Hiya guys! We have Jenn Burke popping in today with her upcoming release The Dragon CEO’s Assastant, we have a brilliant guest post from Jenn and a great excerpt, so guys check out the post and enjoy! ❤️ ~Pixie~
The Dragon CEO’s Assistant
The heart remembers.
When Aidan Bishop staggers out of the woods, naked and suffering from amnesia, he needs to relearn who he is and where he fits in the world.
His boss, nearly five-hundred-year-old dragon Nassim, head of a successful tech company, hurries to claim his wayward assistant and guide him back into the life he disappeared from. As they get to know each other again, Aidan wonders if their relationship went deeper than employer and employee. But Nassim isn’t telling, and Aidan has a secret of his own… even if he doesn’t know it yet.
.•.•.**❣️ Dreamspinner | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | B&N | Kobo ❣️**.•.•.
Ottawa Winter Survival Kit!
by Jenn Burke
My newest release, The Dragon CEO’s Assistant, is set in my hometown of Ottawa, Ontario—also known as the Capital of Canada—where I’ve lived for more than thirty years. Like anywhere, it has its ups and downs, but I really do love it, and I hope readers enjoy visiting it as they read Aidan and Nassim’s story.
One of the things I don’t really get to explore in the book is the fact that Ottawa is this really weird weather city. It’s humid (horribly, horribly humid). It’s hot as hell (up to plus 40 degrees Celsius in the summer!). It’s cold as balls (down to minus 40 degrees Celsius in the winter!). And in September 2018, we had no fewer than six tornadoes touch down through the Ottawa area in the span of an afternoon.
But despite all of that, Ottawa loves its outdoor activities—especially its winter ones. So if you ever come to visit between November and, oh, April, here are a few things that will help you enjoy the cold weather like a true Ottawan.
Layers, layers, layers. Did I mention layers?
The cold in Ottawa is humid (weird, I know), so it seeps through your parka and right into your bones, if you’re not layered up. Invest in some good moisture-wicking undergarments and well insulated winter boots, so you can withstand our wind chills.
- A good toque and mitts
Along with the layers, you need a good pair of mitts (not gloves! Save your fingers!) and a toque. You probably call a toque a woollen hat, or a beanie. You’re wrong. It’s a toque (pronounced “too-kh”). At any rate, get a nice thick one that’s big enough to cover your ears…you’ll thank me later!
Skates in Ottawa are a MUST. We’re the home of the Rideau Canal, which turns into the world’s longest skating rink every winter. I used to work at one end of the canal, near Dow’s Lake, and some of my coworkers skated to work once the skateway opened each winter. Fun, eh?
If you don’t own skates, you can rent them at the canal. Or, if you’re not a skater (like me—gasp! I know!) you can actually walk along the skateway.
- $5 for a Beavertail
Speaking of skating along the Rideau Canal, you’ll want to make sure you have a fiver to grab a Beavertail pastry from one of the huts along the skateway. These fried, flattened ovals of doughy goodness are a winter tradition. I recommend the Killaloe Sunrise, which is topped with cinnamon, sugar, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
If you’re serious about experiencing Ottawa winter, the best month to visit is February. Why? Because that’s Winterlude month! Winterlude is our winter festival with activities happening each weekend in February (assuming we don’t get a mid-winter thaw). It features ice sculptures and other fun activities throughout the city.
If you do ever visit Ottawa in the winter, tweet me at @jeralibu and tell me what your favourite activity was!
HIS LIFE started with a single step forward.
It was as though someone flicked an On switch. Suddenly there was the world in front of him, around him—new and weird and kind of familiar, but not. Branches brushed his bare arms as he stepped between a pair of trees, and he knew the tree on the right was a pine and the one on the left was a maple. He knew the item on the grass in front of him was a typical picnic table. He knew the time of day was twilight, the wetness falling from the clouds was rain, and the gentle rumble in the distance, like a father’s lullaby, was thunder.
He knew all of that, but not why he was naked.
