Bewitching Book Tours Magazine Issue 23 May 2014
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine is a publication of Bewitching Book Tours and Bewitching Books. Editor: Roxanne Rhoads Design Editor and Layout: Lisa McGeen Contributors include Bewitching Book Tours Authors and Tour Hosts learn more at www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com Ad space rates are:
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Contents Gemini Rising Feature The Lost and Broken Realm Feature A Warlock’s Dance Witches Bounty Feature Witches Bounty Review Angel Kin Feature ClaraBelle’s Custom Creations White Heart of Justice Feature Stich Witch Creations Sentinels of New Orleans Feature Advice for Authors The Boss Feature Euphoria-Z Feature Thereafter Feature Breaking the Bond Feature Naughty Nook Excerpt from Immortal Flame Paranormal Pleasures II Feature Interview with Victoria Nightshade Review of Paranormal Pleasures II Pin Up Files Exploring Pin Up Contests Photography
4 8 12 16 21 22 26 28 32 39 44 46 54 60 66 69 70 72 75 78 81 82 84
Excerpt Chapter 10
Onyx was hovering right beside the little stone adjacent to the swings. He tried to single out the perfect girl. Innocent and naïve is what he was going for. He located the one he thought might work. She was swinging; she was older, maybe fifteen or so. She had one girl on each side of her and a few nuns were standing near, giving her glances of adoration. She was cute and gentle looking, the perfect disguise for the likes of him. He moved in a little closer to his prey. Over the wall and around the thick maple tree, he paused, making sure he disturbed no air. He waited to hear her name. This would come in handy.
"Eleanor, come seesaw with me!" A cute redhead gestured to his target as she hopped off the swing. Now was his chance.
“Eleanor…” he whispered her name and she stopped. She turned towards the sound that she couldn’t locate.
“Over here.” He guided her with his hand from behind the craggy trunk, allowing it to be just visible enough to make her curious as to who its owner might be. At this point, an adult might run, scream, or faint at the sight of a translucent hand gesturing mysteriously. But Eleanor was an insightful little girl and wanted to
know more. The redhead on the seesaw looked dismayed and repeated her plea. This annoyed him considerably; he was tempted to go shut her up, but her attention was now steady on the phantom arm that beckoned her. He controlled his visibility simply with his mind. If he thought it, it became a reality for him.
Eleanor's little blonde curls shook a little as she seemed to be attempting to clear her head. He could start to feel the gravitational pull from within her. It started to pull on his energy, almost gripping him and pulling him piece by piece, atom by atom, and ever closer to her.
"Come a little closer Sweetheart. How many fingers am I holding up?" If he distracted her with the game or a challenge, it would be that much easier. Anticipation started to build within him, like the sweet pressure of an inevitable release. Trance-like now, unable to resist the lure of his sugary voice, she walked right into his arm and it was over.
"Hey," he said. She jerked her head to the left and saw only his spiraling eyes. Before she could utter
a scream he was in through her surprised mouth, busily working into her muscles, connecting with her spinal cord to coordinate her movements. Her sensory organs were pliable, and the tendrils that were extensions of his personality easily wrapped around every bone, every nerve ending. She was stunned into silence by the complete and sudden hostile takeover. He felt strong and empowered. It had been weeks since he felt a young, healthy host take him to dizzying heights of euphoria.
This was where Geminis were meant to be, where they felt the most in control and in touch with their true ability. To connive and manipulate, ruin and plunder the society around them was only justice. They were so weak and puny, murderers and thieves, liars, and rapists. They all took what they wanted from each other, and the earth, then sucked any generosity right out of the atmosphere. He always thought he was helping them shorten the time frame of their journey. They would all eventually die anyway; he just hurried along the process. He felt the need to justify himself after entering someone. He knew there was some deep hidden morsel of doubt that what he was doing was right, that every human should be annihilated from ex-
istence. He would never divulge these doubts to himself or anyone else. It was a hidden monster within him and he would never lend it credit.
Gemini Rising Ethereal Fury Book I Jessica OGorek Genre: YA paranormal romance Publisher: Cogent NY Date of Publication: April 2013 ISBN: 9780925776259 ASIN: 0925776254 Number of pages: 263 Word Count: 80K Cover Artist: Jessica OGorek Book Description: Angry at the human race and its methodical destruction of her resources, Mother Earth recruits souls who have just left their bodies to serve Her, and turns them against humanity. Gemini, a clan of paranormal beings, picked from these possessed humans, emerges. A powerful, rising force proceeds to carry out Mother Nature’s plan to systematically destroy towns, cities, states… and eventually, the world. Amidst the chaos, a forbidden relationship between a human girl, Violette, and Onyx, a lead Gemini, begins. They will both find themselves in the middle of a revolutionary war that will either save, or destroy our world. About the Author: I grew up admiring my father, Barry Weinstock, as an author. He took me around the country to different places so he could research and write his Wilderness Survival books. One of his greatest works, “The Path of Power,” was written with a great medicine man, Sunbear. When I was twelve I started hand writing novels. My first one was two thousand pages. My dad always encouraged me and would rave about my writing. He gave me the confidence I needed to keep writing and follow my dream. My daughter, who is twelve, is currently working on her first novel. I hope to continue the legacy. http://geminirising1.blogspot.com
What inspired you to become an author? I really stumbled into it. Back in 2009, a friend put me in touch with an editor at the now-defunct Wizard Magazine. They were looking for freelancers. I’ve been a fan of comic books since childhood, and I’ve been a grammarian for a long time, so I gave it a shot. It worked. I wrote for them on some pretty cool articles. Then I landed a gig with the VGChartz Network, writing about video games and ascended to Editor -in-Chief. Now I’m a technical writer. Writing is one of the few things in my life where success has just come naturally. I work hard at writing, but it’s paid off so far. How did you come up with the title for your latest book?
setting is a massive part of the book, so I named it after that setting, The Lost and Broken Realm. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? Yes. I always have a working title. I find, though, that once the work is complete, all of the themes and prominent features of the book become clearer, so often a change of title is called for. Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? Writing a book is sharing a part of your soul with the world. There are parts and passages all throughout that are me. I tried very hard to keep any of my characters from becoming Mary Sues, but they all take pieces of me with them. I have a description of Gabriel’s mom in the 80’s, for instance, where she has a baggy t-shirt, pink stirrup pants, and really huge hair. That’s totally my mom when I was a kid.
Oh, I think I still have some scratch paper from when I was brainstorming with my wife and nailing down the final title. The working title was “Forgotten Things” until I realized how terrible the SEO is for that title. Google it, you’ll find nothing in particular. So I changed the series name to Things Forgotten (slightly better SEO) and spent about a week near the end of my ed- If this book is part of a series…what is the next its trying to come up with a name that de- book? Any details you can share? scribes the book as a whole. Really, the
The Lost and Broken Realm is the first part of a trilogy. The next book, which I’m currently writing, is tentatively titled, Reclaiming the Lost. I’m pretty sure that name won’t stick by the end, but it’s what I’m using. Without giving too much away, the while the first book is contemporary or cross-world fantasy, the second book is urban fantasy. I can tell you my new deuteragonist, Lorelei, is a hard-ass, streetsmart, magical, burlesque dancer. She’s been a blast to write.
gest everyone read Zen in the Art of Writing. It’s his memoir on writing and it really shows this intense passion he had for the art. He would literally sprint to his typewriter when inspiration struck. He wrote every day of his life and he’s one of the all-time greats. He proved science fiction can be literature. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Writing daily can be a chore, especially What book are you reading now? with a full-time job, promoting your book, building your brand online, and generally Right now, I’ve got the audiobook for Rain- just being a responsible adult. Within the bow Rowell’s Fangirl that I’m working writing, I’ve found that books are enorthrough, which is quite good. I’m also mous. Maintaining a theme or a through reading through Bill Willingham’s Fables line when you’re writing a full-blown novel series, and I’m reading The Final Solution that takes months is a big undertaking. by Michael Chabon. Do you have any advice for other writers? What books are in your to read pile? Write every day. I know this is the common So many books. I’m trying to step outside advice, but it’s not even about production my comfort zone this year in terms of read- or finishing a book. It’s about the craft and ing. I asked my wife to pick a book for me, the practice. When you write every day, so I’ve been reading through the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. I’ve read Mar- you get better at writing, plain and simple. garet Atwood’s Oryx and Crake and Year You develop your voice, you streamline of the Flood, so I’ll read MadAddam to fin- your process, and you make fewer misish that off. I’ll read more of the Dresden takes. Also, as my wife likes to say, your Files, too. I also like to read one really world is flat. If people are in your world that monumental book a year, so I’m glaring at don’t support your writing, let them fall off. the unabridged Les Miserables by Victor Hugo on my bookshelf. I’m shooting for 50 books this year in my Goodreads challenge and I’m right on track. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Ray Bradbury. Not that I’ve ever met him or ever will, may he rest in peace. I sug-
The Lost and Broken Realm Things Forgotten Book 1 Chris M. Arnone Genre: Contemporary Fantasy ISBN: 9780991397907 ISBN: 9781311266194 ASIN: B00HEOMU6M Number of pages: 325 print approx 299 ebook Word Count: 103,000 Cover Artist: Cassandra Whitney Smashwords, Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Book Description: Gabriel Drake had royally fouled up his life. Before his wife died, he was wealthy, respected, and loved. He pissed away the small fortune he and his wife built, drove away his friends, alienated his family, and even took a few precarious steps on the wrong side of the law. He lost his way. The world had forgotten the man he was, and then a head-on collision between his Jeep and a tree changed everything. Death would have been easier. Instead, he’s woken up in a strange place where all the lost and forgotten things and people of our world go to rest. The laws of physics seem to be driven more by magic than logic. Cats fly and talk into his mind. He’s in a place where real power has been trampled under the foot of a maniacal emperor, and Gabriel alone has the power to free these forgotten people from the emperor’s iron grip. Which will Gabriel save: these lost and broken people, or his own shattered life? Excerpt from Chapter 16: The expansive cave was filled with statues. Gabriel was immediately reminded of the terracotta army in China, row after row of warriors guarding the tombs of ancient Chinese emperors, but these weren’t warriors. They weren’t distinctly Chinese, either. They were cyclopean; that was the first thing Gabriel noticed. Rather than two equally distanced eyes, each statue had one large eye right above the nose.
Unlike those Chinese statues, these weren’t uniform, either. Different bodies, faces, attire, genders, and ages of Cyclops made up the horde of stone figures. Dread began to creep back up Gabriel’s spine as he saw something they all had in common other than their lack of depth perception: every carved face was locked eternally in an expression of fear. Stout warriors crouched, hiding their faces. Women with horrified looks stood guarding their children. Gabriel wondered what foul mind could have sculpted such horrors over and over again. “What is this?” Gabriel asked in a hush, frightened voice. “I don’t know. I’ve never even heard of this place,” Anansi responded. For the first time since Gabriel had met the manticore, he heard and felt doubt and fear coming from the creature. Zhiyan kept staring at the ground, impassive, as Finkle Prime led him along. “Who is here?” said a voice from the darkness. It sounded like a young woman, with a bright, luscious voice. Something was amiss with it, though Gabriel couldn’t figure out exactly what. “Who is that?” Gabriel asked Anansi.
“I asked you first, mortal,” The voice said playfully. Gabriel realized what was wrong. The ‘s’ sounds were extended, like Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe, or like a snake using a human voice. Gabriel couldn’t figure out where it was coming from. It wasn’t in his head. He’d heard enough telepathy to know the difference, but this woman’s voice seemed to bounce and echo around the cave and off the statues that filled it.
“Why do you look away, Gabriel? Why do you not meet my gaze? Am I not beautiful?” Ptolema asked, almost pouting. “No thanks. I’d rather not turn to stone today,” Gabriel said, his voice shaking. He remembered the stories of Medusa, how she turned men to stone with her gaze, and how Perseus destroyed her with a mirrored shield.
“Gabriel. My name is Gabriel. Who are you?” He asked, trying to keep his voice steady.
“There are worse ways to die,” Ptolema said, all the playfulness, seduction, and beauty suddenly gone from “Gabriel. So kind of you to visit. No one comes to her voice. She was deadly serious. And then she was movvisit anymore. Zhiyan, he keeps them from me. Now here ing. She was fast, so much faster than Gabriel could have he is, marching to his death, how fitting,” She said happi- imagined. He leapt out of her way, but only just in time. He felt the wind move past him and smelled her, a waft of ly. rotting flesh and dry snakeskin. “Prime, halt,” Gabriel said. The big clockwork man stopped and Gabriel saw Zhiyan with his head still Gabriel scrabbled along the cave floor to get away bowed, but his eyes were closed tightly and a small smile from the horrifying woman. Tiny snake heads snapped at the air behind his heels. He looked all around for somecrept over his face. thing, anything to fight with, to hide behind, anything. “Oh, shit,” Anansi said, suddenly angry. “Zhiyan, if we live through this, I hope the council draws and quar“Oh, get up, little man. Die on your feet,” Ptolema balked, and then laughed at him, but only briefly. A masters your giant ass.” sive shadow suddenly came over Gabriel, blocking out the “What is it?” Gabriel asked nervously. light from Prime’s lamps. Fearful of looking up, he looked “Ptolema. Eldest and most vicious of the Gorgon around and saw a massive paw, like one belonging to a sisters,” Zhiyan finally said, still holding his eyes closed lion that was three times larger than it should have been. tightly and smiling wryly. A deafening roar filled his ears and Gabriel crawled out from under the creature, seemingly unnoticed. It was al“Gorgons? Monsters like Medusa?” Gabriel most a giant lion, except it had two equally huge red asked, half in disbelief, half in growing panic. His mind raced. He tried to think of Medusa’s sisters, but the mon- feathered wings and the tail of a scorpion, its stinger poised to strike some thirty feet up in the air. ster didn’t give him time to remember them. “What do you know of my sister? She was no monster. She was a sweet, innocent girl. Raped and then villainized. No, she was no monster,” Ptolema said, her voice smooth as silk. “Don’t look her in the eyes!” Anansi suddenly screamed telepathically. He almost didn’t say it in time. “I am the monster,” She said, her voice dripping with venom. Out of the corner of his eye, Gabriel saw a woman come out of the shadows and into view. One moment later, and he would have looked at her squarely. Instead, he looked several feet to the side of her, taking in her form using his peripheral vision. She was tall as a man, a bit taller than Gabriel from what he could tell, and she wore a ragged red dress that came almost to the ground. Rather than legs, Gabriel saw a mass of writhing snakes skimming along the ground. She tried to dart directly into Gabriel’s view, faster than he expected, but he dropped his eyes fully to the ground. Her arms gleamed a brilliant, shining gold color, and reflected light from Prime’s shoulder lamps all around the cave. Gabriel wondered if her hair was made of venomous snakes like the stories told, but he didn’t chance looking up near her face.
About the Author: Chris grew up in Independence, MO. He attended college at Truman State University where he pursued his loves of theater, music, and the written word. Now, he makes his home in Kansas City, MO with his wife Christy and their four cats. Aside from writing feverishly, he is an avid supporter of the Kansas City burlesque, performance, and arts communities. He is an occasional emcee, outspoken supporter of LGBTQ equality, and King of the Nerds. No, you didn't vote for him; that's why he's king, not president.
Giselle Swenov adjusted her bridal veil with a smile. At the thought of marrying the most wonderful man in the world, her heart beat melodiously—and as Bucharest’s leading operatic protégé, she nearly belted out a glass-shattering note, too. Restraining herself, she cracked open the dressing room door and stare into the chapel. She knew her family members wouldn’t be in attendance, but she scoured the pews for them anyway. From day one, her mother and father had disapproved of her groom. What was they’d said? “Are you mad, Giselle? Lucian Ivanu is socially inferior—and his connection to the Dark Arts means he isn’t right for you.” Giselle’s pulse leapt as she glimpsed Lucian at the altar. Ironically, he looked nothing like a warlock. With flowing white-blond hair, gray eyes that reminded her of storm clouds over the Black Sea, and a knee-buckling grin, he resembled a prince ready to sweep her off her feet. Although Giselle wanted to stare at him all day, she shut the door before he saw her in her bridal gown. She refused to let bad luck seep into their wedding ceremony. “You look beautiful, my dear,” Ileana Zǎpǎda, Bucharest National Opera’s premier patron, called out behind her.
“Thank you Doamna Zǎpǎda,” she replied anxiously. At least Ileana was here to help, unlike her mother.
two steaming cups. “Why are you being so nice to me, Doamna Zǎpǎda?” Giselle asked as she accepted the
“Come,” the elegant woman urged. “Take tea cup. a final look at yourself as an unmarried woman.” Giselle swiveled around to survey her ap-
The woman sighed. “It broke my heart to learn that your parents disowned you. Word
pearance in the mirror. Cascading golden-brown
spreads quickly through the opera house—and be-
curls framed her carefully made-up face and a
cause I’m a mother hen to all my celebrated
sense of optimism lit her eyes. She had become
singers, I knew you’d need some moral support
the bride she’d envisioned as a girl and she could on your wedding day.” hardly contain her excitement. “You look a stunning.” Ileana Zǎpǎda stepped in beside her and met her gaze in the
“You must be a loving mother to your own children,” Giselle said gently. Ileana’s expression turned icy. “I never
had children of my own. I have a stepdaughter,
you are a little pale.”
but we aren’t particularly close.”
