Welcome to the book blitz for GATE OF FEAR, the first book in the young adult romantic fantasy series, Dragon Gods, by Resa Nelson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.
The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.
Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.
But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.
Especially when the one being punished is a woman. .
Excerpt – Chapter 1 How did my life become so turbulent?
As the pale blue and pink light foretold the dawn of a new day, Frayka walked the narrow length of the Northlander ship, a long and sleek vessel that looked like a sea dragon slicing through the choppy ocean waves. The oars piled on the center of the deck rattled against each other. The scent of fish and brine permeated the air. The taste of salt in the air gave her a thirst that seemed impossible to quench. Frayka focused on the horizon instead.
She approached the rail and leaned on it, barely noticing the sound of her sweetheart Njall grunting while he adjusted the sail. After several days at sea, Frayka recognized the coast of her homeland, the Land of Ice, in the distance ahead. But instead of filling her heart with happiness or even meager content, the sight made her stomach twist into knots.
All her life, Frayka had given no thought to the fact that she looked like no other Northlander. Everyone in her homeland—including her own family—stood tall with long blond hair and blue eyes. While Frayka stood as tall as any Northlander woman, she inherited her looks from her father’s grandmother, a woman from the Far East who must have died many years ago.
Although Frayka’s skin looked similar to everyone else’s during the winter months, too much exposure to the sun simply turned Frayka’s skin a golden brown while the skin of all other Northlanders burned bright red. And her long black hair, straight as rain, made her stand out, as well as her dark brown eyes.
Njall joined her side and draped an arm across her shoulders. “Home at last.”
Exhausted from the journey and lost in worry about the days ahead, Frayka didn’t respond.
Njall squeezed her shoulder. “Why so glum?”
“No one told me I’d be meeting a Northlander god,” Frayka said. “I’m still reeling from what the All-Father told me.”
Weeks ago, a shaman led Frayka to the ethereal world of the gods. The god of all Northlander gods—the All-Father—singled out Frayka because she dared to live as a Northlander despite her Far Eastern looks.
To appease the anger of all Northlander gods, the All-Father tasked Frayka with the duty of finding the dragon gods of the Far East. The All-Father told Frayka she then must figure out how to make peace between those dragon gods and the Northlander gods. If Frayka failed, the Northlander gods would kill her.
Why did all gods have to act so foolish and petty?
Why should it be her problem that Northlanders had once worshipped the dragon gods instead of their own gods?
Why should the Northlander gods involve her just because they felt angry and rejected by the mortals who adopted the dragon gods in their absence?
Frayka knew the dragon gods destroyed the Northlands and surrounding countries, even though she’d been an infant at the time. The full blame for that destruction fell on the true Northlander gods, who were enraged first for being ignored and then for being faulted for something they didn’t do.
Why should I care that mortals blame the Northlander gods for the sins of the dragon gods?
The task given to Frayka by the Northlander gods overwhelmed her. Frayka wished she could crawl below deck, curl up in a corner, and sleep until her life felt normal again.
But Northlanders never talked of such feelings. If Frayka admitted to any of them, she would appear weak in Njall’s eyes. He loved her because of her strength and courage. And right now, only Njall knew about the task she’d been given. If no one else believed her, she’d still have Njall by her side.
I can’t afford to lose him, too.
Njall laughed. “You’re spoiled by your own portents. Welcome to the ordinary world that the rest of us live in.”
Frayka knew Njall was right. Since birth, her portents gave her regular glimpses into the future, something no other Northlander could do. She’d known for years that Njall would someday marry her, and her faith never waived. Years ago, he teased Frayka about her portents. Thinking about those days, she said, “Remember when you used to call me Frayka the Freak?”
“Be fair,” Njall said, failing to hide his shame. “I don’t call you that anymore.” He ran his rough hand against her silky black hair. “Not since I saw you become a brave warrior. Not since you saved my life. Once I tell everyone what you’ve done, everyone will love you as much as I do.” Njall hesitated. “Wait. That’s a terrible idea. Someone might try to marry you before I can.”
“If anyone tries to get between you and me, I’ll kick him in the shins.” Frayka laughed briefly before worry overtook her again. “But it’s not my portents I’m worried about. It’s what the gods want me to do. What I have to do.”
“This isn’t like you. You never worry.”
Frayka cleared her throat, knowing the time to keep secrets had to end. “I had a portent last night after you fell asleep. A portent about the gods.”
His arm tensed. “What kind of portent?”
Frayka looked at the sea. “I saw what will happen if I fail. If I don’t do what the gods ask.” When Njall stayed silent, she continued. “They will kill every Northlander who still survives. They will kill you and me and our families and everyone in the Land of Ice.”
“But your portents,” Njall said. “Sometimes they give you an idea of the future. They’re not always exact.”
“This one was,” Frayka said. “Very exact and very clear. I have to find the dragon gods and figure out how to make peace between them and the Northlander gods. Otherwise, we all die.”
Njall shifted his weight when the ship tilted. “Then let’s fight the Northlander gods. Let’s kill them before they can kill us.”
Frayka shook her head. “You don’t understand. All the stories we heard about gods are lies. Northlanders thought the dragon gods were their gods, but it’s not true. Mortals thought the Northlander gods forced the dragon gods to destroy our homeland, but that’s not true either.” She frowned. “Not entirely. Even if we could find the Northlander gods—which is impossible—it wouldn’t solve anything. The All-Father told me what I have to do, and nothing else will satisfy him.”
Njall wrapped his arms around Frayka and held her close. “You’re not alone, you know,” he said. “You’ve got me, and I’ll walk by your side every step of the way.”
His words comforted Frayka. For a moment she found hope and felt excited about the chance to make a difference in the world. She felt no fear of the danger she might face.
Njall pointed at the coastline, now close enough that Frayka saw its black sandy beaches glitter and sparkle in the sunlight. “We’re home,” Njall said. “Look how beautiful it is.”
Taking his advice, Frayka stared at the waterfalls falling from the high cliffs standing behind the beaches. Pointing, she said, “There’s Blackstone.” The settlement of small stone houses rested a short distance from the shore, and grassy hills stretched behind it. In the far distance, a mountain of ice glinted. “What are we going to tell them about why we left?” Frayka said.
“The truth always strikes me as a good idea,” Njall said.
But the truth would involve stories about Frayka’s portents and gods and strange lands.
“What if they don’t believe me?”
“Be yourself!” Njall said. “This is your home! Your family knows you. Everyone in Blackstone knows you. And I know you, too.”
But I befriended someone who suffered because she looked different. Because she came from a different world than the people she lived with. Because she walked with one foot in each world: the one she came from and the one she lived in.
And if I do what the gods ask me to do, won’t I have to do the same?
“Frayka?” Njall said. “Did you hear me?”
“Of course.” Frayka straightened her spine and drew again on her new-found hope. “Let’s go home.”
Author Resa Nelson
About the Author Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon’s Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.
Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute.
Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE LUNAM DECPTION, the second book in the adult paranormal/urban fantasy romance series, The Lunam, by Nicole Loufas. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE LUNAM DECEPTION (The Lunam #2) by Nicole Loufas
About the Book
Title: THE LUNAM DECEPTION Series: The Lunam #2 Author: Nicole Loufas Release Date: June 20, 2017 Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Kalysia has lived her life according to others – a fate she will not pass on to her child. When a conspiracy to bring down the pack threatens to uncover her darkest secrets; Kalysia must fight to protect the truth about the man she wants, at the expense of the man she was fated to love.
Jase has fought his entire life. For his honor, his freedom, and his family. Nothing in his past could’ve prepare him for her. Kalyisa is everything he never knew he always wanted. Is he willing to risk his life, her honor, and Dillan’s pride to win her heart?.
Excerpt There are over three hundred breweries at this year’s craft brew fest. Each brewery has at least three beers on tap—that’s nine hundred beers that I won’t be tasting.
Dillan was up and out of our hotel room before eight this morning. He was invited to the brewer’s breakfast, where a bunch of men sit around talking about hops like it’s cool.
I walk to the expo around noon; it’s already packed. I maneuver my belly through the crowd to our booth. The line for samples is long.
“Hey, Rusty,” I call through the wall of people. “Where’s Dillan?”
Rusty looks up from the women so obviously flirting with him. “He’s sniffing around the Black Diamond Brewery table. Wait here, he’ll be back soon.”
I move past the group and join Rusty on the other side of the table. “Should I help?”
“Do you know anything about the beer?”
“Just sit over there.” He points to a chair in the corner.
Rusty fields questions like a pro and handles the crowd fairly well for a little while. As more people arrive, he can’t pour beer fast enough.
“Okay, you’re up.” He waves me over. “You pour and I’ll serve.”
I turn to the taps and grab a cup. “What do I do?”
He gives me a quick rundown of what is what.
“Just keep pouring until I tell you to stop. I want at least fifteen or twenty of each lined up on this table.” He points to the table in front of the taps.
After fifteen minutes, I decide pouring sucks. I can’t get the foam right. I tilt too much. The cups are lined up with uneven pours. I quickly realize nobody cares. They’re all tipsy and enamored by my brother.
“Is this swill any good?” A familiar voice says, and my heart stops.
“Well I’m biased, sir. But I’m also pretty confident.” Rusty takes a cup from the table. “Try this, you’ll never drink Shasta again.”
I peek over my shoulder and see Jase’s uncle Joe sipping our beer wearing a Shasta Brewing hat.
“Quit pretending you don’t love Howlin’ Ale.” Lucky walks up behind Joe.
I spin back around and pour another cup. Maybe he won’t recognize me. I’m bigger than I was the last time he saw me.
“I’ve never had it from a tap,” Joe says. “Just them bottles we used to get from your driver.”
“Really?” Rusty asks. “Which driver is that?”
Oh shit. Oh shit.
“Hey, babe. I think that cup is full.” Dillan suddenly appears beside me.
I look at the beer flowing out of the tap and all over the table. “Oh shit!” I step back and drop the cup, splashing beer all over my pants and shoes.
Dillan looks at me like I’m crazy. “Are you okay? Do you want to sit down?” He motions to the chair. I don’t move. If I turn around, Joe will see my face.
“Looks like someone’s been sampling the beer,” Joe jokes.
Dillan looks over my head and smiles. He’s back in sales mode. “Not this one, she’s seven months pregnant.”
“Well, congratulations,” Joe says.
“Thank you,” Dillan replies. He nudges me to turn and be polite. I don’t move.
“We’ve taken up enough of their time,” Lucky says. I detect a hint of anxiety in his tone. He figured it out.
“Okay, okay,” Joe says reluctantly. He thanks Rusty, and I hear him ask Lucky where the bathroom is. Right before their voices fade into the crowd, he says his name: “Make sure you let Jase know Howlin’ Ale is here. He’s a big fan.”
“Yeah sure, Joe,” Lucky pacifies him. He has no intention on telling Jase I’m here. Not if he’s smart.
“Why the hell are you even back here?” Dillan ushers me to the empty chair. He looks at the mess I made. “Rusty, you should’ve called Drake or me to help.”
When Rusty doesn’t answer, I look past Dillan to my brother. He’s serving a beer to the last person on Earth I ever thought I’d see at this table.
“Rusty, clean that up, I’ll take over.” Dillan walks to the table and hands Jase another cup. “If you like the amber, you’ll love the red.
Jase’s eyes flit to mine as he takes the cup. “Thanks.”
What is he doing here? Why would he intentionally put himself in danger?
“Sis, what the fuck?” Rusty whispers as he mops the floor. “Should I do something?”
I shake my head no. We can’t cause any suspicion. As far as Dillan is concerned, Jase is just another festival goer.
“What do you think?” Dillan asks.
Jase sets the cup down. “I think I’m in love.” He smiles at me, and I gasp.