A gentle breeze tickled the orange-gold hair on his arms and chest. The grass was slick beneath his bare feet. He wriggled his toes and stared down at them as he tried to determine what he was feeling. Was he feeling something? There should be some emotion there, right?
He held out his arms, fingers splayed, and noted the scattered cinnamon freckles on his pale skin. His arms were toned, not flabby. Same with his chest, though there were a pair of marks on his left pectoral, over his heart—two crescent scars. He ran his fingers over them, but they didn’t hurt. He traced the line of muscle down his ribs and across to a trail of hair in a slightly darker shade of copper that led down to a flaccid penis.
He let out a sigh of relief at seeing that particular part of himself. Then he wondered why.
He looked back up, beyond the picnic table, to the large low building in front of him that stretched to the right and left. It was constructed of plain brown brick and had black cladding along the roof’s edge. There was a cargo door for truck deliveries and a smaller one for people by the end of the building farthest from him. A large garbage container hunkered near the delivery bay, and the faint smell of rotting food wafted by on the air. This was probably the back of the building, he realized, because there was no sign to indicate what the structure contained. There was nothing to give him a clue why he was standing in front of it, naked.
Why was he here?
He… he should know this.
Another On switch triggered, and emotions came rushing back. He should know where he was and why he was there and why he was naked and….
What was his name?
Oh God, what was his name?
His knees gave out. The chill of the wet grass was even more evident against his bare buttocks, but the shiver that rolled through his body had little to do with the damp ground or the rain or the breeze. A sound wisped by—a tiny moan—and it took a moment for him to connect the reverberation in his throat with the utterance.
“I,” he said, and choked. “Oh my God.”
He didn’t recognize his own voice.
He didn’t recognize his voice or his body, and he didn’t have a name, and he didn’t know where he was, and—
He rocked forward and whimpered.
“Hey. Hey, this is private property. You can’t—”
The voice jolted him, and he looked up. A figure stood a few steps from the people-sized door, frozen. He had a split second to note that the figure was male and dark-skinned before the man darted across the grass toward him. He scrambled backward, his heart thudding against his breastbone as he tried to get back to his feet and run, dammit, he had to run.
“No—Aidan, wait. Stop.” The man followed his own instructions, his dress shoes slipping on the wet grass. “Oh my God. I can’t—you’re here. Holy shit, you’re here. And you’re naked. Why the hell—” He shook his head. “Never mind. It doesn’t matter.”
He—was his name Aidan?—stopped his backward movement and watched the man warily. “Who’re you?”
“Who—” The man’s brows dropped low over his light brown eyes, and he took a breath. “Okay. Okay. Gonna assume you’re not playing me, buddy, because this is way too far for a practical joke.”
“I—” He looked down at his naked legs. “No. No joke.”
“Right. I’m, uh….” The man lifted a hand and slowly moved it to the pocket of his gray dress slacks. He wore a matching vest over a light pink shirt that was rolled up to the elbows. “Just getting my phone, okay?”
He—Aidan—watched, still wary.
The man pulled out the phone and dialed someone. “Boss? You need to come out back. It’s Aidan. Aidan. Yes, I’m—” He clicked off the phone. “He’s on his way.”
“The boss. Our boss. This is an office. You work here.”
“I don’t—” Aidan’s breath caught as the people-sized door slammed open and another figure marched toward them—all but ran, actually. Dark, glowering, dressed in a three-piece suit, looking like he was eight feet tall, and… pissed off beyond words.
Panic clawed at Aidan’s throat, and he pushed himself back again, digging at the slick grass and damp dirt.
“No, stop. Nassim! Christ.” The first man rushed forward to intercept his boss—their boss. “He’s confused, he—”
He didn’t know that voice either, but the hitch in it made Aidan’s fingers relax. He didn’t know why. The boss—Nassim?—looked so intense, his black eyes and black hair and bronze skin all adding up to a dark figure who looked anything but welcoming.
Except… his voice broke, and that….
Aidan didn’t know what that meant.