“Nerves, I suppose.” Letting out a self-
“Well, I sincerely appreciate your help.”
conscious laugh, Giselle studied Doamna Zǎpǎda. Giselle smiled. “Clasping the buttons on the Her refinement spoke of the lofty social standing back of my dress would have been impossible on Giselle’s family wished she would reach. She
winced. “Sit with me and have some tea,” the so-
As she sipped her tea, her entire body warmed instantly and she began to perspire. I
cialite proposed. “Tea studied my nerves before I must be more nervous than I thought… married my second husband.” Giselle swept her train off the floor and
Ileana went on. “I greatly admire your vocal talent, Giselle. I also admire your extraordi-
settled into a chair at a small table. While she
nary beauty. Unfortunately, I’m about to sabo-
laid her bridal bouquet in her lap, Ileana poured
tage both of those exceptional attributes.”
Alarm pierced through Giselle. She tried
to protest but before she could speak a word,
thundered, “Is that woman wearing my bride’s
dress? Somebody find Giselle!”
her throat burned as if she’d ingested hot coals. She clawed at it while Ileana studied her the
“The hag must be playing a cruel joke!” a guest accused.
way a snake zeroes in on its prey. Giselle tried to extend her hand, but her limbs prickled with pain. In an instant, her skin shriveled dramati-
“Escort her outside,” Lucian roared to an usher. A burly man took Giselle by the arm and
cally and her knuckles became hideously
dragged her out the front door. Once he disap-
peared back into the church, another strong arm
“Poor, unknowing girl.” Ileana stood over grabbed her unexpectedly and thrust her inside her. “I’m an enchantress of the Dark Arts and I slipped an accursed potion into the tea pot when you weren’t looking.” Giselle opened her mouth to scream, but
an awaiting carriage. Giselle quaked with terror as she stared at the enormous man hovering over her. “I work for Ileana.” He grunted. “She commands that you become her servant wom-
no sound escaped her lips. With great effort, she an—until she grows tired of you and decides to crawled to the mirror like an invalid and stared at her reflection. My God! I’m a mute, old woman!
turn you back into your normal self.” Giselle made another futile attempt to cry out.
Heart stuttering, she managed to pull
The henchman crossed his arms and shook
herself to her feet. She flung open the door and
his head. “You won’t be talking, singing, or
entered the chapel. All heads jerked in her di-
screaming for a very long time, Miss Swenov.
rection. When she locked eyes with Lucian, he
That should make for a quiet ride to Dantel
stared at her in astonishment yet without an
ounce of recognition. All hope evaporated from her body as he
A Warlock’s Dance A Cursed Princes Novella Marina Myles Genre: Historical/Paranormal Romance Publisher: Kensington Date of Publication: May 1, 2014 ISBN: 9781601832856 ASIN: B00GYLVWA6 Word Count: 17,000 Amazon
Encore, Please Giselle Swenov is a radiant opera star whose beauty is second only to her voice. That is, until a jealous enchantress strips away her talent and looks, transforms her into a mute and haggard old woman, and forces her to leave the man of her dreams at the altar on their wedding day. Now there’s only one person able to reverse the spell: Giselle’s warlock ex-fiancé, Lucian Ivanu. But three years have passed, and the ever-dashing Lucian seems to have moved on―he’s inherited a vast fortune, forsaken his scandalous powers, and is even set to marry again. Will he recognize his former flame when she shows up at his engagement party and begs for help? Can she recover the powerful magic ring needed to break the curse before it’s too late? Giselle’s plight has a darker twist as she discovers just how far the enchantress’s grasp reaches… www.marinamyles.com http://www.marinamyles.blogspot.com/ www.facebook.com/marinamylesauthor www.twitter.com/#!/marinaauthor https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7104310.Marina_Myles
Witch’s Bounty The Witch Chronicles, Book 1 Ann Gimpel
leen is unquestionably the most beautiful woman he’s ever laid eyes on. Strong and gutsy, too. When she refuses to come with him, because she’s needed in Seattle, he immediately offers his assistance. Anything to remain in her presence.
Publisher: Taliesin Colleen can’t believe how gorgeous the Sidhe is, but she doesn’t have time for such nonsense. She, Jenna, ISBN: and Roz are the only hedge Earth has against being Release Date: overrun by Hell’s minions. Even with help from a 3/6/14 powerful magic wielder like Duncan, the odds aren’t good and the demons know it. Sensing victory is withGenre: Dark Para- in their grasp, they close in for the kill. normal Romance Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/9Dyrl06IANo Word count: 63,000 words A demon-stalking witch teams up with a Sidhe, but their combined power, never mind their love, may be too late to make a difference.
Excerpt: …The bells around the shop door clanged a discordant riot of notes. “Crap!” Jenna shot to her feet. Book Description: “I should have locked the damned door.” “Back to cat form.” Colleen flicked her fingers One of only three remaining demon-stalking witches, at Bubba, who shrank obligingly and slithered out of Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her clothing, which puddled around him. She snatched up familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few his shirt and pants and dropped them back into the months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply canister. store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, “I say,” a strongly accented male voice called though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on out. “Is anyone here?” her way out the door to help, when a Sidhe shows up “I’ll take care of the Brit,” Colleen mouthed. and demands she accompany him to northern England “Take Bubba to the basement and practice.” to quell a demon uprising there. She got to her feet and stepped past the curtain. “Yes?” She gazed around the dimly lit store for their Duncan swallowed uneasy feelings when the Sidhe customer. foisted demon containment off onto the witches two A tall, powerfully built man, wearing dark hundred years before. He’s annoyed when the Sidhe slacks and a dark turtleneck, strode toward her, a leader sends him to haul a witch across the Atlantic to woolen greatcoat slung over one arm. His white-blond bail them out. Until he sees the witch in question. Col-
hair was drawn back into a queue. Arresting facial bones—sculpted cheeks, strong jaw, high forehead— captured her attention and stole her breath. He was quite possibly the most gorgeous man she’d ever laid eyes on. Discerning green eyes zeroed in on her face, caught her gaze, and held it. Magic danced around him in a numinous shroud. Strong magic. What was he? And then she knew. Daoine Sidhe. The man had to be Sidhe royalty. No wonder he was so stunning it almost hurt to look at him. Colleen held her ground. She placed her feet shoulder width apart and crossed her arms over her chest. “What can I help you with?” “Colleen Kelly?” Okay, so he knows who I am. Doesn’t mean a thing. He’s Sidhe. Could have plucked my name right out of my head. “That would be me. How can I help you?” she repeated, burying a desire to lick nervously at her lips. “Time is short. I’ve been hunting you for a while now. Come closer, witch. We need to talk.” *** Duncan Regis eyed the grim-faced woman standing in front of him. She was quite striking with such stunning bone structure—high cheekbones, square jaw—she could have been a runway model. Her unwavering pale blue eyes held his gaze. Dressed in brown wool slacks, a multicolored sweater, and scuffed leather boots, she had auburn curls that cascaded to waist level. A scattering of freckles coated her upturned nose. Her lips would have been full if they weren’t pursed into a hard line. He knew he was staring, but couldn’t help himself. Colleen was tall for a woman, close to six feet, with well-defined shoulders, generous breasts, and a slender waist that flared to trim hips. He smelled her apprehension and was pleased she was able to cloak it so well with the defiant angle of her chin and the challenge in her icy stare. Despite his earlier command, she didn’t move. Annoyance coiled in his gut. He could summon magic and force her, but he wanted—no, make that needed—her cooperation. Compulsion spells had a way of engendering lingering resentments. He smiled, but it felt fake so he gave it up. “I like women with spirit, but I’m used to being obeyed.” She frowned and tilted her chin another notch. “I’ll just bet you are. I’m not coming one angstrom closer until you tell me why a Sidhe is hunting for me.”
Surprise registered. He tried to mask it, just like he’d attempted to disguise himself in a human glamour. Duncan tamped down a wry grin, wondering if his second ploy had worked any better than his first. “Not really.” She tapped one booted toe. “I read minds. You’ll have to do a better job warding yours, if you want to keep me out.” Colleen exhaled briskly. “Look. Maybe it would be easier if you just told me why you’re here. I’m sort of busy just now and I don’t have a bunch of time to spar with you.” “You don’t have any choice.” “Oh yes I do.” Anger wafted from her in thick clouds. Along with it a spicy, rose scent, tinged with jasmine, tickled his nostrils and did disconcerting things to his nether regions. He resisted an urge to rearrange his suddenly erect cock. Colleen unfolded her arms, extended one, and pointed toward the door. “Out. Now.” “You’re making a terrible mistake—” “Maybe so, but this is my turf. If you force me with your magic, you’ll have broken the rules that bind your kind—and the covenant amongst magicwielders.” Duncan’s temper kindled, but it didn’t dampen the lust seeping along his nerve endings. Rules be damned. He could flatten this persnickety witch, or better yet, weave a love spell and bind her to him that way. Maybe he should do just that and have done with things. He clasped his hands behind him to quash the temptation to call magic. The movement stretched his trousers across his erection, making it obvious if she chose to look down. Something dark streaked from the back of the shop and planted itself in front of him, hissing and spitting. Gaia’s tits. A cat. He stared at it. Hmph. Maybe not a cat after all. Duncan reached outward with a tendril of magic. Before it reached the creature, Colleen bent and scooped it into her arms. The not-acat wriggled and hissed, but she held fast. “Leave him alone,” she said through clenched teeth. “He’s mine.” Duncan narrowed his eyes. “Damn if it isn’t a changeling. How’d he end up with you?” Her foot tapped the scarred wooden floor again, its beat so regular it could have been a metronome. “I asked you a whole lot of questions.” She took a step backward. “But the only one I want to know the answer to is—” “What the fuck are you doing?” Jenna wavered into view, having teleported in from somewhere. Her gaze landed on the cat. “Thank Christ! For
a minute there I thought the little bastard got away from me.” “Jenna,” Colleen snapped. “The Sidhe have deigned to call.” The other woman whipped around and stared at Duncan. He stared back. What was it with these witches? Had they taken some sort of potion to supersize themselves? She made Colleen look positively petite. Jenna sidled closer to Colleen; part of her height came from high heels, but she was still an imposing woman. “What does he want?” she growled. Duncan cleared his throat. “I’m right here. You can ask me.” “Fine.” Jenna put her hands on her hips. “What are you doing here?” “How do you know I want anything?” he countered, trying to buy time to figure out what to do now. He hadn’t counted on two witches, and a changeling. “Because if you didn’t, Colleen would have shooed you out of here by now. You really do need to leave. We’re busy.” He snorted. “Yes. Colleen made that abundantly clear.” He looked from one witch to the other. At least his erection was fading a bit. Crowds always had a dampening effect on his libido. Many other Sidhe thrived on group sex, but he’d never appreciated its appeal. “Either tell us what you want right now,” Colleen moved toward him, cat still in her arms, “or leave. I’m going to count to three—” “Maeve’s teeth, witch! We’re on the same side.” “Generally speaking,” Jenna joined Colleen about three feet away from him, “that’s probably true, but the Sidhe have never helped us.” Colleen quirked a brow. “No, they haven’t.” Her eyes narrowed. “And I have this prescient feeling that Sidhe-boy here is about to ask for a pretty big favor.” “Sidhe-boy?” The dregs of his lust scattered; he crimped his hands into fists. “Show some respect.” “You’re not respecting me,” Colleen said. “I’ve asked you to leave—twice. No, make that three times.” The not-a-cat finally twisted free. He skimmed over the distance to Duncan and buried his claws in his leg. “Why you changeling bastard!” Duncan shook his leg. The thing didn’t even budge. He bent, curled his hands around the furred body, and tugged. The thing bit him. Anger flashed. Magic followed. The
changeling howled and fell into a heap on the floor. “Goddammit!” Colleen shrieked. “He was just trying to protect me. If you’ve killed him…” “I didn’t. He’s only stunned.” Duncan rubbed his ankle, glanced at the puncture wounds on his hand, and directed healing magic to both places. Colleen sprang forward and gathered the creature into her arms. Duncan felt her magic quest into its small body. She blew out an audible breath. Cradled against her, shrouded by her long hair, the changeling mewled softly. Duncan shook his head. He’d hoped to be subtle, accommodating, encouraging, so the witch would at least hear him out with an open mind. The time for that was long past. “All right.” He spread his hands in front of him. The flesh wounds on the one were already nearly closed. “I’m here because we’ve had problems with Irichna demons—” “Christ on a fucking crutch,” Jenna cut in. “Seems like they’re on everyone’s mind these days. We were just—” Colleen rounded on her. “Shut up!” “Oops. Sorry.” Jenna held out her arms for the changeling. “I’ll just take him and—” “No.” Colleen’s voice was more like a growl. “You’ll stay right here.” She placed the changeling in the other witch’s arms and turned to face Duncan. “I know you’re Sidhe, but who are you?” “Duncan Regis.” He held out a hand. She ignored it, so he let it drop to his side. “Regis, Regis,” she mumbled, her eyes narrowed in thought. “Ruling class from somewhere in Scotland.” He nodded, impressed. “Northern England, at the moment, but the border has moved around a bit over the years. I do lay claim to Scottish roots. I didn’t know witches studied our family lines.” “Witches don’t, but I did.” “Any particular reason?” He was almost sorry he’d asked. She had strong feelings about the Sidhe, and he was about to find out why. The changeling yowled, obviously recovered from his semi-comatose state. Jenna cursed and set him down. “Damn it! He scratched me.” Duncan thought about saying something cheery, like welcome to the club, but bit back the words. Colleen rolled her eyes. “He wants to talk. There’ll be no peace until he shifts.” She flicked magic toward the creature winding itself between her booted feet. The air shimmered and a rather large
gnome took form. He rocked toward Duncan with a bow-legged gait that made him look like a drunken sailor; his open mouth displayed squared off teeth. “I’ll tell you why she knows about you.” The changeling drew himself to his full height of about three-and-a-half feet. “She came to the Old Country looking for help during the last demon war. You Sidhe were too high and mighty to get your hands dirty, so she had to settle for me.” Colleen snickered. “Not exactly the way I might have described it, but close enough. Hey, Bubba! Get some clothes on.” “Later,” the changeling snapped without looking at her. “Which of us did you approach?” Duncan made the question casual. Whoever turned Colleen down had broken the covenant binding magicwielders to come to one another’s aid in times of need. He wondered if she knew. “Of course I do.” She sneered. “Your thoughts are as transparent as a child’s. Even Bubba here,” she pointed to the changeling, “does a better job masking his feelings when he puts his mind to it.” “Thanks.” The changeling glowered at her before transferring his attention back to Duncan. “What kind of name is Bubba?” Duncan linked to the changeling, and was surprised by the complexity of his thoughts. Maybe the witches had been a good influence. “You didn’t have to just push your way in.” The changeling screwed up his seamed face in disgust, but didn’t draw back. “My true name is Niall Eoghan.” “Clothes,” Colleen reminded him. Bubba made a face at her, turned, and walked behind one of the display cases. When he emerged, he wore wide-bottomed green trousers and a black shirt. “Irish.” Puzzle pieces clicked into place and Duncan transferred his attention back to Colleen. “You never did tell me who you’d asked for help. It appears they not only turned you down, but chased you across the Irish Sea.” “We left voluntarily,” Jenna said. Colleen’s lips twisted in distaste. Whatever she remembered apparently didn’t sit well. “We spoke with two Sidhe at Inverlochy Castle outside Inverness. They refused to give us their names, but said they were princes over your people. They heard us out and sent us packing. Gave us twenty-four hours to leave Scottish soil.” “I was all for staying,” Jenna chimed in.
“After all, we had passports.” “Was it just the two of you?” Duncan asked. “Roz was with us,” Colleen said. Understanding washed through him. “Three. You brought three to maximize your power.” Colleen’s full mouth split into a chilly smile. “We were under attack by the Irichna. Would you have done any less?” “Probably not. So after we, that is, the Sidhe—” “We worked fine,” Bubba said flatly. “Unless you’ve decided to renounce your heritage.” Duncan traded pointed looks with the changeling. “Speaking of magic, you’re stronger than any changeling I’ve ever come across.” “That’s because you’re used to our feeble Scottish cousins. They were stronger before you stripped their magic and diverted it for your own purposes.” “Enough.” Colleen snapped her fingers. “Or I’ll change you back into a cat. We don’t need a history lesson just now.” She shook her hair back over her shoulders. The movement strained her sweater tighter across her breasts. Duncan dragged his gaze elsewhere. “About the Irichna—” he began. “We can’t help you,” Colleen said flatly. “Why not? We’d pay you well.” “It’s not a matter of money, although I’m not sure you could afford us.” “We have an, um, previous engagement,” Jenna offered. “Whoever it is, we need you more than they do.” He looked from one witch to the other. Colleen dropped her gaze and rubbed the bridge of her nose between her thumb and index fingers. When she looked up, the skin around her eyes was pinched with worry. “I’m not sure it’s a matter of who needs whom more.” She speared him with her pale blue gaze. “Do the Sidhe know why the demons are so much more active here of late?” He debated how much to tell her. Given her ability to burrow inside his head, it was unlikely he’d be able to hide much. If he told her everything, though, it might piss her off. Hell’s bells, it annoyed the crap out of him. “Not exactly.” Her nostrils flared. “You can do better than that. If you can’t, the door is behind you.” She folded her arms beneath her breasts. “Talk now or leave now. It’s all the same to me.”
