Spotlight: My Defender (Bewitched and Bewildered Book Eight), by Alanea Alder 2

Available For Purchase On:

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Tagline: She’s been Bewitched, he’s Bewildered

Description:

When a mysterious illness begins to sweep through Noctem Falls affecting the children, Eleanor Kimball is called to the city to see if she can determine what is wrong. As a pediatrician Eleanor loves children and desires many of her own, however, after several dating disasters she has not only sworn off men, but has given up her dream of a family, and the promise of a destined mate.

After discovering Grant in Noctem Falls she is faced with her own insecurities and finds it hard to believe in his love.

Grant Douglas is a man of few words and doesn’t do well surrounded by others. He is scared to death of finding a mate. He believes the harshness of his past, where he struggled to survive, didn’t cultivate a gentle heart. After a series of terrifying nightmares where his mate is at risk, Grant has decided he doesn’t want a mate at all.

When he meets Ellie, he realizes there are some things worth fighting for. Even if it means putting himself out there by becoming the Alpha he was born to be and facing the power he desperately tries to hide.

As Ellie starts to believe in Grant’s love it will take every ounce their combined strength to discover why the shifter children are suddenly falling ill before it’s too late.

Excerpt:

He grabbed the hem of her shirt and in one fluid motion pulled it over her head. She squealed and grabbed for a blanket. His dark chuckle reverberated through her. “Don’t hide from me.”

Ellie had one arm across her breasts and the other one was desperately trying to use the blanket to cover her legs. “My thighs are huge!”

When Grant crawled out from under the blankets Ellie could clearly see that he was, indeed, naked. With a wolfish grin he pushed her onto the pillows. “The only time a man should be worried about a woman’s thighs is when he’s trying to earn a place between them.”

What was probably supposed to be a sexy moment turned into a game of tug of war with the blanket. Their actions reminded her of playing with her neighbor’s dog, Kip. She released the blanket and Grant landed back on the mattress. She covered her mouth with both hands giggling uncontrollably.

Grant tilted his head to one side, just like Kip and she could barely breathe she was laughing so hard. “S-s-stop it!” When he growled out his frustration she had to cross her legs.

“Ellie, what has gotten into you?” he asked as he rolled her on her back. He knelt between her legs and stared down into her face.

“You remind me of Kip.” She wiped her eyes.

“Who is the hell is Kip?”

“My neighbors yorkie-poo.”

“What the fuck is a yorkie-poo?”

“Yorkshire terrier and poodle.”

He blinked. “I remind you of a poodle?”

About The Author:

USA Today Best Selling Author, Alanea loves reading almost as much as she loves writing. She began writing at a very young age, some of her first scribblings are treasured in a keepsake box and written in green marker. She started when she was still in grade school and continued on through college.

She believes that love truly conquers all and that everyone no matter what, deserves a chance at that love and a place they can call home. She absolutely loves to hear from her readers so don’t hesitate to reach out to her. As always, her promise to her readers remains, “If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!”

Website http://alaneaalder.com/

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Tour Giveaway:

1 Bewitched and Bewildered mystery gift box.

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Spotlight: Shifted by Fate, by S.R. Mitchell Reply

Available For Purchase On:

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Description:

Kelly had a history of picking the wrong guy, but destiny had its own twisted plan for her. She could not change what destiny had in store for her, but she could learn to accept it. With change came Eric and he was one-hundred percent Alpha bad boy.  Kelly knew one thing when it came to Eric…  

He drove her absolutely crazy.

Eric knew as soon as he scented her, and her smell invaded his senses, that she was his mate.  An alpha did not let go of his mate for anything…. she was his. He would fight for her.  He would guide her. He would love her.

And with other wolves now after her… he would protect her at all cost.

Teasers:

About The Author:

I am a Texas born wife, mother, and writer! I write words to enchant your soul and fill your heart with love.  I write Historical Romance, Historical Paranormal Romance, and Contemporary Paranormal Romance.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorSarahM

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-SR-Mitchell-1698828853706347/

 

Spotlight/Review: Dark Angel (The Fallen Chronicles Book 1), by Amanda Jones Reply

5 out of 5 Stars

Cover Artist: Jenny Dixon

Available For Purchase On:

New Concepts Publishing          Amazon

Tagline: With this fallen angel it never felt so good to be bad!

Review:

Loved this story line with all the fallen angels and the struggle that they were all having. While I can say I don’t much care for the cover, I’m glad I didn’t judge a book by its cover?!?  Katia was a character that could have been a friend and I really can’t wait to see where The author plans on taking the story in the next books, I can tell you I will be there to read them when they’re done.

Description:

Katia may be a celebrated musician, but she’d always felt a little like an outsider looking in. Who knew that being abducted by a handsome stranger would set her on a crash course with her destiny…

Luc has spent an eternity keeping everyone and everything at a distance as an unstoppable darkness consumes his soul. Will his beautiful captive be his salvation, or will they both be consumed by the ultimate evil…

About the Author:

Amanda Jones lives in Toronto with her exceptionally spoiled pets.  Aside from sharing her crazy imagination with others through her books Amanda enjoys travelling and frequent Netflix binges.  Amanda has worked in several fields including sports, music, film, corporate human resources, and is a graduate of York University and Sheridan College.

Website: www.amandajonesauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/darkangelauthor/

Twitter: @AmandaLJ1981

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14761429.Amanda_Jones

Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0196WYYRW

Tour Giveaway:

$50 Amazon Gift Card

5 ebook copies Dark Angel

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Spotlight/Sale: My Commander (Bewitched and Bewildered Book One), by Alanea Alder 2

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On Sale for .99

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Tagline: She’s been Bewitched, he’s Bewildered

Description:

When the topic of grandchildren comes up during a weekly sewing circle the matriarchs of the founding families seek out the witch Elder to scry to see if their sons have mates. They are shocked to discover that many of their son’s mates are out in the world and are human!

Fearing that their future daughter in laws will end up dead before being claimed and providing them with grandchildren to spoil, they convince their own mates that something must be done. After gathering all of the warriors together in a fake award ceremony the witch Elder casts a spell to pull the warrior’s mates to them, whether they want it or not.

Aiden McKenzie is adamant that he doesn’t need a mate and that she would only get in the way. He doesn’t have time to coddle a female. He likes his world run with military precision. Little does he realize, Fate is sending him his mate first! He meets his destined mate Meryn Evans and things go downhill from there. She is the embodiment of chaos. In the first twenty-four hours she kicks, screams and knocks her bear shifting mate unconscious.

