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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE LAST HUNTSMAN by Page Morgan

THE LAST HUNTSMAN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE LAST HUNTSMAN, a stand-alone young adult fantasy romance, by Page Morgan.  See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE LAST HUNTSMAN by Page Morgan

THE LAST HUNTSMAN by Page Morgan

About the Book
Title: THE LAST HUNTSMAN
Author: Page Morgan
Release Date: September 9, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
No women. No children. No torture. The Huntsman has his rules.

For years, Tobin has done his emperor’s bidding, eliminating threats to the Empire of Morvansk. But when he is ordered to kill the lovely Princess Mara, Tobin’s absolute loyalty ends. The emperor’s punishment is swift and lethal, and Tobin is left with only one desire: vengeance.

Stay quiet. Stay hidden. Stay free. These are the rules Ever lives by.

Raised as a boy by her overprotective father, Ever has something the Morvansk emperor covets: mirror magic. With it, she can see anyone, anywhere, through the mirror’s glass. The emperor stole her mother years ago for this same magic, and now, he wants Ever, too.

When Ever’s mirror shows the wounded rebel huntsman approaching her village, she’s compelled to help him. But as Tobin and Ever grow closer, and their secrets intertwine, they’ll have to follow the rules they’ve always lived by—or break free from them, once and for all.

 

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THE LAST HUNTSMAN Teaser

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Excerpt #2
My legs slowed. He’d been on Princess Mara’s mind the night before she was murdered. A huntsman should have been well beneath her notice. How had they known each other? I shook my head. It wasn’t my business. And with the mark of Morvansk on his shoulder, it would be best if I knew nothing more.

I climbed to the loft, determined to give the huntsman shelter for just two days and then send him on his way. If Frederic did invade Klaven, having a member of his royal court under our roof would be a stupid risk.

The huntsman was crouched in the shadows of the eaves. At first sight he looked to be lacing his boot, but I then saw him push a blade back into the boot’s built-in sheath and cover it with the hem of his borrowed trousers. He straightened his legs and hitched up the pants. My father’s waistline was far wider than his.

“I didn’t expect you back so quickly,” he said in a rich, deep voice, so different than yesterday’s raspy stammering. 

“I have chores to tend to.” I hoped I sounded indifferent as I crossed the loft and held out the bag. He took it with a small bow of his head. He stood with his back to the mirror. I’d cut away some of the canvas cover the day before for bandages, leaving a corner of the silver filigree frame exposed.

He opened the bag and peered in without revealing just how hungry he was; I’d heard his stomach churning earlier as I’d sewn his wound.

“Everett,” he began, closing the top, “how did you come to be in the woods yesterday? Were you hunting with the hounds?”

I hadn’t expected the question.

“Yes,” I answered after a moment, then remembered I didn’t have a hound to show him. “On my own though. I hunt on my own.”

There was a break in his earnest expression, a small twitch of his mouth. “Are the rabbit plentiful here?”

“Very,” I answered.

He wrapped the mouth of the potato sack around his good wrist. “And the quail?”

“Quail? Sure,” I said. He bit down on an amused smile. What? Couldn’t any idiot land himself a quail for dinner?

The huntsman set the bag of foraged food on the quilt, which he had neatly folded. 

“Tell me what you were really doing in the forest. You don’t hunt, Everett. If you did, you’d know there aren’t any quail out there.”

Oh, perfect. I’d lied about hunting to a hunter.

The mirror’s filigree frame loomed behind him. I’d never told anyone, and definitely would not let loose with my secret with a marked Morvansk court member.

“It’s none of your business what I was doing in the forest,” I replied. “You should just count your blessings that I was, and that I saw you spinning with the current and decided not to let you drown.”

Harsh. Too harsh. I had something to hide, and he saw it clearly as he nodded and licked his lips. His top lip, I reluctantly noticed, arched into two, sharp crests. Did men usually have lips like that? 

“You’re right,” he finally said. “I’m lucky you were there.”

I waited, expecting more. A “but” or “however.” It didn’t come.

“It’s your turn,” he said. I tilted my head, uncertain what he meant. “To ask a question. You removed my shirt. I assume you know what the tattoo on my shoulder means. You must be questioning what I was doing in a Klaven forest.”

I knew more than he was aware of. The idea of that made me feel as though I had an advantage, though I didn’t know what it was.

“You don’t owe me an explanation,” I said, even though it was the complete opposite of what I wanted. I’d been curious about him, drawn to his image in the mirror, fascinated by him. It had been naïve of me, and standing before him now, I felt as much. 

The huntsman gently massaged his bandaged arm. “Then I suppose you don’t need to explain why you’re pretending to be a boy.”

I stepped backward. “I didn’t intend to.”

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THE LAST HUNTSMAN Teaser

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Author Page Morgan

Author Page Morgan

About the Author
Page is the author of THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE CURSED, THE LOVELY AND THE LOST, and THE WONDROUS AND THE WICKED, young adult gothic thrillers critically acclaimed by Booklist, Publisher’s Weekly, Kirkus, School Library Journal, VOYA, and The Bulletin. Page‘s novels have been an IndieNext selection, a Seventeen Magazine Summer Book Club Read, and a #1 Amazon bestseller. Her next book, THE LAST HUNTSMAN, is a reimagining of the Huntsman and Magic Mirror from the tale of Snow White. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and their three daughters, an English Pointer, an arrogant cat, two boring bearded dragons, a one-eared bunny, a bunch of chickens, and during the summer and fall, their neighbor’s two sweet horses.

 

.Where to Find Page Morgan
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Cover Reveal – SEALER’S GAME (Sealer Saga) by Kathy Coleman

SEALER'S GAME Cover Reveal

Author Kathy Coleman is revealing the cover for SEALER’S GAME, the first book in the adult fantasy romance series, Sealer Saga, releasing October 22, 2019. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

SEALER'S GAME (Sealer Saga #1) by Kathy Coleman

SEALER’S GAME (Sealer Saga #1) by Kathy Coleman

About the Book
Title: SEALER’S GAME
Series: Sealer Saga #1
Author: Kathy Coleman
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Release Date: October 22, 2019
Links: Goodreads 

Synopsis
Hell hath no fury like a goddess scorned…

As Champion, Carita of Bel Auryn thought she would spend her days fighting demons. Instead, she is drawn into the latest scheme of the Moon Goddess, Ruby: a contest to choose a man who will have the “honor” of fathering her child. When Ruby encourages Carita to choose a man for herself, she picks the man she is most drawn to–and immediately regrets it.

Lucian Veradayne is the Lord of Death. He knows he must win Ruby’s game at any cost. It doesn’t matter that he has avoided her for two thousand years. Nor that she tried to kill their first child. And it really doesn’t matter that he would much rather woo Carita. The Soul Well has given Lucian a prophecy: he and Ruby must have another child. A child who will save the world.

Dealing with their mutual attraction will be the least of Lucian and Carita’s problems. They are not the only ones who have been drawn into Ruby’s game. Someone else wants to win. Someone who wants Ruby dead. Will Carita and Lucian be able to protect her long enough for a victor to be named? And if they succeed, will they be able to walk away from each other to ensure the prophecy is fulfilled?

Sealer’s Game is a 48,000 word fantasy romance novella about the King of the Underworld, a kick-butt warrior priestess, and a ruthless goddess who will stop at nothing to get her own way. It contains language, descriptions of violence, and sexual themes that may not be appropriate for all readers. Recommended for ages 18+.

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SEALER'S GAME

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Author Kathy Coleman

Author Kathy Coleman

About the Author
Kathy Coleman lives in a little town in Ontario with her parents, one younger brother and two mischievous little dogs named D’Argo and Coco. She attended Trent University, majoring in English and Cultural Studies.

When she is not being kept awake at 3 a.m. by characters who refuse to quit talking, she can be found performing karaoke at charity events, updating her book blog I Write, I Read, I Review, shopping, or playing video games.

 

 

 

Where to Find Kathy Coleman
Goodreads │Website | Facebook │Twitter | Instagram

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS by Jen Pretty

RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS, a stand-alone adult fantasy/paranormal romance, by Jen Pretty. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99 or read for free with Kindle Unlimited.

RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS by Jen Pretty

RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS by Jen Pretty

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS
Author: Jen Pretty
Release Date: July 12, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Nia hates people.
She also hates vampires.
Too bad she is one.

An innocent bit of fun finds Nia tangled with a dangerous man and the powers that be send her to live with the vampire lord of Las Vegas.

Their efforts to get Nia back on the straight and narrow are almost as ridiculous as her fathers attempt to make her this heir in his bid for world domination. It’s Las Vegas, what trouble could she possibly find? Her life takes a sharp turn when someone tries to use her in a  power struggle against her father, and her past sneaks up on her.

The past never stays where you left it, and sometimes the beginning is just the start of the end.

 

 

 

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Excerpt #2
At sundown, I took a cab to the mall. There was a high-end electronics store owned by a local guy named Darren. He could hack, I was sure. He was the only person to suspect I was up to no good with my laptop. I replaced mine more often than average, but my continued patronage assured his silence.

My father thought he could buy me back by padding my bank account.  He couldn’t, but he was rich, so I spent his money, and new laptops were my main purchase.

The mall was overrun with teenagers and old people pushing wheeled walkers with bags full of knitting supplies or whatever. No sensible person went to the mall when they could help it. The long wide hall with escalators down the center made way for the shops and department stores where well-dressed women and men rang through purchases of clothing and electronics. Beautiful women at cosmetic counters sprayed passers-by with perfumes that smelled like toilet cleaner. The teenagers hung around in a group like a cackle of hyenas, laughing raucously and shoving each other.

“Hey, Nia,” Darren greeted me as I walked up to the counter. He was geeky, in a cute way. His glasses made him look smart and his  shirt and tie- professional. I had seen him in the club a couple of times though. Not a complete nerd.

“Hey, Darren. How’s it going?”

“Not too bad. What can I get for you today?”

“Something fast and pretty,” I smiled. He knew I didn’t tinker. I wanted a laptop ready to go, like usual.

He smiled and went into the back room.

I waited at the counter and watched a kid read the backs of all the video game packages by the front of the store. The kid was no more than thirteen years old and kind of motley. He wore an over-sized coat and his hair was shaggy and unkempt.  He looked around and then tucked one game into his coat. I almost laughed but bit my lip. There was a security tag on everything in the store. Cue the fireworks.

Just as Darren came out from the back carrying my new toy, the kid walked out between the alarm sensors and lights and sirens went nuts.

“Hang on a sec, Nia,” Darren said as he went storming off after the kid. I walked to the doorway and watched as the kid raced down  the hall towards the mall exit, Darren in hot pursuit. Mall security nabbed the kid before he made it out the door and he started screaming like a stuck pig. I laughed and watched as the kid squirmed trying to break free of the overweight security guard.

Once the guard had the kid well in hand, he told Darren he would call the police, but Darren just took his game back and told the kid not to enter his store ever again–probably scared him straight. Or set him up to be a career criminal. Either way, everyone settled down, and Darren came back to ring me through.

“Sorry about that, Nia. This has been happening more and more. I’m thinking about putting the games behind a glass case.”

“You’re pretty fast. I thought for sure that kid would make it.”

Darren looked at me and raised an eyebrow. When I didn’t respond, he chuckled and rang through my purchase. “You’re a strange one, Nia. I hope this laptop lasts longer than the last one.” He put it in a bag, I thanked him and walked back out of the mall.

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RE-VAMPING LAS VEGAS Teaser

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Author Jen Pretty

Author Jen Pretty

About the Author
JenPretty is a well- known and prolific writer of smart urban fantasies. Her novels are character driven, witty, often violent, and with a liberal sprinkling of course language. Some of her books genre-hop into mythology, pulling characters and situations from a variety of sources.

When not writing, Jen can be found in the barn with her horses, or knee-deep in the vegetable garden at her home in rural Ontario, Canada, which she shares with her husband, three children, and a white husky dog named Salt.

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Jen Pretty
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN (Frozen Sun Saga) by Jill Criswell

BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Frozen Sun Saga, by Jill Criswell. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN (Frozen Sun Saga #1) by Jill Criswell

BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN (Frozen Sun Saga #1) by Jill Criswell

About the Book
Title: BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN
Series: Frozen Sun Saga #1
Author: Jill Criswell
Release Date: August 6, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.

Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.

When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.

As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun. 

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BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN Teaser

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Excerpt
Something made me stop. 

There, sitting atop my father’s black warhorse, was a Westlander unlike any other. Long ashen hair trailed behind him. He was bare chested, as if he didn’t fear the threat of blades on his skin, and he radiated a sleek, savage sort of beauty. 

His gaze locked on me.

Beautiful. Savage.

The Savage prodded his mount. Leaning to one side, he brought his axe crashing down into the Sons of Stone who ran at him, wielding his weapon like an extension of himself. My clan’s warriors fell. Blood splashed in waves across his skin.

His eyes never left mine. My limbs were heavy as boulders, stiff as plaster.

A voice called my name. Rhys rushed toward me, sword in hand. His eyes darted from me to the Savage, trying to reach me first.  

The horse was coming. My legs wouldn’t move. 

The Savage veered at the last second, passing between Rhys and me, so close his calf brushed my arm, and I shivered. He circled his horse back in our direction, and Rhys grabbed me, yanking me forward. The warhorse’s hooves pounded, nearly on top of us. We only made it a few steps before Rhys stumbled and choked, eyes widening. His hand slipped from my arm. His sword fell into the grass. 

A battle-axe was buried between his shoulders.

My scream was the raw, wrenching keen of an animal. I caught Rhys as he collapsed, lowering him to the ground. I looked around wildly, calling for Father and Garreth. 

The Savage leaped off his horse.

“Stay away!” I let go of Rhys and picked up his sword. 

With a swift kick, the Savage knocked the weapon from my grip. I drew the dagger, and he slapped it away too. He pulled me to him, smelling my hair, running his fingers through it. I hammered my fists against him, but it did nothing. This close, I saw every detail of his face, his body. I absorbed them through a haze of shock. 

Older than Garreth, younger than Father. Tall, muscled, with thick hair hanging down his back in braided ropes of silvery-white. Eyes a shade of greenish-gold, like a cat’s. Black ink crawling across one entire side of his body: up his stomach, chest, and neck, then back down the length of his arm to his fingertips, coiling along one jaw and cheek, to his forehead, disappearing into his scalp. Knotted patterns, with intricately etched claws and tails and reptilian heads interwoven between the twisted links. 

If the other Westlanders were frost giants, he was a leviathan; if they were beasts, he was their king. 

I struggled feebly, my palms smacking his chest. Anguish had torn my mind wide open, left my abilities untethered; my consciousness plunged into the depths of his soul. Except what I dove into was nothing. Colorless, shapeless, void of sensation. The space was starkly, infinitely empty. A barren abyss.

The Savage had no soul. 

I pulled my hands free, snapping back into my body as the Savage grasped my chin. “What you see, soul-reader?” The words sounded cumbersome to his mouth. He took hold of my wrist, bending it to expose the scar of flame Reyker had marked me with, laughing like my scar was a joke meant to offend him. “He is here.” 

The Savage thrust one of his hands into my hair, holding my head still, and the other tightened around my waist, crushing me against him. He pulled a delicate knife from his belt, pushing my hair back and sliding the stiletto behind my ear. The blade bit into my flesh in short, deep cuts. He was carving me. Marking me, just as Reyker had, only this felt far more violent. I whimpered as blood dripped down my neck. “Mine,” he said. 

A threat and a promise.

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BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN Teaser

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Author Jill Criswell

Author Jill Criswell

About the Author
Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).

 

 

 

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Where to Find Jill Criswell
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Cover Reveal – DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS (Oz ReVamped) by Garten Gevedon

DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS Cover Reveal

Author Garten Gevedon is revealing the cover to DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS, the first book in her young adult paranormal fantasy series, Oz ReVamped, releasing October 11, 2019. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS (Oz ReVamped #1) by Garten Gevedon

DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS (Oz ReVamped #1) by Garten Gevedon

About the Book
Title: DOROTHY IN THE LAND OF MONSTERS
Series: Oz ReVamped #1
Author: Garten Gevedon
Release Date: October 11, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Paranormal Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo 

Synopsis
Shifters, Zombies, and Vampires? Oh my!

My name is Dorothy Gale, and I think I might be dead.

When my dog Toto and I got swept up in a twister, we landed in hell. A very colorful hell. Like a rainbow dripping in blood. Now it looks as though this dreadful underworld plagued with vampires, zombies, and shifters will be the site of my eternal damnation.

They say this terrifying land called Oz isn’t hell or purgatory and escape is possible, but first I must survive the journey down the blood-soaked yellow brick road to the only place in Oz where vampires dare not tread—The City of Emeralds.

With enchanted footwear and the help of my three new friends—a friendly zombie, a massive shifter lion, and a heartless axe murderer of evil night creatures (who also happens to be the hottest guy I’ve ever seen)—Toto and I have a chance to make it to the Vampire Free Zone. When we get there, I must convince the most powerful wizard in this magical land of monstersto send us out of this radiant nightmare and back to the world of the living. They say he’s just as frightening as this monstrous land, that he detests visitors, and even the most horrifying creatures cower in his presence. But I must seek him out. And when I find him, I’ll do whatever it takes to make him send me home.

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Author Garten Gevedon

Author Garten Gevedon

About the Author
Garten Gevedon lives in New York City with her family. She’s a sci-fi, fantasy, and paranormal author who loves taking fairy tales and turning them inside out.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to Find Garten Gevedon
Goodreads | Website | Twitter | Instagram | BookBub

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE SIN SOLDIER (Fragments) by Tracy Auerbach

THE SIN SOLDIER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE SIN SOLDIER the first book in the young adult fantasy scifi series, Fragments, by Tracy Auerbach. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE SIN SOLDIER (Fragments #1) by Tracy Auerbach

THE SIN SOLDIER (Fragments #1) by Tracy Auerbach

About the Book
Title: THE SIN SOLDIER
Series: Fragments #1
Author: Tracy Auerbach
Release Date: July 23, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy/Science Fiction
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
Red compound makes them angry. Yellow exhausts them. Blue drives them into a state of ravenous addiction. The thief Kai knows about the chemically controlled soldiers of the Eastern forces and their savage, deadly nature. When a robbery attempt at Club Seven goes wrong, Kai is captured by a handler and his bestial soldier-boy. She wakes up inside the military base with no idea what happened to her twin brother, Dex.

Things go from bad to worse when Kai is started on a drug and training regimen, and forced to take injections of blue compound. The scientists in charge plan to make her into a working soldier who will mine the mysterious power crystals beneath the desert. Kai becomes a victim of the bully Finn, a handsome but nasty soldier whose years on red compound seem to have erased his humanity. Still, she begins to pity the Seven Soldiers, including the monstrous boy who tried to rip her to shreds at the club. They appear to be nothing more than genetically enhanced, drug-controlled teenagers.

On the outside, Dex and his tech-savvy boyfriend try to crack the soldiers’ chemical code to find a weakness that will break the system. But Kai has already been drawn deep into her new world. Strong feelings for the soldiers she’s come to know have started to cloud her judgment. Can she escape and find Dex without becoming a monster herself?

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Excerpt
Chapter One

The strobe lights and blaring music made Kai’s pulse beat along to their frantic rhythms. She and Dex had worked for Leo before, but never on a hit this big. To steal the night’s earnings from Club Seven took more than the kind of finesse that she and her brother were famous for; it took balls. She looked over at Dex, who squatted in a small patch of shadow by the three steps leading up to the club’s first marble floor. Only he could make squatting look graceful. She strained to see him clearly while the blue-white lights flashed like a detonated bomb with a pause button. The strobes were replaced by a dim red glow, and she held up two fingers to signal the all-clear.

Dex responded instantly, their timing down to an art form. He hoisted himself onto the cold marble and did a quick military crawl to where she was lying flat on her stomach beside the liquor bar, propped on her elbows. His long, spiky hair brushed against her. He smelled like hair gel, but his closeness brought her comfort. No matter what sort of situation Kai found herself in, Dex made her feel safe. He looked up and smiled broadly, showing off teeth so bleached, they nearly glowed in the dark. She narrowed her eyes in warning, and he quickly closed his mouth. He could always tell what she was thinking. Twin power or something like that.

It was important to stay out of sight until they had scoped out the whole scene and gotten a lay of the land. The small service entrance they had used to access the club was situated directly across from the longer of two bars, which ran the length of the club on one side. This bar wrapped neatly along the perimeter, hugging the large entryway’s shiny black walls. It slunk down two steps and kept going all the way across the dance floor. With its white, rounded stone finish and polished glass casings to hold bottles upon bottles of alcohol, it looked pristine. But where Kai was lying at floor level, its façade was shattered by thick patches of dust and some unpleasant-looking stains. 

The crystals that powered the club, bringing it to life in all its pulsing, deafening glory, were housed in a nest of wires under the polished stone. They glowed through a transparent square in the bar’s surface with a soft, pale light that somehow stood out even in the midst of the chaotic strobes. Those crystals were the reason this club existed. The ongoing campaign for power over those precious fragments had made Seven Soldiers necessary. Sevens were the front line of the Eastern Forces; the heavy hand that held the public in place and kept all opposition at bay. At Club Seven they were paraded around as spectacles for citizens to gawk at. Kai glanced up toward the enormous body of a soldier walking by the bar, held tightly by his handler as they shoved through the raucous crowd of inebriated revelers. He was so large, he obscured the light from reaching down to where she lay in wait.

Kai shoved herself closer to the bar as a group of giggling women approached the protruding marble above her hiding spot. They surrounded the soldier and his handler, and she squinted up to see them running their hands all over the Seven’s body before leaning close to the bartender to shout for drinks. Kai pulled her hands out of the way of their high heels as they swayed and stepped in rhythm to the hypnotic movement, gyrating against the zombie-like Seven.

Dex reached a hand into his pocket and brought out the tiny camera he treasured. The crystal shard within it was no larger than a pebble, but it had worked for years. He edged his body along the floor away from the people around them and waited for the strobes to give way to red darkness again. When they did, he launched himself from the ground to his feet, fired off a round of pictures, and sunk back down. His movements were so quick, and so well-timed with the lights, that unless one of the clubgoers or bartenders who stood mere feet away were staring straight at him, they would miss his presence completely. Kai knew that from his vantage point, the arc of his leap gave him a clear shot of the club’s raised central stage. On the dance floor, a mass of writhing bodies clamored for a better view of the soldiers above them. 

Kai glanced around to make sure nobody had noticed. In the clear, she gave him a thumbs-up to take another round, this time to the left of the club stage where a smaller bar wrapped around a mirrored pole. Lastly, he took some quick shots of the right side’s wooden buffet tables and then crawled back to the shadows of the entryway steps. Kai joined him, and they opened the heavy stone door just a crack before slipping back out into the night.

“I think you got some good ones,” Kai whispered when they were safely outside the club and leaning against the exterior wall. She could feel the vibrations of the music through the stone, and her hearing seemed to have taken a beating as her ears throbbed. But her pulse relaxed as the cool night air and sky of the desert took the place of the stifling sights and smells of the club’s interior. 

“Let me have a look first.”

She studied the open plains before them while she waited for him to check out the shots he had taken. The halo of light that surrounded the throbbing stone edifice grew dimmer and dimmer until it faded into total darkness. The silhouettes of desert plants near the light’s border looked like shadowy sentries guarding the empty expanse of sand. Huge saguaros and short, thickly clumped agave cast a parade of midnight black shadows onto the scarcely-lit areas of sand beyond. Further in the distance, Kai could just make out the dimly twinkling lights of Eastern Pless. It was a few miles away, and night lights were a luxury that most couldn’t afford, but being the only other light for miles gave it the illusion of closeness. Above them, millions of stars blinked in and out of existence; only the small red moon and large orange moon remained constant. She shivered—a mixture of the cold air drying the sweat on her skin, and the thought of what could be lurking in all that darkness.

“Hold on a second,” said Dex, keeping the camera out of her reach as she tried to take it. Only a few inches taller, he was still skilled at taunting her by holding things just out of grabbing distance. He continued casually going through the pictures, one by one.

“I’m serious,” she said with a frown. “Give it to me.”

“Not yet,” he snapped. “I’m in man-candy heaven.”

She rolled her eyes.

“You disapprove, sister?”

“They’re Seven Soldiers, Dex. Barely even human.”

