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Midnight Musings with Bertena!

This is a place for me to post my fun book blogs, articles, and YouTube Video for your entertainment. I am recently unemployed and trying to make my dream of working from home and helping others through wonderful books, videos, or services come true. If you would like to be featured on my NEW Blog and on my Vocal Media Channel here and my You Tube Channel here then email me here at midnightmusingswithbertena.com or text me at 859-437-0082 or contact me on my Facebook page here.

As of October 15, 2020 my blog has moved to https://midnightmusingswithbertena.blogspot.com/





Celia’s Must-See TV Shows For Halloween

Halloween month is the perfect time to binge some paranormal TV shows. Add these to your binge-list.

* Chilling Adventures of Sabrina – Good vs. evil, angsty teens, wacky witches.

* iZombie – Dark comedy with zombies quarantined in Seattle. Brain cuisine jokes.

* Legion –  People with powers and power struggles. Surreal, sometimes scary, and totally quirky and compelling.

* Legacies – Teen werewolves, vampires, witches at a boarding school fraught with peril.

* Lucifer – NetFlix saved this fab show, serving up one sexy devil and a strong female lead.

* The Magicians – College students/magicians tangle with supernatural forces and other worlds. 

* Stranger Things – An alternate dimension, monsters, plus government experiments, and one tough girl with wicked powers, oh my!

* The Umbrella Academy – a dysfunctional family of funny, flawed, and powerful superheroes. Quirky, action packed, and 100% entertaining.

Happy viewing and Happy Halloween!


ORIGINS
Tranquilli Bloodline
Book 3
Celia Breslin

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Champagne Book Group
Date of Publication: September 9, 2019
ISBN:  9781393477938
ASIN: B08FFCWNF2
Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 94,000
Cover Artist: Melody Pond

Tagline: The Chosen One is home. Bad little vampires beware…

Book Description:

In HAVEN & DESTINY, San Francisco nightclub owner Carina Tranquilli finds love and fights her vampire family’s enemies. Now, in ORIGINS…

En route to reunite with her estranged father in Italy, Carina is kidnapped by a human organization intent on vampire genocide. Beaten, starved, and forced to fight fellow captives, she finally manages to escape. Along the way, she encounters the group’s leaders—their identities shock her to the core.

Once home, Carina warns her family of this new threat, but dear old dad is missing. In his absence, the Tribunal, the governing body for all vampirekind, lies in disarray, with an old enemy making a bid for her father’s throne. What’s worse? The usurper wants her for his queen…and slave.

With a human-vampire war looming on one side and a vampire-vampire battle brewing on the other, Carina will have to rally her troops, take back the throne, and fulfill her destiny as the Chosen One. If not, her whole world will fall, taking everyone she loves with it.

Amazon     Apple Books      BN      Champagne Books      Kobo


Excerpt:

The car stopped. […] I couldn’t convince myself to step out. […] What if this was a freaking, injection-induced hallucination? What if I was still back in the damn prison?

Besnik helped me out. […]

The mansion’s mammoth double doors eased open. The man illuminated in the doorway chased away the numbness, pumped my heart so hard it might pound right out of my chest. He opened his arms wide, calling me. My lips curled upward in the first true smile I’d cracked since the last time he’d held me in his arms. That man, my man, loved me more than any other on this whole damn planet.

“Alexander.”

I ran to him.

Alexander’s arms closed around me, his hold so tight I could barely catch a breath. Tremors ran through his hard body, again and again.

“Carina,” he croaked, voice sandpaper rough. “Carina.”

Nuzzling his neck, I planted fevered kisses along his tan, heated skin. He’d fed recently to be this warm under my lips. Temptation had me licking his pounding pulse, nipping at the vein. Couldn’t resist it. My fangs slid home.

Energy exploded between us, our mate bond bursting to life and tearing away whatever magical wall had separated us for far too long. My bite, the catalyst, his blood the cure. Awash in the force of our reunion, Alexander staggered then clutched me closer while I pulled out of his neck and laved the rapidly healing holes.

As our power continued to bubble and stitch us back together, he whisked us into the grand entryway, planted my ass on an ornate, antique cabinet, and devoured my mouth like a starving man. His hands roamed everywhere, searching, cataloguing, as if to reassure himself this wasn’t a hallucination, that I was really here, in his arms, relatively unharmed.

The more he kissed me, the more those wonderful, golden threads of our connection resurrected inside me, around me, between us, and I felt like freaking Sleeping Beauty awakened from her magical slumber by a kiss from her fated handsome prince. The silly thought made me giggle against Alexander’s seeking mouth, and then I was crying while my love cupped my face between his hands, wiped away my tears with his thumbs, and pressed tender kisses to my forehead, my cheeks, the tip of my nose…

“Alexander.” I fisted his shirt tight. Please, God, let him be real. “I… I don’t want to wake up.” Please, don’t let this end.

His smoky blue eyes bored into mine, his brown hair spiked in every direction, a bit longer than in my memory. It’s not a dream, baby. You’re here. You’re home.

Oh my God, I can hear you. I swiped some willful bits of hair away from his forehead, touched his full lips, ran my fingers along his strong jaw, taking in the whole handsome, bad-boy package. You’re back in my head. I’d never been happier to have someone inside my mind. Silence was seriously overrated.

And back in your arms.

About the Author:


Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, the Fae, and warrior-class angels. Her stories are action-packed and typically include one of the many varieties of romantic entanglements: fated mates, second chance, rescue romance, opposites attract, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and more.

When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies, as well as everything in the Marvel Universe franchise.












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Residual Magic
Blood and Bone Legacy
Book Two
Suzanne M Sabol

Genre: Urban Fantasy, New Adult
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: 10/21/2020
ISBN: 978-1-64716-143-9
ASIN: 
Number of pages: 357
Word Count: 104,215
Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: To save Ev and Tag, Brittany must master the powerful magic of a goddess to stop a sorcerer from raising the Goddess of Carnage from manifesting through the cauldron.

Book Description: 

Brittany is a long way from the scared witch who watched a necromancer murder her mother. She’s grown and more powerful than even she realized as the sorceress she truly is. But all the magic in the world doesn’t mean anything if her best friend and werewolf, Everett Cooper, rejects her again. How many times can a person’s heart break? Brittany isn’t willing to find out. So, when another werewolf asks her out on an actual date, she jumps at the invitation.

Caught between two werewolves, Brittany will need all her friends when one of the pack goes missing. But nothing is ever easy, and magic has a cost that they may not be willing to pay. A trail of disappearances follow in Brittany’s wake, as someone tracks her every magical movement. But to what purpose? To what end?

Brittany has been powerful. 

Brittany has been patient.

Now, will Brittany be enough to save her friends . . . and the world?


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Caught by Surprise

“I’m sorry, what did you just say?” I mumbled, as Tag’s question tumbled around in my head. My brain hitched, unable to follow. The kitchen island was a hard edge at my back as I clutched the sweating glass of soda tight in my hand. Huh, the refrigerator door was open. Did I leave that open? That’s such a waste of energy. Why was I worrying about the electric bill and the energy? God, Brittany, pull it together. Focus!

“I asked if you would like to go to dinner with me,” the werewolf asked . . . again. “On a date,” he clarified as if I hadn’t understood the first time. In all honesty, I hadn’t. I was staring at him with my mouth gaping open wide enough to catch flies but I couldn’t seem to snap myself out of a stupefied shock. His lips turned up in a teasing smirk that made my gut tighten and my brow crinkle in confusion.

“A date?” I asked, my voice uneven and hesitant as I considered. As many times as I’d dreamed of being asked that question by a werewolf—and I had, many many MANY times—the werewolf in my daydreams had never been Tag.

Stewart Taggar was long and lean, towering over my five foot six inches. I wasn’t a giant but I wasn’t tiny either. His red hair was more carrot than auburn but it seemed to shimmer when set against his bronzed skin. He was muscled but not bulky like a lot of the werewolves in the pack. He gazed down at me now in a way that was new or maybe it wasn’t and I just hadn’t noticed. He’d always treated me—I’d thought—like a little sister. Honestly, most of the pack did. Yes, I was only twenty-two and decades or centuries younger than most of the wolves and vampires but that didn’t mean I was a child. Tag wasn’t looking at me like I was a kid, that’s for sure. And I wasn’t sure how I felt about that development.

“Aren’t you a little old for her?” a gruff, clipped voice called from the kitchen doorway. Without my knowledge or permission, my body reacted to that voice in ways that made heat creep into my cheeks. Everett Cooper was three or four inches taller than me at most; lean and muscular. He seemed to be gaining bulk every day and it looked good on him. His sandy blond hair was styled away from his face, exposing the deep navy-blue of his eyes. His gaze fell on me like a weight, not crushing or overwhelming but comforting and all too familiar.

“That’s for her to decide, pup,” Tag responded, with an edge of condescension in his last word that surprised me.

Tag and Ev were friends, or at least had been, I’d thought. I wasn’t sure what was going on between them lately, but something was definitely up. Standing between them, I was ridiculously uncomfortable. Tension boiled in the kitchen until it was a physical heat against my skin as the two werewolves faced off. Sweat beaded on my upper lip. I was waiting for one of them to pee on me and mark their territory or something dumb like that. To be honest, I only wanted one of them to pee on me. Oh God, that didn’t sound right.

“She’s not going anywhere with you, old man,” Ev growled, squaring his shoulders. I perked up at that statement. I may be desperately in-love with Everett Cooper in a shameful and embarrassing sort of way, I wasn’t fool enough to lie to myself anymore about that fact. I was head-over-heels in-love with the idiot. That didn’t mean he could order me around like a piece of property. Because he couldn’t. I did not belong to him.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” I huffed out, throwing my shoulders back in irritation and raising my chin in defiance. I was a strong independent woman, darn it, and even if Ev was the man of my dreams, I wasn’t going to let him talk about me like a piece of meat.

Yes, Ev had kissed me a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it had been a-maz-ing. And yes, I’d said I would wait for him to figure his stupid, insecure, man-baby crap out. But it had been more weeks than I’d like to admit since our kiss and I was tired of waiting for this grown man to figure out what he was going to do with me. If anything. Maybe a little fire under his rear end would move his addled brain along. Or maybe he’d decide I wasn’t worth the effort and let me go. Either way, it was good to know . . . wasn’t it? That’s what I told myself, anyway.

Both men turned, meeting my heavy—okay, angry—stare. I was too young and too cute for heavy. I just didn’t have the menace behind any stare to classify as heavy. Feisty anger though, I could do.

“First,” I started, meeting Ev’s deep, dark, and penetrating gaze. Ugh, he was so cute. Shake it off, Britt. Pull yourself together. “You’re not the boss of me,” I hissed. Tag snorted in laughter and I turned on him, “Second, don’t provoke him.” Tag had the good sense to drop the grin on his face and appear suitably apologetic. “Third,” I said with a bright and cheerful smile that was actually true, and my smiles hadn’t been true for a very long time. “Tag, I would love to go to dinner with you.”

“What?” Ev erupted, wide-eyed surprise clear on his face as he took an aggressive step in my direction.

Ignoring Ev’s apparent surprise, Tag stepped in front of me with his back to Ev, blocking my view of the angry werewolf. “I’ll pick you up tonight at seven.” Clutching my hand in his, Tag squeezed reassuringly and smiled down at me in a way that made me feel like I was his whole world. Something about that expression made my insides flutter and I couldn’t help but grin back at him. I hadn’t expected that look in his eyes or my reaction to his attention. Did that make me an attention-starved idiot? Ugh, maybe it did.

“I’ll be ready,” I said, feeling giddy at the prospect of just being wanted. Yep, attention-starved idiot right here. He squeezed my hand again and strode by Ev, his head just a little bit higher.

“My shift starts soon, so I’ve gotta go but dress up tonight,” he said over his shoulder. “We’re going someplace upscale.”

“We don’t have to,” I said, suddenly feeling awkward at the thought of Tag spending money on me. Somehow, I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of a fancy date. I could clean up, for sure, but I wasn’t very comfortable—like it wasn’t me but a bizzaro-world version of me.

Tag stopped, maybe hearing the uncertainty in my voice or wanting to drive the knife into Ev a little deeper, I don’t know. He turned to me and said, “You deserve the best, Brittany,” meeting my uncertain gaze with a self-confident grin. I blinked hard at him, seeing the man instead of my friend. It was the first time since we’d met—that I could remember, anyway— that he’d called me anything but “G”. He liked to refer to me as Glenda the Good Witch of the North because, by his own words, I had been all pink-fluffy-witchy-goodness when he’d first met me.

Tag continued, “You deserve so much more than anyone can or has ever given you.” With that last parting jibe, he left to go to work at the coroner’s office.

The front door closed behind Tag and silence descended on the kitchen. Uncomfortable and now, suddenly anxious, I turned and made my way around the overly large island toward the stairs. I took the long way around the island, clutching my soda close to my chest and letting the condensation soak into my shirt in an effort to keep as much space between me and Ev as I could.

“You said you’d give me time,” he whispered, sounding pained, or maybe that was anger. I couldn’t tell. Living in a house full of werewolves and vampires meant that nothing was really private unless you worked really hard to keep it that way. At that moment, I couldn’t decipher if he was protecting my privacy or his own.

“I did,” I agreed, turning to meet his now sea-foam green eyes. His wolf was close to the surface, magic flooded his irises with his wolf’s power. That show of power would have worried most people. But not me. I knew in my gut that neither Ev, nor his wolf, would ever hurt me. “I also told you not to wait too long or you might miss your chance.” I was so proud of myself, managing to get the words out without my voice shaking too much. I made my way around him with my shoulders back and my head high, looking to escape as quickly as my two feet would carry me.

“Brit,” he sighed, reaching for me, he caught my hip with the tips of his fingers. I froze at the touch as heat pooled in my center. My breath hitched in my throat and my fingers tightened around the glass. He made me stop and meet his questioning gaze instead of retreating up to my room like I desperately wanted. Ev and I lived in the same house with the vampire colony liege, the werewolf pack alpha, and their significant other—The Blushing Death. It’s a long and complicated story. Our living arrangement had made the last few weeks . . . awkward at best. “Brit, I—” he started but didn’t seem to know how to finish.

“Ev,” I said, wanting very much to ditch this mostly embarrassing and gruesomely uncomfortable conversation. “I’m not your mate. We both know it,” I said, the words sticking in my throat a bit. Werewolves had a mystical fated mate. Some werewolves found that mate over the course of their lifetime and some didn’t. Kurt, the pack Beta, had described it as a string tugging in his chest that linked directly to his mate’s heart.

Voicing the unequivocal fact that I was not Ev’s mate, made my heart break a little bit more each time I said it. Actually, a lot. It crushed me to my very soul. I cannot overstate this fact. Knowing I wasn’t his mate broke me on a foundational level. But the reality was, werewolves had fated mates and I wasn’t Ev’s.

He closed his eyes and breathed deep.

“It’s not fair to me to keep beating around this bush when nothing will ever come of it,” I said around the defeat lodged in my throat.

“You’re not Tag’s mate,” he growled as if that solved everything.

“No, you’re right about that,” I said, very proud of myself for not bursting into tears. “But I don’t love him,” I whispered, wishing desperately that I could suck those words back in. But I couldn’t. I’d said them out loud and to his face. There was no going back now.

His gaze narrowed on me in question and what I thought might be pity. I don’t think I could stand it if he pitied me. Before I could let that thought sink in, he asked, “Then why?”

“Because HE can’t crush me,” I answered succinctly. Blinking back the hot tears now flooding my eyes, I shifted my hip out from under his soft touch and made my way up to my room. Carefully, I closed the door behind me and finally released the tears I’d managed not to shed in front of Everett Cooper.

“Crying again?” a distant voice teased from my desk.

“Stay out of it, Cerridwyn!” I hissed, not wanting either of our voices to be heard by anyone. Everyone pretty much thought the succubus-witch that had killed ten people across Columbus and almost destroyed our house was dead. I hadn’t had the guts or the stomach to kill her. But I had managed to drag her soul out of her body and shove it into an amber amulet. Thinking back on it now, I’m not entirely sure I chose the kinder option. Maybe this was why the preternatural community thought sorceri were evil. Wynne certainly didn’t like being confined to the amulet. I was working up to telling everyone that I’d messed up on that one. Actually, I was trying to find a way to banish her so I wouldn’t have to confess my mistake to anyone. That seemed like a better idea. It was just taking longer than I’d thought. Especially if I didn’t want to destroy her soul in the process which I didn’t.

“So young and stupid,” she muttered loudly, clearly wanting me to hear her.

“I don’t need your two cents, Wynne,” I snapped. I’d come to my room for quiet but had forgotten about the nagging succubus currently residing in the amulet on my desk. How had I ever forgotten? The woman took every opportunity to gripe, badger, harass, or simply voice her opinions. I’d tried silencing her with my magic but it hadn’t worked. Sometimes my magic just did what I wanted with a single thought. Other times, I couldn’t do the simplest parlor tricks. My whole life, all I’d ever been told was how powerful I was. But since my mother’s murder, I haven’t been able to get anything to work right. It was either all or nothing at all. Unless, that is, I was cornered. Then everything seemed to work just fine.

“What two cents? I have no money,” Wynne replied, confused.

I smiled to myself at her confusion. Having been stuck in a vast wasteland of desert and mirrors the succubus-witch had dubbed the In-Between for more than a millennium, sometimes Wynne’s understanding of colloquialisms wasn’t up to scratch. I don’t know why I thought it was funny, but I did.

“Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that you are young and stupid. How many times have you cried over that boy? Too many to count by my opinion.” She huffed at me as if I was wasting her time. All she had was time. Plus, I was pretty sure she secretly loved it. I’d come to understand that Wynne liked to be needed. Who didn’t though? That was the point, wasn’t it? I wanted to be wanted and needed and it didn’t seem like Ev wanted or needed me at all. But maybe Tag did.

“Well, you’ll be glad to know that I have a date tonight,” I said, my chin high. I couldn’t keep the pleased grin from my face, even through the tears. When she stared at me, the words clearly not registering in her mind I added, “I’m going to be spending time with someone tonight in a romantic way . . . a man.”

“The boy finally became a man,” she grumbled and this time I wasn’t so sure she’d intended for me to hear her.

“Ev?” I asked, confused but continued on, “No, Tag. I’m going to dinner with Tag.”

“The soul stealer?” she asked, and I could hear the surprise and disgust in her voice. She almost spat to ward off evil spirits. I could almost see her bright blue eyes the size of saucers in astonishment from the small amulet.

“Wynne,” I said. “Redheads don’t steal souls. They just don’t.” I sighed. “But you know who does?” I asked and she was quiet for a moment, waiting. “Succubi. Succubi steal souls and that’s you.” When she didn’t respond—because I had her on that one—I said, “Tag is a nice guy. He’s steady. And he wants me.”

“Ahh,” she responded in a way that made my blood boil, as if she saw everything and I saw nothing.

“Ahh? What does ahhh mean?” I hissed, angry now. It felt good to be angry and show it. Turns out, I’d been angry for a while and keeping it pent up wasn’t doing me any favors. For some reason though, I felt completely comfortable showing anger to Wynne.

“Nothing,” she clipped, pleased with herself. “Just . . . ahh. Have fun on your . . . date,” she said with a snide lilt. And in the blink of an eye, she was gone, retreating back into her amulet to let me stew. I hated when she did that. She put just enough doubt in my head to make me second-guess everything. Wynne was just mean.

“I will!” I snapped at her, knowing full well she wasn’t listening. I plopped down on my bed and sighed. I would have a good time with Tag. I always had a good time with Tag. We were friends and I wouldn’t let Wynne’s nagging doubts cast a shadow on our date. This wouldn’t be weird at all.


About the Author: 

Suzanne M Sabol is the author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has two Bachelor of Arts degrees with majors in Criminology, International Studies, Russian, and Political Science. She has a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs. She is married with one child and lives in Columbus Ohio.

The Blushing Death Series and the Blood and Bone Legacy are published through Soul Mate Publishing. Editor, Debby Gilbert, can be contacted through their website at http://www.soulmatepublishing.com












 

 



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Warning Adult Content


Happily Ever After
Twisted Versions of Your Favorite Fairy Tales
Elizabeth Black

Genre: Erotica, Erotic Romance, LGBT
Publisher: Chained Hearts Publishing
Date of Publication: July 23, 2020
ASIN: B08DL1JL96
Number of pages: 205
Word Count: Appx. 65,000 words
Cover Artist: Chris Wallace

Tagline: In this series of twisted fairy tales you’ll learn about the steamy encounters the original writers left out. From a gay Pied Piper to Cinderella’s Sex Coach and even a wild encounter on a hunt for bigfoot, these stories reveal a wild side of your favorite fairy tale characters.

