Blood Games (Chicagoland Vampires # 10) by Chloe Neill [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Urban Fantasy

 

 

Blurb

While Merit didn’t choose to become a vampire or Sentinel of Cadogan House, she vowed to fight for her House and its Master, and she’s managed to forge strong alliances with powerful supernaturals across Chicago. But even though Merit has had wild adventures, this may be her deadliest yet….

A killer is stalking Chicago, preying on humans and leaving his victims with magical souvenirs. The CPD hasn’t been able to track the assailant, and as the body count rises, the city is running out of options. Vampires and humans aren’t on great terms, but murder makes for strange bedfellows. Can Merit find the killer before she becomes a target?

Links

Purchase Blood GamesAmazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | iBooks | IndieBound | Tantor

 

Author Bio

Chloe Neill is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Chicagoland Vampires and Dark Elite series.

She was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest–just close enough to Cadogan House and St. Sophia’s to keep an eye on things. When not transcribing Merit’s and Lily’s adventures, she bakes, works, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys–her favorite landscape photographer/husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. (Both she and the photographer understand the dogs are in charge.)

Chloe is represented by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Chloe is a member of the Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America and the Romance Writers of America. 

 

GIVEAWAY

 Want to win this SUPER MINI SWAG PACK? Easy: leave a comment below and let us know which is your FAVORITE Chicagoland Vampire story! (or if you haven’t read the series, it’s fine, just let us know how soon will you start reading it!) Winner will be picked on August 8!

 

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The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Blood Games Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs July 28  through August 8 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?

  • An engraved Cadogan House medal necklace

  • A Kindle Paperwhite

  • A complete set of Chicagoland Vampires Audiobook CDs (graciously provided by Tantor Audio)

  • A limited edition Cadogan House keychain

  • Chicagoland Vampires bookmarks, pens, and lanyard

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Open World C.O.V.E.N. by Casey Moss [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Cover_Open World – C.O.V.E.N

Urban Fantasy

 

Open World C.O.V.E.N.

by Casey Moss

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Blurb

 

The world has broken out in wars. Las Vegas has been ravaged by chemical warfare and is now home to several clans and creatures.

Welcome to I-D-8 Entertainment’s newest game: Clans of Vegas—Endless Night.

Friends and family have gathered for a crunch time playtest of C.O.V.E.N.. When a horrible thunderstorm hits, everyone’s sucked into the game for real. In the MMORPG, Hope Collins is kidnapped by Buzz and forced to submit to his whims. Her boyfriend, Alden, has to delay his quest of defeating a clan’s prince to save her, but time and circumstance don’t seem to be on his side. Faith Collins is bombarded by strange dreams brought on by Buzz. Her boyfriend, Tavis, learns to dream walk, but can he help break the spell she’s under and save her before she’s lost to him?

 C.O.V.E.N. is more than just a game. It’s a whole other world.

 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

Excerpt

 

Perhaps he’d been under too much stress, had too much caffeine, didn’t have enough sleep or information about the guy. More likely a combination of it all. A hodgepodge of shit and no shovel. He didn’t know how much more of all this he could take.

Shaking off the negativity, Alden rotated his head, listening to his spine crackle and pop. Tension released. The quick adjustment perked him up. He plated the burgers, closed the lid to the grill and exhaled a deep breath. First food, then work, and amongst it all, see if I can figure out Mr. Jenkins’s deal. Making his way toward the small group, the tray of hot meat balanced on one hand, he focused in on Cor, noting his body language and how the people around him responded.

Why did I imagine him as the antagonist? The one in the game I need to destroy?

The storyline he had to double check during the playtest dealt with finding the main boss—the Prince of Clan Caesachapel—and defeating him before the cad could cause harm. He’d intended to assist Hope and her family in creating ‘good’ characters, placing them in the clan he belonged to, and have them run the quests, as well. But with the way he’d been feeling, he almost reconsidered that idea.

Thing was he had a job to do. One he aimed to make good on and see through to the end. He’d never been the kind of guy to shirk a duty, and he wasn’t about to start now.

Mr. James Collins, a middle-aged man with graying, strawberry blond hair and ice blue eyes, glanced Den’s way as he approached. James acknowledged him with slight nod, then returned his attention to Cor.

The fact James was only a programmer and not his direct boss—or above him in any authoritative capacity in the organization—pleased Den. The man sure ran hot one moment and cold the next when it came to him. Hope had explained that was one of her father’s personality quirks and not to take it personal.

Some future father-in-law he would turn out to be.

Plastering a smile on his face, he placed the dish of meat on the aluminum table. James and the ladies’ attentions stayed fixed on the gentleman in their midst. Good. No one paid him any mind. More time to assess the situation.

Cor’s intense brown-eyed gaze bored into Hope’s, infiltrating her defenses and working whatever magic the man seemed to possess. Their connection resembled flirting but in a stronger sense. His chest tightened and burned. Mine, his inner voice asserted in a low, rolling growl, reminding him of his in game character’s speech. Alden stepped back before he could choose to put his fist in Cor’s face. His foot crunched on a chip bag that had fallen to the ground.

Hope didn’t flinch, didn’t look away.

Mesmerized. Shit. And not just her. Enthralled by the bean counter, the whole family overlooked him like he didn’t exist.

What the hell is going on?

 

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

 

AuthorPic_Open World – C.O.V.E.NAuthor Bio

Casey Moss delves into the darker aspects of life in her writing, sometimes basing the stories on reality, sometimes on myth. No matter the path, her stories will take you on a journey from the light-hearted paranormal to dark things unspeakable. What waits around the corner? Come explore…

 

 

Links

 

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Dust to Dust by Karina Halle [Cover Reveal]

Dust To Dust Cover

Title: Dust To Dust (Experiment In Terror #9 )
Author: Karina Halle
Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Release Date: July 29th, 2014

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About Dust To Dust (Experiment In Terror #9):

 

Dust To Dust CoverThe dramatic conclusion to the Experiment in Terror Series.

Perry Palomino and Dex Foray.

On their own, they’re uniquely brilliant. Together, they’re an unstoppable team.

Until now.

Because after everything the duo has encountered, they haven’t come across an evil quite like this. An evil that has been years in the making, an evil that will stop at nothing until they, and everyone they care for, are destroyed.

Dex and Perry’s love has survived a multitude of sins.

But can it survive the end?

 

The Experiment In Terror series by Karina Halle:

 

Book #1 — Dark­houseFREE

Book #2 — Red Fox


Book #2.5 –
The Ben­son (An Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Novella)

Book #3 — Dead Sky Morn­ing

Book #4 — Lying Sea­son
Book #5 — On Demon Wings

Book #5.5 — Old Blood (An Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Novella)

Book #5.7 — The Dex Files (An Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Novella)

Book #6 — Into the Hol­low

Book #6.5 — And With Mad­ness Comes the Light (An Exper­i­ment in Ter­ror Novella)

Book #7 — Come Alive

Book #8 — Ashes to Ashes


About the Author

Karina Halle

 

With her USA Today Bestselling The Artists Trilogy published by Grand Central Publishing, numerous foreign publication deals, and self-publishing success with her Experiment in Terror series, Vancouver-born Karina Halle is a true example of the term “Hybrid Author.” Though her books showcase her love of all things dark, sexy and edgy, she’s a closet romantic at heart and strives to give her characters a HEA…whenever possible.

 

Karina holds a screenwriting degree from Vancouver Film School and a Bachelor of Journalism from TRU. Her travel writing, music reviews/interviews and photography have appeared in publications such as Consequence of Sound, Mxdwn and GoNomad Travel Guides. She currently lives on an island on the coast of British Columbia where she’s preparing for the zombie apocalypse with her fiance and rescue pup.

 

Facebook | Goodreads | Karina‘s Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page

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Vampire Most Wanted by Lynsay Sands [BookBlitz]

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Vampire Most Wanted

Argeneau Vampire Series

Book 20

Lynsay Sands

 Genre: Paranormal Romance

 Publisher: Avon

 Date of Publication: 2/18/2014

ISBN: 9780062078179

Number of pages: 384

Avon Romance     Amazon    BN

Blurb

 Take a road trip with the undead . . . in this latest in the argeneau series by New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands

 For Basha Argeneau, anything is better than facing her estranged family. Even hiding out in sweltering southern California. But when a sexy immortal in black shows up determined to bring her back to the clan, she’ll do anything to keep far, far away from the past she can’t outrun.

 Marcus Notte isn’t here to play games—especially not with someone as crazy as the infamous blonde. Asked by Lucian Argeneau to bring her back for questioning, Marcus is determined to carry out Lucian’s request—no matter how the seductive little mind-reading vamp feels about it.

Basha doesn’t mind fighting fire with fire, especially with a hot immortal involved. But if he wants to take her away, he’ll have to catch her first . . .

Chapter One

Divine saw her latest customer out, surprised to note that there was no one outside her door waiting for a reading. It was the first time that day that there was no line outside her RV. A glance at her watch explained why– it was dinnertime. That was the only time she ever had a lull in customers. Right now the food stalls would have ridiculously long line as everyone at the fairgrounds converged on them in search of greasy treats to power the rest of the evening’s rides and fun. Which meant she had a few minutes to catch her breath and relax a bit.

She’d barely had the thought when she spotted a couple of women moving purposefully toward her trailer. After a brief hesitation, Divine quickly flipped the “Back in five minutes!” sign, let her screen door slide closed and descended the few steps to the ground. Ignoring the fact that the women were looking alarmed and rushing forward, she slipped around the side of her RV. Most customers would have stopped then, sagged with disappointment and waited, probably impatiently, but waited just the same, so Divine was a little surprised when her arm was grabbed from behind. She was more surprised, however, by the strength in the hand that latched onto her…until she turned and noted that it wasn’t one of the women at all, but a man.

A couple inches taller than her, dark haired and good-looking, he was built like a line backer. He was also looming over her, deliberately invading her space in a threatening manner as he growled, “What the hell did you say to my wife?”

Divine rolled her eyes with exasperation, wondering how she was supposed to know since she didn’t know who his wife was. She was about to say as much, but then realized that there was something familiar about the man and quickly dipped into his thoughts. A heartbeat later she was relaxing.

