Friday, June 20, 2014

{Cover Reveal} In Between Seasons by Cassandra Giovanni

Brown paper package with torn section

cover reveal

Attractive young woman near tree trunk
COMING JULY 31, 2014

From Show n'ot Tell Publishing

NEW ADULT POST - APOCALYPTIC ROMANCE SERIES

In 2021 the world as we know it changed. The government collapsed, and the worst characteristics of human nature were shown as the world fell into ruins. Years after The Fall, the Tribes that were established are still at war. They still fight to keep what they pillaged, and most of all, they fight to keep their lies a secret. In a world filled with deception, nothing is as it seems. I was born into this world. Hunter Marks was molded into this world; a General— a person cold and harsh. A person meant to kill me. We were told to just believe. We were taught to never question. We’re supposed to be robots, and accept our roles in this altered society. Too bad Hunter and I don’t follow the rules. And we’re a hell of a lot stronger than they ever thought possible. They’ve been searching for the world’s deadliest weapon. It’s me. And I’m not following the leader any more.


about the author
back1

Cassandra doesn't remember a time when she wasn't writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character's stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. Besides being a writer, Cassandra is a professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England their dogs, Bubski and Kanga. Cassandra Giovanni is published by Show n’ot Tell Publishing based out of Connecticut, USA.

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Tuesday, January 14, 2014

{Book Spotlight} Always and Forever by S.P. Cervantes


The Book

Always and Forever
by S.P. Cervantes

Series: Secrets of Shadow Hill, Book 1
Genre: Fantasy, YA
Published: November 13th 2012
Publisher: Center One Publishing


Book Description

Twin sisters Ava and Hannah were ripped from their peaceful seeming lives into a whirlwind of attacks and war only to learn the real truth about their existence.

Nothing was as it seemed anymore and may never be again. They had already lost their father in childhood now they have to cope with their mother’s kidnapping as they watch those sworn to protect them risk their lives.

Excerpt

Connor had interrupted my lesson on levitating objects that day. Levitation lessons were always fun because most of my students were just learning the extent of their powers. Wizards in our coven realize their powers at different ages, and only then are they are invited into our magical society.
As I pointed my wand towards the oversized chair I had floating elegantly over my desk, I felt Connor’s thoughts enter mine. “Dalton, you must come see me right away. It is of the utmost importance. Aiden is coming for you.”
I hated when he did that without warning. My concentration broke sending the chair crashing onto my desk. My students broke out into laughter, not realizing the crypt message that had just unwillingly entered my mind.
“Alright everyone, break into pairs and practice levitation. Start small, like a pencil, and I’ll be back shortly.” I instructed dutifully.
Aiden was waiting for me when I walked out of my classroom. He has been my best friend since I came here. Aiden was also a very powerful wizard who was well respected by all of us. Aiden's tall, muscular build would intimidate most people, let alone wizards. However, it was dwarfed by the strength and power he possessed. When Aiden cast a spell, it would be double the power of any other wizard. Aiden was always on the front lines of any battle because of his thirst for competition and superior skills.
We walked slowly down the long, dim hallway towards Connor’s office; I heard the quiet whispers of Connor and another woman. These are the times that I wished I could enter minds like Connor. The whispering suddenly stopped and I realized Connor knew I had arrived.
Connor’s office in Shadow Hill was covered with magnificent decorations and priceless antiques. It made me nervous just being in there. The walls were covered in artwork all reflecting our history of wizardry. Connor has been Grand Wizard of Shadow Hill for over 230 years. He has taught some of the best wizards. There are many different types of wizards; however, our coven was considered one of the most powerful in the world.
Connor was standing in front of his large picture window that looked upon River Shannon with a startlingly tall woman dressed in a long, silver flowing cloak that brushed upon the deep oak floors. She was an enchanter. I had a sense for those with enchanting abilities; they had a sweet smell that seemed fitting for a talent such as enchantment. Enchanters have the ability to alter the moods and actions of people around them. Most enchanters can affect thoughts of others and use illusions to their advantage. Her golden hair glistened in the sun as she hastily walked past me to shut the heavy doors. She moved with such speed and grace that I hardly realized what she had done.
I looked to Connor and I knew instantly that this was very bad. He walked swiftly to my side. “Dalton, Aiden, thank you for coming so quickly. Sorry about the chair, I’ll have it replaced by the morning.” He said referring to my levitation lesson gone wrong.
“Don’t worry about the chair. What is going on?” I asked scanning both of their faces for answers.
“I don’t have time for proper introductions. My sister-in-law Contessa has arrived from America and alerted me of a serious situation.” Connor turned gesturing to the enchanter besides him. “She has informed me there are girls that are in grave danger. They are my granddaughters and thought to be Chosen Ones, as you are Dalton, but have not yet realized their powers. Their mother, Victoria, was a student here and was married to my son Balthazar.”
Connor motioned for us all to take our seats as he hastily tried to fill us in on a decade of Shadow Hill history.
 “The Sabatino coven has somehow been made aware of the girls’ existence and are planning to take them. Contessa is sure their goal is to enchant them to join their coven. This is something they had tried to achieve with my son Balthazar, and that was how we lost him.” Connor’s eyes filled with rage, but his voice remained calm.
“The Sabatino coven only ever has one goal, to become the most strong and powerful coven in the world.” Connor’s explanation concerned me. He rarely worried about our conflicts with the Sabatinos; they were a blip on the screen to him in most situations.
The Sabatino coven was the opposite of ours. They practice black magic and use enchantment to deceive all those they meet. There have been many battles between their groups and ours over the centuries. However a treaty was reached almost 100 years ago that has helped maintain relative peace between covens. This treaty was signed by all covens around the world. Ours and the Sabatinos were the most powerful in number and ability.
Contessa leaned towards both of us and whispered in a voice so soft, it sounded as if she was singing. “Their names are Ava and Hannah Fox. They are identical twins. They seem to only know about Ava. We are not sure of Hannah’s powers, if any, but she will need to be kept safe as well. They look too much alike.”
Connor interjected reassuringly. “You are the only one with the ability to thwart enchanters. I am sure Olivia will be there because she is the strongest known enchanter. They will use her to their advantage in order to quietly take Ava into their coven. They will not want to make it known to other covens that they are breaking The Treaty. With your superior combative abilities and Aiden by your side, I know this can be accomplished safely without incident.”
Missions to protect our coven and the rest of society against the evil was common for Shadow Hill, but Connor rarely had me involved in something so important and secret. Honor and excitement surged through me.
Connor wiped his forehead as if exhausted with worry waiting for my response.
 “Say no more you two. This is just the adventure I had been waiting for.” I was filled with pride knowing Connor trusted me enough and thought me powerful enough to help protect our coven’s savior.

