Spotlight: Hidden, by Amy McKinley 2

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Description:

Cursed since birth, hunted by gods, and desperate for love—Jade never stood a chance.

Half-demon, half-goddess, Jade’s fate makes her a pawn in an epic battle among the gods. Hidden on Earth with her sisters, she successfully avoids the Oneiroi—the dream gods—bent on her destruction until the prophecy, long dormant, awakens a dark shadow within her.

Roen, a reclusive Worr demon known for his battles against the Oneiroi, is called to protect Jade. Together they must unlock their mysterious connection and find a way to beat back destiny. Can she outsmart the prophecy, change her fate, and find love—even when she learns who is connected to her destruction.

 

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About the Author:

Amy McKinley is a freelance writer and author. She lives in Illinois with her husband, their four talented teenagers, and three mischievous cats. Her debut novel, Hidden is the first in the Five Fates Series.

Connect with Amy

www.amymckinley.com

Twitter: Amy McKinley@amymckinley7

Facebook: www.facebook.com/amymckinleyauthor

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/amymckinley7

WordPress https://amymckinleyauthor.wordpress.com

 

Giveaway:

Amy McKinley will award a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter a $20 Amazon/BN GC.

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Deception by A.S. Fenichel Reply

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Available for Purchase on

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Review:

Deception has a sweetly romantic and modest feel.  You get the historic atmosphere from the way things are done such as a proper lady sits on a side saddle.  The paranormal you get as Dorian is busy trying to court Lillian while they are fighting demons. I was momentarily messed up during reading when a character changed names in the middle of a fight scene.  All in all a historical paranormal romance is what A.S. Fenichel has accomplished here.

Reviewed by: Fawnzys

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Description:

When Demons threaten Regency London, only a Lady can stop them.

Lillian Dellacourt is beautiful, refined and absolutely lethal. She’s also the most feared and merciless demon hunter in The Company. She’s come a long way from the penniless seamstress’s daughter sold to the highest bidder, and it wasn’t by trusting a man, let alone an exiled Marquis with more on his mind than slaying the hellspawn . . .

For Dorian Lambert, Marquis de Montalembert, being sent to keep track of Lillian is no mean task. He’s wanted the fiery vixen since he first heard of her five years ago. But wooing the lady while fighting the demon uprising is no easy feat, especially when the lady’s tongue is as sharp as the Japanese sai blades she favors for eviscerating the spawn of hell.

These two will have to learn to trust each other fast, because the demon master is back, and he’s planning to turn Edinburgh into a living hell…

 

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Excerpt:

Gripping the chair arms to keep herself seated, Lillian fought an urge to leave and never set foot inside Castle Brendaligh again.

It had been a demoralizing battle and they had lost, but they had lived. They had done all they could, but still the demon master had ascended into man’s world.

“You failed and we are all likely to die because of it. I hold every person at this table responsible for the state of England. You have ruined us.” Lord Clayton’s voice grated on Lillian’s nerves.

Accounts of the battle were clear. Nearly everyone in the room had risked their lives trying to disrupt the ascension, not to mention keep the earl’s daughter, Belinda, from becoming a demon sacrifice. Making such a show of ferocious reprimands insulted their brave and selfless efforts. If not for the fact that he was her best friend’s father, she might have indulged her desire to pull a sai blade from her boot and slice his throat.

As if Lord Clayton, the Earl of Shafton, needed to attract more attention, he waved his hands. “You had one mission, to keep the master from entering our world. All you had to do was kill one demon, but you failed. You should all be shot for treason. Treason!”

His bright red face gave her hope his heart might fail and save her the trouble of killing him.

Other hunters at the table murmured, but no one spoke out.

Everyone in this room is to blame. You had the perfect opportunity to end this mess. Now

the master is free of his realm and living in ours. It’s only a matter of time before he is strong enough to destroy everything we hold dear. When your families are killed mercilessly, will you sit here so unrepentant about failing in your duty?”

“Father, really.” Belinda Thurston rolled her eyes.

Lillian missed Reece’s steadying presence. Reece might have even been able to stop his lordship’s tirade with a few quick-witted remarks. Her partner had nearly died, and now lay upstairs recovering from demon poisoning.

“Don’t you roll your eyes at me, Belinda. You are equally to blame. You were with the master for days and made no attempt to destroy him.”

Gabriel, Belinda’s husband, bristled. It was of course a ridiculous statement. The Earl of Tullering was not used to public abuse of his family. “Just a minute, my lord. You are out of order. Belinda was in no position to defeat the demon master. The information she gathered will be very helpful in our eventual victory.”

Shafton pointed a fat finger. “I do not want to hear about information that will take years to decipher. You, Tullering, are by far the most culpable. You and that woman”—he pointed at Lillian—“made a conscious choice not to destroy the master.”

Lillian reached toward her boot and let the hard steel of her sai blade handle bring her comfort. One second and Shafton’s head could be rolling down the long table and land in Drake Cullum’s lap.

Besides Shafton, Drake and his assistant, Dorian Lambert, were the only ones present who had not been at the battle. Their leader, Drake, had attended to assign new orders to the hunters.

Shafton said, “You could have destroyed the beast as it rose and was weakened. I know you had the opportunity, but you chose to save yourself. It was selfish and stupid.”

Lillian could kill him and no one would be able to stop her. Of course, there were always consequences when dealing with men in power. She’d lose her home within The Company. Yet another arrogant earl would not take her from her rightful place. She was in control. It was nothing like her youth and the titled man who’d ruined her life.

Belinda said, “They saved my life, Father.”

“It was the wrong choice, Belinda. You might have cost us our one chance to stop this.” Shafton narrowed his eyes on Lillian.

Lillian said, “I can imagine your pleasure if we had allowed your only child to become the master’s sacrifice. Perhaps we should have stood by and watched until the master, with his full power rose, from the depths of hell and destroyed us all. As it is, Reece Foxjohn is still recovering from battle and the rest of us might have been sucked into the demon’s realm. But by all means, my lord, go on and tell us how you know we willfully failed on our mission. I do not recall your life being in danger that day at Fatum Manor. You were safely tucked away in your castle while the rest of us faced death or worse.”

“You are out of order, Dellacourt.” Shafton said her name as if it were a curse.

Lillian wasn’t sure when she had stood up, but clutching the leather wrapped steel, she rounded the table toward the earl. “If you have something you want to say about my abilities, my lord, I suggest you do so. I will be happy to display them for you, and we can evaluate them together.”

“Miss Dellacourt.” A warning came from the other end of the table.

“You were not there. You cannot know if we could have destroyed the master. As far as I’m concerned, we made the only choice possible under the circumstances. Maybe if your intelligence had supplied us with the location of the gateway before the master had grown so powerful, we might have been able to seal him in.”

“How dare you imply that I failed in some way? You who completely disregard orders at will.”

She had only ever hated one man the way she despised Shafton, and he too was an earl. At least that one was dead. Steeling her nerves, she slid the sai blade through the pocket cut in her skirt. “You speak of orders that were selfish and almost succeeded in getting your own family killed.”

“You have no right to question me or my motives.” To his credit, he faced her and stared her in the eye.

“I have every right when you point your fat finger at me.”

“Who do you think you are? I know where you come from Lillian Dellacourt. I know what you are.”

Drake Cullum pounded the table. “Shafton, that will do.” The demon hunters’ leader stood rigid, narrow-eyed. He was formidable when he was calm, but enraging him was never a good idea. He was furious now.

Had she gone too far? The idea she might have overstepped her bounds with Cullum was enough to make her relax the grip on her blade. Lillian turned and stormed from the dining room.

Shafton yelled something about not having dismissed her from the meeting.

Once in the hallway, she pulled her second blade and turned to go back in and finish what she’d started. It would be nothing to remove his pompous head from his shoulders.

Cullum stood in the doorway. He smiled at her and closed the door, baring her reentry.

Had she ever seen him smile before? No instance came to mind. She stomped toward the front entrance. She’d leave the damn castle, get her carriage, and ride like the devil back to London. Yet the one person in the world she could really talk to was a resident of Brendaligh. Holding her full skirts with both hands, she sprinted up the curved grand staircase.

 

A. S. Fenichel

 

About the Author:

A.S. Fenichel gave up a successful career in New York City to follow her husband to Texas and pursue her lifelong dream of being a professional writer. She’s never looked back.

A.S. adores writing stories filled with love, passion, desire, magic and maybe a little mayhem tossed in for good measure. Books have always been her perfect escape and she still relishes diving into one and staying up all night to finish a good story.

Multi-published in historical, paranormal, erotic and contemporary romance, A.S. is the author of The Demon Hunters series, the Psychic Mates series, and more. With several books currently contracted to multiple publishers, A.S. will be brining you her brand of edgy romance for years to come.

Originally from New York, she grew up in New Jersey, and now lives in the East Texas with her real life hero, her wonderful husband. When not reading or writing she enjoys cooking, travel, history, and puttering in her garden. Her babies are both rescues and include a demanding dog and a temperamental cat both of which bring constant joy and laughter.

Web Site- http://asfenichel.net/

Blog – http://asfenichel.net/blog/

Goodreads – http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5154640.A_S_Fenichel

Twitter – https://twitter.com/asfenichel

Tsu – https://www.tsu.co/ASFenichel

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/A.S.Fenichel

Google +1 – https://plus.google.com/113195747154467378107/posts

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Giveaway:

4 ebook copies Deception

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A Tale of Two Kingdoms (Knights of Black Swan Book 6) by Victoria Danann Reply

 

Available for Purchase on:

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Reviews:

5 out of 5

As the story Victoria Danann has created continues, it gets better and better and better and better…

The sixth book in the series The Knights of Black Swan was a wonderful surprise and a rollercoaster journey on my emotions.

A Tale of Two Kingdoms reminds me of stories through history, whether they be fiction or non fiction, of forbidden love.

The two love birds Aelsong (elf) and Duff (fae) should be sworn enemies. However their attraction for each other which started in the second book of this series, The Witch’s Dream, has not faded but has grown.

Will the love birds ever find true happiness? Will their families ever approve? This is something you will have to find out by reading this fabulous book.

My favorite line from this book is “There you are.” “Here I am.” Just six little words but when you read this love story OH what a punch they make.

Come join us on the journey that Victoria Danann has so wonderfully created. I know you will love it as much as her devoted readers do.

Reviewed by Epiphany

 

5 out of 5

Another great book in the Knights of the Black Swan series. This is Duff and Song’s epic love story with all the fantasy mixed in. As a huge fan I couldn’t wait for this book. I was not disappointed!!!

Reviewed by Babygotbooks

 

Description:

#1 Listopia BEST BOOKS OF January 2014. Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK BEST PARNORMAL ROMANCE SERIES of 2013, Reviewers’ Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild

Duff Torquil is heir to Scotia, the kingdom of Fae, who have been at war with the Elves for two thousand years. Fae and Elves are both species who have evolved to respond to one fated lover with whom they will mate for life. Duff Torquil’s predestined mate is perfect for him in every way: beautiful, smart, polished, strong willed and a talented psychic who works for The Order of the Black Swan. The only problem is that she’s Aelsong Hawking, the only daughter of the royal house of Elves.

If you love romance, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, strong female leads, alpha males and complex storylines, this series is right for you. 17+

 

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Excerpt:

This passage from The Witch’s Dream recalls that first meeting of a star-crossed pair.