“Allen Paulson,” she murmured his name, getting an almost childish satisfaction when his eyes widened incredulously.

“How do you–?”

“I told your wife that you were having an affair with your buxom, blonde, twenty year old secretary, Tiffany,” Divine interrupted sharply, silencing him at once. “I told her that this Tiffany was pushing for marriage and that you, not wanting to lose her, but unwilling to give up your wife’s money preferred widowhood to divorce. I told her about your plans to bring about that widowhood on your upcoming vacation. I believe it was either her drowning or suffering a fall while camping in Yosemite National Park?” She tilted her head. “As I recall that trip was scheduled for this week, wasn’t it?”

When his mouth dropped open and his hold on her arm eased, Divine added, “I’m guessing by the fact that you’re here rather than in Yosemite, that she listened to my advice to make an appointment with her lawyer the next morning to change her will as well as remove you as the beneficiary on her life insurance.”

His hand dropped away, falling limply by his side.

“No doubt she also listened to my advice and hired a private detective. I gather she sent him to get photographic proof of your infidelity at that cheap little motel you like to take your secretary to everyday at lunchtime?” She slipped into his thoughts briefly, read the answer in the chaos there, and smiled with satisfaction. Not only had the wife done that, she’d then taken the proof straight to a good divorce lawyer. The woman was now safe and on her way to being single again. After that, though, the woman had told her dear hubby that the fortune teller at the carnival was the one who had given her the heads up and put her on this path and it had been the best twenty bucks she’d ever spent. Which was why Divine now had an irate and soon to be divorced and destitute husband on her hands.

Divine waited, braced for the man’s anger. But instead of the explosive rage she expected, he asked in a small, frightened voice, “How did you know? No one knew. I didn’t tell anyone what I planned. Not even Tiffany.”

“Did you even bother to read the sign when you walked your wife to my trailer that day two weeks ago in Pahrump?” she asked with amusement and then reminded him, “Madame Divine. Let her do a reading and define your future,” she reminded him.

“Yeah, but that’s just… It’s a scam,” he protested. “You’re a carnie. You just scam people out of their money for a laugh.”

“Yes, of course ,” Divine agreed coldly, and then tilted her head. “So why aren’t you laughing?”

Allen Paulson flinched as if she’d struck him, and then his awe and dismay gave way to the rage she’d expected earlier. Divine saw it roll over him, knew he was about to blow his top without the need to read him, but slipped into his thoughts anyway. It was like cutting through soft, half melted butter with a ceramic knife. The man was so angry his thoughts were wide open. Divine wasn’t terribly surprised to read that he’d brought a gun with him and planned to use it. She waited until he’d pulled the weapon from inside his jacket and raised it, though, before reacting. In fact, she let him get so far as to put his finger on the trigger before snapping her hand out, latching onto his throat and lifting him off the ground. She then whirled and slammed him against her RV.

When the gun fell from his hand and he moaned in pain, she released him. The man fell like a rag doll. He landed on his ass with his legs splayed, a dazed expression on his face, and Divine immediately dropped to straddle his lap. Gravel ground painfully into her knees, but she ignored that, caught him by the hair at the nape of his neck, pulled his head to the side and sank her fangs into his throat.

A little shiver of pleasure slid through Divine as thick warm blood began to gush from the wound, was collected by her teeth and passed into her body. It gave her an immediate rush as the nanos in her body swarmed, eager to collect this new supply of nourishment. The man had jerked in surprise when her teeth pierced his skin, and he’d raised his hands to try to push her off, but he never actually got around to exerting any pressure. Instead, he froze briefly, his mind overwhelmed as hers automatically began to transmit her own pleasure to him. In the next moment, he was moaning and tugging at her instead, pulling her closer with one hand, clasping her head with the other and murmuring encouragingly, “Oh, yeah, baby. Please.”

He was also arching his body under her, rubbing a sudden hardness against her. Divine usually didn’t cause pain in her victims, but this one deserved it. She also wasn’t terribly eager to let a man who had planned to murder his own wife dry hump her there on the carnival grounds, so she deliberately withdrew the pleasure that she was experiencing and had unintentionally shared. But she also slipped into his mind to control his reaction to prevent him from screaming out in horror and pain as his mind cleared and he became aware of what was happening.

Divine was always careful not to kill her hosts. Why kill the cow that gave the milk? Besides, killing was wrong, no matter how despicable the person was, so while she drank more than she normally would have, she pulled back and freed him at the point when he was weak and woozy, but long before the man could come close to dying.

Smiling coldly at his horrified expression, Divine stood, lifting him as she went. Once they were both upright, she released him, leaving him to lean weakly against the RV rather than have to touch him anymore.

“Listen carefully Allen Paulson,” she said grimly. “You will not hurt your wife, or ever again consider harming or killing anyone for profit or any other reason. If you do, I’ll find out, and then I’ll find you…” She raised her hand to run one finger lightly over the wound on his neck. “And then I will finish this meal, cut your head off and leave your cold dead body somewhere no one will ever find you. Do we understand each other?”

Allen Paulson nodded weakly. The man’s face was as white as his t-shirt, his eyes almost sunken with horror and he was sliding slowly along her RV, obviously eager to escape, but afraid to try and be stopped. Divine scowled. “And if you tell anyone about this, about me,” she emphasized, “I’ll do worse.”

He began shaking his head frantically and whispered, “I won’t. I swear.”

She narrowed her eyes, and then her nose wrinkled as the acrid scent of urine wafted up between them. Glancing down, she saw the wet spot growing on the front of his trousers and stepped back with disgust. “Get out of here before I change my mind and wipe yours.”

Allen Paulson didn’t have a clue what she meant by that– she could see it in his expression– but he didn’t stick around to ask.  He simply nodded wildly and sidled along the RV for a couple feet before finding the courage to turn his back to her and run.

“You should have wiped his mind.”

Divine stiffened at those words from behind her, and then turned slowly. She peered at the tall fair-haired man who had spoken. He was a greenie, an unskilled laborer and supposedly a local who had been hired to help out at the carnival while they were in town. The name he went by was Marco. Divine knew this secondhand, because while she was normally in on the hiring process, using her “special skills” to help Bob and Madge Hoskins who owned and ran Hoskins Amusements, this time she hadn’t been here. Family issues had kept her away and the hiring had been done by the time she’d caught up to the carnival. Had she been here to help weed out the troublemakers in the hiring process as she usually did, she never would have allowed Bob and Madge to hire the man. One, she couldn’t read him, and that was usually a sign of insanity in a mortal. This leads into the second reason she wouldn’t have hired him; the man, like herself, was an immortal. She’d sensed that about him quite quickly. Divine wasn’t sure how she’d known. She didn’t run into a lot of immortals. In fact, she’d arranged her life so that she wouldn’t. But there had been a frisson of awareness as she’d first passed him on returning to the carnival just before noon that day, as if the nanos in her body recognized and sent signals to those in his. She’d been avoiding him ever since.

But that hadn’t stopped her from finding out all she could about him. Not that there had been much to learn. He went by Marco, last name Smith of all things. The women all thought he was a hunk. The men thought he was practically a God because he was strong and could do the work of four men, and Bob and Madge were hoping he’d not just help out through their stay in this town, but travel with them to the next and the next and so on. For herself, Divine was wary. She had avoided other immortals for a reason and had been doing so for a very long time. She didn’t like having one around. It made her anxious and she disliked feeling anxious.

“Don’t you have something to do?” she asked, moving past the man and toward the back of her RV. The sign she’d turned had said back in five minutes and that time was up. Besides, she’d snacked on Allen Paulson and felt better for it. Break time was over.

“You should have wiped his mind,” Marco repeated, falling into step with her.

“He’ll keep his mouth shut,” Divine muttered, annoyed, mostly because she knew he was right. The truth was she hadn’t wiped Allen Paulson’s mind because it was slimy, and she hadn’t wanted to have to spend any more time inside his mind than necessary. Besides, he deserved to go through life terrified that she might someday revisit him should he set a foot wrong.

“And if he doesn’t keep his mouth shut?” Marco asked as they neared the end of her RV. “What if he goes to the police?”

“If he goes to the police, and if they don’t immediately lock him up as crazy but instead come to speak to me…” She shrugged. “I’ll wipe his mind, the officer’s mind and leave this carnival for another.”

“Is that how you landed at Hoskins’ Carnival?” Marco asked as they rounded the end of the vehicle. “You didn’t wipe someone you should have and had to move on?”

Divine turned on him sharply, an angry retort on her lips, but just as quickly caught back the words that wanted to spill out and merely said with forced calm, “You’re an inquisitive fellow, Marco. It’s not healthy around here. Carnies mind their own business. I suggest you do the same.”

Turning away from him, she smiled at the two women who were waiting in front of her door. Others had joined them. In fact, Divine now had a line up of a half a dozen people and it was growing by the minute, but she reserved her smile for the first two only and said, “Which of you would like to go first? Or shall I take you together?”

“Oh, me first,” one of the women said eagerly. “This was my idea.”

Divine nodded and led the woman inside, leaving Marco and all thought of him out on her stoop.

 

“Here, Mister.”

Marcus tore his gaze from the door Madame Divine had just ushered her client through and peered down at the small boy tugging at the top of his pant leg and holding out a half eaten ball of cotton candy on a cardboard cone.

“Here,” the boy repeated, holding it a little higher. “I don’t feel good. You can have the rest.”

Marcus arched an eyebrow, but took the cotton candy. He suspected the boy didn’t feel good because he was stuffed full of cotton candy, something drenched in mustard, powdered elephant ears and—he considered the last stain on the boy’s shirt consideringly and then decided it had to be – ice cream. The kid was a walking menu of everything he’d eaten that day. At least, Marcus hoped it was all the kid had eaten that day. Otherwise he’d be wondering if Dante and Tomasso hadn’t fathered the little tyke. They were the only two people he knew, mortal or immortal, who could have eaten like that as a boy.

“Danny! What are you doing? Get over here and leave that man alone.”

Marcus glanced at the woman rushing toward them from the midway and offered a reassuring smile even as he slipped into her thoughts to ease her mind that he wasn’t a child molester and nothing untoward was happening. By the time she reached them, she’d slowed to a fast walk, and was smiling in a relaxed manner.

