Welcome to the book blitz for WHISPERS IN THE WATERS, a prequel novella in the in the adult mystery/fantasy series, Blood of the Fae, by Sarah Chislon. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
WHISPERS IN THE WATERS (Blood of the Fae Series #0.5) by Sarah Chislon
Ladies certainly don’t admit some taint of the fae has touched their souls—unless they wish to find themselves confined to an Institution.
Gently-bred herbalist Jessa Caldwell is trying to be a lady. She conceals her true nature amongst her plants and her sketches—where she can almost shut out the whispers she alone hears. But a threat to her beloved aunt forces her from the comfort of home to a town perilously near an Otherworldly Crossing, with its ever-present risk of fae incursions.
To protect her aunt and the townsfolk she comes to care for, she must uncover the individual responsible for a series of increasingly dangerous attacks—but to find this saboteur will require embracing the part of herself she fears most, an act that could cost her dearly. In a world where Vigilists lock up fae-touched mortals, Jessa must decide if she’s willing to risk exposing her true nature to obtain the truth and protect those she loves.
Whispers in the Waters, a gaslamp fantasy novella, serves as the prequel to Tattoo of Crimson, the first book in the Blood of the Fae series. If you like quick-minded heroines who solve cases with logic and intuition, Otherworldly intrigues, and beautiful yet deadly fae, then you’ll love this mystery set in a world of manners and mythical monsters.
Excerpt #2 “Miss Jessa?”
“I beg your pardon. What did you say?”
“Young folks.” He huffed. “I said I don’t believe sprites and other low fae respond to the same wards as the high fae. Course, that’s speculation, but people lump all the Otherfolk together when in fact they’re not at all alike. If you were speaking of dealings with a high fae, with power enough to shake our world, then I’d tell you to flee and count yourself fortunate if you escaped the encounter without finding yourself enslaved or killed, though they do favor toying with their prey. But low fae . . . aye, they have powers beyond our ken, but it’s possible that you might come out of an encounter unscathed. Still, though sprites may not have all the abilities of high fae, they’re plenty strong enough to drag you to the depths. And I won’t have you seeking them thinking that pendant will offer protection.”
“I know there are risks.”
“You think you know.” He clenched his pipe, fingers whitening. “Most often, mortal dealings with fae go terribly wrong—and not for the Otherfolk.”
“I understand.” But what choice did I have?
“Maybe you do, maybe you don’t. But I won’t let you go without warning.” Mr. Heard proceeded to spin tales of horrors that rooted me to my chair—of mortals forced to dance until their feet were blistered and bloodied and beyond, until their very hearts at last gave out; of those compelled to slice their own flesh to ribbons at the bidding of the fae, for their entertainment; of individuals who begged and pleaded for death but were granted no such reprieve.
A rap sounded at the door, and I startled, my heart hammering as though the high fae stormed through the Crossing to batter down the door and take me captive.
About the Author Sarah Chislon lives in Virginia with her husband and three daughters. When she’s not writing, she’s homeschooling her children and running a web development business with her husband. As an avid reader and a lifelong story-weaver, she delights in creating fantastic worlds and exploring them alongside her characters.
Welcome to the cover reveal for DANCE OF WINGS, the fifth book in the adult fantasy romance series, The Dragon Portal, by Jamie A. Waters, releasing August 10. 2023. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
DANCE OF WINGS (The Dragon Portal Series #5) by Jamie A. Waters
About the Author
Jamie A. Waters is an award-winning, fantasy and science-fiction writer. Her first novel was a winner of the Readers’ Favorite Award in Science-Fiction/Fantasy Romance and the CIPA EVVY Award in Science-Fiction.
Jamie currently resides in Florida with two neurotic dogs who enjoy stealing socks. When she’s not pursuing her passion of writing, she’s usually trying to learn new and interesting random things (like how to pick locks or use the self-cleaning feature of the oven without setting off the fire alarm). In her downtime, she enjoys reading on her Kindle, playing computer games, painting, or acting as a referee between the dragons and fairies currently at war inside her closet.
Synopsis I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.
Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.
These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.
A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella, The Turn of the Screw.
Excerpt #2 I find myself sitting on the bench in the center of the box hedge maze behind Bly. To some relief, there are no endless hallways, staircases, or doors. Nothing unusual. Well, for the most part. The lake glistens in the distance, yet there is no light in the sky. No moon. No stars. Even the tree line that separates the manicured lawn from the woodlands and fields is swallowed by the inky blackness that conceals the sky. The only light is the candle that sits on the bench next to me. The flame steady, but dim. I take in a breath of crisp air and turn toward Bly. The house is completely dark, and from the exterior, nothing appears out of the ordinary. No extra windows or doors. Yet, something is still off.
Touching the pentacle charm on my bracelet, my thoughts travel to Nolyn. Despite his absence, I sense a small amount of his energy radiating from the tourmaline, acting as my anchor. Ever since I came to Bly, the anxiety I once felt in my dreams has started to ease. Maybe it’s because my mind has been focusing on Bly and the spirits of the house. Or maybe it’s because I have been wearing the bracelet both day and night since Nolyn gave it to me. I’m not really sure. Yet, I’m still feeling an emptiness. Especially right now, sitting in the darkness alone. I didn’t realize how much I have been missing him. How much I want him here with me.
The candle beside me suddenly sputters out, and a deafening silence envelops the estate. The temperature drops to the point that I cross my arms over my chest and rub my hands over the sleeves of my white nightgown. A presence glares down at me from the windows of the third level, above the governess’s rooms. I tilt my head to meet its gaze, only to find nothing but thin air. For several moments, I refuse to avert my eyes. My breathing becoming shallow as my chest constricts. Then I hear childish giggles and leaves crackling under a pair of running feet. I stand and turn, accidently knocking the candle from the bench in the process. The box hedge around me begins to grow vertically, climbing from two feet to four feet to six feet. In a matter of seconds, I’m in the middle of a box hedge maze that reaches ten feet high. My heart pounding, I work my way down the path that should lead me out of the maze. Unfortunately, having left the unlit candle by the bench, I’m walking blind. I lightly brush the palms of my hands over the branches and leaves on either side of me. My hyped-up imagination half expects large spiders or creepy vines with a mind of their own to crawl out of the evergreens.
I take several turns that should have led me out of the maze only to find myself trapped in a dead end. I back myself out and continue down the last path I was on. Taking a few more turns, I find myself at another dead end. This happens again for a third, fourth, and fifth time. Obviously, the maze has become more complex than when I first started. I take a breath and silently ask for Geb’s guidance as I attempt to draw energy from the earth. Finally, a soft, prickling sensation tickles the soles of my feet. I continue to walk until I feel it becoming stronger. The energy of the earth leading down several bends and U-turns. The box hedge falls away from my palms, opening into a wider space. In front of me are two doors, one a black-stained oak and the other a light honey-stained pine.
The prickling energy fades when I step forward to examine the doors. There is nothing obvious. No signs. No guards. No sphinx. I place my palm on the first door to see if I can get a sense of the energy on the other side. Nothing. I try the other door, just to be sure, but the only thing I can sense is the masked energy approaching me from behind. I turn, hoping to catch sight of the presence. Sadly, all I can see is darkness. The presence brushes the back of my head, running over my neck. I shiver while I feel the presence pick up several strands of my hair. The smell of fresh cut grass, tobacco, and alcohol wafts by as a frigid chill envelops me.
Author Kelsey Ketch
About the Author Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE SLEEPING GIANT, the second book in the young adult historical time-traveling fantasy series, The Acadian Secret, by Tammy Lowe. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE SLEEPING GIANT (The Acadian Secret Series #2) by Tammy Lowe
Synopsis When a tormented man begs 17-year-old Elisabeth London to travel back in time to save his life, she reluctantly agrees. Assuming Scotland is the destination, she ends up in Ancient Rome instead.
The good news is she finds the man; now a bold 17-year-old named Aquarius. The bad news is he’s an indentured slave, sentenced to death in the arena, and doesn’t even know her yet.
Elisabeth helps Aquarius escape and becomes an outlaw herself. Armed with her wits and his rock sling, the new friends are on the run from a relentless slave dealer, Rufus Leptis.
Elisabeth soon realizes she’s not here to save Aquarius from Rufus, but from the doomed city of Pompeii. Although trying to be brave, the thought of remaining in Aquarius’ swashbuckling world a minute longer than necessary is inconceivable.
At least, it used to be.
Before that darn, happy-go-lucky slave stole her heart.