“That doesn’t mean they’re not fun to look at,” he protested. “I’m not going to date one. Just having a nice, long stare.”

She tried to glare disapprovingly at him, but he gave her the innocent grin that had always managed to keep him out of trouble. His big, dark eyes seemed to glow in the reflection of the moonlight, and the spikes of his hair cast a funny-looking shadow over his brow. Although they both bore the darker coloring of Northerners, their hair and eyes were so close to true black that their skin paled in comparison. Dex finally relinquished the camera, and she peeked. He wasn’t joking that the soldiers were hot. He nudged her, seeing her expression, and wiggled his eyebrows. She laughed. The two of them very rarely had the same taste in men, thank the Lord, but this was one of those times that it was hard to argue.

“Yeah, well I think the really attractive part of the scene is all the money being thrown at said man-candy,” she retorted. “It looks like the timing will work out in about five minutes. The collection crew should come through to get most of the crystal money out of the way of the dance floor. Clear enough path, right? And dark, so we should be able to blend.”

“Sure,” he agreed.

It was ladies’ night, and the whole thing was super creepy. Kai had known about the club scene forever, but she preferred to stay away. Not that poor-looking thieves like her were allowed in by the bouncers anyway, but it would’ve been easy to pass as a wealthy citizen and have a night out. Dex had done it often, and offered to give her a ‘Club Seven makeover,’ but the whole concept gave her the shivers. Her experience tonight served to confirm her instincts. There was a disturbing aspect to the pictures that sent chills up her spine. She couldn’t decide if it was the predatory, animalistic glare on the faces of the soldiers themselves, or the indifferent smirks of their handlers that unnerved her more. 

“Let’s just get this over with,” she sighed. “I don’t like it here.”

“Alright,” agreed Dex, getting serious. He was a great thief because, in the end, he easily shed his usual air of arrogance and got down to business. “Just like we planned with Leo. I’ll go around the side of the smaller liquor bar, and you sneak around to the other wall by the food. That’s likely where a lot of the swept crystals will accumulate since the collection crew hovers around there.”

“Got it,” she said as they slid back through the side door and into the awaiting sensory overload.

This time, Dex walked casually across the stone floor and down the two steps to the dance area. Upon reaching the back of the dance floor, he waited for the strobe lights to give way to dim redness, and ducked into a crouch. He skittered across the last few feet of polished wood, situating himself between the club’s back wall and the smaller, circular bar. Kai watched him disappear behind the smooth rock before she ducked and ran along the nearest wall, cutting close to the guarded front entryway on the right. She slithered through the undulating crowd of eager ladies, and toward the stage. 

She paused for a second to look at the young men being held there like circus animals. She had never seen actual Seven Soldiers this close before, and her curiosity got the best of her. Yes, they were attractive; perfectly built and handsome as hell. But they were dauntingly huge, and their eyes were empty; unseeing and unfeeling. Each one had a thick collar around his neck, buzzing with pale blue electrical energy. They were powered by a different sort of crystal, she assumed. Those collars were supposedly the only thing that could keep them docile. She shivered again.

Their handlers, who ranged in appearance from mildly attractive to downright ugly, had a wider range of facial expressions; some attentive and at-the-ready while others were apathetic and bored. The huge throng of screaming women threw small, flat crystals at the performing soldiers on stage, doling out more money than Kai had ever seen just for the chance to interact with a monster. The money they spent allowed them to climb up and pour a glass of liquor down a soldier’s throat or feed him food from the long table to the right of the stage. They could also have a dance with a chained, brain-dampened soldier, or do even less savory things in private rooms upstairs.

Supposedly the young men couldn’t resist the offerings. They were Seven Soldiers, which meant they were sinners, and this was a place to witness their unleashed gluttony. They opened their mouths each time, indifferent but accepting of the food and drink that gorged them through the course of the evening. Their rage, too dangerous to be put on display, was kept in check by the handlers, so supposedly they were as complacent as puppies in this state only. No sex, though. That was too much of a liability. That was the club’s cover story at least, but Kai knew that handlers could be paid off. She had even heard of women scoring tickets for backstage passes to the Eastern Fortress where the soldiers were kept. 

She shimmied along the perimeter of the club beside the stage, shaking her hips to the music’s frantic beat, trying to blend in. She darted under the long, beautifully decorated food table once the strobe lights started up again. With quick, fluid movements, she settled herself centrally under the table, where a hanging silvery cloth obscured her from view. She saw Dex across the way, sweeping up handfuls of the crystals that had fallen to the floor, putting them into his cloth sack. Perfect timing was critical, because there had to be enough money to be worth Leo’s while, but not so much that the club collectors noticed something wrong when they came through to bag it up. She pulled out her own sack and started brushing in money that had fallen or been swept under the table by the collectors. Simple. 

As she was shoveling the crystals into her take-away bag, the smell of the food on the table above hit her nostrils and her mouth began to water. The soldiers really did get the good stuff. What a waste. There was fresh fruit, cakes and chocolates, and platters of meat and cheese. She couldn’t remember the last time she had eaten something besides dry bread, and even that had been scarce lately. She continued to absentmindedly shovel money into the sack, but now her eyes were focused on a spot where the tablecloth had accidentally gotten tucked up in the corner, affording her a crooked view of the tabletop. There sat a huge piece of cake that hung precariously over the side, shaking as dancing women jostled by. Her breath caught in her throat as it slid off and landed on the floor about a foot to her left.

As her hand seemed to instinctively reach out and grab for the fallen treasure, she saw Dex shaking his head frantically out of the corner of her eye. She felt a boot-clad foot slam down hard on her hand seconds later, and a wave of pain shot through her body. Her head hit the underside of the table and food spilled all around her. Terror gripped her insides like a live wire, and she froze. Quickly, she shook herself out of it and tried to reclaim her hand, but it was too late. The black boot held tight, and she saw a hand reach under the tablecloth, getting ready to lift it and expose her completely. She had to think fast.

Kai shoved herself sideways, toward whoever was standing on her left hand, and bit into the person’s calf, right above where the boot ended. Her teeth sunk easily through the thin cotton uniform into skin and flesh. She didn’t hear any scream over the blasting music, but the booted foot slid sideways just enough as a hand clasped it defensively. That was all she needed. She saw the face of the person who had caught her for only a second. He was young and gaunt, with pasty skin and pointy features. A handler. He must’ve been in the process of escorting his soldier past the front of the stage when he had spotted her fool attempt to grab the damn cake. She could beat herself up later. Now, she had to run.

She darted past the table and away from the stage, choosing the back door across the dance floor as an exit point. She shoved around several club-goers, knocking a few to the floor as she fled through the crowd. She didn’t dare to glance at Dex as she practically jumped over him on her way out. The last thing she needed was the guilt of getting him busted, too. They could reunite back at the rendezvous point. She slammed into the door in her panic, frantically felt around, grabbed the exit bar and pushed, then bolted out into the night.

She was at least twenty yards from the building, sand rising to resist in slow, messy heaps with each crunch of her shoes, when she stole a glance behind herself. Her heart jumped into her throat. Not only was the handler chasing her; he had brought his soldier, too. The man-beast couldn’t have been more than seventeen or eighteen years old, but he was huge. He had to be at least seven feet tall and almost as wide, with muscles popping out everywhere as he bounded soundlessly after her. Taut muscles rippled over his entire body, highlighting the contrast of his distended stomach, and making him appear even more savage as he darted across the sand in his bare feet. He was clothed only in the gold loincloth that was his club outfit, but the blankness in his eyes had given way to something far more primal, his snarling face letting her know that the party was definitely over. Whatever the mental switch was that kept him calm—it had been flipped.

“Get back here, you biting little bitch!” yelled the handler. 

She froze for a second, hoping his limping from her bite would slow both him and his monstrous soldier-boy down, but to her horror, the glowing chain slipped out of his hand. He cursed and made a grab for it as Kai screamed. She picked up speed as she headed across the desert sand in the direction of the outer wall of the city. Eastern Pless would hide her in its cesspool of overcrowded streets. She could go back to Leo’s place. The soldier might get his hands on a citizen or two, but he would be stopped. They were always taken down if they got loose inside the city’s walls.

Kai still had her heart and eyes set on the safety of the city’s distant lights when the snarling soldier dove and grabbed her around the legs. She screamed as she fell, and tried to claw at his arms, but he didn’t seem to notice. His fingernails ripped her skin as he flipped her over and dragged her toward his waiting mouth. 

He’s going to eat me alive.

His face was very close to her now, and even in this dim light, she could see that he had the pale skin of a southerner, and ear-length blond hair. She was surprised again by how very young he looked. Then she saw his eyes. There was no humanity in the heavily dilated pupils; only death. His open-mouthed roar exposed a straight line of teeth, with four unnaturally sharp, piercing incisors. Now face to face, she saw that the tiny rings of iris around his pupils were light brown, but the pupils themselves weren’t black the way they were supposed to be. The spot in the middle of the brown glowed with an odd blue tinge that lit his face. 

Flinching, she prepared to be ripped apart. Instead, a huge jolt that rattled through her body, from the base of her spine to the top of her head, making her teeth clamp down on a shriek. Her eyes flew open, and she saw that the handler had regained control. He grabbed the chain leash around his charge’s neck and pressed a button. Waves of electricity rocked the giant, sending his body into spasms. Kai breathed a sigh of relief, even as she felt the power surge pass through him and into her own body. The last thing she thought before she lost consciousness was that it was far better to be electrocuted than to be torn to shreds by that monster.

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Author Tracy Auerbach

Author Tracy Auerbach

About the Author
Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.

Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science. On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.

When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.

 

 

Where to Find Tracy Auerbach
Goodreads | Website Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Guest Post + Giveaway – STRANGER RITUALS by Kali Rose Schmidt

STRANGER RITUALS Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for STRANGER RITUALS, the first book in the new adult dark fantasy series, by Kali Rose Schmidt. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post, and details on her giveaway.

STRANGER RITUALS by Kali Rose Schmidt

STRANGER RITUALS by Kali Rose Schmidt

About the Book
Title: STRANGER RITUALS
Series: Stranger Rituals #1
Author: Kali Rose Schmidt
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: New Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks

Synopsis
A fighter with a venomous grudge.
A monster with an immortal curse.
A girl with a terrible gift.

All three out for blood in a land torn apart by harsh gods and holy wars. Each entwined with the other, on their own quests for vengeance, and yet held together by strange links to sinister pasts. As their fates unravel, a dangerous romance blooms, and violent darkness beckons.

At turns both darkly humorous and utterly morbid, STRANGER RITUALS is the startling first novel in Kali Rose Schmidt’s dark new series.

 

 

 

 

 

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Guest Post: Creating the Perfect Villain
Hi! I’m Kali Rose Schmidt and I am the author of Stranger Rituals, a dark adult fantasy that blends blood magic and religion to create the perfect recipe for horrible people and heartbreak. And that leads me to our topic of Creating the Perfect Villain

Stranger Rituals is full of villains. Nearly everyone is a villain, and even though I tried to warn my early readers about this, they were still astounded at the end of the book. That’s not a spoiler, just a…warning. 

I’m a self-proclaimed villain lover, and I think creating the perfect villain is at once extremely difficult and very easy. It’s difficult because it can be hard to get readers to care for the bad guy/girl, when they’re doing awful things. It’s easy because everyone does awful things. Even you. Yes, you. 

And that’s the trick, isn’t it? Humans (or elves or faeries or vampires) are capable of both good and bad, and the trick with a villain is to tip them over the scales to evil, while also remembering they’re still human (even if they’re not, you know what I mean). They still have wants and needs and desires, and even the most confident of villains has moments of self-doubt, which can go a long way in getting your reader to empathize with them.

They might kill an entire town with seemingly no remorse, and that’s awful, of course, but the key to empathizing is asking why? Sometimes you might wish to really hurt someone who has hurt you, and even though you’re a law-abiding citizen so you never would, of course, it’s helpful to dig into your own motives in those moments. Did someone mistreat you as a child? Did someone lie to you in a way that deeply wounded you? Do you feel justified in your thoughts of vengeance?

If so, you’re well on your way to becoming a villain yourself. I’m kidding, kind of, but those are the kinds of things readers will be able to understand (even if they don’t condone it). The villain takes what they want with no regard for laws or humanity because they’re villains, but their hurts are very human and very real. 