Book Description: 

Acclaimed author Elizabeth Black is back with a collection of steamy retellings of your favorite fairy tales, but beware, not every ending is a happy one! Reinventions of Cinderella, Thumbling, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, Snow White, Little Red Riding Hood, The Little Mermaid, The Pied Piper, Peter Pan, and The Shoemaker and the Elves round out this remarkable collection.

From a sexually frustrated Cinderella, to a troll with some very dirty riddles, we see fairy tales twisted and the secret sex lives of your favorite fairy tale characters revealed. Who would have guessed that the shoemaker and his wife were into BDSM, or that the fountain of youth could also change your gender?

Well written, carefully crafted, and super steamy, this is the ultimate collection of erotic fairy tales!


Excerpt – Call of the Piper

“Kiss me there once more.” Henry begged.

“Only if you let me fuck you again.”

“I won’t stop you.”

Henry Mountjoy stretched on his bed as the young man’s mouth wrapped around his engorged cock. He fisted the bed sheets, ready to burst for the second time that afternoon from the best mouth fucking he’d ever had. As that tongue flicked along his shaft, Henry arched his back, stirred by the expertise of his lover. Thin fingers fondled his balls, rolling them around like hacky sacks, and the man played Henry’s cock as if it were a skin flute. Stars burst behind his closed eyes, and his pulse beat hard in his throat. Every nerve on his body tingled with excitement.

No one had ever made love to him with such finesse, certainly none of the village women. No matter now nubile they appeared they stirred no passion in Henry yet he pretended to enjoy their ministrations only to keep his father at bay. He’d enjoyed secret trysts with an occasional butcher and even one veterinarian, but none had affected him the way this man had. The man who tended to his ache arrived in the town only three days earlier, but the instant attraction drove Henry mad until the fellow accosted him in a deserted room in the manor house.

“I want you inside me again.” Henry said.

“Of course, you do. Turn over.”

Fragrant oil dribbled down his ass, and within moments the man entered him; first just the tip until Henry adjusted to his girth, and then he slowly slid his entire cock inside. Henry craved the filled-up sensation from this man whose cock was so huge it threatened to cleave him in two. Henry had entertained all manner of pricks, but this man’s far surpassed the rest. Not only was he large, he knew what to do with it. After several swipes at his sweet spot deep inside, the build-up of arousal overwhelmed Henry, who shot his load all over the clean cotton sheets. His lover pounded hard, driving that stake home until he came with a cry. Warm cum dripped down Henry’s ass and cooled against his thighs. The young man rolled off Henry and took him in his arms, two becoming one in the afterglow of their lovemaking.

“Was it good?” The young man asked.

“What?”

“Your hearing is terrible. I asked ‘Was it good?'”

“Are you kidding? You’re incredible.”

He smiled. “I try.”

“So, when are you going to tell me your name? Even my father doesn’t know your name and he hired you to drive away the rats in town.”

“My name isn’t important. You may call me the Pied Piper.”

“That’s not a name, that’s a title. Aren’t you called Lucas or Jeffrey or something more exotic like Erasmus?”

“No.”

“So, what am I to call you?”

“Call me ‘Master'”.

 

About the Author:

Elizabeth Black’s erotic fiction has been published by Xcite Books (U. K.), House Of Erotica (U. K.), Cleis Press, Circlet Press, eXtasy Books, Chained Hearts Publishing, Ravenous Romance, Riverdale Avenue Books, Scarlet Magazine (U. K.), and other publishers. She also enjoys writing retellings of classic fairy tales, including her two self-published fairy tales “Trouble In Thigh High Boots” (Puss In Boots) and “Climbing Her Tower” (Rapunzel).

An accomplished essayist, she was the sex columnist for the pop culture e-zine nuts4chic (U. K.). Her articles about sex, erotica, and relationships have appeared in Good Vibrations Magazine, Alternet, CarnalNation, the Ms. Magazine Blog, Novelspot, The Erotic Readers and Writers Association Blog, Sexis Magazine, On The Issues, Sexy Mama Magazine, and Circlet blog.











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Unsafe Words

Loren Rhoads

Genre: Horror, Science Fiction,

Dark Fantasy Short Stories

Publisher: Automatism Press

Date of Publication: September 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-1735187600

ASIN: B08HHNQ6XV

Number of pages: 174

Word Count: 55K

Cover Artist: Lynne Hansen

Tagline: Once you’ve done the most unforgivable thing, what will you do next?

Book Description:

In the first full-length collection of her edgy, award-winning short stories, Loren Rhoads punctures the boundaries between horror, dark fantasy, and science fiction in a maelstrom of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll.

Ghosts, succubi, naiads, vampires, the Wild Hunt, and the worst predator in the woods stalk these pages, alongside human monsters who follow their cravings past sanity or sense.

Amazon      BN


 Excerpt from “Here There Be Monsters” from Unsafe Words by Loren Rhoads

Something brushed her leg. Violet kept treading water, legs pedaling below her, but wondered: did the pool have leeches in it? Snapping turtles? Her thoughts darted into paranoia: were there sharks? Piranhas? Anything that might bite?

Not that it mattered. She would stay in this water and be gummed to death by goldfish rather than get out and take her chances with the mountain lion watching her from the side of the pool.

Whatever it was below her tangled in her toes. It felt for all the world like hair. Violet shuddered, losing her rhythm momentarily, but then forced her legs to scissor once more.

She peered down into the murky water. Something below her glowed an icy white color, like moonlight. Like the moon had fallen into the old swimming pool. The temperature of the water around her plummeted. A cramp knotted her left calf. Violet whimpered.

Her head dipped toward the surface of the water. Violet fought to calm herself, to hold herself up by the determined stroking of her arms. She tried to stretch the charley horse from her muscle.

Something very much like a hand touched her thigh.

She shrieked. The sound echoed from the hills surrounding the pool and repeated from the mountain peak on the other side of the valley.

The mountain lion narrowed her eyes and stared at Violet.

Then a girl’s voice said in her ear: “Don’t be afraid.”

Ice flooded her veins and Violet lost the ability to control her limbs. Her head slipped under the surface of the water and she took a breath…and something caught her in its arms and lifted her, coughing, back to the surface. And held her there, safely, until she could breathe again.

Violet’s heart fluttered in her chest, struggling to regain its rhythm. She could see arms around her ribs, holding her up in the water. They were a pale grayish white. Not a natural color. She wondered if it was possible to die of fear.

“Don’t be afraid of me,” the ghost said gently. “I won’t hurt you.”

“I’m afraid to look at you,” Violet whispered. She didn’t trust her own voice, didn’t want to hear the sound of her own terror.

“I’m not horrible,” the ghost promised.

“Did you drown here?”

“A long time ago.”

Violet swallowed hard. Her throat was sore from the water she’d inhaled. She coughed once more, but it didn’t really help. Tentatively, she started to dog paddle.

The ghost released her. Violet turned slowly, to find a girl her own age bobbing alongside her. Her long, long hair was blond, where Violet’s was dark. It was slicked to her skull and green with streaks of pondweed. Her eyes were pale blue, maybe, or green, where Violet’s were brown. The drowned girl wasn’t horrible, even if her skin had gone the color of something kept from sunlight for a long, long time.

“Are you alone here?” Violet asked. The quaver in her voice unnerved her even more, if that were possible. She swallowed again and tried to concentrate on her kicking.

“My boyfriend is here, too,” the ghost said. “He doesn’t like to talk to people.”

“Did you die together?”

“We thought it would be romantic,” the ghost said. “We didn’t realize we’d be trapped here. That’s why I don’t want you to die. You will be trapped here, too.”

“Why are you trapped?”

“A creature roams these woods. A monster. It is hungry for company. It collects us.”

“How many of you are there?” Violet asked, even though she didn’t want to know the answer.

“Lots,” the ghost said sadly. “Lots.”

“I don’t want to be trapped here,” Violet said, “but I don’t know how to get past the mountain lion.”

“There is no mountain lion,” the ghost said. “That’s the monster. It takes many forms.”

 

About the Author:

Loren Rhoads is the author of the In the Wake of the Templars space opera trilogy, co-author of a succubus/angel duology called As Above, So Below, and editor of Tales for the Camp Fire: An Anthology Benefiting Wildfire Relief. She’s also the author of a nonfiction travel guide called 199 Cemeteries to See Before You Die. Unsafe Words is the first full-length collection of her short stories.

Newsletter sign-up: https://mailchi.mp/aa9545b2ccf4/lorenrhoads

Website: https://lorenrhoads.com/

Blog:  https://lorenrhoads.com/blog/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/morbidloren

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/LorenRhoadsAuthor/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/976431.Loren_Rhoads

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/morbidloren 

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MorbidLoren/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvTI4Zh74nsCLGmOBqulRRQ

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Loren-Rhoads/e/B002P905PE/



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Halloween Recipes That Kids Love

Pizza Mummies

Ingredients
2 english muffins, cut in half
8 teaspoons pizza sauce
2 mozzarella cheese sticks
3 green olives with pimentos

**Preheat oven to 400℉.

Place the English muffin halves on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

Remove muffins from oven and spread 2 teaspoons of the pizza sauce onto each English muffin half.

Peel the mozzarella sticks into strings and decoratively arrange them on top of each English muffin. Slice the green olives into 1/4 inch thick rings and place them on top of the cheese to create eyes.*

Bake mummies for 3 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Bloody Eyeballs

Ingredients

½ watermelon

1. Using a melon scooper, scoop the melon into balls, try to vary the size/shape for fun
2. Finish scooping out any excess watermelon and let it sit on the side
3. Take sprite or 7up and pour some into the watermelon for additional flavor.  Use your own judgment for that extra flavor.
4. Take the melon balls and put back into the watermelon and pour the excess watermelon on top for that “gooey appeal”
5. Serve.

Chocolate Pudding Guts

1. Take your favorite chocolate pudding or make your own and place in a large bowl.
2. You want this either room temperature or cold because what you add in it, should not melt.
3. Add marshmallows, gummy bears/worms, nuts, whipped cream (your choosing)
4. Mix so that it is blended and ready to serve in small bowls to the monster hunters and monsters.


The Perfect Monster Party for Kids

I love planning parties, so that’s why I am a Special Event Coordinator on the side, in addition to my many other facets.  This party was such a success for my kids (when they were smaller) and I’ve been planning Halloween parties each year for friends, family and strangers.  

First, know the age group of the kids.  This party is planned for those that are between 6-10.

Invites:

One of the most important steps in party planning is the invite.  This sets the tone.  I created my own invites (using the computer) that outlined all sorts of monsters (no so scary for the little ones but enough to entice the older kids).  

For this invite, I used the following wording:

Do you DARE join us for an amazing monster hunting party?  This is your chance to either slay all the monsters or chase the hunters…..

(Enter party details)

Provide your preference: Monster or Hunter (tell us when you RSVP)

Décor:

Decorate the house or yard to the best you can to simulate monster hunting.  Allow enough room to hide, shoot those arrows, and run!  Yes, run!  That’s the best part.  For the parties, I have a collection of hanging spider webs, coffins, zombies, witches, a lifesize cut out of Van Helsing even.  Decorate your home, keeping with the theme as much as possible.

Guests:

Separate the kids into the two groups, hunters and monsters.  Because my daughter was 4 years older than my son, I hired her and her friends to be additional monsters (after all, it’s Halloween).  They dressed up as Frankenstein, Dracula, Witches, you name it.

Food:

Probably the most important part!  I had two tables: one for the monsters, one for the hunters.  Of course the monsters had foods like “Bloody Eyeballs” (which was simply watermelon scooped into balls), “Intestines” (fruit salad), “Human Fingers” (Hot Dogs),  You get the idea.

The Hunters had things like Hamburgers, Hot Dogs, etc.  

Of course, they could eat off the other table but I made sure each table was similar but definitely meant for the chosen character.  

Drinks were Gatorade, Bloody Water (Shirley Temple), Acid (Green Juice)

And of course, lots of candy.

Games:

The game is Monster hunting of course.  I let the monsters run around and the hunters had their gear.  The kids ran around for hours, stopping only to eat.  What was planned to be a 4 hour party turned into an 8 hour party because the kids had so much fun.


Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy
Book Three
Barb Jones

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
Print ISBN:  9781953271013
eBook ISBN:  9781953271020
ASIN: B08DKK66PM
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words
Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Tagline: Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

Book Description:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart — her friends, her great love — Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people — Chloe and Michael — that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon     BN


Excerpt:

 Malakai, Seattle, Present Day

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.

He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.

…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.

Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling. 

***

Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day

Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.

She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.

A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.

She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.

“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”

She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.

Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her. 

About the Author:

Barb Jones is a paranormal thriller author, IT professional, and the mother of two fantastic children. She is known for her ability to create relatable characters and detailed settings without compromising her unique plots. When people have asked her who she is, she’s been quoted saying, “It can be hard to write at times, but never give up on what you’re passionate about.” She’s a mother, first and foremost, and an author and supernatural enthusiast after. She currently resides in Sarasota, FL, but is a Seattle native at heart. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling and looking for new inspiration for her books.













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It’s Halloween Party Time!

October brings out the party animal in me!

I can’t help it . . . from the extensive decorating (too many orange tubs to count!) to the ghoulish appetizers (including skull Jell-O molds!) . . . I love it all!! But for sake of space, I’ll condense my bump in the night and howl at the moon passions into a list of favorite things.

Favorite childhood scare:  Bella Lugosi’s Dracula

Favorite type of shapeshifter:  Wolf

Favorite Halloween movies:  Wolf, Ernest Scared Stupid, Hocus Pocus, Halloween 2019 

Favorite costume from childhood:  The front half of a donkey 

Favorite scary place:  The Myrtles Plantation outside New Orleans

Favorite scary book: Stephen King’s The Shining 

Favorite paranormal TV shows:  Supernatural, Penny Dreadful (first 3 seasons), Night Gallery, Kolchak the Night Stalker

Favorite otherworldly passion: Collecting Tarot cards 

Favorite Halloween candy:  Snickers 

Favorite Halloween decoration: my animated/lighted Halloween village, now with over ten buildings and graveyard! 

And my other favorite . . . Halloween music videos! For your grim enjoyment, shiver your way through my Halloween Video Playlist on YouTube 

Have a Boo-fully scary (but safe!) holiday




Rise By Moonlight
By Moonlight
Book 15
Nancy Gideon

Genre: paranormal romance/ PNR
Date of Publication:  August 3, 2020
ASIN: B08DKGQV9G
Number of pages: 273
Word Count: 88,571

Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus, Lazarus Art

Tagline: Max and Charlotte return for the explosive conclusion of the “By Moonlight” series . . . and the stakes have never been higher!

Book Description:

He’s the Promised One

A Mobster’s attack dog turned legitimate business powerhouse, Max Savoie is the reluctant leader of New Orleans’ shapeshifter clan. They’ve kept to anonymous shadows, working and living unnoticed by the human world until their new Shifter King’s past draws dangerous outsiders who threaten all.

She’s the Protector

A fiercely determined NOPD detective, Charlotte Caissie has sworn to defend her beloved city and her unborn child from both criminals and otherworldly factions at war. While standing boldly at the side of her mate/husband, secrets from the past return to shake the foundation of her beliefs.

They Have a Problem

Walking a marital tight rope between opposite worlds, Max and Cee Cee’s paths place truth and trust at odds when outside threats force enemies to become allies. The time to take a stand for their family and their future is at hand. Time to rise together for the survival of all they love!

Amazon      Nook     Kobo      iBook


Excerpt

Max hadn’t visited that dark portion of his past for a very long time. Why now? Because of the life his mate carried? Or were the dangerous shadows of unfinished business reaching out from a swampy grave, a reminder of things he’d rather forget?

A rocking chair’s familiar creak. He tensed and twisted anxiously in the throes of his dream. Icy fingers of caution and loss clutched his chest as eyes darted behind closed lids. Unable to deny his desire to look again upon the worn elegance of his mother’s features, he faced his dread the way he’d addressed his life, with a cautious, reluctant need to know the truth . . . of who and what he was.        

Shadows, like those long-ago secrets, hung thick, revealing little of the dark head bent over the child Marie Savoie held in arms both protective and comforting. Max wished she’d look up to feed time-starved memories, craving the gentle curve of her smile and loving warmth in her gaze. He settled for the steadying croon of a voice from the past.

“What is it, Max? Another bad dream? They can’t harm you.”

As much as he loved her, then and now, he’d never quite believed that assurance. Bad things existed beyond the rusty gate imprisoning his youthful curiosity within their overgrown yard for the first five years of his life. He knew because he was one of them, a child of the unnatural world. All he’d wanted was to find his place within it. But his mother had hidden that knowledge from him, just as she’d kept the outside away for as long as she could

“Mama, what’s wrong with me?” that small voice sobbed.

The rocker continued to complain as she stroked the child’s black hair. Her tender gesture failed to calm either boy or the man he’d become.

“Nothing’s wrong with you, Max. You’re perfect. They just don’t understand, so they fear you. That’s why you must be careful to never let them see the truth.”

“What truth?” he’d pleaded. “Mama, tell me!”

Low and soft, Max repeated from where he watched, decades away, “Mama, tell me.”

She brushed a kiss across the top of the child’s flushed brow then slowly straightened, turning toward Max Savoie, a surreal voyeur from the future she’d never see. Her gaze swam with tears like liquid silver before flaring bright, then hot.

Then red.

“Max,” she crooned, “you’re just like me.”


About the Author:

Nancy Gideon is the award-winning bestseller of over 70 romances ranging from historical, Regency, and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal and horror, with a couple of produced screenplays and non-fiction writing books tossed into the mix. Newly retired from 20 years as a legal assistant, she feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin, and fowl, and dotes on her grandguy. She’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West, and Lauren Giddings.











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Celia’s Must-Watch Halloween Movies

Paranormal movies are on my family’s binge-list for Halloween month.  Here are our top picks for you this year. Enjoy!

1. Alien (1979) –  That first glimpse of the alien… Aaaah! Sigourney Weaver rocks.

2. The Lost Boys (1987) – Naughty vampires. A must-see, dark-comedy horror cult classic. 

3. The Shining (1980) – Seriously spooky hotel. Psychological horror both riveting and haunting.

4. Poltergeist (1982) – A majorly haunted house. That bathroom mirror scene…shudder! 

5. A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) – Freddy Kreuger and those claws…don’t fall asleep! Ah!

6. The Ring (2002) / Ringu (1998) – A cursed videotape…creepy crawling girl!

7. Candyman (1992) – Urban legends can be super scary! Don’t say his name…

8. Cloverfield (2008) – A monster in NYC! A struggle to survive, seen via handheld camera.

9. Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Zombies! Super funny, a little scary and 100% worth a watch.

10. The Cabin In The Woods (2012) – Horror comedy at its finest from the fab Joss Whedon. For example:  “Yeah, uh, I had to dismember that guy with a trowel. What have you been up to?” and, “Hey, shh, no. I totally get it. I’m sorry I let you get attacked by a werewolf and then ended the world.”

A Warrior’s Kiss
The Cupid Dating Agency
Celia Breslin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Celia Breslin
Date of Publication: August 4, 2020
ISBN:  9781393477938
ASIN: B08FFCWNF2
Number of pages: 116
Word Count: 28K

Cover Artist: Brantwijn Serrah

Tagline: She’s chasing her dream. He’s after her heart.

Book Description:

French teacher turned entrepreneur, Nicolette Durand has one goal in mind when she leaves the big city for a quaint town in the California wine country, and it has nothing to do with men. Intent on converting the antique store she inherited from her aunt into a booming new business with her bestie, Nicky doesn’t care how many dating edicts the cupids send her, she’s simply too busy. Then a hunk of surly angel crashes into her life. Literally.

Ezekiel is less than delighted when the Almighty assigns him and his elite team of warriors to Earth with instructions to help the cupids. Now Heaven’s top soldiers are running two businesses, including a gastropub where speed dating events are a part of their mission. But Zeke may have to rethink his surly position on this earthbound gig after he meets the kind, considerate and curvy biz owner next door.

Nicky is sure she has no time for a relationship, not even with the gorgeous hunk of heaven who rocks her world, but Zeke is determined to convince her otherwise. Too bad a supernatural disaster and thousands of Hell’s minions intent on destruction and mayhem might stand in their way…

Amazon     Apple Books     BN     Kobo     Scribd     Vivlio


Excerpt:

“Think he’s dead?” The whispered question quieted his internal whining.

Nice voice. Soft and smooth, like velvet. Feminine. Clearly, he wasn’t alone.

“He sure looks dead.” A second woman replied, louder and with a chuckle.

He suppressed a scowl and kept his eyes closed. She thinks this is funny?

Bodies shifted behind whatever his head had cracked into, edging closer to either side of him.