Rusty steps in front of me and coughs. “It’s dusty in here.”
When Dillan turns to look at Rusty, Jase winks at me. I don’t know if I want to kill him or kiss him. The intensity of the moment finally catches up to me, and I begin to laugh. Rusty starts laughing too, but it’s more of a manic, what-are-you-laughing-at kind of laugh.
“You guys are weird,” Dillan addresses me and my brother then turns back to Jase. “Sorry, she’s a little hormonal, and he’s a little…”
“Homo,” Rusty yells.
Jase laughs, and so does Dillan. For a brief second, the worst moment of my life doesn’t seem so bad. Until it is.
“There you are, Jase.” I look up at the sound of Joe’s voice and see Lucky chasing after him.
“Joe, let’s check out Black Bear,” Lucky suggests. “We’ve already been to this one.” He tries to turn Joe away, but it’s too late.
“Kali! How the hell are ya?” Joe yells. I turn slowly and brace as a wave of fear washes over our booth. “Oh hell, girl, you’re about ready to pop!” He laughs. “Who’s the lucky fella?”
“That’d be me.” Dillan moves between us, blocking me from view. “How exactly do you know Kalysia?” He annunciates my name.
Lucky, Rusty, Jase, Joe, and I all start talking at the same time. Dillan only hears Joe.
“She broke down last winter, and Jase found her stranded on the highway. He brought her back to my motel for the night. She’s a fine girl. You’re a lucky man.” Joe holds his hand out to Dillan.
Dillan shakes it as he turns to look back at me. “And which one of you found her on the road?”
Born from a curse that allows her kind to shift from human to wolf, Kalysia won the genetic lottery. She is the offspring of an original, born to lead and bound by her duty to produce an heir to continue their bloodline she must leave the only life she has ever known to take part in The Lunam Ceremony. This ancient ritual will solidify her place in the pack and determine who she will love for the rest of her life. There’s just one problem – Kalysia doesn’t believe in love.
That changes when she falls into the hands of Dillan Dukes. The attraction is undeniable. The connection unbreakable. He is everything love at first site is supposed to be, suddenly her future doesn’t look that bad.
Unwilling to give up hope on going to college and having the life her and Dillan fantasize about outside the pack, she reluctantly takes on the role as pack leader. When an unexpected proposal is made that will grant both Dillan and Kalysia their freedom she is willing to put her ego, and her heart aside, to make her dream come true.
One night. One act of selflessness. For the life she’s always dreamt about. Only things are not what they seem. Can Kalysia and Dillan find happily ever after with the consequences of that night haunting them forever?
Will one fateful night destroy Kalysia’s future along with the future of the pack?
Author Nicole Loufas
About the Author Nicole was born and raised in California. She claims to be a San Francisco native, however she’s lived in both Northern and Southern California. She credits her creativity to the fact that she attended 12 schools between kindergarten and her senior year in high school. Her nomadic childhood allowed her to reinvent herself often. Some might say she was a liar. While others see the stories she told as a coping mechanism. Twelve schools, in six cities, in twelve years – give her a break. Today she channels her storytelling ability into writing novels. Long story short – kids that lie become writers..
Welcome to the book blitz for DON’T LOOK BACK, a stand-alone adult romantic suspense novel by Vicki Tharp. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Ridley Meyer’s latest murder left him unsatisfied, but the spitfire with the U-haul may provide just the challenge he craves.
Veterinarian Audrey West is running out of time, yet she is determined to keep her inherited home out of foreclosure. With no more than a dream, a prayer, and a packed U-Haul, West moves back home to complete the expensive repairs. Just when Audrey thinks she might pull off the impossible, she finds her dream is not the only thing being followed.
Scott Romero has it all—money, ambition and a growing reputation as the city’s top veterinary surgeon. However, when his best friend Audrey is abducted by a killer, Scott realizes what he doesn’t have and he must risk losing his job, and his life, to save her.
Don’t Look Back was a 2007 Romantic Suspense finalist in the Romance Writer’s of America Golden Heart writing contest.
Excerpt He leaned in to scrutinize his work. “Let me see.”
She turned toward him.
He pushed her hand out of the way. He poked. He prodded. He pressed. “I did Doctor Frankenstein proud. Maybe my stepmother was right. I should’ve been a real doctor. At least I wouldn’t have risked my veterinary license stitching you up.”
“I know. I know. You don’t like hospitals.”
“It’ll take more than a little thump to get me in one again.”
“Little thumps don’t require stitches. Little thumps don’t give you a concussion. And little thumps don’t get you almost killed.”
“Not this again.”
“Yes. This again.”
He raised his hands and took a step back. “Do me a favor.”
“The next time one of your clients waves a gun around, stay out of the way.”
“What in the purple hell did you expect me to do? Let her kill herself?”
“You should’ve gone for help.”
“Ms. Sims wasn’t trying to hurt me. Her dog, her baby, dropped dead. She was distraught, disturbed. If I hadn’t nosedived into the bench grabbing for the gun, I doubt I’d’ve had a scratch on me.” Audrey squeezed her head to keep it from exploding.
“You’re not Superwoman. Bullets won’t bounce off you.”
She didn’t have the energy for this. “Finished?”
“Not hardly.” Scott tilted his head and gave her that sexy half-smile. That devilish smile. That maddening smile the lucky few had followed to his bed.
It was too painful to think about, and not just because of her headache, so she pushed it from her mind. “Thanks for letting me crash at your place last night. And for stitching me up.”
She’d stuffed everything she owned into her truck and U-Haul trailer. That wasn’t saying much since the truck and trailer were small.
“Staying at a hotel by yourself with a concussion wasn’t and option. As for the other, I don’t know how you talked me into it. You’ll probably have a scar.”
“Not a problem as long as your malpractice is paid.”
A laugh rumbled his chest, but the smile quickly slid from his lips. “You should stay a day or two. Make sure you’re really okay.”
Audrey scooched back and propped herself up against the leather headboard. Her brain protested behind the fireworks and the nine-piece drumline. “I’ve only got thirty days to finish the repairs on my uncle’s house. I have to leave today. I’ll call you from the road, let you know I haven’t bled out into my head.”
“Not funny.” Scott frowned but kept her gaze. “I’m due at the animal hospital at seven. I’m going to miss having you around. Guess I can’t talk you into staying for good, huh?”
“What?” Her voice jumped two octaves. “Who’s the one who stood in my kitchen two weeks ago and told me I should go? ‘This is your last chance to make good on your promise to your uncle,’ you said. ‘Take a chance on your dream,’ you said. Don’t even—”
“Down, girl.” Scott eased her back into the pillows with a hand on her shoulder.
Thank God. Hells-bells clanged in her head.
“Forget I said anything. At least sleep for a few more hours and then head out. You don’t look so hot.”
He patted her leg and by the way he didn’t get up to leave, she knew he wanted to say more, but he wasn’t any better at goodbyes than she was. Then Scott braced his hands on either side of her head, and planted a quick kiss on her nose. Like an adult to a child.
It might have hurt less if he’d eviscerated her with a spork.
She was leaving Texas. This morning. For good.
She snagged his tie. “If that’s the best you can do, Romero, it’s no wonder your girlfriends leave you.”
Why had she baited him? He couldn’t refuse a challenge, any more than a dachshund could refuse table scraps.
Was her mind muddled from the concussion? Or was she finally thinking clearly? One kiss. That’s all she wanted.
Like a lover, not a friend. Stupid. He’d locked her in the friend-zone years ago.
Except for the night of her high school graduation.
And two weeks ago when he’d convinced her she should leave.
The look in his eyes was the same now as then. Want, need, hunger.
Hand over hand she pulled him down. His lips brushed hers. Her breath caught. She blamed the
concussion. Her hands trembled. She blamed the pain. Her heart hurt. She blamed herself.
She wrapped her arms around his neck, deepened the kiss, tasted the coffee on his tongue, smelled the subtle tang of surgical scrub that never quite left his skin. She tilted her head, and he nipped her lips, traced the line of her jaw and down to her pounding pulse at the base of her neck. She guided him on top of her, his weight braced on his arms, but she drew him down until his full weight pinned her.
No fears, no worries, no will power.
No wondering if she should stop or if she could stop – because she didn’t want to stop.
Author Vicki Tharp
About the Author Born with a love for animals, author Vicki Tharp pursued a career as a veterinarian, graduating from the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine in 1992. Always an avid reader of mystery and suspense, she combined her interests into her first book entitled “Don’t Look Back”.
She makes her home in south Texas with her husband, two children and pets too numerous to mention.
Welcome to the book blitz for SHARD, the second book in the young adult horror/science fiction series, The Prospero Chronicles, by F.J.R. Titchenell and Mat Carter. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
SHARDS (The Prospero Chronicles #2) by F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter
Synopsis When autumn descends on Prospero, California, Ben hopes the normality of the new school year may offer a reprieve from the town’s paranormal horrors. Mina knows all too well that there are no reprieves and no normality to be had in Prospero, but even she can’t prepare for what the coming year holds.
On top of the vivid hallucinations that have plagued Mina since the attack on the Warehouse, and the brewing Splinter civil war that threatens all of humanity, inside the walls of Prospero High, Ben, Mina, and their expanding Network face a vicious campaign to destroy their friendship, and a mysterious assassin picking off human rebels – an assassin with powers like no Splinter they’ve fought before.
Ben and Mina’s one hope rests with a mysterious old man hiding in the woods outside of town; a living legend who may be able to teach them how to fight this dangerous new breed of Splinter. That is, assuming he doesn’t kill the pair of them himself..
Excerpt #1 – Mina Marian Kelly died in a one-car accident near her home in Turtle Lake, Montana, on August twentieth, at the age of forty-two. Marian is predeceased by her parents, Rand and Millicent “Millie” Kelly, and her brother, Christopher. Marian was born in Prospero, California, and studied Psychology at the University of California, San Francisco. She held black belts in multiple martial arts and was an accomplished member of the Turtle Lake Hunting Club.
I skipped the details of Marian’s perfunctory funeral service, put the newspaper clipping back in the plain, unstamped envelope it had arrived in, and filed it out of sight; not that this did anything to clear the smudged print from my vision. Alone, it was unsettling. In a stack of six other recent obituaries of other Splinter hunters, in six other anonymous envelopes with my name stamped on the front, it sent a very clear message.
I’m no stranger to death threats. At the time of Marian’s death, it had been less than a month since the Splinter posing as my father told me to my face that if Ben or I fought back again, if we even tried to run, the humans would be wiped out of my infested little town of Prospero completely.
I’d fact-checked each obituary as it came in.
Every one of the hunters had died under circumstances that looked very much like suicide. Most of the obituaries didn’t say so, exactly, but after the few that did, omissions of the cause of death and euphemisms like “one-car accident” and “chemical overdose” were easy enough to decipher. Sometimes, when the deaths had been a little more bizarre or had occurred on slow news days, there were more details to be found when I looked up the rest of the news sources in the area.
These weren’t suicidal people. They weren’t quitters. Wondering how someone could possibly have made it appear as if Drake Tymon had slit his wrists and throat alone in an industrial freezer that was later found barricaded from the inside was filling my head quite effectively with distractingly disturbing scenarios.
But the thing bothering me most about the obituaries was the fact that all seven of their subjects were currently loitering around my bedroom.
Sometimes, if I stared directly at them for long enough, they seemed to remember that they were supposed to be dead and vanish accordingly, albeit temporarily. Otherwise I could see them, silently and blankly watching me work, as clearly as I could see my bookshelves, my bed, and the stark beige walls and end tables that, until recently, had held my very large and very useless anti-Splinter amulet collection.
Nightmares are no more new to me than death threats. That’s not what these were. A hunter would die and join the rest of the hallucinations in my room the day after the obituary arrived, and then another one would die and join him without fail. If things carried on this way, my room was going to become unmanageably crowded quite soon.