Though Aelsong had her back to the room, she kept getting the feeling that someone was staring. She finally turned to see who it was and her eyes locked on the navy blue gaze of a dark-haired angel sitting across the room. He didn’t look away or try to hide the fact that he’d been staring. She let her eyes wander down his body and back up again before turning back to her group.

The pub had better food than Elora had expected. Everybody had eaten well and seemed to be having a good time. Well, everybody except Litha. Storm had decided to nip the pursuit in the bud by making a big show of flirting with an array of unattached women in the bar while ignoring her. Observing this, Elora concluded that he must be very afraid of Litha’s potential power over him to engage in such un-Storm-like behavior.

Song also seemed more distracted than anything. Several times more she turned around to see what her admirer was up to. He was out with friends, raucous friends, but, whenever she turned his way, he stopped what he was doing and looked back like she was the only one in the room of any importance.

Out of nowhere someone yelled, “Elves!”

The music stopped. The talking stopped.

Aelsong said, “Great Paddy. The crap has hit the wind.”

Ram looked at Song and Elora and said, “Stay here,” forcefully enough to let both know he meant it. As she slid out of the booth right behind him to follow and cover his back, Elora wondered who in the world he thought he was talking to.

When Ram reached the middle of the room he was facing several perturbed-looking Fae, but he was also flanked by a recently cured vampire and three Black Swan knights, one of whom was a berserker and another of whom was his wife who could destroy the building if she had cause.

He said to the crowd in general. “We do no’ want trouble. We are here on official business. If our presence makes you uncomfortable, we’ll be leavin’.”

One of the Fae staring down Ram smirked, raised his voice and said, “Hey, Duffy. The Fen is sayin’ he’s here on official business.”

Aelsong’s angel came through the crowd and stood in front of Ram. As she approached, she noticed he was as tall as her brother, which meant he was tall for a Fae. She stopped beside Ram in a show of solidarity.

The angel looked down at her. “You’re with him, then?” 

“For all eternity. He’s my brother.”

The prince’s mouth turned up at the edges. Then he looked at Ram. “And what be the nature of your official business?”

“Again, we do no’ want trouble and are willin’ to leave, but why should we be tellin’ you our business?”

One of the challengers pointed a thumb at Song’s angel. “Are ye daft? You’re talkin’ to Prince Duff Torquil. You could be sayin’ he’s the last word on official.”

Prince Torquil noticed that Ram showed no outward sign of being either intimidated or impressed.

Aelsong raised her chin and let her eyes wander over him again. A dark fae.

“‘Tis no’ for public consumption,” Ram said.

“I see. And is your sister privy to this intrigue?”

“Aye.”

“Very well. Have her come o’er here and whisper it in my ear.”

“My sister is no’ chattel. I do no’ tell her what to do.”

At that so very public statement of confidence, Aelsong’s heart swelled with pride and affection. She looked at her brother with unconditional adoration for all of two seconds before she walked to the Scotia prince purposefully and stood on tiptoe to whisper, “Black Swan,” in his ear.

Duff experienced a moment of sensory overload, a little light-headedness, when Song came near enough to kiss. He couldn’t decide whether to focus on her very arousing scent which would have to be called Carnal Knowledge if it could be bottled, or the warmth of her breath on his ear, or the sound of her tinkling wind chimes voice, or the actual words she said. When he managed to restart his mental processes, it registered that she had mentioned The Order.

He looked down into those hypnotic Hawking blue eyes and said loud enough that everybody in the bar could hear, “The elves are in Scotia under my protection.” Under his breath, quietly enough that only she could hear, he said, “Fae’s gods, it can no’ be.”

Aelsong swallowed and looked up with wide eyes, her heart shaped mouth forming a silent “o”. She started to take a step backward, but he grabbed her wrist. “What’s your name?”

“Aelsong Hawking.”

He looked like his future had just turned inside out and his brows drew together as he looked down at her. “Hawking?” His heart was sinking.

She backed up a couple of steps unable to look away then Duff’s boisterous friends grabbed him and dragged him away.

 

Victoria Danann

 

About the Author:

Victoria Danann is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eleven romances. Her Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild. Victoria’s contemporary romance series is the Sons of Sanctuary MC, TWO PRINCES, Book 1 also contains the Prequel as a bonus. Victoria’s paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires. The first book of the Knights of Black Swan Paranormal Romance Series, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by both Reviewers’ Choice and Readers’ Choice Awards. All of her books have opened on the Amazon Best Sellers list and earned Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK awards. Many have appeared on Listopia BOOK OF THE MONTH as #1 across all genres. For books published in 2013, Black Swan won three awards. 1. Best Paranormal Romance Series 2. Best Paranormal Romance Novel – A SUMMONER’S TALE 3. Best Vampire~Shifter Novel – MOONLIGHT. In 2014, Solomon’s Sieve won Best Vampire Novel. If you’re interested in Victoria personally, she is also a classically trained musician who defected to Classic Rock music. Until 2013 she was the utility player for Houston’s Roadhouse band, which means she played rhythm guitar, keyboards, sang back ups and female leads. Her band covered everything (note for note) from Styx to Led Zepellin to Rush. She lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog. FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE:www.facebook.com/authorvictoriadanann

BLACK SWAN FAN PAGE:www.facebook.com/vdanann

 GOODREADS FAN GROUP:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/108735-victoria-danann-order-of-the-black-swan

TWITTER: @vdanann

PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/vdanann

Spotlight: STRANDED WITH THE CYBORG, by Cara Bristol 2

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Description:

The daughter of the Terran president, Penelope Aaron resented the restrictions imposed upon her, but that was no reason to take it out on the man assigned to protect her. She regrets how she got Agent Brock Mann booted from the security force. But now that she’s an interplanetary ambassador about to embark on her first diplomatic mission, she still doesn’t want him tagging along. Especially since he seems to be stronger, faster, more muscled, and sexier than she remembers. And pretending to be husband? This mission couldn’t get more impossible!

Ten years ago Penelope Isabella Aaron had been a pain in Brock Mann’s you-know-what. Much has changed in a decade: “PIA” as he code-named her, has grown up and is about to attend her first Alliance of Planets summit conference, and Brock was transformed into a cyborg after a near-fatal attack. Now a secret agent with Cyber Operations, a covert paramilitary organization, Brock gets called in, not when the going gets tough, but when the going gets impossible. So when he’s unexpectedly assigned to escort Penelope to the summit meeting, he balks at babysitting a prissy ambassador. But after a terrorist bombing, a crash landing on a hostile planet, and a growing attraction to his protectee, Operation: PIA may become his most impossible assignment yet.

 

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Excerpt:

What was so urgent it couldn’t wait until I got back from Darius 4?” Brock flung himself into the wide-backed sensa-chair, which conformed to the angles and lines of his body to provide optimal support and comfort. He would have preferred that an android pleasure worker fit her realistic feminine form around him than a piece of furniture—as he’d been about to experience when the Cyber Operations director’s summons had come through. “You’re the one who insisted I take respite time.”

“Drink?” Carter punched a button on his console, a cabinet slid open, and he removed a decanter. After pouring two shots of bronze liqueur, he shoved one across the desk.

Brock’s internal warning system flashed an alert. “What’s the bad news?”

“Why do you assume that?”

“Whenever you break out the Cerinian brandy, you’re either trying to butter me up or soften the blow.” He eyed the man who’d been his friend since they served together in the Terran Central Protection Office fifteen years ago. Carter’s blank expression betrayed nothing, but the brandy sang like a yellow songbird.

The director knocked back his shot, then thumped his chest with his fist. Cerinian brandy went down smooth until the afterburn lit your throat on fire. Or it did to one who was unaltered. Brock downed his and felt only slight warmth.

“I have an assignment for you,” Carter said, his voice hoarse from the liqueur. “The Association of Planets Summit is on Malodonus next week. There’s been a threat against…the Terran ambassador,” he hesitated like he expected Brock to short-circuit a computer chip.

 

About the Author:

Multi-published, Cara Bristol is the author of more than 20 erotic romance titles. She writes science fiction romance, contemporary romance, paranormal, and spanking romance. No matter what the subgenre, one thing remains constant: her emphasis on character-driven seriously hot erotic stories with sizzling chemistry between the hero and heroine. Cara has lived many places in the United States, but currently lives in Missouri with her husband. She has two grown stepkids. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading and traveling.

Author Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/9aRJj

Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cara-Bristol-Erotic-Romance-Author/178661122147994

Author blog: http://www.carabristol.com

Author Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/Cara-Bristol/e/B004D8KZTQ/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1440706448&sr=8-1

 

Giveaway:

$20 Amazon/BN gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

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Blood Sky by Traci L. Slatton Reply

3 out of 5

Available for Purchase on  Amazon

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/moBlcXPG33o

 

Review:

I had a little difficulty getting into this story at first. I finally looked it up and realized this is book number four. I was halfway thru before I could get into the momentum. There is quite a few places that refer to things that had happened in the prior books so I was still able to keep up. There’s quite a dramatic storyline and one fast sex scene. The apocalyptic world was a very interesting one to read about. Not your typical story there.

Reviewed by Fawnzys

Our Blog was given this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

Description:

In a time of apocalyptic despair, love is put to the test… Deep in the badlands of Outpost City, in the Dark Horse saloon, a poker game is being played. The stakes are life and death—for the world.

What can Emma afford to lose? Will she gamble on herself, or on Arthur?

Will love find a way when the apocalypse closes in? A mystical odyssey, a haunting love…

 

Excerpt:

The seeds of all time are planted in every discrete moment. If you pause, breathe, and come to presence, you’ll discover this marvelous truth: that all of time is contained within each single instant, like a giant oak is contained within a fragile brown shell. It’s all laid out for you, all of it, the past and the future, events and people and destiny. All you have to do is come to awareness.

So I should have known that there would be trouble. I, Emma, should have known that love would fail, that it wouldn’t be enough to protect us all from the very person who had plunged us into the apocalypse a few years ago.

It was all there to be seen in the first moment we met, when he saved my daughter Mandy from the obliterating mists and then accepted my trade: myself for his protection of the band of orphans I was shepherding around France. We talked about food, and I pointed out that he was eating well. One notices such things after a global ecological cataclysm that has destroyed most of the planet’s buildings and people—and all of its manufacturing capabilities. One cares about who is eating well when one has been scrounging for scraps for several months. Priorities come into sharp focus.

He spoke of the mists and of rebuilding. I wanted to take Mandy back home to my husband and older daughter Emma in the Safe Zone of Edmonton, Canada. He had his goals and I had mine; his were lofty, mine were personal. I should have known a conflict was inevitable. But could I have predicted that the fate of the world would be tangled up in it?

Could I have foreseen that he would be taken by madness, a madness that had slept within him since before the day his invention erupted to scour the Earth clean of structures and human beings? Even with all the mindfulness of the world, could I have known in advance that Arthur would be possessed by madness?

We left a mist-ravaged Outpost City and traveled east, mostly along the old Trans-Canada Highway. It was summer and we were en route to Quebec, where a boat waited to take us to Europe. ‘We’ consisted of Arthur and me and our beloved friends from the original camp in Europe: warrior woman Jeannie and Robert her Irishman and their infant twins, sharp-tongued French beauty Laurette and her companion Charles Nwokocha, who had been a famed linguist in the Before, and Serbian Theo and young Marco, the Italian whose madness had been cured by Arthur mere seconds before the mists swarmed around us. Other comrades from Canada had joined us: Donny who had once been a cop and inscrutable Kangee his Sioux wife, and pretty but feral Susie, saved from a band of raiders, and the sly pickpocket Gaff from Outpost City.

