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Stephen King

Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: Fighting the Fall (Fighting #4) by J.B. Salsbury

Cover Design: Pixel Mischief Design
Release Date: November 4, 2014

Description:

The toughest fighters aren’t created in the octagon but are born of necessity. When life delivers blow after punishing blow, you fight back or get destroyed.

Eve Dawson has had her fill of bad luck. A string of unhealthy relationships has left her angry, bitter, and frustrated. She’s given up on being happy and settles for content. Swearing off men, she repels advances and makes herself a challenge to even the most persistent suitors. After all, how much can the fragile human heart take? But life isn’t finished with her, and when things can’t possibly get worse . . . they do.

Stay on your feet.

It’s Cameron Kyle’s motto, but with his fighting career ripped from his grasp, a child he wasn’t strong enough to save, and a marriage that even the brawn of a heavyweight couldn’t hold together, it’s getting harder and harder to stay upright. He takes on the position of CEO of the UFL, intent on hiding his biggest weakness in order to forge a path that leads him back into the octagon.

When an old rival mysteriously gets wind of Cameron’s plan to fight again, he comes out of retirement to settle old debts, but secrets, lies, and betrayal threaten to deliver the death-blow. The distraction of a sass-mouthed girl seventeen years his junior is the last thing he needs until a tragic accident shatters the firm foundation of his resolve and he realizes just how far he’s fallen.

Will they risk it all and fight to be together?
Or does defeat lie within the fall?


About the author:
JB Salsbury, New York Times Bestselling author of the Fighting Series, lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids. She spends the majority of her day as a domestic engineer. But while she works through her daily chores, a world of battling alphas, budding romance, and impossible obstacles claws away at her subconscious, begging to be released to the page.

Her love of good storytelling led her to earn a degree in Media Communications. With her journalistic background, writing has always been at the forefront, and her love of romance prompted her to sink her free time into novel writing.

Fighting for Flight, Fighting to Forgive, and Fighting to Forget are the first three novels in the MMA romance series. Fighting the Fall is due to be released November 2014.

For more information on the series or just to say hello, visit JB on her website, Facebook, or Goodreads page.

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Excerpt and Giveaway: The Lady Quill Chronicles series by D.D. Chant

Description:

Dear Reader,

I wish to tell you a tale that began with a promise destined to change the lives of many.

When only a child, Lady Adele of Berron lost her family during a dreadful battle and was betrothed to a stranger.

Lord Rafe of Valrek, only a boy himself when the battle of Calis raged, grew to be a feared warrior and trusted advisor to his King. But sadness filled his past and Adele served only to remind him of all he had lost.

However the promise that bound these two together caused great anger to some.

What, Dear Reader, happened in those days of treachery and darkness? Incline your ear that I may whisper the secrets that you so desire to hear......
Lady Quill
Dear Reader,

My next story begins with Velrek, where Lord Rafe and Lady Adele's arrival was cause for much celebration and rejoicing.

However Finan of Gournay, Rafe's foster brother and the captain of Valreks army, could not help a lingering feeling of worry.

Were Rafe and Adele truly safe from Lord Kyule's hate?

Adding to Finan's problems was the unsettling presence of Rafe's sister, Lady Esme. Used to keeping his distance from the woman of Valrek, Finan found that he could no longer escape as before.

As danger and treachery enveloped Valrek, Finan and Esme found themselves drawn together to fight the shadowy assailant that threatened the lives of those they loved.

What secrets would they unearth in their search for the enemy that taunted them?
Would they find that their stories were more closely linked than either of them ever knew?
Allow me please to answer these questions...
Lady Quill
EXCERPT



Finan lay perfectly still on the bed and listened to the wood crackling and spitting in the fire. Esme was seated beside the flames, her head bent over her task. Finan had been ignoring her for so long that he had given himself a headache. 

Why couldn’t she just leave him in peace? 

She sat completely unconcerned and carefully set feathers to the wooden shaft of arrow after arrow. He was thankful at least that she was accomplishing some task more useful than garish embroidery. 

The sound of the spiting flames made him restless. Every pop caused him to tense and the acrid smell of smoke brought a gagging sensation to his throat. He wondered vaguely if he would ever be able to sit beside a fire and simply enjoy its warmth ever again. Would the nightmares continue to plague him? 

He shuddered involuntarily remembering the fear for Rafe’s safety and the overall impression that something was wrong. He had tried to ignore the memories, pushing them to the edges of his mind, but they refused to be quelled. 

Finally he had faced the fear and realised that the consequences of the night he was injured were far from over. He thought back to the fiery room, closing his eyes and forcing himself to relive every horrible detail. 

There could be no denying the truth; the fire had not been an accident. 

Even that night, with worry for Rafe taking up almost every thought, he had seen the truth. There had been no trailing flames from the fire, they had be concentrated around Rafe’s bed in a very suspicious manner. The furniture in the room had been moved to block in the bed, as though someone had been trying to make sure that even if Rafe did wake, he would not be able to escape. 

Who within Valrek’s wall would lift their hand against their master? 

It was not possible that an enemy had breached Valrek’s defences, he would stake his life on his men’s conscientiousness. Nothing passed through Valrek’s wall without detection, not so much as a mouse. 

Was it possible that it had been Rafe that, through his own carelessness, had started the fire? 

He had been the worse for wear, having imbibed more freely than was his custom of the mead served at the feast. Finan shook his head, he couldn’t believe it. Rafe was far too competent a soldier to make such a mistake, however drunk he might have been. Years of admonitions drilled care within a soldier when it came to dealing with fire. 

That meant it had been deliberate. As unthinkable as it was, someone with Valrek’s wall wanted Rafe dead. 

“What is it?” 

Esme’s voice held a slightly exasperated note and Finan pretended sleep. He had no wish to speak to her, in fact he was fast coming to the conclusion that she was the most irritating of her sex. Had he been in a more generous frame of mind he would have realised that he knew several far more unpleasant woman. However Finan was feeling out of charity with the world in general and Esme most especially. 