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About the Author
S.P. Cervantes


S.P Cervantes lives in Orange County, California with her husband and three children, where she is a teacher. She enjoys spending time with her family, writing, reading, and running, but is always thinking of an idea for her next novel.

S.P. Cervantes is the author of the highly rated New Adult Romantic Fantasy series Secrets of Shadow Hill. "Always and Forever" and "The Prophecy" are the first two book in the series that are available now. The third book in the series, "War of Wizards" will be released in 2014.

S.P. Cervantes also has a contemporary romance series, A Broken Fairy Tale, in the works and will be releasing the first book of the series, "Dust to Dust (A Broken Fairy Tale)" in spring of 2014.

S.P. Cervantes graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from California State University Fullerton, and has a Master's Degree in Education.

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Monday, December 23, 2013

{Giveaway & Series Spotlight} Bitter Snow Series by Lauren Sweet


About the Series

“We are the rulers of Midwinter. In the most powerful cold of the winter, in the deepest dark of the year, we hold sway, and all of your hearth fires cannot stand against us. We are the winds that howl down the chimneys and extinguish your candles. We are the northern lights and the hungry wolves; the bitter crack of ice and the killing frost. The raging blizzard and the deep, soft, final sleep of those lost forever in the snow.”

Bitter Snow is a modern retelling of the fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” in nine novellas. It’s my all-time favorite fairy tale, about a girl’s quest to save her childhood friend from the evil Snow Queen, through her courage, determination, and the strength of her love for him. Each volume is about 80-90 pages (32,000 words). The next three installments are scheduled for release in spring/summer 2014, with the final three to follow later in the year.

The Books

Bitter Snow
by Lauren Sweet

Series: Bitter Snow, Book 1
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Published: December 5th 2013
Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

Book Description

Whatever you do, don’t open the door.

All Gilly Breslin wants for her sixteenth birthday is for her best friend Kai to see her as more than just the girl next door he’s known forever. So when she receives a mysterious, romantic invitation to meet him at midnight, she knows she has to go.

But it’s St. Nicholas’s Eve, the ancient festival of Bellsnichol, when demons roam the dark winter landscape. Tradition demands that everyone in the tiny town of Bremerton stay inside, doors shut tight against evil.

Gilly thinks it’s just a quaint old superstition. She has no idea that a malevolent power has been unleashed in Bremerton—with Kai as its target. But when she answers her door at midnight, her romantic date turns deadly…and she’s drawn into an ancient web of fear and darkness that threatens everything she loves.

