#BookTour #Promo…Shifter Chronicles…#BookBoost #YA #Dark #UF #PNR #Romance #Giveaway @SDSXXTours @MelleAmade

Sanctuary
Shifter Chronicles Book 1
by Melle Amade
Genre: YA Dark Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

It’s survival of the fittest, but first you have to fit in.

Shae is sure the icy rage that claws at her is driving away her friends and pulling her closer to the wrong boy. After all, it’s Aiden she has always secretly wanted, not Callum, who has barely spoken to her in the last year.

But, as her protected life unravels, she discovers the violent supernatural world that lurks in her quiet hometown and the ancient feuds that threaten to destroy both her friends and her family.

To save those she loves, Shae must succumb to her own fury and take on the Ravensgaard, the renegade warriors of the Order, but as the battle approaches her deepest fears are coming true, she’s becoming just like them. Shae’s not sure she can afford the price she’ll have to pay—her own humanity.

Sanctuary is a teen paranormal romance for fans of shifters and Gothic romance. Fans of Flightless Bird and White Raven will be enchanted by this strong female seeking truth in a world of secrets and mystery.

Remnants

Shifter Chronicles Book 2

Now that she understands the rules, she wants to change them.  Shae’s body is betraying her and she’s terrified. Though she’s joined the ranks of her shifter friends, she knows inside she’s not like them. Her unstable cells won’t let her control the shift. As Topanga grows crowded with suspicious shifters, aligned with the fascist Order, it becomes clear they have been living in a tiny haven on the edge of an intolerant, militant shifter society. Even worse, Shae’s formal presentation to El Oso, the Order’s Berserker Supreme Leader, is only days away. Without full control of her powers or her body, she’s not sure she’ll survive the inspection.As Shae discovers the dreadful truth about her family heritage, she’s faced with a severe choice: break with the Order and lose her friends or submit to a life of subjugation and lies. No matter what she chooses, she’ll be left with only Remnants of the life she had.

Goodreads * Amazon

Harvest
Shifter Chronicles Book 3

In the shifter world, one law holds true; you will reap what you sow.

Shae underestimated El Oso, the tyrannical leader of the Order. Now, banished, flightless and living on the dangerous edge of the shifter world, she finds it impossible to pursue her one goal, finding and freeing her father. Without the support of her friends, who are torn by loyalty to their families, Shae is forced to attempt the impossible…alone.

A hidden group of shifters with unexpected powers swoops in to help Shae. They want nothing more than to discover El Oso’s magic and destroy the Order completely, even if it means sacrificing Shae’s father. Too late, Shae discovers she has sown the seeds of destruction for herself and her family. The defenses of her refuge are breached, not by El Oso, but by the enemy very enemy he has been desperate to protect them against. An enemy intent on massacring every known shifter. Shae must find a way to escape her self-inflicted fate and empower her friends to unite if they are to find a way to survive the harvest.

Goodreads * Amazon


Deluge
Shifter Chronicles Book 4


First comes the rain, then follows the flood.

Escaping the Order by engaging the Hunters was only the beginning. Now, with their safe haven destroyed Shae and Roman are left hiding in a remote village with no chance of ever finding her father or making a difference in the shifter world. That is, until a strange Hunter seeks Shae out and gives her hope she can find her father and possibly the tool to find El Oso.

They risk everything to return to Topanga and reunite with their friends, who are the only ones who might just believe Shae’s adamant theory that one of the murderous Hunters is actually on their side. As they test loyalty and strength they uncover the very power that has made the Hunters mortal enemies to the shifters for over a thousand years. Their new-found power is a beacon to the Order and the Hunters, who descend like a flood to drown out the spark of light rising in the shifter world.

Goodreads * Amazon

Heritage
Shifter Chronicles Prelude


In the dark shifter world, they prepare for a summer of fun, but find they must battle against the Hunters who are afraid of the supernatural world. Dutch born, Matilde, the estranged niece of Lord Van Arend, barters with her scheming mother to spend the summer with the only friends she’s ever had, the Ravensgaard at Castle Brannach. But if Matilde gives her mother the information she will break her friends’ trust and begin the downfall of the regime; a regime the shifters may need to protect them from the Hunters.

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USA Today Bestselling Author, Farm Girl, Marketing Director…

Since I was eight I have been writing stories that capture the adventures in my head and the characters strong enough and flawed enough to have them. When I look at an empty field I see a formidable citadel. When I meet a vulnerable old man, I greet an emeritus warrior. When I walk through city streets I feel dimensions hiding around every turn. It has been my lifelong passion to explore these worlds that reveal the pain of loneliness, the joy or self-actualization, and the hope of magic.

I grew up in a place called Potter Valley where the Milky Way is held aloft by a circle of mountains and the central business district consists of a bait store and a saloon. At 19 I moved alone to London and spent the next ten years exploring the world, even becoming an Australian citizen, before I returned to California and found a new home in Los Angeles. My world revolves around my two wee children and my love of travel.

My days are spent in an office overlooking Los Angeles International Airport where I work as a Director of Marketing for a data center technology firm, which wouldn’t make you think I had an MFA in film with an emphasis on writing from Chapman University. However, I also have degrees in visual communications and global communications, which allowed me to work for some of the finest technology firms in the world. In my spare time I have penned six screenplays, four stage plays, an opera libretto, numerous short stories, and five manuscripts for novels. My heart lies with my manuscripts, which are focused on YA and New Adult audiences and range in subject from Vikings in Iceland to Knights Templar in Italy to Aborigine mysticism in Australia to shapeshifters in Los Angeles.

Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

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#CoverReveal…Crave to Conquer…#BookBoost #Adult #DarkFantasy #Romance @XpressoTours @authorzoeyellis

 

Crave To Conquer
Zoey Ellis
(Myth of Omega, #1)
Publication date: January 15, 2018
Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Fantasy, Romance

He conquered an Empire – and she’s next.

The Alpha Emperor

He is known as a ruthless barbarian by many. They are not wrong. His savagery has made him Emperor and now it will secure him his mate.

Omegas have gone missing over the past century, but that will not stop Emperor Drocco from finding his. He enlists the help of renowned historian, Cailyn, a strong-willed Beta female. She is not at all a suitable mate for an Emperor… but the longer he spends in her company, the more she stirs something within him like no one other ever has.

Soon, his urge to dominate the defiant female threatens his control, and he begins to wonder if perhaps she’s worth claiming as his own.

The Omega Spy

She was prepared for his arrogance and wild nature, but not for his perceptive intelligence or the effect he would have on her.

Knowing her life would be over if Emperor Drocco ever discovered she was an Omega, Cailyn plans to conclude her mission as a historian as soon as possible.

However, when she underestimates him, she is trapped in a dangerous struggle to protect her freedom, while every instinct she has tried to deny since she first saw the powerful Emperor, is unleashed.

Crave to Conquer is the first installment in the Myth of Omega serial, a dark, erotic, Omegaverse romance. Cliff-hanger included. For fans of dominant Alpha anti-heroes, sassy Omega heroines, epic fantasy worlds and captive romances.

Crave to Conquer is an explicit reading experience from sexual scenes to violence and language. Includes disturbing situations and romance of a dark nature. For readers aged 18 and over.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

As he sat down, he saw Cailyn enter. He couldn’t take his eyes from her as she threaded through the crowd toward him. He almost held his breath as he stared. The woman was utterly gorgeous. Her hair had been swept up again revealing that delicate neck, and the dress clung to every delicious curve. Finally he could see her luscious figure in detail and it had been worth the wait. With the cut of the dress revealing the tops of her shoulders, her simple elegance seemed out of place among the raucous crowd.

His guards let her through at his instruction and she climbed the platform and stood before him, her head low.

“I’m not pleased you had to be summoned, kitten,” he said, lifting his ale and keeping his eyes on her.

“I’m sure you can understand I wasn’t eager to attend, considering your plans to…” Her voice petered out, her head lifted and her eyes widened, an expression of horror seeping into her face.

Drocco frowned, confused, and then a scent hit him. A rich, luscious, sublime scent, like nothing he had smelt before. It penetrated every part of him, causing a yearning so powerful that suddenly every fiber of his being switched to high alert.

“No,” Cailyn whispered, taking a step back. “No. It can’t…”

Drocco ignored her and leaned forward, trying to decipher what he was experiencing. A fog began to swamp his mind, and the only clear thought emerging was that he needed that scent—it belonged to him. He turned his head slowly seeking it out, and then snapped back to Cailyn. It was her.

Cailyn glanced around wildly as she backed away, her whole body tense and poised to bolt.

Drocco rose slowly, every inch of him aware of every inch of her. A raw hunger developed as he took in her terrified expression, her scent blossoming into an aroma so enticing, so complex, his cock hardened to rock. At the same time, the guards behind her began to turn and look at her, their nostrils flaring.

Something snapped in Drocco.

 

Author Bio:

Zoey Ellis writes dark-edged, speculative romances bursting with passionate, carnal steam. She loves tortured, possessive, alpha heroes and is obsessed with exploring love in its raw form, and how that can manifest in different circumstances and settings.

Her goal is to build a catalogue of thrilling, sexy, fantastical romances that come complete with roller-coaster experiences, unique worlds, and happy endings.

Zoey is a Londoner, a bookaholic and a proud collector of OTT possessive book boyfriends she won’t share.

If you’re interested in hearing about Zoey’s new releases, bonuses and giveaways, join her readers group, Dark Halos.

Website / Facebook / Twitter

 

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#BookBlitz…Gylded Wings…#BookBoost #DarkFantasy @RABTBookTours @LNightingale

Dark Fantasy
Published: September 2017
 
Forgiven or Forsaken? A fallen angel’s quest to soar once again on Gylded Wings.
 
Angels in slavery? Brit Montgomery cannot believe it, until she is sent on a rescue mission to another dimension and witnesses the cruel practice first hand. The angel, Gyldan, is the most beautiful being she’s ever seen. She is drawn to him but sometimes beauty disguises wicked secrets. This man who rocks her world seems more demon than angel.
 
Gyldan, born into slavery, has one desire—fly free. When he escapes to Earth, he faces an alternate self-realization full of dark glory…and disbelief. Gyldan is bent on experiencing his newfound powers unmindful of the harm to Brit or others.
 
Confused and hurt by Gyldan’s erratic evil actions, Brit turns away. While Gyldan’s journey of self-discovery pulls him further distant, Brit finds acceptance in a solitary, comfortable life of her own until she realizes the day of reckoning has come. Will Gyldan be her final ruin or has he come back to her with a gift more precious than life itself?

About the Author

 

Born in South Carolina, Linda Nightingale has lived in England, Canada, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta and Houston.  She’s seen a lot of this country from the windshield of a truck pulling a horse trailer, having bred, trained and showed Andalusian horses for many years.

Linda has won several writing awards, including the Georgia Romance Writers Magnolia Award and the SARA Merritt.  She retired from a career as a retired legal assistant, just joined the Houston BMW Club, and the stars in her crown—two wonderful sons. In a former life, she must have had to walk everywhere because today she is into transportation with fine taste in expensive horses and hot cars! She likes to dress up and host formal dinner parties.

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#BookPromo…The Four Worlds Series…#BookBoost #Epic #DarkFantasy #Giveaway @IARTG @aford21

The Five Warriors
The Four Worlds Series Book 1
by Angela J. Ford
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy

“The characters were well-written and well-developed, the story was clear and enjoyable without being predictable, and there were a couple of evenings I stayed up later than I intended just so I could get to the end of a chapter. If you’re a fantasy fan, you’re going to LOVE this!” —Amazon review

What if… your best friend started a rebellion in the middle of a war? your lover awakened a deep evil and helped it grow? your people were too cowardly to face a battle? you stole an ancient power source? you gambled with the fate of the world? 

Join five powerful warriors each with a unique ability and magical weapons. Their quest is to discover where the transformed creatures are coming from and put a stop to it.

Along the way they run into treacherous immortals, sea monsters, powerful beasts of the air and talking animals.

Each has their own reasoning for joining the quest, but one carries a deadly secret which just might be the destruction of them all.

“Angela’s imagination has brought these characters to life and the worlds they live in.”

—Amazon review

 
The Blended Ones
The Four Worlds Series Book 2

Over 100 years after The Five Warriors saved the Western World, the Blended Ones have become a curse in the Eastern World. Beware the Blended Ones…

Phyllis and her 17 year old twin sister, Ilieus are Blended Ones. But Ilieus suffers from visions of darkness she is unable to discern. Forsaken by their parents the two cross the country in search of the Order of the Wise for help.

