Atlas by Becca C. Smith [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Atlas

The Atlas Series

Book 1

Becca C. Smith

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Red Frog Publishing

Date of Publication: 11/14/13

ISBN: 978-0985027667 (Ebook)

ISBN: 978-1493648375 (Print)

ASIN: B00GPBF8X2

Number of pages: 293

Word Count: 73,000

Cover Artist: Stephan Fleet

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Blurb

Kala Hicks is part of a covert elite military team that answers directly to the President of the United States. But during an emergency mission aboard Air Force One, Kala is shocked to discover that the real threat is none other than the President himself. Defying her commanding officer, Jack Norbin, Kala takes the shot, and her life changes forever.

The moment the President is killed, a supernatural force speaks to Kala, telling her that she has to commit one act of atrocity every four days… or the world will end. Thrown into a reality she never could have imagined, Kala faces off with creatures of legend; from demons determined to make her fail and plunge the Earth into chaos, to angels who don’t trust her to do the job and are willing to kill her to claim it for themselves.

Pitted against the forces of good and evil, Kala must choose whether to save the world by doing the unthinkable, or sit back and let it burn. And four days later, she’ll have to do it again.

 Excerpt


Very carefully, Jack opened the door that led to the President’s office.

What awaited them was terrifying.

President Jareth Wilton stood behind his desk. He was wearing a vest that held five grey bars of C-4 wired into a bomb. Wilton was a tall man, well over six feet with stark black hair and a long face. He was a young President, only fifty years old, but he looked like he’d aged twenty years since the last time Kala had seen him at a press conference, with dark rings under his eyes and worry lines on his forehead.

But his smile was what made the scene surreal and horrific. His thin lips were grinning as if he’d just climbed Mt. Everest.

President Wilton stared directly at Jack as the door swung open the rest of the way. “I figured it out! I figured out how to break it! No one will ever have to do what I’ve had to do again! Do you realize what this means?”

Kala knew then and there that the man was cracked. Figured what out? Break what? He was rambling like a mad man.

But the more frightening moment came when Jack responded back to Wilton. “Killing yourself is impossible. People have tried that in the past.”

Not only was President Wilton talking crazy, but apparently Jack knew his language and was responding accordingly.

Kala noticed that Wilton’s eyes lit up when Jack spoke. “You’re the one they sent to replace me.”

Jack nodded.

What? Kala was seriously confused.

Kala spoke up, “What’s going on Jack?”

Replace him for what?

Jack didn’t acknowledge Kala or the rest of the team, which was shifting uncomfortably behind him.

Wilton shook his head, serious. “You can’t do it. You have to let me detonate this bomb. We have to crash the plane! It’s the only way to stop it!”

“You can’t stop it!” Jack yelled back.

“I can and I will!” Wilton talked into an earpiece. “NOW!”

The plane nose-dived.

Everyone jolted forward and stumbled from the force of it.

Jack barked orders, “Lali get up to the Flight Deck and by any means necessary take over this plane!”

Lali paused for a second, she looked more confused than Kala felt, but after a moment to gain her bearings as the plane was falling fast, she managed to high-tail it out of the room and up to the Flight Deck.

Kala was sure they’d hit ground at any moment.

Jack aimed his gun at the President’s head.

Wilton was frantic. He ducked behind his large oak desk that was bolted to the ground.

“You can’t kill me! You’ll ruin everything!” Wilton yelled.

Jack turned to Kala and Derek. “No one shoots him but me!”

Kala kind of nodded, but she was in shock at the fact that they were about to flatten a part of the capital with Air Force One. She really didn’t care what Jack was saying. She couldn’t let President Wilton set off that bomb and kill thousands.

Jack shot at the desk, trying to hit the president, but he didn’t come close.

Only Kala could make a shot like that and not get them all killed from shooting a hole through the plane.

Kala and Derek made eye contact. Kala could tell Derek was thinking the same thing. He whispered so only Kala could hear, “Do it.”

Kala’s nod was barely perceptible.

Jack saw her and his eyes went wide. “Kala STOP!”

Kala shrugged. “I can’t let him do this, Jack. I’m sorry.”

Only the top of Wilton’s head was showing.

It was enough.

Kala took her shot.

 

Author Bio

 

Becca C. Smith received her Film degree from Full Sail University and has worked in the Film and Television industry for most of her adult life. In 2010 Becca published her first novel, Riser followed by the sequel, authorReaper, in 2011, and the finale, Ripper in 2013. In 2012 Becca wrote the children’s novel Alexis Tappendorf and the Search for Beale’s Treasure. She is also the co-author of the teen graphic novel Ghost Whisperer: The Haunted.

 

Becca currently lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, Stephan and their two cats Jack and Duke.

 

 

 

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5 print copies Atlas by Becca C. Smith

 

 

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Exit by Shane Filer [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

 

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Exit

Shane Filer

Genre: YA, General Fiction, Contemporary

Publisher: Biblio Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-62249-142-1

Number of pages: 222

Word Count: 58,000

Cover Artist: Ekaterina Zagustina

 

 

Book Trailer

 

Blurb

 

“Did you know I spent the whole of my fifteenth year in my room?”

Briar’s impromptu, mid-afternoon confession stirs up distant memories of the lonely time she spent trapped in her home; suffering agoraphobia — fear of open spaces.

Now it’s six years later.

She’s free, but the year’s isolation has left serious personality disorders; disorders which will resurface as she relates her own story, and that of those in her orbit; Melodie, a pretty valley girl who Briar desires to be, Justine, her oldest friend, who has her own dark secret, and Dermot, a man who thinks he’s the reincarnation of Robin Hood — stealing from the rich to give to the poor.

Slowly Dermot begins to draw Briar into his ever-so-exciting world, but who is leading whom on their slow descent into crime? Duel periods of Briar’s life intertwine like a rope around her neck as her lost year begins to overtake the present. It leads her to the answer to one very simple question:

“Is it what I always feared — am I losing my mind?”

Author Interview

Excerpt

 

G i r l   T a l k

 

“Did you know I spent the whole of my fifteenth year in my room?”

                I sit in the trashed corner booth of an empty Indianapolis diner sipping Coke through a red and white striped straw and watch the reaction from my two friends. 

                We’ve been here, Melodie, Justine and I, talking, eating, and drinking for hours and we’re all in advanced stages of serious twenty-something afternoon collapse. It’s reached the time where you run out of trivial, conversational-type things to talk about, so you say something deep and personal instead.

                Melodie lifts her head from the table and flicks ash haphazardly from her cigarette in the direction of an overflowing ashtray. “You’re kidding?” she asks.

                “No, she isn’t,” Justine says. We’ve been friends since school, and she knows me very well.

                Elbows all over the table I cup my palms around my chin and explain. “I suffered from agoraphobia. That’s what my doctors said. It sounds awful, but all it means is that I had an irrational fear of being in places or situations from which escape might be difficult in the event of a panic attack. So I avoided those situations. During my Dark Ages I left my bedroom only to eat and go to the bathroom.

                “Basically I was worried about death. Abandonment. My health. My mother’s safety. The house catching fire. Food poisoning. Earthquakes. The environment. That kind of stuff.”

                I tell Melodie and Justine all these things, and when I open my mouth the words just flood out, like I’ve been wanting desperately to speak them for so long. They sit and listen, perhaps too tired or too hot and bothered to do anything else. I tell them about the first time it happened… the first time I had a panic attack. When I was thirteen. One Saturday in a mall. I can remember the smell of doughnuts and ice-cream, and ferns. I remember ferns. And the sound of a radio playing that dumb Spandau Ballet song — “True” — boy do I hate that song!

                “I was standing around, just hanging out with a bunch of my girlfriends, and this boy from my class, who I had, like, this incredible crush on, came up to me and said “Hi!”

                “Those girls pushed me forward. I could hear them giggling behind me, saying ‘Briar’s in love’ and all that junk, and my body froze like a statue. I felt hot and sweaty. My heart was racing. I felt this numbness in my hands and this tightness in my chest like I couldn’t breathe. I had this need to breathe in more air, this need to escape. I just ran out.”

                “Shit!” Melodie says.

                “Shit,” I agree. “My doctor said later that this overwhelming sensation of terror is similar to the fight or flight response inherent in all animals, including humans. No one seems to know what causes panic attacks, but there are a lot of tell-tale signs that I had right from an early age. I always used to cling to my mother’s leg. I was afraid of Santa Claus.”

                “Oh yeah,” Melodie says. “I always hated that old, fat, red, pervert too.”

“I suffered a lot of phobias back then,” I explain further. “I would become possessed by a desire to clean the bathroom. The bathroom and I would literally be covered in Comet cleanser. But then I stopped.”

“Why?” Melodie asks. “Did your cleaning phobia go away?”

“Not exactly. I ran out of Comet.”

                Sunlight is pouring in through the diner’s windows and Justine keeps glancing anxiously out there to the street. Am I boring her, I wonder? Anything’s possible — she has heard this one before.

                It’s only then that I suddenly notice the sunglasses she wears at a lopsided angle on her face hide a large bruise around her left eye. It’s a horrible purple thing that’s yellowing at the edges like rotten fruit.

                “Oh there’s Addison,” she says suddenly. “I’d better go. I’d better not keep him waiting.”

                Following her gaze, I see her boyfriend climb from his red Chrysler LeBaron convertible. Addison Healy has tanned skin and swept-back dark hair, and I’ve never liked him. He’s far too handsome — one of those people who’ve never known what it’s like to be alone — because there’s always someone new throwing themselves shamelessly at him. Someone who’s never had to appreciate the smallest signs of affection.

                Justine scoops up her purse, quickly excuses herself, and rushes out to meet him. Leaving a three-quarter full Coke bottle sitting behind on the table, she’s gone almost before I can register it. She’s gone.

                I watch them get into the car. She’s talking. Explaining herself. Addison seems agitated; gesturing wildly and I read his lips: “What fucking time do you call this? I told you to be home at three!”

                Eventually he throws up his arms in frustration and drives away. I turn back to Melodie.

                “Why does she stay with that asshole?” she asks after a long pause. “He hits her, don’t you know?”

                “No?”

                “How do you think she got that bruise on her face?”

                “She said she fell against the… Fuck!” I hadn’t noticed…  well, come to think of it, I have seen signs, but I’ve never put two and two together. Sometimes I wonder if I am so wrapped up in my own problems that I fail to see the suffering of others around me?

                “So what happened with you, Briar?” Melodie asks, toying playfully with the straw in her bottle.

                “With me? Oh, after my first panic attack I returned to school and everyone laughed and talked about me, so I stopped going. Slowly I found it harder and harder to leave the house. After a while I gave up entirely.”

                “When I did eventually emerge from my room, a week shy of my sixteenth birthday, it wasn’t like a beautiful butterfly emerging triumphantly from her chrysalis, but instead a tired gray moth treading cautiously into the light.”

                “My doctor once speculated that my year’s hibernation was due to an irrational fear of growing up, but that’s not right! If I really didn’t want to grow up there are much more reliable methods: sleeping pills, guns, razorblades…”

                “God, so how did you, like, get out of it?”

                “My brother. My brother helped me. Helped me help myself, I guess.”

                “Is this Jeff — twenty-seven and still living at home?”

                “No, it’s Paul — twenty and away at college. You haven’t met… oh shit!”

                And I suddenly remember: Paul’s arriving home today and I said I’d go with Mom to meet him at the airport. As the afternoon dissolved I’ve lost track of time.