Excerpt The thundering sounds all around them seemed to fade into the distance as Elisabeth stood pinned against the side of the cliff. Her gaze darted up to the grassy overhang. There were only two ways off this ledge; the tunnel or the rushing river that would sweep them over the falls within seconds. About to hyperventilate, Elisabeth buried her face in David’s back. Every millisecond moved at an unbearable speed. She held her breath as the inevitable moment drew nearer. Their only chance would be if Rufus didn’t step outside of the tunnel, but that would take a miracle. David looked prepared to fight, but from the side of a mountain ledge with a giant of a man? That could end up a bigger disaster.
She pushed a pile of rocks aside with her foot and shuffled as far along the ledge as possible so David could step back and they’d be flush against the wall. When they heard Rufus grumbling, she knew he had to be near the end of the tunnel. Her leg muscles tightened. Elisabeth wanted to run, but there was nowhere to go.
He was so close.
She dared not look to see if he had walked onto the ledge. He would only need to step outside to see them.
What was that noise?
Elisabeth felt the color drain from her face, and then turned ever so slightly to look at the ground beside her.
She gasped, and the sound of her heartbeat thrashed in her ears. If anyone thought the situation couldn’t get any worse, they’d be wrong. Coiled at her feet, next to the dislodged rock, was a snake, looking as startled as Elisabeth. Her mouth fell open, repulsed, but unable to look away from the creature.
About the Author An adventurer at heart, Tammy has explored ruins in Rome, Pompeii, and Istanbul (Constantinople) with historians and archaeologists.
She’s slept in the tower of a 15th century castle in Scotland, climbed down the cramped tunnels of Egyptian pyramids, scaled the Sydney Harbour Bridge, sailed on a tiny raft down the Yulong River in rural China, dined at a Bedouin camp in the Arabian Desert, and escaped from head-hunters in the South Pacific.
I suppose one could say her own childhood wish of time traveling adventures came true…in a roundabout way..
Twin thieves attempt to pull off a daring heist in Stolen City, the sophomore fantasy novel from DAUNTLESS author Elisa A. Bonnin.
The city of Leithon is under Imperial occupation and Arian Athensor has made it her playground.
In stealing magical artifacts for the Resistance, bounding over rooftops to evade Imperial soldiers, and establishing herself as the darling thief of the underground, Arian lives a life wrapped in danger and trained towards survival. She’ll steal anything for the right price, and if she runs fast enough, she can almost escape the fact that her mother is dead, her father is missing, and her brother, Liam, is tamping down a wealth of power in a city that has outlawed magic.
But then the mysterious Cavar comes to town with a job for the twins: to steal an artifact capable of ripping the souls from the living–the same artifact that used to hang around the neck of Arian’s mother. Suddenly, her past is no longer buried under adrenaline but intimately tied to the mission at hand, and Arian must face her guilt and pain head-on in order to pull off the heist.
As Arian and Cavar infiltrate the strongest fortress in Leithon and Liam joins the Resistance as their resident mage, the twins find themselves embroiled in court politics and family secrets, and the mission becomes more than just another artifact theft. The target is now the Imperial rule, and Arian will go to any length necessary to steal her city back.
Excerpt #1 There was a sudden blur of motion. Two figures darted across the wooden planks that spanned the roof, so quickly that no one would have been able to see them unless they were looking up just as Cavar and Linna were. From this distance, it was impossible to pick out any details, only that there were two of them, moving quickly, heading west over the roofs.
“What was that?” Linna asked, puzzled. “I thought the roof-top paths in the Imperial Quarter were closed. They’re too well guarded.” Cavar grinned. Maybe it was the coffee, or maybe it was the sudden charge in the air, but he couldn’t help the thrill of excite-ment that ran through him then. His informant had been right. He crushed the empty cup in his hand, tossing it into a nearby wastebasket.
“Apparently nobody told them that.”
A clamor rose from the east, a discordant alarm. The people in the streets looked up, but of course there was nothing more to see. Cavar slipped his hands into his pockets and started to walk, thinking. The Imperials would be out in force. A theft in the maximum- security vault of the First Aelrian Bank wasn’t something they could over-look. He had to catch them first.
If they were heading west, they would have to get down off the rooftops to cross the Road of Law. That would be where their pursuers would try to catch them, and if Cavar was lucky, that was where he would meet them too.
Linna hurried to catch up with him, a shadow at his side. Together, they cut through Leithon’s evening crowds, its Imperial citizens stopping to murmur at each other in wonder and confusion at the rising alarms. She didn’t try to stop him, but he could hear the impatience in her voice when she spoke up.
“You can’t tell me you mean to go after them. We’ll walk right into an Imperial patrol.”
“Aren’t you curious how they’ll get out of that?” Cavar asked, grinning.
“I’m more concerned with keeping us out of an Imperial prison.” “It’s a little too late for that, isn’t it? After all, we’re here to take their most prized artifact.”
Linna rolled her eyes. “And those are the thieves you want to hire to help us do it? Do you even know a thing about them?”
He knew a few things, thanks to his mother. But he couldn’t blame Linna for her skepticism.
The Athensor twins, the last children of eth’Akari.
He felt a shiver run down his spine, a flutter of excitement in his belly.
It was said that the Weavers were the agents of the world’s fate, weaving its loose threads together to keep them from getting tangled. But in that moment, Cavar felt as if he had been woven into the tapestry, by some hand other than his own. As if fate had gotten tired of their hubris and had decided to show the world that she could make even a Weaver dance on her strings.
It was an utterly exhilarating feeling, and Cavar couldn’t wait to see what would happen next.\
Author Elisa A. Bonnin
About the Author Elisa A. Bonnin was born and raised in the Philippines, after which she moved to the United States to study chemistry and later oceanography. After completing her doctorate, she moved to Germany to work as a postdoctoral scientist. A lifelong learner, Elisa is always convinced that she should “maybe take a class in something” and as a result, has amassed an eclectic collection of hobbies. But writing will always be her true love. Publishing a book has been her dream since she was eight years old, and she is thrilled to finally be able to share her stories. Dauntless is her first novel.
Welcome to the cover reveal for ANGEL OF ASHES AND DUST, the final book in the new adult dystopian fantasy series, The Wormwood Trilogy, by D.H. Nevins, releasing October 18, 2022. See below for information on the book and series, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
ANGEL OF ASHES AND DUST (The Wormwood Trilogy #3) by D.H. Nevins
The end of her people and the death of a planet are looming over her. Kali Michaels must choose between the illusion of safety and the danger of her own power in this anticipated and heart-stopping finale to The Wormwood Trilogy.
Kali learned the hard way that her abilities cannot be trusted if they can be used against her. In an effort to protect those she cares about, she is determined to let the power of her Shadow lie dormant, despite the dangers rising up around her.
Now, tormented by an unstoppable enemy, she and Tiamat Wormwood must try to lead others while doing the impossible—ensuring the survival of humans and half-angels alike.
But how can she partner with Tiamat, when her proximity could kill him?
And how can the Nephilim, Tiamat, be trusted to save a planet, if he is the one who shattered it in the first place?
Little do they know that sometimes, for new beginnings, that which they love must first be destroyed.
ANGEL OF ASHES AND DUST (The Wormwood Trilogy #3) by D.H. Nevins (Full Cover)
About the Author D.H. Nevins was born in Toronto and currently lives in a quiet area of Ontario, surrounded by forests and lakes. By day, she is a personable, friendly school teacher. By night, she silently chuckles as she writes about destroying the world. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys world travel, hiking, camping, flying around on her motorcycle or dabbling in live theatre.
Welcome to the cover reveal for DISENCHANTED, the first book in the new adult dark fantasy romance series, A Lay of Ruinous Reign , by Brianna Sugalski, releasing December 16, 2022. See below for information on the book, preorder links, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
DISENCHANTED (A Lay of Ruinous Reign Series #1) by Brianna Sugalski
Synopsis At the peak of the Breton Renaissance, Lilac Trécesson is held prisoner in her own castle after a most wicked secret is revealed on the eve of her fifteenth birthday. Her coronation looms years later, and between their town riots and the noble family bent on snatching her throne, she prepares for the worst…
Until a letter arrives from The Witch of Lupine Grotto, detailing a curious offer to banish her curse forever.
Her heirloom dagger at the ready, Lilac embarks into Brocéliande and finds herself in the hands of a bloodthirsty barkeep who demands her help in exchange for protection against the even deadlier forces of the woods.
She is thrust on a quest to uphold her family’s legacy—and her sovereign right to destroy it and start anew—by any means necessary. Pity the fool to underestimate the girl with subpar blade skills but pure spite to make up for it.
This is the tale of a cursed princess,
A crestfallen killer,
The town that wants them to burn,
And the witch who can save them both.
