Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – DEATHBRINGER (Olive Kennedy Fairy World M.D.) by Tamara Grantham

DEATHBRINGER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for DEATHBRINGER, the sixth book in the adult paranormal romance series, Olive Kennedy, Fairy World M.D., by award-winning author, Tamara Grantham. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

DEATHBRINGER (Olive Kennedy Fairy World M.D. #6) by Tamara Grantham

DEATHBRINGER (Olive Kennedy Fairy World M.D. #6) by Tamara Grantham

About the Book
Title: DEATHBRINGER
Series: Olive Kennedy, Fairy World M.D. #6
Author: Tamara Grantham
Publisher: Crimson Tree Publishing
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Genre:
 Adult Paranormal Romance/Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
Some heroes are fated to save the world. Others are meant to destroy it…

Olive Kennedy is all about positive thinking. She’s been stuck on Earth for the past four months, waiting for the spring equinox to arrive so she can return to Fairy World — but she’s staying positive. She’s hopeful she’ll once again see her handsome Viking fiancé who’s waiting for her. She’s optimistic that her mission to reclaim the sword of Dracon — a sword of King Arthur fame and the only weapon capable of killing Theht — won’t result in death and destruction. And then there’s the small matter of an asteroid that’s been ripped out of its orbit and is hurtling toward Earth…no biggie.

One last thing — she’s fated to destroy the world. To stop that prophecy from being fulfilled, she may have to sacrifice the one person she loves the most.

Good thing she’s staying positive.

.

 —————————————————————————-

DEATHBRINGER Teaser 1

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #2
Kull dropped the sword, his mouth slacking open.

“Olive?” he breathed. He stood, staring at me without moving.

I stopped several paces away from him. His eyes, that same glacier blue I’d seen in my dreams for the past four months, locked with mine. He crossed the distance between us and grabbed me in his arms, lifting my feet off the ground.

“It’s you?” he asked.

“Yes, of course it’s me. Who else would it be?”

His skin smelled of the sun and the calming scent of sandalwood. I cupped his cheeks in my hands, staring into his eyes, my fingertips brushing over a hint of stubble. He held me gently, not like in the past, but with more reverence, as though he couldn’t believe it was really me.

He breathed heavily, his chest pressed against mine, his body warm and alive, soothing my fears. Theht’s presence shied back, and I imagined I couldn’t even feel her there. He’d always had that effect on the goddess.

“I thought you might’ve been lost or worse. Why didn’t you return sooner?”

“I tried, but something is wrong with the portals. I suspect the asteroid is interfering with their magic. Plus, since I lost my mirror box, I wasn’t able to create a replacement that actually worked until now. I’m sorry I didn’t come back sooner.”

He nodded, still staring at me as if he couldn’t believe I was here.

“It’s been too long,” he said.

“I agree.”

I expected him to kiss me. Instead, he carefully placed my feet back on the ground and took a step away from me.

Rolf stared at us, and then he cleared his throat. “Hello, Olive,” he said with a nod.

“Hi, Rolf.”

“How are things in Earth Kingdom?” he asked.

“Fine, although I’m glad I finally made it back to Faythander.”

“Yes, we’re all glad you made it. And by all of us, I really mean Kull, because, you know, not everyone will be glad you’re here. In fact, I’m sure many people will hate that you’ve returned, especially considering—”

“Rolf,” Kull interjected. “That’s enough.”

“Oh, right.” He laughed nervously. “Yes, I should probably keep my mouth shut. I’ve got an awful bad habit of saying things when I shouldn’t. Bad timing and all that. You know, I was just about to head inside.” He gathered a sword and shield off the ground and grinned at us. “I suppose I’ll see you both in the castle.”

I watched as Rolf turned and walked toward the trail leading to the keep. As I turned back to Kull, I felt a hard knot form in my throat, although I wasn’t sure why. Was it just my imagination, or was he distancing himself from me?

“I’m glad you’ve returned,” he said formally, almost forced.

“Yes.”

After Rolf disappeared, he turned to me. “Olive, I need to discuss something with you.”

“Sure, what’s up?”

He took my fingers in his hand. “We’re feasting tonight in the great hall. It’s a tradition we take part in before long quests. And… there’s something I’ve been meaning to announce.”

“Okay. What have you been meaning to announce?”

“Our engagement.”

I eyed him. “You haven’t announced our engagement yet?”

He shook his head.

“Why not?”

“Well, it’s a bit complicated. To be honest, these past four months haven’t been easy. I was worried about you—worried you would never return.”

“I’m here now.”

He squeezed my fingers. “Yes, you’re here now. I suppose I shouldn’t have been so anxious, as I suspected something must’ve happened that prevented you from returning. There have been other strange happenings in Faythander, which may be the fault of the asteroid. Unusual lights in the sky at night, some of the magical creatures falling prey to illnesses, the weather patterns acting erratically…”

“That is odd, and it’s another reason we need to stop the asteroid from getting any closer.”

“I agree.”

An uneasy silence fell between us. “Kull, is something else bothering you?”

 —————————————————————————-

DEATHBRINGER Teaser 2

 —————————————————————————-

Author Tamara Grantham

Author Tamara Grantham

About the Author
Tamara Grantham is the award-winning author of more than half a dozen books and novellas, including the Olive Kennedy: Fairy World MD series and the Shine novellas. Dreamthief, the first book of her Fairy World MD series, won first place for fantasy in INDIEFAB’S Book of the Year Awards, a RONE award for best New Adult Romance of 2016, and is a #1 bestseller on Amazon in both the Mythology and Fairy Tales categories with over 100 reviews.

Tamara holds a Bachelor’s degree in English. She has been a featured speaker at the Rose State Writing Conference and has been a panelist at Comic Con Wizard World speaking on the topic of female leads. For her first published project, she collaborated with New York-Times bestselling author, William Bernhardt, in writing the Shine series.

Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. She rarely has any free time, but when the stars align and she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, taking nature walks, which fuel her inspiration for creating fantastical worlds, and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made.

Where to find Tamara Grantham
Goodreads | Website | Facebook Twitter

——————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER (Nava Katz) by Deborah Wilde

THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER, the first book in the adult urban fantasy romance series, Nava Katz, by Deborah Wilde. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER (Nava Katz #1) by Deborah Wilde

THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER (Nava Katz #1) by Deborah Wilde

About the Book
Title: THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER
Series: Neva Katz #1
Author: Deborah Wilde
Publisher: Te Da Media
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy Romance/Comedy
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Bridesmaids meets Buffy with a dash of the seven deadly sins.

The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose.

Ari Katz is intelligent, driven, and will make an excellent demon hunter once initiated into the Brotherhood of David. However, this book is about his twin Nava: a smart-ass, self-cultivated hot mess, who is thrilled her brother is stuck with all the chosen one crap.

When Nava half-drunkenly interrupts Ari’s induction ceremony, she expects to be chastised. What she doesn’t expect is to take her brother’s place among the–until now–all-male demon hunters. Even worse? Her infuriating leader is former rock star Rohan Mitra.

Too bad Rohan’s exactly what Nava’s always wanted: the perfect bad boy fling with no strings attached, because he may also be the one to bring down her carefully erected emotional shields. That’s as dangerous as all the evil fiends vying for the bragging rights of killing the only female ever chosen for Demon Club.

Odds of survival: eh.

Odds of having a very good time with Rohan before she bites it: much better.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #4
“Show me your power.” His hand snaked out and caught my wrist, pressing his palm against mine. Holding me in a barely contained show of strength.

“Death wish, much? I showed you in the backyard.”

“Barely even a tease.” He drawled the words.

I meant to pull away but I got my directions mixed up and pushed back against the warmth of his skin. “I will fire up. I’m warning you.”

Rohan leaned in. “Do it.” His eyes flared and I caught my bottom lip between my teeth.

Then some last iota of common sense–and self-preservation–raised its hand. I jerked away from him. If he was a demon, I should have killed him six times over by now. What the hell was I doing? “You still haven’t convinced me that you’re not a demon,” I said, giving the evil spawn another chance for reasons I didn’t want to examine too closely. “Fame doesn’t preclude that. Nor does having a super cool mom.”

“That doesn’t, but this does.” He held up his pinky finger, showing me the same gold ring as mine, with the same engraved hamsa and blue sapphire iris, which it turns out, was standard issue. And here I’d been hoping for a succession of property-stamping jewelry as I rose through the hunter ranks.

I fell back against my headboard. “You’re part of Demon Club. Fuck. Me.”

Rohan oogled me. “I won’t take that off the table yet.” He propped his chin on his hands on the top of the chair.

I cocked an eyebrow at him. “Did you just put me on a table?”

“More invoked a proverbial table and a conditional ‘yet.’ The ‘yet’ is an important component of this potential event,” he said.

You know what else was an important component? The presumptuous jerk still having attached balls for our proverbial fuck.

“I used to write fanfic about Fugue State Five,” I said in a conversational tone.

Lookie lookie. Return of the amused smirk. “How was I?” he asked.

I shrugged, examining my chipped nail polish. “No clue. I wrote self-insert fanfic about the rest of your band. Zack, your keyboardist was astounding.” I drawled that last word so he’d get the full implication.

“My keyboardist?” Rohan’s smugness was R.I.P. “But he’s gay.”

“I assure you that didn’t matter.” I gave a self-satisfied sigh. “He succumbed to my fifteen-year-old self’s wiles.”

Rohan straightened. “Which of my much older bandmates also succumbed, Lolita?”

“Please. You guys were only three years older.” I twisted a dark curl around my finger. “But pretty much of all of them.” I raked a pointed look over him. “The ones worth writing about.” He didn’t react. “Though succumbing is far more innocent than you’re imagining,” I admitted.

“I doubt you were ever innocent.”

That was highly insulting. Did he think I’d been born this way? Please. I’d worked hard to cultivate this level of sexual awesomeness.

  —————————————————————————-
THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER Teaser
  —————————————————————————-
Author Deborah Wilde

Author Deborah Wilde

About the Author
A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes adult urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. She is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. “It takes a bad girl to fight evil. Go Wilde.”

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Deborah Wilde
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

  —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Blog Tour – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER (Nava Katz) by Deborah Wilde

THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER Blog Tour

Welcome to the blog tour for THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER, the first book in the adult urban fantasy romance series, Nava Katz, by Deborah Wilde. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER (Nava Katz #1) by Deborah Wilde

THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER (Nava Katz #1) by Deborah Wilde

About the Book
Title: THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER
Series: Neva Katz #1
Author: Deborah Wilde
Publisher: Te Da Media
Release Date: April 18, 2017
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy Romance/Comedy
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Bridesmaids meets Buffy with a dash of the seven deadly sins.

The age-old story of what happens when a foul-mouthed, romance impaired heroine with no edit button and a predilection for hot sex is faced with her worst nightmare–a purpose.

Ari Katz is intelligent, driven, and will make an excellent demon hunter once initiated into the Brotherhood of David. However, this book is about his twin Nava: a smart-ass, self-cultivated hot mess, who is thrilled her brother is stuck with all the chosen one crap.

When Nava half-drunkenly interrupts Ari’s induction ceremony, she expects to be chastised. What she doesn’t expect is to take her brother’s place among the–until now–all-male demon hunters. Even worse? Her infuriating leader is former rock star Rohan Mitra.

Too bad Rohan’s exactly what Nava’s always wanted: the perfect bad boy fling with no strings attached, because he may also be the one to bring down her carefully erected emotional shields. That’s as dangerous as all the evil fiends vying for the bragging rights of killing the only female ever chosen for Demon Club.

Odds of survival: eh.

Odds of having a very good time with Rohan before she bites it: much better.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #3
I hadn’t been able to scope out his body in detail on our previous two encounters, but now, under proper lighting, I could tell he’d be nicely cut under that sweater that molded to him like a second skin. Underwear model nice and not the low rent, flyer-insert kind either. One of those glorious torsos caught in haunting black and white by Herb Ritts, the stark white of his briefs throwing his generous package into sharp relief.

Then there was his face. If it hadn’t been for the slight bent of his nose, indicating it had been broken, his South Asian beauty would have been too painful and/or depressing to look at. Killer cheekbones, firm chin, gorgeous brown skin and lips that were created to do bad, bad, wonderful things. It was going to be a crime against humanity to kill him.

I leaned in toward the slight breeze drifting in through my open window, refusing to fan myself in front of him.

He sat there under my scrutiny, totally comfortable. A sign of excess confidence and further proof of evil. Though the more I stared at him, the more I got a niggling feeling that I knew him.

“Did we ever…” I made a fist and pumped away in a back and forth motion.

Amusement lit his amber eyes. “I was the lead singer of Fugue State Five.” He smirked, saying the words as if obviously I’d heard of them. Fair enough.

Rohan Mitra had been the broody frontman whose so sensitive lyrics and rough growl singing voice induced mass hysteria at concerts world-wide. It was rumored he’d averted an oil crisis with a personal visit to a Sheik’s daughter. Watching the beautiful bastard now, I believed it.

“Oh my God!” I squealed. “Your mom is Maya Mitra. I love her!”

“My mom.” The smirk vanished.

The words tripped out of my mouth, I was so psyched to be one degree of separation away from this woman. “Punk rock Indian Jewish chick who blew every stereotype out of the water in her rise to hottest music producer in the biz? You get to be related to her?!” I bounced on the bed in sheer excitement, clapping a hand over my protesting boobs.

“And she to me,” he said dryly.

“Whatever.” I studied him. When Rohan had first gotten famous, he’d been an extremely pretty sixteen-year-old, all long limbs, smoldering doe eyes, and his trademark platinum blond hair falling into his face, but from his tightly muscled body to his five o’clock shadow, that boy was long gone. He seemed… harder. Don’t go there, honey. Thankfully his standard issue wear of Vans, black skinny jeans, and vintage-looking weird graphic T-shirts were no longer a part of his repertoire.

Even Leo, his super fan, might have needed time to make the connection between his past and present selves.

I raked an approving glance over his vastly improved fashion sense, enjoying the view from the top of his fitted sweater, along his tailored black dress pants, and down to the tips of his Italian footwear. His leather jacket was tossed on my windowsill. “I didn’t recognize you without the eyeliner and glaring dye job, Rohan.”

He tipped his head. “Yeah. Thrilled that look is immortalized for all time. Now, come on.”

“Come on and what?”

“Show me your power.”

  —————————————————————————-
THE UNLIKEABLE DEMON HUNTER Teaser
  —————————————————————————-
Author Deborah Wilde

Author Deborah Wilde

About the Author
A global wanderer, hopeless romantic, and total cynic with a broken edit button, Deborah writes adult urban fantasy to satisfy her love of smexy romances and tales of chicks who kick ass. She is all about the happily-ever-after, with a huge dose of hilarity along the way. “It takes a bad girl to fight evil. Go Wilde.”

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Deborah Wilde
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon

  —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Sale Blitz + Giveaway – SHEARWATER (Ocean Depths) by D.S. Murphy

SHEARWATER by D.S. Murphy

Welcome to the sale blitz for SHEARWATER, the first book in the young adult paranormal/fantasy romance series, Ocean Depths, by D.S. Murphy. For a limited time, you can pick up the eBook for just $0.99. See below for information on the book and buy links.

SHEARWATER by D.S. Murphy

SHEARWATER by D.S. Murphy

About the Book
Title: SHEARWATER
Series: Ocean Depths #1
Author: D.S. Murphy
Publisher: Urban Epics
Release Date: January 19, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Shearwater is a young adult mermaid novel that will appeal to lovers of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, witches, Irish mythology, and supernatural folklore.