“There’s no blood, though,” she of the velvet voice murmured. “Shouldn’t there be blood? […].”

Ah, their business neighbor. She came to a halt near his head, her body heat and peaches-and-honey scent saturating his senses. He should open his peepers and say something, see if the female looked as good as she sounded and smelled.

Shit. Where had that reaction come from? He had no room in his life for a woman, especially not a mortal woman.

“Maybe we should check for a pulse,” the one Peaches had called Maya suggested.

“I’m not touching his body.”

Fast reply from Peaches. Jesus, did he look so horrible? And double Jesus, why did her opinion matter? He must have hit his head harder than he imagined.

“C’mon, girlfriend. It’s a big, beautiful body. How can you not want to get your hands on it?”

Listen to your girlfriend, Peaches. No. Wait. Belay that order.

“Really, M? One-track mind much?”

He tensed to haul his ass upward, but a soft, gentle hand landed on his shoulder, feather light, then slid down his bare arm, kicking up a riot of electric sensation along his skin. He should move, but damn if he didn’t want to see what she would do next. Or touch next.

Warm fingers palpated his inner wrist, right over his madly beating pulse. Racing for her? A human female he hadn’t even laid eyes on? Shit. […]

Eyes shooting wide, he sat up.


About the Author:

Celia lives in California with her husband, daughter, and two feisty cats. She writes urban fantasy and paranormal romance, and has a particular fondness for werewolves, vampires, the Fae, and warrior-class angels. Her stories are action-packed and typically include one of the many varieties of romantic entanglements: fated mates, second chance, rescue romance, opposites attract, friends to lovers, enemies to lovers, and more.

When not writing, you’ll find Celia exercising, reading a good book, hanging with her family, or indulging her addiction to Joss Whedon’s TV shows and movies, as well as everything in the Marvel Universe franchise.












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Who Let the Demon Out?
Badass Demon Bounty Hunters 
Book One
Naomi Bellina

Genre:  Darkly Funny Urban Fantasy,
Comedy, Humor, UF
Date of Publication:  8/21/2020
ASIN:  B089NFXVFT
Number of pages: 156
Word Count:  43,443
Cover Artist: Chris Kridler   

Tagline:  How hard can it be to send an escaped demon back to hell?

Book Description:

Not only is her suicide attempt thwarted by a stranger, but when she comes back from the dead, Sable is tasked by Lucifer to find and return to hell a demon she let loose. If she doesn’t, she’ll be sent to the darkest level of the afterlife when she dies.

The woman Jack pulled from a running car is obviously disturbed and her story about Lucifer and demons is bullshit. But she has the name of a dead man written on her arm and Jack wants to know why.

Since it’s Jack’s fault she’s in this mess and his skills from a background in the security business are useful, Sable recruits him for her find-the-demon mission, which turns out to be all kinds of difficult. Not only can demons inhabit human bodies, they have other nasty tricks up their sleeves, like incinerating objects and people who get in their way.

It also turns out the inhabitants of hell lie and that things on Earth are not what they appear. Nor are things in her own world, Sable discovers, as she battles to complete her mission before time runs out and it’s impossible to send the demon back.

Amazon         Books2Read

Excerpt:

One minute I was surrounded by white light and the scent of lavender. The next minute I was on my back in the dirt with a guy straddling me and pounding my chest.

“You awake? You alive? Shit.”

Hard to see much in the dark, but the full moon shining through the oak trees showed me his brown eyes, open wide and filled with fear.

“You’re alive. Jeez, woman.” He took his hands away and leaned back on his heels.

He smelled like garlic and motor oil, and he needed to get the hell off of me because a violent churning in my stomach meant …

“Move.” I shoved him and rolled to my side.

He did, fast enough to get out of the way while I hurled the contents of my stomach onto the ground. I made my way to my hands and knees and retched a little more.

“Here.” The guy tapped my shoulder. “Water.”

I took the bottle he offered, rinsed and spit, then drank. A chunk of something went down my throat and I almost puked again. Rinse, spit, rinse, spit. Hope he didn’t want the bottle back.

A loud pop like a gunshot and a flash of light to my left made me swivel my head and instantly regret the move as my gut reacted by gurgling another warning.

The man looked in that direction too. “What was that? Are you alone out here?” he asked.

“As far as I know. Did you see something?”

“I don’t know.” He assumed a fighting stance, legs slightly spread, hands curled in fists at his side, then turned in a slow circle, studying the woods around us.

We both stayed silent for a moment as he continued to scan the area. I pulled in deep breaths, trying to convince my gut to settle down.

“An animal,” the man said and turned back to me. “Are you all right?”

No. Duh. He’d just pulled me out of a running car filled with carbon monoxide.

“Why the hell did you do that?” I asked.

“Do what?”

“Stick your nose in my business.” I stood, wobbled a little, but I could stay upright and possibly walk.

“You about died. I saved you,” he said.

“I about died because I wanted to.” I moved toward my car. “Pretty damn obvious, dude. What are you doing out here in these woods anyway?”

I’d chosen this parking area that accessed a hiking trail on the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina because no one came here at night. No one was supposed to, anyway.

It would have been easier to fill up a garage with carbon monoxide, but I lived in an apartment and didn’t have one. I thought about using a friend’s place or renting a storage unit, but that meant someone would be in for a super-crappy day when they found my dead body in the morning. I didn’t want to be the cause of someone having a super-crappy day.

“I come here between calls,” he said. “You need to get medical attention.”

I walked back to my car, and he didn’t follow, which was good because I was likely to punch him. It’d taken every ounce of courage I could muster to set this up, and he’d ruined it. Now my car had holes in the exhaust system and floor, my stomach was about to turn inside out and my head hurt like a son of a bitch.

And I was still alive.

“Get the hell out of here and leave me alone.” I reached my car and leaned on it. He’d turned off the ignition and left the door open, but it still stank like poison.

“I’ll take you to the hospital. Come on.” He gestured with his hand.

I reached into the glove box, pulled out the Glock 19 I’d stolen/borrowed from my dad in case I needed a plan B (Dad had a buttload of firearms; he’d never miss this one), and pointed it at the guy. My arm shook, but I held it steady enough. “I said get out of here. Now.”

He raised his hands. “Okay. Take it easy. I’m going. You can keep the water.”

His hands remained in the air as he backed up slowly. Good. He wasn’t an idiot hero type. Just a knight in a stained T-shirt instead of shining armor, trying to rescue the girl. Except this girl didn’t need rescuing.

I didn’t lower the gun until the red glow of his truck taillights disappeared. When I did let my arm fall, it shook. I sat back down in the car. Okay, no biggie. Shut the doors, crank it up, finish the job. I could do it. That was the only way. Who was I kidding? There was no plan B. I totally couldn’t put a gun in my mouth. The knight wouldn’t come back again and stop me. Would he?

An owl hooted, and the wind blew a scent of wet leaves my way, the smell of strolls with Jasper, the world’s weirdest cat, who liked to go for walks on a leash in the woods.

“Step out of the car, would you please?”

Holy crap! I about broke my neck swiveling toward a voice that came from the entrance to the parking area. A man stood far enough away I couldn’t see him clearly, just an outline. I slid all the way inside, shut my car door and locked it. He stepped closer.

Not the same dude that screwed up my plan. This guy was tall, blond, wearing tight black jeans and a long-sleeve black shirt. I didn’t see another vehicle. Where the hell did he come from?

“Get away. I’m calling the police,” I yelled through the closed window. I reached for my phone. Oh yeah. I didn’t have a phone. Since I’d planned to die that night, I’d canceled my contract and told my carrier to stick their overpriced rates up their butts.

One of the best moments I’d had while preparing for my death.

 

About the Author:

Naomi Bellina lives in sunny Florida with the love of her life and the world’s chattiest cat. Her interests include dancing, motorcycle riding, drumming and eavesdropping on strangers’ conversations for plot ideas. She used to worry about the battles between her cheery disposition and her dark imagination, but now they’re best friends and drink coffee and write books together. Her motto: Never pass up the opportunity to have an adventure!










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Full Moon in Leo
Brooklyn Ray

Genre: Queer Holiday Romance

Date of Publication: October 1, 2020
ISBN: 9798681122579
ASIN: B08H1P6X2R
Number of pages: 210
Word Count: 65,000

Cover Artist: BookCoverZone

Tagline: Small-town magic, two heavy hearts—one unforgettable winter solstice

Book Description:

Cole Morrison left Jewel’s snow-covered fir trees ten years ago. But after a disastrous family Thanksgiving, Jewel seems like the only place left to go. When a run-in with a gorgeous stranger leaves him with debt to pay, Cole’s escape from his past turns out to be much more than a lonely Christmas vacation.

Jesse Carroway, the local Jewel witch, has been running his family’s successful, small-town Apothecary ever since his grandmother passed away. When Cole stumbles into his shop and accidentally wrecks a good portion of his inventory, Jesse does the only thing he can possibly think of—offers Cole a job and himself some help for the upcoming holiday rush.

Cole’s clumsy with candles and doesn’t trust easily, but soon Jesse gets a peek at the guy behind his bad-boy reputation. As the nights lengthen toward Yule, Jesse wonders if magic is to blame or if Cole might’ve fallen into his life for a reason…

Excerpt

Honeycomb littered the counter.

Jesse sprinkled golden shards into the scrub and closed his eyes, imagining prosperity and hope and truth, the ingredients needed to solidify the spell, cocooning around each piece of salt. The spell shifted. Strengthened. Like a lock, the honeycomb sealed everything in place.

“Will that work?” Cole asked. He crouched next to the reassembled shelf, scratching idly behind Waffles’ ear.

A smile pulled his mouth upright. “Yeah, it’ll work.”

“What happens now?”

“We package everything, tie a pretty bow around the jars, and put them out. Here, I’ll show you how to shelve product. Use the wooden spoons and scoop the salt into the jar. Fill it to…right about”—Jesse tapped the jar an inch below the top—“there.”

Cole followed directions easily. Every movement was slow, deliberate and precise, mirroring Jesse as best he could. Once they’d finished, Jesse showed him how to tie a bow around the lid with thin-cut burlap.

“I’m not great at this,” Cole said through a grimace, fiddling with a sad, droopy bow.

“Don’t think too much.” Jesse batted his hands away and undid the bow, retying it with practiced ease. “If you try to make it perfect it’ll look forced and…” He smoothed out the burlap, tipping his head back and forth as he searched for the right words. “Disingenuous. I mean, that’s pretty solid advice around here. Magic is messy and weird, but it’s honest. It never tries to be something it isn’t. Same with candle making and bath bombs and everything else. Don’t dwell on making your gift wrap look exactly like mine, just do your best to make it pretty.”

“I don’t exactly know how to make things pretty, Jesse.”

Jesse tied a bow, a little crooked, but good enough. He untied it again and handed the burlap to Cole. “Try again.” Cole held the ribbon so tight his hands quivered. Jesse could almost feel it—bones apprehended, too tense and strained to do any good. “Okay, hold on. You’re, like, ridiculously tense.” He heaved a sigh. “Can I try something?”

Cole’s flighty gaze swept to Jesse’s face. “Something?”

Jesse pushed the packaged jars aside and placed the stone bowl on the counter between them. He glanced over one shoulder. Then the other. There. He snatched the water bottle. “Can I see your hands?”

Cole didn’t move at first. His jaw flexed. Caution flared behind his eyes. Jesse waited, nodding from his open palm, dangling over the bowl, to Cole’s, twitching on the counter. His hesitation remained, even as he unbuttoned his cuffs and let Jesse take his hand.

Carefully, Jesse smoothed the leftover salt scrub over Cole’s knuckles, pulled one hand closer and pressed his thumbs to the center of Cole’s palm. Like this, guarded and entirely human, Cole gentled. His shoulders relaxed. Tension drained from his fingertips. Jesse focused on his hands, each one, pushing and kneading while Cole stood entirely too still, attention fixed on him.

The apothecary went quiet. Sometimes pressing trust through skin held more power than smiles or stories. As he worked the salt into Cole’s calloused hands, Jesse realized he probably hadn’t been touched this tenderly in a long, long time.

“Do these mean anything?” Jesse traced the edge of the koi fish tattoo on his left hand. Laced their fingers. Squeezed.

Cole’s throat bobbed when he swallowed. “Apparently they bring good fortune. Figured I could use some of that.”

“And this one?” He took Cole’s other hand, touched the wolf on his forearm, then went back to massaging the base of his fingers.

“I’ve been a lone wolf since I was young.”

“Wolves usually run in packs, right?”

“Usually,” Cole said, voice hushed and low.

Jesse wanted to read his palm. He wanted to map Cole’s past and future, find where his heart line met his destiny, just to test the universe. Is this a coincidence, he wanted to ask. Is there even such thing? He poured water over Cole’s hands and washed the scrub away.

“Better?”

Cole wrung his hands. “Yeah, much better.”

“Try again.”

This time, Cole’s hands moved fluidly, pulling a pretty bow into place. He smiled at the jar. Pride looked good on him. “Did you cast a spell on me?” he asked, grinning.

Jesse’s stomach fluttered. Don’t blush. He aimed his laughter at the ceiling and shook his head. Don’t you dare. “Not yet.” He reached for the keys in the drawer below the cash wrap and twirled them around his finger. “See you tomorrow?”

Cole’s brows twitched and his lips parted, but he cleared his throat and nodded. “Yeah, I’ll see you in the morning.”

Jesse wanted to ask him what he’d planned to say—what he wanted to say. “Goodnight, Cole.”

Cole knelt to pet Waffles before he shrugged on his jacket. He tossed a smile over his shoulder, footsteps crunching through snow on the sidewalk.

Jesse let out a deep breath. He glanced at Waffles, who sat on her haunches, staring back at him.

“Don’t look at me like that,” he whispered, and rolled leftover salt between his fingers.

About the Author:

Brooklyn Ray (they/them) is a fan of fresh brewed tea, long walks through the woods, and evenings spent reading sexy books. They write Queer Paranormal Romance and Erotica about witches, necromancers, and other magical creatures, and moonlight as a tarot and palm reader in the Pacific Northwest.

Find them on Instagram @ brooklynrayauthor











Dreams of Thunder
Dreams
Book Two
Christian Cura

Genre: urban fantasy
Date of Publication: 10.03.2020
Number of pages: 225
Word Count: 59,000

Cover Artist: Christian Cura

Tagline: And if you wrong her, shall she not revenge?

Book Description:

Magical outlaws roam free on the West Coast. The enforcers are stretched thin in their efforts to stem the tide of chaos.

The Council headquarters is on the brink of assault and the lives of the Council members hang in the balance.

At the center of it all, is Saba Qureshi, a woman scorned by the draconian measures of the Council. They executed her grandfather and robbed her family of their status and fortune.

Now Saba is coming for them, and she’s not alone…



Excerpt:

“Guys. We’ve just been spotted,” Kara called over their skirmish.

The bickering halted as the two women swiveled their heads, looking for the threat.

Four reptiles exploded out of an alley and scrambled across the brick facades as “Another One Bites the Dust” played in the background.

“Shit!” Selene shouted. She stomped on the gas pedal, but the jeep barely accelerated.

“The food is weighing us down!”

Nora intersected her fingers, spoke a magical word, and the food glowed with her purple energy. It lifted off the floor a few inches and the jeep sped up.

Wind blew through the open cabin while the demons gave chase.

Kara’s heart pounded as malevolent creatures glared at them from above.

Their muscular legs sprinted over the windows and ledges, their long tails whipping behind them.

Selene veered around a corner and the inertia knocked Kara into the door.

Another group of lizards emerged onto the street and scuttled after the jeep.

Kara unbuckled her seatbelt and stood up. Her clothes rippled in the wind and her golden hair lashed against her cheeks. A set of glowing knives appeared in her hands and burned like stars as the evening settled. She hurled a knife at the closest reptile and buried it in the demon’s eye.

The creature tumbled to the street and before it hit the ground, Kara struck down another. One of the demons took the lead on the right and pushed off the wall.

The lizard twisted its body and lunged at her with claws outstretched.

She gasped and ducked beneath it and watched as it flew over her head.

It landed on the opposite sidewalk and bounded after them. The creature dove for the jeep, but she pierced its throat with a dagger.

She ripped her knife free just as another demon dropped from the air and latched onto the vehicle.

Talons raked across Kara’s chest, and she cried out. She staggered backward and repelled it with a rippling shockwave.

Warm blood seeped through her sweater as she hurled a dagger at the falling demon and finished it off.

Glowing serpents leaped out of the front passenger seat and strangled two more lizards.

Kara struck down the last demon just as five more lizards scrambled around the corner.

She let her weapons dissolve and brought her hands together at her middle. She muttered a magical phrase as the wind drowned out her voice. Her center of power roared like a furnace and unleashed waves of fire that surged into her hands. A white ball of flame appeared between Kara’s palms and she pushed it forward, unleashing a steady stream of fire over the street.

The roofs of the buildings were instantly ablaze.

Demons were consumed by the flames and Kara watched as their fiery corpses tumbled through the air.


About the Author:

Christian Cura is a new author who just recently published his debut novel Dreams of Fire. Ever since he read Lord of the Rings as a teenager, it has been his dream to write and publish a novel of his own. His favorite authors include J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and Robert Jordan. Christian lives in Northern Virginia where he lifts weights at home and creates artwork. He is a Gryffindor, an Earth-bender, and a loyal follower of Optimus Prime. When he is not writing, he can be found drawing or getting beaten up at his MMA gym.









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Awaken
The Goddess Incarnate
Book One
B.L. Callaghan

Genre: YA/NA Fantasy
Urban Fantasy, Supernatural
Publisher: Bianca Callaghan
Date of Publication: August 12, 2020
ISBN:  9780648844853
ASIN: B08DF5GDDT
Number of pages: 340

Cover Artist: B.L. Callaghan

Tagline: How do you choose a side, when everybody lies?

Book Description:

A hidden world readying for war. A woman destined to tip the balance. But how do you choose a side, when everybody lies?

Sapphira Dawn was told she was the new Goddess Incarnate, the most powerful being on Earth.

At nineteen, she didn’t feel powerful – she felt betrayed and angry.

Suddenly thrust into a world that she knows nothing about, a world where magic and monsters actually exist, Sapphira races to learn all she can about her magic.

And to find her place in this dangerous new world.

Some of the monsters want to use her, the others just want her dead.

But can she gain the knowledge needed to stop an impending war before it spills into the human realm she once called home?

 

About the Author:

B.L. Callaghan is an Australian Foster Carer and Educator with over a decade of industry experience.

She runs the Facebook page “More Than A Foster Carer”, where she shares her experience working with the foster system.

B.L. Callaghan lives in rural New South Wales with her husband, a changing number of children, a dog and some chickens.

As a self-proclaimed creative soul, she has had a passion for writing fiction from an early age. When she’s not wrangling chickens, children, or dogs, B.L. Callaghan love tagging along on epic quests, and being whisked off on magical adventures.

B.L. Callaghan write children’s books for children in the foster care system, as well as YA and NA titles







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The Genesis of Seven
The Empyrean Trilogy
Book One
Sara M Schaller

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Designs by Seraphim
Date of Publication: July 7, 2020
ISBN: 9781732516205 
ISBN: 9781732516212 
ISBN: 9781732516229 – ebook
Number of pages: 368
Word Count: 86,902
Cover Artist: Sara M Schaller

Tagline: In the beginning he was one of us.

Book Description:

Eighteen-year-old Jordan Conway has always wanted to help people, but helping seven archangels to achieve their divine duty was never quite what he had in mind…

When Jordan is entrusted by the head nun of his orphanage to deliver a mysterious backpack to a New York City address, he comes unexpectedly face-to-face with Archangel Gabriel. Their acquaintance fast uncovers a labyrinth of secrets that connect Jordan’s once-normal life to an ancient heavenly prophecy. Now, he must help Gabriel to reunite the archangels before evil forces grow too strong.

Soon, Jordan and Gabriel find themselves on a divine quest across the globe, while deep in the pits of Hell, Satan plots his return to earth. To gain control, however, Satan needs the powerful prophetic objects locked safe inside Jordan’s backpack—and the devil will stop at nothing to get what he wants.

With that notion threatening his only family and the safety of his newfound friends, Jordan must do whatever it takes to protect the ones he loves and help the archangels succeed. If that means sacrificing all he thought he knew to go to war with the devil himself? Bring it on.