Author Brianna Sugalski
About the Author Southeast Asian fantasy author with a soup addiction. Diverse medievalist and developmental editor who lives in oversized sweaters, and prefers to explore the more ominous—disenchanting, if you will—undertones of history, romance, and the arcane.
My debut, Breton Arthuriana-inspired YA Dark Fantasy DISENCHANTED, released with the Parliament Press in March 2020, and is being re-released and rebranded for the New Adult/ Adult indie market in December 2022. The rest of the trilogy will follow this updated genre rating.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE FIRST DARK SORCERER, the first book in the Young Adult Steampunk Fantasy series, Whisper Court, by Abby Arthur. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE FIRST DARK SORCERER (Whisper Court Series #1) by Abby Arthur
Synopsis An awkward wizard. An aspiring ballerina. And a dark god with a wicked vendetta.
Clyde Blitzkurr is devastated. Rejected by every reputable magic academy in the realm, this seventeen-year-old aspiring wizard resolves to make his sister’s dream come true. But things take a turn when a demon tries to kill him.
Aylee Blitzkurr’s deepest desire is at hand. Accepted to the most prestigious dance academy, this sixteen-year-old ballerina is a breath away from becoming a principal dancer. But when her brother’s life is threatened, and ghosts start leaving cryptic messages, fighting for Clyde’s wellbeing takes precedence.
The siblings begin to uncover dangerous secrets connecting them to a vengeful god. Neither is safe. Clyde must grasp the untapped power he possesses. Aylee must discover the courage to face her darkest fears. If they do not, they will lose more than their lives … they will miss their destiny. And the realms are counting on them.
Phantom of the Opera meets Cassandra Clair’s Clockwork Angel in this young adult steampunk fantasy!
Escape to a world imbued with magic and the paranormal. Find mermaids, demons, dragon shifters, elves, wizards, sorcery, and a healthy dose of fantastical ballet. This exciting book for teens is for boys, girls, and everyone in between.
Aylee “Students, please give him space.” Madam Ruelle looks us all over, and there’s this underlying threat in her gaze. It says if we act out of line in front of the most important man in our lives, there will be drills galore in our future.
“Oh, this is going to be good,” Mr. Taylo says not-so-quietly to Sedric. They both watch as Nori moves to the center of the room.
“What song shall we play?” Madam Ruelle asks Nori.
He doesn’t need a translation for that, but answers something in his fast-paced Kuromanese. The piano begins the song, apparently understanding him. On the first note, I understand the song as well.
It’s a well-known piece from an opera called the Warrior and his Bride. This is “the Dance of the Warrior”. My body chills at the idea because this is one of the hardest dances to perform. I know because I’ve done it. Normally, it’s a duet where the Warrior brandishes his sword, killing foes and protecting his love.
Nori looks at me when he takes his first pose.
No, I mouth to him, and pray he understands what that word means. We may have been partners during auditions, but there is no way I’mdancing this song with him. The last time I performed it was three months ago at the North Kingdom’s Dance Competition. My old instructor wanted me to do it with Drew, a boy in our studio. In training, I was whacked with a wooden sword too many times to count. Worse, during the final performance, I broke my ankle because Drew dropped me.
Let’s not forget that sword Nori holds isn’t wooden.
I will not have myself be made a fool in front of Mr. Taylo and his son.
Nori looks away as the music cues his movements, and I let out a breath in relief.
Quietly, Nori speaks words we all know. It’s a spell to call up mist … a well-known spell in dance, to add dramatics.
The room fogs with a heavy haze that rises from the floor, billowing like smoke. As it builds, Nori draws his sword in the theatrical movements of the Warrior. His gaze is dark, and his lips continue to move in a spell. The mist takes on the silhouette of a foe, and he watches it like a man ready to kill, as he should. This is the moment the Warrior prepares to slay for his Bride.
A battle is about to happen.
A new sort of hush falls over the room as the music builds. The fog grows so thick that the dance studio disappears. There’s only Nori slowly dancing the choreography, and the fog made foes circling him. Tension builds in the air as well, but not the same as when we expected trouble. This tension is of anticipation. Will Nori pull this off?
Following the build of music, Nori spins, slicing his blade through a fog-made foe and leaping at the same time. The foe bursts into the mist, dissipating into nothing. Simultaneously, Nori spins, and the surrounding mist accentuates his movements, making everything he does that much more captivating. This is a dance mixed with ballet and swordsmanship, and Nori is consumed by it. He runs across the room, slicing his blade through numerous fog-foes as he goes. He rolls to avoid a blade of mist and gets back up to dance again.
My mouth is open in awe at how well he acts out the scene. His form is spectacular, and his control with his weapon is just as good. I want to watch him dance this scene forever.
As the story goes, the first part of this dance is the Warrior killing foes to free his bride. Usually, the female dancer is in a cage at this point. I half expect Nori to end at the moment he sets her free. Or maybe he will attempt to improvise where the duet normally comes.
He does neither.
Nori jumps through the air in a marvelous spin and lands before me.
His free hand takes mine. I open my mouth to protest, but he spins me against his chest and says, “Feel the music,” in my ear with his heavy accent. Then he spins me out into the fog.
Author Abby Arthur
About the Author Abby’s books combine magic, action, swords, and dragons with a healthy dose of sarcasm. She started winning writing contests and getting published in newspapers when she was just sixteen.
Her magic portal is located in small town Iowa, protected by herself, her husband, and their son. For more info on Abby and her books check out her site: www.abbyarthur.com
To view her character illustrations, check her out on your favorite social platform!
Welcome to the book blitz for JESTER, a standalone young adult fantasy romance, by Brielle D. Porter. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
Lisette’s father killed the King. His execution leaves Lisette alone, disgraced, and without the magic he intended to pass on to her. In Oasis, that’s a problem. Glutted with enchanted performers, Oasis is a sin city where courtiers pay in gold to drink, gamble, and above all, be entertained. To survive on its competitive streets, Lisette peddles paltry illusions in place of magic.
Desperate to prove herself, Lisette enters into a deadly competition to be chosen as the highest-ranked magician in the world, the Queen’s Jester. But her rival, the irritatingly handsome Luc, possesses the one thing Lisette does not—real magic. Lisette will do anything to win, but when evidence implicating the Queen in her husband’s murder surfaces, Lisette must choose between redeeming her family name, or seizing the fame she’s hungered for her entire life.
Excerpt Even though the knife feels like it’s blistering my palm, I take a moment to pan the audience. This is always my favorite part. The tension is a palpable thing, visible in held gasps, wide eyes, and awe.
And that’s when I see him. Expression carefully neutral, almost bored, one eyebrow raised, arms folded across a suit that costs more than my father made in a year. A seeker.
My heart pounds, as I realize more than Stefan’s crotch is at stake here now. If I nail this, that pretentious clown in a suit has the power to get my act in front of the queen. I could be the next Jester. It’s the reason I’ve come here tonight, the same reason I’ve performed for thousands of crowds like this one.
Sucking in a breath, I hold the knife level.
Stefan thrashes, but the binding’s pinning him to the wheel like a dead butterfly hold. Right as I pull back to throw, there’s a shout. “Kingkiller!”
The knife slips in my grip, but it’s too late. I watch, horrified, as the blade wobbles in the air, the trajectory off. It clatters to the ground a few feet away from Stefan, flames smothered in the dirt. There’s a moment of shocked silence, as though the crowd is waiting for me to do something.
Make a joke. Throw another knife. Something. I can still save this.
Even Stefan gawps at me as I stare unseeing at the crowd. But I don’t do anything. I just stand there, the word pounding in my head, over and over.
Even real magic couldn’t save me now.
Author Brielle D. Porter
About the Author Brielle D. Porter decided to become a writer after a well-meaning elementary school teacher told her she had a gift for it. Stolen moments under the covers reading anything from Harry Potter to William Goldman solidified the desire to tell stories herself one day. Jester is her debut novel.
Brielle lives with her husband and three sons on a lavender farm in Northern Idaho. When she’s not writing, she can be found running and beekeeping. Only ask her about her hobbies if you have plenty of time to spare.
ALL OF US VILLAINS (All of Us Villains Series #1) by Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER An Indie Bestseller! An Indie Next Pick!
The blockbuster co-writing debut of Amanda Foody and Christine Lynn Herman, All of Us Villains begins a dark tale of ambition and magick…
You Fell in Love with the Victors of the Hunger Games.
Now Prepare to Meet the Villains of the Blood Veil.
The Blood Moon rises. The Blood Veil falls. The Tournament begins.
