Welcome to Karen’s Killer Book Bench where, every Wednesday, readers can discover talented new authors and take a peek inside their wonderful books. This is not an age-filtered site so all book peeks are PG-13 or better. Come back and visit often. Happy reading!
About The Progeny Series
At its core, The Progeny is simply a story about a man and woman who fall in love, and the fact that he’s a half-blood (half-human, half vampire) and she’s a Wiccan human are secondary factors. When we meet Ascher, he’s grumpy. Frankly, who could blame him? He’s engaged to seal to Ursula—a cold and careless vampire who wants nothing more than to get her hands on a bloodstone— and he feels conflicted about his existence.
All of that changes when he meets Shawnette McCutchin. She’s beautiful, intriguing and possesses some of the most potent blood that he’s ever smelled. A war immediately begins inside Ascher. He craves Shauna’s blood just as much as he craves her body and the closer they get, the harder it is for him to control his urges. After Ascher calls off the sealing to Ursula, the trouble begins. His family’s peaceful period ends when Ursula’s army attacks the Rousseaus.
This series is about a family of which we’ve never seen before. They share a common mortal and immortal bloodline but loyalty is the thread that holds this clan together. Once you become a part of this family, the others will risk their lives to protect you. We see examples of this throughout the journey. There is no shortage of romance, steam and surprises in The Progeny Series but these books are for adults and contain adult sensuality, language and themes.
Book one of the Progeny Series—The Progeny—re-released on May 7, 2012. The “revamp” is a second edition full of extended scenes, new details and tighter editing. Book two—Blood Bonds—will release Summer of 2012.
The Progeny Blurb (The Progeny Series #1)
“No fate other than the one I choose.”
The timeless creed, and tattoo, bore by the Rousseau’s— a vampire clan with the purest bloodline of any vampire family. Out of this clandestine group came one who was different, yet the same: Ascher-a half-bloodling— half- human, half vampire.
Ascher questions the purpose for his existence and which world he truly belongs to: the human world or the vampire world. Two months from sealing to Ursula— a prearranged union to a woman he abhors — he’s at his wit’s end. He knows if he calls off the sealing, the Romanian clan will strike with deadly force, but he cannot see eternity with a cold empty shell of a woman like Ursula.
Just when he thought life was complicated enough, he meets Shauna— a beautiful, bi-racial human Wiccan — and immediately develops an unshakable attraction to her. She makes him feel alive and vital despite his origins and Ascher makes a decision that turns his immortal world upside down.
Blood Bonds Blurb (The Progeny Series #2)
“Forever. For always. For eternity.”
The ties that bind two hearts are powerful. For Ascher Rousseau and Shauna McCutchin, it’s more than just a blood bond. Their union is that of vampire legend. Their love is a predestined prophecy foretold centuries ago.
It’s a week before Ascher and Shauna’s sealing and the couple is making final preparations for their eternity. But Ascher’s ex has other plans. Ursula is hell-bent on revenge—revenge fueled by lover’s scorn and her father’s death—and she begins breeding a fresh army of newborn darklings to do her bidding.
When Ursula finds a new weapon—an ally with the capability to dismantle the Rousseau clan— Ascher and Shauna’s bond is tested and they must stand together against Ursula or lose each other for eternity.
Ascher kept a watch on the developments in the gardens, via Quinn’s mind. Ian was there. What a masochist. Surely, Ian knew he’d never make it out of the compound alive. Maybe, he didn’t care.
Ascher read Ian’s mind, seeing Ursula giving the orders for him to come to Bonheur to kill him. Was there no end to her wickedness? How stupid to attack three days after the confrontation, when they were on high alert and expecting it. She had much to learn about battle and with Clive and Skylar both dead, she’d be alone in her feeble mastery.
He didn’t feel sorry for Ursula. How could he, when his love lay grieving their precious, unborn baby while recovering from the wounds inflicted on her, by Ursula.
Ascher’s vision flashed to crimson, a smirk materializing on his face as he channeled Quinn impaling Ian with a silver javelin. He and his family wouldn’t tolerate any more attempts on Shauna’s life. He’d impale, dismember and incinerate anyone who breathed even a harsh word her way. He showered and changed before Shauna woke.
Her eyes fluttered open.
“Are you okay?” Ascher asked, smoothing a hand across her forehead.
“I want to talk to you about something.”
“I want to talk to you about something, too. You go first.”
Shauna sat up in the bed. “I love you.”
“I know you do. My love for you transcends my heart. What I feel for you will last for an eternity, but I’m willing to sacrifice my happiness to give you everything you want.”
She looked baffled. “You’ve already given me that.”
He gently curved his hand across her face. “No, Shauna, you don’t understand. If you stay with me, you’ll be denying what makes you human. You’ll be denying yourself a chance at a happy life. I can’t let you do that.”
“I only want you, Ascher.”
Ascher knew what he planned to do and what he was about to say, didn’t make any sense. He needed to give her one last chance at a normal life. “I’m not enough! You should have babies without the fear of wondering what they’ll be, a marriage to some boring human that thinks the sun rises and sets on you. You deserve a normal life, without the danger of creatures hunting you down to kill you, a mate that won’t have to fight off the urge to kill you constantly.”
“What are you saying, Ash?”