Amazon      BN     IndieBound


Excerpt:
“Run!” Sister Helen shouted.
Somehow, my body obliged. My legs carried me down the alleyway, past dumpsters and trashcans. At the street, I stopped briefly to figure out where to go next. I glanced at the paper and realized I had a bit of distance to cover. The address was near Central Park, but the orphanage was in the opposite direction. In fact, the orphanage wasn’t even in Manhattan. There wasn’t time to figure out a route though. At the sound of running footsteps, I looked over my shoulder and saw two men dressed in black fast approaching.
Without a second thought, I broke into a sprint and headed right.
I’d never been chased in my life and soon realized I was the worst person for it. I kept running straight for blocks. Not once did I try to evade my chasers. I was merely in flight mode, running forward without a thought of where I had to go. The backpack hit my shoulders every time I moved my legs, creating a rhythm my heartbeat began to mimic. I was scared senseless, had no idea what to do, and was weighed down by the duffel bag, which gave me a weird, galloping stride.
As I raced on, some unknown part of my brain took over and told my legs to veer left into an alleyway. My chasers passed by, unsuspecting, though they soon backtracked and followed. At that point, my run became a series of quick turns and dashes through side streets and alleys in an attempt to evade them.
Breathing hard, heaving the cursed bag, and almost tripping over my own feet, I came to a standstill in front of a chain-link fence. Did this seriously have to turn into some iconic movie chase? I groaned as I sized up my new enemy, wondering why I never took gym class seriously. Surely, completing the rope climb—something I’d never successfully achieved—would come in handy right about now.
At the last second I decided to backtrack, but the two chasers blocked my path. One was a big, burly man, and the other was the second guy from the subway, who was much taller and leaner than his accomplice.
Frustrated, I ran up to the fence and swung my duffel bag through the air. It landed surprisingly safe on the other side of the chain-link barrier. Without a moment’s hesitation, I ran and jumped at the tall gate, latching onto it with my hands. Flashbacks of the rope climb came to mind, and I knew this wasn’t going to be easy. In a struggle, I scrambled up as my chasers approached.

By some miracle, I made it to the top, and I was preparing to swing my leg over and ring that fictitious bell when a hand gripped my ankle. When I looked down, a menacing skull tattoo met my gaze.

About the Author:

Sara M Schaller is a paralibrarian, publishing professional, and young adult author. She lives in Colorado with her mom, dad, brother, and four furry canine siblings. Sara loves the world of pop culture and the performing arts, so when she is not reading or writing, she is either watching movies and shows, attending conventions, or going out to see live performances. She likes to write stories for all ages in the fantasy genre, and her writing usually contains elements of speculative fiction and features a large cast of characters. Sara has a Bachelor’s degree in English, Art History, and Religious Studies from the University of Denver, and a Master’s degree in Publishing from Pace University. For five years, Sara worked as a graphic designer, and her creativity in design carries over into other areas of her life like writing. You can visit her online at http://www.saramschaller.com.








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Fighting for Home
Descendants of the Amazoi
Book One
Kim Richards

Genre: fantasy/historical fantasy
Publisher: Kim Gilchrist
Date of Publication: July 2020
Print ISBN: 978-1-952564-00-0
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952564-02-4
Number of pages: 241
Word Count: 87,616

Cover Artist: Dawné Dominique DusktilDawn  Designs

Book Description:

In 300 B.C.—the Greco-Roman Age—tribes of warrior women thrived near the Black Sea. The area is now modern-day Turkey. The Greeks called them Amazoi (meaning Mankiller).

Inspired by their story, Fighting for Home sings the tale of one tribe as they battle to save their way of life. Healing magic is real! Ilenea and Saphira, the wolf sisters, battle close to home with others of their generation. A healer priestess named Essla travels to a temple of Artemis at Anthela with her male slave, bringing a call to arms for the pending war. She meets and falls in love with a Roman General.

Whatever the outcome, this war changes everyone.

Amazon      Kobo       BN       Smashwords


Excerpt:

Thup. Thup. The second archer cried out as two of Xanthi’s arrows buried themselves into his thigh and hip. He let his own arrow fly. Leaves rustled where his arrows disappeared among the tree branches. He fumbled with an arrow, trying to notch it quickly when he heard the rustle again.

The archer looked up as Xanthi leaped from the bushes with her spear in hand. There was no time for him to raise his bow before the bronze point burrowed its way through his leather cuirass, seeking the tender flesh beneath.

At his wretched cry, the shield man to the left took a wild swing with his sword. He caught Xanthi just below the left collarbone. It sliced through her leather jerkin, taking breast flesh with it.

Crying out from the pain, she fell to her knees as blood poured from the gash. One hand pressed against the wound as her other fumbled for her knife.

Xanthi’s man turned his attention from her. He should’ve advanced. Celete used it to her advantage and swung her axe up the inside of his shield. It’s blade cleaved his stomach wide open. His guts spilled out over her hand—hot and sticky. He toppled sideways, landing in the dirt before Xanthi. With a roar befitting any lioness, she clawed at his face for what he did to her.


About the Author:


Kim Richards lives in Northern California with her husband and pets. She loves the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Her hobbies include reading, writing, sewing, LARPing, and listening to music.









Halloweenish Playlist by Catherine Stine Enjoy!

I Feel Like a Monster – The Ruffians

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwK02Rrn-J4

I Put a Spell on You – Nina Simone

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xDprYZ-tgiA

Alice Underground – Avril Lavigne

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JMeiP69HlCM

The Devil Went Down to Georgia– metal version by Leo Moracchioli

(Original by Charlie Daniels Band)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTdeQIY0jjs

Season of the Witch – Donovan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAzTnsSgs2s

Heartless – The Fray version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBTdJHkAr5A

Black Magic Woman – Santana

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wyQUCYl-ocs

Mephistopheles of Los Angeles – Marilyn Manson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-sD5Xy2N-E

Hunting for Witches – Bloc Party

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmPNuruWMTA

Deep Six – Marilyn Manson

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R5Dpcm8_6Kw

Heavy Like a Witch – All Them Witches

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhzvanE-O14

Do You Believe in Magic? – Lovin’ Spoonful

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDYNuD4Cwl


Alpha’s Revenge
Royal Alpha Wolves Club
Book Three
Shared World Series
Catherine Stine

Genre: Werewolf Shifter Romance
Publisher: Konjur Road Press
Date of Publication: September 3, 2020
ISBN: ISBN: 978-1-7333901-4-9
ASIN: B08CWVBZM7
Number of pages: 165
Word Count: 42k
Cover Artist: Crown Atlantic

Book Description:

A heartbroken furious alpha, a forbidden childhood crush revisited.

Will karmic justice destroy them both?

From the languid, sexy heat of New Orleans, all the way to the icy Canadian Wilderness, supernatural creatures live shadow lives amongst mortals. But what if one of the most powerful and regal of beings—wolf shifters—found their packs disappearing through longstanding battles and vicious payback?

The Royal Alpha Wolves Club, a worldwide, ancient organization formed to keep order and secrets safe among werewolf packs is faced with this very dilemma. So, when the club leader gives the dire order for all royals to find a mate and produce an heir within a year it’s in the wolf shifters’ best interest. Wayland, though, is not on board.

Meet Wayland Leblanc—legendary royal alpha, hell-bent on revenge for his murdered mate. When the edict comes down from the leader in his new territory that all royals mate and produce an heir within the year or lose royal status, Wayland hits the road. He’s not ready. Instead, he charges up to Canada in his mini-camper, to wreak revenge on Thorn, the Tundra shifter who killed his mate Sabine and their unborn babe. He conscripts an army of coyote shifters in his revenge plot, and stuffs down his lingering heartache by partying with neighboring witches.

What he doesn’t plan for is falling hard for Stormy, Thorn’s mysterious sister. But pursuing a star-crossed Juliet to his Romeo just might cost Wayland and Stormy their lives.

4 books. 4 authors. 4 alphas. 1 shared world.



“Who are you?” It was dawning on him. Could it be his old Tundra playmate, Stormy? They hadn’t seen each other for years. It was rumored that Thorn had kept her so protected it was like she was locked in his ivory tower prison. Holy damn, if it was Stormy, he should have nothing to do with her. She was Thorn’s little sister. Could he still be confused? He’d just been hit so hard that maybe his brain had gone freaking haywire. “Where’s Ransom?”
          “He’s alive but you messed him up good. Why are you coming around, so angry, gunning for a fight? You look so familiar, but… ” She ran a cooling cloth over Wayland’s swollen eye. She smelled of forest phlox and river moss—of the Canadian tundra in summer. He struggled to get up again and realized she’d tied his arms, torso and ankles down with thick vines. He didn’t believe in hurting a woman. But his rage bubbled dangerously close to the surface. If he stayed like this too much longer, and she leaned closer to him as she cleaned his wounds he might not be able to stop from snapping his head up and biting her.
          “Why the hell did you tie me up?” he snarled.
          “For your own safety and for mine. You seemed unhinged. Who are you anyway? You look so familiar.”
          “Wayland. I used to live around here.”
          “Wayland!” She stopped cleaning his swollen eye and stared down at him. “Wayland Leblanc.”
          “Yeah, a damn Leblanc. The Tundras, led by your vicious brother slaughtered us a year ago in case you need reminding. Bunch of fucking savages,” he growled.
          “I know who you are. Your father killed my father.”

          “So, you are Stormy, Thorn’s sister,” he muttered. The very man I’m hunting down.

 

About the Author:

Catherine Stine is a USA Today bestselling author of historical fantasy, paranormal romance and sci-fi thrillers. Witch of the Wild Beasts won a second prize spot in the ‘19 RWA Sheila Contest. Other novels have earned Indie Notable awards and New York Public Library Best Books for Teens. She lives in Manhattan, grew up in Philadelphia and is known to roam the Catskills. Before writing novels, she was a painter and children’s fabric designer. She’s a visual author when it comes to scenes, and she sees writing as painting with words. She loves edgy thrills, perhaps because her dad read Edgar Allen Poe tales to her as a child. Catherine loves spending time with her beagle Benny, writing about supernatural creatures, gardening on her deck, traveling and meeting readers at book fests.






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Below Dark Waters
Dalya Series
Book Two
Katie Zaber

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: Sept 17th
ISBN: 9781005138066
ASIN:  B08GTX3MFP
Word Count: 85,997

Cover Artist: Agata Bukovero

Tagline: A wayward princess, a lethal woman, and a madam trained in espionage—all strangers to each other, but their fates are entwined. Each choice they make will impact the world of Dalya greater than any man’s decision.

Book Description:

Princess Megan, who never had a reason to assume she was anything but human, has been on the run, protected by her friends. With each step toward the city of Delmont, she hopes they will have time to regroup before setting sail to the Ka’Pamau Islands, their final destination.  Instead, her bad luck shadows her and chaos continues to ensue everywhere she goes—including a new part of the world that most air breathers have yet to explore. Confronted with another royal family and a smitten prince whose advances turn cold, she faces another life-altering decision with ramifications she can’t possibly begin to guess at.

Back on land, Lilly reveals more of her secrets, her story, and her goals. Monumental changes and challenges are headed her way as she embraces her new role in life.

On the sea, Aunt Carmia is stirring up trouble while continuing her hunt for the treasure she most desires. She experiences upheavals, but she is always prepared for the unknown.

As their stories unfold, they remain unaware how fate connects them in the world of Dalya.

Amazon     Smashwords     BN     Kobo
Excerpt:

Megan

There’s no point in me lying in bed all night. It’s not like I’m trapped in a Dalya dome. At least there’s a bar for me to sit at while I can’t sleep. Moving as quietly as possible, I change and sneak out of the room. Kilyn is fast asleep and Mana is either asleep or is pretending to be. The hallway is still. There are no voices coming from the other rooms, so I’m going to assume everyone else is asleep.
Downstairs, Meeka sits at a table, chatting with another white-haired man. Two other tables are occupied, but there are at least ten empty tables to choose from. By the fireplace, a low fire crackles and I decide that a seat by the fire is not what I want. It looks inviting but reminds me of too many dark things. I shudder and take a seat on a stool at the driftwood bar. There’s one other man at the far end of the bar, cloaked in shadow, not bothering to look up from his drink as I sit down.
Heda comes from the back of the kitchen with a mug in her hands. She takes a sip before setting it down on the counter. “Can’t sleep, dear?”
“No. Can’t remember when I did,” I say. “Got anything to help with that?”
She gives me a sly smile. “I think I can help.”
Heda slides bottles out from under the counter and starts pouring them into a glass. Most of them are clear, except two. She adds a drop of amber and green liquid. I can’t say if it’s alcohol or not. Last, she takes out a glass jar and takes out a pinch of ground orange powder.
I’m not sure if I should drink this otherworldly concoction.
“Here you go. You’ll sleep till sunrise and feel refreshed, guaranteed.”
I stare down at the eight-ounce glass of mystery. “What’s in it?”
“A bit of everything, plus a little something extra. I make it for Meeka when he can’t sleep.”
“Are you normally this busy at night?” I ask.
“Sometimes. Sometimes busier. The regulars are here, plus an unfamiliar face or two.” She scans the room, glancing over at the two I suspect are new.
The one man her eyes stop on has long, scraggly black hair past his chin and an unkempt beard. He is wearing a hat that reminds me of a witch; it even has a pointy top and wide brim. With his back to us, he faces the fireplace with his shoulders hunched. The other man is the one at the other end of the bar. Neither looks talkative. Good. I’m not in the mood for a conversation either.
The door swings open. A scowling human woman stands in the threshold wearing a brown buttoned-down blouse and pants tucked into calf-high boots. At her hip is a dagger, on her back is a quiver secured tightly to a harness, in her hand an unstrung shortbow. Strands of messy brown hair unravel from a semicontained braid that I’d guess hasn’t been paid attention to in at least a week. Her clothes also reveal that she hasn’t changed them, and the smell confirms she hasn’t bathed. She searches the bar and lands on me.
She dashes across the tavern and my heart pounds. This is it. My father sent her to kill me. I made it easier for her by coming down here all by myself. I have no clue if Mana can sense what’s happening or if I’m too far away from him. I’m not sure if he cares right now.
However, she steps past me and gawks at Heda, who is already mixing another drink. In the few seconds that passed, I didn’t realize that I had held my breath. I let out a lengthy sigh of relief and inhale fresh air that tastes slightly sweeter than before. Relief will do that, especially when moments ago, death seemed so imminent. To help calm myself, I decide to take a sip of the strange drink Heda made me. Surprisingly, it has a peach sangria flavor, like a fruity, potent wine, with maybe a shot or two of something stronger. I could get used to having a drink of this at night, if it helps me get some sleep.
Heda leans across the bar, passing the traveler a drink. “Rough journey?” she asks. “Where are you going?”
“Nowhere fast,” the woman replies. Her scowl melts away as she cracks open a smile and laughs full-heartedly, throwing her head back.

Carmia

I watch groups of gulls fly back out to sea among the masts, warbling above the crew. They float adrift on the breeze. Their wings don’t pound against the unforeseen air but glide on invisible currents, as my ship does on the waves. Smart birds know when to flap, when to spend their resources, and how to manipulate the world to make their journey easier. They can glide for hours without movement. I crave their knowledge.
To know when to use my strength and when to be weak. When to be bold or meek. When to strike or anticipate.
The birds know. We are so stupid. Driven by destructive emotional impulses and not natural instinct. Once you calm the voices, quiet the bitter arguments feuding from within, becoming deaf to all the voices internal and external, all that’s left is a sensation. A feeling. A truth buried deep inside. A spoken language no one can utter aloud. A forgotten language. One so primal, it is impossible to speak or interpret in any other capacity besides a sense. Born with us, but slowly forgotten when we learn to utter our first words. Almost as if when we learn the spoken tongue, we forfeit our instinctual one.
What makes us so different from the birds? How did our minds become cluttered with pointless information that nags us to change our minds or relinquish a thought?
Gods, I want to be a bird. Free my mind and body of stupidity. Let me base my life on instinct, not sentiment.

Lilly

I walk these city tunnels every day. It keeps me sane, besides healthy. Sometimes, I even run. I haven’t left Uamh, or Capo’s Secret, in decades. The last time I was above ground, not including my job, was well over thirty years ago. I long for the opportunity to run through the fields of flowers that flourish outside the town’s walls. But the woman who I portray to the citizens of Capo doesn’t do such things. Lilly would never frolic through the meadow and pick wildflowers to weave into her hair. She wouldn’t dance in the river, splashing the cool water over her naked body, and then let the sun’s heat dry the water off her skin. No, she wouldn’t behave in such childish ways.
Nirva would. She would run free in the woods barefoot. Feel Dalya breathe life back into her soul. Nirva would climb the tallest tree and gaze upon the town below, pretending she was a bird, soaring high above the forest. She’d hunt alongside the nunda and sleep in their den, her body and soul free to swim with the fish and river bears in the morning, and flutter on the breeze with the glow bugs at night.
Not now. No, she is locked up for safekeeping. There will be a time and place to bring Nirva back to the light of day. Until then, she must continue to be patient. Our job isn’t done. It’s only begun.


About the Author:

Katie Zaber knows the best way to decide who is cooking dinner is with a Nerf gun fight in the living room. Her boyfriend is an exceptional cook. When she isn’t baking, going to wine tastings, or reading, she’s busy planning her next trip to Six Flags Great Adventure or Long Beach Island, New Jersey. As a child, her mother would read stories about Atlantis and other fictional places that she dreamed of exploring, fueling her love of history, adventure, and fantasy. After spending her days working in a coffee shop, she moved up the ladder getting an office job where she unfortunately was involved in a filing accident. Unable to move, bored out of her mind, and desperate for entertainment, she turned to her imagination and began writing. These days, she finds herself captivated by her many projects and enjoys quiet nights at home.








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Ashes and Blood
Dalya Series
Book One
Katie Zaber         

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: May 13th 2020
ISBN:  9780463801024
ASIN:  B087YJ8W87
Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 121,760

Cover Artist: Agata Bukovero

Tagline: Trapped in another world—what would you do?

Book Description:

“I’ll start at the beginning. Long ago, before roads, before we built structures, before medicine was discovered, before the government was created, before man gained any knowledge, there were The Five. Independent from each other, The Five had a mutual respect for one another. They knew their roles in the world and their duty. They were gods…”

An adventure begins when an otherworldly tree captures the attention of Megan and her friends. The environment morphs around them, transferring them to an exotic planet. Stuck in a rural town still maimed by the plague, a chance encounter with a familiar face gives Megan and her friends some security during their adjustment period.

While settling into new, promising lives, they are attacked and stalked by planet Dalya’s humanoid inhabitants, who focus on Megan. One dark night, after an epic, magical attack, the Fae King’s knight is sent to fetch Megan. When she wakes up a prisoner, she learns that there is much more to this strange world, and it is oddly more like her own than she ever would have expected.

Amazon     Apple      BN     Kobo      Smashwords

Excerpt 1
Megan

It gives me chills to stand in front of the forest that morphed in front of my very eyes. I’m hesitant to walk through the tree line and down the path. The last time I walked down a path for leisure was a week ago. We had planned a picnic. Something simple, always easy to organize and do. It wasn’t hard planning our walk to Brynjar’s cabin today. What could go wrong?
I try hard not to think of all the possible outcomes—from returning to Earth to traveling to a completely new world.
Sarah and Dana were able to walk by without stopping to take notice or reflect. Ciara paused for a moment and then smiled gleefully, saying she had a good feeling.
I don’t. I feel dizzy, angry, and like I need to vomit. I don’t want to do this. I don’t want to go into the woods that changed my life, I don’t want to meet Brynjar, and I don’t want to go back where it all started.
I don’t.

About the Author:

Katie Zaber knows the best way to decide who is cooking dinner is with a Nerf gun fight in the living room. Her boyfriend is an exceptional cook. When she isn’t baking, going to wine tastings, or reading, she’s busy planning her next trip to Six Flags Great Adventure or Long Beach Island, New Jersey. As a child, her mother would read stories about Atlantis and other fictional places that she dreamed of exploring, fueling her love of history, adventure, and fantasy. After spending her days working in a coffee shop, she moved up the ladder getting an office job where she unfortunately was involved in a filing accident. Unable to move, bored out of her mind, and desperate for entertainment, she turned to her imagination and began writing. These days, she finds herself captivated by her many projects and enjoys quiet nights at home.