Every generation, at the coming of the Blood Moon, seven families in the remote city of Ilvernath each name a champion to compete in a tournament to the death.
The prize? Exclusive control over a secret wellspring of high magick, the most powerful resource in the world—one thought long depleted.
But this year a scandalous tell-all book has exposed the tournament and thrust the seven new champions into the worldwide spotlight. The book also granted them valuable information previous champions never had—insight into the other families’ strategies, secrets, and weaknesses. And most important, it gave them a choice: accept their fate or rewrite their legacy.
Either way, this is a story that must be penned in blood.
The All of Us Villains Duology:
#1) All of Us Villains
#2) All of Our Demise
My Review Harry Potter meets The Hunger Games. That’s the best way to describe this amazing tale of a group of teens, fighting to the death, to see whose family will control high magick until the next generation of champions. Each family chooses one champion to represent them in the tournament. There is only one survivor and the family of that survivor will be the powerful for at least a generation. Which means they’ll stop at nothing to ensure their champion is the winner. Including cheating, bribery, coercion, and even sacrifice. The story is told from the point of view of four champion, all with their own concern, motives, and desires. There were so many unexpected twists that this became the page-turner I needed to keep me engrossed, reading late into the night.
The story starts with various teens vying to be selected as their family’s champion, but soon, the sinister nature of the tournament becomes apparent. But unlike The Hunger Games, these magical kids want to sacrifice themselves for the fame, the glory, and of course the power. Even though only one can win, each believes they will be the winner. But the further into the story we go, the more we learn about these champions and that not all are created equal. Not just in their abilities, but in their motivations and desires. And one champion in particular has an idea, crazy as it sounds, that could end the tournament once and for all, and maybe just maybe save all their lives in the process.
Plot The plot is complex with so many moving parts and balls in the air, it’s an intense read. With so much going on, there was action or drama of some kind on every page. So many secrets, lies, and power plays, the story moves at a clipped pace, without ever becoming exhausting. It also never got confusing, which can happen when there are a lot of levers in play. The authors did a masterful job of plotting an intriguing tale, giving us surprises and twists at just the right times, and foreshadowing everything.
Characters This might be my only complaint. I often confused to two female protagonists. Though they serve different purposes, their personalities were very similar, while the two male leads, were as different as night and day. The other minor issue I had with the characters is that most of the non-narrators tended to fade into the background, with only a few exceptions.
What I Loved About ALL OF US VILLAINS 1. World Building. Spell casting, and spell making, and spell rings, oh my! The level of world building was off-the-charts good.
2. Setting. The fictional town of Ilvernath was such a key factor in the story, it was almost a character itself.
3. Magic. I really love the take on magic the two authors weave into their story. It’s different from any other magic I’ve read in the genre.
4. Twists. There were so many twists and turn, that I came to expect the unexpected, but still managed to be surprised all over again.
5. Ending. While this is the first half of a duology, I liked the ending that left me breathless for more rather than a frustrating cliffhanger.
Bottom Line A fabulous dark tale of magic, friendship, and loyalty that left me ready for more. I’ve already preordered book 2!
About the Author Amanda Foody is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of All of Us Villains, the Wilderlore series, the Shadow Game series, and more. Her work has appeared in publications including Buzzfeed, Popsugar, Culturess, and Amazon selected All of Us Villains as the Best Young Adult Book of 2021. Originally from Pennsylvania, she lives in Boston, MA with her partner and their orange tabby, Jelly Bean. When not writing, she unironically loves to cook. You can find her on Instagram @amandafoody or on her website, www.amandafoody.com..
About the Author CHRISTINE LYNN HERMAN is the New York Times and indie bestselling author of novels about magic, monsters, and growing up, including All of Us Villains, The Devouring Gray duology, and The Drowning Summer.
Christine resides in Somerville, MA, with her partner and cat. To learn more, follow them on Instagram @christineexists, sign up for Christine’s newsletter, or visit christinelynnherman.com.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE LIGHT AFTER THE ORANGE, the first book in the adult post-apocalyptic fantasy series, The Tundra Stone, by Beverley J. Hall. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE LIGHT AFTER THE ORANGE (The Tundra Stone Series #1) by Beverley J. Hall
Synopsis EVEN IN A DYING WORLD, IS SURVIVAL ENOUGH?
After the Orange and the catastrophic devastation of Earth, magic began to seep in—but will it help Alex Chegasa survive?
Hidden and protected by magic, she grew up embracing her gifts. After witnessing the only people she can call family being murdered, eighteen-year-old Alex must choose between her head and her heart in her search for a place to belong. But, her hunt for a home means having to hide her magic.
All the while, in the shadows, eight-hundred-year-old Fae Billey NicNevin, suffering from amnesia, is rediscovering her magic.
Are their fates intertwined?
What if the fantastical stories Alex’s mother told her as a child were true?
ALL MYTHS ARE BASED ON TRUTH
Sales Copy: Eighteen-year-old Alex Chegasa, one of the first generation to be raised on post-apocalyptic Earth, was taught to embrace her magical gifts.
After the Orange, as the planet burned, magic trickled in. The bombs that had wiped out most life ripped open the barrier between worlds. Can the next generation, connected to the magic, be the solution to mankind’s problems or are they destined to repeat the mistakes of their ancestors?
Did the Orange, the very thing that ravaged the planet, also provide the solution? Or is magic more than a coincidence?
While Alex searches for somewhere to belong, in Massachusetts, she questions if survival is enough when she comes to understand that magic, used by the wrong people, could be more dangerous than the power of the generations before her.
Meanwhile, in a parallel story, we meet eight-hundred-year-old Fae, Billey NicNevin. With a past she doesn’t remember, she struggles to fit into Nuadh Caled (New Scotland) as it rebuilds itself. When she meets a woman whose soul calls to her, will she find her missing piece or tumble into insanity?
Are their destinies connected?
WHAT IF THE FANTASTICAL STORIES FROM ALEX’S CHILDHOOD WERE TRUE?
Excerpt My eyes followed the shadows of the skeletal trees behind me. Their dead silhouettes, like fingers, pointed and directed me toward my past. My eyes rested on the debris filling the street, and I struggled to remember, even imagine, the houses, the homes, the families who lived here, before.
This was my world and my time, but the lone white house, hemmed in by what must once have been other homes, was a lie. With its paint peeling from the wooden boards, it stood as a memory of a world long gone. A time that was gone. A life that was gone. A life that was taken from me.
The silence filled me, allowed me freedom, but the house dragged me back to a time I didn’t truly remember. How many of my earliest memories were real? Were they the result of stories told to me as a child?
Author Beverley J. Hall
About the Author Beverley J. Hall was born in Kent, England, and raised in Scotland. Most of her childhood was spent with her nose in a book, and her love of stories was born.
While studying Art and Design, she discovered her love of storytelling, whether with paint, sculpture, fabric, or words.
After completing an MA in Creative Writing, she is now living her best life, writing stories at the seaside with her son, her granddaughter, and her cat Bertie.
Head over to TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter to join her overthinking and daydreaming (she’s still hoping for a pet dragon).
Welcome to the book blitz for A COUP OF TEA, the first book in the adult paranormal fantasy series, Tea Princess Chronicles, by Casey Blair. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
A COUP OF TEA (Tea Princess Chronicles #1) by Casey Blair
Synopsis When the fourth princess of Istalam is due to dedicate herself to a path serving the crown, she makes a choice that shocks everyone, herself most of all: She leaves.
In hiding and exiled from power, Miyara finds her place running a tea shop in a struggling community that sits on the edge of a magical disaster zone. But there’s more brewing under the surface of this city—hidden magic, and hidden machinations—that threaten all the people who’ve helped her make her own way.
Miyara may not be a princess anymore, but with a teapot in hand she’ll risk her newfound freedom to discover a more meaningful kind of power.
A Coup of Tea is the first book of the Tea Princess Chronicles, a cozy fantasy series full of magic tea, friendship, and lifting people up even when the odds seem impossible.
Excerpt #2 “Well. I can’t deny I’d like to hire you, after a performance like that.”
A spike of panic. I don’t know how else to persuade her, nor how to get a job elsewhere.
“This area is under a lot of pressure,” Talmeri says. “You need to make a living wage, and I’m not willing to pay you one.”
I steady my breathing, watching her, trying to think.
No. I need to listen.
I’ve heard how easily she manipulates her tone—she should have pronounced that with finality, and she didn’t.
This is the opening sally to bargain.
“I don’t need a living wage right away,” I say. “I need enough for food, general household items, and to style myself in a manner befitting your shop. I’d be comfortable starting with a low salary initially until I’ve proven to you how useful I can be.”