Cuthan the Charmer is mischievous enough to change anyone’s mind with a smile and a wink. Born into a family of treasure hunters, he s searching for the key to unlocking his dormant powers.

Pharengon the Horse Lord was born to be King. Young and inexperienced he seeks a weapon to turn the tide of the war in his favor. But when his very  own army betrays him, he will have to turn to the Lost Ones for assistance.

Caught in the fate of the Eastern World the youths destinies become twisted together in a frightful quest that will change the course of time. In the midst of their whirlwind adventure, they discover love, loss, and
uncover the truth about who and what is behind the chaotic, spiraling events in the Eastern World.

 This can be read as a stand alone novel.

 
Eliesmore and the Green Stone
The Four Worlds Series Book 3

Changers have arisen, wreaking havoc as they harvest the world, searching for the Green Stone. The South World sinks in despair, holding its  breath, waiting for the One.

Eliesmore is a Blended One, growing up on the edge of the forest of the creatures of the wood. Young, headstrong, and inspired by magical rituals, he spends his time between his overprotective mother and sneaking out to dance with the wild things.

His courage is tested when Eliesmore discovers that he is the One who is meant to save the Four Worlds from the Changers. Unwilling to accept his fate, he turns his back on the prophecy and the futile quest to
dissolve the Green Stone.

But Eliesmore will soon learn he cannot escape his destiny. Beset by creatures of the deep and hunted by servants of the Changers, Eliesmore finds his task will test the loyalty of his companions and help him answer the ultimate question: 

Can he trust the immortals – or are they the reason the Changers have come to power?

Myran
A Tale of the Four Worlds

Darkness has fallen in the South World, a land ruled by forces of evil and dark powers. Those who would resist live in hiding, hoping for the prophecy concerning the One to come true.

Born into a shadowed world Myran experiences her first loss when her parents are murdered before her eyes.

Adopted by the Green People she makes it her goal to hide from the woes of the world. As she grows older, she discovers her actions will birth the most significant change in all of the Four Worlds.

Recommended: Read this after reading “Eliesmore and the Green Stone”

Brought up as a bookworm and musician, Angela J. Ford began writing The Four Worlds Series—a fantasy series—at the age of twelve. The storyline of those books was largely based off of the imaginative games she played with her sisters.

Angela originally finished the series when she was sixteen. After college, Angela began to rewrite The Four Worlds Series, bringing it from a child’s daydream to an adventure young and old can enjoy. Since it is inspired by fairy tales, high magic, and epic fantasy, Angela knows you’ll enjoy your adventures within the Four Worlds.

If you happen to be in Nashville, you’ll most likely find her at a local coffee shop, enjoying a white  chocolate mocha and furiously working on her next book. Make sure you say hello!

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#Book #Promo…Late Bite…#BookBoost #DarkFantasy #Horror #Action #Thriller #OnTour @SagesBlogTours @johnmatsui99 @DragulMangorian

Late Bite: Vampire On Trial

The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 1

By John Matsui

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Action Thriller

About the Book:

Police capture Dragul Mangorian in Toronto’s sewers on a series of blood-sucking assaults. Media worldwide and local citizens and politicians buzz with news the perp is ‘a real vampire.’

Mangorian’s blazing yellow eyes, cadaverous 6’-6” frame, three-inch fangs, taste for human blood and near takedown of a heavily-armed SWAT team persuades the usual public defenders to contract the flu. It falls to down-on-his-luck lawyer Al Hamblyn not just to defend this fearsome creature on the charges but to ensure he beats down a crack prosecution team’s efforts to deny Mangorian his legal rights on the basis that he’s not quite human.

Hamblyn learns Mangorian is the sole-surviving member of the Homo Sanguinus, a sub-species of Homo Sapiens that through evolution evolved to feed on human blood.

The lawyer seizes the opportunity to revive a disastrous career and win back his former wife and family. First, however, he must overcome his fears in mounting a defence for a client who appears to have stepped out of a nightmare.

Late Bite has been described as “A Path Breaking Novel” that’s “Fast and Fun” and gives an entirely “Fresh Take On Vampires.” The main character Dragul Mangorian is a non-sparkly blood sucker who both charms readers and keeps them guessing until the final page. 

Lawyer Al Hamblyn listens to radio reports en route to meet his new client. Excerpt begins:

“You’re hearing this first on Rock 1060. Confidential sources in Toronto’s police department confirm the suspect in the stalker attacks is a vampire. And we can confirm victims had blood sucked out of them.”

I switch stations.

“Police are rumoured to have the suspect in a special cell that has no bars so he can’t change into a bat and escape.”

Next station.

“We have breaking news from our reporter Melissa Doig at 52 Division,” says Dee-Jay Brad G.

“Thanks Brad. Detective Buddy Ferino just held a news conference. He’s identified the suspect as Dragul Mangorian, age unknown, address unknown.”

“Did Det. Ferino confirm the suspect, this Magurry, is a vampire?”

“Not quite, but the next best thing, Det. Ferino will not deny that he is a vampire. Listen for yourself.”

“Is it true that he’s a vampire?” Doig asks.

“I have no comment.”

“So you are not denying he is a vampire,” she persists.

“I have no comment.”

“So,” says Doig, “There you have it, no denial.”

“Hey folks, you heard it here first on AM 960, Detective Buddy Ferino is not denying they have arrested a vampire.”

I switch stations to the usually calmer CBC. The publicly funded broadcaster doesn’t rely on hype and ratings.

“Reporter Janice Chakrabarti’s on the scene for a sensational development in the Toronto Stalker investigation. Janice?”

“Hi Peter, I’m here at Police Division 52 where the lead investigator into the Stalker Attacks is concluding a news conference.”

“We’re hearing some wild reports about vampires, giants, you name it.”

“I think you should make that decision for yourself. The voice you’re about to hear is Det. Ferino.”

“At approximately 9:10 p.m., police received a report of an incident. Officers found a 32-year-old female had been physically assaulted. Canine units were dispatched and they tracked a suspect to a storm sewer outlet in the Don River Valley. It appears the suspect had been living in the sewers.

“A suspect was found and arrested after a three-hour search. The suspect resisted arrest. Two officers were injured and are reported in good condition in Hospital. The suspect is being held and will face numerous charges in court this morning.”

A dozen voices shout out questions.

“Det. Ferino, is this case linked with the other stalker cases?”

“Yes, we believe all of the stalker crimes are linked.”

“Can you elaborate?”

“The method of attack is the same.”

“And that method is?”

“The victim last night, and eight previous victims, all had two puncture wounds on the neck and all were missing a quantity of blood.”

I flip the station.

“… Like Dracula. We have an unconfirmed report the suspect changed into a giant bat.”

A hulking, 40ish cop with three chevrons on his sleeve greets me at the front desk of 52 Division. His nametag identifies him as ‘P. Crampton.’

“You Hamburger?” the sergeant says, revealing a set of huge teeth.

“Hamblyn,” I correct.

“If you’re that vampire Mangorian’s lawyer, you’re Hamburger,” he says, unveiling his choppers in a smile that stretches from one cauliflower ear to the other.

Half-muffled guffaws erupt from cubicles behind the front desk. It does nothing to ease my feeling of foreboding.

“May I see my client, sergeant?”

“Sure, but you may wanna see Detective Ferino first.

I nod okay and he waves at a guy in a hat.

A tall, wiry guy with a long, thin nose and horn-rimmed glasses approaches. He’s about 30 but is dressed in a trenchcoat and fedora like he walked out of a 1950s pulp crime novel.

“So, you’re the lawyer assigned to represent Dragul Mangorian. Detective Buddy Ferino,” he says offering me his hand to shake.

He gives my hand two quick pumps. “I’m sure we’re going to see a lot of each other.”

“Uhh, Al Hamblyn. Nice to meet you.”

“I asked the sergeant to direct you to me,” he says, drawing conspiratorially close.

Almost whispering in my ear, he says, “I shouldn’t be saying this to a suspect’s lawyer but I got to tell you … Be careful. I don’t know if he’s a vampire or what he is, but he’s not normal.

“We Tasered him. Flat on his back, he still took out two of our guys.”

I feel my blood run cold.

“He sucked blood from two officers?”

“No, he threw them against a wall. They’re banged up but they’ll live.”

“Oh good,” I say with relief for me, not the injured cops.

About the Author

John Matsui is a former daily newspaper writer, turned public relations guy, turned business consultant, turned Internet entrepreneur, and finally author of thriller mashups that stick to a single genre like confetti in a hurricane.

His storylines and characters, like his work life, rush everywhere at once and still arrive at the finish line with all plot threads neatly and satisfyingly knotted or so readers have told us. Unless you have a habit of reading the last pages of a book first, you clearly enjoy this form of topsy-turvy, jigsaw mystery. That or you decided to see how far from the beaten path John could go.

People who [enjoyed] [hated] [laughed] [cried] [got sick over] [have no idea what to think about] John’s writing are invited to visit https://johnmatsui.com/ or email the author at: john@johnmatsui.com and tell him they [loved] [despised] [shared] [ripped apart] [borrowed a copy of] [bought a copy of] his books and that they plan to [buy his other books] [recommend him] [start a bonfire with it] [spread it as fake news].

John’s other novels, Lycanthrope Rising: The True Story Behind The Vampire-Werewolf Wars — The Toronto Vampire Chronicles, Book 2 and Gravity Games, A Nathan Sherlock Foodie Thriller, are available as eBooks through most popular online vendors. The paperback version can be ordered on Amazon.com or clicking the link on John’s Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/John-Matsui/e/B00L8GIQ2E

John and wife Judy live in Wortley Village, a quaint neighbourhood in London, Ontario, far from Toronto’s clash of vampires, werewolves, superheroes and high housing prices.

Facebook.com/jmatsuiauthor

Twitter: @johnmatsui99

Twitter: @DragulMangorian

JohnMatsui.com

https://www.amazon.com/Late-Bite-Vampire-Toronto-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B00JPYDE8W/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22035362-late-bite
https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/late-bite

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#Book #Promo…Haunting Magic…#BookBoost #Dark #PNR #Suspense #OnTour @RoxanneRhoads @NeelyPowell3

Haunting Magic

The Witches of New Mourne

Book 2

Neely Powell

Genre: dark paranormal/suspense

Date of Publication: 10/27/17

ISBN: 978-1-5092-1669-7 Paperback

ISBN: 978-1-5092-1670-3 Digital

ASIN: B075M1FVHJ

Number of pages: 296

Word Count: 70,045

Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor

Magic and mayhem bring a witch and a Hollywood producer together…will an ancient curse tear them apart?

Book Description:

Fiona Burns, a witch who sees dead people, meets Hollywood producer Bailey Powers, who sees her as the next cable star—and a fake. Even so, she’s tempted by the dynamic producer in more ways than one. But she has a big distraction—a vicious curse on her family coven.

The ghosts of New Mourne warn of the return of the Woman in White, a vengeful spirit who claims the life of a Connelly witch from every generation. During the battle, Fiona unwittingly fuels the demonic forces, and black magic brings death and heartbreak to her family.

Initially a skeptic, Bailey is soon caught up in her supernatural battle with forces of evil. He’s also beginning to think Fiona can help him escape his haunting past. With magic and mayhem at war and survival on the line, the Witches of New Mourne face a new challenge from their ancient foe. They discover that not all dark deeds are borne of the Woman but a demon who is bent on gaining the Woman’s powers for his own. Will another generation fall? Or does the curse end here?

Amazon     The Wild Rose Press     Barnes and Noble     Books-a-Million

Haunting Magic

Overgrown weeds covered the back of cemetery. In the deepening gloom, Fiona stumbled over a stump. The baby’s screams filled her head. She had to help this child.

The grave markers in the back of the cemetery were the oldest ones. Some of them were so weathered it was impossible to read the names and dates on them. When they reached the back corner, Fiona knelt. All she could hear was the baby’s cry.

She dug through the weeds and scruff in front of her, ignoring the sting of thorns on her hands. Bailey dug with her, and soon she touched the cool stone of a broken grave marker.

“Baby MacCuindliss” was carved in uneven letters deep in the stone.

“This is the Woman in White’s baby.” Fiona traced the name on the marker with tender fingers. “Please don’t cry,” she whispered. “I’ll try to find your mother, I promise.”

