Welcome to the book blitz for JUST A PHASE, the first book in the new adult paranormal romance series, Not Another Teen Wolf, by USA Today bestselling author M.J. Marstens. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
JUST A PHASE (Not Another Teen Wolf Series #1) by M.J. Marstens
First, my parents tell me I’m going to be “checking into the Red Roof Inn” every month, and now, they tell me I’m a werewolf?!
Add to that I need to pick a mate and enter into some wolfy marriage—NOPE.
Not. Going. To. Happen.
They can’t make me.
Everyone thinks this is just a phase but nineteen is the new two—and I’m going to show them how terrible I can be.
Buckle up, bitches, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
Excerpt #1 “I’ll tell you in exchange for something,” I bargain.
Rue squints at me warily.
“I’ll tell you where we’re going and what we’re doing, if you give me a kiss.”
I hear Rue’s heartbeat speed up at these words. She might say she wants the omega as her mate, but her body is finely tuned to mine. Her tongue darts out to wet her lips, and I nearly groan at the sight. Her eyes are heavy-lidded, and she’s sending out all the right signals. She just needs to turn off her brain. I see her body war with her mind, and I know the moment her flesh wins. Her lithe frame becomes soft, and she leans in towards me.
“One kiss—that’s all.”
“One kiss,” I promise, leaning over.
“Well, not now!” Rue shrieks. “You’re driving!”
I chuckle at her outrage.
“Okay, when we get there, then.”
Exactly thirty seconds later, I stop the car.
“What are you doing?” she demands.
“We’re here—and I want my kiss.”
“Whoa, whoa, whoa! Backup, buddy! You’re not getting that smooch for free. You tell me where we are right now.”
Rue peers out her window into the night. She hasn’t admitted it, but I know she can’t see anything. I wish she would tell me more about why she’s not like a normal wolf, but trust will come with time. If I want her to confide in me, I need to respect Rue’s boundaries.
“We’re at my grandma’s house,” I finally confess, making her gasp.
“Your grandma’s house?!”
“I told you I was going to feed you homemade tortillas and margaritas. What better place than at my grandma’s where you can meet my family, too.”
“But—but—but—” she splutters, “we could’ve done this back at the mansion!”
“Nah. I only make tortillas and margaritas at my abuela’s. Do you not want to meet them?”
“It’s not that—it’s just this is like tenth date shit, ya know?”
“I’m working with only three and a half days, so I’m speeding things up,” I remind with a wink.
“I’d say. Well, don’t think you can just skip all the bases and go to home plate, mister!” she admonishes severely.
“I know that’s a sports analogy, but I don’t get it,” I admit.
Rue’s tinkling laugh dances around us, and I can sense her irritation at my date plan fading away.
“Not a human saying you know, huh? It means that first base is kissing, second base is er, feeling one another up… third base is—shit. You know what? I don’t even know what the bases really are anymore except for first and home. Everyone changes them, but first is always kissing and home plate is when you finally bump uglies. You know—”
“Yes, I know,” I cut in. “Humans make sports analogies for sex?”
“Strange. If I promise not to shoot it in your hoop before you dribble my balls, can we just try a kiss?”
Rue clutches her stomach as she bends, giggling hysterically.
“That’s not a saying!” she wheezes.
“Well, how am I supposed to know which sports analogies work and don’t work?”
I get out of the car and walk over to her side. Smoothly, I open her door and pull her out to me.
“Now, about that kiss.”
Author M.J. Marstens
About the Author Bestselling author M.J. Marstens mixes romance, suspense, comedy, and sassy characters who can say whatever they are thinking because it is just a story. When she is not creating steamy scenes or laugh-out-loud fiascos, she is refereeing her three children that she homeschools. In her free time, she loves to eat, sleep, and pray that her children do not turn out like the characters she writes about in her books. To read more about MJ, please visit her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/M.J.Marstens/.
Welcome to the book blitz for OF THE LILIN , the first book in the young adult paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles, by Paulette Hampton. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
OF THE LILIN (The Sage Chronicles #1) by Paulette Hampton
Synopsis While dealing with depression, Sage attempts to pull herself into the light. What she finds is better left in the dark.
After the loss of her mother and her stepfather’s mental breakdown, Sage Frankle agrees to move in with her aunt and cousin at the Englewood Inn. Soon, her aunt arranges for Sage to begin working through her trauma with a psychologist. As time passes, Sage finds that she is far from healing and begins to slip from reality into a realm of darkness she is unable to escape. After the arrival of her cousin’s intriguing acquaintance, Sage is forced to realize she is indeed trapped, not by her mind, but by her bloodline.
Excerpt #2 Sage, when her dark side appears, describing her feeding: From his wanting mouth, I began to inhale his essence, his spirit. It was exhilarating and decadent. I was filled with what was flowing and still, energetic and peaceful, awe-inspiring and banal. The dichotomies fit like two puzzle pieces. There was not one without the other. This was the only moment that existed. It was completeness.
Author Paulette Hampton
About the Author Paulette is an indie author who holds a Master of Arts in reading education. Her writing inspiration stems from watching fantasy and paranormal movies, as well as her real-life experiences with mental health issues. She hopes her readers will find humor in her stories, become curious about seeking peace through the present moment, and consider reaching out for help if they are struggling with their own issues.
Paulette loves drawing, watching a good thriller, kayaking, and eating chocolate…lots of it. She and her husband live in North Carolina with their two cats, Linda Hamm and Bree. Of the Lilin is the first book in her new upper YA paranormal series, The Sage Chronicles.
Entangled Amara and author Nina Croft are revealing the cover to INSURRECTION, the third book in the adult science fiction/paranormal romance series, Dark Desires Origins, releasing September 13, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book and series, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
INSURRECTION (Dark Desires Origins Series #3) by Nina Croft
About the Book Title: INSURRECTION Series: Dark Desires Origins Series #3 Author: Nina Croft Publisher: Entangled Amara Release Date: September 13, 2021 Genre: Adult Science Fiction/Paranormal Romance Links: Goodreads
Don’t miss the thrilling conclusion of what led to the beginning…
Insurrection, the third installment of Nina Croft’s Dark Desires Origins series, answers the final question of how it all began. When a demon from Earth falls for a woman on the other side of the galaxy, they must make the impossible choice between doing what’s right and doing what’s necessary. Light meets dark, good meets evil…and love hurts like Hell.
About the Author Growing up in the cold, wet, north of England, Nina Croft spent a lot of time dreaming of faraway sunnier places and ponies. When she discovered both, along with a whole load of other things, could be found between the covers of a book, her life changed forever.
Later, she headed south, picked up the perfect husband along the way, and together they volunteered to work in Africa. There they discovered a love of exotic places and a dislike of 9-5 work. Afterward they spent a number of years travelling (whenever possible) intermingled with working (whenever necessary.) Eventually they stumbled upon a remote area in the mountains of southern Spain and the small almond farm they now call home.
Nina spends her days reading, writing and riding her mare, Gencianna, under the blue Spanish skies–sunshine and ponies. She reckons this is proof that dreams really can come true if you want them enough.
Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction. If you’d like to find out about new releases then sign up for my Newsletter at: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/d8y0v7.
Synopsis A young witch tries to unravel the mystery of who is framing her for dark magic in Georgia Bowers’ creepy YA debut fantasy, Mark of the Wicked.
Magic always leaves its mark.
All her life, Matilda has been told one thing about her magic: You use only when necessary. But Matilda isn’t interested in being a good witch. She wants revenge and popularity, and to live her life free of consequences, free of the scars that dark magic leaves on her face as a reminder of her misdeeds.
When a spell goes awry and the new boy at school catches her in the act, Matilda thinks her secret might be out. But far from being afraid, Oliver already knows about her magic – and he wants to learn more. As Oliver and Matilda grow closer, bizarre things begin to happen: Animals show up with their throats slashed and odd markings carved into their bodies, a young girl dies mysteriously, and everyone blames Matilda. But she isn’t responsible — at least, not that she can remember. As her magic begins to spin out of control, Matilda must decide for herself what makes a good witch, and discover the truth…before anyone else turns up dead.
My Review I had no idea what I was getting into with this book, but I’m so glad I requested a review copy! MARK OF THE WICKED is enthralling, impossible to put down, and filled with the types of characters that are so complex, you don’t know whether to love them or hate them. I started off not much liking Matilda. She uses her magic to harm those she considers her enemies. The only problem is, if she harms someone with magic, she is scarred for life; their name carved into her face. But Matilda has learned how to hide her scars from everyone, so at the outset, it seems like she suffers no consequences for her actions. She’s angry, spiteful, and nearly impossible to sympathize with. At first.
When she meets Oliver, though, we get to see a side to Matilda that was missing — the reasons for the things she does. She reveals her deeper fears and her darker pain that she resorts to magic to help her cope, the way an alcoholic turns to booze to numb the pain. But there is something more sinister than Matilda afoot, with grisly animal deaths that somehow keep pointing to Matilda. But with her mother acting suspicious, her grandmother not having spoken in three years, and Matilda’s blackouts, anything is possible.
Plot MARK OF THE WICKED is superbly plotted, with intertwining plots. Debut author, Georgia Bowers, creates intrigue with her storytelling. The pacing is perfection. Set in a small town in England, with a dark history, similar to that of Salem, Massachusetts in the states, her backdrop comes alive, becoming a part of the story as much as the characters.