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Excerpt UNEXPECTED FAMILY – Roxi St. James

There she was again.  His mystery girl.  His pulse quickened.  What was it about her that was so appealing?  She was beautiful, yes, but what gave her the aurora of magic that drew him in?  He took another sip of his drink.  He must be going crazy.  Or he was getting drunker than he thought he was.  He hadn’t even spoken to her yet.
He glanced back up in her direction.  Something upstairs had definitely upset her.  She paced back and forth from the bar like a caged tiger.  Anxious energy that didn’t have an outlet.  He could only imagine what that energy might feel like if she directed it toward him.  He cleared his throat and readjusted himself on the stool.  He didn’t need to obsess about her.  He should probably just head home and start working on one of his briefs waiting on him.
She found a seat at the other end of the bar.  One hand tapped the bar while with the other she threw back a shot, downing it in one go .  She said something to the bartender, and he refilled her glass.  She downed that one too.  She better watch out at the rate she was going.  He knew that kind of mood and it usually led to no good.
Just as she signaled the bartender for another refill, a movement out of the corner of his eye caught his attention.  A man was approached.  Grant’s muscles tightened, but he forced them to relax. 
He couldn’t keep from watching, as the guy leaned on the bar, invading her space.  She shook her head and leaned away.  Clear signs she wasn’t interested, but the guy didn’t get the message.  The closer he leaned in, the more she leaned away.
Without thinking, Grant stood and walked around the bar towards them.  His brain told him to leave it be, but his legs had other plans.  He was just going to scare the jerk away and that was it.  As he approached them, he could hear the wanna-be Casanova trying his hardest.
“Come on, baby, you look like you could use a good time,” he crooned.
Grant smirked as he approached them.  “Sweetheart, there you are!  Did you start without me?”  He stepped up behind her and put his hands on her shoulders.  She jumped and he leaned down to give her a kiss on the cheek.  “Just go along with it,” he whispered into her ear before standing back up.
The man just looked at Grant and sneered.  “You can’t be with her.  You’re old enough to be her father.”
Grant straightened to his full 6’2” and peered down at the player.  “Who says I’m not?  Be gone, kid.”
After a moment’s hesitation, he turned and walked off muttering, “Her loss.” 
Grant took the seat beside her.  “On behalf of my sex, I am sorry you have to deal with jackasses like that.”
She sat and stared at him for a minute, wide-eyed.  “Thank you.”  Her quiet voice was sweet and musical.  “It’s not the first time, but it’s nice to be rescued by someone so…” Her brows drew together in concentration.
“Old?” he offered with a smile.
She returned it with a little chuckle.  “Tall.”
He grinned.  “Well, you got me there.  Now, you have a decision to make.”
Her smile started to fade.  “I do?”
“Yep.  I can sit here and deter other hunters for you, or I can bid you good evening and be on my way.  Totally up to you since I’ve succeeded in my act of gallantry.”
Her smile bloomed again.  “You can stay.  If you want.”


Cabin Fever Anthology

Genre: Romance/Love stories
Publisher:  Indie Amazon
Date of Publication:  Aug 7, 2020
ASIN:  B08FGGGWDF
Number of pages:  347
Word Count:  89,119
Cover Artist:  Donna Parrish
@ DJASP Book Covers


REWRITE – Renee Pellegrino

Savannah Giuseppe, best-selling author is summoned home. She returned to the cabin remembering the magic of Earth Day and the man who broke her heart.

WORTH IT! – Stephanie Spicer

High school sweethearts, Robin and Cody Carmichael thought their marriage could overcome any obstacle. The only problem is Robin doesn’t remember this hurdle.

HALLOWEEN MASQUERADE – Cynthia Carver

Every Friday night, tarot reader Selena is at Nettie’s Diner. Steven visits her for a reading about his son. Fate intervenes in their destinies.

UNEXPECTED FAMILY – Roxi St. James

After a special night with a handsome stranger, Piper Kendrick is shocked when she discovers his identity and he is closer than she ever expected.

LIAR IN THE CABIN – Sunny Abernathy

In 1908 Beth is expected to look forward to marriage. She’d rather be independent, which means staying away from Benjamin.




About Renee Pellegrino:

From the author of Because of You and co-author on the Missing Locket

Born in a small-town Pennsylvania town called Altoona with five German shepherds, August, Roman, Rey, Tori and Sophia. After Covid – 19, she hopes to return to the dog show world.

Storytelling first stated when a priest asked everyone if they had something to say.
Renee told everyone about her brother peeing like a Shamu. Laughter filled the church, but her la Nonna not so much.






About Stephanie Spicer:

Stephanie Spicer is from a military family which meant she spent the majority of her life traveling. She has since made Atlanta, Ga her home and is raising her three kids with her husband who has been the love of her life for over seventeen years.

She’s always been an avid reader, finding romance novels when she was fifteen and promptly falling in love. She reads most anything she can get her hands on and when she couldn’t find books that matched the stories in her head she decided to start writing her own. Once she did, it was like a light had gone off.

She hopes you enjoy her stories as much as she enjoys writing them.






About Cynthia Carver:

Cynthia Carver, born in Dayton, Ohio to Métis parents and a veteran of the US Navy, puts a paranormal spin on everything she does whether it is ghost hunting or camping. Often the photos she takes and shares on her website have images of other-dimensional beings. Her failure in life is cooking. At her family’s request, she brings items such as paper plates, napkins, and utensils to family gatherings.

Her dyslexia leaks into all phases of her life including her published work. She released the second story featuring her main character, Tracy Richards first. Meet Tracy Richards in Tracy’s debut novella, ‘The Missing Locket.’

On a timeline, ‘Small Bit of Justice’ happened to Tracy Richards before ‘Missing Locket.’ Each novelette, novella, and novel are stand-alone stories.

Each November, Cynthia accepts the NaNoWriMo.org challenge of writing a 50,000-word novel within thirty days. She is a cheerleader for those in the writer’s facebook group ‘Writing Support Sisters’ who have joined her in the writing madness.

Visit Cynthia’s website to keep up to date about future novels, book signings, and travels https://CynthiaCarver.com










Rosa Pearl – Realities of the Paranormal


About Roxie St. James:

Roxi St. James was born and raised in Georgia, but has traveled all over the country.  She has read every romance novel she could get her hands on for her entire life.  After writing privately for just as long, she is excited to make this her debut as a published author.




About Sunny Abernathy:

An overly caffeinated Author and Artist who believes one can never have enough cats or books. Writes “Red Flag” Love stories in historical and contemporary settings. She sometimes gives her characters a Happily Ever After as she did in Cabin Fever Anthology.










Jax
Knight Attack
Book One
MLJ Quigg

Genre: contemporary romance
Date of Publication: 2nd September 2020
Number of pages: 206
Word Count: 55668
Cover Artist: MLJ QUIGG

Book Description:

Rock royalty.

That’s what people call me.

But all it took was a single phone call to bring me to my knees.

Five years later, my life has changed irrevocably forever.

Though someone lurks in the shadows threatening to tear all that I love apart.

An obsession of the worst kind.

Can I keep the woman I love safe?

Or will everything burn to ash…


Excerpt:
“For curiosity’s sake, how did you get my number?”
“I got your number by pushing random numbers on my cell, and it rang. Thanks for answering and being so good about it. A family meeting sounds like a good idea. What’s your name?”
“My name is Layla. What’s yours?”
“Jaxson, but everyone calls me Jax.”
God, that voice, it was like butter. So seductive and smooth. Deep and gravelly but had that sexy rasp to it that musicians usually have. I could imagine the man behind the voice, and that made me tingle between my legs. Fuck! I needed to get laid if his voice alone was turning me on.
“What do you do, Jax?”
“I’m in a band.”
Okay, that was cool.
I wondered what Jax did in the band. Did he play the guitar? Play the drums. Or was he a singer? With that voice, my guess? He was a singer. How famous was he? Who knew.
“That’s amazing, Jax. What’s the band’s name?”
“Knight Attack.”
Hooolllyyy. Shit.
No fucking way.
This had to be a joke.
Knight Attack was massive.
They were the biggest breakout band in Australia, and they had only recently gone worldwide with great success. I used to listen to them in Australia, well, I still listened to them. Everyone knew back home that I was a massive fan of the group. This had to be a practical joke. My guess? My brother was behind it. Bobby would do anything to get me back home.
“Fuck off! No way! You are not Jax from Knight Attack. Who is this, really? Did my brother put you up to this? I bet it was Bobby. Tell that meddling brother of mine I am not falling for it, and I’ll come home when I’m good and ready. Jax from Knight Attack? Ha-ha, really, I wasn’t born yesterday,” I ranted.
Yeah, I was on a roll. My mum and brother, Bobby, had been hounding me to stop sulking and come back home. Like I wanted to be in a small country town in the middle of Australia where everyone knew everyone and what you ate for breakfast, especially after what had happened to me. The biggest humiliation of my life so far. No, thanks.
Jax interrupted my internal dialogue as he said, “Okay, I’ll prove it. Tomorrow morning, we are on Good Morning America at ten. I’ll say your name and dedicate a song to you. If you’re watching and believe me, ring me back on the number you now have on your phone. I gotta go, though. We’re about to go on.” Then he hung up.
He. Hung. Up.
What the fuck just happened?

About the Author:

Australian author MLJ Quigg – lives in NSW, Australia, with her husband, three adult children, and six cats—yes, you heard that right, six.

Growing up in a huge family of eight kids was always noisy and didn’t give her enough alone time to unwind.

Books have always given her an outlet from the craziness that is her life. Nothing is better than curling up with a good story to take her mind off her surroundings.
As a new author, she hopes you enjoy her stories and helps you get out of your world and into hers for a few hours.












Morrigan’s Blood
Crow’s Curse
Book One
Laura Bickle

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: Sept. 25, 2020
ASIN: B08B9TJ4V9
Number of pages: 188
Word Count: 57000

Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

Tagline: Garnet has the blood of the legendary Morrigan – and legions of vampires and witches will go to war to possess that power.

Book Description:

Garnet has the blood of the legendary Morrigan – and legions of vampires and witches will go to war to possess that power.

As a trauma surgeon, Garnet Conners has seen more than her fair share of blood. But when one of her patients walks off the operating table and disappears into the night, she finds herself caught in a war between legions of vampires and witches in her city.

Garnet has dreamed of bloody battlefields for years – and a mysterious lover who controls a kingdom. In her waking life, Garnet is shocked to meet that man in a club. Merrel knows her from another life, a life in which she was the legendary Morrigan, goddess of death and war.

Garnet rejects the notion of magical incarnations altogether. But she falls in with Sorin, a handsome warlock who’s determined to protect the former bootlegger city of Riverpointe from a secret society of vampires. Haunted by crows and faced with undeniable proof of magic, Garnet scrambles to protect her career and loved ones from magical violence.

Abducted by vampires who seek to turn her into a vampire against her will, can Garnet seize the power of the legendary Morrigan to forge her own path in her embattled city? Or will she be forced to serve as a fearsome weapon in a deadly nocturnal war?



Excerpt:

          “What have you got for me tonight, folks?” I asked.
            I backed through the doors of the operating theater, butt-first, gloved hands lifted before me to keep them clean. I took small steps, mindful not to lose traction. Those thin booties were slick, and I’d fallen on my ass on more than one occasion when I made sudden moves. Tonight, I was determined to get through surgery in an upright position and not have to scrub in twice.
            One of the nurses read from notes on a computer terminal. “This guy was found in the parking lot of a closed bowling alley. Speculation is that he took a trip or two through the pin setting machine and got badly torn up.”
            “Well, that’s a first.” I turned toward the operating room table. The light was so bright that hardly any shadows were cast in the room. They focused on the unholy mess on the middle of my table.
            This. I’m supposed to fix this.
            A man lay, unconscious, on the table. His chest was torn open, flaps of skin oozing onto wads of gauze and a paper sheet. His face was a mass of blood, now being daubed at with sponges. The anesthesiologist had found his mouth to thread a tube down, and someone had managed to get an IV started in one of his scraped-up arms.
            My nose wrinkled under my mask. “What do the X-rays show? How deep does the damage go? Did he get a CT?”
            A nurse clicked on a flatscreen monitor that displayed a carousel of CT images. I  squinted at them, muttering dark oaths.
            “Radiologist says it looks like a lacerated pancreas, punctured lung, and two rib fractures,” the nurse said. The image switched to the head, and he said: “Also the bonus of a fractured orbital bone.”
            I stared at the CTs. “Let’s start with that lung. We leave the pancreas, and call plastic surgery on that orbital bone. This guy’s going to need all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put him back together again.”
            “Will do.”
            I gazed down at the poor suffering bastard. I liked seeing the imaging, but I preferred to get a good visual with my own eyes on my patients. Sometimes X-rays and CTs didn’t tell me everything I needed to know about what to start sewing where. Something about seeing where the blood moved and pooled in an injured person gave me an idea of where to begin. The blood always led me to where I needed to direct my attention. Where it spurted required my immediate expertise. Where it clotted or moved lazily, I could wait a bit. When blood drained out of a limb and had left it white, I needed to add more. I noted with approval that he was already receiving a transfusion. As long as blood was moving, there was a chance for him
            I frowned at his chest and touched the edges of the rends in his flesh with gloved fingers. Those were ragged and would have to be cut clean before I sewed him back up. I could see the edge of one of those protruding ribs, sticking up like a finger. I glanced over his limbs, counting the usual four. Hey, it pays to count. Count twice, cut once. I mentally cataloged bruises and scrapes, nothing that needed my immediate attention, though I flagged the palms of his hands to get a few stitches from the surgical resident. Looked like defensive wounds, like the guy had tried to fight the pin machine, but lost.
            My eyes moved up to his face. One blackened eye was swollen shut. My fingers and gaze wandered over his scalp, checking for major wounds, when I spied a laceration at his throat.
            I gently probed it with gloved hands. Some kind of puncture…the machine must have caught him near a seeping vein. It had nearly dried up, smelling rusty and not like the bright, coppery blood of his more critical wounds. It could still take a few extra stitches.
            I stared down at the unfortunate guy’s oozing chest. Peeling back a flap of skin, I felt around for the collapsed lung. My finger quickly squished around and found the hole, and I extended my free hand for a scalpel. Time to get this party started…
            …when the patient sat bolt upright on the table. His good eye was open, rolling.
            I yanked my hands back and yelped at the anesthesiologist, “Curt, what the actual hell?”
            The OR erupted in a flurry of activity. The anesthesiologist arrived at the patient’s side with a syringe, while nurses tried to push the patient back down.
            But he was flailing, windmilling with his arms like a pro wrestler in the ring. The IV ripped out of his arm, and the line slashed back at the anesthesiologist, whipping across his face. The patient reached up and ripped the tube out of his throat. His foot caught an instrument tray, sending scalpels flying. His blood line yanked away, spewing crimson all over the floor.
            I held my hands out, using my most calming voice. Not that I had a particularly calming voice; I was a surgeon. We don’t talk to patients. But I tried: “You’re safe. I’m your doctor, Dr. Conners. If you just lie back, we’ll make you comfortable and—”
            The guy shrieked and launched himself off the table. The paper sheet tangled around his legs, and he grasped it around his waist as he put his shoulder down and aimed for the door. His shoulder hit me in the arm, and I slipped on my booties, landing on my ass on the tile floor. The patient launched through the swinging doors and disappeared down the hall.
            I swore and ripped my booties off my sneakered feet. I clambered to my feet and punched the intercom at the door with my elbow. “Security, code orange at OR 6.” I couldn’t say: I’ve got a runner taking off down the hall. Please send somebody to stop him, because anyone listening to that would freak the hell out, and I would get a talking-to from HR.
            I straight-armed the door and took off after the guy. I had no idea how the hell this man was still walking around. Those injuries should have flattened him, and he’d been anesthetized. I had graduated med school with Curt a few years ago, and knew him not to be a careless anesthesiologist who played on his phone in the OR.
            The patient skidded down the hallway, landing at a dead end, where a window overlooked the parking lot. The sun had just set, and the sky was the violet color of a fresh bruise. I approached him slowly, like I was herding a feral cat. I tugged my mask down to try and give him a human face to look at.
            “Hey, it’s okay. It’s gonna be okay,” I murmured soothingly. I wanted to keep him here until security arrived. If he got even further loose and hurt himself, that would be one obnoxiously long incident report. And an even more involved surgery after that.
            “No, no,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s not gonna be okay. The bloodsuckers found me…and the Lusine couldn’t protect me.”
            “I don’t know who that is,” I said, thinking that the guy had probably run afoul of some loan sharks. Maybe the mob? “But you’re safe here. We can protect you.”
            “No,” he gasped, his face twisted in agony. “No one can protect me. And no one can protect Emily.”
            He turned toward the window, backed up a few steps.
            “No, wait…” I could see what he was trying to do, and I was helpless to stop it.
            He rushed the window, aiming for it with his shoulder. All the latches on the hospital windows on patient floors were welded shut, but this wasn’t an area where conscious patients had access, and the window was not secured against suicide attempts. The glass buckled under his shoulder, the window crumpled away, and he pitched through in a hail of glass into the falling darkness.
            I rushed to the window and stared down at the parking lot in horror. Three stories down, the patient sprawled on the parking lot blacktop, flattened like a bug under a shoe.
            Curt had come up behind me. “Oh, my god, Garnet…did he…”
            “He jumped,” I said, my heart in my mouth. I turned and ran to the stairwell, barking at him. “Get a gurney and the ER team.”
            I burst into the stairwell, taking the steps two at a time. As I rounded the third curve, my path was blocked by a tall, dark-haired man in a brown velvet blazer and jeans. He was the type of guy that I might have liked to meet in my off-time—he had a kind of scholarly intensity in his hazel gaze and a bit of roguishness in the stubble that covered his sharp jaw.
            “Stand aside,” I blurted. “Emergency!” As if my bloody gloves and surgical gown weren’t warning enough.
            But he blocked my path, one hand on either stair rail, his long arms spanning the length of the stairwell. “That man is dangerous,” he growled softly.
            “That man is under my care,” I announced, lifting my chin. I walked into the man, figuring that he would give way to my outstretched bloody gloves. Like a normal person would.
.           But he didn’t. My sticky gloves nearly mashed into the velvet of his jacket, and he didn’t flinch. This close, he smelled like old books and moss.
            “You can’t go down there,” he said. His voice was soft, but insistent. 
            My eyes narrowed. “You don’t get to tell me where to go,” I chirped petulantly. I ducked under his arm, darting out of his reach, and barreled down the steps the remaining way to ground level.
            I rushed out into the parking lot and stopped short.
            “What the actual hell—”
            The patient peeled himself off the ground and crawled to his feet. He reminded me of a half-dead insect when he did so, shaking and rickety and dripping blood.
            That’s impossible, I thought. There was no way that a human being could do that. I took two steps toward him…
            …and a dozen people flitted out of the darkness, from the shadows beneath cars and behind shrubs. The overhead parking lot lights, haloed by moths, illuminated their long shadows on the pavement.
            I breathed a sigh of relief. The squad was here and would get him stable, get him back to my OR.
            But…my brow wrinkled. That wasn’t the squad. Nobody was in uniform. They converged on him as he turned, screaming.
            “Stop!” I shouted.
            Heads turned toward me. Their faces were moon-pale and glistening in the lamplight.
            The man in the velvet jacket grabbed my arm, dragging me back. “You want no part of this.”
            “Don’t tell me what I want,” I growled. I stomped on his instep and twisted my arm to break his grip at the weakest part, the thumb. I whirled and ran toward the fracas.
            The shadowy people had plucked my patient off the pavement, clotting around him.
            I yelled at them, the way I might yell at pigeons in the park who were eating my dropped French fries.
            Overhead, the parking lot lights shattered, one by one, in a series of pops. Someone had a gun. I flinched back, shielding my face from flying shards of plastic with my hands, as I was suddenly plunged into darkness. I heard fighting, yelling, as if a gang war had broken out in front of me, roiling in the dark where no one could see.
            Or at least, as dark as things could get in Riverpointe. Riverpointe was a decently sized city, and ambient light filtered back quickly from the freeway, headlights on the access road to the hospital, and the hospital’s helipad above.
            As my vision adjusted, I realized I was alone. The people who were trying to abduct my patient, my patient…even that fascinating-smelling velvet guy…all were gone. 
            Ambulance lights flashed at the end of the parking lot, approaching me. Behind me, I heard the hammering of footsteps on the stairwell. Security spilled out behind me, along with a few cops who’d been hanging out in the nurse’s lounge. The EMTs pulled up to the curb, and there were all of a sudden a couple dozen people churning in a uniformed cloud around me.
            “Where’d the guy go?” a security guard asked me.
            A moth that had once orbited the parking lot lights flitted down and smacked my face. I batted at it, grimacing.
            “I don’t know,” I whispered, stunned. “He was just…taken.”
            The moth landed on the ground on its back, wiggling.
            With bloody fingers, I picked it up and placed it gently in a nearby shrub. Lights, voices, and radios crackled around me. Questions rose and fell, directed at me in a tide of inquiries I couldn’t answer. But I stared at the bloody moth, stained by my touch, as it sought a safe place among the churning shadows and light.

About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs and sometimes reads them to her cats. Her books have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Laura’s work has also been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. The latest updates on her work can be found at authorlaurabickle.com.





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Witch’s Tail
The Spellwood Witches
Book One
Melanie Snow

Genre: Paranormal Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Spirit Paw Press, LLC
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-7324375-6-2
Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 46,311
Cover Artist: Molly Burton

Tagline: Her mentor died fighting to save an enchanted forest. Can she solve his murder before she’s bewitched?