“I hope he wasn’t bothering you?” she said apologetically as she took the boy’s hand.

“Not at all,” Marcus assured her.

The young mother smiled again and then nodded and turned away with the boy, saying, “Come on, honey. Your daddy is waiting with your sister in the Ferris wheel line. They’ll be worried.”

Marcus watched them go and then turned his gaze back to Madame Divine’s RV. The door was closed now as were the blinds. He couldn’t see the woman anymore, except in his mind’s eye and he was definitely seeing her there. Madame Divine was more than memorable in her gypsy getup. A white peasant blouse, worn off the shoulders, a crimson under skirt, a bright teal scarf skirt, an orange sash tied at the waist with gold chains hanging from it and tinkling merrily, a wide leather belt and a crimson scarf around her head. Gold hoops had dangled from her ears, a gold chain hung around her neck, several gold bracelets dangled from her wrist, and knee high black leather boots with stiletto heels strapped up the front of her legs had finished the outfit.

The woman looked damned sexy in the getup, so sexy in fact that when she’d straddled the would-be wife killer, Marcus had wanted to pull her off the man and onto his own lap. He’d been rather startled by that urge. Marcus hadn’t been interested in women for a while. Okay, for a couple millenia. Still, he hadn’t come across a woman like Madame Divine in quite a while either. The woman was walking sex in her get up, and his body was waking up and responding to it.

Obviously he had a gypsy fetish, Marcus thought wryly. It made as much sense as anything else at the moment. Certainly more sense than his own life presently did. It appeared at the ripe old age of 2548 he was having a midlife crisis of sorts. That was the only explanation for how he found himself doing a favor for Lucian Argeneau.

Marcus smiled wryly at the thought. Lucian Argeneau was not only the head of the powerful Argeneau clan, but also oversaw the Rogue Hunters and led the North American immortal council. Rogue Hunters were the immortal police force, they hunted down rogue immortals to be presented to the immortal council who then passed judgment on them and sentenced them to whatever punishment they saw fit, often death.

As the head of those two organizations, Lucian could arguably be the most powerful immortal in North America. It was hard to imagine him needing anyone’s help. But he did. He was searching for a family member, his niece, Basha Argeneau, who had been thought to be dead for millennia, but who may now be alive after all…and whom he feared had gone rogue.

Which is how Marcus had come to find himself at the carnival, eyeballing the trailer of a woman he couldn’t read and found incredibly sexy. Not that his not being able to read her bothered him. If this was Basha Argeneau, she was even older than he was and younger immortals usually couldn’t read immortals older than themselves. It wasn’t like any of the other signs of having met a life mate were cropping up, like renewed interest in food and such. Thank God, because if she had been a possible life mate and was Basha Argeneau…well, that would have been a doomed relationship from the start. Because Basha Argeneau was considered rogue…and rogues were executed. The last thing he needed at this point in his life was a rogue life mate.

“Hey! Marco! Are you going to stand around stuffing your face all night or help me with the pogo stall?”

Marcus glanced around with surprise to find Kevin Morrow walking toward him. The twenty-year old carnie was tall and stick-thin, his face a collection of freckles so thick that from a distance it looked like a tan. Up close though you saw that his face was definitely freckled, and it was also presently scrunched up with displeasure, reminding him that he was only supposed to take a fifteen minute break from helping to man the food stall.

“I was–”

“Stuffing your face,” the young carnie interrupted dryly and then turned away, gesturing for him to follow. “Come on. If you’re hungry you can have a corn dog while you work. It’s probably better for you than that sugary fluff anyway.”

Marcus blinked and glanced down at the cone with the half eaten cotton candy the boy had given him several minutes ago. Or what had been half eaten cotton candy. There was nothing left of the sweet treat now. Surely he hadn’t eaten it? He hadn’t eaten in more than a millennia. He didn’t remember eating it. But he did have a sweet taste in his mouth that was rather pleasant.

“Damn,” he muttered, tossing the cardboard cone into a garbage bin as he headed after Kevin. He’d eaten it. Couldn’t read Madame Divine, and was lusting after the woman. Oh, this wasn’t good.

 

 

About the Author

Lynsay Sands is the nationally bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historicals and anthologies. She’s been writing stories since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career Author Photoout of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there’s occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. For more information, go to www.lynsaysands.net.

 

 

Tour wide giveaway:

 3 print copies of ONE LUCKY VAMPIRE (previous book in the series)

 Open to US Shipping

 

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Justice by Rebecca Royce [BookBlitz]

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Justice by Rebecca Royce

Genre: New Adult Urban Fantasy/ Post-Apocalyptic

ISBN: C 978-1-61333-629-8

Book Length: ## 147 pages

Publisher: ## Decadent Publishing

DESCRIPTION

My name is Rachel Clancy, and if you’re reading this, chances are I am dead. I have returned to Genesis, my family and Chad. I think I might even be happy. But you know, happy endings aren’t for everyone least of all me.

Dr. Icahn is still out there, and if I have any hope of finishing this fight once and for all—I will need the help of those who want to kill me. Please don’t think me a hero or a martyr. I’m just a girl, who’s made a lot of mistakes, but I know what I have to do.

And know, whatever happens next, I didn’t do it for me. I did it for a future that I have to have faith will exist…even if I’m not there to see it.

Goodreads link to book:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19112830-justice?from_search=true

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

My name is Rachel Clancy.

If you’ve been reading these books, then you already know that. But I feel the need to introduce myself to you every time I start a new one, like you might have just found me, or you’re a stranger I don’t know. Manners dictate the introduction although I suspect I’ll never know your name in return, which is okay. Maybe it’s better I never do.

I haven’t held anything back from you. I’ve not tried to make myself look better or less selfish or more mature. No, I wrote down everything the way I remember it happening. Someone else might remember the events differently but this is how it happened for me, or at least how I see it when I think about the years between my sixteenth and eighteenth birthdays.

Eighteen would have made me a grown-up in the Before Time, in the days before Dr. Icahn’s experiments nearly ended the entire world. In the time after, sixteen became the year we achieved maturity. Still, for me, since I could remember what my life had been like before, eighteen meant something when I finally got there.

It indicated I had survived, somehow. When I blew out the candles, low-sung lyrics of “Happy Birthday” filling the room, and my mother and father cheering, I couldn’t help but disbelieve I’d actually made it to my birthday. Was this all a dream? Had I died on a field, eaten by a Werewolf, and these thoughts of my eighteenth birthday were imaginings of my dying mind?

Writing these tales, telling them to you, helps me to believe they happened.

But the sad truth is, if you are reading them, then most likely I am dead.

Contact Links

Website: www.rebeccaroyce.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Rebecca-Royce/172551376131638

Twitter:   www.twitter.com/rebeccaroyce

 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rebecca-Royce/e/B004E50FPW

 

 

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

Amazon   Kindle

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.

 

 

 

Links

 

 

Giveaway

 

 

5 print copies Atlas by Becca C. Smith

 

 

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Desprite Measures by Deborah Jay [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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Desprite MeasuresEBOOK

Desprite Measures

The Caledonian Sprite Series

Book 1

Deborah Jay

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Word Count: 95,000

Cover Artist: Alexandria N. Thompson

BLURB

On the surface she’s a cute and feisty blonde, a slender pocket rocket fitness coach. But Cassiopeia Lake has a secret; she’s really a force of nature – an elemental.

Water sprite, Cassie, has lived undisturbed in her native Scottish loch for eons. Now, one encounter too many with modern plumbing has driven her to live in human guise along with her selkie boyfriend, Euan. It’s all going fine – until a nerdy magician captures Cassie to be an unwilling component in his crazy dangerous experiment.

Escape is only Cassie’s first challenge.

She’s smitten by her fellow prisoner, the scorching hot fire elemental, Gloria. But how do you love someone you can never touch?

And what do you do when your boyfriend starts to hero-worship your persecutor? Not to mention that tricky situation of being the prize in a power contest between two rival covens of witches.

So when Gloria’s temper erupts and she sets out to murder the magician, can Cassie keep her loved ones safe from the cross-fire, or will she be sucked into the maelstrom of deadly desires and sink without trace?

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I watched warily as the salamander settled to the car park, blackening the concrete and immolating a few dry twigs. He was close enough that I could feel his intense heat, and I had to narrow my eyes to cope with the brightness. A scorching smell wafted across the open car park.

In much the same way as I had done, he metamorphosed into human form. His fiery light dimmed as the flames wrapped in on themselves, going solid and dark. Clothes formed over rich chocolate skin and my breath caught as the transformation completed.

I was looking at the most stunning woman I could imagine.

“But you’re female!” I protested.

It was centuries since I’d heard even rumour of a female Salamander. I fought to get my head around this new wrinkle as unexpected sensations coursed through me. My knees shook and my heart fluttered. I struggled to breathe. But for my years of practice, I’d have wondered if I’d fashioned a faulty body.

I knew I hadn’t.

She was breathtaking. From the tips of her dainty red toenails in their golden peep-toe mules to the top of her dense cornrows plaited with shining gold beads and woven into an elaborate crown, she was gorgeous. I’ve had my fair share of lovers of both sexes, and of different species, but this salamander was different; I had to have her.

Yet I could never go within feet of her for fear of wiping a whole country off the map.

 

BIODeborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.author photo

Her debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, first in a trilogy and winner of a UK Arts Board award, was published in July 2013, with THE PRINCE’S SON due out summer 2014.

Urban fantasy, DESPRITE MEASURES, is the opening novel of the five book CALEDONIAN SPRITE SERIES.

She also has non-fiction equestrian titles published in her professional name of Debby Lush.

 

 

 

  Buy Link

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00H6UKH5A

 

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GIVEAWAY

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3 ebook copies of Desprite Measures, (formats available mobi, epub and / or PDF)
 
 

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Bewitching

Vampiric Assignations by Sara York [BookBlitz + Giveaway]


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Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 10/4/2013

Vlas Von Heildvic sets his sights on Amber Black and will stop at nothing to take her. She is the key to his future, one where he rules the world. The Protectorate can’t let her fall into the wrong hands, but Maverick’s structured ways mangle the operation, leaving her vulnerable. Once bitten, Amber runs off, scared of what she is becoming. Maverick has to change his ways to save Amber and keep her from altering the balance of power in the vampire world. If he loses Amber to the forces of darkness, the world will forever change, leaving humans under vampire control.