The Characters Speaking of characters, for me anyway, the ability to create an antihero like Matilda, and make us root for her the way we rooted for Walter White in the first few season of Breaking Bad, is a rare talent and Bowers does it masterfully. Supporting characters, like Matilda’s classmates, Erin, Oliver, her mother, and grandmother, are more than just cardboard cutouts and stereotypes. It would have been easy for the author to make someone like Ashley a less than sympathetic character, but even she has more depth than just the class queen bee.
Top Five Things I Loved About MARK OF THE WICKED 1. Magic. The magical world building is amazing and really adds to the plot and character development.
2. Characters. Their depth and complexity made this a book I couldn’t put down.
3. Plot. The story is unforgettable, with a number of twists and turns that made this a book I couldn’t put down.
4. Redemption. Matilda’s character arc is the opposite of Breaking Bad as she learns some brutal, valuable lessons about life, love, and what it means to be a good citizen.
5. Storytelling. The author does an amazing job of weaving in threads that stick with you, gnawing in your brain, that keeps you reading to find out what they mean.
Bottom Line A stellar debut novel by an author I cannot wait to read more from.
I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author Georgia Bowers lives in Bedford, a small market town in England. When it was time to decide what to do with her life, she was obsessed with two things: books and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seemed sensible to follow in the brogued footsteps of Rupert Giles, so she became a librarian, though sadly not the demon fighting kind. But there’s still time.
Ever since her mum told her that witches used to meet in the woods near their village, she’s been obsessed with witchcraft and the paranormal. When she was a teenager, a weekly habit of Point Horrors satisfied her thirst for chilling tales before she moved on to reading Stephen King. These days she likes to give her nerves a break every now and then with a good YA romance.
After completing a course in writing YA fiction she was a winner in the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Undiscovered Voices. Since then she has dabbled with stories of chosen ones and ghostly best friends until she conjured up the magical ingredients for her debut novel, Mark Of The Wicked.
Welcome to the Blog Tour for FAIRIES AND FROSTING, the seventh book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Fairy Tales of the Magicorum, by Christina Bauer. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
FAIRIES AND FROSTING (Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #7) by Christina Bauer
Synopsis At last, Elle (never call her Cinderella) is reunited with Alec, the Prince of Le Charme Jewelers. Yay! But the pair soon discovers that Alec’s gemstone empire is about to go bankrupt. Boo. So our favorite couple devises a kick-ass scheme to save Le Charme. To announce their plan, Elle and Alec will hold a Glass Slipper Festival complete with music, dancing and cake. Lots of cake.
There’s only one problem. The Unseelie fae have returned.
Talk about bad news. No one combines lovely looks with dark intentions better than the Unseelie. Now, those nefarious fae want to destroy Elle, Alec and any hope for Le Charme. It doesn’t end there, either. The Unseelie are also targeting Elle’s stepsister, Agatha, as well as her old friend, Jacoby. And when will the Unseelie launch their deadly schemes? The Glass Slipper Festival.
Because fairies and frosting don’t mix.
“I thought the Angelbound series was my favorite, but Fairy Tales of the Magicorum may have stolen my heart.” – Smada’s Book Smack Blog
FAIRY TALES OF THE MAGICORUM
1. Wolves And Roses
2. Moonlight And Midtown
3. Slippers And Thieves
4. Shifters And Glyphs
5. Bandits And Ball Gowns
6. Fire and Cinder
7. Fairies and Frosting
8 Towers and Tithes
Chapter 3 Alec
Elle is playing this rather cool. Personally, I love the massive photo of her on my wall. It means I tap her lips every morning as I head to the kitchen. Talk about good luck. But with Elle? She’s totally working her poker face. It’s hard to know right now if the new mega picture is a hit.
“What do you think?” I ask.
“Wow. That’s really big.”
This isn’t a ‘take that thing down now’ reaction, but she’s not exactly jumping for joy, either.
An idea appears. Perhaps I can guess what her hesitance is here. Knox and I share this apartment, but the only person pictured here is Elle.
“Look, I checked with Knox already. He didn’t want to put up a big picture of Bry.” That’s Knox’s girlfriend and Elle’s bestie.
Elle taps her lips. “Oh.”
In other words, the issue here is not the lack of a massive photo of Elle’s friend. That leaves one more option.
“Too much?” I ask.
Not that I’ll take it down. If Elle disapproves, I’ll magically camouflage it with a forest scene when other people are here. I’ve gotten used to seeing her first thing in the morning. No way am I giving that up.
Elle tilts her head, turns to me, and smiles. “It’s perfect.”
About the Author
Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.
Be the first to know about new releases from Christina by signing up for her newsletter: http://tinyurl.com/CBupdates
Welcome to the book blitz for IT MUST BE FATE, the third book in the adult paranormal romance series, The Ghost Girl, by Sinclair Kelly. See below for information on the book and series, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
IT MUST BE FATE (The Ghost Girl Series #3) by Sinclair Kelly
This ghost girl just can’t catch a break. There’s fury in my soul and pain in my heart as I try to come to terms with the latest shitstorm the universe has thrown in the way of our unlife’s happy ending. But during the uncertainty following the abduction, we discover we’re not alone. We have the love and support of those closest to us, even if we barely remember them. With their help, it’s time to start tackling our growing to-do list
Like having Asher fix the guys’ souls. Or asking Nate to help me save Macklin…er…Thad. Whatever…that’s hella confusing (we’re working on a cheat sheet). Anyways, once we’re all together again, we’ll stop my sister and save the world. No big deal, right?
After all that, maybe we’ll finally get to live happily ever after…that is, if we don’t die first.
It Must Be Fate is the final book in a medium-burn, why choose trilogy. It’s highly recommended that you read A Fate Unknown & Twist of Fate first.
Excerpt #1 In that single moment between breaths, in the split second that determines whether or not you take another, time simply stops. There’s a stillness that descends, ensnaring everything around it. There’s no love or loss or…anything at all. Just this vast nothingness that casts a shadow over everything within reach. Then, in the next moment, there’s sound and light and life, and you take the next breath, but everything is suddenly different. The axis has shifted ever so slightly, yet the repercussions are immense.
One second, he’s there, looking at me with eyes that aren’t his own but are filled with everything he can’t say. The next, he’s gone.
My soul is keening at the loss of its echo, yet at the same time, an all-consuming fire has been lit within me, slowly flooding the hollow space left in Macklin’s wake as I stare through tear-filled eyes at the empty spot he occupied. The juxtaposition of the two warring emotions leaves room for little else. There is only pain.
Only anger. Grief. I’m not sure if this is what it looks like for anyone else, but for me, it’s an internal battle between giving up and pushing on. Taking that next breath or letting it be taken.
Swiping the back of my hand across my face, I take a deep breath, picking up the pieces of my broken heart and holding myself together as best I can. The edges are jagged, but the pain just serves to further my purpose: getting my sexy nerd back.
I love you. The silent words are on repeat in my mind, and I simply refuse to let those be his last.
Get it together, Fate. This is no time to fall apart. You survived death and Ass-Cole’s shitty attitude. You can survive this too.
Getting to my feet, my eyes are unfocused, my mind a jumbled mess of contradictions. I was chosen as the Guardian of the Spirits because of my ability to remain fair. Balanced. Neutral.
That last word has my hands fisting, nails digging into my palms as my jaw clenches and tears continue to pour like rain down my face.
Neutrality? Yeah. Fuck that shit. Righteous fury is about as neutral as I can manage at the moment. My head drops back, releasing my anguish, frustration, and complete and utter rage at the top of my lungs. The roar echoes through the silence of Gateway but does little to ease the ache inside.
About the Author Sinclair Kelly is a paranormal & contemporary romance author who writes to give all of the feral characters in her head a voice. She’s fluent in sarcasm and dry humor. She lives in sunny Arizona with her loving husband, three adorably exhausting kids, and a cranky old chihuahua named Sam. She loves reading, writing, coffee, vodka, tattoos, wine, donuts, broody asshole book boyfriends, badass FMCs, wine, all of the friendships she’s made since she began beta reading for some totally incredible authors, and can’t forget wine!
Welcome to the blog tour for FOR YOUR BITE ONLY, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Muse Chronicles, by Zoe Forward. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
FOR YOUR BITE ONLY (Muse Chronicles #1) by Zoe Forward
Synopsis The best word for Jasmine Renard’s past year is a four-letter word. After years of concerts and increasing recognition, a rogue group of vampire hunters forced her into hiding. When the offer of a lifetime to perform again comes from the arrogant vampire she’s dreamed of shoving off a cliff, Jasmine might have to reconsider everything. Including, Luca Martens.
Luca has waited long enough to be onstage with Jasmine again. Their electrifying musical chemistry damn near blew his mind the last time they performed. To the point he mishandled what happened backstage after their last concert. He’d do anything to feel the spark again while playing, the one only she can ignite. But she hates him.
*Enemies to lovers vampire romance*
Excerpt #1 On her knees, she raked sheet music back into the binder.
“Jasmine? That you down there? You okay?” He knelt and collected a few stray pages.
Her gut tightened as air caught in her lungs.
Distressed jeans, black T-shirt, large silver ring, tattooed forearms, bleached locks, and blazing confidence. And his Romani accent, a carryover from his family’s Eastern European lineage. Yep, the headliner, himself.