After her parents die in a car accident, 15-year old Clara Clark is shipped off to live with a grandfather she never knew existed… in Ireland. Once there, she discovers that her mother’s past is filled with secrets. Determined to discover the truth about her mother, a string of strange incidents cause her to question her sanity. As the mystery deepens, she begins going through changes of her own, until she’s not sure just who – or what – she is anymore.

Then she meets the charming Sebastian, who won’t leave her alone, and the brooding Ethan, who can’t stand to be around her. Both of them seem to have supernatural powers, and she’s not quite sure whether they want to kiss her or kill her. When a shocking revelation destroys everything she thought she knew, she’s forced to choose… whether to cling to the last of her humanity, or venture into the deep abyss in search of her true identity.

I watched the colored lights and sparkles coming off of Sebastian in the dark water, as the ocean began the process of rebuilding his tail. I longed to join him in the water, to wrap my arms around him and let him carry me under the sea; but I wasn’t ready. For him, the ocean was a home; for me it was death. Without being able to transform, the ocean depths would suffocate me, the pressure collapse my bones and flesh.

>>Explore the magical coast of Northern Ireland, and a new interpretation of the Tuatha de Danann, the Fomorians, and mermaid mythology.

>>An innovative paranormal romance with a brand new magical system, and a version of mermaid biology that actually makes sense.

This is PART ONE of the first book (Shearwater), of the Ocean Depths Series.

Here’s a teaser for the epic conclusion: Clara is in the middle of a war between two ancient cultures, and she just might be the key to saving humanity from extermination. Can she negotiate a peace before everyone she cares about is murdered? Or will she give up what she wants most, to save the one she loves?

 —————————————————————————-

Author D.S. Murphy

Author D.S. Murphy

About the Author
I wrote my MA thesis on Harry Potter and am working on my PhD in literature, while secretly writing YA fantasy novels and designing book covers. I blog about self-publishing, book design and book marketing, and am renting a castle for Nanowrimo 2016. I hope you like my writing!

.
.

.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find D.S. Murphy
Goodreads | Website |  FacebookTwitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
You can enter to win a paperback copy of Shearwater HERE!
.

Cover Reveal – DREAM FREQUENCY (Dream Girl) by S.J. Lomas

Scribe Publishing and author S.J. Lomas are unveiling the cover to DREAM FREQUENCY, the second book in the young adult fantasy romance series, Dream Girl, releasing June, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

DREAM FREQUENCY (Dream Girl #2) by S.J. Lomas

DREAM FREQUENCY (Dream Girl #2) by S.J. Lomas

About the Book
Title: DREAM FREQUENCY
Series: Dream Girl #2
Author: S.J. Lomas
Publisher: Scribe Publishing
Release Date: June, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Christine would never have considered herself new recruit material for a secret U.S. agency. Until recently, she’s just been an ordinary girl graduating from high school and wondering if a friendship with Gabriel, a mysterious coworker, would grow into something romantic. When Christine’s fascination with Gabriel leads to her discovery of dreamworlds, she learns that she’s anything but ordinary. In this thrilling conclusion to Dream Girl, Christine and Gabriel must choose their allegiances and face corruption, conspiracy, and the complexities of love in order to save themselves and everyone who matters to them – or die trying.

.

.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Author S.J. Lomas

Author S.J. Lomas

About the Author
S.J. is a cheerful Michigan girl who writes strange and somewhat dark stories for young adults and those who love to read YA literature.

..

.

.

.

Where to Find S.J. Lomas
Goodreads | Website | BlogFacebook | Twitter
.

Release Day – PAPER FOOLS (Hearts and Arrows) by Staci Hart

PAPER FOOLS Release Day

Today is release day for PAPER FOOLS, the first book in the adult urban fantasy romance series, Hearts and Arrows, by Staci Hart. See below for information on the book, buy links, and a couple of exclusive teasers.

PAPER FOOLS (Hearts and Arrows #1) by Staci Hart

PAPER FOOLS (Hearts and Arrows #1) by Staci Hart

About the Book
Title: PAPER FOOLS
Series: Hearts and Arrows #1
Author: Staci Hart
Release Date: April 17, 2017
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy/Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Aphrodite knows love — just don’t ask her to figure out her own mess. 

Rather than deal with her sticky love life, she toys with the hearts of unwitting humans. It’s a little game she plays, and the stakes are high. Lucky for her, she’s just found the perfect match.

Lex is everything Dean needs, but he can’t have her.

It doesn’t matter that her eyes speak to a long forgotten part of him, or that her art and poetry touch his shredded heart. She’s off limits — crossing that line would implode his band and everything he’s ever cared about. There’s only one option: stay away from her, no matter the cost. Even if the price is his heart.

Dean is everything Lex wants, but she can’t take the risk.

The second she meets him, she knows her heart is in danger. She’s convinced it’s only attraction that has her hung up on the dark, quiet lead singer, but with every day that passes, she knows it’s more. It’s just that she can’t put her heart on the line. She won’t — love has never been worth the sacrifice.

If only they knew they were just pawns in a much bigger game. And in the game of love, Aphrodite never loses. 

*Formerly titled Deer in Headlights, Paper Fools has been rewritten and reedited for your enjoyment.*

 —————————————————————————-

PAPER FOOLS Teaser 1

 —————————————————————————-

PAPER FOOLS Teaser 2

——————————————————————

Author Staci Hart

Author Staci Hart

About the Author
Staci has been a lot of things up to this point in her life: a graphic designer, an entrepreneur, a seamstress, a clothing and handbag designer, a waitress. Can’t forget that. She’s also been a mom, with three little girls who are sure to grow up to break a number of hearts. She’s been a wife, even though she’s certainly not the cleanest, or the best cook. She’s also super, duper fun at a party, especially if she’s been drinking whiskey. Her favorite word starts with f and ends with k.

From roots in Houston, to a seven year stint in Southern California, Staci and her family ended up settling somewhere in between and equally north, in Denver. They are new enough that snow is still magical. When she’s not writing, she’s sleeping, cleaning, or designing graphics.

.

Where to Find Staci Hart
Goodreads | WebsiteFacebookTwitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Amazon
.

Cover Reveal – RISE OF THE SEA WITCH by Stacey Rourke

RISE OF THE SEA WITCH Cover Reveal

Author Stacey Rourke is unveiling the cover to RISE OF THE SEA WITCHa stand-alone young adult fantasy romance, releasing June, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.

RISE OF THE SEA WITCH by Stacey Rourke

RISE OF THE SEA WITCH by Stacey Rourke

About the Book
Title: RISE OF THE SEA WITCH
Author: Stacey Rourke
Release Date: June, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads

Synopsis
Details of the sea witch’s banishment have been exaggerated. The body count that preempted it was not. Once an illustrious princess, her hands and tentacles were stained with the blood of thousands. No one could comprehend how the hooks of madness dragged her down from her life of privilege.

Born Princess Vanessa of Atlantica, the ambitious young royal was one of two children born to the great King Poseidon. She and her brother, Triton, were groomed from birth to rule. Yet only one would ascend that coveted throne. While carefree Triton flits through his training with a cavalier demeanor and beguiling charm, Vanessa’s hunger for her father’s acceptance drives her to push herself to the limits of magic, and combat to become a leader worthy of her people.

When war against the humans ravages their once regal kingdom, political sides are chosen. Factions from the seven seas challenge the existing leadership, pitting Vanessa against her brother in a vicious battle for the crown. Traitors are exposed, dark family secrets revealed, and a once strong sibling bond is strained to its breaking point.

Only when the ink black waters from the ultimate betrayal rescind, will the truth be known of how the villainous sea witch rose with one name on her vengeful lips–Triton.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Stacey Rourke

Author Stacey Rourke

About the Author
Stacey Rourke is the author of the award winning YA Gryphon Series, the chillingly suspenseful Legends Saga, and the romantic comedy Reel Romance Series. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant dogs. She loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction, and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head.

RONE Award Winner for Best YA Paranormal Work of 2012 for Embrace, a Gryphon Series Novel
Young Adult and Teen Reader voted Author of the Year 2012
Turning Pages Magazine Winner for Best YA book of 2013 & Best Teen Book of 2013
Readers’ Favorite Silver Medal Winner for Crane 2015
.

Where to find Stacey Rourke
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
.

Book Blitz – Guest Post + Giveaway – IMMORTAL FIRE (Red Winter Trilogy) by Annette Marie

IMMORTAL FIRE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for IMMORTAL FIRE, the third book in the young adult fantasy series, Red Winter Trilogy, by Annette Marie. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive guest post on the author’s favorite dragons, and details on her giveaway.

IMMORTAL FIRE (Red Winter Trilogy #3) by Annette Marie

IMMORTAL FIRE (Red Winter Trilogy #3) by Annette Marie

About the Book
Title: IMMORTAL FIRE
Series: Red Winter Trilogy #3
Author: Annette Marie
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy
Release Date: April 11, 2017
Genre:
 Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Once, Emi believed the heavenly gods were righteous and wise, while the earthly yokai spirits were bloodthirsty and evil. But with a traitorous deity poised to destroy her world, and the yokai standing as humanity’s only defense, the lies of her upbringing have toppled to reveal a far more terrifying reality.

Despite the looming threat, Emi can’t escape her greatest distraction: Shiro, the fox yokai who has so deftly claimed her heart for his own. Soon—too soon—she will have to break the curse that binds his magic and memories. And once the ancient power inside him awakens, the yokai she loves will be changed forever.

As the earthly gods gather to wage war against the heavens, Emi and Shiro must gamble everything to turn the tide against their immortal, all-powerful foes. Together, they will find a way to save her world—even if it means losing each other.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Annette Marie’s Top 5 Dragons
1. Smaug from The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien, because of course he’s in my top five. He’s the ultimate dragon personality.
“My armor is like tenfold shields, my teeth are swords, my claws spears, the shock of my tail is a thunderbolt, my wings a hurricane, and my breath death!”

2. Temeraire from His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik. Temeraire just isn’t quite what you’d expect—intelligent, elegant, and surprisingly polite. I’m pretty sure everyone who’s read the book immediately adored him.
The dragonet puzzled at the question for several moments, and finally said, with a dissatisfied air, “I do not have a name.”

Laurence asked, formally, “May I give you one?”

It–or rather he, for the voice was definitely masculine–looked him over again, paused to scratch at an apparently flawless spot on his back, then said with unconvincing indifference, “If you please.”

3. Mushu from Disney’s Mulan. This one needs no explanation, right?
Mulan: My ancestors sent a little lizard to help me?

Mushu: Hey! Dragon. DRA-GON, not lizard. I don’t do that tongue thing.

4. Janx from The Negotiator Trilogy by CE Murphy. A dragon in human form, he’s my favorite character from the series. I wanted him to be in every chapter.
Margrit saw him move, quick long strides that somehow suggested a larger creature transferring its attention from one spot to another. His approach was consummate grace, fire flowing across an open space like a living thing. Then he was beside her, making the air crackle with dry heat.

Eyes half-lidded like a snake’s, he stepped back with a smile that revealed curving eyeteeth and offered her a hand. “Dance with me, Margrit Knight.”

5. Zwi from the Steel & Stone Series by yours truly. How could I resist including one of my own dragons? Zwi is absolutely Adorable, with a capital A. Plus she’s clever, brave, and always ready for trouble.
Piper drew herself up and glared instead. “Your dragonet snuck into my room and stole something from me.”

Ash glanced at the creature on his shoulder. It tilted its head and somehow managed to project total innocence.

“Zwi, were you stealing again?” he murmured.

The dragonet trilled, its head weaving from side to side as it squirmed in a distinctly guilty way.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Annette Marie

Author Annette Marie

About the Author
Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

.

.

.

,

..

Where to find Michele de Winton
Goodreads | Website | Facebook Twitter

——————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Cover Reveal – GALLOWGLASS by Jennifer Allis Provost

GALLOWGLASS Cover Reveal

Bellatrix Press and author Jennifer Allis Provost are revealing the cover to GALLOWGLASS, the first book in the new adult urban fantasy series, Gallowglass, releasing June 6, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and pre-order links.

GALLOWGLASS (Gallowglass #1) by Jennifer Allis Provost

GALLOWGLASS (Gallowglass #1) by Jennifer Allis Provost

About the Book
Title
: GALLOWGLASS
Series: Gallowglass #1
Author: Jennifer Allis Provost
Publisher: Bellatrix Press
Category: New Adult Urban Fantasy
Release Date: June 6, 2017
LinksGoodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Karina didn’t set out to free the Seelie Queen’s gallowglass. Now she’ll do anything to keep him.

After Karina and her brother, Chris’s, lives fall apart in separate yet equally spectacular ways, they leave New York behind and head to the UK. Karina buries herself in research for her doctoral thesis, all the while studiously not thinking about the man who broke her heart, while Chris—who’d been a best-selling author before his ex-fiancée sued him for plagiarism—drinks his way across the British Isles.

In Scotland, they visit the grave of Robert Kirk, a seventeenth- century minister who was kidnapped by fairies. No one is more shocked than Karina when a handsome man with a Scottish brogue appears, claiming to be the Robert Kirk of legend. What’s more, he says he spent the last few hundred years as the Gallowglass, the Seelie Queen’s personal assassin. When they’re attacked by demons, Karina understands how dearly the queen wants him back.

As Karina and Robert grow closer, Chris’s attempts to drown his sorrows lead him to a pub, and a woman called Sorcha. Chris is instantly smitten with her, so much so he spends days with Sorcha and lies to his sister about his whereabouts. When Chris comes home covered in fey kisses, Karina realizes that the Seelie Queen isn’t just after Robert.

Can Karina outsmart the Seelie Queen, or is Robert doomed to forever be the Gallowglass?

 —————————————————————————

Author Jennifer Allis Provost

Author Jennifer Allis Provost

About the Author
Jennifer Allis Provost writes books about faeries, orcs and elves. Zombies too. She grew up in the wilds of Western Massachusetts and had read every book in the local library by age twelve. (It was a small library). An early love of mythology and folklore led to her epic fantasy series, The Chronicles of Parthalan, and her day job as a cubicle monkey helped shape her urban fantasy, Copper Girl. When she’s not writing about things that go bump in the night (and sometimes during the day) she’s working on her MFA in Creative Nonfiction.

.

..

.

Where to Find Jennifer allis Provost
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
.

Cover Reveal – DRAGON SPLENDOR (Immortal Dragons) by Ophelia Bell

DRAGON SPLENDOR Cover Reveal

Author Ophelia Bell is revealing the cover to DRAGON SPLENDOR, the third book in her adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Immortal Dragons, releasing April 7, 2017. See below for the cover, information the book, and pre-order links.

DRAGON SPLENDOR (Immortal Dragons #3) by Ophelia Bell

DRAGON SPLENDOR (Immortal Dragons #3) by Ophelia Bell

About the Book
Title: DRAGON SPLENDOR
Series: Immortal Dragons #3
Author: Ophelia Bell
Release Date: April 7, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy/Paranormal Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Synopsis
Nobody said finding your fated mate would mean an instant happily ever after. For immortal gold dragon Aurum, meeting the lover who’s haunted her dreams for centuries is only the start of her problems. The ancient satyr, Calder, knows he’s destined to mate a dragon. The problem is, he made a vow never to take a mate until he’s completed his mission to track down the slippery nymph who betrayed his race. Caught in the middle of the pair, young ursa Nicholas only knows he desperately wants two people he can’t have. He would do anything to make them both happy, even if it means breaking the laws of his own race, and setting into motion a chain of events that will get all three of them exiled. With a war between ancient allies on the horizon, the trio soon realizes that victory might just go hand in hand with surrender where matters of the heart are concerned.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Ophelia Bell

Author Ophelia Bell

About the Author
Ophelia Bell loves a good bad-boy and especially strong women in her stories. Women who aren’t apologetic about enjoying sex and bad boys who don’t mind being with a woman who’s in charge, at least on the surface, because pretty much anything goes in the bedroom.

