Saturday, October 19, 2013

Between the Squire and the Devil by SJ Thomas @SJThomas25 @KMNbooks @breathlesspress #flashfictionbash #giveaway

The contest is closed! The winner is bn100! Congratulations!

SJ Thomas pens sizzling paranormal tales full of romance and passion but she also enjoys dabbling in paranormal horror. In her regency period flash fiction story Between the Squire and the Devil, Jane Monroe is being held captive by the evil Squire. Will her only hope be the Devil himself?

Giveaway: An Ebook copy of Down on the Farm in a format of winners choice. Read on to find out how you may add this prize to your goody bag!

Don't forget to enter the Rafflecopter daily for extra chances to win one of the Grand Prizes!  

Between the Squire and the Devil
by SJ Thomas

"You are wasting your time, Miss Monroe."
At the deep voice that spoke from behind her, Jane Monroe leapt up from the window seat and spun round with a gasp. She had not heard the door open, but a man stood in the middle of the room that had become her prison.
He had spoken her name as if they were acquaintances and he looked at her with a familiar air, but she knew she had never seen him before—in truth she would not have forgotten a man like this. Tall and broad, he was a towering presence in the room, and his countenance was deeply pleasing; dark brown hair curling to his shirt collar, intense hazel eyes, defined cheekbones and a firm mouth.
He was utterly compelling, but even though he looked every inch the gentleman, a warning sounded in her mind, the hairs on her arms lifting. The man did not speak again, just stood there, looking at her expectantly.
With a hard swallow Jane forced herself to address him. "Who are you, sir?"
That firm mouth curled into a seductive smile. "Can you not guess?"
His reply was so utterly unexpected that for a moment she was speechless, but as he offered no further comment she again forced words past her lips. "I have no idea who you are, sir, how could I?"
His smile receded, his lips settling into a thin line. "No, of course you do not. You are far too good and innocent." His gaze moved down her body, before rising back up to her face. "Pity."
Jane shook her head. "I do not understand you. And how do you know my name, sir?"
His brows lifted. "Oh I know all about you, Jane, and what Squire Talbot intends for you."
Jane could not quell the shudder that ran through her. Squire Talbot, her captor. The fiend who had brought her here against her will two days ago, his intention to force her into marriage. A fate she dreaded with every fiber of her being.
She stepped towards the stranger, her hands coming up in front of her, clasped in supplication. "Oh, sir, please, help me. I know not your connection to the Squire but please help me."
The man smiled broadly at her words though the gesture did not touch his eyes. He moved toward her and she had to fight the strangest urge to step back. Instinct told her he was dangerous … but he might also be her only hope.
"That is why I am here, Jane. I have come to offer you escape."
"Truly? You will let me go?"
He shook his head, his lips still drawn into that broad smile. "Oh no. I will not let you go." Jane's lips parted but he raised his hand cutting off her words—hands that she could see were tipped with sharp nails. She recoiled slightly, her gaze dragging to his face.
He was looking at her intently and this close she could see into the dark depths of his eyes. As she looked she saw flames in the darkness. She staggered back and in a fearful whisper asked, "What are you?"
The man leaned forward, his face seeming to fill her sight, and in a low voice he answered, "I am the Devil."
A strangled cry escaped her and Jane backed away until she struck the wall. With a menacing air he stepped up to her, his smile gone, expression full of malice. As he came closer his shape wavered for a few seconds, that handsome visage fading to be replaced with a creature from nightmare; a thing with blackened skin, razor sharp fangs and protruding horns. Fear coursed through her but when she shook her head the terrible image faded.
No, no, no this cannot be real, this cannot be. Tis a dream or hallucination. Your plight has affected your mind Jane. You have gone mad.
The hardness of the wall at her back, the trembling of her body, and the racing of her heart told her this was all too real. And when the Devil reached her, the hands he placed on her arms were undeniably solid.
"What … what do you want?"
"I want the Squire," he said, eyes flaming, his voice seeming to echo with the sounds of screams, the sound so horrifying she winched. "He made a bargain with me for his wealth and power, a bargain for his soul, but when I came to collect he cheated me. He has somehow found an enchantment to protect him and I cannot touch him, cannot claim what is rightly mine."
She could hear the rage in his voice. The Squire's words came back to her. "If I have wanted something I have done whatever is necessary to secure it." Oh, the man was utterly corrupt.
"But how can I possible help?"
The Devil raised one hand and she shrank away. He grasped her hair, running his fingers through the strands. "His desire for you will be his undoing. You can deliver him to me."
"Me, how?" Curiosity was now overriding her fear.
"You can render him vulnerable, negate the protection he has. With your help I can take his soul to hell and you will be free of him."
Free. Oh what she wouldn't give for that. But could she make a deal with the Devil himself? Risk her own soul merely to escape the Squire?
"What would I have to do?"
His lip curled. "Agree to marry him in three days time, on All Hallows Eve."
The breath left Jane's lungs in a harsh exhalation and she frantically shook her head. "No. No I cannot marry him. I cannot."
The Devil's grip on her hair grew tighter as he curled the long strands around his fist, holding her still. "You must, that is the only way you can render him powerless, allowing me to strike."
"But how? And why All Hallows Eve?"
His tone became impatient. "The details do not matter, and All Hallows Eve is the night I am most powerful. The Squire's protection is strong and I need my full strength, and your help, to defeat it."
Jane looked down, her mind racing. "How, how can I trust you? If I do this and you do not come at the proper time the Squire will …" She trailed off, not wanting to put voice to what would be done to her.
The Devil of course showed no such delicacy. "The Squire will ravish you Miss Monroe with great delight …" at his blunt words she gasped "… but if make a deal I will stick to it, to the letter. He will not take your body, I swear. The most you would have to endure is his kiss, and maybe his hands on you briefly, but for enduring that you will be free of him. And as his wife you will have his property, his wealth."
She shuddered at the thought of allowing the Squire to kiss her, but the image of herself wealthy and protected, reclaiming her place in society, was so appealing. "You swear I would have all that?"
His lips twisted into a seductive smile full of promise and he nodded. "Everything I have said will come to pass, if you agree to my bargain."
Jane searched his face, her mind and conscience struggling with the implications of accepting his terms. To trust the very Devil? To go against every lesson ever taught her? Her conscience began to retreat. "I do not know. To do this, to trust you so. To put myself so irrevocable in the Squire's power."
At her continued hesitation anger boiled out of him and with a vicious snarl he pulled her hair. She let out a pained cry as her head was jerked back. Her face was forced up to his and as she looked his lips pulled back, exposing the fangs she had briefly seen before. Fear once again beat through her.
"You should fear me more than the Squire girl. If I wanted I could rip the flesh from your body and ravish your bloodied corpse myself."
Bile rose in Jane's throat at such an image, her heart pounding inside her with such fury she thought it might break from her chest. But his evil words made her mind up for her. "No. I will not bargain with you."
With another snarl the Devil flung her from him and she flew across the room, landing heavily with a cry, pain knocking the air from her body.
"Denying me is not wise, Miss Monroe." The Devil's voice had dropped to a silky tone, brimming with menace. "But as much pleasure as I would experience from tormenting you, I will gain far more from tormenting Talbot. You have three days to consider my offer." He looked around smirking. "You will have plenty of time to think during your stay."
Jane forced herself to stand, her chin lifting with the same defiance she had shown the Squire, evoking a dark smile from the Devil. "Oh, but I like your spirit, Jane. It would be so sweet to break it. When you change your mind, just speak the words 'I am ready to bargain,' and I will come to you."
And then he was gone and she was once again left in her solitude. Her body shook, legs going weak and she staggered to the window seat, head dropping to her hands.
Oh dear God what would she do? Give herself to the lusts and tyranny of the Squire, or risk her very soul by accepting the Devil's bargain? How could she choose between two such evil outcomes?
Jane lifted her head and pressed her hands together in desperate prayer. "Please Lord, please help me. Please do not forsake me and leave me to this fate."
No answer came, no white angel to rescue her. No, her only hope was the very Devil. Despair settled on her, a great wave of emotion she could not face and with that despair came exhaustion. Moving to her side, Jane drew her knees up to her chest, hugging herself as tears started to fall. Dear God, what can I do?