“I know you are awake, Finan, is there anything you require?” 

Finan gritted his teeth against the retort that sprang to his lips and forced himself to remain calm. He was an easy tempered man usually, but the constant pain had shredded his tolerance completely. However losing his temper had not helped him so far and it galled him to let Esme know how badly she affected his equilibrium. 

“I need nothing, my lady.” 

Cool fingers touched his brow and he opened his eyes to find her beside him. A worried frown touched her face and her lips formed the thoughtful pout that was becoming so familiar. It was an endearing habit he remembered from her childhood, but it irritated him horribly now. 

More worrying was the fact that he hadn’t heard her move. A man that prided himself on his ability to hear even the stealthiest of approaches and he had not been aware. He blamed lady Esme’s addiction to the manly pursuit of hunting for the silence with which she moved. 

“You do not seem fevered,” she mused aloud, transferring her hand from his brow to his cheek and then to his neck. Finan felt and uncomfortable churning in his stomach, as though Brute had almost succeeded in unseating him. 

“I am well enough, you need not concern yourself with me.” 

Esme grinned. 

“What an odd sort of healer I would be if I did not concern myself with my patients comfort.” She smoothed the hair back from his brow. “What troubles you, Finan?” 

For the first time Finan noticed the dark circles around her eyes and the tired stiffness pervading her body. 

Had she slept at all last night? 

He had very little recollection of his nights rest, but he clearly remembered hearing her soothing voice each time he had regained some lucidity of thought. An uncomfortable guilt washed over him. Lady Esme had seen to his wounds and tried to make him as comfortable as possible. That he had not wanted her help did not excuse the rudeness of his behaviour. 

“Is it Evoric?” 

Esme gazed forthrightly in to his eyes, her words as unadorned as Rafe’s always were. The only sign that she was uneasy with her question, was the way her work roughened finger traced the edge of the furs covering the bed. 

“Why do you ask that?” 

“You spoke of him last night when you were feverish.” 

“I did?” 

Panic raced through his veins. What had he said? Worse, what unmanly feelings had he betrayed? 

“You still miss him as violently as though his death had occurred just yesterday, do you not?” 

“He was my brother.” 

“He was my brother too.” 

“Tis not the same.” 

Esme gazed at him unwaveringly for a few moments, chewing her bottom lip. 

“Perhaps that is so, but it does not change the fact that I love and miss him as well.” 

Finan did not answer her, his heart had begun to thump uncomfortably in his chest. He did not wish to talk of Evoric, to remember his pain. 

It was still too raw, over the years he had managed to bury his memories so deep he could almost believe on occasion that he had rid himself of them completely. Concealing his hurt from the world gave him some relief. Yet ever since Rand had re-entered their lives, forcing them to revisit old wounds, the protective wall he had built had begun to crumble. 

After last night it lay in ruins about him, freeing his agony to consume him once more. The years that had passed had not provided him with any more defences against its onslaught than he had possessed in youth. He worried had no strength to pull himself from the mire of his despair a second time. 

It had been years since he had dreamed of Evoric. Years of precarious, uneasy peace that he had grown accustom to, that had been his salvation as a boy. Now it was gone and Esme was prodding the festering wound it had exposed. 

“Finan, will you not tell me? Perhaps I can help?” 

“Why? Why should I tell you? Why should I rip my soul apart just so that your curiosity can be appeased?” demanded Finan, sitting up and swinging his legs over the side of the bed. “Who wants you to understand? Who wants your help?” 

As he spoke, he stood, advancing on her slowly. Apprehension danced in her eyes but she remained defiant, her eyes never breaking contact with his. Every step she retreated before him was diffident, until he had her backed against the wall. 

“Why must you always seek to interfere in my affairs? You have no right and you are greatly mistaken if you suppose I welcome your meddling.” 

Esme lifted a hand and carefully placed it against a healthy and undamaged patch of skin on his chest. He looked down, surprised at her touch and the firmness with which she pushed him back a step. For a long while they looked at each other in silence, her large eyes filled with compassion. It shook him, for he had expected, wanted, to scare her, hoping she would run from him as she had once before. 

“I only wish for you to heal, Finan. Evoric would not want you to be alone and filled with misery and sadness any longer. I cannot watch you despair and suffer like this. Your grief is a poison spreading through you, an agony you bear in silence. You must learn to let it go.” 

“How am I to let it go? Must I forget Evoric? Would you be able to let go if you were to lose Rafe?” 

An inflection of pain crossed her features but he steeled himself against the regret burning through his veins. 

“I would hope there would be a friend with whom I could share my sadness, someone who would comfort me.” 

“Am I to gather that you wish to be such a person to me?” taunted Finan coldly. 

Anger simmered in her eyes but she refused to be bated. 

“I think that Rafe or Leofric would be more suitable friends to choose. You can at least bear their company.” 

Her bracing words were free from accusation but for some reason he still felt as though he’d been slapped.




 About the author:
Hi everyone! 

My name is Dee Dee, I’m twenty six and I live in a beautiful part of Devon, England with my family. I have a younger sister, Amy who is a brilliant guitar player, some chickens, duck, geese, pheasants, a cat (that adopted us when we moved in!!!) and some Koi. 

Broken City is actually my second novel. My first, as my Aunt so delicately put it, was crazy. In my defence I was only sixteen when I wrote it. On the plus side I learnt a lot (or so I hope) and two years later ‘Broken City’ was finished. Due to the support I have received from readers I have just finished the next book in the Broken City series, Broken Truce! 
I have another book, ‘The Promise’, which is set in Saxon England is the beginning of a series. I’ve just begun to edit the next book and I’m really looking forward to releasing it. 

My third series is called The Chronicles of Discord. The first book, 'Fracture', is set in the distant future and tells the story of Astra, a young woman with a very big secret. 

I have just finished the second book in the series and it’s currently awaiting editing. 

I really hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoy writing them. 

I love reading and have a kindle: I read almost anything with adventure and romance in it! I also like to cook and wear impractical high heels!!! And as you might have noticed I have a horrible addiction to exclamation marks!!!

