The Progeny Blog Tour
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Book: The Progeny
Author: Ashlynne Laynne
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Novel Concept Publishing
I love paranormal books and this one had it all. Murder, vampires, wiccan, love, sex, romance and suspense. What more could a paranormal lover want?
Ascher Rousseau is a half bloodling from the purest of bloodlines. His mother was a human and his father was a vampire. He has three brothers, Quinn, Gabriel and Tristian. The family owns a club called Rousseau and one day a woman walks in who will turn Ascher's life upside down. Her name is Shauna McCutchin and she is the new bartender.
Ascher is the youngest of the brothers and he is to be mated to Ursula from the Romanian clan. It is a prearranged marriage and one that Ascher is having difficulty accepting. Ursula is a cold hearted woman and every time he is near her he feels ill. How can he spend an eternity with someone he can't stand to be around? If he breaks off the mating, he risks a bloody reprisal from Ursula's clan that could mean war between the two families. He would be risking his family as well as himself.
But when Shauna arrives he realizes that there is something between them and he knows that he has to break off the marriage no matter the consequences. Shauna is a beautiful bi-racial woman and he can't get her off his mind. She has no idea what Ascher is but she also has an immediate reaction to him.
Shauna grew up with very religious parents who punished her for anything that they felt was wrong. Her childhood was a very unhappy one and her parents eventually disowned her. They refused to talk to her or allow her sister Katy to have a relationship with her. Katy could only text Shauna or meet her on the sly. Katy is everything to Shauna and the only family she has. When Ascher calls off the mating with Ursula, Katy suddenly disappears. There is no doubt who took her and why. Revenge. Can she be found? Is she alive? The quest for her is very exciting and suspenseful.
There are many characters in the story and the author gives the reader a full understanding of their lives. I loved reading about Ascher's brothers and his father. We learn the truth about Ascher's birth and about his mother. There are so many secrets and all questions were fully answered.
This is an author I would have no hesitation in reading again. The story just moved smoothly and never left me feeling let down.
Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Ashlynne Laynne, in her own words:
A writer was born.
A poet and songwriter, before 2011, I’ve had my poetry in several anthologies, written a book of poetry, under another pseudonym, and my songs place in two song festivals. I’ve endeavored to continue my poetry as I continue to write novels. The Epilogue of The Progeny is an actual original poem that I wrote three years ago—before I ever thought of writing novels.
How’s that for destiny?
I never thought myself patient enough to write a novel. In October 2010, I started a project with a title, some rough sketches of a special amulet and two names—Shauna and Ascher. I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, I tend to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for my writing of The Progeny. The infinite possibilities, for such a wicked couple, intrigued me. I like to think of Ascher and Shauna as the damned version of Romeo and Juliet with supernatural abilities.
I wanted my couple to be unique, so I made Ascher a half-bloodling (my term to describe his half human, half vampire existence) and Shauna a bi-racial Wiccan. I think their unique relationship reflects the changing complexion of relationships in today’s society. I wanted Shauna to be strong and to be his equal. I really believe I’ve accomplished that. I only meant for Ascher to be the progeny, but realized that Shauna is also one (I can’t say much more about that without spoiling a story line).
I’m currently working on the sequel to The Progeny.
The Progeny Blurb:
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.
The Progeny Excerpt:
Ascher pulled Shauna behind him, his stance clearly a protective one. But why-? Surely, she didn’t need protection from her. His grip tightened around her arm, his knuckles straining with tension. Her mind finally registered his firm hold and sent messages to her heart and eyes.
She wiggled away from him. “Let go of me, Ash! What’s wrong with you? Who is she?”
“I’m fine and she’s nobody. Ursula was just leaving.” He spoke with little conviction.
“ The hell I am…” the stranger mumbled, an unsavory smirk turning up the corners of her mouth. “Tell her, Ascher. Tell her who I really am!”
“Yeah, Ascher,” Shauna spoke in a mocking tone, her eyes becoming pieces of wet coal in narrow sockets. “Why don’t you tell me the truth…who is she?”
He froze, his youthful face chiseled with a mixture of shock, horror and anger. “There’s something you need to know.”
“Spit it out, Ascher. Tell her! Or I will!” Ursula growled, her hands flicking the shades away from her face.
Terror, worse than any horror movie Shauna had ever seen. More ghastly than any monster a mind could conjure.
Shauna clutched her chest, stepping away from both of them. “Her eyes!” she screamed. “Ascher…what’s wrong with her eyes?”
The stranger giggled and continued piercing her demonized stare into Shauna.