It wasn’t even as if I were going to miss the hunters. A few of them, like Drake, I’d known pretty well years ago, but I’d stopped assuming they were still alive—never mind still human—long before they’d turned up dead. Others, like Marian, I only knew by reputation in the first place.
Not knowing them well only made it stranger that they were here, after everything I’d lived through and lost without having suffered from any sensory distortions before.
Ready? The text scrolled across my phone’s screen after Ben’s name.
Almost, I texted back.
I wasn’t looking forward to conducting the upcoming meeting for my entire Network, a roomful of people who had nothing in common other than their knowledge of Splinters and their confidence in my judgment and clarity of perception. Ben had insisted, though. A lot had changed, and people needed to be brought up to speed.
Billy was gone, lost to the Splinters, if we had ever even had him. Whatever had been passing for my absentminded ally had been manipulating us to breach the peace, such as it was, for no one knew how long.
Ben hadn’t even met some of the others yet. Our discovery of portals to other parts of the world in the Splinter Warehouse had put an end to the Effectively Certain Non-Splinters list, or had reduced it to a uselessly small number of people. The only people in town I could really be effectively certain of anymore were myself and Haley, since we’d both recently been ripped directly out of replication pods. That wasn’t enough to work with, so I’d had to downgrade my entire Network to Extremely Probable Non-Splinters and start training myself to live with that, because the alternative was not getting anything done at all.
Ben was stubbornly under the impression that Haley’s presence on the list alone qualified her as a Network member. I disagreed.
Most important, we now knew more terms of the Splinter-Human treaty and exactly how precarious our position was. Two human-on-humanoid Splinter kills by the same human would mean all-out war, and Ben and I each had one strike already. And no matter how careful we were, Billy and any like-minded Splinters would find a way to incite that war sooner or later. We were counting on an unforeseen miracle to make the human side a significant power before then.
As someone who doesn’t believe in miracles, this wasn’t news I would enjoy delivering, even on my best day.
I finished up some new touches on the map over my desk—the new world map I’d posted under the map of Prospero to track probable Splinter activity at the other portals—and blinked hard, hoping the illusion of the hunters would fade out at the usual time. Their faces were already getting blurry around the edges, right on schedule.
That was something, at least. I was going to be able to function for another day. If my Network, the few humans invested in finding or building that miracle, found out what was happening to me, it would probably be the end of what hope we had. They would give up on the one thing they all agreed on, my reliability, and maybe they’d be right to do it. I’d probably do the same in their position.
But even if I couldn’t see a difference between the walls and furniture that constituted my room and the dead people that my brain had decided to superimpose in front of them, at least I still knew the difference. I still knew what was rational and what wasn’t. Before the first hunter had appeared, the evidence of my senses had been the basis for almost everything I thought and did. It was going to be difficult to get used their new fallibility, just like the fallibility of the ECNS list. But as long as the inner workings of my mind were in working order, it was worth at least trying to do my job.
Or that’s what I told myself, for the thirty-seventh time, when I recognized Ben’s knock on the front door above.
SPLINTERS (The Prospero Chronicles #1) by F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter
Synopsis Under normal circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other. He’s an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal; she’s a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small Northern California town of Prospero, with its rich history of cryptid sightings, miracles, and mysterious disappearances, has no normal circumstances to offer.
When Ben’s missing childhood friend, Haley Perkins, stumbles out of Prospero’s surrounding woods and right into her own funeral, Ben and Mina are forced to work together to uncover what happened to her. Different as they are, their unlikely friendship may be the only thing that can save the town, and possibly the world, from its insidious invaders.
“A snapping, crackling, popping homage to classic horror.” —Kirkus Reviews.
“Whip-smart dialogue… genuinely terrifying Splinters, the descriptions of which will have fans of monster films utterly enthralled… A promising series opener, this will satisfy those readers who like their scary stories to be as clever as they are chilling.” —KQG, the Bulletin of The Center for Children’s Books.
“The stakes are high. The action is intense.” —Washington Independent Review of Books..
Authors F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter
About the Authors F.J.R. TITCHENELL is an author of young adult, sci-fi, and horror fiction, including Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of). She graduated from Cal State University Los Angeles with a B. A. in English in 2009 at the age of twenty. She currently lives in San Gabriel, California, with her husband, coauthor, and amazing partner in all things, Matt Carter, and their pet king snake, Mica..
MATT CARTER is an author of horror, sci-fi, and yes, even a little bit of young adult fiction. He earned his degree in history from Cal State University Los Angeles, and lives in the usually sunny town of San Gabriel, California, with his wife, best friend, and awesome co-writer, F.J.R. Titchenell. Check out his first solo novel, Almost Infamous.
Welcome to the book blitz for SHADES OF THE GODS, the first book in the adult mythology/urban fantasy series, The Elysium Legacies, by New York Times bestselling author, Erin Hayes. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99!
SHADES OF THE GODS (Elysium Legacies #1) by Erin Hayes
Synopsis Caught between life and death, all Callie wants is to live again.
Homicide detective Callie Saunders knows that death isn’t all pearly gates and angels. After being hit by a bus, she finds that it’s the ancient gods and goddesses of Greek mythology who are in charge of everything.
So when Hades offers her a deal, she accepts. If she wants to be brought back to life, she’ll have to figure out who is trying to kill his son. But if she fails, both her soul and the world will be destroyed.
With the odds mounting against her, it’ll take everything she has within her to wake up from death. But the rules are constantly changing. And someone wants her to stay dead.
(This book was formerly titled Death is but a Dream. The covers and titles have changed for The Elysium Legacies, but the content is still the same.)
Excerpt #1 “You’re blackmailing me,” I sneered at him, fury raging within me at the realization. “You want me to do something in return before you allow me to wake up.”
He raised his hand in a gesture of supplication. “Not blackmail,” he assured. “I’m looking to employ you for a time.”
I recoiled. “Employ me? As what? Muscle? Is this the Underworld’s version of the Mafia?” Now that I thought about it, Hades did remind me of a mob boss. He even looked like some I knew. “I don’t play that, sorry.”
Hades grinned. “I want to make a deal with you, Callista. You find out who is trying to kill my son. Give me a name and a motive. And I’ll restore you to life.”
BLOOD OF THE GODS (Elysium Legacies #2) by Erin Hayes
Synopsis The sequel to the genre-bending, hugely imaginative Death is but a Dream.
“There must always be a God of Wealth…”
Former police detective Callie Saunders shouldn’t be alive, but she’s been thriving with her new lease on life away from the machinations of the ancient Greek gods and goddesses.
Yet there’s always been someone missing from this little piece of paradise.
When a vengeful god kidnaps her son, she travels back to a world she barely understands to find him. A world where she must face humanity’s greatest enemies and her former lover. If she’s not careful, she’ll lose her soul again. And, maybe, even her heart.
RUINS OF THE GODS (Elysium Legacies #3) by Erin Hayes
Synopsis Hell hath no Fury. Because she’s taking a vacation.
Officer Tessa Forney is a brilliant cop with a fiery temper and a predilection for toeing the line of the law. She’s good at her job too, much to the chagrin of her by-the-book partner Raph. She just always seems to be at the right place at the right time.
What Raph doesn’t know is that Tessa is actually Tisiphone, one of the Furies of ancient Greek mythology. After breaking up with her boyfriend of five-thousand-years because he cheated on her—bastard—Tisiphone is determined to take her anger out on the bad guys during her extended mortal vacation.
But when too many gods and goddesses suddenly decide to take time off, the balance of nature is thrown into disarray. And the consequences are far bigger than Tisiphone could have ever anticipated.
These gods aren’t going on vacation—they’re being kidnapped. And she will have to find them before it’s too late.
New York Times bestselling author Erin Hayes presents Ruin of the Gods, which continues Tisiphone’s story where Callie’s left off in Shades of the Gods and Blood of the Gods..
Author Erin Hayes
About Nana Malone Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she’s an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
You can reach her at email@example.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.
Welcome to the book blitz for FERAL, the first book in the adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, Many Lives, by New York Times bestselling author, Laxmi Hariharan. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis MAYA He’s all I ever wanted but, can I let myself love him?
LUKE I love her so I let her go will she come back to me?
Something about lethal, predatory, shifter Luke calls out me. He’s my fated mate. It tears me apart, but I must walk away from him to find my blood family. What I hadn’t counted on was uncovering secrets about my past.
Revelations that change my life forever. I now face the ultimate test to become Alpha. If I lose, the future of my pack is at stake. Can I overcome the challenge, while winning back the only man I want to be with?
A standalone paranormal romance sizzling with love, lust, betrayal and shifters. This is book 1 of 2 in the main Many Lives Series. This duet is complete with Feral and Taken.
Excerpt #2 “…Take a good look at me,” I point to myself, “What you see is what you get. Except, I don’t know what it is you’re getting. I need to find out where I come from first.”
“Don’t go, Maya.” His voice is urgent. Then he moves.
So fast that the air around him blurs. The next second, Luke’s body covers mine. In a move so smooth it leaves me breathless, he brings my wrists up. Shackling them above my head. My legs imprisoned between the hard muscles of his thighs. My throat goes dry.
“Don’t weaken the mating bond just forming between us. You sense it too. Don’t you?”
When I don’t reply, doubt flickers in his eyes. This close, I see the silver specks in his eyes. The breadth of his shoulders drowns out the light.
There’s no mistaking the man he has become. And when those chiseled lips close over mine, I can’t resist. Luke flicks his tongue over my lips, and all other thought goes out of my head.
Soft. Hard. He’s both.
Holding my wrists with one hand, he skims clever fingers down the underside of my arm.
Sparks of yearning shoot out over my skin. I shiver. But he’s just getting started.
He cups my breast. Squeezes. A shudder of desire shoots straight to my core. I gasp. For the first time, Luke takes advantage. His tongue dives in. Tangles with mine.
Heat spurts deep in my belly. Reminding me of the aching hollowness inside. It’s like nothing I ever experienced. Like everything I’m waiting for.
I strain to pull my hands free; and when he doesn’t let go of my wrists, I growl in frustration. My hips rise off the bed, and I grind my core against his arousal.
I want more. Want to get closer. I nip at his lips, unconsciously imitating the way of the wolves.
Luke’s big body jerks in pleasure, muscles bunching with a fine tension.
Heat from him slams into me. I’m drowning in him. Bathing in that warm scent of dark wood and citrus. Controlled, yet with a wild edge. Like him.
I groan aloud, and the sound is swallowed by his mouth. A last sip at my lips and then he raises his head. A pleased look in his eyes.
“I knew we’d be good together.” His voice is thick with lust and something else. Satisfaction. Like he’s marked me already.
Marked me with his scent.
“Let us be mated first,” Luke says, voice confident, “and then I’ll come with you. I’ll help you find your human family.”
I grip my palms together. My fingers are like blocks of ice.
“Mated…” I can’t quite bring myself to complete the sentence. It feels so…final.
But pack laws are clear about mating rules. As soon as a shifter recognizes a mate, and as long as both partners are eighteen, they are encouraged to accept the mating bond. The emotional and physical connection joining together, strengthening each other.
I’m attracted to Luke. I trust him more than any packmate. But, mated? How do I even know what I want, when I don’t know who I am?
His muscles stiffen, vibrating with tension. “This need to be together, it’s real, Maya. We belong with each other.”
“I need time, Luke,” I plead. “I’ve only just realized we’re more than friends. I need time to adjust to this.”
His eyes narrow. He’s angry, and I’m subjected to the full intensity of his freezing eyes.
Letting go of my wrists, he pulls away. Sits next to me on the bed. The heat from his body retracts, leaving me cold. Lonely.
