Sunday, October 13, 2013

[BLOG TOUR] Murdoch Vampires Series by Kate Eden Spotlight & Giveaway!



The Murdoch Vampires #1
Logan Murdoch hates complications. All he wants to do is work in his lab and create products to help vampires blend into mortal society. But when his mother begs him to get her painting back from the museum, he discovers a very attractive complication in the form of curator Sydney Worth. She buys his lie that he’s the descendant of the man in the three-hundred-year-old painting, but refuses to give it to him. What’s worse? She’s immune to his mind control.

Sydney couldn’t believe her eyes when the spitting image of the Hot Scot walked into the museum. But her attraction to Logan Murdoch suffers a huge blow when he demands the painting. Losing the piece could threaten her job and she senses Logan is hiding something from her. But this vampire who hates complications and the ambitious curator with trust issues are about to learn the fine art of love.
Publication: April 11, 2013, Paranormal Romance   Buy|AMAZON|



The Murdoch Vampires #2

Raven really doesn’t see what all the fuss is about. All she did was kidnap a mortal and try to sabotage one of the most important developments in the history of the vampire race. For some reason, though, her father, who is the leader of the vampire race, is seriously pissed. He gives her an ultimatum: Spend 200 years in exile or submit to a last ditch crash-course in vampire etiquette.
As the poster boy for upstanding, modern vampires, Callum Murdoch stands for everything the rebellious Raven loathes. He’s also the brother of the man Raven recently targeted. But this very odd couple is about to find out that opposites don’t just attract—they smolder.

 Publication: April 11, 2013, Paranormal Romance Buy|AMAZON|




 The Hot Scot Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

A sadistic man must have invented high heels, Sydney Worth thought to herself as she climbed the ladder. Three-inch heels were never her first choice of footwear, but two weeks earlier her boss had made a snide comment about her sensible flats. She loathed giving the man any more ammunition against her—thus the pointy-toed torture devices which currently clung to the tenth rung.

After she steadied herself, she used her glove-encased hands to straighten the frame of the Gainsborough landscape.
Most curators relied on maintenance staff to handle routine tasks like this, but not Sydney. The European gallery was her domain. She felt responsible for making sure it looked its best. Besides, she liked getting out of her small office and spending time with the art. It calmed her. And with a boss like Marvin Stiggler, she needed all the calm she could get.

“Is it straight, Jorge?” she called out to her assistant, who was supposed to be helping her.

Nothing.

She sighed impatiently.

“Damn it, is it straight or not?”

“It looks pretty good from here,” a deep, very un-Jorge-like voice responded. Her female parts went on red alert.

Forgetting her precarious position, Syd swiveled her head to see the source of the compelling voice. But she only managed to make herself dizzy. 

She swayed, and her left heel slipped on the rung.

Balance gone, she fell fast.

“Ooooh shiiiiit!” she cried. A part of her brain registered the indignity of her words, likely her last.
Just when she thought she was a goner, she landed on something solid and warm.

“Oomph,” it said.

She slowly opened her eyes to catch her first glimpse of the hereafter. An amazing pair of indigo-blue eyes gazed back at her.

“An angel,” she breathed.

“Usually people call me something less complimentary,” he replied with a devilish grin.
Syd closed her eyes again and groaned. “Great, my mother was right—girls who don’t wait until they’re married do go to hell.”

“Did you hit your head on a rung?” he asked.

Something about the concern in his voice sounded decidedly undemonic to Syd, not that she’d ever met any demons, but still.

As it clicked she was not dead or in hell, she remembered the fall.

“Oh my God, don’t drop me!” She quickly shimmied, wrapping her legs about her savior’s waist and her arms around his head in a death grip. At once, his arms tightened around her.

“Mrph,” a muffled voice said from the vicinity of her breasts. She instantly leaned back.
“Sorry, delayed reaction,” she said, her cheeks flaming.

“Oh, it was my pleasure, I assure you,” Blue Eyes said with a chuckle.

Syd really focused on the face in front of her for the first time. She took in the mouth made for sin, the square chin, the bold nose that complemented the face instead of overpowering it, and of course those amazing eyes. She knew this face.

“You’re the Hot Scot,” she said in a breathless voice.