 

excerp1

The moon went behind a cloud and the three lights on the street near her went out. The tree lined pathway blackened. She couldn’t make out the walkways for a moment and was forced to stop, letting her eyes adjust. In that second, after she closed her eyes, she heard the footfall of another. It hadn’t been a loud sound, just the soft crunch of a leaf underfoot. She didn’t move, but her heart sped up, racing along like a crazy jackrabbit.

Amber laughed at her foolishness. No one was following her. She pitied the fool who would dare to challenge her. Her multiple fourth degree black belts in three different forms of martial arts would keep her from falling victim to any attackers. Few knew of her passion for the intricacies of the fighting arts, but any idiot who tried to assault her would find out, and depending on how serious they were, they wouldn’t live to tell the story.

Without letting her body betray her fear, Amber moved forward making noise as she went. She dropped her bag and stopped to pick it up, using the subterfuge to survey the area. Zilch. She moved forward again, acting like nothing was wrong then stopped. The noise sounded again.

Someone was following her. No doubt about it. She would show the jerk and make him pay for trying to mess with her. Amber planned to go easy at first to see how he responded. If he fought back, she would really lay it on.

 

 

BIO
Writing is Sara’s life. The stories fight to get out, often leaving her working on fouSaraYorkPromoPic1smallr or five books at once. She can’t help but write. Along with her writing addiction she has a coffee addiction. Some nights, the only reason she stops writing and goes to sleep is for the fresh brewed coffee in the morning.
Sara enjoys writing twisted tales of passion, anger, and love with a good healthy dose of lust thrown in for fun. Almost a quarter of a century ago Sara met her lover, falling for him after knowing him for ten minutes. Sara’s passion for him comes out in her stories, mixing with her passion for life, love, and good times, flowing onto the page and becoming tales from the heart.

 

 

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Author Links

Buy Links

 

GIVEAWAY

1 Kindle Fire HD 7″ 8GB Tablet or $154 Amazon Gift Certificate if not US Based

 

Paperback copy of ‘Blood Demon Sacrifice'(Book 1 of The Protectors)

 

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Overseer by Jenny Woods [BookBlitz + Giveaway

Banner ~ Overseer

 

Cover ~ Overseer

 

Title:   Overseer

Author:  Jenny Woods

Genre:  YA, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal 13+

Publication Date:  September 2, 2013

Cover Designed By: Spare Oom Designs

Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.

 

BLURB

 To the outside world Chloe Rain is just another beautiful young woman. What they don’t know is she is a whole lot more. She is a fairy and one of the best Overseers in the world. She has given her life to protect mankind from threats they don’t even know exist. Life for her has always been about her work, but when her new partner Ryan shows up she is not prepared for him. She is quickly dealing with emotions and desires she has never had before. Will these new emotions get in the way of her stopping the rouge fairy Stella?

  Add to Goodreads

Purchase Links:  CreateSpace | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

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Ten words describing yourself 

By Jenny Woods

  1. Nerd
  2. Awkward
  3. Funny
  4. Happy
  5. Organized
  6. Mom
  7. Wife
  8. Kickapoo
  9. Loving
  10. Compassionate

 

Full Cover ~ Overseer

BIO

 

Jenny Woods is a Native American from the Kickapoo tribe of OkAuthor Picture ~ Jenny Woodslahoma. She resides in Oklahoma with her husband and three beautiful girls. She loves to read and get lost in a good story. It is her love of books that led her to writing her own stories. She loves football, movies, music, art, and spending time with her family and friends.

 

Connect with the Author:  Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

           

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Bitter Fruits by Sarah Daltry [BookBlitz + Giveaway]

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For fans of dark urban fantasy comes a novel that questions why forbidden fruit is always the most tempting…

A vampire-themed masquerade party isn’t really her scene, but Nora is sick of frat parties and bars. When she meets Alec, the appeal suddenly becomes clear. It’s obvious that they’ve been struck by the same intense mutual attraction, but Alec keeps his distance. Intrigued despite herself, Nora pushes a little deeper — and discovers Alec’s unimaginable secret…

Nora is not afraid of following Alec into the darkness, but the choice is soon taken from her. Someone is hunting her — someone tied to the secret and desperate to see it play out. But when Nora finally meets her aggressor, she finds herself hopelessly drawn to him. She needs to make a choice between the two men, but can she save them both, knowing one is destined to die?

 

 

Pick up BITTER FRUITS now, for only $3.99!

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Praise For Bitter Fruits:

Sarah Daltry writes with a stunning fluidity that draws the reader into her world and holds the reader willing hostage there with her until the novel ends. This book is exceptionally well-written, with characters that are riveting, and a story line that is a refreshing change from the run-of-the-mill vampire novels of society’s norm.” – Michelle Williams
“Sarah has a way of drawing you into a story that is powerful, intriguing and leaves you wanting to know what is around the corner.” – Brandy, Romance Bookworm’s Reviews

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BIO

Sarah Daltry writes about the regular people who populate our lives. She’s written works in various genres – romance, erotica, fantasy, horror. Genre isn’t as important as telling a story about people and how their lives unfold. Sarah tends to focus on YA/NA characters but she’s been known to shake it up. Most of her stories are about relationships – romantic, familial, friendly – because love and empathy are the foundation of life. It doesn’t matter if the story is set in contemporary NY, historical Britain, or a fantasy world in the future – human beings are most interesting in the ways they interact with others. This is the principle behind all of Sarah’s stories.

Sarah has spent most of her life in school, from her BA and MA in English and writing to teaching both at the high school and college level. She also loves studying art history and really anything because learning is fun.

When Sarah isn’t writing, she tends to waste a lot of time checking Facebook for pictures of cats, shooting virtual zombies, and simply staring out the window.

Visit Sarah online at:

Website
  

GIVEAWAY

 Sarah is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner! (Open Internationally)

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Earth’s Requiem by Ann Gimpel [BookBlitz]

earthsrequiem1-500Earth’s Requiem

Earth Reclaimed, Book 1

By Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Musa

ISBN:  978-1-61937-652-6

Release Date: 10/4/13

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Romance

101,000 words

 

Resilient, kickass, and determined, Aislinn’s walled herself off from anything that might make her feel again. Until a wolf picks her for a bond mate and a Celtic god rises out of legend to claim her for his own.

 BLURB

Aislinn Lenear lost her anthropologist father high in the Bolivian Andes. Her mother, crazy with grief that muted her magic, was marched into a radioactive vortex by alien creatures and killed. Three years later, stripped of every illusion that ever comforted her, twenty-two year old Aislinn is one resilient, kickass woman with a take no prisoners attitude. In a world turned upside down, where virtually nothing familiar is left, she’s conscripted to fight the dark gods responsible for her father’s death. Battling the dark on her own terms, Aislinn walls herself off from anything that might make her feel again.

Fionn MacCumhaill, Celtic god of wisdom, protection, and divination has been laying low since the dark gods stormed Earth. He and his fellow Celts decided to wait them out. After all, three years is nothing compared to their long lives. On a clear winter day, Aislinn walks into his life and suddenly all bets are off. Awed by her courage, he stakes his claim to her and to an Earth he’s willing to fight for.

Aislinn’s not so easily convinced. Fionn’s one gorgeous man, but she has a world to save. Emotional entanglements will only get in her way. Letting a wolf into her life was hard. Letting love in may well prove impossible.

 excerp1

Chapter One

Aislinn pulled her cap down more firmly on her head. Snow stung where it got into her eyes and froze the exposed parts of her face. Thin, cold air seared her lungs when she made the mistake of breathing too deeply. She’d taken refuge in a spindly stand of leafless aspens, but they didn’t cut the wind at all. “Where’s Travis?” she fumed, scanning the unending white of a high altitude plain that used to be part of Colorado. Or maybe this place had been in eastern Utah. It didn’t really matter much anymore.

Something flickered at the corner of her eye. Almost afraid to look, she swiveled her head to maximize her peripheral vision. Damn! No, double damn. Half-frozen muscles in her face ached, her jaw tightened. Bal’ta—a bunch of them—fanned out a couple of hundred yards behind her, closing the distance eerily fast. One of many atrocities serving the dark gods that had crawled out of the ground that night in Bolivia, they appeared as shadowy spots against the fading day. Places where edges shimmered and merged into a menacing blackness. If she looked too hard at the center of those dark places, they drew her like a lodestone. Aislinn tore her gaze away.

Not that the Bal’ta—bad as they were—were responsible for the wholesale destruction of modern life. No, their masters—the ones who’d brought dark magic to Earth in the first place—held that dubious honor. Aislinn shook her head sharply, trying to decide what to do. She was supposed to meet Travis here. Those were her orders. He had something to give her. Typical of the way the Lemurians ran things, no one knew very much about anything. It was safer that way if you got captured.

She hadn’t meant to cave and work for them, but in the end, she’d had little choice. It was sign on with the Lemurians—Old Ones—to cultivate her magic and fight the dark, or be marched into the same radioactive vortex that had killed her mother.

Her original plan had been to wait for Travis until an hour past full dark, but the Bal’ta changed all that. Waiting even one more minute was a gamble she wasn’t willing to risk. Aislinn took a deep breath. Chanting softly in Gaelic, her mother’s language, she called up the light spell that would wrap her in brilliance and allow her to escape—maybe. It was the best strategy she could deploy on short notice. Light was anathema to Bal’ta and their ilk. So many of the loathsome creatures were hot on her heels, she didn’t have any other choice.

She squared her shoulders. All spells drained her. This was one of the worst—a purely Lemurian working translated into Gaelic because human tongues couldn’t handle the Old Ones’ language. She pulled her attention from her spell for the time it took to glance about. Her heart sped up. Even the few seconds it took to determine flight was essential had attracted at least ten more of the bastards. They surrounded her now. Well, almost.

