Covenant The Books of Raziel Book 2 Sabrina Benulis
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Date of Publication: 4/1/2014
Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 98,000
Harper Collins Amazon BN
The haunting gothic tale started in Archon continues-a mesmerizing work of the paranormal in which a young woman discovers that she is caught in a labyrinth of intrigue where angels, demons, and all the creatures between Heaven and Hell will stop at nothing to possess her.
A year ago, Angela Mathers, a talented artist with a tortured soul, enrolled at the Westwood Academy and encountered the angels who haunted her dreams. Then she discovered the dark truth … she is the Archon, a being of supreme power who will determine the fate of the universe. But with such power comes great danger, and for every force seeking to aid Angela there is another burning to stop her. After a scheming demon kidnaps the Book of Raziel, Angela must find her way through a nightmarish game and enter the Door to Hell to rescue her only friend before it is too late.
The perilous fate of both Heaven and Hell rests on her success.
Genesis ~ The Story So Far
in the beginning of all things, there was a song, and starlight, and a Garden within eternity’s shadows. There, God created three great angels, and they were destined to rule all of Heaven from three majestic thrones.
Israfel, the Creator Supernal, was considered to be the most beautiful of these angels. A vision of bronze feathers and grace, he found favor in the eyes of God and Heaven and soon outstripped his siblings in both popularity and power. His brother Raziel, the Preserver Supernal, became known for the virtues of wisdom and gentleness. And then there was Lucifel, the Destroyer Supernal embodying creation’s fathomless darkness and depths, who despite her taciturn personality still managed to snare the hearts of creatures.
The storms and upsets of the universe could not touch these three angels. Sickness and death were beneath them.
But they were not immune to the passions of the heart.
As Israfel’s favor grew, so did Lucifel’s frightful envy and discontent.
Seeing herself as an equal to her sibling and with a loyal band of angels to support her claim, Lucifel finally broke with the established order and challenged Israfel’s position as Heaven’s supreme ruler under God. When Raziel–who had always seemingly vacillated in his loyalty between both siblings–took Lucifel as his lover, a bloody revolution exploded. The children of their forbidden union were executed, but in retaliation Lucifel engulfed Heaven in a War that ended in Raziel’s suicide, Israfel’s abdication, and her own tragic destiny.
Though defeated by both fate and circumstance, Lucifel chose to begin a new regime in lower, darker places. Yet she was swiftly imprisoned in her new kingdom of Hell.
Those who had once worshipped her in her glory were now her fearful jailers. They called themselves demons.
In the darkness below all things, caged and alone, Lucifel’s ideals twisted even as her shadow of influence grew. From Hell it then spread like a poison, touching even the mortal world.
Though her true motives remain unknown, she is now suspected of wishing to open Raziel’s fabled Book, seeking to use its power to silence the universe and the light within it that mocks her. Lucifel moves quicker by the day to manipulate events in her favor. But Raziel’s death was not completely in vain. He has returned as the guardian spirit of a human girl to see that his sister Lucifel fails in her goal. This human girl is called the Archon.
The Archon is the only soul believed to be capable of opening the Book for the power of good. But like all creatures She has a choice, and will either stand against Lucifel and destroy her, or kill her only to take her place on the Throne of Hell and begin a darker era of Ruin.
In either instance, Her decision must be made quickly.
With the ties that once held the universe together brutally severed, an order long teetering on the edge of collapse has started to slide toward complete annihilation. A silence more threatening than Lucifel’s looms over all creatures–one without hope of resurrection. The whereabouts of the Lock and Key of Raziel’s Book are unknown, and the task of opening it to save what remains of the world verges on the impossible.
The Archon is a soul born in mortal misery, and she has only recently grasped the virtue of friendship. There are many who believe that her dark destiny is–like Lucifel’s–unavoidable.