Ophelia grew up on a rural farm in North Carolina and now lives in Los Angeles with her own tattooed bad-boy husband and four attention-whoring cats.

If you’d like to receive regular updates on Ophelia’s publications, freebies, and discounts, please subscribe to her mailing list: http://opheliabell.com/subscribe/

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Ophelia Bell
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter
.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE WHITE RAVEN by Carrie D. Miller

THE WHITE RAVEN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE WHITE RAVEN, an adult fantasy, by Carrie D. Miller. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE WHITE RAVEN by Carrie D. Miller

THE WHITE RAVEN by Carrie D. Miller

About the Book
Title: THE WHITE RAVEN
Author: Carrie D. Miller
Release Date: April 1, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Finally, after nearly a thousand years, Aven Dovenelle is truly happy. In her thirteenth life, she’s settled into the now witchcraft-friendly Salem, Massachusetts, where she has opened her own shop and made great friends—there’s even a possibility of love blooming.

Despite her contentment in this new life, the truth of Aven’s existence haunts her. She is cursed to live life after life, with all the memories of her horrific past. For all her powers, she’s never discovered why she was cursed nor how to break it. Hope may come in the form of a mysterious white raven, who has followed Aven through each of her lives. Although they have a connection that neither understands, it may prove to be her salvation.

An evil force from Aven’s past isn’t finished with her. Driven by vengeance and hate, he emerges to torment her anew and threatens all she’s built. He strikes without warning—her loved ones are caught in the wake of his attack and may not survive the encounter.

The cost of her happiness and freedom could be too high as Aven uncovers the truth about her curse and that dark magick lingers.

 —————————————————————————-

Prologue Excerpt
Calico, California – 1886

They are close. I sense their hatred. Though I am prepared, I must force myself to be calm. I do not fear what comes although I know I will be dead soon. Running from this place now is not something I wish to do, nor do I care to fight anymore. I’m ready to seek out a new land, a new time, and to continue on to the next life I am cursed to begin.

My Pyrenees is at attention by my side, ears pricked and hackles raised. “It is time to go, my girl.” She whines and lowers her head, her big brown eyes pools of concern. “You go ahead,” I say with a smile. “I’ll be along soon.”

I hear the gallop of fast-moving horses and the shouts of agitated men as they approach my home. The sound of heavy boots bounding onto the porch makes my skin prickle. Torchlight fills the windows and I steel myself. The front door splinters when one of those heavy boots comes through it.

“I knew there was somethin’ not right about you.” The man in the lead is Morris Stiles, the town’s bully. I’m sure he took quick ownership of the lynching party so he could exercise his insatiable need to inflict pain and suffering without the threat of retribution. Not to mention the chance to snare himself a witch.

His face seethes with hostility. The men who crowd into the room behind him wear the same expression. The grin forming on his face as he looks me over is filled with decaying stubs that once passed for teeth. Many months ago, I offered to ease his pain, but was met with the back of his hand followed by a brown, revolting gob of spit aimed at my face.

Life in Calico has been filled with hardships. Each time I felt a modicum of acceptance, someone like Morris Stiles would speak against me. My goats and chickens were taken one by one, and the sheriff was not the least bit sympathetic or helpful in retrieving them. I am not one to back down so I held on, hoping for the relief of simply being ignored.

Now, yet another angry mob is at my doorstep. I know my lover has not had a direct hand in this. I am certain that due to the effects of much drink, his lips recounted events he should have kept hidden. I confessed to him this very morning that I am, in fact, a witch, and his reaction was what I had expected. I am unable to hide my true self for very long, and I am either revealed by my actions or by my simple confession. I will not deceive my lover with lies and trickery. I have told myself time and time again to stay away from love but the pangs and yearnings cannot be ignored, not even by one such as myself.

There is no fear on my face as I glare at the five men who have invaded my little home. Each one averts his eyes. As I inhale, my lungs fill with the thick, heavy air the men brought with them—full of sweat, dirt, whiskey, and anger.

I glower at the still grinning man. “Morris Stiles, you are a fool.” My voice resonates throughout the room. The sound makes the men jump and look around, wide-eyed.

Morris grunts and spits a brown mass onto the floor. “Them’s funny words coming from a whore a’ Satan!”

I scoff. “Tell me one thing, just one thing—any of you—that I have done to remotely reflect the work of the devil?” No one meets my eyes and nothing intelligible passes from their lips. Feeling the mood of his men shift, Morris lurches forward.

“Don’t matter! You do things no livin’ person should be doin’. Ain’t but God himself that can mend a broke back, or make Jenny’s fever break even after Doc said nuthin’ could be done. You got wrong in you, woman, and we gon’ fix that!” He lunges for me. Emboldened by Morris, three other men follow. I do not cry out as they grip my arms and shoulders with rough, dirty hands. Morris binds my hands in front of me. The smell of their breath and body odor stings my nose. I am ushered from my home with shouts and laughter. The night is fresh and crisp after the all-day rain. I welcome the clean air into my lungs.

“Why don’t she fight?” someone mutters behind me. “Why don’t she scream? Ain’t never known a woman not to go screamin’.”

“’Nother thing that ain’t natural ’bout her. Like them purple eyes!”

I am shoved up onto an old, work-worn mare. A timid voice comes from behind the rest.

“But she made Pa’s leg stop hurtin’. He’s able to get out in the fields again. Ma said it was a miracle and that God was workin’ through her.”

“Shut yer mouth, boy!” Morris slaps the young man hard on the back of the head. He grips the boy by his collar. “Yer Pa’s lucky she didn’t turn that leg into a cloven hoof!” He pushes the boy backward and turns to face me.

“We gonna show you what we do to witches!” He throws his head back and hoots manically. Several men follow suit; some punctuate their exuberance with gunshots into the air.

The horse underneath me snorts and pulls back from the man holding the reins, jerking her head from side to side. He yells obscenities at her and yanks her bridle. I run my hands along her taut neck and make her listen to my words in her mind. She calms to the song I sing to her.

I am paraded down the main street through town towards the cemetery where the gallows stands. Many outlaws have met their end in this manner, and it appears so will I.

The cemetery is unusually bright this evening with torches on every fence post. They cast a harsh yellow glow onto the weathered wood of the gallows. I am aware of the shouts, calls, and other verbal assaults around me, but I hear nothing except the steady beating of my heart. I focus on controlling my movements and breathing. I will not give them the satisfaction of seeing my fear. While I am not afraid of death itself as I have done it eleven times before, it is the act of dying I fear. But I am pleased by the method they have chosen, for it is a fast end if done properly.

I am shoved up the steps and I will my legs to keep up. I am jerked around into position in front of the freshly tied noose of new rope. Morris presents it and me to the crowd—the ringmaster to this circus.

“Lookie what we got here!” He shoves me forward as if they couldn’t already see me. “By her own confession to Roy Shackleford, she’s a gawd damn witch!” The crowd becomes deafening.

I catch the eye of the town preacher at the far end of the massive throng. His face is smug and his eyes dance with spiteful glee. Under my glare, his grin falters and he moves behind a large elderly woman who’s covered herself in a quilt and grasps a wooden cross tightly in her meaty fists.

Morris continues to speak random sentences describing my unnatural and ungodly ways, inciting the crowd further. I look upon their hateful faces, devoid of any resemblance to the humans they were earlier in the day. I pity them all for their small, feeble minds. I become aware that Morris is attempting to put the noose around my neck.

“I wish to speak!” I yank myself away from Morris’s grip. Much to his dismay, I am stronger than I have led him to believe.

I am booed and hissed at, and the crowd calls for my immediate death. I clench my teeth and hiss back at them. “Silence!” The force in my voice, the unearthly sound I make, strikes them dumb. “You will listen.

“Almost half of you have benefited from my healing skill.” My gaze seeks those I readily find who have been under my care. Their eyes do not meet mine.

“I have caused no harm to any of you, nor your land, nor your property. I have done only good deeds. Refute that, anyone!” People shift their feet and hide their faces behind those in front of them. The people in the front look at the ground. In the silence, I hear the flapping of large wings and see the heavy flames of the torches dance in the air currents. I cannot see the creature but I know it. I have always known it. A sharp, angry cry from the bird peals out above the crowd. There are gasps and cries of fear; some crouch down as they stare into the black sky. I feel strangely calmed by the bird’s presence.

Morris steps forward to speak, and my thoughts close his windpipe. He grips his throat, his eyes widening. My eyes warn him not to proceed. I will be allowed to speak, Morris, but you no longer will.

“As I look at each of your faces, I know none of my words will make the slightest difference. Your minds are small and petty. The only danger here is you. You believe you are ridding the world of some great evil tonight. But all you are doing is worsening your own lives. Ponder that as you lay your heads on your pillows. The evil here is you, for there is none in me.”

I release Morris from where he stands still gasping for air. As he tries to recover himself, he waves several men forward to put me back into place. Coughing is all he can manage as he puts the noose over my head and jerks it tight. When he is close to my face, he spits at me. The smell of it would be nauseating if I could feel anything other than rage.

He shoves each man out of the way so he is the one to pull the lever that controls the trap door upon which I stand. He stumbles and is still sputtering to get words out, but he can only cough and spit. As my last act of defiance, I make those the only sounds that will ever come out of his mouth. My petty revenge makes me smile.

The movement of the well-worn mechanism opening the trap door is loud in my ears. It is all I hear though I’m certain the crowd has reached a frenzied state. For the length of a breath, I am suspended in midair. I look above the crowd as I plummet downward, seeing a flash of white wings in my periphery.

I relax my neck and let the noose perform its job without resistance. I want this over quickly, to have my neck snap immediately. The noose tightens as my weight pulls my body down. The pain is but a quick jolt and then the world is black and silent to me.

  —————————————————————————-

Author Carrie D. Miller

Author Carrie D. Miller

About the Author
Carrie D. Miller was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on October 31, 1970. She credits her vivid imagination, as well as her sugar addiction, to being a Halloween baby. In a former life, she was an executive in the software industry for many years. Her career in the technology world included software product management, website design, training, and technical writing just to name a few. Although Carrie’s written a great deal over the decades which has been read by thousands of people, software documentation allows for about as much creativity as pouring cement. At the age of 45, she decided to chuck it all to become an author which had been a life-long dream.

.

.

Where to Find Carrie D. Miller
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

  —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE PENANCE OF PRIDE (Shadyia Ascendant) by T.S. Adrian

THE PENANCE OF PRIDE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE PENANCE OF PRIDE, the second book in the adult fantasy series, Shadiyia Ascendant, by T.S. Adrian. See below for information the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE PENANCE OF PRIDE (Shadyia Ascendant #2) by T.S. Adrian

THE PENANCE OF PRIDE (Shadyia Ascendant #2) by T.S. Adrian

About the Book
Title: THE PENANCE OF PRIDE
Series: Shadiyia Ascendant #2
Author: T.S. Adrian
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Links: GoodreadsAmazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Shadyia’s Adventure Continues!

‘I will never leave you, and I will always come for you.’

Shadyia’s vow to her lover is put to the test when the Innocenti rise and envelope the sisterhood she adores.

As the magician she aided hunts for the path to an ancient city, the new madam of the Silver Rose strives to please the evil that has promised, upon its freedom, to make her a queen.

Meanwhile, the advisor to the Innocenti prepares the final stage of his strategy to crush the faith of the old gods. He needs but a bit of magic to carry out his ultimate plan.

Magicians. Zealots. Madams. Whores. It’s all the same to he who waits within the enchanted box. Soon he will unleash his servants, and every horror of the abyss will once again consume humanity.

 

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt
IN THE SHADOW of the Black Tower, Shadyia nudged the shoulder of the scruffy, tired woman strolling by her side. When Deresi turned her head, she offered her a spirited wave. Hello, my sweet friend. They both needed a hot bath and a good night’s rest, but that hardly mattered. Deresi was alive. They had each survived the horrors of Mirrikh’s labyrinth with whole skins and sound minds.

Deresi crossed her eyes and stuck out the tip of her tongue.

Shadyia shifted her attention to the damp street. Yes, I know. I should stop gawking at you. She couldn’t help it. Her fingers ached to get lost in the tangles of Deresi’s red curls; her ears yearned for the sounds of Deresi’s passion, and her skin craved the warmth they had not shared often enough. I almost lost you. The death they had faced during the past two days made her crave another night, like the smallest fox in a litter peering at the last quail egg. Words Shadyia had spoken that morning they lay entwined in arms, legs and blankets—the morning Deresi had pledged her love—coursed through Shadyia’s veins and spurred her heart to beat. I will never leave you, and I will always come for you. Shadyia had never made such a promise to anyone before.

She yanked her thoughts from the past and listened in on the men walking a few paces in front of her. Aaron was asking his apprentice what it had been like to hear Verthandi’s voice in his thoughts.

“I didn’t know it was his voice,” Benjamin replied. “I thought it was mine.”

Aaron swept a hand through his graying hair and narrowed his gaze at the young man. “But you had no idea how to open the tower. Didn’t it seem odd to you that these thoughts were in your head?”

Benjamin shrugged. “It does now. At the time, I thought I was just guessing, experimenting. Do this, turn that, push, pull—and then the doors opened. I couldn’t believe it.”

Shadyia seized the pommel of her blacksteel sword. She couldn’t believe Benjamin had left Janell outside while he bumbled around inside the Black Tower. Janell may be a fellow sister of the Silver Rose, but for all of Madam Amrita’s training, she was a mewling kitten lost in a rainstorm. Anderholm was no city to walk about alone, even for a veteran with a drawn sword and a stern gaze on every dark alley. Shadyia tamped down her anger. If Benjamin hadn’t opened the doors of the tower and entered, she, Deresi and Aaron would now be facing a slow death from thirst and starvation in Mirrikh’s oubliette, the place the ancient magician had used to forget people who had angered him.

Aaron led them north. They followed the smooth stones of Queen’s Way, the scrape of their footfalls the only sounds in the damp streets. Shadyia glanced around. Too quiet. Today was the second day of Samprina and so the citizens were either fasting in their homes or visiting relatives in the country, but the silence didn’t feel right. Anderholm was a city of noise. The clap of hooves, the roll of wagons, merchants bellowing over one another, armed guards hollering to clear a path for a snobbish lord on horseback, the squeal of orphaned children, the bark of dogs—chaos was the lifeblood of Anderholm. Quiet did not become the trade capitol of the northern realms.

“Here, this way.” Aaron turned them down a long alley between the Ministry of Art and a pottery warehouse. As Shadyia recalled, the alley ended at the Rum Barrel Inn near the Bridge of Swans. Aaron’s Featherquill Manor, packed with the historical books he had written over his many centuries, was a short walk up a winding road past the other mansions in the Artisan Quarter. When they arrived, he had promised to treat them to an evening of relaxing and recovering. Shadyia blew a gust through her lips at the thought. After two days and a night in the dark, twisting halls of labyrinth, pits of spikes hidden under false floors and shadow beasts that drained the life from their victims, she craved a quiet evening in Deresi’s arms more than all the gold in Anderholm. I just hope Janell made it back there without trouble.