                “Is he cute?” Melodie asks as we slip from the diner out onto the pavement.

                I can only nod yes.

                “Can I come too?”

                “No! I’ll see you later!” Melodie is super beautiful. When I first saw her, I wanted to see her again. I hardly ever see really beautiful females. I see pretty ones, hot ones, but hardly ever see a woman that just makes me turn my head and think ‘wow she is stunning.’ I think that people who are attractive just want the world to see something other than their looks. They want other aspects of their personality to shine through. I hate boring people. I hate boring guys. I feel like sometimes if I just be really quirky it will compensate for my lack of looks. Of course this never works.

 

Author Bio

 

Shane grew up in provincial New Zealand, a small place where options are small, were people wear PJs to the mall, a small place where dreams of being a writer or artist are not only actively discouraged, they are actively quashed. Nevertheless he fell in love with books, comics and writing at a young age and his early influences include Oscar Wilde, Alan Moore and Dr Seuss.

After many years of trying to get books, documentaries and films accepted in his own country, Shane gave up and settled for working in the fairly creative world of video-making and advertising.

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A trip to Europe and the USA rekindled his love of writing, and he wrote the American-based novel ‘Exit,’ submitted it this time to American publishers and immediately, received several offers for the work. He chose one and ‘Exit’ will be released December 2nd 2013 in the USA as his first novel from Biblio Publishing.

It is the story of Briar Averill who spent a year trapped in her room, suffering from agophobia. Six years on, she’s free, yet ripples from the year’s isolation still lap at the edges of her life, and that of her friends: Melodie, a pretty valley girl who she wishes she could be… Justine, her oldest friend, who has her own dark secret and Dermot who thinks he’s the reincarnation of Robin Hood — stealing from the rich to give to the poor. Ripples echo down through the years, leading her to the answer to one very simple question: Is it what she always feared — is she losing her mind?

Shane has since had comic book scripts accepted in the UK by DC Thompson, publisher of the long-running ‘Commando’ comic, fulfilling yet another dream for his child-self.

He lives with a very old and very vocal Tonkinese cat, and they both dream of eloping together to the USA or Europe.

He likes oranges, orange juice, and orange furniture — in fact even the color orange. Why? Well, because it’s the best color, of course. While he believes that being a grown up is not all it’s cracked up to be, he still enjoys ruining his appetite before dinner, and staying up past his bed time.

Links

 

Giveaway

 

 

10 print copies of Exit

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Snow White and the Vampire by Marina Myles [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Snow White and the Vampire (eBook)

Snow White and the Vampire
The Cursed Princes

Book Two

Marina Myles

Genre: Historical/paranormal romance

Fairy tales retold

Publisher: Kensington

Date of Publication: December 19, 2013

ISBN: 9781601831002

ASIN: B00DV1ITOS

Number of pages: 244

Amazon     BN     iTunes     eKensington    Blio

 

Blurb

 

Fog and Fascination

Alba Spencer thought her past in Romania and the dark magic that haunted it was behind her forever. She is one of the first female barristers now, safe in London. But London has its dark side, too. A man called the Ripper stalks the midnight streets. There are rumors that her hated stepmother has found her again, suggestions that the nightmares of her childhood are returning. And with them appears the cursed Gypsy boy she once loved, grown into a man more seductive and more terrifying than she ever could have dreamed…

Dimitri Grigorescu has become a surgeon, a gentleman—and a vampire. The lusts that drive his body are scarcely under control, and even he does not truly know what he is capable of. To fight evil and confusion, Alba must rely only on her wits—and a desire that overwhelms her doubts…

 

 Excerpt

 

“I’m very grateful for Teddy’s friendship—and for the opportunity to be introduced to the people he’s acquainted with.” The surgeon lowered his tone. “People like you, Miss Spencer.”

His words encouraged the spattering of nervous blotches across Alba’s chest. “You’re too kind,” she murmured. “So you find this city a pleasant enough place to live?”

“Pleasant but for the brutal murderer who lurks in the Whitechapel District.”

“Are you referring to the killer the newspapers are calling ‘Leather Apron’?” she asked.

He evaluated her with interest yet said nothing.

“I understand this monster killed two unfortunates by ripping their abdomens wide open,” she went on, making no attempt to sugarcoat her words since she was speaking with a surgeon.

“Where did you hear that, Miss Spencer?”

“It said so in the penny dreadfuls. Oh, not that I read them frequently…”

Drake raised an eyebrow.

What am I saying? She didn’t normally babble on so, but this man had lit a fire beneath her, though she couldn’t say why.

To her great relief, the doctor didn’t seem to notice her jittering nerves. “Nasty business, preying on those unknowing women,” said. “I can’t imagine a man treating any female that way. After all, women are beautiful creatures to be coddled. Admired. Cherished.”

“That’s a lovely thought.” Alba repressed a girlish sigh. “It’s a shame the killer does not share your school of thought.”

Drake wrapped his hands around his back. “I daresay the police believe this murderer will strike again.”

“I fear that is why fewer people came to your party this evening than Teddy anticipated. The city is gripped with fear.” She paused to take a sip of champagne. “Perhaps we should talk about something more uplifting than murder.”

“Yes.” The surgeon took her glass and deposited it on a servant’s tray. With his hand pressed to the small of her back, he guided her to a quiet corner of the drawing room. As she turned to face him, she could smell hot liquor fumes and the scent of expensive aftershave. Surprisingly, she found that she liked the mixture of aromas.

“Teddy tells me you hail from Romania as well, Miss Spencer. What are the

chances of that?”

“Slim, I daresay.”

“You’ve lost a great deal of your accent, but if I had to guess, you are from Bucharest.”

“I am.” How did he know?

His features darkened. “It appears we were destined to meet. And since we have, I’d be fascinated to know more about you.”

Although Alba was taken aback by his boldness, nerves propelled her to continue their conversation in a blabbering rush. “I came to London when I was fourteen—to live with a family friend who runs the dormitory apartments of the Royal Opera’s corps de ballet. Just this year, I graduated from law school. That’s where Teddy and I met—at King’s College. Recently, I’ve been assisting Teddy’s father, Harold Rollingsworth, in the hopes that—”

“—you will become London’s first female barrister.” Drake completed her thought. Tilting his head to the side, he gazed at her with admiration. “Lovely, intelligent, and a pioneer. You are a rare gem, Miss Spencer.”

The Romanian’s hungry stare closed the small distance between them. Alba’s cheeks burned. We hardly know one another!

Desperate to steer the conversation away from herself, she cleared her

throat. “I have yet to wish you a happy birthday, Dr. Griffin.”

“Thank you.” The guest of honor did a cordial bow. “But ‘Griffin’ is merely my professional name.”

Alba frowned. “What is your real name?”

“Dimitri Grigorescu.”

Alba’s limbs froze and the room started to take on a slow whirl. “That’s curious,” she murmured. “I knew someone by that name in Romania.”

“And I once knew a girl named Alba Zǎpǎda,” Dimitri said as a curtain of desire passed over his face. “You.

His lips thinned into a familiar smile and Alba’s hand flew to her gaping mouth. Curse my poor eyesight! Now that she was this close to him she knew precisely who he was: Dimitri, the handsome Gypsy boy she’d fallen in love with at the tender age of fourteen.

Words escaped her while she gasped for air.

“Life is too short to be without the ones you love,” Dimitri purred. “Don’t you think?”

All at once, memories of the summer Alba spent in the Balkan countryside flashed through her mind:

The first kiss she and Dimitri shared amid a field of white poppies.

Simona, Dimitri’s raven-haired friend.

And the terrifying night the three of them spent in a haunted graveyard.

Her blood raced and the room spun in faster circles.

“I’ve been waiting an eternity to return this to you,” Dimiti whispered as he slipped a dried white poppy into her hand.

“But I thought you were dead,” she said before everything went black.

 

 

Author BioAlthough Marina Myles lives under the sunny skies of Arizona, she would reside in a historic manor house in foggy England if she had her way. Her love of books began as soon as she read her first fairy tale and eventually led to degrees in English Literature and Communications. Now, with her loyal Maltese close by, she relishes the hours she gets to escape into worlds filled with fiery—but Untitlednot easily attained—love affairs.

She’s busy being a wife and a mother, but she is never too busy to hear from her amazing readers.

 

 

 

 

 

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20 free downloads of SNOW WHITE AND THE VAMPIRE

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Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe by Rebecca Raisin [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe
Rebecca Raisin

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publisher: Carina UK (Harlequin)

Date of Publication:  November 12th 2013

ASIN: B00GBZ3YD8

Number of pages: 52

Word Count: 17, 750

Cover Artist: Carina UK

Amazon US             Amazon UK

This is a recommended Contemporary romance novel

Christmas at the Gingerbread Cafe cover

Blurb

Christmas is the season the Gingerbread Café was made for…but owner Lily couldn’t be feeling less merry if she tried. She’s spent another year dreaming of being whisked away on a sleigh-ride for two, but she’s facing festive season alone – again. And, just to give her another reason to feel anything other than candy-cane perky, a new shop across the road has opened… Not only is it selling baked goods, but the owner, with his seriously charming smile, has every girl in town swooning.

But Lily isn’t about to let her business crumble — the Gingerbread Café is the heart of the community, and she’s going to fight for it! This could be the Christmas that maybe, just maybe, all her dreams – even the someone-to-decorate-the-Christmas-tree-with ones – really do come true!

Excerpt

Chapter One

Amazing Grace blares out from the speakers above me, and I cry, not delicate, pretty tears, but great big heaves that will puff up my eyes, like a blowfish. That song touches me, always has, always will. With one hand jammed well and truly up the turkey’s behind I sing those mellifluous words as if I’m preaching to a choir. Careful, so my tears don’t swamp the damn bird, I grab another handful of aromatic stuffing. My secret recipe: a mix of pork sausage, pecans, cranberries and crumbled corn bread. Punchy flavors that will seep into the flesh and make your heart sing. The song reaches its crescendo, and my tears turn into a fully-fledged blubber-fest. The doorbell jangles and I realize I can’t wipe my face with my messy hands. Frantic, I try and compose myself as best I can.

“Jesus Mother o’ Mary, ain’t no customers comin’ in here with this kinda carry-on! It’s been two years since that damn fool left you. When you gonna move on, my sweet cherry blossom?”

CeeCee. My only employee at the Gingerbread Café, a big, round, southern black woman, who tells it like it is. Older than me by a couple of decades, more like a second mother than anything. Bless her heart.

“Oh, yeah?” I retort. “How are you expecting me to move on? I still love the man.”

“He ain’t no man. A man wouldn’t never cheat on his wife. He’s a boy, playing at being a man.”

“You’re right there.” Still, it’s been two lonely years, and I ache for him. There’s no accounting for what the heart feels. I’m heading towards the pointy end of my twenties. By now, I should be raising babies like all the other girls in town, not baking gingerbread families in lieu of the real thing.

I’m distracted from my heartbreak by CeeCee cackling like a witch. She puts her hands on her hips, which are hidden by the dense parka she wears, and doubles over. While she’s hooting and hollering, I stare, unsure of what’s so damn amusing. “Are you finished?” I ask, arching my eyebrows.

This starts her off again, and she’s leg slapping, cawing, the whole shebang.

“It’s just…” She looks at me, and wipes her weeping eyes. “You look a sight. Your hand shoved so far up the rear of that turkey, like you looking for the meaning of life, your boohooing, this sad old music. Golly.”

“This is your music, CeeCee. Your gospel CD.”