Excerpt

At three minutes to midnight, yells and demon howls erupted right outside my house. Feet stomped on the porch—lots of them—and then there was a thunderous knocking on the door.
Damn. It couldn’t be Kai—he would have slipped off alone to meet me. There was no way he’d bring a bunch of half-drunk boys to my birthday celebration. But that didn’t mean he hadn’t been followed.
They howled again, pounding. Someone whose voice I didn’t recognize yelled, “The Demons of the Winter night are here! Let us in, sinner, that we may feed on your wicked soul!”
Oh, crap. That wasn’t in the script—at least, I’d never heard it before. I suddenly realized they could see the lights on, but there was no food or drink on the porch. Was this what they said when there were no offerings? Or when they found someone home alone—someone who didn’t have the protection of people around them? I suddenly felt scared.
They’re just boys, I told myself. Boys I know. It’s only an old tradition. Nothing to be afraid of.
But I was glad the curtains were closed and they couldn’t see me. They didn’t know for sure I was here. If I didn’t answer, they’d get bored and go away.
There was more howling, and then I heard them scrabbling at the windows. I suddenly felt exposed—as if they could sense my presence, somehow. As if they could smell me.
They pounded again, and common sense took over. This was stupid. I wasn’t afraid of a bunch of teenage boys. I walked to the door, put my hands on it the way Mr. Kehrer had, and shouted, “We have no outcasts here. The doors of this town are closed to you. You’ve taken our offerings to feed your hunger. Now begone!”
If they could get untraditional, so could I.
I finished the speech and listened. I heard hoarse, guttural laughter, and something scraped across the door, right under my hands. I almost screamed, but choked it back. Heavy footsteps shook the porch, and then there was a crash, as if someone had tripped over one of the planters. I jumped, but for some reason I didn’t want to take my hands off the door. I listened for sounds that they were moving off, but heard nothing.
I stood there, palms against the door, not knowing what to do. There was no way I was opening the door to look out, and going back across the room to the couch would make me feel too exposed. I felt like I was in a horror movie, in the moment of silence when it looked like the zombies were going away—right before they crashed in all the doors and windows at once. I held my breath.
No more stomping came from inside. Instead, there was another knock on the door, right between my hands. And a voice called out.
Kai! He sounded hoarse, but it was definitely his voice, with the ripple of laughter it always had when he was pretending to be serious, and trying to keep a straight face.
“It’s the Demons of the Winter Ni-ight!” he called in a weird singsong. “Open the door, so we can celebrate with feasting!”
Relief shot through me. My knees suddenly felt weak, the way they do when you’ve been really scared and then suddenly you’re not. I grabbed for the doorknob, fumbling a little, still shaky from adrenalin.
“Coming!” I yelled.
And then I did something I never should have done.
I opened the door.

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Dark Solstice, Book 2

Dark Solstice
by Lauren Sweet

Series: Bitter Snow, Book 2
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Expected Publication: December 21st 2013
Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

Book Description

On St. Nicholas’s Eve, the festival of Bellsnichol, Gilly Breslin opened her door to an ancient evil. A demon queen who’s slowly destroying Gilly’s best friend Kai—the only guy she’s ever loved.

But it’s not just Kai. Every guy who falls in love with the Snow Queen turns evil—and every guy who sees her falls in love with her.

Gilly’s only hope is to enlist the secret guardians of Bremerton, who may hold the key to banishing the Snow Queen and her minions. But with the town erupting in violence and the demons’ power increasing as the winter nights grow longer, she’s in a race against time to stop them before it’s too late.

Excerpt

I stood on the snowy walkway, staring in the window. There was a dining table on one side of the room, and on the other Perchta was sitting in a velvet-covered chair, her long blond hair spilling over the back. Kai was standing behind her, brushing her hair, running his hand over the smooth golden fall after each stroke. 
Perchta had a folder in her lap—one of the ones Kai used to hold his drawings. She was examining a drawing critically, holding it at various distances and gazing at it. She finally tossed it to the floor. 
“Really,” she said, sounding bored. “Is that the best you can do?” I could hear her clearly through the open window.
“I’m working on another one,” Kai said eagerly. “You’ll like it. I just haven’t gotten it quite right yet.” 
Perchta caught his hand as it stroked her hair, and ran her fingers down his palm. She still had the glove over her right hand, but the left was bare, and I could see that she had the same long, icicle fingernails she’d had at my house. Not passing as human at the moment, apparently. And Kai didn’t seem weirded out by this at all, which freaked me out even more. 
Perchta slowly pressed her icicle nail through the center of Kai’s palm. I had to shove my fist in my mouth to muffle the sound I made. She pulled the nail free and blood welled out. Kai hadn’t flinched or made a sound. Perchta smiled like a cat, and licked the blood. Kai looked dreamy, ecstatic.
Holy God. Was she some kind of vampire? 
I didn’t see any fangs, and she wasn’t sucking his blood. Did evil goddesses drink blood?
Or eat body part soup made from screaming bloody hearts?
On cue, Grandfather Winter came in carrying the tray. “Here we are,” he said, with a heavy German accent that made the ‘w’ into a ‘v.’ “Something delicious for you.”
I bit down on my mitten. Don’t eat it! I wanted to scream. At the same time, the smell drifted out the window, and I wanted to dive through it and eat the soup myself. 
Kai ran over and unloaded the tray, which Grandfather Winter took back to the kitchen. Then Kai started setting up places at the table like a good little boy. Perchta just lounged in her chair, watching him. The napkins were cloth, and he folded Perchta’s into the shape of a rose, then his own into the shape of an elephant. He’d learned to do that years ago, once he found out that cabin stewards on cruise ships could fold towels into animal shapes. But he’d never given me a rose. A napkin one, or any other kind. 
When everything was perfect, Perchta finally deigned to get her princess butt out of her velvet throne and come to the table. Kai held her chair out for her like a waiter in a fancy restaurant, and then sat down himself. He took a handful of goldfish crackers and sprinkled them in his soup. Perchta watched him avidly.  
All the fairy tales I’d ever heard came rushing back into my mind, about what happens when you eat fairy food. You’re stuck in the fairy realm, and can never escape. But I couldn’t make myself call out. I kept seeing the old man’s big, powerful hands, squeezing blood from heart-things and wringing a bird’s neck. If he’d yank his own eye out, what would he do to me? 
A voice came from behind me, on the walk. Gravelly, with a heavy German accent.
“So. Vat is it we haff here?”
I swung around, terrified, to see Grandfather Winter standing on the pathway.