Midway through the alley, a single-horse cart, driven by two cloaked men, rolled toward them. Shadyia and the others flattened themselves against the wall. She turned her head as it passed. Some mortified soul lay wrapped in a heavy cloth in the back of the cart. Likely the men were gravediggers on their way to—The corpse! Shadyia recognized its white boots.

“Stop that cart!”

The driver snapped his reins against the horse as Aaron grabbed the air and twisted his fist. The wheels locked and dragged until the cart screeched to a halt. The driver lashed his reins again, but the horse only reared. The men, one thin and the other large, jumped back off the bench, stepped around the wrapped figure and dropped to the street. They threw open their cloaks and pulled out a pair of long knives. Shadyia drew her blacksteel sword as she and Aaron met them halfway. Aaron twisted his hands, palms outward, and the fat one was hurled against the wall by an unseen force. The other stood dumbfounded until Shadyia knocked the knife out of his hand with a downward slash and pressed the tip of her sword under his chin.
“Over there, move,” she said, urging the driver, a man with dark lines tattooed on half his face, to stand next to his fat companion. He lifted his hands in surrender and complied.

The force holding the large man released, but Shadyia moved the tip and pricked the fleshy pouch under his chin. “Drop the knife.”

The knife clattered to the street and the fat man lifted his portly arms.

“Dee, check the cart.”

Deresi snatched the thin man’s knife off the ground and leaped into the cart. Shadyia heard her cut the ropes. She glanced down the alley to make sure no others were coming, but only Benjamin stood there, ringing his hands and looking as if he were not sure what he should do.

Silence from the cart drove Shadyia to risk a glance. Deresi was sitting back on her heels, her shoulders slumped, staring down at the person she had partly exposed beneath the cloth. “Dee, who is it? Is it Janell?”

Deresi’s mouth moved but no sound came out. “I…”

What’s wrong with her? “Dee!”

“I can’t tell!” Deresi briefly covered her lips with trembling fingers. “I think it is.”

Benjamin charged, jolting Shadyia as he passed, and leaped into the cart.

A freezing wave passed over Shadyia. Deresi couldn’t tell? She glanced at Aaron, who had remained at her side, then faced the portly man and jabbed him with the tip. “What did you do to her?”

The fat man’s jaw shuddered and a drop of blood leaked down his pouch. “She asked to join us.”

Shadyia nearly stabbed him again when Benjamin’s wail echoed along the alley. “Mentor, please help!”

Aaron rushed the cart as Shadyia coiled back her sword, daring either man to move. She glanced as Aaron further pulled open the cloth, stained dark red on the inside, to reveal a naked body. Benjamin wailed anew as Aaron placed a hand on her forehead. Deresi scooted back into the corner of the cart and stared at Janell, as motionless as one posing for a sculpture.

Benjamin sobbed. “What have they done to her?”

“She’s alive,” Aaron said.

Movement from the tattooed man caught Shadyia’s attention. His hands came down—back!—and she stabbed deep in his shoulder.

He snarled, reeled and fell against the wall, his hand over the wound. “You bitch.” He checked the blood on his fingers.“Next time it will be your eye.”

A bellow of anguish tore Shadyia from the men. Aaron fell off the cart, hit the cobbled stones hard, and rolled on the ground. Benjamin called his name and jumped down as Deresi stood high on her knees, her face pale.

Benjamin kneeled and grabbed Aaron by the shoulders. “Mentor, what’s wrong, what’s happened?”

Aaron knocked the hands away and rolled on his side, agony twisting his face. He howled and thrashed as if someone had set fire to his clothing. Shadyia glared at the men. Had they done something? No. They stood with gaping mouths and baffled stares.

His hands covering his face, Aaron seemed to bring his torment under control. He sat up and turned eyes of pure rage on Shadyia’s prisoners. “Innocenti. They mutilated her,” he said through seething gasps. “That one and that one. There was a third, but he’s not here. They raped and tortured her for hours.”

He pushed Benjamin back, rolled to his feet, and brought his hands up as if he were lifting the end of a table. The men slammed against the wall and slid up until their feet dangled.

“Vile warlock,” the tattooed one said then spat. “Fate will be your judge.”

Lowering her sword, Shadyia stepped back from Aaron, the wrath on his face choking her breath. Never had she seen him so enraged. A pair of sharp metal rods, twice as long as the men were tall, materialized in the air. With a clang of metal on rock that made her jolt, the spikes plunged into the stone at feet of the men.

They drifted forward and hovered over the sharp ends.

Terror filling his eyes, the tattooed one thrashed against the force that held him. “No, you can’t do that!”

The other pissed himself.

Shadyia reached out her hand. No, Aaron no. Don’t. The men deserved it, but not at the cost of Aaron’s humanity. She touched his shoulder, and a force struck away her hand.

Aaron didn’t even look in her direction. “Her name is Janell. Say it.”

“Janell,” both men said.

“Again.”

“Janell,” they repeated, louder.

Shadyia’s heart hammered as the stance of their feet widened. She couldn’t stop Aaron any more than grasp a boiling cauldron to stay its heat.

“Good,” Aaron said and pushed down his hands. The men dropped.

The spikes pierced their trousers between their legs. The men shrieked louder than Shadyia thought a human throat capable. Blood soaked their leggings as they slowly slid until their boots touched the street. She cringed before the horror. This had to be an illusion. Aaron had said he couldn’t make actual things, not without—

The men shrieked once more as the shirts behind their necks stretched and tore. The spikes reemerged, their tips glistening in blood.

Aaron turned his back on the screaming, flailing men and stepped into the cart. He pulled the cloth over Janell, leaving her face uncovered.

“I don’t know of a physician in Anderholm who could help her. Do you have any at the Silver Rose?”

“Yes, we do,” Shadyia replied, unable to stop her trembling. “And we use jilqu oil.”

He sat in the center of the bench and took the reins of the near panicked horse. Shadyia returned the blacksteel sword to its sheath and leaped in next to a pale-faced Deresi. Benjamin quickly joined her and the cart jerked straight thanks to an unseen force. Aaron tapped the reins.

The cries of the men followed as they rolled along the alley.

Darkness that made Shadyia think of the labyrinth pressed in on all sides as the wagon made its way along the forest road in Kingsleaf. Every bump the wagon’s wheels stuck jarred her like men beating her with their fists. Benjamin lay next to Janell and stroked what remained of her hair. The Innocenti torturers had hacked most of it off, probably with a knife. Tears made lines on his cheeks as he called her name. Janell didn’t respond.

Deresi sat with her back to the corner, hugging her knees. She didn’t speak or look at Janell. She’s as horrified as me, and not just as what had happened to Janell. Shadyia had never seen men impaled. The practice had been outlawed in Anderholm more than a century ago. The stories she heard had always seemed exaggerated. No man could actually survive an injury like that for more than a few seconds. She no longer believed that.

The rising moon gave them enough light to see the road, but just barely. Shadyia sighed. Soon they would arrive at the Silver Rose. Makayla will probably blame me for what happened to Janell. The new madam of the Silver Rose had commanded Shadyia not to leave the palace without her permission, and now she was returning in a wagon with a sister near death, a coin she was supposed to be seducing, his apprentice and Deresi. Fate hates me tonight. Shadyia chastised herself at the thought. If they had been a moment sooner or later, she never would have seen the cart and those vile men would likely now be burying Janell in a shallow grave outside the city. Aaron believed there were no gods, but at times like this, when events were too grave to be mere coincidence, Shadyia found it hard to agree with him.

She reached down and touched Janell’s neck. The pulse was there, but weak. She looked at Aaron, still at the reins. He hadn’t spoken since driving them out of the city and into the forest. Words formed in her mouth, but the will to utter them couldn’t cross her throat. The magic Aaron had used to kill those men wasn’t beautiful and wondrous. It wasn’t butterflies hovering over his hand or a variety of delicious treats to eat and drink. For the first time in her life, she feared a man.

They cleared the forest and approached the Dawn Gate. She unbuckled the baldric holding blacksteel sword and hid it as best she could. If anyone searched the cart they’d likely find it. She didn’t care.

Aaron stopped the cart and jumped off. He walked to the back, gathered up Janell and carried her to the gate. Benjamin raced him there and franticly rang the bell. The minutes that followed passed in a blur of activity. Guardian sisters escorted them in, calling for Mrs. Amber, the palace physician. Sisters cried out as they saw Janell. The word spread and soon a crowd of weeping, angry or shocked women gathered round. Sleepy-eyed Mrs. Amber appeared and ordered them back. She asked Aaron to carry Janell to the nearest bed, a pleasure room off the west wing. Allowing only two assistants to follow, she placed guardians outside the door and told everyone else to wait.

The doors to White Hall flew open and Makayla stormed through with Thoria—as always—close on her heels.

“Who brought her?” The madam’s voice silenced the chamber.

Aaron stepped forward. “I did.”

The fury drained from Makayla’s face. “I see.” She smoothed her black dress. “What happened?”

“Innocenti raped and tortured her,” Aaron replied evenly.

Makayla’s long black hair covered half her face as she tilted her head. “Unfortunate.”

Shadyia’s fists tightened at her side. “Unfortunate? That’s all you have to say?”

“No, Sister Shadyia, that’s not all I have to say. We will tend to Sister Janell’s wounds as best we can. In the morning, I will prepare a letter of complaint against the Innocenti and have it delivered to the magistrate. They will see those who committed these acts are brought to justice.” Makayla turned and walked toward the audience, her heels clicking.

Shadyia allowed her a few steps. Not so fast, bitch. “Maybe they’ll start with you.”

Deresi, the sisters, guardians, Benjamin and Aaron stood as statues as Makayla halted. She rounded on Shadyia. “Watch your tongue, Sister, or I will have it removed.”

Shadyia’s rage coiled like a serpent about to strike. If she had kept the blacksteel sword and not hidden it in the wagon, they’d be cleaning Makayla’s blood off the walls and floor for a week. “Give that command and I will kill you and any who try to carry it out.”

Thoria drew her baton and advanced on Shadyia. Aaron rushed forward and intercepted the blond guardian with his body.

“Madam, please call away your guard.”

“Thoria, step back.”

Her scowl locked on Shadyia, Thoria obeyed.

Makayla put her hands on her hips, her long sleeves hanging down. “Speak your mind, Sister. Why do you say such a thing?”

“If you hadn’t sent Janell to the Kaolins, she wouldn’t have sought refuge with the Innocenti.”

“And if she had carried out my command, none of this would have happened. What sort of fool asks the Innocenti for anything?”

“The sort that cannot see them for what they are,” Shadyia replied. “The sort that thinks they are knights from a fairy tale. The sort that talks about joining them—” She leveled her finger. “—as you knew perfectly well!”

Makayla huffed. “You dare accuse me of deliberately driving Janell to the Innocenti?”

“I do.”

Benjamin spoke up. “She didn’t go to the Innocenti. She came to me last night.”

Makayla pivoted toward him. “And who are you?”

“I am Aaron’s apprentice, Benjamin.”

Her hazel eyes moved from him to Aaron and back. “So how did she end up with the Innocenti?”

Benjamin looked to Aaron, who shook his head once.

“We got separated in the city this morning.” The young man dropped his gaze.

Makayla faced Shadyia. “And do you also blame me for this, Sister?”

“I do not,” Shadyia replied. Damn the boy and his honesty.

“The hour is late and our nerves are raw,” Aaron said. “Madam, please take the finest care of Janell. I will personally cover any expense.”

“Consider it done.”

“Madam,” Benjamin said, getting her attention, “may I stay with Janell?”
Makayla sighed. “That will be up to Mrs. Amber, but we will prepare a room for you in any case.”

“Thank you, Madam.”

Aaron stepped near to Shadyia and lowered his voice. “Why don’t you and Deresi come with me to Featherquill?”

The dying rage in Shadyia still seethed, but she looked to Deresi. Did she want to visit Featherquill? Deresi nodded in agreement.

Aaron turned back to Makayla. “Madam, may I have the pleasure of both Sister Shadyia and Sister Deresi this night?”

Makayla raised an eyebrow. “You wish them both, sir?”

“I have lots to celebrate.”

“These sisters look disheveled and exhausted, sir. May I ask how they came to be in this state?”

Shadyia glanced at Aaron. He mustn’t mention the labyrinth or—

“It’s my fault, Madam,” Aaron said. “We played a game in some ruins beyond the forest. I wanted Sister Shadyia to hide and I would search for her. Sister Deresi was concerned when her friend didn’t return and found us this morning. I invited her to play and…well, things got out of hand. My apologies.”

“None needed, Master Aaron. The coin you’ve offered more than pays for their services. But, do you not wish them bathed, perfumed and properly dressed before they leave with you?”

Aaron glanced at Shadyia and Deresi. “To be honest, Madam, I rather like them in this state and I’m not yet finished with them. By your leave, I will take them as they are.”

Makayla arched an eyebrow. “Your vigor will make you a legend, Aaron of Featherquill.” She grinned. “Very well, but have Sister

Deresi return by noon tomorrow.”

“As you wish.”

An arm around both their hips, Aaron led her and Deresi toward the main doors. The sisters dispersed, mumbling quietly among themselves. Makayla’s heels clicked away.

“Wait,” Deresi said as Shadyia put a hand on the outer doors. “I’ll be right back.”

Aaron watched her run off then turned to Shadyia. “You should better watch your words around your madam.”

Fuck her! If not for Benjamin’s blundering innocence and Aaron’s disarming remarks, there would have been a long-overdue fight here. A part of her still wished for that. “You have no idea how much I hate that woman.”

“I have some idea,” he said, his expression serious.

Maybe he does at that. Aaron had said Verthandi had seduced Makayla. “Do you still feel his influence on her?”

Aaron pressed his lips and nodded. “More than ever.”

She seized his arm and hushed her voice. “Then let’s deal with her, here and now. I’ll go with you.”

That infuriating calm crossed his features. “And what of her guards? And the other sisters? Are you prepared to fight them? And even if we could turn them to your side, what happens when the Redcloaks find out? From what you’ve told me, Makayla is the rightful heir to this palace. If we depose her, we would be criminals in the eyes of the law.”

She scowled. Damn his logic! He was worse than Sybaris.

He leaned close. “We will deal with her eventually, after this business with the ruby is completed. If Verthandi is released—” He glanced around at the walls. “—what does any of this matter?”

Shadyia hissed a sigh. “If you say so.” But if she crosses me just one more time…

Deresi returned carrying a familiar flat, wooden box.

“My dress,” Shadyia said.

“I wanted to see it on you.”

Aaron looked at the elegant box. “You have a dress in there?”

Shadyia took the box, glanced around to make sure they weren’t observed, and opened the lid with her thumbs.

Aaron whistled. “That is mag-nificent.”

Shadyia snapped closed the lid and kissed Deresi on the cheek. “Thanks, hon.”

“Where ever did you get that?” Aaron asked. “It must have cost a fortune.”

Deresi offered her an evil grin. “Go on, tell him.”

Shadyia cringed. “You know the seer in the market? The one posing as a tailor?”

Aaron nodded slowly. Just before the three of them had descended into the labyrinth, Aaron had confided that he too had had some dealings with that mysterious seer. She had prophesized that he must find Æthelmaer’s ruby in Mirrikh’s labyrinth or Verthandi would walk the world again.

Shadyia tapped the box. “She made this for me.” The seer had also told Shadyia that Anderholm would burn in a matter of days. More insanity added to an insane situation.