But if Ruin and Death born of three unhappy angels sparked the end, it is also true that covenants broken can be remade, and that the wheels of fate can be turned backwards despite all odds. Hearts call to one another, undoing the knots that have strangled hope, and imprisoned peace. For darkness to exist, there must be a brighter light. The world has always known pain, strife, and wars.
Yet it is the bonds between souls that have moved the stars.
Many doors begged to be opened in the city of Luz. Kim was certain he’d at last found the only one that mattered.
Like all ominous things, it had materialized in the darkest hour of his life. Now he stood in front of its immense black wood and gasped for breath, cold sweat trickling down the side of his nose. A thousand warnings sounded off in his brain, and his lungs ached as they sucked in the freezing air. His hands had gone numb. Ice shellacked the tips of Kim’s hair, and the strands swept punishingly against his neck. The wind strangled him with every breath, searching relentlessly for other lives to snuff out, sighing like a cold song through the alley.
A soft hiss shivered through the bone cold night, and the harsh breeze died for a moment. The damp and stone-filled city had hushed, as if waiting. Flurries drifted serenely to the ground.
Kim glanced over his shoulder, shuddering. Fear throbbed through him in waves.
He would have to move fast. He didn’t have much time to make a decision before she caught up to him.
The door beckoned, suspicious and dark. Should he? Shouldn’t he?
Kim stared at the door, gasping for breath. He peered at the odd carvings and symbols in the wood. Impulsively, he reached for the snake-shaped iron knob.
Reality twisted and warped like a flash of lightning. Without warning the iron serpent came alive and lunged.
Inch long metal fangs sunk into Kim’s palm. Needles of agony wrenched through his arm.
Kim cursed under his breath, tears of pain bunching at the corners of his eyes. He snatched his hand out of the snake’s reach, wrapping fingers around his injured palm. Blood seeped hotly between his fingers. The iron snake recoiled back to its original position, glaring into him. Its reptilian eyes glowed with an unnerving yet familiar shade of orange. Try again, they seemed to say.
Frantically, Kim searched every inch of the wood for a keyhole. But there was none, and he realized with a newer shot of panic that he had no key anyway.
Another icy hiss echoed through him, drifting through the alley along with the snow. A soft rattle, like the sound of tiny bones rubbing together, cut through the silence.
Kim peered around again, sweaty bangs screening his vision.
A pair of phosphorescent yellow eyes gleamed back at him from the end of the cobbled road. Sickle-shaped black wings flickered once within the night. The sad glow of a gas lamp brushed the tips of his cousin’s nails, and then her devilish form melted back into the darkness.
In a few more breaths, those nails would rip him apart. His hunter was badly hurt, but that wouldn’t buy Kim enough time to escape.
He glanced around pathetically and sucked in more horrendously cold air. Silvery ice shellacked the surrounding walls of brick and stone, the hard ground. Snow drifted, fell, tumbled in the renewed gusts of winter wind. He didn’t want to die in the cold depths of Luz alone. Too much life awaited him, and possibly love.
He clung to that last hope with fanatical loyalty.
Kim clutched the cross necklace at his chest, and his mind raced and filled with thoughts of Angela Mathers and how much she needed him without even realizing it. He pictured her brave face, deep red hair, and cool blue eyes. He felt her kiss on his mouth and ached for the part of his heart he’d unwillingly left with her in a moment of such irrational anger. He heard an angel’s voice say like it had said before that Kim was about to get exactly what he deserved.
A terrible, crushing sensation threatened to stop his heart. The hair stood on the nape of Kim’s neck. His veins throbbed with terror. Blood rushed and roared in his ears. He fought off the screams rising up into his throat. Unseen and silent, death’s stealthy approach felt keen as a knife in his back.
Kim threw himself at the door, pounding on the wood with his fists.
Seeing Angela’s face in his mind one last time, he knew he’d give anything to reach her again. The screams left his mouth at last, reverberating in the icy air. Someone, anyone, for the love of God let him in. He knew footsteps were behind him and ragged breaths and pitiless teeth and the thought was unbearable. He banged harder and harder, ignoring the threat of another bite from the snake because his hands were dead with cold and pain.