Eventually they discover that life before finding each other may have been good, but life afterwards is perfect, even if it involves super soaker battles and accidentally discharging hand grenades.

Unfortunately, the joy of their mating is overshadowed when Aiden and Meryn find themselves embroiled in a missing persons case assigned to Aiden by the Lycaonian Council. By assisting Aiden, Meryn finds herself the focus of a demented killer.

Can Aiden and the elite warriors from the Alpha Unit keep Meryn safe? Or did Fate bring her to Lycaonia to die?

Excerpt:

Meryn looked around helplessly as she dangled in his grasp. Her hopes for escape plummeted when she saw that they were now completely surrounded by no less than twelve huge men all carrying weapons.

“Okay, I saw this movie and I didn’t like it. Can I just go home now?” She took in their military gear and closed her eyes.

“I didn’t see anything I swear.”

“Who sent you?” Meryn opened her eyes to see another blond man stepping forward. At first she thought he might be related to the guy holding her but this man had amber colored eyes not green and higher cheekbones. It was a gorgeous combination.

“No one.”

“So you just decided to climb a random fence just to see what was on the other side?” There was no hiding the sarcasm in that question.

She nodded frantically.

“Actually yup. I just moved to town and I woke up and had this overwhelming urge to go exploring. It pushed me here.” She noticed how the men gave each other meaningful looks.

“So are you guys like paramilitary? Secret CIA training base? That would be cool.” Meryn asked.

All eyes turned back to her. She flinched and closed her eyes again.

“I mean, I see nothing, I hear nothing and I most definitely won’t say shit.”

The man behind her snorted. The sound of men approaching had her opening her eyes again.

Out of the woods two more men appeared. One looked like he glided over the fallen leaves, the other trampled through them recklessly his blue eyes hard. He looked like he was the type of man who wore a perpetual scowl.

The angry one looked her over.

“What’s your name?”

“These are not the droids that you seek.” She said. The smaller auburn haired man to her left cracked up. The hulking man glared at him.

“Quiet Keelan.” He turned his gaze back to her.

“Come on, that’s Star Wars.” Keelan explained.

“She fights star type wars?” He asked concerned. She looked up at him.

“Seriously?”

About The Author:

USA Today Best Selling Author, Alanea loves reading almost as much as she loves writing. She began writing at a very young age, some of her first scribblings are treasured in a keepsake box and written in green marker. She started when she was still in grade school and continued on through college.

She believes that love truly conquers all and that everyone no matter what, deserves a chance at that love and a place they can call home. She absolutely loves to hear from her readers so don’t hesitate to reach out to her. As always, her promise to her readers remains, “If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!”

Website http://alaneaalder.com/

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Spotlight: Night Blood Series, by Melody Johnson Reply

Cover Artist: Kensington Publishing

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon       Kindle      Kobo      Apple     

Google Play      Nook

Description:

As a journalist, Cassidy DiRocco thought she had seen every depraved thing New York City’s underbelly had to offer. But while covering what appears to be a vicious animal attack, she finds herself drawn into a world she never knew existed. Her exposé makes her the target of the handsome yet brutal Dominic Lysander, the Master Vampire of New York City, who has no problem silencing her to keep his coven’s secrets safe…

But Dominic offers Cassidy another option: ally. He reveals she is a night blood, a being with powers of her own, including the ability to become a vampire. As the body count escalates, Cassidy is caught in the middle of a vampire rebellion. Dominic insists she can help him stop the coming war, but wary of his intentions, Cassidy enlists the help of the charming Ian Walker, a fellow night blood. As the battle between vampires takes over the city, Cassidy will have to tap into her newfound powers and decide where to place her trust…

Excerpt Book 1:

Vampires Bite in the Big Apple- notes from draft 1

Cassidy DiRocco, Reporter

I didn’t need to believe in the paranormal to believe in monsters. I reported murders, rapes, assaults, and robberies every day: men strangling wives, women stabbing lovers, children shooting children. If someone had interviewed me last week—before I was attacked and bitten and manipulated in the pursuit of everyone else’s personal and conflicting agendas—I would have said that the world darkened a little more with every sunset and turned a little more bloody and vengeful and uncaring with each passing day. But I’d also have said that after almost ten years in the business, I’m no longer surprised by anything I report.

If someone had interviewed me last week, it wouldn’t have mattered how long I’d been in the business; I’d have been dead wrong.

Humans aren’t the only murderers and rapists and thieves in this city; the real monsters—vampires and night bloods alike—have hopes and goals and desires just like the humans. But without the limitations of a fragile human body, the vampires achieve every goal and desire without consequence. Who can bring a murderer to justice if the murderer can’t be arrested or detained? Who can testify against a rapist when the victim can’t remember whether she’d been raped or mugged? Who can stop a crime spree when no one realizes crimes are even being committed?

No one, of course, except for me.

Even after everything this insane week taught me about the world, this city, and myself, I’m still breathtakingly shocked by everything I reported—and, most especially, by the one story I couldn’t.…

Chapter 1

Last Monday

I nearly limped right past him, clouded by my own physical pain and the churning unease in my gut, but the rattling hiss that growled from the alley tripped my interest. I stopped walking.

The night was cool and quiet in the aftermath of sirens and flashing lights. My scalp tingled in response to the noise emanating from the alley, and I thought of all the things I should do: I should return to the main crime scene, I should finish my interviews, I should write my story and submit it to print like a good, reliable, by-the-book reporter. The hiss rattled from the alley again, but as I’d never been one to leave questions unanswered, I slipped a can of pepper spray from my brown leather, cross-body satchel and side-stepped into the alley to find the source of the noise.

What I’d found was a man, and the rattling hiss was his struggling, gurgling, uneven breaths. His entire body was ravaged by third-degree burns. Tucked into a shadowed alley between two buildings on the corner of Farragut Road and East 40th, he was crouched down as if warding off an attacker—perhaps in his case a flamethrower—and not moving. I cringed, thinking about the injury that was blocking his throat to produce such a horrible rattling. Maybe he was crying. Maybe he was just trying to breathe. I couldn’t decipher his expression because his burns were so devastating. His face wasn’t really a face anymore beyond the rough distinctions of a lump for a nose and a hole for a mouth. The unease churning in my gut all night bottomed out. I wouldn’t have imagined that someone so injured could still breathe.

Trading the pepper spray for my cell phone, I dialed for Detective Greta Wahl.

“Wahl here.” She answered on the fifth ring, just before I suspected my call would transfer to voicemail. “I already gave you a statement, DiRocco. Let the other sharks have a bite, will you?”

“I found another victim, G.” I said without preamble.

“Alive? Where?” Greta asked, snapping from friend to detective instantly.