Aaron brushed his fingers over the flat box. “I have a feeling we have not seen the last of her. Let’s go to the stables. Our horses must be kicking the walls down by now.”

Shadyia recovered the blacksteel sword, still in its baldric, from the wagon. Careful to conceal it with her body from anyone who might be watching from the palace, she hid the fine weapon deep in the stables then roused two of the men from their cottage out back. Paying them a silver each, she asked them to bring out the Ramiero chargers, attach them to a carriage and drive Aaron, Deresi and herself to Featherquill. Xavier didn’t appreciate being employed as a carriage horse, but Shadyia rewarded him with a few carrots and words of praise until he grudgingly accepted the harness.

A swaying lantern flung their shadows along the walls as their closed carriage returned through the Kingsleaf. The rhythm of the wheels, and the peace of leaving the palace far behind, pulled Shadyia into blissful rest.

“May I see it?” Deresi asked.

Aaron unfastened the pouch at his side, brought out the ruby, and placed it in Deresi’s cupped hands.

Light from the lantern passed through the ruby and drew red marks on Deresi’s face. She made the kind of sound women usually reserve for holding a kitten. “It’s so beautiful.”

Shadyia forced open her eyes and considered the ruby. On the surface, it looked like the kind of gem an emperor would wear on his crown, but Aaron had said its true value lay within the magic it held. The ruby, he told them, absorbed the knowledge of all the magicians who had ever owned it like a cloth on spilt wine.

Shadyia leaned over and kissed Deresi’s cheek. “I can’t believe you picked Mirrikh’s pocket. You amaze me.” When Mirrikh had seized both her and Aaron in his magic, Deresi had slid to her knees, grabbed his robe, and begged Mirrikh not to harm them. It must have been in that instant that she had dipped her hand into his large pocket and fished out the ruby.

Deresi turned the tear-shaped ruby over and examined its base. The broad end had a shallow, round indention in it. “What is this for?”

“That is where you insert the end of a sagewood staff.”

Shadyia circled her finger inside the indention. Aaron had said if a staff made from sagewood touched the ruby, it would transform into a Valkyrise, an artifact of the magi lords. With this wondrous staff, a magician could triple his power and be immune to all magical attacks. Moreover, if anyone spent enough time with a Valkyrise, they could eventually learn to use magic like a magician. That last bit had particularly caught Deresi’s attention.

“Do you think we could get the sagewood staff from the Asyerian clerics?”

Aaron shook his head. “I seriously doubt it. Sagewood is as rare as any treasure in the world. We could be thrown into the Ahmeinian dungeons just for inquiring about their staff, let alone asking them to let us have it.”

Shadyia thought on that. “What if we were to tell the Asyerians about Verthandi and the Ashkhan escaping?”

The carriage jolted over a bump, making Aaron hop in his seat “That would get us tossed into an asylum instead of the dungeon.” He huffed a laugh and held out his hand in a silent request for the return of the ruby. “No, I will use this to find out how to travel to Celestrial. The archives there should have all known information about the prison of the Ashkhan.”

Deresi, her gaze locked on the gem, nodded. “Yeah, that might work.”

Shadyia nudged Deresi’s side. She had probably not heard anything Aaron had said. Grinning, he gently pried the ruby from Deresi’s fingers. She made a small sound of protest, but dropped her hands to her lap.

“Tell me something, please,” Deresi said as Aaron returned the ruby to his pouch.

“Yes?”

“What’s it like to use magic?”

The carriage tilted around a bend as Aaron seemed to consider his answer. “When you first feel the ether, it’s like being parched and drinking from an icy waterfall. It flows over you, refreshes you. You can’t imagine anything being more wonderful. But you can only drink so much and that feeling, believe it or not, passes. You want to learn where the water comes from—and you have this insatiable desire to control the water, make it stop or fall faster. That’s the trap.”

Deresi blinked. “What do you mean?”

“A wise man once said, there is none so improvised as he who wants more than he has. Look at this.” Aaron lifted his left hand, palm up, and passed his right over it. A sphere of blazing flames appeared and hovered just above his cupped fingers.

Deresi’s green eyes widened. “Whoa!” Before Shadyia could stop her, she reached for the flame. “Ouch!” She snatched her hand away and put the tips of two fingers in her mouth.

“Are you all right?” Shadyia took Deresi’s hand and inspected it.

Deresi nodded. “It’s fine.”

A wave of heat from the fire above Aaron’s hand brushed Shadyia’s face. Deresi had probably assumed the flames were an illusion. Maybe they were. “A little warning next time, if you please.”

He closed his hand and the flames vanished. “What I just did there was nothing to me. I felt no sense of wonder or accomplishment. If I were a cruel man, I would delight in hurting Deresi, but I’m not, so I can’t even enjoy that.”

Deresi glanced at her fingers. “It felt so real.”

“It wasn’t,” Aaron said, and leaned back on his seat.

He had created something to fool their minds—why? Shadyia cupped her hand over Deresi’s hand. “I still don’t see your point.”
“There was a time that when I made something like that, I felt like a god. I had created fire. Do you understand? Fire I knew wasn’t real, but still I would burn my fingers if I touched it. These days, creating an illusion like that is as easy as breathing. Imagine going from feeling like a god, to feeling nothing. Every magician who has ever used magic wants to feel that initial rush again—” Aaron’s hands became fists. “—craves it.”

Shadyia nodded. “Like breathing the smoke from the black ickrus.”

He stabbed a finger at her. “Exactly. Thankfully, I’ve never tried ickrus, but from what people have told me, it’s marvelous. You feel as if you are flying through the clouds. Over time, however, the fumes no longer give the same sensation, but the memory of that experience drives one to take more and more until it consumes your every thought.”

Deresi shook her head. “All right, but that’s illusion. You said there were magicians who could create things for real.”

Aaron rubbed his forehead. “Oh, that’s even worse.”

Deresi yelped in disbelief. “How could it be worse?”

“Imagine if I snapped my fingers and created a necklace of gold and emeralds. A real one.”

She grinned. “I like that thought.”

He lifted his chin. “Why?”

“Emeralds are beautiful, and you can buy things with them. Castles and servants and nice dresses.”

“Could I buy a thousand castles if I made a thousand emerald necklaces?”

The carriage creaked and swayed as Deresi chewed her lower lip in thought. “I guess not. It wouldn’t be worth anything if there were a thousand of them.”

“Exactly.”

Shadyia drummed her fingers on the leather armrest at her side. Easy for a king with rooms full of treasure to say gold and gems have no meaning, but for the rest of the peasants, wealth was still a splendid thing. “You told me in the castle ruins that no amount of power could thwart fear. Was that true of Mirrikh? Was he afraid?”

Aaron arched an eyebrow. “Do you even need to ask? He had power I could only imagine. He once owned a Valkyrise. When we found him, he wore enchanted artifacts that preserved his life and kept him from all magical harm. Yet…”

Shadyia nodded. “Yet he hid in a labyrinth for centuries.”

“Precisely. I am certain, despite all that he was and all that he owned, Mirrikh felt inadequate, paranoid and—yes—afraid.”
Shadyia shook her head against the thought. Would she be the same? If she had the power Mirrikh possessed, would she only crave more? It was difficult to believe there would come a time when working magic became as dull as doing the washing. Magic opened new worlds, new experiences. To grasp the unknown, to entertain the masses, to conquer the lands of your enemy…

To kill men who delighted in torture.

Shadyia stared at Aaron. Soon they would arrive in Anderholm and his manor in the Artisan Quarter. If she were to ever understand what had happened in the alley, now would be the time. “May I ask you about something difficult?”

Aaron turned grim as if he had expected her to breach this matter. “Go ahead.”

“What happened to you in the alley?” Shadyia asked.

He briefly closed his eyes, took a deep breath, and released it. “I touched Janell’s mind to learn who was responsible for her injuries.”

“You can do that too?” Deresi asked. “Remarkable.”

“No,” Aaron replied curtly. “Foolish. I acted in haste and didn’t put up the proper defenses. I felt a portion of what they did to Janell as if it were done to me. It nearly drove me insane.”

Deresi crossed her fingers over her lips. “You felt what she did?”

He nodded. “Some of it.”

A chill brushed Shadyia’s nape. Some of it. Aaron had writhed on the ground and screamed in agony. As he had recovered, he had said three Innocenti had taken turns on Janell. One of those three men was still out there, but two of them had paid for their acts with pain and humiliation equal, Shadyia hoped, to what they had done to Janell. Or had they? “Those men in the wagon, what you did to them, was that real?”

“It was real to them.”

Deresi visibly shuddered. “I wish I hadn’t seen that. I mean, I know they deserved it, but I can’t get it out of my mind.”

Aaron rubbed his forehead. “For that, I deeply apologize. I acted out of rage with no regard for you or Shadyia. I should have told you to look away.”

“I wouldn’t have, even if you’d asked.” Shadyia had wanted to see those vile men die.

The haunted look in Deresi’s eyes told she did not feel the same. “Will Janell recover?”

Aaron responded with a slight shrug. “I think she’ll survive, but she won’t be Janell any longer. At least, I don’t think so. She may prove us wrong.”

When Aaron opened the cloth covering Janell, her chin and neck had been covered in dry blood, probably form having her tongue cut out. They had pressed branding irons against her breasts until—Fuck! Shadyia quivered. Stop thinking about it! “So those men are still alive?” she asked, her tone hot with anger.

“Oh no.” Aaron shook his head. “In the morning, the city guard will find two dead men in that alley. There will be no evidence of what killed them, but to those Innocenti, they were impaled.”

Shadyia clenched the fingers on her thigh into a fist. “Good.”

Deresi soft hand cupped over Shadyia’s fist. She reached across the cabin and offered her other hand to Aaron. “I know you don’t believe in the gods, but can we pray for Janell?”

He took her hand. “Certainly.”

Deresi closed her eyes. “Hallowed Luun, goddess of strength, guide our fallen sister, Janell, back into the light. Let her know she is loved and we miss her and need her in our lives.”

“May it be so,” Shadyia said, her anger vanishing.

“May it be so,” Aaron repeated.

Shadyia lifted Deresi’s hand and kissed her knuckles. “I’ve never heard you pray before.”

She shrugged. “Can’t hurt.”

Aaron let go of Deresi’s hand. “We should arrive at my home soon. So, tell me ladies, how may I reward you for your magnificent service?”

Shadyia yawned. Enough of rewards and magic. “As I said outside the tower, a bath, a hot meal, and some rest are all I need.”

“There must be more.”

She leaned her head on Deresi’s shoulder and closed her eyes. “At the moment, I cannot see past that.”

“I know what she wants,” Deresi said.

“Tell me,” Aaron asked.

“She wants to dance at the Crystal Ballroom.”

That snapped Shadyia awake. “I do, eh?”

“Yes, and don’t even deny it.” Deresi bopped the end of Shadyia’s nose. “I saw how your eyes lit up when I told you how I snuck in there.”

Aaron arched his eyebrows as if impressed. “You did?”

Deresi bobbed her head. “About five years ago.” She pushed a lock of red hair behind one ear. “I broke in one night with some friends. Just make sure when you take her, there’s plenty of music. She has no imagination.”

Aaron pursed his lips and nodded. “I’ll see what I can do. And what about you, Dee? What would you like, besides a servant to polish your toes?”

Shadyia grinned. To lighten the tension in the labyrinth, Deresi had joked—had it been a joke?—that she had always wanted to be wealthy enough to employ someone to polish her toes. Just that and nothing else. Polish her toes.

“Oh the usual,” Deresi said with a flip of her wrist. “A castle in the clouds, a dozen flying horses and my own queendom.”

Aaron stared at her a moment then blinked. “That may take a bit longer, but I’ll get to work on it.”

Deresi exchanged her smirk for a serious look. “You know what I’d really like?”

“Tell me, please.”

“I’d like to be a magician. I want to do the things you do.” She wiggled her fingers.

Shadyia rolled her eyes. Oh, just great. Aaron would remind her that women were never trained as magicians and such power came with a price few were willing to pay. Deresi would argue and Shadyia would have to mediate. She’d get no rest on the way to Featherquill.

“I can help you there,” Aaron said with sincerity. “It will take some time and lots of hard work, but if you’re willing, so am I.”

Deresi lifted her chin. “I am.”

Shadyia silently admonished herself. Aaron wasn’t the type to have his hands tied by tradition, nor was he a stuffy lord of Anderholm who needed to dominate the women in his life. But Deresi as a magician? For some reason, Shadyia pictured a cat with wings. I only hope she doesn’t fly too close to the sun.

“All right then, but tell me something, both of you. Do you wish to leave the Silver Rose?”

Shadyia was aware that Deresi was looking at her even before she turned her head so she could meet her curious green eyes. Leave the Silver Rose? It had been more than her home for six years; it was her identity. The money was easy and she loved the work, the games of seduction. She was the finest of the sisters, a gold belt, envied and respected. Why should I leave?

Even as that question coursed through her mind, she knew the answer. She had dared to enter a labyrinth of death, fought deadly shadows and had even driven her sword through Mirrikh’s ghostly face so that her companions could escape. But it wasn’t just the adventures and terrors under the Black Tower. Aaron had told her of ancient civilizations and faraway lands.

There was so much to the world she had yet to see, so much she had yet to experience. Janell needed to be avenged, Makayla needed to be dealt with—probably with the help of Sybaris—and the sisters needed to be protected from the Innocenti, but when that was done, the time had come to seek new horizons and new challenges.

“Yes,” she said.

Deresi touched her knee. “Are you sure, hon?”

Shadyia nodded. “I can’t go back to whoring, not anymore. I think, maybe, finding Janell closed that door forever. I want to make a difference in this world. It’s what my foster father would have desired for me.”

Somewhere, beyond the veil where the spirits traveled, she imagined her foster father smiling. Maybe he didn’t ride celestial horses across the eternal plains of Eriensym, but Aaron said the spirits of good men continued on past a mortal death. She hoped so.

“What about the sisterhood?” Deresi asked.

“I’ll find a way to keep them safe from the Innocenti. I don’t know how just yet, but when that’s done, so am I.”

Deresi discreetly squeezed Shadyia’s thigh. “I’ll follow you anywhere.”

Shadyia kissed Deresi’s neck, just below the ear. If Aaron hadn’t been sitting there, it would have been her lips that got kissed, and more.

“You’re both welcome to stay at Featherquill as long as you wish,” Aaron said. “My home is your home.”

“Thank you, Aaron,” Shadyia said.

Deresi added her gratitude with a sweet smile.

“Listen, when we get there, you won’t see much of me until tomorrow. I’m going to be in a special room I’ve constructed under the house.” He patted the bulge in his pouch. “I want to study this as much as I can. I’ll show you how to contact me if you need to, it’s easy. Just a bell you need to ring. But please, make sure it’s important before you do.”

“I understand,” Shadyia said. “You need to save the world.”

“And you need to save your sisterhood.”

“And then we will take a long, lovely holiday,” Deresi added.

A long holiday. Shadyia hummed at the thought. That we will do.

 —————————————————————————-

About the Author
The Shadyia Ascendant Book Series is the kind of fantasy book I wanted to read, but could never find. Sexy, powerful, positive. The heroes are beaten, but are never broken. Although this is a medieval setting (more or less 15th century Renaissance), the characters don’t scratch at fleas and trug through the book ass-deap in mud and blood and disease. I’m sure all that is accurate, but I never wanted to read about it.