He would do anything, if someone would save him.
The world paused. A voice like a snake’s touched the edge of his thoughts.
Anything? It sounded amused.
Yes. Yes. ANYTHING.
A tremulous click broke the silence.
Kim jumped backwards and stared, his heart pounding. The immense black door had opened, and a sliver of nothingness peeped at him from the gap between door and wall. Like a man in a trance, he opened the door wider, revealing a worn stone stairway that led down into a dimly lit darkness. A stale but warm breeze wafted upward from the depths. There was no telling what waited for him down there. For a single moment longer, he hesitated.
Pain slammed into him like a thunderbolt.
The door slammed shut. Kim whipped sideways into the bricks, scraping his cheek on bitter ice.
His hunter rolled to the slippery ground next to him, her sparsely feathered wings beating the stone in a frenzy. Ice cracked and split beneath her weight. Cold air rushed over him in merciless waves.
Scabs covered Troy’s black pinions, and her entire body had become even leaner with hunger. Growls of rage peppered her almost unintelligible words. Kim stole one more glimpse of his cousin’s lethal angelic beauty, the sight of her sharp teeth, the terror of her hypnotic eyes, and he wrenched himself from the slick wall and once again flung open the door.
Troy grabbed his leg, cutting more blood out of him.
Frustrated shrieks sliced into him like her nails. Her broken ankle had cost her time and speed, but it was her other injuries that had brought her close to starvation. Kim screamed a prayer.
Shuddering, she let go.
In a second she was on her hands and feet, preparing to pounce again. Kim swung himself through the doorway.
Troy’s bony hand grasped the bloody tatters of his coat and pulled. Kim slammed to the ground. Her wings buffeted him, punishing his legs and waist. She scrabbled for a foothold on the unfamiliar ice, and he fought against sliding into biting range. Troy’s hot breath reached his skin. The chain of his necklace threatened to choke him.
Kim pulled with all of his strength.
The coat fabric ripped from between her fingers. The necklace chain snapped. With a cry of triumph he dashed for the stairway again and turned, slamming the door shut.
Troy’s feet and hands clanged like a sharp wind against the wood.
Kim staggered back, nearly pitching down the stairs. Grasping blindly, he clung to an iron bar on the door’s inside, trying to keep his balance. In a fury of Jinn nails and thundering wings, Troy scratched against the door and rasped his name, screeched out her fury. Her voice was like a song of terror.
The door shivered beneath the onslaught. Kim was sure a mere two inches of wood separated them.
It didn’t seem to matter. Something was protecting him and Troy knew it.
Her hisses of defeat continued, cutting through him like poisonous ice. Kim let go of the iron bar and stood at the top of the stairway, keeping his hand on his other bleeding palm, whispering every exorcism prayer in his memory.
Hours passed. Every so often, chalk-white fingers and sharp nails slipped under the door, searching for Kim’s skin. Above the howling wind, he heard Troy’s hiss or the rattle of the bones in her hair, and sometimes the screech of the crow that haunted her side. So he waited with her, certain that one of them would eventually give up but that, God willing, it wouldn’t be him.
Finally, unbelievably, she left.
Kim’s sanity returned by degrees. With it came suffocating hunger and thirst. He’d been running from Troy for so long, food and drink had become hasty and disgusting occasions. Now the overwhelming need for both began to overcome his terror at what might be waiting outside the door. He touched it, weighing his fortunes. No, he couldn’t bear it anymore–
Kim set his jaw, pushing on the door from the inside.
It wouldn’t budge. There was no interior knob either, only the iron bar that had left his arm muscles aching. He was trapped.
A warm breeze rose out of the darkness and brushed against his skin. The ice coating his hair dripped onto the stone.