“A block up Farragut. He’s still breathing, but he’s different than the others. No bites.” I swallowed the bile that clogged my throat like hot ash. “His entire body is burned to charcoal.”

“Is he wearing a necklace, like the ones from last week? They were gold with a wolf pendent.”

“I remember,” I said. “And no, he’s not wearing a necklace. And he’s not shot execution-style like those victims either. He’s burned. This is probably a different case all together.”

Greta sighed. “Stay with him. I’ll send a paramedic to you ASAP. It might be a few minutes, though. We’ve still got our seven victims being stabilized here.”

“Got it. We’ll be waiting.” I hesitated a fraction of a second before asking, “Any one of our victims talking yet?”

“The few that still have throats haven’t said a word. They’re all in shock. It’s not pretty down here, DiRocco.”

“I know. Keep me posted, and send Nathan to me if you can.”

“Will do,” Greta said.

I ended the call and sat gingerly on the ground next to the man to offer what comfort I could and to give my arthritic hip the rest it needed. Injuries were supposed to heal with time, but the scar build-up on mine had only increased in the five years since I’d taken a bullet. The first stakeout of my career had set a high standard for my field performance, but it had also left a permanent reminder to listen to my gut. My hip ached on a regular basis, and lately, it would click and grind when put to excess use. After an entire day on my feet, interviewing officers and tracking down witnesses, my activities had apparently escalated way past excess.

Once I settled on the pavement, I held the man’s left elbow—one of two visible patches of skin not blackened or blistered—and felt an overwhelming, humbling gratitude, no matter my past injuries or current residual pain, that none of these victims had been me.

Cover Artist:  Kensington Publishing

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon     Kindle     Kobo     Apple     Google Play     Nook

Description:

Cassidy DiRocco knows the dark side intimately—as a crime reporter in New York City, she sees it every day. But since she discovered that she’s a night blood, her power and potential has led the dark right to her doorway. With her brother missing and no one remembering he exists, she makes a deal with Dominic Lysander, the fascinating master vampire of New York, to find him.

Dominic needs the help of Bex, another master vampire, to keep peace in the city, so he sends Cassidy to a remote, woodsy town upstate to convince her—assuming she survives long enough. A series of vicious “animal attacks” after dark tells Cassidy there’s more to Bex and her coven than anyone’s saying. That goes double for fellow night blood Ian Walker, the tall, blond animal tracker who’s supposed to be her ally. Walker may be hot-blooded and hard-bodied, but he’s hiding something too. If Cassidy wants the truth, she’ll have to squeeze it out herself… every last drop.

Excerpt Book 2:

Vampires Bite in the Big Apple- notes from draft 4

Cassidy DiRocco, Reporter

Nightmares are supposed to stay in dreams, but for the past three weeks, absolutely nothing, not even my dreams, are as they’re supposed to be. Reality is the nightmare. When murderers, rapists, thieves, and gangs were my choice topics to report, I was sickened and made unendurably angry by what people were capable of doing to other people. Now, I’m just sickened by what I’m capable of, and I can’t sleep at all.

After sunset I see vampires lurking in every shadow, pressing against every doorway, committing every murder. Reality is further from anything I could have imagined, and I feel helpless against the enormity of Dominic’s reach. What’s the point of breaking my lease when Dominic will just demand entrance into my new apartment? Whom can I confide in about my life after dark without putting them at risk?

The one question that haunts me most is ironically one that I struggled to answer long before stumbling upon Dominic’s existence. It haunted me after my parents died and I struggled with Percocet addiction—how long will I search for the answers before buckling under the unbearable truth that my efforts were futile from the start?

My brother disappeared three weeks ago. In another three months, will the agony of Nathan’s absence still drive my efforts or drive me insane? When do I draw the line between hope and insanity—in another three years? Unfortunately for me and everyone’s peace of mind, I don’t think there are lines for love. Love is already insane, so the only answer is to drive toward the truth….

Chapter 1

The bus ride from The Big Apple to Erin, New York gradually descended from the metropolitan area to suburbs, from suburbs to woodsy small towns, and then to nothing but fields and sheds and, of course, cows. I’d never seen so many cows in my life. Considering I’d never actually seen a cow in person, I suppose that wasn’t much of a statement, but it certainly seemed like Erin had an over-abundance of them. Their mooing reminded me of Dominic’s night blood-and-hamburger metaphor when he’d described how my blood tasted. “You are a rare dish,” he’d said, and I’d been terrified by his attraction.

As a night blood, I was one of the rare humans who had the blood type necessary to complete the transformation into a vampire, but just because I had the potential to become a vampire didn’t mean I wanted to become one. That was only one of many points of contention between Dominic and me, albeit one of our more vehement disagreements.

I was still terrified of Dominic, attraction or not, but terror could only hold so much immediacy for so long, especially when the object of my terror was being relatively civil. Dominic, Master Vampire of New York City, and swiftly becoming a master pain in my ass, had visited me on numerous occasions at the hospital while I recovered from my encounter with Jillian. He visited me at home once I’d been released from the hospital. He visited me in the office when I returned to work and outside the office at every starlit opportunity.

I suppose guilt may have played a role in his consistent and regular visits, considering Jillian had been both his vampire and the second in command of his coven, and somehow, I had been the one to take the biggest hit when she’d betrayed him. But I doubt that guilt was his only motivation; when he came calling, he was always fully fed, completely gorgeous, and the ultimate gentleman.

I knew better than to believe the illusion.

In his infinite patience, I think Dominic was biding his time, and I suspected it had everything to do with this very road trip to Erin, New York, Ian Walker’s hometown, and the resting place of Walker’s abundantly powerful coven Master, Bex.

Dominic, however, wasn’t the only one biding his time, although Walker had been decidedly less patient.

“I can’t wait to see you, darlin’,” Walker had said at least once per conversation during the multiple phone calls we’d enjoyed daily for three weeks. I would have found his persistence coming from someone else nauseating, but between all the darlin’s and ma’ams, we shared an indelible bond that went beyond incorrigible flirtation.

Walker was the only other night blood I knew, the only other person who knew that vampires existed, and the only person who could relate to the danger and drama of my life. Meredith, photographer at The Sun Accord and my very best friend, didn’t know anything about vampires or night bloods because telling her anything about my life these days—or more pointedly, these nights—would only put her at risk. But she most certainly knew the look on my face when my phone rang, and Walker greeted me on the opposite end.

Meredith assured me that I owed it to myself to discover how deep my bond with Walker could grow, but I remained skeptical of both him and my feelings for him. We’d only physically known each other for one week. How well could I legitimately come to know a person in one week? But when I looked back at the week we’d shared and survived, I swallowed my doubts.