About the Author:
Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel. Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist. In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family. www.anngimpel.com http://anngimpel.blogspot.com
@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)
Book Review - Witch’s Bounty The Witch Chronicles Book 1 Author: Ann Gimpel Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance
First Sentence: Rain worsened from a steady drizzle to a pounding, punishing deluge of icy sleet. Colleen Kelly, a demon stalking witch along with two others that are the last of their kind, must team up with Duncan Regis, a sidhe who is a wielder of magic, in order to get a stronghold on the Irichna Demons – the worse kind of demon that fear nothing, live to create pain and dissent, but feel no pain. Somehow these evil demons of Hell are showing up all over and it’s high time to immobilize them and send them back to Hell before it’s too late. What an exceptional world of witches, demons, and sidhe Ms. Gimpel has created. Romance buds and evolves from tight tension between Colleen and Duncan – it’s raw and snarly, until the two of them realize it as something much deeper going on between them. I love how naturally their relationship goes from one extreme to the other. That along with the graphic fight scenes between witches and demons and sidhe…and a cool side-kick of Colleen’s (her familiar) keeps this story moving at a page turning pace from beginning to end. I loved that changeling familiar, such a bonus to the story. I’m so glad to know there’s another of these stories coming up, as this is the introduction novel to The Witch Chronicles series, and I definitely want to know what’s coming next in line for Colleen and her two demon stalking witch friends, Jenna and Roz. Ann Gimpel’s books are all packed with unique and strong story-stars, deeply developed worlds, and the best creative fight scenes ever: ) Plus…of course, romance. If you like witches, demons, and sidhe…and long for a good romance that weaves throughout the entire story like a breath of fresh air…you’re going to love Ann’s newest series; ) Kay Dee Royal Original Post: http://www.kaydeeroyal.blogspot.com/2014/04/ann-gimpel-shrinkwrapped-psychologist.html
First, Cain checked the room’s double window and the flimsy front door, then threw the motel blanket on the brown carpet. He smoothed his hands across the sheets and lifted the mattress. He let it go and unrolled his blanket, tucking the corners. “Should be fine now.” Her mind felt miles away. “Will it be? Fine?” He removed his jacket and pulled one of his guns from the holster. The magazine shot into his hand before he slammed it back. “As soon as I find Abel your life will go back to normal.” Katie huffed a half laugh. Normal sounded like a dream. “I—” Cain paused his movements. “You what?” “I wish I knew how to help you.” “Well you can’t.” She snapped her gaze to his stony face. “Would it hurt to pretend I just showed some compassion for you? You could at least act like you’d considered my words.” “Let’s analyze your sweet wish, little burglar. I’m an assassin, which translates to I kill people.” The half angel folded his arms and left no doubt about the arrogance on his face. “Sorry if the facts sting, but you can’t fight like I can. You can’t do what needs to be done.” Infuriating, arrogant, and stubborn was not a good look on him. Katie mimicked his posture and crossed her arms. “Tell me, Mr. Super Assassin, are you sure those legendary fighting skills you claim to have will work when you’re face-to-face with Abel?” “You think I’ll run from the fight?” A growl slipped through his gritted teeth. “That’s not what I meant. I want to know if you can”— she raised her fingers in air quotes— “do what needs to be done, when your opponent is your own brother?”
Cain pressed his lips together, and she dove into the void left by his hesitation. “Family is about love, but it’s also about a shitload of pain.” Katie expelled a slow breath. “When you face off with your twin, the end result will stay with you.” “Abel’s my blood, but he’s done wrong. I’ll deal.” Katie tossed her hands up. “Say you’re standing near Abel and he’s got a gun pointed at some poor schmuck’s head. What are you going to do? You’d have to decide whether or not your brother is more important, or that innocent life.” He clawed his fingers through his hair. “I’d never allow him to harm a soul in my presence. I will stop my brother, but don’t tell me my only option is to kill him.” “I hope it doesn’t come to that.” Exhausted, she sank onto the edge of the mattress. “I truly do.” “Ridiculous,” he muttered under his breath. She shot up from the bed, ready to tell him exactly where he could shove his tough act, but Cain’s hand caught her wrist. They stared into each other’s eyes, but the emotions passing over his face cranked her heartbeat. “Let. Go.” She jerked her arm, but his grip held.
“You should thank me for my honesty. An angel, even an impure abomination like me, could kill you before you could react. No more wishing you could help me. I don’t want to see you hurt.” “So we’re clear, if I wasn’t dealing with mind-controlling giants, I could hold my own in a fight,” she said. Cain’s expression darkened. “Could you? I wonder.” The Nephilim brought her crashing down onto the mattress, and Katie yelped. She thrashed under his heavy weight. “Overpowered by a body, not mind control,” he said as his breath fanned her skin. “Your nonassassin skills are sadly lacking.” He pinned her wrists above her head, leaving her body flush against his. Katie wiggled and tugged, but Cain had the advantage of position and strength. She stopped her frantic movements. Only one option left—surprise. She molded her lips over his, the pressure so heavy and intense she could only moan breathlessly into his mouth. The warmth of her tongue touched his, drawing her nerves guitar-string tight.
The grip on her wrists loosened, and Katie raised her hands until her fingers slid into the thickness of his hair. She arched her body and his wide palm cupped her back. Distracting Cain to throw him off took a back seat, replaced by instinctual need pounding deep within her belly and ricocheting between her legs. Cain’s tongue continued a slow exploration of her mouth, lapping the depths, erotic as hell. Her trembling fingers brushed the expanse of his shoulders, his firm muscles jolting the tips as they passed over. Filled with untethered boldness, she ran light touches down the ridges of his firm pectorals. When her thumb flicked a pebble-hard nipple, her bodyguard growled. Angel Kin An Angel Assassins Novel Tricia Skinner Genre: Paranormal Romance with Urban Fantasy elements Book Description: While channeling Robin Hood’s “steal from the rich and give to the poor” attitude at a local politician’s house, ex-con Katie Logan witnesses a forced suicide. Dirty or not, supernatural or not, he didn’t deserve to die, especially not by his own hand. But with her record, stepping forward as a witness isn’t an option. On the run from the police and the murderer, she turns to The Bound Ones for help. When a beautiful woman comes to The Bound Ones, half-angel assassin Cain is immediately drawn to her. But when she fingers him as the killer, he can come to only one conclusion. The twin he thought was dead is very much alive…and trying to send him a message. Unfortunately, that message is: “You’re next.” It’s a race against time as Cain fights to save the woman he’s falling in love with before his brother Abel destroys them both. About the Author: Tricia Skinner writes urban fantasy with twist of passion. She’s a former journalist who discovered her inspiration to write fiction as an escape from “real life.” Her reading tastes include fantasy (and its subgenres), paranormal, sci-fi, and history. When she’s not writing, Tricia is a newbie “green” practitioner, fitness procrastinator, and a technology geek. Her family includes a patient husband, a demigod son, and two Great Danes. She’s active in several writing communities and enjoys interacting with readers. http://www.triciaskinner.com
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Excerpt Prologue I can’t be with you anymore. That’s what she’d said. Six words that had become sixty then six hundred then six thousand . . . sixty thousand . . . six million . . . reverberating in his head, bouncing around inside his brain, driving him absolutely mad. There were no other words. No other memories. Only that last one of her. Standing at the edge of the oozy stew of the destroyed keep’s moat, flanked by two Angels, one preternaturally beautiful, the other full of purpose. The same purpose he’d had until those six words stripped him of it. Flying out, he’d barely cleared the wreckage of the keep. His heart beat against the walls of his massive chest, and his monstrous wings beat against the infinite, empty sky, but the beats were slow and grew slower still. Slower. Until finally . . . Stop. He made it across the river and then dropped like a ten-ton stone, crashing into the brush, breaking tree limbs and a wing. He lay there amongst the blackening scrub refusing to shift back into human form. Man’s thoughts were unwelcome. In time, the rogares came. Water wraiths. He killed them all. And then sickened by the smell of blood and meat he couldn’t—wouldn’t—consume, he left his nesting place. By then, the wing had healed, but unnaturally, so that flying straight was impossible. For days, he traveled in circles, never getting far. It wasn’t just the wing. The yearning to return to her was nearly unbearable. The emptiness inside of him an abyss. Was she still in the Shallows? If he could just . . . But then he remembered the Angels. And the look on her face when she’d said the six words. And the feelings in her signature. She’d need more than mere weeks for them to abate. She might need months. Hopefully, not years. Years meant nothing to him, but they did to her. And then the reminder that her time was more precious than his drove his yearning to a new level of ferocity. Ruthlessly, he tamped it down. He realized then that it might be best to return to man’s thoughts. After all, she was a woman. And he wanted her back. Chapter 1 “Glashia calls Noon the ballista.” Waldron Seknecus’ low voice rumbled through the Gridiron, a deep, cavernous underground space used by the upper years at St. Lucifer’s for sparring. “Because of how she fights now. Watch.” He was speaking to three other spectators: my father, Karanos Onyx, executive of the Demon Council and the man who would ultimately employ all of the magic users who trained here at St. Luck’s; Friedrich Vanderlin, an Archangel who was the dean of Guardians over at the Joshua School, the Angel academy we
shared a campus with; and a woman who looked unsettlingly familiar to me, though I couldn’t remember when we’d met or who she was. I cleared my mind and concentrated on my opponent, Ludovicus Mischmetal, who preferred the moniker “Vicious” for short. He was a second year Maegester-in-Training at Euryale University. We were competing against one another in the New Babylon MIT rank matches, which St. Luck’s was hosting this year. All second-year MITs were required to compete. The top-ranked MITs from each school would then be eligible to compete in the Laurel Crown Race. The object of the race was to bring back an assigned target. Targets were either rogare demons or priceless artifacts that needed to be recovered. Participation in the Laurel Crown Race was voluntary, but the MIT who returned to New Babylon with his (or in my case, her) target before any of the others, won the coveted Laurel Crown. Winning the Laurel Crown often set a future Maegester up for life because winners could choose where they wanted to spend their fourth-semester residency. And ofttimes, those residencies turned into permanent positions. Everyone else would receive offers, but it would be the Council that decided which of those residency positions they accepted. Last semester, we’d been given our first field assignment. It was an assignment that had been full of rogare demon attacks and other lethal situations. That assignment had lasted a mere three months and I’d barely survived it. My residency would last for twice as long, so I was well aware of how important the residency venue would be. Winning the right to choose where I spent next semester, not to mention who I would be working for, would go far in preserving not just my happiness, but also my life. The Maegester who was judging the match, a middle-aged man with thinning, ginger-colored hair and a near permanent frown, called out for us to begin. I’d watched Vicious spar with other MITs. He was smart. His infliction of pain would be very calculated, very precise. There was nothing personal about his desire to beat me. He just wanted to win the match so that he could retain his current Primoris ranking at Euryale and compete for the Laurel Crown. Of course, I was similarly motivated. Vicious gave me a curt bow, his long, black, razor-cut bangs briefly falling forward before he shook them back and used his waning magic to fire up a weapon, a flaming broadsword. It hissed and spit with fury in the damp air of the Gridiron as Vicious raised it toward me in an opening invitation to spar. As a sparring partner, Vicious looked fairly intimidating. His front teeth were shiny, silver, and sharply pointed (likely, his real ones had been knocked out in fights) and he was much larger than me. He wore the usual black leather training pants and vest, but he’d elected to go shirtless underneath the vest. I guessed it was an intentional show of muscle, literally. He flexed his forearms and grinned at me, his message clear: I might be a woman playing a man’s game, but he wasn’t going to spare me any blows. That suited me fine. Sparing me blows wouldn’t win me the match. White Heart of Justice Noon Onyx Book 3 Jill Archer Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Ace Date of Publication: May 27, 2014
ISBN-10: 0425257177 ISBN-13: 978-0425257173 ASIN: B00EOARZP0 Number of pages: 304 Word Count: 95,000 Cover Artist: Jason Chan Amazon Barnes and Noble Books-A-Million Powell’s Books Book Depository IndieBound
Book Description: Since Lucifer claimed victory at Armageddon, demons, angels, and humans have coexisted in uneasy harmony. Those with waning magic are trained to maintain peace and order. But hostilities are never far from erupting… After years of denying her abilities, Noon Onyx, the first woman in history to wield waning magic, has embraced her power. She’s won the right to compete in the prestigious Laurel Crown Race—an event that will not only earn her the respect of her peers but also, if she wins, the right to control her future. However, Noon’s task is nearly impossible: retrieve the White Heart of Justice, a mythical sword that disappeared hundreds of years ago. The sword is rumored to be hidden in a dangerous region of Halja that she is unlikely to return from. But Noon’s life isn’t the only thing hanging in the balance. The sword holds an awesome power that, in the wrong hands, could reboot the apocalypse—and Noon is the only one who can prevent Armageddon from starting again…
About the Author: Jill Archer writes dark, genre-bending fantasy from rural Maryland. Her novels include Dark Light of Day, Fiery Edge of Steel, and White Heart of Justice. She loves cats, coffee, books, movies, day tripping, and outdoor adventuring.
Website/blog: http://jillarcherauthor.wordpress.com/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/archer_jill Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jillarcherauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/ show/5782149.Jill_Archer
Stitch Witch Creations from Sophie Avette's Sinister Stiches Series Guest Starring Suzanne Johnson’s Drusilla “DJ” Jaco from the Sentinels of New Orleans Series My characters are either naked or dressed to kill. Given they’re all monsters stalking the city of New Gotham’s twisted, cracked, and cobbled streets, the criminal wardrobe is part of the job description. Rockabilly princesses, corpse brides, leather queens…my city is full of them. Where do they get their menacing threads? There is boutique hiding out between the fractured, narrow store-fronts lining the foggy docks. The shingles are ribbed and black. Washed, peeling paint and displays offering views into wicked leather and lace studded glam. The mannequins are ghoulish beauties stitched together from whatever was left from the last fool to cross one of the sinister witches.
Push open its shabby, frosted front door. Tiny white flakes of paint will pepper the wind like spectral dust and the minute you set heel onto waxy polished oak floors and step into the candelabra firelight you know… This is where the magic happens.
Welcome to Sinister Stitches “…apparel for a wicked fairy tale.” A spicy trinity of black magic sisters breathe star-dusted dreams to life with their gothic apparel boutique. They are schooled in the old ways of “fabric-bending” by the Needlewitches of old. With this knowledge, they’ve created an entire line of clothing that all share the same basic design element: one-size fits all. Each garment will magically tailor itself to its wearer once worn. There may might be some “twirling” required, but a vampire’s steady hand should turn every wardrobe change into a stolen moment. Care to take a peek at what the Sinister Stitches has to offer? Check out some of the questionnaire Suzanne Johnson’s Drusilla “DJ” Draco from the Sentinels of New Orleans Series was asked to fill out after she wandered into Sinister Stitches.
THE WITCHES WHO STITCH QUESTIONNAIRE Please provide the witches with your name: DJ Jaco I was named Drusilla Jane after my great aunt but, really, don’t call me Dru or I’ll think you’re an elf and have to zap you one with my magical staff. If you call me Drusilla, I’ll think you’re the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, and if you call me Drusilla Jane, I think you’re my grandmother. Please provide the witches with the following: Hair Color: Blonde Hair Length: [ ] Short and Sassy, [ ] Medium and Modern, [X] Lush and Long
Eye Color: Blue-green Skin Tone: [ ] Ghoulish, [X] Snow White, [ ] Cina-baby, [ ] Mochalicious, [ ] Dark Chocolate, [ ] Other:__________ Please provide the witches with your measurements and body-type. a.) Height: 5’3” b.) Body Type: [ ] Skeletal, [X] Lean and Tender, [ ] Lean and Tough, [x] Ripe and Edible Depends on whether I’ve been stressed out and eating chocolate. Do you have any extra extremities? Place an “X” to all that apply. [ ] Horns or [ ] Halo [ ] 20 ft. of Hair or More [ ] Gills and Fins or [ ] Hooves [ ] Wings (Span: ) [ ] Tail (How many: ) I feel so…inadequate. How many heads do you have? One, but it’s plenty enough to get me in trouble.
Do you have arms and legs? If so, how many? Two arms, two legs, although technically you could consider Charlie a third arm. That’s the nickname for the ancient elven staff that claimed me as its master; its ceremonial name is Mahout, and the elves are plenty pissed off that I have it and that I, a mere wizard, can do some of their magic. Of course I also have the elven non-husband, Quince Randolph, but that’s a whole other issue. He’s more like an albatross than an appendage. How dead are you? [x] Living, [ ] Undead, [ ] Astral Form Although I do have a friend-maybe-suitor who’s a 240-year-old undead French pirate, Jean Lafitte. Does that earn extra points?