Kim patted his chest, sensing emptiness. His cross necklace was gone, probably lying on the icy ground where Troy had torn it from his neck. There was no sense in grieving. That memento his foster-father had given him was now long past its usefulness. The memories it symbolized would best stay where Kim had left them, half-buried in snow and ice. Besides, he couldn’t return even if he wanted to.
With the most furtive glances, Kim examined the staircase.
He breathed hard, his chest aching. His throat was raw from screaming, and as he stood, every muscle screamed back at him in protest. Carefully, he stepped onto the first set of stairs.
Troy’s steady breathing sounded from the door’s other side.
She’d never left at all.
With his next step, she breathed louder, as if growing desperate.
Kim knew better than to walk down a mysterious set of stairs, after entering a mysterious door, all because he’d made a desperate promise. Yet he had no other choice, and deep inside, he couldn’t help feeling that this was somehow the right one. A whisper at the edge of his memories called from far below. Perhaps this was the moment he’d been waiting for.
Here is your chance, the voice called to him again.
Despite Kim’s better judgment he believed it. He needed to believe it. So he left death behind to meet salvation where it waited–darker and darker down.
About the Author:
Sabrina Benulis graduated with a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband Mike, and her spoiled cockatiel Caesar. COVENANT is the follow-up to ARCHON, her first novel.
3 print copies of ARCHON (Book 1 in the Books of Raziel series-US ONLY)
Title: Striped From You (Prequel to Strip Me Bare)
Author: Marissa Carmel
Genre: New Adult
Released Date: June 1st, 2014
Cover Design by: Cover Me, Darling
*Author Note- Stripped From You can be read as a stand-alone novel, but the author suggests reading Strip Me Bare first.
You know how it ends, now see how it all began…
“It doesn’t matter how many women touch this body, only one woman has ever touched this soul.”
Ryan Pierce doesn’t come from much, doesn’t ask for much, and doesn’t expect much. And he’s come to accept that, until, Alana Remington. Alana is the girl who struck the match that lit his world on fire. She’s the girl who opened his eyes to more. Who made him believe that just because you have nothing, doesn’t mean you are nothing. And he loves her fiercely for it. But, just because you come together, doesn’t mean you stay together. One fateful decision rips Ryan and Alana apart and neither of them are ever the same again.
For five years he’s regretted that decision, but the deep seeded anger, shame and resentment has kept him from reaching out. And over those five years, a series of moments have spun Ryan’s world in a direction he never saw coming. A world ruled by endless nights, infinite women and the name Jack the Stripper. A world, unbeknownst to him, that may just let two severed hearts collide.
Marissa Carmel has been writing since a young age and although it has always been for personal enjoyment, she finally decided breakout and share her imagination with the world. She hopes that her universe is as fun and intriguing to her readers as it is to her. Marissa Carmel is originally from NJ but moved to Maryland several years ago, she enjoys reading, writing, and catching up on her ever growing DVR library. She is currently working on the sequel to iFeel, Gravitational Pull and the third and final installment of the Vis Vires trilogy, Constellation.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Marissa Carmel/e/B005OKFXXU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1361243544&sr=8-2
Twitter: https://twitter.com/marissacarmel Handle: @marissacarmel
Author pg: https://www.facebook.com/authormarissacarmel?ref=hl
Hold on, We’re Going Home- Drake
The Other Side- Jason Derulo
Demons- Imagine Dragons
Dark Horse- Katy Perry
Say Something- A Great Big World
Summertime Sadness- Lana Del Rey
“Do you trust me?”
“Of course not, I just met you.”
“Then how about giving me the benefit of the doubt?”
She raises an eyebrow at me, and before I give her a chance to respond I slam the shot then pull her face to mine. And as my mouth covers hers, heat rapidly spreads through my body. She’s momentarily stunned. Her body is rigid against me, but then she relaxes, parts her lips and lets the tart liquid slide into her mouth.
I can’t believe I just did that.
I can’t believe she just let me.
After she swallows, she lets her lips linger, sucking up the taste of the sweet shot, causing my nervous system to shift into hyper-drive. We break apart slowly, but I refuse to let go of the nape of her neck. She just stares up at me with these enthralling eyes I know I’ll never be able to resist.