Her mind slide-showed recent photos of Luca shirtless with low hanging jeans, which had been featured in a popular music magazine. She might’ve purchased it just to read his interview, not that she’d admit that to him even if tortured. The photos showed off his hard work ethic. Vampire or no, even they had to work out to get abs like that. She’d wondered if the muscles were photoshopped, but his T-shirt tonight didn’t hide much. Those abs were real.
She took the music from him and muttered, “Thanks. Should’ve been looking where I was going.”
He towered over her by almost a foot when they both stood. The potent smell of him powered straight up her nose. Oh my. He smelled of something clean and fresh, and his blood. Oh, God, his blood. An almost dizzy compulsion to taste him flashed in her brain. This wasn’t new when near him. Her infatuation with his blood meant nothing—or so she told herself. It was biology. Her body recognized it’d taste good. But she wouldn’t question why she was driven to a taste Luca and not his brother, who she’d almost been forced to mate.
Eyes off his neck. Not desperate. Not doing blood hunger insanity, especially not with him. He hated her, a feeling that kicked off after the last time they performed, the one and only time three years ago. Back when he’d been on the cusp of stardom.
As much as the intensity between them on stage during their one concert had been inspiring, the kiss afterward in his dressing room never should’ve happened. Some say a girl’s first real kiss should be something special and romantic. Hers had been seduced out of her by Luca’s extraordinary talent. Even though she hadn’t been an innocent kid back then, vampires would argue thirty-five qualified her as a juvenile. Afterward, he’d pushed away from her with a disgusted curse and hadn’t spoken much to her again, not even eighteen months later throughout the fiasco of her parent-arranged forced engagement to his brother, Marcel, and their socially unacceptable breakup. The kiss had happened long before and had nothing to do with her and Marcel not going through with vows.
She needed to perform tonight with Luca, to be seen on stage with him, in order to redeem her family’s honor in vampire society. To show he, a member of the revered Martens bloodline, accepted her.
The left side of his lips twitched into a smirk. His eyelids drooped as he glanced down at her dark gown. Judgy. Do not fuss with the dress. It was professional, long, black, and perfect for a piano performance.
She swallowed the “What?” she wanted to snarl. She could handle this. She wouldn’t be a bitch even though everything about him put her on edge.
Rolling back her shoulders, which she hadn’t realized were so tight, she glared at him. “The two of us playing together is an awful idea.” Even if it might help my career.
He frowned. “Were the pieces too difficult to learn on short notice? Tell me now, and I’ll make sure the conductor knows you’re not going on.”
She recoiled as if he’d slapped her in face. Too difficult? “Of course, I learned them. They’re easy. I’m talking about you and me. Together. On a stage.” She waited, but he didn’t reply. “Remember what happened last time?”
“I thought we ended pretty well.” He turned to head toward the room marked with his name.
He. Did. Not.
Pretty well? What the ever-loving hell? He couldn’t be implying the kiss. Not by the way he’d rejected her afterward. The asshole wasn’t getting the last word on this.
She called out, “Luca.”
He paused with a hand on the doorknob and did a half-turn to face her, wariness in his eyes.
She stalked up to him and leaned in close. She reached between them to pull the zipper up on his open fly.
His cheeks flushed.
It took everything in her not to burst into laughter. Not so Mr. Last-word now, are you?
His mouth opened and closed. His cheeks had turned a darker shade of red before he mumbled a barely audible, “Thanks.”
He turned and disappeared into his room.
Author Zoe Forward
About the Author Zoe Forward might admit to you she’s almost prepared for the zombie apocalypse before the fact she writes contemporary and paranormal romances. Her novels have won numerous awards including the Prism, Readers’ Choice Heart of Excellence, Golden Quill, Carolyn Readers Choice Award, and the Booksellers’ Best Award. She’s best known for her sexy, laugh-out-loud Keepers of the Veil series, which has won numerous awards. She’s a board-certified veterinarian. You can find her residing in the South with the love of her life, a menagerie of four-legged beasts and two wild kids.
Welcome to the book blitz for ALPHA’S MOON, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Dirigo Pack, by Sabrina Silvers. See below for information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
ALPHA’S MOON (Dirigo Pack Series #1) by Sabrina Silvers
Synopsis The mating heat ignites between a dominant alpha-heir and a forbidden wolf-witch hybrid when they’re forced to find his kidnapped sister and stop a war.
Now is not the time for Kane to have found his mate. But the Goddess is never wrong. If he gives in to his desires for Sheridan, her lineage could cost him everything. Yet as his body aches for her, and thoughts of her curves cloud his mind, he finds himself willing to risk it all to claim her.
Forced, out of friendship and loyalty, Sheridan joins the hunt and gets more than she bargained for with a dangerous attraction to a darkly handsome wolf. While she seeks to distance herself from pack politics, Sheridan can’t deny that the first place she has ever felt she belongs is at Kane’s side. Not everyone agrees, and some will stop at nothing to destroy their love, their family, their future.
Excerpt #3 “I know you’re awake so you may as well open your eyes. The lights are dim so they shouldn’t hurt your head. Our healer would like to get a good look at you before she does any healing.”
The faintly sardonic voice prodded her, and the rest of the events coalesced. Kane MacKinnon. Kayleigh. The accident. Her eyes flew open, and she winced at the light that sliced into her brain.
“Turn it down.” Her voice was raspy, hoarse as if she’d been screaming.
The lights went lower until they just illuminated the figure sitting by her bed. Kane leaned forward until his face was a few inches from hers. “Sorry. I thought it would be low enough. You’re pretty light sensitive for a human.”
Yeah, she wasn’t about to tell him about her wolf half or that she had some heightened senses. She’d keep that to herself, especially now that she was in the belly of the beast. Kayleigh had figured it out and swore to keep her secret, though she told her that the MacKinnons would support her and not be like the ones who’d killed her father. For now, Sheridan would reserve judgement.
She tried to lift her head, but the pain sliced right through her as if an axe had tried to cleave her.
Kane stood and pressed a firm hand to her shoulder. “Stay still. Our healer will be right with you. She was working on Vanessa, since she was awake. She wanted you awake before she started, especially since she doesn’t know you.”
“What… What about Kayleigh? Is she okay? What happened?”
“We had hoped you could tell us.”
Author Sabrina Silvers
About the Author Sabrina Silvers began her writing career dreaming of elves, orcs, and hobbits in the fantasy section of her local library, looking in wardrobes for Narnia and Aslan, and hunting for gnomes in the forest. To her dismay, she never found any of them except between the pages of her books. So, she had to go out and create them for herself, leading to her lifelong love of reading and writing and dreaming about adventures, fantasy creatures and love in fantasy lands! She divides her time between writing sexy contemporary romances under a different pen name, reading, knitting and being owned by a very spoiled cocker spaniel who does not share her love of fantasy creatures.
Welcome to the book blitz for KEEPER OF SOULS, the first book in the new adult paranormal romance series, The Revenant Trilogy, by Harper Ray, releasing June 29, 2021. See below for information on the book, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
KEEPER OF SOULS (The Revenant Trilogy #1) by Harper Ray
Synopsis “What would you do if Death gave you a second chance?”
Most people who escaped death were relieved, happy to be granted that second chance at life. In my case, it was more of a curse than a blessing.
Everyday I woke, I was tortured with another soul. They all wanted something from me, but I couldn’t give it to them. Instead, I ignored them. I neglected the pain they had laced beneath their hollow eyes. I dismissed the screams that shattered my eardrums every time my head hit the pillow.
The souls took pleasure in patronizing me. They were a constant reminder of why I shouldn’t have been granted a second chance.
I had managed to escape Death twice, but the third time was my undoing. He came back with a heavy vengeance. Suddenly, I was thrown into a battle between two brothers. Heaven and Hell. Light versus Dark.
They both needed me on their side, but after facing Death for the third time, I wasn’t sure I would survive the cruel fate he had planned.
Excerpt #2 A minute later, the doorbell rang. I glanced at Emery and noticed she was still in her peaceful slumber, when I made my way to the door and opened it. Deagan’s crooked smile greeted me on the other side of the door as I let him in. “Took you long enough.”
I closed it shut behind him and rubbed my hands over my face. “What now?”
His footsteps sounded against the hardwood floors as he made his way over to her. He bent at the knee and examined her face. ”Damn, I forgot how beautiful she was.”
I cleared my throat and got a harsh look in return. “I wonder what would happen if we rewrote history this time…” he trailed off and my shackles rose.
My face scrunched. There was no way in hell that was happening. “What are you talking about?”
His fingers caressed her cheek, and my body stiffened. “I mean, what if instead of her falling for you, she fell for me?”
I took a few steps forward. “That’s not how it works—”
“Don’t you think I know that, Ace? Fuck, why do you get the happy ending and I don’t?” he asked, his voice pleading.
“I didn’t get my happy ending.” I said through clenched teeth. He damn well knew what happened last time and that’s why I was doing everything in my power to prevent it.
He stood up and his hands balled into fists at his sides. “Didn’t you though? You got the girl. I stood back and ruled from the pits of Hell while you galivanted off like some fucking hero.”
Author Harper Ray
About the Author As an author of young and new adult romances, Harper has a passion for writing stories that readers enjoy reading over and over again. Her imagination is the creative tool that helps her come up with several intriguing story lines that she hopes to share with the world. Her fans call her the “page turner author” because with each story she sucks the readers in, instantly hooking them from page one.