The man studied her for a moment as if trying to decide if the fall knocked her senseless. Syd stared back. Could it be true? She shook her head. Of course he wasn’t the Hot Scot. If he were, that would mean the man holding her was well over three hundred years old.

“Well, I am flattered, but how did you know I’m Scottish?”

“What? Oh . . . no,” Sydney shook her head to clear out the cobwebs. “I mean you look exactly like the man in our new painting. Besides, the brogue kind of gave it away, even though it’s subtle.”

Sydney still couldn’t believe the resemblance as she stared at him.

“Yes, well, my family came across the pond many years ago, so the accent has faded a bit,” he said. “As for the painting, your reaction is somewhat understandable. You see, I’m him—I mean I’m his descendant.”

After her muddled brain slowly absorbed that observation, Syd became aware of several things at once. First, she was not only straddling a complete stranger’s hips, she damn near had him in a death grip with her thighs.

Second, he was an extremely well-endowed descendant if the pressure against her pelvis was any indicator.

Third, as she stared into his eyes, a jolt of connection zapped through her midsection. She told herself it was just his resemblance to the man in the painting, but that didn’t explain the recognition she saw in his eyes, too.

She opened her mouth, hoping the right words would magically occur to her. Unfortunately, before inspiration could strike, a gasp sounded behind her.

“Miss Worth, what in the hell do you think you’re doing?” Marvin Stiggler’s outraged voice rang out in the cavernous gallery.

Syd closed her eyes and wished the floor would swallow her whole. Of course her boss would walk in just in time to witness the most outrageously embarrassing moment of her life. Somehow, she would find a way to pin the blame for the entire episode on the troublemaking, yet very compelling, man she currently straddled.

She slowly dismounted from the tall, hard frame supporting her and tried to avoid the amused blue gaze of its owner. With all the dignity she could muster, Sydney lowered her skirt, smoothed back her curly auburn hair, and turned to face the outraged countenance of her boss.

“Well? Care to explain yourself?” he sneered.

“Mr. Stiggler, I . . . um . . .” she floundered.

Before she could find the words to defend herself, the man behind her stepped closer and placed a balancing hand on her lower back. The warmth of his touch made her aware of her other parts, which still tingled from the intimate contact they’d just shared. She pushed those thoughts ruthlessly aside and tried to focus on the tenuous situation at hand.

“Mr. Stiggler, is it? Before you jump to conclusions, I must take responsibility for this incident. I distracted the lady when she was on top of the ladder.” He motioned to the ladder just to his left. “As a result, she lost her balance and fell. I was lucky to catch her before she seriously injured herself.”

Sydney nodded vigorously to add credence to the explanation.

“That fails to explain why she was straddling you, sir,” replied Stiggler, who looked both disgusted and pleased to have caught his least favorite employee in a compromising position.

“Nevertheless, she could have been seriously injured. An injury, I might add, which could have proved quite expensive for the museum. I am sure you are familiar with worker’s compensation,” the confusing man responded. As unsettling as he was, he seemed to be defending her.

Stiggler deflated a bit. But he wasn’t done. “And who, may I ask, are you?”

“I apologize for not introducing myself sooner. Logan Murdoch,” he said as he stepped forward to shake Stiggler’s hand.

The director hesitated a moment and then reluctantly shook the man’s hand, his own dwarfed by Logan’s large square palm. Sydney started to like the stranger. Anyone who could intimidate Stiggler was a friend of hers.

“Murdoch? Are you related to the Murdoch’s?” Stiggler’s voice rose with excitement.

“I wouldn’t say the Murdoch’s, but as my family is well known here in Raleigh, then, yes, I am one of those Murdoch’s.”

“Let me get this straight. My curator of European art was just saved from a near-fatal fall by a member of the family who owns Murdoch Biotechnology?”

“I am really not involved in the running of the company. I leave that to my brother, Callum.”

Sydney held back a grimace as she watched Stiggler nearly swoon at this newest development. The man was a bloodhound when it came to money. And if what Mr. Murdoch said was correct, he belonged to one of the wealthiest families in North Carolina. She could almost see the calculations going on in Stiggler’s head.

But she was more curious about what brought Mr. Murdoch to their museum.