The baby’s cry faded to a whimper. The mist blew away, leaving Fiona and Bailey under a canopy of threatening clouds.

“MacCuindliss,” Fiona breathed. “The Woman’s name.”

Lightning streaked over the mountains, and the ominous stink of sulfur infused the air.

About the Author:

Neely Powell is the pseudonym for co-writers Leigh Neely and Jan Hamilton Powell. Long-time friends, they’re the authors of “The Witches of New Mourne” a paranormal series about a family coven, a centuries’ old curse and an enchanted town.

AWAKENING MAGIC is available from The Wild Rose Press, and now HAUNTING MAGIC continues the story.

Their first paranormal novel, TRUE NATURE, is also available from The Wild Rose Press.

Writing as Celeste Hamilton, Jan published 24 bestselling romance novels for Silhouette and Avon Books. Her day job is in corporate communications in Tennessee. Leigh has a long resume as an editor and freelance writer, and is managing editor of a regional magazine group in Florida.

Website: www.neelypowellauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NeelyPowellAuthor

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/@NeelyPowell3

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/leigh2132

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/Neely_Powell

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#Book #Tour…Mental Damnation Dream Part 2…#BookBoost #Epic #Dark #Fantasy #Giveaway #OnTour @konnl @SDSXXTours

Dream
Mental Damnation Part 2
by Konn Lavery
 Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy
 

Thought to be banished to the underworld by the humans, Krista mysteriously finds herself as the first of her kind to walk on the surface in centuries. This was caused by one of the underworld’s corrupt leaders, Danil, who uses her in an unholy ritual to set their people free. Danil’s infectious touch gives Krista the nightmarish disease known as Mental Damnation.

She becomes the key interest of two men, Paladin and Dr. Alsroc, who struggle to make sense of her sudden appearance and how it relates to Mental Damnation. Her friend back in the underworld, Darkwing, abandons his gang to begin his search for her.

Krista finds herself torn between two worlds, gaining acceptance among the humans while experiencing inner turmoil from hallucinations caused by her disease. These visions paint a hellish dream world known as Dreadweave Pass where the realm’s ruler, a corrupt god known as the Weaver, is on the hunt for her. Krista’s blood is believed to be a key component for the Weaver’s retribution against the Heavenly Kingdoms that once banished him!

Darkness and death…

Hills of bone,

Rivers of blood

Skies of the mourning dead

 Death overruled

Judgment was taken.

Here I am,

In the land of the damned.

Just a few words of many used to describe my master’s realm – Dreadweave Pass, a temporary purgatory for souls to redeem themselves in the eyes of the gods in the Heavenly Kingdoms. I often chuckle to myself, wondering why the gods assumed I could be redeemed. They would have been better off sending me into one of the deeper hells of Dega’Mostikas’ Triangle. There is no redemption for the life I lived in the mortal realm – or the one I live now, serving my master, the Weaver.I suppose I will have to remind the gods of this fact once my life here ends and I return to the gates of the Heavenly Kingdoms. Although that seems rather unlikely, considering that the Weaver’s necromantic arts have made me immortal. I can never again experience what I knew as death. I will simply have to tell the gods with my blade once we free my master and wage war on the Heavenly Kingdoms for banishing him to Dreadweave Pass.“General Dievourse?”

A voice rang out in the silence.General Dievourse shot to life, his pure white eyes widening in surprise as he shook off his daydream. His pale, decaying face turned toward the humanoid silhouette that loomed ahead of him as his internal monologue dissolved.Dievourse recognized the silhouette. It was his lieutenant, standing tall in his studded leather armour, wrapped in belts and buckles holding a range of assassination equipment – from knives to poison needles and even some weaponry Dievourse could not identify.”The child.” The lieutenant pointed down and the general’s eyes followed, coming to rest on a small, pasty, pathetic-looking human boy, about twelve years old. The child’s bright blue eyes shone with fear from under wisps of dark hair. His neck was wrapped in a rusty chain.Dievourse, holding the other end of the chain, lifted his hand. Saying nothing, he examined the child.”It is to be sent to the Weaver, correct?” the lieutenant asked.

“Correct, lieutenant,” Dievourse replied, lowering the chain.The lieutenant nodded. “With any hope, it will meet the Weaver’s expectations. The Gatekeepers look long and hard for them in the mortal realm.”Dievourse nodded with a scowl. “One can only hope.”

 

Reality
Mental Damnation Part 1

Having her family murdered by the humans during her people’s banishment from the surface world, Krista and her only friend, Darkwing, struggle to remain alive. The pair of reptilian street scum live in their newfound home, the City of Renasence, dictated by a fascist military known as the Renasence Guard. The two find themselves at odds when Krista puts her faith in the Five Guardians’ goal of unification, while Darkwing chooses to stand with a notorious gang, the Blood Hounds, who are known for their anarchist views.

This divide in their friendship forces Krista to persist on her own as the Five Guardians become crazed from an unknown disease – Mental Damnation. After their infection, the Guardians develop a bizarre interest in her, claiming they must reap her innocence for their newfound master, the Weaver.

With a military dictatorship, politically-driven gangs and their guardians  infected and on a hunt for her, Krista has limited options for survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence, against menacing forces, or risk leaving everything behind and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?

 

Konn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for his Mental Damnation series. The second book, Dream, reached the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He started writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality. Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from fantasy to horror.

His literary work is done in the long hours of the night. By day, Konn runs his own graphic design and website development business under the title Reveal Design. These skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his fascination of transmedia storytelling.

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#Book #Promo…Dracones Series…#BookBoost #Dark #PNR #Fantasy #Romance #Giveaway #OnTour @SheriLynnMarean @SDSXXTours

Awakening
Dracones Book 1
by Sheri-Lynn Marean
Genre: Dark Paranormal Fantasy Romance

If it lives, it can die … even immortal dragon shifters. Unfairly cursed and then mercilessly hunted for a thousand years by a powerful group of druid witches, the Dracones fight for their very survival.

After their village was massacred, Tierney and her friends fled the realm of Tartaria for Earth, keeping their identity secret. Only you can’t run from the past—a point made crystal clear when twenty-one-year-old Tierney gazes into the tormented eyes of the man she loves.

His failure to protect his brother long ago left Jax broken and full of rage. Now as his Awakening approaches, his powers grow unpredictable. If he survives the emergence of his dragon, he fears he will endanger the one he loves above all others—Tierney.

Their past catches up when Tierney has a brutal vision. The Ilyium have found them, triggering ancient instincts in the Dracones and now Tierney and Jax must overcome their legacy and learn to trust in themselves in order to avoid the Ilyium’s sinister plans.

This is the first book in the Dracones series for readers age 18+.

If you are a fan of dark, steamy, paranormal romance, get Tierney and Jax’s story and be swept up into a magical world of betrayal filled with immortal dragons, shapeshifters, werewolves, wereleopards, vampires, witches and angst ridden sensual heat.

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Revelations
Dracones Book 2

Forged in the nightmare of his upbringing, twenty-one-year-old Samarias harbors a dark secret, one that as his dragon awakens, threatens to destroy not only him but those he loves as well.

After killing his Fallen father and watching his soul mate die, Sami is thrown another curve ball and ends up in a downward spiral of depression–until he’s sent on a rescue mission to Calgary.

Faced with the opportunity for a different future, Sami is conflicted. But when he’s suddenly confronted by a new enemy, a vampire that can walk in the day, along with the demons of a past he thought dead, Sami has some harsh choices to make. Choices that could make or break old and newly budding relationships.

Betrayed
Dracones Book 3

A newly awakened immortal Dracones with tenuous control of his dragon powers, Samarias barely survived her the first time. Now she’s back.

Coldly rejected by Hellfire, A Phoenix shifter and his soul mate, Sami struggles with a reason to live. He finds that reason after rescuing one of the very special and rare Genesis Dracones. With an unexpected second chance at happiness, he’s determined to make it work.

An unforgivable betrayal has pushed Hellfire to stand alone against the world. She vows never to allow a man into her heart again. Not even one who makes her knees weak, and her heart pound like thunder.

Only now, her sister faces danger trying to free a pack of magical wolves in another realm, and Hellfire is frantic to rescue her. With no other choice, she seeks assistance from the only male who can help them. The same one she heartlessly tossed away. Sami. Knowing she may lose her sister is heartbreaking enough, but it is possible she’ll lose more than that to the man who wants to claim her heart.

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Thaniel
Dracones Book 4

Abandoned. Abused. Trust doesn’t come easy to twenty-year-old Thaniel. So when he picks up a stalker, his instincts scream run! Yet living on the streets is lonely, and she appears harmless …He should have run.

Betrayed—turned into a monster and thrust into the dark world of leopard, wolf and dragon shifters, Thaniel quickly lands in the clutches of sadistic Werewolves. Imprisoned and with no hope of escape, he finally welcomes death. Until three very strange beings enter his life. Like a beacon, they offer Thaniel an impossible dream—the promise of a home, safety, love.

Scared to believe that anyone could want him and more confused than ever, Thaniel seeks answers, only the truth may be more than his bruised heart can survive.

**For readers 17+ Can be read in sequence or standalone. Get your tissues ready and dive into Thaniel’s heart breaking, magical world to find out what happens next. *Warning* There is a sweet Polyamorous/Ménage relationship with Bisexual elements.

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Rogue
Dracones Book 5

Soroyan was meant to be king of the wolf pack. Raven was an avenging angel sent to patrol the Fallen—until evil warrior witches attacked and sank them both into darkness with no room for anything or anyone but vengeance.

A promise to his dead mate and hatred kept Soroyan, an immortal wolf shifter alive. But four hundred years is too long. With his volatile power under tight rein, he’s done his duty to protect his pack. Only now, a purple-eyed female he tried to hate, has shattered the ice around his heart.

For twenty years Raven has hunted the enemy—closed off and alone. Until the big bad wolf awakens her. He sets her blood on fire, except she also senses a dark void eating away at him. Afraid to feel again, Raven must decide how much she will give up to save the male who just may be her second chance at love.

Book five for readers 17+ If you enjoy dark, sexy wolf shifters, dragons, angels and other magical beings, get Dracones Rogue and fall in love with Soroyan and Raven.

**.99¢ Sept 22- Oct 9th!

Born in Scarborough Ontario, Canada, Sheri-Lynn has lived in many different places. The main ones being Toronto, Montreal, London Ontario, Alabama, Texas, & Alberta. Sheri-Lynn now resides in British Columbia, Canada with her husband, three kids, one dog, three cat’s & numerous chickens. Sheri-Lynn never imagined she’d one day be an author. Instead, she grew up riding and working with racehorses, drawing and selling animal artwork, and of course reading. Sheri-Lynn fell in love with reading at age twelve when she read The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. She has not stopped reading. With a wide variety of reading interests, Sheri-Lynn’s passion presently is the paranormal romance genre. One day, after reading an unsatisfying book, she decided to write her own book, with her own characters, doing what she wanted them to do. She began to type and the characters came to life in her head. She has never
looked back.

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#Book #Promo…The Permesis Magician…#BookBoost #Dark #Fantasy #MM #LGBT #Erotica #Giveaway @bryce_summers @SDSXXTours

Merlin’s Rogues:
The Permesis Magician
by B. Bentley Summers
Genre: Dark Fantasy, M/M Erotica

Pretty boy Devon has no idea his week of midterms at a Kansas university is about to go from arduous studying to meeting four magicians who call themselves Merlin’s Rogues. He’s about to be even more surprised to discover that he’s a magician, too, and sought out by dark forces–for what, however, he does not know. But he will soon discover why.Devon’s sexbuddy kidnaps him and, using powers bestowed on him by evil forces, curses Devon into becoming his sex slave. Devon is taken to a mysterious suite in London where he gratefully does his master’s bidding. Devon’s exertions, though pleasing, are grueling, and it’s clear this sexual coupling is feeding a dark entity, resurrecting something wicked. Merlin’s Rogues, including Devon’s crush, Cedric, are in hot pursuit and must battle evil dark forces that stand in between them and Devon. Even if they save the enslaved magician, Cedric will need to use his passion for Devon to
break the atrocious Master-Slave spell. Then, maybe they stand a chance against the new odious powers that have risen. Note: This book contains forced seduction. ** A Siren Erotic Romance

Bryce is a psychologist, author, and the founder of Queer Sense Theory.