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Giveaway: Edge of Falling (Falling, #2) by Valia Lind

Published: August 1st, 2014

Description:

For Chance, there's always only been Dakota.

He's been in love with the girl since the day they met. He's tried everything to get her to notice him and nothing has worked. So when things suddenly start moving in the right direction, Chance can't believe his luck.

Until Kyle comes along.

Kyle is like a new shiny toy and Dakota loves new and shiny. She falls for the tall, blonde and gorgeous fast and without looking back. Dating the summer before college wasn't in the plans, but come on, Kyle is perfect. So why does Chance and his snarky grin keeps popping up in her mind now that Dakota has found her happiness?

When Chance's world comes crashing down, Dakota proves the strength of their friendship, surprising herself and everyone around her, by helping him pick up the pieces. In return, Chance is finally able to crack her hard shell, discovering that not everything is sunny in Dakota-land. Her world is not what it seems on the outside, and together, they're able to pull each other to the brink of safety and sanity.

Dakota likes that things are simple with Kyle, so why does she feel more like herself around Chance?

As graduation grows closer, both Chance and Dakota learn that the plans you make for your life don't always play out the way you expect them and sometimes, everything starts to make sense when you find yourself on the edge of falling.

Brooklynn Summers has a plan for her life: graduate from high school, get into a top fashion school, prove to her family that she’s not a failure. She wishes someone in her life understood her need to create because her parents sure don’t support her dreams, her sister hates her, and the deadlines are soon approaching. 

Enter Grayson Banks. 

There are a few things in life Brooklynn can’t stand: mismatched patterns, cheap polyester, and Grayson. No boy has ever publicly humiliated Brooklynn like Grayson has. When he suddenly moved away in eighth grade, Brooklynn happily wished him good riddance. But on the first day of senior year, Grayson comes back, with his piercing blue eyes and a smile that melts icebergs, he is not exactly the boy Brooklynn remembers. She quickly realizes that Grayson’s intentions have completely shifted, but she’s not sure if she can put their past behind her. 

Grayson understands Brooklynn’s creative ambitions and he devises a plan to showcase her work to the world. When the two agree to work together, suddenly, there is more than just fabric paint that’s having a chemical reaction to its environment. Brooklynn cannot help but feel pulled into Grayson’s arms, but memories and misunderstandings surface, putting in danger whatever small comradeship these two childhood enemies have constructed. 

Can Brooklynn overcome her own insecurities, finally making her dreams come true? Even a dream she didn’t know she had.

Check all the stops to find more
About the author:
Author. Photographer. Artist. Born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia, Valia Lind always had a love for the written word. She wrote her first full book on the bathroom floor of her dormitory, while procrastinating to study for her college classes. Upon graduation, she has moved her writing to more respectable places, and have found her voice in Young Adult fiction. Falling by Design is her debut young adult novel. You can visit her online at her blog or follow her on twitter, where she spends way too much time


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Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway: Isis, Vampires and Ghosts - Oh My! (The Other World) by Janis Hill

Cover Artist: Jade Zivanovic

Description:

Too late to save her sister’s life, Stephanie Anders must now try to save her soul from the vampire who has possessed her, Branwyre, eighteenth vampire Lord of the Aegean. 

With only the aid of the ghost of a pissed-off Buddhist monk with a potty mouth and the modern day Priestess of Isis, Stephanie must take on demons and other denizens of a world she knows nothing about if she is to succeed in banishing Branwyre. 

But even more difficult than that, she must learn how to forgive her sister Estella for what she did to her if she is to have even half a chance of saving her soul. Welcome to a world within our own – the Other World.

GUEST POST
Why Urban Fantasy? 

This is a question I’m asked a lot. Not just as a writer, but as a reader. And I can honestly tell you that people don’t like it when you simply answer “Why not?” 

Then again, I’m often asked to explain what exactly Urban Fantasy is as sometimes the lines blur between it and other genres such as speculative fiction. 

Well, to me, Urban Fantasy is a story set in our world (or a world almost identical to our own) where fantastical things can happen. Vampires and ghosts are proven to be real and will come around and give you a hard time if you keep saying they’re not. Urban Fantasy doesn’t have to be set in the here and now, it can be historical and it can even be set slightly into the future. In some cases it’s set in a time like our own, but with a slightly different history to our own. See Kim Harrison’s The Hollows series and beware the tomatoes. ;-) 

I think the reason I enjoy reading (and writing) Urban Fantasy is it’s close to real life, but the way we wish it could be rather than the hum drum it really is. That whole ‘What if…’ scenario of escapism through fiction. Where ‘everyday meets the unexplained’, except Urban Fantasy lets you explain it without having to stick to anything as dull as actual reality and proven facts. 

When I write Urban Fantasy, I set it in times and places similar to the here and now as I write in the first person narrative and I want my readers to believe the characters more by being able to relate to them. I do obscure technology, times, dates, etc a little to allow some time to pass in the hopes my stories won’t become dated too quickly. But it will happen and, who knows, someone in one hundred years may look back on what I did with mobile phones in Bonnie’s Story – A Blonde’s Guide to Mathematics and guffaw at the thought of such technology. Having that fantasy element there hopefully gives me just enough credibility to still allow the story to be believable. 

Urban Fantasy isn’t the only genre I enjoy to read and write, but it seems to be the one I’m most comfortable in. I do enjoy a good historical crime fiction story too, ones that were actually written in the times they are set, or ones that are created from researching the era. I don’t mind, as long as it’s a good read and the killer isn’t too easy to suss. And even in some of those there’s a bit of fantasy seeping out, as the unexplained has been with us a long time now. Some stories then go on to explain it in reasonable tones using logic and pointing out the strings and wires used to get the effect, while others happily throw such things as logic in the bin and point out it was a ghost or demon after all. And why not? Demons and ghosts got up to so many fun things in our history, why not let them have their five minutes of fame too? 