Hanging on to those human qualities goes a long way in writing an at once despicable and yet somewhat likeable villain.

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Author Kali Rose Schmidt

Author Kali Rose Schmidt

About the Author
Kali Rose Schmidt is an author, mother, and villain lover. She likes bloody tales of monsters, yoga with the lights off, and anything that goes bump in the night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to find Kali Rose Schmidt
Goodreads Website | Facebook Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – MIDNIGHT’S END (The Fae Games) by Jill Ramsower

MIDNIGHT'S END Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for MIDNIGHT’S END, the fifth book in the adult dark fantasy romance series, The Fae Games, by Jill Ramsower. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MIDNIGHT'S END (The Fae Games #5) by Jill Ramsower

MIDNIGHT’S END (The Fae Games #5) by Jill Ramsower

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: MIDNIGHT’S END
Series: The Fae Games #5
Author: Jill Ramsower
Release Date: July 2, 2019
Genre: Adult Dark Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Sorceress, enchantress, deceiver, murderer—I’ve been called all those and more, some that might make you blush. Lucky for me, I couldn’t care less what people think about me. I’ve had my sights set on one thing for the last thousand years, and that’s all that matters. I’ll do whatever it takes to find the cauldron, even if it means taking on a partner. They call him a knight in shining armor. For me, he’s my golden ticket. He fell into my lap, quite literally, and now he’s going to help me get what I want.

I don’t play particularly well with others, but he’s the best shot I’ve got, so I’ll hop on that train and hope it gets me where I need to go. He thinks he’s going to crack my shell and see what’s on the inside, like maybe there’s a warm gooey center to make up for the hard exterior. He’s in for a world of disappointment. Everything soft and delicate about me became rough and hardened a long time ago. I’m Morgan Le Fay, and I’m the villain in this story.

 

 

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MIDNIGHT'S END Teaser

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Excerpt #3
He didn’t know what he was saying, but I wanted the words to be true—wanted so desperately that I couldn’t contradict them. It was selfish and brash, but at that moment, that was who I was. I needed that one window of time to be solely about want and pleasure—no thought to consequences or reasons, no worries about plans or implications. 

Just me and Knight.

His hard body rested over mine, his eyes searching my face for a response to his profession. I sucked in a fortifying breath, then turned my head to the side, presenting the delicate length of my neck.

A rattling growl rumbled from his chest as he flipped me onto my stomach and lay fully over my body. Knight gently pulled my hair away from my face before his breath ghosted past the sensitive skin on my neck. His nose traced a slow line up toward my hair before his lips retraced his path back down, sending a cascade of goosebumps down my arms and legs.

“Tell me you want this,” he whispered next to my ear.

“Yes.” My voice cracked as I said the word, and I hoped he would see it as a product of need and anticipation. The truth was, my niggling conscience was rising to the surface.

Knight leaned around to meet my eyes. “If I do this, there’s no going back. Tell me you understand.”

I admired his sentiment, but I knew better. 

Nothing was forever.

“I understand your meaning, but life is dynamic. There may be no going back, but there is always change. You want me to be the hero—the misunderstood girl who’s been painted the villain. That’s not the case. When you understand fully, things will change. They always do. I’m willing to give myself to you with the understanding nothing is permanent. If you hear my meaning and want me regardless, I’m yours.”

There. I had done what I could to ease my conscience. Let no one say I had tricked him into my bed. I may not have told him everything, but I had given him enough to know there was more to my story. 

His eyes blazed, but instead of the wariness I had expected, there was only triumph in his golden gaze.

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MIDNIGHT'S END Teaser

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Author Jill Ramsower

Author Jill Ramsower

About the Author
Jill is a Texan, born and raised. She manages the hectic social calendars for her three active children and occasionally spends an evening with her dashing husband. Aside from being an author and a mom, she’s an attorney, travel junkie, and voracious reader.

 

 

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Where to Find Jill Ramsower
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – LINEAGE (The Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles) by C. Vonzale Lewis

LINEAGE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for LINEAGE the first book in the adult fantasy series, The Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles, by C. Vonzale Lewis. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

LINEAGE (The Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles #1) by C. Vonzale Lewis

LINEAGE (The Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles #1) by C. Vonzale Lewis

About the Book
Title: LINEAGE
Series: The Blood and Sacrifice Chronicles #1
Author: C. Vonzale Lewis
Release Date: July 16, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
Smart-mouthed Nicole Fontane has a way of getting herself into trouble. She’s been fired from every job she’s had but still refuses to work in her father’s apothecary shop because of his practice of Earth Magick. On Tulare Island where Nicole grew up, Magick has always been a way of life—one she’s determined to avoid at all costs.

With less than two hundred dollars in the bank and rent due, Nicole is forced to take a job at Tribec Insurance as a last resort. Little does she realize, the moment she sets foot inside the building, she becomes a pawn. A sinister force has set its sights on her and will stop at nothing to use her in a sadistic game.

Tribec’s proprietors, the Stewart family, are curiously preoccupied with the Naqada, the mysterious pre-dynastic Egyptian society. Nicole finds it creepy, but on the bright side, the job reconnects her with her estranged friend, Marta. Yet the eerie atmosphere, disappearing Magick wards, and the smell of blood inside Tribec bring Nicole to a startling conclusion—the Stewarts are practicing Blood Magick, the deadliest of the Five Principles. By the time Nicole uncovers the truth, Marta and her four children have gone missing, and all signs implicate the Stewarts and an archaic blood ritual to an Old One, a Naqada god imprisoned on Tulare Island.

Battling the evil of Blood Magick will demand Nicole to confront a hidden past and unlock the Magick buried within. But can she set aside her deep-rooted fears to work with a team of vigilante Mages? Or will the clock run out on Marta and her children—and on Nicole?

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Excerpt
Chapter One

Looking for bright, responsible, career-oriented, self-motivated individuals who have excellent people skills and are able to take high volumes of calls while maintaining a positive attitude. Ability to work with others is a must. 

I glanced down at the advertisement in my hand. I had none of those qualifications according to my last employer—and pretty much all my other previous ones as well. I was, however, a “foul-mouthed, bad-tempered, under-performing”—still didn’t understand that one—“sarcastic, waste of space.” Although, to be fair, only one of the previous employers actually called me a waste of space, and that was because I had stopped sleeping with him. 

This unfortunate lack of options was the reason I stood in the parking lot of Tribec Insurance, smoking the last of my apple-flavored cigars—a habit I learned from my father—wearing a cream-colored dress suit and a pair of matching pumps. I couldn’t afford either of them, and I really hated pumps. But I needed the job, so I dressed the part of the career-oriented, self-motivated candidate the ad was searching for. 

Most of the jobs in the area required a college degree, or at least several years of experience. I had no college degree, and the longest I’d ever been employed at one job was six months. Thankfully, Tribec Insurance was always hiring and had no such requirements—a rarity in the uptight community of Alice where Tribec was located.  

Through a ring of cigar smoke, I took in the phallic structure that was Tribec Insurance. My eyes landed on the small, stone, pyramid-like shape at the top of the building. It reminded me of an Egyptian Obelisk—a symbol to the god Ra. The Egyptian word for it, “Tejen,” meant “protection” or “defense.” 

Why would the occupants of Tribec Insurance erect a symbol of protection or defense on top of the building?  

A slight breeze blew over my bare arms, carrying the salty scent of the ocean and stirring the beads of sweat that had formed on them. My new blouse had molded to my back, and my feet had started to sweat. I was generally used to Tulare Island’s oppressive heat, but the anxious jitters in my stomach had caused my skin to flush. 

I tried to dispel the nervousness in my stomach. Despite the obvious, I didn’t want to show that I was desperate. My best friend Kara spent most of last night trying to prep me for the interview. She advised me to not ask annoying questions, make sarcastic comments, or let my disgruntled attitude show. 

Essentially, she advised me to not be myself. There was a message in there somewhere, but I was choosing to ignore it. 

Out of our original group in high school, Kara was the only one who was still in my life. The only one who actually gave a damn about me. Marta and I hadn’t spoken in years, and as for Steve… Well, it was a long time ago. 

I glanced at my watch. Damn. I guess I had procrastinated long enough. I put out my cigar, grabbed my blazer from the front seat of my car, shoved the advertisement back in my overly large purse, and headed for the building. As I walked, I attempted to wrap my head around the fact that I was essentially asking Tribec Insurance to let me spend my days chained to a desk, listening to complaints from strangers. 

Maybe I should look into prostitution. At least I’d enjoy the job. 

Kara also told me to smile a lot, so I pasted one on, pulled open the glass door, and stepped inside. Only to stop dead in my tracks at the entrance. 

The walls—painted a burnt gold color that reminded me of the sunset—were lined with Egyptian art. Four glass displays, filled with half-head replicas of deities and artifacts, sat in each corner of the room. Green foliage hung from black ceramic pots near the entrance and the elevator. Something was off about the elevator. It wasn’t stainless-steel. No, more like marble. Black marble with gold striations that, at first glance, appeared to be moving. Odd. 

And everything, including the guard station—which sat sunken into the foundation in the middle of the floor—was set up in a spherical configuration. Directly behind the guard station was a set of mahogany double doors, with gold Egyptian hieroglyphs carved around the frame. They were also etched around the guard station. 

Most people on Tulare Island either practiced one of the four principles of magick or knew someone who did. There was, however, a small group of people who, despite the evidence, still refused to believe in magick. They usually carried picket signs outside of herbal and occult shops, telling people they were going to burn in hell, not realizing they were actually practicing faith magick every time they went to church.

Judging from the set-up of the room, and even the obelisk on the top of the building outside, I could hazard a guess—more like an assumption—that the occupants of Tribec Insurance practiced magick. 

Despite my assumption, I couldn’t figure out which of the four principles—earth, elemental, mind, or faith—the people at Tribec used. There was, however, a fifth principle—blood—that to my knowledge, no one practiced anymore. And sadly, I didn’t know enough about it to recognize any symbols associated with its practice. Yet, symbols from the other four were etched all over the walls. Odd. Especially since people only had the ability to practice one. Not all four. 

If it was a job requirement for me to use magick, I was running the hell out of here. I would live in a cardboard box before I got involved with magick. And if I didn’t get a job soon, that was exactly where I’d be living. Especially since I refused to move back in with my parents. I had to grow the hell up sometime.

I moved farther into the lobby; the scent of desert sand wafted around me. It had that baked-on smell that emanated off the ground when the sun was at its peak. It was unusual, but the décor could explain the smell. Especially if they added sand to some of the displays for authenticity. The odor that was definitely out of place was the one directly underneath it.

Blood. It was faint. I could almost chalk it up to imagination. Almost. If it wasn’t so overpowering. 

I moved forward cautiously, my heels clicking on the white-tiled floor, as I tried to pinpoint where the scent was coming from. But the farther away from the door I got, the less I smelled it. I turned and started back toward where I’d first detected the smell. A chair creaked, stopping me in my tracks. The space between my shoulder blades started to itch. I turned.  

The guard behind the desk was watching me. 

I stood there, debating whether or not I should just leave. Yes, I was desperate, but the smell of blood? Was I imagining it? I pulled in a deep breath, trying to find the scent again. Nothing. 

Get it together, Nicole. 

After a short pause, I shook myself mentally, and continued toward the guard station with the guard’s black eyes boring into me. Sizing me up. 

“Can I help you, miss?” He rose to his feet and crossed his arms across his chest.  

I placed him in his late twenties. He had a solid frame, close-cropped black hair, deep set black eyes, and no facial hair. The dark brown suit he wore looked as if it had been poured onto him. Had to be ex-military. 

The gold tag on his shirt read “Oliver Strong.” It suited him. 

“Yes, my name is Nicole Fontane, and I’m here for an interview with…” I set my purse on the counter, ignoring his pointed glare, and pulled out my tattered notebook. “…a Francine Delaporte at eleven.” 

“Have a seat. I will call someone down to escort you.” He inclined his head in the direction of the red leather couch on the right.  

“Okay, thanks,” I said as I mentally extended my middle finger. Everything about him rubbed me the wrong damn way.  

I sat and placed my purse beside me on the couch—the damn thing weighed a ton—and picked up one of the brochures for Tribec Insurance. While I sat there leafing through it, another security guard walked up and blocked my view of the sun. Well, he would have if there had been one inside the building. This burly bastard had tree trunks for arms and a head that resembled a boulder. Did they chisel him from a mountain?   