“Do you always break the rules?” she asks.
“No, not usually, but you seem to make me want to do crazy things.”
“Was that crazy?”
“Let’s do it again and find out.”
I lick my lower lip, tasting the sweet remnants of her lip gloss before I drop another shot. I pause for just a beat before I lean down and press my mouth back to hers and let the alcohol flow between us. I flick my tongue against her teeth right before I pull away. I shouldn’t like this so much, but I do. I like the way she looks, the way she feels, the way she smells. There’s something about her, something ventilating; like she oxygenates the atmosphere.
I catch the cool beats to a song I recognize pumping though the air. “Do you want to dance?” I ask her.
“You can dance?”
“There’s only one thing I can do better.” I smirk.
Alana cocks her eye brow suggestively.
“Draw.” I fire back. “The only thing I can do better is draw. Dirty girl.” I tease as I grab her hand and lead her out to the dance floor knowing Mac will look after our drinks.
Once we find a comfortable spot, I start to move to the smooth rhythm, leaving a little room between us so it doesn’t feel like I’m forcing myself on her. Drake sings coolly about hot love and affection as we move in sync to the beat, our bodies brushing and grazing as the music plays on, then finally coming together in a comfortable unison. I wrap one hand around her waist as I roll my hips into hers, pressing our bodies as close as they can possibly get. Alana runs her hands up my chest and hooks her arms lightly around my neck keeping tempo with the music. She moves lithely against me, inducing my heart, thoughts, and pulse to race. Fuck, I’m drowning in want for this girl. I slide my hands up under her shirt and caress the smooth, soft skin of her lower back as she nuzzles her face into my neck, her warm breath skating across my collarbone, making me instantly hard.
She lifts her head and meets my stare, which I know is filled with lust and unrepentantly wanton. She bites her lower lip, our bodies still jiving to the slow seductive music. In a brazen move, I slip my hand up the back of her bare thigh and cup her ass cheek under the hem of her short shorts. She gasps as I work my fingers against her, massaging the fleshy part of her bottom. I’m absolutely aching being this close to her, touching her, stroking her, grinding against her.
“Are you sure drawing is the only thing you can do better?” she pants in my ear.
Both have what she wants … but only one has what she needs.
Working with professional athletes and helping them recover from their injuries has always been Kate Townsend’s dream, but after an accident left her scarred and heartbroken years ago she refuses to let what happened in her past happen again. Staying focused is the key, as well as not letting her feelings interfere with her job … no matter the circumstances. All of that is easier said than done when not only one, but two men crave her healing touch, igniting every single desire she’s denied herself for so long.
Cooper Davis, NFL’s star quarterback and most eligible bachelor, packs up and leaves his home to move across the states to the East Coast after an injury results in the embarrassing trade to another team. Bitter from the pain, he deals with his problems through drugs and alcohol—almost ruining his football career—until he meets the one woman who makes him want to feel; the same woman who refuses to give up on him no matter how many times he screws up. He has to have her, and he’s not going to stop until he makes her his. Especially, now that someone else threatens to take her away.
Motocross champion and local bad boy Luke Collins never takes no for an answer. For the past four months he’s used his charms to get what he wants, and now he’s so close to getting the girl of his dreams … if she’ll give in just once. One time is all he needs,
and he’s never been known to fail, but he’s also never had to fight for a woman’s affections. Only one man will win their way into Kate’s heart, but which one will intercept the other and take what they want? Which one will she choose?
USA Today Bestselling author, L.P. Dover, is a southern belle residing in North Carolina along with her
husband and two beautiful girls. Before she even began her literary journey she worked in Periodontics enjoying the wonderment of dental surgeries.
Not only does she love to write, but she loves to play tennis, go on mountain hikes, white water rafting, and you can’t forget the passion for singing. Her two number one fans expect a concert each and every night before bedtime and those songs usually consist of Christmas carols.