Ascher struggled to control his mounting anger. He clutched Shauna closer. “Do you trust me?”
The floor vibrated underneath their feet. Shauna’s eyes became cold, the glare of distrust swimming in them.
“No. I don’t! Why are you so nervous?”
“You left Katy alone. You should go back up with her. I’ll be up there in a little while. Okay?”
“No. I want to know who she is. Right now, Ascher! Who…is…she?”
“Please, Shauna,”— he huffed with impatience— “just do it.”
“For cryin’ out loud…” Ursula groaned.
“I warned you, Ursula,” he growled, every part of him aching to rip her to shreds. She had nerve. Were he not a gentleman, he’d finish her and be done with it.
“You don’t warn me. Looks like you’ve been keeping a lot from her. Afraid she might not want you if she knows the real you?”
His lips strained against clenched teeth, begging to curl up and release a menacing snarl. Control— He had to stay in control. Push the anger back down. Stem the raging desire to lash out at Ursula.
Her red eyes narrowed, the smirk taunting him, daring him to expose himself. He was strong in his gifts, but rage made her stronger. Her mind turned, fighting off the subliminals he hurled at her.
She cackled, “That won’t work, dearest. It’s time she knows everything.”
“Dearest?” Shauna questioned, her tiny fists balling.
Ascher reached for Shauna but she moved away from him.
“Don’t touch me!”
“Ursula, doing this won’t change things between us,” he uttered, knowing she’d never listen to reason.
“No! She deserves to know the truth, Ascher,” Ursula responded.
“Ursula, please—” He couldn’t believe he was begging her for anything.
Ignoring his pleading, she continued, “My name is Ursula. Ascher and I are to seal in two days.”
Shauna drew in a staggered breath. “Seal— as in marriage?”
“Is this true?” Shauna demanded.
His head dropped in shame. “Yes, but…”
“So she is your fiancée? And let me guess, she’s the first.”
“Shauna, I can explain.”
Shauna clutched her head with both hands screaming, “No!” The window, behind her, cracked. She ran towards the door, fresh tears flooding her face. Ascher grabbed at her, missing. “No!” she shouted again. The ceiling rumbled, water raining down from the sprinklers. “Move!” she shouted, pointing towards the door. It flew open, nearly ripping off its hinges. Ascher appeared in front of her. She scowled then pushed him back. “Go away!” she yelled then watched as an unseen force moved him from her path. She turned, backing away from both of them, her eyes fixated on the two. Her finger twirled then pointed at each of them. “Stay!”
“I hope you’re happy now,” he growled at Ursula then sprinted after Shauna, catching her before she hit the stairs. He clutched her, turning her to him. Distress blanketed her face. “Shauna please, just let me explain.”
A strange burn started in her legs. What’s happening to me? She’d had rage issues all her life but never anything like this. Her normally clear eyesight was now blurry and grey. The hall—she’d seen for three months and knew like the back of her hand—became an unfamiliar maze, veiled by her fuzzy vision.
She took a step, stumbled then regained her balance against the wall.
“I told you how important honesty was to me and you’ve been keeping this from me the whole time. You told me she was nobody… that it was only physical curiosity. It doesn’t look that way to me. She talks like she owns you. You told me it was over between the two of you. How were you going to cover up getting married to someone else?”
“I wasn’t, just listen to me...”
She shook her head. “I’ve listened enough. I can’t trust you. Without trust, we have nothing. All you’ve done is feed me lies. You’re a liar! I despise liars! I can’t believe I was going to sleep with you—allow you to be my first.” She gripped her stomach and doubled over. “I’m going to be sick…”
He reached for her, again.
“Don’t touch me!” Every ounce of restraint left her body. Chaos now flooded her brain. She wanted to lash out. No, she needed to lash out.
“Shauna. Just let me take you home. I promise I’ll explain things to you.”
“What part of, ‘I don’t want to hear your lies’-- don’t you understand?” she seethed through clenched teeth, her anger blazing directly into him. “Back…!” she barked, pushing her hands away from her body, towards him. He flew back against the wall. “I don’t want to hear it! Don’t touch me, Ascher,” she sobbed into her hands, “I hate you. I wish I’d never met you!”
“Shauna…?” he whispered, pain and disbelief creasing his face.
“Just leave me alone. I never want to see you again.”
“Shauna you don’t….”
“Oh yes I do— I mean it and I quit! I can’t work here anymore.”
She ran out the emergency exit, setting off the door alarm, sprinting—into the night.