Why Urban Fantasy? Well, maybe because my imagination has allowed me to never truly grow up and I still enjoy a good fairy tale. Not a happily ever after, not always, but one where the bad guys are truly bad and do gruesome things and there is a good guy there to sort it all out. That play of Darkness and Light I use in my The Other World series. Just because we’re now adults doesn’t mean we don’t like stories about regular people, like ourselves, getting up to all sorts of fantastical things before heading back to work on the Monday. A perfect example of this is Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Perfect piece of Urban Fantasy and one I really enjoyed as the ‘What if…’ opened up so many awesome ideas within my own imagination. In a similar vein see Roofworld by Christopher Fowler. I read this story before Neverwhere and so that seed of ‘What if…’ had already been planted. However, Neverwhere sprouted a totally new series of ideas and situations for me to consider. Still, that whole society within our own scenario is one of my favourite ‘What if…’ and probably where my Other World came from. 

Is Urban Fantasy just another type of Young Adult or New Adult? Um, no. Not to me anyway. Although Urban Fantasy can be a sub-genre of both Young Adult and New Adult, it can just as easily fit into the ‘Adult’ section of books too. A lot of Urban Fantasy has adult themes, and not simply because it has overly raunchy sex scenes or drips with blood and gore after a misunderstanding between a vampire and a werewolf. Some Urban Fantasy simply has adult themes as it’s about life as an adult. The trials and tribulations of marrying, having a family, losing the family, etc. Youth don’t want to read about all that. That’s still to come for them and so they can’t always relate. They’d much rather the adventure of a young person like themselves doing daring things, getting the cute guy (or girl) and possibly living happily ever after, but with no true commitments in case someone else comes along in the next book. Well, that’s really just a quick cookie cutter approach to some Young Adult and New Adult Urban Fantasy, but you get the idea, right? 

What Urban Fantasy books would I recommend? Well, besides the ones I’ve already mentioned, I enjoy something that has a bit of humour and sarcasm in it as well. But that’s mainly because that’s what I’m like. I often have people ask if I was being sarcastic as I use it so often that it does sometimes get a little hard to tell if I’m being serious or not. Some may see this as a bad thing, but meh. ;-) 

Really, I just say go to a library and check out what they have. If you like a bit of paranormal in your Urban Fantasy, then authors like Kim Harrison, Katie MacAlister and MaryJanice Davidson are highly recommended. For a bit of Young Adult Urban Fantasy, check out Robert Westall or even some of Terry Pratchett’s work. I have to say one of my favourite Robert Westall Young Adult books is Urn Burial though do feel that one is heading more towards Science Fiction than Urban Fantasy. All the same, a good place to start. 

What advice would I give to someone who wants to write Urban Fantasy? Read it first. I give this advice to someone who wants to write in any specific genre. Don’t just think you can do it as you’ve heard about a couple of books and seen a few things on the TV, read the genre. I once thought I could write a romance novel. What I ended up writing was quite a good Young Adult story that was an introduction to Romance… but it did not even scrape the sides as to truly being part of that genre. Why did I fail? It’s because I’m not such a great fan of Romance novels and just felt I could write one as I knew how to write without having to read any first. This won’t cut it. You have to research the theme, learn the flow of the story and the tones to use. And you have to have an open mind and a willingness to learn the theme too and not just dismiss it as beneath you. The same goes for Urban Fantasy. 

If I wasn’t such an avid reader and prolific collector of Urban Fantasy, the supernatural and the paranormal, I seriously don’t think I could pull it off. Some people already don’t like my idea of the supernatural as I am avoiding the twinkly ‘Disneyfied’ version so common today and going back to the roots of it all. I liked the old stories, the old ways and the old creatures. And so one of my aims with my Urban Fantasy is to bring them back and let the loose in a new generation’s imagination. The origins of demons, the types of soul collectors and reapers, the difference between a ghost and a wraith. This sort of research is how I spend my writing days. And boy am I going to have fun sharing it! :-) 

Thank you Mythical Books for inviting me to be a guest blogger. Janis Hill.

EXCERPT

Chapter 5

Estella had the grace and timing to wake up just after I’d hauled her dead weight, literally, into the chair and balanced it there long enough the grab the rope.

“By the Light of Isis, what do you think you’re doing?” Her tone was nearly petulant enough to be the old Estella asking me, not the new peace-and-love one.

“Following your High Priestess’ instructions.” I grunted while tying her hands behind her back as best I could, before continuing to wrap the rope around her and the chair.

“But why are you tying me to a chair now?” she asked, aghast to realise just how tight I had done it. “Branwyre can’t take over until night time. We’ve got at least another hour.”

Ignoring her question for a moment, I snatched her right foot and tied it to the corresponding chair leg. Then, ignoring the attempted kick, did the same to her left one.

“Roxanna clearly states in her instructions here to gather the required items, purify them and set it all up, you included.” I waved the note at her before continuing to wrap her legs, backside and chair in the rope. Yeah, I’d gotten a decent amount. Who says two for one sales are a waste of time? “Nowhere in her instructions does it say we should stop for coffee and a chat. When I’ve got as much of it ready as I can before moonrise, I can actually have a rest. You know, something even we non-undead need to do from time to time.”

She went to protest, I even paused to watch the show I felt she was about to perform, but other than gaping a few times like a stunned fish, she stayed quiet. Wow, this Light of Isis was amazing if it could prevent the Queen of Whinge from speaking.

“Fine then,” she finally managed, a slight sulky tone to her voice. “But how am I meant to eat dinner?” 

I sighed; I hadn’t honestly thought of that, going along the lines that she was dead. Yes she was an animated corpse right now, but dead was dead. You shouldn’t have to provide meals for them.

“Nowhere in my instructions does it say I have to feed you.” I muttered. Then feeling I should relent a little as she’d found it within herself to be nicer. “But how about I order pizza, and you eat it cold later. Surely even the Light of Isis can’t have cured you of your cold pizza habits.”

She sighed, but said no more for a moment. Didn’t even pout, which surprised me even more than the silence.