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Twelfth Night, Book 3

Twelfth Night
by Lauren Sweet

Series: Bitter Snow, Book 3
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance
Expected Publication: January 5th 2014
Cover Artist: Jeanne Gransee Barker

Book Description

Winter demons have invaded the tiny town of Bremerton, and sixteen-year-old Gilly Breslin is the only one who can banish them. The only problem is, she doesn’t know how. 

Digging through the town’s historical archives, she and her friend Niko piece together clues to an ancient ritual to send the demons back to the dark realm they sprang from.

But the Snow Queen has plans of her own. Her power is greatest at the darkest time of the year, and her evil influence is spreading insidiously through the town, leaving Gilly wondering if there’s anyone left who can be trusted.

The demons must be banished by Twelfth Night, or the town will be lost. But to do it, Gilly may have to sacrifice everything that matters to her—including her soul.

Excerpt

Niko and I dashed to the back of the church sanctuary and slipped through the door into the stairwell. At the far end of the hall was an exit door. A way out. Or a way in. If we didn’t come out soon, Perchta’s demons would come in after us. 
Niko dragged me to a stop. “What’s the plan?” 
“I know a way out to the roof,” I told him. “There’s a maintenance crawlspace under the steeple. I don’t think anyone’s been there in years, except me and Kai. It’s out of the storm, and you might be able to light the candles and finish the banishing ritual before they find you.”
“And what will you be doing?”
“Climbing across the roof to the bell tower.” In the mother of all blizzards, surrounded by snow demons, with a three-story drop on every side. But the church bell was the culmination of the ritual. Without it, the banishment wouldn’t work.
Just for a second, I saw a “you must be frickin’ nuts” expression flash across Niko’s face. Then he gave me his famous troublemaker’s grin, and said, “Let’s do it.”
“This way,” I said, starting for the stairs to the choir room.
“One second.”
He went to a storage cabinet against the wall. He didn’t bother with keys this time, just kicked the door in and grabbed the tech headsets that were used during church plays and pageants. He tossed one to me and I hooked it over my ear, jamming my ski had down over it to keep it from coming loose. Niko did the same.
Outside, there was no sound except the moaning of the wind. The silence was almost scarier than the crashing. 
“Come on,” I said. 
Niko was already moving. We headed up the stairs at a run, emerging into the choir rehearsal room. I dashed around the battered piano and raised the sash on the old wooden window. It screeched along its runners.
Snow billowed into the room, borne on frigid wind. “Fire escape,” I said to Niko. “Come on, quick. They’re going to surround the building any minute, thinking we’re trying to get out the back.”
The fire escape was a black metal staircase that spiraled to the ground, with a landing on each floor. We climbed out and shut the window behind us, not wanting to leave evidence of our escape if Perchta’s minions searched the building.
Below, at ground level, I could see a set of glowing eyes—one of the demons, searching for us. I just prayed it wouldn’t occur to them to look up.  
There was a metal ladder bolted to the brick wall of the church, leading to the edge of the steep, pitched roof.
I’d done this climb a bunch of times with Kai, including every Bellsnichol since we were ten. So this wasn’t the first time I’d done it in the winter. But I’d never tried it in a raging blizzard. 
I went first, to show Niko how it was done. The worst part was getting from the ladder onto the roof. I was exposed to the full force of the wind, and it almost knocked me off the ladder. This wasn’t just any storm—it had a malevolent spirit in it. This blizzard wanted me dead. 
There was nothing on the roof to grab onto, no traction—just waves of snow blowing over a slick sheet of old crusted snow. As I tried to pull myself up, my hands broke through the crust and I fell forward with a jerk, chest on the roof, legs scrabbling for a foothold. My hands were trapped, shards of ice cutting into my wrists above my gloves. I could feel a warm trickle of blood. 
Wiggling and heaving, I tried to get my knee over the gutter and inch myself up. For a second I thought I wasn’t going to make it, and then I felt Niko behind me, boosting me. I yanked my hands out of their icy handcuffs and scrambled flat on the roof. 
It was like being in the Sahara during a sandstorm. Icy grains of snow scoured every millimeter of exposed skin, making my face feel like it was being sandpapered. “Gotta go,” said Niko’s voice in my headset. “They’re spreading out around the building.”
I maneuvered myself around like a crab until I was facing downwards, and kicked the toes of my boots hard into the ice crust. It captured them the way it had my hands, keeping me from sliding headfirst back down the roof. 
Niko’s head came over the gutter, and I reached out to him. He leaned forward and we clasped wrists. With me pulling, he managed to scramble out onto the roof. “I hope nobody saw that,” I said into my microphone. There was no way he could have heard me otherwise, over the scream of the wind.
“Me too,” Niko said, his voice quiet in my ear. “But once I start the ritual, they’ll feel the power and realize where we are. I just hope we bought ourselves enough time.”