If Harper’s not busy writing her next book, she’s either digging into a sappy romance novel, binge watching Harry Potter or going to school full time..
Welcome to the book blitz for THE ACCIDENTAL GATEKEEPER, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, The Accidental Midlife Trilogy, by Carla Rehse. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE ACCIDENTAL GATEKEEPER (The Accidental Midlife Trilogy #1) by Carla Rehse
Synopsis Turning the big four-five isn’t a problem for Everly Popa—it’s everything else in her life that’s gone to hell in a handbasket.
It’s bad enough that Everly’s drug-selling husband is in jail and her adult daughter blames her for the situation. But now the FBI wants her to turn witness, while her husband’s criminal friends want to keep her permanently silent. With no other safe haven, Everly returns to her hometown. A place she hasn’t visited in twenty-seven years. And didn’t leave under the best of circumstances.
It’s not that Everly has a problem with her hometown, exactly, but since it sits next to Hell’s Gate, there’s bound to be a few issues. Like the archaic rules set by the angels who run the town. Or the fact that the townsfolk feel Everly abandoned her duties as one of the members of the town’s founding families. But between celestial politics or getting gunned down by a drug cartel, Everly decides to chance finding sanctuary back home.
After a little good-versus-evil stunt at the town’s border, Everly is let back in and for the first five minutes, things are great. Everly’s mom hasn’t started nagging and she has a whole bottle of wine to herself. But after minute six, all hell breaks loose. Everly gets bitten by a hellhound, faints in front of her hot-and-single old high school boyfriend, and accidentally becomes the town’s Gatekeeper to Hell. A job she never wanted, isn’t trained for, and can’t shake off like gum stuck to her shoe. And as much as she’s flipping out, the celestial ruling body aren’t too pleased about it either.
Before Everly can take a deep breath and figure a way out of this mess, an angel gets killed, humans go missing and the town shuts its magical borders. Now Everly is trapped inside with dying angels, rampaging demons, and a witch with a murderous agenda. Plus, an archangel and his army surround the city and are itching to contain the town’s problems with a heaven-sent big boom. The only way out is for Everly to learn how to use her newly acquired Gatekeeper powers. But with no handbook provided, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell she’ll figure it out in time.
Excerpt ONE When all the good choices have disappeared faster than kids at chore time
If eighteen was the age of exciting self-discovery, then forty-five was the weary age of having zero shits left to give.
What did it matter if my husband of twenty years was rotting in federal jail? And that our chiropractic clinic had gone belly up, leaving me jobless? Or that my friends had turned from “we’ll help hide a body” to “we’ve got your back until the reporters hit our lawn?” I also didn’t care that the DEA had frozen our joint bank accounts and seized our assets. I never liked that ho use anyway.
Homeless. Jobless. Friendless.
Add in a pickup truck, beer, and an old dog and it would be the most pathetic country song played on the tiniest fiddle ever. I gritted my teeth as the wipers shrieked across the windshield. Nothing like driving through a late-October downpour to add to your misery, and the constantly patched roads in this part of Central Texas didn’t handle rain well.
My phone rang with its cheerful tone that I kept forgetting to change. Sadie’s name lit up on the display, and I almost knocked it off the dashboard holder while hitting the speaker button. “Sadie? Is everything okay? How’s Laney?” I really hoped the trembling in my voice wasn’t audible. My daughter hadn’t spoken to me in two months, refusing to answer my calls or respond to my texts. Her girlfriend had even gone so far as to block me on her social media.
“Mom? Where are you? God, this connection sucks.” Her voice had a recognizable anxious edge to it. I wanted to ask if she was taking her meds, but at twenty-one Sadie hated coddling. “Someone needs to talk to you.”
“What?” I eased onto the shoulder of the road, then placed the truck into park. “Who?”
“Mrs. Collins? Uh, Everly Collins? This is Sam Duncan, your husband’s attorney? We really must discuss your husband’s case.”
I glanced at the clock on my dash: 10:33 p.m. Duncan was raking in some serious OT. “What the hell are you doing with my daughter?”
“Mrs. Collins?” He lowered his voice. “I know you’ve been advised not to speak with me. But you really need to before certain other people do. We can meet anywhere you want.”
Author Carla Rehse
About the Author Although not a native Texan, Carla prides herself on having mastered the correct usage of “y’all” and “bless your heart.”
Carla is owned by a persnickety kitty, who rules the computer keyboard and only allows Carla to write when demands for cat treats are met.
Entangled Amara and author Lisa Kessler are revealing the cover to PIRATE’S PROMISE, the fifth book in the adult paranormal romance series, Sentinels of Savannah, releasing July 26, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
PIRATE’S PROMISE (Sentinels of Savannah Series #5) by Lisa Kessler
About the Book
Title: PIRATE’S PROMISE Series: Sentinels of Savannah Series #5
Author: Lisa Kessler Publisher: Entangled: Amara Release Date: July 26, 2021 Genre: Adult Paranormal Romance
Greyson Till never found a weapon he didn’t like. As the immortal Master Gunner of a pirate ship, he’s grown his collection for over two hundred years. So when a legendary cursed blade that can cut through any material goes missing from the government’s paranormal artifact vault, he’s eager to retrieve it. Working with the secret division Department 13 has always come with its set of challenges, but this one is the worst yet.
Along with the mission comes fiery, no-nonsense paranormal weapons expert Aura Henderson, who couldn’t be less thrilled about this pairing. The last time they saw each other, Greyson accidentally blew her cover, almost killing them both. Worst of all, to get the sword, she has to pose as Greyson’s wife. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a sexy grumbly pirate, whether in reality or just pretend.
But when they locate the relic, the gilded blade thirsts for blood and things aren’t what they seem. Greyson isn’t sure who to trust anymore, and he’s not about to let death come between them…
Author Lisa Kessler
About the Author Stay up-to-date on new releases and giveaways by subscribing to Lisa’s newsletter here: https://goo.gl/56lDla
Lisa Kessler is a Best Selling author of dark paranormal fiction. She’s a two-time San Diego Book Award winner for Best Published Fantasy-Sci-fi-Horror and Best Published Romance. Her books have also won the PRISM award, the Award of Excellence, the National Excellence in Romantic Fiction Award, the Award of Merit from the Holt Medallion, and an International Digital Award for Best Paranormal.
Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.
When she’s not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, and has performed with San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego.
Author Britt DeLaney is revealing the cover to DREAM CROSSED, a standalone adult paranormal time-traveling romance, releasing August 24, 2021. See below for the cover, information on the book, and a link to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
DREAM CROSSED by Britt DeLaney
About the Book
Title: DREAM CROSSED
Author: Britt DeLaney Release Date: August 24, 2021 Genre: Adult Paranormal Time-Traveling Romance
Brad Reynolds and Gemma Marchwood come from two different worlds.
Brad has made a fortune as a young entrepreneur in present-day New York City, socializing with the rich and powerful and crawling into bed feeling empty every night.
For Gemma it’s 1906, and she spends her days tending to her beloved family estate, confined by the strictures of society in Edwardian England and facing the prospect of a loveless marriage.
One magical amulet bridges time and space, allowing them to meet in their dreams. What starts as a little bit of heaven soon becomes a whole lot of heartache as they fight to hold on to each other despite impossible odds.
Author Britt DeLaney
About the Author Britt DeLaney lives and writes in Philadelphia. In addition to her romance novels, she also writes YA fantasy as L.E. DeLano. In her spare time, she watches too much Netflix and eats too many Pop-Tarts. She is currently writing her ass off.
Welcome to the book blitz for PRIDE AND PARANORMAL, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Souls and Shadows, by USA Today bestselling author Adrienne Blake. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
PRIDE AND PARANORMAL (Souls and Shadows Series #1) by Adrienne Blake
Synopsis What do love potions and banshee karaoke have to do with one of the greatest enemies-to-lovers’ tales of all time? Everything.
Izzy is the only responsible witch in her poor family of misfits and as such, she has duties to uphold. But a hot, mysterious, and infuriating warlock is determined to get in the way.
When the rich and handsome Fitz Darcy blows into town, sparks fly.
The wrong kind…
He has earned her ire as much as her eye with his constant harsh words and acts, but what will happen when a bit of magic goes awry, and Izzy needs the help of this powerful man she claims to hate?
Will Izzy’s pride get in the way of saving her family’s welfare and reputation? Find out in this witty, funny, fantasy retelling of Pride & Prejudice.
Pride and Paranormal by Adrienne Blake. A magical enemies-to-lovers story filled with witches, warlocks, and vampires on the road to their happy-ever-after. This book is the first in the series of Souls and Shadows but reads as a standalone romance.
Excerpt #4 The temperature dropped even more, and I shivered. Then, to the coven’s astonishment, a faint figure appeared under the apex of the wand lights, shrouded in a kind of gray vapor. The person was tiny, and at first, I thought it was a child, but then the mists cleared, and I saw it was a young woman. She was possibly in her twenties, but it was hard to say because her face…
I wanted to cry, not just because the skin on her cheeks bore the marks of fire, but also because I could feel her pain; we all could—we were one in the circle, joined in spirit by a common chi.
Timidly she turned, almost as surprised to find herself where she was as we were to see her among us. I wondered, was she a ghost or a demon? I had little experience with either, so it was hard to say, but I could sense no malevolence in her, only a deep yearning. I wished I could read her mind as clearly as her emotions.