She colors. “I knew that. It’s truly beautiful, beautiful, it is.”

“Thought you might say that.” I grin back. CeeCee’s church is the most important thing in her life, aside from her family, and me.

“Where we up to?” she says, taking off her parka, which is dusted white from snow. Carefully, she shakes the flakes into the sink before hanging her jacket on the coat rack by the fire.

“I’m stuffing these birds, and hoping to God someone’s going to buy them. Where’s the rush? Two and a bit weeks before Christmas we’re usually run off our feet.”

CeeCee wraps an apron around her plump frame. “It’ll happen, Lil. Maybe everyone’s just starting a little later this year, is all.” She shrugs, and goes to the sink to wash her hands.

Author Bio

 bec

Rebecca Raisin is a true bibliophile.

 This love of books morphed into the desire to write them. She’s been widely published in various short story anthologies, and in fiction magazines, and is now focusing on writing romance. The only downfall about writing about gorgeous men who have brains as well as brawn, is falling in love with them – just as well they’re fictional. Rebecca aims to write characters you can see yourself being friends with. People with big hearts who care about relationships, and most importantly, believe in true love.

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Catch a Wolf: Saga of the Black Wolf Book 2 by A. Katie Rose [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Catch a Wolf

Saga of the Black Wolf

Book 2

A. Katie Rose

 Genre: Epic Fantasy

Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing

BLURB

Raine, Ly’Tana and the others escape Brutal’s trap, but with dire consequences. Kel’Ratan has been grievously injured, and Rygel must take him to safety to save his life. Yet, they are not out of danger. A monstrous storm called the Wrath of Usa’a’mah has halted their flight from Khalid and they must seek shelter within a remote monastery or die under the storm’s power.

But High King Brutal has allied himself with the deadly assassins, the Shekinah Tongu. The secretive clan has sworn out a Blood Oath against Rygel in retaliation for his leaving their brothers in the forest to die. With their hellish hounds and Brutal’s dark wizard, Ja’Teel, they track Raine and Ly’Tana through the devastation left by the storm. Raine leads them into the west, toward Ly’Tana’s home of Kel’Halla, with Brutal’s menace confronting them at every turn.

As he finds himself falling in love with the exotic Ly’Tana, Raine is plagued by a mysterious voice in his head. Is he going crazy? In Raine, Ly’Tana discovers the one man she cannot live without. However, an evil entity has targeted Ly’Tana, bent on her destruction. How can Raine, Rygel, Kel’Ratan and her griffin bodyguard, Bar, keep her safe from its vast, unseen power?

Hunted by Brutal and his evil allies, Raine, Ly’Tana and their friends discover a new, and very strange, force dogging their trail  – a pack of enormous, cunning wolves. Mysterious wolves who call to Raine in the night, and bring alive the secret he’s kept hidden, even from himself. Taunted by nightmarish visions, Raine is forced to confront his own dark demon – the beast within himself.

 Who will catch Raine and Ly’Tana first? Brutal and his pets – or the wolves?

Thus begins the second novel of the Saga of the Black Wolf series.

Ungt

In a Wolf’s Eyes

Saga of the Black Wolf

Book 1
A. Katie Rose

 Genre: Epic Fantasy

 Publisher: Untreed Reads Publishing

 Date of Publication: April, 27, 2012

 ASIN: B007XXQWZ4

Number of pages: 497 (approx.)

Word Count: 155,000

 Cover Artist: Ginny Glass

Book Trailer:

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Blurb

Raine is a slave, a gladiator. Known as the Bloody Wolf, he is the champion of all champions in the Empire of Khalid. Ly’Tana is a warrior princess of Kel’Halla and is set to wed the heir to Khalid’s throne, Crown Prince Broughton. When Raine and his new wizard pal, Rygel, accidentally murder the High King, they set in motion events rapidly spiraling out of control. Ly’Tana discovers the true, and violent, nature of her betrothed, a man nicknamed Prince Brutal for his vicious nature, and escapes her marriage.

But Brutal will stop at nothing to have her for his wife. To entice his runaway bride into a trap, he brings down and captures her griffin bodyguard, Bar. Ly’Tana vows to have Bar back or die trying. She seeks the help of Raine and Rygel, and frees Bar from Brutal’s clutches. Yet, in doing so, Raine and Ly’Tana are forced to flee for their lives, hunted by Brutal’s secretive assassins.

Can they escape the hunters and their silent, evil hounds? Can Ly’Tana evade Brutal’s hungry need to marry her and seize her beloved country? Can Raine keep Ly’Tana alive and still save himself from capture and torture? Can they stop themselves from falling in love?

Thus begins the first novel of The Saga of the Black Wolf series.

BIO

A. Katie Rose is a Colorado native, and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Western State College in Gunnison,kmlkj;kn Colorado. She enjoys riding, teaching and learning from horses, likes camping, reading novels, watching movies and, of course, lives to write fantasy books. She currently works as a photographer in San Antonio, Texas, and is a slave to her six cats and four horses.  “In a Wolf’s Eyes” is her first novel.

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www.akatierose.com

www.akatierose.me

https://www.facebook.com/AKatieRose

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1444598.A_Katie_Rose

https://twitter.com/AKatieRose

 

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To Kiss a Werewolf by Molly Snow [BookBlitz]

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Kiss

To Kiss a Werewolf

Molly Snow

Genre: YA Paranormal Romantic Comedy

BLURB

As president of Paranormal Addicts Anonymous, Stella’s got no time for popular guys. Especially the surfers who hang at Shoreline’s beach—they think flashing a sand-sprinkled, tanned chest is enough to get any girl. But when surfer-hunk Damien Capernalli crashes Stella’s PAA fieldtrip to a haunted bed and breakfast, it may be time to rethink her priorities.

…And what’s with that wolfish gleam in Damien’s eye?

 Amazon   Smashwords

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  Sea salt wafted in the humid sky, the full moon hidden by dark, puffy clouds. Normally, Damien would be feeling on top of the world. A night at the beach, with a pack of friends and girls—one in particular basically throwing herself at him. The typical blonde bombshell cheerleader. Piece of cake. But things weren’t feeling quite right.

Tina wrapped an arm around his, as she sat with him beside the crackling bonfire. She endlessly giggled, even when he wasn’t joking. It was way overboard. She was trying too hard, and suddenly she wasn’t as attractive. Man, why be so serious? he told himself. Just go with it. She’s hot. You like her. She obviously likes you.

But it was hard to let loose when he kept thinking about that girl at his uncle’s pizzeria. She must have known him from school. She had called him by name. So, why couldn’t he put a finger on who she was, what class they may have taken together? He not only knocked her to the ground like a fool, he did something else to anger her. If only he knew what that was… What made it worst of all, he was actually going to accept her request for a date. It’s just that tonight he already had plans with Tina.

A half hour later, Damien was making out with the blonde in his jeep. He was going through the motions, but his head still wasn’t clear. Why was he going to let some random girl from earlier that night ruin his mood? It was so, so irritating. He wished she never walked into his workplace. Whoever she was. Whatever her name was. Tonight could have been so much easier, not being confused over some dark and depressed Goth girl.

As he kissed Tina’s neck, the scent of her floral perfume quickly morphed from soft and seductive to strong and sickening. As if he had licked a bar of soap, he could taste the smell. He pulled back and shook his head, wiping his nose with a shoulder.

Tina’s hands were around his neck the next second. Her fake fingernails lightly pressed into his skin as she pulled him back down. Not wanting to totally ruin the moment, he surrendered, and told himself to get a grip. He moved away from her neck and back to her mouth. Soap. He could still taste her perfume. Nostrils flared and he pulled back again, cringing.

“Come here,” Tina breathed. “Don’t play hard to get now.”

He opened his mouth and panted, hoping to release the flavor. Looking up to the half-moon that peeked through a cluster of dark clouds, he suddenly felt like gagging. In the next moment, he leapt off the girl and ran to the center of some fir trees that bordered the beach.

“What’s the matter?!” Her voice trailed after him.

Damien hunched over and grabbed his knees. Something was wrong. Horribly wrong. He was sure he was going to vomit whatever stomach flu suddenly overtook him, but instead he felt possessed to howl hoarsely into the night: “Owoooo!”

BIO

Molly Snow is a Top 10 Idaho Fiction Author, awarded by The Idaho Book Extravaganza. Her works include quirky teen romances BeSwitched Gwand Fallen Angel. Also a speaker on writing, her school assemblies have been featured in The Contra Costa Times and The Brentwood Press. Snow is married to her high school crush, has a set of silly twin boys and a bobtail cat named Meow-Meow. Molly Snow also co-writes mysteries under her pseudonym Claire Kane.

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Ribbon of Darkness: The Trouble with Elves by Decadent Kane

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Cover

Ribbon of Darkness

The Trouble with Elves

Book 1
Decadent Kane

Genre: Erotica

Publisher: Breathless Press

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

This book is an

erotica

novel intended for mature audiences

BLURB

Before Ribbon had a chance to get used to the idea of being an elf, she ran into Draven who’s body jingled her bells. Unfortunately, he’s the spy sent to haul her and her family back to the North Pole on Santa’s orders.

Draven North has had one task for the last twenty-four years: find the Winters family and bring them home. He wasn’t expecting their only daughter to deck his halls. No matter how hot and sassy he found his roguess, he had to take her back before the darkness devoured the Pole and Christmas magic along with it. But was it already too late?

Book Trailer:

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“Draven! You sly holy Knight. Sneaking up on a helpless Sylvan Elf such as I. You know I’m an emotional creature. Where have you been?” Maple asked the minute Draven materialized in her leaf hut. She was a strong survivalist, living among her clan. Their independence was an attribute to their species. Her golden hair contrasted with her tanned skin and defined feminine muscles. He recalled the last time those thigh muscles wrapped around him, it had been too long.

“My dear, Maple.” Draven bowed in apology for startling her. “Please forgive my intrusion. I’d hoped you’d like to see me as much as I’d like to see you. For my work keeps me busy much of the time, it’s hard to schedule a time to come.”

Maple’s hands pulled Draven upright. “I’ve missed you terribly.” Her light green eyes fluttered their lashes. He adored her bold antics, but knew she’d never be his true mate. Only a Claus Elf could mate for life. She knew that, but pretend was fair play in their coupling.

Draven drew her in tight around him and crushed his lips to hers. Pushing his tongue past her parting lips and lapping at the sweet taste of syrup. She bit his lower lip and pulled back. “Are you happy to see me or is that a candy cane in your pocket?” Her hand cupped his cock through his jeans and squeezed. He narrowed his gaze on her.

“Candy canes have no business here.” He ripped the brown leaf dress from her body causing a gasp to escape her lips. He’d give anything to hear that sound come from Ribbon. Damn his brain. His cock only grew harder at the image of the rogue elf and her black hair sliding over her shoulders.

BIO

If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has infinite meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.

A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.

My word would be Phantasmagoric.

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  One silver set of elfin ear cuffs and an e-book copy of Ribbon of Darkness at the end of tour-

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The Keeper: Revenge by O.L Ramos [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Untitled

 

The Keeper: Revenge

The Keeper Series

Book 2

O.L. Ramos

Genre: Paranormal Romance

ASIN: B00ERHTOUE

 Number of pages: 296

Word Count: 112,930

Cover Artist: Dane Low

Amazon

 

 

If the world you lived in was someday revealed to be nothing but a lie, would you really want the truth? Elizabeth McBeth did, and she’s paid the price for it…

 After almost 10 years since Liz’s mother was taken from her, Liz finally found her mother, Mary. But Mary has been forever changed, something that Liz will have to accept. The beginning of happier times, one would think…

The conspiracy has been exposed; Liz, Vincent, Mary and Michael had all thought that the vampire plot had been destroyed. They should have never underestimated Klein.