We were riding at a good clip, about fifty kilometers a day, and we were south and west of Winnipeg. In the late afternoon, we rode along a flat, straight road into a small community named Starbuck. It seemed deserted. There was no movement, no wild dogs or skinny cats or desperate rats scrounging for food. It felt empty and lifeless despite leafy trees and tall grass, and desolate in the way that ghost towns often did now, in the After. Even when a town wasn’t devoured by the mists, people didn’t want to live outside the Safe Zones where mists never encroached.

“Let’s check houses for food,” Arthur called, from the front of our peloton of horses and riders. He swiveled around in his saddle and nodded to Theo and Donny, who peeled off together, trotting toward a small brown cape on the right with an abandoned car in the driveway. He turned toward me and Laurette and nodded again, and we picked up our reins to veer off to the left.

“Some of these homes look sweet to me,” Jeannie called. A worn expression scrolled over her lovely dark face with its pronounced cheekbones. “How about we find a place with food stock and we settle in for the evening?” She was as staunch in the saddle as ever, but since giving birth to twins a month ago, she tired easily. She pressed her lips gently to the forehead of the infant strapped onto her chest.

Arthur eyed her without responding.

“Aye, come on, Big Mister, let’s take a breather,” said Robert. “It’s not often me lady asks for one.”

“Every break slows us down, lengthens the time it takes us to get back to Europe and make a stand against the mists once and for all,” Arthur said.

“Arthur, we have two babies with us,” I called.

Arthur stared at me. Abruptly, he nodded. He could still see reason, at this point. He called, “Let’s find a place big enough to accommodate all of us. Then we’ll send out scouts for food.”

So Theo and Donny rejoined the group, and Laurette and I stayed tight to the flank.

We rode along Arena Boulevard past a school and a recreation center to Birch Street. Tall, fragrant pines planted in neat rows and colorful perennials showed that the inhabitants had once taken loving care of their yards.

“Arthur,” Theo called, “big yellow house ahead, green Ford truck out front. Look good. Check out?”

Arthur waved his assent.

Theo and Donny trotted out ahead of us to a sprawling yellow place with a spacious yard. I watched them dismount and take out their guns. This was the After, and they couldn’t be too careful. There was no telling who might be hiding in the house, and how sane they might be. Billions of people had died on The Day, that terrible Christmas eve that the mists rolled across the globe and devoured structures, people, animals, objects…anything with the wrong balance of metals in their chemical composition.

Fortunately, many millions of people, perhaps hundreds of millions, hadn’t died. But some percentage of the survivors were mad, and were a threat to the rest of us. The mists had made them mad.

“Emma,” said a quiet voice from my elbow.

I turned, and it was Susie. Her heart-shaped face was solemn. She jerked her blonde head to one side, wanting to speak to me privately. I guided my horse out a few meters away from Laurette. Susie followed so close that my horse danced anxiously beneath me.

“Quit!” I said firmly, dropping my heels in the stirrups. I looked over at Susie, who was practically at my shoulder. “So?”

Susie frowned. “Something’s wrong. Something here in this town.” “You’ve seen something?”

“Not exactly.” “Felt something?” “Not really.”

“Then what?” I pressed, in a low voice. Perhaps Susie had felt something with a sixth sense stimulated by the mists. All too often, the mists left strange psychic gifts in their wake, extrasensory abilities that both tormented and enhanced the recipient. We all feared these gifts because they often preceded madness. I had a gift, a healing gift in my hands, and I kept careful watch over my internal state, lest I descend into a chaos from which few people emerged.

Susie shook her head ferociously. She uttered, “Yah!” Her horse quickened its pace and she rode off toward the yellow house without answering me.

I stared after her in bemusement. Susie who lived to kill raiders was uncomfortable with something in Starbuck, and she couldn’t, or wouldn’t, explain her feeling to me. Perhaps it was ordinary intuition, perhaps it was something more. I looked around carefully, steering my horse in a tight clockwise spin when my neck wouldn’t turn anymore. I didn’t see anything out of the ordinary. Streets were empty, houses were quiet and dark. There was no movement apart from our group.

“What’s wrong?” It was Arthur, who had guided his horse close to mine. He studied my face.

“Susie feels uneasy,” I murmured, still scanning the surroundings.

“She has good sensitivity, she’s open psychically,” he murmured back. “I always think she’ll be a key piece of the equation, when we mount an attack on the mists.” He looked around. “I don’t see anything.”

“Me, neither.” I frowned as I caught his eyes. “That’s what worries me.”

His gray eyes lit up, the way they always did when his genius struck him. Before the mists, Arthur had been a professor of sorts, a polymath inventor involved in military research and development. “I know what you mean. It’s all a little too quiet.”

“Why are the yards all so tidy? And where are the dogs?” I wondered. “Packs of wild dogs run through every ghost town. We should have seen some.”

He scowled and gathered his reins in one hand, and then pulled out his pistol with the other.

I followed his example.

“What are we fearing?” Robert asked, riding up to us. He didn’t wait for us to answer but drew his weapon, as well, holding it firmly in his hand despite the baby nestled on his chest.

“The quiet,” Arthur answered.

Theo yelled for us to come to the house, breaking the unnatural silence of the sunny afternoon. Arthur motioned the rest of us to go ahead while he took up the rear and scanned the countryside.

The yellow house was spacious enough, a living room with a fireplace, four bedrooms, and a nicely appointed den. We were eleven adults and two babies, and Laurette assigned us all rooms. She delegated bedrooms to couples and gave Donny his own in case Kangee showed up, put Susie in the den, and told Marco, Theo, and Gaff to figure out their accommodations in the living room.

“I like this place, it is very well kept,” Laurette approved. She stood in the kitchen with her arms akimbo.

“Too well kept.” I was going through the pantry. There was little in it, though it was very well organized and spotlessly clean.

“I know what you mean, but why question it, it is so pleasant? You are so suspicious, Emma,” Laurette said. She peered over my shoulder into the cabinet. “There are dried beans, we can use those.”

“Someone will have to hunt something, there’s not enough.” “We can look into nearby homes, also,” Laurette said. “Susie—”

“I don’t want to go out,” Susie said. She seated herself at the kitchen nook.

I pulled out a box of Earl Grey sachets. “Cup of tea? If I can get some water boiling.”

“There’s no electricity,” Susie said. She laid her head on her arms.

“The water runs,” Laurette said, turning on the faucet for a few seconds. “There’s a fireplace,” I said.

Jeannie came into the kitchen with a twin on each hip. “I’m so thankful to be off a horse! Emma, what have we got? Anything to snack on?” She slid into the nook table opposite Susie, who didn’t pick up her head.

“Not much, yet. I’m still looking,” I said. Shaggy and awkward, Gaff stood in the doorway. “Arthur is sending us to scout for food in nearby houses.”

“Don’t go anywhere alone,” Susie murmured.

“He said to stay in pairs,” Gaff said. “I’ll be with Marco.” He watched Susie. “You okay?”

“Shut up,” she answered, but her voice sounded listless, without its usual snap for Gaff.

“Go on, then, Gaff,” Jeannie said. She started unbuttoning her shirt so she could nurse the babies.

Gaff shrugged but he scowled at Susie and then made a face at me before he went outside.

I took his point: something was up with Susie.

Something more than what was usually up with her, that is. Susie was often quiet, depressive. She had been kept by a group of raiders after the mists had ravaged her home town and killed her family. The raiders had used her badly and the residue of their cruelty stayed with her. I had helped her get free after a mist incursion, and she was closer to me than anyone else, but she was still often remote.

“I will start a fire in the fireplace,” Laurette announced. She took a large pot from inside a cabinet and filled it with tap water, then went to the living room.

“It won’t matter,” Susie said. “Even if she gets the fire going and she boils the water. It won’t matter. Nothing matters.”

I leaned back against the sink, scrutinizing the girl. “Susie, you want to talk about it?”

She turned her head to look in the other direction.

“So, food supplies?” Arthur asked, coming in. He walked over to me and put his hands on my hips. He smiled. “Didn’t we have our first encounter in a kitchen?” He touched my hair, lifted a blond lock to his lips. Then he leaned into me, his tall, muscled form lithe and warm along the length of me. He breathed deeply as if inhaling me and then he kissed me, running one hand along my neck and the other along my bottom. He lifted his mouth from my flesh to murmur, “We’ll have our own bedroom tonight.

Privacy. Finally. It’s starting to feel like a long, long trip to Quebec without any time alone together.” He kissed me again, hungrily, his hands roaming over me.

I felt myself melting, responding, as always. I had this response to Arthur, an instinctive physical surrendering. I couldn’t help myself.

“Yuck,” Susie muttered. Jeannie chortled.

Arthur pulled back. He threw a glance over his shoulder at Susie, and then raised an eyebrow at me.

I shook my head.

He stood back and reached past me to open the pantry door. “It’s tidy.”

“Too tidy,” I agreed. “Not a speck of dust or an insect carcass or anything. From what I’ve seen, the whole house is that way. Like it’s been hermetically sealed since the Before. Which is not possible.”

“There are no cairns commemorating the dead, either,” Arthur said, his voice deep and thoughtful. “We see them everywhere. But not for the last ten miles or so, and not in town.”

“Little food, clean homes and yards, no dogs or cats or dead gerbils, and no cairns,” I summarized.

“Someone’s in town,” he decided. “We don’t see them, but they’re here. They’re taking care of the homes.”

“I wonder why they didn’t greet us, one way or another. I doubt they’re mad.

Maybe OCD, but not crazy, not when they’re doing this much housekeeping.”

“Perhaps they were concerned about our sanity, or our intentions,” Arthur mused. “We’re an armed group riding in tight formation. It’s a reasonable concern.”

“They know you’re not crazy,” Susie said, her voice hollow. “They’ll come.” She refused to say more even when Arthur and I pressed her.

Marco shot a deer with his bow and arrow, his first since returning to sanity a few weeks ago. Theo and Robert dug a shallow pit in the front yard and made a fire for roasting the deer, as they’d done many times before when we were on the road both here and in France, traveling hard and fast on a mission. Tucked away in the cellar of a house down the street, Gaff found a stash of food, including some canned goods. The big score was Ramen noodles. Laurette used a cast iron skillet in the fireplace to make a feast of the noodles, which had an expiration date sometime in the next millennium.

We wouldn’t have cared if the expiration date was last year, the piquancy of the seasonings made the noodles such a treat. We all appreciated simply having food, but delicious food, food that was well-seasoned, was cause for special celebration.

It was a warm dusk under a vast azure and plum sky. We sat outside around the fire to eat our meal. Gaff and Marco had dragged chairs out for us, and Laurette and I had found and lit citronella torches to discourage mosquitos, so we sat in comfort. Crickets trilled and cicadas whirred and bats streaked overhead and moths fluttered and the air smelled bright and fresh beneath the smoky pine of our kindling. Poplar and birch logs, found stacked behind a neighboring home, streaked the orange flames with dancing blue, red, and green nymphs of light.

“Does anywhere have more stars than here?” asked Robert.