She mouthed something, but had no voice, and I found myself aching to hear what she had to say to us. She reached out her hands, beseeching, but we dared not break the circle and reach back—there was no way to know who or what she was, and like it or not, some spirits were evil. And even if someone did happen to extend a hand, the ethereal-looking spirit might disappear at the slightest touch.
Frustrated, the small woman turned in the circle, her black-eyed, lifeless gaze falling on each and every one of us—until at last, she faced me. I felt a sudden sense of joy as she smiled, and her hands rose again, imploring, asking for Gaia knew what. The collective curiosity of the coven overwhelmed me, and I gasped, taking a step back to the wall and inadvertently breaking the circle.
The woman disappeared, and the candles flickered out, leaving us all in utter darkness.
Author Adrienne Blake
About The Author Adrienne Blake is a USA Today bestselling author of mystery and paranormal romance. She is also an Amazon Top 100 bestselling author. Her stories blend plot, humor, and love, all in one sizzling cauldron. Coming soon: Souls and Shadows series.
Welcome to the blog tour for CATNAPPED, the eighteenth book in the adult paranormal romantic comedy series, Magical Romantic Comedies, by USA Today bestselling author, R.J. Blain. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
CATNAPPED (Magical Romantic Comedies Series #18) by R.J. Blain
Synopsis When someone steals Diana’s cat, a former lab animal rescued from death’s door, she calls on one of the most dangerous beings in the universe for help. Cutting a deal with the devil isn’t the smartest move, but there’s no way in hell she’ll abandon Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent to his fate.
Teaming up with the son of a demon, an angel, and one hell of a woman might push Diana to the limits of her courage and sanity. Unless she wants to sell her soul to the devil, she must cope with her new partner, make the most of a bad situation, and find out who stole her cat and why.
What she learns will forever change humanity–and lead to a battle destined to forever change the heavens and the devil’s many hells.
Excerpt #1 Chapter One
Someone had taken Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent, and when I got my hands on the culprit, they would know the true meaning of fear. As my cat was terrified of the outdoors, strangers, and anything that reminded him of his former life as a lab animal, there was no way in hell he would’ve left the comforts of home without the use of force. I couldn’t even convince him to meet me at the door. He cried pitifully from the safety of the couch, some ten feet away, until I came into his domain and he could reassure himself I hadn’t left him like every other human in his life.
No, unlike every other human in his life, I showed him love without pain. In the shelter hosting the retired lab cats, he’d been the saddest of the lot, so terrified of everyone and everything that the shelter operators had considered putting him out of his misery. No one wanted the scared ones, the ones who couldn’t charm unsuspecting humans into adopting them.
Mr. Flooferson should have been on the couch waiting for me, but my door had been kicked in, the lock broken beyond repair. Worse, someone had torn the place apart and left with my cat and his fleece-lined carrier.
Had the bastard left my cat’s carrier, I might have believed my baby had run out of fear.
I cracked my knuckles one by one, scowled, and considered my options. The police would need to come over and check everything over. After the police flailed about and accomplished little, for they had more important things to do than investigate the loss of my cat, I would begin using every contact I could. While I was only a secretary within the CDC, secretaries held power.
Every day, I talked to the big wigs, the wealthy, and the powerful, and I earned their respect so I could smooth paths for my bosses, who needed to work with people all around the world.
I had the Devil on speed dial, and I wasn’t afraid of using his wife to get what I wanted. While I wouldn’t cut a deal with the Devil, I’d find a way to make him do my bidding.
Well, maybe I’d cut a deal with the Devil, but I wouldn’t bargain away my soul.
Nobody, and I meant nobody, would hurt my cat and get away with it.
I retrieved my cell from my purse and called the non-emergency line for the police, explaining that my home had been broken into and the thieves had stolen my cat and his carrier. My concern about my pet made the cop laugh, but he said he’d send a patrol over as soon as there was one available.
I’d been around the block often enough to understand nobody would be available any time soon.
All right. If the cops wanted to play games, I’d play.
I dialed the Devil, and if Satan gave me a hard time, I’d go straight to his wife and show him his little layer of hell had a new owner until my cat was safely home.
“Good evening, Diana. It’s after hours, and you never work from home unless the world is at a literal risk of ending. We aren’t scheduled for the End of Days at this moment. As I’m far too lazy to peek right now, what can I do for you?
“You can help me find who stole my cat, flay the flesh from their bones, toss them into the nastiest pit of your hells, and give me a fiery whip so I can have some fun with the fuckers.”
I gave the Devil as much time as he needed to realize he spoke to a crazy cat lady on a mission to murder some thieving assholes.
“Have you forgotten who I am, Diana?”
“I absolutely called you fully aware of who and what you are, and if you could put Darlene on the line if you’re not willing to help me find my cat, it would save me making a few other phone calls and knocking on your door in an hour. If I have to knock on your door in an hour, I’m going to redefine misery through hellfire for you. And if someone, and by someone I mean you, says it’ll be a cold day in hell first, I’ll come there and break all of your windows.”
Thanks to Darlene, I’d learned the Devil enjoyed his air conditioning, his hells followed a disturbing number of scientific rules, and only some serious magic on his windows and walls kept the heat outside where it belonged.
“That’s harsh for my electric bill.”
“As if you actually pay it. Assistance or put Darlene on the phone, Lucifer. Jack shit is up for negotiation today. Someone stole my cat.”
“This is the most fun I’ve had in a week. Since I call my daughter Cupcake, you’re just going to have to be Cookie.”
“No. I will have Darlene kill you if you start calling me Cookie. And once I send Darlene after you, I’m going to call Kanika and tell her. Once I’m done with her, I’ll go through every single one of your brothers until one of them agrees to help me put you in your place.”
“Don’t ruin my fun,” the Devil complained. “I need some fun today. Darlene made me clean up the dungeon this morning.”
“I will ruin every part of your life if you don’t help me find my cat.” I meant it, too. Maybe I was only a secretary, but I had three of the Devil’s brothers on speed dial, and I’d play the hardball. I would play so hard the entire planet tilted on its axis if necessary.
Nobody fucked with my cat.
The Devil laughed at me. “You know the rules, Snickerdoodle. I can’t fiddle much with mortal affairs, and the thieves are mere mortals. I’m sure you can handle them.”
Well, Snickerdoodle beat Cookie, so I’d ignore his idiocy in favor of rescuing my missing cat. “Does it look like I give a flying shit about the rules? The cop I called laughed at me and claimed he’d send someone over if they had somebody available. I live in fucking Miami. Do you know what that means? There’s nobody available, and there’ll be nobody available until the End of Days, and we’ll all be fucking dead then. They aren’t going to do jack shit about my trashed house, they aren’t going to investigate my missing cat, and Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent will be gone forever. I want my cat!”
“Mr. Flooferson… the Magnificent?”
I gave credit where credit was due; the Devil didn’t outright laugh at me. “Yes. That is my cat’s name.”
“Why did you name your cat that?”
“He’s a former lab animal, and the shelter was going to euthanize him because he was scared of people. He had good reason to be scared of people. That’s not his fault. He’s a beautiful long-haired cat, and it took me six months, but he lets me hold him now. He’s terrified of large spaces, and he won’t go within ten feet of the front door. I have to bring a vet to the house because I can’t stand the thought of taking him somewhere that might remind him of a lab. They could be torturing my baby. Why would they break into my house and take my cat?”
I didn’t give a shit if the Devil thought less of me for the waver in my voice. Focusing on my breathing, I lifted my chin and prepared to wage war against the ruler of some ridiculous number of hells.
“I would suggest you look into what sort of lab studies he was involved with. If they were testing new drugs, for example, someone might want to recover him to observe long-term consequences of drug exposure. There are many reasons why someone might want to recover a former lab animal. Alternatively, why might someone want to steal your cat? You have many contacts, myself included. It could be less about your cat and more about manipulating you because you love your cat.”
“Damn fucking straight I love my cat, you cat-spanked devil!”
“I would accuse you of leveling a low blow at me, but I do very much enjoy being spanked by my cat. She’s a most lovely feline, and one of my favorite hobbies is playing with her spots. If I’m really good, she might even come out as her natural form.”
“I will beg her to never let you see one of her prized spots ever again.”
“I should recruit you to become one of my generals. You would whip the chaos right out of my hells within a week. My hells would be immaculately run. I should demand you run my hells for a while in exchange for recovering your cat.”
“I have no interest in going to hell as a resident or a visitor, thank you. Now, about Mr. Flooferson the Magnificent. Which is more probable? That someone wants him because of what he went through as a lab animal, or that someone wants to manipulate me?”
“In my most humble opinion, I believe that either is equally probable. Was your cat part of a reputable lab?”
Since when did the Devil think of himself as humble? I almost laughed. Instead, I cleared my throat to buy myself a moment to regain my composure. “I have no idea. I just saw there were lab animals in need of loving homes, and I decided my home would be the most loving of homes. I will hurt you if you disagree with me.”
The Devil laughed at me. “If someone took your cat because of its history as a lab animal, it would have been rescued from an illegal operation. The legal operations are under regulations to keep the animals happy—and as healthy as possible. Those labs would not try to reclaim an animal. The government has been phasing out animal testing in favor of cutting large checks to humans with the appropriate conditions. They have also been clearing off criminal records in exchange for some pain and suffering, too.”