“I do wish you’d be more respectful of Isis and her purifying Light,” is all she eventually said as I was adding a few more knots to the back of the chair.

“Uh-huh.” I was more interested in making sure I’d done a good job, than listen to a lecture on appropriate religious respect. Especially from someone who in the past hadn’t held any respect for anyone or anything.

“And no dinner is fine; I don’t seem to have the need to eat that often anymore.” She continued, trying to watch me over her shoulder. “I won’t have you dissing cold pizza though.”

“Sure!” I said, standing back and wiping sweat from my brow and then my hands on my dress. I remembered I was still in one of my best ‘sombre but not kinky’ little black dresses, not having had a chance to change. So Roxanna’s wodge of cash was buying me a few clothes tomorrow, too. Why not! If I wasn’t allowed to go home until this was all over, she owed me at least a pair of jeans and clean underwear. I checked the instructions again. Okay, so all items purified, sister roped tightly into chair. Salt time! Boy I hoped the motel’s maid service wouldn’t be too pissed at me, or at least wouldn’t notice until after we’d left.





About the author:
Janis grew up in and around Darwin, Australia, and its rural surrounds. As a child, she spent a lot of time around 'science geeks' at the Darwin University, where her father was a lecturer for many years. It took her a long time to realise that not everyone got to grow up like that or could relate to all the Science Labs scenes in the old Dr Who.

Janis now lives in the Adelaide Hills with her husband and 3 children, lovingly referred to as the ‘Demonic Hordes’. She is a semi-retired ICT Support Officer who, when not writing, takes pride in her work as a Haus Frau while dabbling in the art of translating century old cookery books into modern recipes to experiment on her family with.

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Excerpt: Spirit Warriors: The Scarring by D.E.L. Connor

Description:

One of us would finally end what had been started by the machayiwiw so many years ago. I would have to kill him. It was just that simple. I never thought I would want to kill anybody or anything, but maybe I never had anything worth killing for before.” -Emmeline Rima Belrose, The Scarring (Spirit Warriors, Book 2)

In the majestic beauty of a Montana summer, Emme and her friends celebrate her near-drowning survival and their defeat of the powerful evil spirit, the machayiwiw. But even as they rejoice, things are amiss. Emme watches helplessly as her family divides, and her friends struggle to hold their relationship together. Worse yet, the love-of-her life, Charlie, announces that he will move back to the reservation, without Emme. Different nightmares take over and Emme realizes she must fight and kill—or watch those she loves be killed. Friends from the reservation reach out to Emme and show her what evil can steal from her. Emme believes that evil can never break her bond with the Spirit Warriors or the love she shares with Charlie. Or can it?

Although this is the second book in the Spirit Warriors series, it can be read as a stand alone novel.

Sixteen-year-old Emme Belrose has it all: four best friends, a horse of her own, a hidden tepee hangout, and a blossoming romance with tall and handsome Charlie. These friends also have a secret. They can move their spirits into animal bodies: an osprey, a mustang, a grizzly, a mountain lion and a coyote. 

But when Charlie, who has a gift for seeing the future, has a vision of Emme drowning in the icy Yellowstone River, the Spirit Warriors must train their animal bodies to kill an enemy they know is coming… but know nothing about. Suspenseful, romantic, and awash in Native American magic, Spirit Warriors captures the tragic enchantment of the American West—and confirms the power of friendship.

EXCERPT





Ron looked over at me. I stared back at him. "Do you understand what I have told you, child?" Ron asked me. 

I nodded. "Charlie is a spirit mover." 

Ron nodded. "Among other things."

Ron went on, “Charlie is having more and more speaking times with the warriors. There is a sense of urgency now that Charlie learns how to shift spirit warriors into human bodies. He has been practicing with Ryan and Hawke. He is making some progress, but it is taking a long time. Charlie is weakening with the increasing talking times. He does not know when they will come and he has been injured many times. Our people now make sure he is never alone. We cannot risk his injuring himself, or the machayiwiw finding him undefended. He has much to learn. You have much to learn. You must learn hand-to-hand combat. Hawke is our best warrior, both with a knife and a spear. He can cut the wings off a fly in flight with his knife. He will be training you.” Ron looked at me.

“NO, I don’t think so.” I told Ron. “First, Hawke doesn’t like me and I can’t see him training me. Second, I’m not sure I could kill someone, even if it was the machayiwiw. In anger, I think I can, but I’m not sure.” 

Ron looked at me. “What if that person was trying to kill Charlie, or your friends, or Eros your bird?” 

I shook my head. “I just don’t think I can do this.” 

Ron lowered his gaze. “If you don’t, you will die, along with Charlie, your friends, your animals, and your family. I will die, as will our people. He will finally destroy the one person who stands against him. The one person who has the power to destroy him. There will never be another you. Our people have waited many, many years for you. Golden Flower has waited many years for you.” 

“I don’t want the responsibility!” I yelled at Ron as I stood up. “I might fail!” I jumped up and ran down the side of the creek. I ran as fast as I could and the sharp prairie grass cut my legs. I didn’t feel it. I felt angry and sad at the same time. “Why me? Why not someone else?” I thought to myself. I rounded a bend of the river and I ran right into Hawke. The force of our collision knocked us both to the ground. I lay on the ground with the wind knocked out of me. Hawke stood up and looked down at me. 

I stood up and brushed off my shirt. Hawke stared at me. I looked at him and asked, “Why do you hate me?” 

Hawke glared at me. “Charlie is my cousin and my best friend. You have brought him nothing but heartache and loss. I suspect you will do something stupid and Charlie will be killed because of you. I really don’t care anything about you and I’m sure as hell not sold on your ‘savior’ complex. I think you are full of shit and if something happens to Charlie, I will hunt you down and kill you myself.”

I was horrified. “I didn’t want this! I just want to be with Charlie. No matter what you think, I love him. I have always loved him and I will never stop loving him.” Hawke stands with his arms crossed. “We’ll see about that.” Hawke brushed past me and walked back up the creek towards Ron and Charlie. 