About the Author
Lauren Sweet


I was born and raised in New Jersey, and books were a big part of my childhood. When I was about three and a half, I became obsessed with a Little Golden Book about a goat that gets a bucket stuck on its head. Since no one would read me the goat book as often as I wanted, I learned to read it myself—and haven’t stopped reading since. It was only inevitable that I turned to writing, so I could create more of the kind of stories that I like to read!

My favorite genres are mystery, sci-fi and paranormal/fantasy. I’ve always been fascinated by myths and fairy tales, and I love incorporating elements of ancient lore into modern stories. I have a Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from the University of Alaska Anchorage, and I currently live near Portland, OR, where I am a freelance writer and editor. My other esoteric skills include astrology, figure skating, and the ability to do a perfect split.

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Friday, December 20, 2013

{Guest Post & Spotlight} Heart-Shaped Emblor by Alaina Ewing


The Book

Heart-Shaped Emblor
by Alaina Ewing

Series: Ewlishash
Genre: YA Paranormal Romace
Published: October 11th 2013


Book Description

For Aislinn Moore, attending college at seventeen isn’t a big deal. Not when compared to the difficulties associated with seeing ethereal beings and having prophetic dreams.

As Aislinn learns to surmount the obstacles of her talents, she awakens something inside herself—an ancient memory, long forgotten. She senses there are reasons for her gifts, but remains unable to understand them.

When Alexander Welch enters her life, she learns of the Ewlishash—the hope bringers—and thinks she may have found her answer. Alexander is sexy, sweet, and his talents are like something straight out of a Sci-Fi flick. Aislinn wonders if she may be like him, but the more she tries to fit his mold, the more her instincts scream that her destiny holds something even greater.

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Guest Post

First I want to thank Alaina for taking the time to write this awesome post for my blog here and thank you so much for allowing me to host your book for today. It's look awesome and I can't wait to pick up a copy for myself. Thanks so much for being here and have a very Enchanting Holiday Season. :D

Your Writing Process

As Much as I would love to say that I sit down and brainstorm, then create a world, then outline before finally beginning, I don’t do that. It has been suggested that I write a chapter -1, then 0, then the first actual chapter in the novel, but even that hasn’t worked for me. The best way for me is to just start writing. 

Sometimes I get some dialogue that I can sit down and explore, other times I see a scene in my mind and start writing about it, then once I have something written, I feel like I know the characters and world a little better, then I go back and do some world building stuff and character development exercises. I’ve tried to outline first, tried to create a character and then drop them into a world, but ultimately that fails me. I lose interest and set the project aside. So sticking to my method works best for me.

I also do my best writing at night when the house is quiet. So during periods where I’m working on a novel, I’ll get little sleep. Once I’m really into a storyline, I just keep going until it’s done. I rarely stop mid novel and work on something else. Only if I have to. 

Once I’m done with the first draft, I usually read it, edit myself, read again, edit again, then send it out to others to take a look at. Then there are several more tweaks before I’m ready to find a home for it. So my process can be very simple in ways, but hard when I have to go back and put in some heavy world related details. Still, this method works best, as I enjoy learning about my characters as I write about them. 

I’m also big on social media once I’ve found a home for something. Granted, people can get irritated if you self-promote, so I try not to do that too much, but having faith in what you wrote does help sales. No one wants to buy your manuscript if you don’t believe in it yourself. So I try to share some, but not too much. This is the process that I’ve been using and will probably continue to use.

About the Author
Alaina Ewing


Alaina Ewing lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two boys. She holds a degree in Multimedia Production and is the Assistant Chair for Cascade Writers, a nonprofit Milford-style workshop. She also makes jewelry, dream catchers, and enjoys working with herbs and essential oils.

Her first novel, The Heart-Shaped Emblor, releases in the fall of 2013 with Evil Girlfriend Media. The novel is the first in the Ewlishash Series.

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Thursday, December 19, 2013

{Giveaway & Spotlight} Ribbon of Darkness by Decadent Kane


The Book

Ribbon of Darkness
by Decadent Kane

Series: The Trouble with Elves, Book 1
Genre: Erotica
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayda


Book Description

Before Ribbon had a chance to get used to the idea of being an elf, she ran into Draven who's body jingled her bells. Unfortunately, he's the spy sent to haul her and her family back to the North Pole on Santa's orders.

Draven North has had one task for the last twenty-four years: find the Winters family and bring them home. He wasn't expecting their only daughter to deck his halls. No matter how hot and sassy he found his roguess, he had to take her back before the darkness devoured the Pole and Christmas magic along with it. But was it already too late?