Bryce writes popular fiction genres meant for all audiences under Bryce Bentley Summers, and pens gay fiction under B. Bentley Summers, although he’d argue that anyone would enjoy his gay fiction pieces.

Bryce’s full time work is at the Veteran Affairs where he has been employed for five years. He has extensive history of working with people diagnosed with PTSD and he used these experiences when writing Fresh Meat.

The novel, Fresh Meat, recently won Dan Poynter’s Global eBook Awards for best gay fiction. This piece is more than just a book, but embraces gay identity while deploring the hateful violence that happens in the U.S. prison system, and across the world. The book parallels the vicious Man-Punk prison system to the long ago abolished American Slavery System. However, Fresh Meat is not non-fiction, but fiction, and it’s genre is best described as Supernatural Horror.

Rotville and The Zombie Squad, are two of Bryce’s recent completions. The Zombie Squad is a teen Post-Apocalyptic Thriller that recently received Reader’s Favorite 5-Stars. This novel has humor and is fast pace, that follows four teens in New Orleans who find themselves not only chased by psycho gangsters, but in the middle of zombocalypse. Rotville is a new adult/ adult Sci-Fi Post-Apocalyptic Horror that takes place in the near future, in a city called Rotville where people with a rot disease are quarantined. Inside this city is the mega prison Colleseo, where inhumane experiments are carried out on inmates. It’s also the birthplace of Dylan, a super soldier who must fight his way out, save a couple of youths from the new deadly mutants, and keep from being re-caught by the greedy director.

Bryce is also the author of the fiction Young Adult Dark Fantasy/ Sci-Fi series AMEN TO ROT. The novel NYTE GOD is the conclusion to this series. The Amen to Rot series and Nyte God pit Ace and his friends against alien invaders who are turning humans into mutant creatures.

Bryce authors popular fiction with a style that entices readers of all backgrounds to consume, and makes every attempt to make his characters diverse.

As noted, Bryce does dabble in gay fiction, and pens it under B. Bentley Summers, though in truth, these works are meant for everyone to read. Bryce is the founder of Queer Sense, a theory that describes how people form attitudes. The theory provides insight into how specific components in cultural contexts shape our beliefs and values, which ultimately form our attitudes. The nonfiction book, QUEER SENSE: How Are Attitudes Formed? A Revolutionary Guide for Teens, Parents, Mental Health Professionals and Anyone Interested in Queer Theory, is due out by 2016.

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#PreOrder #Blitz…Call Your Steel…#BookBoost #Dark #Fantasy #Giveaway #OnTour @GDPenman @bookunleashed

Now Available for PRE-ORDER
Releasing October 15, 2017
Call Your Steel
CALL YOUR STEEL
G.D. Penman
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications (October 15, 2017)
In the sky above there was no sun.
For millennia beyond reckoning the Eaters of the Gods ruled over this sunless world, waging their secret war on each other through their Chosen, mortals granted a fraction of the Eaters in human powers in exchange for a life of servitude. Kaius counts himself among their hallowed ranks, devoted entirely to his brutal duties. Lucia is no more than a travelling minstrel, albeit one who found herself in the very worst place at the very worst time. How could mere mortals like them stand up against the vast alien power of the Eaters of the Gods?
 

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An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Call Your Steel. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
In the dense forests and the warrens of tunnels that the people of Walpurgan called home, the daggers were the most sensible choice, but out here in the open his weapon’s reach would easily outweigh the benefits of their speed. She gave a mocking bow to him and waited for him to approach.
A cry reverberated over the city, driving the screaming crowds to silence, an owl’s shriek that made the first few rows cover their ears. The individual plates of Kaius armour chattered together. The sound stayed within the armour, crushing his head like a vice.
He felt his skin quiver and in that long moment of pain and confusion she was out of his line of sight. Her dagger pricked the skin above his kidney before he could move. He rolled away from the other Chosen but she stayed close, pressing her advantage with a speed that seemed impossible without calling upon her Eater’s, and a ruthless efficiency.
She was inside his guard and it was only frantic movements that kept him from the dagger’s thrusts. She kicked out twice, and hooked his feet back in closer when he tried to stagger away.
He abandoned his sword, seeing its futility and letting it fall to the ground as he danced back. It turned liquid as it hit the sand and began its slow creep back towards him. He brought his hands down to catch her wrists but he was always a moment too late. He narrowly avoided losing the tips of his fingers twice before he gave in, clenched his fists and tried to knock the knives far enough out from her tight routine to allow for some sort of response.
She was having none of it. If anything, her blows came faster, gashing along the inside of Kaius’ arm on one side and a moment later slashing a line across the front of his chest.
It should have burned each time. The pain should have been sharp. Every movement should have made it sharper but instead he felt numb. The cuts, shallow as they were, felt cold. The cold was spreading. Kaius moved slower now. Even if he could call speed he would barely have kept ahead of the knife darting in at him again and again. His thoughts slowed and the arena grew grey in his sight.

Join the Giveaway

WIN PRINT COPY OF CALL YOUR STEEL*
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* Available for US Residents Only
Contest runs from October 10 – 31, 2017.

Additional Giveaway

Join the Goodreads Giveaway and win one copy of Call Your Steel (US Residents only).
Contest runs from September 20 – October 15. Click here to enter.

About G.D. Penman

G.D. Penman

G D Penman writes fantasy fiction. He lives in Scotland with his partner and children, some of whom are human. He is a firm believer in the axiom that any story is made better by dragons. His beard has won an award. If you have ever read a story with monster and queer people, it was probably one of his. In those few precious moments that he isn’t parenting or writing he continues his quest to eat the flesh of every living species.

Official website: http://www.gdpenman.com/

Connect with G.D. Penman on social media: Facebook | Twitter

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from October 18 – 31, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Call Your Steel Book Page at Book Unleashed.
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#Book #Promo…Lycan Fallout: Fall of Man…#BookBoost #Dark #Fantasy #Horror #SciFi @ZombieFallout @RoxanneRhoads

Lycan Fallout:  Fall of Man

Lycan Fallout

Book One

Mark Tufo

Genre: Dark Fantasy, Horror, Sci Fi         

Publisher: DevilDog Press

Date of Publication: 12/2013

ISBN: 1490379347

ASIN: B00D8QI3G6

Number of pages: 342

Cover Artist: Dane@ebooklaunch

Book Description:

The world of man was brought to its knees with the zombie apocalypse. A hundred and fifty years have passed since man has clawed and climbed his way from the brink of extinction. Civilization has rebooted, man has begun to rebuild, to create communities and society. It is on this fragile new shaky ground that a threat worse than the scourge of the dead has sprung. One man finds himself once again thrust into the forefront of a war he wants nothing to do with and seemingly cannot win. Follow along as Michael Talbot attempts to thwart the rise of the werewolf.

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About the Author:

Mark Tufo was born in Boston Massachusetts. He attended UMASS Amherst where he obtained a BA and later joined the US Marine Corp. He was stationed in Parris Island SC, Twenty Nine Palms CA and Kaneohe Bay Hawaii. After his tour he went into the Human Resources field with a worldwide financial institution and has gone back to college at CTU to complete his masters.

www.marktufo.com  

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#Book #Promo…The Gate Guardian’s Daughter…#BookBoost #YA #Dark #Fantasy #Giveaway @Ktmunson @SDSXXTours

The Gate Guardian’s Daughter
The Gate Trilogy Prequel
by K.T. Munson
Genre: YA Dark Fantasy
29 Pages

The interplanetary gates require guardians and the reformed demon Malthael is one of them.

His adoptive daughter, Elisabeth, is special, but her dangerous ability hasn’t awoken yet. Malthael knows it will one day and from then on her life will forever be altered. Malthael isolates her from outside world as much to protect everyone else as to safeguard her. It is all he can do to delay the inevitable.

Now that Elisabeth is ten, how long can Malthael keep her confined?

K.T. Munson is a freelance author. First published at 5 years old in the young writers conference, she has pursued writing ever since. She maintains a blog creatingworldswithwords.wordpress.com that is about writing and her novels. She was born and raised in the last frontier, the great state of Alaska.

By signing up for my mailing list, you can get a free copy of The Gate Guardian’s Daughter in either mobi or ePub. Then leave a review on Amazon or Goodreads (or both for double the chance), and you could win a signed copy of Book 1- The Sixth Gate, and a hand sewn bookmark!

 Sign up for the mailing list here to get a free copy!

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#Bookblitz…Harvest…#BookBoost #Dark #UF #YA @PureTextuality @MelleAmade

In the shifter world, one law holds true; you will reap what you sow.

Shae underestimated El Oso, the tyrannical leader of the Order. Now, banished, flightless and living on the dangerous edge of the shifter world, she finds it impossible to pursue her one goal, finding and freeing her father. Without the support of her friends, who are torn by loyalty to their families, Shae is forced to attempt the impossible…alone.

A hidden group of shifters with unexpected powers swoops in to help Shae. They want nothing more than to discover El Oso’s magic and destroy the Order completely, even if it means sacrificing Shae’s father. Too late, Shae discovers she has sown the seeds of destruction for herself and her family. The defenses of her refuge are breached, not by El Oso, but by the enemy very enemy he has been desperate to protect them against. An enemy intent on massacring every known shifter. Shae must find a way to escape her self-inflicted fate and empower her friends to unite if they are to find a way to survive the harvest.

About the Book

Harvest
by Melle Amade

Series
Shifter Chronicles #3

Genre
Young Adult
Dark Urban Fantasy

Publisher
Agropoli Publishing

Publication Date
August 29, 2017

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About Melle Amade

USA Today Bestselling Author, Farm Girl, Marketing Director…

WHY I WRITE

Since I was eight I have been writing stories that capture the adventures in my head and the characters strong enough and flawed enough to have them. When I look at an empty field I see a formidable citadel. When I meet a vulnerable old man, I greet an emeritus warrior. When I walk through city streets I feel dimensions hiding around every turn. It has been my lifelong passion to explore these worlds that reveal the pain of loneliness, the joy or self-actualization, and the hope of magic.

ABOUT ME

I grew up in a place called Potter Valley where the Milky Way is held aloft by a circle of mountains and the central business district consists of a bait store and a saloon. At 19 I moved alone to London and spent the next ten years exploring the world, even becoming an Australian citizen, before I returned to California and found a new home in Los Angeles. My world revolves around my two wee children and my love of travel.

MY PROFESSIONAL LIFE AND EDUCATION

My days are spent in an office overlooking Los Angeles International Airport where I work as a Director of Marketing for a data center technology firm, which wouldn’t make you think I had an MFA in film with an emphasis on writing from Chapman University. However, I also have degrees in visual communications and global communications, which allowed me to work for some of the finest technology firms in the world. In my spare time I have penned six screenplays, four stage plays, an opera libretto, numerous short stories, and five manuscripts for novels. My heart lies with my manuscripts, which are focused on YA and New Adult audiences and range in subject from Vikings in Iceland to Knights Templar in Italy to Aborigine mysticism in Australia to shapeshifters in Los Angeles.

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#Bookblitz…Symphony of Ruin…#Dark #Fantasy @XpressoTours @ChristinaZahrad

Symphony of Ruin
Christina Lay
Publication date: July 25, 2017
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy

Death is stalking The City. From out of the catacombs, a deadly monster has arisen. Unfortunately for alchemist’s apprentice Remy the Rat Boy, his master is away and it’s up to Remy to discover the nature of the monster and put an end to its killing rampage. His search for answers takes him high into the elegant chambers of the city’s elite, and down into long forgotten ruins, into depths untraveled and unimagined for centuries. Lost in the ancient ruins with only ghosts and creatures of the darkness for companionship, Remy must use every ounce of wit and conjure every scrap of magic at his disposal in order to survive the labyrinth and save The City from its shadow self.

A magical and thrilling journey by award-winning author Christina Lay, inspired by the game and artwork of Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls. For more information on the Labyrinth of Souls fiction project, visit shadowspinnerspress.com

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Death made its nightly rounds of the old quarter. Skeletal toes scraped the cobblestones and bones rattled in the keening wind blowing down from the steppes. The scythe of oblivion spared no one; man, woman or child might be snatched. This alone was reason enough to raid Master Marek’s pantry and Remy could think of several others as he cleared a space on the long table against the wall. He placed one knee on the well-worn surface and tested its strength. The table wobbled only slightly on uneven legs.

“Are you sure this is a good idea?” his friend Glyn asked from behind him.