I walked back to the jeep. I climbed in the back with Charlie and it was quiet as Ron drove us back to the cluster of buildings. When we pulled up, Irene came running up to the jeep. “Come on, Emme, we are getting ready to eat.” Irene grabbed my hand and pulled me in the building. Ollie and Jack were with Ryan. Jack motioned us over. Charlie brought me a plate of food. Irene squeezed her small body between Charlie and me. Charlie looked down at her. “Hey, Squirt, why don’t you sit on the other side of Emme?” 

Irene looked at me. “Are you in love with Charlie?” 

I glanced at her small face as she slid her arm through my arm. “Yes,” I whispered to her. Irene wrinkled up her face. 

“YUCK! Boys are messy and yucky and stinky! Even Charlie.” We all laughed as Charlie grabbed her and rolled her on the ground and tickled her until Irene begged for mercy. 

After lunch, Charlie and I walked hand in hand down to the creek. We sat on the bank and stared at the water. I leaned over and put my head on Charlie’s shoulder. Charlie wrapped his arm around me and pulled me close to him. We sat there quietly. I looked across the creek and saw Hawke staring at us. He had his arms folded across his chest. I looked at Charlie. “Can’t we even be alone? Does he have to watch us?” 

Charlie nodded. “He is just protecting me.” 

“From me?” I say sarcastically. Charlie shook his head. “No, not from you.” 

Hawke stared at me. I stood up and stared back at him. He reached in his waistband and pulled out his knife. I stared him down as he prepared to throw his knife in my direction. I was not scared of him. Something deep inside of me assured me that he would not kill me with his knife. I stood perfectly still as he pulled back his arm. In slow motion I saw the knife hurling through the air, handle over blade as Charlie screamed my name. I felt the knife come right by my head and I felt a sharp pain by my ear and the drip of blood on my neck. My face never changed as I stared back at Hawke. My friend, that red hot feeling that meant I could be something stronger than I was, overcame me and I felt myself soaring above the creek. 

I heard Charlie calling my name. I looked around as I called out, determining where every living thing was around me. I felt the rattlesnake’s presence before I saw them. I singled them out and waved my hands. Within minutes they were hissing in a circle around Hawke. Hawke was trying to back away, but he was backing into another snake. Charlie was screaming at Hawke to stand still. Charlie was yelling at me. “Emme, NO, stop it! Hurting him would only hurt me. Do you really want to hurt me?” My attention wavered from the snakes and I focused on Charlie. Instantly I was back in my body and looking at Charlie. 

Charlie had me by the arm. “Stay here, Em, I’ll be right back.” Charlie waded into the water and ran to Hawke. The snakes were gone. Hawke was sitting in the dirt by the bank with his head in his hands. Hawke was visibly shaking as Charlie helped him up. I stood up and glared at Hawke. They waded back across the bank. 

Charlie walked up to me. “Hawke is here to protect me and by protecting me, he is protecting you. Hawke has the skills to help you, to teach you what you need.” Charlie looked over at Hawke. “Emme is not the enemy. Do you finally see what she is? Do you see the gifts she has? She is our people’s last hope. She belongs with us.”

Hawke nodded and walked over to me. He reached in his pocket and pulled out a piece of cloth. He reached up and wiped the blood off of my neck. “I’m sorry,” he told me. 

I grabbed his hands and held them between mine. “Me too.” Hawke turned on his heel and walked back the path to the main building.

Charlie looked at me. “What the hell did you just do?” 

I looked back at him. “I finally figured out that Golden Flower gifted me with the ability to talk to and control animals.” I smiled questioningly at Charlie. 

Charlie didn’t smile back. “What else have you done?” I told Charlie about Ollie and the church and the birds. Charlie paced around me. “This is not good. The machayiwiw will notice a display like the one you did in town. You must not ever do it again in a public place where others can see you. Do you understand me?” I nodded with my head down. Charlie leaned forward and grabbed my face between his warm hands. “I have to admit that it was an awesome thing to do for Ollie, but we have to be more careful.” 

I laid my hands over his by my face. I leaned into this chest as he slowly lowered us to the ground. We laid on the ground facing each other. I stared into his eyes lost in his world. Charlie stared back at me and as the beautiful empty world and the warm wind eavesdropped on us, we talked. I told him about Bets, and Mom and Ben, and how hurt Ollie was at the church. I told him about Jack and the preserve and Rose and the baby. We talked laying down and facing each other with our fingers intertwined until the sun started its slow climb to the edge of darkness. The sky was an incredible shade of deep purple with shades of violet blue. Even in the beauty of the sunset, I felt the desperation creep over me. I started to shake. I didn’t want to leave Charlie. I never wanted to leave Charlie. Charlie leaned closer. I could feel his breath on my cheek. He laid his gentle brown hands on my cheeks. I closed my eyes. “Let me take the pain away,” he whispered. We stood up.

Charlie closed his eyes and he chanted in a low voice. I listened to his voice. I closed my eyes and leaned into Charlie. I laid my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. I felt the desperation leave me and I was filled with a sense of peace and serenity. My breathing slowed, and my mind was filled with the beautiful times that Charlie and I had shared. We were like one in my mind, our thoughts joined and our spirits connected. It was the most incredible intense feeling. It was what I imagined making love would be like. I felt dizzy and my body felt it was on fire from the inside out. My legs gave way and I dropped to my knees. Charlie grabbed me and slowly lowered me down to the ground. “What did you do?” I asked Charlie. He stared back at me. “I showed you our love. I showed you what is worth fighting and dying for.” 

As Charlie stood up, he staggered. I reached out and held his arm. “Are you okay?” Charlie put his hand over mine that rested on his arm. “Just tired. You wear me out.” He grinned broadly as I swatted his arm. “Poor me,” I told him. We held hands as we headed back to the main buildings. 