“Aye, France, where we met,” Jeannie said. She exchanged a smile with Robert. “Less light pollution here, I think, because the spaces are so vast,” Arthur

commented. He was chewing a piece of venison backstrap, the succulent meat, tender yet lean, along the spine of the deer. “Theo, your recipe for this meat gets better all the time.” “Use what I find for cooking,” Theo said modestly, but he looked pleased. He’d

found some spices in the cache of noodles and used them with great efficacy. “Something’s off,” Donny said. He set his plate on the ground beside him and stood up. His dark, pockmarked face wore a brooding expression. He was a portly man of African descent, grounded, calm, and steady; he’d been a cop in the Before. We all trusted him implicitly. He muttered, “I feel it with my…other sense.”

We all grew quiet and a little tense. The mists had given Donny a special ability to sense other minds. Sometimes he could even influence other minds. We had relied on this mental power in other, prior missions.

“Do you feel a presence?” asked Nwokocha. “Alexei?” Arthur asked, sitting straighter.

Donny shook his head, No. It wasn’t the Russian psychopath who had bedeviled us over the past few years.

“Alexei will come to us, eventually,” Arthur stated. He was counting on it, in fact. “Maybe it’s Kangee returning?” I asked, hoping to see her.

Kangee had been given a mysterious ability to travel great distances. She would begin walking and the air would morph into red streaks and she’d be miles ahead of where she started out. I had experienced this myself once when she carried me on her back. Since she was unfettered by distances, she came and went from our group as she pleased. We kept her horse with us for the occasions she joined us.

“Not Kangee, I can feel my wife from, well, wherever she is when she starts to come back,” Donny rumbled. He stroked his chin, hard, as if he had something on it that he wanted to rub away. “I can’t tell. I don’t know. What’s wrong with me?”

“We are all curious, Donny, but don’t fret yourself,” Nwokocha said. He pushed his glasses up his nose and smiled at Donny.

“I don’t know,” Donny said in frustration. “But I know they’re here. They’re here, I can feel them.”

“They, who?” I asked. But I didn’t wait for an answer. I took my gun from my backpack at my feet and rose.

Arthur and a few others rose, also. Susie buried her face in her hands. A small voice piped up, “They, us.”

A small rustle of movement intensified until it saturated the space around us. Scattered gossamer ribbons of light twisted in the firelight like DNA helixes, and then several small forms slowly became visible, first as columns and then as people.

I yelped, and exclamations flew up from Laurette, Jeannie, Gaff, and Marco. “We’re here to talk to her,” said the small voice. It belonged to a dark-haired, dark-eyed girl of about nine years old. She was one of dozens of children who suddenly encircled us in the yard. The girl pointed a slim index finger at Susie.

Arthur took in a quick, startled breath. “What do you want with her?”

The girl looked at him and tilted her head, a birdlike pose. “She can do it. You can help her, maybe. She can do it. Susie, come.”

“Do what?” Arthur asked.

The girl turned away from him to gesture to Susie. “I am Irina. Come with me. You’re the one we’ve been waiting for.”Susie got up and walked toward Irina. “No, Susie—” I started.

“Susie, stay where you are,” Arthur said, in his command voice.

But Susie kept walking. Her face was blank, expressionless. She took Irina’s hand. The two of them vanished.

Theo, Laurette, and I lunged toward the now vacant spot. Gaff yelled, “Susie!”

“Bring her back this instant!” I yelled. I drew myself up, placed my hands on my hips, and made a ferocious face of command. I had two children of my own, Beth and Mandy—I knew how to scowl effectively.

“Don’t worry,” said a boy by me. He was six or seven, with ragged red hair and missing front teeth. “Don’t worry, Emma.” He patted my arm and then he vanished, too.

All at once, all the children were gone.

Robert squeaked. “Where’d the little birds fly with our girl?”

The rest of us stood aghast, unmoving. The appearance and disappearance before our eyes of so many people—children—was so unexpected that it befuddled us.

I was at high alert and almost jumped out of my skin when Arthur touched my shoulder. “Arthur? We have to get Susie back!”

“Sh,” he said, his head cocked. “Listen.”

So I froze. I strained to hear what Arthur did. It was a steady susurration, a kind of syncopated snicking that receded into the ethers. Then I got it: it was the sound of many bodies breathing as multitudes of little feet pattered over grass and pavement.

Arthur saw the comprehension grow on my face. He nodded. “Yes. They’re cloaked. They’re not teleporting the way Kangee does.” “Grab one?” I asked, under my breath.

He shook his head, No.

“Why do they want Susie?” I wondered. “Where did they take her?” “They have to bring her back,” Gaff said. He lifted his hat off his head and scraped his hands back over his thicket of dirty-blond hair. His narrow face was set and stern. “I mean, she’s a heinous bitch and all, but they can’t have her. She’s one of us.”

“I think she knew they were here all along,” Laurette said slowly. I nodded. But now what?

 

Traci L. Slatton

About the Author

Traci L. Slatton is the international bestselling author of historical, paranormal, and romantic novels, including IMMORTAL (BantamDell) and BROKEN; the award-winning dystopian After Series which includes FALLEN, COLD LIGHT, FAR SHORE, and BLOOD SKY; the bittersweet romantic comedy THE LOVE OF MY (OTHER) LIFE; and the vampire art history romp THE BOTTICELLI AFFAIR. She has also published the lyrical poetry collection DANCING IN THE TABERNACLE and THE ART OF LIFE, a photo-essay about figurative sculpture through the ages. Her book PIERCING TIME & SPACE explores the meeting ground of science and spirituality.

http://www.tracilslatton.com

http://www.blogspot.tracilslatton.com

@tracilslatton

https://www.facebook.com/traci.slatton

https://plus.google.com/102606938491176982148/posts

https://www.goodreads.com/author/list/1183442.Traci_L_Slatton

https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/traci-l.-slatton-podcasts/id806150607

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCDupt_Z1MvtmYqAu1AWL2sA

 

Giveaway:

5 ebook copies Blood Sky

Entry link

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Cover Reveal: Free Spirit, by Jennifer Wells 1

FreeSpirit Cover

 

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Link to Purchase Book 1
Description:

Wild child Rachel is having a week so terrible, not even a pitcher of margaritas will help. When her evil boss shows up on her doorstep with a sob story, her request to stay a few nights turns into a whole lot more. She can’t even escape into some of her favorite haunts in the Quarter since she seems to have garnered the unwanted attention of some rabid readers. When her ghost-hunting assignment goes unexpectedly awry, Rachel unknowing releases a vengeful spirit.

Enduring a wicked houseguest and hiding from an over-enthusiastic fan all while trying to put a spirit back in her grave where she belongs is more challenging than sobriety during Mardi Gras. Can she and her family work some magick to put things right in the Crescent City or has Rachel bit off more veggie muffuletta than she can chew?

 

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About the Author:

Jennifer has been writing since she was in middle school. When she discovered romance novels in junior high, she knew she wanted to write them someday. Her writing remained a hobby while she studied biology and forensic DNA science. She worked as a molecular biologist and published cancer research before finally leaving the lab and taking up her laptop full time.

She currently lives in Northern Virginia with John, her husband of seventeen years. John is a professional tarot card reader and astrologer. John and Jen have two children who happen to be cats: Morgana Madison and Luna. MoMo is a possessive Scottish Fold who loves to knead Jen’s hair. Luna is the baby, an affectionate Scottish Fold who thinks her name is “Cute.”

Website • Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

 

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Conner, by Conner Reply

 

4 out of 5

Available for Purchase on

Amazon US    Amazon UK   Amazon CAN

 Apple    Barnes and Noble    Kobo    Audible

 

Review:

First, let me say up front that I did not realize this was a trilogy when I read it. Not until I got to the end, ,which was not an end. That was my fault for not reading the small print. While I did get caught up in the book at spots and turned the pages frantically trying to get to the resolution, I got there, only to find it was a cliffhanger. The writing is good, the characters are still being developed but I did care about Erin and Conner and I really wish there had been a resolution. Knowing that it is a trilogy and knowing that more books would be needed would have made a difference in my feeling cut off at the end. I may yet have to get the other books because Erin and Conner have gotten under my skin. The world building is really very good and if you don’t mind a cliffhanger this could be a good series for you. It is certainly a very different take on werewolves and the legend. I do like that.

Reviewed by Wildcatnana

 

Excerpt:

Erin shot bolt upright, cold sweat dripping from her forehead and running into her eyes. She took a deep breath shakily, and snapped her bedside light on, the reassuring light flooding her bedroom.

“Oh, Erin,” she murmured to herself, wiping the sweat from her brow with a shaking hand. Glancing around her warm, safe bedroom, she relaxed and breathed in deeply. She felt stupid for taking in Conner’s stories so much. She glanced over at the clock and groaned at the early hour.

Still trembling, she slid out of bed and reached for her pink silk dressing gown. She pulled it on with a wide yawn, shaking her head to wake herself up before making her way downstairs. Her wool carpet felt rough and very real beneath her bare feet, the perfect antidote to help bring her back into the real world. Traipsing through the silent house, she pattered through into her kitchen.

Snapping the fluorescent above on, Erin waited as its humming light came to life, allowing her to see the small kitchen, blinking at the brightness. Its tiled floors and white walls stung her sleep-deprived eyes for a moment, but Erin shuffled across the tiles to open one of her maple cupboard doors, feeling her way around the kitchen table in the centre. The door squeaked in protest on its hinges as she reached inside to take out a glass. Her eyelids heavy, she paced over to her kitchen sink, and ran water into the glass. The cool water filled up with a gurgle that only made her thirstier.

A quick movement in the shadows outside of her kitchen window caught her eye, and she darted her head up for a look, scanning the blackness of her small garden. Her heart thudded into life, hammering against her ribs in a warning staccato. Squinting harder, she leaned against the glass, her breath steaming the reflective surface up. Nothing moved, not even a wind danced across the stalks of grass outside.

“It must have been a cat or something,” Erin muttered to herself. She turned away from the window, scooping up her glass once more to take a sip, when she thought she heard a thump from outside again. It was quiet, so quiet she wondered if it had simply been the pipes all along. Her skin prickled as she listened intently, so intently that the next thump against her kitchen wall brought a sharp gasp from her.

“Alright, what the hell is that?” Erin said aloud, more bravely than she felt. She slammed her glass down on her kitchen table, the clanging noise serving only to heighten the tension. Stories about women who lived alone and ended up as a victim raced through her brain. Shaking those thoughts from her head, she slowly made her way towards the back door. Her head ached with the pressure of her pulse against her temples as she took a deep breath and unlocked her back door, flinging it wide open. As she gazed out, her eyes adjusting to the meagre light from behind, her throat dried with panic. She didn’t expect to see anything. Maybe teenagers messing around. But not this.

Standing less than six feet away from her door was a large, black wolf-like creature. It stood on four paws, but two glaring eyes focussed on Erin, very human and aware. It rose up slowly onto its back feet as it continued to stare at Erin, daring her to defy it standing there and dismiss it as shadows.

Erin froze for a second, the blood draining from her body in an icy rush. The wind blew between her and the creature chillingly, echoing the dream-like state she felt. Her tongue was dry and swollen—even if she had tried to call for help, her throat would never have formed the words. The creature moved a fraction forwards, and her sense of self-preservation snapped back into life as she moved, swiftly slamming the door shut. She fumbled hurriedly with her lock, and stepped backwards towards the hallway, switching the fluorescent off by accident as her hand slid along the wall. She tripped over a chair leg, unable to see in the dark, and cried out as she hit the hard floor.