She shouted the word to kindle her spell. Even in Gaelic, with its preponderance of harsh consonants, the magic felt awkward on her tongue. Heart thudding double time against her ribs, she hoped she’d gotten the inflection right. Moments passed. Nothing happened. Aislinn tried again. Still nothing. Desperate, she readied her magic for a fight she was certain she’d lose and summoned the light spell one last time. Flickers formed. Stuttering into brilliance, they pushed against the Bal’tas’s darkness.

Yesssss. Muting down triumph surging through her—no time for it—she gathered the threads of her working, draped luminescence about herself, and loped toward the west. Bal’ta scattered, closing behind her. She noted with satisfaction that they stayed well away from her light. She’d always assumed it burned them in some way.

Travis was on his own. She couldn’t even warn him that he was walking into a trap. Maybe he already had. Which would explain why he hadn’t shown up. Worry tugged at her. She ignored it. Anything less than absolute concentration, and she’d fall prey to his fate—whatever that had been.

Vile hissing sounded behind her. Long-nailed hands reached for her, followed by shrieks when one of them came into contact with her magic. She sneaked a peek over one shoulder to see how close they truly were. One problem with all that light was that it illuminated the disgusting things. Between five and six feet tall, with barrel chests, their bodies were coated in greasy-looking brown hair. Thicker hair hung from their scalps and grew in clumps from armpits and groins. Ropy muscles bulged under their hairy skin. Orange eyes gleamed, reflecting her light back at her. Their foreheads sloped backward, giving them a dimwitted look, but Aislinn wasn’t fooled. They were skilled warriors, worthy adversaries who’d wiped out more than one of her comrades. They had an insect-like ability to work as a group using telepathic powers. Though she threw her Mage senses wide open, she was damned if she could tap into their wavelength to disrupt it.

Chest aching, breath coming in short, raspy pants, she ran like she’d never run before. If she let go of anything—her light shield or her speed—they’d be on her, and it would be all over. Dead just past her twenty-second birthday. That thought pushed her legs to pump faster. She gulped air, willing everything to hold together long enough.

Minutes ticked by. Maybe as much as half an hour passed. She was tiring. It was hard to run and maintain magic. Could she risk teleportation? Sort of a beam me up, Scotty, trick. Nope, she just wasn’t close enough to her destination yet. Something cold as an ice cave closed around her upper arm. Her flesh stung before feeling left it. Head snapping to that side, she noted her light cloak had failed in that spot. Frantic to loosen the creature’s grip, she pulled a dirk from her belt and stabbed at the thing holding her. Smoke rose when she dug her iron knife into it.

The stench of burning flesh stung her nostrils, and the disgusting ape-man drew back, hurling imprecations at her in its guttural language. Her gaze snaked through the gloom of the fading day as she tried to assess how many of the enemy chased her. She swallowed hard. There had to be a hundred. Why were they targeting her? Had they intercepted Travis and his orders? Damn the Lemurians anyway. She’d never wanted to fight for them.

I’ve got to get out of here. Though it went against the grain—mostly because she was pretty certain it wouldn’t work, and you weren’t supposed to cast magic willy nilly—she pictured her home, mixed magic from earth and fire, and begged the Old Ones to see her delivered safely. Once she set the spell in motion, there’d be no going back. If she didn’t end up where she’d planned, she’d be taken to task, maybe even stripped of her powers, depending on how pissed off the Lemurians were.

Aislinn didn’t have any illusions left. It had been three years since her world crumbled. Two since her mother died. She’d wasted months railing against God, or the fates, or whoever was responsible for robbing her of her boyfriend and her parents and her life, goddammit.

Then the Old Ones—Lemurians, she corrected herself—had slapped reason into her, forcing her to see the magic that kept her alive as a resource, not a curse. In the intervening time, she’d not only come to terms with that magic, but it had become a part of her. The only part she truly trusted. Without the magic that enhanced her senses, she’d be dead within hours.

Please… It was a struggle not to clasp her hands together in an almost forgotten gesture of supplication. Juggling an image of her home while maintaining enough light to hold the Bal’ta at bay, Aislinn waited. Nothing happened. She was supposed to vanish, her molecules transported by proxy to where she wished to go. This was way more than the normal journey—or jump—spell, though. Because she needed to go much farther.

She poured more energy into the teleportation spell. The light around her flickered. Bal’ta dashed forward, jaws open, saliva dripping. She smelled the rotten crypt smell of them and cringed. If they got hold of her, they’d feed off her until she was nothing but an empty husk. Or worse, if one took a shine to her, she’d be raped in the bargain and forced to carry a mixed breed child. Of course, they’d kill her as soon as the thing was weaned. Maybe the brat, too, if its magic wasn’t strong enough.

The most powerful of the enemy were actually blends of light and dark magic. When the abominations, six dark masters, had slithered out of holes between the worlds during a globally synchronized surge linked to the Harmonic Convergence, the first thing they’d done had been to capture several human women and perform unspeakable experiments on progeny resulting from purloined eggs and alien sperm.

Aislinn sucked in a shaky breath. She did not want to be captured. Suicide was a far better alternative. She licked at the fake cap in the back of her mouth. It didn’t budge. She shoved a filthy finger behind her front teeth and used an equally disgusting fingernail to pop the cap. She gripped the tiny capsule. Should she swallow it? Could she? Sweat beaded and trickled down her forehead, despite the chill afternoon air.

She’d just dropped the pill onto her tongue, trying to gin up enough saliva to make it go down, when the weightlessness associated with teleportation started in her feet like it always did. Gagging, she spat out the capsule and extended a hand to catch it. She missed. It fell into the dirt. Aislinn knew better than to scrabble for the poison pill. If she survived, she could get another from the Old Ones. They didn’t care how many humans died, despite pretending to befriend those with magic.

Her spell was shaky enough as it was. It needed more energy—lots more. Forgetting about the light spell, Aislinn put everything she had into escape. By the time she knew she was going to make it—apparently the Bal’ta didn’t know they could take advantage of her vulnerability as she shimmered half in and half out of teleport mode—she was almost too tired to care.

She fell through star-spotted darkness for a long time. It could have been several lifetimes. These teleportation jaunts were different than her simple Point A to Point B jumps. When she’d traveled this way before, she’d asked how long it took, but the Old Ones never answered. Everyone she’d ever loved was dead—and the Old Ones lived forever—so she didn’t have a reliable way to measure time. For all she knew, Travis might have lived through years of teleportation jumps. No one ever talked about anything personal. It was like an unwritten law. No going back. No one had a past. At least, not one they were willing to talk about.Voices eddied around her, speaking the Lemurian tongue with its clicks and clacks. She tried to talk with them, but they ignored her. On shorter, simpler journeys, her body stayed with her. She’d never known how her body caught up to her when she teletransported and was nothing but spirit. Astral energy suspended between time and space.

A disquieting thump rattled her bones. Bones. I have bones again… That must mean… Barely conscious of the walls of her home rising around her, Aislinn felt the fibers of her grandmother’s Oriental rug against her face. She smelled cinnamon and lilac. Relief surged through her. Against hope and reason, the Old Ones had seen her home. Maybe they cared more than she thought—at least about her. Aislinn tried to pull herself across the carpet to the corner shrine so she could thank them properly, but her head spun. Darkness took her before she could do anything else.

* * * *

Not quite sure what woke her, Aislinn opened her eyes. Pale light filtered in through rough cutouts high in the walls. Daytime. She’d been lucky to find this abandoned silver mine with shafts that ran up to ground level. It would have drained her to constantly have a mage light burning.

Is it tomorrow? Or one of the days after that? Aislinn’s head pounded. Her mouth tasted like the backside of a sewer. It was the aftereffect of having thoroughly drained her magic, but she was alive, goddammit. Alive. Memory flooded her. She’d been within a hairsbreadth of taking her own life. Her stomach clenched, and she rolled onto her side, racked by dry heaves. Had she swallowed any of the poison by accident?

A bitter laugh made her cracked lips ache. Of course she hadn’t. It didn’t take much cyanide to kill you. Just biting into the capsule without swallowing would have done it. She struggled to a sitting position. Pain lanced through her head, but she forced herself to keep her eyes open.

The world stabilized. She lurched to her feet, filled a chipped mug with water that ran perpetually down one wall of her cave, doubling as faucet and shower, and warmed it with magic. Rummaging through small metal bins, she dropped mint and anise into the water. Then a dollop of honey, obtained at great personal risk from a nearby hive. When she looked at the mug, it was empty. Her eyes widened in a face so tired that any movement was torture, and she wondered if she’d hallucinated making tea. Since she didn’t remember drinking the mixture, she made another cup for good measure.

Liquid on board, she started feeling halfway human. Or whatever she was these days. As she moved around her cozy hobbit hole of a home, her gaze stole over beloved books, a few odds and ends of china, and her grandmother’s rug—all that was left of her old life. By the time she had developed enough magic to transport both herself and things short distances, most of the items from the ruins of her parents’ home had been either pilfered by someone else or destroyed by the elements. She’d come by her few other possessions digging through the rubble of what was left of civilization.

Aislinn sighed heavily. It made her chest hurt, and she wondered if the Bal’ta had injured her before she’d made good on her escape. She shucked her clothes—tight brown leather pants, a plaid flannel shirt, and a torn black leather jacket—and took stock of her body. It looked pretty much the same. The long, white scar from under one breast catty corner to a hipbone was still there. Yeah, right. What could have happened to it? There might be a few new bruises, but all in all, her lean, tautly muscled form had survived intact. Before the world had imploded, she’d hated being a shred over six feet tall. Now she blessed her height. Long legs meant she could run fast.

She wrinkled her nose. A putrid stench had intensified as she removed her ratty leather garments. Realizing it was her, she strode to the waterfall in one corner of her cave and stood under its flow until her teeth chattered. Only then did she pull magic to warm herself. It seemed a waste to squander power on something she thought she should be able to tolerate. Besides, despite sleeping, she still hadn’t managed to totally recharge her reserves. That would only happen if she didn’t use any more magic for a while. Aislinn thumbed a sliver of handmade soap and washed her hair, diverting suds falling down her body to clean the rest of her.