Book Trailer


Excerpt

"Draven! You sly holy Knight. Sneaking up on a helpless Sylvan Elf such as I. You know I'm an emotional creature. Where have you been?" Maple asked the minute Draven materialized in her leaf hut. She was a strong survivalist, living among her clan. Their independence was an attribute to their species. Her golden hair contrasted with her tanned skin and defined feminine muscles. He recalled the last time those thigh muscles wrapped around him, it had been too long.
"My dear, Maple." Draven bowed in apology for startling her. "Please forgive my intrusion. I'd hoped you'd like to see me as much as I'd like to see you. For my work keeps me busy much of the time, it's hard to schedule a time to come."
Maple's hands pulled Draven upright. "I've missed you terribly." Her light green eyes fluttered their lashes. He adored her bold antics, but knew she'd never be his true mate. Only a Claus Elf could mate for life. She knew that, but pretend was fair play in their coupling.
Draven drew her in tight around him and crushed his lips to hers. Pushing his tongue past her parting lips and lapping at the sweet taste of syrup. She bit his lower lip and pulled back. "Are you happy to see me or is that a candy cane in your pocket?" Her hand cupped his cock through his jeans and squeezed. He narrowed his gaze on her.
"Candy canes have no business here." He ripped the brown leaf dress from her body causing a gasp to escape her lips. He'd give anything to hear that sound come from Ribbon. Damn his brain. His cock only grew harder at the image of the rogue elf and her black hair sliding over her shoulders.

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About the Author
Decadent Kane


If I had to describe myself, it would be in a word that has infinite meanings with a complexity which falls off the tongue.

A word made up of many elements, is deceptive in appearance, and creates an illusion from the imagination.

My word would be Phantasmagoric.

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

{Book Spotlight} Chaos Bound by Rebekah Turner


The Book

Chaos Bound
by Rebekah Turner

Series: Chronicles of the Applecross, Book 2
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Published: December 1st 2013
Publisher: Escape Publishing


Book Description

The long-awaited sequel to Chaos Born takes us back into the Applecross, where Lora faces increasing threats to her survival and her chance at love.

Lora Blackgoat — mercenary and smuggler — has only just recovered from the last threat on her life and hasn’t even begun to sort out the mess of having both a nephilim warrior and a reborn hellspawn as potential lovers. Work should be a refuge, but a job finding missing persons puts her in the crosshairs of a violent gang and a merchant with a taste for blood sport.

Reluctantly, Lora turns to the two men in her life for help. Roman — the nephilim — professes to be her soul mate and turns to her when he feels the darkness of nephilim madness descending. But though Lora is drawn to Roman, it is Seth, ex-lover and reborn hellspawn, who Lora must ultimately ask to protect those she loves. Can she trust Seth to save Roman and her adoptive family, or will this be a fatal mistake?