“Pu-lease, you say that to all the girls,” I said to him. My tone was deliberately sarcastic, but I was glad we were talking on the phone; he’d know by my ridiculous smile that I was just as excited to finally see him, too. “You forget that I’ve seen you in action.”

“You certainly have.” Walker’s voice deepened salaciously and I was reminded of that one night in my office. He’d lifted me onto my desk, and his strong hands had touched me in places I’d never thought I could feel again.

I swallowed. “My point is that this is a business trip. Carter finally approved my piece on city versus rural New York crime fluctuations—”

“That I encouraged you to write,” Walker interrupted.

I rolled my eyes. “—and as one of my primary sources, you and I will—”

“Be spending hours upon hours alone together.”

“For interviews on your experiences and discussions on crime rates and—”

“I have an experience I’d like to discuss: how delicious your body felt against mine.”

I sighed heavily. “You’re killing me.”

Walker laughed. “Good.”

“I really am writing this story, Walker, despite your ulterior motives for inviting me to your home.”  

“You like my ulterior motives. The most grievous crime at the moment is how long it took for your boss to approve your damn story. I miss you, DiRocco.”

 

I swallowed again and forced myself to say the words because they were true. “I miss you, too.”

And now, after three weeks of pitching this story to Carter, avoiding Greta—my personal friend, and unfortunately, one of NYPD’s finest—and her stink-eyed interrogation, bracing against Dominic’s creeping advances, and swallowing my festering doubts about Nathan, I had finally arrived in Erin, New York earlier this afternoon for what should have been a vacation from all those demons back in the city. Less than twenty-four hours into our reunion, however, and Walker and I still weren’t putting the moves on either my career or each other. He’d barely had time to give me a proper tour of the town before we were once again staring at a body.

Her name was Lydia Bowser, and she was last seen by her grandmother, leaving the farm for a walk before dinner. According to her grandmother and Walker’s detailed notes, she left for a walk before dinner every night. She’d loved the last moments of daylight, when the sun had already dipped below the horizon but its rays still lit the sky with a dim, burning glow. I raised my eyebrows at the description, both from its nostalgia and its telling timeframe. Foul play after dark meant only one thing.

Cover Artist: Kensington Publishing

Available For Purchase On:

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Google Play      Nook

Description:

Last week, Cassidy DiRocco had some influence over the vampires that stalk the streets of New York City. She was never completely safe, but with her newfound abilities as a night blood and her honed instincts as a crime reporter, at least she had the necessary skills to survive.



Now, thanks to the injuries she sustained while saving her brother from a fate worse than death, she’s lost her night blood status just as another crime spree hits Brooklyn. Dozens of people are being slaughtered, and each victim bears the Damned’s signature mark; a missing heart.



Cassidy will need the help of all her allies to survive the coming war, including the mysterious and charismatic Dominic Lysander, Master Vampire of New York City. But as his rival’s army threatens his coven and his own powers weaken with the approaching Leveling, even Dominic’s defenses might not be enough protection.



With nothing left to lose, can Cassidy find the power inside herself to save Dominic, his coven, their city, and survive?

Excerpt Book 3:

Chapter 1

Dominic looked pretentious and posh, as usual, leaning against the wall in the hallway outside my apartment. Even gazing at him through the fish-eye lens of my door’s peephole—from the top of his immaculately cut and styled black hair to the bottom of his shiny Cole Haan wing-tipped dress shoes—he was a hopeful-mother’s dream, a shrewd-woman’s nightmare, and the reason I no longer bothered trying to sleep at night. Knowing the truth beneath the pretty wrapping—that he was the Master vampire of New York City—didn’t stop my heart from jumping and dropping in confused anticipation and adrenaline. After I’d nearly lost him last week, I’d come to the implausible, unwelcome conclusion that I actually preferred my life with him in it, but since I’d completely lost the protection and mental strength of my night blood, his unexpected presence also twisted my gut with pure, unadulterated fear.

I hadn’t seen Dominic in five nights, not since he’d entranced his name from my mind and confirmed our worst suspicion: I no longer had night blood.

Without night blood, I didn’t have the potential to transform into a vampire, I couldn’t reflect Dominic’s commands if he attempted to entrance me, and I no longer had any of the qualities that Dominic held in such high esteem, that he’d planned to leverage during the Leveling; the one night every seven years that he lost his strength and abilities as Master to his potential successor, allowing a new Master to rise in his stead. Without those qualities, I couldn’t help him survive the coming battle to keep control of his coven. I was nothing but another human.

I was nothing but food.

Dominic knocked a second time, this series of staccato raps on the door more insistent than the first.

“Who’s at the door?” Meredith asked. Her eyebrows rose and disappeared behind her bangs.

Of course, on the one night Dominic finally decided to confront me, I had company. I should be grateful; he was knocking on the door rather than inviting himself in through one of the third-story, living room windows. That would have been difficult to explain to Meredith. Longtime best friend and wing woman at the Sun Accord she was, but night blood she wasn’t.  

“I’m hoping if I wait long enough, he’ll give up and go away.”

“He?” Meredith asked. A mischievous smiled curved her lips.

“It’s probably best to answer the door of your own will,” Nathan murmured.

I stared at my brother, surprised that he’d uttered a full, intelligible sentence beyond “We’re out of milk” or something equally inane. Inane seemed all he was capable of lately.

“He’ll make it worse for you otherwise,” he added.

I ignored Meredith and narrowed my eyes on Nathan. “How do you know who’s at the door?”

Nathan dropped his gaze to the cereal bowl in front of him and continued spooning scraps of shredded wheat and milk into his mouth without further comment.

Maybe he’d actually keep the food down this time. Then we could work on gradually introducing warm meals and protein back into his diet.

I worried the doorknob with my thumb. Nathan might have been monosyllabic and near bulimic since returning to the city, but he was right. If I didn’t open the door of my own will, Dominic would probably force me to grant him entrance into my new apartment. A tenuous spring of hope coiled in my gut. Maybe, just maybe, my efforts to create a fallout shelter here in the city had been a success; maybe I didn’t need to worry about entry, forced or otherwise.

I might have put my newly fortified apartment to the test, but with Meredith sitting at my kitchen table, a slice of sushi roll halfway to her mouth, the risk of exposing her to the danger standing on my doorstep wasn’t worth the pleasure of denying Dominic entrance.

I opened the door.

Dominic smiled, deliberately flashing his sharp, elongated fangs. “Good evening, Cassidy.”