I wanted magic that is rare, women that are bold and beautiful, mysterious magicians with a hidden agenda, and gods that move mortals about like pieces on a chessboard. That’s the book I wanted.  was inspired by the fantasy writer David Gemmell in terms of pace. When you read one of his books, you get your money’s worth. He won’t spend eleven chapters with this characters arguing in a castle. The term “I could never put it down” fits a Gemmell book perfectly, and it’s what I have striven to accomplish in the Shadyia Ascendant series. Get ready for a sexy adventure you won’t soon forget!

A graduate in history, specializing in Central-European history, I’m an avid computer gamer, reader enthusiast, and teacher of English as a foreign language. I’m American and currently reside in Poland.

Where to Find T.S. Adrian
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

  —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz + Giveaway – WYATT WATKINS AND THE ADDER STONES by Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan

WYATT WATKINS AND THE ADDER STONES Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for WYATT WATKINS AND THE ADDER STONE, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Wyatt Watkins, by Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and details on their giveaway. To celebrate release day of book 2, you can pick up both books for just $0.99!

WYATT WATKINS AND THE ADDER STONES (Wyatt Watkins #1) by Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan

WYATT WATKINS AND THE ADDER STONES (Wyatt Watkins #1) by Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan

About Book 1 – $0.99 for a limited time!
Title:
WYATT WATKINS AND THE ADDER STONE
Series: Wyatt Watkins #1
Authors: Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan
Publisher:  New Paradigm Productions
Release Date: June 8, 2015
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Wyatt Watkins is like most young boys his age. He’s an excited daydreamer, always eager to make friends – and he always keeps an eye out for his next adventure. 

Life in New York City has always been simple and pleasant for Wyatt and his siblings, Josh and Rose. Wyatt works hard in school, gets good grades, and enjoys a reliable and fun circle of friends. But when tragedy strikes the Watkins family, they are forced to relocate from the city to Upstate New York and the rural, forgotten town of Cloverbrook. 

A seemingly harmless, small town of roughly 3,000 people, nestled at the base of the Adirondack Mountains, Cloverbrook welcomes the family quickly as it prepares for its 72nd Annual Pumpkin Smash and Harvest Festival. Wyatt finds the massive forests, blanketed in a sea of orange, red and yellow leaves, the perfect playground to adjust to his new life, while the family struggles to cope with their loss. 

But deep in the dark forests that surround the town, a hidden evil lurks…waiting…watching. And while the evil forces in the forest continue to grow, Wyatt uncovers an artifact with untold power that will thrust the entire family into the middle of an ancient struggle between good and evil.

 —————————————————————————-

WYATT WATKINS AND THE TABLE OF THE MARKED (Wyatt Watkins #2) by Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan

WYATT WATKINS AND THE TABLE OF THE MARKED (Wyatt Watkins #2) by Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan

About Book 2 – $0.99 for a limited time!
Title:
WYATT WATKINS AND THE ADDER TABLE OF THE MARKED
Series: Wyatt Watkins #2
Authors: Jacob Tate and Kate Callahan
Publisher:  New Paradigm Productions
Release Date: March 31, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Wyatt Watkins used to be a restless daydreamer – and like most boys his age, eager to make friends. But the moment he and the rest of the Watkins family crossed over the border into the town of Cloverbrook, everything changed. Surrounded by an endless forest and a massive, grey mountain range to the north, Wyatt found himself pulled into an ancient struggle between good and evil. Using the powers bestowed upon him by his Adder Stone, Wyatt became a reluctant hero, battling an army of creatures set upon seizing his Adder Stone – even if it meant destroying Wyatt and his family along the way.

Then, in the final moments of what seemed to be a battle won, Wyatt faced some of his most crippling fears – the death of someone close to him and the mysterious disappearance of one of his family members. In Book 2, Wyatt Watkins and The Table of the Marked, Wyatt must decipher clues left behind that will help him find those that he lost and unlock the secrets of his family’s past. He will find himself surrounded by some who wish to help him and those who wish to do him harm.

Faced with the reality that they can no longer hide from their past, each member of the Watkins family will find themselves in their own danger – as they seek a way to unite and confront their family’s destiny. And as a massive winter storm threatens all of Cloverbrook from behind the cold Adirondack Mountains, they will all come to know the one true evil that threatens to alter the very fabric of existence and bring an end to the world itself.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Jacob Tate

Author Jacob Tate

About the Author
Jacob Tate is an Amazon Best Selling Author in both Dark Fantasy and Horror Occult. His writing mixes paranormal, horror and fantasy related themes. He is the author of three novels from the adult horror/humor series, Max Cutter and The First Black Book and the young-adult fantasy series, Wyatt Watkins and the Adder Stones.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Jacob Tate
Goodreads | Facebook | Amazon

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blast + Giveaway – THE IVORY QUEEN (Order of the Bell) by Jacob Devlin

The Ivory Queen Book Blast

Welcome to the release day book blast THE IVORY QUEEN, a novella in the young adult fantasy/fairy tale retelling series, Order of the Bell, by Jacob Devlin. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, and details on his giveaway.

THE IVORY QUEEN (Order of the Bell #1.5) by Jacob Devlin

THE IVORY QUEEN (Order of the Bell #1.5) by Jacob Devlin

About the Book
Title:
THE IVORY QUEEN
Series: Order of the Bell #1.5
Author: Jacob Devlin
Publisher: Blaze Publishing, LLC
Release Date: January 10, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | !ndigo

Synopsis
Twenty-five years ago, the venomous Queen Avoria was banished from the enchanted realms of Florindale and sentenced to spend eternity inside a cursed mirror.

After a seemingly endless tumble through the mirror’s abyss, Avoria awakens in a gloomy metropolis in the darkest corner of Wonderland. There she meets the shrewd King of Hearts, Cornelius Redding, and the two strike a turbulent alliance. As Avoria helps Cornelius execute his conquest of Wonderland, she plots her own vengeance against the world that cast her out. In the city’s cold shadows, Avoria finds pawns in the souls that defied her, truth in the reflection that calls to her, and power in the past that forged her. And thus, the Ivory Queen begins carving a path to the ultimate throne.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

THE CARVER (Order of the Bells #1) by Jacob Devlin

THE CARVER (Order of the Bells #1) by Jacob Devlin

About Book 1
Title:
 THE CARVER
Series: Order of the Bell #1
Author: Jacob Devlin
Publisher: Blaze Publishing, LLC
Release Date: July 19, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo | !ndigo

Synopsis
THE GIRL IN THE RED HOOD has been looking for her mother for six months, searching from the depths of New York’s subways to the heights of its skyscrapers . . .

THE PRINCE looks like he’s from another time entirely, or maybe he’s just too good at his job at Ye Old Renaissance Faire . . .

THE ACTRESS is lighting up Hollywood Boulevard with her spellbinding and strikingly convincing portrayal of a famous fairy. Her name may be big, but her secrets barely fit in one world . . .

Fifteen-year-old Crescenzo never would have believed his father’s carvings were anything more than “stupid toys.” All he knows is a boring life in an ordinary Virginia suburb, from which his mother and his best friend have been missing for years. When his father disappears next, all Crescenzo has left is his goofy neighbor, Pietro, who believes he’s really Peter Pan and that Crescenzo is the son of Pinocchio. What’s more: Pietro insists that they can find their loved ones by looking to the strange collection of wooden figurines Crescenzo’s father left behind.

With Pietro’s help, Crescenzo sets off on an adventure to unite the real life counterparts to his figurines. It’s enough of a shock that they’re actually real, but the night he meets the Girl in the Red Hood, dark truths burst from the past. Suddenly, Crescenzo is tangled in a nightmare where magic mirrors and evil queens rule, and where everyone he loves is running out of time.

 —————————————————————————-

Author Jacob Devlin

Author Jacob Devlin

About the Author
When Jacob Devlin was four years old, he would lounge around in Batman pajamas and make semi-autobiographical picture books about an adventurous python named Jake the Snake. Eventually, he traded his favorite blue crayon for a black pen, and he never put it down. When not reading or writing, Jacob loves practicing his Italian, watching stand-up comedy, going deaf at rock concerts, and geeking out at comic book conventions. He does most of these things in southern Arizona.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Jacob Devlin
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

——————————————————————

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Cover Reveal + Giveaway – DEAL WITH THE DRAGON (Immortals Ever After) by Nicole Blanchard

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Nicole Blanchard, is revealing the cover to DEAL WITH THE DRAGON, the first book in her adult fantasy romance series, Immortals Ever After, releasing May 1, 2017. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a pre-order link.

DEAL WITH THE DRAGON (Immortals Ever After #1) by Nicole Blanchard

DEAL WITH THE DRAGON (Immortals Ever After #1) by Nicole Blanchard

About the Novella
Title: DEAL WITH THE DRAGON
Series: Immortals Ever After #1
Author: Nicole Blanchard
Publisher: Bolero Books LLC
Release Date: May 1, 2017
Genre: Adult Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | iBooks

Synopsis
My birthright was stolen from me.

It should’ve been my throne, my crown, but I was banished to a temple when my darkest secret was discovered. Now, I’m forced to live out the rest of my life alone, as nothing more than a forgotten princess.

Until my brother makes a deal with a dragon.

In exchange for peace between our lands, my brother promised Rhysander Blaque a bride. Despite our passion, Rhys is a constant reminder that I will never be more than a bargaining chip for the throne that should rightfully be mine.

I may be bound to the last living dragon, but I refuse to be a prize he can claim. He may own my body, but I will always soar free.

.

.

.

 —————————————————————————-

DEAL WITH THE DRAGON (Immortals Ever After #1) by Nicole Blanchard (Full Cover)

DEAL WITH THE DRAGON (Immortals Ever After #1) by Nicole Blanchard (Full Cover)

 —————————————————————————-

DEAL WITH THE DRAGON Teaser 1

 —————————————————————————-

Author Nicole Blanchard

Author Nicole Blanchard

About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Nicole Blanchard lives in Mississippi with her family and their menagerie of animals. She chooses each day to chase her own fairy tale even if they contain their fair share of dragons. She is married to her best friend and owns her own business.

Nicole survives on a diet of too many books and substantial amounts of root beer and slim jims. When not reading, she’s lavishing attention on her family or inhaling every episode of The Walking Dead and The Big Bang Theory.

.

.

.

Where to Find Nicole Blanchard
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr | Pinterest | Amazon

 —————————————————————————–

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Cover Reveal + Paperback Release – THREE WISHES by Kristen Ashley

THREE WISHES Cover Reveal and Paperback Release

THREE WISHES is now available in paperback for the first time! This heartwarming and epic love story from New York Times bestselling author, Kristen Ashley, returns with an amazing new cover. And that’s not all. THREE WISHES is being re-released in eBook form with beautiful, new formatting! So make a wish, grab your copy, and prepare to fall in love all over again. See below for all the details.

THREE WISHES by Kristen Ashley

THREE WISHES by Kristen Ashley

About the Book
Title: THREE WISHES
Author: Kristen Ashley
Release Date: March 24, 2017
Genre: Adult Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | PaperbackAmazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AUBarnes & Noble | iBooks | KoboGooglePlay

Synopsis
When Lily Jacobs was born, she inherited Fazire – a genie. Her family had three wishes and they’d only ever used one so Fazire was stuck in the human world. This worked since he’d become a member of the family anyway.

Even with a genie, Lily’s young life wasn’t perfect. To escape the kids making her miserable at school, Lily buried herself in romance novels. One day, when the teasing was just too much, she used one of her wishes. She told Fazire she wanted to find a man like in her books and she made the most complicated wish Fazire had ever heard. Her wished-for man had to be impossibly handsome, virile, fierce, rugged and ruthless (amongst a dozen other things).

He also had to think she was beautiful and he had to love her more than anything in the world.

Nathaniel McAllister wasn’t born to a life where there were such things as genies granting wishes. His life was filled with drugs, crime and neglect. He was running errands for a gangster before he was in his teens and, even though life and hard work led him to wealth and respectability, he always knew, deep down, he was dirty. When Nate met Lily he knew he was no good for her but as virile, fierce, rugged and ruthless as he was, Nate was no match for the pull of sweet, innocent Lily.

Unfortunately, Lily’s wish included that she and her hero go through trials and tribulations to test their love. And Fazire wasn’t only a good genie, he loved Lily – so he gave her exactly what she wanted.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt
Nate didn’t know what he wanted but whatever it was, it certainly was not Georgia.

He was saved from answering Victor when he spied a youth wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, the hood worn up even though it was a warm day. The boy was slouching down the pavement, head bowed, hands in the front pocket of the sweatshirt, his head swinging this way and that, looking for his mark.

Nate’s guard, already on alert—always on alert—went into overdrive.

Nate’s eyes narrowed as he watched the youth, and Victor started to get into the Rolls. Then, as expected, the boy darted toward his target and Nate heard a woman’s outraged cry.

“Hey!” she yelled.

He watched the boy snatch the woman’s purse, his body tensing for action.

And then his eyes moved to the woman and uncharacteristically, he froze.

“Hey! He stole my purse! Stop him! He stole my purse!” she shouted.

Nate vaguely registered she was an American tourist. Nate also absently noticed that no one moved to assist.

In that brief moment in time, Nate was too busy drinking in the vision that was her, he himself didn’t move a muscle.

She was tall, incredibly tall.

And curvy, delectably curvy.

She had the most unusual colored hair. Hair that he knew from vast experience living in a house with Laura and Danielle for years came through a supremely talented and expensive stylist’s hands.

And she had an exquisite face, flawless skin and a bearing that was extraordinary. She had been given a wide berth around her even on the crowded pavement. Not because she was screaming her head off but instead because she was majestic, radiant, elegant…

Untouchable.

In a stupor from simply looking at her, the boy with her purse charged right by Nate.

Not in a stupor, she realized no one was going to help her, gave up screaming and charged right after the boy.

At the noise, Victor turned away from the car and Nate shifted to watch in astonishment as she deftly and agilely dodged the crowd, her long legs a match for the short boy. Then Nate watched in stunned surprise as she jumped onto the thief’s back with a graceful leap.

Everyone stared in shock but no one lifted a finger except a few started to take photographs.

“Give me back my purse, you thug!” she shouted.

Wrapping her long legs around her prey, one arm around his neck, she slapped him around the head with the other hand.

The thief staggered back then he staggered with intent and slammed her against the side of the building. Her head snapped back and cracked against the stone so loudly Nate could hear it from where he stood twenty paces away.

At the sound Nate jerked out of his stupor and forged forward.

 —————————————————————————-

THREE WISHES Teaser

 —————————————————————————-

Author Kristen Ashley

Author Kristen Ashley

About the Author
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorise and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up. And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better..

Where to Find Kristen Ashley
Goodreads | Website | NewsletterFacebook | Twitter | InstagramPinterest
.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE SUPERNATURAL PET SITTER (The Magic Thief) by Diane Moat

THE SUPERNATURAL PET SITTER Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE SUPERNATURAL PET SITTER, the first book in the middle grade fantasy series, The Magic Thief, by Diane Moat. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

THE SUPERNATURAL PET SITTER (The Magic Thief #1) by Diane Moat

THE SUPERNATURAL PET SITTER (The Magic Thief #1) by Diane Moat

About the Book
Title: THE SUPERNATURAL PET SITTER
Series: The Magic Thief #1
Author: Diane Moat
Release Date: March, 2017
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU

Synopsis
Every animal can talk to you. You just have to know how to listen.