Aside from being a wife and mother, L.P. Dover has written over nine novels including her Forever Fae series, the Second Chances series, and her standalone novel, Love, Lies, and Deception. Her favorite genre to read is romantic suspense and she also loves writing it. However, if she had to choose a setting to live in it would have to be with her faeries in the Land of the Fae.
L.P. Dover is represented by Marisa Corvisiero of Corvisiero Literary Agency.
Nightmare Ink by Marcella Burnard
Release Date: April 2014
Genre: Urban Fantasy
With the needle of a tattoo gun, Isa Romanchzyk has the power to create and destroy. In her shop Nightmare Ink, Isa helps those in need by binding the powers embedded in their Live Ink—the magical tattoos that can enhance the life of the wearer, or end it. But binding tattoos has earned Isa the contempt of her fellow artists—including her former lover Daniel.
When a friend comes to the shop with a tattoo on the verge of killing him, Isa can’t turn him away. For the first time in years, she works Live Ink into someone’s skin—something she swore she’d never do again. But breaking her vow soon becomes the least of her problems.
Isa is horrified to discover her friend’s body in the shop, but the real nightmare begins when she’s abducted and inked against her will. Now, as she seeks retribution from the man who betrayed her, Isa must figure out how to bind her Living Tattoo before it consumes her completely…
About the Author:
Marcella Burnard graduated from Cornish College of the Arts with a degree in acting. She writes science fiction romance for Berkley Sensation.
Her first book, Enemy Within won the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award for Best Futuristic of 2010. The second book in the series, Enemy Games, released on May 3, 2011.
An erotica novella, Enemy Mine, set in the same world as the novels was released as an e-special edition by Berkley was released in April 2012. Emissary, a sword and sorcery short story released in the two volume Thunder on the Battlefield Anthology in the second half of 2013.
Shadows of Fate Shadow Born Book 1by Angela Dennis
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: April 8, 2014
Number of pages: 247
Word Count: 87,000
Cover Artist: Kanaxa
Samhain Kobo Amazon
Chapters iTunes Amazon.es
Tagline: Redemption lies beyond the veil between truth and lies.
After witnessing her husband’s brutal murder, Brenna Baudouin lost control of her Shadow Bearer powers and wreaked havoc on her home world. Her penance: one hundred years policing hordes of supernatural misfits that spilled onto the Earthly plane after a cataclysmic war.
She’s on a routine exorcism run when she learns she’s been assigned a new partner. But there’s something about this Shadow Bearer that sparks her suspicions. Particularly when people closest to her start turning up as piles of ash.
Gray Warlow holds tight to the glamour that allows him to get close to the woman on whom he plans to wreak vengeance for betraying his people. Yet as he skillfully manipulates his way past her distrust, he begins to see her not as the heartless monster he was led to believe, but a strong, vulnerable woman.
As they work to put together the pieces of a killer’s macabre puzzle, an attraction deeper than blood and bone flares between them. And they must reveal their deepest secrets to avoid becoming the final targets.
Warning: A thrill ride of supernatural proportions. Contains violent battle scenes, nail-biting suspense, crazy hot sexual tension, and enough twists and turns to make your head spin.
Copyright © 2014 Angela Dennis
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. publication
Her gaze stretched to the bar. Beneath the glittering liquor bottles and burnt oak, a bottle of Jack in one hand and Grey Goose in the other, stood her target. Dirty blond hair brushed past his eyebrows, the rest tied back in a rubber band. He seemed innocent enough. As he flipped a glass bottle behind his back, muscles rippling on his shirtless body, magic seeped from his skin. It flowed around the women stretched across the bar, their assets on display as well as their lust.
Thankfully, he didn’t get much bang for his buck. This one was weak. Newly possessed, the demon hadn’t had time to gain a strong enough lock on the victim’s body. This shouldn’t take long. The piles of paperwork she had left on her desk might even get done tonight.