Klein has reinforced his armies, splitting the entire vampire species with the question… is Klein the vampiric messiah? Unfortunately for the heroes and the world itself, Klein has set in motion a plan that will destroy the world and recreate it in his own image.

Will the group be able to defeat Klein and restore the balance to nature? Or are they already doomed?

 

excerp1

 Chapter 1

It had been several months since the uproar at the Coronam estate. Klein had been deemed an enemy of the state for the entire vampire nation, the ones that wanted to stay on Vincent’s good side, anyway. In all honesty, the entire time since then had been both frantic and surreal. Vincent’s declaration before the Coronam asserting that he was Cain’s enforcer had caused a massive schism in the entire vampire race.

The bloodsuckers had always been a chaotic, selfish bunch. But at least with a strong government like the Coronam reining them in, they were fearful of getting tortured … or worse. The idea that mass executions could be a consequence had never entered their minds, however. Yet now, that’s all anyone could think about. The united stand made by Vincent and Michael had finally broken the camel’s back. Some of the more fearful vampires, the ones prone to paranoia, believed it was an example of what Klein had been warning about for over a thousand years. They believed Klein to be the true messiah of Cain, and Vincent to be a mere false prophet sent to lead them astray. This group of vampires announced themselves as the Hand, a creepy mishmash of politics and skewed religion.

They droned on and on about how Klein was the voice of Cain, and they were the ones who would take action on Cain’s behalf. It was all pretty shady, and there wasn’t a thing that we could do about it. Unfortunately, the entire world behind the veil was becoming increasingly unstable. Vincent was forced to allow Algarus to accept the Hand’s request for freedom of religion, even though everyone suspected the whole thing was just a front for a terrorist organization. But nothing could be proven.

Even the werewolves had ostracized Michael. Although he was never truly accepted because of his close association with Vincent, Michael could at least always request help in the past. Now, he was cut off from almost all of werewolf society. Almost all of them resented Michael openly, dismissing his claims that a werewolf was to blame for Klein’s success. They saw his actions as the beginning for a total civil war amongst all supers. When dozens of supers were caught acting as willing slaves for openly rebellious vampires, Michael realized that there might be truth to the charges imposed against him. This caused him no shortage of pain.

I often found myself staring outside my window wondering how things had worsened so quickly. But then again, I wasn’t the same person I’d been before all this started. I was now hardened by the experiences I’d been made to endure, decisions I’d had to make. Things I truly hoped to repress.

In the past months, I had witnessed Mom, I mean, Mary, go through a very thorough and intensive training regimen. The guys had run through everything from battle concepts and strategies to weaknesses of almost every super in existence. I have to say it that way because that was another key point that Michael always stressed to Mary: to be ready for anything and everything. That it was impossible to know of every super in the world. It was crazy, considering Michael had an almost encyclopedic knowledge of thousands of different kinds of supers. But after dealing with the Hela poison, I could definitely see why he was being so cautious.

I guess that brings me to Bobby. Poor Bobby. His entire clan was ousted from the slayer community, even the children who had never known combat. This caused many fights to break out … even one Anvil clan member’s death. The majority of Bobby’s clan blamed him for siding with a vampire and a werewolf. I don’t know the specifics of what happened, but I’m positive that the slayers were just trying to evade the wrath of Klein’s Hand and the Coronam, too. It was generally agreed that the Hela poison was a threat to the entire world, both supernatural or otherwise. Still though, an example had to be made. And so Bobby took his entire clan and relocated all 188 of them to the only place they could safely go. About thirty or so miles from Angel’s Retreat.

And I guess that’s why I’m keeping this diary. It’s cliché as all get out, but for all my big talk … I’m terrified. Everything has changed. And I’m not even sure it’s for the better either. The reality is—

            A loud knock announces the presence of a visitor. I turn in my chair to look at my bedroom entrance and see Vincent. He has a curious look to his face as he leans on my door and waits for me to say something.

“Hey Vincent,” I say with a bit of a sigh. “How’s it going?”

“Same old, same old,” he answers as he walks into the room and heads straight to the balcony. He opens it up and sits on the guardrail. “How about you, Goldilocks? You seem to be brooding on a Michael-esque scale lately. The hell’s wrong with you anyway?”

            “What do you think is wrong with me?” I reply angrily, the sharp tone in my voice echoing throughout my room. I give it a chance to linger before I continue. “You know … it’s just that I really thought we won. Seriously. You guys kicked some major bad guy ass. I thought that would be that. My mother could come home and be back with Dad, I could have some semblance of an ordinary life, I don’t know.”

“Why be ordinary, though?” he asks with a brief turn to me before he returns to browsing the outside scenery. “You were special before, you were special during. You’re special now. Why all the teenage angst? So everything didn’t end up roses … it sucks. We’re working on it, though. Besides, is this the way you treat me after not seeing me for two days? That’s hurtful.”

            He pretends to get stabbed in the back, does a horrible silent death scene and then throws himself off the balcony. I merely shake my head.

“Wow, tough crowd,” Vincent says as he floats up and hovers in the air a little above my balcony. Such a strange sight, but I’m completely desensitized to it. “You really are on a bummer aren’t you? What really gives?”

“Oh, I don’t even know …” I admit reluctantly with a deep sigh. “I decided to keep this stupid diary. I thought it would make me feel better if I could just write out my thoughts. Maybe keep them here, and the negativity would only be here. In secret. Then I could go and live my life as if nothing ever happened. But it didn’t work out like that at all. I wrote everything down and it just upset me more. What good have we done? Everything is just so much worse now. And this stupid diary is just a reminder of how much we’ve failed.”

“If it’s so bad, why not just throw it out?” He asks, as if the issue was a simple one. “Besides, you know that things have to get worse before they can truly get better.”

“If it exists, someone can find it,” I explain, already defeated. I know there is little sense in what I am saying. But it’s the way I feel. “Maybe someone can know the truth about what we really tried to do. If the world ends, I mean.”

“What?” Vincent straggles his question with a chuckle. He stops his silly flying and lands on the balcony. “Seriously, what happened in the two days I was gone? This is the most ridiculous thing you’ve ever said to me. And lady, you’ve had your fill.”

I shake my head slowly. I know he’s right. But what a person thinks and feels aren’t always on the same page. I know I’m not helping things. But I can’t just press a switch and change the way I feel.

“While you were gone, Bobby had to make an example again,” I explain as I inhale deeply, hoping to forget about the trauma. “Three slayers came in and tried to kidnap me, or kill me. I don’t know what they were going to do. Before they even had a chance to touch me, Michael was on top of all three of them and was carrying them out like a bunch of … I don’t know, rabbits or something.”

He looks at me in disbelief. He’s clearly angry, but my strangely odd word choice has him a little off balance.

“Michael manhandled them, Vincent,” I say, irritated. “It just looked weird. They were kicking and screaming and they just never stood a chance.”

“And how are you?” Vincent asks as he walks around the room examining it. “The place seems to be all right, so I guess Mikey didn’t wreck the place too badly. By your kinda crazy word choice I’m guessing he didn’t hurt them at all, huh? Knowing him, he probably just dragged them back to Bobby by the nape of their necks. Oh, I get it now; rabbits. Heh, pretty good.”

“Yeah, it was still mildly terrifying, though,” I answer as I start to feel myself chuckle as well. The image in my head about the incident is pretty funny, if you can get past the three guys trying to hurt me part.

“I’m sure it was,” Vincent says as he switches his attention and walks towards me slowly with a warm smile on his face. “But you do know that between Mary, Michael and I, there’s really no chance anyone can harm you, right? I mean come on sweetheart, you’re stacked.”

            I laugh a little more before shrugging my shoulders.

“So what kind of example did Bobby make?”

“He killed the one who made the plan. Skyles was his name,” I report, once again feeling the burden of the tragedy. “Did you know him? He expelled the other two.”

“Skyles … never heard of him. Did they at least find out why or what they were trying to do?”

“More or less,” I say as I look down at the ground and inhale deeply again. “They were trying to take me to the slayer leadership and barter for their family to live within their community again. Bobby came by and apologized … he explained that no matter what, what happened had to happen. He said that almost all of the slayer leaders know it had to be done. This was just—”

“Damage control,” Vincent says, finishing my sentence. “Yeah, politics will kill you every time. I knew that something must have rained on your parade, though. Want to go downstairs and get a drink?”

I chuckle. I don’t know if Vincent remembers it, but he drank the entire house dry before he left.

“How are we going to do that, smart guy?” I ask playfully. It was good to see him. Every time anyone leaves the house, I feel vulnerable and lonely … and it was only getting worse. “You drank everything in the house before you left on your little excursion.”

“A, it was not an excursion,” Vincent says with a mischievous smile. “It was a fact-finding mission. Unfortunately, not much of said facts were to be found. I’m kinda in a mood myself, now that I think of it. I did find out that some of the smaller islands of the Dodecanese was hosting a Klein party … the jerk. He’s even got Greek critters siding with him.”

“But why would he be doing that?” I ask, puzzled.

“Not done yet,” Vincent says as he raises a finger to hush me. “And B, you should know better than to think I wouldn’t be prepared. I stocked everything back up and even ordered an underground cellar to be constructed to house our reserves.”

It takes me a moment to understand what he means.

“You’re talking about the booze?!” I say in shock. “Why wouldn’t you just gloss over that and continue talking about what you found in Greece?”

“Far be it for me to allow my reputation to be sullied,” Vincent answers sarcastically before stifling a laugh. “Besides, Greece has been there forever; it’s not going anywhere. Booze has to be maintained and regulated around here. It’s like an endangered species. And besides again, it’s a part of Greece, but if you want to be technical it’s really a series of islands off the coast of Greece. So I didn’t find it in Greece, I found it near Greece.”

I grunt in frustration before slapping him. I examine him to see his reaction but he just turns his gaze up to me and smiles.

            “Feeling better, are you?” He asks knowingly. How I hate him and his sneakiness. “That’s more like it. To thy own self be true. Silly, down on her luck Izzy. That isn’t Izzy at all. Wow, say that five times fast. Anyhoo, stop being such a hard luck case and focus on the task ahead.”

I continue analyzing his smile before I sit down again. He’s right. I shake my head because I know that telling him that he’s right is about as painful as a root canal. But not telling him he’s right becomes much, much worse.

“I know,” I say as I admit my lack of options. “You’re right. I’m sorry. It’s been hard. This last month we haven’t sat down as a family, or whatever you want to call our group. Not even one Sunday dinner. We’re not running this like a home. We’re running this like a prison.”

“Well, this is the first I’ve heard of it,” Vincent says as he straightens out his dress shirt. “But have you told the furry boy scout anything about how you feel?”

“No, I haven’t,” I answer with yet another sigh. I suppose it’s not fair to be bothered if I haven’t even given the guys a chance to fix things. But I just felt restricted.  I shrug those feelings off before continuing. “I know you both have your reasons to do what you do. Klein needs to be found. The supers are all scared and getting desperate. Everyone is afraid that the humans will find out the truth of the world because the vampires all seem to be getting ready for a civil war. Mary needs to be in fighting shape, my father needs to be watched and guarded, and I need to be protected.”