What are you? (Species/Breed) Wizard, Green Congress (ritual magic), advanced class. I work as Sentinel of the central Gulf Coast area, based primarily in New Orleans. A Sentinel is…well, think “border guard” between the modern world and the preternatural Beyond. What is the occasion? (Ideas include: Wedding, Funeral, Sabbath, etc. Oh, and seduction is a valid occasion. The more details, the better.) Oh, what to choose! Here’s the challenge: My house burned down last month and I have very little clothing now. I have to testify at an important meeting of the Interspecies Council in a few weeks, and there’s a lot riding on my testimony. You know, like the continued existence of the human world. I also have a gunshot wound to my left shoulder and bruised ribs, so it needs to be some-
thing easy to get in and out of.
What’s the occasion setting? (Beach, haunted castle, grand ball, etc.) It will likely be a formal affair, in a courtroom-like setting, with representatives from the wizards’ Congress of Elders, the Elven Synod from Elfheim, the Vice-Regent from the Realm of Vampyre, the Historical Undead (represented by the French pirate mentioned earlier) and three representatives from the Monarchy of Faerie. With some shifter security that includes my sometimes-signficantsomething Alex. Oh, and the undead Truman Capote will also be testifying. Will you be running for your life at some point in the evening? (Helps with shoe selection.) It does seem to happen with alarming regularity, so I’d better say yes.
Will you be set on fire? Better yet, will you be setting other people on fire? I’m much more likely to set others on fire. In fact, I’d pretty much bet on it. My aim with the staff isn’t that great so it might or might not be the person I’m actually trying to set on fire. Will you be grave-robbing? (Dirt is a dressmaker’s tedium.) Absolutely not. I can’t promise I won’t end up tossed to the ground, however. Is your neck a dinner plate? Oh God, I hope not. But it’s possible. The vampires are kind of pissed off at me right now. Do you hope to be naked at some point in the evening? (All right, dirty birds. Such questions are actually intended toward the weres and shifters in regards to their transformations.) If I am naked during this particular evening, something has gone horribly, horribly wrong. Describe your last brush with Death in two sentences. (Helps us plan for the unexpected.) After being gnawed on by a reanimated serial killer, I was shot by an undead pirate who was being controlled by a necromancer, who’d been hired by the evil bitch who heads up one of the elven clans. It happened at Six Flags. Do you need a secret compartment for weapons, wands, tampons, etc.?
I have a thigh holster that holds the elven staff; otherwise I need some way to carry it—it’s about two feet long. I like to carry a small portable magic kit and a knife. What are your three favorite colors? Teal, red, and purple. What two colors rattle your kettle? Orange and pink. I am SO not a pink girl, and nobody wears orange well. Please pick a style that you feel embodies you the best. If none apply, feel free to surprise us by providing your own brilliant description in the “other” slot.
[ ] Rockabilly Starlet: This is for the spoonfuls of sugar. The good-natured and naughty girl next door types. Candy is the business and fairy tales are ultimate. More often than not, her head is in the clouds and her nose in the book. Our dreamers. [ ] Leather Queen: This is for the warrior princesses. The type of girls who give boys a run for their money and wear tight jeans just watch the little vampires come undone. Hands for fighting and these heels for ass-kickings. Our protectors. [ ] Medieval Mistress: This is for the no-nonsense girls. The ones who know better because they’re ten steps ahead. They’re schemers—they might be shy, or they might not be. More importantly, they’re selective. Our wisdom. [ ] Gothic Dame: This for the mysteries. The ones no one can quite make heads or tails out off. She’s a mixture, a melting pot of sugar and sinister. She might be Rockabilly Starlet one day, or a Medieval Mistress other days. Our sisters. [X] Other: Zydeco Geek Mistress: The snarky, nerdy girl next door type who given a choice, will always follows her heart rather than her head, which sometimes lands her in precarious circumstances, particularly with one sexy undead French pirate. A lot tougher than she gives herself credit for. Fiercely loyal to those who earn her trust. Who is your favorite fairy tale villain? Lord Voldemort. I can introduce you to the equivalent figure in Elfheim, Vampyre and Faerie if you want. Nasty. If you could be any fairy tale princess, who would it be? None. Fairy tale princesses have to be rescued by the prince. I’d rather find my own way out, but thanks! Now, tell us the twit you hate most. Adrian Hoffman, son of the wizards’ First Elder and a Blue Congress wizard in his own right (creation and re-creation). He’s arrogant, snarky, disagreeable, and not nearly as smart as he thinks he is. Of course, I’m trying to forgive him for almost getting me killed, especially since he ended up with fangs. Anything else you’d like to add…
After many barrels of chocolate, a dash of magic and furious sewing… Sinister Stitches’ Rockabilly Starlet and Medieval Mistress, Gillian and Astrid Dweyer present DJ’s Completed Dress “Elfshot”
Sweet-pink and violent violet specs of spectral dust waft around the witch cast in the shadow of the grand staircase. Shimmering bubblegum pink corset offer her creamy breasts in sumptuous invitation and waves of cake-like flare at her knees. She’s a hellish princess on six-inch patent leather ballerina stilettos. She starts waving...like a lunatic: HI! Welcome, welcome, welcome—wait, what is that? Is that a staff? Or are you just...you know, happy? Never mind. What was I doing...? Hmm...? Oh, that’s right—the dress. Well, what can a candy witch say? I’m a f#cking genius, that’s what. First of all, Lady Geeks are most welcome and you look fabulous— here, have a piece of chocolate. Second of all, this one of my special designs. Haven’t shown it to a soul till now. Frankly, if this dress doesn’t get you carts of cake offered in sacrifice from pirates and prince charmings alike—it’s a user error, dear. But I have faith that you’ll wear my brilliance well. And I’ll have you know that not every fairy tale princess needs saved. On the contrary, I put out a burning ship for that pain-in-the-ass Viking without lifting a finger save for a spell. And I was eating cookies. Or maybe it was gumdrops. I don’t remember....Remind me, what was I reading then? A vampire swathed in a midnight blue medieval sewing frock with cobweb black lace sweeps into the foyer. Miles of sable locks trail her like a gothic wedding veil and her first order of business is to shove her sister out of an open window. (As regally as possible, of course.) She dusts her hands like she can cross another heathen off her list:
Don’t worry. She can fly. But all of that—you know, being useless for anything but fabulous dress design and chocolate—is precisely why we don’t let that simple mind leave the house unchaperoned. Nor is she allowed to work the front of the store. So let’s just call this a....plot twist. I’m Astrid, I’m the Medieval Mistress running the catwalk around here. Now then, about your dress...you know, what you actually came here for. (*heavy sigh*) Gillian was in charge of overall design, but I worked especially hard on the color blending. Per your color request, the fabric is made of fuchsia cherry blossoms and lavender changeling flowers imported from Wuthering Wonderland. The fabric is inflammable—completely and utterly incapable of being burned. These blooms came directly from the Red Queen’s secret pavilion garden, so if you should so happen by Hell’s Kettle during your visit in New Gotham, please stop by and give your thanks.
Thanks to our resident leather queen and my sister, Brenda, the dress is a two piece set. It was crafted that way to allow you freedom of movement. The neckline is a crisscross, pressed-draping. And you can, of course, blame Gillian for the bow, but in your case—the touch is softening. Almost like a tiny pair of tulle wings—well, sort of... The tulle fashioning the bow has been welded with special Void fabric imported from the Veil—the sheath should allow the elven staff to fold and bend with the skirt. So, fear not, it’ll be there when you need it. The Void pocket also allows for the storing of a moderately sized supply pouch and small dagger in the other bow’s wing. Pay special attention to the earrings momma fashioned you. They’re special. What do they do? Well, have you noticed that your gunshot wound is missing? That’s right—they’re Isis Ear-Wings, i.e. earrings ripped from the goddess’ earlobes right before she was cast from the heavens and imprisoned in the form of a young Princess Cleopatra. What? Wasn’t the tale you heard? No? Here, have a brochure. You’re gonna love New Gotham... What do the earrings do, you ask again? Well, they will practically heal any wound made by a man-made instrument. Flaming balls of hellfire, ketchup, and insidious dirt stains—well, we’ve already got that covered, don’t we? Oh, and before you go....Gillian would like your Lord Voldemort’s number. Seems he’s just her type. I know, it hurts. No, really. Here, join me in a piece of chocolate. The burden of is almost too much... IMPORTANT BULLETINS from THE PIXES: Fancy a tour of New Gotham? Check out New Gotham’s Survival Guide! It might save your life! (Link: http://sophieavett.weebly.com/new-gotham-bonus-content.html) For more information about Sophie Avett’s New Gotham novels and Sinister Stitches series and recent release, ‘Twas the Darkest Night, please check out her website: http:// www.sophieavett.weebly.com
For more information about Suzanne Johnson and DJ Dracoâ€™s adventures in the Sentinels of New Orleans Series, please check out her website: http://suzannejohnsonauthor.com/
Elysian Fields Sentinels of New Orleans Series Book Three Suzanne Johnson Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Tor Books Date of Publication: August 13, 2013 ISBN: 978-0765333193 ASIN: B00CQY7TOI Number of pages: 352 Word Count: approx. 102,000 Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/2NskZi9B0gU Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository
The mer feud has been settled, but life in South Louisiana still has more twists and turns than the muddy Mississippi. New Orleanians are under attack from a copycat killer mimicking the crimes of a 1918 serial murderer known as the Axeman of New Orleans. Thanks to a tip from the undead pirate Jean Lafitte, DJ Jaco knows the attacks aren't random --an unknown necromancer has resurrected the original Axeman of New Orleans, and his ultimate target is a certain blonde wizard.
Namely, DJ. Fighting off an undead serial killer as troubles pile up around her isn't easy. Jake Warin's loup-garou nature is spiraling downward, enigmatic neighbor Quince Randolph is acting weirder than ever, the Elders are insisting on lessons in elven magic from the world's most annoying wizard, and former partner Alex Warin just turned up on DJ's to-do list. Not to mention big maneuvers are afoot in the halls of preternatural power. Suddenly, moving to the Beyond as Jean Lafitte's pirate wench? It could be DJ's best option. River Road Sentinels of New Orleans Book Two Suzanne Johnson Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Tor Books ISBN: 978-0765327802 ASIN: B00842H5VI
Number of pages: 336 Word Count: approx. 92,000 Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository Indiebound Book Description: Hurricane Katrina is long gone, but the preternatural storm rages on in New Orleans. New species from the Beyond moved into Louisiana after the hurricane destroyed the borders between worlds, and it falls to wizard sentinel Drusilla Jaco and her partner, Alex Warin, to keep the preternaturals peaceful and the humans unaware. But a war is brewing between two clans of Cajun merpeople in Plaquemines Parish, and down in the swamp, DJ learns, there’s more stirring than angry mermen and the threat of a were-gator. Wizards are dying, and something—or someone—from the Beyond is poisoning the waters of the mighty Mississippi, threatening the humans who live and work along the river. DJ and Alex
must figure out what unearthly source is contaminating the water and who—or what—is killing the wizards. Is it a malcontented merman, the naughty nymph, or some other critter altogether? After all, DJ’s undead suitor, the pirate Jean Lafitte, knows his way around a body or two. It’s anything but smooth sailing on the bayou as the Sentinels of New Orleans series continues. Royal Street Sentinels of New Orleans Book One Suzanne Johnson
Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Tor Books ISBN: 978-0765327796 ASIN: B006OM459U Number of pages: 337 Word Count: approx. 94,000 Cover Artist: Cliff Nielsen Amazon Barnes and Noble Book Depository Book Description: As the junior wizard sentinel for New Orleans, Drusilla Jaco's job involves a lot more potion -mixing and pixie-retrieval than sniffing out supernatural bad guys like rogue vampires and lethal were-creatures. DJ's boss and mentor, Gerald St. Simon, is the wizard tasked with protecting the city from anyone or anything that might slip over from the preternatural beyond. Then Hurricane Katrina hammers New Orleans' fragile levees, unleashing more than just dangerous flood waters. While winds howled and Lake Pontchartrain surged, the borders between the modern city and the Otherworld crumbled. Now the undead and the restless are roaming the Big Easy, and a serial killer with ties to voodoo is murdering soldiers sent to help the city recover. To make it worse, Gerald St. Simon has gone missing, the wizards' Elders have assigned a grenade-toting assassin as DJ's new partner, and undead pirate Jean Lafitte wants to make her walk his plank. The search for Gerry and the killer turns personal when DJ learns the
hard way that loyalty requires sacrifice, allies come from the unlikeliest places, and duty mixed with love creates one bitter roux. About the Author: On Aug. 28, 2005, Suzanne Johnson loaded two dogs, a cat, a friend, and her mom into a car and fled New Orleans in the hours before Hurricane Katrina made landfall.
Four years later, she began weaving her experiences and love for her city into the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series, beginning with Royal Street (2012), continuing with River Road (2012), and now with Elysian Fields (August 2013).
She grew up in rural Alabama, halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvisâ€™ birthplace, and lived in New Orleans for fifteen yearsâ€”which means she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football and fried gator on a stick.
As Susannah Sandlin, she writes the best-selling Penton Vampire Legacy paranormal romance series and the recent standalone, Storm Force.
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Things Beginning Writers Should Know By Adrienne Woods I'm still considering myself as a beginning writer. I've recently published Firebolt, book 1 of The Dragonian Series a couple of months ago, but the things I've learned on this short journey will be enough to write a book about it. Marketing
for, unless you have a budget that can afford Google Ads. That is the best tool in getting your novel to number one. PR services are a must. I'm not saying to go and get a PR company on your first novel. Wait till you have a couple of novels out there and then use a PR to promote you with all your novels.
I thought getting a publisher was going to be hard, but it wasn't the hardest thing for me. It was to get my nov- As a writer you should market your own novel. Not el in front of the market. even all the traditional published authors get a good marketing structure and they too have to take out the So before you even start writing a novel, know your money and get their novels out there. market. Use sites on the internet to help you. I used to think that people were insane when they told me to start marketing my novel three years before its Goodreads is amazing place to start. Join genre groups release date. I mean, how do you sell a book if it isn't you write for and have a conversation with all of them. available yet? Get them on your side because you are going to need them when your novel is published. A new website I What I didn't grasp was marketing and selling were found for YA authors is one called LitPick. They get two different things. your novel in front of young people, the ones you written this novel for. You might think that teenagers can't Get a fan base for your book. help getting your novel out there, you are wrong. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all amazing sites to When they love something, they share with all their get people to follow your work and they do help by friends and family, you'll end up having mom and dad sharing your posts. reading the novel too as they wanted to know what sort of books their children reads. Virtual book tours, such as Bewitching, really work. I've become a freak when it comes to virtual tours and The internet is filled with websites that can help you I've only found in my experience that they are the only with getting your novel out there. Just do your research tool that does help with getting your novel out there. and use them. Advertising helps also, but not in the amount you wish
Tip: Marketing should be done on a monthly basis for All of the blockbuster movies got their one and two at least six months if not more. stars. I would be worried if I didn't get them. So the faster you make peace with this, the easier your live as an author will be. Believe me, I've been You need to change your mind set when it comes to there and there were so many times I wanted to comhandling reviews, otherwise they will get the better of ment back on a one star review, it's human, but inyou and in most cases authors question their ability to stead I started to appreciate their input. They supportwrite novels. ed your work, bought the book, and that is what you should be aiming for. Don't ever question yourself. You've written a novel, most people can't even do that, so in that way you al- Editing ready won. Get yourself a professional Editor. If your novel isn't As a new author you want everyone to be smitten edited it will harm you in ways you never dreamed with your novel, they won't. You always get the kind off. Editors ended up becoming good friends and are of person you just can't please. Some of their reviews the people that can help you on the long run. I'm sure are plain nasty, but never let it get under your skin, there are many typos in this post, but it shows you because not everyone will love your novel. that even I need my editor, which I didn't use for this post. hahahahaha. Now I know you probably think but if I get a one or a two my novel will stop selling. Cover designers Reviews
Not in the least. It was proven that even with negative A book does get judged by its cover. Don't ever think reviews that your novel still sells, as long as it's a it's the opposite. You need a professional designed good story and the majority of your readers absolute- cover in order to make a good impression. ly loved it. Aim for the next number one seller's cover. A cover Go look at the big block buster authors. Stephanie that looks cheap will not grab attention and it will just that wrote the Twilight Series got so many 1 star re- lie on the shelves. view; people actually took the time making cartoons to express how much they hated it. Instead they gave There are pretty amazing cover artists that make them her a bit of marketing. Where did she end up, with a for next to nothing. Spend time in getting everything movie deal. perfect. If she comment on those bad reviews, do you think that she would ended up with so many fans. The one thing she did have was an audience. She knew her market and she attacked them with Twilight with everything she had. It led to a lot of reviews and a lot of people loving it.
The last thing, never give up.
If you aren't a published author yet, it should become your number one motto. Rejections are more than the acceptance when it comes to the publishing industry, especially if you want to go the agent and the traditional publishing route. Stephen King had so many Another sample is J.K Rowling. Harry Potter was the rejections, I think if he wasn't Stephen King, he most amazing series in this world, yet there were still would've given up after then tenth rejection letter. He people that hated every word of it. Just go on Good- made it and today everyone knows who he is. reads and go see how many one and two star reviews she has. I hope all the new writers out there got a bit of insight to what a published author goes through, don't be I would be so happy if I could end up with the afraid, I love every moment of it. amount of reviews she got one star for.