It’s a risky statement, with undefined parameters. But I need to turn the ‘no’ into a ‘yes’ before I impose conditions.
“A possibility,” Talmeri allows. “And what if I never decide you’re worth a full salary?”
“I’m confident you will.”
Talmeri laughs. “I appreciate that kind of confidence, but I’m looking for a plan of action here, Miyara.”
Certainty in her voice. “You already have one in mind.”
Her eyes narrow. “So I do. In three months my lease on this building expires. What do you think that means for a struggling business, when prices are rising?”
I think for a moment. “If your profits have been dwindling, then it isn’t enough to make as much as you used to. You need to be more profitable to compete.”
Talmeri nods. “Just so. Good, you understand the basics of commerce.”
“Lorwyn intimated she hoped I might assist with the business spreadsheets.”
“Ha! Clever girl, dropping that in. But one thing at a time, Miyara.”
“Yes, Grace Talmeri,” I say demurely.
“Good,” she approves. “Now. You understand that even if you took on more of the work around here, that wouldn’t be enough to turn our fortunes. If I can’t count on customer revenue exploding beyond my wildest dreams, what does that leave me to bargain with?”
“Providing a valued service to the community,” I say.
“I already have that. No, stop, I realize I can add value or services. That’s not the answer I’m looking for.”
I cast around, thinking of what else I’d heard from her this morning. She’s leaving her business to see a friend, she values her image, she’s proud—
“Reputation,” I say.
Talmeri nods slowly, eyeing me with more appreciation.
It occurs to me that until that moment she wasn’t sure I was actually intelligent.
She waves her hand at me, indicating my body, my clothes, my poise. “Yes. Reputation. With a reputation, I have bargaining power. And you know what would bring me one?”
“A tea master,” I say. And: “Which you can’t afford.”
“But you, with no credentials, references, or paperwork to your name, I can,” she says. “Because I can pay you whatever I like.”
I keep my expression even. She wants a reaction from me at that, the implicit threat. She knows I’m desperate or I wouldn’t accept less than a full wage.
“But I’m still not a tea master,” I say. “And if you try to use my position as leverage for investments, every noble will know you for a liar. Which won’t be good for your reputation at all.”
“Ah, you know how the game is played. We’ll get along fine.” Talmeri smiles. “And that won’t be a problem if you become a tea master in the next three months.”
Author Casey Blair
About the Author Casey Blair writes adventurous fantasy novels for all ages, and her serial fantasy Tea Princess Chronicles is available online for free. After graduating from Vassar College, her own adventures have included teaching English in rural Japan, attending the Viable Paradise residential science fiction and fantasy writing workshop, and working as an indie bookseller. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest and can be found dancing spontaneously, exploring forests around the world, or trapped under a cat. For more information visit her website caseyblair.com or follow her on Twitter @CaseyLBlair.
Welcome to the book blitz for STORM AND FLAME, the first book in the young adult fantasy series, Enchanted, by Mallory Wanless, releasing September 22, 2022. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
STORM AND FLAME (Enchanted Series #1) by Mallory Wanless
Synopsis Elena has always been a disappointment. Her magic is practically non-existent and now, on her sixteenth birthday, she is expelled from magic school by the strict headmistress–also known as her mother. Cast out into the world of the magically inept with only her familiar for company, Elena feels lost and alone until she meets a strange boy in the woods.
Quinn is a thief, a hunter, and a hothead. His unexpected friendship with Elena awakens a fiery side in him–quite literally–and uncovers new and surprising magical abilities. Except men aren’t supposed to be capable of magic.
With Quinn’s help, Elena carves a safe new life as a barmaid, but when she is attacked, her powers awaken with shocking ferocity. Elena’s explosion of magic creates a power surge that attracts the attention of magical investigators, sent to uncover and contain the source of the power surge.
But the awakening of their powers kickstarts an ancient prophecy. Will they be able to escape those that hunt them? Can they fulfill the prophecy, destroy the turmio and save magic from being destroyed once and for all?
Excerpt #2 When you grow up in an orphanage, you learn to read people pretty quickly. When you grow up in an orphanage run by an abusive drunk and his neglectful wife, you learn that everyone is full of shyt and you have to fend for yourself if you want to survive. The former enabled Quinn to do the latter. Reading people helped him find good marks, then he and Lyra would rob them blind. Lyra was quick and clever, like most foxes, but she was special. She could start fires with the flick of her tail, which came in very handy when you needed to distract a mark to pickpocket them, or on cold nights when you didn’t have an actual roof or walls to protect you from the harsh frost seasons. He’d learned long ago that they had to take care of themselves. That meant doing whatever it took to survive.
Q didn’t like looting corpses, but he wasn’t above it either; sometimes they had the best shyt. When he saw her lying there half-curled against the cold, on the side of the road just outside the Dark Woods, he couldn’t pass up the golden opportunity. She had a whole bag of who-knows-what lying next to her. It could just be food, but it could be decent enough stuff to sell or use themselves. Even if it was food, he and Lyra weren’t exactly feasting these days. Besides, she was dead. What did a dead girl need with whatever was in that bag?
“Lyra, you know the drill,” he whispered. As a fox, she was innately adept at sneaking, which was why she always made the initial approach. They’d tried other ways when they first started out on their own, but this was by far the most effective. Q sat back, partially hidden behind an old oak tree, and waited.
As Lyra crept closer, he could feel her heart rate slow and her senses heighten. She was inches from the corpse when he felt a violent shock, as though he’d been struck by lightning. He cried out, as did Lyra, before nearly blacking out. Q pulled himself from behind the tree, barely able to crawl to his knees before a second, more powerful blast struck them and he keeled over completely.
Author Mallory Wanless
About the Author Mallory lives in Texas with her husband and their two young boys. She spends her days homeschooling and full-time parenting. Her nights, and any free time she manages to carve out during the day, are devoted to reading and writing.
Welcome to the book blitz for GILDED BUTTERFLY, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, Rockin’ Fairy Tales, by Leslie O’Sullivan. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
GILDED BUTTERFLY (Rockin’ Fairy Tales Series #2) by Leslie O’Sullivan
Synopsis Gilded Butterfly is the second book in the Rockin’ Fairy Tales adult romantasy series by Leslie O’Sullivan. King Midas and the Golden Touch meets King Lear in a slow-burn, friends to lovers, romance set against the backdrop of a fictional Hollywood music scene.
Chorda Lear is a mega-hot pop artist, Internet influencer, and Irish witch who’s poised to inherit a magical family legacy, the Golden Guitar. She’s the fan favorite on a wildly popular reality television show, “Kickin’ It With Midas,” a trendy chronicle of three Hollywood influencer sisters and their aging rock star father, Midas Lear.
Adair Holliday, a Hollywood producer wunderkind, is slated to step up as showrunner of the Lear’s lucrative TV franchise. He must constantly temper his skepticism over best friend, Chorda’s, practice of magic, but his biggest challenge is denying romantic feelings for her.
When Chorda goes disastrously off-script during the live broadcast of the season finale, Lear banishes her from the show and his life. Adair follows his friend into exile with a plan to reconcile father and daughter. Away from the pressures of Hollywood, a steamy encounter under a waxing moon, deepens friendship into romance. Now, the two must reverse Midas’ edict to save both their professional futures and new-found love.
Excerpt “We’re complicated, Chorda. Our lives are tied up together. There’s risk taking us to a new level. We could decimate a lifelong friendship.”
She relaxes a bit and plops down next to me on the garden bench, staring at the waterfall. With a musical chirp, she whips around to face me. “Okay, my practical rule lover, let’s spell it out right now.” She runs the toe of her sneaker around the edge of a rock. “If we break up…” She shakes her head. “I can’t believe there’s even a need to say this.” She fills her cheeks with air and blows. “If we break up, we agree to give each other a month of space to be pissed or mourn or whatever. After that, we grab cables and jumpstart the friendship.”
I’m surprised jumper cables exist in Chorda’s awareness. “You’re proposing a dead battery scenario?”
“Blunt, but yes, one month to get over a breakup, no matter who initiates, then we hit replay to rebuild what we were before you saw me naked. Problem solved. If leaving the friend zone blows up in our faces, you won’t lose me, and I won’t lose you.”
I’ve never discussed a breakup before a relationship got off the ground. Granted, I’ve never shifted gears from friends to seeing each other naked before. My need to diffuse the intensity of this topic rises to the surface. “Do you discuss naked with all your first dates?”
A sly smile sneaks across Chorda’s plump lips. “Just this one.”