Ollie and Jack were standing outside of the meeting room talking to Ryan and Hawke. Ryan looked up as we approached. “Hey, Em, can you come back next week? I want to run in the hills with you, and Hawke needs to start working with you on knife and lance throwing.” “Sure thing,” I told him. Hawke looked at Charlie and then at me. Charlie was leaning on the car while he talked to Jack. Charlie’s face was pale. Hawke walked the short distance to me and whispered in my ear. “Every time Charlie carries your pain, he gets weaker. Every time you feel better in Charlie’s presence, he pays the price for it. Is that what you want for him?” I shook my head “No.” I looked at my feet as Hawke said, “Don’t come back here. Walk away. His burden is too big to carry.” I shook my head. “I’m sorry I can’t do that. I just can’t. I love him too much.” Hawke shook his head and walked away.

We all walked to the car. I held Charlie’s hand as long as I could. I climbed in the back seat and Jack and Ollie sat down in the Mustang. As we drove off, I turned around and stared back at Charlie. He stood there watching us drive off.






About the author:
Della was born in South Dakota and raised in the vastness and beauty of Montana on a farm. When she longed for the big city life, she moved to Texas where she attended college and received a PhD in nursing. When not nursing people back to health you can find Della huddled over her Mac writing the stories that have occupied her mind for so many years, or traveling with her best friends, the NOLA’s, riding bikes across the Golden Gate bridge or exploring botanical gardens. She is the proud mother of a champion triathlete, two aging dogs and 1 grand-cat. Della has admittedly confessed to her coffee addiction and swears that her two hour coffee crawl while on vacation in Seattle –was the best two hours of her life! 

Happy Release Day! Excerpt and Giveaway: Life Discarded by D.E. Haggerty

Description:

Why would a woman who has it all throw her life away? Morgan has the perfect life. She married the man of her dreams. Daniel is smart, gorgeous and successful. Everything she has always wanted in a husband and the father of her children. But he’s also domineering, overprotective and jealous. Is living with him enough to drive Morgan over the edge? Or does something more treacherous lurk beneath the fa├žade? 

EXCERPT
Prologue

Shaking hands steer the car to the nearest full service gas station. Only one or two gas stations in town still offer full service, but she had done her homework and knew this one did. Not only did full service guarantee that someone else would be pumping her gas, but its expense meant that there’s never a wait. Maneuvering the car to the furthest full service pump, she waits, hands clutching the steering wheel, for the attendant.

After what feels like an eternity to her fevered brain, the attendant finally notices her and saunters over to her car. Her eyes follow him, silently urging him to quicken his pace. Come on, come on. “Fill it up,” she squeaks at him when he finally reaches her car. She grabs her over-large purse and jumps out of the car, nearly tripping in her haste. Looking back, she whispers “I’m sorry” to the oblivious attendant before continuing around the building.

When she reaches the rear of the building, she frantically scans the area. Finally she spots the large garbage container, not in its usual spot. She jogs to it and squats behind it; shrinking into herself and covering her ears. Just in time. A loud bang shakes the earth below her feet. Looking up, she sees flames shooting into the sky.

Time to get out of here. She stands on shaky legs, taking a moment to calm her erratic breath before walking in the opposite direction – refusing to look back.

About the author:
D.E. Haggerty was born and raised in Wisconsin but thinks she’s a European. After spending her senior year of high school in Germany, she developed a bad case of wanderlust that is yet to be cured. After high school she returned to the U.S. to go to college ending up with a Bachelor’s degree in History at the tender age of 20 while still managing to spend time bouncing back and forth to Europe during her vacations. Unable to find a job after college and still suffering from wanderlust, she joined the U.S. Army as a Military Policewoman for 5 years. While stationed in Heidelberg, Germany, she met her future husband, a flying Dutchman. After being given her freedom from the Army, she went off to law school. She finished law school and moved to the Netherlands with her husband and became a commercial lawyer for more than a decade. During a six month break from the lawyering world, she wrote her first book, Unforeseen Consequences. Although she finished the book, she went back to the law until she could no longer take it and upped stakes and moved to Germany to start a B&B. Three years after starting the B&B, she got the itch and decided to pull the manuscript for Unforeseen Consequences out of the attic and get it published as an e-book. Deciding that she may have indeed finally found what she wanted to do with her life, she went on to write Buried Appearances. After moving to Istanbul, she started on Life: Discarded , her third book. Between tennis, running, traveling, singing off tune and reading books like they are going out of style, she writes articles for a local expat magazine and various websites, reviews other indie authors’ books, writes a blog about whatever comes to mind and is working on her fourth book.

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Happy Release Day! Love Discovered in New York by Danielle Allen

Description:

The Rebel

Mya Washington is a rebel. Or at least, that’s what her family has always said. As the youngest of a set of triplets, she has always been the more rebellious of the three…even though she never considered herself a rebel. 

Outspoken? Yes.
Rule Breaker? Sometimes.
Trouble Maker? Nev—occasionally. 

Growing tired of being typecast and misunderstood, Mya moves to New York looking for a fresh start away from the life she grew up in and out of the shadow of her older sisters. Striking out on her own may have put a strain on the family dynamic, but it's the new beginning Mya was looking for. 

But after the unexpected death of her mother, she is blindsided yet again by a wedding invitation she didn’t see coming. Her father’s upcoming marriage only cements the wall she’s put up around her heart. Because if her father could be such an utter disappointment, why should she even attempt to open up to any man?

Enter Colton Davis.
EXCERPTS

“So we could head to the back and mess around a little,” Stephen offered, as he wiggled his eyebrows suggestively. 
“You wish,” I sneered as I pushed past him to get behind the bar. 
“You’re right. I do,” he admitted, the amusement apparent in his voice. “And I know you do, too.” 
I whipped around quickly so I could look him in his eyes as I answered, “Hell no.” 
Stephen laughed heartily and then started cleaning glasses. “Girls don’t usually tell me no. You know you are the only one who has ever said no to me. But I get it…you’re anti-relationship and if you ever let me put it on you, you would fall in love.” 
“I’m not interested. At all.” 
“Again, if you weren’t anti-relationship—” 
“Let me clarify,” I interrupted. “I’m not interested in you at all. At all, Stephen. The world could end and hell could freeze over and I would still be like ‘nah, I’m good.’” 