“All while keeping the balance,” Vincent points out in a matter-of-fact tone. “As you can see, it’s more than a day’s work. You gotta have more faith. This guy had a ton of failsafe tools, people, and secrets to work on. It’s a thousand years of this guy thinking that I was coming to kill him and take his seat of power in the Coronam. He was ready before we ever even thought about going. As much as I hate to say it, the guy’s smart. He was prepared.”

Vincent leans back and stretches his arms; he lets out a yawn. It’s the worst fake yawn in the history of fake yawns. I suppose when you haven’t slept or felt exhaustion in 1600 years, you forget these things.

“Man, this is boring,” he finally says as he snaps to attention. “I feel like I should be asleep. I guess it’s been too damn long … Anyhoo, where was I? Oh yeah, the Dodecanese. Thing about Greece is that it’s relatively close to Romania and it holds a very important position in Europe. It’s a brilliant strategic choice. If Klein wants to hit the Coronam, he can, rather easily. On top of that, there are so many islands out there, not many are gonna find him. I found him because I figure he has vastly underestimated my information network.” Vincent smiles proudly before poking me softly in my right upper arm.

“Come on,” he suggests with a nod of his head. “Let’s have a drink, you could use one. I’ll tell you all about it. We also have to talk about what we’re going to do to liven this personality of yours permanently. I can’t have you slapping me every time you feel down in the dumps.”

I stand up slowly and look at his incredible, deep blue eyes.

“I don’t know why you say that,” I say slowly. “I have no problem slapping you all day long if that’s what needs to happen. You gotta do what you gotta do, right?”

“I suppose so,” Vincent agrees with several short nods of his head. “Of course, you’re just going to end up breaking your hand.”

I laugh a little before I end up pushing Vincent’s chest. We walk out of my bedroom and take the obscenely long journey to the common area of Angel’s Retreat. The place is still as beautiful as ever. The décor is a very classy blending of old European castle with modern Hollywood flair, but all of it seems gray and blurred to me. It has become my prison over these last few months. And I am really sick of it. When we finally make it to the bar, Vincent urges me to sit. A change, and a rather drastic one, from me playing bartender to Vincent’s regular drunk roles.

“Wow … What a treat!” I exclaim as I sit on the barstool, something I had become increasingly familiar with in times of stress. “I can’t believe we’re having a drink and I’m on this side of the counter. Feels pretty different. It’s nice. If I get Vincent-drunk, will you help me make it to my bed like I always help you?”

Vincent clears his throat before raising his finger again. Oh geez, here he goes again.

            “Two things I have to point out again. Apparently I’m gonna be doing this all day here,” he says as he puts down the bottle of vodka he was opening. “A, again, is that you should never make suggestive statements like that to me unless you want sarcasm as a reply. You should know better than that. I.e. you want me to help you to bed, don’t you?”

I slap him in midsentence just for the sake of slapping him. I have to admit, it’s a strange relationship we share.

“And B, again,” Vincent says as he shakes the strike away from his face and continues his rant. “Saying that someone is Vincent-drunk implies that I’m nothing but a no-good drunk. That’s also very hurtful. Besides, you’re the minor here. You should just be glad I’m even allowing you to drink.”

“You? Allowing me? That’s hysterical,” I say as I pick up the vodka cocktail Vincent has slid over to me. “Admit it Vincent, you just love the company. Michael doesn’t drink much anymore and you just want a drinking buddy.”

“Yeah, well, it’s all a part of my nefariously genius plan to get into your barstool,” Vincent says as he raises his own cocktail to me. “And before you think about it, I’m not gonna let you slap me again. You’ve used up your limit for today. Now, as is customary we will follow the beautiful tradition of—”

“Yeah, I know,” I say as I raise my glass and tap his with it. I answer his smile with one of my own. “The beautiful tradition of blessing our drink. It is a beautiful tradition. Salud, Vincent.”

“And to you, Izzy,” he says as he brings his glass to his mouth. “Cent’anni.”

“One hundred years to you,” I say. Knowing him, this is probably a test.

“Very good, you’ve been keeping to your studies.”

“No,” I point out a little sharply. “You just say it so often it’s hard to forget.”

Vincent scratches his head and chugs down his drink. He grabs the vodka bottle and drags it along the counter until it’s in between the two of us. He looks at me longingly, licking his lips suggestively. It was good to see at least one of us behaving normally.

“So, I was thinking about this anyway, before you even brought it up; so was Michael,” he says as he opens the bottle and begins to pour himself another round. “We both feel that a lot has happened in such a short amount of time, we should probably reopen the discussion about what you should be doing with your life in the meantime. I’m not going to say that what’s been happening lately is normal for us, but it has happened several dozens of times in our lives. But we can’t expect you, in your short nineteen years, to be dealing with it anywhere near as easily as we have been. I’m surprised you haven’t snapped like you just did before.”

“Well thanks a lot,” I say before chugging down my own drink and snatching the bottle from Vincent’s hands. He only looks at me and shakes his head. “If you knew I wouldn’t react well, why keep me here?”

“I don’t really know what you expected us to do,” Vincent admits almost in frustration. “You yourself said you were never much of a social butterfly.”

“More like a social spider.”

“Yeah, no kidding,” Vincent agrees before taking the bottle away from me as I was helping myself to another drink. “Everything in moderation there, drunko. What I was getting at was that we didn’t really have a lot of choices here. We could have sent you back to the campus, and you could have kept working, but for what? You never really mentioned liking it there. Besides, everyone in town doesn’t even know you exist anymore. I could try to screw around with their heads again and give them back their memories of you, but that’s a real loose option. I don’t wanna do that if I can help it. It’s too dangerous, even with my newfound powers.”

“Yeah, yeah, I get it,” I answer in more evident frustration. The whole thing sucks. He’s right and I know it. But that doesn’t really matter. It was different when I was still searching for my mother. I had a plan and a goal. We had achieved that goal and my mother was back and safe. Now all I did was take alternating courses of education by the guys … that was losing its fun, to say the least. “It was easy for me to not appreciate everything in my old life while I had it, but it’s all I think about now. I even miss the shrink visits. Don’t misunderstand me, I know what you’re saying, but there has to be something better to do with my life. I love you guys, I always will. You both have saved my life, you saved my mother’s, I mean … there’s no repaying any of that. But when are we going to get off of terror alert red here?”

“I was just getting to that,” he continues as he pours himself another drink. Wow, I never noticed he drank the one he had. Lush. “Michael and I have been thinking about what we could do to make your time pass by a little easier. Michael wants you to be protected and watched over at all times. I disagree with that because you do need some level of freedom, or else you’ll end up resenting the both of us.”

“I would never,” I argue in almost a scream. “I just want some fun. I’ve watched everything I can on TV; I’m caught up on all my reading. I would go back to studying all the supers that you guys know about, but what’s the point? Michael is a rolodex of information on the subject. Maybe if I could get my job back at Jack’s Place? Go back to the university, have a normal life? I’m not going to do anything crazy.”

“You say that, but you don’t know what you’ll do,” he contends firmly. “I don’t have you on a leash. None of us do. But what I’m saying is don’t take this temporary phase of you being down in the dumps for more than what it is. It’ll pass. Deep down you know what the right thing to do is. You can’t really risk too much crazy behavior right now. I bet Klein thinks we aren’t anywhere near here, especially with all the false information and dead ends we’ve been leading him on with. But we can’t risk lives with that type of hunch. Jack’s wouldn’t be so bad, because why would you have a job if you were with us? But on the other hand, there’s nothing to do around here but visit Jack’s. Same deal with the university. We gotta take this slow.”

“How slow?”

“Not very,” he assures me before pouring me a little more vodka. “But reasonably slow. So why don’t you start thinking about what you want to do when you grow up, huh? The choice is still yours, eventually. If you wanna walk away from all of this when Klein’s dead, then you have that option open. It’s just not open to you right now because we can’t in good conscience let you get yourself killed.”

“So what are you saying, Vincent? Stop with the theatre and spit it out.”

He grasps his glass and stares me in the eyes before presenting his glass to mine again. “What I’m saying is, give us some ideas,” Vincent says with a smile as he raises his glass. “And you’re free to go do whatever you want. Just don’t skip town, huh?”

I smile back at him and I can’t help hugging him over the counter. He was obviously not expecting this as I sense him almost jerk in place.

Now what should I do? 

04 sofi

  Michael Clark a.k.a. Michael the Ironskin

Hair – Black

Eyes – Jade Green

Height – 6’8”

Weight – 308 lbs while in human form

Age – Approximately 535 years old

Traits: Michael is a man from a different era. As a man who was originally born in Italy, he maintains the values of his upbringing. Honesty, honor, fair play and an emphasis on strategy; all of these are held in the highest of regards for the decorated werewolf. His nature and the role he plays in conserving nature’s balance make him very careful in choosing his friends. Michael is truly one of the most selfless beings ever to walk the Earth, but his role forces him to keep his existence a secret.

Michael is a mystery to Liz, who is just tugging away layers from his handsome facade, desperately trying to uncover his secret. But what Liz doesn’t know, what she couldn’t possibly even suspect is that Michael is a werewolf. But unlike fictional werewolves, Michael is responsible for the order and balance of nature. It is Michael’s sole responsibility to make sure that the world of man and the world behind the veil, where the true world lies, never cause chaos to one another. But chaos follows Michael’s closest friend, Vincenzo Della Rosa, wherever he goes…

 

Questions ( in no particular order)

 

  • What’s the biggest challenge you have with your height?

It’s really hard to find clothing that fits. I’m also confined to only driving big trucks, or older style sedans. Beds don’t really fit me… I never really noticed it before, but it is a hassle being so tall…

  • What is the one thing that has been passed down to you that you want to pass on to your children?

My father always emphasized honor and honesty; in all things, always be honorable and honest. If I am ever blessed with children, I would hope they would inherit these values. They are important qualities that I believe everyone should possess. Perhaps if more of us were honest with one another, the world wouldn’t be in the state it is now.

  • What was your first thought when you knew that you were a werewolf?

It was very hard to come to terms with at first. My phasing was particularly hard to get under control. I was changing my form with the slightest change in mood. Even while just watching things on television, like football games. It was… inconvenient.

  • What’s your favorite food?

I have a very serious love for steak and potatoes. Perhaps that is boring, but there is nothing tastier than that. A nice, rare filet with some baby red mashed potatoes… some cheddar cheese and bacon. I’m hungry just thinking about it. Although, if I’m being completely open, I usually am hungry.

  • In all the years that you have traveled the earth, what is the most beautiful place that you have seen?

There are many places that come to mind, all for different reasons. Mexico has some beautiful white beaches, Japan has a beautiful horizon… this is a question I could go on and on about. Truly, our world is a marvel.

  • What is the one quality in a woman that you find irresistible ?

To echo my previous statement, I love a woman with a good heart. As an empath, I can always feel motives in others… picking up on the intentions of a good woman is a very satisfying feeling. A good woman who you can talk to, that keeps you laughing… what could be better?

  • You are usually a very serious kind of guy, what makes you laugh?

Children and young animals make me smile uncontrollably… there is something about that level of innocence that is just awe-inspiring.

  • What’s the hardest part to keeping the balance and the Veil hidden?

Ah yes… the never-ending battle. In this past century, the population of humans has increased exponentially. The supers aren’t really slowing either, it’s a powder key. A very dangerous one. Constantly keeping these two populations away from one another is extremely difficult. Keeping the humans ignorant of the existence of the supernatural community… that is nearing impossible.

  • Who has been your favorite famous person that you have met over the years?