Her concerns about his ancestor comment earlier doubled at knowing he had the Murdoch name and bank account behind him.

She cleared her throat to get the men’s attention. Stiggler began to gush all over the man who recently had his head in her cleavage. Really, the whole thing was just embarrassing. 

Had she actually thrust her breasts in his face? She started to blush again, but she needed some answers.

“Gentlemen, excuse me. But Mr. Murdoch has not explained his reason for visiting this morning,” Sydney said.
“Please call me Logan, and I should call you . . . ?”

“Miss Worth would be fine,” she said in her primmest tone.

After all, just because a woman wraps her thighs around a man with enough force to crush a casaba melon, he couldn’t just presume to call her by her first name, could he? Absolutely not.

His lips twitched, but she ignored it and waited for an explanation.

“Miss Worth then.” He executed a slight mocking bow in her direction. 

“As I mentioned earlier, the portrait you acquired is of an ancestor of mine, Royce Murdoch. I want to know how the painting came to be in your possession.”

“As I am sure you heard from the press, the painting was donated to the museum by a benefactor who prefers to remain anonymous,” Syd explained.

Stiggler jumped in, “But if you are a descendant, we would love to have you involved in the exhibition. How much would you like to contribute?” he asked without any apparent concern over his lack of tact.
“I’m not interested in donating to the museum,” replied Logan.

“No? Why wouldn’t you want to contribute and promote your good family name?” Stiggler asked.

“Let me cut to the chase. Someone stole that painting from my family two hundred years ago. We gave up any hope of finding it until we saw the news coverage. We want it back.”

Sydney’s mouth dropped open. A sheen of sweat appeared on Stiggler’s pasty brow, and his eyes almost bugged out of his head as if a stroke was imminent. The gallery was silent as a tomb for a good minute before either gathered their wits enough to respond. Logan calmly met their stunned expressions, seeming content to wait out the silence.
“You want it back?” Sydney repeated, not quite believing her ears.

Stiggler regained his senses, but instead of addressing Murdoch, he turned on Syd.
“Miss Worth, this is just one more example of how your inexperience has hurt this museum,” he hissed.
Syd rounded on him, “Excuse me? How is this is my fault?”

“If you had done your job, this never would have happened.”

“We’ve only had the painting a week.” She tried to keep her voice calm to cover the acid churning in her stomach. “You’re the one who started a media blitz before anyone had a chance to authenticate the painting!”

A throat cleared, and Sydney suddenly remembered the man who started all of this. It brought her back to her senses enough to realize how unprofessional she must seem. But how dare Stiggler blame her for this? Really! She had put up with a lot since she accepted her position at the Raleigh Museum of Fine Art six months earlier. Because she was young by curator standards, only twenty-eight, it had been an uphill battle all the way to prove her talents.

“I told the museum board hiring an inexperienced woman for the role of curator would be a mistake. Fresh perspective, my foot,” Stiggler railed.

Honestly, thought Syd, the man thinks only stuffy middle-aged white men know anything about art. Her two master’s degrees, one in art history and another in European history, meant nothing to him. Nor did he care she was graduated from both programs with departmental distinction. Luckily, she’d proven herself to the museum board and landed her dream job. She had persevered through months of Stiggler’s crap only to have this gorgeous man come in and muck everything up for her.

“Mr. Stiggler, I fail to see how this development is relevant to the origins of my employment here,” she said. She would not let him bait her into losing her cool.

“You know the acquisition of this portrait comes at a time when the museum desperately needs attention. After all, attention means donors,” Stiggler continued with a significant look at Murdoch.
Syd knew the importance of the painting in terms of public relations, especially with a bad economy making donors less generous, but she also saw it as her opportunity to put her name on the map as a curator. And she desperately wanted to prove herself, and not only to Stiggler.

“Mr. Stiggler, perhaps we should take a moment to refocus our attention to the matter at hand, hmm?” Murdoch interrupted Stiggler’s rant.