It would be so easy to just give in to him. To wait until I’m mated. Then we could set out together on this quest I’m compelled to embark on. I can lean on him.
“No.” I shake my head. “I’m not ready to be mated. Besides, these are your rules. I am not one of you.”
Author Laxmi Hariharan
About The Author I am a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy.
The Many Lives Universe
In a world full of shifters, vampires and immortals, the Many Lives Series is a fast paced paranormal romance series. Packed with sizzling romance and action scenes that will take your breath away, this series traces the love stories of one woman’s illegitimate descendants; all united by the power of her infamous sword.
Order of reading-
Feral (Maya and Luke’s story)
Taken (Jai and Ariana’s story)
Redemption (Mikhail and Leana’s story)
Broken (Kris & Tara’s story)
Awakened (Ruby and Vik’s story)
Origins (Ruby’s origin story)
Chosen (Vik’s origin story)
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Welcome to the book blitz for JOY RIDE, the third book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Let It Ride, by Cynthia Rayne. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis IAN As an English professor at an Ivy League university, I’m at the top of my profession, but something’s missing. I gave up my artistic dreams to pursue an academic career. And I’m still haunted by the scars of my past.
I enjoy breaking the rules and doing what I damn well please. And a dangerous infatuation’s blooming—Darcy’s intelligent, innocent, and virginal. I long to be her first, to teach her every wicked thing I know.
There’s just one problem—she’s my student, the ultimate forbidden fruit.
DARCY I lead a well-ordered life with to-do lists and schedules. I always do the safe thing, make the right choices. I’ve made all my plans—got accepted into a master’s degree program, and I even have a graduate assistantship lined up.
Although, I long to be an author, like my father, but it’s not a stable career. Yet, I can’t stop thinking about seeing my name on a book cover.
To make matters worse, I keep my thinking about my sexy professor—he’s got a British accent, an attitude, and a bad boy streak. I hang on his every word. When we get close, all my barriers and rules break down. He’s encouraging me to throw caution to the wind and chase my dream.
Can I let go? Have the life I want and the man I long for?
Excerpt #1 Darcy cleared her throat. “Tonight was fun. I’ll see you in class tomorrow.”
“Yes, I had a good time too. I hope you get some rest.”
“You too, Ian.” She’d said her parting line, but neither one of us moved, like we were drawn together.
Darcy was so close—within arm’s reach. Before I knew it, I leaned down to steal a kiss. At the very last moment, I changed course and pressed my mouth to her cheek instead.
Dammit. I’d come so close to crossing that infernal line. When I stood upright, Darcy had a fingertip pressed her to lips, mouth parted as though inviting more intimate contact. Or my imagination was in overdrive.
“Um, good night.” She took a step back.
Technically, a kiss on the cheek was innocent. Even if my intentions weren’t. Yet I’d breached protocol all the same.
Professors didn’t kiss their students. Period.
Author Cynthia Rayne
About Cynthia Rayne Cynthia Rayne is a USA TODAY bestselling author of the Lone Star Mobster Series, Let it Ride Series, and the Four Horsemen MC Series. While Cynthia was born and raised a damn Yankee in Ohio, her parents hail from Dixie, and she grew up on homemade buttermilk biscuits and southern wisdom. In her spare time, she enjoys shopping, reading way too many romance novels, and drinking a truly obscene amount of coffee.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE TOWER, the first book in the young new adult paranormal romance/urban fantasy series, Tarot, by Nicole Campbell. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway. Plus, you can currently pre-order for just $0.99! Half of all pre-order royalties are going to a charity called Cherubs: Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Awareness, Research, and Support. Info on that here if anyone wants it!
Synopsis “On our sixteenth birthdays, our kind is gifted with awesome powers. Except no, not really because this isn’t Narnia, or Hogwarts, or whatever other mythical realm where witches supposedly live. This is Elizabethtown, Illinois, and much to the chagrin of the local chapter of Susie-Homemakers, we live here.”
All witches understand that the universe is a scary sort of powerful on a good day. On a bad day? Well, that’s when The Tower card shows its face during a reading. As summer draws to a close before the beginning of junior year, Rowyn Black is tired of seeing that card stare up at her from the table. Rowyn, Reed, and Rosalyn have made it through just about every dramatic storm their sarcasm could weather during their seventeen year friendship, and it would be nice to have a quiet semester. Rowyn hopes that the only thing The Tower foretells is the frightening sight of the school parking lot come the first day- full of more jacked-up trucks and cut off shorts than a Luke Bryan video. True to its nature, however, the universe doesn’t care much for hopes and wishes, and when the promise of The Tower comes crashing down, they might fall right along with it.
Quote “The only thing that existed in that moment was my hatred for this tiny blond monster. The air left my lungs, the laughter died in my throat. I was going to kill her.” – Rowyn Black
Author Nicole Campbell
About Cynthia Rayne Nicole Campbell is an English teacher turned author, mother to a beautiful three year old boy, and wife to a self-proclaimed techie. Teenage life consisted of a host of adventures for her, many of which serve as inspiration for her writing.
Welcome to the book blitz for INTRINSIC, the second book in the young adult paranormal romance series, The Forbidden Doors, by Cortney Pearson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive teaser, and details on her giveaway.
INTRINSIC (The Forbidden Doors #2) by Cortney Pearson
About the Book
Title: INTRINSIC Series: The Forbidden Doors #2 Author: Cortney Pearson Release Date: June 12, 2017 Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Some boys are better left unkissed. Some books shouldn’t be read. And some doors should remain closed.
The bookstore where I work harkens back to another time—one of flapper dresses and cloche hats, of walking canes and tailored suits, and of boys with impeccable manners and ice-blue eyes. Boys like my coworker, Nikolay.
But the store also holds secrets—a formidable door missing its knob, a mystery bound in magic books, and the haunted look in Nikolay’s eyes. And there are crows that follow me home. Crows only I can see.
I can’t tell whether the crows are a threat or a warning. But one thing is certain, I’m in too deep to walk away. There is something behind that door in the bookstore. And it’s the key to getting the crows to stop, before they turn into something far more sinister.
Intrinsic is a mystical venture through ink and time, deliciously eerie, with enough angst, enigmas, and romantic charge to make your nails bite into your palms. Don’t miss this captivating, standalone companion to Cortney Pearson’s Phobic.
PHOBIC (The Forbidden Doors #1) by Cortney Pearson
About the Book
Title: PHOBIC Series: The Forbidden Doors #1 Author: Cortney Pearson Release Date: August 28, 2014 Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis Resistance is no longer an option.
My house has a secret. A secret kept behind a closed door. A secret that led my mom to commit murder.
Lately, the same secret has begun plaguing me. Voices ring out in the night. Visions appear of people dressed in sweeping ball gowns and elegant top hats, of quiet servants trapped in their love for each other, unable to be together because of their master’s obsessive, cruel control–and it all leads back to my mom. Something terrifying happened, something my mom discovered. And the worst part is, I don’t think it’s over yet.
My brother warns me not to open the door–even my best friend, Todd, tells me to ignore this impulse. But I’m tired of ghosts and secrets and lies. All along the answers have been at my fingertips, at the mere turn of a knob. All I have to do is open it.
I mean, seriously, would you be able to resist?
Hauntingly beautiful and daringly mysterious, if you like intrigue, the newness of first love, and the paranormal twist of the unexpected–all mixed in with a dash of spooky–then open the door to Cortney Pearson’s Phobic today.
Author Cortney Pearson
About The Author Cortney Pearson is a mother, a musician, and a lover of all things pink and sparkly. She is the author of Phobic, about doors that shouldn’t be opened, and the Stolen Tears series, about an enchanted vial of tears and the girl chosen to wield them.
Cortney lives with her husband and three sons in a small Idaho farm town. She loves chocolate, romantic books, and classical music and believes anything can be made better with a book tucked away for those just-in-case times..
Welcome to the book blitz for HIDDEN AGENDAS, a stand-alone adult romantic suspense, by Andrea Bills. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Have you ever known your life was about to change? That feeling when you know things are going to start to get better? Ava Thorne knew that was exactly what was going to happen when she finally landed her ideal career working for the biggest construction company in the Big Easy. Her first week gets off to a slow start, but when she finally lays eyes on her boss she fears more than her career about to change.
Brian Simmons is all sex appeal with his white t-shirt and his tool belt hung low on his waist. Their attraction is enough to burn down the office building. Ava is determined to meet his domineering nature head on, and resist his flirtatious comments. Before she’s had much of a chance to adjust to it all her apartment and office are broken into and trashed.
Brian’s convinced he knows whose behind it all, and that he’s the reason she’s in danger at all. He’s protective and controlling which both annoys and exhilarates Ava.
They’re in a race against time, and bullets in this romantic suspense that will keep you hooked. Will Ava and Brian crash and burn or collide and ignite?
Excerpt #2 “How did you end up here tonight?”
“You were at my bar earlier. I noticed you from the security footage, but by the time I made my way down to say hello you were gone. I tried the diner on a whim, and they said a woman matching your description had in fact been dining there just moments ago. They said you all took off looking frightened so I was curious. I had a guy ping your phone location, and ta-da.”
Ava’s mouth was hanging open by the time he finished his story. There was so much that she wanted to ask, but she just stood there in a stupor instead.
“Why do you own a bar?”
“Because I can, Ava. Calvin, please place Ms. Thorne’s things in my car downstairs.” Brian never took his eyes off of Ava while he spoke to Calvin. Ava fumed with how rude he was being to everybody.
“Brian, this makes absolutely zero sense. I’m just going to go home with Tayler. I’ll be safe there, and I won’t have to impose on you.”
“Ava, you’re pushing my patience. You’re coming with me.”
“Will I lose my job if I don’t go with you?” The muscle in his jaw clenched which she should have found a bit scary, but she just found it sexy. Which then infuriated her even more because she was supposed to be pissed as hell at him, not ogling him. She crossed her arms and waited for his answer.
“No, but you’ll damn well earn a spanking. Now get in the damn car Ava!”
Author Andrea Bills
About the Author Andrea spends her time while she’s not dreaming up friends and villains alike chasing after her two kids and husband at their home in rural West Virginia.
Her guilty pleasure once the kids are asleep is to read. She reads everything she can get her hands on and then she reads it over and over and over again. Her all time favorite book is secretly tucked away under her bed looking very war battered from the hundreds of reads.
The Power Series is her breakthrough series as an indie author. She attributes her writing skills to her overactive imagination, and her husbands wacky dreams.
Welcome to the book blitz for CURSED, the first book in the young adult urban fantasy series, The Price of Magic, by Freya Black. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Born of the rare and powerful Crescent bloodline, Fiona Mandrake is no ordinary witch. Because of her ability to divine the future, Fiona has visions of dark Fey who started a war between the realms that killed her parents. Fiona’s visions foretell the deaths of her coven and the destruction of the human world. But the war is not over.
Through clues her mother left behind, Fiona discovers that the Council responsible for magic is corrupt and working with the dark Fey. She seeks the help of her coven and Sloane Blackwell, a Telepath who can see her visions and change her emotions with a single touch. They share a telepathic bond, one that brings them closer.
Sloane’s unique abilities and his link to the Fey aid Fiona in her quest to end the war between the realms. But magic comes with a price. To save her town from destruction, Fiona and Sloane have to defy the Council, using magic that breaks an ancient law punishable by death. With the Council after them and dark Fey on the loose, Fiona and Sloane have to work together to extinguish the dark Fey before it’s too late.
Cursed is the first book in The Price of Magic urban fantasy series.
Excerpt I delivered the drinks on my tray, leaving Sloane for last. In the middle of a heat wave, it was odd that he was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. Black cotton fit snug against his chest while the sleeves were rolled up to his elbows. He leaned over his book with a serious expression on his face, as if cramming for a midterm. Even the parade of girls in skimpy shorts couldn’t garner his attention. I wondered if supernatural creatures could feel human things, like hot and cold, happiness and despair.