Something threw itself against the wards she kept above ground. She felt it as a vibration deep in her chest. It happened again. She leapt from the shower and flung her long, red hair over her shoulders so she could see. Soapy water streamed down her body, but she didn’t want to sacrifice one iota of magic drying herself until she knew who—or what—was out there. Mage power would alert whatever was outside to her presence, so she snaked the tiniest tendril of Seeker magic out, winding it in a circuitous route so no one would be able to figure out where it came from. Seekers could pinpoint others with magic. That gift was also useful for sorting out truth, but it wasn’t her main talent, so it was weak.

She gasped. Travis? How could it possibly be him? He didn’t know where she lived. Had her Lemurian magelord told him?

“Aislinn.” She heard his voice in her mind. “Let us in.”

Us no doubt meant that his bond creature was with him. When Hunter magic was primary, humans had bond animals. His was a civet with the most beautiful rust, golden, and onyx coat she’d ever seen. Should I? Indecision rocked her. The reason her cave meant safety was that no one knew about it. No one who would tell, anyway. She dragged a threadbare wool shift—once it had been green, but there were so many patches, it was mostly black now—over her head and shook water out of her hair.

A high-pitched screech reverberated in her head. It sounded like something had pissed off the civet. Travis shouted her name again. He left the mind speech channel open after that. Locked it open so she couldn’t close it off. Edgy, she wondered if he was setting some sort of trap. Aislinn thought she could trust him, but when it came right down to it, she didn’t trust anyone. Especially not the Old Ones. The only thing that made working with them tolerable was that she understood their motives. Or imagined she did. She still hadn’t forgiven them for killing her mother. Poor, sick, muddled Tara.

“Aislinn.” A different voice this time. Metae, her Lemurian magelord. The one who’d made it clear two years before that, magic or no, they’d kill her if she didn’t come to terms with her power and fight for them. “Save your comrade. I do not know if I will arrive in time.”

All righty, then. Aislinn wondered if it would be possible. The civet yowled, hissed, and then yowled again. Travis made heavy, slurping sounds, as if at least one lung had been punctured. Dragging a leather vest over totally inadequate clothing, Aislinn slipped her feet into cracked, plastic Crocs and took off at a dead run down a passageway leading upward. The Crocs gave her feet some protections from rocks, but not from cold. She veered off, trying to pick an exit point that would put her behind the fighting. When she came to one of the many illusory rocks that blocked every tunnel leading to her home, she peeked around it. No point in being a sacrifice if she could help it. Travis wasn’t that close of an acquaintance. No one was.

A hand flew to her mouth to stifle sound. Christ! It couldn’t be. But it was. Though she’d only seen him once, that horrible night in Bolivia when her father had died, the thing standing in broad daylight had to be Perrikus—one of six dark gods holding what was left of Earth captive. Bright auburn hair flowing to his waist fluttered in the morning breeze. Eyes clear as fine emeralds one moment, shifting to another alluring shade the next, were set in a classically handsome face with sharp cheekbones and a chiseled jawline. His broad shoulders and chest tapered to narrow hips under a gossamer robe that left almost nothing to the imagination. The dark gods were sex incarnate, which was interesting, since the Old Ones were anything but. Promises of bottomless passion had been one of the ways the dark ones seduced Druids and witches and all those other New Age practitioners into weakening the gates between the worlds.

Heat flooded Aislinn’s nether regions. She wished she’d paid better attention when humans who’d actually run up against the dark gods had told her about it. Something about requiring human warmth to feed themselves, or remain on Earth, or…shit, her usually sharp mind just wasn’t there. She couldn’t focus on anything except getting laid.

Her groin ached for release. One of her hands sneaked under her clothing before she realized what she was doing. No! The silent shriek told her body to stand down, damn it. Now was not the time…and Perrikus definitely not the partner. Her body wasn’t listening. The next parts to betray her were her nipples, as they pebbled into hard points and pressed against the rough wool fabric of her hastily donned shift.

Wrenching her gaze to Travis—and her mind away from sex—she was unutterably grateful he was still on his feet. Wavering, but standing. The civet, every hair on end, stood next to him, a paw, with claws extended, raised menacingly.

“You know where the woman is,” Perrikus said, voice like liquid silver.

Aislinn heard compulsion behind the words. Hopefully, so did Travis.

“I followed you here,” the dark mage went on. “I heard you call out to her. So, where is she? Tell me, and I’ll let you go.”

The civet growled low. Travis spoke a command to silence it.

“I’m right here.” Aislinn stepped into view, glad her voice hadn’t trembled, because her guts sure were.

“Aislinn,” Travis gasped. He lurched in a rough half circle to face her. “I’m so sorry…”

“Can it,” she snapped.

The civet hissed at her, probably since she’d had the temerity to raise her voice to its bonded one.

“Okay.” She leveled her gaze at Perrikus. “You said he could go. Release him—and his animal, too.”

That lyrical voice laughed. “Oh, did I say that? I’d forgotten.”

“Let him go, and I’ll, ah, give you what you want.” Should buy me a couple minutes here. “Just turn off the damned libido fountain. I can’t think.”

His hypnotic gaze latched onto hers. “Why would I do that, human? You like how it feels. I smell the heat from between your legs.”

“Bastard. I liked it a whole lot better when I thought you were just a comic book character.” Aislinn wondered how much juice she had. This was one of the gods. Even if she was at her best, she didn’t think she’d be able to prevail in anything that looked like direct combat. “What do you want with me?” she asked, still trying to buy time to strategize. It wasn’t easy with what felt like a second heart pounding between her legs. She wanted to lay herself at his feet and just get it over with.

“What do you think?” He smiled. Fine, white teeth gleamed in that perfect jaw. “Children. You have power, human. Real power. And you’ve only now come to our attention.” He walked toward her, nice and slow. Sauntered. His hips swung with his stride. She saw he was ready under those sheer robes. Unfortunately, so was she, but she clamped down on her craving.

Aislinn ignored the moisture gushing down her thighs and reached for her magic. Travis limped over, joining hands with her. The civet wedged itself between them, warm against her lower leg. She felt the boost immediately. Even the sexual hunger receded a tiny bit. Enough to clear her mind. “On my count of three,” she sent. “One, two…”

“No. Do just the opposite. He won’t be expecting it. Pull from air and water. I’ll blend fire. Aim for his dick. It’s a pretty big target just now.”

Power erupted from them. Even the civet seemed to be helping. Since she’d never worked with an animal before, she wasn’t certain just how the Hunter magic worked. Aislinn concentrated hard to keep the spell’s aim true. Travis was injured, so she took more of the burden.

Perrikus chanted almost lazily. Maybe he was drunk on his own ability, so egotistical he wouldn’t guard himself. Her spirits soared as soon as she realized Travis’s gambit had worked. Perrikus was using the counter spell for air and water. He hadn’t counted on the tenacity fire would give their working. Moments later, a muffled shriek burst from him, and he grappled for his crotch.

“Bitch.” No honey or compulsion in that epithet. He lunged for her.

Aislinn sidestepped him neatly, letting go of Travis. In a half crouch, she trained all her attention on their adversary. Hands raised, she began a weaving she hoped would unbalance him. Air shimmered at the edges of her vision.

“I am here, child. Take your comrade to safety. He carries an important message from me.”

“Me—”

“Do not speak my name aloud. Go.”

The shimmery place in the air sidled in front of Perrikus. Fiery edges lapped hungrily at his nearly transparent robes. Not waiting to be told a third time, Aislinn shooed the civet into Travis’s arms, draped an arm around him, and pulled invisibility about the three of them. The last thing she heard as she guided them toward the warren of passageways leading to her home was Metae baiting Perrikus.

“I was old before you were hatched. How dare you spread your filth?”

“Wh-Where are we?” Travis’s voice gurgled. It had taken time to help him cover the half mile back to her cave. The civet made little mewling noises as they walked, sounding worried about its human partner.

“About two hundred feet below whatever’s happening up there.” Aislinn flung a hand upward. “Do you have Healing magic?” She pushed him through the thick tapestry that served as a door to her home and caught the civet’s tail between fabric and rock. It hissed at her and then ran to Travis, light on its feet.

He nodded.

“Use it on yourself. It’s not one of my strengths.” Aislinn knew she sounded surly, but couldn’t help herself. She’d never wanted anyone anywhere near her home. And her body, ignited by Perrikus’s execrable magic, screamed for release. Nothing she could do about that so long as she had company. Not much privacy in the one room she called home.

“Make a power circle around me.”

Grateful for something to do, Aislinn strode around him three times, chanting. She felt Travis pull earth power from her as he patched the hurt places within himself. Satisfied he had what he needed, she retrieved her mug, got one for him, and made tea. In addition to goldenseal, she added marigolds to the decoction. Both were supposed to have healing qualities. By the time she finished brewing the tea, his color had shifted from gray to decidedly pink. His eyes were back to their normal brown. Moss green was his power color. She wondered if it was sheer coincidence that the civet’s eyes were the same odd shade. She understood her Mage and Seeker gifts. The other three human magics—Healer, Hunter, and Seer—remained shrouded in mystery.

Aislinn looked hard at Travis when she handed him the tea. Dirty blond dreadlocks hung halfway down his back. He was well past six feet, but thin to the point of gauntness, his skin stretched over broad shoulders. A leather belt with additional holes punched in it held baggy denim pants up. Battered leather boots, split along one side, and an equally worn leather vest over a threadbare green cotton shirt made him look just about as ragtag as she always did. No one ever had new clothes. She just patched what she had until the fabric fell apart. Then she looted amongst the dead, or possessions they’d left behind, for something else she could use.

“Thanks.” He took the tea and shifted uncomfortably from foot to foot. “You have books.” Surprise burned in his tone. “How did—?”

“You didn’t see them,” she broke in fiercely, thinking that’s what happened when you had people in your house. They saw things they weren’t supposed to—like books banned by a Lemurian edict.

“Okay,” he agreed. “I didn’t see a thing.” He hesitated. “Don’t worry. I wouldn’t want to get you in trouble.”

“Did you fix your body?” Aislinn grimaced. Gee, that didn’t sound very friendly. Pretty obvious I’m trying to change the subject. “Uh, sorry. I’m not used to entertaining.”

He dropped his gaze. “Yeah, I’m better. I’m not used to being anyone’s guest, either.”

