Friday, May 9, 2014

"Close Liaisons" by Anna Zaires and Dima Zales

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Close Liaisons
(The Krinar Chronicles: Volume 1)
by Anna Zaires and Dima Zales


Close Liaisons is the first book in The Krinar Chronicles. Also available: Close Obsession and Close Remembrance (NEW RELEASE).



Description
A dark and edgy romance that will appeal to fans of erotic and destructive relationships ...
In the near future, the Krinar rule the Earth. An advanced race from another galaxy, they are still a mystery to us - and we are completely at their mercy.
Shy and innocent, Mia Stalis is a college student in New York City who has led a very normal life. Like most people, she’s never had any interactions with the invaders - until one fateful day in the park changes everything. Having caught Korum’s eye, she must now contend with a powerful, dangerously seductive Krinar who wants to possess her and will stop at nothing to make her his own.
How far would you go to regain your freedom? How much would you sacrifice to help your people? What choice will you make when you begin to fall for your enemy?


Excerpt
Breathe, Mia, breathe. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a small rational voice kept repeating those words. That same oddly objective part of her noted his symmetrical face structure, with golden skin stretched tightly over high cheekbones and a firm jaw. Pictures and videos of Ks that she’d seen had hardly done them justice. Standing no more than thirty feet away, the creature was simply stunning.
As she continued staring at him, still frozen in place, he straightened and began walking toward her. Or rather stalking toward her, she thought stupidly, as his every movement reminded her of a jungle cat sinuously approaching a gazelle. All the while, his eyes never left hers. As he approached, she could make out individual yellow flecks in his light golden eyes and the thick long lashes surrounding them.
She watched in horrified disbelief as he sat down on her bench, less than two feet away from her, and smiled, showing white even teeth. No fangs, she noted with some functioning part of her brain. Not even a hint of them. That used to be another myth about them, like their supposed abhorrence of the sun.
“What’s your name?” The creature practically purred the question at her. His voice was low and smooth, completely unaccented. His nostrils flared slightly, as though inhaling her scent.
“Um . . .” Mia swallowed nervously. “M-Mia.”
“Mia,” he repeated slowly, seemingly savoring her name. “Mia what?”
“Mia Stalis.” Oh crap, why did he want to know her name? Why was he here, talking to her? In general, what was he doing in Central Park, so far away from any of the K Centers? Breathe, Mia, breathe.
“Relax, Mia Stalis.” His smile got wider, exposing a dimple in his left cheek. A dimple? Ks had dimples? “Have you never encountered one of us before?”
“No, I haven’t.” Mia exhaled sharply, realizing that she was holding her breath. She was proud that her voice didn’t sound as shaky as she felt. Should she ask? Did she want to know?
She gathered her courage. “What, um—” Another swallow. “What do you want from me?”
“For now, conversation.” He looked like he was about to laugh at her, those gold eyes crinkling slightly at the corners.
Strangely, that pissed her off enough to take the edge off her fear. If there was anything Mia hated, it was being laughed at. With her short, skinny stature and a general lack of social skills that came from an awkward teenage phase involving every girl’s nightmare of braces, frizzy hair, and glasses, Mia had more than enough experience being the butt of someone’s joke.
She lifted her chin belligerently. “Okay, then, what is your name?”
“It’s Korum.”
“Just Korum?”
“We don’t really have last names, not the way you do. My full name is much longer, but you wouldn’t be able to pronounce it if I told you.”
Okay, that was interesting. She now remembered reading something like that in The New York Times. So far, so good. Her legs had nearly stopped shaking, and her breathing was returning to normal. Maybe, just maybe, she would get out of this alive. This conversation business seemed safe enough, although the way he kept staring at her with those unblinking yellowish eyes was unnerving. She decided to keep him talking.
“What are you doing here, Korum?”
“I just told you, making conversation with you, Mia.” His voice again held a hint of laughter.
Frustrated, Mia blew out her breath. “I meant, what are you doing here in Central Park? In New York City in general?”
He smiled again, cocking his head slightly to the side. “Maybe I’m hoping to meet a pretty curly-haired girl.”
Okay, enough was enough. He was clearly toying with her. Now that she could think a little again, she realized that they were in the middle of Central Park, in full view of about a gazillion spectators. She surreptitiously glanced around to confirm that. Yep, sure enough, although people were obviously steering clear of her bench and its otherworldly occupant, there were a number of brave souls staring their way from further up the path. A couple were even cautiously filming them with their wristwatch cameras. If the K tried anything with her, it would be on YouTube in the blink of an eye, and he had to know it. Of course, he may or may not care about that.
Still, going on the assumption that since she’d never come across any videos of K assaults on college students in the middle of Central Park, she was relatively safe, Mia cautiously reached for her laptop and lifted it to stuff it back into her backpack.
“Let me help you with that, Mia—”
And before she could blink, she felt him take her heavy laptop from her suddenly boneless fingers, gently brushing against her knuckles in the process. A sensation similar to a mild electric shock shot through Mia at his touch, leaving her nerve endings tingling in its wake.
Reaching for her backpack, he carefully put away the laptop in a smooth, sinuous motion. “There you go, all better now.”
Oh God, he had touched her. Maybe her theory about the safety of public locations was bogus. She felt her breathing speeding up again, and her heart rate was probably well into the anaerobic zone at this point.
“I have to go now . . . Bye!”
How she managed to squeeze out those words without hyperventilating, she would never know. Grabbing the strap of the backpack he’d just put down, she jumped to her feet, noting somewhere in the back of her mind that her earlier paralysis seemed to be gone.
“Bye, Mia. I will see you later.” His softly mocking voice carried in the clear spring air as she took off, nearly running in her haste to get away.