“Not only is it good, it is excellent. Top notch. One of the best I’ve ever had.” Remy grabbed at the row of shelves to steady himself as he climbed up. The collection of bottles and jars rattled alarmingly. He paused as they settled. Nothing fell except a tuft of what looked like dried moss.

When he’d first moved in, Remy would have needed to use a footstool to reach the tabletop and he’d have to stand on the rickety table to reach Marek’s stash of quality liquor. Now if he stretched full length, he could finger the row of colored glass bottles on the top shelf while still on his knees.

Some of the bottles were filled with dyed water. He knew this because he was the one who’d drained and refilled them. His master never noticed because Marek rarely partook of the odd offerings of beet brandy, moss wine, crabapple cider and so on that his clients sometimes paid him with. No, Marek reserved his imbibing for the good stuff in the cut crystal decanter, an amber brandy he shared with Remy on Winter’s solstice, and then only by the wee thimble full.

Remy remembered its heat coating his throat, the flavors of caramel, loam and wealth, and the comforting affect a mere sip had on his state of mind. That was what he needed now—comfort. Glyn had just brought him the news of their mate Abernath’s death. Abernath, a robust young man of seventeen years—the same age as Remy and Glyn—had been found dead in an alley the night before without a fresh mark on him.

Remy’s long fingers tweezed the decanter toward the edge of the shelf. Glyn took an audible breath, sucking air out of the room in the process, braced to flee at the first hint of disaster. Glyn would rather face death than Master Marek in a rage.

“Marek is in the Giant Mountains,” Remy assured him, voice a little pinched from the effort of stretching to his full length and a tiny bit beyond. “I’ve had no word from him for weeks. He’s not about to pop up in the middle of the night with no notice. He likes his fire to be lit and his supper warm when he returns from a long trip.” The decanter tipped forward and Remy caught it with his other hand. As he eased back his sleeve caught on a jutting handle and brought a little pot thudding to the tabletop. The pottery cracked. Something black and viscous oozed out.

“Ox balls,” Remy muttered, and clambered down from the table.

“What is that?” Glyn backed up as if a jinn might spring forth from the ooze.

“Nothing to worry about,” Remy said. He gave the scratch marks on the lid a closer look. Ox balls and a pig’s poker to boot. “Nothing to worry about immediately anyway. Come on. Where’s your cup?”

Author Bio:

Christina Lay is primarily a writer of fantastical fiction, with frequent forays into mystery and mainstream. Many of her short stories have been published in anthologies, magazines and online. She’s won five awards for her short fiction, including second place in the Writers’ Digest Short Fiction competition in 2003. Her novels have also won awards, including first place in the Rupert Hughes Writing Competition at the Maui Writers Conference, First Place in the Journey Conference Novel competition, and she was a finalist in the Pacific Northwest Writers Association competition. Death is a Star, her first novel to be published, was released in February 2013.

Christina was born in Eugene, Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon in 1988 with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Political Science. She’s worked a wide variety of jobs, from pastry shop clerk to computer software support to cost accounting and bookkeeping for nonprofits. Her favorite job so far has been administrative assistant in a Victorian House Museum. The goal is always to spend as much time as possible writing. For fun she likes to study languages through poetry, take way too many pictures with digital cameras, and be herded by her border collie, Lazlo.

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#Book #Promo…Mental Damnation Reality…#BookBoost #Epic #Dark #Fantasy

Reality
Mental Damnation Part 1
by Konn Lavery
Genre: Epic Dark Fantasy

Having her family murdered by the humans during her people’s banishment from the surface world, Krista  and her only friend, Darkwing, struggle to remain alive. The pair of reptilian street scum live in their newfound home, the City of Renasence, dictated by a fascist military known as the Renasence Guard. The two find themselves at odds when Krista puts her faith in the Five Guardians’ goal of unification, while Darkwing chooses to stand with a notorious gang, the Blood Hounds, who are known for their anarchist views

This divide in their friendship forces Krista to persist on her own as the Five Guardians become crazed from an unknown disease – Mental Damnation. After their infection, the Guardians develop a bizarre interest in her, claiming they must reap her innocence for their newfound master, the Weaver.

With a military dictatorship, politically-driven gangs and their guardians  infected and on a hunt for her, Krista has limited options for survival: Does she fend for her life in the City of Renascence, against menacing forces, or risk leaving everything behind and enter the uncharted realm of the underworld?

Konn Lavery is a Canadian horror and dark fantasy writer who is known for his Mental Damnation series. The second book, Dream, reached the Edmonton Journal’s top five selling fictional books list. He started  writing fantasy stories at a very young age while being home schooled. It wasn’t until graduating college that he began professionally pursuing his work with his first release, Reality. Since then he has continued to write works of fiction ranging from fantasy to horror.

His literary work is done in the long hours of the night. By day, Konn  runs his own graphic design and website development business under the title Reveal Design. These skills have been transcribed into the formatting and artwork found within his publications supporting his fascination of transmedia storytelling.

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#Book #Promo…A Vision in Crimson…#BookBoost @FanPerk #Dark #Romantic #Fantasy

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A Vision in Crimson
Frostbite

Book One
Kathryn Troy

Genre: dark romantic fantasy

Date of Pub.: June 1, 2017

ISBN: 9781539800897

Number of pages: 323
Word Count: 80k

Cover Artist: TS95 Studios

Book Description:


Katelyn knows her magic is risky, but Icaryan light is fading fast and she is desperate. Returning to Earth, she crosses paths with Luca, a vampire hybrid living on the outskirts of humanity.

Passion sparks their weary hearts. The rogue hunter follows Katelyn into a world teeming with wonder and danger, forsaking his own quest to root out his father.

But his father has not forgotten him.

A Vision in Crimson is the first installment of a new epic fantasy blistering with romance and Gothicism.

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The clearing appeared empty. He did notice, however, that the space seemed more alive than any other part of the forest. The forest floor was a vibrant shade of green, shimmering with dew that adorned the underbrush and the rich bark of the trees. Even a boulder looked animated as a light wind blew through the shaggy brown moss that covered it.

“There’s no one here,” said Luca, looking suspiciously at Kate. He became wary as he sensed motion on all sides of him, and began to think better of his last statement.

“Isn’t there?” Kate smiled at him curiously. Luca kept his eyes trained on the forest, his vision darting back and forth, trying to detect an anomaly in the environment. Just then, a cluster of small leaves fell from the canopy. They floated slowly to the ground in a peculiar pattern, swirling around themselves and forming what Luca thought looked like the shape of a woman. The woman made of leaves, who appeared to be suspended in air, was in fact a tree nymph. She greeted her companion.

“Welcome back, Kate,” the nymph said, her voice the sound of rustling foliage.

“Thank you, Varya,” Kate replied.

What the—

Luca tilted his head in wonder. He saw the dew drops on a nearby tree run together into a single puddle that clung to the tree trunk before it and the trunk peeled away from the tree. The dew and bark split apart in midair, forming two more female shapes, one made of water, the other tree bark. The dew on the ground collected itself, forming a second water nymph. The nymphs slowly took on more tangible, humanoid shapes, their skin shining in the greens, browns, and blues of the forest. The water nymphs looked slick, and the tree nymph’s skin retained a rough, crackly texture.

Several mossy rocks that were clumped together shifted, and Luca realized that they weren’t rocks at all. The largest boulder uncurled itself and stood up, revealing a bipedal, hooved creature with the head of a bull, covered in shaggy brown fur that Luca had mistaken for moss. A man with the horns and legs of a goat, and a giant of a man, whose trunk terminated in the body and legs of a workhorse, followed suit. Luca had killed countless monsters in his time as a hunter, usually serving as the mindless minions of vampires. But the creatures he looked upon now were entirely new to him.

“You sure keep interesting company,” Luca said, no longer able to hide his amazement.
“That I do,” Kate replied. “But someone is missing. Someone who’s in an awful lot of trouble.” Louder, she called out: “Corbin! Report!”

From the tree cover above, an oversized rat dropped onto Kate’s shoulder. A large scar ran the length of his left shoulder, and his left ear was half chewed off. Despite that, the rat tried very hard to keep his dark coat well groomed, and it showed.

“Hi Kate, how’s it going? Who’s your friend?” the rat Corbin asked, trying to avoid the issue for which he knew he had been called upon. Luca was going to introduce himself, but Kate cut him off.

“Never mind that,” Kate answered sternly. “Did you forget something?” she asked Corbin. “Forget something?” Corbin asked, his poor attempt at sounding oblivious. “Oh, of course, you mean our equipment! Not to worry, it’s all safely tucked away.”

Kate was losing patience quickly. “The camp, Corbin. Where’s the camp?”

“The camp. Right. Well…” Corbin answered, using his well-articulated fingers to scratch awkwardly behind his ear. He could stall no longer. “After you left, Cato said he was really tired of sleeping on the ground, and suggested that maybe we could find a place to stay here. There was no motivating them after that.” Corbin turned to Luca and introduced himself, since Kate was preoccupied. “Hello. I’m Corbin, Kate’s second in command. And you are?”

A giant, talking rat is second in command. Of course, Luca thought sarcastically, feeling overwhelmed.

“Luca. It’s nice to meet you,” he managed to say.

Kate shifted on her feet. “I said we would find a place to stay at our next stop,” Kate said to Corbin.

“I told them that. They’d rather not wait.”

“Did you explain to them that this world is not going to welcome them with open arms?” she protested.

“Of course, Kate,” the rat answered. He was more worldly than Kate’s other companions, and understood full well that not every place in the universe would be friendly to their group. “But they won’t listen. They were hoping you could arrange something, seeing as it’s your home planet and all.”

Home planet? Are they aliens? Luca wondered.

“What do you mean ‘this world’?” he asked Kate. “Is there more than one world?”

“More than you can imagine. What I was saying before,” Kate explained, referring to their conversation on the hill, “was that a long time ago, I was fortunate enough to stumble into a world that suited me better than this one. Theirs.”

About the Author:

Kathryn Troy is an historian turned novelist and baker. Her nonfiction book, The Specter of the Indian: Race, Gender and Ghosts in American Séances, 1848-1890, is forthcoming from SUNY Press. Her historical expertise in the supernatural and the Gothic informs her fiction at every turn. Her genres of choice include dark fantasy, romance, horror, and historical fiction. She lives in New York with her husband and two darling children.

Bathory’s Closet: http://ladybathoryscloset.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathryn.troy

Instagram: http://www.imgrum.org/user/bathoryscloset/3942479568

Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16571460.Kathryn_Troy

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bathoryscloset

 

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#Book #Blitz…The Knowing…#Dark #Fantasy #Thriller #Horror

Dark Fantasy, Thriller, Horror
Date Published:  March 2017
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United by destiny, they must stand together to face an ancient evil…..

Ceri Edwards and two school friends lift the lid on an ancient book of recipes belonging to Betty Williams, a volunteer at the local hospital in Pontypridd, South Wales. Two Kansas City cops step off a flight at London Heathrow and one of them falls to the ground with a painful conviction that there’s something evil in the air.

United in their destinies, Ceri and the police officers are drawn into a world where prophecies are pitted against invisible forces planning to raze London to the ground and bring down the Royal Family.

It all rests with Dai Williams, recently knighted MI5 agent and reluctant hero, to bring some order to the improbable events and to ensure that afternoon tea at The Ritz continues for another hundred years.

A great cross between Kim Newman and Ben Aaranovitch and a thrill for any fan of contemporary urban horror.

A decent, pot-bellied, cast iron cauldron usually sold for a hundred pounds. One that was antique and appropriately fire-tarnished doubled the sum. Use by an accredited witch—specifically a member of the Dynion Mwyn tradition—could nudge that figure into the stratosphere. That was because a well-used cauldron was believed to absorb spells into the metalwork, supposedly making incantations more effective. Debunking that idea was as fruitless as rubbishing homeopathy—particularly now that Welsh folklore remedies had royal approval and were being marketed under the Cymry Originals brand, with a crest of giant leeks crossed like swords under a flying harp.

None of that was of the slightest interest to the three girls peering into the bubbling contents of the vessel. Ceri, Dilys and Bronwen liked to imagine their Celtic magick delivered with Grimm determination and lashings of David Giuntoli whom they had already accorded the title of ‘Honorary Welshman’. He would know a good potion if he saw one and would have no time for fictional fripperies like wands. They were for stupid kids who knocked themselves out walking into the wall between platforms at railway stations. Owls were cool, though, although they were far too self-important to be used as posties.