“This is an excellent reminder to maintain my record of being a law-abiding citizen.”
“You’re disgustingly law-abiding, yes. You should indulge in some evil. We’d have a great time.”
“No, but thank you for your most generous offer, Lucifer.”
“Are you sure? Your soul would provide me with decades of entertainment. I would convert you into one of my most prized devils. A general who would take over most of my hells by storm and sometimes answer to me when it’s truly necessary.”
I considered his offer. “What do you call a female devil, anyway?”
“That’s lame. Demonesses are better named.”
“I’m sure I could come up with an appropriately feminine title for your enjoyment.”
“I’m sure you could, but I must refuse your most generous offer at this time. Now, about my cat. Are you going to help, or am I going to be having a long talk with Darlene?”
The Devil heaved a sigh. “You’re almost as bad as my daughter. Must you, Diana?”
“I must. Someone stole my cat, the police aren’t taking me seriously, and if I don’t figure out what I need to do to get my cat back, I’ll take over your realm, and then I’ll storm the heavens if I must.” It would take more work to access the heavens, but I could make use of some other contacts—or twist the Devil’s arm into helping me somehow.
“I’ll beg, but please storm the heavens. It would be spectacular. My darling thought about storming the heavens once, but then He got the bright idea of inviting her for tea and dainty little sandwiches, and she loves it. Worse, she makes me go with her.”
“It’s not like I want to keep the heavens. I don’t even want to go there. Come on, just get your ass over here and make the police take me seriously. Bring Darlene, so when I start crying, she can yell at you while I’m coming to terms with my inability to kill you or get my hands on the fuckers responsible for taking my cat and destroying my house.”
“Any other requests?”
“I can’t do that, Diana. You know I’m not permitted to interfere with mortal matters outside of a bargain, and I have no bargain allowing me access to this matter. You would have to bargain with me.”
I loved my cat, but I also didn’t want to lose my immortal soul for my cat. “Can bargains be for something other than my soul? I like my soul, Lucifer.”
“I’m very aware of your possessiveness over your soul. You would deny even Him.”
That I would. “I like my soul precisely where it is, in my possession, where no nasty beings, yourself included, can meddle with it. But I’ll bargain if you can come up with something that does not result in the loss of my soul.”
“You will accept a partner of my choosing for this venture. For however long it takes you to recover your cat and bring the catnappers to justice, and we’ll define precisely what justice means as a part of our bargain. Until I have declared justice has been secured, you will work with this individual of my choosing. You will spend a minimum of two hours a day with this individual, who likewise owes me a favor and was wise enough to safeguard his soul from me and my rather evil activities.”
I rolled my eyes, as the Devil talked loud and often about his evils but rarely dished them out. I’d met convicts who’d sinned far worse than the Devil on a bad day.
“Rude,” the Devil complained.
“But true. Why do you want me to spend time with this individual?”
“Both of his fathers have severely annoyed me, and it will be highly entertaining if I can force him to live up to a bargain.”
Shit. The Devil had bargained with the son of a triad? Trouble was the Devil having anything to do with a triad at all. “Demon?” I asked, contemplating tossing up a few prayers to mitigate some of the issues the child of a triad brought around when they showed up.
Damn it. “You seriously let one of your devils out to go on a fling with an angel?”
I already regretted calling the devil. “You have got to be fucking kidding me.”
“If only. The devil in question, who happens to be one of my generals, begged. I hate when they get to the point of begging. The archangel, well, that was a poorly chosen promise in a moment of weakness.”
“A poorly chosen promise in a moment of weakness?”
“He claimed if that specific general happened to ever be brought low by a woman, that he would demand proof. Somehow, that became the foundation of a triad.” The Devil laughed. “I’ve stopped worrying about when the heavens and my hells mix. We’re one big, demented family. He approved, so that’s that. Watching one of my generals be brought low by a woman? Truly delightful—especially after he’d spent time mocking me about Darlene. To sweeten the deal? He fell for his bride shortly after Darlene stormed my gates. The best of women storm gates to places, I’ve noticed. Their son is younger than you are, but not by much, and thanks to his genetics, he matured early.”
I snorted at that, almost pitying the son of a high-ranked devil, an archangel, and someone who likely classed as one hell of a woman. “Only an idiot mocks you or your wife.”
“I thought about putting him in time out for a few thousand years, but him being brought low by a woman worked out for the better. And anyway, he likes Darlene, but he does enjoy when he gets to be a pest. He’s become even bolder, as Darlene likes him. Darlene would prefer if he sticks to a humanoid form while wearing a suit, which has basically become his dress code. Darlene being happy means everyone has a much higher chance of being happy. Anyway, your partner is thirty-two, he takes after his human mother too much for your good, and he’s rather determined.”
“The last thing I need is a determined man in my life, Lucy.”
“I’m aware, which is part of what makes this so much fun. Will you bargain, Diana?”
“I will discuss the idea of a bargain with you, but I will not agree to any bargain until I hear all the details. And I’m expecting a bribe of you making the police take this seriously in order to open negotiations once you’re here.”
“Excellent. Do expect company within an hour, and I will bring your new partner with me so you have all of the fine print you so love in front of you—and if you’re particularly unfortunate, I’ll bring his parents as well.”
“You’re an asshole, Lucifer.”
“I really am. Wear something nice.” The Devil hung up on me, leaving me all by myself to scream my frustration over the situation.
After screeching a few curses, I drew in some calming breaths, decided to ignore his commentary about my clothes, and waited for trouble to come knocking at my door.
Author by R.J. Blain
About the Author RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.
In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.
Welcome to the book blitz for IT’S A CURSE THING, the second book in the adult paranormal romantic comedy series, Singles Town, by Lisa Wells. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
IT’S A CURSE THING (Singles Town Series #2) by Lisa Wells
It’s not forever. It’s not freaking forever.
What’s a witch to do when her magic’s been hacked and her tongue wickedly cursed! No matter how hard Eloise Redd concentrates on keeping her thoughts to herself, she blurts them. The only option is to lie low and wait for the hacker’s ransom note —and hope the demands aren’t too steep. In the meantime, she hides out in a haunted town as a palm reader. What could possibly go wrong reading palms?
Jeffrey Bales, Chief Operating Officer of Think Tank Innovations, is excellent at peopling. What he’s not good at is fending off a multitude of women convinced he’s their souls’ missing puzzle piece. This thanks to the town’s magical palm reader. A woman whose mouth should come with a hazard warning. He has no choice but to turn his charms on her to silence those wayward words. Just a tiny, fake relationship should work…Unless it takes place under the roof of a bewitched house. One determined to bind them together eternally. That ransom demand can’t arrive soon enough.
What if this is forever?
Excerpt #2 Eloise stood outside Jeff’s house and waited for the lovely old Victorian to welcome her and her cat inside. Charm, the moodiest cat ever, had been MIA ever since she’d been forced to move to Knotty with Eloise.
“Who are you?” the house barked in a voice gruff with age. Not even a hint of the English accent Eloise had expected.
“Eloise Redd, of the Salem Redds. And you are?” Eloise stood straight and unafraid. This was not her first conversation with a house.
“Gwinifer. You may call me Ms. Gwinifer. And the feline?”
Eloise held her cage out in front of her so Gwinifer could get a good look. “Charm. Of the Salem Charms.”
“I’m not particularly fond of cats,” Gwinifer said.
Charm’s back arched. “Hiiiiissssss.”
“Neither am I.” Eloise gave Charm a behave-yourself look and sat the cage on the ground. “But I’m a witch. They’re required. Along with a cauldron, but I left that in the trunk of the car.”
A nose appeared on the front of the house and it sniffed the air around Eloise. “I can’t say I’m fond of witches either.”
“Neither am I. But, as they say, one doesn’t get to pick their birth family.” Was Jeff inside watching her talk to his house? If so, why hadn’t he come outside and made proper introductions, instead of forcing Eloise to announce herself like a commoner? Surely, if the house was talking to her, it had also spoken to Jeff on his move-in day. Who was she kidding? If the guy was skeptical about palm readers, there’s no way he had ever admitted to himself he heard a house talking. He had probably blamed whatever he had heard from Gwinifer on the wind whistling through tree branches and playing tricks on his ears.
She glanced away from the nose and admired the house. She didn’t want Gwinifer to feel rushed into making a decision. A house that felt forced into welcoming a guest could be quite abusive to said guest. Cold showers. Creaking floorboards. Drafty rooms. Dead mouse smells.
On the outside, Gwinifer was a sassy lady. Her colorful eclecticism and intricate excess so fit the town itself. Her facade had an elaborately decorated gable and off to one side, a round tower. Her steeply pitched and complex roof perched like a jaunty hat, giving her further style. It was in the window of her dormer that Eloise got a nod of approval. A wink.
“You’ll do,” Gwinifer said in a haughty tone.
Eloise could practically here the house’s eyes rolling. She smiled and gave a curtsy. “Thank you.”
“Don’t make me regret allowing a witch inside my sanctuary,” Gwinifer snapped. “I have a temper. The last time I got mad at a witch, a tornado took out the town.”