Praise for this Book
"If you're looking for some sexy summer reads, you'll want to check out the new book series, Krinar Chronicles. Author Anna Zaires brings you a kind of 50 Shades of Grey meets Star Trek tale ..." ~ Marie Claire
"For diehard fans of the paranormal romance genre, author Anna Zaires's risqué new book could be your next guilty pleasure. Zaires's most recent read, Close Liaisons, combines a love story with science fiction in the tale of Mia, an unassuming college student whose life gets suddenly entangled in a dangerous, otherworldly affair." ~ Woman's Day
"With an original plot, and characters that won't leave your mind for some time to come, I can't recommend Close Liaisons enough!" ~ Bitten by Paranormal Romance
"WOW!!! OH WOW!!! I could not put this book down!!!" ~ Romancebookworm's Reviews
"Close Liaisons is strongly recommended to fans of paranormal fiction, dark characters, and of course steamy romances." ~ Enticed by Books
"I really love the entire book and how it unfolds. It's dark and sexy. I certainly didn't expect some of the things that happened." ~ Naughty Bits' Book Reviews
"Anna Zaires ... wrote a book that transfers emotion right into the reader from page to page." ~ Bookend 2 Bookend
"I love this book! Even when my power went out I was still turning the pages on my eReader." ~ Cloey's Book Reviews and Other Stuff
"I give the story 5 stars ... Mia and Korum's relationship was intense and passionate ..." ~ The Jeep Diva

About the Authors
Anna Zaires fell in love with books at the age of five, when her grandmother taught her to read. She wrote her first story shortly thereafter. Since then, she has always lived partially in a fantasy world where the only limits were those of her imagination. Currently residing in Florida, Anna is happily married to Dima Zales (a science fiction and fantasy author) and closely collaborates with him on all their works.
After graduating from the University of Chicago with a degree in Economics, Anna spent eight years on Wall Street analyzing stocks and writing research reports. In 2013, she became a full-time author, pursuing her lifelong dream of writing romance novels.
Dima Zales is the love of her life and a huge inspiration in all aspects of her writing. Every book Anna writes is a product of their unique collaborative process.
In addition to reading and writing, Anna enjoys drinking tea (coconut oolong, anyone?), watching addictive TV shows, and discussing book ideas during long walks with her amazing husband.

Dima Zales is a full-time science fiction and fantasy author residing in Palm Coast, Florida. Prior to becoming a writer, he worked in the software development industry in New York as both a programmer and an executive. From high-frequency trading software for big banks to mobile apps for popular magazines, Dima has done it all. In 2013, he left the software industry in order to concentrate on his writing career.
Dima holds a Master's degree in Computer Science from NYU and a dual undergraduate degree in Computer Science / Psychology from Brooklyn College. He also has a number of hobbies and interests, the most unusual of which might be professional-level mentalism. He simulates mind-reading on stage and close-up, and has done shows for corporations, wealthy individuals, and friends.
He is also into healthy eating and fitness, so he should live long enough to finish all the book projects he starts. In fact, he very much hopes to catch the technological advancements that might let him live forever (biologically or otherwise). Aside from that, he also enjoys learning about current and future technologies that might enhance our lives, including artificial intelligence, biofeedback, brain-to-computer interfaces, and brain-enhancing implants.
In addition to his own works, Dima has collaborated on a number of romance novels with his wife, Anna Zaires. The Krinar Chronicles, an erotic science fiction series, has been a bestseller in its categories and has been recognized by the likes of Marie Claire and Woman's Day. If you like erotic romance with a unique plot, please feel free to check it out, especially since the first book in the series (Close Liaisons) is available for free everywhere. Keep in mind, though, Dima Zales's books are going to be much more PG 13 ... at least that's the plan for now.
Anna Zaires is the love of his life and a huge inspiration in every aspect of his writing. She definitely adds her magic touch to anything Dima creates, and the books would not be the same without her.

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