Edison was a seriously funny man, although he did have a side of him that tended to be very pensive. My favorite though?… Most likely Jimi Hendrix. He was a very nice man, the music was always great and he was the life of the party when he got himself going.

  • Give me one piece of advice that you would give to mankind to survive?

No matter what happens, never panic. A person who panics is completely incapable of rational thought. It is during crisis that we must have our minds clearest. That is the only way out of these situations. The current problem is currently being addressed and will be resolved soon. This is not the first time the world has been in peril, and I doubt it will be the last. The world will survive, it always has.

 

 BIO

From what I understand, the first line of this thing is where I say something really interesting that wins you over. After all, they say that you know within seconds of meeting a person whether you like them or not.

So…yeah… I got nothing. But if there is one thing I know, it’s that through stories we discover the world, learn about history and traditions; and in doing that, we become who we are as an individual.

Since I was a very young child, my only dream was to become an author one day. I wanted to reach people with my words, maybe even entertain them. I wanted to touch their lives and give them something to think about. After all, I am a loveable blowhard kindaUntitled2 guy… that’s gotta be entertaining, right?

In my life, I’ve done many things; from supervising sales for a retail giant chain to being a Deputy Sheriff. You would think that a person who had been shot at for a living would be brave enough to write a biography without all the sarcastic quips. Unfortunately no, that’s one of my main flaws as the above mentioned blowhard.

Anyhoo, please feel free to drop me a line! If you loved the book, I wanna hear about it. If you hated every word of it, please make sure to let me know, but please avoid the CAPS LOCK! The font can be a little… demeaning. Make sure to have fun guys! They say you only live twice; and if that’s true, we’re at least half done.

 010 sofi

 

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In Love with a Wicked Man by Liz Carlyle [BookBlitz]

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9780062100290

 

 

In Love with a Wicked Man

Liz Carlyle

Genre: Historical Romance

Publisher: Avon Books

Date of Publication: 10/29/2013

ISBN: 9780062100290

Harper Collins   Amazon

 

BLURB

New York Times bestselling author Liz Carlyle has created a breathtaking new romance about a man without scruples and the lady who brings him to his knees.

What does it matter if Kate, Lady d’Allenay, has absolutely no marriage prospects?

She has a castle to tend, an estate to run, and a sister to watch over, which means she is never, ever reckless. Until an accident brings a handsome, virile stranger to Bellecombe Castle, and Kate finds herself tempted to surrender to her houseguest’s wicked kisses.

Disowned by his aristocratic family, Lord Edward Quartermaine has turned his gifted mind to ruthless survival. Feared and vilified as proprietor of London’s most notorious gaming salon, he now struggles to regain his memory, certain of only one thing: he wants all Kate is offering—and more.

But when Edward’s memory returns, he and Kate realize how much they have wagered on a scandalous passion that could be her ruin, but perhaps his salvation.

  excerp1

 

 Suddenly his front office door burst open in a great clamor, with his doorman Pinkie Ringgold shouting down a red-faced Lord Reggie as he shoved him into the room.

Reggie spat back, insulting Pinkie’s parentage. Pinkie reciprocated by twisting Reggie’s arm halfway up his back. The resulting howl could have raised the dead.

“Quiet!” commanded Quartermaine.

Silence fell like a shroud.

“Release him,” Quartermaine ordered, “now.”

“But the blighter tried ter slip past me!” The portly doorman swelled with indignation. “Reckon ’ee finks I’m dumb as I look.”

“Which would be his mistake,” said Quartermaine in a voice quiet as the grave. “This, however, was yours. Ah, Peters. There you are. Pinkie, you’re within an inch of incurring my wrath. Kindly get out.”

Pinkie snarled again at Reggie as he passed by Peters, then thumped the door behind him as he exited.

“I want that upstart dismissed, Peters,” snapped Reggie.

“Thank you,” said Peters smoothly, “for your opinion.”

Without asking either to sit, Quartermaine circled around his desk to hitch one hip on its corner. Absent his coat and cravat, his shirtsleeves still rolled to the elbow, it was a pose of utter relaxation. A pose a man might assume late at night in the comfort of his own home—which this was.

“Good evening, Lord Reginald,” he said evenly. “Peters tells me you’ve come to settle your debts with the house.”

Reggie’s uneasy gaze flicked toward Peters. Then, with a sound of disdain, he gave his lapels a neatening tug. “I can’t think what sort of establishment you mean to run here, Quartermaine,” he muttered, “what with those Whitechapel thugs shadowing the doors.”

With a faint smile, Quartermaine made an expansive gesture. “My apologies, Lord Reginald,” he said, “but it may shock you to know there are occasionally gentlemen who do not mean to settle their house accounts. Ah, but my terminology is amiss, is it not? Such a fellow would not actually be a gentleman, would he?”

Reggie shrugged as if his coat were still uncomfortable. “Indeed not.”

“But there, enough about our paltry establishment,” said Quartermaine silkily. “Let’s talk about you. Specifically, you propose some sort of bargain?”

Resignation was dawning in Reggie’s eyes, but he was far too clever to admit it. Instead, he reached inside his coat and extracted a fold of letter paper.

No, not letter paper, Quartermaine realized when Reggie handed it to him. It was a legal document. After reaching across the desk for his gold-rimmed spectacles Quartermaine separated and scanned the papers, quietly refolded them, then lifted his gaze to Reggie’s.

“And what, pray, am I to do with this?” he said, drawing the sheaf through his fingers.

“Why, not a thing,” said Reggie lightly. “As I told your man Peters here, I produce it merely to prove I’m solvent. Or perhaps, even, to borrow against it?”

“But I’m not a bank,” said Quartermaine, “and this, Lord Reginald, is a deed—along with an unsigned conveyance of said deed.”

Reggie’s gaze shifted uneasily. “Well, I’d meant to sell it,” he admitted. “I never use the old place; it’s just a little Somerset country house—a sort of shooting box, really, near the moors. But the deal fell through. Still, Quartermaine, the place is mine. I can sell it if I must.”

“Lord Reginald,” said Quartermaine quietly, “you owe me several thousand pounds. So I very much feel you do have to sell it.”

Reggie looked at him as if he were stupid. “As I just said, the arrangement fell through.”

“But your notes of hand were due—well, last month, two of them, if memory serves.” Quartermaine snapped out the paper and pointed. “Tell me, Lord Reginald, is this the amount your buyer offered?”

“Well, yes,” he said uneasily. “My solicitor drew it up.”

“And was it a fair price?”

Reggie was caught between a rock and an ungentlemanly admission. He chose the rock. “Quite fair,” he said, lifting his nose, “otherwise, I should never have agreed to it. As I said, Quartermaine, I’ve no use for the moldering old place.”

Quartermaine refolded the papers, and thought of the strand of pearls in his desk, and of his own failings. Perhaps he ought not laugh at poor Reggie. Perhaps he was no better.

But he was laughing—and Reggie knew it. Still, it would take a bigger set of bollocks than Reggie possessed to play the haughty blueblood in the face of a man to whom one owed such a frightful amount of money.

Quartermaine laid his spectacles aside. “So let me understand, Lord Reginald,” he continued. “You were doing the honorable thing: attempting to sell your small, superfluous, and unentailed estate so that you could settle your debts to me and pocket the balance. Do I have that right?”

It wasn’t anything close to right, and all three of them knew it. Reggie’s intent had been to sell the house in a fevered pitch for perhaps two-thirds its value in order to obtain quick cash in hand, and then stake himself at the tables with the naive but eternal hope of every bad gambler: that all would come aright in the end, and he would pay Quartermaine with his winnings in due course.

In due course meaning when he damned well pleased.

Quartermaine, however, was better pleased to be paid now.

He thwacked the side of his knee with the fold of paper. “I think you had a solid plan, Lord Reginald,” he said pensively. “It’s hardly your fault your buyer reneged.”

“Indeed not,” said Reggie haughtily. “We had a gentlemen’s agreement.”

“As do you and I,” said Quartermaine, “though admittedly I cannot quite account myself a gentleman, can I, Lord Reginald?”

Reggie must have felt a stab of magnanimity. “Well, you’re better bred than some fellows I know,” he acknowledged, “and it’s hardly your fault that your mother was a—well, never mind that.” He gave a stiff, awkward bow at the neck.

“May I get on about my evening, Quartermaine?”

“But first, back to the real estate,” said Quartermaine.

“What is the place called? What is its condition?”

The wariness in Reggie’s eyes deepened. “Heatherfields,” he said, “and I told you, it’s just a little manor on the edge of Exmoor. The condition, so far as I know, is passable. Some old family retainers tend it.”

“Tenant farms?”

“Three. All let, I think, along with the home acreage.” Reggie smiled thinly. “I don’t account myself much of a farmer.”

“I see.” Quartermaine smiled faintly. “Well, I’ll tell you what I shall do, Lord Reginald. I shall take the moldering old place off your hands for the price your buyer offered—less, of course, what you owe me. And I’ll do it now. In cash. Peters, unlock the cashbox and call down . . . what’s that solicitor’s name? Bradley?”

“Bradson, sir,” said Peters, already fumbling for the key that hung from his watch chain. He shot a smile at their guest. “He’s just upstairs, Lord Reginald, at the basset table. He owes us a favor or two. I’m sure he’ll see to the deed of conveyance.”

“We’ll need three witnesses,” said Quartermaine. “Bring Pinkie back, and fetch a footman who can read and write.” Here, he turned to settle his watchful gaze on Reggie. “Doesn’t that sound expedient, my lord? Soon you may go on about your evening—and with a tidy bit of cash in hand, unless either my memory or my arithmetic fails me.”

Neither did.

Half an hour later, with Reggie looking pale and beaten, the deal was inked. Quartermaine offered Armagnac all around. Bradson took him up on it.

Reggie took his money and left.

“Well, that’s that,” said Peters cheerfully, shutting the great chest’s doors when they were finished. “I thought it all went rather smoothly.”

“Well done, old chap.” Quartermaine chuckled, tossing the deed into his desk with Annie’s pearls. “I cannot believe Reggie was fool enough to flash that paper at you.”

“Desperate men, desperate means,” said Peters. “He thought it might get him through the door.”

“And so it did.” Quartermaine shoved the drawer shut, and the laughter fell away. “Peters,” he went on, “I need to go away for a time. A few weeks, perhaps.”

Peters turned quizzically, but Quartermaine did not answer the unasked question. Peters had grown accustomed, over the years, to his disappearing with little explanation.

“Will you be all right here on your own awhile?” he said instead.

“Oh, indeed, sir,” he said. “Off to gloat over your shooting box, perhaps?”

“Something like that,” said Quartermaine, staring at the closed drawer.

Peters hesitated a heartbeat. “What do you mean to do with the house, sir,” he said, “if you don’t mind my asking? I’ve never known you to hunt or shoot.”

At last Quartermaine lifted his gaze from the drawer. “It is a gift,” he said quietly, “for Annie.”

 

BIO

 

A lifelong Anglophile, Liz Carlyle started reading Gothic novels under the bed covers by flashlight. She is the author of sixteen historical romances, including several New York Times bestsellers. Liz travels incessantly, ever in search of the perfect setting forLiz_Carlyle her next book. Along with her genuine romance-hero husband and four very fine felines, she makes her home in North Carolina.