“How’d you find me?” she blurted. Not all that polite either, but she really did want to know.

“Metae and Regnol, you know, my Lemurian magelord, told me to give you this yesterday.” Scrabbling inside his vest, he drew out an alabaster plaque. It was about the size of a domino and contained an encrypted message. “I tried to make our rendezvous on time, but everywhere I turned, something went wrong.” He paused long enough to take a breath. “I won’t bore you with the details, but it was past dark when I made it to the coordinates. You weren’t there, but I knew you had been. Traces of your energy remained.” He ground his teeth together. “I also sensed the Bal’ta. Because I feared the worst, I called the Old Ones—”

“What?” she broke in, incredulous. “We’re never supposed to—”

“I know that.” He sounded dismayed. “I was desperate. They’d told me not to bother reporting back in if I didn’t get the message to you. Anyway, they didn’t even lecture me for insubordination. Metae told me where to find you. And a whole bunch of other stuff about how she’d wanted to tell you herself, but couldn’t break away from something or other.”

Aislinn gulped her tea. It was hot and made her mouth hurt, but at least the lust that had been eating at her like acid, ever since Perrikus had turned those gorgeous eyes on her, receded a bit. Maybe it might, just might, leave her be. She’d even been wondering about a quickie with Travis—after he’d healed himself, of course. Heat spread up her neck. She knew she was blushing.

“What?” He stared at her.

The civet had curled itself into a ball at his feet, but it kept its suspicious gaze trained on her.

“Nothing.” She put down her mug and held out a hand for the plaque. “Let’s find out what was so important.”

Nodding silently, he handed it to her before sinking onto one of several big pillows scattered around the Oriental rug. The cat followed him. “Do you mind?” He pointed at a faded Navaho blanket folded in one corner of the room.

“Help yourself.”

“Thanks.” He unfolded it and draped it around his shoulders. “Takes a lot of magic to do Healings. I’m cold.”

With only half her mind on him, Aislinn held the alabaster between her hands. It warmed immediately and began to glow. She opened herself to it, knowing it would reveal its message, but only to her. The plaques were like that. The Old Ones keyed them to a single recipient. Death came swiftly to anyone else who tried to tamper with their magic. Metae’s voice filled her mind.

“Child. Your unique combination of Mage and Seeker blood has come to the attention of the other side. They will stop at nothing to capture and use you. The Council has conferred. You will ready yourself for a journey to Taltos so we may better prepare you for what lies ahead. Take nothing. Tell no one. Travel to the gateway. Do not tarry. Once you are there, we will find you. You must arrive within four days.”

“What?” Travis had an odd look on his face, as if he knew he shouldn’t ask, but couldn’t help himself.

She shook her head. Alone. Destined to be alone—always. Sadness filled her. Images of her mother and father tumbled out of the place she kept them locked away. Memories of what it had felt like to be loved brought sudden tears to her eyes.

“Come here.” Travis opened his arms. “You don’t have to tell me a thing.”

The civet growled low. Travis spoke sharply to it, and it stood, arched its back, and walked to a spot a few feet away, where it circled before lying down.

Mortified by how desperately she wanted the comfort of those arms, Aislinn dropped to the floor and crawled to him, taking care to give his bond animal a wide berth. The blanket must have helped, because when she fitted her body to his, it was more than warm. The sexual heat she thought she’d moved beyond flared painfully in her loins. When he cupped her buttocks with his hands and pulled her against him, she wound her arms around him and held on.

“There,” he crooned, moving a hand to smooth her hair out of her face. “There, now. Let’s take comfort where we can, eh? There’s precious little to be had.” He laughed, sounding a bit self-conscious, before adding, “Even I could feel Perrikus’s spell. Got me going, too.”

He closed his lips over hers. She kissed him back, too aroused to be ashamed of her need.

 

 BIO

Author

Ann Gimpel is a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Several paranormal romance novellas are available in e-format. Three novels, Psyche’s Prophecy, Psyche’s Search, and Psyche’s Promise are small press publications available in e-format and paperback. Look for three more urban fantasy novels coming this summer and fall: To Love a Highland Dragon, Earth’s Requiem and Earth’s Blood. A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.

 

 

 

 

 

010 sofi

 

 

Seal of Awakening by Traci Douglas [BookBlitz]

TraciDouglass_SealOfAwakening_HRSeal Of Awakening

Seven Seals Series

Book Three

Traci Douglass

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: SpinTale Publishing

Date of Publication: October 28th, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-9897829-0-6

Number of pages: 261

Word Count: 70,000

Cover Artist: Kim Killion


Book Trailer

 

Blurb

Socially awkward geneticist Quinn Strickland has willingly forgone the pleasures in life to reach her career objectives. Alone and approaching thirty, she uses her independence to mitigate any risk of a broken heart. Her strategy works until the day a handsome stranger bursts into her lab and her orderly plans shoot straight to Hades. He claims to be her personal divine protector, a powerful, ancient warrior sent to defend a prophetic time bomb existing within her own genetic code.

 The Scion’s alpha-geek Wyck is offered the opportunity of his immortal lifetime as head of his own covert operation. He arrives at a Colorado lab expecting starched white coats and sterile surroundings—not a redheaded spitfire in charge of both his project and his libido. His skills have carried him from the battlefields of ancient England to the pits of Hell and he has no plans to be felled by one woman, regardless of her shag-worthy charms. Divine duty requires him to protect the apocalyptic Seal encrypted within Quinn’s DNA, but his heart has other ideas. When his personal feelings interfere with his age-old vendetta, he’s forced to decide between desire and retribution.

Excerpt

For the band of adopted heavenly brothers known collectively as the Scion, covert ops generally fell into two categories, crashing bore or glorious adventure. And after more than nine hundred years of divine missions, Wyck could tell the difference before the first volley fired.

He double-checked to make sure his ID badge was prominently displayed.  Divinity had finally given him a second chance as mission leader and he intended to make sure this operation fell squarely into the epically awesome range despite his less than glamorous surroundings. This time, he vowed, there’d be no messy diversions to waylay his goals, no damsel in questionable distress to shred his heart to smithereens. Nope. This time he was fully prepared and would see his mission through to a successful end.

Wyck trudged up the sidewalk toward the imposing glass and steel Eugenicorp Labs building, craning his neck to see the top of the six-story structure. He was so engrossed in his perusal he nearly squashed a bedraggled squirrel limping across the pavement in front of him. Wyck glanced down and spotted a half-cracked acorn near the toe of his boot. Poor bugger must’ve dropped it in his hasty retreat.

His first inclination was to reach down and retrieve it, maybe place the nut near the roots of the giant tree where the squirrel now hid.  But now wasn’t the time to get sidetracked. As his commander, Xander, had already warned him, such kindness had only added to his past failures.

He kicked the nut, watching as it hurtled through the open grassy area surrounding the complex, then strode through the automatic doors and into the cavernous lobby. Empty. Sterile. Utilitarian, covered in gleaming metal and glass. The décor – neutral grays and bland beiges – screamed restraint. 

Okay, he amended. Maybe epic and awesome were pushing the envelope for this mission. Best to start with solidly successful. He blinked several times in the early morning sunshine and spotted the pinched, schoolmarm expression of a receptionist across the expanse.

Brilliant.

In his experience, mulish females appeared to be the rule in academia. Just one more reason he steered clear of the smart ones and stuck to his technology. Emotional evisceration was another, but he refused to dwell on that now. Gadgets and science had always been his safe refuge. They trustworthy.

He proceeded across the pristine white-tile floor and when the receptionist steadfastly ignored him, Wyck coughed and summoned his most charming smile. “Hi, I’m Orson Parrot, the new bloke.”

The woman glanced up from her computer screen and ran a disdainful eye over him, her glare burning a hole through his extended hand.  Her scowl increased as she snatched a clipboard from the desk’s immaculate surface and skimmed a bony digit down the list.  She tapped her finger twice beside one line and stared back at him, her demeanor cold enough to freeze hydrogen, then pointed toward a pair of glass doors across the lobby. “Through there.”

He leaned forward to thank her only to be confronted by a strip of red fabric. Dangling from the receptionist’s hand, it swung in crazy, lopsided circles to tap him squarely on the chest. “You’ll need this,” she said, her tone a perfect match for the Queen’s after a distasteful tabloid scandal.

Wyck caught the twirling lanyard, with its attached security keycard, and placed it around his neck.  He couldn’t resist giving the woman a wink and a grin on his way out, and was delighted when she stiffened like rawhide. A fellow had to have some fun.

He headed toward the double doors across the atrium, his mind ticking with details. This rare shot at redemption, plus the added potential for delivering a digital smackdown to his longtime enemies, the Nephilim, had him jumping at the chance to infiltrate the Eugenicorp’s computer system. Getting back in the field again would prove more enjoyable than his usual long hours of tedious research for his brother’s quests. Not to mention turning down an assignment from Divinity wasn’t really an option. She’d given the Scion many blessings, but freewill over their assignments wasn’t one of them.

If his hunches were correct, his new logic bomb would blow the fucking cork right off the half-breeds’ schemes for a new world order. By utilizing their legitimate business arm in the human realm, Tolbert International, the Nephilim had been quietly amassing huge quantities of money for centuries, branching out into everything from pharmaceuticals to produce. The Internet had been buzzing for months with rumors of an eminent Tolbert takeover of a genetics research facility and Divinity had sent him to Eugenicorp to make sure those takeover plans didn’t include the Seal currently hosted by one head scientist or the top-secret project she commandeered.

He used his new keycard to enter a glass-lined walkway and caught sight of his reflection. Christ Almighty. He’d done a wicked job of turning his normal hipster persona into Orson Parrott—Super Brain Extraordinaire.

Attired in a scholarly turtleneck and khakis, he couldn’t have been further from his normal choice of t-shirt and jeans. Between his helmet hair and the tatty, empty briefcase he carried, there was little sign of the tousled charmer who’d enticed a cute barista to bed during his last reconnaissance mission here a few months earlier.

Goodbye quick tumbles. Hello brainy celibate.

Wyck passed from the atrium into another adjoining lobby and glanced at the office number scribbled across his palm in blue ballpoint ink. 5324. He pushed the button for the next arriving elevator, whistling while he waited.

