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Vampire Panther Sneak Peek - February 23, 2024

Vampire Panther Book Cover

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Vampire Panther Sneak Peek - February 23, 2024

Dear Reader,

The bad news first? I recently discovered something which had never occurred to me to research. Novellas are supposed to be published at 5x8 paperbacks.

Early on, most of my stories were novel length and 6x9 is the default setting for most print on demand platforms. The novellas in the miniseries with longer novels should all be 6x9 if the rest of the books are that size. But I've realized many of the stories I write are actually novellas.

So, I made the executive decision to delist Haunted Echoes as a 6x9 book and am re-releasing it in the more appropriate size. It's not ideal, but I felt as if it would be better to correct the issue as soon as possible.

The things I don't know I need to know and no one ever discusses are endless. It was always there. The information existed. I lacked the idea I needed to look for it. It's the overlooked details which cause a thing to appear to be less than it is. Haunted Echoes is a great novella of a ghost romance in a dark urban fantasy. It will look like that when I adjust the size.

Haunted Echoes book cover

The good news next? As an indie author, I don't need to wait to handle it. I've already corrected the title on Amazon and am working on it with Draft 2 Digital.

The weird news last? All this came about because Draft 2 Digital decided my original interior file, which they had previously approved (except for the one typo I needed to correct) was not up to standard. What was wrong with it? Missing links in the pdf.

The link they referenced had a QR code beneath it for technological accessibility in print. But I thought about it and added a few more QR codes where other links existed but wouldn't appear.

Haunted Echoes hardcover wrap

Why not simply take the links out? It took a lot of work to get them all added. What if I needed the files again? I would have to add them all back in every time. Also, links in digital pdf files are clickable. If I sell the pdf file itself, I want those links to appear. The files I used to create the pdf are the same files I used to create the e-pub. If I had used D2D's formatting tool, it would have been the same situation.

I think they might have simply been nitpicking, and my first reaction was, what print reader doesn't know links in print aren't clickable? I got over it quick, because it wound up improving my current book and my future books.

Adding more QR codes allows my print readers more opportunities to connect with me. So, I sent it back, explained the changes I had made and requested they provide me with any other specific points they thought I should change. If I'm going to do it for one book, I might as well correct the issue and replace my front and back matter in all my books. If I can make the books better, I want to do it.

Sneak Peek at Vampire Panther

Vampire Panther Hardcover wrap


This is a work in progress and

is subject to change at any time.

Read at Your Own Risk!

Copyright 2024

All Rights Reserved.

Something Precious


As they neared the porch, Ryker heard Andrei ask Nadine if she would fly. She moved off the porch to head for the woods. They did the ritual every night. Nadine flew as her eagle, and Andrei ran with her.

It seemed like a strange ritual, but it seemed to work for them. Andrei was fast. He could keep up with Nadine, who could fly as fast as a car drives on the freeway.

By the time he and Lily made it to the porch, it was empty. Ryker settled her on the swing and sat atop the railing with his back propped against the porch post, one knee swinging off the side of the railing, the other drawn up in front of him with his arm draped across it.

Vampires had incredible agility and balance. He enjoyed it. Lily smiled up at him. Maybe she liked the carefree image he presented to her. If it made her feel better, he hoped she stared forever.

“You seem happy.”

She offered the statement almost as a question.

“I am. What man wouldn’t be happy to be in the presence of a lovely lady on such a gorgeous night? I’m enjoying myself. Is the air not simply perfect?”

He grinned at her and flirted a bit. He wished she would relax more. She seemed tense again. Ryker wanted to take her back to the relaxed state she’d been in before they came out to the porch. He wondered if she was in pain, but she wasn’t showing any signs of physical pain.

She blushed and was quiet for a moment.

“The air is perfect. Thank you for helping me.”

“Can I get you anything? Would you take a cup of soup or maybe some tea?”

Ryker wanted her to eat more. She was too gaunt, too thin. Lily couldn’t heal in such a sorry state. It bothered him to see her frail. Maybe, if he could get her to eat more, she’d relax more, too.

“Soup sounds good. I’m hungry.” Lily said, as if the thought had just crossed her mind when he suggested it.

“I’m fast. Can you give me two minutes?”

She nodded.

Ryker disappeared into the house and was back in front of her with a cup of chicken soup in his hand. He heated it with his magic and handed it to her, steamy with a spoon.

She blinked, then seemed to recall something and smiled her thanks. She knew he was a vampire then.

She didn’t shy away from him. Her fingers brushed his as she took the soup from him. And time seemed to freeze for Ryker.

She sucked in her breath and cocked her head at him with a confused look on her face as their fingers touched. He felt it, too.

There seemed to be an electric charge between their fingers. He glanced down at their hands where they touched, then looked up into her golden eyes.