Pepper Neely is better at this than most, especially because she is in charge of pet sitting all the familiars in her neighborhood. A familiar is a pet magically linked to a witch or warlock. As a gnome, Pepper is no stranger to spells and sorcery. She also knows that, despite their special name, familiars aren’t all that different from regular animals. They get anxious when separated from their people, so Pepper uses her special gnome powers to calm them down. She watches Cranky the high-strung ferret, Frank the laid-back parrot, King Arthur the elderly tortoise, and many others.

Then, something terrible begins happening to the familiars. Someone is stealing their magic! It not only prevents Pepper from communicating with them but breaks their magical connection with their people. When King Arthur’s magic is stolen, his owner’s powers stop working too. Pepper can sense that the tortoise is very scared.

In order to protect the animal’s magic, Pepper decides to track down the culprit. With the help of her best friend, Luna, and her brother, Jax, Pepper fights to protect all of the special pets..

.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt #3
As they moved deeper into the earth, each member of her family (including Pepper) let out a sigh of relief. Even though they spent most of their lives above ground (well, except for Dad), something deep inside each of them relaxed when they were underground.

Pepper fondly touched the walls of the tunnel. Her action was echoed by the rest of the family. Long ago, gnomes were born under the earth. For generations, the earth had been protector and provider. Nonna told stories of huge cities underground, at a time when gnomes went their whole lives without ever seeing the sun or sky. For Pepper, the earth told her different things at different times. Quiet. Dark. Time. Unchanging. Water. Air. Comfort. Safety.

Sometimes she thought she heard the earth speak to her, at other times she had feelings she translated into words. Sacred places lay underground: well-traveled areas, as well as sites where humans had never been.

Pepper sensed this was one of the spots where humans had either never been, or hadn’t been in a long, long time. The cave sloped downhill, and the four followed it straight ahead for five minutes, until they came to a dead-end. Pepper could see a boulder where one shouldn’t have been.

Jax must have seen the same thing. Walking up to the enormous rock, he took hold of it on the right top and right side. He didn’t pull the boulder to him, but rolled it to the left.

He made the movement look easy, but gnomes were much stronger than humans were.

Plus, we know how to move rocks.

The air changed, alerting Pepper to a huge cavern nearby. Together, the family

entered the now-open doorway. Inside, Pepper’s mom rolled the boulder back into place,

then showed them how to secure it from this side. Cool. 

 —————————————————————————-

Author Diane Moat

Author Diane Moat

About the Author
Diane is a Tennessee transplant, animal rescuer, and nurse. Dog Gone is her debut novel, born from years of hearing animal rescuers say about animal abusers, “If only I could get my hands on that person…” Diane is assisted by her many rescue dogs.

.

.
.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Diane Moat
Goodreads | Website |  FacebookTwitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – BIRTHRIGHT (Legacy) by Jessica Ruddick

BIRTHRIGHT Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BIRTHRIGHT, the first book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Legacy, by Jessica Ruddick. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.

BIRTHRIGHT (Legacy #1) by Jessica Ruddick

BIRTHRIGHT (Legacy #1) by Jessica Ruddick

About the Book
Title: BIRTHRIGHT
Series: Legacy #1
Author: Jessica Ruddick
Release Date: March 20, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Link: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & NobleiBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
How do you live with yourself when you decide who dies?

Ava Parks would have killed for an iPod for her sixteenth birthday. Anything would have been better than coming into her birthright of being a seeker for the Grim Reaper, an arrangement made by her fallen angel ancestor in exchange for his re-admittance to heaven. And she isn’t just any seeker—she finds souls that have the potential for becoming angels and sentences them to death.

A year and two souls into her role as a seeker with her conscience overflowing with guilt, Ava comes up with a plan to thwart the system. When it goes awry, she is forced to submit the name of a classmate, Cole Fowler, an ornery, rough around the edges guy who always seems to come to her rescue, whether she likes it or not. Her feelings for Cole prompt her to intervene, and she saves him from death, upsetting the Grim Reaper’s agenda. 

While Ava schemes to find a way to save Cole, she learns he has some secrets of his own. She lets him believe he is protecting her, and not the other way around, until a final showdown with the Grim Reaper forces Ava to make choices Cole may never forgive.

 —————————————————————————-

BIRTHRIGHT Teaser 1

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt
As soon as I opened the front door, the hair on the back of my neck stood up and a tingle ran down my spine. The scent of cinnamon filled my nostrils. It was like having those little candy Red Hots shoved up my nose. Dread in the form of a knot settled in the base of my stomach.

Xavier.

Xavier was…I wasn’t sure what he was. Was he the descendant of a fallen angel like me? Was he an angel himself? Or was he something else, something more sinister?

He certainly looked it. He certainly acted it. He exuded evil.

He was lounging on our couch, his arms spread out over the back of it and his right ankle propped on his left knee. His black hair was slicked back, and he’d grown a goatee since the last time I’d seen him. As usual, he was dressed in a black suit with a red tie, what I mentally referred to as his “villain suit.”

I couldn’t believe he was the same man who used to read me bedtime stories and tuck me in when my mom had to work nights.

A smile stretched across his face and his black beady eyes watched me enter the room. The only thing that could possibly make him more snakelike was if a thin red forked tongue flitted out of his mouth.

I’d be less surprised than if a hippo flounced around my living room in a pink tutu in true Fantasia style.

My mom sat stiffly on a chair across from him. It was our home, but Xavier was in control here. Her eyes met mine, and she shrugged her shoulders slightly. She had no idea why he was here either. We hadn’t expected him for at least a couple more months.

“Welcome home, Ava,” Xavier said. “Why don’t you have a seat?”

“No, thanks. I’ll stand.”

He chuckled. “Suit yourself.”

Xavier took a moment to inspect his cuticles, as if he weren’t in the middle of our living room, as if we weren’t waiting for him to say whatever it was he came to say so he would leave again. I’d say he was oblivious to the effect he had on us, but that wouldn’t be true. He knew, and he relished it.

I crossed my arms over my chest. “What do you want?”

He raised his eyebrows. “Is that any way to treat a guest in your home?” He looked at my mother. “You should really teach her better manners.”

I laughed bitterly. “Calling yourself a guest implies that you’re wanted here.”

“Ava,” my mom said, her tone sharp.

Xavier just threw his head back and laughed. “No, Mary, let the little vixen spew her venom. I like it. It’s honest. Honesty is underrated in society today, don’t you agree?”

I glared at him.

“I have your next assignment.”

My glare faltered as I fought to keep the air moving in and out of my lungs. An assignment from Xavier meant the blood of an innocent would be on my hands again.

When I said I worked for the Grim Reaper, that was oversimplifying it a bit. There’s actually more than one. Think about it—with all the people who die every day in the world, how could there possibly be just one?

The particular Grim Reaper I worked for was special, though. He collected souls that were worthy of being angels. It was my job as a seeker to find those souls.

How’s that for an after school job?

“Forgive me, Xavier, but isn’t it a little soon?” my mom said quietly. “She hasn’t even had a chance to get settled in her new school.”

He glanced at her before returning his attention to me. “She can handle it. Besides, it’s time.”

“But her last assignment was just last month!” my mom protested. “Are you sure—”

“I’m very sure.”

I closed my eyes and pinched the bridge of my nose. The knot of dread in my stomach exploded, seeping into the rest of my body. I breathed deeply, desperately trying to keep control. The last thing I wanted was to lose it in front of Xavier.

“How long do I have?”

“Two weeks.”

Two weeks. I had two weeks to put a plan into motion that would change lives irrevocably.

My classmates’ faces popped into my mind. I hadn’t bothered getting to know anyone or even learning names. I told myself it was easier that way, easier being a relative term.

But did any of them have a white aura? When I was at school, I always blocked them out. Otherwise, the barrage of auras became a colorful assault on my senses. School was difficult enough as it was. I didn’t need the added distraction. Moving around so much had left gaps in my education, so even though I was pretty smart, I perpetually struggled to maintain decent grades. Why I even bothered anymore was a mystery, though. I would probably end up a waitress just like my mother. It was hard to develop a career or even think about college with our transient lifestyle.

I squared my shoulders and looked Xavier in the eye, faking the bravado I lacked. “I guess I’ll see you in two weeks.”

 —————————————————————————-

BIRTHRIGHT Teaser 2

 —————————————————————————-

Author Jessica Ruddick

Author Jessica Ruddick

About the Author
Jessica lives in Virginia with her college-sweetheart husband, two rambunctious sons, and two rowdy but lovable rescue dogs. Since her house is overflowing with testosterone, it’s a good thing she has a healthy appreciation for Marvel movies, Nerf guns, and football.

.

.

.

.

.

.

Where to Find Jessica Ruddick
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Excerpt + Giveaway – THE SECRETS OF EDEN Brandon Goode

THE SECRETS OF EDEN Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for THE SECRETS OF EDEN, a young adult LGBTQ fantasy romance, by Brandon Goode, releasing March 18, 2017. See below for information on the book, pre-order links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on his giveaway.

THE SECRETS OF EDEN Brandon Goode

THE SECRETS OF EDEN Brandon Goode

About the Book
Title:
THE SECRETS OF EDEN
Author: Brandon Goode
Release Date: March 18, 2017
Genre: Young Adult LGBTQ Fantasy Romance
Links: Goodreads | Amazon

Synopsis
When Eden discovers he possesses forbidden magic, keeping his affair with the crown prince a secret becomes the least of his worries.

Eden has always obeyed the laws of Rolaria. He spends his days teaching children how to read in order to distract him from his mother’s bizarre disappearance. She worked in the castle before suddenly vanishing, and when Eden mistakenly receives an invitation to the Royal Ball, he goes to feel closer to her.

That same night, Prince Jared must find a bride. But after an unexpected encounter between Eden and the prince, a relationship begins. After a night with the prince, Eden explores the castle on his own. Lost in the corridors, he stumbles upon a hidden room and finds his mother’s journal, whose pages reveal a lineage of outlawed magic.

He soon realizes the castle walls not only hide his romance with Jared but secrets about his mother’s disappearance. In order to unravel the mystery and understand his awakening abilities, Eden must risk exposing his relationship and thwarting Jared’s chances to rule Rolaria.

The closer Eden gets to the truth, the closer he finds himself facing the same fate as his mother.

 —————————————————————————-

Excerpt
I arrived at the ball with no help from a fairy godmother, no pumpkin carriage at my disposal, and certainly no glass slippers on my feet. The clock struck at half past eleven while serenading music emanated from the room as a chamber orchestra played a familiar composition. Being from the impoverished side of the kingdom, I wouldn’t usually attend a masquerade ball, but somehow a royal invitation arrived at the front door of my cottage.

In the Kingdom of Rolaria, there were strict laws forbidding us lower class citizens associating ourselves with the upper class. It had been said since the beginning, Rolaria would be frozen in time. The penalty for breaking any of the kingdom laws was death or a lifetime in prison. In any case, I was already at the ball so if the invitation was delivered to me by mistake or coincidence it was too late.

After giving my coat to one of the royal doormen, I proceeded toward the dance floor where I saw the King’s Waltz already in progress. I arrived alone and couldn’t participate in the graceful dance. The king and queen were at the center of the dance floor, boasting their mediocre dancing skills to all of their admiring guests. Taking advantage of this affair, I made my way to the banquet tables where all of the delicious food was residing.

Two roasted ducks served as the centerpiece for the lavish feast. Blue sweet potatoes sat next to the golden corn, and squared briberry dinner muffins were neighbors with the tangy kimberry sauce. Sweet little dessert pastries were sprinkled throughout the table so that guests did not have to fight over them in one location. To the east of the buffet tables were two sets of double doors that opened out into the castle garden and to the west were seating areas to enjoy your plate of delicious goods.

The last meal I had like the feast before my eyes was the one my mother prepared for me before she disappeared. Every evening she would prepare a grand feast of chicken breast with two fixings that we would share, but one night was different. She prepared more than just the usual chicken breast. She prepared a turkey that evening for our dinner. She encouraged me to begin eating without her because she had important business to attend to that wouldn’t keep her long, but she never returned.

My mother vanished when I was ten years old, and my father ran away with a woman from the market before I was born. I grew up in a cottage in the kingdom marketplace with my mother. Growing up, she would always tell me stories about princes who fought dragons and saved the day, fairies, and other magical things. At the end of every tale she would say, “No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has a story that should be told. Why not go out and make yours a remarkable one?”

My mother always made sure I never lacked anything while growing up. She was able to sneak me books from her job within the castle and taught me reading, writing, and arithmetic. If my mother were here, she would’ve forced me to attend this ball. There was nothing more interesting to partake in this evening, other than teaching young children in the marketplace how to read.

The King’s Waltz finally ended, and everyone began socializing. I overheard conversations about the royal prince and when he would marry and, if so, to whom. At a side table, there sat a few gossiping women in identical bird masks, talking about the king’s numerous extramarital affairs he had with his maids. This was the typical talk I assumed happened at balls, so I nodded to seem interested although I felt out of place. My eyes searched around the room to escape the remedial conversations and to admire the costumes being worn by all of the guests.

I was surrounded by extravagant colors such as ivory and lavender on my left, and on my right the colors of peach, olive, and cream circled in socialization. There was a slender woman sporting a skin-tight green silk gown with a golden wire masquerade mask. Her slim figure and costume choice reminded me of a green tree python. Royal army men wore black masks with their scarlet uniforms. When they would group together it portrayed the image of a sea of rose petals, fighting across the current of the dance floor.

Everyone was dressed in some of the best clothes I’d ever seen. I was definitely out of place. My costume was made from drapes I stole from the marketplace bookstore. They were black with golden lace and white pinstripes. I made my mask from one of the white lace dresses my mother used to wear so a piece of her would be with me tonight.

“Are you Thaddeus?” a drunken gentleman who wore a harlequin mask asked me from behind. It startled me, but I didn’t want to be rude. I turned around to introduce myself.

“I’m sorry, but I’m not Thaddeus. I’m…I’m…”, I paused before I told him my name. I feared that I could be identified from the marketplace, and I could be kicked out of the ball or even punished. But then I remembered that he was drunk and he would probably forget it in a matter of seconds. “My name is Eden.”

My mother told me that my name was one of the most creative and appealing in the entire kingdom. Every other boy in the kingdom was named something like Lancelot, Arthur or Charles. They were named after heroes that set out to make a name for themselves with impossible feats.

“Eden? I think I have heard that name somewhere before. Are you related to the Micklen family by chance?”

“No, sir. I’m not.” Nervously I readjusted my mask to make sure my face was not recognizable. Wasn’t he supposed to be drunk?

“Oh, I did not mean to bother you, young man. I thought you looked like someone I knew. I will be on my way now. By any chance have you seen any of the champagne being served tonight? I would love another drink. I feel like a fish out of water.” he said with a drunken grin. I pointed toward the end of the buffet tables where the champagne was being poured, and he skipped his way to another glass.

After my exchange with the drunkard and with sudden dizziness from the gaudy costumes I made my exit to the garden. I’d never been inside the castle before but I needed air, and the garden seemed to be the best place to go catch my breath and rest for a minute.

Stepping out into the garden, the aroma of jasmine and lilies permeated the air and struck my nose with a gentle kiss. Beautiful cherub inspired sculptures and two large fountains called the garden home. Looking around, I noticed different types of flowers were planted in a design that paid tribute to the royal family’s crest of white, lavender and green.

“It’s magnificent isn’t it?” A voice startled me from behind.

“Why it is one of the most magnificent gardens I have ever seen. You must have read my mind,” I replied without turning around.

“Why are you out here by yourself? Why aren’t you inside with the other guests dancing and parading around?”