Shaking and winded, she crawled backwards to the hallway, hitting the far kitchen wall instead. Sobbing noiselessly, she reached up onto the top next to her. She moved her fingers gingerly until she touched one of her kitchen knives, left on the top from when she had made her dinner. There is no way on Earth this is real. I’m still in my nightmare. I’m still in my nightmare. I’m going to wake up in a moment. Clutching the knife to her chest, she swallowed back a cry, glancing back towards the kitchen window. What if there are more of them?

Outside, she heard the creature breathing heavily, snarling and snuffling at her doorstep. Erin yanked her knees up until she was in a foetal position, tirelessly glancing between the door and the uncovered window. Hours passed, until eventually she heard the creature padding off, her head swimming with fatigue. Erin stayed up for what felt like hours, listening for the creature coming back, eventually falling into an uneasy sleep.

 

Conner Author Photo

 

About the Author:

I’m Miranda Stork, and I’m addicted. Addicted to writing and reading books, anyway. And chocolate, but that’s another issue – no interventions, please.

I live in the middle of a forest in North Yorkshire, spending my spare time as the wild woman of the woods, scaring small children and upsetting the sheep. On the days that I feel like being civilized, or I haven’t got any unicorns to ride, I sit down and pour the tumbling thoughts in my head out onto digital paper. Mainly the thoughts and characters come out in paranormal form, with a good smattering of romance, because everyone likes a good cuddle. But you can also find strong elements of thrillers, myths, and even dystopia amongst the pages of all my novels. I’ve wanted to write books ever since I first realised that fairytales were not the newspapers of the fairy kingdom, but the imaginings of actual people who wanted to tell fancy made-up stories to other people. From that moment, I was hooked.

Why do I write? Good question. It might be easier to just keep the stories in my head, or even just to write them for myself. But I want to share them. There is no greater delight for a writer than when a reader devours your book, and declares, “Something in that novel resonated with me. And I want MORE.” So grab your lucky clover and a baseball bat (there’s some nasty paranormal creatures where we’re going), eat the cookie with ‘eat me’ tagged on it, and enter through the tiny door into the world of Miranda Stork…

Blog: http://mirandastork.com

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/authormirandastork

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mirandastork

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/writerofshadows/

 

Giveaway:

5 audiobooks, to be downloaded from Audible.co.uk or Audible.com (winner will be given a coupon with the necessary code for downloading a free copy).

 

Conner giveaway

 

 

Gathering Storm: The Vampire Hunter’s Tale (Knights of Black Swan Book 5), by Victoria Danann Reply

 

Available for Purchase on:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Gathering-Storm-Vampire-Hunters-Knights-ebook/dp/B00FAA18QK/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1440770919&sr=8-7&keywords=victoria+danann+black+swan+series+kindle

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gathering-storm-victoria-danann/1116946952?ean=9781933320663

 

Reviews:

5 out of 5

Yet again we have a title that makes absolute sense once you are finished reading. After getting to know the characters so well in the prior books I found myself getting much more emotionally involved in this book than the previous ones. There is a lot of action that you have no trouble envisioning. Victoria keeps you hooked yet again. Just be sure you read this series in order and you will not want so see this ongoing story end.

Reviewed by Fawnzy

5 out of 5

Gathering Storm is the fifth books in The Order of The Black Swan Series and takes place soon after Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf. Please read book one of the series “My Familiar Stranger”. I LOVE this book. This was one of the best roller coaster rides in reading. Victoria Danann’s writing style makes the reader instantly connect with the characters. Ms. Danann is a great story teller, her stories are so colorful that it’s like watching live television. I was absolutely blown away. I laughed, cried, worried, was sad, and hurt and if that wasn’t enough I jumped for joy and sigh with relief with each of them. What a fabulous read. I would recommend this series to anyone who wants to be swept away from reality and I can’t wait to see what other stories Ms. Danann has to tell. She has a life long reader in me.

Reviewed by Romantic Renay

 

Description:

There’s no place like home.

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, Victoria Danann, brings us a paranormal fantasy adventure like no other .

Black Swan Knight, Sir Engel Storm, is acting like somebody else. His friends, former members of the preeminent team of vampire hunters, reunite to try to salvage his image and reputation before it’s shredded beyond repair. Meanwhile a second wave assassination team from Elora Laiken’s home dimension arrives at Jefferson Unit at the worst possible time, when it’s been left defended by only the misfit bad boys of Z Team, the rookie – Glendennon Catch, the Lady Elora Laiken, and the boys in training who may someday make the cut and become knights of The Order of Black Swan.

This is a tale that proves that the smallest turn of fate can send life spinning off in unimaginable directions.

 

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Excerpt:

“‘Tis a good thing that Stormy and I are the bad asses that put the bad in Bad Company, else the two of us might be intimidated by unhappy wives standin’ over us with mean faces and hands on delectably curvy hips.”

“I concur,” added Storm.

“You can concur until the cows come home Sir Storm, but you are still NOT playing in the Jefferson Unit Annual Rugby Match.” Litha’s voice was loud enough to make the babies get quiet and listen.

“Yeah. What she said.” Elora couldn’t really see what more could be added.

“We’re playin’.”

“We are.”

“You. Are. Retired!” Elora countered.

“Retired is no’ dead.”

And I’d like to add that we retired early. Lots of active duty hunters are older than we are and they’ll be playing. There’s never been a match that didn’t have B Team represented and there’s not going to be one this year either.”

Elora huffed. “Since they retired B Team as a commendation to you…”

And you,” Storm added.

“Thank you for the thought, but not really and I don’t think any of you would enjoy having me play. Stop trying to distract me. I’m in the middle of asking if you plan to still be repping for B Team when you’re ninety.”

The husbands looked at each other. They both sat on the sofa in Ram’s and Elora’s Jefferson Unit apartment with their arms crossed and looking like they had dug in to be stubborn.

“She might have a point,” Storm said to Ram.

“We’re no’ givin’ any points or any ground. With them ’tis always a slippery slope slidin’ toward capitulation.”

Storm looked at Elora. “We’re not ninety now. We’ll torch that bridge when we come to it. We’re not even nearing thirty. And we’re playing.”

“Aye. We are.”

Ram and Storm uncrossed their arms long enough to give each other a fist bump.

“Look,” Elora began, “you’re both young, strong, still in your prime and tough as they come.”

“We’re no’ fallin’ for the flattery approach.”

“I’m just saying that you’re also husbands and fathers with bones that can be broken and organs that can be ruptured.” Elora left out the part about how she also hated overhearing the female spectators objectifying her husband. She already knew that he was the stuff of nocturnal fantasy and didn’t need to have that driven home by listening to women talk about imagining him when they’re with somebody else. Ugh!

They were silent and resolute. Resolutely silent.

Litha whispered something in Elora’s ear and they withdrew to the bedroom, closing the door behind them.

“What do you think they’re doin’ in there?”

“I think they are saying that they will have better luck with a divide-and-conquer strategy.”

“Aye. ‘Tis my thought as well.”

“Pact?”

“Indeed.”

“Lust to dust.”

“Sperm to worm.”

“Womb to tomb.”

Elora whispered to Litha. “Quiet. Ram’s ears are amazing.”

“Then let’s duck out for a coffee. Or cocoa,” she corrected.

When Elora nodded, Litha closed her fingers around her fellow conspirator’s wrist and they popped into the lounge downstairs. The trip wasn’t far enough to disturb equilibrium. It was no worse than a fast elevator drop.

“It won’t hurt them to watch the babies for a little while.”

Elora chuckled. “Neat trick.”

They picked out two of the comfiest chairs, the ones that made sitting feel like a hug, and sat facing each other.

“Hmmm. Well, I’m thinking that we’re not going to get anywhere as long as they’re together. They’re feeding off of each other and ratcheting up the resolve. We need to interrupt that feed.”

“Brilliant. Let us have yummy drinks and then go to our separate bedrooms to see if we can’t get their arms uncrossed.”

Litha smiled knowingly and initiated a soft five.

“Does it strike you that they’re bein’ too quiet?”

“It’s your bedroom. You go check.”

Ram opened the door and said. “Great Paddy loves a fuck. They’re gone.”

“What?” Storm got up.

“Gone. G.O.N.E. As in your wife always brin’s an unknown factor to the mix. Great Paddy, I’m glad we were never assigned to hunt somebody like her.” Ram ran a hand through his hair and looked at Storm. “So. Guess who’s babysittin’?”

 

Victoria Danann

 

About the Author:

Victoria Danann is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of eleven romances. Her Knights of Black Swan series won BEST PARANORMAL ROMANCE SERIES TWO YEARS IN A ROW (2013, 2014). Reviewers Choice Awards, The Paranormal Romance Guild. Victoria’s contemporary romance series is the Sons of Sanctuary MC, TWO PRINCES, Book 1 also contains the Prequel as a bonus. Victoria’s paranormal romances come with uniquely fresh perspectives on “imaginary” creatures, characters, and themes. She adds a dash of scifi, a flourish of fantasy, enough humor to make you laugh out loud, and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. Her heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, past life therapists, or financial analysts from Dallas. Her heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners – usually – whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires. The first book of the Knights of Black Swan Paranormal Romance Series, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by both Reviewers’ Choice and Readers’ Choice Awards. All of her books have opened on the Amazon Best Sellers list and earned Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK awards. Many have appeared on Listopia BOOK OF THE MONTH as #1 across all genres. For books published in 2013, Black Swan won three awards. 1. Best Paranormal Romance Series 2. Best Paranormal Romance Novel – A SUMMONER’S TALE 3. Best Vampire~Shifter Novel – MOONLIGHT. In 2014, Solomon’s Sieve won Best Vampire Novel. If you’re interested in Victoria personally, she is also a classically trained musician who defected to Classic Rock music. Until 2013 she was the utility player for Houston’s Roadhouse band, which means she played rhythm guitar, keyboards, sang back ups and female leads. Her band covered everything (note for note) from Styx to Led Zepellin to Rush. She lives in The Woodlands, Texas with her husband and a very smart, mostly black German Shepherd dog. FACEBOOK AUTHOR PAGE:www.facebook.com/authorvictoriadanann

BLACK SWAN FAN PAGE:www.facebook.com/vdanann

 GOODREADS FAN GROUP:https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/108735-victoria-danann-order-of-the-black-swan

TWITTER: @vdanann

PINTEREST: www.pinterest.com/vdanann

 

 

Tantalizing Tidbits, by Victoria Barbour, Stephanie Joyce Cole, John Robin, Ted Grosch, Ria Cantrell, Sue-Ellen Welfonder, Kathryn Lynn Davis, Kate Robbins, Natasha Blackthorne, Mary McCall, H.D. Smith, Brenda Margriet, Kimberly K. Comeau, Victoria Zak, KyAnn Waters, Tarah Scott, Ceci Giltenan, Reply

 

3 out of 5

Available for Purchase on

Review:

This was a definitely a mix bag. I must admit most of these authors were new to me. The stories were grouped into “Appetizer” , “Main Course” and “Dessert”. This gave a clue to the length of the story. Main Course stories were longer, but I still wouldn’t consider those stories long. This was hard to review.  Just like any other anthology, there were some stories that were more enjoyable than others. If looking for a book that holds different genres then this might be one to try.Especially if you want to read something and don’t have a bunch of time give this a chance. A good book to take on a plane.