His voice purred in a deep timbre that plucked at the taut cords in my stomach. I squelched the feelings, but after weeks of denial, I could finally admit that they existed.

“What are you doing here?” I whispered.

He raised a perfectly arched eyebrow. “No ‘Hello?’ No ‘What a pleasant surprise?’” Dominic tsked his tongue against the back of his teeth. “Where are your manners?”

“What a surprise,” I muttered, deliberately omitting “pleasant.” “You should have called before coming, Dominic.”

He inhaled sharply. The fragile hope that softened his expression shamed me.

“Don’t,” I warned, keeping my voice low in an effort to prevent Meredith from overhearing. “I didn’t remember your name on my own. Nathan reminded me. It still feels like a void, like Nathan telling me your name four days ago was the first I’d learned it.”

His face fell. “That’s unfortunate.”

I sighed. “Are you only here to antagonize me, or was there an actual purpose to this visit?”

“Antagonizing you would be purpose enough, but yes, I have a greater purpose than even that,” Dominic said, magnanimously. “Must we converse in the hallway? I don’t believe I’ve had the pleasure of seeing your new apartment. Won’t you invite me in?”

About the Author:

Melody Johnson is the author of the gritty, paranormal romance Night Blood series set in New York City. The first installment, The City Beneath, was a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests, including the “Cleveland Rocks” and “Fool For Love” contests. Melody graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology, and after moving from her northeast Pennsylvania hometown for some much needed Southern sunshine, she now works as a digital media coordinator for Southeast Georgia Health System. When she isn’t working or writing, Melody can be found swimming at the beach, honing her newfound volleyball skills, and exploring her new home in southeast Georgia.

Website: http://authormelodyjohnson.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MelodyMJohnson

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/10707142.Melody_Johnson

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melody-johnson-20ab7334   

Tour Giveaway:

5 signed paperbacks of The City Beneath (US shipping only.)

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Spotlight: The Girl From The Woods, by Chris Keane Reply

Available For Purchase On:

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Description:

It’s summertime and the last place 19-year-old Dante Elton wants to be is at his grandmother’s in rural upstate New York. But it’s exactly where his parents dump him, as they jet off to Europe. Without a car, cell service, or even basic television, there is nothing to do but wander around the nearby woods just as he had as a small child…

There he meets sexy—and slightly older—Angie Sewall while on a hike. On the surface, she’s a devoted daughter content to be single while she manages her father’s medical practice. Yet deep down, Angie is bored and heartbroken…and is harboring some special gifts that she keeps secret from her father and their backwoods community.

When Dante’s grandmother’s health declines, he reaches out to Angie’s father for help, only to uncover the good doctor’s dark side. When Dante confides in Angie, it drives a spike into their budding relationship. He’s left to wonder if he’s all alone in his quest to save his grandmother.

Excerpt:

As the sun splintered through the gaps in the tarp, Dante held Angie in his arms while she slept. He had never felt or even imagined being this happy. He watched her sleeping peacefully, half-expecting she would just vanish like the girl from his dream. She seemed other-worldly, more of a product of his imagination than the surrounding environment. In the real world, a beautiful girl like Angie would barely give him the time of day. She wouldn’t be into reading horror or Japanese anime either. She would probably be rejecting his friend request on Facebook.

He still hadn’t told Angie that she had appeared to him in his dream back in New Jersey. He figured she would probably just laugh at him. The past few weeks, he had assumed he would forget about it. Yet somehow, the thought wouldn’t vacate his brain. If she had actually appeared to him in his dream, this was no ordinary girl, and that frightened him. She seemed normal, but her father did not. He was an eccentric man with a sketchy past. Dante had come across a stack of books on witchcraft in his study. But she brushed it off, saying that he had grown up in Massachusetts, and everyone up that way was into the history of Salem.

About the Author:

Chris is a graduate of Rutgers University and studied the art of storytelling at Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York City. Chris’ first publication, “Loot,” became a bestselling Kindle Short Read, in the category of Young Adult Fiction.

“Loot,” set on Halloween in 1977, tells the tale of three boys who skip Halloween to hunt for cash to purchase an Atari in an old farmhouse belonging to one of their deceased aunts. Adventure ensues in his coming-of-age tale in the spirit of Stand by Me and The Goonies.

In addition to authoring prose, Chris is a screenwriter. In 2013 he wrote the screenplay for a short film, The Baseball Card, about three twelve-year old boys who fight over a Don Mattingly baseball card during the summer of 1984. The Baseball Card was an official selection of the Garden State Film Festival, Hoboken International Film Festival, and Maryland International Film Festival in 2014.

The Girl from the Woods is his debut novel.

https://twitter.com/KeaneFiction

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https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14427846.Chris_Keane

Tour Giveaway:

5 prize packs featuring-

CD of The Girl from the Woods Soundtrack , CD of Angie’s “Mix Tape”, The Girl from the Woods Wine Tote Bag , 11×17 The Girl from the Woods Cover Art Poster,  and The Girl from the Woods Mouse Pads

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Review/Spotlight: Spellbound (A Limited Edition Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy Collection Bleeding Hearts), by Ash Krafton 1

3 out of 5 Stars

Cover Artist: Rebecca Frank

Available For Purchase On:

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Review:

This review is for Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

At least the first half I found to be pretty slow.  The second half picks up and gets a bit more interesting.  I had trouble connecting with Marek and it might have been the author trying to give you the mysterious romantic interest.  Sophie is a young lady who has been holding her own and is successful, yet with Marek in the picture she now acts much different.  This story has a good plot idea, there just felt to be that little something that was missing.  This is not your typical vampire story for sure.

Reviewed by Fawnzy

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

Box Set Description:

The Spellbound Boxed Set is a compilation of 20+ Full-Length Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance reads!

Readers of all ages will be swept away by this fascinating mix of existing titles and brand new content, full of pages brimming with faeries, witches, vampires, shifters, psychics, Greek gods, angels, demons, and even ghosts!

With over a million words of fiction, this is your one stop shop for urban fantasy, epic fantasy, sword and sorcery, shifter romance, vampire romance, elemental magic, time travel, and MORE from today’s New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling authors!

Although some of these reads may be gritty and dark, this is a collection of clean reads that anyone will enjoy!

