the biblical hero, a lean Hispanic man swaggered into the room, talking as he walked. “No need to be so scared. I’m here for one person. He knows who he is. If he comes willingly, you all can continue your evening. No one gets hurt. Comprende’? If he doesn’t, I kill one of you every minute until he does.”
No one moved.
 Kûru glanced to the right where the magic seemed strongest.
His nephew’s gaze met his. At least he wasn’t in a bottle, banished.
Using the link existing between jinns, Kûru sent him a mental message:  Do not reveal you recognize me. I will free you, and we will enact our revenge. I promise you. The leader, is he Santiago?
His younger brother. Santiago sends others to do his dirty work.
Had it been Santiago, Kûru might have acted right then.
“You!” Santiago’s brother pointed at him. “Why aren’t you on your knees like everyone else? Since you are so brave, you die first.”
“No!” Cassie cried behind him, warming his heart despite the guns now pointed at his head.
He sneered at the threat, satisfied to see his adversary flinch. Apparently, the younger Santiago had expected him to collapse on the floor and plead for his life.
That would never happen. Not now. Not ever.
He’d have to risk using magic. Fortunately, the options for creative retaliation were infinite. If he could find a way to finish this swiftly, without revealing his powers, he’d call the night a success.
Cassie’s hand against his back seemed to support his plan, urging him to end the standoff. For once he’d found a human female worthy of his interest.
He intended to keep her, at least until he claimed the genie.
She was ideal for his future undertakings, and he suspected she’d be just right in other aspects as well. He’d have to get them out of their current situation if he wanted to see just how perfect she really was.
There was no way in hell Santiago’s brother was walking out Cantina Carmella alive. Not after interrupting his first conversation with Cassie.
“I said: Why aren’t you on your fucking knees? You trying to be a hero?”
 Kûru shrugged his shoulders and grinned. “No comprende’.”

For fun, I am casting my dream cast of characters and chose Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to represent my ruling jinn. Imagine him with more tattoos and you have an idea of his powerful persona.

Bottle Banished: Dreaming of Genie
Bottle Banished
Book One
C.L. Riley

Genre: Dark Fantasy/Romance

Date of Publication: February 11, 2015

ISBN: ISBN-13: 978-1506170640
ISBN-10: 1506170641

Number of pages: 301
Word Count: 80,500

Cover Artist: Steph’s Cover Design

Book Description:

Genie thought learning how to “do” The Hustle was the worst thing about 1977, right along with strobe lights and disco balls, but she discovers something far worse the day she is bottle banished by an unsanctioned hunter obsessed with her destruction.

Thirty-seven years later, she is awakened from her spellbound slumber by a homeless alcoholic who wants whiskey not a wish. Overwhelmed with shame and keeping secrets from even himself, Reid Romans is the worst master ever.

He stinks. He’s dirty. He’s rude, but even more maddening; he’s sinfully sexy under all the filth and attitude.

When his green-eyed gaze captures Genie for the first time, she’s hooked, and being hooked on a human is not acceptable or allowed according to the genie rule book.

While Reid’s unsavory past bites hard at his heels, and he’s accused of a murder he didn’t commit, a powerful jinn is stalking Genie, intent on adding her to his harem. She has rejected him too many times to count, but he won’t stop until he claims her—body and soul.

Genie and Reid have way more than one love-sick jinn to deal with. A ruthless FBI agent; a cold-blooded cartel; and a hateful hunter, who wants genie back in her bottle, banished forever; keep them fighting for freedom and against the desire flaring between them.

Dark secrets, forbidden love, and simmering suspense take Genie and Reid on an unforgettable journey where the past and future collide and wishes run out.

Please be advised: Bottle Banished is a multiple POV (Point of View) dark fantasy that portrays graphic drug use, violence, language, and sexual situations some may find offensive, including dubious consent, light BDSM, and a Ménage à Trios. There is a Happily Ever After (HEA) for now, but several doors remain open for future installments.