 

 

 

 

010 sofi

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hollow’s End by Marianne More [BookBlitz]

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Untitled

Hollow’s End

The Legend Series

Book One
Marianne Morea

Genre: YA paranormal romance/ horror

Publisher: Coventry Press, Ltd

ISBN: 0988439638

ASIN:  B00EUM92OO

Number of pages: 242

Word Count: 91,568

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

Amazon   BN   iTunes

 Blurb

 The dark water of the Hudson River isn’t the only blackness looming in the distance of the quaint river town of Sleepy Hollow. Two hundred years of secrets and lies are bleeding into the present, and high school seniors, Hunter Morrissey and Rowen Corbett, find themselves linked with unseen forces shrouded in mystery and violence.

Truths, buried and long forgotten, have risen at a time when the veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. Only Hunter and Rowen hold the key to locking the past in the past, and setting old wrongs to right. Can justice be served? Can the two find a way to straddle both worlds and solve the mystery when they don’t understand the clues?

Inspired by historical events that surround the village of Sleepy Hollow and the famous legend that shares its name, this Young Adult Horror takes you on a journey full of history and suspense with a splash of romance and the paranormal.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

 The alarm clock buzzed, its repetitive blare piercing what was left of my sleep. I opened my eyes half way and peered at the red digital numbers staring back at me through dim light. With a groan, I slammed my hand on the clock’s hard plastic top, hoping to hit the snooze button and not the volume. Closing my eyes, I rolled over tucking one hand under my pillow and the other under my chin. But it was too late. My conscience was wide awake and already sparring with itself. Get up! You’re going to be late again. No, I won’t, just five more minutes…

‚Rowen! It’s six-thirty!‛ my mother’s voice shot from the hall.

Five minutes. Just five more minutes.

‚Rowen!‛

‚I heard you the first time!‛ I yelled at my closed bedroom door. Why did morning have to come so early and be so loud? I groaned again. If I didn’t get out of bed soon, she’d come upstairs looking for me, and that was the last thing I wanted.

Yawning, I reached over my head and stretched, arching my back to let the blood flow into my resting muscles like a reveille call. Up and at ‘em, troops!

My mother was up early, even by her standards. I wasn’t surprised, though. It was that time of year again. The time when our little shop, The Silver Cauldron, became the town headquarters for spells and charmed candles and, of course, witches brew. The season when the quaint river town of Sleepy Hollow transformed into a mecca for all things creepy.

With my crazy mother organizing everything from the kids ragamuffin parade to the annual costume ball, there was never a spare minute to think or breathe. On top of everything else, she took over as coordinator for this year’s Blaze—over 4,000 hand carved jack-o-lanterns lining the historic three hundred-year-old Van Cortlandt estate. It was no wonder I didn’t want to get up. I was exhausted just being her daughter. My mother, Laura Corbett, was Sleepy Hollow’s unofficial official town witch, and in a place where everyone knows everyone, that’s saying a lot.

‚It’s just Halloween,‛ I mumbled flipping my covers back, but in our house it was never just Halloween, nor was it ever just about trick-or-treating. It was the Witch’s New Year and one of the biggest sabbats on the wheel of the year. Not that I believed in that sort of junk. That was my family’s thing, not mine, even though my mother and grandmother had been trying to make it mine since the day I was born.

I swung my legs over the side of the bed and sat for a moment. I’d heard it a thousand times, ‚We’re different, Rowen, embrace it. People would kill to be able to do what we can.‛ Like people needed more reasons to think I was half a freak. And as to wanting to be like me, uh… I didn’t think so.

‚Rowen, hurry up! I need to talk to you before you leave,‛ Mom’s voice called again.

My room looked like a tornado hit. Clothes and shoes everywhere, and the books and math sheets I reviewed last night were still in a haphazard pile across my desk. Two empty Coke cans topped a pile of candy wrappers, and a large, half eaten bag of potato chips lay crumpled on the floor next to my backpack.

Oh God, I didn’t.

At the incriminating sight, my hand shifted to my stomach, and a familiar self-loathing settled onto my shoulders. I slumped a bit, cringing inwardly at what the scale would read this morning.

With a sigh I pushed myself to stand and slid my gaze to the clothes I somehow remembered to set out. My lateness was reaching epic proportions, yet school was only halfway through the first semester. Most of the student body had learned to get out of the way when I came barreling in for homeroom.

Mom seemed to think my tardy nature would improve once I earned my driver’s license, but of course, that didn’t happen. I was seventeen and already driving for the past year. We lived around the corner from the high school, and senior privilege or not, I didn’t relish the idea of taking my mother’s minivan.

Grabbing my outfit from the back of my desk chair, I walked into the bathroom and snapped on the light. I had no problem envisioning my mother, coffee cup in hand, impatiently waiting for me to come downstairs while she planned her latest concoction for the store.

When my mother says she needs to talk it usually means extra work for me, and considering how busy it’s been I’m surprised it took her this long to ask. Not that I mind helping out at the shop with all its curiosities, but I can’t seem to stomach the people who come in just to gawk. Of course, the townspeople wouldn’t dare insult my mother that way, but the tourists loved to look at the whole lot, including us.

I took inventory of my face in the mirror, running fingers over the puffy skin beneath my eyes, trying to ignore the glare from the bathroom’s overhead lights. Telltale dark smudges from my late date with calculus were evident beneath my lower lids, making my hazel eyes look a little muddy. ‚Now, that’s attractive,‛ I grumbled reaching for my makeup remover. Giving each eye a quick swipe, I checked my reflection for any marked improvement. No such luck.

Most of the time, I liked the way I looked. From the dark curls and high cheekbones I inherited from my dad, to winning the genetic lottery for great skin courtesy of mother’s side of the family. Most of my friends hated that I never got zits or blemishes, but Mother Nature evened the playing field, seeing to it I gained weight if I so much as looked at junk food.

I muttered an expletive thinking about the bag of chips I’d massacred and pushed the bathroom scale under the vanity with my foot. One of these days I’d learn not to let the number glaring up at me from between my feet dictate the kind of day I would have, but today was not that day.

The Corbett’s tended to be on the fleshy side, or at least that’s what it looked like in all the family pictures. I wouldn’t know firsthand, though, my dad having died when I was little, and his parents before I was born. Then again, having a mother who leaned more toward the vegetarian line helped a lot in that department.

Gathering my hair, I twisted it into a loose bun at the top of my head. There was a peculiar tension building in my stomach, and I didn’t think it was the potato chips. I was out of sorts, restless for some reason, and a dull ache throbbed behind my eyes. I grabbed my toothbrush and turned on the tap, breaking one of the cardinal rules of my house by letting the water run while I brushed my teeth.

A calculus test was scheduled later this morning, but I was never one for being neurotic over grades. So why was I so edgy? I rinsed my mouth and stuck the toothbrush in its holder. The blunt pounding behind my eyes escalated and I winced, tilting my head down against the pain. That was when I saw it, or thought I saw it.

I stood motionless with my hand frozen in place as I stared at the water in the sink. The slow drain had allowed the flow to gather in the basin and ribbons of red curled and spread like blood streaming into the water. It didn’t look like rust or red clay or anything else. It looked like blood, swirling and coating the white porcelain with streaks and tiny clots. Worse yet, it smelled like blood, with a sharp, metallic tang that lingered in my nose and throat. I gagged, squeezing my eyes shut.

A wave of dizziness hit and I gripped the edge of the vanity, sucking in short shallow breaths trying to work up enough air to yell for my mother. I swallowed against the sour bile taste in my mouth and counted to ten, and when I opened my eyes, only clear water flowed in the sink.

My hand shot forward turning off the tap, and I pumped the lever handle behind the faucet a bunch of times. I held my breath ‘til the last of the water ran down the drain. Did I say half a freak? How about a full-fledged weirdo, complete with psychotic visions? Backing up, I grabbed hold of the towel rack and sank to the floor, the cold tile adding to my already goose-pimpled flesh.

Minutes passed and though my heart rate slowed, my mind raced. Was this some leftover nightmare skewed from Chiller TV? Part of me wanted to yell for my mother, but the other part knew she’d make a huge deal about it, and I didn’t have time for a protection spell or whatever else she’d think to do.

The clock was ticking, and I needed to get myself together and out the door. Afraid to tempt fate and run the water in the sink again, I wet a washcloth under the bathtub tap. ‚No more sleep deprived delusions for me, thank you.‛

The problem was this didn’t feel like a byproduct of too little sleep. Something happened, I sensed it. Gran told me the night of my birthday that my aura was bleeding. Happy birthday, darling, and by the way… Gee, thanks. Love you too, Gran.

That night my mother made light of it, telling me everyone’s aura bled from time to time, it’s part of coming into your own—yet I hadn’t missed the look she shot my grandmother. And what the hell did that mean? Was I coming into my own as a strong, independent woman, or did some weird, cosmic witchiness hit me square in the face courtesy of my messed up gene pool? Right now, I didn’t want to know. I wanted to go to school and take my exams like any other normal teenager.

After slapping on deodorant and body mist, I dressed, not bothering with make-up. I unfastened my claw clip and finger combed my hair before throwing it back into a messy bun, then grabbed my homework and shoved it into my bag. I allowed one last look in the mirror, hesitating about the no make-up, but no amount of cover-up would camouflage my fear-induced, chalk-white cheeks. Instead, I plastered a smile onto my face and headed downstairs, praying my mother’s instincts would be too preoccupied to notice.

The blissful aroma of fresh brewed coffee filtered from the kitchen, making my mouth water before I walked through the doorway. Even more sublime, the scent of homemade pumpkin bread floated alongside the smell of fresh ground walnuts. ‚Hey,‛ I mumbled, scraping one of the chairs back from the table. ‚Smells good. You had time to bake this morning?‛

‚I know how much you like pumpkin bread, so why not,‛ my mother answered, putting a warm slice in front of me. ‚I thought it’d be nice for us to have a treat together, especially since I’ve been so busy lately and haven’t been around much.‛

She thought right, and I took my first easy breath of the morning. ‚Mmmmmm, incredible,‛ I said with my mouth full.

Reaching for her mug on the counter, she patted my shoulder and I cringed. The moment she touched me she’d know something was up. On cue she jerked her head around, eyes already probing.

I exhaled. ‚Cut it out, Mom, come on. I’m tired, that’s all.‛ I shrugged her off purposefully, but she wasn’t buying it. ‚I’ve got a huge math test today, and calc’s been kicking my butt since the beginning of the year, so can we not do the Wicked Witch of Westchester County thing this morning?‛

Taking a deep breath, my mother looked at me the way she looks at her rune stones when trying to divine a hidden meaning. ‚Okay, Rowen, if you say so. But whatever it was you saw…‛

‚I know, Mom, relax. Like I said, I’m just tired. Didn’t you have something you needed to talk about? It must be important or why else

would you need to bribe me,‛ I said, waving my pumpkin bread her way before plopping another piece into my mouth.

My mother flashed me a half smile, knowing I’d used one of her trademark moves usually reserved for arguments with Gran. ‚You’re right, but I think I could do better than pumpkin bread if I wanted to bribe you. Truth is, with New Year’s a little less than two weeks away, the store is going to get crazy the closer it gets, and with everything I’ve got going I could really use your help.‛

‚It’s October, Mother. New Year’s isn’t for two months.‛

‚You know what I mean, smart ass, Samhain is next week. And in case you’ve forgotten, Halloween is a fire sabbat that requires a ritual cleansing to protect the town and honor the wandering dead.‛

‚Yeah, but jack-o-lanterns? Seriously?‛

‚Pumpkins are the easiest way to get everyone to participate without them really knowing. Unfortunately, they aren’t going to carve themselves, and we’re short of volunteers.‛

‚I know,‛ I said taking another bite of my pumpkin bread. ‚Don’t worry, I’ll do my part until every last jack-o-lantern is carved and placed.‛ I wondered what the prissy town supervisor’s wife would say if she knew my mother had orchestrated a pagan ritual involving the entire town right under her pious nose.