When I reached Sloane, I organized the cups on my tray to distribute the weight, attempting to steady my nerves, as the glasses clanged together.
“How was the Magic Mocha?”
He looked up with a crooked smile, and I almost forgot to breathe.
“It was magical.”
Even for a Hexenjager, he was charming. When he handed me his plate, our fingertips collided for a split second. His touch sent a tingling sensation throughout my entire body, similar to an electric shock. It rushed over me like breaking waves, pulling me under. No longer in control, I staggered back as the purple-and-gold damask wallpaper swirled together. Then, my legs buckled beneath me.
Moonlight cast its shadow over the dark street. Lampposts and electrical wires fell with each explosion of thunder that pierced my eardrums. I turned my head, taking in the crumbling scenery and what was left of Pine Street. A sea of people darted toward me with crazed looks in their eyes. I stood in the middle of the street, paralyzed by fear.
And that was when I saw them—monsters so terrifying that they could only exist in nightmares.
As they moved forward, giant beams of light struck the asphalt in a methodical fashion, as if thrown from the sky by Thor and his mighty hammer. The pavement cracked in half and began to collapse under my feet. With the ferocity of a hurricane, wind plowed through the trees. A domino effect sent oak slamming into the concrete, wiping out rows of people in its wake. Jolted by the sheer force, I was about to plunge into the abyss when someone grabbed my hand.
“Hang on, Nona,” the boy said.
A boy the same age as me, no older than ten years old, squeezed my tiny bicep. Steely blue eyes peeked out from a chunk of black hair. He led me through the mayhem, calling out for our parents. No one answered.
Droves of inhuman warriors charged forward, riding black horses. Viking helmets covered most of their faces. The parts of their gray skin not protected by armor were branded with tattoos that had a crimson glow shimmering in the darkness. Soulless pits, eyes like lumps of charcoal, glowered at us. They severed the heads from the bodies of those in their way, blood splattering everywhere, rolling off the red cloaks that flapped behind them.
We dashed down Maple Drive, my heart thumping out of my chest, and we hid under a tree. Cocooned by its low-hanging branches, I failed to catch my breath until the boy wrapped his arms around me. My body stopped shaking, and my pulse returned to normal from his touch. I rested my head on his shoulder. The warmth of his energy circulated through my veins, meshing with my own powers, until the electricity pulsating between us consumed me.
Author Freya Black
About the Author Freya Black is an emerging fantasy author who loves creating fictional characters and worlds. Her first book Cursed is the start of The Price of Magic Series with other young adult fantasy titles to follow.
Welcome to the book blitz and sale for NINJA GIRL, a stand-alone young adult contemporary romance, by Cookie O’Gorman. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can currently pick up the eBook for just $0.99! And don’t miss my 5 star review of this fantastic book, here.
Synopsis Seventeen-year-old Snow-Soon Lee kicks ass–literally. She teaches at her family-owned martial arts gym, The Academy, and cares more about training to be the next Bruce Lee than hooking up. In fact, Snow’s never even been kissed. But when Girls Night rolls around, Snow decides to prove to her friends (and herself) that she’s not just some boring tomboy. Impulsively, she kisses a hot stranger and even manages to escape his two security guards.
One stolen kiss…
Ash Stryker’s senior year sucks. His politician father pulled him out of Chariot High, separating him from his championship-winning soccer team. Now he’s stuck at a prissy private school with no friends, no team and no chance of being scouted. On top of that, thanks to the death threats his dad’s received, Ash has a security tail aka professional babysitters. When the mystery girl from the movies shows up at his school, rappelling from the rafters, Ash knows one thing: he won’t let her get away again.
One interesting job proposition…
After a seemingly random attack, Ash’s mother surprises everyone. She hires Snow to be Ash’s personal bodyguard until after the election. But can Snow’s kick-ass skills hold up against the rising threats to Ash’s family? More importantly, can Ash convince his ninja girl to screw ethics and kiss him again?
Opposites attract in this YA romance where a smooth talker meets his match in the tough girl who (literally) sweeps him off his feet. Moral of the story:
Sometimes even bad boys need a bodyguard.
Excerpt #3 The song suddenly changed from fast to slow, and she looked around at the other couples who were latching onto each other. The blush was back on her cheeks as she met my eyes.
“What now?” she asked.
If it was possible, the question made me like her even more. Taking her hands, I placed them around my neck and brought my own to her waist. The song gave me an excuse to get close, so I did. Snow was so much smaller than me. I felt like a giant, looking down at her.
“You really thought my song was sappy?” I asked.
“No,” she said. “I liked it.”
A pause. “Maybe a little.”
I grinned. “I can handle that.”
She bit her lip to stop herself from smiling, which did strange things to me. Something in my chest leaped; my grip on her waist tightened. It also reminded me that I was still 0-2 on the kissing front. My eyes lingered on her lips.
“Stop it,” she hissed.
“Stop what?” I asked.
“You know what.”
“But I want to kiss you.” I dropped my voice. “God, I want to kiss you, Snow.”
She swallowed. “You can’t. It’s unethical.”
“Ash, we can’t. You’re my client,” she said as if it should matter. Right now, her being my bodyguard was the last thing on my mind. My thoughts were fully occupied with trying to remember if her lips were as soft as they looked.
I stared into her eyes, watching for the truth. “Don’t you want me to kiss you?”
“That doesn’t matter,” she said, looking down.
“It does,” I said, tilting her face back up. “And you do.”
It was in the way her eyes kept moving back to my lips. It was in the way her pulse jumped as my fingers trailed down her neck. Leaning into her was the only thing I could do. The only thing I wanted to do. I pressed a light kiss to the corner of her mouth.
Author Cookie O’Gorman
About the Author Cookie O’Gorman writes YA romance to give readers a taste of happily-ever-after. Small towns, quirky characters, and the awkward yet beautiful moments in life make up her books. Cookie also has a soft spot for nerds and ninjas. Her debut novel ADORKABLE will be released in 2016.
Welcome to the book blitz for AMNESIA, a stand-alone adult romantic suspense, by award-winning author, Cambria Hebert. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
If a woman doesn’t know her own name, does she really exist? I don’t know my natural hair color, my birthdate, or where I live. I am invisible. To everyone, to everything, even to myself.
Except to him.
I see the recognition deep in his stare, the way it lingers on my face as if I’m a puzzle he’s desperate to put together. I just want answers, the truth… knowledge. His lips are sealed. Still, his eyes beguile me. I can’t trust anyone, not even myself. Someone wants me dead, the same someone who tried to bury me in a watery grave. They’ll come for me again… I won’t know their face.
I don’t even know mine.
I am amnesia.
Excerpt Slivers of light pricked my eyelids, which up until this moment seemed far too heavy to lift. As I lay against something soft at my back, thought and awareness barely registered.
The gritty feeling as I struggled to raise my eyelids scraped and burned over my eyeballs as if warning me it wasn’t a good idea. Swallowing past the sandpaper in my throat, I stopped working and lay still. Cognizance slowly came forward in the form of something weighing me down and the echo of footsteps nearby.
Adrenaline jackknifed through me, and my body arched upward with the force of my gasp. The weight of whatever held me caused severe panic to fill me, and I began to fight against it.
“No!” I screamed, flailing about, trying to escape the binds. “Let me go!”
High-pitched beeping filled my ears, and the footsteps I’d heard grew more insistent and much closer.
He was coming!
“No!” I screamed.
Strong hands grabbed my arms and pinned me down. I tried to fight back, but they were much stronger than me. Kicking my legs, I tried to free them, but even more weight came down, holding them still until I was gasping for breath and ready to beg.
“Please!” I pleaded as wetness coated my cheeks. It made me realize the grittiness under my lids was rinsed away, and my eyes sprang open.
A man was leaning over me. He had graying hair and wore some kind of white shirt. The scream that ripped right out of me scared us both.
More hands and voices came out of nowhere, and I thrashed around again.
“Miss!” the man yelled. “Miss, calm down.”
“Get away from me!” I screamed again.
“Miss!” another voice yelled, a woman this time. Turning in her direction, I saw a pair of kind brown eyes staring at me. “We aren’t trying to hurt you.”
I calmed some, but the thundering of my heart made me feel as if I might spiral out of control. “You aren’t?”
“No.” The woman, who was also dressed in white, spoke. “You’re at a hospital. You were in an accident.”
“W-what?” I stammered, collapsing back against the bed, no longer straining against the binds.
“You’re at a hospital.”
“You’re trying to hold me down!” I accused.
“We don’t want you to hurt yourself.” the woman explained. The hands, even the man’s, remained.
“I don’t like it,” I admitted, recoiling.
The man straightened, stepping back. The nurse was slower to withdraw, but she did so after a few seconds.
“My legs,” I rasped. Suddenly, my throat hurt.
“It’s just the blankets.”
A quick glance down proved I was covered with blankets. Between suspicious glances at the people crowding my room (there were four), I gazed around, concluding I was in fact in a hospital.
“I don’t understand,” I admitted, all my weight pressing into the bed.
“It’s okay,” the man replied. He was a doctor, with a name badge and a stethoscope. “It’s completely normal and expected to be confused after the ordeal you’ve been through.”
“What ordeal?” I asked instantly, anxiety pressing in on my ribcage.
“We were hoping you could tell us,” the doctor said.
“What?” My brows furrowed.
The nurse leaned close, over the side of the bed. I noticed the railings were pulled up on each side. It made me feel as if I were in jail. Instantly, I hated it and began shoving at the bars, trying to push them down.
“Okay, hang on,” the nurse said and put the rails down. Once it was done, she pinned me with an insistent stare. “You have to stay still. You can’t thrash around. You’ll rip out your IV and reinjure yourself.”
“What happened to me?” I asked for what felt like the fifteenth time. I looked around at the four people in the room, hoping one of them would just spit it out.
The doctor motioned to two of the nurses and then quietly left the room.
I glanced back at the nurse. “Can you tell us your name?” she asked.
“My name?” I nodded once, then opened my mouth… only nothing came out.
Anxiety spiked in me again; I started to become agitated. “I… don’t know.”
“Calm down.” The nurse reminded me.
How dare she tell me to calm down? I couldn’t even remember my name.
Oh my God, I didn’t know my own name!
“I don’t remember!” I gasped, jerking up into a sitting position. “Why can’t I remember?”
Before I could fling the covers off and jump out of bed, the doctor was there, pinning me back down. “If you don’t calm down, we’ll have to sedate you. I don’t want to do that. You’ve been out long enough.”
I stilled. “How long?”
“A while.” The nurse hedged.
I ignored her. She was terrible with questions. “How long?” I demanded.
“A little over two months,” the doctor replied.
I gasped. “What’s my name?” I yelled.
I’d been here for two months and they were asking for my name? Shouldn’t they know it?
The doctor wasn’t looking at me; he was looking at the nurse, giving her a curt nod. She rushed out of the room.
“No!” I shouted. “No drugs! Please! Tell me my name. I just want to know my name.”
“You need to calm down. You’ve had a great deal of trauma, miss.”
I dropped back against the pillow, boneless. He called me miss. “You don’t know my name, do you?” I asked, meek.
Sensing all my energy was drained away, he moved back. A frown pulled at his lips. “You were brought in with no identification.” He began.
Fear unlike anything I’d ever felt wrapped around my heart and squeezed. I searched every corner of my mind for something. Anything.
There was nothing.
“I don’t remember…” I whispered.
The doctor seemed to soften. “I know this must be very scary, to wake up and be so disoriented.”
I laughed, but it wasn’t a humorous sound. I wished I were disoriented right then.