“Ms. Fontane?” the guard grumbled. It sounded as if his voice came from a gut full of rocks.

 I stood, which put me at eye level to his massive chest and the name tag pinned to his shirt that read “Duncan Glass.”

Maybe when they hired their guards, they assigned them names as well. 

“Yes.” I tried to push myself up a few inches more. I was already wearing three-inch heels, bringing my total height to five nine, yet this massive behemoth still towered over me. 

“Follow me.” He spun around abruptly and led the way to the elevator. 

I was tempted to salute him, or give him the finger—the damn bossy bastard. 

Calm down, Nicole. You need this job. 

Duncan pulled a card from his pocket and inserted it into a slot located on the right side. I guess that answered my question about the oddity of the elevator. Besides the strange composition, they didn’t have a call button. They sure did have a high level of security for an insurance company. Maybe they denied more claims than they approved. Greedy bastards. 

When the doors slid open, Duncan extended his arm out. “Ms. Fontane.” 

I stepped inside. 

Once the doors were closed, he inserted his card into another slot, and a display lit up with a list of floors. 

The number thirteen was among them.

I had once read somewhere that all older buildings either omitted the thirteenth floor or renamed it. It all stemmed from a superstition that the thirteenth floor was unlucky. I wasn’t superstitious, but I did find it interesting they chose to include it. 

“They have a thirteenth floor,” I said.  

“It comes after twelve.”

While I was no stranger to snide comments I really didn’t like others using them on me. Bastard.  

A few moments later, the elevator doors opened and, thankfully, deposited us on the seventeenth floor. I followed Duncan to a set of offices in the center of the floor. He stopped at the first door in a row of three that faced the elevators. The silver name plate affixed to it read: Francine Delaporte. After he rapped on it three times, he planted his feet a few inches apart and placed his hands behind his back. 

Maybe Duncan thought he was still in the military.  

I took in the room while I waited. Cameras inside small black orbs dotted the ceiling. A hazy gray tint covered the windows, allowing minimal light to filter into the room. Industrial gray walls sported a few framed “inspirational” quotes that referred to “teamwork” and “having a positive attitude.” They even had the stupid “Hang in There” poster with a cat hanging off a wire.

Even the partitions that divided the employees’ desks were gray. The only break up in the ashen color were the fake wood desks. 

It reminded me of a mental asylum. 

The majority of the people in the office were women, with a few men thrown in here and there. Did they believe women were more suited to talking on the phone? Either way, everyone in the room was pasty, their eyes sunken in, wearing expressions that suggested they had given up on life. I wouldn’t have been surprised if they were all former tenants of the asylum, dressed up in over-sized clothes and forced into the role of “employee.” 

The fact that no one looked up when Duncan and I got off the elevator supported my theory. They just sat there in their little black chairs, talking into their headsets, all repeating what sounded like the same practiced spiel in monotonous tones, a few minutes behind one another. Like a rolling set of waves crashing against the most boring shore imaginable. 

I turned back to Duncan. He still stood at ease in front of Francine Delaporte’s door. What the hell was taking this woman so long? My feet were killing me. Like an idiot, instead of breaking the shoes in after Kara left last night, I had curled up on the couch with a bottle of Samuel Adams, contemplating my limited options. My little pity party of one ended at midnight when I realized my only option was one I wasn’t willing to entertain.  

As I switched my purse from my right shoulder to my left, I caught sight of a faint circular line drawn around the cubicles. I stared at the ground, unsure if I was seeing things, or if there really was a line drawn on the floor. I straightened and moved to the left, trying to follow it. As I stood there transfixed, someone brushed their frigid hand across my exposed neck.

Coldness raced down my spine, and the scent of sand filled my nostrils.   

I whipped around. 

Duncan was gone. 

In his place stood a woman wearing a red paint suit. Given that she was at least five feet away from me with her hands down at her sides… Who the hell had touched my neck? 

Francine extended her hand and smiled. “Hello. Ms. Fontane?”

I stepped forward, my legs suddenly weak, and took her hand. “Hi.” I cleared my throat. “Yes, I’m Nicole Fontane.”

“I’m Francine Delaporte. Let’s get started.”  She let go of my hand and walked into her office. 

I rubbed the back of my neck, trying to warm the sudden chill that had settled there. I glanced around the room. The employees remained at their desks, staring rapt at their computer screens. 

A cool breeze circled the room, pulling my gaze toward the ceiling. An air vent sat directly above me.  

Before I entered Francine’s office, I glanced down at the floor. The markings were gone. Maybe I had imagined them. And maybe the air-conditioning explained the feeling of someone brushing their fingers across my neck.

Yes—for sanity’s sake, I was going to go with that. 

Just my overactive imagination. 

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Author C. Vonzale Lewis

Author C. Vonzale Lewis

About the Author
My name is Carla Vonzale Lewis and I like my martini’s shaken…never stirred. I was born in Georgia but please don’t mistaken me for a Georgia peach. I’m more like a prickly pear. Speaking of being born, someone asked me recently if I remember my birth. And I have to say, yes, I do remember that handsy doctor pulling me out into the cold. Right Bastard!!!

Despite being born in the South, I grew up in the North. California to be exact. Every once in a great while we get to experience all four seasons. But mostly, it’s just heat. You should see our electric bill in the summer! I like the beaches, but not the sand. I enjoy being outside, but the sun gets on my nerves. Does it really need to send its death ray to a single spot on my skin! (I told you I was a prickly pear) And don’t get me started on the traffic.

The first part of my life, I worked in customer service. This line of work led to the discovery of my favorite drink, or, rather, several favorite drinks. I could list the many concoction but that would go on forever!  Needless to say, it wasn’t an easy job. But I did enjoy talking with people. And when it came time to develop my characters, I drew on those experiences.

I have a degree in Fashion Design. Don’t ask. The only thing I gained from those wasted two years of my life, is being introduced to the love of my life, Bobby. He is truly my rock.  Why do I write? Well my first book, LINEAGE, answered the question, “What does the big boss actually do all day?” I might have gone a little dark with my answer, but it was fun answering the question. But mainly, I love writing because it gives me power to create. And it also gives me the power to fix this broken world.

Truthfully, I’ve always loved the written word and the way a good book could take you to another place and time. Instead of hanging out in the lunchroom, I would go to the library and create stories or bury my head in a really good book.

I started writing my first novel in 2014 and 30 days later I had a collection of scenes that needed some serious revision. And that was where the fun came in. Over the course of several years my novel went through final draft after final draft until I finally came to…you guessed it, the final draft.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy reading, binge watching shows on Netflix, and trying to convince my husband that getting a dog is a wonderful idea. And one day, I will discover how many licks it actually takes to get to the center of a tootsie pop. .

Where to Find C. Vonzale Lewis
Goodreads | Website Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE FOREVER GIRL (The Forever Girl) by Rebecca Hamilton

THE FOREVER GIRL Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE FOREVER GIRL, the first book in the new adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, The Forever Girl, by New York Times bestselling author, Rebecca Hamilton. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE FOREVER GIRL (The Forever Girl #1) by Rebecca Hamilton

THE FOREVER GIRL (The Forever Girl #1) by Rebecca Hamilton

About the Book
Title: THE FOREVER GIRL
Series: The Forever Girl #1
Author: Rebecca Hamilton
Release Date: June 18, 2018
Genre:
New Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
A young descendent of a true witch, Sophia discovers her familial curse can only be cured by entering a world of shifters, fae, and vampires who want her dead.

Sophia’s ancestor’s body went missing after a Salem Witch Trials hanging. Now, over three centuries later, Sophia is cursed, and the only way to free herself is to find out what happened to her ancestor’s body.

As Sophia uses magic to find answers, she unknowingly paints a supernatural target on her back, making herself a beacon for creatures of the night. And they won’t stop hunting her until they’ve collected what they want.

There’s one man who might be able to help her, but when Sophia finally decides to trust him, his own secrets place them both in more danger.

Fans of True Blood, Twilight, and The Craft are devouring Rebecca Hamilton’s witty, imaginative series.

Scroll Up and One-Click The Forever Girl to start the hauntingly beautiful adventure today!.

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Excerpt #2
Once Circe disappeared into the crowd, Thalia smiled at Charles. 

“That one”—she bit her thumbnail and indicated me with her pinky—“would be valuable.”

A vein pulsed in Charles’ neck, and a soft hum vibrated through his body. Why didn’t he just shift?

“Surely you aren’t attached?” she asked, dropping her hand away from her mouth.

“You’re outside your rights, Thalia.”

“Temper, temper.” She sighed, the sound sickening coming from her. “But, my sweet Charlie, we’ve missed you. And what of Adonis and Blake? Have you forgotten who your friends are?”

“These women know nothing.” His voice sounded rougher, more gravelly. “Do not cross me.” 

“Cross you? Oh Charlie, I’d never cross you.” She patted his chest and winked. “You’ve already crossed.”

A young, scrawny vampire pushed his way through the crowd. He bowed toward Thalia. “I’m sure Charles can handle this…misunderstanding. He’s been around longer than both of us put together.” He arched his eyebrows.

Thalia stepped back, cocked her head to one side, and tapped a finger against her cheek. “Fine. We have their scents.” To Charles, she added, “Pray you handle this well.”

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Author Rebecca Hamilton

Author Rebecca Hamilton

About Rebecca Hamilton
New York Times bestselling author Rebecca Hamilton writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance for Harlequin, Baste Lübbe, and Evershade. A book addict, registered bone marrow donor, and indian food enthusiast, she often takes to fictional worlds to see what perilous situations her characters will find themselves in next.

Represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA, Rebecca has been published internationally, in three languages: English, German, and Hungarian.

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Where to Find Rebecca Hamilton
Goodreads | Website | FacebookTwitter | Instagram

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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – MAGIC HEIST (Fairy Trafficking) by Mary Karlik

MAGIC HEIST Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for MAGIC HEIST, the second book in the young adult fantasy series, Fairy Trafficking, by Mary Karlik. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

MAGIC HEIST (Fairy Trafficking #2) by Mary Karlik

MAGIC HEIST (Fairy Trafficking #2) by Mary Karlik

About the Book
Title:
MAGIC HEIST
Series: Fairy Trafficking #2
Author: Mary Karlik
Publisher: Ink Monster Books
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Synopsis
Layla rescued fairies that had been kidnapped and brought the human world. But now they can’t find their way back to the magic realm and time is running out.

Layla is a powerful fairy with magical ability that stretches beyond throwing spells. But with all that power, she still doesn’t know how to get over one-hundred fairies back to the magic realm. With their magic gone, the rescued fairies have no immunity to protect them from the toxins of the human world, and they’re slowly dying.

To find the path home, Layla knows she must team up with the one man who can make her insides quiver with an accidental brush of his fingertips. The same man who’s alter ego dragon is the natural predator of fairies. The man she knows will give his life to keep the fairies safe—Scotland’s finest Specialist Crime Division leader, Ian Cameron.

Ian has only been a dragon shifter for a few days. He struggles to control the dragon spirit locked inside his human form, doesn’t know what magical powers he may or may not have, and has never been to a magical world. But none of those things frighten him as much as the little spark that ignites in his soul when the half – human fairy is around.

But this little fairy is no Tinkerbell. She is brave, powerful, and can wield a sword like a medieval knight.

With growing feelings toward Layla, he couldn’t refuse to help her get the fairies back to the magic realm if he wanted to. The problem is the dragon who lives inside him would like nothing more than to feed his appetite with all of those little fairies—especially the half human one who killed its leader.

“Mary Karlik, is truly a hidden gem of a writer.” – I Am the Bookworm

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Excerpt #3
Layla’s breaths came sharp and fast. Her heart dropped to her stomach and her blood to her feet. 

So many fairies.

Her knees dipped. She held her breath. 

Killing Fauth. Saving all those fairies hadn’t made a dent in the fairy trafficking scheme. 

Ian tightened his hold and peered at the woman in red. “She’s been waiting for this moment for so long.” He turned to Layla and looked directly in her eyes. She got the message loud and clear—get a hold of yourself before you blow our cover. He spoke to her in a soft coaxing voice. “Take your time, love. We don’t have to make a decision right away.”