Excerpt from The Boss I couldn’t believe I was doing this. I couldn’t believe it was actually happening, after six years. After I had given up hope of ever having a sexual experience as satisfying as my night with Leif. Every muscle in my body tensed with anticipation. My breath caught in my chest as my fingers ventured down, under the black lace of my panties. I thought back to my white cotton underpants that night at the Crowne Plaza, and I giggled to myself. If anyone had told me back then that I’d be sex ambushing the man six years later, I wouldn’t have believed I would have the nerve. I closed my eyes and stroked two fingers down my slit. My hips lifted. I’d been so eager for this moment, now it seemed like my skin was too sensitive to touch. I thought of what Neil would see when he walked in, and remembered the undisguised appreciation in his eyes while he’d watched our hands on my body. My stomach fluttered with nervous butterflies. What if he was expecting the girl from six years ago, who’d only had sex with fumbling teenage boys? What if he got here and was turned off by my initiative? After all, he’d found my naiveté so endearing the last time we were together. Oh shut up, I scolded myself. Would you really want to fuck a guy who only wanted you for your sexual inexperience? No, because that would be weird. I’d made a salient point, I had to concede. My fingertips circled my clit, and a shaky breath stuttered across my lips. My flesh felt hot and heavy under my hand, and I cupped myself, letting my fingers slip between the folds of my sex. The door clicked open, and the weight of my desire became like an electric current. My lungs seized, my limbs quivered. I opened my eyes, a soft groan escaping me when I saw Neil there. He closed the door and dropped his messenger bag. His gaze met mine and held it as he walked toward me in his long black coat and leather gloves. I don’t know how I managed to maintain eye contact, but I did, and I had never felt so sexy in my entire life. Why had I ever doubted that this would please him? His maddeningly neutral expression gave nothing away, but he couldn’t disguise the hunger in his eyes. Oh, he wanted me. He stood over me, looking down as I continued to move my hand beneath my panties. “Take those off.” His voice was soft and deep, the tone firm. I was being commanded, not asked. A perverse thrill shot through me, and I shivered. His eyes followed my hands as I slowly peeled the scrap of black lace down my thighs. He stepped closer and ran one gloved hand up my calf, raising goose bumps on my skin. I moaned at the cool touch of the leather, and he grasped my panties, jerking them down the rest of the way. I slipped my feet from them and watched him lift the lace to his nose. “Oh god.” My exclamation tore out on a ragged breath, and I pressed my thighs together against the
pounding ache in my cunt. I wanted him so badly I trembled, but I was afraid of what would happen when we actually touched. The longing, the desperate, clawing sexual need that had been missing from every encounter I’d had in the intervening six years crashed over me, turned my blood into liquid desire coursing to every throbbing cell in my body. “Don’t stop,” he said, removing his gloves slowly, tugging one fingertip at a time. I spread my legs a little, and he ordered, “Wider.” I heard my pulse in my ears as I parted my thighs further. Neil took off his coat and tossed it across the ottoman, on top of the gloves he’d already discarded. He moved to stand between my spread legs, looking down at me with his hands in his pockets. He was hard, his cock a visible ridge against his fly beneath his unbuttoned jacket. I stroked myself, letting my fingers wander further, to dip inside before tracing upward again, coated in the evidence of my overwhelming desire. I smoothed the silky wetness over my clitoris, into the short, neatly trimmed strip of hair on my mound. Wordlessly, Neil watched me rub my clit in slow circles. Being like this for him, my legs open, my pussy exposed and gleaming wet while he stood there fully dressed, turned the naughty factor up to eleven and then some. Just thinking about what I was doing spiked my arousal higher. I had done things with him that I’d never done with anyone else, and that knowledge made me feel oddly safe. My thighs tensed, and I planted my black pumps firmly against the rug. My orgasm wound tight inside me, ready to spring and uncoil me from the inside out. A yelped, “Ah!” of frustration escaped me, and I lifted my hips from the sofa. I was going to come, I was so close, I was going to come while he watched me, without him ever touching me, and I was so goddamn close— “Stop.”
The Boss Book 1 Abigail Barnette
Genre: Erotic romance/BDSM Date of Publication: August 2013 ISBN: 978-1493625482 ASIN: B00ENTIAJM Number of pages: 353 Word Count: 120,000 Cover Artist: Jenny Trout Book Description: Sophie Scaife almost ran away once, trading her ticket to college for a ticket to Tokyo. But a delayed flight and a hot one-night stand with a stranger changed her mind, putting her firmly on track to a coveted position at a New York fashion magazine. When the irresistible stranger from that one incredible night turns out to be her new boss - billionaire and publishing magnate Neil Elwood - Sophie can't resist the chance to rekindle the
spark between them... and the opportunity to explore her submissive side with the most Dominant man she's ever known. Neil is the only man who has ever understood Sophie's need to submit in the bedroom, and the only man who has ever satisfied those desires. When their scorching, no-strings-attached sexual relationship becomes something more, Sophie must choose between her career and heart... or risk losing them both. Amazon Smashwords
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Excerpt from The Girlfriend How do you tell the guy who just tried to break up with you that you’re pregnant with his baby? When the doors opened on his floor and I stepped into the softly lit vestibule, Neil was there already, waiting for me. When I saw him, my stomach dropped like I was in the backseat of a minivan going over a bad hill. He was pale, he looked tired, and the smile he gave me was worried and forced. But he was still Neil, so handsome and tall, with his in-between-blonde-and-brown hair and his gorgeous green eyes. My heart flip-flopped, like it always did, since that first moment we’d met at LAX over six years ago. “Hello, Sophie.” “Hey,” I responded in a short, friendly monotone as we moved into the inner foyer. His apartment, which I had just begun to feel comfortable in before our near-breakup or breakup-in-progress, whatever was happening between us, suddenly seemed like a stranger’s home. I’d had a difficult enough time getting used to the fact that my boyfriend lived in a Fifth Avenue palace with checkered marble floors and a freaking home movie theatre. Now I felt like I had to be on my very best behavior. Neil helped me with my coat. “You look very pretty,” he said softly. I hadn’t changed out of the crème-colored cowl-necked sweater and soft old jeans I’d worn to the doctor’s office. I didn’t feel particularly pretty, but I murmured a thank you all the same. I noted his salmon button down. “It’s not pink, it’s salmon,” he had argued with me a few weeks ago, before we’d tumbled playfully into his bed. I blinked back my tears at the memory. “You’re not so bad yourself. Did you go to work today?” “No, I was just so tired of hospital gowns. I needed to get dressed or end up deeply depressed.” His laugh was short. I wanted to touch him. I wanted him to touch me. I just wanted everything to be okay between us. He led me to the kitchen, where Sue had laid out our neatly plated dinners. “Halibut, I hope you don’t mind.” “It smells amazing.” It actually smelled awful, but I didn’t hold that against his housekeeper. It was the uninvited guest in my uterus. It made everything smell ten times stronger than usual. I looked around the kitchen. The counters were scrubbed clean, the light was off over the stove. I slid into one side of the breakfast nook. “Sue’s gone for the night?” “I didn’t ask her to stay on past seven.” He went around the wide, marble-topped island and reached into the cooler beneath, coming up with a bottle of white wine. “None for me, thanks,” I said, too quick. He gave me a strange look, and put the bottle away. That was weird. He usually liked wine with dinner. Oh god, he was probably staying sober to let me down gently when he broke things off for good. The wine was for me, to drown my sorrows, if necessary. I completely lost my appetite. “So...” He sat down across from me and unfolded his napkin. “It’s been a while since we’ve talked.
Any developments in the job hunt?” I knew what he was asking me. “I didn’t take the job with Gabriella.” He nodded, and poured ice water into my glass from the carafe on the table. “Were her terms—” “You know why I turned it down.” My hands clenched in my lap. I was more angry than I thought I would be. I’d been preparing for this moment, steeling myself against hurt and disappointment so that I could walk away with dignity. Instead, my emotional control snapped like a rubber band and I accused, “How dare you.” “Sorry?” He looked like a man staring through the windshield of a car that was nanoseconds from hitting him. “You did it again. You pushed me into making this huge decision, but you acted like you were somehow protecting me. You did it when you stole my plane tickets six years ago. Now you tell me that I have to take this job because it’s a wonderful opportunity, and you magnanimously declare that you’ll let me go if you have to. “You didn’t even ask me what I wanted. You didn’t tell me what you wanted. It’s like you don’t care about the outcome, you just don’t want to feel responsible for it.” “Magnanimous?” he repeated, outraged. My hands were clenched to fists beneath the table. If we were going to break up, then we might as well raze this fucker, salt the earth, and poison the ground water. “If you didn’t want to be with me... then just break up with me. Don’t force me to make the choice for you.” He was struggling to control his temper as he said, measured and controlled, “I wanted you to slow down and think about what you were doing, and where we were headed. You keep pushing me away—” “I keep pushing you away?” I snorted derisively. “When I got to the hospital the other night, I was so worried about you. Then, you basically break up with me and try to make it seem like it was for my own good. For four days, I felt like I couldn’t call you or see how you were doing, while you were in the fucking hospital. I had to get updates from Deja, and all of those were total bullshit. Exhaustion? You don’t get exhausted.” “On the contrary, I was quite exhausted,” he said quietly. I looked up, and I knew he could see how furious I was from the way he slightly flinched when our eyes met. Good. I reached into my pocket and fished out the ultrasound image. I placed it face down on the table and slid it toward him. “I needed you. I called you eleven times because I was freaked out and scared about this. And I came down to the hospital afraid something really horrible had happened to you, and I was thinking about all the stuff I would miss about you if you died. And what the hell was I going to do about this?” He lifted the photo and turned it over. It took a moment for him to register what it was. I saw a surprising mixture of emotions in his expression, things I didn’t expect. I’d been prepared for angry, or scared. Maybe cold, or strained and polite. Instead, his eyebrows lifted and he blinked in momentary shock. The slightest smile twitched at the corner of his lips. He looked pleased, maybe even a little proud. I clasped my hands together under the table to stop myself from trembling. The longer he looked at the photo, the more the color drained from his face. There it was. That was more like what I had expected. He looked up, throat moving as he swallowed. His eyes met mine, and a sick feeling of dread curdled my stomach. Whatever he was going to say, I knew it was going to be bad. But it was so much worse than I had expected. “I have cancer.”
The Girlfriend The Boss Book 2 Abigail Barnette Genre: erotic romance/BDSM Date of Publication: August 2013
ISBN: 978-1492744115 ASIN: B00EN0NAB4 Number of pages: 391 Word Count: 132,000 Cover Artist: Jenny Trout Book Description: Unemployed, blacklisted, and pregnant, Sophie Scaife’s life is totally upside down. Her relationship with publishing magnate Neil Elwood is on the rocks. Her best friend’s career is igniting. And Sophie is afraid she’ll make one of the toughest decisions of her life alone… When a devastating diagnosis forces Neil to return to London, Sophie throws caution to the wind to follow her heart across the Atlantic. Keeping a scorching D/s affair as red-hot in sickness as it was in health is a challenge, even for two lovers as inventive as Sophie and Neil. But Sophie is more than willing to try anything her Sir commands, and their fantasies of control become a welcome refuge from the daily stress of illness. While Neil’s wealth and privilege make adjusting to her new situation easier, Sophie finds herself rebuilding her life around an uncertain future. And while both of them face the changes between them head-on, they’re all too aware that their happiness may be fleeting—and Sophie could lose Neil forever. Amazon
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Excerpt from The Bride “I have a game in mind,” he continued, sliding the pocket door closed. There was a little latch on it, and he flicked it down. “Are you interested?” “Always.” “Then get naked and get your ass on that table.” “Yes, Sir!” As I readily complied with his order, he took something out of a seat pocket. A deck of cards. So, it really was a game. “Is something funny?” he asked, a delicious hint of warning in his tone as he slid smoothly into his role as my Dom. I shook my head. “No, Sir. Just anticipation.” “If you enjoy anticipation, then you’ll very much enjoy this game.” He slid the cards from their box and shuffled them between his big hands. He waited until I was completely naked and sitting primly on the edge of the table, then he said, “Slide back, bring your knees up, and spread them. If you’d put your heels on the corners of the table, that would be ideal.” “But then I’ll be wide open, Sir,” I teased, slowly pushing back and lifting my feet up to rest where he’d indicated. There was such a naughty thrill at being completely naked in a situation where people normally weren’t naked. I mean, I’d never seen anyone so exposed on an intercontinental flight before. Maybe I’d been on the wrong planes.
“While I explain the rules, I’d like you to stroke your clitoris. One finger only, no penetration,” he added sternly.
I slipped my middle finger into my mouth and held his gaze as I sucked it down to the knuckle. When I pulled it out, it shined with my saliva, and I reached between my legs to do as he’d instructed. He pulled a card from the deck and held it up. It was a seven of clubs. “Clubs, denial.” I took a shaky breath. We’d played games with my orgasms before. It was the best—and worst— activity. He plucked another card from the center of the deck, glanced at it, put it back, and pulled another. Ace of spades. “Spades, ruined.” Ruined orgasms were the worst. But they made every one that came after them so much more intense, because it took longer to get there. “Sir?” I asked. “Do the number values on the cards have any bearing, or are we just going by the suits?” He considered a moment. “Which would you prefer?” I thought about how frustrating a ten of spades would be, and decided, “Let’s just go with the suits.” “Numbers for another time, perhaps?” he suggested with a lascivious smirk. He pulled another card. “Diamonds—” “Mean I can come?” The hot flush of arousal that pulsed between my legs intensified at the word. “Mean I get to decide the action.” He stepped between my legs and traced the edge of the card from my ankle to my knee. “I’ll give you a command, and you’ll obey.” “That sounds like just another day at the office,” I challenged him. He moved the edge of the card down the slope of my thigh, over my hip and stomach, between my breasts, up to my throat. He dropped the card and gripped my jaw, the rough touch sending darts of desire through me. “Do you want a spanking?” I lifted my leg and rubbed my toes across the front of his jeans. “Always.” He grinned down at me and leaned in for a languid kiss. I savored his mouth on mine, darted my tongue along his lower lip. His beard pricked my chin, and I rubbed my cheek against his. He released my face and sank his fingers into the hair at my nape. I rolled my clit in slow circles while he kissed me, the shocks of desire there echoed by the delicious tingling in my lips and tongue. My leg caught between us as he pressed me down. When he pulled back, I flexed my foot, feeling the thickness of his erection through his jeans. With a maddening half-smile, he picked the cards up again and shuffled them, then withdrew one. “Hearts mean you’re allowed to orgasm. Do you understand the rules of the game?” I nodded, my breathing increasing in tempo to match my rising desire. “I understand, Sir.” He put the cards down on the table between my legs and drew one from the top. A heart. I thought he would be disappointed that his game had so quickly rewarded me. If he was, I saw no sign of it as he brushed my hand away from my mound and spread my labia to expose my engorged, throbbing clit. He pinched it between his thumb and forefinger, and dropped to his knees to give me a slow lick. I groaned and leaned on my elbows, letting my head fall back. My hair hung loose, brushing my shoulders, and I sighed happily as Neil’s lips closed over me. He alternated rolling my clit between his fingers and lapping and sucking at it with his tongue. I squirmed against his mouth. After a year together, he knew everywhere I needed to be touched. He could get me off almost as fast as I could get myself off, which made sense, since he’d studied me doing it enough. I whimpered at the intensity that built without faltering, and, mindful that we weren’t alone on the plane, I breathed deeply through my nose to keep from moaning. His facial hair chafed my thighs and labia in the best possible way. He slipped a finger into me, and I clutched on him, rocking my hips against his face. He found my g-spot like he’d grown up in the neighborhood, and my hands curled on the polished wood tabletop. My calves cramped and my knees hugged his head. I managed to subdue myself to a low groan as I climaxed. He withdrew his finger, but kept the other hand busy on my over stimulated clit as I panted and tried to wriggle away. He took another card and held it up, and my brain registered that it was a spade even as I climbed toward a second orgasm, one I would be cruelly denied at the last possible second. Neil had ruining an orgasm down to a science. My pussy clenched, the sharp edge of pleasure twisting tighter and tighter, and just when I thought I would come, just when I desperately wanted it, he pulled his hand away. “No, don’t!” I begged, but I didn’t say “red,” the word I used when I really wanted to stop, so he didn’t
give in. He laughed low and said, “Oh, Sophie. Begging for mercy? Have we met?” The Bride The Boss Book 3 Abigail Barnette Genre: erotic romance/BDSM Date of Publication: March 2014 ISBN: 1497486173 ASIN: B00J8QG7BI
Number of pages: 415 Word Count: 140,000 Cover Artist: Jenny Trout Book Description: After a tumultuous year, Sophie Scaife’s relationship with her boyfriend and Dom, billionaire media mogul Neil Elwood, is hotter and happier than ever. His sizzling Dominant side pushes Sophie to new and challenging heights of submission and erotic exploration as she follows her Sir’s every whim. But with his daughter’s impending wedding and a milestone birthday turning Neil’s thoughts toward settling down, Sophie faces a much different future than she’d planned. Caught in a conflict between her new wealth and her desire for independence, Sophie fears she’s becoming just another Fifth Avenue trophy wife. With her fashion journalism career over and her new effort as a writer uninspiring, Sophie has to work harder than ever to prove her intentions to Neil’s family and friends. Sophie isn’t the only one struggling to adapt to her new lifestyle. When private jets and designer labels threaten her bond with Holli, Sophie finds herself walking a fine line between the world she now inhabits and the past—and people—she fears she’s left behind. After a shocking revelation divides her loyalties, Sophie is in danger of losing her best friend or fracturing the trust of the man she loves. About the Author: Abigail Barnette is the erotic romance pseudonym of Jenny Trout, YAauthor, blogger, and funny person. Writing as Jennifer Armintrout, she made the USA Today bestseller list with Blood Ties Book One: The Turning. Her novel American Vampire was named one of the top ten horror novels of 2011 by Booklist Magazine Online. She is a proud Michigander, mother of two, and wife to the only person alive capable of spending extended periods of time with her without wanting to kill her. www.jennytrout.com @jenny_trout
What inspired you to become an author? Reading was my savior as a child. I spent more time in books and my own daydreams than the real world. When I was ten I read the Hobbit and I remember getting to the end of Roast Mutton, chapter two, and knowing that I wanted to be a writer. Do you have a specific writing style? I don’t know.