As if reading my mind, Mom smirked. ‚I knew I could count on you, Rowen, but do me a favor. Don’t be such a teenager this week. The veil between the living and the dead is at its thinnest. I want you to pay attention, okay?‛

I nodded, and she gave me a smile, but for the first time in my life my mother’s smile didn’t reach her eyes.

About Marianne

I’m a New Yorker, born and bred, and for the most part my stories and my characters embody the grit and complexity of the city. An avid traveler, I use my experiences from around the world in all my books. There isn’t a place my characters live or travel to that I haven’t been myself.

Like most authors, my love affair with the written word started as a child with the books I read. Even today, I love to read almost as much as I love to write. My favorite stories are the ones that transport me, that bring me to places and introduce me to characters that leave me breathless…the ones that spark the fire of my imagination, allowing me to dream in the world of ‘what if?’

 I’ve always been a scribbler, and from the time I could write my name I’ve been making up stories. So it was no surprise when I earnedauthor degrees in both Journalism and Fine Art, but after working in the trenches of Madison Avenue as a Graphic Artist, I decided to do what I love most full time. Write.

In the meantime I am also a founding member and former President of The Paranormal Romance Guild, a not-for-profit organization for readers and authors of the genre…and when I’m not ‘bichok’ (but in a chair hands on keyboard), I’m spending time with my husband and our three kids, traveling to exciting, romantic places …for inspiration, of course!

Behind The Mask by Jacqueline Paige [BookBlitz]

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Behind the Mask

Jacqueline Paige

 Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance

Word count-26,000 words

Her world is calm and predictable until one night, one costume party and one sexy masked man happen.

Warm up for Halloween with…

Blurb

In a fit of temper, Gracelyn’s only sister curses her so she’s forgotten the moment anyone turns away from her. Only one thing, at an exact moment, can break the curse.  After years of failed attempts, she is forced to accept living her life completely alone.

Her world becomes calm and predictable —until one Halloween night …

one costume party …

and one masquerading man change everything.

 

About the jacqueline

Jacqueline Paige lives in Ontario in a small town that’s part of the popular Georgian Triangle area.  No one has ever heard of Stayner, so she usually tells people she lives “near Collingwood” and no, she doesn’t ski at Blue Mountain or at all, in fact she’s not even fond of snow.

She began her writing career in 2006 and since her first published works in 2009 she hasn’t stopped.  Jacqueline descJacqueline Paigeribes her writing as “all things paranormal”, which she has proven is her niche with stories of witches, ghosts, physics and shifters now on the shelves.

When Jacqueline isn’t working at her ‘reality job’ or lost in her writing she spends time with her five children, most of whom are finally able to look after her instead of the other way around.  Together they do random road trips, that usually end up with them lost,  shopping trips where they push every button in the toy aisle, hiking when there’s enough time to escape and bizarre things like creating new daring recipes in the kitchen. She’s a grandmother to four (so far) and looks forward to corrupting many more in the years to come.

Jacqueline loves to hear from her readers, you can find her at www.jacqpaige.webs.com , www.jacqpaige.blogspot.ca  or http://magicseasonsbooks.blogspot.ca

Behind the Mask by Jacqueline Paige -is just .99 at Smashwords when you use code QZ24D

 

Bewitching

BookBlitz: Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins

 

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Realm Walker
Realm Walker Series Book One

Kathleen Collins

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Carina Press

Date of Publication:  October 28, 2013

ISBN: 9781426896545

ASIN: B00E1V5S3S

Word Count: 76,000

 

Amazon       BN

Blurb

An estranged mate, a mangled body and a powerful demon who calls her by name…

 As a Realm Walker for the Agency, Juliana Norris tracks deadly paranormal quarry using her unique ability to see magical signatures. She excels at her job, but her friends worry about her mysterious habit of dying in the line of duty without staying dead. That’s only the first of her secrets.

 Most people don’t know Juliana became the mate of master vampire Thomas Kendrick before he abandoned her seven years ago. Most people don’t know the horrors she endured at the hands of the vampire he left in command. Most people don’t know her true parentage, or why a demon on a world-threatening rampage has taken a personal interest in her…

 Even as Juliana pursues the demon, it goes after all she holds dear—including Thomas, who is back to claim her for his own. But if she can’t reconcile her past and learn to trust herself again, she will lose him forever.

About Kathleen

 

Kathleen Collins has been writing since Kindergarten. And while her ability has drastically improved, her stories are still about monsters and the people who play with them.Author

The rare instances that she actually finds some spare time, she spends it playing with her two boys. Three if you count her husband.

She is currently hard at work on her next book.

 

www.Kathleencollins.net

@kathy_collins

www.facebook.com/kathleencollinsauthor

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7191208.Kathleen_Collins

 

 

Giveaway

 1 Halloween Theme Prize Pack open to US Shipping

The goodies include:

A felt owl bag

A cool Skull sign

A skull glow in the dark ring

Charms – including the vampire themed “Blood Donor Wanted”

Fuzzy socks

A cool woven bracelet with silver skulls

A skeleton voodoo doll key ring

Vampire themed cookie cutters

and last but not least Vampire shot glasses

8 ebook copies of Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

BookBlitz: One Last Dance by Angela Stephens

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One Last Dance
Angela Stephens

Genre: Mature New Adult

Date of Publication: 9/23/2013

Number of pages: 250

Word Count: 70,000

Amazon  BN

 

Blurb

“One dance, that’s all I’m asking for.”

Dreams don’t come true. That’s one thing that Sophie Becker knows for certain. Sophie spent the first nineteen years of her life dedicated to her dream of becoming a dancer, but when an injury ends her career as a performer, she struggles to find an anchor.

Now, a few years later, Sophie has tried to move on by opening a dance studio in the heart of Manhattan. She thinks she can hide from her pain, but it’s impossible in the face of daily reminders of the opportunities she has lost.

One night, a mysterious stranger walks into her studio, threatening to tear down the facade she has worked so hard to build up. Henry Medina is the reclusive CEO of Medina Properties and has a troubled past of his own. Henry is cocky, handsome and all he wants is to dance with Sophie.

When a dance becomes more than just a dance, will Sophie be able to handle the intense emotions that he stirs up? Will Henry reignite the passion in Sophie’s heart and heal her soul or will he leave her more broken than she was when he found her?

 

 

Excerpt

 

When she was sure Darren was gone, she followed the stranger back into the classroom. Darren had turned off half the bank of overhead lights when he’d exited earlier, leaving the room bathed in a dim glow. She watched the man as he stood in the center of the room, dark eyes scanning and cataloging everything.

 

Sophie took a deep breath, willing her frantic heart to calm. “What can I do for you, Mr…”

 

He spun on his heel, the move smooth and agile, until he faced her. “It is you. I knew it.”

 

Sophie’s head spun. She would know if she’d seen this man before. “I’m sorry? Do I know you from somewhere?”

 

“Buenos Aires.”

 

A shock went through her system. That was a city she knew well.

 

“I saw you dance in a competition and you had more pasión than I had ever seen.”

 

He had no accent, yet the way he said pasión showed he knew the language, and probably tango. Sophie felt a jolt in her stomach and her shoulders slouched. She wasn’t expecting another reminder of her past from a stranger. A reminder of a time before her knee had betrayed her. Whatever he was expecting, it was from a past version of herself. He would be disappointed by the present Sophie. “I’m sorry, Mr.—”

 

“Henry. Please just call me Henry.”

 

“Okay then, Henry,” she said, shaping the syllables with her tongue and lips. “I appreciate the compliment, but that was a long time ago. Why did you come in here tonight?”

 

His gaze rested on her mouth as she spoke his name and again she felt that flare of heat on her face. A slow, crooked smile spread across his sensual lips, his mouth turning  up at one corner and revealing a deep dimple. “I saw you through the window and I felt compelled. I’ve wanted to see you dance since that night, but I couldn’t find any of your performances. Then tonight as I’m walking down the sidewalk I see you teaching a class. You’ve been under my nose this whole time.”

The stab of pain in her stomach intensified. That she could have such an effect on a man this beautiful was so flattering, and yet realizing that the dancer who had created that effect was no longer able to dance devastated her. She needed to get him out of here before she began to cry. “Henry—”

 

“Dance with me.”

 

“I beg your pardon?” Did he really think he could come into her studio and dance with her because he saw her in the window? Because he had seen her at a competition once? “If you’d like lessons, I’m happy to give you a schedule. We have new classes starting all the time.”

 

He was already stalking over to the chair at the front of the room and the loathsome cane propped against it. She saw him pluck something from the seat and realized it was her iPod remote. “I don’t want dance lessons. I want to dance with you.”

 

“I’ve had a full day. And I don’t give out free private lessons.”

 

His thick brows rose. “I’ll pay double your normal rate. For the whole hour. One dance and I’ll leave.” He pointed the remote at the iPod dock and waited, gaze steady.

 

He couldn’t be serious. “Does that normally work? The ‘double your rate’ bit?”

 

“I wouldn’t know. First time I’ve used it.”

 

So he was a charmer. Sophie’s thoughts went to her knee. She wiggled her leg a bit to test its strength. It felt fine, which was strange given the pain she had been in earlier. Her attention returned to the beautiful man in front of her. The urgency that had emerged in his eyes left her startled. “Well I can tell you. It doesn’t.”

 

His hand dropped, but his gaze remained fixed on her, his dark eyes searching. They travelled down her body, and Sophie thought for a moment she felt his eyes linger on her bad knee, but they returned quickly to her face. “No? What about this: when I saw you dance in Buenos Aires, I felt your pasión. I felt connected to you, like I knew you just by watching you move. I feel that again today, and I have to know if we have that connection.”

 

He stepped toward her, stopping a foot in front of her. His eyes locked again with hers. “So I’m going to say it again. Dance with me. Please.”

 

His close proximity brought a new warmth to her body, and Sophie was surprised to find she had begun to grow wet between her legs. She knew the connection he was talking about. It was something she had felt with Christian when they had danced, and as she thought about it she realized it was something she shared with the gorgeous creature in front of her. Henry. She tasted the unspoken syllables in her mouth, wondered what it would be like to scream them.

 

She snapped out of her reverie and dropped her eyes down to the skin exposed at Henry’s open collar. A shake of her leg showed her knee was fine. “Henry—”

His hot breath was in her hair as he stepped forward. “I will pay you ten times your normal hourly rate. One dance, that’s all I’m asking for.”

 

She looked up and saw his expression. If eyes could be on fire, his dark eyes were blazing. For her. “You don’t even know my rate,” she said quietly.

 

He smiled. “Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter.” His hand came up for her in perfect form, just as Darren’s had earlier.

 

One more check of her knee. It felt good. What the hell, she thought. It was worth one dance: the money—she would have to make up her private rate—and to know if this handsome man she had just met could connect with her in a way no one had in a long time. “One dance,” she said.

 

 

 

Author Bio

Angela Stephens is the author of the Beautifully Broken series and the soon to be released New Adult novel “One Last Dance”. Angela enjoys reading stories about bad boy heroes falling for funny heroines with big hearts.

 

In her spare time, she can be usually found baking, knitting or curled up with her e-reader at the beach.

 

Find Angela on Facebook