Readers will uncover numerous references to current and past pop culture sprinkled throughout the story. Watch author’s website for contests connected to these references!

Available at Amazon

Excerpt: Reid Romans POV
Losing himself in his third glass of Jack, he closed his eyes, temporarily shutting out the world. Warmth spread through his body, reviving him and making the pain in his hand tolerable. He could always count on whiskey to work its magic.
Magic? Hell no!
 His eyes latched onto the stunning creature talking amicably to Mark, her gaze traveling his direction. When she caught him looking, her whole face lit up. She smiled, and he swore a chunk of his frozen heart melted. Forget the whiskey; the heat from her simple smile staggered him, shattering something inside. Whatever she was doing to his emotions had him messed up. He’d always made sure his life maintained a certain status quo, even on the streets. He couldn’t allow her…whatever she was, to change things no matter what type of feelings she triggered.
“You look better,” Mark said, providing a dose of reality―a reality where a gorgeous, olive-skinned woman with flowing black hair and luscious curves had appeared in a cloud of colorful smoke and called him master.
How could this be real?
Something had seriously snapped in his mind, sending him over the edge. The only problem with his insanity diagnosis was Mark. The liquor store owner was interacting with her, too. Reid studied them both carefully. He noticed then that Genie had traded her amazing belly-baring costume for a pair of bell bottoms. With a turquoise tube top and puka shell necklace, she looked ready for a seventies party.
“Reid, I said you look better. Are you okay?” They both were watching him warily.
Was he okay? He didn’t think so.
“Master, please, let me help you,” Genie pleaded, her kind expression too much to handle.
With another long chug, he emptied his glass and prepared to put an end to her charade. A few well-timed insults would do the trick. “What are you wearing now? Don’t you have any normal clothes?” He sneered.
Her eyes flared. “You may be my master, but I am not required to put up with your attitude, and at least my clothing is clean.”
Her hands found her hips, drawing his attention to the high wasted jeans. She wore them well. He suspected she’d look good in a garbage bag.
“Whoa there, buddy. I think I know why she looks like a seventies poster child,” Mark interrupted. “Genie, do you remember what year you were bottle banished?”
She looked thoughtful. “Of course. It was 1977. Why? What year is it now?”
Reid traded a glance with Mark before answering. “It is 2014. August 22, 2014. You’re in Portland, Oregon.”
“10:01 PM,” Mark added as if the time mattered.
Genie collapsed against the side counter, breathing hard. Her composure crushed by the announcement. “I was bobbing around in that bottle for thirty-seven years,” she whispered. “It feels like yesterday when the hunter captured me.”
“Hunter?” Reid didn’t like the sound of that. He might not want a female tagging along on the streets, but he sure as hell wouldn’t let some asshole hurt her. “Mark, what do you know about all this?”
“Let me lock up. We’ll talk upstairs.” Mark latched the door and unplugged the neon We’re Open sign.
“Genie?” Reid hated to ask, but this was no ordinary night, and one shared bottle of Jack Daniels wasn’t near enough. “Can you create money?”
“Just grab a bottle. It’s on the house.” Mark retrieved his own glass. “Genie, are you hungry, thirsty?”
She shrugged. “I’m not sure what I am, but considering I haven’t eaten in almost forty years, I probably should.”
Not sure why, Reid found himself grinning. “Now that’s what I call a serious diet.”

About the Author:

C.L. Riley is addicted to books, coffee, and playing around on the Internet where she cyber stalks things she enjoys. She has a passion for reading dark fantasy, biker romance, paranormal romance, erotic thrillers, and everything “genie.” She has four books to her credit under a different name, thus the missing author photo. For now, she is keeping her other identity top secret.

A native of Portland, Oregon, C.L. Riley has a son in college and a teenage daughter that keeps her on her toes at home. Her house is filled with books; something her kids, to her dismay, call clutter. She is working on book two in the Bottle Banished series and the Scorched Souls serial, a four-part, biker romance serial series. 

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