The first novel in the Raiden Warriors series by Denna Holm…
When Abby Harris takes her faithful German shepherd out for a hike in Oregon’s beautiful mountains, getting abducted by aliens isn’t even a blip on her radar. Her trusty can of bear spray and pocket knife aren’t much help against the seven-foot monsters who swoop in out of nowhere to transport her to a ship in space.
Nicolai Nekbet is Crown Prince for the House of Nekbet on the planet Raiden. Unable to bear healthy children with females of their own species, Raiden warriors must hunt for a bride outside their own world. Nicolai has his heart set on a human even though their planet is protected by an ancient species called Laizahlian. When he sees the tall blonde-haired beauty out in the mountains with only a dog by her side, he knows he must have her.
With Abby safely on his ship, Nicolai injects her with his shaprata, his essence. His shaprata will change her on a cellular level, making them compatible for procreation, but he must still work hard to win her heart. If she rejects their union, it could easily mean his death.
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About the Book
Claimed By Nicolai
by Denna Holm
SciFi & Fantasy
Crimson Cloak Publishing
April 22, 2019
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CLAIMED BY NICOLAI
A Raiden Warriors Novel
© 2019 Denna Holm
Abby opened her eyes, her body feeling sluggish, almost as though she was trying to push through a vat of heavy molasses. “Good grief,” she mumbled, fighting to clear her head. She couldn’t focus, her vision blurred, seeing double and sometimes triple. “Now what?” she grumbled, getting sick of the weird stuff.
“The effects of hyperspace will wear off soon, my love. It would probably be best if you sat up for a while. Let me help you lean back against the pillows.”
She gasped, remembering the deep, seductive voice from before. Swallowing noisily, she turned to find a…?
Abby groaned, trying to scramble sideways to escape the enormous lizard man sitting beside her on the bed. He wasn’t wearing the uniform anymore, more of his freaky black and red beaded skin showing over a massive chest and shoulders. In fact, she wasn’t sure he was wearing anything, his lower half covered by a blanket, not that she wanted to learn. “Ugh,” she cried out, fighting against that strange heaviness in the air. By some miracle of God, she managed to slap his hand away when he reached for her, and Abby pushed unsteadily to her feet. But she couldn’t find strength to lift her foot and take a step away from the bed.
The lizard man thinned his lips, a sort of grimace, then he leaned back against the headboard, impressive arms crossed over his bare chest. “Forgive me, I didn’t mean to frighten you. It can be difficult the first few times you move through hyperspace.”
Hyperspace? “Whatever,” she said sarcastically. Abby swallowed hard, staring over at him, her body lightly swaying. She had no choice but to lean against the bed, either that or fall on her ass. Shivering, she studied the strange man, noticing his torso wasn’t completely covered in the strange beaded skin. It appeared to cover key areas of his body: his upper chest and shoulders, and the top side of his arms and hands, thinner where it molded into more normal skin. She couldn’t see his back, but suspected it probably covered at least the top half of his shoulders. His muscled abs were more of an appealing bronze color. Abby tried hard not to think about what sat between his thighs, shuddering at the direction of her imagination.
He just sat there watching her with those freaky black eyes while she studied him, the red vertical pupils flashing briefly, almost like a spark. She coughed, her throat scratchy. “Did you…?” She cleared her throat and tried again. “Did you drug me?”
“Earlier, on the surface of your planet, I’m afraid we thought it necessary, yes. We didn’t want you to fight and possibly hurt yourself. Osiris, our head physician, said there should be no lasting ill-effects. What you feel now is more likely brought on by traveling through hyperspace. To be exact, we are moving faster than the speed of light. You slept through the initial thrust, which tends to be the worst part. You might be uncomfortable for a short while yet, but you should adjust soon enough.” When she swayed, he added, “You should sit down, my love. Walking or standing is not advisable until you learn how your body will react to hyperspace. Osiris gave me medicine to help with any nausea.” He hesitated, his expression unreadable as he studied her face. “You’re safe here. I won’t touch you without permission.”
No, she thought, scowling, you already did that, asshole, then just crawled into bed with me! Not exactly a confidence builder.
Abby struggled not to laugh at the absurdity of her situation. “Hyperspace, seriously? Is this some sort of joke?” She snorted. “I must say, you guys are going all out with this alien abduction bullshit, God only knows why. Is someone taping this because I’m not gonna sign a release to use it?” Probably a bunch of Star Trek fanatics or something? “Shouldn’t you say warp instead of hyperspace? I mean, if you wanted to make it sound realistic.” She held up her hand when he started to answer, shaking her head. “Never mind. I don’t really care. Who came up with your costume? I gotta say, it almost looks real.” Her stomach rolled, and she covered her mouth, suddenly afraid she might puke.
She braced her hips against the bed, swaying lightly as she raised her eyes to the strange guy’s face, his body suit still freaking her out. Maybe he wasn’t really that built. Maybe it was mostly padding.
“Does my appearance bother you?” he asked, his head cocked in a distinctly lizard-like way.
“I can’t imagine why? Seriously, dude, don’t do that thing with your head. I’m already freaked out enough.”
His eyes widened. “Don’t do what?”
“Don’t cock your head like . . . that,” she said as he tipped it the other way. “I keep expecting your tongue to flicker out.” She waved her finger in the air, imitating a snake, knowing she’d crap herself if his tongue was forked.