All three would-be witches were outfitted courtesy of Georgio @ Asda. ‘Gold Witch’ was an absolute steal at three pounds—if zero carat bling rocks your cwch. They had also considered the ‘Mental Patient’ blood-spattered straitjacket costume, but Bronwen’s mum was a social worker and thought the mentally ill deserved more respect than a few pence-worth of garish polyester. A gorily-streaked, plastic meat cleaver was an optional extra and she thought it was very realistic.

It was all for show, of course. They had no need of such embellishments, but it kept their mothers happy—and, hopefully, ignorant of what they were up to. The fact that Halloween—or, more accurately, All Hallows’ Eve—was just around the corner, provided the perfect smokescreen for their activities. There was always the chance Ceri’s mum might enter the room while they were in the middle of adding an eye or two of newt, so they had the music system turned up loud and playing Super Furry Animals. Actually, newt eyes were so yesterday. They’d read that modern witchery had honed the ingredients down to essences of magic which could be bought over the internet if you knew where to look. Currently, they had no internet thanks to the stupid British government, so they’d had to improvise— after tossing salt over their left shoulders, crossing their fingers and reciting a hundred Hail Marys.

Other Books by David Graham:

Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers
Published: July 2015
Horror, Supernatural, Thriller, Crime
What causes an adolescent – straight A student Brandon P Marshall – to walk downstairs naked, armed with a pair of Glocks, and go all Charles Manson on his family? This is only one in the horrifying trail of incidents that brings together Detective Sergeant Dale Franklin of the Kansas City Police Department and his poster-boy rookie, Steve Abrams. Meanwhile, across the pond, Dai Williams, in Battersea London, safe inside his improvised Faraday cage, is coming to terms with his special talents – talents that will take ‘getting-into-the-mind-of-the-killer’ to a whole new level. Al-Qaeda? Drugs Cartels? Internet freaks? David Graham’s The Screaming leaves no possibility untouched as Dai enters a bizarre and horrifying world where kids scream.

 About the Author

David Graham lives in an ostensibly carbon zero house in rural Kent with his partner and cat amidst fields of maize and poly-tunnels of strawberries. Previously, he lived and worked in London as a consultant in the National Health Sservice. His previous non-fiction titles include: Medical Computing and Applications, Creative Sound and Computer-Assisted Medical Learning: Clinical Anatomy. David turned his attention to writing fiction in 2012. Since then, he has written one self-published novel (Looks Could Kill) and two traditionally published novels (Captive and Wet & Wild) under the name David Ellis. Looks Could Kill was in the Amazon Kindle Top 10 of spy thrillers and was downloaded more than 3,000 times. Captive was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. He has also written two romance novellas under the name Richard Longfellow. His horror thriller The Screaming was published by Frostbite Publishing in the US in 2014, and by Austin Macauley in the UK in 2015. His new book The Knowing is the sequel to The Screaming and is due to be published early 2017 by Urbane Publications.

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#Book #Promo…Twisted Princess…#BookBoost #Dark #Fantasy

Twisted Princess Box Set
Genre: Dark fantasy
 
Publisher: SKGregory
 
Date of Publication: April 1st 2017
 
ASIN: B06XNKC22Q
 
Number of pages: 261
Word Count: 70,000
 
Cover Artist: SKGregory
 
The Beast Within
S. K. Gregory
 
Book Description:
 
For Izzy, working with supernatural beings is part of her job. When she is called to clean up the mess of a cursed werewolf, her life takes a dark turn as she faces the beast within.

 Excerpt The Beast Within:

I scrubbed at the floor, arms aching, as I tried to remove the blood. The floor was covered in pink tainted water but I seemed to have gotten most of it off.

Tossing the cloth into the bucket, I stood up, wiping my hands on my t shirt. Judging from the stains on it, I was going to have to throw it out anyway. I really should have asked for a clothing budget when I took this gig.

I caught movement in the doorway. He was there, lurking in the shadows.

“I’m sorry,” he said softly.

It took all my self-control to say, “It’s fine.”

It wasn’t fine. He tore a man to shreds, mangled his corpse and he was sorry?

“I killed someone Izzy.”

Turning to face him, I said, “Well that will teach you to upgrade your security when I tell you to. You’re lucky he didn’t get out of here. According to his ID, he was a reporter.”

Adam bowed his head and sighed. I guess knowing who the guy was didn’t make it any easier, but it wasn’t my job to make him feel better, I was just here to clean up the mess. Well technically my job is security expert and advisor to the Alpha werewolf of the city. Cleaning up after his cursed son is just a bonus. One I didn’t ask for, but who else was he going to call?

“I’ll be sure to invoice your father,” I said.

It would be double time too considering it was 3am.

Adam moved aside as I stepped out of the room. His dark curly hair fell over his face as he kept his head bowed in shame. As a human he was quiet, apologetic and a pushover. Nothing like his father, Mr. CEO.

He was cursed when he was in his teens. I don’t know by who, but he was never in control of the beast within. All werewolves can control the change, shifting seamlessly from one form to the other. For Adam though, he had no control and the shift was agony. He was kept locked away in this huge mansion, making him the source of many rumors, which was probably what led the reporter here in the first place.

Bet he didn’t think he’d end up a stain on the floor, I thought.

“Goodnight Adam,” I said.

He muttered something in reply but I was already half way to the door. I stepped out into the frigid morning air. Maybe I could get a couple of hours sleep before my morning meetings.

“Werewolves,” I muttered.

Once behind the wheel I took another look at the reporter’s credentials which I found buried in guts. His name was Noah Baxter. I tossed the idea into the glovebox, I’d dispose of it later. For now, I just wanted to sleep and get the image of blood out of my mind.

About the Author:

K. Gregory was born in Northern Ireland in 1985. She is the author of several series of books including Daemon Persuasion, which was published by Mockingbird Lane Press.

She loves horror movies, reading and archery.  In her spare time she runs a review blog for authors. All of her works are available to purchase through Amazon.

http://www.skgregory.com

http://www.twitter.com/sam_skgregory

http://www.storyteller-skgregory.weebly.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6574558.S_K_Gregory

Sleepless Beauty
Erin Hayes
 
Book Description:
 
Jane knows the tale of Sleepless Beauty well, an urban legend in her home town which tells the story of a beautiful woman who enraptures her prey with a kiss and steals their sleep. Jane tries to convince herself that it’s just a fairy tale, until Sleepless Beauty kisses her best friend Hayden.

Excerpt  Sleepless Beauty:

The fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty used to terrify me as a child.

No, seriously.

The thought of sleeping for a hundred years, only to be woken by true love’s first kiss—is it really true love when you’re kissed by someone you don’t know? I remember being scared of spindles. Why were they so pointy and made princesses sleep? And that was made worse by the fact that my eccentric mother kept an antique up in the attic among the many other weird things she keeps of our family history.

And she wonders why I moved in with Dad after the divorce.

But I think something else contributed to my terror of that one fairy tale. Growing up in Savannah, Georgia, I’d always hear about this ghost that floated around Colonial Park Cemetery. If you saw her, you’d fall in love with her and become so obsessed that you’d stop sleeping. And then you died.

And the ghost was called Sleepless Beauty.

For a young girl like me, an urban legend may as well be a fairy tale. In fact, I consider them to be worse because they don’t have that ‘once upon a time’ element. Urban legends happen in the now and in your corner of the world.

So while the stories Sleepless Beauty and Sleeping Beauty seemed to be the exact opposites of each other, my mind equated both Beauties to the same scary character that haunted my nightmares.

Did I believe in them? Oh yeah, even now that I’m sixteen. And I think Sleepless Beauty especially haunted everyone I know, because five of us are standing outside of the Colonial Park Cemetery at midnight while my friend Hayden scales the gates to go visit Sleepless Beauty.

On a dare.

Yeah, we’re not very smart, and I can see the tension on all our too-wide-eyed faces.

“Careful, Hayden!” my best friend Lizzie yells up at him as he swings one leg over the spiked, wrought iron fence.

“He’ll be fine,” Marcel tells her with a smirk. Of course he’d be smirking, this whole dare was his idea. I want to point out to him that since we’re stuck on this side of the fence, we have no way of knowing whether or not Hayden will be fine or not. There could be raccoons or coyotes or police over there.

Or even ghosts that kill you slowly.

I wince watching Hayden, my mind painting pictures of him slipping and impaling his leg on the vicious, ornate fence. Colonial Park Cemetery is a couple hundred years old. I wonder who the builders of it were trying to keep out. Or keep in.

Hayden finally pushes himself over and jumps down, landing on his feet on the other side. He gives a triumphant grin—one that I can’t help but roll my eyes at—as he salutes us.

“Totally easy,” he says, brushing off his letterman’s jacket.

“Just be careful,” I tell him.

He nods. “Start the clock. An hour, right?”

Marcel holds up his phone, the light emanating from it telling us that he has already started timing. “Time’s a-wastin.’”

“I’ll be back,” Hayden says in a bad imitation of Arnold Schwarzenegger. He winks at me before taking off at a jog. I feel that familiar flutter in my heart as the shadows swallow him up. It’s a flutter that hasn’t been there for very long, but it gets stronger and stronger the more time we spend together.

“Why don’t they have street lights down there?” Lizzie mutters, rubbing the chill from her arms. Her breath comes out in little white clouds.

“It’s a historic landmark,” our friend Cole says. He’s been kind of quiet all night, underneath his beanie and his hoodie. But then again, Cole has always been quiet. “And there are so many unmarked graves there, they don’t want to disturb them by running electrical lines all over the place.”

Makes sense, but still, it’s too eerie, too dark for me to feel easy around here. I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being watched.

Like something within those shadows wants to reach out and pull me into the depths of hell.

Okay, that may be a little dramatic, but it certainly feels that way.

I shiver.

“Hey,” Lizzie says, “he’ll be fine.”

“Oh,” I say, trying to shake it off. “Of course. I mean, who’s going to be at a cemetery at this time of night?”

“Sleepless Beauty,” Marcel says, and I clench my teeth with that. “So, what’s happening with you and Hayden anyways?”

And, just like that, my mind goes from being terrified to being absolutely mortified. It’s not the first time this topic has been brought up in my little group of friends. Sometimes just to either me or Hayden, but sometimes, it’s in front of everyone with a little bit of teasing.

It was just in good fun. I think.

“Leave Jane alone,” Lizzie says, giving Marcel a glare. “They’re working things out.”

I guess that’s what you could call it. If working it out meant chuckling about it later and me holding my breath for Hayden to say that we should try it. But, the last time we did talk about it, Hayden just smirked and gave me a hug.

“Wouldn’t want to ruin our friendship, Jane,” he told me that time. “We’ve been friends since we were two.”

But isn’t that how a good romance goes? People can have their fairy tales. What I think we had is something bound by fate. We know each other better than we know ourselves.

Wouldn’t we be the perfect match? And then I can justify these strange feelings that I’ve been having for the past two years. And it didn’t used to be like that—hell, Hayden and I grew up together, as neighbors. I saw him naked when I was three years old. We were best friends, shared birthday parties and toys. When his mother went to the grocery store, my mom would watch after us. When my parents argued before they got divorced, I’d sneak over to his room and stay there until morning.

But then, when high school started, something changed. He started looking less like the Hayden that peed himself in the pool when we were five and more like…well, Hayden the heartthrob. His arms filled out from playing football and his acne, bad in middle school, finally stopped being a problem, leaving smooth, tanned skin.

All the girls loved him. And I found that I’m one of them.

“Hey.” I jump and blink at Lizzie who had spoken. She looks at me, concern etched into her face. “You okay?”

I shrug, trying to play it cool. Not like I was just trying to figure out my love life. “Yeah. Totally fine.”

“You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

I give a hollow laugh. “Well, isn’t that why we’re here? To see a ghost?”

“That’s why Hayden’s here,” Marcel says, breaking into the conversation. “I’m here for my twenty bucks when he pisses himself and has to come crawling back.”

“You really think he’ll come running back?” Cole asks dazedly.

“Yeah,” Marcel says. “Didn’t you see how scared he looked?”

Actually, Hayden didn’t look very scared at all. Marcel’s uneasy chuckling makes him look like he’s terrified out of his mind.

“Well, I’m scared, and I’m not even on the other side,” Lizzie says, straightening up. “Ghost or no ghost.”