“I just needed some air, but I was going to go back inside soon.” realizing that my response might sound insulting, “The ball is very wonderful, but I wanted to escape for a few minutes to admire this garden.”

The lie escaped from my mouth to cover up the truth that I really did not belong in there; hopefully, this inquirer would believe me. Quickly turning around to see the stranger, I was shocked at what I saw; this mysterious gentleman was handsome.

He was about a foot taller than me with straight brown hair styled over his forehead and down onto his mask. His skin was like milk mixed with a pinch of cinnamon and some honey, which gave him a rich complexion. The bone structure of his face was sharp with his defined jaw line. He had slight stubble prickling out, and his nose was slender and raised at the tip making it the perfect shape. He flashed a short smile from behind his full lips, and his amber eyes became illuminated in the mystical moonlight. I could tell this gentleman was established from his exquisite white and silver costume, and the mask that covered the top of his face was lined with diamonds. He stood with his arms folded tapping his foot. He then started to shift his weight from one foot to the other.

“Do I know you? You look like someone who has played a game of royal chess with me.”

“I don’t believe so. I’m new to the kingdom,” I lied again.

“Ahh, I see. There aren’t that many young gentlemen at this ball, so what brings you here?”

“I received an invitation from the royal messenger, and I try not to disappoint people so I came.” I smiled because I could feel his eyes trying to hypnotize me. They were staring right into mine and the moonlight gave them a celestial gleam.

I started to walk back inside to escape this stranger, but he stuck out his arm blocking the doorway back inside. His attractiveness was leaving me defenseless to his questions and my escape back into the ball would have been the quickest exit.

“Don’t leave yet. We’ve just started to get to know each other. I rarely talk to people in this kingdom because they seem so mundane, but, looking in your eyes, I feel that you are different. So, don’t leave so soon. I may be making a new friend.” He then looked into my eyes again, and, this time, I felt drawn to this mysterious gentleman. We both reached out our hands to go for a handshake, but my hand fell short and his hand brushed the top of mine.

When our hands brushed there was a spark, and I knew from that moment, this mysterious stranger would possibly become something more than a friend to keep me company at the ball.

“I’m sorry. I’m normally good at these things. I know how to shake hands and introduce myself. I don’t know why my hand didn’t quite meet yours.”

“It’s okay, and no need for apologies.” His lips curled into a grin, and I could tell he was thinking of something by the way his eyes started to wander.

“Okay, so why are you out here in the garden talking with me instead of inside enjoying the ball?” I questioned, attempting to throw off whatever he was thinking.

“To be completely honest, I needed to get away. There are just so many people, and I wanted to avoid my parents, so why not slip outside? Then all of a sudden a drunken man approached me and said he spotted someone from the marketplace among the guests in the party, and suggested I check it out. The only issue with that is this is a masquerade ball, so how would I be able to identify this attendee? Anyways, none of that is important.”

“That’s understandable. I, too, had a run in with the drunkard.” I nervously laughed. I was glad that he paid no attention to the drunkard’s words of an uninvited guest. I noticed that he was situating himself closer to me. If anyone else tried to get close to me I would have run away by now, but for some reason, this felt different. He was taking baby steps thinking that I wouldn’t notice, but I caught on to his movements. The moon that was playing hide-and-seek behind the clouds all night finally decided to reveal itself. When the moon was out completely, I noticed that the stranger’s features were ten times better than when they appeared in the shade.

“You know what they say about the moonlight and two people?” he asked, and I felt puzzled. I didn’t have a clue as to what he was talking about. I’ve never heard anything about two people and moonlight. Was this something important that only certain people knew around the kingdom?

“I don’t know what they say. Would you care to enlighten me?”

He then flashed that notorious smile of his and quickly leaned in close right before our noses were going to meet and whispered, “They kiss in the moonlight.”

Before I could react to his answer, he grabbed my shoulders and kissed me. Our lips met as if they were hungry animals going in for a kill, and I became intoxicated. The kiss didn’t last long, but I was now hooked onto this mysterious friend I had made.

After the kiss, I was silent from shocked passion, and my words couldn’t formulate properly in my head. The stranger analyzed my paralysis and he looked worried.

“I hope I did not frighten you, it just felt like it was the right thing to do.” He then began to pull me in closer to him, and our eyes met again.

“It’s okay,” I assured him. “I trust you for some reason, and oddly, it felt fitting to me, as well.” I’d never kissed a stranger before, but it seemed right.

“I lied to you earlier.” he looked at me nervously, “The reason I’m in the garden is because I saw you come out here. I saw you when you made your entrance into the ball and I had to introduce myself. You arrived alone, and I took it as a sign that you don’t belong to anyone so I acted on my instincts to talk to you before tonight was over. I also noticed your slight dismissal of the King’s Waltz, and I have to admit that I don’t care for it either.” His eyes were locked in on mine, and I could feel him trying to convince me not to leave.

“Well, thank you. I’m charmed. No one has ever said that to me before. I guess I should tell you my name?” I wondered if he would care that I was from the marketplace instead of coming from wealth like him. Would he run away from me after knowing the truth about who I was?

“Not just yet, I do like the mystery between us. Something about this mystery makes our meeting more interesting. It’s like fate brought us together tonight and led into the garden where the moon would bless our meeting.” His words were soothing and everything that he said sounded like pure perfection.

“If you don’t want to know just yet I guess our identities can be a secret for quite some time longer.”

He then took my hand and led me to a bench that sat closer to one of the fountains in the garden. We spent almost an hour talking about the evening and where we hoped our connection would go. The evening started off isolated and confusing then somehow turned into something special. Who knew that coming to a masquerade ball would end with such a lovely encounter?

Suddenly, I heard the king cry out from inside, drunk and slurring. “Jared! Jared!” I had never met the prince, but from the way the king was yelling I could tell he probably always avoided his father. “Jared! There is someone in here I would like you to meet! Jared!” In my time with the stranger, talking in the beautiful garden, I had forgotten where I was. I was at a ball. It sounded like the king wanted to show him off to a lovely young lady he’d found sitting alone inside. “Jared! Where are you hiding?” The king was known for being loud and boisterous, and if I were his son I’m pretty sure I would try to disappear when he was drunk as well.

I felt my handsome stranger begin to move, and I started putting this puzzle of an evening together. He gently removed himself from my side, stood in front of me and casually removed his mask. For some reason, it felt as if my eyes were playing a cruel trick on me or I was in some sort of sick dream because the friend that I had made now stood before me with all of his mystery gone. The man who stood before me was none other than Prince Jared.

Jared was the prince that all of the women and their daughters swooned over. The gentleman every little girl in the kingdom said they were going to marry when they’re older. There were rumors that he was a womanizer, and that he only took pleasure in taking advantage of girls he courted. After our little garden session and the kiss, I assumed that girls never interested him, and these were just silly stories gossips created about him. I couldn’t believe I kissed Prince Jared. What would his parents think if they found out? They threw the ball in hopes of finding him a beautiful bride. The king and queen were known for trying to set him up with some young girl. This was the third ball they held this year.

Here stood the prince before me, no longer mysterious. He flashed his smile that I swooned over and promised me, “I’ll return as soon as I can. Do you see why I was trying to avoid them? They enjoy embarrassing me in front of guests. Please don’t go anywhere; I want to get to know you more. I promise that I will return, so please don’t leave the ball without me coming back to see you. ”

Prince Jared dashed away as quickly as I could blink. I heard the crowd from inside applaud when he made his royal appearance of the evening. The room quickly went back to their business, I assumed, because the orchestra started playing again.

So, here I sat on a cold bench in the castle garden, surrounded by cherub statues waiting alone in the moonlight for the prince to return to me. What would my mother have thought of this meeting? Was this where she saw my life story going? I was the only one masked away in mystery, with many questions crossing my mind and not knowing how this night would change the rest of our lives. Who knew what the gossips would say about him now?

 —————————————————————————-

Author Brandon Goode

Author Brandon Goode

About the Author
Brandon Goode grew up in the small beach town of Melbourne, Florida. He attended Eastern Florida State College and Florida International University. He has written for publications such as Florida Today, Florida International University Student Media, and the Disney Internships and Programs Blog. Brandon loves motivating and inspiring others, enjoys traveling, and eats an insanely amount of sushi every chance he gets. Oh, and he is obsessed with all things on the Bravo network. .

..

.

.

Where to Find Brandon Goode
Goodreads | Instagram | Book Instagram | Twitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.

Book Blitz – Promo + Giveaway – BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE by Alicia Michaels

BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE Book Blitz

Welcome to the book blitz for BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE, a young adult fairytale retelling of Beauty and the Beast, by Alicia Michaels. See below for information on the book, buy links, information on this modern retelling of the classic tale, and details on her giveaway.

Bellamy and The Brute by Alicia Michaels

Bellamy and The Brute by Alicia Michaels

About the Book
Title:
 Bellamy and the Brute
Author: Alicia Michaels
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Release Date: March 13, 2017
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale Retelling
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iBooks | Kobo

Synopsis
When Bellamy McGuire is offered a summer job babysitting for the wealthy Baldwin family, she’s reluctant to accept. After all, everyone in town knows about the mysterious happenings at the mansion on the hill—including the sudden disappearance of the Baldwin’s eldest son, Tate. The former football star and Golden Boy of Wellhollow Springs became a hermit at the age of sixteen, and no one has seen or heard from him since. Rumors abound as to why, with whisperings about a strange illness that has caused deformity…turned him into a real-life monster. Bellamy wants to dismiss these rumors as gossip, but when she’s told that if she takes the job she must promise to never, ever visit the 3rd floor of the mansion, she begins to wonder if there really is some dark truth being hidden there.

Tate’s condition may not be the only secret being kept at Baldwin House. There are gaps in the family’s financial history that don’t add up, and surprising connections with unscrupulous characters. At night there are strange noises, unexplained cold drafts, and the electricity cuts out. And then there are the rose petals on the staircase. The rose petals that no one but Bellamy seems to be able to see. The rose petals that form a trail leading right up to the 3rd floor, past the portrait of a handsome young man, and down a dark hallway where she promised she would never, ever go…

As Bellamy works to unravel the mysteries of Baldwin House and uncover the truth about Tate, she realizes that she is in way over her head, in more ways than one. Can her bravery and determination help to right the wrongs of the past and free the young man whose story has captured her heart?

 —————————————————————————-

BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE Teaser 1

 —————————————————————————-

Tale as Old as Time … Made New: Retelling a Classic

Retelling a fairy tale is hardly a novel concept. There are certain stories that become so timeless, that the themes lend themselves well to being reused, revamped, and retold. As an author who has retold many classic fairy tales, I’ll admit that Beauty and the Beast was one I never wanted to touch. It’s been retold so many times that I wasn’t sure that I could offer a fresh enough perspective. But, as the old saying goes … “Never say never”. I promise, it’s an old saying, used well before Justin Bieber made it the title of a song/album/documentary.

When I decided to tackle the story of Beauty and the Beast, I gave a lot of thought to ways I could preserve many of the original themes and ideas, while telling a modern story for young adults. The result became Bellamy and the Brute, and I couldn’t be prouder of the way it turned out. As a fan of the original story and Disney movie, I thought it appropriate to share the differences and similarities between the original and my version. It is my hope that readers will find comfort in the familiar, while also discovering something completely new and original.

Belle
It is my opinion that the very essence of Beauty and the Beast lies in the heart of Belle, the heroine who sees past the Beast’s outer appearance to the man inside. Without her there can be no story. For me, it was important to preserve what makes Belle who she is, while turning her into a modern day teenager. And so, Belle from France, became Bellamy from small-town Georgia.

What’s the same: Bellamy (AKA Bell), is a bookworm with a heart of gold. She’s a bit of an outcast because of her father’s eccentricities, and doesn’t have very many friends. But she’s not a pushover … Bell is strong, and stands up for herself, and others, when it becomes necessary.

What’s different: The only true difference between Bellamy and Belle—aside from the obvious youth and modernization—is appearance. Bellamy is African-American, in a twist that I thought could add some much-needed diversity to the world of fairy tales and retellings. I am excited at the idea of using the essence of ‘Belle’ to create a heroine who offers representations to girls who don’t often get it, while still preserving what makes the ‘beauty’ of the story who she truly is … inwardly kind and loving.

The Beast
In Bellamy and the Brute, ‘The Beast’ becomes Tate Baldwin (AKA The Brute). Just as important to the story as Belle, the ‘Beast’ needed to be wounded, deformed in some way, and spoiled. There is no ‘Beast’ without those characteristics.

What’s the same: Tate is part of the wealthiest family in town, making him like royalty (he might as well be a prince). He’s been cursed because of his arrogance and cruelty toward others … one person in particular. He’s physically deformed and has secluded himself in his mansion to escape the eyes and scorn of everyone in town.

What’s different: Tate is deformed, but he’s not an actual animal. His deformity manifests itself in his face only, which only makes his seclusion necessary because of his own pride. Tate also lives with an entire family, not by himself like Beast from the movie. However, he might as well live by himself, because he stays shut away in one wing of the house and is rarely ever seen.

Gaston
Some of my favorite scenes from Beauty and the Beast portray Gaston hitting on Belle and getting shot down. And, of course, we all know that he goes from being an annoyance to an all-out threat. There was no way I could retell this story without including a Gaston-like character. Thus, Lincoln Burns was born.

What’s the same: Lincoln wants Bellamy … badly. Mostly because she’s the only girl in school not falling all over herself in his presence. It annoys him that she is so indifferent toward him, and never ceases to remind her how amazing he is and what an opportunity she’s missing out on by spurning him. He’s got big muscles and a tiny brain.

What’s different: Lincoln and Tate have a past history, which makes him even more of a threat when the poo hits the fan.

The House
The home of the Beast is as important to the story as the characters. With furniture coming alive and plotting to help Beast win Belle’s heart, it added life and vibrancy to the tale. Because Bellamy and the Brute has a bit of a darker, almost horror-ish feel to it, some changes had to be made with the backdrop of the house, while still making it an important part of the story.

What’s the same: The house is still a mansion—as close to being a castle without actually being a castle as possible. It’s a bit gothic and haunting, while still being beautiful. There’s still a painting of ‘The Beast’ in his former appearance, which Bellamy stumbles upon in part of the story. There are still forbidden areas of the house, and there are consequences if Bellamy ever decides to venture there.

What’s different: Talking furniture doesn’t translate as well into a modern reboot as one might like, so I had to approach the ‘magical’ aspect of the story a bit differently. Baldwin House is haunted by two very angry spirits who leave trails of rose petals everywhere they go. Why? You’ll have to read Bellamy and the Brute to find out!

 —————————————————————————-

BELLAMY AND THE BRUTE Teaser 2

 —————————————————————————-

Author Alicia Michaels

Author Alicia Michaels

About the Author
Ever since she first read books like Chronicles of Narnia or Goosebumps, Alicia has been a lover of mind-bending fiction. Wherever imagination takes her, she is more than happy to call that place her home. With several Fantasy and Science Fiction titles under her belt, Alicia strives to write multicultural characters and stories that touch the heart. V-Card, the first book of the Sharing Spaces series, was her first Contemporary Romance.

The mother of three and wife to a soldier, she loves chocolate, coffee, and of course good books. When not writing, you can usually find her with her nose in a book, shopping for shoes and fabulous jewelry, or spending time with her loving family.
.

..

.

.

Where to Find Alicia Michaels
Goodreads | Website | Facebook | Twitter

 —————————————————————————-

Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

.