Layla’s hands trembled so hard she was afraid the woman would get suspicious. She wrapped her arm around Ian’s waist and drew in a sharp breath. “Full fey.” She said the words with wonder in her voice as if she’d never seen them before. “Can you tell me about the one in orange?”

The woman glided to the fairy. “Isn’t she lovely? She’s from the Paeonia flower clan. Their magic is specifically known for creativity. Our aspiring writers and artists have great success with them.” 

The woman swept her arm toward a blue poppy fairy. “Aren’t her wings beautiful? The darker the blue, the stronger the magic. She is a premium model. Her magic is a powerful broad spectrum. Money, fame, intelligence. This fey can deliver your greatest desires.” 

Layla’s stomach knotted, and her throat was so dry she wasn’t sure she could speak. She swallowed and tried to look awestruck and not sickened by what she saw. “What do you think? I can’t decide between the two.”

Ian smiled. “Why not both?”

The elf-woman’s eyes glowed, and she flashed a broad smile. “If you’re interested in our male fairies, we have a special on the Thistle variety.”

Layla’s heart went to her chest, and she took a step back. She couldn’t help it. Thistle was her clan.

The woman led them to the opposite side of the room. “Don’t let the name put you off. The lads have good strong magic.” 

Layla stared at the lads who’d been placed side by side. She knew them. Robbie and Fergus. They were schoolmates of Esme—and they’d bullied Layla for being half-human. 

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 1: MAGIC HARVEST
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Mary Karlik

Author Mary Karlik

About the Author
Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore.

You can find her Texas roots in her YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”

She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for the forthcoming YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series, beginning with Magic Harvest.

She makes her home in the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she is a certified professional ski instructor, but she also loves visiting Scotland where she is currently studying Scottish Gaelic at the University of Highlands and Islands in Skye. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse.

Mary currently serves as the President of the Young Adult Chapter of Romance Writers of America and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention.

Where to find Mary Karlik
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Cover Reveal + Giveaway – THORN by Intisar Khanani

THORN Cover Reveal

HarperTeen and author Intisar Khanani are unveiling the cover to THORN, a stand-alone young adult fantasy, releasing March 24, 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THORN by Intisar Khanani

THORN by Intisar Khanani

About the Book
Title: THORN
Author: Intisar Khanani
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
A princess with two futures. A destiny all her own. 

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

Advance Praise
Thorn is a lovely atmospheric fairytale fantasy about a girl and her found family. I loved it!” – Gail Carriger, New York Times-bestselling author of the Parasol Protectorate series

“Intisar Khanani is in my top five favorite authors writing today. A stunningly talented storyteller whose lyrical writing just blows my socks off every time I read her.” – Grace Draven, USA Today bestselling author Eidolon

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Excerpt #2
I lead the king down to the back entrance to the gardens, and we walk along between plots of dill, thyme, and chives. I wait, knowing he will speak when he is ready.

“How much does your mother confide in you?” he asks as we near the middle of the gardens.

I slide a look at him from the corner of my eye. “Enough. My lord.”

His lips quirk, the first true smile I have seen from him. “Is that honest?”

I pause beside a bed of borage. “How much do I need to know, my lord? You are here seeking a wife for your son.”

“I am,” he agrees. “How often do you participate in the discussions between your mother and the council?”

“I don’t, my lord. You should know I am not . . .” I hesitate, aware that I have no place telling this king what he should or should not know. Or jeopardizing such an alliance for my land.

“Not what?”

I struggle to find an appropriate way to finish. “Not—it is not thought my place to attend such meetings.”

“You would never inherit the throne?”

I could inherit, it is true, but I doubt the council would allow it given my history—and certainly not now that I might marry into another royal family, one that would be happy to add our lands to their own. Either way, should my brother die, the council would certainly pass over me in favor of our nearest cousin. “It is unlikely,” I say finally.

“I doubt that,” the king says. “It has been my experience that even young men die. What you mean to say is your council would not accept you should your brother die without issue and you were yet unwed. Why?”

If he knows all the answers, why is he asking? I look him in the eye and quip, “Perhaps I am too honest, my lord.”

He laughs. “And too straightforward. You will have to learn to play with your words more.” He reaches out, his fingertips brushing my arm where my brother held me. I flinch back reflexively, as if the bruises have already darkened—as if he could see them through my sleeve. He watches me, his eyes glinting in the sunlight. “Once you are Menaiya’s,” he says, “your brother will never hurt you again.”

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Author Intisar Khanani

Author Intisar Khanani

About the Author
Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. She has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. Until recently, Intisar wrote grants and developed projects to address community health with the Cincinnati Health Department, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy. She is the author of The Sunbolt Chronicles and Thorn (HarperTeen 2020). 

 

 

 

Where to Find Intisar Khanani
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Cover Reveal – QUASI REDUX (Angelbound Origins) by Christina Bauer

QUASI REDUX Cover Reveal

Monster House Books and author Christina Bauer are revealing the cover to QUASI REDUX, eighth book in the young adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Angelbound Origins, releasing the Fall of 2020. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

QUASI REDUX (Angelbound Origins #8) by Christina Bauer

QUASI REDUX (Angelbound Origins #8) by Christina Bauer

About the Book
Title:
QUASI REDUX
Series: Angelbound Origins #8
Author: Christina Bauer
Publisher: Monster House Books
Release Date: Fall 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Myla Lewis has her life back. Wife. Mother. Queen. Great Scala. Queen of the Thrax. Yay! Then one day, Myla runs across a supernatural waterfall that makes her igni screech like crazy. Our heroine speaks the fateful words: some days, I wish I weren’t the Great Scala.

The waterfall grants her wish.

A moment later, Myla is back at Purgatory High. No husband. No child. No powers beyond her old quasi days. And without Myla around as the Great Scala, all quasis now live under Armageddon’s rule. That sucks. Hard. So Myla sneaks into Antrum—she simply must find Lincoln and figure this out. Once she arrives, two problems arise.

First, her husband doesn’t know her. At all.

Second, Lincoln is married to someone else.

Fuuuuuuu…

Angelbound Origins

About a quasi (part demon and part human) girl who loves kicking butt in Purgatory’s Arena

1. Angelbound
2. Scala
3. Acca
4. Thrax
5. The Dark Lands
6. The Brutal Time (2019)
7. Armageddon (already here, long story!)
8. Quasi Redux (2020)
Angelbound Offspring

The next generation takes on Heaven, Hell, and everything in between

1. Maxon
2. Portia
3. Zinnia (forthcoming)
4. Kaps (forthcoming)

5. Huntress (forthcoming)
Angelbound Lincoln

The Angelbound experience as told by Prince Lincoln

1. Duty Bound
2. Lincoln
3. Trickster (forthcoming)

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Get Caught Up on the Series

Book 0.5: DUTY BOUND
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 1: ANGELBOUND
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 1.5: BETROTHED
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 2: SCALA
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 3: ACCA
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 4: THRAX
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 5: THE DARK LANDS
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 6: ARMAGEDDON
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

Book 7: THE BRUTAL TIME
Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | GooglePlay

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Author Christina Bauer

Author Christina Bauer

About the Author
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby..

Where to Find Christina Bauer
Goodreads | Website | BlogFacebook | Twitter | Instagram | LinkedIn

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SPANK (Odyssey) by Klara Raškaj

SPANK Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for SPANK, a stand-alone adult fantasy LGBTQ+ romance, by Klara Raškaj. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SPANK: Odyssey by Klara Raškaj

SPANK: Odyssey by Klara Raškaj

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: SPANK: Odyssey
Author: Klara Raškaj
Release Date: June 18, 2019
Genre: Adult Fantasy LTBTQ+ Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
It’s easy to be a villain.

Or is it?

Domino Enviedhieri is a young magica user and aspiring entrepreneur stripped of his heritage, his dignity, and most importantly, his allowance. After being forced to battle a rampant demoness alongside his rival at the strip club where he works, Domino finally decides he’s had enough and wants to kill the bastard for stealing his well-deserved spotlight for the hundredth time.

With the help of his ethnically diverse crew, Domino embarks on an epic quest for ultimate power. Though the journey is riddled with dicks, demons, danger, and confusing sexual feelings for one’s best friend, Domino is determined to prove his greatness to the world and to himself.

But to beat the fiercest warrior in the enchanted Republic of Kitaria, there’s really only one power Domino needs to gain: his own sense of self-worth.

 

 

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Excerpt #2
Selyah banged his fist against the armrest, raising the volume of his voice. “Your ‘prize’ is a twenty-one-year-old fully grown adult who sits in his room all day jerking off, lifting weights, and making his guitar shriek at five in the afternoon.”

The young men responded with blank, slightly frightened stares.

“Starabey!” Selyah yelled, making even the stuffed animal heads on the walls shake.

In a few moments, through the beastly wooden door came in a broad-shouldered, athletically built young man with gray skin. His hair was long, abundant, and frizzy—an electric-blue color so bright it almost looked like a cheap wig. He stared at Domino and his posse with drowsy amber eyes and was adorned with only a pair of thick harem pants.

“Say hello to our guests, Bey,” ordered Selyah.

“I…thought you said I don’t have to do it if I don’t make eye contact,” he replied with an airheaded, puzzled gaze.

Selyah smirked. “You’re moving out. These boys have come to take you with them.”

“Okay, but…uh…” mumbled Starabey, his eyes darting around the room from discomfort. He let out a light sigh and mustered up the courage to look into Selyah’s eyes. “I’m…uh…not one hundred percent sure how sex dungeons work…”

“Ugh!” Domino groaned at the top of his lungs, leaning his head back and pulling down the skin on his cheeks. “We’re just poor!”

“Domino, we’re strippers,” Ken argued, rubbing the side of his head with his fingertips. “We wear even less at work. Why does this bother you so much?”

However, Domino refused to grace him with a reply.

“Jai morghjati noshjiti crnghjo odhjelo jer jai bihti rujghno,” said Sublivion.

Starabey turned to Domino and the rest, his eyebrows cocked up in awe and confusion. “Um…”

“He can understand Kitarian, but he can’t really speak it,” Bowie elaborated.

“Yeah—we mostly just try to guess what he’s saying or ask him to pantomime,” said Domino.

“Jai moghjiti naughjiti…gosphjodar,” Sublivion added, turning to Domino as he spoke.

Starabey stared at the young men and the demon, his expression showing nothing but fear and uncertainty.

“By the way, I’m Domino,” said the blond with a snobbish grin and pushed his ponytail over his shoulder and onto his chest. “Heir to the Enviedhieri family estate, star performer at Cazzo Grande, Buonarroti High School honors graduate, master of the fourth elemental horseman.”

“Ken.” He bowed his ink-haired head, still keeping on a cynical frown. “Seer of bullshit. Prophet of imbecile stunt outcomes.”

The ginger smiled and waved. “I’m Bowie.”

“Oh, yeah, and that’s my elemental horseman,” Domino explained, “Sublivion.”

The demon nodded.

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Author Klara Raškaj

Author Klara Raškaj

About the Author
Klara Raškaj is an author of hot and eldritch speculative romance. An epic journey, otherworldly creatures, fantastic lore, a tantalizing romance, a dash of bone-chilling horror, and a pinch of mystery is her not-so-secret recipe for a delectable literary treat. Her lifelong love of writing is second only second to her obsession with hazelnut milk and artisan soap.

 

 

 

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Where to Find Klara Raškaj
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebook | TwitterInstagram

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Giveaway

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – LOST HORIZON (Oz in Space) by Michelle Hercules

LOST HORIZON Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for LOST HORIZON, the first book in the young adult fantasy romance series, Oz in Space, by USA Today bestselling author, Michelle Hercules. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

LOST HORIZON (Oz in Space #1) by Michelle Hercules

LOST HORIZON (Oz in Space #1) by Michelle Hercules

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: LOST HORIZON
Series: Oz in Space #1
Author: Michelle Hercules
Release Date: June 14, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
A magical planet torn apart by war. A defiant space pilot cadet determined to save the ones she loves. The adventure of a lifetime.

Oz like you have never seen before.

Space Academy prodigy Dorothy Hanson doesn’t have time for love nonsense. She has one goal, complete the mission her parents started before their untimely death.

When a cosmic disturbance hits the Kansas Space Station, Dorothy seizes that opportunity to go on her first space voyage. She didn’t expect to be sucked into a vortex nor land on a strange planet ravaged by war.