Reviewed by Tipsy Dreamer

Our Blog was given this book in Exchange for

 

Description:

Appetizers

Savory fare for smaller appetites – short stories from a wide range of styles and genres.

The Motorcycle

by Tarah Scott

Paranormal fiction, 3074 words

No man can ever fully master memory. But maybe, just maybe, he can learn to live with it. Even be glad for it. Even if that means reaching across space, time…and the grave.

Ida and the Nor’easter

by Victoria Barbour

Contemporary fiction, 8014 words

Is there such a thing as a curse? With a storm looming on the horizon, 98-year-old Ida Walsh fears a repeat of the terrible events of her childhood. Will her indomitable wit and resilience be enough to save the day?

Gardens

by Stephanie Joyce Cole

Literary fiction, 4225 words

Anne begins to question the rigid limitations of her new marriage as she spies on a mysterious neighbor.

One Who Waits

by John Robin

Epic Fantasy, 6538 words

Contains moderate violence

Al’a will die at his father’s hands, unless he can master a forbidden magic.

Al’a Solaris, born into the Sun Priesthood, only wanted to prove his worth to his father when he delved into forbidden magic. Now, he must die at his father’s hands, to restore honor to his bloodline. But the blade his father wields is also his final hope — if only Al’a can discover its secret and master the fire within.

The Hole

by Ted Grosch

Literary fiction

Just exactly why is Bernie digging that hole?

The Spirit Bottle

by Ted Grosch

Literary fiction

A bushman’s duty is his legacy for the tribe.

The Summons

by Ria Cantrell

Paranormal romance, 5477 words

Contains mildly explicit sexual scenes

A magical journey where love knows no boundaries, the Summons combines romantic and ethereal love in a mystical setting.

Main Courses

Hearty fare to satisfy larger literary appetites.

The Seventh Sister

by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Paranormal romance, 12,439 words

A story of love, legend, and magic

Down-on-her-luck American artist Maggie Gleason returns to Ireland, hoping to put old hurts behind her. Instead, revisiting the fishing village that enchanted her twelve years before only reopens wounds – until the unexpected appearance of roguish pub owner Conall Flanagan proves that the Ancient Isle is a magical place where anything can happen and true love always stands the test of time.

Falling in Time

by Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Time travel romance, 11,090 words

When love calls across the ages…

Aspiring writer Lindy Lovejoy knows all about happy endings. But when she travels to Scotland to research Celtic myth and lore, she never expected a chance to live her own storybook romance, until a stop at mystical Smoo Cave whisks her back in time and into the arms of Rogan MacGraith, a Highland hero who’d burn up the pages of the steamiest Scottish romance novel.

Clouds Across the Moon

by Kathryn Lynn Davis

Historical Women’s Fiction, 17,151 words

In the 19th century Scottish Highlands, young Morna struggles with new motherhood, her child’s illness, and her inability to compete with her husband’s idealized vision of her. Will she have faith in the magic of her dreams, and thus find the strength to save her child’s life–and her own–as she begins to recognize the truth and depth of the woman she really is?”

The Lady’s Portrait

by Kate Robbins

Contemporary Romance, 17,332 words

Contains mild to moderate sexually explicit scenes

When Gillian Beaton meets the captivating Ciaran MacLeod, she’s immediately attracted, but is she ready to trust again? Have her demons followed her to Scotland and can new love grow out of old heartbreak?

His Harlot

by Natasha Blackthorne

Historical Erotic Romance, 23,018 words

*Contains extremely explicit sexual scenes that some readers may find offensive*

Late one night, in the midst of a summer’s hot spell, Thomas spies Rosalind in the woods, clad only in her shift, dancing in the moonlight. It’s really more than a man celibate for three years can bear. Thomas is in danger of falling into a sin so powerful it threatens to challenge everything he thinks he knows about himself and life…

Sneak Peek at Highland Legacy: King Arthur Strikes Back

by Mary McCall

Medieval Highland Romance, 12,494 Word

Michael wed Christina when he was nine and she was three, then promptly went about his life and tried to forget about her. Now the pair must unite to thwart the Beast, return the Power of God that was stolen by their ancestors, and save the world in an epic battle between the forces of good and evil.

*Please note, this is NOT a short story, it is an extended preview of Mary’s next novel, book III in her Sisters by Choice series due for release soon. It is a taste of things to come and while it does not end on a cliff-hanger, it is not a complete story.*

Desserts

Looking for something lighter or perhaps a happy ending? The stories in this section won’t disappoint you. They are shorter and mostly romantic, or funny, or both.

Onyx

by H.D. Smith

Paranormal fiction, 7099 words

Contains mild violence and a frustrating lack of S’mores

For those that like it short and sweet

Madison Monroe thinks she has everything in life figured out, until one ill-fated camping trip has her running for her life through the woods being chased by two wolves—both eager to claim her.

The Life She Had Before

by Brenda Margriet

Contemporary Romance, 5429 words

A woman is torn between bitter revenge and the sweetness of a second chance.

Hi. My Name is Harold

by Kimberly K. Comeau

Humor, 3778 words

Is there light at the bottom of an empty peanut butter jar?

For Harold, giving up peanuts for medical reasons means the end of life’s greatest pleasure…until his wife introduces him to all-natural peanut butter. But his addictive personality isn’t satisfied with an occasional indulgence.

The Jewel of Grim Fortress

by Victoria Zak

Paranormal historical romance, 7105 words

Eradicating wayward supernaturals has its consequences.

The hereafter may be closer than Carson Kincaid thinks when he is charged to discover what ails Laird Maclean’s mind. Can Kincaid conquer his inner demons while battling the armies of evil?

Paisley Shaw, a powerful druid, has endured her share of hardened times starting the moment Laird Maclean stormed into her life. Now, she must find a way to stop him from taking her powers before it’s too late.

Beautiful Storm,

by KyAnn Waters

Erotic romance, 7073 words

*Contains extremely explicit sexual scenes that some readers may find offensive*

Adrian Beck lost everything, including his passion for designing beautiful buildings, after 9/11.

Isabelle Clemet, of Clemet Hotels, is ready to rebuild after Katrina. She wants the Adrian.

Can an erotic late-night encounter on a secluded beach help a lonely architect rediscover his lost passion?

When a Rose Blooms,

by Tarah Scott

Historical romance, 4353 words

On the anniversary eve of his wife’s death, Nathaniel kneels at her grave asking questions he fears were answered the night she died. Despite cold solitude, desire flares when he learns the woman who now haunts his dreams awaits him in the great hall. By morning’s light, she will meet him on the battlefield he has built around himself, and force him to choose between the living and the dead

Sorry for Your Trouble

by Ceci Giltenan

Vignette, 1913 words

Ceci shares poignant but sometimes funny memories of the first funeral she attended in Ireland.

The Personal Ad

by Ceci Giltenan

Contemporary sweet romance, 4211 words

Always the best friend and never the leading lady, will Nina find love when she answers a quirky, sweet personal ad?

 

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Excerpts:

The Life She Had Before by Brenda Margriet

When her cell phone rang later that evening she was tempted to ignore it, especially when she saw Derek’s face on the display.

She was lying in bed, staring sightlessly at the ceiling, wondering where and when her life had gone to hell. Ruefully she reflected that anything, even talking to her unfaithful husband, was better than that.

“How are the kids?” she said without preamble.

“They’re okay. Wondering when you’ll be back.”

She couldn’t help it. The sound of his voice swept through her, sending a rush of longing coursing deep into her belly, so strong she had to curl around herself to contain it.

“Why did you call?”

“We need to talk.”

Gathering the shreds of her courage, she gave in. “What do you want from me, Derek?”

He didn’t answer immediately. The silence grew, and with it the tension in her stomach. When he finally did speak, her breath left her lungs in a whoosh of terrorized hope.

“A second chance.”

She thought back to earlier that night, to a kiss of tenderness and desire, and wondered if she had the strength to make the right decision.

 

Hi. My Name is Harold by Kimberly K. Comeau

Hi. My name is Harold. I’m a peanut butter addict. Thank you for inviting me here to speak to you tonight.

My addiction, like most addictions, started innocently enough, I suppose, with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as a child. Actually, those experiences started well before my addiction, but they laid the groundwork for what came later. After all, those early experiences were pleasurable ones, shared with a parent. What I did then felt safe.

Once I graduated from college, though, I started consuming peanuts. Real peanuts. You know, those little bowls of peanuts set out at parties . . . snacking socially with other guests, then grabbing a handful and filling a pocket when others turned their backs.

Eating peanuts was an adult thing to do. Everybody did it. I didn’t think anything about it, except to believe I’d left peanut butter sandwiches behind, along with my childhood. Then a woman friend discovered how much I liked peanuts and started giving me cans of nuts as gifts: for birthdays, Easter, Christmas, then “Just because it’s Thursday” and “They were on sale” days. I added cashews to my intake of nuts. I began buying them myself to supplement the gifts. It was great! A never-ending supply of comfort food.

Then one morning I was hospitalized with severe abdominal pain. I was admitted for emergency surgery but spared the knife when my doctor ruled out appendicitis. (My white blood cell count wasn’t high enough to be appendicitis.) I was referred for a colonoscopy. The test pinpointed the problem: diverticulitis.

This is where the scary music should escalate in the background. I was . . . Ahem. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to get choked up. I-I was advised to avoid any food containing seeds. Nuts were absolutely banned from my diet.

As you can imagine, my life changed dramatically that day.

 

Madison

The wind and tree branches whipped past me as I ran through the moonlit forest. The skin of my arms was already sliced from the branches, but I couldn’t stop. The cry of the wolves pushed me forward. I kept my eyes open for anything that might block my path.

My heart was thundering in my chest. The adrenaline that coursed through me moved my legs faster—but to where I didn’t know. I prayed it was the road, or the river—wolves hated water, right?

My breathing was labored and the forest crowded around me like it didn’t want me to leave. I whipped my head around as I heard the cry of the second wolf. Their howls surrounded me—as if they were running toward me from opposite directions. I stumbled, catching myself before I could fall. I had to keep moving. I had to make it to the road or the river. God I hoped I was running in the right direction.

I should have never agreed to this ridiculous “adventure”. I hated the woods, something my boyfriend Jeff knew, but he insisted we go camping. I was bribed with the promise of s’mores and burnt hotdogs, and of course I got neither. I’d left for a walk after he got drunk and suggested we go all pagan and try sky-clad hide the sausage. He didn’t even try to stop me, and then I got lost in the dark woods alone, without cell service—and no s’mores.

Now I’m being chased by wolves. Un-fucking-believable.

I whipped past another bush with sharp branches, sure the howls were getting closer. I’d never make it to the road or the river at this pace. It wasn’t like I knew where either was located—I needed to hide. Breathing heavy, I slowed to a stop. I spotted a large cluster of rocks ahead to the right. Forcing my tired legs to move, I hurried toward the small mountain of stone. I had absolutely no experience climbing anything, but I wasn’t going to give up. The higher ground would protect me until help could arrive. At least, I assumed—hoped—when I hadn’t come back that meant Jeff had alerted the rangers. I just had to survive until they found me.