Book Description:

Can she awaken her dormant powers and stop a desperate killer destroying the forest?

Sarah Spellwood feels she’s hit bottom. Divorced and jobless, she relocates to the enchanting village of Witchland intent on solving the murder of her late mentor. But as she pursues clues buried in the man’s fight to save the endangered forest-dwelling lynx, she makes an enemy of a ruthless land developer.

Encountering fairies in the woods, Sarah discovers she’s been repressing unique gifts passed down from her ancestor and founding witch, Lativia Spellwood. But though she can now hear her deceased friend’s dog speak, she isn’t sure her abilities are enough to expose the greed and corruption covering a killer’s lies.

Can Sarah work with the magical beings to bring a murderer to justice?

Witch’s Tail is the charming first book in the light-hearted The Spellwood Witches cozy mystery series. If you like paranormal puzzles, delightful canine companions, and environmental enlightenment, then you’ll love Melaine Snow’s wagging-ly fun whodunit.

Buy Witch’s Tail to set a snare for an assassin today!



Prologue
Lativia Spellwood sat on her ghostly throne of branches on the summit of Mount Katribus, with many other ghosts swarming around her reminiscing about life and drinking wine.
The ghosts of Witchland residents always came to this clearing after they died to stay near Lativia for guidance and to wait until they were ready to pass on to the afterlife. Lativia had been dead for hundreds of years but had still not passed on, for her work overlooking Witchland and its forest was not yet done. One day, it would be, and she was beginning to welcome that time, for she was growing very tired.
A tiny troop of Leekin faeries moved about the arms and legs of Lativia’s throne, placing flowers into the holes between the woven boughs. They did that every day, as a way to honor her as Queen of the Forest.
Lativia sipped from a goblet of ghost wine, enjoying the blue fire as it spread down her throat, engulfing her in tingly warmth. Being a ghost was always cold; the magic wine was one of the few momentary sources of warmth that she could cherish.
“What else do you need, my queen?” chirped one of the Leekins, buzzing on tiny brown wings before her nose.
Lativia smiled. “I think it’s time I checked on Sarah, don’t you agree?”
The Leekin nodded excitedly and flew off into the woods. A huge bunch of Leekins soon returned, flying in formation to carry the weight of a glowing crystal ball. They lowered it to Lativia’s lap, where it sank through the spectral outlines of her legs. Lativia could pass through things, and things could pass through her, for her physical body was long gone and all that remained was her powerful soul
Lativia smiled even more broadly and began to draw her transparent ghostly hands over the ball, summoning the blood bond she shared with her descendent, Sarah Spellwood.
Gradually, the fog inside the ball began to clear and an image of Sarah’s frizzy explosion of red curls filled it. Lativia drew back a few feet with her mind and saw Sarah was at a coffee shop ordering a vegan sandwich. Sarah’s love and respect for animals always made Lativia proud. She noticed there was a conspicuous pale and indented band of skin on Sarah’s ring finger where her huge diamond wedding ring had once been. “That no-good husband of hers is finally gone!” Lativia crowed with delight. But then she noticed that there were bags under Sarah’s eyes, the bags of someone who had been up all night crying. Sarah must be heartbroken, Lativia thought with a heavy heart.
           
The barista serving Sarah froze when she saw Sarah’s last name on the credit card receipt. “Um, are you related to . . . ?”
Sarah drearily raised her hand. “Yep, I’m descended from Lativa Spellwood.”
“That’s amazing! I mean, have you ever been to Witchland and looked at the Lativia memorabilia?” The barista’s pigtails wiggled with her excited body language, and Lativia felt a swell of pride that people still remembered and even revered her. It had been four centuries and she was still honored as the greatest witch of New England, the one who had turned into a wolf and fought her way free of her captors at the Salem Witch Trials!
“Yep,” Sarah said, her voice full of annoyance. It was clear she was ready to dash out of the coffee shop.
As good of a lawyer as Sarah was, Lativia noticed how awkward she was around most people, and how little she liked to disclose personal details, especially of her magical ancestry.
Sarah was a woman of facts and logic, which is why she fought the magical powers pulsing through her like a current, trying to pull her back to her destiny. Her resistance to her true self and her stubborn adherence to logical facts made her unpopular with many people. Lativia yearned to watch Sarah blossom into her beautiful potential.
“Don’t you see?” Lativia cried. “You are not meant to be in New York! You should be here, following your calling, completing my work as a witch! You’re not happy there!” But Sarah couldn’t hear these words.
“Yes, yes,” several Leekins agreed. A ghost who was standing near Lativia also nodded his head.
Sarah trudged out of the coffee shop, carrying her drink and the sandwich in a paper bag. A man in a trench coat bumped into her, and she hastily checked her pockets to ensure he had not pickpocketed anything. Then she continued on to her office, a massive steel gray prison with spikes in the window ledges to repel pigeons. There was no sign of life anywhere but for the scraggly maple planted out front of the building and a few waxy tropical plants blooming inside the lobby. Lativia groaned, feeling the despair and coldness of the place.
“It’s time for you to come here, to your destined home,” Lativia declared. “My Leekins have told me about the Hunter tracking lynx and the land surveyors, and I sense that there is about to be trouble in the forest.”
At the mention of the Hunter, the Leekins gathered around her throne began to turn blue and tremble in terror.
“I am not strong enough to fight these battles much longer, so I need you to come home, to come into your true self. Your marriage fell apart of its own accord, and I sense your job is about to unravel on its own, too. You can’t fight destiny,” Lativia said, giving the group of hovering Leekins their crystal ball back and shutting her eyes. “I could use magic to bring you to your destiny sooner, but it is evil to interfere with one’s life that way. I can only hope you don’t take much longer.”
She opened her eyes as the Leekins cried, “We need her!”

About the Author:

Melanie Snow is the pen name for Wendy Van de Poll, a bestselling author, pet loss grief coach, and animal medium. She is the author of The Spellwood Witches, a paranormal cozy mystery series.


Her books weave together positive magic, snarky forest faeries, and insightful animals with fun and eclectic humor. True life adventures and intuition are woven into her stories laced with unbridled imagination.

She has been followed by wild wolves in minus 60 degrees, hissed at by a mama bobcat, and played ball with a wild owl—among other animal encounters.

Find out more about her work:






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Knight in Paper Armor

Nicholas Conley

Genre: Dystopian
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing
Date of Publication: September 15, 2020
ASIN: B08CLSSX8Z
Word Count: About 113,000

Book Description:

Billy Jakobek has always been different. Born with strange and powerful psychic abilities, he has grown up in the laboratories of Thorne Century, a ruthless megacorporation that economically, socially, and politically dominates American society.

Every day, Billy absorbs the emotional energies, dreams, and traumas of everyone he meets—from his grandmother’s memories of the Holocaust, to the terror his sheer existence inflicts upon his captors—and he yearns to break free, so he can use his powers to help others.

Natalia Gonzalez, a rebellious artist and daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, lives in Heaven’s Hole, an industrial town built inside a meteor crater, where the poverty-stricken population struggles to survive the nightmarish working conditions of the local Thorne Century factory. Natalia takes care of her ailing mother, her grandmother, and her two younger brothers, and while she dreams of escape, she knows she cannot leave her family behind.

When Billy is transferred to Heaven’s Hole, his chance encounter with Natalia sends shockwaves rippling across the blighted landscape. The two outsiders are pitted against the all-powerful monopoly, while Billy experiences visions of an otherworldly figure known as the Shape, which prophesizes an apocalyptic future that could decimate the world they know.

Excerpt:

“So,” Roseanna said, “according to my superiors, young Billy came to the attention of Thorne Century due to his long medical history.” She opened her folder and riffled through. “Dozens of child therapists, doctors, prescriptions, treatments… wide range of disease symptoms and ailments as well as wild mood swings but no evidence of any physical illness or precise mental disorder. The word psychosomatic is bleeding from these papers. I don’t buy it.” Roseanna leaned forward. “I think it all fits a certain pattern.”
“The doctors don’t understand.” Tzeitel bit her lip, paused, then spoke again. “Neither do his parents, though I love them. No. They merely say that he imagines things. Hallucinations, they claim.” She glanced at her frail grandson still shivering in the humidity. “I disagree. He often gets sick, but the sickness comes not from him.”
“Can you explain?” I think she gets it.
“As a baby, he constantly changed personalities, like this”—Tzeitel snapped her fingers—“depending on who held him. Smiling or shrieking, it flipped constantly, and whenever he cried, all of us cried with him for no reason. Not like a normal baby. His brother was not like this, either.”
“I see.”
“It was not so extreme when he got older. But when others are sick…” She knotted her fingers. “He goes to them, touches the place it hurts, and the pain goes away. It goes inside him, instead, until it fades. Very strange.” She frowned. “When people are sad? He walks into a room, makes himself smile—poof, no one is sad anymore, except he becomes sad. Sometimes, I catch him sneaking out across town to help people who are troubled.” She eyed him. “I don’t like it when he does that, though it is very nice of him.”
 “He senses things?”
“Doctor, my grandson has a gift. Yes, he senses things. He feels things. He does things to people… things that, perhaps, the world is not ready for.”
Despite the heat, Roseanna felt chills. “I believe you.”

About the Author:


Nicholas Conley is an award-winning Jewish American author, journalist, playwright, and coffee vigilante. His books, such as Knight in Paper Armor, Pale Highway, Intraterrestrial, and Clay Tongue: A Novelette, merge science fiction narratives with hard-hitting examinations of social issues. Originally from California, he now lives in New Hampshire.









Beautiful
Leigh Hatchmann

Genre: Fantasy Romance, Fairytale Retelling
Publisher: Independent
Date of Publication: 27th August 2020
ASIN: B08BNKG3ZV
Number of pages: app. 380
Word Count: app. 90,000 words

Cover Artist: Sarah Paige from Opium House Designs

Tagline: You think you know their story . . .

Book Description:

Bella-Rosa Amato

My life is the envy of women everywhere. I live in a gorgeous mansion, wear expensive clothes, go to A-list parties, and attend a prestigious college.

It is a life of beauty and glamor . . . and all of it is a lie.

Behind closed doors, I am bullied by my cold and powerful father. With no money of my own, I have no choice but to obey him . . .

Until I am attacked, and a half man-half beast intervenes. Kit takes me to his home to heal, where I am immersed in his secret world. As we bond over unexpected experiences and shared interests, my gratitude changes into something that feels as old as time.

Kit/King

I was created for the darkness and, for a while, it controlled me. But I escaped that life and made a new home for myself.

Before Bella crossed my path, I didn’t think happiness was possible. But she not only accepts my differences, she offers friendship.

Her gentle and compassionate heart opens me up to those parts within me.
With her, I don’t feel like the beast I have always been labeled.

But the closer we get, the more I wonder if I am truly as human as she believes, and whether the mistakes of the beast can ever be forgiven . . .

When an old enemy resurfaces, Bella and Kit will need to stand firm in their love, face the brutalities of the past, and trust in the beauty that comes from within to make it out alive.

BEAUTIFUL is a sweet and dark, modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast. The themes of beauty, strength, redemption, and love shine through in an unforgettable tale that will make you question everything you think you know about beauty . . . and the beast.


Amazon USA      Amazon Australia       Amazon UK

Excerpt 1:
My senses picked up new stimuli: leaves being trampled, three sets of racing feet . . . and traces of spilled human blood. Not enough to cause death, but enough to tease my nose.
I heard a rough male voice yell, “Stop her. She’s getting away again.”
She? Again?
A second male, younger sounding, added, “How the hell? She should be dead by now.”
That pricked my ears up. Literally. I paused, waiting for what else I could hear. One set of the footsteps were closing in on me. The woman. Her musky perfume was light, but feminine. If I stepped behind a tree and took advantage of the growing night-time shadows, I could hide. Yet, when I tried, I found I could not move from my spot. Frowning, I crouched into the darkness instead.
Satisfied I would be safe from easy observation, I narrowed my attention onto my hearing. Panicked breaths, a raised heartbeat, blood pounding in fear reached my ears. It was definitely the woman. The men were chasing her. She was terrified . . . and heading straight for me.
The next second, a woman stumbled to the ground a few feet away. My natural night vision allowed me to see her as clearly as if it were midday.
Fresh blood dripped from cuts above her top lip, both eyebrows, left cheek, and the bridge of her nose. Her palms held fresh, jagged cuts and her left leg had an uneven slice from the top of her ankle to the mid-shin. The latter injuries told me one thing. She scaled the eight-foot, barbed wire fence that keeps us closed off from the outside world. Whatever she was running from must have been serious for her to do that. In the process of either running from the men or scaling the fence, she’d lost her shoes. Her feet would be scraped and sore from the loose sticks and underbrush.
I continued to scan her body for visible damage. Blackening bruises marked her right eye, chin, and arms. Probably other places I couldn’t see. Her red dress had been torn in multiple places––from barbed wire, gripping twigs in the thick forest, or grabbing hands? I wouldn’t know for sure until I got a closer look.
She panted, desperate for both breath and relief. How had she run from her obvious attackers in this weakened state? She looked and sounded ready to collapse from exhaustion.
The way I must have looked to Josephine when she found me.
The woman tried to scramble to her feet but fell onto her back. The action made her cry out in pain. My heart squeezed. Compassion propelled me toward her. I stepped on a fallen branch. The ensuing cracking noise echoed through the surrounding trees.
The woman lifted her hands to cover her face and whimpered, “Please. Don’t,” before passing out.
A strange ache passed through me, like I had lost something important. I heard the beast in me roar for the first time in years.
The first male voice cut through the air, “Did you hear that?”
“Maybe a coyote has her?”
“Serves her right, but we’d better check. Mr. Chisholm will want to know. This way.”
Mr. Chisholm?
Recognition flickered in the back of my mind. Where did I know that name?
Two flashlight beams bobbed in the distance, closing in on us. For the second time that night, I relied on the insistent urges within me. I scooped the woman into my arms and ran.


About the Author:

Leigh Hatchmann is a best-selling non-fiction author, international-selling romance author, identical triplet, writing coach, editor, and hot chocolate addict. She uses her postgraduate degree in counseling to create believable, three-dimensional characters. Her certificates in forensic science and forensic anthropology help her to create realistic crime elements in her stories. She is currently completing her master’s degree in writing and has also finished postgraduate study in editing.

When not writing, reading, coaching, studying, or enjoying nature, she can be found having fun in nature with her three gorgeous children (plus one laid back dog and one grumpy cat). She is active on social media and encourages readers to interact with her there. She also writes fiction under the pseudonym A.K. Leigh and non-fiction as Alicia Leigh.

*Fall in love . . . with Leigh!*







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Marked Chaos
Chaos Awakened Saga
Book One
Niki Livingston

Genre: Dystopian Fantasy
Date of Publication: 8/11/20
ISBN: 978-1-952537-03-5
ASIN: B0865JQHW5
Number of pages: 366
Word Count: 72238
Cover Artist: Niki Ellis Designs

Tagline: Earth’s next level transformation requires their united energy

Book Description:

Three unlikely guardians have been chosen to breathe life back into Earth, but the prophecy is not welcomed by all the planet’s inhabitants. 

Zoe Dawn’s headstrong tendencies has brought the wrath of the Doyen upon her. But another tribe has their eyes on her ignited fire and will stop at nothing to claim Zoe Dawn as their own. 

Alex has traveled a long way to find a safe place to survive, but her first mistake was returning to her hometown. Thousands of years and an entirely different dimension will not stop her enemies from pursuing her flood of abilities.  

Kia Lynn has been marked by the rune of protection, fracturing her elemental connection with the two other guardians. As her best friend is dragged away by a masked intruder, the rune activates and she is forced into a whirlwind of chaos that is filled with ghosts from her past.

Once these three are united, an unstoppable force could be invoked, but if they remain separated without completing their destinies, the portal for Earth’s demise will open instead. 

Amazon     Books2Read


Bewitching Tour Excerpt

MARKED CHAOS – KIA LYNN

Papa and I lived on the edge of our village. He had moved us there after we lost Mama, for the peace and quiet. Rarely did someone intrude on our space, even after all these years. It was lonely at times, but I preferred it over Zoe Dawn’s noisy residence.
I glanced down the dirt path toward the other homes, noticing the structures through the branches of the trees and grateful I did not have to walk by anyone while I waited for my nerves to relax fully. I gritted my teeth as the buckets dug into my arm, reminding me to hurry.
The bend in the path came quickly, and I jogged up the slight incline that lead to the well. Zoe Dawn’s mum had told us that at one time, Mother Gaia’s people had water flowing right into their homes. What a bunch of lazy bones. I laughed at the idea of never having to make this trek again as I skipped right up to the edge of the stone well.
After dropping the two buckets next to the well, I turned the wheel that drew up the bucket of water. I whistled the song Mama used to sing to me, a funny tune that had been passed down from before the stars’ collision with Mother Gaia. She’d told me tales of a mystical and happy land, ruled by a talking mouse and all kinds of strange animals, creatures, and pirates, and she had promised that someday we would make the journey to find out if it still existed. What a foolish dream that had been.
I lugged the bucket from the well. My fingers stretched to grasp one of my metal pails, but a twig snapped behind me, sending my heartbeat into a frenzy. I froze, then snapped my hand back, dropping the water at my side as I spun around.
A hand pressed hard against my mouth, and I gasped when I was yanked backward into the canopy of the tree branches. The darkness within the thick of the foliage made it difficult for me to see which direction we were going.
I threw my elbow back, then my other, hitting both sides of my attacker. Their grip only tightened. My shrieks were muffled by a large hand, and dread wormed through my stomach when I realized this might be my end.
A surge of energy rushed through my veins. I kicked out, then dug my heels into the dirt, frantically trying to find some footing so I could flip to one side and twist out of their grasp. But they were moving too quickly, and my feet slipped out from underneath me. I opened my mouth to bite them, but they just pressed harder against my mouth. Blood pooled inside my cheeks from my teeth cutting into my lips.
Angry tears spilled down my face and I threw my elbows back again, one after another, begging to the Goddess that they would loosen their grip. All I needed was a split second. After several attempts to free myself, their arm snaked around my neck, squeezing my throat. Then the vice grip loosened and he cursed quietly, before flinging me to the ground.
The back of my head bounced against the dirt, and I squeaked out a scream, but his hand once again covered my mouth. He held me down with the weight of his body, and I stared into his gray eyes peering at me through the slits of his satchel mask. His chest rose and fell as he sucked in several deep breaths, then he drew a dagger from behind his back.
Another of my screams pressed against his hand, and I flailed my arms around, beating against his arms until he used his knees to hold them down. A gush of wind pushed him to the side, so he reached up with his other hand to hold his satchel in place.

“Listen,” he hissed at me, his accent unfamiliar to these parts of the black mountain lands. He leaned closer to my reddened face and pressed the tip of the knife to my throat. “I’m not here to kill you, but I will cut out your tongue if you do not shut your mouth.”

About the Author:

International Bestselling Author Niki Livingston writes tales of epic and dystopian fantasy worlds filled with magic, mysticism, and mystery.

When she’s not busy writing enchanting stories of diverse women rising in their power and strength, she spends her time walking her rescue puppy, quieting her mind with meditation and yoga, diving into the newest books of Veronica Roth and Anne Bishop, and binge-watching Game of Thrones and The 100.







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Swan Songs of Cygnus
The Weight of Black Holes
Vincent Hollow

Genre: Poetry
Publisher: Writers Republic
Date of Publication: January 8, 2020
ISBN: 9781646201167
ISBN: 9781646202294
Number of pages: 154
Word Count:  8275 words
Cover Artist: Tom Nicosia

Tagline: “How far would you go?”

Book Description:

Side A: horizon

Mourning the death of his love. A bereaved astronaut signs up for a deep – space mission to reunite with her ghost.

Even if it means becoming a ghost himself. Traveling at the speed of light. The astronaut jettisons through the solar system. Pausing only to gaze at its celestial splendor.

Cast under the grandeur of the planetarium. Seeing her apparition in every sphere…

Amazon    BN    Writers Republic





About the Author:

VINCENT HOLLOW is an astro-poet and interstellar storyteller living aboard the space vessel, Aquarius. Shooting from the star system to star system. Vincent spends his time gazing out into the universal abyss and the depths of himself where he hopes to find his place in the cosmos through the words he weaves in the fabric of spacetime.





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#fantasy #paranormal #fantasy #paranormal #darkfantasy


The Unburned Island
Other Investigator Series
Book One
Auden Johnson

Genre: Dark Fantasy Horror
Publisher: Aubey LLC
Date of Publication: April 2017
ISBN: 9780996423427
ASIN: B06XX2RSBY
Number of pages: 148 pages
Word Count: 30,000
Cover Artist: Auden Johnson

Tagline: A haunted island. An unusual demon. Can this team of magical investigators solve the mystery of the Unburned Island? 