“Do you really think he’ll see her?” I ask.

“Something would have to be real for you to see it,” Marcel says cockily. At my narrowed eyes, he belts out a laugh. “What, do you believe in Sleepless Beauty, Jane? C’mon, I’ll give you forty bucks to go join your lover boy.”

“He’s not my lover boy,” I say, too defensively.

“Leave her alone,” Cole sighs.

I can’t help but feel like I should be on the other side of that fence though. Like this is all my doing. After all, I was the one who brought up Sleepless Beauty. We were over at Lizzie’s having some drinks and just, you know, talking when we played a game of Truth or Dare to spice things up a little bit. I chose Truth and that was where I admitted that I’d been terrified of Sleepless beauty since before I could remember. Hayden backed up my story, which turned into this dare/bet from Marcel.

And here we are.

Time seems to go by so slowly here. I talk with Lizzie, discuss boys and the squad. Marcel and Cole do their own thing, but we’re sure to be quiet, since the cops could show up at any point.

Cole kicks a rock, sending it off into the darkness. I watch as he paces, his hands in his hoodie’s front pocket. Such a quiet guy.

Meanwhile, Marcel is playing on his phone, the screen lighting up his face in sinister blues and whites. Marcel’s the loud one, with a wide grin and the wit of someone who’d grow up to be Seth Rogan. He fits in any group at school, and for some reason, chooses to hang out with us.

“I’ve got such a bad feeling about this,” Lizzie murmurs, her frown mirroring my own.

I hope she’s not right. Lizzie replaced Hayden as my best friend when we went through a period of boys have cooties. With her darker hair and bright blue eyes, she’s gorgeous. And I know she’d do anything for me.

Then there’s Hayden, the jock and the brains all rolled into one. Like Marcel, he fits into any group on campus, and I think that’s why they’re best friends.

And last, but not least, there’s me. Jane Dyer, the popular girl because she can do a double handspring for the cheerleading squad. I’m smart too, and with my dad’s lawyer connections, I’ll probably get into an Ivy League college after high school. From there, I don’t know what else to expect out of life.

But I expect Hayden to be a part of it.

“Been in there for a bit, hasn’t he?” Cole murmurs suddenly.

As if on cue, Marcel’s alarm goes off. The loud noise in the otherwise quiet cemetery makes both Lizzie and me shriek in unison.

“Jesus, Marcel, do you have to have the Self Destruct Alarm on your phone?” Lizzie gasps.

Marcel snickers as he takes out his phone and turns it off. “Keeping you on your toes, ladies.”

Lizzie scoffs, but not before I see movement on the other side of the fence.

“Hayden?”

Silence. The rest of my friends follow my gaze towards the space where I’m squinting at, and come up behind me. There’s some movement there, so there is definitely something on the other side.

I lean forward, threading my hands through the bars to get a better look.

“Hayden?”

“I saw her!”

I scream and stumble backwards, away from the fence. Hayden stands in the space where my face had been. He’s grinning widely at us from the other side of the fence, his smile contagious. My scream, however, sets Marcel rolling with laughter.

“Dammit, Hayden!” I say. “You nearly gave me a heart attack.”

Hayden at least has the decency to look apologetic as he scales the fence. He climbs it faster this time, his movements more sure than they were when he climbed over an hour ago. He drops to the ground and dusts off his pants.

“Gah, I guess I owe you twenty bucks,” Marcel mutters, taking out his wallet.

“What do you mean, you saw her?” Cole asks, frowning. “Who’s her?”

“Who do you think?” Hayden asks as he takes the bill from Marcel. “I saw Sleepless Beauty.”

The floor seems to tilt underneath me and I force myself to stay upright. “You saw her? Did she?”

Hayden beams at me. “I saw her. She kissed me. Told me she loved me. And…”

“And?” I ask.

Hayden just smiles. But there’s something different about him, something that I can’t quite place. Because he looks joyful at the moment. Glowing, like he’s found true happiness.

“You’re so full of crap,” Marcel mutters.

“Am I?” Hayden asks, sounding genuinely offended.

“Remind me never to bet with you again,” Marcel counters. “And how do I know that you were actually at her grave?”

“Oh, I was,” Hayden promises. “And she’s beautiful.”

Marcel makes a disgusted noise as he turns away, grumbling about Hayden cheating and being a dipshit. I want to ask Hayden more, but from the roll of Lizzie’s eyes, she doesn’t believe him either.

“Let’s get going, Jane,” Lizzie says, as she’s joined by Cole.

Hayden gives me a playful shrug as he follows them, leaving me to frown in his wake. Did he or did he not see Sleepless Beauty? He seems all right, not scared out of his wits like I would have been in his shoes. Then again, Hayden was always the stronger one, so he could spend an hour in a graveyard by himself, just to make a point.

I sigh and start walking after them. But a few steps from the fence, I turn back, feeling the eyes of something on me as I walk away. The cemetery is still silent, still dark.

I can’t help but feel like something very wrong had happened out here tonight.

About the Author:
 
Sci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.
 
She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she’s an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.
 
You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars.
 
 
 
Spectral Velocity
Margo Bond Collins
 
Book Description:
 
Aboard the Rapunzel-320, Cybele helps a plague ridden planet with medical supplies. Her budding romance with Finlay is both forbidden and risky. Can she figure out a way for them to be together or is she doomed to a life of solitude?

Excerpt Spectral Velocity:

“Rapunzel-320, do you copy?” The slightly mechanized voice buzzed through Cybele’s helmet—an utterly unnecessary piece of equipment in her opinion, but one that she donned every time she took the pilot’s seat, exactly as protocol required.

“Copy, ground control. I’m ready to drop the line whenever you say the word. Over.”

“Hold that, Rapunzel-320. Maintain altitude.”

“Copy that.” Cybele tapped her forefinger against the control panel impatiently, waiting for the moment she could dip down into the atmosphere and ride the currents. That was really the only reason she looked forward to these trips down-planet.

At least, that’s what she told herself.

It has nothing to do with a chance to speak to another person.

Another lie.

And one person in particular?

Absolutely not the reason to look forward to this day.

The biggest lie of all.

She was almost at the end of her tour of duty here at the ass-end of the galaxy, doing what she’d initially considered playing nanny to a planet full of plague-ridden colonists.

10 years.

That’s how long would’ve passed by the time she got home, back to Earth, most of it spent in cryo—humanity’s faster-than-light drives still weren’t quite able to cut out all the travel time, despite what the R&D guys had been promising for a generation.

Four years out here, four years home—all gone in cryo-induced dreams. It was the two long years spent on weekly milk-runs to the colonists that ate away at her soul. Or it had, until she met Finlay.

“Rapunzel-320. Position and hold.”

“Copy, ground control. Positioning.” She smiled as she recognized the voice. “Finlay, that you?”

“Hi, Cybele. Glad to have you back.”

“What’s the hold up down there?”

She could almost feel the hesitation coming up through the airwaves as Finlay tried to decide how much to tell her.

“Nothing unusual,” he finally said, his nonchalant tone too studied to be believable.

Cybele allowed her own skepticism to come through. “Want to try again?”

“Just a placement issue. And it’s fixed. Send down the hair, Rapunzel-320.”

“Dropping line.” With one hand on the controls, Cybele carefully lowered the telescoping pipeline toward the water facility on the ground. Getting it just right was like threading the eye of a needle with a single hair, even though Cybele knew that both the line and the target would seem enormous if she were to stand next to them.

Of course, standing next to them would mean standing on the ground, and that would mean exposing herself to the Gotha Plague—the entire reason she was here, piloting the medical supply ship that provided relief to the colonists.

Most of the pipeline had unfolded on its way to the ground, and Cybele flipped her goggles over to VR to finish the process, standing and stretching her arms over her head before making her way into the more immersive experience. Inside the virtual reality, Finlay was waiting for her.

“Hey,” he said. “I wasn’t sure you would make it in time.”

“Wasn’t sure I’d need to come,” she said, a smile quirking up one side of her face, even here in the interface.

Finlay rolled his eyes, but he was smiling, as well. There must’ve been someone monitoring the communication system, or he would have said something more openly flirtatious. As it was, Cybele didn’t need him to say the words. He knew she would be here to see him, whether or not she needed to manage the threading process herself.

They worked together mostly in silence, their physical movements in VR translating to commands that guided the giant line into the planetary water filtration system. After a while, once they were truly alone, Finlay called up an image to float in the air in front of her—a silly pictogram taken from a civilization long dead, a two-dimensional representation of a perfectly round, smiling face in an improbable color, with a matching hand waving next to it. It was one of hundreds of such images she had found in a database of old Earth languages.

Cybele had shared it with Finlay early on, and in the last two years, it had become their private language, only partially decipherable by anyone who saw it.

“Hi,” she said, carefully neutral. Finlay replied with a stylized image of a heart, his usual signal that he was free to communicate without any outside interference.

“How was your day?” she asked, now that she was certain they were alone in their VR environment.

He returned an image of fireworks glittering across the sky.

Explosive.

“Work or home?” Cybele already knew the answer, but asking was part of their ritual.

“Work, always.” He didn’t say any more, making sure the conversation wasn’t anything his superiors would be likely to discipline him for.

Not this time, anyway.

Mostly, they discussed the work at hand, the things they needed to do to make sure the Rapunzel-320’s transmissions kept the population of Finlay’s planet safe and alive.

That wasn’t always the case.

Inside the VR unit, their lives outside faded away. They were no longer Terran and Germanian, but merely Finlay and Cybele. Two humans.

A man and a woman.

It was those final categories that could get them in trouble.

As often as they could manage it these days, the drop and transfer schedule brought Cybele and her ship around to Finlay’s station during the late-night shift.

Their respective loneliness had gotten the better of them, so they spent every possible moment together in the VR environment.

These days, virtual reality felt more real than Cybele could’ve imagined before this posting.

About the Author:
 
NYT bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is a former college English professor who, tired of explaining the difference between “hanged” and “hung,” turned to writing romance novels instead. (Sometimes her heroines kill monsters, too.)
 
You can learn more about her at www.MargoBondCollins.net
 
 
The Origin of Snow
M. L. Sparrow
 
Book Description:
 
A king searches for a wife and turns to a mysterious witch for help. Will the girl she produces be his true love or his downfall?

Excerpt The Origins of Snow:

Nervous beads of sweat sprung forth on his brow as he approached the witch’s cabin. Dismounting his horse, the usually docile creature’s eyes rolled and it tried to dance away as he tied its reins to the fencepost.

Pushing open the creaky front gate, he hesitated to go any further. An acquaintance of his, a good-for-nothing peddler if truth be told, had told him of a powerful witch living in the dark forest that bordered his lands… A witch that could grant his every wish. He had only one wish.           

“I’ve been expecting you.” A soft female voice emanated from the ramshackle old cabin. He jumped and the horse whinnied nervously, pulling at its secured reins. The gate rocked shut behind him and the wooden front door slowly eased open. Out of the dark depths stepped the most beautiful maiden he had ever seen.

Lord White was a collector, a connoisseur of beautiful things. His stables housed only the best thoroughbreds and his vast manor had been furnished from top to bottom by the most skilled craftsmen from across all three kingdoms. It was this attention to detail, this desire for perfection which had rendered him wifeless at the age of thirty-eight. He had inspected heiresses and milkmaids alike, even a princess or two, and found them all lacking. Which was how he’d ended up here.

“You are truly magnificent,” he murmured, drawn unconsciously closer like a moth to a flame, “such beauty, such perfection.”

Perfectly proportioned, her skin alabaster white, lips plump and red as if painted with fresh blood. Tossing her head, sending a waterfall of silken black hair sliding down her back, she laughed in the face of his awe. She knew she was beautiful in that moment, but she also knew that beauty was a trick; people saw only what they wanted to see.

Beneath his amazed gaze, the witch slowly, sensually shrugged out of the unflattering grey cloak she wore, letting it pool at her feet and posing in the doorway, totally at ease with her glorious nudity.

“I assume you came here for something,” she stated, as if she weren’t standing before him inviting him to sin, her own hand teasingly sliding up her flat stomach to caress her heavy breasts right there in front of him. “A wish granted perhaps.”

“All my wishes have just come true,” he whispered, his breath hitching as she tweaked one perfect pink nipple. A harsh groan escaped as he dropped a hand down to his cock, painfully hard and threatening to rip through his breeches.