Excerpt

Chapter 1

No one had liked Rae Dowler. His nickname had been Captain Chunky, and that was from his friends. He'd been a greedy bastard in life and now, in death, was a weight on my conscience. This was the second co-worker to die on a job with me. The first one I’d had to behead after he'd become infected at an exorcism with a demonic entity, along with the client. Thankfully, my sword had been nowhere near Rae Dowler when he'd dropped dead of an old-fashioned heart attack. Still, people liked to talk.
Spring had bloomed in the bustling city of Harken, and instead of the usual rain, or tepid fog, the narrow, crooked streets had been flooded with gentle, golden sunshine. For a city used to constant downpours and overcast skies, the unexpected weather was viewed with some suspicion and considered most unseemly.
A warm afternoon wind was blowing though the cemetery, ruffling black skirts and sending hats sailing. I watched as the coffin was lowered into the ground, only half listening as a priest of The Higher Path faith droned on about eternal life.
Dowler had been in the Runner industry for over forty years. He was the only other Runner at Blackgoat Watch that didn't mind being sent on jobs past The Weald's guarded entryways: out into the modern world, with its buzzing technology, flashing neon lights and all things deep fried. Transporting anything from the Outlands back into the hidden Weald was illegal, but somehow Dowler always managed to return with a tray of Winkie Bill's Crème Donuts. A tray he never shared, mind you. Just sat in the kitchen of Blackgoat and scoffed the lot before he had to go home to his wife. In light of his less than stellar diet, I guess the heart attack that killed him wasn't a complete surprise.
Gideon, my benefactor and owner of Blackgoat Watch, stood to my left, reeking of stale whisky and boredom. Cloete, another runner at Blackgoat, was on my right. A five-foot dynamo, Cloete was otherkin: her bloodline a mixture of succubus and goddess-knew-what other interbred, mystic race. Today she was wearing leather pants and a suede coat, her petite horns hidden under a bowler hat. Her inky-black tail wrapped around one leg, the end tapping impatiently against her thigh. Tails were tricky things, always giving away the mind of their owners. Tails never seemed to lie and I was thankful I didn’t have one.
The priest said 'amen' and people dutifully took their cue and began shuffling away. Dowler's widow, a heavy-set woman with coarse hair and fleshy jowls, tossed wilted roses into the open grave, her expression a mixture of sadness and regret, with a pinch of what looked like suspicion.
‘Thank Kianna's sacred tits that's over.’ Cloete yawned, tail unravelling from her leg. ‘Who's up for a brew at Growlers?’
‘That was the most boring funeral I've ever attended.’ Gideon copied Cloete's yawn, covering his mouth with a hairy hand. He was decked out in a long frock coat with a red carnation tucked in the lapels and a natty yellow necktie. Gideon was a full-blooded satyr, and though he made every effort to look human, today he'd forgotten a hat, and his tangle of steel-wool grey hair revealed the tops of his horns he'd had amputated years ago in an effort to fit in. He'd also forgotten the contacts that changed his slit pupils to round, and his fancy-made shoes didn't match. All this, and his hangdog expression, suggested he was struggling with a hangover.
‘It wasn't that boring.’ I tried to sound indignant on Dowler's behalf, but came off sounding guilty. I was busy praying the wife didn't notice me.
‘Before I forget, Lora,’ Gideon paused to yawn again, ‘I need you to come in to Blackgoat tomorrow to talk about a new job.’
‘You've already got me babysitting the theatre bimbo,’ I reminded him. It was a simple bodyguard gig. No real threats...low stress...limited chance of beheadings.
‘Please.’ Gideon looked pained. ‘Nicola Grogan is an actress, and a fine one at that.’ He sniffed and flicked a finger at his carnation. ‘And I must say, that doesn't sound like gratitude from where I'm standing.’
My lips tightened, but I had enough smarts to pause before I spoke, giving my brain a chance to kick in. After being passed over for jobs because other Runners refused to work with me, I was in no position to turn my nose up at any opportunities. I'd only attended one other successful exorcism job since the beheading incident. That client had been high profile: the daughter of the Lord Mayor Corelli. Unfortunately, the Mayor was a staunch advocate of the Church of Higher Path, who frowned upon things such as spells and magic, seeing them as blasphemy. Blackgoat Watch had been hired by Mayor Corelli's wife, who'd sworn Gideon to secrecy, all of which meant I couldn't put the job on my brag sheet of clients I hadn't killed. As things stood now, Gideon had been forced to strong-arm Rae Dowler to work with me on a stakeout of a suspected cheating husband. The fact that the job hadn't ended well for Dowler was now going to make me a social pariah. Again.
‘Sorry,’ I muttered. ‘I'm grateful. I'm grateful.’
Gideon grunted and made a beeline for the rickshaw he'd hired to chauffeur him to and from the cemetery. Despite his dishevelled look this morning, Gideon liked to think most people couldn't pick he was a satyr, and that he was a master of disguise. No one had the heart to tell him he wasn't.
I rubbed my right lame leg and leant heavily on my goat-headed duelling cane, jealous of the rickshaw. After downing two espressos and three pastries from a local bakery, I'd walked to the cemetery as an act of contrition. Orella Warbreeder, my adoptive mother, had been lecturing me on how walking would do my joints wonders. But after standing in one place for so long, my hip had seized. I had half a mind to beg a lift with Gideon when a wink of light caught my eye, coming from the line of pine trees hedging one side of the cemetery. The light blinked again. I was no super spy, but had enough smarts to know when someone wanted my attention.
‘Lora?’
‘Eh?’ I realised Cloete had asked me a question.
‘Drink?’ She mimed throwing back a tankard of beer.
‘I think I'll just stay here a bit,’ I said. ‘Catch up with you later?’
Her eyebrows lifted. ‘Self-pity is an ugly emotion, Lora.’
‘Fuck off. I've just got things to do.’
Cloete pursed her lips. ‘You won't be bringing your boyfriend, will you?’
‘Boyfriend?’ My eyebrows arched. ‘Who would that be?’
‘Are you serious?’ Cloete snorted. ‘You think people aren't gossiping about you making goo-goo eyes at that fire and brimstone Regulator?’
I flushed. ‘His name is Roman, and we're just friends.’
One side of Cloete's mouth jerked up. ‘How very teen drama.’
‘Shut up.’
She began to stalk off, then paused, glancing back at me. ‘Just make sure you come to Growlers tonight, yeah? I want to talk to you about something important.’
‘Fine, fine.’ I gave her a surly look. ‘I'll make sure my teen drama doesn't follow me.’
Cloete chuckled as she left, striding towards the city with a smattering of other burly-looking Blackgoat Runners. I'd heard she'd flat-out refused the protection detail for Nicola Grogan. I wish I could have done the same. Spoilt actresses were bad for my health. There was another flash from the woods and I got the impression someone wanted me to hurry up.
The hairs on my neck prickled and I turned to see Dowler's wife. Her lips peeled back and she hissed at me, sounding like a kettle on the boil. I opened my mouth a couple of times before managing to mutter condolences about her loss.
‘This was your fault.’ Her eyes were slits of fury, face dry of tears. ‘My husband's blood is on your hands.’
‘I don't think that's fair,’ I protested weakly.
But the widow was already leaving, an elderly man escorting her away. She let herself be led, back stiff with anger. I watched her go, feeling miserable. How was Dowler's death my fault? A small voice told me I was a jinx, so that kind of made it my fault. I balked as the widow pulled away from her escort and stabbed a finger at me, spit flying from thinned lips. ‘You're the angel of death, Lora Blackgoat. You bring nothing but misery into people's lives.’
Her escort tightened his grip, threw me a scowl, and hurried her from the cemetery. I was the only one by Dowler's graveside now. Even the grave attendants had retreated for a break, leaning against headstones and smoking tobacco pipes.
I unbuttoned my coat and adjusted my work-belt with its heavy pockets, loaded with knick-knacks most useful in a fight. This included pouches of salt, the one medium guaranteed to act as a conduit to the ley-lines that ran under the earth and fuelled all magic. It wasn't hard to cast; took a few years of training to get the concentration right, then chuck a bit of salt, shout a few words of power in the language of your choice, and hey presto, you could set your own hair on fire. My belt was well stocked with salt, including one pouch of my own special mixture: powdered consecrated silver, salt, and half a teaspoon of gunpowder. I called it my Sucker Punch Special: guaranteed to rock your socks when you needed it. Feeling prepared, I braced my cane against my bad leg and strode towards the line of pine trees.