He loved her enough to set her free, if it was what was best for her. His heartbreak was nothing compared to the thought of her living an unfulfilled life. “I want you to live your life and forget about me. I’m poison, Shauna.”
Tears streaked her face. “When I gave myself to you, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever see you again. My virginity wasn’t something that I took lightly. I wanted you to be the first and you were. More than that, you’ve been my first love, my first heartbreak, and my first lover. I want you to be my only lover for the rest of my life. I want you forever, Ascher, not just for a lifetime. I want you for the rest of eternity.”
Ascher placed his hand over her mouth. “Shauna, please. You can’t know what you’re saying.”
“My sister loved me and for a long time, she was the only person who I knew, without a doubt, loved me. Now she’s clinging to her life! Our baby lie innocent in my womb, but Ursula did away with him. She’s infected every part of my life and hurt those close to me. She and her minions have to pay for what they’ve done! I’ll never forgive her, no matter how long my existence is.” Her lips pursed as her eyes burned with anger. “As long as I’m human, Ursula will come after me. I hate her! As long as I’m mortal, you’ll be conflicted by your need for my blood and your love for me. It doesn’t have to be that way. The solution is so simple.”
“No, Shauna. Nothing about this life is simple. You don’t know what you’re asking for.”
“Yes, I do. Change me, Ascher—make me like you.”
“No, I can’t. I won’t bring you into a life of blood lust and cursed damnation!”
“So, what do we do? Sit and wait for me to die? I’m older now, than I was yesterday. I’ll be older tomorrow, than I am right now. Sure, you enjoy my mortal flesh now, but what about when I’m older. What then?”
He ignored her tantrum and waited patiently for her to finish. When she was done, he knelt down beside the bed, kissing her hand, and then kissing her lips. “Are you finished?”
“Only, if I’m getting through to you.”
“I’m getting you loud and clear. It’s my turn to talk.”
Ascher channeled her mind and saw how sure she was about wanting him forever. She wasn’t just saying the words. She really wanted it. Her thoughts were the answer to his fears. He’d heard how Alex reacted to having his choice taken from him. He didn’t want that for Shauna, no matter how much he loved her.
The decision to become an immortal wasn’t an easy one and Shauna had the option to stay human without losing him. Still, she wanted it and she wanted him.
“An immortal’s existence isn’t plagued by the constant awareness of aging, but I’ve died a little every day since the first time I laid eyes on you. I’ve tortured myself with worry about the things I desired and the impossibility of those things. Now, it’s all clear to me, Shauna. The most beautiful part of my existence only came the day you walked into my life. I want to spend the rest of my existence with you. I don’t know how we’ll make this work; I only know that we have to.”
She parted her lips, attempting to speak.
Ascher smiled and shook his head in disapproval. “Please, let me just get this out.”
She returned his smile and nodded her head.
“In the beginning, I was so careful and determined to guard your heart, fearing what being in love with me would do to you. Now, I’m so selfish. For me, it isn’t a matter of if you love me enough to want me forever. Now, the urgency lies in the fact that my heart won’t survive without you. I’m really hoping that you’ll spare me. I can’t live without the blood that sustains me, but I’ll die a greater death, a more excruciating one, without you. I’d rather have my heart ripped from my chest than to spend my existence without the love that you’ve given me. Shauna, my mortal heart beats for you. My lips ache to kiss yours, but most importantly, my weary soul yearns to be with yours forever.”
A tear fell from her eye.
“I’m immortal, but your refusal will mortally wound me.”
“There are some things that are as constant as the moon—the flow of the river into the ocean, life, death and my undying love for you. Shawnette Reagan McCutchin, make me the happiest man alive—seal to me for eternity.”
Ascher froze. He’d planned for this, believing that he knew her mind, yet he braced himself for the possibility that she might say no. “In human terms, I’m asking you to marry me.”
Shauna stared at him, her dark eyes brimming with tears. “You’re serious?”
“Yes!” she cried out.
“Good, now I can give you this.”
Ascher opened his hand, revealing a ring. He held it up to show her a perfectly round, blood red stone with baguette shaped diamonds flanking either side.
Her eyes widened before a look of wonder lit her smiling face. “Ascher, it’s so unique and beautiful.”
“It’s not the traditional diamond, but if you want one, you can have it. I’ll fly you to New York in the morning. You can have any ring you want.”
“That isn’t necessary. This ring is gorgeous.”
Meet Ashlynne Laynne, Author….
Ashlynne Laynne has always had a soft spot in her heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun-loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, she tends to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for her writing The Progeny. The vampire/witch pairing is unique and different when most books pair vampires with werewolves.
Ashlynne loves writing on the edge and teetering between the erotica and romance genres, and thinks of Ascher and Shauna as the wicked, damned version of Romeo and Juliet. She is currently working on books three and four of her Progeny Series, book one of her upcoming Rocker Series, and an untitled novella WIP. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write full time one day soon.
Ashlynne lives in North Carolina with her husband and teenage son.
Facebook Progeny Series Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Progeny-Series/129418917161599?bookmark_t=page
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Ashlynne-Laynne/118945981513261
Romance Novel Center: http://romancenovelcenter.com/ashlynnelaynne
Author Blog: http://ashlynnelaynne.blogspot.com/
Amazon Kindle UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Progeny-ebook/dp/B0074535P6/ref=pd_rhf_se_p_t_2
All Romance E-books: http://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theprogeny-726383-139.html