“He’s naked. Why is he naked?” Nassim pushed the first man aside and stepped forward. Aidan stayed where he was and managed not to flinch when Nassim swept off his suit jacket and draped it over Aidan’s shoulders. It was incredibly warm and far too big for his slender frame, and it carried an earthy but sweet scent that made him want to bury his nose in the lapel. Nassim’s hand hovered by Aidan’s cheek, but he didn’t make contact, clenching his fingers instead and redirecting them to pull his jacket closed over Aidan’s chest. “Did you call the police?”
“Merry gods, Jasper, call 9-1-1.” Nassim knelt in front of Aidan and brushed off the shoulders of the too-large jacket. “I’m here. You’re going to be okay.”
For some reason, that statement made Aidan’s teeth chatter. “I’m not okay.”
“Maybe not,” Nassim admitted, “but—”
“Who am I?” This large, imposing man who’d given up his jacket, didn’t care that the moist earth was soaking into the knee of his slacks, and who was rubbing his shoulder soothingly—he’d know, right? He’d have all the answers.
Someone had to have the answers.
Nassim said nothing for a moment, but he stopped rubbing Aidan’s shoulder. “You’re Aidan Bishop.”
Aidan shook his head. “I don’t know that name.”
“You work here. For me. You’re my executive assistant.”
“Executive—” No. That wasn’t right. It didn’t fit. Just like his name didn’t fit. Just like he didn’t fit. His teeth chattered harder. “I don’t—”
He was breathing—but too fast, too raggedly. Nassim cupped his shoulders and leaned closer, and part of Aidan welcomed that.
A larger part wanted to run.
He squirmed out of Nassim’s grasp. “No. Please, I—”
“You’re safe. I promise you, you’re safe.”
Aidan shook his head back and forth, and he didn’t seem to have the ability to stop it. But it spoke for him when he couldn’t force words out of his throat. Denial. This couldn’t be real. This couldn’t be happening. He couldn’t have lost everything—all sense of self, all sense of who these people were, all sense of where he belonged.
“Why?” he managed. “How?”
Nassim held up his hands in a gesture of harmlessness. “I don’t know. You’ve—” His voice hitched again, barely discernible but there. “You went missing four days ago.”
“Missing? Like… gone?”
“Gone,” Nassim confirmed. “Without a trace, gone. And I… we… we’ll find out what happened. I swear it.”
Sirens drifted through the deepening night. The sound made Aidan want to curl up into a ball. Hide. “I don’t—I—”
“I’ll lead them back around here,” Jasper said softly. Then he disappeared out of Aidan’s field of view.
Nassim didn’t even note Jasper’s departure. He was looking at Aidan, his black eyes intent. A streetlamp flickered on overhead and teased out the lighter strands in his hair. They were probably silver, but they took on the greenish-blue tinge of the LED bulbs.
“I won’t—” Nassim seemed to struggle with whatever it was he wanted to say, and finally his head drooped, as though he’d given up. “You’re safe, Aidan. I promise.”
He wanted to trust this man—needed an anchor in a world he didn’t know. But even as he watched, Nassim’s gaze grew less intense, and he pulled away and stood up.
“You’re safe,” he said again, but he wasn’t looking at Aidan anymore. His gaze was turned toward the ambulance as it lurched around the building.
Aidan wondered who was supposed to benefit from those words—him or Nassim?
Jenn Burke has loved out-of-this-world romance since she first read about heroes and heroines kicking butt and falling in love as a preteen. Now that she’s an author, she couldn’t be happier to bring adventure, romance, and sexy times to her readers.
Jenn is the author of a number of paranormal and science fiction romance titles, including the critically acclaimed Chaos Station science fiction romance series (authored with Kelly Jensen), the Not Dead Yet series, and the Golden Kingdom series.
She’s been called a pocket-sized and puntastic Canadian on social media, and she’ll happily own that label. Jenn lives just outside of Ottawa, Ontario, with her husband and two kids, plus two dogs named after video game characters…because her geekiness knows no bounds.