Stranded, she must embark on a perilous mission to the Land of Oz, the only nation that possesses the technology to send her home. Three strangers join Dorothy in her quest, all carrying reasons of their own for reaching Emerald City. A man without memories marked with a strange symbol on his face. A cyborg with a chip on his shoulder and a mysterious past. And a scarred hellioncat plagued by nightmares in the dark.

Dorothy doesn’t know if she can trust them, but as their journey progresses, their bond becomes stronger and Dorothy’s feelings evolve from suspicion to caring too much. Torn between contradicting emotions, she must find the strength to fight the evil forces that stack up against them along the way. Surviving the trip on the yellow road is priority number one, but can she survive losing her heart?

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LOST HORIZON Teaser

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Excerpt #2
The sky is midnight blue with no stars or any moons in sight. I feel so strange, staring at the alien canvas. It’s almost like there’s something wrong with it. There’s no sign of Mirus, which makes me worried the celestial being has left the orbit of Oz. The last time it appeared in our solar system, it only stayed for a few weeks.

Toto becomes restless in my arms, as if he’s picking up on my somber mood. His movements remind me that my wrists are still bound.

“Hey, Metal Pants. Can we stop now?”

The cyborg whirls around. The shadows across the planes of his face make the sharp edges even more pronounced. His robotic eye shines blue for a moment before the light dims.

“Do you need to pee?”

Heat rushes to my cheeks. I’m glad it’s dark and he can’t see how his simple question made me mortified for no reason.

“Why are you getting all flustered? Are you one of those girls who gets embarrassed about everything?”

My jaw drops. “How did you know … ugh, never mind. That special eye of yours has an infrared sensor, doesn’t it?”

Even in the gloom, I catch the slight upturn of his lips. “Among other things.”

“Dorothy’s wrists are still bound. Do you have anything that can cut through the bindings?” the sorcerer pipes in.

“Right.” The cyborg approaches, stopping only one step away from invading my personal space.

Involuntarily, tension spreads through my body, and I clutch Toto tighter.

“Relax,” he continues. “I’m not going to hurt you.”

“Are you implying I’m afraid of you?”

He cocks his head to the side, his long bangs covering a portion of his face. “Your heartbeat says so.”

“Stop reading my vitals with your freakish eye,” I snap.

The cyborg’s chest expands right before he releases a loud gale of air through his mouth. “Put your robo-dog down if you don’t want his body damaged.”

Still glaring at him, I set Toto on the ground. The poor dog runs to the sorcerer, hiding between his legs with a whine.

To show I’m not scared of the cyborg like Toto is, I lift my chin and raise my bound hands. “All right. Do your thing.” When the cyborg arches one eyebrow, I amend. “Please?”

He lifts his mechanical hand. From his index finger, a small knife slides out. In one swift move, he cuts the leather bindings from my wrists as if they were made out of butter.

“That’s a sharp blade you have there. Planning on scalping anyone?” I rub my wrists.

The cyborg grins again. “Not today.”

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LOST HORIZON Teaser

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Author Michelle Hercules

Author Michelle Hercules

About the Author
USA Today bestselling author Michelle Hercules always knew creative arts were her calling but not in a million years did she think she would write a novel. With a background in fashion design she thought she would follow that path. But one day, out of the blue, she had an idea for a book. One page turned into ten pages, ten pages turned into a hundred, and before she knew, her first book, The Prophecy of Arcadia, was born.

Michelle Hercules resides in The Netherlands with her husband and daughter. She is currently working on the Legends of Gattica series.

 

 

Where to Find Michelle Hercules
Goodreads | Website Facebook 

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Giveaway
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Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – KING OF RUIN (Lords of Sidhe) by May Sage

 

KING OF RUIN Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for KING OF RUIN, to first book in the adult fantasy romance series, Lords of Sidhe, by USA Today bestselling author, May Sage. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

KING OF RUIN (Lords of Sidhe #1) by May Sage

KING OF RUIN (Lords of Sidhe #1) by May Sage

About the Book
Title:
KING OF RUIN
Series: Lords of Sidhe #1
Author: May Sage
Release Date: June 6, 2019
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
They say the fae used to take the most beautiful maidens and make them their brides.

They lied. What they do with them is much worse.

After the seven lords of Sidhe are massacred in one day, the thrones of the fae realm pass down to their heirs. The Iron Circle remains leaderless, as its true lord lives in another world. The nobles of the realm will find the heir, and they will destroy him. Or her.

West, in the Silver Circle, a new lord has taken the throne. A warrior who never hesitates to crush ants for the good of the world. A man whose rule will change the fate of their realm.

Melpomene has never known where she came from, and after centuries, she’s stopped caring. Until the fae take her, dragging her to a land where bloodlines and power is everything. To survive, she needs to embrace the monster buried inside.

Lords of Sidhe is a fantasy romance trilogy.

Note that while it is unsuitable for sensitive or clean readers, there is no trigger warning..

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KING OF RUIN Teaser

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Excerpt #1
Cassian was in front, their uncle’s crown in hand. It was a circlet of silver with a heart shaped stone, red as blood at its center.

“Now, cousin. Your turn to kneel.”

Indeed it was. Having to be vulnerable in front of Cassian went against all of his instincts, but he did so anyway, bringing both knees to the ground and then lowering his head.

Caim didn’t know whether to expect a crown or a sword atop his head.

Cassian crowned him, and the crowd cautiously clapped.

He watched them, eyeing all those whom he considered potential enemies.

A week ago, it had been a few of them. Those who coveted his role at his uncle’s side. Those who disliked his way. Those who whispered about his bloodthirsty, ruthless parents. 

Now, it was everyone.

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KING OF RUIN Teaser

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Author May Sage

Author May Sage

About the Author
May is a USA Today bestselling Author living in Windsor, Berkshire, with a german shepherd, a moggy and two savannahs. She writes every sub genre of romance, from fantasy to contemporary. You’re signing up for strong, sassy, kick-ass women and swoon-worthy male protagonists. Enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

 

.

Where to Find May Sage
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Amazon

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Release Day + Giveaway – KING OF RUIN (Lords of Sidhe) by May Sage

KING OF RUIN Release Day

Today is release day for KING OF RUIN, to first book in the adult fantasy romance series, Lords of Sidhe, by USA Today bestselling author, May Sage. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

KING OF RUIN (Lords of Sidhe #1) by May Sage

KING OF RUIN (Lords of Sidhe #1) by May Sage

About the Book
Title:
KING OF RUIN
Series: Lords of Sidhe #1
Author: May Sage
Release Date: June 6, 2019
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooksKobo

Synopsis
They say the fae used to take the most beautiful maidens and make them their brides.

They lied. What they do with them is much worse.

After the seven lords of Sidhe are massacred in one day, the thrones of the fae realm pass down to their heirs. The Iron Circle remains leaderless, as its true lord lives in another world. The nobles of the realm will find the heir, and they will destroy him. Or her.

West, in the Silver Circle, a new lord has taken the throne. A warrior who never hesitates to crush ants for the good of the world. A man whose rule will change the fate of their realm.

Melpomene has never known where she came from, and after centuries, she’s stopped caring. Until the fae take her, dragging her to a land where bloodlines and power is everything. To survive, she needs to embrace the monster buried inside.

Lords of Sidhe is a fantasy romance trilogy.

Note that while it is unsuitable for sensitive or clean readers, there is no trigger warning..

 —————————————————————————-

KING OF RUIN Teaser

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Excerpt
“I warned you I could not protect you.” The boy winced as she bent forward to his ear. “So, stay close and you may just survive.”

Caim paused. He’d been mistaken. This wasn’t weakness. This wasn’t naivety. She was simply certain, absolutely certain, that she was in no danger here.

That she’d made it five minutes without any weapon had surprised him. Now, it didn’t.

Tired and spent as she was, her every move was fluid and precise. A Gaian darkling came from the side with a blade; she tilted her pelvis forward, and the blade hit air. She reached for the attacker’s hand and pushed it back to his skull, all the while avoiding another hit on her left shoulder. 

Water. 

She moved like water.

If she’d had a sword in her hand, Caim knew she could have made short work of all the prisoners, and most of the lords, no doubt. But she seemed content to let them murder each other, simply defending herself—and the boy holding on to her like the lifeline she was.

His lips parted and a delighted laugh escaped him. He laughed like a child, with enchantment, astounding himself and anyone who was paying attention to him.

She didn’t spare the boy another glance, but she let him stick to her. Grace and indifference. She was cruel. Cruel, untouchable, and beautiful.

They were supposed to watch slaves butcher each other. Instead, they were graced with a dance worthy of a fairy queen.

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KING OF RUIN Teaser

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Author May Sage

Author May Sage

About the Author
May is a USA Today bestselling Author living in Windsor, Berkshire, with a german shepherd, a moggy and two savannahs. She writes every sub genre of romance, from fantasy to contemporary. You’re signing up for strong, sassy, kick-ass women and swoon-worthy male protagonists. Enjoy the ride!

 

 

 

 

.

Where to Find May Sage
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | Amazon

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – HEARTS (The Glass Queendom) by Klarissa King

HEARTS Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for HEARTS, the first book in the adult fantasy twisted Wonderland retelling series, The Glass Queendom, by Klarissa King. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

HeartsHEARTS (The Glass Queendom #1) by Klarissa King

HeartsHEARTS (The Glass Queendom #1) by Klarissa King

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: HEARTS
Series: The Glass Queendom #1
Author: Klarissa King
Release Date: May 26, 2019
Genre:
 Adult Fantasy/Twisted Wonderland Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
In Spades, there is a game as terrifying as the Sisters of Fate. The Hatterthon. A game so cruel that its brick-roads run red with blood and in every shadow there are players killing to survive. The mysterious Ringmaster seized the Hatter’s once-delightful game long ago, and branded it with his mark. The stain of death…

All I ever wanted was a peaceful life. Most other blacksmiths have no trouble holding onto small dreams like mine, and I’ll envy them for it for all my days. Not only is my village attacked by the Heart-Breakers, in the battle I’m thrown down the Forbidden Well. I land in the most unimaginable place, a place of true terror and wonder. A deadly game called the Hatterthon.

If I’m ever going to get back home, I have to win this dangerous game, where the brick roads run red with blood and allies are just waiting to plunge a blade into the nearest heart. I can’t trust anyone here—especially not Night, the definitely wicked ally I picked up along the way. I’m not sure which is more dangerous: Night, who wears deceit behind the veil of his captivating eyes, or the greatest threat in the game—the Ringmaster. All I know is, I have to strike down my ally before he turns on me and breaks much more than my bones.

Because only one can win the Hatterthon. Before I lose myself to the madness…

In Spades, kisses taste like sweets and wine, and only when they end do you taste the poison on your lips. Hearts is a Wonderland retelling (Hold the Alice!) and is the first in the Glass Queendom Duology. The sequel, Spades, The Glass Queendom, will be released later this year.

HEARTS is no longer a part of the Feared Fables series.

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Excerpt #3

Night haunted my dreams.  We stood, trapped in darkness, lost in the Black Woods.  I knew I was dreaming, though I still breathed a burning question and let it whirl around us like a faint gust of wind.

“Will I die here?”

That was what he meant by coming into my dream, wasn’t it? Showing me the graveyard of magic, the death all around us. He meant to show me where I would meet my own end.

Night’s striking face betrayed nothing. He stepped closer and power pulsed over the inky floor, rippled over my bare feet. My toes dug hard into the black mud and a shiver seized me. In my dreams, nightmares took over. In my dreams, I was my rawest self. I was afraid, and there was no point to faking bravery before him. He wasn’t real.

Bleak eyes stared back at me, and in them I could see the yearning for the woods around us. They longed to be one, connected. And I was the broken bridge separating them.

“Is death what you crave, Shoshanna?” His voice was steady, sounding faraway like he was a dream within the dream. Still, even faint, the steel of his voice cut through me. A blade to a bleeding heart.

His eyes turned dark, blacker than my stained veins and the woods caging us. 

I blinked. And in that moment, he delivered his promise. 

Death was all around me.

At my feet, twisted in a circle, were the bodies of all who I’d ever known. And those who I had killed.

Night’s hand found my chin and gripped, hard. I winced, even in the whispered pain through the dream. But it wasn’t enough to wake me.  He came closer, the trees’ blackness turning to tar, melting away.