“As much as I enjoy naked talk, I appreciate you indulging my practical side.”
She slides a finger up my neck and tugs at my ear. “I get there’s nothing simple about redefining us.” Her gaze falls on a lavender rose bush growing behind the bench. She reaches to pluck off a bloom. “There’s nothing simple about the pattern of these rose petals, swirling out from the center. They overlap and work together to make an exquisite design.”
As Chorda pets the rose, the golden streak in her hair glows. I want so badly to touch the radiant strands and discover if there’s warmth to its light. In my gut, I know such a touch would be more intimate than we’ve ever been. Stroking her personal gold would be touching her essence. Such a step requires invitation.
Chorda’s eyes drift shut as she inhales the rose’s scent. “A rose is more than a rose. It’s nature’s expression of complexity and elegance.” Chorda rubs the rose petals against my cheek. “We’re a rose, Adair. Let us be a rose.”
It’s killing me not to capture this beat of eloquence for the show. Chorda weaves her point into a graceful outpouring of imagery and emotion.
I burn to take her in my arms and promise we are her rose. I do believe we have a chance. I want to build an exquisite design with her.
About the Author Leslie O’Sullivan is the author of Rockin’ Fairy Tales, an adult romance series of Shakespeare/fairy tale mash ups set against the backdrop of Hollywood’s music scene. Coming soon is her Behind the Scenes contemporary romance series that peeks into the off-camera secrets of a wildly popular television drama. She’s a UCLA Bruin with a BA and MFA from their Department of Theater where she also taught for years on the design faculty. Her tenure in the world of television was as the assistant art director on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” Leslie loves to indulge her fangirl side each year at San Diego Comic Con.
Welcome to the book blitz for MERMAID OF ST. MORITZ, the fifth book in the adult fantasy romance series, Mermaid of Venice, by Jincey Lumpkin. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
MERMAID OF ST. MORITZ (Mermaid of Venice Series #5) by Jincey Lumpkin
Synopsis Billionaire mermaid Gia Acquaviva is back for the riveting fifth installment of the Mermaid of Venice series. Gia struggles with intense feelings for a man from her past, while her passionate love affair with a Hollywood actress threatens to ruin it all.
The Mermaid Civil War unleashes Ancient Magic, putting both mermaids and mankind in danger. Caught in the middle of warring factions is Gia’s daughter, Serena. Will the child master her magical powers, or will she become a casualty of war?
Everything’s on the line for Gia. Will her risky behavior cause her to lose everything she’s worked so hard to regain?
• Love triangle
• Enemies to lovers
• Secret affair
• Billionaire romance
• Paranormal romantic suspense
Excerpt #3 Gia burst out the doors of the Eye, shouting back at the guards. “Take Yiannis somewhere and keep him alive until I come back!”
She whipped through the flooded casino floor with great haste, her tail flapping wildly behind her. At the casino’s exit, she was met by another set of Shadow’s men. The water was already shoulder-high, and the men had to tread water to stay in place.
She blew past them and yelled, “Try to follow me, if you can!” She rounded a corner into a smaller canal against a strong current.
The guards did their best to keep up, but they could not match her strength.
A short wall of water crashed over a bridge, washing it out. Debris hit one man, and he floated away. Gia zipped through Venice, taking every underwater shortcut to reach her palazzo as quickly as possible. She looked over her shoulder to see if Shadow’s man was still following her, but he was long gone.
Citizens and tourists trapped in their houses and hotels screamed for help from the windows. Everyone was wholly unprepared for this strange, sudden flood. The police and coast guard weren’t any help, either. Boats could not navigate the angry waters flowing through the canals.
As the water covered everything in sight, furniture, people, artwork, and centuries-old structures tumbled away in the current. Gia had never seen anything like this. Was Queen Karen really capable of all of this destruction on her own?
Gia said a silent prayer, immensely grateful that Vittore was safe in faraway Greece and not drowning in his barber shop down the street. Then her thoughts turned to Serena.
I have to get to my baby. I should have kept her with me. Why did I have to confront Yiannis? How stupid of me. I should have listened to Shadow and Florent.
As she turned to the left and approached her street, she darted to the surface. A row of merfolk—soldiers—were at her front door. They banged on it, but Shadow had reinforced it, and it wouldn’t budge.
Suddenly, there were loud pops in the air, like fireworks explod- ing. A bullet knocked one soldier down. Then another. Blood spilled into the water.
All the time, the water was rising.
The soldiers split away, retreating until the water rose enough for them to swim over Gia’s walls and into the courtyard of her palazzo.
When they were out of eyesight, she dove to the bottom of the canal and moved with careful strokes until she reached the secret hatch in her pool. She entered the code into the new security system Shadow had installed, and the door rolled open. She swam inside, into the bottom of her pool, and quickly closed the hatch door behind her.
She shot up to the surface. Water had flooded everything, but Shadow’s men had strapped on their scuba equipment. They were armed with harpoons and ready to fight.
“Where is Shadow?!” she howled. “Where is my baby?!”
About the Author Jincey Lumpkin is a writer who splits her time between NYC and Lisbon. She has been profiled by Dateline NBC, Vice, and GQ, among others. Out Magazine listed her in its “OUT 100,” naming her as one of the world’s most influential LGBTQ+ people, alongside celebrities like Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin. Sign up for free stories at JinceyLumpkin.com.
Welcome to the book blitz for BLOOD ON HIS LIPS, the second book in the adult fantasy romance series, The Fae Prince of Everenne, by Alisyn Fae. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
BLOOD ON HIS LIPS (The Fae Prince of Everenne Series #2) by Alisyn Fae
Blood on his lips. Power in his touch. A maelstrom in his eyes.
The Prince, an Old One, High Lord of House Montague, is fixated on claiming me. The weight of his grip crushes my throat, and resistance is . . . well.
I am Aerinne Capulette, last daughter of Faronne, and survival forces me to accept he killed my mother, that he will drag me to his bed fighting and cursing as he laughs.
But I will not accept the subjugation of my House, my family, my friends. If any blood coats my hands, it will be his.
My unknown power stirs, and with it a glimmer of understanding. Of course he wants me for more than my body. For why am I the only person in the city who can see the shape of his power?
Renaud is power. He plays the long game.
. . .and if you wish to walk the board as queen, and not as pawn, you will play it too, my halfling.
I have said you have no choice. You anchor my sanity.
I have also said I will make you strong enough to bear me. You have noted the storm gathering on the horizon? Scented smoke and crushed blooms in the air?
Yes. A danger that eclipses us both approaches.
I will destroy you before I allow you to be taken. I do not yield what is mine.
But. . .if you submit, it may not come to such a pass. Your darkness may yet rise stronger than my own.
Give yourself to me, and I will give you answers. And then, my halfling, I will teach you to rule.
Blood On His Lips is an adult high heat, dark romantic fantasy, second in the Fae Prince of Everenne series. This not a standalone and ends in a cliffhanger. Book one must be read first.
For readers who crave enemies-to-lovers, obsessed dark heroes, murderous heroines, a battle of dark wills and enjoy authors such as Jennifer L. Armentrout, Michelle Sagara, Kathryn Ann Kingsley, and Laura Thalassa.
Excerpt #2 The Prince lifted me into his arms, stalked forward, and then the bed was beneath my back, this sorcerer crouching above me, lowering his head to claim the breast his fingers had left bereft.
“Food offers no energy, wine no intoxication, when the only taste I crave is on your skin. . .”
His mouth closed over my nipple, and I arched my back, my legs falling open as his tongue and teeth ravaged the hardened buds.
“. . .between your thighs.”
He moved down my body. Some shred of sanity prompted me to close my legs again, but he shoved them apart, swatting my resistance away with no more thought than one might give a gnat.
My body seized at the first lap of his tongue, my temples splitting, my teeth grinding as fear hit me, my pleasure breaking open the box I’d shoved my darker emotions into.
“I almost died.”
Stilled as if fighting the truth of my words. He crawled back up my body, bracing on his arms. My open legs nestled him, his weight providing more comfort than I should have allowed. Again came the fleeting thought that this male felt familiar, right.
“But why do you care?” I asked. “I don’t understand what this is between us. It came out of nowhere.”
He turned his head away, avoiding my seeking gaze for a moment, lowering his forehead to mine with a sigh. “It did not come out of nowhere. And every time I try to tell you—”
“You haven’t tried to tell me anything.”
His hands had been on my arms, rubbing up and down my skin in a soothing motion, but now they stopped, dug in. I should be annoyed he didn’t seem to care about marking my skin with bruises and scratches. I might be a warrior, but he could show more delicacy.