She laughed once more, the sound husky and sensual, travelling down his spine like a stroking hand. Stepping out from the shelter of the cabin, she walked towards him, hips swaying, the sunlight that managed to fight its way through the thick canopy of trees above making her white skin glow. Shocked by how brazen she was, he quickly glanced around, but they were completely alone, few people ventured this far into the forest. When he looked back, she was standing directly in front of him. Soft, skilled hands stripped him of his clothes and soon he was as bare as she was, shivering in the cool autumn air.

“Tell me your wish,” she breathed against his neck, heating his skin, before trailing her hands and lips downwards.

Once she was on her knees in front of him, at eye level with his straining cock, he gazed down at her in amazement. How could someone like her exist?

One hand expertly fondled his testicles while the other wrapped firmly around the base of his cock, pumping it once, twice, before her ruby lips wrapped around the bulbous head, sucking him into the scorching, wet heaven of her mouth. He bumped against the back of her throat, his hips jerking, trying to push deeper as sensations overwhelmed him. His hands fisted in her long hair, attempting to takeover.

However, as soon as he did so, she drew back, pulling away from him and sitting back on her heels despite his angry snarl, leaving him throbbing with every heartbeat. Her tongue peeked out to rim her glistening lips as she stared up at him. Immediately, he knew what she wanted and part of him resented her for making him say it.

“I want a wife,” he bit out, “a wife more beautiful than any other maiden in the land. I want you.”

Again she laughed, but this time, it angered instead of aroused. He was not a man who allowed himself to be laughed at.

“Well, you can’t have me,” she answered smoothly, rising in one fluid movement that brushed her body against the length of his, her nipples twin flames that trailed over his chest. Sliding one hand up his neck and into his hair, her nails scraping against his sensitive scalp, she stretched up to whisper in his ear. “You couldn’t control me.”

To punctuate the point, her fingers fisted in his hair and wrenched his head back, exposing his throat, making it hard to breath. He felt the bite of teeth and hissed in pain. But then he was free once more and he staggered back a step, watching her with a complicated mix of fear, confusion and awe. She truly was stunning, but she was also right; he wanted a biddable wife who would pander to his every whim and take his word as law.

“I can, however, create a girl to your specifications.”

“Yes,” he jumped at the idea, heart pounding in anticipation. “Do it.”

“Payment first.”

Frustrated, he cast around for his money bag, which had been attached to his belt. He found it several feet away, alongside his shirt. Pouring the entire content into his palm he said, “Take it, take it all. I have more if needed.”

“I don’t require that kind of payment.” Her silken, seductive voice wrapped around him, infatuating him once more and he turned as if in a dream to see her spread out upon a blanket of autumn leaves, arms lifted sensually above her head, knees open wide, affording him a lewd view of her most private area, pink and glistening. The gold coins fell to the forest floor, forgotten.

He didn’t need to be told twice.

Sinking to his knees between her spread thighs, he wasted no time getting down to business. And what a pleasurable transaction it was.

 Twining her arms around his neck, to lock him to her, the witch smiled up at the sky as the man covered her. He wasn’t as attractive, or as well-hung, as the young huntsmen who visited her occasionally, but he was handsome enough with a strong jaw and a smattering of grey hair at his temples. Nor was he as skilled as her huntsman, she conceded; he thrust into her with the clumsy haste of a man with enough money that he’d never needed to learn the skills most men had to charm women into their beds.

Desperately licking at her breasts, he groaned against her flesh as he pumped into her and she stroked a hand down his back, waiting patiently until he orgasmed, his body shaking as the seed was wrung out of him, before collapsing on top of her in exhaustion.

Feeling his energy settle inside of her, making her strong, she gave a little push and he flew off of her, landing with a thump against a nearby tree. Rising, she brushed the dirt and leaves from her body, before sauntering into the cabin, calling over her shoulder, “Get dressed and come inside.” 

After he’d recovered and donned his clothes, Lord White stepped cautiously into the cabin. He didn’t know what had just happened, but he knew the witch had done something to him; he’d never spent so hard in his life and he’d never felt so tired after, as if his bones were hundreds of years old. It ached to walk and his head hurt, vision blurring at the edges.

Yet, if that was the price he had to pay to get what he wanted he’d gladly pay it a thousand times over. 

Inside the cabin was surprising bright, lit by hundreds of candles that were hidden from the outside by the heavy drapes over the windows and door. He had been half expecting mummified animals and other disgusting paraphernalia, but the space looked remarkably normal. The only thing out of the ordinary was the cauldron atop the large wooden table, bubbling and spitting as if it were hung over a roaring fire instead of sitting upon a solid slab of oak.

Standing opposite him, the cauldron between them, the witch produced a rough, brown sack, the kind used to carry potatoes. Casting one hand over the boiling water, she commanded, “Tell me,” in a voice dripping with power, nothing like the seductive purring of mere minutes ago.

“I want a girl with skin as white as snow…”

Holding the sack open, she gestured for him to reach his hand inside, which he did, flinching when his fingers encountered something cold and wet. Withdrawing with a handful of pure white snow, he gazed at it in amazement, before glancing up at the witch.

“Throw it in the pot,” she ordered.

Swallowing tightly, he did as he was bid, before continuing, “Hair as black as a ravens wing…”

Again, he reached into the sack and withdrew a freshly amputated wing, still warm and twitching. It sizzled when he dropped it into the water.

“Lips as red as blood…” This time he pulled out a knife. He knew what he had to do without being told. Slicing a line in the center of his palm, he held it over the cauldron and watched as it dripped. 

“What about her eyes?” the witch asked.

“They’re of no consequence,” he replied, staring hungrily into the bubbling potion.

“Have it your way.”

Gliding her hands over the cauldron in complicated, elegant patterns, she began to chant in a language he didn’t understand, each word seething with power. The hairs on the back of his neck rose and he glanced around warily as the cottage began to shake as if caught in a violent tempest. The windows rattled and the door flew open, a cold draft rushing inside to swirl around them. And then, suddenly, it stopped.

Reaching both hands into the water, unbothered by the fact that it continued to simmer and steam, the witch slowly withdrew something as he stared on in horror.

“What trickery is this?” he hissed when he could find the words. “I ask for a wife and you give me a babe.”

“I believe you asked for ‘a girl.’ She is female, is she not?”

“What use do I have for an infant? Get rid of it.”

Inwardly, the witch smiled. “She will grow to be the most beautiful maiden in all the lands combined, are you still so eager to discard her?”

The most beautiful maiden in all the lands? Who wouldn’t wish to possess such a woman? She could be his, all he need do was raise her as his ward then, when she reached marriageable age, wed the girl. He’d have to wait another fifteen years, but then he’d already waited this long…

“You better not be lying to me, wench,” he warned.

“I do not lie,” the witch responded honestly. Rather, she bent and twisted the truth, a trick necessary in her trade.

Once the sleeping babe had been wrapped in a sheet and transferred to his arms, Lord White turned for the door, but as he stepped out into the cold air, the child stirred and her eyes opened.

Horrified, he stared into large pools of milky white. “What’s wrong with it?”

Already bustling around, putting away the ingredients used for the spell, the witch shrugged, answering blithely, “You did not specify a color.”

“So you gave her none? How can a girl with eyes as hideous as these ever be classed as beautiful?”

Looking at him sharply, she responded, “She will see more with those eyes than any other.”

Suddenly, a hard gust of wind pushed him over the threshold and out of the cottage, the door slamming shut behind him. He tried to re-enter, but it was in vain. Swinging himself onto his horse, he galloped towards the river with the baby held in one arm, silent as a church mouse.

Stopping upon a bridge that stretched across the raging waters, he held the child over the edge, ready to drop her in and have away with all this trouble, but the witches promise echoed in his head.

She will be the most beautiful maiden in all the lands.

He hesitated. 

About the Author:
 
M L Sparrow is currently the author of four full length novels, a novella and a slew of short stories published in various anthologies. She will write pretty much anything that pops into her head, no matter the genre, and enjoys keeping her readers guessing as to what she will write next, though you can pretty much guarantee that there will be some degree of romance!
 
As well as writing, she enjoys travelling and has been to some amazing countries, where she never fails to gather inspiration and has an endless supply of ideas for future novels…
 
 
 
Wonderland Casino
Kat Gracey
 
Book Description:
 
A detective searches for a missing woman called Alyce in the infamous Wonderland Casino. As he joins a game of high stakes he soon realizes that there is more than money on the line.

Excerpt Wonderland Casino:

Wonderland Casino. Many rumors circulated about this joint, but few did it justice. The main room was smoky and dark. I maneuvered my way through the clusters of tables and stopped at the bar where I ordered a scotch on the rocks.

The table closest to me contained eight men seated in a circle, playing cards. In the dark corner at the back, sat a lone figure. The face was hidden, but I wondered if it was the elusive Red Queen. She owned this town and no one crossed her and lived. Only the very wealthy and the elite got in here. It took calling in a lot of favors for me to get in and I couldn’t waste this opportunity.

I pulled the photograph from my pocket, the one I’d been carrying for three months, ever since Mr. and Mrs. Liddell came in asking for my help in locating their missing daughter Alyce.

Alyce had been missing for nearly two years and in that time the police had found nothing. Now her parents were coming to me as their last hope.

Alyce had been seeing an older man when she vanished. A man who turned up in the river a little over a year ago. Whether it had anything to do with Alyce was still unknown, but it didn’t bode well for her, especially since it looked like he had died shortly after she went missing. Word on the street was that he was last seen here and if he was here, then there was a chance that Alyce was too. I knew it was a long shot to find any evidence after so long, but I also wanted the chance to snoop around.

Alyce was 22, with long blonde hair and blue eyes. She was quite a looker.

“Another?” the bartender asked.

I nodded and he refilled my glass.

“Haven’t seen you here before,” he said.

“I’m new. An acquaintance recommended the place to me. So far I’m impressed. Good liquor. Pretty dames. What’s not to love?”

“Well you can’t sit drinking all night. If you want to stay, you have to play.”

“Of course, I’m just waiting for a game to open up.”

“Cigarettes?” a voice said in my ear.

“No thanks, I don’t sm…” I stopped talking when I got a good look at the cigarette girl.

“Alyce?”

She looked surprised but quickly covered it with a smile.

“Sorry, wrong girl.”

I held the photograph up for her to see. “Your parents sent me to find you.”

She glanced around then leaned in close.

“Alyce Liddell is dead. Stay away from me.”

Perhaps not as easy as I thought. Perhaps she suffered from Stockholm Syndrome or was being threatened. Why else would she want to stay here? I stood up to follow her but was interrupted by a large man in a suit.

“A spot has opened up at one of our tables.”

“Oh, great,” I said. Alyce would have to wait.

As I approached a table in the back, a man was practically carried away from it. Was he unconscious? How much money did he lose?

Reluctantly I took a seat at the table with five other men.

“A new guy. Good,” one of them said as he dealt me in.

“I’m Luke,” I said.

“Eli,” the dealer grunted but the others didn’t offer their names.

Cards weren’t my specialty but I knew enough to play the game. The buy in was $1000. It was all the money I had, but I had no choice.

The game began. I scanned the room, looking for Alyce. Occasionally I would catch a glimpse of her, but she kept her distance from my table. I realized that the other men were staring at me, waiting for me to make my move.

“Uh, call,” I said. Shockingly my hand won, my three of a kind beating the other hands. A pile of chips were pushed toward me. I was up $3000. Maybe this wasn’t as hard as I thought.

A few hands later and I was up $6000. I almost forgot about Alyce as the money flowed in. This was more than I made in the past year!

“It’s a trap,” Alyce whispered in my ear.

“What?”

“Cigarettes, sir?” she said.

“Um, no,” I said.

One of the men waved her over to buy some. I wanted to ask her what she meant but I doubted she wanted anyone to hear her. A trap? Did they plan to beat me up and take my winnings when the game was done? I couldn’t imagine that the Red Queen liked newcomers taking her money. I folded in the next few hands, trying to lose some of the money.

Alyce lingered near the table, watching me.

“I think I need another drink,” I said, hoping to steal a moment with her.

“No one leaves the table once the game is in progress,” Eli said. He waved the bartender over to us.

“Of course,” I said. I ordered another drink and carried on playing.

 

About the Author:
 
Kat Gracey was born in the UK and her books focus on her two favorite supernatural creatures – witches and werewolves.
 
She enjoys reading, Netflix and helping out her fellow authors with reviews.
 
 

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