“I can give you freedom,” he said, his voice low and seductive enough to flip my stomach and churn my blood with hate. “I can give you the worlds.” He inched closer, and I could taste the caramel on his breath.

‘It’s only a dream’, crooned a chilling voice I wished I could forget. A child’s voice from a deep, damp well that stole my future away from me.

Night’s fingers cut deeper into my chin, locking me in place, as he brought his face to mine. Twilight eyes searched my gaze for answers, for something he hadn’t asked. The Black Woods melted away, but I was the one to melt into him.

It’s only a dream.

Sisters whispered all around me, as though speaking right into my ears, but it was all darkness. The only light I had to hold onto was the pull of Night’s glittering eyes as he turned them down to my lips.

I parted my mouth, letting out a shuddering breath. I became a puppet on the strings of another. I became his, and he pressed his lips to mine.

Hardness. 

It was all wrong.

Once a kiss that fluttered my stomach and tickled my heart was now a kiss that filled me with ice. 

Still…even as sickened as I was by him, I couldn’t deny it. The pull, the seduction of him. His darkness.

Too soon, Night pulled back and his cutting stare struck down at me. 

“But you ask of death.”

I caught the wink of silver before he plunged the blade into my chest…

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Author Klarissa King

Author Klarissa King

About the Author
When not writing, Klarissa can be found in bed poring over a great new release, or reluctantly walking her demanding dogs who pretty much run the house.

She is the writer, Isla Jones. Isla uses the pen-name Klarissa for fantasy, while using Isla Jones for her darker, grittier horror works to help separate the styles and genres for her readers.

To contact Klarissa King, find her here: https://www.facebook.com/Klarissa-King-1005484536303985/?modal=admin_todo_tou

For Isla Jones’ author page, click here: https://www.amazon.com/Isla-Jones/e/B07856GGDF

Where to Find Klarissa King
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
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Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES (Water Dragon Races) by K.D. Halbrook

SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES (Book Blitz)

Welcome to the book blitz for SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES, the first book in the middle-grade fantasy series, Water Dragon Races, by K.D. Halbrook. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES (Water Dragon Races #1) by K.D. Halbrook

SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES (Water Dragon Races #1) by K.D. Halbrook

About the Book
Title: SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES
Series: Water Dragon Races #1
Author: K.D. Halbrook
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.

Release Date: June 4, 2019
Genre:
 Middle Grade Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Set in a vivid, Arab-inspired world filled with friendly and fearsome water dragons, K.D. Halbrook’s Silver Batal and the Water Dragon Races is a middle-grade fantasy adventure, with illustrations by Ilse Gort, that’s perfect for fans of Tui T. Sutherland, Sayantani DasGupta, and Roshani Chokshi.

Silver’s dreams of becoming a legendary water dragon racer come true when she befriends a rare dragon that can swim and fly.

Thirteen-year-old Silver Batal calls the desert home, but her heart belongs to the waters. Although she’s expected to become a jeweler like her father, Silver harbors a secret and forbidden wish to race water dragons. Destiny comes calling when her friendship with a mysterious old woman leads her to Hiyyan, a baby dragon that can swim and fly.

Risking everything, Silver, Hiyyan, and her resourceful cousin Brajon set off across the desert to join the legendary races in the royal city. But the road to Calidia is filled with danger, and the trio must band together as they encounter ferocious cave beasts, clever desert foxes, and cutthroat competition.

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Excerpt #2
“Brajon!” Silver screamed. She jumped to her feet and flung her hands all over her neck, her face, her back. Her feet brushed against something squishy and pricks of pain shot from her soles up into her ankles.

Silver grabbed at her ankles with a cry and her hands came away with blood. The things—the stretching, wormlike things—were above them and below them and they had teeth. They were sucking her blood from the back of her neck and attaching to the bottom of her feet. Brajon frantically danced next to her, trying to yank the slimy things off.

“They’re down my tunic!” he yelped. He flung his top off and clawed at his skin.

“Get them off me!” Silver hopped on her blanket to keep more worms from attaching to her feet, but several were already attached and sucking. Every time she pulled one loose, another took its place. Her skin was being shredded. Trickles of blood began running down her skin. The scent and sight sent the worms into a frenzy.  

“Hiyyan, help!”

But Hiyyan was already trying, biting with his rows of teeth. He beat his wings at the worms that kept dropping from the ceiling and stomped the ones on the ground with his big, flat feet. His thick scales were impenetrable, but he roared, sharing in her pain.

In his frenzy to reach Silver, Hiyyan knocked Brajon to the ground, where more worms rose up to attach themselves to his arms.

“Help!” Brajon screamed again.

In the chaos, Silver slipped and fell to the ground, banging her cheek against the rock. She bit her tongue and the salty taste of blood exploded in her mouth. A worm smelled the blood on her tongue and lunged for her face.

“Noooo!”

This is the end, Silver thought, clamping her mouth shut and protecting her face with her hands. Some destiny. I’m going to be eaten alive by worms before I ever get to race Hiyyan.

But then a pair of those silvery eyes flashed in the corner of her vision. A small furry creature leaped past her face, taking the worm in its mouth and ripping it to shreds. The torn pieces thrashed before becoming still.

And then, more silver eyes and more furry creatures were flying through the air, landing with their sharp little teeth poised to tear the worms apart. There were dozens…maybe hundreds of them, all attacking the slithering worms. Silver felt the slimy jaws yanked painfully from her body. She frantically felt for any remaining worms, then tore one from her shoulder. She threw it into the water where a fish gobbled it up.

Slowly, the haziness in Silver’s vision faded. All the colorful spots that appeared and burst went away. She lay on the cave floor until her heart calmed. Her body still tingled, but the bleeding soon stopped. Hiyyan stopped writhing and curled up next to her. A few feet away, she heard Brajon working to catch his breath.

Just inside the glow of their lantern, several pairs of little animal eyes watched them, waiting, as though they wouldn’t leave until they were sure Silver and Brajon were all right.

“Desert foxes,” Silver whispered.

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Author K.D. Halbrook

Author K.D. Halbrook

About the Author
K.D. Halbrook is an author of Middle Grade and Young Adult novels (as Kristin Halbrook). Her debut Middle Grade book, SMOKE AND MIRRORS (Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books) was called “captivating,” “enchanting,” and “artful” in trade reviews and, in a starred review, the BCCB said, “The novel’s wistful prose and a relatable search for the Light will be rewarding for readers who can see in the Smoke any number of metaphors for the things that haunt us.”

K.D.’s next Middle Grade is the first in an exciting series: SILVER BATAL AND THE WATER DRAGON RACES, releasing in June, 2019 from Macmillan/Henry Holt BFYR.

K.D. is a graduate of the University of Washington and lives with her family and floofy goldendoodle in Seattle. When not writing and sharing her love of books with readers, she enjoys cooking and baking, running and triathlon training, yoga, gardening, painting, hiking, and travel. She would love a dragon that swims AND flies.

 

Where to Find K.D. Halbrook
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – SKIES OF OLYMPUS (Skies of Olympus) by Eliza Raine

SKIES OF OLYMPUS Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for SKIES OF OLYMPUS, the first book in the young adult paranormal/fantasy series, Skies of Olympus, by Eliza Raine. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

SKIES OF OLYMPUS (Skies of Olympus #1) by Eliza Raine

SKIES OF OLYMPUS (Skies of Olympus #1) by Eliza Raine

About the Book – Read for Free with Kindle Unlimited
Title: SKIES OF OLYMPUS
Series: Skies of Olympus #1
Author: Eliza Raine
Release Date: May 11, 2019
Genre:
 Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Twelve deadly Trials. A race for immortality. Her last chance for revenge.

Olympus is a beautiful but dangerous place, controlled by twelve Gods wielding unlimited power. Now they have devised the ultimate entertainment; a chance for their favourites to compete in twelve trials to win the ultimate prize – immortality.

Lyssa didn’t think the Gods knew who she was, until she was chosen to try out for the Trials with the crew of her old but beloved smugglers ship, the Alastor. For her the Trials are about much more than an eternal life. They’re about stopping the monster from her past gaining the one thing that would put her revenge out of reach forever. Can she face her murderous father and stop him from becoming immortal?

Join Lyssa and her crew alongside giants, centaurs, satyrs and Gods in the first of twelve episodes of this brand new YA Fantasy retelling. This is Greek mythology like you’ve never read before.

 

 

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Excerpt #1
A silence fell over the crowded cargo deck as the last side of the wooden crate was crowbarred loose. Not a comfortable silence, or an amazed silence, but an unpleasant silence. The type that is never followed by anything good. Captain Lyssa of the Alastor stared, tight-lipped, as a being she had never seen before swam gently in wide circles around the tank that had been inside the crate.

It was the same size as a human, with a torso and head that was humanoid. It had no legs though, and Lyssa frowned at the tail-like limb that was there instead. The whole body and face were covered in iridescent white scales that glistened pale purple when the thin shafts of light fell on them. A brisk cough snapped her attention to the woman stood beyond the tank, the Lady Lamia.

‘I’m sorry, my lady. Can we just have a minute alone?’ Epizon said, stepping forward. The covered head he addressed nodded curtly in response. Epizon turned and marched towards the maze of stacked crates filling the back of the ship’s hull. Lyssa walked quickly to keep up with him, his stride much longer than hers. As soon as they were out of earshot, she spoke.

‘Epizon, I know what you’re going to say, and it’s too late. We can’t afford to upset these people.’

Epizon spun to face her, his dark face set and angry. ‘Captain, our code isn’t much, but we’re not slavers!’ His deep voice rose as he spoke, and she glared at him. He looked down, taking a long breath, visibly containing his emotion. ‘Captain, we did not know there was a being in the cargo. We will not sell beings.’

‘She’s already here, with six Cyclops guards and the money. What exactly do you propose we do?’ Lyssa gestured back towards where the Lady Lamia stood, surrounded by the ugly beings. They were large, stupid creatures with one amber eye in the centre of their forehead, and sharp protrusions erupting all over their hairless skulls. A nervous-looking human boy stood behind her, holding an open box of silver drachmas.

‘You know exactly what I think we should do,’ he said, urgency in his low voice. ‘You can’t seriously be suggesting we hand this creature over to her. You’ve heard the rumours.’

Lyssa clenched her fists and looked back towards the Lady Lamia. The daughter of a god, and clearly not all human, she was famous in Olympus for her cruelty. Some of the rumours said she only ate living flesh. Lyssa’s nose scrunched up in revulsion at the thought. Her eyes flicked to the tank, and her stomach lurched. The creature’s huge green eyes were fixed on her. Even from a distance, they were piercing enough to unsettle her. This thing had been alone in the dark for weeks in the hull of the Alastor. Lyssa looked back at Epizon. Any moral turmoil she felt was magnified plainly on her first mate’s face. He looked at her beseechingly.

‘Of course not,’ she breathed, and Epizon’s tense stance relaxed. ‘But we really can’t afford to fight her. That’s why we took this bloody job in the first place; she was paying well,’ Lyssa muttered. Her ‘ask no questions’ attitude suited the captain of a smugglers ship, but this wasn’t the first time it had landed her somewhere she didn’t want to be.

‘Don’t worry, Captain,’ her first mate said, his huge frame filling out as he stood taller. ‘Maybe we can reason with her.’

Lyssa snorted. ‘Ever the diplomat,’ she said, rolling her eyes. ‘The woman is rumoured to be a vampire demigod. The chances of getting out of this with no damage are slim to none.’

Epizon shrugged. ‘Cost of doing the right thing, Captain.’

‘If that cost ends up being our lives, it’s on you,’ she said, turning back towards the tank.

‘I can live with that. Besides, we’ve taken on worse things than her and her Cyclopes,’ he answered, starting towards the lady.

‘I’m more worried about the thing in the tank,’ Lyssa muttered, and followed after him.

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Author Eliza Raine

Author Eliza Raine

About the Author
Eliza Raine lives near Reading in England with her husband, three cats and outrageously cute puppy. She has a BA Hons in History and has a deep-rooted passion for all types of mythology and stories about women who don’t need rescuing.

She can usually be found reading fairytale retellings, playing board games or binge-watching Netflix shows.

 

 

 

Where to Find Eliza Raine
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