“You’ve been through a lot. Give it a few days. Now that you’re awake, your mind will catch up and you will remember.”
“I will?” I asked.
“There’s a good chance.”
Disappointment speared me. “If I don’t?”
“Let’s take it one day at a time.” He placated me.
“Easy for you to say. You know your name.”
A ghost of a smile appeared on his face. “Time.” He reminded me.
The nurse came through the door, holding a syringe, and I cringed away.
“I don’t think we’re going to need that,” the doctor told her.
I let out an audible sigh.
He glanced around again. “Now that you’re awake, I’ll get you down for testing.”
“What kind of testing?” I asked.
“Routine stuff for someone who’s been in a coma.”
Nothing about this was routine. I was in coma… for two months. And I didn’t even know my name.
When both the nurse and doctor were gone and I was alone, my eyes overflowed with tears and a formidable feeling of dread crowded inside me. The doctor said there was “a good chance” I would remember my name very soon.
The problem was it wasn’t just my name I needed to remember…
It was everything.
Author Cambria Hebert
About the Author Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.
Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).
Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag Series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.
Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.
Welcome to the book blitz for ALMOST JAMIE, the first book in the adult romantic comedy series, Jet City Kilt, by Gina Robinson. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
If you like good guy geek heroes who look hot in kilts, strong, intelligent heroines, and poignant romance, then you’ll love Almost Jamie, the first book in Gina Robinson’s new light, fun contemporary romance Jet City Kilt series.
Half American, half English physician Blair Edwards has always wanted her Jamie, the Sinclair, the dashing Highland laird of the wildly popular TV series, Jamie. Unfortunately, it’s so hard to find a man like him in the modern world. When the stars of Jamie come to Seattle’s Jet City Comicon, Blair dresses up as Jamie’s Elinor in a vibrant red gown, hoping to get a seat in their popular presentation and a good view of the handsome, charming star of the show. She doesn’t expect to be called on to use her medical skills to treat an injured cosplayer who looks almost like…Jamie. And sets her wounded heart racing.
Cosplayer, geek, app designer, and cyber security expert Austin MacDougall has been styled by his matchmaker to look like the actor who plays Jamie. He’s been trying to win the prize for best amateur cosplayer for years. Against the advice of his friends, he goes to Jet City Comicon in a kilt as Jamie, the striking redheaded Highlander. When he’s injured during a mock battle with a vicious cosplaying orc, his friends get him help from a beautiful doctor in a stunning red dress.
Has Austin met his Elinor? The adventure is just beginning…
Find out why readers love Gina Robinson’s good guy heroes, the strong women they fall for, and their funny, witty, romantic stories. Grab your copy of Almost Jamie today!
The Jet City Kilt Series
(These two books must be read in order):
Excerpt Austin pulled me past Jet City Comicon’s VIP waiting area to the front of the general admission crowd waiting to see the stars of Jamie. He seemed energized.
Several fan clubs gathered together at the front of the line, wearing buttons and holding banners.
He approached the throng and blew them kisses. “Lovely ladies!” Suddenly, Austin was Jamie, as played by Connor, right down to the convincing, and sexy, Scottish accent.
The cheering crowd felt his charisma and did a collective swoon. I was so close to him, I was nearly bowled over by the switch and power of personality.
“Beautiful lasses, I’m sorry to disappoint you. Especially as you’re so enthusiastic. But I’m no Connor Reid. I’m his long-lost American cousin.” He winked. “Or so we decided when I was tipping back Scotch with him last night.”
The crowd quieted, enthralled.
“That’s right.” He nodded and cocked his head the same way Connor did. “Get a good look at me up close.” He leaned in to one of the women nearest the cords holding the crowd back.
“Well? Austin asked in his best brogue. “Do I do him justice?”
The woman stared at him, scrutinizing him with breath held. “You may not be Connor, but you’re gorgeous and every bit the Jamie I imagined from reading the books.”
Austin took both of her hands in his. “Aye, you’re sweet to say so.” He lifted her right hand to his lips and brushed it with a kiss.
Austin stepped away from her and pulled me forward. “I’d like to introduce you to my Elinor. Even though she’s a Sassenach, isn’t she beautiful?”
“Take a bow,” he whispered to me, grabbing my hand and bowing with me. “This is Blair Edwards.” He gestured to my gown. “Look at this meticulous re-creation of Elinor’s dress she made!”
He spoke to the crowd again, dropping his accent now.
“We’re both cosplayers—we do this for the fun of it. And because we love Jamie!”
Author Gina Robinson
About the Author Gina Robinson is the bestselling and award-winning author of the popular Switched at Marriage, Billionaire Duke, and Billionaire Matchmaker romantic comedy series, featuring a billionaire in a surprising marriage of convenience, a billionaire who inherits a British dukedom, and a playboy billionaire in business with a Manhattan matchmaker, the Reckless and Rushed contemporary new adult romance series, and the Agent Ex series of humorous romantic suspense novels. Her books have delighted readers and received praise in Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and Romantic Times Book Reviews.
She writes romance and women’s fiction across a wide variety of subgenres—new adult, contemporary, historical, romantic suspense and romantic comedy.
Her love stories are infused with a happy blend of romance, adventure, a bit of mystery, and humor. Readers are drawn to the light touch she gives even serious topics and the fast, fun, easy-to-read pace of her books. From college campus to Seattle to Las Vegas to England, her settings become almost characters of their own, driving the story.
She believes in the power of true love and passion, and that every great romance should have a happily-ever-after...
Welcome to the book blitz for STATE OF HOPE, the tenth book in the new adult dystopian series, Collapse, by Summer Lane. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis THE HIGHLY ANTICIPATED FINAL INSTALLMENT OF THE SMASH-HIT PHENOMENON FROM #1 BESTSELLING AUTHOR SUMMER LANE.
This is it.
Cassidy Hart and her comrades have returned to their home: California, the final battlefield in the fight against the global terror, Omega. Commander Chris Young is in critical condition, the United States Navy has acquired new weapons, and the militias have just made a discovery that could change everything.
Faced with tragedy, heartbreak, and destruction, Cassidy is tempted to give up.
But she is a fighter. Defeat is not in her blood.
When confronted with the possibility of resurrecting the leadership of the United States of America, she will do anything to make the dream of stability a reality. She and Lieutenant Uriah True, along with the legendary strike team, the Angels of Death, undertake a dangerous and outrageous mission, unlike anything they have ever attempted. They will find themselves in the very epicenter of Omega’s stronghold.
Yet doubt remains. No one can be trusted in this dark new world, and their hope may not be as black and white as it seems. Disappointment and rejection cloud Cassidy’s judgment.
Friends will be lost. Tears will be shed. Sacrifices beyond the imagination will be made. The grim reality and bitter destruction of war will inflict one final sucker punch. The militias desperately attempt to hold their ground, and the Freedom Fighters will do everything they can to destroy the greatest evil this world has ever known. The apocalypse has taken everything from Cassidy, but she will not stop until her heart ceases to beat, and until there is no breath left in her body.
She holds onto hope – hope of a future, hope of victory, and hope of love.
There is no going back. It all ends here.
Are you prepared?
Excerpt #3 Father Kareem sits with Sister Leslie directly across from us. The rest of the Mad Monks are in the Black Hawk that trails us, and I wonder if, someday, if I’m lucky enough to survive this war, I’ll look back on my time as a commander and general as nothing but a blurred series of helicopter rides.
“Yes, kids…and on my seven hundredth Black Hawk ride, I almost died. Again. Just another day in the life of young Cassidy Hart…”
The thought actually brings an amused smile to my face, and Vera yells over the rotor wash, “What’s so funny!?”
I shrug. “Nothing!”
“I haven’t seen you smile in days.”
“I was just thinking.”
“About how our future children are never going to believe we were this cool.”
Vera laughs, “Right? They’ll never buy it!”
“Good to know your steel trap of a mind is working overtime,” Uriah remarks.
“Shut up.” I lightly punch his shoulder. “Your future kids are going to want photographic evidence of you on a death strike team.”
Uriah almost smiles.
“My future kids are going to know how freaking awesome I was,” he shouts back. “I don’t expect them to doubt it for a second!”
Author Summer Lane
About the Author Summer Lane is the #1 bestselling author of The Collapse Series, The Zero Trilogy and The Bravo Saga. She is also the author of Collapse: The Illustrated Guide, a #1 bestselling graphic companion to the phenomenal original series.
She is the owner of WB Publishing and Writing Belle, an online magazine where she has worked with countless authors from around the globe. Summer is also an accomplished journalist and creative writing teacher.
Summer lives in the Central Valley of California, where she spends her days writing, collecting tea, and writing some more.
Welcome to the book blitz for WHEN SMOKE RAINS DOWN, the second book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Kingdom Come, by Cecelia Earl. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
WHEN SMOKE RAINS DOWN (Kingdom Come #2) by Cecelia Earl
About the Book
Title: WHEN SMOKE RAINS DOWN Series: Kingdom Come #2 Author: Cecelia Earl Category: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Release Date: May 31, 2017 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis In the aftermath of an explosion and Homecoming battle, Julia tries to form some semblance of a routine: work, study, visit her brother. Unable to confide in anyone about her double life of being both human and angel, and fearful she’ll bring death and destruction to those she loves, she pulls away from her family and best friend.
When demons once again start to show up at every turn, seemingly bringing about her brother’s deepening depression, she demands her sword from Nicholas. Ever the stern Guardian Angel, he forbids her from using it. Isolated, she takes protecting her brother into her own hands.
Thrust into a dark world of conspiring demons, Julia is in more danger than she ever imagined possible. To stop evil from spreading and overtaking those she loves, she’ll have to seek out the one person she mistrusts most.
Enter a complex world where humans, demons, and angels collide, all battling to rule the Earth. For readers who enjoy young adult paranormal romance and dark fantasy. Fans of City of Bones, Hush Hush, Unearthly, Halo, and Hidden Wings will be captivated by this unique take on angels and demons.
When Smoke Rains Down is Book Two in the Kingdom Come series. Book Three, the final installment, will be out Summer/Fall 2017.
“An AMAZING sequel that leaves me DYING for the next one!” ~ early reader of When Smoke Rains Down
Excerpt #2 Nicholas is doing pull-ups from a low-hanging tree branch and doesn’t acknowledge my arrival, so I follow suit. I squat and leap up to grab a branch. I’m getting stronger. He used to have to hoist me up to reach. I’ve also doubled the amount I can do before taking a break to do lunges and squats.
“Sprints,” he calls out when I’ve finished all the sets of arm and leg workouts.
I race back and forth between two of the tallest tree trunks while he times me. It’s apparent why I’ve been eating so much and obvious how much strength I’ve gained. Yet the stony expression on his face remains. This workout will make me ache for days.
When finally I’m dripping with sweat and fatigued, he walks over to me.
“Time for your lesson.” Then he walks to the center of the clearing without waiting for a response.
I allow myself two seconds to close my eyes and take a deep breath.
I push out my wings and push up off the ground and glide over to him, lowering myself gently behind him. He turns and narrows his eyes. I put my wings away, proud of myself even if he’s not. Flying had been rocky at best the first few times I’d tried it. I’d had no control and crashed into more than a few branches—and one bird. Poor thing.
“Summon the bow and arrow we worked with last time,” he orders.
Bow, I think. Nothing happens. I reach my hand out into the air. Bow. A spear materializes in my closed fist. I growl. “It’s all I ever get!”
“Calm down. Try again.”
I let go of the spear and it disintegrates. “Bow,” I yell. The spear is back in my fist.
He sighs. “The spear is the lowest of the weapons. You have to work your way up.”
“I know this,” I say through gritted teeth. “Spear, bow, rope, chains…” I don’t bother to mention my sword. I’ve stopped asking for it.