The collection includes titles from…

International bestselling author Jade Kerrion

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Joanne Wadsworth

International bestselling author Nicole Zoltack

International bestselling author Rachel E. Carter

International bestselling author Andrea Pearson

International bestselling author Alicia Rades

International bestselling author Sophie Davis

USA TODAY bestselling author Michael J Ploof

International bestselling author Megan Crewe

International bestselling author C.E. Wilson

International bestselling author Kelly Carrero

International bestselling author Jess Haines

International bestselling author E. Blix

International bestselling author Alexis Kade

International bestselling author GP Ching

International bestselling author Gaja J. Kos & Boris Kos

International bestselling author Dara Fraser

International bestselling author Ash Krafton

International bestselling author Jim Johnson

NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Tom Shutt

International bestselling author Emily Martha Sorensen

International bestselling author S McPherson

Book Description Bleeding Hearts by Ash Krafton

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist whose work leaves her neck-deep in other people’s problems. Thanks to her compassion, her gut instinct, and her magnetic charm, Sophie really knows how to attract little black clouds.

Marek Thurzo is no little black cloud; he’s a maelstrom. Marek is Demivampire, a race with the potential to evolve into vampire. A warrior who’s taken his share of spiritual damage, he hovers dangerously close to destruction.

He seeks salvation. She’s driven to save him. But what if he can’t be saved?

Sympathy for his plight becomes true empathy as Sophie’s hidden nature is revealed. Marek suspects she may be one of the Sophia, oracle and redemption of the damned Demivampire. She alone can turn back the evolutionary clock.

All she needs is the courage to face her fears. Can she save him from Falling?

The following is an excerpt from BLEEDING HEARTS Demimonde Book 1 by Ash Krafton

In the great hall housing the Egyptian exhibitions, I immediately noted the change in the atmosphere. The room was cool and dry, its climate controlled to mimic the conditions in which the relics had existed in their native land.

The entire room had been designed to resemble an Old Kingdom temple. The main lights were dimmed while strategically-placed spotlights emphasized massive columns and magnificent wall carvings like sunbeams through temple windows.

I scanned the room. No other tourists. Even better. I meandered, enjoying the rare opportunity to linger.

Craning my neck, I ran my gaze up each of the columns, reading the images, admiring the palm leaves carved at the tops like great stone trees. Eyes toward the ceilings, I turned slowly around, admiring the handiwork of the ancient artists.

What was it like to live in those lands and those times? Could an ancient version of my spirit have been there, stepping barefoot and silently through a sandy temple like this one?

Lost in contemplation, I was completely unprepared for the shock of smacking into someone, bumping him hard enough to lose my balance. I’d have fallen had he not caught my arm. Wide-eyed with consternation, I stammered an apology to the handsome but serious-faced gentleman.

“You are not hurt, I hope?” His voice, deep and smooth, sent shivers marching down my neck, between my shoulders, down my spine.

“I’m okay.” I shook my head, too shy to make direct eye contact, wishing I’d checked my hair and lipstick before coming in. “I’m far too adept at being inept.”

He flashed a grin and I caught a glimpse of nice white teeth. “Temples are places for spiritual reflection. It is forgivable if your vision was turned inward, rather than toward where you were walking.”

His expression softened by amusement, he tilted his head toward the pillars. “Majestic, aren’t they?”

I stole another glance at him—black hair smoothed back into a discreet tail, clear light skin framed by long sideburns, strong jaw culminating in a square, cleft chin. Like the other items in the museum, something about him made me want to look closer, inspect each detail.

A subtle flush warmed my cheeks and ears so I quickly turned back to the heights of the exhibition. Murmuring a sound of agreement, I circled the column, stepping a few feet away so I could see both him and the stone. “Do you visit this museum often?”

Furtive glances allowed me to take in more of his appearance a tiny section at a time. Clothing dark as his hair. Long blazer, something in between a suit coat and an overcoat. In one hand he carried a bound book and fountain pen, as if he’d been making notes.

His gaze was calm and steady and entirely on me. Taking a deep breath I permitted the contact of the direct look. My boldness was well-rewarded. His Paul Newman lips brought to mind the sculptured busts on display in the Greco-Roman Quarters and he wore a stern expression that cast a veil of hardness upon his features, enhancing the impression he’d been carved from marble.

Except for his eyes. The Roman busts bore eyes that were blank and white but this man’s eyes were alive with bright green color. Like gemstones, they glittered and drew my gaze.

“No, actually,” he said. “My first time here. Although, I admit, I’m drawn to places like this.” His voice made music of the words—deep bass notes and soothing rhythm.

“Ah!” I said. “A man after my own heart.” His left eyebrow arched so sharply I thought it might disappear into his hairline and I hurriedly continued. “Are you a professor?”

“No, nothing like that. I do studying of my own, it’s not a living. It’s more of a hobby. Personal research, of sorts.”

“Studying past times is one of my pastimes. It’s my preferred form of entertainment.”

“Mmm.” Eyebrow cocked again, he cast a disapproving look at me and swept his hand around the contrived temple. “Would the gods be pleased to know they are reduced to the level of entertainment?”

“I hope so.” I kept my tone light. Considering the seriousness of his expression, I didn’t want to accidentally insult him. “Otherwise, they’d have to be content with staying dead, right?”

His gaze swept over me and I shivered again as if the touch had been tangible, a brush of fingertips against my cheek.

“Well, I’ll leave you to your worship. I mean, your wanderings.” He gave me a conspirator’s wink. “Unless…”

He hesitated, with a quiet clearing of throat as he tucked his notebook and pen into an inside pocket. “You wouldn’t mind a companion? Sometimes one sees things differently when seeing through another’s eyes. I would appreciate a new perspective.”

I mulled it over, listening to the rain spattering the windows and distant voices echoing faintly from other rooms. Although I’d looked forward to a quiet afternoon, it might be nice to spend it with someone who seemed to share my interests. He certainly was attractive, and his pleasant voice intrigued me.

I realized I’d become used to living inside a shell. This man made me want to step outside for once.

“I’d like that.” I smiled at his pleased expression. “I’m Sophie, by the way.” I stuck out my hand in introduction.

Instead of shaking my hand, he bent his head over it and pressed polite lips to the backs of my fingers. The quaint gesture would have seemed strange and out of place had we been elsewhere. “I am Marek. Pleased to make your acquaintance.”

Fingers tingling from the unexpected kiss, I fought the urge to curtsy. “Well, Marek. Lead me into the past.”

His almost-smile sent a thrill down the back of my neck. “That’s exactly the sort of thing I’d hoped you say. Shall we?”

He turned on his heel and swept out a hand with a slight bow, indicating the archway to another exhibit. For the first time since I’d been coming to this museum, I wondered what I’d see on the other side, and was surprised to realize I wasn’t afraid to find out.