Book Description:


The entire island was on fire yet only one schoolhouse burned. Everyone disappeared. Several tried taking it over but were never successful. People no longer talk about Unburned Island. It was left to rot.

Years later, Kiran, En, and a team of magical investigators travel to the island to banish whatever haunts an old building. With En acting strange, they knew this wouldn’t be a simple job. Kiran develops a second ability, making their investigation both easier and harder.

 It takes them no time to realize the building isn’t the problem. The island is. They never anticipated the terrible secrets hidden within the school’s campus. Maybe some of the residents deserved their fate.

Amazon     Kobo     BN      Smashwords


Excerpt 1:
She pulled the band off her wrist and tied back her bushy hair. Of course, it didn’t all fit in the tie.
At least it wasn’t in her way now. Rather than use magic or chemicals to straighten her hair, Kiran usually kept it short. It was time to cut it again. She rarely let it run wild like this but work got in the way. Kiran liked her hair wild and long but it wasn’t practical. She needed to dye it again. The dark blue wasn’t as vibrant.
Why was she the only one drawn to this area? She usually saw more spirits than most but tests showed Kiran wasn’t sensitive. Maybe the other people wandering the grounds were human and she hadn’t paid much attention to that.
A terrible smell rolled in. Like old garbage and rotting corpses. Then the odor was gone.
The smell returned. Then it was gone.
It pulsed like a heartbeat. Kiran followed it.
From the small glances she got through windows, the interior appeared sturdy despite being abandoned. The school was clearly old but not nearly as worn as she had expected. Pieces of the stone exterior were chipped, probably due to age or weather. Thick green vines climbed up the building and through windows. She couldn’t see much of the roof from this angle.
She understood why someone wanted to use this place. The island was a short ferry ride away from the mainland. From Kiran’s first look, it seemed the land was large enough to fit a small village, the perfect location for an experimental campus.
This close, the old school no longer felt like a monster despite the oppressive air. Maybe the building wasn’t the problem.
Maybe it sat between worlds. Most believed Others’ ancestors came from different worlds and settled here. No one knew why they ran away from home.
Grass rustled. Kiran stopped. A figure jerked as though it wasn’t used to its body. The head turned at impossible angles. It twitched like the broken hands of a clock. It clicked as though each step towards her snapped a bone.
Kiran spread her feet shoulder length apart. She made sure all the lines of her body were straight so power could flow freely. She lifted two fingers and drew a level one ward symbol—a circle with a simple X in the middle.
Nothing happened.
She tried level two— an X with a line down the middle, from the sky to the ground.
Nothing.
She hit level five with no results. Symbols at higher levels took longer to create. Knots twisted in her wrist and side. The thing was close now. The smell was so bile she could taste it. She didn’t want to inhale and get more of that stuff in her. Kiran needed to breathe. If she wasn’t calm, the spell wouldn’t do what she wanted.
She stepped back, making sure to keep her body straight. This was taking too long. Hopefully, level ten would work. She made the ward sign. The creature shattered.
Kiran hit the ground. She couldn’t hear the clicking of bones anymore.
Some magic had a strong recoil. Wards were dangerous. You felt the effects only after the enemy was gone. Kiran’s limbs trembled. That was about all the moving she would do for a while.

About the Author:


An artist at heart, Auden Johnson loves photography, graphic design, and writing beautifully dark stories. She has published 13 dark fantasy stories featuring diverse characters with powers and questionable morals. She enjoys taking her camera on a long hike and photographing the scenic views. Most of her landscape photos are on sale online. Auden has a Masters in Publishing: Digital and Print and a Masters in Information and Library Science. She lives in Brooklyn with her writing buddy Oreo.







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Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy
Book Three
Barb Jones

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
ISBN:  9781953271013
ISBN:  9781953271020
ASIN: B08DKK66PM
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words
Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Tagline: Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

Book Description:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart — her friends, her great love — Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people — Chloe and Michael — that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon     BN
Excerpt:

Malakai, Seattle, Present Day

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.
He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.
…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.
Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling. 

***

Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day

Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.
She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.
A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.
She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.
“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”
She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.
Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her.




About the Author:

Barb Jones was born in Hawaii, a place rich with culture and storytellers. As a little girl, scary tales about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches were her favorite kind — much to her mother’s dismay. Her love for the supernatural never went away, even after moving to Seattle, far from Hawaii’s majestic beaches with unusual colors. Despite the unmatched beauty in Hawaii, Seattle stole Barb’s heart and it’s here where her stories took on a new form, in a book of her own: The Adventures of Little Arthur and Merlin the Magnificent. 

Then, the idea for The Blood Prophecy came while she was sleeping. In a dream, Barb saw a unique storyline involving all the races and an epic battle of good versus evil. It was a modern-day plot with a three-thousand-year-old prophecy, The Blood Prophecy. Barb finished the first book in 2014, The Queen’s Destiny. Two years later, she released The Queen’s Enemy, and the third book in the series, The Queen’s Ascension, arrives on August 17, 2020. 

She is not only a paranormal thriller author but an IT professional and mother of two fantastic children.  Today, she resides in Florida but is still a Seattle girl at heart.











After the Stars Appeared
A Lizard Queen Tale
H.L. Cherryholmes

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: 8/10/20
ISBN: 8654919922
ASIN: B08D8KRBX5
Number of pages: 299
Word Count: 109,517

Cover Artist: Ryan Vale

Tagline: What if you knew the world surrounding you wasn’t the one you started out in?

Book Description:

Consumed by that question and feeling as though she’s lost part of herself, Uyazani despises this unfamiliar world. Glittering stars in the night sky are as abnormal to her as the pressing need to conceal her true origins.

Once a low-ranking soldier and now a special deputy for the Queen, she traverses the landscape in search of others who share her memory of a world past. When she locates one who seems to have discovered a possible way back, she grows fiercely determined to use his information to return to their world. But his mind is not what it once was, nor is Uyazani the only one who wants him to unlock the secret. She finds herself in a deadly tug of war with others who have darker intentions.

With time running out, she must either quickly unite his fractured memories to uncover the way home, or accept that the world she longs for will be forever out of reach.





Excerpt:

She pulled down the exaggerated point of her wimple to better shadow her face. Adding a veil had been an option, but doing so would indicate she belonged to a cryptic sect, and that would only bring about questions. She’d chosen a dark-brown, long jacket and tall black boots for the same reason she’d chosen not to attach a veil. Should she be noticed, she would look like any of the hundreds of proselytizers rampant here in the Lower. She’d counted on this when she’d first learned where he was, and so far, the disguise had worked. No one had given her a second glance. Not that anyone should, really, not this far south; but on the off chance someone here was from Queensperch in the Upper and had perhaps visited High Palace in any sort of capacity, it was best to remain inconspicuous. Although she planned to continue the ruse while speaking with the asylum holder, she was nevertheless prepared to reveal herself, should it come to that. It wouldn’t, though. The heavy purse thumping against her thigh, as she followed an asylum worker down the narrow corridor, would be enough of an introduction. She doubted she’d even need to make up a name for herself.
Left alone in the asylum holder’s cramped study, she took another look at the letter—not the one that had been sent to inform her of his presence here in the asylum, but the letter that he had sent to the palace librarian. Many of the words were smudged and had been long before she’d slipped it into her trouser pocket prior to leaving the Upper. Because of the smudges in the center crease she guessed the ink hadn’t quite dried when the page was folded and handed over to whomever would help to smuggle it out of a castle and into a palace. At the top of the parchment, however, one line stood out clearly:
When a world expands history swells
The rest of the sentence, as well as the rest of the letter, was impossible to see in the dimness, but she didn’t need to; she’d read it so many times that she was certain she could recite the missive from memory. This was the letter confirming the possibility—a very strong possibility—that she could return to where she belonged. She carefully refolded it and returned it to her pocket.
Gaslights flickering against the walls cast an unsettling glow that made it seem as if objects in the room moved ever so slightly when not looked at directly. She wondered if this was purposeful. The occupants of this place surely needed no help in being unsettled, so it had to be for visitors. Probably to get them to leave quickly. The asylum would need more than an onerous ambiance to deter her. She’d come a long way and had no intention of leaving without the one whom she’d come for. Sweat gathered at the bottom of her wimple.



About the Author:

H.L. Cherryholmes, author of The Lizard Queen series, A Slight Touch,  Come Back for Me, and The Reminisce was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico but has spent most of his life in California. He has a BFA from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree in Playwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he lives in Southern California with his husband, Ron Cogan.






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The Haunting on Palm Court
Isle of Palms Suspense
Book One  
Stephanie Edwards

Genre: Romantic Suspense, Paranormal
Date of Publication: Sept. 1, 2020      
ISBN: 9781735169101  
ASIN: B089QXJHPV
Number of pages: 252
Word Count: 69,786
Cover Artist: Stephanie Edwards

Tagline: He refused to leave her alone, even after his death

Book Description:

After Blake Nelson catches her abusive fiancé, Parker, with another woman, she seeks serenity at her late grandmother’s beach cottage. He follows Blake to the island and attempts to kill her, but instead, he dies in an accident while fleeing the police.

His malevolent spirit returns to the cottage to finish what he started. The haunting intensifies when Blake reconnects with her first love, Clint. Will Blake discover how to banish Parker before it’s too late?

Amazon     BN     Apple     Google     Kobo     Goodreads


Book Trailer 1: https://youtu.be/ZvpAT9tmctU




Excerpt:

The last bit of winter wind pierced her flesh as she put on the cardigan. She sat down on the worn decking boards on the widow’s walk. Pulling the sweater down over her knees, she allowed the waves to impart their healing magic, calming her as much as possible.
Once she had experienced all the bitter wind she could handle, Blake went back downstairs. She caught her reflection in the foyer mirror. Her eyes swollen and red, and her skin chapped from the wind. Nancy reached out to comfort Blake.
“I’m staying with you tonight. You shouldn’t be alone. By the way, Clint is sleeping in his patrol car in the driveway.”
“Please tell him to go home,” Blake said.
Nancy walked outside for a moment. When she returned, she put her hands on her hips. “He refuses to leave you.” She gave Blake a meaningful wink, but Blake was in no place to pick up on hints, regardless of their level of subtlety.
“Goodnight, Nancy. Thanks for staying with me.” Blake walked upstairs to her room.
She squirmed in bed for hours. Parker had hurt her; still, his death saddened her.
After falling into a fitful sleep, her unrest turned into a series of disturbing dreams and frightening images. In a state between nightmare and wakefulness, she woke in a cold sweat, with a pounding headache. A prickly sensation tingled across her body. She turned. Parker lay behind her, smirking. Paralyzed with fear, Blake sat frozen in her bed, staring at him. His wasn’t the first spirit she’d seen, not by a longshot. But seeing him, her heartrate sped up, and her breathing turned shallow.
His face illuminated by the light of the full moon, Parker smiled and traced the outline of her face with his index finger. He leaned in to kiss her, but she jumped out of bed. He began inching toward her, but Blake flipped the mattress onto the floor.
Blake turned on the lamp on her bedside table. When her eyes adjusted, Parker had disappeared. She bent over to check under her bed, jumping when she accidentally stepped on one of Willow’s squeaky toys. She breathed a sigh of relief when she kicked aside the plush stuffed animal.
Someone knocked on her bedroom door. She called out, “Yes?”
“What’s the matter?” Nancy asked.
Blake opened the door. Nancy rubbed her eyes. “I had a nightmare that Parker was in bed with me,” Blake said. “When I woke up, he was there. It’s the creepiest feeling I’ve ever experienced.” She shivered. 
Nancy gasped and placed her hands on her cheeks. “Oh, my word! Are you all right?”
“I’m frightened, but I’m okay.”
Blake’s chest caved inward. Over the past year, she had faced some traumatic, life-altering events. As an empath, Blake was no stranger to interacting with spirits, but Parker’s was the first who had frightened her.
“Will he come back? If he does, how will we get rid of him?”
Nancy hugged her but didn’t say a word, unusual for her. She had to be hiding something.
“What aren’t you telling me?” Blake demanded.
Nancy put her finger to her lips. “It’s a long story for another day, but you’re not alone in seeing spirits. It’s part of your family’s past, and mine for that matter. Just trust me, it’ll be okay.”
Blake threw her hands into the air. “But…”
Nancy shook her head. “Shh, honey. Not right now. Please calm down. It’s late. Get some rest. We’ll take care of Parker all in good time.” 

Emotional and physical exhaustion had taken its toll on Blake. She returned to her bed but did not sleep for the rest of the night. Every time she drifted off, Parker’s dead eyes stared at her, boring a hole into her soul.


About the Author:

Stephanie Edwards has been writing professionally since she landed her first newspaper column at the age of 13. Her love for the Lowcountry, the Atlantic Ocean and a good ghost story inspired her to write her first book. She lives in Tennessee with her husband, Ron, and their adorable dog, Shadow.




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Award-winning playwright and filmmaker Susan Rubin’s debut novel The Road Not Taken tells the mind-bending adventure of an unmoored woman who travels time to reclaim her life. #theroadnottaken #author #timetravel #fantasy #womenslit #newfiction #escapism #newreleases https://amzn.to/3eOO9iK



The Road Not Taken    
Susan Rubin

Genre: Fiction: Women’s Fiction, SciFi/Time Travel, Fantasy
Publisher: Harvard Square Editions
Date of Publication: September 4, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-941861-68-4
Number of pages: 290

Tagline:  A trippy fantasy that uses time travel to explore the inner drives of a woman in midlife whose errand to a department store lipstick counter becomes an opportunity to unravel the mystery of self.

Book Description:

Widowed suddenly at age 50, Deborah is left with plenty of money but no direction to her life. Shedding her suburban housewife life, she moves back to the West Village where she grew up.

When she meets a woman who appears to be an identical twin, Deborah discovers the Lost: a group of 100 fully-formed people who were dropped off on Earth as it cooled down and who have lived on the planet as it developed.

The Lost show her the myriad dimensions of Spacetime, taking her to ancient Egypt, Weimar Germany, and planets without inhabitants. They reunite her with deceased loved ones. She forms relationships with an Egyptian god and a famous artist through whom she lives new truths and learns who she needs to become to walk the road not taken.



About the Author:

Susan Rubin has written for Funny or Die, and in contrast, she’s written more than two dozen documentaries that highlight international women’s issues like domestic violence, forced child marriage, and untested rape kits accumulating in police evidence rooms. Rubin has used her skill, empathy, and compassion to render these darkest of topics into accessible films distributed to tens of thousands of college classrooms.

As a playwright, Rubin has, for 20 years, been the recipient of Los Angeles County Arts Commission Grants and Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department Grants. She also was honored with a six-year residency at the prestigious Los Angeles Theatre Center. Her plays have been seen at New York Theatre Workshop, Baltimore Center Stage, and at every major 99 seat theatre in Los Angeles including co-productions with Bootleg Theatre, Circle X, Skylight Theatre to name a few. She is the recipient of Garland, Ovation and LA Weekly Awards.

https://www.susanrubinwriter.com/


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The Divine Mother, Goddess Net, has had her powers taken from her and only the shifter God Fenrir stands between her and those wishing to destroy creation. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08CJC8B3V #lillicarlisleromance, #DistantThunder, #Gods&Thunder


Distant Thunder
Gods and Thunder
Book One
Lilli Carlisle

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication: July 6, 2020
ISBN: 978-1-951055-86-8
ASIN: B08CJC8B3V
Word Count: 41030

Tagline: The gods who protect the world know evil is coming, and it can’t wait to show itself – vainglorious in its efforts, it will make itself known soon

Book Description:

THE APPROACHING STORM

Punished and shamed, the divine mother of nature, the goddess Net, was stripped of her powers and made mortal. Were it not for the shifter god, Fenrir, she wouldn’t have a home or protection, and with evil rising in all the realms, she is more than vulnerable, she’s a target.

For Fenrir, protecting Net is more than a favor, it’s a way to ensure she will not lose her life on his watch. As threats become a real and present danger, he is forced to admit his long-hidden feelings and intends to make Net his forever, if she will have him.

The Gods and Thunder series is a spin-off of the Black Ridge Wolf Pack Series

Amazon     Smashwords     Kobo



Excerpt:
Net stood, admired her handiwork, and smiled. She may not have her powers back yet, but she could plant flowers instead of using her magic to bring them to life. She enjoyed doing this. Getting her hands dirty, connecting with the earth in a way she hadn’t felt before when she willed things into existence.
It had been many months since the judgment, and she was still settling into her new home. Net was under house arrest at the shifter god Fenrir’s home. He was seldom here, leaving her lonely, yet giving her time for introspection. Without her powers, Net was vulnerable to attack from not only the demon population, who would love nothing better than to pick off a goddess, but the other gods as well. Some gods were known to be petty, quickly taking offense over any little thing. As was the way with most politics, an individual was never really sure a god was gunning for them until it was too late.
Typically, when she had her powers, Net had no fear of her brethren. She shared their strength, immortality, and she had her unique magic. At full power, Net wasn’t an easy target.
Fortunately, for now, things had been quiet. Fenrir’s protection spells held, and no one had tried to attack her. She would be happy if she made it through her punishment unscathed. She had to admit, she missed her connection to the greater natural world. As the goddess of the forests and the plants, divine mother of nature, she used to be able to feel the ebb and flow of every being big or small, animal or plant. Now, in a world without her powers, things quieted in her mind and body in a way that made her feel she’d lost what made her Net. Yet, at the same time, the narrowness of her existence made her appreciate every little thing. She scanned the front yard of her new home, and prison of sorts, pleased that the rows of flower beds overflowed with blooms of every color and size. Net wasn’t sure what she’d do with herself once she’d completed the planting. Perhaps she should plant a few vegetables and add fruit trees to the mix. Even strawberries would serve her well. She loved the sweet fruit. It wasn’t as though Fenrir’s home was a hovel. Quite the opposite. The large cottage was set in a glorious forest, keeping her in touch with her core strengths, and giving her lots of space to roam. She picked up her small shovel and watering bucket, deciding that the last flower bed had been enough for today. She stowed the implements in the little shed and was on her way back to the house when an alarm sounded.
The first of Fenrir’s defenses were under attack. Fates. Another alarm sounded, and she began running for the safety of the cottage where protection was the strongest. She had barely stepped over the threshold of the front door when the third and last alarm sounded. She’d tempted fate to have thought about the quiet and calm. She felt somehow she’d sent out a challenge. When would she learn to keep her thoughts to herself?
She bolted the door, sealing the last spell in place. Fenrir was going to be angry someone messed with his home. The inside of the cottage held an iridescence, which covered the exterior walls, doors, and windows, a visual confirmation the protection spell was in place and holding.
“Sister. Won’t you come out to play?” a familiar voice yelled from the front yard. It couldn’t be. Net went to the window to make sure she wasn’t losing her mind and gasped as Vengier waved at her from his perch in the center of one of her new flower beds. He stood in what was left of her plants. So like him to destroy every beautiful thing in his path. The former god of beauty was too vindictive to allow anything that held promise, hope, or abundance exist around him.
Taking a closer look, she had to say Vengier wasn’t looking himself, unless he was going for the zombie version of the god of beauty. Perhaps it was his vile nature finally showing through, much like the human story The Portrait of Dorian Gray, with one not-so-small difference: Vengier was dead.



About the Author:

Lilli Carlisle lives in the country near Toronto, Canada. She is the mother of two wonderful girls, wife to an amazing man, and servant to the pets in her life, and she’s a member of Toronto Romance Writers. Lilli writes paranormal/fantasy romance, and believes love should be celebrated and shared. After all, everybody needs a little romance, excitement, intrigue, and passion in their lives







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The Tall Dark Man has set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Will he succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, will she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DKK66PM

#thebloodprophecy #queensascension


Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy
Book Three
Barb Jones

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
ISBN:  9781953271013
ISBN:  9781953271020
ASIN: B08DKK66PM
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words

Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Tagline: Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

Book Description:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart — her friends, her great love — Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people — Chloe and Michael — that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon     BN
Excerpt:

Malakai, Seattle, Present Day

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.
He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.
…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.
Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling. 

***

Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day

Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.
She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.
A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.
She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.
“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”
She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.
Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her.




About the Author:

Barb Jones is a paranormal thriller author, IT professional, and the mother of two fantastic children. She is known for her ability to create relatable characters and detailed settings without compromising her unique plots. When people have asked her who she is, she’s been quoted saying, “It can be hard to write at times, but never give up on what you’re passionate about.” She’s a mother, first and foremost, and an author and supernatural enthusiast after. She currently resides in Sarasota, FL, but is a Seattle native at heart. When she’s not writing, she’s traveling and looking for new inspiration for her books.