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About the Author
Rebekah Turner


Rebekah lives in sunny Queensland and has worked in the past as a graphic designer. She now does freelance work when her kids are looking the other way. An avid writer since she could scrawl in her dad’s expensive encyclopedias, she has progressed from horsey stories to tales of dark fantasy with lashings of romance and a sprinkling of horror.

Her vices include eating overpriced ice cream, watching trashy 80s action movies and buying stationery she doesn't need.

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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

{Book Spotlight} The Longest Night by Alyxandra Harvey

Introducing

The Longest Night
by Alyxandra Harvey

Series: Drake Chronicles, Book 6.5
Genre: YA Paranormal, YA Vampire
Published: December 17th 2013
Publisher: Bloomsbury


Book Description

The Winter Solstice—the longest night of the year—is the perfect holiday for a vampire family to gather. But this year, Lucy and Nicholas and Solange and Kieran get unexpected guests. And they haven’t come to deliver presents . . .

Since the Blood Moon battle six years ago, Lucy, and her hot vampire boyfriend Nicholas Drake, have kept the peace between the vampires of Violet Hill and the Helios-Ra hunters. But breaking up fights between rogue hunter Aggie and irresistible rebel Callahan is proving a big challenge; Aggie just can’t accept that behind Cal’s burning blue eyes, he is in control of his bloodlust. As Lucy’s best friend and Nicholas’s sister, Solange, return home for the group’s Winter Solstice celebrations, Aggie struggles to admit the real reason she finds Cal a threat – and risks far more than her heart . . .

An action-packed tale of dark romance from the author of the bestselling Drake Chronicles series. The perfect way for fans of Stephenie Meyer, L.J. Smith and Rachel Caine to enjoy the long winter nights.

Excerpt

            Her sister would have told her to go for the heart.
            Knowing how difficult it was to successfully push a stake through a vampire’s heart, especially when that vampire was conscious, Aggie chose a different approach.
            Plus, a staking  would get her expelled. And she was already on probation. Again.
            She pressed against a tree, trying not to feel how numb her toes were.  At least December in New York had coffee on every corner and diner windows fogged with steam. There might be coffee in Violet Hill but it was probably made with chicory root and anyway, she was miles away from town with nothing but snow, trees, and more snow.  All this fresh air was unnatural.
            Almost as unnatural as sharing space with a vampire.
            She knew he was coming. She could feel it. Her heart sped up even as she told it not to. It always did that. Callahan was on his way back home; it was  Sunday night after all, and Sunday nights were family night. Well, they called it family night but Aggie knew a mandatory curfew when she was on the receiving end of one.
            She kept her breaths shallow so they wouldn’t mist in the frigid air and give away her position. Yen had once hidden in a garbage dumpster to cover her scent so she could stake a vampire feeding off the homeless guys living in Central Park. A little frostbite was nothing. She had two stakes, Hypnos powder in her cuff, and a steel needle-stake in a holster under her sleeve.  She was ready. She’d get him this time.
            “Not again.”
            Aggie whirled, stake stabbing the air. She narrowly avoided her best friend’s heart and pulled a muscle in her arm for her trouble. “Shit, Paige,” she snapped. “I could have killed you.”
            Paige didn’t look particularly concerned.  She crunched through the last of her bit of her candy cane. Her fire-engine red hair was in two braids, woven through with silver tinsel. No one did Christmas spirit quite like Paige. “Who are we not-killing tonight?” She slid Aggie a glance, then rolled her eyes. “Never mind. As if I have to ask. Your nose is going to run if you stay out here much longer.”
            Aggie shoved Paige down into one of the bushes and reclaimed her position behind the tree. “Snow down my neck!” Paige gasped. “Snow down my neck!”
            “Serves you right. Keep an eye on that part of the forest, would you?”
            Paige sighed. “Don’t you ever get bored of this?”
            “It’s what we do. We’re hunters. And anyway, Agent Wild said we have to be prepared to fight in any weather.”
            “Yeah, she’s also dating one of the Drake brothers. I’d much rather be doing that.”
            “Whatever, so she’s not perfect.” The Drake brothers were unfairly hot. There was no sense in denying the obvious. “She has more vampire kills than anyone else at the academy. She’d have taken Callahan out by now.”
            “You know, this obsession of yours is bordering on a bad teen movie crush.”

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About the Author
Alyxandra Harvey


Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are 'The Wood Wife' by terri Windling, 'Jane Eyre' by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with three dogs and her husband.

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