About the Author Lisa Wells writes romantic comedy with enough steam to fog your eyeglasses, your brain, and sometimes your Kindle screen. On the other hands, her eighty-year-old mother-in-law has read Lisa’s steamiest book and lived to offer her commentary. Which went something like this: You used words I’ve never heard of…
She lives in Missouri with her husband and slightly-chunky rescue dog. Lisa loves dark chocolate, red wine, and those rare mornings when her skinny jeans fit. Which isn’t often, considering the first two entries on her love-it list.
Welcome to the book blitz for A SHADOW IN THE LIGHT, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, Parallel Verse Guardians, by USA Today bestselling author, Keary Taylor. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
A SHADOW IN THE LIGHT (Parallel Verse Guardians Series #1) by Keary Taylor
“You went and fell in love with an ultralight? That’s like a spider falling in love with a butterfly. They’re both arachnids, but the entire universe knows they don’t belong together.”
I needed an out. I needed to be someone who wasn’t trapped in Las Vegas. I went to that club looking for nothing and everything, and there he was. Jaxon’s hands on my hips were just what I was looking for, and for just one night, it was easy to be someone I wasn’t.
Then our signals went haywire. We’ve been looking for the gatekeeper for a long, long time so we can go home, and a new possibility just came up. It was my job to bring them in.
Only it was him. Jaxon Gray. Turns out, he comes from one of the most dangerous crime families in Sin City. But I’m not the only one after him. There are others who want him just as bad, and they’ll kill me to get to him.
Now we’re on the run together. He should be scared. He’s seen me shift, and it’s not sparkly or pretty. But he doesn’t cower when he sees the other side of me—my shadows, my claws, my fangs. With a curious gleam in his eyes, he asks to know more.
This is dangerous. He’s about to manifest. And as soon as he does, his biggest impulse will be to kill me. But it’s too late for my heart, I can’t walk away. So, the million-dollar question is: will what’s happened between us be enough for him to overcome his instincts?
Excerpt The room smells slightly of smoke and everything is dated by about fifteen years, but it looks clean enough to not give me an STD.
All the pain and exhaustion I’ve been ignoring in the past forty-five minutes hits me the second I walk in the door.
I walk straight to the mirror, flipping on the flickering florescent light.
It’s worse than I thought.
Bruises are blooming along the left side of my face. There’s a nice cut running down my right cheek.
I peel my t-shirt off, and immediately my eyes go to the dark black marks, the perfect shape of fingers dug into my skin.
In the mirror, my gaze shifts over my shoulder to Jaxon. He stares at my bruised and injured body, particularly those finger marks.
“Pretty sure you look worse,” I say, noting the cut above his eye that’s bleeding again.
He takes several steps forward, coming into the light. He grabs a towel from the rack, pressing it to the cut. But he never takes his eyes off me.
“I swear,” I say. “I’m not going to kill you. I’m not going to eat you either. I just need something from you, and then you’ll be free to go.”
“Are you stalking me?” Jaxon asks. Even though we’re standing side by side, he looks at me in the mirror. “Because that night…”
“I didn’t know that night,” I said, looking sharply up at him in the mirror. “Us meeting that night was purely coincidence. There was nothing ulterior going on that night, I swear.”
He’s quiet for a second, and as I look into his eyes in the mirror, I realize how desperately I want him to believe me.
I shouldn’t want that.
“You’re hurt,” he says simply.
I look back at my own reflection. I look like crap. “I’ve been through worse. I’ll survive. You need stitches though.”
He leans forward, looking at the cut closer in the mirror. The gash going down his face, from his temple, down the side of his eye, down to his cheek bone, is starting to bleed badly again.
I grab the sewing kit.
“You done this before?” he asks, eyeing me warily.
I set the kit on the countertop and grab his arms, positioning him under the light. I take a towel, get it wet, and set to cleaning the wound.
“More than a couple of times,” I say, not meeting his eyes as I work.
“You military?” he asks. I can feel his eyes fixed on me.
“No,” I answer simply.
“Military experiment?” he asks, and his tone is dead serious. I guess I can’t blame him for that.
“No,” I say, my tone getting a little sharper as I set the towel down and thread a needle.
“Alien,” he says simply, like it’s the last possible explanation.
“I’m not an alien,” I say, my tone bordering on offended. “You’re never, ever going to guess what I am. So how about you just stop?”
“Then how about you just explain it?” Jaxon says with a growl. He hisses as I dig the needle through his flesh for the first stitch. “Because I thought you were just a really amazing woman I had a really amazing night with. But it turns out you’re something a whole lot more interesting.”
His choice of words snaps my eyes to his.
Author Keary Taylor
About the Author KearyTaylor is the USA Today bestselling author of over twenty novels. She grew up along the foothills of the Rocky Mountains where she started creating imaginary worlds and daring characters who always fell in love. She now splits her time between a tiny island in the Pacific Northwest and Utah, with her husband and their two children. She continues to have an overactive imagination that frequently keeps her up at night.
Welcome to the blog tour for DARE, the third book in the young adult fantasy/paranormal romance series, Pixieland Diaries, by Christina Bauer. See below for information on the book and series, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
DARE (Pixieland Diaries Series #3) by Christina Bauer
Synopsis What happens when a pixie outcast seizes the throne of Faerie… while her beloved elf prince becomes a wanted criminal?
Sassy pixie Calla loves the prankster life, even if it does make her an outcast among other fae. But everything changes when Calla’s magic erases an evil blight destroying the Faerie realm. That’s when the pariah pixie becomes something unexpected: a Fae Queen.
Yet no sooner does Calla take the crown than a new and unstoppable plague appears. Things get even worse when Calla’s longtime crush, the elf Prince ‘Dare’ Darius, appears to have masterminded the outbreak before fleeing to the mountains. According to the Faerie elders, there’s only one way to end this disease…
Calla must hunt down Dare and destroy him.
Yeah. Like that will ever happen.
Instead of killing anyone, Calla vows to cure the plague while proving Dare’s innocence. And if she must pull a few mega-pranks to make it all happen? Not a problem. Even so, the path ahead is still fraught with trouble. Secret enemies scheme to manipulate the outbreak—as well as Calla’s feelings for Dare—in order to bring our favorite prankster down, once and for all.
Pixieland Diaries Series
1. Pixieland Diaries
4. Winter Prince
5. Ley Queen
Day 95 Dear Diary,
The next thing I know, Ghost Dare visits me in my room. Technically, this is a spell where Dare projects his astral body across space, but calling him Ghost Dare is just more catchy-sounding. At this point, I’m lying in bed and happily tucked under my covers while a hazy white cloud becomes a semi-transparent version of my boyfriend.
Life is getting good.
Little by little, Ghost Dare turns to me. Our gazes lock. My breath catches.
Even as a kid, Dare wields what can only be called an icy stare. Mind you, this isn’t a serial killer type of thing. It’s more that Dare’s a prince of the winter court and that place is a political battlefield. To survive, Dare always plays dozen games of three-dimensional chess at once. It enough to make anyone’s irises a little chilly.
But in this moment? Dare’s intensity holds a different edge. Although the prince may be semi-transparent, there’s no missing the desire that fires through his vision. He’s thinking the same thing that I am.
I blush my face off.
When Dare speaks, his voice holds a husky tone. “Hello, Little Hob.” The prince crosses the room, leans over the bed, and brushes ghostly kiss on my lips
“I hate it when you call me that. But that kiss was cool.”
“I’ll join you tomorrow.”
“Ghost you or real you?”
“I’ll take whatever I can get.”
Dare gives me another kiss before fading from view. And I fall asleep with a smile.
About the Author
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.
Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby..
Welcome to the book blitz for ROYALLY DRAINED, the first book in the adult paranormal romance series, V.I.L.F., by Fritzi Cox. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
ROYALLY DRAINED (V.I.L.F. Series #1) by Fritzi Cox
Synopsis From jilted princess bride to a revenge plot fit for a king, this charming couple is royally screwed …
As I lived my best royal life, my only job as a princess was to find and marry a handsome prince. Too bad Prince Theo turned out to be more of a toad. After I began losing my powers, he lost interest in our upcoming wedding. Not only did Theo leave me at the altar, but he also banished me and my merry band of misfits from the Kingdom of Poppycock forever.
Talk about a walk of shame!
From enchanted castle to crumbling cottage, I’m now stuck in Morningwood, struggling to plot my next move. This strange little town, full of mischief and magic, is the perfect place to hide while I practice my spells and hopefully regain my powers. What could possibly go wrong? Other than accidentally summoning a mysterious male vampire who throws me off my quest and gets my blood boiling in all the right places. And my blood is exactly what Vail and his brotherhood need for their top-secret laboratory.
Who would have thought my charming royal genes could help their dangerous mission? As long as Vail keeps his fangs to himself, we won’t have a problem. His hands though? That’s another story entirely. My taste for revenge is strong, but his taste for me is stronger.
Could this be my fairy-tale ending? Or am I destined to live a nightmare?
Royally Drained is a paranormal romcom with a few dark themes. This is book 1 in the VILF series and ends with a cliff-hanger.
Excerpt #2 “He’s here!” Godmother’s eyes grew wide. She patted down her dress pockets, checking for her wand before barking orders. “Pumpkin, stay in your corner. Mirror Mirror, shut up. Penelope, you’re up. Let’s see how well you remember class and elegance. You can practice for your winery soiree. If we all become this vampire’s dinner, it’s on you. I’m stupidly putting my faith in you—and him. Don’t fuck this up.”
“Godmother! Where did you learn that language?” I put a hand to my ruffled collar.