I cringed at the sharp cry of a baying wolf. Reaching the rocks, I took hold and started to climb. I cursed as I scraped my hands on the rough rocks. One palm felt wet with blood, but I didn’t stop. Both were bloody before my feet were a meter off the ground. My hand slipped, but my shaky legs held. I reached out again, this time securing my footing.

Fear shot through me and I stilled when the rustle of quick padding slowed behind me. A low growl pierced the night. I wanted to cry or scream in frustration—I wasn’t high enough to be safe. Glancing back over my shoulder, I saw the two wolves that had pursued me. If I wasn’t scared out of my mind and a hairsbreadth away from being eaten alive, I would have said they were beautiful. The moonlight shone bright off their glossy coats. The white wolf was so luminous it almost glowed. The black wolf’s coat was like liquid ink.

I was awed by their beauty, but holy hell were they big.

They growled at each other, snarling and baring their teeth, which was when I realized neither wolf was looking at me.

Okay, maybe they were just chasing each other? That was a stupid thought, they came from opposite directions.

I tried to ignore them. I heaved and pulled myself up another foot. I just had to reach the top, maybe then my cell phone would work. Damn wilderness technology vacuum. I cursed this trip again and Jeff for suggesting it. I almost slipped when I heard the far off bay of other wolves. Then all hell broke loose as the two wolves behind me started fighting each other.

Keep it together, Maddy. I tried not to panic, but when two extra-large wild animals are trying to kill each other at your feet, it’s really hard to think about anything else.

I struggled to hold myself up. My arms were shaking—from fear and exhaustion. I needed better leverage. I moved my left leg to a piece of rock that jutted out enough to create a foothold. I pushed up, but before I could grab the next handhold, the sliver of rock under my foot crumbled and I slipped. I cried out in pain as my ankle raked along the rock. Losing my grip, I fell back onto the ground with a thud.

The wolves, who’d been at each other’s throats seconds before, stopped fighting. Turning to me, they bared their teeth and snarled. I screamed, raising my hands to protect my head as both wolves lunged forward.

 

 

The Summons – Paranormal Romance – By Ria Cantrell

By the time he could return to the comfortable flat he was renting, it would be late in the night, or rather; early in the morning and he would fall blissfully into bed with no energy left for dreams that left him aching and troubled. At least, that was his hope. He had to concentrate and stop his foolish reverie of something that was not real; that would never be reality–only–somehow, despite his rationalization of it, deep down he knew she was as real as he was. He shook his head again as if the movement of it would actually clear it and he thought to himself that he hadn’t even been drinking or for that matter, smoking anything to make the fantasy take on such a life of its own. He had to stop it. He was a grown man. He felt rather silly for putting so much onto a woman that was not even real.

~*~

She had seen him again. She did not know what it meant, but she knew that somehow, he was seeking her, too. He was not of her time; that she was certain, although the way he wore his hair was similar to the men she knew in her village. He was tall and handsome, but his eyes held a deep emptiness that she, herself understood all too well. The time for her to have been mated to a man had long passed as she had been called to care for her dying father. There was no room for courting in her world where her responsibilities pressed upon her like the weight of the standing stones.

 

The Jewel of Grim Fortress – Paranormal Historical Romance – By: Victoria Zak

Medieval Scotland

Isle of Mull

 The clanging of steel on steel echoed throughout the stronghold as Clan Maclean warriors battled to defend their laird. Warriors of every caliber bit and punched their targes until their blood ran to the dirt floor. They growled and snarled like wild beasts, charging forward down the wide staircase with all their might. There was no denying it, these men were willing to die for their laird and today, unfortunately for them, most would.

Dodging a flying Maclean shield before slicing his cheek, Kincaid rolled his eyes and blew out a breath of frustration. “This shite is getting old, me brother.” Being a paranormal assassin, fighting the supernatural was a daunting, unpredictable occupation, but one he had to do.

“Och, man, where’s yer sense of adventure?” Cailean, his brother in arms, huffed as he sliced through a warrior’s gut. “Plus, ye need the coin for rent.

Aye, a blacksmith’s son was in no matter born into riches or noble birth. Yet, one small characteristic seemed to have been forgotten through the ages. Not only could a smith forge steel into a fine sword fit for a king, but he possessed a special kind of magic. Magic strong enough to be passed down from generation to generation. Magic that could detect supernatural activity. It was something special, secret. Yet Kincaid thought differently. Charmed yet cursed.

“Aye, I suppose ye’re right, brother.” Kincaid knocked heads with a weaponless warrior who had thought it a good idea to charge him. The man fell to the ground. Kincaid kicked the motionless body down the stairs, shaking his head in disgust while he caught his breath. Hunting the wayward paranormal was growing old on him. The visions of unnatural activity that always led him to his next quest had become stronger, wearing on him mentally. The unending string of missions was also taking a toll on his body. Vampire bites, werewolf scratches, and conniving demons, he had scars from them all, but nothing came close to dealing with the Fae. Aye, every scar came with a price; his soul.

 

Falling in Time – Time Travel Romance – By: Sue-Ellen Welfonder

Sweet lass, I need you….

Lore’s voice came low and husky. Lindy whipped around with a jolt, sure she’d felt his breath on her nape. Soft and warm, it’d caressed her skin, making her tingle with desire and awareness. His words, deep and rough-edged, let her know that he wanted her with equal passion. But a quick glance showed that the room loomed empty. As before, nothing stirred except the damp wind outside her window.

She’d reached again for her pen and notepad, pushing her Scottish hero from her mind.

Sometimes it didn’t pay to have such a vivid imagination.

But hard work was always rewarded.

If her Armchair Enthusiast Guide took off, she hoped to someday earn a living by immersing herself in the world she loved best. Medieval Scotland, with all its mystery and magic, and where, she knew in her heart, she should have born if only some cruel quirk of fate hadn’t plunked her down in the wrong time and place, leaving her filled with yearning for a life she couldn’t have.

But she could write books set there.

Once she made a name for herself as an expert on the must-see Highland hot spots of Celtic mythological fame.

And that wasn’t going to happen unless she stopped thinking about her romance novel’s hero and paid attention to the task at hand. Such as studying her next morning’s route to one of the most celebrated places on her two week tour through Scotland’s ancient landscape.

She peered at the Ordnance Survey map that covered most of her bed. The map was a Landranger 9 and detailed every inch of Cape Wrath, the wildest and remote corner of Scotland. Just seeing all the squares, lines, and miniscule place names filled her with anticipation. This was the part of her trip that most excited her. She’d never been to Scotland before, but she’d dreamt of Sutherland all her life.

Scotland’s far north was where she belonged.

Thenext day’s journey would feel like going home.

Already, she knew each twist and turn of the way. Every curve of the shore road, the slender crescents of golden sand, and even the forgotten homesteads, each one little more than a tiny dot on her map.

Looking at them now, her heart skittered. Though nothing thrilled her as much as the special place she’d explore in less than twenty-four hours. Said to be a portal to the Otherworld as well as a favorite haunt of the fey, Smoo Cave would be the highlight of her trip.

She also meant to make it the piece de resistance of her book.

Levering up against the pillows, she pulled the map onto her lap. But before she could trace her finger along the pink-highlighted stretch of road she needed to follow around Loch Eriboll and along the coast to Durness where the cave was located, the wind picked up, slamming one of the shutters against the wall.

Or so she thought until she remembered the window wasn’t shuttered.

If the banging noise had been the sound of her door flying open….

Lindy’s heart stopped and the fine hairs on her nape lifted. Scotland wasn’t exactly known for crime, but there were always exceptions. So she slowly looked up from the map and slid a cautious glance across the room.

What she saw took her breath.

A man stood silhouetted against the light from her dresser lamp. Tall, kilted, and too rock-solid to be her imagination, he wore a very real-seeming sword at his hip and had a dark, roguish air about him that made her mouth go dry and did funny things to her stomach.

He looked very much like Lore.

 

Tantalizing Authors

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Guardians of the Realms Series, by Setta Jay 4

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Available for Purchase:

Amazon    BN    Kobo    Smashwords    ARe

5 out of 5 (for all books)

Reviews:

I have not read any books by Ms Jay. But I will be reading more. I have found another author to add to my favorites list. I had heard someone talking about this series and how good it was, and were they ever right. By the time I started reading the second book I caught myself thinking this is like my favorite series The Black Dagger Brotherhood. Hotter than hot Alpha Males that patrol and fight to keep the populous safe. Beautlful and smart mates. And a boss that is somewhat of a hot head and physically almost larger than life. With evil lurking just out of reach. Then add in mythology and I am a very happy camper. I loved this series and hope there will be more. This series is for 18+ due to the level of HOTNESS. I will recommend to all of my friends.

All reviews done by Epiphany

Product Details

Description:

Ever since the Gods were sent to sleep for their sins against humanity, Vane, the son of Athena has been avoiding exile to the Immortal Realm. He, his dark, brooding twin and their sister have spent their lives hidden amongst humanity on Earth. According to their sister’s cryptic powers they needed to stay there for a purpose they’d yet to find. As the centuries ticked by he grew restless, recklessly tangling deeper with a very dangerous female.

As one of the Guardians of the Realms it was Brianne’s duty to ensure that humanity evolved without being subjugated by more powerful beings. For too long she had succumbed to the lure of a powerfully seductive Demi-God that could never truly be hers, one that she should have exiled long ago. It was a secret that could cost her, cost them all, but the danger only added to her need.

Their desire was breaking all the rules…

Warning: This story is intended for a mature audience and contains explicit sex and a dominant male behaving badly. Enjoy!

Excerpt:

Plaster shattered around his thick shoulders. Vane smelled the dust mixing with the sweet scent of arousal permeating the room. Lust-filled amber gazed into his own bright blue. He narrowed his eyes and flipped her around to crash her bare back into the hard wood of the door they had entered moments before. His long pale hair brushed against his cheeks with the speed of the movements. Brianne’s breath exhaled in a rush, followed by a low moan. Her skin felt soft and silky against his palms. He grasped her tightly to him, feeling the bite of her fingers on his biceps. Caging her firmly against his body, he first lifted, then pinned her hands next to her head.

Her full breasts pressed into his chest. The stiff points of her nipples rubbed him through his thin tee and he relished the friction. He took her lips forcefully as she fought to take back control of the situation. Her usual attempt, when all she fucking wanted was to be subdued. It was always a battle.

She nipped at his lips and he plunged his tongue deep. A low growl vibrated deep inside his chest. Brianne’s tongue tangled with his, becoming more and more demanding with each caress. He leaned down to angle his head for a more thorough exploration. Even in her high ‘fuck me’ heels, he still had a good seven inches on her. As a female Guardian of the Realms, her size had zero to do with the strength and power packed into her lithe frame. As she fought his hold, her eyes grew glazed with desire, enjoying how fully he had her under his control. It was what he watched for.

“How hard?” He growled against her bottom lip and then nipped sharply, knowing the answer before she voiced it.

“As hard as you can give it, kitten.” She grinned wickedly at him as she issued the challenge in that sultry cadence that never failed to go straight to his balls. One long, toned thigh slid up his hip, pushing the silky material of her dress up with it. He could scent her sweet pussy and couldn’t wait to get his mouth down there to lap up all that delicious cream.

He grinned devilishly as he said, “Gladly, my little lark.”