The first chapters of books by each featured author are also available in the Spellbound Sampler, available on Wattpad

About the Author:

A speculative fiction girl through and through, Ash writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels as well as poetry and short fiction. She also writes for New Adult audiences under the name AJ Krafton. Her work has won a bunch of awards and was even nominated for a Pushcart Prize. When she’s not writing, she’s practicing Tai Chi, listening to loud rock and metal, or crushing on supervillains.

Most recently, she’s re-released her urban fantasy trilogy THE BOOKS OF THE DEMIMONDE because she never really left the world of Sophie and her Demivamps. She’s also working on the next installment of her Demon Whisperer series.

Find out more when you visit www.ashkrafton.com

Blog: http://ash-krafton.blogspot.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/ashkrafton

Facebook: http://facebook.com/ashkraftonauthor

Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/Ash_Krafton

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/demimondeash

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/ash_krafton

Website: http://www.ashkrafton.com/

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Tour Giveaway:

$25.00 Amazon gift card

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Bonus Giveaway

Enter the Giveaway HERE

Spotlight: The Sun God’s Heir: Return (The Sun God’s Heir Book One), by Elliott Baker Reply

Available For Purchase On:

FREE ebook

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Description:

For three thousand years a hatred burns -In seventeenth century France two souls incarnate, one born the child of a prosperous merchant, the other, determined to continue a brutal incarnation begun long ago.

In ancient Egypt two brothers are disciples of the pharaoh, Akhenaten. When Pharaoh dies, the physician takes the knowledge given and goes to Greece to begin a new mystery school. The general makes a deal with the priests and becomes pharaoh. One remembers, one does not.

The year is 1671. René Gilbert’s destiny glints from the blade of a slashing rapier. The only way he can protect those he loves is to regain the power and knowledge of an ancient lifetime. From Bordeaux to Spain to Morocco, René is tested and with each turn of fate he gathers enemies and allies, slowly reclaiming the knowledge and power earned centuries ago. For three thousand years a secret sect has waited in Morocco.

After ages in darkness, Horemheb screams, “I am.” Using every dark art, he manages to maintain the life of the body he has bartered for. Only one life force in the world is powerful enough to allow him to remain within embodiment, perhaps forever. Determined to continue a reign of terror that once made the Nile run red, he grows stronger with each life taken.

Excerpt:

The boatswain, a large man with scars on his arms and face, walked over to stand in front of René. “Chain him to the mast.”

Their gazes met.

“Don’t look at me, boy,” he said, backhanding René in the face. “Look down at the deck when I talk to you. You’re some over-fed nobleman’s kid thinkin’ you make the rules. I’m surprised you ain’t cryin’ for your mama. You got a mama, boy?” he asked and laughed. When René didn’t answer, he hit him again. “I asked you a question, boy. Don’t try my patience, cause I ain’t got none.”

“My mother died when I was born,” René said, watching the man’s feet to see how he moved. He was cataloging everything he could see out of the corners of his eyes.

“Well, not to worry, you’ll be seeing her soon.” The boatswain turned to walk away and then turned back and hit René again. “I had to do that,” he said, and walked away laughing.

Though they had chained him in a way that didn’t allow him to sit, René had enough slack to turn and see most of the ship. He was aboard an English slave ship. She was an older carrack in design, still with the large forecastle. She had seen better days, though. The fact that she was still on the seas suggested either a cutthroat reputation or an experienced captain. Under the wear, the ship was surprisingly clean, her ropes and sails newly repaired and in good order. Second rate though she might be, she was seaworthy. This was a veteran crew, competent in their tasks. It wouldn’t be easy getting free, and even if he could, where would he escape to in the middle of  the ocean? Don’t rush fate. One thing at a time. Do what you can do, he heard the Maestro say. It was clear he would have to pick a fight, and hope he could survive long enough to begin creating allies. The next time the big boatswain walked by, René laughed.

“What are you findin’ so funny, boy?” The boatswain stuck his face within inches of René’s.

René had noticed the boatswain had one leg shorter than the other, and was certain the big man would be touchy on that point. “You walk funny, that’s all,” said René, raising his voice. It was of no use to him if he got beat up and no one knew why.

All work within the sound of René’s voice crashed to a complete stop. Silence reigned. René had guessed right. Now he could only hope he would survive his insight.

The boatswain stood in absolute disbelief, his face turning redder by the moment. “What did you say?” Spittle flew from his mouth.

Even the captain had turned to watch. René counted on the fact Gaspard’s agent had given the captain a great deal of money, along with explicit instructions that didn’t include throwing a dead boy overboard. What he didn’t know was how close to dead the agent considered acceptable.

“I said you walk funny,” René said—louder this time, so there would be no mistaking it.

“Do you know what a cat is, boy?” the boatswain said, clearly beyond rational thought. René could see the veins standing out in his neck and temples, his eyes shot red with blood.

“A small animal?” René asked.

There was a laugh from the men standing around the mast. The boatswain took one look around, and the laugh died.

“You, James, bring me the cat. I don’t think this boy has ever seen a real one. Your education has been sadly incomplete, boy. You’ll be thankin’ me for this. I promise you.” The boatswain’s voice was a rough whisper.

James walked over and handed the Cat-O-Nine-Tails to the boatswain. As he caught René’s eye, he sadly shook his head. The cat had nine long thongs of blood-encrusted leather dangling from a handle, knots tied along the length of each thong.

“This here’s a cat, boy. As you can see, it ain’t no small animal. Now, there’s a skill and a talent to usin’ a cat, both of which I’m proud to say I have. You see, you need to take care the thongs don’t get all stuck together with blood and skin, which they’re wont to do. If that happens, the cat’ll take yer organs right out, and that’s always a bad thing. So you need to run your fingers between the thongs every couple of strokes, to keep ‘em separate. I gotta tell you—as much pride as I take in usin’ the cat, sometimes I’m forgetful. I try to keep count, but before I know it, I plumb forget to clean the damn thing. I surely hope that don’t happen today.”

“I also have a skill and a talent, and I will kill you with it,” René said quietly.

For one second, the boatswain paused, confusion written across his face. “Turn him around, and chain him up. You there, strip off his shirt.”