Suddenly the anxiety she felt gave way to resolve. The man couldn’t just waltz in there and throw all of her hard work down the drain. And she knew if Stiggler could pin this on her, he would. She had to ensure that never happened. So she turned her attention away from her rodent boss and onto the man really responsible—Logan Murdoch.
“Mr. Murdoch, I apologize for our outburst, but your news has come to us as a bit of a shock. However, I assume you have some evidence to support your claim.” Murdoch Biotechnology or no, this man was not going to intimidate her.
“Well . . . no.” He seemed honestly baffled she would even suggest he needed proof. He stared at her intently for a second. She waited for him to say more, but he just continued to look into her eyes as if trying to read her mind.
Ok, that’s weird, thought Syd.

“Are you telling me you waltzed in here expecting us to just hand the painting over to you without verifying your story? Really, Mr. Murdoch, did you expect us to gift wrap it, too?”

Ha, take that! She gave herself a mental high five.

“Miss Worth, apologize to Mr. Murdoch! That kind of sarcasm is not appropriate when speaking to such an esteemed member of our community,” chastised Stiggler.

Syd rolled her eyes and then looked at Murdoch expectantly.

His eyebrows knitted together, and his jaw clenched as if he was trying to remain calm.
Well, tough, she thought. He’d better get used to being challenged. No one pushes this girl around.
He cleared his throat as if needing time to regroup. “I admit my family and I were in shock when we saw the news. In my rush to get here, I failed to consider the need for evidence. Perhaps we could come to an agreement.”
Stiggler’s eyes lit up. Syd could almost hear the cha-ching echoing in the man’s head. She, on the other hand, was insulted.

“Are you suggesting we would be open to bribery?” she demanded.

“Hush!” said Stiggler as he slithered closer to his prey.

“Please ignore her. She has no decision-making authority here. Now about that arrangement . . .”
Murdoch looked at the man with distaste.

“No, I am not offering a bribe. If we could go see the painting, I will explain what I have in mind.”
Looking a little baffled, Stiggler nodded his toupee-covered head and crossed his hands respectfully over his gut. Syd often thought, with the designer suits his outlandish salary afforded him, Stiggler appeared half-politician, half-used-car salesman. Lord knew why the museum board kept the man on. Most likely it was his ability to finagle credit for his employees’ hard work while doing almost no real work himself. He really was a rat. Unfortunately for Syd, the rat also had the power to make or break her career.

“If you’ll follow me, Logan,” said the rat.

“You may call me Mr. Murdoch,” said the man who confused her more by the minute. He sure seemed like the enemy, but she couldn’t shake the odd feeling he was on her side.

“Of course, Mr. Murdoch,” said Stiggler. 

“Miss Worth, please continue on with whatever it is you do all day. Besides throwing yourself off ladders that is.”
Syd opened her mouth to protest being cut out of the discussions, but Murdoch beat her to it.

“Actually, I insist Miss Worth be included.” Syd whirled to face him, her mouth hanging open with shock. Of course, she wanted to be included in negotiations, but she wondered why he insisted on her involvement. He calmly met her gaze. She took in his resolved expression but glimpsed a promise in his eyes. Syd tried not to focus on what the promise entailed because, given their interaction so far, she feared it would involve sticking her chest in his face again. Only this time it would not be an accident. She mentally fanned herself.

Get a grip, girl. This man is the enemy, she scolded herself and raised her chin, which only seemed to amuse him. She scowled at him. He grinned back. Stiggler was so beside himself he didn’t notice the exchange.

“Absolutely not. This is a museum administration issue, and she is only a curator,” the rat fink insisted, trying to assert some of his power. The grin immediately disappeared from Mr. Murdoch’s face.

Syd almost felt pity for Stiggler. Almost.

“Miss Worth is involved, or I call the lawyers.” From his tone, Syd suspected he was a man used to getting his way. Her suspicion became a conviction at the next words out of Stiggler’s mouth.

“After you, Miss Worth.” 




ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kate Eden comes from a long line of mouthy broads who love to read, so it’s probably no surprise she caught the writing bug early. An avid romance fan since her early teens, Kate loves writing–and reading–stories about plucky heroines, sexy heros and the weird and wild journey people take on their way to love. She loves good food, cheap booze, and believes laughter is the cure for just about everything.

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1 comment:

  1. I'm part of the blog tour too, just stopping by to say hello! :)

    http://nataliewestgate.com

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