Do you write in different genres? Yes, I’ve written a lot of nonfiction as well as a dark romance, sword and sorcery, zombie apocalypse, and I have a couple of thrillers in the works. If yes which is your favorite genre to write? It’s a toss up between zombies and sword and sorcery. How did you come up with the title for your latest book? From the story itself. After I had the premise and wrote a few thousand words the name emerged from the fiction. Although the CDC (Center for Disease Control) plays no part in the story it is mentioned in the very beginning. The CDC can’t classify what they are dealing with so they call the mysterious virus Euphoria-Z, euphoria for its side effects and Z (not for zombie as you may assume) to indicate there is no official designation for it yet. In fact, the appearance of a zombie takes place after the CDC is no longer functioning. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I usually start writing on an idea and the title emerges from the fiction.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? I don’t consciously attempt to send a message, I just want to entertain people. I want to give people an experience, a vacation, an escape. But I am sure my attitudes and opinions bleed into the story so I would say if there is a message it is that people often rush to judgment as to whether something is good or bad and that some people are just bad and good people need to be on their guard and actively working to defeat it. In the area of messages in fiction, a huge pet peeve of mine is when I am reading along and suddenly I am being beaten over the head with some writer’s opinion. Even if I agree with the author I will toss the book aside. I want to be entertained, not lectured to. Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? Yes. I based the main character on my son but until I get to see him in a real zombie apocalypse I will never know how accurately I portrayed him. I also set the novel in the place I live and places I am familiar with so I could write about those places more effectively. I liked to visit the locations to experience them and even map the story and apply a timeline to keep events straight. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? No. Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? The lead character in my sword and sorcery series Dark Deeds and Black Magics. Xanthus is a city dwelling scoundrel in his late teens that can go anywhere in society, but fits in nowhere. His family is wealthy so he is not trusted or even liked by the poor and working class. But his family is nouveau riche so he is not accepted by the old money either. He is left alone in a large city to babysit his wealthy father’s home and is incredibly bored so he dabbles in thievery, debauchery, and rarely a bit of responsibility. He met a few other oddballs and they generally participate in shenanigans that are sometimes orchestrated by the gods. I love writing him because I love the setting of Kingspoint, the massive maze-streeted city with its magics and dangers. The prequel to the series is available now and contains a sample of the actual series. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? I have rough ideas for the next two books and I even gave some thought to what I will do if the books are successful and the readers want even more. I think these types of stories, to me at least, start to really get boring when they peek behind the curtain and figure out who’s causing it all. I won’t take the reader there too soon. Even though it appears that I tell the reader the origin of the virus at the very beginning of this book, it’s not what it seems. I can say that some of the zombies do start to evolve in a disturbing way in the next book and some characters die while some undergo radical personal changes.
What book are you reading now? Nothing specific, I am in research mode and reading a lot of everything. What books are in your to read pile? I just started building a “to read” pile on Goodreads. What books/authors have influenced your life? Fritz Leiber, Robert Howard, Jeffery Deaver, and a bunch more. Those are just the first names that come to mind.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Passive voice. Who designed the cover of your latest book? Steven J Catizone, www.facebook.com/sjcatizone. He is talented, professional, and very cool. I will use him again. Do you have any advice for other writers? Don’t get discouraged or distracted by all the negative talk and the tsunami of information on writing. Push it all out of your head. If you want to be a writer than start writing, no excuses and no delays. The only way to learn writing is to do it, get really good feedback, and do it some more. Finding good beta readers and editors isn’t too hard, go on Goodreads and start looking around. If you think you have writer’s block then go read my blog on Goodreads where I destroy that lie. Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book? I could score this entire book (Euphoria-Z) with ambient sounds. When I write it feels real to me and I can hear and smell and feel it all. My biggest struggle as a writer is to describe what feels so real to me without sounding clichéd or too verbose. I do play music to distract me and drown out the world but it has nothing to do with what I am writing. I listen to old jazz, mostly from the 50’s and 60’s because it makes good background noise, pleasant and inert. It has a kind of energetic but relaxed vibe I need to write. I need the energy to keep going and the relaxed vibe to keep going at a steady pace, not rushed or impatient. What would your readers be surprised to learn about you? When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? I have several TV shows I like to record then binge watch. Mostly I write because I actually
love the process of doing it. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? The sequel to Euphoria-Z is in the works. I have a thriller coming out and a sword and sorcery novella as well. Euphoria-Z Book 1 Luke Ahearn Genre: Thriller/Zombie Apocalypse Publisher: Luke Ahearn Date of Publication: May 19, 2014 ISBN-13: 978-1497497382 ISBN-10: 1497497388 Number of pages: 409 Word Count: 118,099
Cover Artist: Steven J Catizone Book Description: Civilization shuts down as throngs of speechless hedonists fill the streets in deadly revelry. They feel only pleasure and never pain, even as they are injured, maimed, and mutilated. Few people remain in the world unaffected, left to witness the madness unaware that things are about to get unbelievably worse.
Cooper is among the few survivors of a conspiracy to depopulate the world. One week ago, college was his biggest concern. Now he is on a dangerous journey to find his sister as an everpresent threat of nightmarish proportions engulfs the world, throwing him in the path of some of the most malicious people that ever walked the earth. Excerpt: The present, Monterey, California “Fuck!” The wiry, gray-haired old man felt his eyes go wide with surprise, but he quickly got his shit together. Jasper scowled; now he was very pissed off. He might stoop and shuffle when he walked, but he didn’t
take any shit. Some big fat bastard was bear-hugging him from behind. He could see white mountains of wet flab before his eyes, and he smelled vomit. He felt a massive wet belly and man tits pressing against his back. Large folds of cold wet flesh engulfed him, and he shuddered at the sensation. He hated hugs, especially from men, and hugs from big fat sweaty bastards were absolutely unacceptable. He carried his best spiked hammer, an old-school Craftsman from back in the day, before the gooks were making them. He was just itching to use it. The fat bastard was yelling something in his ear. “I love you! I love you, man!” “Ahhh, geez!” Jasper twisted out of the flabby cocoon and took a few steps back. What he saw disgusted him. It was a giant fat kid, a head taller than himself, who looked like a giant baby, all hairless and soft. The kid was smiling like an idiot, and that made Jasper even more pissed off. Food smeared the kid’s face and ran down his chins in greasy streams between his man tits and over his belly. All Jasper could think was that all that shit was all over his back. Now he would have to burn his shirt and take a long, hot shower. The kid wore nothing but baggy white underwear soaked in sweat. Jasper shuddered at the clammy coldness on his back. His flannel shirt clung to him and felt like a cold, wet bathing suit. “I love you, man!” The big fat kid smiled as he came at him for another hug. “Ahhhh! Fuck you!” Despite his advanced age, Jasper moved with an efficiency and force that spoke of his many years as a carpenter. He brought the spiked hammer down on the kid’s skull, and it collapsed inward with little resistance. He liked the sensation of cracking a head but hated wasting the time to do it. The kid dropped to the concrete like a wet sack. He was still smiling, which made cracking his skull less enjoyable. Jasper wished he could bash every asshole around with his trusty hammer. He looked around to make sure another shithead wasn’t looking for a hug. A woman came at him, hooting so loud he could hear it over the crowd, waving her tits at him. He took her out too, with an easy smack between the eyes. He had enough of this shit. He cracked a few more skulls for fun, but he got bored. It was always the same: an easy tap to the skull and the moron dropped, still smiling. The streets were crammed with people, and they were all acting crazy. Jasper just wanted to get home. It seemed everyone was congregating downtown, streaming in from the surrounding neighborhoods. People were walking in large groups, arm in arm, naked and clothed, dancing, running, and hugging. It all made Jasper sick, just god-awful sick. He tried to go all the way downtown and almost got caught up in the crowd. People were pushing and jamming each other into doors until they cracked open. He heard the crash of large plate-glass windows, but no one reacted. In fact, he saw people just getting pushed through the windows in a wave. He could tell that people were getting seriously injured and killed, and he just wanted to get the hell out of there. He left at the right time. The press of the massive crowd smashed and suffocated, ground and trampled, and killed many—and the party continued to grow. No one screamed in panic or pain. No one yelled for help or dialed 911. And no one stopped to offer assistance, an apology, or true human interaction of any kind. Everyone was bent on doing exactly what they wanted to do, and what anyone else wanted didn’t matter to them in the slightest. In any place where people gathered for a good time, the crowds were thick. The mall was packed, but the hospital was empty. The wharf was so full that hundreds fell into the icy waters of the bay. The office parks and businesses were dark and silent. Some groups formed parties on random streets for one reason or another. A large majority of the city was empty, devoid of people. Most left their homes and walked away, leaving doors unlocked and often wide open. They would join a group and wander away. There were still a few souls hiding indoors who were anything but euphoric. They watched with fear and horror the goings-on outside their windows. Jasper had been one of these, but he needed his goddamned pills and had to drive through all this crazy shit to get them. Of course, when he got to the damn pharmacy it was closed. He had tried to call ahead, but no one answered the phone. He was pissed. He wanted nothing to do with this crazy shit. He didn’t want to see any of it and certainly didn’t want to walk through it. He saw quite a few people doing things he had only seen in his buddies’ dirty magazines. But there was one thing every single person was doing: smiling like a retard with a lollipop—every single one.
At first, he thought all the outlandish behavior was confined to idiots, kids, and queers. It had to be some new drug to get them this nuts, he thought. But too many people were acting bonkers, too many people who just didn’t fit the behavior. He walked as quickly as he was able away from the crowd and back to his car. He’d seen some shit in his day, but in the last few the world had descended into pandemonium. There were reports that almost everyone around the world was walking away from their jobs, no matter how critical. Everything was grinding to a halt. Transportation, communication—private or military, trivial or critical—everything was just going belly up. Jasper had known this day was coming ever since the blacks were allowed to vote. And the crooks in Washington didn’t know anything. They said it was an unknown virus and creatively named it Euphoria-Z. Z because they didn’t know what it was, only what it did. And their advice? Stay indoors and away from crowds, bunch of geniuses. Jasper had never expected he would need to kill people, not since the war, but in the last few days he had been forced to. The streets were crazy, and he wouldn’t even be outside if he hadn’t needed his pills. He felt as if he were the only sane person for miles. He looked at his feet and wondered, only briefly, if something were wrong with him? No, couldn’t be, he thought. None of this was right. The world had gone crazy.
About the Author: Luke Ahearn has over 20 years of professional game development experience and has authored numerous nonfiction books on the topic. He ran his own computer game company for ten years and currently owns MasterWerxStudios, an animatronic prop shop in Monterey, CA. www.LukeAhearn.com https://www.facebook.com/luke.ahearn https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/222683.Luke_Ahearn
Interview with Terri Bruce Do you have a specific writing style? My stories tend to be more character driven than plot driven, tend to mix humor and drama, and lean more toward the literary side of the spectrum (versus the commercial). Beyond that, I don’t know that I have a specific style; my first novel (not yet published) is actually highly stylized in a terse, staccato style that is nothing like my Afterlife series, so I stylistically change things up as needed to match the tone/style of the book/series. How did you come up with the title for your latest book? The title—oh my God, finding a title for this series and the first book nearly killed me. Originally, the working title for the series was “On the Shores of Mictlan,” Mictlan being the name of the Aztec afterlife. The series was going to be nine books, to coincide with the nine layers of the Aztec afterlife, and the first book was going to be called “Across the Pontine” (Pontine being a mystical bridge). However, no one liked the title—of the series or the first book; they were both too esoteric, and had a bit of an epic fantasy flavor. I sat down and tried desperately to come up with another name for the first book, but it’s really hard to find a word related to the afterlife that hasn’t already been used. I was in the middle of querying the series with agents and publishers and so I just picked Hereafter as a placeholder title, figuring the publisher would change it (as they often do). But once I did that, I realized I actually kind of liked the title—the first book takes place here, on Earth, in the land of the living. The second book would take place “over there,” on the other side (hence, Thereafter). From there, the names of all six books in the series fell into place. I landed a publisher and the publisher decided to keep the title(s). However, shortly after signing the contract, Tara Hudson came out with her book, Hereafter. I literally banged my head on my desk when I saw that. I contacted the publisher and we talked about changing the name of my book. However, since my book is aimed at adults and Hudson’s is for the YA market and since all the books in my series had names that played on the use of “after,” we decided to keep the title. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I usually end up with a working title, at the very least, while working on a book and that is usually what ends up sticking, even if I change the title later; my first (currently unpublished)
novel was originally called “Jumpers” until a move with that name came out. I changed the book title to “Say It Three Times,” but I still refer to it as “Jumpers.” I’m terrible at titles so that’s the part I find the hardest of writing a book. In this case, I’ve already come up with the titles of all six books in the series so that makes life a little easier J. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? I’ve had an idea for a historical fiction set during the Bread and Roses Strike of 1912 banging around in my head for ages, but I just haven’t had the time to tackle that one yet. The Afterlife series has been a good training ground for writing historical fiction because there is so much historical research that’s gone into it, especially Thereafter. Many of the characters in Thereafter are historically accurate and based on extensive research. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?
The next book will be Whereafter (Afterlife #3). Here is the teaser that appears in the back of Thereafter: How Far Would You Go To Get Your Life Back? Stuck on an island encircled by fire and hunted by shadows bent on trapping them there forever, Irene and Andras struggle to hold onto the last vestiges of their physical selves, without which they can never return to the land of the living. But it’s not just external forces they’ll have to fight as the pair grow to realize they have different goals. Irene still clings to the hope that she can somehow return to her old life—the one she had before she died—while Andras would be only too glad to embrace oblivion. Meanwhile, Jonah desperately searches for a way to cross over to the other side, even if doing so means his death. His crossing over, however, is the one thing that could destroy Irene’s chances of returning home. Too many obstacles, too many people to save, and the thing Irene most desperately wants—to return to her old life—seems farther away than ever. Only one thing is clear: moving on will require making a terrible sacrifice.
Can you share a little of your current work with us? Here’s one of my favorite scenes from Thereafter: Her hand touched a rock, one of the flat beach stones she’d seen on graves. She picked it up, laying it flat in her palm. She didn’t remember picking this up. In fact, she had been careful not to take any. It had seemed disrespectful and too much like stealing to remove them, and while she’d seen a few here—both loose and piled in cairns—she hadn’t picked any of them up. There had been no point. What would she do with a rock? No wonder her bag was so heavy. She tossed the rock over her shoulder and heard it hit the ground with a satisfying thud some distance away. It felt good to be rid of something, to make a decision and be sure it was the right one. She surveyed the pile again and then grabbed a small handful of paper animals. She picked one up between a finger and thumb. It was a horse. Irene had been in Chinatown during Chinese Ghost Festival, a holiday in which the living left offerings for the dead. These offerings included paper replicas of things people thought the dead would need in the afterlife—money, clothes, television sets, and even animals. Irene had admired the precise and delicate folds of the Origami figures and had picked some up to admire them more closely. Without thinking, she had dropped them into her bag and apparently been carrying them ever since. Well, even Jonah couldn’t argue with her on this—there was no way she was going to need a paper horse on her journey through the afterlife. Plus, these didn’t hold any sentimental value. She cast the horse onto a nearby fire and watched as the paper curled and blackened in the low-burning flames. The fire leapt and seemed to glow blue for a moment. Irene tensed—what was happening?
Thick black smoke began to rise slowly from the flames, spiraling upward in a thickening column. The smoke grew denser and then elongated sideways. Irene leapt to her feet and backed away, her heart pounding. Something was forming in the fire. The smoke was taking shape now; there was purpose and design in its movements. She could see a long, horizontal back, four legs, a neck, and finally a head and a tail. The smoke swirled with a final flourish and then shuddered into the solidity of a smoke-colored horse. The animal blinked passively. Then it violently shook its head, blew out a breath, and delicately picked its way forward out of the fire. It immediately put its head down and began to lip the ground, looking for food. Irene stared stupidly at it. “Are you shitting me?”