“From you. Now, get the door. I’ll pour the blood.” Her voice drifted into a harsh whisper.
I stood up, smoothing my hands down my skirt and instantly regretting my big heart. I hadn’t invited Vail to dinner to practice magic or charm. Nor had I asked him over because he had the body of a sculpted mid-century Viking and a voice that calmed and commanded me, all at once. I hadn’t even invited him over because I was curious about sex with a vampire and if the rumors of mind-blowing ecstasy were true. I didn’t plan on seducing him to find out.
Sure, I’d thought about it—a lot. In the bath, in the woods, when I was alone in bed and I was sure Mirror Mirror had fallen asleep. Vail had overtaken my fantasies ever since he whirled me around the ballroom and dipped me in the most romantic gesture I’d ever experienced. But every day I grew older, he stayed the same. The ex-prince vamp man and I would never work.
The real reason I’d invited him to dinner was to study him. He exuded an air of royalty and confidence that, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t match. But even without my princessy qualities, at our last meeting, he’d treated me every bit of a queen.
I took a deep breath, swelling my bosom, and opened the door.
Vail stood, adjusting the lapels on his jacket. The tantalizing smell of his cologne drifted into my senses and caused me to let out a long, audible breath.
He froze, raking his eyes over my best ballgown, pausing his gaze at my puffed-out cleavage.
“My lady, you look exquisite.” He bowed, licking his lips. A glint of fang shimmered beneath his smile.
“Thank you! Good evening. Come in!” My words spilled out in an unintelligible sentence that even I didn’t understand.
Whatever grace and elegance I’d once had melted away at the sight of this vampire. He turned me into a royal shitshow.
Author Fritzi Cox
About the Author Fritzi Cox is a dark soul with a wicked sense of humor. She regularly bathes in the blood of her enemies while sipping champagne and hashtagging her vibes. She’s fond of plotting mayhem, writing spellbinding twists, and tickling her readers with an over-the-top sense of humor. Rumor has it, her alter ego, Kat Addams, is her spirit animal. Or is it the other way around? Either way, expect Fritzi to keep you on your toes!
Welcome to the book blitz for THE UPSIDE DOWN OF NORA GAINES, a standalone young adult paranormal fantasy by Cathrina Constantine. See below for information on the book, buy links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on her giveaway.
THE UPSIDE DOWN OF NORA GAINES by Cathrina Constantine
Synopsis Nora has visions of horrific things. Things that lurk in the shadows and feast on bones. After moving with her mother into an old farmhouse, Nora discovers a blank journal that fills itself with an ominous warning. A cursed beast is coming for her and time is running out. When the blood moon rises, so shall the beast.
Local teen, Rebel, has his own trepidations about the house. His parents, both paranormal scientists, were investigating it when they died under mysterious circumstances. His growing feelings for Nora motivate him to battle the ghosts of his past, if it means keeping her safe.
Allies turn to enemies. Fiction turns to fact. The past and the present collide. All in an epic battle to claim unfathomable power. Can Nora unlock the secrets buried within the farmhouse in time to save herself and those dear to her from a grisly fate?
Excerpt #3 “He’s here.”
“The beast.” Nevaeh picked up the pace, covertly hastening up the narrow attic stairs, taking a submissive Nora with her. “We must hurry.”
The attic door squeaked open. It resembled a preamble to a horror movie in the throes of reaching its climax. A plethora of pillar candles dotted the periphery of the largest circle of the pentagram. Flickering light heightened shadows, ghostlike on the attics planks and beams. The aroma of melting wax, sulfur, and pluming smoke plugged her nose. But there was something else. Something much worse.
Nevaeh slammed a hand over her mouth, suppressing Nora’s scream.
“Don’t. He knows you’re here. You’ll make it worse by screaming. Keep your head.”
There, in the middle of the pentagram, was her mother’s body. The beast was kneeling over her, lifting her head to his mouth.
“Taran, I wouldn’t do that,” Nora’s vocal cords vibrated, but it wasn’t her voice coming from her mouth. Swift and precise, Nevaeh readied the bow.
An aberrant kink of his head shifted his shoulders. “Who are you?” he asked, his bass-like voice remarkably inoffensive.
“It’s me, Nevaeh.” She lowered the arrowhead but kept it secured on the cord.
“You’re not Nevaeh, but you sound like her.” In a gradual guarded stance, he rose.
Nora widened her eyes and terror slithered along her spine. The beast was massive, all encompassing. When she’d fallen into Nevaeh’s journal, she’d lived the fable, an inexplicable nightmare. This wasn’t a dream. She was conscious, awake, and this was transpiring in her own home.
Browsing his stalwart form, her vision skipped past him to assess her mother. Her auburn hair was fanning the floorboards and she was wearing the same clothes she’d worn for her date with Mr. Larsen. No sign of blood or bruising. No twisted or broken body parts.
Nora wished her mom would move, even a finger, to let her know she was alive. Then she perceived her chest was rising and falling. She was breathing.
“I’m here with Nora, my human host,” Nevaeh said, leveling the arrow at him. “We are one.”
His lips parted, shards of teeth glimmered in the candlelight—his body all pulsing sinew and galvanized steel. “You’ve come to kill me, my daughter?”
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 LOST IN NOWHERE, the third book in the young adult paranormal romance series, Legacy in Legend, by Barbara Pietron, releasing April 20, 2021. See below for information on the book, preorder links, an exclusive excerpt, and details on their giveaway.
LOST IN NOWHERE (Legacy in Legend Series #3) by Barbara Pietron
Synopsis Jeni has fully accepted her spiritual ability, and yet she’s unnerved by the apparition of Marielle, the ghost of a pioneer girl asking for help. As the ghost’s tragic love story unfolds in her dreams, Jeni’s resistance melts and she resolves to save the soul of Marielle’s lost love. When she discovers her own impulses cause Marielle to act uncharacteristically, Jeni believes she can change the past. Despite warnings against meddling with time, Jeni’s convinced she can save the soul of Marielle’s lover. Deep inside a dream and intent on her quest, Jeni is lured into a trap that binds her soul to Marielle’s. With no allies, no knowledge about crossing through time and with limited 18th century resources, Jeni is terrified: failure will leave her soul trapped in the past, or worse . . . lost in nowhere.
Excerpt #2 Ice spotted a nearby tree with a thick trunk. He headed for it, capturing Jeni’s hand and pulling her with him. He settled on the ground, knees bent, and patted the space in front of him. “Do they know why the river changed course?’
Accepting the invitation, Jeni scooted backward until her back touched his chest. He looped his arms around her and she sighed, melting against him. “They do now. The forests were cut down to feed the riverboats. It allowed massive erosion. Although,” she twisted her head so she could look up at him, “some people claimed it was a curse.”
Ice smirked. “Sure. Because it couldn’t have been their fault.”
“Exactly.” Sarcasm tinged her voice. “The legend of the curse is actually a tragic love story about… ” Again she looked up at Ice. “Are you ready for this?”
“Sure,” he said.
“A French girl and a Native American boy.”
“Like us.” He chuckled. “Do you know the entire legend?”
“I can give you the basics.” Jeni recounted the story, ending with, “So Amakapa swore that he and Marielle would be together again in the afterlife and that—” She broke off, sitting up so fast she nearly smacked her head into his chin. “Ice. Please tell me you see her this time,” she said in a low voice.
Ice searched the vista for a figure. “Where?”
“Across the road. Behind the fence, just to the left of where it’s leaning forward.” Her entire body was tense.
His eyes scoured the fence line, finding a spot where the wire bowed out as if something had pushed against it, or possibly fallen on top of it, but he saw no one.
“Do you see her?” Jeni’s voice faltered.
“No. Is it the same girl you saw before?”
“Oh, God.” With a strangled cry, Jeni clambered to her feet and dashed for the pathway.
Ice rushed after her. When she reached the trail, Jeni broke into a run, her face a white mask when she glanced over her shoulder. Ice swiveled his head to make his own cursory check, wondering if the figure Jeni saw had given chase. The path behind them appeared empty. He knew, however, something might be there. Something he couldn’t see. When Jeni broke out of the shadows and into the sunshine, she finally slowed, breathing hard.
Ice approached, placing a protective hand on her back while she bent over, hands on thighs, drawing in air. “What happened?”
She shook her head and straightened, hands over her face. “She…” Jeni sucked in a shuddering breath. “It looked like she was trying to speak to me.” She let her fingers trail down her cheeks, meeting his eyes with a haunted gaze.
“What did she say?”
“I couldn’t hear anything,” Jeni said. “But I didn’t need to. I could read her lips clearly. She was saying ‘help me.'”
Author Barbara Pietron
About the Author Having a love for witches and vampires before they were trendy, Barbara gravitates toward stories with supernatural elements both when she reads and when she writes. Although classified as young adult, her books are enjoyed by a wide audience–pre-teen through adult.
Barbara’s novel Thunderstone was awarded 2013 Book of the Year Finalist status by Forward Reviews and before it was published, Thunderstone was a quarter-finalist in the 2012 Amazon Breakout Novel Award contest, winning a review by Publisher’s Weekly.
When she’s not writing, Barbara works in a library where she’s tortured by all the books she has yet to read. She’s a cult fan of the movies Labyrinth and Nightmare Before Christmas and a fan of all things Tim Burton. Barbara lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter and a cat that often acts like a dog.