Abby snorted at his startled look, raising her sight to his black eyes. She shivered at the flash of red in his slit pupils, unable to hold back a sarcastic chuckle. “How do you do that, make the weird eye flashy deal?” When he only narrowed his eyes, as though puzzled, she blew out a noisy breath. “Forget it. Doesn’t matter,” she mumbled. A little louder, she added, “Did you guys snatch me right off the damn mountain? How’d you know where I’d be? And where’s my backpack, and my mushrooms?” She didn’t know why it mattered, maybe she just needed to get back a tiny bit of control.
“It would have been extremely difficult to . . . find a female of worth among those in your cities. Our camouflage only works well in the country and, as you can see for yourself, I would not fit in very well among your people. I was beginning to lose hope when you finally showed up. May I ask your name?”
“Lucky fucking me,” she growled, ignoring his question about her name. “What if I want to go back home?” She rubbed at the underside of her jaw, her tongue still extremely sore, though not quite as bad as it had been the first time she woke up. How long ago was that? Hours. Days. “Who put you up to this, anyway? Was it someone from school?”
“I’m afraid I can’t take you back. You would not survive long without me.”
Ugh! She growled, narrowing her eyes. “What in the hell is that supposed to mean? You’re not making any sense.” He sat up straighter, leaning toward Abby, and her heart started to beat a little faster. She wanted to back up but was afraid her legs wouldn’t hold.
Seeing her reaction, the guy took a deep breath and dropped his hand to the bed. “Please, try to remain calm. I don’t wish to have to call the physician again. You are in no danger here. I think, however, that it would be better to speak of this a little later. We’ll give you time to calm down and perhaps you’ll be more receptive to what I have to say. Most species would recognize me as being from Raiden and know my purpose. I promise to explain everything when you’re feeling calmer.”
“I’m as calm as I’m likely to get so maybe you better just start talking, bub.” She hoped like hell he wasn’t as crazy as he sounded right now. Abby gathered her strength and put a few feet between her and the bed, her gaze never leaving his face as she fought for each step through the syrupy air. When he sat up, his expression worried, she held up her finger, pointing it at him. “Uh-uh, you stay right there.” He froze, and she glanced around the room, unable to find any doors. The strange window was to the left of the bed, but the blind was closed again. Abby leaned against the metal counter, feeling trapped. She turned her attention back to her captor, who continued to watch her with his freaky alien eyes. “Okay, why don’t you tell me what your name is?” She’d start with something easy and go from there. Besides, she couldn’t keep calling him freak or asshole.
“Nicolai Nekbet. I am second-born son to Babatondé and Daida Nekbet, and Crown Prince to the House of Nekbet. You are my future queen.”
Uh huh, and I thought I’d start with easy. No problem. “All right, that’s cool, I guess,” she mumbled, fighting not to roll her eyes. Of course he’d be some sort of prince, not that she’d remember all that other shit he’d popped off with. A little louder, she added, “Okay, Nick, how about you tell me where I am.” Let’s try that one. She’d find her own damned way back home.
Abby wiped the smirk off her face when the crazy guy scowled, hoping she hadn’t offended him too badly. He didn’t appear happy about her shortening his name, or it could have something to do with her sarcastic tone in general. “I’m sorry. Please, just tell me where I am.”
Nick took a deep breath and relaxed his posture, offering her a tight-lipped smile. “I assume you’re not speaking about this room. We are on my ship, Qadira,” he added with what looked like pride, his smile widening.
Yep, there’s the shark teeth. It figured. Hope he doesn’t bite anyone with those things . . . like me. Needing comfort, Abby wrapped her arms around her middle, holding herself. At least talking was easier than walking in this impossibly thick air. “Uh, your ship?” she asked, trying to keep on track.
“Qadira is the largest and best of the Raiden ships.”
Okay, they were gonna keep playing this game. “What kind of ship is it? Are we out on the ocean?” Except for the heaviness to the air, she couldn’t feel any real motion, just a weird buzzing against her bare feet. Abby had taken a five-day cruise with her high school senior class, but the cabin she shared with her friends hadn’t been anything like this. She had felt the waves, heard the ship’s engine.
Her captor sighed, patting the bed as though he wanted her to sit beside him. She snorted, like that was ever gonna happen. “You are in space, my love. Don’t you remember looking out at the stars when you first woke? We were still in orbit around Earth then, your world.”
“Stop calling me that. I’m not your damned love! I don’t even know you.” Space, my ass.
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To celebrate the blitz for CLAIMED BY NICOLAI by Denna Holm, we’re giving away a signed paperback copy of the book to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open to US shipping addresses only. One winner will receive a paperback copy of Claimed By Nicolai by Denna Holm. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Denna Holm. Giveaway ends 12/31/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About the Author
DENNA HOLM | A retired FEI competitor in dressage, she earned her United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver Medals. After Denna retired from training and showing horses, she decided to try her hand at writing novels in paranormal and science fiction romance. She used the unique personalities of her many wonderful students to help bring life to her characters.
Denna and her husband Lee make their home in the beautiful State of Oregon with their two loyal German shepherds, one energetic border collie, and two very spoiled cats. Animals are given a special place in her novels, their offer of unconditional love a lifeline in this difficult world. Denna and Lee enjoy spending time camping and fishing with their children and grandchildren.
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