Who designed the cover of your latest book? The incredible, incredible, incredible Shelby Robinson. She’s 19 – can you believe it? Amazingly talented young woman. The cover model is Chelsea Howard and the cover layout artist is Jennifer Stolzer. Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?
Definitely! Music plays a very important part of my writing. For Hereafter, the theme song was “Stupid Girl” by Garbage, accompanied by “Dog Days Are Over” and “Swimming” by Florence and the Machine and “Alcohol” by Barenaked Ladies. For Thereafter, the playlist includes “Seven Nation Army” by Melanie Martinez, “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men, and “Heavy in Your Arms” by Florence and the Machine. For Whereafter (the forthcoming third book in the series), the playlist so far has been “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage, “Dark Paradise” by Lana Del Rey, “#1 Fan” by Garbage, “No Light, No Light” by Florence and the Machine, and “Sail” by AWOLNATION. LOL – yes, I like the music dark when I’m working on this series. For both Jonah and Irene there’s an undercurrent of self-loathing and despair that they both have and Florence and the Machine and Garbage are both great for getting into that mental space. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?
I am working on the third book of the series (Whereafter) (the first draft is almost complete), I’ve outlined the last three books of the series, I’m working on a science fiction action adventure story that’s sort of Firefly meets Battlestar Galatica, and I’m hoping to polish up my first novel, a future noir detective story, and get it published within the next year. So busy, busy, busy! Thereafter Afterlife Book 2 Terri Bruce Genre: Contemporary fantasy/paranormal
Publisher: Mictlan Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2014 ISBN: 978-0-9913036-2-5 (print) / ISBN: 978-0-9913036-3-2 (ebook) Number of pages: 318 Word Count: 99,000 Cover Artist: Artwork by Shelby Robinson; cover layout by Jennifer Stolzer Book Description: When recently-deceased Irene Dunphy decided to “follow the light,” she thought she’d end up in Heaven or Hell and her journey would be over. Boy, was she wrong. She soon finds that “the other side” isn’t a final destination but a kind of purgatory where billions of spirits are stuck, with no way to move forward or back. Even worse, deranged phantoms known as “Hungry Ghosts” stalk the dead, intent on destroying them. The only way out is for Irene to forget her life on earth—including the boy who risked everything to help her cross over—which she’s not about to do. As Irene desperately searches for an alternative, help unexpectedly comes in the unlikeliest of forms: a twelfth-century Spanish knight and a nineteenth-century American cowboy. Even more surprising, one offers a chance for redemption; the other, love. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to have either if she can’t find a way to escape the hellish limbo where they’re all trapped. Author’s Note: I am THRILLED beyond all measure to finally be able to bring you Thereafter, and I want to thank all the fans who have waited (more or less patiently) an extra year for this book to finally come out. Thereafter would not have been possible without your support—thank you all! I hope you love this beautiful new cover as much as I do, and I hope you find Thereafter to be worth the wait. Excerpt: Her hand touched a rock, one of the flat beach stones she’d seen on graves. She picked it up, laying it flat in her palm. She didn’t remember picking this up. In fact, she had been careful not to take any. It had seemed disrespectful and too much like stealing to remove them, and while she’d seen a few here—both loose
and piled in cairns—she hadn’t picked any of them up. There had been no point. What would she do with a rock? No wonder her bag was so heavy. She tossed the rock over her shoulder and heard it hit the ground with a satisfying thud some distance away. It felt good to be rid of something, to make a decision and be sure it was the right one. She surveyed the pile again and then grabbed a small handful of paper animals. She picked one up between a finger and thumb. It was a horse. Irene had been in Chinatown during Chinese Ghost Festival, a holiday in which the living left offerings for the dead. These offerings included paper replicas of things people thought the dead would need in the afterlife—money, clothes, television sets, and even animals. Irene had admired the precise and delicate folds of the Origami figures and had picked some up to admire them more closely. Without thinking, she had dropped them into her bag and apparently been carrying them ever since. Well, even Jonah couldn’t argue with her on this—there was no way she was going to need a paper horse on her journey through the afterlife. Plus, these didn’t hold any sentimental value. She cast the horse onto a nearby fire and watched as the paper curled and blackened in the low-burning flames. The fire leapt and seemed to glow blue for a moment. Irene tensed—what was happening? Thick black smoke began to rise slowly from the flames, spiraling upward in a thickening column. The smoke grew denser and then elongated sideways. Irene leapt to her feet and backed away, her heart pounding. Something was forming in the fire. The smoke was taking shape now; there was purpose and design in its movements. She could see a long, horizontal back, four legs, a neck, and finally a head and a tail. The smoke swirled with a final flourish and then shuddered into the solidity of a smoke-colored horse. The animal blinked passively. Then it violently shook its head, blew out a breath, and delicately picked its way forward out of the fire. It immediately put its head down and began to lip the ground, looking for food. Irene stared stupidly at it. “Are you shitting me?”
About the Author: Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats. Website/Blog: http://www.terribruce.net Goodreads Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/ show/6450132.Terri_Bruce Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/TerriBruce-Fan-Page/325830544139030 Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@_TerriBruce Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terribruce
Excerpt: Rowan comes back to the present and quickly pulls her hand away, eyeing the new girl, who smiles wickedly at her. She looks at her friends to see if they noticed anything, but they are absorbed in a conversation and unaware of Rowan and Amber’s interaction. Thankfully, whatever just happened between them was obviously not big enough to garner attention. Rowan wonders if Amber even knows what happened or if she just thinks she won the social competition between them, which is a total laugh, Rowan thinks to herself. Rowan glares at the new girl, looks her up and down one more time and walks away. She searches the crowd for Chloe and Cian and finds them standing close together, whispering to one another. She makes her way over to them and is not at all surprised when they don’t even notice her. She clears her throat and they separate just enough to let her into their space. “Hey, Rowan,” Chloe says, smiling when she sees her sister. The smile quickly fades when she sees the look on her sister’s face. “I need to ask you guys about what happens when you have a vision, because I think another one of my abilities just manifested.” Cian and Chloe pull Rowan away from the crowd and over to the dark side of the house. “What happened, Rowan? Did you just have a vision?” Chloe asks. “I was just talking to the new girl – have you been lucky enough to meet that one?” Rowan asks, rolling her eyes. When both Cian and Chloe shake their heads, Rowan continues, describing what happened. “As soon as I touched her hand, I went into the vision. And it just so happened to be a vision of the night we killed Selene,” Rowan finishes in an angry whisper. “Whoa, Rowan! Our visions don’t work that way. Our visions take us into the future, never into the past,” Cian says, looking to Chloe who nods her head in agreement. “Well, this is just great!” Rowan exclaims, exasperated. “I wonder what the hell this means.” “What what means?” Xavier asks, stepping around the corner, startling Chloe, Cian, and Rowan. “God! You scared the shit out of us, Xavier!” Rowan says, breathless. “Couldn’t you have at least warned us you were there? And stop lurking, already, and get over here.” “And where would be the fun in that?” Xavier replies, stepping out from the dark corner. He can’t help but think about how much he loves how quick Rowan is to anger. He’d much rather see this temper and attitude on her than see the sad girl who felt left out when everyone else’s abilities were manifesting and hers weren’t. This Rowan is strong, confident, and sexy as hell. “You won’t love my attitude when I start swinging, Jet,” Rowan replies, returning to the nickname she gave to him the day they met. When he first moved to town, he started calling her ‘Red’ because of her auburn hair. She immediately nixed it, but he didn’t seem to mind that she never dropped her nickname of ‘Jet’ for him, referring to his black hair and black eyes. “Rowan? You just responded to my thought… when did that ability manifest?” Xavier asks, clearly
surprised and wary about how much she “heard.” “Strong, confident, and sexy as hell,” Rowan whispers in his ear, nipping at his earlobe. “Enough, you guys,” Cian interrupts, knowing that Rowan is only playing games with Xavier while Xavier’s feelings are genuine. “So… two new abilities manifested tonight? Is that right?” Cian asks Rowan. Rowan nods her head and looks around at the confusion on everyone’s faces. “Maybe it’s just because we’ve all been spending so much time together?” she asks hopefully. Chloe looks at her sister skeptically, “Why would two of your abilities manifest so suddenly?” “Maybe it’s the new girl,” Rowan answers, only half joking. “What new girl?” Xavier asks, realizing he missed more of the conversation than he thought. “The tall, curvy blond… Amber. She said she’s new to Spring Hill,” Rowan says, looking around the corner at the party going on in the front yard. She immediately spots her friends, but doesn’t see the blond anywhere. “That’s weird. She’s been with my friends all night, but now I don’t see her anywhere.” Cian, Chloe, and Xavier look out, scanning the crowd for an unfamiliar face. After a moment, they all agree that everyone at the party is someone they recognize. “Just be careful, Rowan,” Chloe warns. “Something doesn’t feel right about this. I don’t know what it is, but we can’t deny that you slipped into the vision after shaking that girl’s hand. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but just be cautious around her until we know more about her.” “Let’s go back and look around,” Cian suggests. “Maybe she’s in the house or in the side yard.” Although he agrees that something isn’t right about what happened, he feels adrenaline coursing through his veins. He can’t deny that he is excited about meeting the new girl. Rowan looks over at Cian and realizes he doesn’t know that she just heard his thoughts and felt his excitement about meeting Amber. Rowan looks at Chloe, who is oblivious to it all and is making her way around to the front yard where the party is in full swing. Rowan shakes her head at Cian’s back and swears that if he hurts her sister, he will pay.
Breaking the Bond The Witches of Spring Hill Book 2 Patricia Proctor Genre: YA Paranormal Fiction Date of Publication: June 2013 ISBN: 1490577068 ASIN: B00DPP00DE Number of pages: 291 Word Count: 90,655 Book Description: Follow the lives of two sets of fraternal triplets, Rowan, Chloe, and Kaiden Alexander and Xavier, Cian, and Brianna Silvan as they spend the summer immersed in witchcraft in the second book of the Witches of Spring Hill series. Now that the Alexanders and Silvans have seen what they are capable of together, they believe that they are prepared for anything. But when a sexy stranger shows up at a party, Rowan is the first to suspect that there is more to this girl than meets the eye. With her newfound abilities, Rowan hopes to uncover the mystery of the new girl, while protecting Chloe and Cian from whatever… or whoever is breaking their bond. And although Kaiden can tell there’s something going on with his sisters, he’s having a hard time focusing on anything but Brianna
Determined to unlock the secrets of their past, Brianna and Cian Silvan open the books that were left to them. In doing so, they raise more questions than answers and open themselves up to more than just their history. In searching for the missing third book, they encounter someone who has a vested interest in them and their books. Liam Alexander remains focused on protecting his family, but between dealing with two break-ins and coping with Rowan’s new abilities, he is forced to put his trust in Xavier… until one of them breaks their agreement. The Silvans and the Alexanders must join together again, this time to stop the forces that threaten to separate them for good. But they won’t have to do it alone… they’ll get help from someone whose arrival in town will change all of their lives forever. Bonds will be broken, new relationships will begin, and new abilities will manifest, making this a summer no one will ever forget.
About the Author: Patricia Proctor lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and cats. She has a Master's degree in Library and Information Science and has had a love of books and reading her whole life. Visit author website: www.patriciaproctorbooks.com https://www.facebook.com/patriciaproctorbooks
Excerpt from Immortal Flame- Story two in Paranormal Pleasures II: Ten More Tales of Supernatural Seduction By Roxanne Rhoads The radio squawked on channel five, his station’s private channel, “Firefighter five-fifty-four, are you out there?” “This is Firefighter five-fifty-four.” “Hey, Blake, it’s Cami. Are you back in town? I thought I saw your Toyota drive by a little bit ago.” “Yup, driving down Brown Bridge Road toward home right now.” “Good. Everyone is out on a huge call in Porterdale, the old mill and hotel are on fire.” “Do they need help? I can drop by the station and grab my gear.” “No, I need you to pull into the old Avalon Plantation. A hiker out in the woods claims to have spotted smoke coming from around the mansion or possibly from inside the mansion. No one has lived there in years. You know how people are always seeing weird stuff out there. But it could be squatters or vandals, so it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus you know how we’re supposed to follow up on all calls. I just don’t want to pull anyone off the Porterdale fire unless absolutely necessary.” “No problem, Cami. It’s on my way home. I’ll check it out and call you if I need any help. It’s probably just a bum trying to get warm, it has been cold lately.” “Thanks, Blake. Let me know if you need any assistance.” “Will do,” he replied and set the radio down in the seat next to him. So much for a relaxing homecoming. He’d been out of town for over a week dealing with his family in Florida, but everyone at the station knew he would be home today. Even dispatch. Hard to keep your business quiet in a small southern town. That was okay, he missed running calls. He’d prefer helping others to dealing with his family drama. The call at the mansion was probably nothing anyway. People were always seeing strange things from that old place. This wouldn’t be the first time someone reported seeing smoke, lights, or will o’ the wisp occurrences from the old plantation. Being old and spooky looking had everyone claiming it was haunted. Which used to be good, everyone stayed away. But now with all those damn ghost hunter and paranormal shows on TV, everyone was becoming an amateur ghost hunter. It used to be just old vagabonds that came across the abandoned mansion and decided it looked like a good place to stay. And they never stayed long. In the past, some of the teenagers in town had tried partying there, those from the Goth and Emo sets. They ended up running scared from the place before the night was over. Blake had run a few calls there over the years but had never seen anything out of the ordinary. It was just an old crumbling plantation that hadn’t been cared for in a very long time. A forlorn ‘For Sale’ sign had been in front of the place for decades. Nobody had the money for such costly renovations. Hell, many thought it would be better to take a bulldozer to the place and start fresh, but it was a piece of southern history. Some diehard historian put the plantation on the historical buildings preservation list. So destined for a bulldozer it was not, at least not anytime soon. But unless someone fixed
the place up, eventually it would fall down on its own. Blake loved history and wished he had the money to renovate it. He knew exactly what he’d do to it. The private drive leading back to the main plantation house was about a quarter-mile before the road that led to Blake’s house. He turned down the drive and immediately noticed something was different. For one, the old ‘For Sale’ sign was gone, and the old drive that had been full of ruts and potholes for years had a fresh layer of gravel. Wow, maybe someone had finally bought the place and was fixing it up. He pulled in front of the main mansion and couldn’t believe his eyes. The grass had been cut and a large dumpster full of garbage from inside the house sat in the drive. Someone had definitely bought the place. He walked around the front of the building but didn’t see anyone around. No movement and no vehicles. There wasn’t any smoke or flames anywhere either. The front door was locked. He knocked but got no answer. Something urged him to go around back. The hiker called from the woods behind the house, so if there was anything to see it would be back there. Blake walked around the huge old antebellum mansion, feeling like he walked back in time. The house was still in pretty good shape, the Greek revival style with the columns and curvature had held up quite well. In the back there still stood a large barn, a carriage house, and several other ramshackle outbuildings that had probably been slave quarters at one time. They filled the large landscape of the backyard. A few paths had recently been cleared out, but it was mostly overgrown. The fields that had once grown cotton, corn, or other crops were now all wooded. Blake turned around and looked at the back of the mansion. It had been empty for over fifty years. What an impressive place this had once been. As he scanned the old architecture he saw it, smoke was creeping out from one of the second story windows. Shit, he was hoping the call had been nothing. The back door was locked. He didn’t bother with knocking, he just turned around and mule kicked the door…hard. The rusty old hinges broke and the door flew inward. He ran through the place following the scent of smoke. It was faint and not all through the house, that was good. It meant if there was a fire it had not spread. He found the back stairs off the kitchen by the back door, probably the old servant’s stairs, and prayed they were sturdy enough for him to climb without falling through. Cautiously testing a stair with his weight he found them to be sturdy. He should have known…they used to make things to last. He tested another and found it to be solid as well, so he ran up the rest of the steps, following the aroma of smoke. The upstairs hall only had a hint of smoke in it. He followed the trail to a room at the far end, probably a bedroom. Smoke was seeping out from under the door. He touched the door testing it for heat, but it was cool. There must not be a fire, but where was the smoke coming from? He pushed open the door and smoke billowed out sending him into a coughing fit. He couldn’t see anything. “Hello? Is anyone here? Hello?” His deep voice echoed creepily throughout the room. As the smoke drifted out of the room he could see the source, the fireplace. Someone had started a fire but probably had not opened the flue or else the old chimney was all clogged up. He saw a window. As he walked over to it he noticed something that made his heart stop. On the bed lay the prone figure of a woman, her long, dark auburn hair trailed around her and down the side of the bed.