Sure, he’d performed a teensy bit of cyber-fraud by uploading his own credentials and employee demographics into the Eugenicorp HR files and he’d picked out a nice cushy office with a window, close to his target and close to the vending machines. Perfect.

Speaking of his target, the buttoned-down woman wasn’t one he looked forward to meeting. From everything he’d read about the third Seal’s unwitting host, she was smarter than sin and as enticing as a good bout of bubonic plague. No thank you.

A determined clack of heels echoed against the tile behind him and he swiveled toward the noise, just in time to see a flash of bright red hair barge through the gathering crowd and into the elevator. People stepped back, some headed for the stairs, as if the woman now occupying the compartment might spontaneously combust at any moment.

 

 About Traci:

Traci is the author of paranormal romance/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.

She is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her Untitledstories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of the first book in the Seven Seals Series, Seal of Destiny, won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.

Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series, a new contemporary novella series due out in early 2014, and a new futuristic suspense series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.

 

BookBlitz: Realm Walker by Kathleen Collins

 

Realm Walker Banner Tour 450 x 169

 

Cover

 

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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BookBlitz + Giveaway: Hell’s Belle by Karen Greco

Hells Belle Banner 450 X 169

 

 

 

 

Untitled

 

Hell’s Belle

Karen Greco

Genre: Urban Fantasy

ISBN: 1484830202

ASIN: B00DEUDXH0

Number of pages: 238

Word Count: 74,722

Cover design by Robin Ludwig Design Inc.

Blurb

 Half-vampire, half-human, Nina Martinez spent most of her life underground as part of an elite secret team of government agents who quietly take down rogue monsters — the human world none the wiser.

She moves back to her hometown of Providence, RI to keep an eye on the recent uptick in supernatural activity, and to help run the bar she co-owns with her aunt. Her attempt at a “regular” life, not to mention a budding relationship with smoking hot FBI agent Max, is cut short because of a string of ritual murders targeting the city’s community of witches.

But Nina’s investigation unearths deadly secrets from her long buried parents. Now the target of supernatural assassins, could Nina be the most dangerous vampire hybrid to ever exist? No wonder she can’t get a date.

An urban fantasy set in a decaying Providence, Rhode Island, HELL’S BELLE is a fast-paced, adrenaline-fueled roller-coaster ride through a city on the cusp of becoming an urban wasteland. An energetic, expansive, and cinematic, HELL’S BELLE was called “captivating” by Kirkus Reviews.

 

Book Chick City gave it 5-stars, calling it “one of the best urban fantasies I have read this year!”

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About Karen

An award-winning playwright, Karen Greco has spent close to twenty years in New York City, working in publicity and marketing for the entertainment industry.

 A life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she can decapitate characters with impunity. HellHELL’S BELLE is her first novel.

 

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Giveaway!

10 Ebook copies of Hell’s Belle By Karen Greco- either mobi or ePub, winners choice

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BookBlitz + Giveaway: The Bionincs Series by Alicia Michaels

 

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The Bionics CoverTitle:  The Bionics

Series:  The Bionics Series, Book 1

Author:  Alicia Michaels

Published:  September 13th, 2013 by Crimson Tree Publishing

Word Count:  21,000

Genre:  YA Mature Dystopian Romance

Content Warning:  Coarse language and mild sexual innuendo

Recommended Age:  16+

 

Blurb:  All I ever wanted was to be a normal girl. I had dreams of joining the ranks of the Military Police and making my family proud. But the nuclear war that laid waste to our country destroyed any hope I had of being normal ever again. They took everything away from me, including my humanity. I am now half-human, half-machine, part of the never-ending freak show that is the Restoration Project.

They hate what they created and they fear us for being powerful.

And so they hunt us, destroying our lives so that they can bury what they built. What they don’t know is this: there is a Resistance out there and The Bionics aren’t going down without a fight.

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Titanium CoverTitle:  Titanium

Series:  The Bionics Series, Book 2

Author:  Alicia Michaels

Published:  September 13th, 2013 by Crimson Tree Publishing

Word Count:  30,000

Genre:  YA Mature Dystopian Romance

Content Warning:  Coarse language and mild sexual innuendo

Recommended Age:  16+

 

Blurb: We stand on the brink of a double rescue mission, a plan so foolhardy that even our bravest men are quaking inside with fear. Storm the capitol, free the prisoners, don’t get killed. It seems like a suicide mission, but not a single one of us has anything to lose.

In my past life, I was a scoundrel; a drug peddling street thug who cared nothing for anyone because I had no one to care for me. The nuclear blasts of 4006 reminded me of the value of life, and a girl with the saddest eyes I’ve ever gazed into gave me someone to care for. Now, as we embark on our most dangerous enterprise, I can only hope that we make it out alive and that those we have lost can be recovered.

Foolishness … fear … hope … These are the elements that threw our revolution into motion. As the momentum of the Resistance continues to build, we can only pray that hope continues grow larger than our fear.

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Excerpt

From ‘The Bionics’

“I wish that I had died that day,” I admit, unable to look away from his gaze no matter how much my mind tells me that I need to. “I wish that all the time.”

He inches closer to me on the bed. “Is it really so bad? Professor Hinkley gave you and the others a second chance at life. It’s not fair that the government has decided you and others like you pose a threat.”

 

I think about a news broadcast I saw a couple of weeks ago, showing a surveillance video of a man with an arm identical to mine smashing in the window of someone’s car and beating them to a bloody pulp for no reason, before pulling a limp body from the driver’s seat and driving off in the stolen vehicle. Of course the thief was found and immediately executed; no trail, no jury, no questions asked.

“Some of us are dangerous,” I answer, and of course, it’s the truth.

“Some people are dangerous,” he insists. “Bionics are still people….just modified.”

“Right now your blood pressure is 124/90, your heart rate is an elevated 70 beats per minute; not bad, but still high for a healthy male that I assume is athletic. You have a tattoo on your left arm of an eagle, and a fractured rib.”

“That is amazing.”

 

I shrug. “It’s my eye. It is capable of reading a person’s body heat signature as well as their vital statistics. It allows me to pull away individual layers, such as clothing, skin, and muscle to expose what’s underneath. It’s how I knew about the rib.”

I reach out with my bionic arm and poke the rib for emphasis, raising my eyebrows as he winces in pain. “Still think I’m human?”

Gage reaches for my arm—my robotic arm—and grabs it by the hand. I can’t feel it, or his hand circling the wrist above it. His eyebrows wrinkle as he turns my arm over, inside facing up. He traces the inside of my arm, his fingers sliding over the cool metal and, for the first time since I woke up with that hunk of machinery on the other end of my elbow, I am wishing that I could feel the damn thing.

“Cold,” he murmurs as he draws circles on the metal. His fingers stop on the inside of my elbow, on the line where the titanium ends and I begin. I hear his breath catch in his throat and another noisy swallow as the pad of his index finger slides over my skin. I gasp as he trails it up the inside of my arm, flesh now on flesh. The human contact that I’ve denied myself for years has left me sensitive to every touch, and I feel as if I’m being caressed for the first time.

Of course Dax has held my hand from time to time; he’s even held me against him some nights when the nightmares get particularly bad until I fall back asleep. But he’s never touched me like this, and while I’m no virgin I certainly feel like one right now. A thousand emotions are exploding in me at one time and just as many sensations are following the path his finger traces up to my shoulder, pausing at the strap of my tank top.

 

“Warm,” he says with a smile. “Only about….what…ten percent of you is metal. When I got past your elbow, I felt skin, blood flowing through veins, muscle, and…goose bumps?”

He says that last bit with a smile, forcing me to look away in embarrassment. He holds his arm out toward me, pulling up the sleeve of his shirt and revealing a tanned arm sprinkled with light blond hair, which is standing on end. He leaves the sleeve above his elbow and holds his arm out in front of me.

“See?” he says gently, his head way too close to mine, his breath brushing my cheek. “I have them too.”

 

I reach out with my human hand and touch his arm. His opposite hand comes up to cover mine.

“If anything,” he says, his fingers gripping mine tightly, “the additions to your body give you character. They tell a story about where you’ve been.”

 

He pauses, leaning in so close that locks of his hair brush my forehead. “Where have you been, Blythe?”

I know he’s referring to the screams and my nightmare. I wonder if I can put him off like I do the others, but quickly realize by the glint in his eyes that he’s not letting me off that easy. I clear my throat and open my mouth, but no sound comes out. Gage leans forward and presses his lips to mine, taking advantage of my open mouth to nibble on my lower lip.

 

With a soft sigh, he closes the distance between us and cups my face in his hands, taking my breath away with the simple act of molding his mouth to mine. My hands resting on his thick thighs, I come up on my knees on the bed, leaning into him, trembling both inwardly and outwardly, unsure of what I’m doing or why I’m doing it, but know that I can’t stop. Kissing Gage feels like walking down the street used to be before the government labeled Bionics as dangerous. It feels like freedom.

“Hey Blythe, I couldn’t sleep and I was thinking…”

Dax’s voice trails off as the door to the bathroom we share knocks against the wall, pushed open by my bone-headed best friend who never knocks because he knows I’m never doing anything he can’t see me doing.

 

Except this time.

 

This time, guilt propels me away from Gage and back against the headboard, my lowered eyelids shielding me from Dax’s dark glare.

“Sorry,” he says, sounding anything but. “Didn’t realize you’d have a visitor at three o’clock in the goddamn morning.”

 Part of me wants to rip Dax a new asshole for being such a jerk. What right does he have being mad at me when I know he’s screwed Olivia on several occasions, and who knows what other groupies he’s got salivating over him in both Mosley and Hexley Halls? Another part of me feels like I just got caught doing something unforgiveable, although I’m not sure if it was that I kissed someone, or if it’s just the fact that the someone I kissed happens to be Gage.

 

Author Bio

Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Alicia MichaelsWherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. The mother of two and wife to an Army sergeant loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.

 

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Giveaway!

Alicia is giving away a digital copy of The Bionics (Book One) and Titanium (Book Two), a Bionics bookmark, Readers choice of any other Clean Teen Publishing eBook and a $15 Amazon gift card (INT)

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