******
“I don’t live far away from here either. My apartment is a couple of blocks that way.” He gestured in the opposite direction of my apartment. 
I swirled the straw around in the last little bit of my milkshake. “Do you live with anyone? Roommates?” 
Significant other? I wondered, watching to see if he gave anything away. 
“No. I live alone,” he answered with a smirk. “And I’m single.” 
I swallowed the fry that was in my mouth before responding, “I didn’t ask.” 
“Your eyes did.”
About the author:
I am a married event planner, life coach and instructor. Between my awesome friends and family and my amazing husband, I am constantly surrounded by love. My goal at all times is to love what I’m doing and enjoy life. I love shopping and football with equal fervor. I’m an amateur movie critic (i.e. my husband and I watch and critique a lot of movies for fun). I love to read, but since I’ve been writing, I don’t read as much as I used to. I love music. A good lyric with a good melody can paint a vivid picture and invoke such a range of emotions. I have a soft spot for most mediums of creative, artistic expression. But music is probably my favorite.

Happy Release Day! Giveaway: Bad Boys of Romance - A Biker Anthology

Description: 18+


Available for a strictly limited time

An anthology of biker romance novellas from 9 of todays bestselling authors.
Fighting For Switch (Switch & Jenn's Novella) by Kasey Millstead

Everyone knows that Switch and I are a couple, but no one knows the circumstances surrounding when we first got together.

It's not because we don't want them to know.
Or, because we're ashamed.
We're not.
It's just that we'd rather concentrate on the present, rather than the past.
But, it's haunting me, and I need to get it off my chest.
So, here it is. Our story. The story of a woman and a man who fell in love when they had no right in doing so.


Destined Havoc by Nina Levine

A man who walked away from it all.
A woman who craves it all.
A destiny they never saw coming.
Havoc Caldwell lost everything two years ago and left town a bitter and hard man. Now he lives life as a nomad with no ties or commitments to anyone but himself and his club, Storm MC.
Carla Walker is searching for more out of life. She grew up with no father, and her family struggled to make ends meet. Now she wants it all - a man who will make her his number one priority, a successful career, and a family of her own.
A chance encounter leads to a one night stand, and neither expect it to go any further. Havoc has no desire for a relationship and Carla could never see herself settling down with a biker. Sometimes though, a destiny you could never imagine exists and as much as you fight it, there’s no way you can escape it.


Shifting Lines by Abigail Lee

Luke Green is content with the business he owns, the women that pass through it, and the nights he spends alone. When Riley Scott storms into his life, all lines he had drawn are shifted around, leaving him with a choice. Will he allow her to enter the place no one is allowed or will he send her on her way like the others before her?

Steele by Vicki Green
Steele: Fighting to stay alone
The need to be loved
Alone. He wants no one, needs no one, but himself. In need of money, Steele Ryker finds a bar in a desolate area in the desert and secures a job as a bartender/bouncer. The biker bar fills him with the fights he craves and the women to fill his lonely nights until.... She walks in.
Kallie Pearson is out for one thing, a good time. She’s bored of all the normal guys, the normal hot spots and finds a bar that holds just wants she’s been longing for.... Danger. 
What she doesn't know is just how much danger it holds.


Dash by Shantel Tessier
Tabitha Knight has spent the last year of her life in a relationship that made her lose herself. Now that it's over all she wants is a night out and to have some fun. What she gets is much more. 
Erik Dashling always finds himself in trouble. One day he finds himself behind bars where he gets offered an opportunity he can't turn down. But what happens when the woman he decides he wants has the power to take it away?


Waiting on Walker by Casey Peeler
In the small town of Barber, country music, motorcycles, and reckless teenagers are the norm. Chauna Jackson and Walker Brantley are no exception. The summer nights keep them hot, but they keep each other hotter. That is, until Walker disappears from Chauna's life when she needs him the most.
After losing everything important in her life, Chauna replaces her love for Walker with hatred. Fifteen years later, Chauna has quit waiting on Walker. She is ready to focus on her life, career, and friends at Boondocks until the unthinkable happens. Walker rides back into town, and he quickly realizes Chauna wants nothing to do with him, but will he take no for an answer?
Will Walker be able to win over Chauna, or will the memories of their past be too much for their future to handle?


Scar (Asphalt Gods MC #1) by Morgan Jane Mitchell
“They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but that’s bullshit. What doesn't kill you leaves a scar. More than the eyesore down my torso, I was a scar, the jagged, fucked up remains of a tragedy.”
Scar’s Nomad status gives him a chance to fulfill his one wish, but his lonely mission is interrupted when a possible one-night stand goes horribly wrong.
“They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, but what if I can’t live with myself anymore?” 
Finding the blonde face down in a puddle of her own blood jeopardizes everything. Saving her and keeping her quiet could get Scar killed, but when Emery wakes up, her shocking proposal for him to kill her starts the ride of his life.


Against All Odds by Dee Avila
Cole West leaves his life in California behind and heads east to race street bikes professionally. Cutting all ties from his former life, he forms a wall around his heart. As he races, he finds drinking and screwing his way through each city is the only option to move on. He is still in love with his high school sweetheart. Rylan Goff the girl his dad made him choose racing over. The girl his father made him leave behind. 
Now she’s here, on the race track of the first race of the season, Daytona Beach Bike Week. As soon as Cole sees her, he knows it’s Rylan. At first, she has no clue who he is. Once the truth comes out and all past secrets are revealed can they reconnect?

Ryder by Rebecca Brooke
All you want is to be invisible…
Ryder Harris has spent most of his adult life moving from one place to another. He learned a long time ago that people always let you down and the only person you can rely on is yourself. When Ryder’s bike breaks down outside a small town, he’s left with no choice but to hang around. Running from his past, hiding who he is usually easy. That’s what he does. At least until the tough talking Ryann walks into his life and some of the secrets he thought he’d never reveal push him into the one thing he never wanted.

To be seen.

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