“I have. You’re not ready to hear it. I don’t want to break what is left of you.” He spoke, a string of lyrical words in an unfamiliar dialect of the old tongue that sounded close to the Ninephene my mother had spoken to me once. I understood one in five. I think. . .he was ranting at my mother? I recognized the word Maryonne, though he used the correct inflection, Muriel. “I must make you stronger. Neither of us has a choice.”
If I stepped back and looked at his words as a whole, they made a chilling kind of sense if one was insane, but the entirety of it eluded my grasp.
“What do you want, Prince? Answer the question without any of the male snarling and possessiveness.”
About the Author Alisyn Fae, the pen name of PNR & SFR author Emma Alisyn, writes high heat adult fantasy romance with heroines over 30, for readers who like their romance slightly dark, grown as *uck, with slap in the face tension and adventure. Learn more: www.emmaalisyn.com.
Welcome to the blog tour for AND TIME STOPPED, the third book in the young adult contemporary fantasy series, Keeper of the Watch, by Kristen L. Jackson. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
AND TIME STOPPED (Keeper of the Watch Series #3) by Kristen L. Jackson
Synopsis After a smooth jump to Dimension 9, Chase, Alyx, and chimera pup, Bo, discover that this world’s peaceful existence only extends as far as the local high school. A different kind of battle wages there, and the identity of the school bully is a surprise they never anticipated. When Chase decides they have no choice but to enroll at Dune Harbor High and repeat their senior year, Alyx is less than thrilled. But the two soon discover the influence just one person can have over the decisions, lives, and even deaths, of those around them. While they try to prevent one tragedy, another one unfolds even as Chase unravels one more piece of his family history. What he discovers will leave him reeling, and his life will never be the same.
Excerpt #3 Alyx fastened the collar around Bo’s neck, snapping the leash on. Bo scratched at the collar, his hind leg a blur, then ran in mad circles, trying to catch the leash between his teeth. Once he succeeded, he growled deep in his throat and shook his head wildly back and forth, his little puppy growls forcing a smile to bloom. “I don’t think he likes his new things,” she chuckled.
“He’ll get used to it. We don’t want to lose him again,” Chase replied.
“No. Or get into trouble with Carson. Officer Murphy, I mean.”
Bo dramatically threw his body on the ground, paws in the air refusing to stand. “C’mon Bo. Let’s go for a walk,” Alyx coaxed, tugging on the leash.
The pup snorted, legs flailing in the air. One lone whimper escaped before he turned his back on them.
Chase and Alyx looked at each other. “Maybe we’ll just carry him for now.” Chase lifted Bo. The pup lay its head on Chase’s shoulder, snuggling as close as possible.
“We can’t carry him everywhere.”
Chase ran his hands over the soft fur, heading toward the sidewalk. “No. He’ll get used to the leash. Eventually.”
About the Author Kristen L. Jackson lives in Reading, PA, with her husband, two grown sons, and four large-breed dogs. She has been a teacher for over 20 years, and writing for children of all ages is close to her heart. Her debut novels KEEPER OF THE WATCH and MAGIC HARBOR (Books 1 & 2) are available now, as well as a novella, DIMENSION KEEPER, which is the prequel to the series. A children’s picture book, JOCELYN’S BOX OF SOCKS, (2019 1st Place Pencraft Award Winner) is also available now. Kristen enjoys writing, reading, and spending time with her family at their cabin in the Pocono Mountains of PA. Follow Kristen on Social Media.
Welcome to the book blitz for PINK GUITARS AND FALLING STARS, the first book in the adult fantasy romance series, Rockin’ Fairy Tales, by Leslie O’Sullivan. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
PINK GUITARS AND FALLING STARS (Rockin’ Fairy Tales Series #1) by Leslie O’Sullivan
Synopsis Zeli’s signature pop diva sound and image are nothing short of magical—literally. Her fame comes with hidden costs, a curse that could ruin her voice forever.
Aspiring indie musician, Justin MacKenzie, is determined to kick it to the top of the Rampion Records’ Summer Number One professional vs. amateur singing competition.
The favorite to beat in the annual televised contest is none other than the label’s smoking hot superstar, Zeli, whose crazy extensions flow the length of a football field. Those ridiculous extensions, coupled with her bubblegum brand of pop, are an affront to everything Justin loves about music until a stolen kiss blazes into a romantic encounter.
Once inside Zeli’s world, Justin discovers things are not as they seem. In their quest to allow the real Zeli, to step into the spotlight, the pair must confront the mysterious force behind the dazzle of Rampion’s success. If these star-crossed lovers can’t rally their own magic to defeat the darkness, they will lose everything—including each other.
Excerpt On the way to wardrobe, to prep for his B.A.S.E. jumping exhibition in Zeli’s platinum record celebration concert, Justin Time stumbles into the pop diva’s dressing room by mistake…
Shades of pink twilight swallow us. Zeli rests lips against the rim of her cup, drowning a sob with tea.
Man, that tea smells sweet. I’d like to tickle my vocal cords with it. What did Grant Gothel call it? Ramp-up tea? Justin wants to ramp up. I stand and take a greedy sniff.
Zeli catches sight of me and leaps to her feet. She screeches like I’m slinging an axe.
I trip over the bottom of the costume rack and fly forward, finding balance a hot second before I plow into her. “Whoa, sweetness. I’m not here to mess with you.”
She clutches her head. “Hair thief!” She raises a pair of fists with intent to cause damage. “Closer and I’ll make your ribs crack.”
“Stop screaming or that cute face will go blue.”
Zeli circles her fists, searching for an in to deck me. “Don’t lay a finger on my extensions.”
“I want no part of that crazy hair mess.” I shake my head. “Keep your freak show, I’ve got no intention–” Taking a step back, I fan an arm down her body. “To finger even a single sweet tress.”
She’s delusional. No thief could bust Rampion security to get up here. Then again, when you’ve got millions glued to your head, imagining creepers in the dark is not so out there.
She zips behind the table, snarling. “You won’t get a piece of this either, fool.”
Hugging her body, she curls into a ball worthy of an armadillo. I’m not stupid enough to take advantage of our alone time, but that doesn’t prevent a Zeli lip lock from ticking onto my mental playlist. Her face pops out of the Z-ball as if she’s plugged into my thoughts.
She raises her hands. “Hands here. Raise them up high where I can see.”
I brush bangs aside, the portrait of casual. “You’re safe, damsel, get a hold of your cool.” I jerk my chin her way. “Cut the innocent act. It’s clear to me. No way a fast track, rock chick hasn’t known–” I throw her an air kiss. “Tune-piping Romeo love of her own.”
She stretches to her full height, not enough to hit the five-foot mark, and plants hands on hips. “Jacklick.”
After flashing my best stink-eye, I head for the hallway before her insults bait me into action I’ll regret. The smack of her hand against the table makes me jump.
I flick my wrist. “You ain’t nothing but a wrong turn.” I almost clear the doorway of the twilight room when she giggles. I whip around. “What? I’m not the big bad wolf anymore?”
She abandons her table fortress and rakes a finger up and down my wingsuit. The silver bag glides after her. “Big bads don’t wear bananas.”
Realization dawns in her eyes. “Oh, you’re one of my lucky stars.” She claps.
“Seven lucky stars, falling from the sky for my concert?”
“If not, you’re rocking a wack look.” Zeli smiles, easy with me now that she’s defined my place in her kingdom.
Don’t count me out. I can rock a threat, babe. I’m tempted to grab her and plant a kiss on that laughing mouth. I feel my face flush Zeli pink. Stealing a taste of Z-lip is not worth summoning Gothel and screwing my chances at the Summer Number One audition.
To my surprise, she strolls over and dances a finger across my shoulder. “What’s it like to B.A.S.E. jump? Terrifying or Heaven?”
The touch renders me momentarily mute.
Her fingers pop off my shoulder like I’m a hot stove. “I don’t want anyone jumping for me to be afraid.”
The slightest sensation lingers from our contact. Does rock chick Zeli honestly care how Justin MacKenzie feels flying off her tower? Is this chick nice? For reals, nice? Heavenly tea breath wafts from her lips. An urge for a softer kind of kissing sneaks up on me. Kisses that whisper, not shout.