It entranced him. Did she feel the charge between them?

They had abused Lily. He couldn’t act on it. There was no way he’d ever hurt her.

He wanted her to trust him. It didn’t mean he didn’t want to kiss her breathless. Was he losing his mind?

She withdrew her hand from his reluctantly, as if she wanted to feel the electricity between them. He didn’t move.

He froze and let her feel it. Ryker suffered it for her. It was a sweet, minor form of torture. He wanted to feel it, too.

His mouth parted in pure pleasure from her lingering touch. He felt he needed more air to breathe. He couldn’t look away from her.

If she made any request of him, he would’ve complied with her desire. Lily didn’t speak. Her hand traced further over his hand. Her fingers traced over the backs of his fingers.

His skin committed to memory, the way his hand felt to her, the way the electricity skipped between them.

She seemed to be in total awe. She lost herself in tracing his hand. He could think of nothing else.

Ryker didn’t want her to stop. The moment was too surreal. The broken little kitten in front of him discovered she was still a woman.

Men still attracted Lily. She was excited by his touch.

He didn’t move. Ryker let her take from him what she needed. Her fingers felt good on his hand. He wanted her to touch him.

Her intense awe at her discovery glowed in her eyes in the dark. She mesmerized him.

“Do you feel it?”

Lily whispered her question. He nodded, unable to articulate a response. Lily trapped Ryker in her spell. He feared speaking for fear of breaking the spell. He felt it like fire in his veins.

She closed her hand on his as he held the cup rather than letting him go. He groaned low in his throat when she closed her eyes from his view. Entranced by her hand touching his hand, Ryker didn’t want to lose the connection he felt as she looked into his eyes.

He’d never been so turned on by such an innocent touch. Never had he felt guilt at being excited by a woman.

He’d not expected the visceral reaction to only her hand touching his. It was like some arcane magic had engineered their touch to be intensely sensual and erotic.

She opened her eyes to study him once more. The feeling of a soul-to-soul connection returned. She reached her other hand to take the soup from him. He finally let go of the cup. Her hand left him, and he breathed. How long had he forgotten to breathe?

“I’ve experienced nothing like it before. Forgive me. I don’t understand what happened.”

He tried to explain before she became frightened. Immortality was too new. The entire exchange was outside the realm of anything he ever expected to feel.

Ryker shook his head, trying to clear the erotic vision of her writhing beneath him from his mind. He was so hard it was painful. She didn’t need to realize his physical reaction to her touch, either.

“Your panther met his lifemate,” she whispered.

It was an explanation which seemed far outside of the possible, and he argued with her.

“What? How do you know that?”

What was his little kitten talking about? Lifemate? He’d asked a lot of questions, but he hadn’t considered himself lifemate material.

The last thing Lily needed was a man acting like one with her right now. He got a tight rein on his out-of-control physical response to her.

“Your cat knows me for what I am to you,” Lily tried to explain.

She threw him even more off-balance.

“I’m too weak to mark you as mine. Perhaps you wouldn’t wish to be bound. I wouldn’t force you.”

She said it like it was all facts Ryker should know.

It stunned him. Did she want to mark him? Bind him? What the hell was going on? Why was he so turned on by her words?

He was pretty sure their conversation wasn’t what Eli envisioned when Nadine requested his help. He would have some serious explaining to do. Only, he didn’t know what the explanation would be.

“You would mark me? Do you want me as a man? A lover?”

Ryker had asked questions as they occurred to him. Still, much of immortal life was too new to him for him to have processed it all.

Maybe she was delusional, or was he too alluring and didn’t realize it? Was there a way to turn it off?

“I have only one lifemate. It is you. What you felt, I also felt. It will always be that way for us. I’m too weak to deal with it, but every shifter wants their mate. We can sleep with others until we find our mates. Still, the magic drives us to seek our mates. Once we find them, we’ll take no other lovers. Our mate becomes our one, our only, and our last. The bond is permanent for life. It guarantees us we have a companion to share our long lives with. All shifters want it. Many who cannot find their mate fade. Would you refuse me?”

Lily asked him, fearful she’d lose something precious she’d just found.

Continue Reading? Vampire Panther is available directly from the author at now. It will release everywhere on February 29, 2024.

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I hope you enjoyed a taste of Lily and Ryker, but I have a lot of work to do. Angry King has gotten stuck on chapter 20. If I don't get to editing, none of these tales will ever see the light of day. So I will leave you with a Temptations reference and admit I "ain't too proud to beg" for reviews. I could use a few and I hope you will always be kind when you read and leave your honest reviews. Until next week, know you are always welcome to the dream...

Be Careful!

Happy Reading,

Ophelia Kee

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