Giveaway: An Ebook copy of Down on the Farm in a format of winners choice. Answer this question to be entered in the giveaway: What Halloween candy proves too tempting to ignore? 

Down on the Farm
Passion ensues at a magical Scottish farm. With magic comes danger; with passion comes love.

Callum's Fate by Dianne Hartsock
Will the help of the faery people be enough to save Callum from his fate or will he succumb to the mystical allure of the moors?

Give a Ghost a Chance by SJ Thomas
Leah has a sexy Scotsman all to herself, the only trouble is, he's a ghost...

The Lion, the Witch, and the Faeries by Leona Bushman
No one can outrun a curse.

Cat's Cradle by Raven McAllan
Being stranded can have it's perks.

Purchase the book at: Amazon
Breathless Press

PictureAbout SJ Thomas
Writing sweet yet sizzling paranormal romance, scorching paranormal erotica, and dark paranormal horror, SJ Thomas has had several short stories and novellas published and is currently building up to her first full-length novel.
SJ lives in the South West of England with her wonderful husband, her new baby daughter, and a very spoilt Springer Spaniel. She has a full time day job so has to fit her writing in whenever she can, although like every author she would love to write full time one day. When not writing or working she loves to read and enjoys walking, geocaching and surfing badly.
More details about SJ's current and future works can be found at the following links and she is always happy to chat via Facebook or email.
Twitter: @SJThomas25


Karen Michelle Nutt said... Best Blogger Tips


Thanks so much for joining us! Sure love that Kilt Worthy book cover! :)

My favorite Halloween Candy I just can't resist is: Snickers. I love those!

Jeanne_Treat said... Best Blogger Tips

Nice writing. Post shared. What Halloween candy proves too tempting to ignore? Candy Corn.

Jean MP said... Best Blogger Tips

Favorite Halloween candy for me is Reeses Peanut Butter cups.
Enjoyed the story!
skpetal at hotmail dot com

Cara Marsi said... Best Blogger Tips

Your story is great, but I want to know what happens.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

candy corn. Can't wait to read this book


bn100 said... Best Blogger Tips

Enjoyed it
Hershey bars

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Janice Seagraves said... Best Blogger Tips

Great flash fiction and nice cover.

Anything chocolate.


Theresa Ryder said... Best Blogger Tips

Whoohoo, that's one scary Regency devil!

At my house, we're all addicted to mallowcreme pumpkins and this year we can't find any.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you so much for commenting and for sharing! Sorry I've not stopped by before, I have a 12 week old at home who is a real time waster!

Although I can't enter my fav candy would be Snickers too.

I think this flash will be developed into a story, just not sure where it will go at the moment.

Emily said... Best Blogger Tips

I love Reeses and Snickers. Your story was very interesting, I would love to see it expanded to see what happens next.

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi everyone. So sorry for the delay in picking a winner but I just do not know where the time goes at the moment. Anyway, using my random decision maker the winner is bn100! Congratulations. I will email you to see what format you want. Thanks to everyone who commented and tweeted and shared. You will be pleased to know I have decided to rework this flash into a dark romance so hopefully it will be published soon!