I match her finger dance and dab a touch on her shoulder close enough to feel the warm skin of her neck. “Nice of you to care.” If I slide my hand around the back of her neck, pull her in…
Author Leslie O’Sullivan
About the Author Leslie O’Sullivan is the author of Rockin’ Fairy Tales, an adult romance series of Shakespeare/fairy tale mash ups set against the backdrop of Hollywood’s music scene. Coming soon is her Behind the Scenes contemporary romance series that peeks into the off-camera secrets of a wildly popular television drama. She’s a UCLA Bruin with a BA and MFA from their Department of Theater where she also taught for years on the design faculty. Her tenure in the world of television was as the assistant art director on “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show.” Leslie loves to indulge her fangirl side each year at San Diego Comic Con
Welcome to the book blitz for THE OMEN OF CROWS NEST, a standalone young adult fantasy by Cathrina Constantine. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
That’s what the police found after Penelope spun her bizarre tale. In a hysterical state, she said her father was butchered and eaten by a mob of birds ~ in her bedroom.
They claim she’s crazy.
That she suffers from delusions.
Penelope is dead set on proving them wrong.
After being institutionalized for eight months, Penelope is out and more determined than ever to find answers to her so-called hallucinations. With her father’s untimely disappearance, she’s convinced her family is hiding something sinister.
THE OMEN OF CROWS NEST is the latest masterpiece by the award-winning author Cathrina Constantine, and is sure to leave fans of fantasy gasping!
Excerpt #2 I returned to Crows Nest searching for hope, only to find ghosts.
Gone for eight months, give or take a few weeks, there had been a drastic change in the house. Perhaps, I’d overlooked the turrets I once imagined as a stairway to Heaven were scarred— like me. Cylinder peaks somewhat askew and shingles hanging in disarray correlated with my life thus far.
Some things remained the same. The worn exterior didn’t discourage flocks of birds to hover above and roost on the turrets and power lines.
Dad declared he was the cornerstone of the household, but we all knew it was Gramma. When her fancy tickled her, she told us myths and legends whence our house got its name because crows infested the land. Circling crows, like today, was an omen of death. I shivered. Heedful of that premonition all too well.
“Crows are inherently clever, intelligent,” Gramma would say, “Pay attention, they bring messages. They’re a symbol of magic, mystery, and destiny.” Her fowl wisdom had been indoctrinated in me since I toddled around the Nest.
What message are they bringing today? Welcoming or cautioning?
I should’ve carried a machete to cleave through the scrub, yellowing stalks. Snaking ivy coiled the pillars and canopied the second story balcony, which precariously bowed. On the long drive, Dean had informed me that the unforgiving winter had taken a toll.
My boots crunched on mulch and brittle leaves as I stepped onto the wraparound porch. It had been my responsibility to sweep it, a chore that should have been handed down to my younger siblings. The ornate beveled picture window was cracked. Something had smashed into it, creating jagged veins in the glass.
Planting indecisive legs at the front door, my toes grew into unyielding roots, wrestling into the tongue and groove boards. Heartier roots to replenish those that had been trimmed, uprooted, and torn to shreds.
Will my brother and sister despise me? Considering all those weeks before I was sent away, they’d never given me any reason to doubt their trust or their love. Nevertheless, in all these months, I seldom saw them. Gramma could have brainwashed them against me. She maintained that kind of authority.
I stared at the tarnished door knocker. Still scary and still life-like. A crow’s head with a gaping beak. Emotionally fraught, I turned, searching for Dean. He was body-deep in the trunk of the car grappling with my baggage.
“Need help?” I asked, voice squeaky.
He peeked his head around the car. His expressive, honey-amber eyes flashed as he flicked his arm, a signal to go in. Many nights I’d dreamt of him and those eyes. It shouldn’t be this hard. I veered to the door and thought, I’m home.
Author Cathrina Constantine
About the Author I am blessed with a loving family and forever friends. My world revolves around them.
I grew up in the small village of Lancaster, NY, where I married my sweetheart. I’m devoted to raising 5 cherished children, and now my grandchildren.
I love to immerse myself in great books of every kind of genre, which helps me to write purely for entertainment, and hopefully to inspire readers. When not stationed at my computer you can find me in the woods taking long walks with my dog.
Welcome to the book blitz for THE LAST BEEKEEPER, the first book in the young adult dystopian fantasy trilogy, The Silent Skies, by Rebecca L. Fearnley. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE LAST BEEKEEPER (The Silent Skies Trilogy #1) by Rebecca L. Fearnley
Synopsis Solma is a fighter. Trained by her village Steward to protect their community from the predators of their harsh world, she is fierce and loyal. But how can she protect her friends and family from crop failure and starvation? With flying insects extinct for over a century, nowhere on the forsaken continent of Alphor is safe and Solma is terrified her little brother, Warren, will be one of the next to die. The villagers cling to life, waiting for the Earth Whisperers—mysterious nomads with a strange magic that helps plants grow—to arrive.
But then Warren finds something. Something impossible. When the first bee in a hundred years crawls out of the earth, Warren forms a strange bond with the creature and Solma fears he might have a new power. One that leaders of Alphor would kill for. As she and Warren fight to keep the bee secret and safe, word of this miracle sweeps the continent. Allies and enemies alike descend on the village. Some demand the bees for themselves, others want to destroy the colony to level the odds. When words become threats and then violence, Solma and Warren are caught in the conflict, and now it isn’t just the bees in danger.
When whoever controls the bees controls the world, how will Solma and Warren know who to trust?
Excerpt #4 Suddenly, Blume launches herself off her flower and buzzes to the base of a tree. She zigzags across the roots, droning excitedly. Warren scrambles round to see what she’s doing and gasps.
Blume has landed in the dirt between two tree roots and as they watch she disappears down a tiny hole. They knock their heads together trying to see where she’s gone. Warren clasps his hands together excitedly.
“I hope she likes it,” he murmurs. Solma looks at him.
“Her new nest,” Warren says. “It’s perfect, ain’t it? Bell was right!”
Solma scowls. It’s annoying that Bell was right.
They peer at the dark hollow. Solma tingles with anticipation.
“How will we know—?”
“Shh!” Warren hisses. “Wait!”
Solma scowls but obeys. They seem to stand there forever, staring at the ground, until Solma feels restless. She glances over her shoulder, peering towards the watchtower on the horizon. Her patrol’s in a few minutes. They need to go soon. If they’re seen … if they’re caught …
Then Blume’s happy vibrato cuts through the silence and she emerges from the hollow, lifting into the warm air. She flies a lazy circle around the burrow. Then another and another, rising higher into the air with each pass. Solma frowns.
“What’s she doing? Is she sick?”
Warren chuckles. “I don’t reckon so,” he whispers. “I bet she’s memorizing. She’s making a map of the burrow in her mind before she goes to get more pollen.”
Solma frowns. “I don’t think she’s that clever, Warren,” she says. Warren flashes her a furious look.
“How would you know?” he retorts. “Just ’cos you don’t understand her or speak her language, doesn’t mean she’s stupid!”
Solma opens her mouth to protest, then closes it again. He’s got a point.
Suddenly, Blume seems to feel she’s done enough mapping and hums off towards the managed forest. They watch her go in silence.
“Right,” Solma says after Blume’s tremolo song fades into the distance. “Let’s leave her to it, eh?”
Warren, of course, kicks up a fuss about having to leave Blume.
Solma checks the sun through the canopy of leaves. She doesn’t have time for this.
“Come on, Warren,” she says, trying and failing to keep the impatience out of her voice. “Please?”
There’s a rustle and snap somewhere up ahead. They both freeze. Solma’s rifle is off her shoulder in seconds and she’s gathered Warren behind her. They peer between the trees, out into the long grasses beyond. Silence.
Solma is about to relax when a flash of russet catches her attention and she snaps her gaze round just in time to see a figure running in the distance, dressed in Gatra black, with a red braid bouncing against a rifle. Her gut twists.
“Who was it?” Warren whimpers. “Did they see?”
Solma swallows against a sudden lump in her throat, “It was Olive,” she whispers. “And I don’t know. She might’ve seen nothing, or …”
She shoulders her rifle, lungs tight with worry. “… or she might’ve seen everything.”
Author Rebecca L. Fearnley
About the Author Rebecca has been obsessed with two things since she learned to walk and talk: stories and animals. Luckily, the two seem to be very compatible. Rebecca writes stories set in strange worlds filled with bizarre creatures, strong female characters and magical powers. She started her writing career as a poet, performing all over the country and publishing her first collection, Octopus Medicine, with Two Rivers Press in 2017.
In addition to writing, Rebecca is also a teacher and, in 2018, decided that she wanted to write quality books for the young people she works with. Her books tend towards themes of respect for the environment, protecting the planet and the new generations challenging the old to face up to their mistakes.
She lives in Reading, UK, with her unusual family, which includes herself and her partner, a friendly little mini-lop rabbit (called Cleo) and a gregarious and feisty quaker parrot (called Maya).