She snapped at his lower lip. He touched his tongue to the sting and tasted his own blood. She enjoyed her nickname as much as he liked the one she’d given him. His grin grew wider at the sight of her narrowed lids. Both were predators in their own rights. The irony in their other forms never escaped him. He let his gaze track her long copper-colored hair. It fell in wild waves, framing her delicate features and pouty lips. He loved her hair, loved to have it wrapped around his fists as he fucked her hard.

He leaned in, licking up her throat to her ear, and took his own sharp nip. “You’ll pay for making me bleed, my sweet songbird.” He chuckled when she growled at him. He’d always enjoyed their games.

Before she went for more blood, he bumped his jean-covered cock against her stomach and pushed her arms down to her sides, trapping them. He didn’t give her time to anticipate his next move. Instead he swiftly lifted and tossed her the ten plus feet onto the big bed in their secret hideaway. She bounced and then quickly spun around, facing him on her hands and knees. Her green dress gapped, giving him a nice glimpse of her unbound breasts. She wore nothing under the slip of silk. The fabric was no more than a tease that went with the golden stilettos.

He stalked forward, watching as her eyes ate up his every move. He lifted and tossed his shirt to the floor. His sensitive hearing picked up the hitch in her breathing, indicating just how hot the sight of his muscled chest made her. She eyed him intently as his hands moved to the button of his jeans, watching with rapt attention as he lowered the denim from his heated flesh. He wore nothing beneath the material and his cock sprang free, released from the hellish confines. Her gaze latched onto the series of piercings along his shaft and she licked her lips. She seemed to love the way the silicone balls felt as they slid deep inside her channel. He’d only had them a few years; judging from the covetous look at his cock, it was long enough for her to crave the feel of them. He grinned roguishly at her as he kicked off first his boots, then jeans and socks, all while she silently watched and waited. She would strike soon, she always did.

As he made his way to the bed, she launched at him. She wrestled him for control before he took her down, face first into the soft bedding. Her ass caressed his cock as he straddled her hips. She bucked and fought against his hold. As a Guardian, she was strong as fuck, but not stronger than a son of the Goddess Athena. “Yield, and I’ll eat your little pussy… first.”

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Review:

This is an awesome read. I really enjoyed this book. The first thing about this book that grabbed my interest was the characters. Gods, Goddesses, Demi-Gods, Guardians, Shifters, Vampires, and so much more. The building of the storyline is almost foreplay to the romance and what their story will be like. I loved the way the characters were brought to life with their storyline interwoven into the main story, a story within a story.

Description:

As one of the twelve Guardians, Urian has spent the last several centuries in a constant battle to keep the inhabitants of Earth’s Realms under control. Humanity has to evolve, hell beasts need to die, and Immortals need mates. But lately, Uri’s mind is overrun with thoughts of when his sexy voyeur will find him again, watching him from the shadows, continuing their wicked game. All Guardians are forbidden contact with the little goddess and her brothers, but his need for her escalating, he finds it increasingly difficult to keep from pinning her down on the nearest surface and making her his.

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Review:

The second book is just as good as the first one. With a super, hot alpha male and a feisty, strong female, the combination is so hot it almost makes you kindle smoke. I love the world that Setta Jay has created and can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

Description:

Gregoire has spent centuries with his brother Guardians fighting for the safety and security of the Realms. Endless decades of battling mixed with bouts of mindless sex to sate his needs. Needs that haven’t truly been fulfilled since she was born. The one destined to be his bonded mate. For the last twenty five years Gregoire has kept his distance giving her time to grow into a female who is capable of handling his intense dominance.

Alyssa has done everything that was expected of her, until the day she finds out she has a mate who has left her unclaimed. Unheard of when mates are rare and coveted. Even worse is the fact that he is the most powerful of her race and a Guardian of the Realms. Furious at the rejection she decides she is now in charge of her life. No more will she allow others to rule her.

Against the backdrop of evil forces that are conspiring to topple the Realms, can Gregoire find his wayward mate before she is taken by corrupt Immortals? Can Alyssa forgive him and learn to exert her own female power while surrendering to his savage passion? And will the two of them be able to forge a mate bond that cannot be severed… or will they be forever cursed with an Ecstasy Unclaimed?

Warning: Dirty talking, possessive alpha male; scenes of sexual exhibition; an instance of f/f; spankings and more.

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Review:

By the time you get to the third book you have fallen in love with the characters and the three couples. I was sitting on the edge on my seat reading as fast as I could wanting to know what was going to happen next.

Description:

A headstrong sassy mortal, Rain is a Mageia living in Tetartos, the Realm of beasts and Immortals. Her nights have been restless, filled with sensual dreams of a big blonde Guardian whose glares indicate he wants nothing to do with her. She is determined to shake off the odd feelings until she finds out her dream lover is responsible for her rescue from a demented Demi-God. In doing so, his touch ignites something rare and coveted. Something that she’s never anticipated… Something he should have told her about. Rain is set on making him explain and then feel the full force of her ire.

After a devastating betrayal resulting in the loss of a close friend a century ago, Dorian refuses to trust or engage with Immortals other than his Guardian family. His years of brutal fighting in the underground Immortal rings are over. He patrols the Realms and slakes his lust with the humans on Earth. Existing, but not living as he used to. He knows the moment he scents Rain that he has found his mate and after touching her he plans to avoid her as long as he can… Until he learns she is in danger. Raging, his beast demands that he go to her, but taking her from their enemy has repercussions he fully plans to escape at all costs.

For Dorian, finding a way out of mating Rain means he could succumb to madness and harm those that mean so much to him… but giving in to his burning urge for her means losing control in a heated mating frenzy sure to ignite them both and link them forever.

Warning: This book is intended for adult audiences; brief instances of M/F/F and M/F/M ménage; voyeurism and sexually explicit scenes.

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Review:

Another fabulous read by Setta Jay. As with the first three books we get another glimpse of all the characters we have met so far and have more add to the family. The very controlled Alpha finds his other half who is very young and independent. With new family in tow they join the ranks. In this book I start to feel the overlapping of story lines. Who knows what will happen next.

Description:

Conn had spent the millennia of his life fighting alongside his brethren as a Guardian of the Four Realms. He’d never allowed himself to imagine that he would be gifted a mate but her scent was inside him now. The intoxicating lure incited his wolf to track her and claim her in a sexual frenzy she could never deny. He refused to repeat the mistakes his brothers had made in their unions, instead he planned to fight the demands of his beast and tempt his female.

Dacia had spent the years of her life as a guardian of her family’s secrets. Her days were consumed with helping her siblings search for the Immortals who had escaped the God Apollo’s brutal training camps with her parents thousands of years ago. They were the only hope of finding answers to questions about their lives. Questions her parents hadn’t resolved before their deaths.

Not in her wildest of dreams would Dacia have imagined the answers would instead find her. Or what form those answers would take. The breathtaking male who stepped out of the night and into her life was certainly not one of the hidden Immortals her parents had told of, he was so much more. Wielding both immense power and thrilling strength he aroused not only her body but the wolf hidden within.

Dacia needed to find a way to trust her seductive Guardian, not only with herself, but with her family as well. But how long could she hold out against both the intensity of the mating frenzy that demanded sexual release, and the wickedly sexy male who was tempting not just her body… but also her heart?

Warning: This book is intended for an adult audience. It contains explicit sex; voyeurism; dirty talking males with bad language.

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Review:

The books just get better and better. Hotness meter shot up with this book. I the couple in this book are my favorites in the series. An Alpha male who has met his perfect match. She is strong and stubborn which is just what he needs. We also fine the boss in an ever increasing bad mood. Something is brewing that has all of them on edge. I was on the edge of my seat through this book and did not realize that I had come to the end until I turn the last page.

Description:

After a hellish month of searching, Immortal warrior Jax and his brethren, the Guardians of the Realms, are nowhere near finding the sleeping God who was stolen by their enemy. As if that isn’t problem enough, after millennia, other Guardians are dropping like flies to the mating frenzy. Jax never dreamed he could be next. After all, he’s too flawed, his sexual appetite too insatiable to ever be completely fulfilled by one being. Could a lone female even handle his needs let alone quench his never ending desire?

Ileana lives a solitary life in the shadows, a ghost thirsting for vengeance. A warrior Ailouros, half cat, whose sheer existence has been kept secret by a special ability no one can know exists, she is closed off and trusts no one. After thousands of years spent in near isolation while hunting her prey, she has finally found a clue leading to the location of her enemy. Revenge is at hand.

When a fantastically hot Guardian unknowingly puts himself in the middle of a deadly intrigue, nearly ruining her careful plans, Ileana is forced to make a choice. Her one chance at finding vengeance will hinge on hurling them both into piercing ecstasy.

Warning: This book is intended for an adult audience. There are dirty talking Guardians with bad language, some violence, and explicit scenes hot enough to give you cat scratch fever.

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Review:

WOW. This book had so much action that at one point I had to back track and reread a couple of chapters. I was so engrossed that I had miss an important point. At a point in this book I had to laugh at the attitude of the couple and the way they butted heads. But the end of the book blew me away with the way I was left hanging off the cliffhanger. This can’t be the end of this series, the must be more. Too many things have been left unresolved. Please Ms Jay give us the rest of the story.

Description:

A Beautiful Weapon Contained.

Natasha and her sister were created with sinister purpose. They were Apollo’s most deadly and potent weapons. After finally escaping the evil God long ago, they made a secret life concealed among humanity in Earth Realm. There, Tasha has spent her nights watching the mortals at her club engage in erotic scenes that leave her aching… desperately longing for someone with the power to dominate her, to provide the pleasure she craves. For her own safety she knows she’s destined to live her life in the shadows, but when she sees a male who sparks an insatiable hunger she is unable to remain hidden.

A Powerful Guardian Restrained.

Bastian and his fellow Guardians have spent the last month in a fruitless search for Apollo. They know that something dangerous is on the horizon and it is imperative they lock away the corrupt God immediately. After recently witnessing a number of his brethren find their fated mates, Bastian never considered that he would also be blessed. But when the calm and controlled Guardian sees his alluring and seductive female he learns just how wild and consuming the mating frenzy can be. However, his mate is incredibly powerful and at risk of being caged by his own brothers if he doesn’t do everything, including lie, to protect her.

Immovable Object, Meet Irresistible Force.

It’s a battle that both will win if they can survive the deadly forces, both friend and foe, that surround them.

Warning: This novel is intended for a mature audience. You will find kick-ass females, explicit sex, voyeurism and alpha males with bad language.

 

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About the Author:

Setta Jay is the author of the popular Guardians of the Realms Series. She’s garnered attention and rave reviews in the paranormal romance world for writing smart, slightly innocent heroines and intense alpha males. She loves writing stories that incorporate a strong plot with a heavy dose of heat. Her influences include Judith McNaught who she feels writes a smart heroine to perfection, Gena Showalter, Maya Banks and Lora Leigh. You can often find her writing compared to JR Ward, but if you are a fan of the Black Dagger Brotherhood be warned that Setta Jay’s novels are more erotic in nature.

Born a California girl, she currently resides in Idaho with her husband of ten plus years who she describes as incredibly sexy and supportive.

She loves to hear from readers so feel free to ask her questions on social media or send her an email, she will happily reply.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/settajayauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/settajay_

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7778856.Setta_Jay

Website: http://www.settajay.com/

 

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Giveaway:

$200 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card (winner’s choice)

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