About the Author:

Award winning novelist and international playwright Elliott Baker grew up in Jacksonville, Florida. With four musicals and one play published and produced in the United States, New Zealand, Portugal, England, and Canada, Elliott is pleased to release his first novels. The Sun God’s Heir: Return, book one of the trilogy, was released this past January, and book two, Rebirth will come out in April, followed in July by the third and final book of the series, Redemption. A member of the Authors Guild and the Dramatists Guild, Elliott lives in New Hampshire with his wife Sally Ann.

https://www.elliottbaker.com

https://www.facebook.com/ElliottBakerAuthor/

@elliottbaker on Twitter

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8423737.Elliott_Baker    

Spotlight: Immortal Fire, by Annette Marie Reply

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Description:

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

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

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

About The Author:

which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Author links:
Giveaway:
Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • 1x $25 Amazon gift card
  • 2x $10 Amazon  gift cards

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Spotlight: Out of the Shadows (Shadowlands Book One), by Ashlee Nicole Bye 1

Available For Purchase On:

Amazon      Amazon AU      Amazon UK

Tagline: Nobody ever said death would be easy

Description:

From the streets of Melbourne to the bowels of Westminster, the delicate balance between life and death that is so painstakingly maintained by the Reapers of The Order of Dark and Light is being tested by the return of an ancient threat. Tensions are rising within the hidden world of The Shadowlands and if this threat is not contained war will be inevitable. And the destruction of the human world is bound to follow in its wake.

Amidst this tension, eighteen year-old Sachi Manning is struggling to cope with the grief and guilt that has plagued her ever since her best friend was murdered six months earlier—that is, until she spots him seemingly alive and well and being held at scythe point by a hooded figure who looks more like a GQ model than the Grim Reaper.

Sachi shouldn’t be able to see through the glamours that shield Shadowlanders from the human world, so the Reaper in question wants some answers. And so begins the craziest couple of weeks of Sachi’s life as she is drawn into a world of mysteries, magic, monsters, and mayhem, encountering dragons, Faeries, soul-sucking Demons, not-so-grim Reapers, and even the Horseman of Death.

With a mix of heart, humour and hair-raising action, Out of the Shadows is the adventure of an after-lifetime, perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Kresley Cole.

Excerpt:

As Julian studied the mangled remains of the boy who had once been Campbell Locke, it was easy to see how the humans could have mistaken the death for a homicide. The latest in a string of vicious murders by the now infamous “Melbourne Slasher”, who had plagued the streets of this city for near on three months now—or so the papers said.

The teenager’s throat had been slashed with what, to human eyes, looked like a knife. But Julian knew better—that wound was the result of an incredibly sharp claw.

Julian had positioned himself on a first floor window ledge not ten metres away from the crime scene. It was the perfect vantage point, or would have been had his legs not been cramping from the awkward crouching position he’d been forced to assume in order to balance his tall frame on the narrow ledge. The preternatural eyesight bestowed upon him almost a century and a half ago allowed Julian to make out every detail of the narrow alleyway: the ground a peculiar patchwork of cobbles, concrete, and bitumen; walls the brick exterior of low rise buildings whose original colour could not be determined through the layers of graffiti—some of which, Julian had to admit, was quite remarkable. There was a blue industrial rubbish bin set up against the wall of the nightclub that backed on to the alley, overflowing with black bags and glass bottles. Julian could feel the vibration of the heavy bass from the club’s music thrumming through the walls around him. The song was something modern, with a powerful female voice interweaving through a thumping dance beat. He couldn’t say what it was called—it all sounded so similar to him.

At the mouth of the alley, a row of uniformed police officers stood guard over the crime scene, sending any curious onlookers on their way. Julian was tempted to move closer. To walk right up to the crime scene and stand amongst the mingling investigators. After all, with his invisibility glamour in place no one would be able to see him.

But it was a risk he could not afford. He was well aware of how far crime scene technology had progressed since his time amongst humans. They had something called “forensics” now, where scientists could track a killer using the smallest piece of evidence: a drop of blood, a strand of hair, even the tread of dirt from a foreign location. Julian frowned as he glanced at his boots, the soles of which were crusted with the remains of the Faery he’d disposed of three hours earlier. These humans would be baffled enough as it were with the lack of evidence to be found at this scene, he didn’t think it wise to confuse them further with the presence of an otherworldly substance. Not to mention that the invisibility glamour was somehow affected by flash photography—he was not in the mood to explain to Lord Mortem why there had been a “ghost” sighting at the most recent “murder” scene.  

An awareness brushed across Julian’s mind and he immediately looked up, scanning the rooftop opposite. It didn’t take long to spot Moss; he had his hood down and even without Julian’s superior vision, it would have been difficult for him to miss that mop of bleached dreadlocks contrasting starkly against the midnight sky.

Julian swept his gaze over the crime scene one last time before letting the ledge fall away from him. It was a split second of dark emptiness as he passed through the shadows, and then he was standing on the roof next to Moss.

‘Crazy night, dude,’ Moss said in his Floridian surfer drawl.

Julian ran his eyes over his friend. They had gone their separate ways tonight, and it was clear by the smears of blood over Moss’s face and the tear in his sleeve he’d had almost as interesting a night as Julian. Moss always looked slightly rumpled, though; unlike Julian, who, even after killing the Banshee that had been about to take centre stage in front of twenty thousand humans under the guise of a popular musician, a passionate kiss of gratitude from said musician (whose memory Julian had, most unfortunately, been obligated to alter moments later), and crouching on the window ledge for a good two hours, was still as tidy and well-pressed as usual, not a hair out of place.

‘You could say that,’ Julian said. Though a hundred and forty years had passed, he still spoke with the same accent and manner he had cultivated during his life as the son of an English peer. He would have liked to believe there was little else from that life that remained, though he knew this was not the case.

‘So, this one makes three.’ An uncharacteristically sombre expression crossed Moss’s face. ‘Any ideas?’

Julian shook his head. ‘Something with claws—which narrows it down to at least a thousand Shadowlanders.’

‘It’s hot.’ Moss emphasised the statement by rubbing the back of his forearm over his sweat-streaked brow. It was indeed. The Australian summer was only a week away, and Melbourne had been hit with a blast of the kind of humidity usually reserved for the northern parts of the country. ‘That should rule out an Infernal creature, yeah?’  

Julian frowned. ‘I think it would be foolish to rule anything out at this stage.’

About The Author:

Ashlee Nicole Bye is a self-confessed bibliophile, sports fan and music lover. She also writes sometimes—when she’s not busy mastering the art of procrastination, that is. She writes mainly Fantasy, mainly Young Adult, although some of her current works in progress have seen her step firmly outside her comfort zone.

Her first novel is OUT OF THE SHADOWS, a mature young adult contemporary fantasy set in her beloved home town of Melbourne. It is the first installment in the five-book series, SHADOWLANDS, and will be released on Kindle on April 11, with paperback to follow shortly after.

Website: https://ashleenicolebye.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ashnicolebye

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

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

Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16469357.Ashlee_Nicole_Bye

Tour Giveaway:

(4) $5 Amazon Gift Cards
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