I try to calm down. Spear, I think. I get the spear I’ve pictured. One that’s longer and narrower than the one I’d been conjuring up. I let it go and take a deep breath through my nose. Bow. The same short, thick spear materializes.
Nicholas reaches into the air and pulls a bow and arrow from it with ease. He hands them to me. “Show me how to set the arrow and aim for the target.”
Nicholas had explained the reason the demons had overrun the hospital was most likely because of Noah, either because they’re after him, or after something he has. He wants me to be ready the next time I’m faced with a hoard of demons on my own. He wants me to be able to get rid of demons from a distance by sending an arrow across a space, and though I can’t summon the bow and arrow, my aim is pretty good.
“Bullseye,” I say after striking the center of the target three times in a row.
“Pride will get you nowhere,” he says, retrieving the arrows and returning them to me.
Rather than aim the arrow at the target, I aim it at a knot in a tree and strike its center.
“Julia, focus,” he shouts, his voice stern and reprimanding. I can’t stand the annoyance that flares to life in his eyes when I don’t just do as he tells me. He’s so bossy and controlling. More than once, I’ve nearly rammed him alongside his head with a metal object. After half an hour more, he relaxes. “Better. Now…”
He doesn’t get a chance to finish his command, because Michael has entered the clearing. Twice before he’s come to oversee either my progress or Nicholas’s training technique. I’m not sure which. Nicholas is that much tenser when he’s around, like he’s trying to prove himself or something.
And sure enough, he straightens and his shoulders go rigid. I guess he’s been loosening up around me, because the difference in his personality is laughable. His face is all hard angles and his hands move at lightning speed. He won’t look me in the eyes.
I summon a spear and defend myself as Nicholas comes at me. We continue lunging at one another and defending jabs until Michael leaves with a nod and a “Good work.”
Nicholas gets up off the ground where he pinned me and brushes off his clothes.
“Wouldn’t it serve you better to cool it when he’s here? Let me win and pin you or something?”
He looks up from buttoning his overshirt. “No.”
“Well, I mean if you want to look like this almighty trainer, then wouldn’t it benefit you to make it look like I’m able to fight well?”
He strolls over to me where I’m still standing holding my weapon. “No. If you want to overpower me, then you have to earn it. Do it authentically. I don’t play games to win. Or lose.”
I nod, chewing on my cheek, and then he adds, surprising me, “You are able to fight well.”
I’m almost touched by the compliment, so touched that I lunge forward, kick Nicholas’s feet out from under him, and land on top of him. I push the long metal rod across his throat and pin him to the ground.
“Thanks,” I say.
He looks at me and whips me around, pinning me with the edge of a blade to my throat. “You made that too easy. Stay on the offensive and pay attention.”
He lays the dagger down in the dirt and holds himself above me with his palms on the ground, looking at me. His breath is on my face, and suddenly it’s a gazillion times hotter and harder to breathe. He’s so beautiful to look at when he’s not scolding me and bossing me around. I realize how very much I needed to hear that compliment come from him, how very much I wanted to make him proud of me. He runs his tongue over his bottom lip. I take in a sharp breath. His eyes are on mine a moment longer before he pushes up off the ground and jumps to his feet.
“We’re done for today.”
Once again, he strides off, leaving me to show myself out.
“Sword,” I demand of the air around me. A bow and arrow appear in my fists. “Gah!” I shout at the trees.
I let the weapons drop into the shimmering dirt and stomp off through the trees.
WHEN ASH RAINS DOWN (Kingdom Come #1) by Cecelia Earl
About Book 1
Title: WHEN ASH RAINS DOWN Series: Kingdom Come #1 Author: Cecelia Earl Category: Young Adult Paranormal Romance Release Date: January 4, 2017 Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU
Synopsis The final battle between Heaven and Hell is about to begin and the devil has his sights set on claiming a human-angel hybrid, eighteen-year-old Julia White, to use as a pawn to destroy Heaven and Earth…
Julia has a routine: work, study, school. She doesn’t have time for friends, and she certainly doesn’t have time for fun. When her father left home, he took away her faith and carefree spirit. Since the day he left, she’s worked as hard as she could, determined to give her mom and brother the life they deserve.
When the guy of her dreams suddenly takes an interest in her, and a mysterious guy shows up claiming that demons exist, her life seems to take a strange turn. Her mom’s diner is nearly robbed, and she swears something about the thief wasn’t right. It was something demonic.
Thrown into a classic battle of good versus evil, Julia learns that the world is more complicated than she thought, and she’s caught in the middle. In order to protect those she loves, Julia will have to battle her greed, and determine on which side she belongs.
When Ash Rains Down is a contemporary paranormal novel for fans of stories with strong female protagonists and epic battle scenes. Fans of the Mortal Instruments series and Buffy the Vampire Slayer will be captivated by this unique take on angels and demons.
When Ash Rains Down is the first book in debut author Cecelia Earl’s Kingdom Come series. The second book, When Smoke Rains Down, will be out in May 2017
Author Cecelia Earl
About the Author Cecelia Earl graduated with a degree in education and has been teaching ever since. She’s a wife, a mom of three boys, and an owner of a magical laundry pile that never stops growing. She lives near enough to Green Bay, WI that her refrigerator is always stocked with cheese, and the first colors her children learned were green and gold. She’s a teacher by day, a mom always, and a writer in her sleep, but that’s okay because being an author is a dream come true. She writes angel books for young and youngish adults. If you feel young, she writes for you—whether or not you feel particularly angelic.
For a limited time, you can pick up all three books in Nazarea Andrews’ adult contemporary romance series, Green County, for just $0.99 each, but only on Amazon! See below for information on the series as well as buy links.
DIRTY SEXY SECRET (Green County #1) by Nazarea Andrews
There are a million reasons why Hazel Campton is off limits: she’s a journalist. I’m a cop. Oh, and she’s my foster sister. My secret is I didn’t care. I haven’t stopped wanting her since I slept with her the night before she left. She’s trouble. Always has been.
It’s hard to resist the thing you’ve always wanted…
Growing up with Brandon Archer means I know him. Good. Bad. Everything in between. It’s just never mattered. My secret? That night. The one I stole, that’s kept me from Archer and Green County, for four years. Now I’m home, and nothing has changed. Except me. And not in the way that means a damn thing. Because I still want him.
Everything can change with a knock at the door…
Secrets. Everyone has them. Archer. Me. This town. Perfection only runs surface deep in Green County. When there’s a knock at me door, it’s a familiar face all covered in danger, and all those secrets we hide? They’re about to come tumbling out.
The first in a sexy new series about Green County, and the people who serve there.
DIRTY STOLEN FOREVER (Green County #2) by Nazarea Andrews
Synopsis Colt Rayburn loved Aiden Delvin, once. A lifetime ago. Before duty and the Marines took him a world away, chewed him up and spit him out.
Aiden would have waited forever for Colt to come back. But Colt didn’t want that, and he’s rebuilt his life. Without the man he loves.
When Colt comes home from a deployment that went wrong, Aiden is there. Inexplicably back in Green County and impossible to resist. He swore he’d never go back to that place, never destroy Aiden the way he had when he walked away the first time.
But Aiden grew up and changed too, while Colt played war hero.
Both of them know what they want. After all this time. But can a love story that destroyed them once be rebuilt, when life and duty still hangs over them both…
The second in a sexy new series about Green County, and the people who serve there..
SWEET UGLY LIES (Green County #3) by Nazarea Andrews
Synopsis Gabriel Delvin is three things: a problem, a liar and irresistible. Elijah Beasley’s known that for years. He knew before they slept together, and he knew when he walked away from Gabe, unwilling to put up with more lies. The problem is he keeps going back.
Elijah Beasley is three things: a cop, a fucking problem, and Gabe’s. Gabriel Delvin’s known that for as long as he can remember. It’s why they fell into bed together, and why Gabriel stayed in Green County, when all sense said to get out.
But as the underbelly of crime in Green County comes boiling to the surface, Gabe is forced to chose between the man he’s always loved, and the family who never abandoned him.
Love has never been the problem, for these two.
It just might not be enough, this time…
A Note From N: Gabe was never a planned character. He showed up in the first chapter of Dirty Sexy Secret, and made himself at home. He dug under my skin while I wrote Dirty Stolen Forever, this mischievous background character that was begging me to tell his story. I wasn’t going to. Remi was next. And I was so excited to share his story. But. Gabe was here first and patient. So here is. You can read a tiny bridge short story from Gabe’s POV now, and make sure to grab SWEET UGLY LIES on release day!
Author Nazarea Andrews
About the Author Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories.
When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binge watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids.
N is a self-professed geek and enjoys spending her spare time lost in her favorite fandoms and can often be found babbling about them on social media.
She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series. Stop by her twitter (@NazareaAndrews) and tell her what fantastic book she should read next.
Welcome to the book blitz for SHAG LAKE, a new adult action adventure/scifi romance, by Susan McEachern. See below for information the book, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. You can grab THE KISS, the prequel novella, for free. Find the details here.
Synopsis Geri McKenna hasn’t seen her brother’s best friend, Sean Eastman, since he graduated high school. Sean left their little town of Pembroke just hours after she nailed him with a kiss behind the shed, never to be seen or heard from again. No calls, no texts, no social media to stalk online.
Eight years after the awkward incident behind the shed, Geri and Sean meet again. She’s now an ambitious journalist working in a dead end job, and he’s a successful structural engineer working on a classified government project. For different reasons, they’re both interested in a woman who has gone missing midst allegations of a Sasquatch encounter in the vincinity of Shag Lake. Geri is determined to get the scoop on the hottest story to hit the Internet, while Sean is determined to stop her.
Dodging other-worldly creatures and a corrupt shadow government, Geri and Sean struggle to find neutral ground in this debut new adult adventure by author Susan McEachern (who also writes young adult as award-winning author S.M. McEachern).
Excerpt #1 My sister Emma’s eyes widen to full capacity, and she steals a sideways glance at me. “Are you kidding? You didn’t hear me when I said who was in town?”
“Um…” I search my brain for a name I might’ve vaguely heard.
She rolls her eyes and huffs. “Your lover boy from the summer of ’08.”
I hesitate for a few seconds, afraid to confirm it’s who I think it is: my brother’s best friend from high school, who I had a huge crush on. “You mean, Sean Eastman?” An uncomfortable knot begins to tie itself in my stomach.
“Who else would I be talking about? Or did you have a couple of guys on the go in tenth grade?”
It’s my turn to roll my eyes. “Oh. My. God. Will you let it go already? It was a stupid kiss behind the shed eight freakin’ years ago. I was what—fifteen?”
“Let it go?” she asks incredulously. “You searched the Internet for weeks to see if there was an earthquake at the exact moment you kissed him. There’s no way I’m letting that go, sista. Ever.”
I slap a hand over my eyes as if that will blot out the most cringe worthy moment of my life. But it’s still there, right behind my lids, playing out in living color. Sean and I were behind the shed by the woodpile, and I was stacking firewood onto his outstretched arms when I got a huge splinter in my finger. I screamed, grabbed my injured hand with my good one, and stared at it with the kind of horror usually reserved for a severed limb. Sean dropped the wood he was holding, snatched my hand, and yanked the splinter out. Seriously. No tweezers required because it was practically the size of a piece of kindling wedged under the first two layers of my skin. I could’ve pulled it out myself, but I wanted my hero to save me because I was fifteen and a total drama queen. And if that wasn’t embarrassing enough, I had to go and sway against him in what I can only describe as a bad impression of a swooning southern belle, and kiss him.