Paranormal Pleasures II Ten More Tales of Supernatural Seduction
By Roxanne Rhoads Genre: Paranormal Erotica Publisher: Bewitching Books Award winning author Roxanne Rhoads brings you ten more tales of supernatural seduction featuring demonic desires, wanton witches, voluptuous vampires, and ghosts with grave needs… Four brand new, never published short stories have been combined with six previously published, freshly edited tales to give you a collection of hot paranormal erotica you can really sink your fangs into. Cover Models: Victoria Nightshade and Sugar Monroe Cover Photo By RSII Photography Book Cover Design by Dawne Dominique Scent of a Vampire Aidan has searched several human lifetimes for his perfect mate. Now that he’s found her, he refuses to let go. He must make Gabrielle see they were destined to be together. Immortal Flame An off duty fire fighter encounters a sexy vampire in what he thought was an abandoned house. The flames that ignite will leave them both scorched…and aching for more. An Unexpected Evening Samuel is a centuries-old vampire who prefers to be a recluse. He is always afraid of losing control and becoming the monster he once was. Falling in love with a young witch has pushed his boundaries and pulled him out of his comfort zone. Katerina always encourages Samuel to be more open, to let loose, and to really "live" instead of only existing in the shadows.
One night, he finally grants her wish . . . in ways she never imagined. Underneath the Fangs Samuel is being framed for murder. Katerina knows he is not guilty but she has to convince Samuel that he is not a monster and that he is worthy of her love. Cemetery Seduction Abby, a half witch, half vampire whose powers go awry in a club, has to run, afraid that the Others, who are policing all human/magick interaction, might put her in jail. She ends up in a cemetery, jumps behind a bush and lands right on top of a very sexy ghost hunter. No Place I'd Rather Be Sonora is torn between a human and a vampire. How can she choose between the man who makes her feel safe and the vampire that makes her blood race? Sonora prays to the Goddess for guidance while harboring secret desires that her broody vampire, Brom, and her brawny human, Avery, can get past their jealousy and be willing to do more than just share the witch in the middle.
Can the Goddess grant Sonora's wish, or will she be stuck making an impossible choice? Contains m/f/m and m/m Blood, Lust and Shadows Vampire/succubus hybrid Allana is on the prowl looking for a bloody snack and a sexy energy boost. While strutting her stuff in a dark parking lot she encounters a yummy Latino who makes a lovely meal. She also encounters something else that puts her senses into overdrive. Complete Circle Lissette is a vampire who has lived with her succubus girlfriend, Cassandra, for a long time. She swore off relationships with men after being viciously raped by the vampire hunters who killed the love of her life and left her for dead. Lissette and Cassandra only use men to get what they need, blood for Lissette and sexual energy for Cassandra. They are completely satisfied with their lives- until a mysterious stranger comes along. For the first time in centuries Lissette wants a man. Why is she so drawn to him? What is he?
Much more than a mere mortal, Gabriel has been searching for Lissette and Cassandra for a very long time. They have what he needs, what no one else can give him. But will they be willing to share? Contains f/m/f, f/f , and f/m/m scenes A Package Deal Chloe needs to get out of the city- fast. So she buys an old farmhouse out in the middle of nowhere- with one stipulation. The caretaker gets to stay. She readily agrees thinking it’s an old man that won’t give her any trouble. Ash is definitely not what she expected. My Demon Valentine Elita wants to give her demon boyfriend a Valentine’s Day to remember. Connor was built for giving pleasure but Elita wants to turn the tables on that. This time the pleasure will be all his. About the Author: Story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl...these words describe book publicist and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads. When not fulfilling one the many roles being a wife and mother of three require, Roxanne's world revolves around words...reading them, writing them, editing them, and talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read, promote and review what others write. Roxanne is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours and operates Fang-tastic Books, a book blog dedicated to paranormal and urban fantasy books. When not reading, writing, or promoting Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds. Visit her online Author Website http://www.roxannerhoads.com Book Blog www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.com Facebook www.facebook.com/RoxanneRhoads http://www.facebook.com/BewitchingBooktours http://www.facebook.com/RoxanneRhoadsAuthor http://www.facebook.com/FangtasticBooks Twitter @RoxanneRhoads Roxanne can also be found on Linked In, Goodreads and Google+
Interview with Victoria Nightshade Interviewed by Roxanne Rhoads Victoria Nightshade is a local Flint model, actress, burlesque performer and philanthropist. She graces the cover of my newest release, Paranormal Pleasures II: Ten More Tales of Supernatural Seduction. Victoria, you are a very busy woman- pin up contests, burlesque shows, modeling, acting, voice work, organizing the annual Flint Zombie Walk … and you are a mom with a “day job”…how do you possibly find the time and energy to juggle it all? I am busy! I spent a good chunk of my adult life just sitting around, wanting to do things but not knowing how. As soon as I realized it was all up to me I got moving and never looked back. I have to give a lot of props to my husband. Without a supportive mate who really gets it I don’t think I could handle it all. But since he’s an artist himself he truly understands the importance of making time for it all, taking our daughter out for a while so I can get some work done, etc. Beyond that it’s just passion. I love everything I do. I have a desire to keep going. It’s a bit like Pandora’s Box. When I first began all of these projects, almost simultaneously, I never knew how deep they’d go. But once you open that box you have to be ready for whatever comes at you. I’m not about to turn down the things that make me happy in this life. I can’t and won’t live like that. What came first modeling or acting? No doubt about it. Acting came first. I stepped onto a stage for the first time when I was 12 playing Glinda in The Wizard of Oz. I’ve never stopped. It’s changed form over the years, of course. I got my start in traditional community theatre, went to school in New York City for musical theatre for a bit and came back and accepted some paid work. But making a living as an actor is tough! I don’t want to discount what men experience, but as a woman? It can be rough. I felt judged by so much more than my ability. I’ve become less and less interested in stage plays and more interested in voice overs, commercial work and non-traditional acting. Modeling is something that started as a support to my burlesque. That’s pretty common. If anything, I would consider myself an amateur model because I don’t make my living at it. It has helped to secure work for me but it isn’t anything I could quite my day job for.
How did you get started with burlesque? A few years ago I was at the height of struggling with my body image. I was constantly comparing myself to other women, constantly hating everything about me. I didn’t want to live like that anymore. I was also a Mom to a four year old, at that point, and leaving the house nightly to go to rehearsals wasn’t an option for me. I thought burlesque would be interesting because it would allow me to get onstage without committing to a hectic schedule. It would also force me to support other women and be there for them instead of wishing I could look like them. That was what really interested me. I got on Facebook and put out a call seeking friends who wanted to take part. I immediately got a few positive responses and within a few months we had our first show. Tell us a little more about The Fischer Bodies- any upcoming shows? The Fischer Bodies is a burlesque troupe that focuses on dance, comedy, satire and sex appeal to engage an audience. Sometimes our statements are political, emotional, dark - but always driven. We’re comprised of male and female dancers who have strong theatrical backgrounds. Between us we have well over 100 years of theatrical know how. That’s intense! Our troupe is all about making a statement - unless we feel like just taking our clothes off. Because that’s okay, too. And that’s our point! Burlesque is variety. That is the dictionary definition. People think of the burlesque as being something that happened in the 1940’s but in truth burlesque has been going on for thousands of years. There is more than one way to burlesque, to be sexy and desirable and to make a point. And it’s all okay. That’s really what we want you to know. We do have upcoming shows but nothing I can speak of at this time. We have contracts out and some things can’t be revealed until we get the go ahead. Please find us on Facebook by searching for The Fischer Bodies to get all the info! You are very passionate about the community, what was your inspiration for The Flint Zombie Walk? About six years ago I was doing some public relations work for Flint City Theatre. I was trying to think of a fun Halloween event we could do to draw attention to our work and remembered an experience I had while living in Chicago. A zombie walk? Seemed terrifying. I didn’t even go because I was that afraid of zombies. But the idea stuck with me. I certainly can’t take credit for that. At the time the theatre was churning out some underground, macabre stuff and I thought a Zombie Walk would fit right it. We decided to find a charity and make a go of it. The first year we have about 6o zombies, the second year we had about 200 and the third year we had about 700. It’s grown and really taken on a life of its own. It is one of the things I am
most proud of. Giving back to the community by donating to charities, giving people something fun and safe to do and meeting amazing horror movie celebrities, vendors and entertainers. It’s a win win. Tell us about this year’s Zombie Walk- who are the celebrity guests and what type of events do you have lined up? This year all proceeds are going to Little Free Library. We’re going to hire local contractors to establish these mini libraries all over Flint. Education is really the way to a better life and we want to support that idea. Our celebrity guests are Miko Hughes from Pet Cemetery and Leonard Lies and David Crawford who are both from Dawn of the Dead. Right now I’m working on bringing in entertainers but I’m sure The Fischer Bodies will be dancing a modern dance piece (family friendly!) and our magician went over quite well last year so we’ll probably have some more of that. In addition to that we’ll have vendors and a world class raffle. Thank you, Victoria for sharing with us. To learn more about Victoria, The Fischer Bodies and The Flint Zombie Walk visit the links below. https://www.facebook.com/victorianightshadeburlesque
https://www.facebook.com/thefischerbodies https://www.facebook.com/FlintZombieWalk http://www.flintzombiewalk.com/home.html
Book Review by Kay Dee Royal– Paranormal Pleasures II: Ten More Tales of Supernatural Seduction Author: Roxanne Rhoads Genre: Paranormal Erotic Romance short storie. I have listed each title with a short review and a final overall account of Ms. Rhoads stories. Scent of a Vampire ~ Scents can lure, radiate heat, and fill one with needs. Aidan, an intense vampire, can make a woman do stupid things, according to Gabrielle, the woman he calls mate. Ms. Rhoads introduces (coins) a new word in this story and I love it, but won’t spoil it for you to find. This story starts the book rolling, giving an excellent idea of how sizzling hot her stories read. Immortal Flame ~ Blake’s a volunteer fire-fighter and a construction company owner. In other words, he’s a hero…and quite the rescuer. Ask Anika…a vampire Blake finds inside a smoking house. Yummy fireworks ensue of the sexy kind. “Firefighter five-fifty-four, are you out there?” *smiles* An Unexpected Evening ~ If you’ve read Ms. Rhoads Hex and the Single Witch, you’ll want to read this story as the characters are related to those in that novel: ) Samuel, a vampire, gets accused for a string of murders and Katrina, his witch lover, knows it isn’t her vamp reeking hell. Their relationship is major hot sex with a few issues of trust thrown in ~ let me add ~ they totally rock the bed! Underneath the Fangs ~ More of Samuel and Katrina’s story ~ and the love scenes between them blaze to white-hot sizzling. I’d love to follow more stories of these two story-stars. Cemetery Seduction ~ This one gives a bit of a comic relief along with an arousing romp in the cemetery…who does that? Abigail, half-witch and half-vampire, gets it on with ghost hunter, James, who may or may not be more than human. One thing for sure about these two…they have no fear and prefer a thorough sexual encounter in the serene setting of…well, you know. Another over-the-top hottie with a satisfying end and it left me wanting more stories. No Place I’d Rather Be ~ Talk about strong sexual content, this one is a definite pleaser if you love sexy ménage à trois. The first sentence: “Could I choose between them?” I loved all of Ms. Rhoads stories, but this one tipped the scales for favorite with hunky investigator, Avery, human hotness extraordinaire, and the contender for attention, vampire Brom, and the woman between them, Sonora, a witch who wants them both. There’s a surprise in this story that totally heats up the pages! I didn’t want this story to end. Hope there’s more with these three story-stars : ) Blood, Lust, and Shadows ~ Allana, a vampire/succubus who packs an attitude of lustful power and she totes a big hungry appetite to keep sated. She gets lucky when a mysterious shadow-man shows up and fills her passionate desires. I’ve never read anything like this twist and it’s refreshing when I come across them. It’s a goody:) Complete Circle ~ Can a succubus and vampire have a lasting relationship? Cassandra, a succubus, and Lissette, a vampire who lost her soul-mate years before, hook up and find their relationship safe and loving “enough”…until Gabriel, a vampire/incubus steps into their relationship. Excellent erotic romance with the perfect ending. A Package Deal ~ Chloe needed to leave the city, sick of guys wanting to have sex with her and she was sick of wanting them to. She moves to the country, buys a place with a built-in caretaker, Ashton, who’s also a vampire. There are a few surprises in this one and it’s also another sexy-hot read (like all of them are). It’s also packed with deep emotion and sensual understandings. Yummy!
My Demon Valentine ~ What does a pleasure demon want on Valentine’s Day? Elita, pure-blood witch, and her significant other, Connor, a pleasure demon, are researching to find answers for family murders and something else coming…The Darkness. All of this is going on when it’s Valentine’s Day…and Elita needs to come up with something amazing for Connor. She creatively surprises him, and I’m pretty sure it will knock your socks off as another steamy read and one that perfectly closes Ms. Rhoads second Paranormal Pleasures book. Ms Rhoads writes another sexy-hot paranormal erotic book filled with supernatural story-stars and their stories. Each unique star drew me into their story…and each relationship turned on the lights so we had an inside look at their hot sexy love scenes and their satisfying endings. The book is a page-turner…I finished it before I was ready…so I can only hope she pops out Paranormal Pleasures III soon : ) If you like good and hot paranormal erotic romance short stories, graced with witches, vampires, succubus, incubus, demons, and ghosts, this book is a must read. ~Kay Dee Royal Original Post http://www.kaydeeroyal.blogspot.com/2014/04/cover-reveal-book-reviewparanormal.html
Exploring Pin Up Contests By Ginger Kewl So you are a Pin Up model. You love the look, the clothes and the culture of classic cars, Rockabilly music and Pin up contests. If you are like me you watch the ladies on the stage in the Pin up contests and wonder: what’s its like to be up there? I had the opportunity to participate in a couple contests during the month of March. The first was Vinsetta Garage Pin-up Girl Contest at the Detroit Autorama and the second was the REO Town Thrift Store Gala, Burlesque Show and Pin up contest hosted by Autumn Rose Luciano. Each had a lots of wonderful ladies dressed in their creative pinup style clothes with hopes of winning the prize. Vinsetta Garage is a custom eatery located at 27799 Woodward Ave, Berkley MI 48072. They specialize in American food with flair. They host a Pin-Up Girl contest with the goal of producing a calendar. This year they had a limit of 50 contestants with the winner receiving $1000 and the top twelve are featured in the calendar. At the Detroit Autorama a person couldn’t always tell who was going to be in the contest. There were ladies with pin curls and classic Betty Paige styles walking around everywhere. But the ladies in the pin-up contest were a bit different if you looked close enough at the details. Some ladies had themed clothes like racecar drivers, airline stewardess, military or drive-in waitresses. Some had everyday clothes but the buttons, make-up and hair where as close to historically period as they could be. Much more time and effort was put into the look than a casual attendee at the auto show. Some ladies even came with their rolling suitcases stocked with necessities like make-up and hair stuffs, sewing supplies and alternate clothes in case a catastrophe happened! This contest was simple and straightforward. A contestant walked across the stage, waved to the crowd and walked off. There was not an opportunity to talk and no information was given about you other than your name. It was all about the look and audience appeal. The REO Town Thrift Store Pin up contest atmosphere was different. This was a party hosted by the REO Town group to raise money to help the community. The partygoers where all wearing the best of thrift store finds. Autumn Rose Luciano, owner of Decadence Dolls photography, was recruited to help make the party more entertaining. And that she did! She organized burlesque performers in 2 sets and the pin up contest. The prize for the contest was a photography session with her valued at $320. The idea of this contest was to be creative with items found at thrift stores in making 1940’s to 1960’s outfits. Here the contestants where asked to fill out cards telling people about themselves and their clothes. An emcee read the card as the contestant walked out on stage to music and got 15 to 30 seconds to entertain the crowd.
Since these were my first experiences with pin up contests my idea was to basically learn what it was all about. I have to believe that my observations, though general, are true for all Pin-up contests. First off nerves are running high. I didn’t see at either place a contestant that wasn’t fussing over their hair, make-up and checking to see if clothes were in place. The camaraderie of the ladies back stage chit chatting was absolutely wonderful. Complimenting each other on particular parts of the costume, asking for help with theirs, and sharing stories of how everything came together. Everyone has high hopes. Now here is the downfall of Pin-up contests, unless you have what the judges are looking for, you will not make it to the finals. So know your judges! If the contest has been happening for more than a year study the previous winners. Get an idea of what the judges are looking for. Is the ultimate goal of the contest a calendar, magazine or representation for the event? Whatever it is try to emulate previous winners with your own flair. Not necessarily the same theme or look as previous years but pay attention to the details of your attire. Make it look like you stepped out of a time machine! Second, get to know the host of the event. To some extent it is WHO you know. On social media, (Facebook, Myspace, Twitter and Instagram) like and comment on pages and posts. The goal here is to get your name recognized. Third and final, realize not everybody can win. Yes, it’s a roller coaster ride of emotions. In the beginning everyone has the hope of at least placing in the finals. You are on a high. But as the event happens, not matter how well the audience reacts to you, if you don’t have what the judges are looking for, you may not make it to the finals. This can make you feel terrible. Be a good sport and figure out why that lovely lady won. And ENJOY the fun of the stage by giving the world a taste of the gorgeous unique YOU! So if you have a hankering to try Pin up contests remember to do a little research before hand. First enter, look at previous winners and then be creative. Make an outfit that you think best reflects the goal of the contest, what the judges are looking for, and something that is you. Have fun and GO FOR IT!
The May Issue of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine is filled with new books you are sure to love. Get a sneak peak at Paranormal Pleasures II...
Published on May 15, 2014
The May Issue of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine is filled with new books you are sure to love. Get a sneak peak at Paranormal Pleasures II...