Caught
Sea Temptress Series
Book One
Kimberley Cale

Genre: Fantasy romance
ISBN: 978-1-7772821-0-3
ASIN: B08D7T8YSK
Number of pages: 155
Word Count: 58127

Cover Artist: Sharko Studios cover model Taylor Walker

Tagline: She was just supposed to be a myth. He was just supposed to be a stupid pirate. Who knew?

Book Description: 

A vengeful pirate…

Ruthless pirate captain Quinn O’Connor is bent on getting revenge on the creatures who wrecked his ship and killed his crew. When he claims their leader as his captive, he doesn’t expect the scorching consequences that come with being stranded with her on a mysterious island.

A beautiful sea temptress…

Lorelei, a daughter of Poseidon, is willing to bargain with the dangerous pirate who captured her in order to save the ones she loves. He believes the worst of her and her kind, and when he drags her onto dry land, turning her beautiful tail into a pair of unsteady legs, she’s not sure if she’ll be able to return home—and soon she starts to wonder if she really wants to.

Magic and mayhem bring them together…

With each smoldering kiss, each heated touch, their desire blazes higher. Can they overcome misunderstandings and monstrous enemies seeking to tear them apart? Will a mermaid challenge her fate for the love of a pirate? Will the vengeful pirate give up his revenge and take on a god to save his mermaid?




Excerpt One for Caught

He’d make her pay. He vowed it. Quinn sat with his unconscious prey in the only remaining rowboat. With red-rimmed eyes, he watched as his ship, his pride and joy, The Mayhem, was consumed by fire. Yellow and orange flames blazed, creating a distorted tale of fiery devastation on the dark waters, while billowing black smoke overshadowed the star-studded sky above.
He would not look away, not from the sweltering heat of the flames, nor from the acrid stench of burning oiled wood and sail. Not even the vile smell of human flesh set afire could make him avert his gaze. He wanted to imprint this sight into his brain, so when he was ready to punish the murderous little creature he had captured and plucked from the sea, he would not falter. He would remember and take measure for measure.
He stared at her now, and hatred raged in his heart. Her face, so deceptively innocent, did not fool him. Relentlessly, he rowed towards the little island not far off while his thoughts churned on the treachery of women.
Having once been played the fool by a pretty face in his checkered past, he’d learnt a thing or two about women and their self-serving ways. He’d almost paid the price by getting leg shackled to one until he’d discovered the true extent of her devious nature.
Fortunately, he’d found her out before she’d been able to cause too much damage.
The one taking up space in his rowboat had scuttled his ship and succeeded in sending his crew on a one-way journey to Davy Jones’s Locker.
It gutted him to think of their lifeless bodies drifting down into a watery grave while their murderer sat across from him, alive and well.
Quinn collapsed back into the bow of the rowboat. His weary mind drifted back to before the mermaid had invaded his life. Memories took on a dreamlike quality, taking him back to just before this nightmare started, as if the events were occurring for the first time.

About the Author:

Kimberley Cale writes fantasy romance and is the author of the Sea Temptress Series and the epic Tales of Terraron. She has been a reading addict for as long as she can remember. While she enjoys reading anything and everything from historical, paranormal to contemporary novels, she has found her passion bringing her feisty heroines together with their bad boy heroes and adding a spark of magic to create fantastic page turning romance.

After visiting over half of the United States, Mexico, The Dominican, Europe and parts of Canada, she can honestly say the experience has broadened her perspective on other cultures and enlivened her already overactive imagination.
Her family will tell you that from the time she was a child she has rarely been without a journal in hand building worlds for her characters to live in and exciting obsoletes for them to overcome.

With a few college and online writing courses under her belt, Kimberley is constantly learning how to improve her writing craft online, While she worked for an insurance company, part of her job involved writing letters to claimants. These were sad tales that should have started with sorry for your loss. Later she worked in the safety industry and wrote many a safety manual for different companies. Unfortunately not one manual included an ounce of romance in it. Finally after years of research, which involved reading a great variety of romance novels well into the night, she decided to pursue her writing passion.

Kimberley’s other loves besides her awesome family include, trying unsuccessfully to keep the weeds out of her garden. So far verbal threats and hand gestures haven’t worked; still it’s a war she intends to win. She’s also obsessed with a streaming cup of hot chocolate; well chocolate of any kind really, there’s been talk amongst family and friends about an intervention. When she’s not writing you will find her snuggled next to her hubby searching Netflix for the latest epic movies.

More than anything else she loves hearing from her readers and makes it a priority to respond to any and all who are willing to take the time to send her a line.


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The Witch with Nine Lives
A Dysfunctional Family of Witches
Book Two
B. Austin

Genre: Paranormal, Urban, YA, Horror
Publisher: Spellbound Books
Date of Publication: 8/27/2020
ASIN: B08BHSJ2RW
 Number of pages: 263
Word Count: 58,319

Cover Artist: B. Austin

Tagline: The Tie Between Two Powerful Sisters is Tested when Secrets, Lies and Magic is Revealed in a Dysfunctional Family of Witches.

Book Description:

Medea turns into a cat at night, due to her mother’s curse. Her mother, Dima, has a shapeshifting stone. She is 130-years-old but appears to be 18, nearly the same age as her two daughters.

Nikki works as a maid, rather than in the family witchcraft business of fortune-telling, seances, and other witchery-for-hire. She was born a Marilyn-Monroe lookalike. Despite her beauty, jealousy eats away at Nikki because her mother and sister have magic. Nor is Nikki allowed near the books of spells, enchantments, and potions Dima stole from Russian monks.

Medea is tortured by a secret that can destroy the sisterly tie between her and Nikki.

Unknown to her family, Nikki, is developing a magical gift which she cannot control, a sorcery that will threaten Medea and pit two powerful sisters against each other.


The Witch with Nine Lives
A Dysfunctional Family of Witches Excerpt

PROLOGUE

Nikki held her dead sister in her arms, a cat named Medea. It was only because of her youngest daughter, well now her only daughter, that their mother attended this makeshift funeral. Dima should be working. Luke Air Force Base in Glendale was open. There was money to be made dancing with solders. Most paid good money for Dima to gaze into a crystal ball and tell the men their futures.
Bah, this is a waste of my time, having a funeral for Medea. Dima frowned at the dead Abyssinian cat. The different-colored eyes were glazed over in death and the tongue was hanging out. Dima turned her head away. She felt guilty for having cast a spell on her oldest daughter to begin with. It was for her own good. She may have been just a teenager, but the mafia wanted her dead.
Almost 24 hours passed since Nikki found Medea dead in the backyard. The girl had run into the house screaming, carrying her dead sister in her arms, the cat’s arms dangling and the head hanging. The eyes were open and still. Nikki had been hysterical until Dima slapped her.
Once more, Nikki cried over her furry sister. The girl seemed to like her sister more now that Medea was dead.
Dima yanked a shapeshifting stone from her pocket. She ordered the stone to shapeshift into a shovel. She then dug a small grave.
Nikki gently placed her sister in the small, shallow grave.
The emotional upset of seeing her eldest daughter lying dead with a pile of dirt beside the open grave, caused Dima to transform from a sexy, 18-year-old to her true self, a 130-year-old hag. Quick, she grabbed the shovel which then melted into her hands and reformed as the shapeshifting stone. She clutched the stone and spun until she was once more an 18-year-old beauty.
It was almost midnight at the small, private Russian Molokan Cemetery located at 75th and Maryland Avenue in Glendale, Arizona. There was a full moon, so there was plenty of light shining on the grave.
“Why couldn’t we have a coffin?” Nikki again asked.
“Your sister always liked the dirt. Remember how she would dig with her claws?” Dima said.
“Yes, but that was so she could use the bathroom outside,” Nikki pointed out.
“Well, you really shouldn’t cry over a sister who used her tongue as toilet paper,” Dima said. “Medea was inferior.”
Nikki glared at her. “Medea was a cat because of you.”
“Well, if Medea had not been an outdoor cat, but stayed indoors, she might have lived a few years longer, if not for you,” Dima said.
Now, it was Nikki’s turn to look guilty.
The moon moved directly above them, signaling that it was now midnight.
Dima screeched and pointed at the grave. Moonlight was shining on the cat, which had transformed from a brown Abyssinian cat into a black kitten.
“Medea’s come back to life!” Nikki clapped her hands with joy.
Dima, on the other hand, was so shocked that she dropped Pompeii, her shapeshifting stone. She again transformed from a young woman to an ancient one. Her boobs were sagging past her waist. Her hair was but a few sparse white hairs. Dima lifted her head so that she could see because her wrinkly eyelids blurred her vision, not to mention the cataracts; oh, the cataracts, and the arthritis in her gnarled hands. Her back was hunched over. Dima ached with more than a century and a quarter of living, and none of it as the granddaughter of Catherine the Great of Russia. Dima was born with signs that she would be a witch, which freaked out her royal family, so her bastard mother threw her away.
Well, enough of bad memories. Medea was reborn!
The kitten sat up and stretched, arching its back. She wasn’t exactly a newborn kitten. Medea appeared to be the size of a four-month-old kitten.
Dima stooped to pick up the shapeshifting stone.
The kitten was faster and jumped on the stone, sitting on the rock.
Dima jumped out of the way because the kitten scratched at her ankles.
Dima growled low in her throat. “I see dying hasn’t improved your bad manners, Medea. You are still headstrong though you must weigh all of three pounds. Move, or I’ll smack you with a newspaper.”
Seventeen cats, some old, some young, surrounded them, hissing at Dima. Of course, the cats attended Medea’s funeral. She was their leader.
Traitors, Dima thought. The older cats had once been loyal to her, but that was before she turned her daughter into a cat.
Dima took a step back. Medea may have been reborn as a black cat, but her eyes were still the same, one eye being amber in color and the other eye emerald-green. The two different colors were a sign of magic. Medea was still a witch and power still flowed in her kitty veins.
The kitten laughed. “Come now, mother,” Medea said in a kittenish, human voice. Medea apparently had the memories of her past life. “It won’t hurt you to stay your own age, for an hour or so. This is my wish for my birthday.”
“You don’t get a second birthday,” Dima snarled.
“Yes, she does,” Nikki protested. “Medea has now been born twice.”

About the Author:

Belinda has fun creating both researched and original magic in her books. She grew up in New Mexico, a Southwestern state known as the Land of Enchantment with a long history of Native American and Spanish witchcraft. Growing up, she heard spell-binding tales about magic and real witches, magic sometimes witnessed by family members. Belinda has a friend in Albuquerque who is a modern-day witch. Belinda is a former Software Engineer / Web Applications Developer. She has a degree in Applied Mathematics. She did not have to do research when it comes to dysfunctional families. Her father was a bigamist with two wives and two sets of children.

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The Warrior’s Progeny
The Heaven and Earth Series
Book Two
Jeny Heckman

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 07/27/2020
ISBN (Paperback): 978-1-5092-3219-2
ISBN (Digital): 978-1-5092-3220-8
ASIN: B089PZQJ34
Number of pages: 424
Word Count: 102,620

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Tagline:  If love dies, can it be reborn…only stronger?

Book Description:

Colton Stone is a newly traded tight end whose reputation is as battered as his football helmet. When he receives a vacation invitation from his new teammates, he accepts. There he collides with Dr. Lillian Morgan, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, and doesn’t know what to think.

A widow with two children, Lilly is looking forward to her friends’ wedding. When she meets Colton Stone, his arrogant attitude only makes her long for the love she took for granted. Lilly struggles between letting go of her perfect past for an uncertain future.

Strange events occur, out of the realm of normal consciousness. When black energy touches their world Colt and Lilly become the pawns of the immortal Greek gods. Is the love developing between them natural, or part of a larger prophecy?


Amazon     BN      iBooks

EXCERPT 1: (244 words)
Colt’s body temperature heated until his helmet, now that of a Trojan, melted and became part of his skull. Painful, thick, fire plumes ignited from the sides of his head and curved toward the sky, until they solidified in a solid line down the middle of the helmet. Black snake-like smoke wafted up from the earth and encircled his ankles and wrists, locking him into place.
The smoke turned into bindings and massaged tentacles over his chest and phallus.

He looked over at Lilly, who now knelt helpless as her skin became dusky, then turned a brilliant shade of blue. However, the color became an iridescent hue that reminded him of something just outside the confines of his mind. Her skin bubbled, separated, and formed into thousands of compact hairs. Small points protruded from her shoulders and down her arms until they freed themselves from the surface of her skin, as she screamed. Several long, hollow shoots grew, lengthening into the elegant, arching rods, as more buds sprouted from them and turned into thready feathers. As the feathers lengthened, green and blue eyes opened in intervals. At a screech of transformation, Lilly turned into a peacock, whose tail plumed out in a perfect fan. A feathered diadem lifted from her skull and the beautiful eyes all blinked at him. He wanted to mate with her, devour her, possess her, and bellowed out an unearthly warrior battle cry. Breaking his bonds, he charged at her.


About the Author:

Award-winning author, Jeny Heckman, was born in Bellingham, Washington, and was the youngest of two daughters. She met her husband, Jeff, in August 1992, and eloped three months later, at Magen’s Bay, on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

She wrote her first book, the Catch, in a few short months but took several years before she gained the courage to self-publish it at her son’s urging, and her love for writing began.

In 2018, Jeny knew her next project would be a series that showed adults could have adventures in the paranormal-fantasy genre too. So, she created the Heaven & Earth series, a story of doomed Greek gods and their only salvation, their modern-day descendants. Her first book of the series, the Sea Archer, was immediately picked up by the New York publishing house, the Wild Rose Press, and won, “Best in Category” from the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards.

In the year 2020, Jeny released, Dancing Through Tears, a short story from the anthology, Australia Burns: Volume Two, highlighting the Route 91 massacre from the perspective of one family at the concert, and at Mandalay Bay. She also intends to release, the Warrior’s Progeny, and Dee’s Cornucopia, in 2020, continuing the Heaven & Earth Series.

Jeny lives in Washington State with her husband of over twenty-eight years.













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The Warrior’s Progeny
The Heaven and Earth Series
Book Two
Jeny Heckman

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 07/27/2020
ISBN (Paperback): 978-1-5092-3219-2
ISBN (Digital): 978-1-5092-3220-8
ASIN: B089PZQJ34
Number of pages: 424
Word Count: 102,620

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Tagline:  If love dies, can it be reborn…only stronger?

Book Description:

Colton Stone is a newly traded tight end whose reputation is as battered as his football helmet. When he receives a vacation invitation from his new teammates, he accepts. There he collides with Dr. Lillian Morgan, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, and doesn’t know what to think.

A widow with two children, Lilly is looking forward to her friends’ wedding. When she meets Colton Stone, his arrogant attitude only makes her long for the love she took for granted. Lilly struggles between letting go of her perfect past for an uncertain future.

Strange events occur, out of the realm of normal consciousness. When black energy touches their world Colt and Lilly become the pawns of the immortal Greek gods. Is the love developing between them natural, or part of a larger prophecy?



Amazon     BN      iBooks

EXCERPT 2: (242 words)

Lilly looked down at the football, lying prone and guilty in the sand, as realization hit her.
“Oh my God, Que! Are you okay?”
She examined Que’s head and neck checking for injuries, with rapid authority. A small goose egg already formed just above her right temple. A tiny cut opened in her eyebrow, from her broken sunglasses now laying in the sand, causing a small bead of blood to well up.
Used to the recklessness of her son and his friends regarding the sport, Lilly turned, gearing up for an impressive tongue lashing to teenagers.
“What in the hell…” she bellowed, turning around and smacking her face into the sweaty muscular chest of a massive redhead. Refusing to let the fourteen-inch height difference and the hundred and sixty pounds of additional weight intimidate her, Lilly balled her small fists on her hips, shifted her gaze up, and narrowed her eyes.
“What in the hell is the matter with you? You’re on a crowded beach with a bunch of young children and families. You’re a grown-ass man. Can’t you catch a football?” When he stared down at her in fascinated disbelief, she continued. “There is a wide-open park just over there,” she said, stabbing her finger in the general vicinity. “Maybe you and your little friends”— she looked over at all the massive men in his group, but continued undaunted—“should go over there and pull your heads out of your asses.”



About the Author:

Award-winning author, Jeny Heckman, was born in Bellingham, Washington, and was the youngest of two daughters. She met her husband, Jeff, in August 1992, and eloped three months later, at Magen’s Bay, on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

She wrote her first book, the Catch, in a few short months but took several years before she gained the courage to self-publish it at her son’s urging, and her love for writing began.

In 2018, Jeny knew her next project would be a series that showed adults could have adventures in the paranormal-fantasy genre too. So, she created the Heaven & Earth series, a story of doomed Greek gods and their only salvation, their modern-day descendants. Her first book of the series, the Sea Archer, was immediately picked up by the New York publishing house, the Wild Rose Press, and won, “Best in Category” from the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards.

In the year 2020, Jeny released, Dancing Through Tears, a short story from the anthology, Australia Burns: Volume Two, highlighting the Route 91 massacre from the perspective of one family at the concert, and at Mandalay Bay. She also intends to release, the Warrior’s Progeny, and Dee’s Cornucopia, in 2020, continuing the Heaven & Earth Series.

Jeny lives in Washington State with her husband of over twenty-eight years.













a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js Spotlight HTML 3

The Warrior’s Progeny
The Heaven and Earth Series
Book Two
Jeny Heckman

Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication: 07/27/2020
ISBN (Paperback): 978-1-5092-3219-2
ISBN (Digital): 978-1-5092-3220-8
ASIN: B089PZQJ34
Number of pages: 424
Word Count: 102,620

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Tagline:  If love dies, can it be reborn…only stronger?

Book Description:

Colton Stone is a newly traded tight end whose reputation is as battered as his football helmet. When he receives a vacation invitation from his new teammates, he accepts. There he collides with Dr. Lillian Morgan, a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon, and doesn’t know what to think.

A widow with two children, Lilly is looking forward to her friends’ wedding. When she meets Colton Stone, his arrogant attitude only makes her long for the love she took for granted. Lilly struggles between letting go of her perfect past for an uncertain future.

Strange events occur, out of the realm of normal consciousness. When black energy touches their world Colt and Lilly become the pawns of the immortal Greek gods. Is the love developing between them natural, or part of a larger prophecy?

Amazon     BN      iBooks

EXCERPT 3: (244 words)
“You couldn’t have known,” Colt said.
“I’m a doctor,” she retorted. “I’m trained to know.”
“Oh, bullshit.” She drew her brows together and looked at him with irritation. Undaunted, he continued. “You were his wife, not his doctor.” Glancing back at the picture, he drank from his glass. “He was a young guy…looked fit…father of two.” Colt turned to look at her again. “Young, fit, fathers of two don’t get stage four pancreatic cancer and die in ten months. He wasn’t your patient, Lillian, and you weren’t looking at him like a patient. He was your husband, and he died.”
“Colt.” She took a breath, placed a hand on his, and backed up a little. “Look, I know you want something, but we’re broken here, and I can’t give you what you…”
“Bullshit.”
“It’s not bullshit. It’s how I feel. I’ve got kids to think about and responsibilities. You want easy and I’m not that.”
“You don’t even know me, Lilly.”

“I know. That’s what I’ve been trying to say.”

“No, that’s what you’re trying to use as an excuse. Those kids aren’t damaged because of their dad, you are. Those kids have a mom who loves them and makes damn sure they aren’t damaged. You’re afraid to try, so you hide behind your dead husband.”
“How dare you be so callous?”

“How dare you use your husband to get out of trying again? You’re a beautiful, intelligent woman and your life isn’t over.”



About the Author:

Award-winning author, Jeny Heckman, was born in Bellingham, Washington, and was the youngest of two daughters. She met her husband, Jeff, in August 1992, and eloped three months later, at Magen’s Bay, on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.

She wrote her first book, the Catch, in a few short months but took several years before she gained the courage to self-publish it at her son’s urging, and her love for writing began.

In 2018, Jeny knew her next project would be a series that showed adults could have adventures in the paranormal-fantasy genre too. So, she created the Heaven & Earth series, a story of doomed Greek gods and their only salvation, their modern-day descendants. Her first book of the series, the Sea Archer, was immediately picked up by the New York publishing house, the Wild Rose Press, and won, “Best in Category” from the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards.

In the year 2020, Jeny released, Dancing Through Tears, a short story from the anthology, Australia Burns: Volume Two, highlighting the Route 91 massacre from the perspective of one family at the concert, and at Mandalay Bay. She also intends to release, the Warrior’s Progeny, and Dee’s Cornucopia, in 2020, continuing the Heaven & Earth Series.

Jeny lives in Washington State with her husband of over twenty-eight years.













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