That was the last night I saw him—thank the Lord—because that particular end-of-school party was the last soiree for the high school grads. The next day they all went their separate ways, and we never heard from Sean again. Ever. He just disappeared. Mark tried to track him down over the years, more recently renewing his search to send him a wedding invitation. And I’ll privately admit to conducting my own online search for his profile too. But nada. It’s the like the guy dropped off the face of the earth.
The thought of seeing him again is creating a knot in my stomach that cinches so tight, my abs are clenching.
Breathe, Geri. He’s probably forgotten all about it, I reassure myself.
Yeah, but my sister is going to make sure to remind him.
My eyes shoot left, assessing that little smirk on her face. This is our brother’s wedding weekend, and with all the parties and family gatherings planned, she’s probably already composing the perfect delivery for this story to maximize the humor value. Okay. Game on. She needs to know that I am not without a counterattack.
“Two words,” I say. “Tommy. Weenerrammer.”
She screws her face up in disgust at the same time she guides the car off the highway and onto the exit ramp. “First, it’s pronounced ‘whiner-rammer’ not ‘weener-rammer.’ Second, Tommy’s last name is Weisman. Third”—she pauses for dramatic effect—“everybody makes mistakes, Geri.”
“Exactly what I’m saying. You keep quiet about my faux pas, and I’ll keep quiet about yours.”
She slows to a stop at the intersection. “Oh c’mon. The one date I had with Tommy”—she holds up one finger to emphasize the singularity of that event—“was the desperate act of a heartbroken girl trying to make her ex-boyfriend jealous.” She flashes her wedding ring at me before she turns left. “And it worked. On the other hand, you kissing Sean Eastman behind the shed had no other motive than you wanted him for your lover.” She pucker ups, aims a kissy face at me, and eases the car left at the intersection.
I hold up one finger, mimicking her, and say, “The one time I kissed Sean Eastman—”
“He rocked your world,” Emma says, cutting off my next words. She gives a couple of ha ha has then shakes her head while muttering, “An earthquake…”
“What? They happen in Ontario. And that would’ve been about the right time of year for one.”
One of her eyebrows shoots up, while the other crinkles into a furrow. “You mean like earthquake season, Eyeore?”
I stifle a laugh. “Oh, stop. You know what I mean.” Emma shakes her head, eyebrows still askew. “Like this time of year—mid-April,” I explain. “When the warmer temperatures penetrate deep enough to melt the frost layer and the basement rock begins to expand, it creates earthquake conditions.”
“Oh yeah. Sure,” she deadpans. “I’m totally onboard with that theory.”
“Good,” I say. “Because if you start sharing your version of what happened between me and Sean Eastman, I’ll be forced to share the whole seedy story about your date with Tommy Weenerrammer.”
“Go ahead,” she says. “I’m already happily married with a kid and”—she pauses and looks away from the road for a second to make eye contact with me—“another one on the way.”
My mouth drops open. “What?” And even though she has her hands full driving, I plant a kiss on her cheek. “How far along? Do Mom and Dad know?”
She smiles coyly. “I was going to wait until we got through earthquake season unscathed, but I was too excited and blabbed the news. I’m already past the first trimester.”
I make a squee noise because I’m really excited for her—and for me too, since I never intend to get married and have a gaggle of kids. I’m more than happy to placate my raging baby hormones via my nephew and… niece?
“Keep it to yourself, though,” she says. “I haven’t told many people because this is Mark and Shauna’s big wedding week. I’ll share the news after they leave for their honeymoon.”
“You haven’t changed. Always looking out for your little brother.”
She pats my knee. “And my little sister too. Which is why I’m giving you a heads up about your old flame being in town. You might want to clean up around the back of the shed in case your basement rock gets penetrated.”
Author Susan McEachern
About the Author Award winning author S.M. McEachern (also known as Susan) attended Dalhousie University in the 1990s where she earned an Honours Degree in Sustainable Development Studies, specializing in ocean resources. With a background in international development and resource management, as well as being the wife of a military officer, Susan has had first hand experience in international affairs and policies. She attributes Elizabeth Mann Borgese–daughter of Nobel prize winner, Thomas Mann–as one of the greatest influences on her view of world politics. Susan had the privilege to work and study under Mann Borgese, an author, teacher and political activist for world peace. The first book of a series, “Sunset Rising”, combines Susan’s knowledge of politics and resource management with her love for Young Adult literature and action and adventure. The second book of the series, “Worlds Collide”, was published March 2014. The third book, titled “New World Order” was released January 2015.
Welcome to the book blitz for IT COULD HAPPEN, a stand-alone LGBTQ+ M/M/M new adult contemporary romance, by Mia Kerick. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Synopsis Three misfits, mismatched in every way—Henry Perkins, Brody Decker, and Danny Denisco—have been friends throughout high school. Now in their senior year, the boys realize their relationship is changing, that they’re falling in love. But they face opposition at every turn—from outside and from within themselves. Moving to the next level will take all the courage, understanding, and commitment they can muster. But it could happen.
Henry is a star athlete and the son of religious parents who have little concern for the future he wants. Brody is a quirky dreamer and adrenaline junkie, and Danny is an emo artist and the target of bullies. Despite their differences they’ve always had each other’s backs, and with each of them facing a new and unique set of challenges, that support is more important than ever. Is it worth risking the friendship they all depend on for the physical and romantic relationship they all desire?
In this unconventional new adult romance, three gay teens brave societal backlash—as well as the chance that they might lose their treasured friendship—to embark on a committed polyamorous relationship.
Excerpt #1 – Brody Lunch block B is symbolic of our ruin:
Henry has joined forces with the jocks. He is a jock, so it makes complete sense. And he seems happy enough, which is good. He hasn’t looked at me once since the last night he slept in my bed— tucked between Danny and me—the day before he refused the offer of my Jeep keys. Henry had no interest in taking the Jeep for a final joyride. I respect him for that.
Danny has taken to eating upstairs with the artsy crowd. For all I know, he has his eye on Mr. Lansing. Mr. Lansing is middle-aged, kind of cute, and likely even gay. He’s nuts about Danny, if not way too old for him, but that’s par for the course in Danny’s life. He’s better than most of Danny’s boyfriends who came before.
As for me, I eat alone. It’s okay. I’m a loner, really. It’s cool. And I write this without any bitterness, which is hard to believe, but it’s also true. I’m returning to my natural state, after an almost four-year break. High school was a pleasant interlude of connection in a life I’m meant to spend without anyone to answer to.
LOL. “Pleasant interlude” makes pain sound so inviting. But it’s all good. I like being alone. Time to stop being so dramatic. There are so many important things I’ve long neglected to do.
I’m ready to get started.
Author Mia Kerick
About the Author Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—all named after saints—and five nonpedigreed cats—all named after the next best thing to saints, Boston Red Sox players. Her husband of twenty years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about that, as it is a sensitive subject.
Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled men and their relationships, and she believes that sex has a place in a love story, but not until it is firmly established as a love story. As a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with romantic tales of tortured heroes (most of whom happened to strongly resemble lead vocalists of 1980s big-hair bands) and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to Dreamspinner Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.
Mia is proud of her involvement with the Human Rights Campaign and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of marital equality. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology.
Welcome to the book blitz for K-LOVE, the first book in the new adult contemporary romance series, Korean Drama, by Devon Atwood and Alice Cornwall. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
K-LOVE (Korean Drama Series #1) by Alice Cornwall and Devon Atwood
Synopsis Chase has been set up. She finds herself on a blind date with a Korean hottie, and all because her mom obsessively loves Korean romance dramas. It turns out that Daniel Bak is actually really dreamy, but things take a turn for the worse when Chase happens upon stolen research on her university professor’s laptop. It throws her into the arms of wealthy corporate heir Hyun Tae, who also happens to be Daniel’s best friend.
Caught between both men, and hunted down by a vengeful CEO, Chase must rely on Hyun Tae’s protection. But when the drama settles, where will her heart land?
Excerpt #1 Tomato Soup
The lunch lady ladled the soup into a bowl and placed a Styrofoam plate with the grilled cheese next to the bowl on her tray. “Anything else?”
“That’s it, thanks.” Chase smiled.
The Asian kid behind her asked for a salad. She caught a glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye as he got his plate of food. He was wearing white skinny jeans, navy sneakers, and a sort of silky gray T-shirt that definitely looked designer. They shuffled along in line until finally it was her turn to pay. Chase handed the thin student cashier her card. He looked at the debit card briefly before handing it back to her. “You need your student card.”
Chase took the card, suddenly nervous. “My what?”
The student had dark blond hair and kind features, but his look of exasperation told her he was thoroughly fed up with answering this question. “Your student ID card. You pay for lunch with it. You can’t get lunch any other way.”
“What, seriously?” Chase looked down at her tray. Her stomach gurgled. “So I have to get my card and then come back?”
She swallowed. “My mom didn’t say anything about a student ID card.” The cashier gave her a blank look of disbelief, so she added, “She works in registration.”
“Okay. Well, sorry, but you need a student ID.”
Someone sighed behind her. She was holding up the line.
“Excuse me,” a low voice said from behind her. Chase looked over her shoulder and found the guy with the designer shirt leaning toward her. He held out a student ID card, and reaching over her, handed it to the cashier. “Just pay for both.”
Chase turned to face him, her eyes widening. “Oh . . . ah, wait . . .”
The cashier hesitated.
“No, don’t do that,” Chase insisted. No, no, no! Don’t do that! I don’t like owing a complete stranger, thanks very much.
The guy gave the cashier a nod so full of confidence, Chase was pretty sure anyone would have obeyed an order from him. The cashier swiped the card.
Chase realized she was staring. For one thing, this guy was otherworldly beautiful. He had high cheekbones and warm brown eyes that tilted up at an exotic angle. His chin sloped down to a square point from his razor-like jawline. She almost couldn’t find words to respond to him. And besides that, he held himself like he owned the school.
His eyes flitted to her. “You can go now.”
“Oh.” Direct. And people thought she was made of stone. “Thanks. Sorry.”
“It’s fine.” He had an accent, but it was barely detectable.
She scurried forward with her tray, her face hot and her calm ruffled.
She whirled around to face him but miscalculated the motion by a mile. She collided with the generous stranger, her tray flying off to the side. Tomato soup splattered all over the floor, washing over both their shoes in a torrent of scalding liquid.
The guy jumped back and then looked up from his shoes to her face, his scowl a mixture of incredulity and shock.
The racket in the cafeteria quieted almost instantly. All eyes turned to them. Chase stood there like an idiot with tomato soup trickling down her leg and seeping between her toes. She couldn’t seem to find her voice with the entire cafeteria staring at her.
Author Devon Atwood
About the Author Devon and Cornwall like k-dramas a lot. So much that they decided to write a novel including all the things they love about Korean romance and dramas. Devon has had two previously published fantasy novels, and Cornwall has a well-oiled crap-o-meter and a Bachelor’s degree she doesn’t intend to use. The mother-daughter writing team live in Pennsylvania with assorted children and husbands and grandchildren, and no cats, because that would be too cliché.
Devon Atwood is the author of two YA fantasy novels, and has experienced both traditional, small publishing markets, and self-publishing endeavors on the road to authorship. You can find her here on social media, or, more likely, with her nose in a binder, washi tape in hand and eyes aglow with organizational bliss.
About the Author Devon and Cornwall like k-dramas a lot. So much that they decided to write a novel including all the things they love about Korean romance and dramas. Devon has had two previously published fantasy novels, and Cornwall has a well-oiled crap-o-meter and a Bachelor’s degree she doesn’t intend to use. The mother-daughter writing team live in Pennsylvania with assorted children and husbands and grandchildren, and no cats, because that would be too cliché.
Alice Cornwall is a seasoned writer with an ingeniously useful “crap-o-meter” and a Bachelor’s degree she doesn’t really intend to use. She lives in Pennsylvania with her fancy cat, but she promises not to make a profile picture holding it.