She pushed through the crowd, stripping her leather duster off her shoulders as she went. The black corset underneath, paired with tight leather pants, flattered her figure. She turned heads, especially the demon’s. She released the hair tie at the back of her neck. With a quick shake, her burnt copper curls slid down to her waist. She stopped at one of the tiny tables and threw her coat across the barstool.
Eyes closed, she pretended the music was something more aesthetically pleasing as she stepped onto the dance floor, keeping her mark at the forefront of her mind. She felt his eyes on her body as she swayed to the music. Hips gyrating to the heavy beat, she pulled on her glamour to blend in with the other dancers as she let her magic wrap his body. Losing herself in the music, she let him watch her move, feeling his desire amp. His energy vibrated as he made his way through the crowd, his power wild.
His hands draped her hips and he pulled her to him, his magic sliding over her body. Darkness tinged her aura, but she shrugged it off. Dealing with demon magic never got easier, but his wasn’t powerful. Grinning, she wrapped her hand around his neck, pulling him close until her lips brushed his ear. His burning skin jumped against her touch.
They stilled for a moment as the DJ switched tracks. “Think you could get me a drink?” she breathed, brushing a hand down his bare back. “I’m thirsty.” She grinned as he nodded, eager, the demon jumping beneath his skin.
“Anything for you, darlin’.” He wrapped a possessive arm around her waist, moving her toward the bar. “What’s your poison?”
A grin played on his lips. “My kinda woman.”
Pushing past the other bartender, he grabbed a bottle of Jack and poured her shot. She caught it as it slid across the splintered wooden bar. Tossing it back, she reveled in the slow burn of the liquor. It was an old favorite. Just cause she was working didn’t mean she couldn’t treat herself.
She tossed back a second shot, thankful she didn’t have the ability to get drunk. Giving the demon her best longing look, she leaned forward. “Thanks. I needed that,” she murmured. “What’s your name?”
Leaning forward, she traced a finger down her cleavage. “Do you think you could give me a ride home, Zed?” she asked. She bit one finger in a nervous gesture, knowing he was buying it. “My friend went home with some guy and left me here. I can wait.”
His eyes flashed, and she knew she had him.
“Sure.” He glanced at the other bartender. “Give me a second. I got off an hour ago.”
Sure you did, she thought.
A few seconds later he was back, pulling on a t-shirt as he walked. The gesture was surprisingly human. With the demon hiding inside, the brimstone dancing in his blood would keep his body uncomfortably hot, eventually burning him alive from the inside out. It may be the middle of winter, but he would never feel the cold.
He held up his keys as she rose to meet him. “My truck’s out back.”
She moved closer, letting him drape an arm over her shoulder. “Let me grab my coat.” The duster was where she had left it. She draped it over her arms as she turned on her psychic link with Xavier. The mage accepted, and Brenna turned to the demon, knowing Xavier was watching through her eyes. At this point, the mark’s lust was so inflamed he wouldn’t notice the slight change of color in her irises.
Wrapping her free arm around Zed’s waist, she led him through the mass of patrons to the exit. As they stepped into the wintry air, she noticed the bikers again. They stood beside their Harleys, watching her warily as she passed. She worried the tension might give her away, but Zed was oblivious.
She led him over the cobblestone to where Xavier waited. As they closed in on the shadows, she could feel Zed’s eagerness spike.
The darkness moved over them, hiding them from prying eyes. Xavier’s power sang in the night, a compass pointing her to the van. Leaving Zed to follow behind, she moved to the gray van and pressed her back against its side. Zed moved toward her, all pretense of humanity stripped away. The graceless stride betrayed his hunger as green scales peeled away his skin and his eyes turned to blood red slits.
Brenna waited until he was on her, scales chaffing the sensitive skin of her face, then she dropped her glamour. The demon jerked back as her magic wrapped around his body, but it was too late. In one swift movement, she pulled the blade strapped to her back free and ripped the already tattered t-shirt away from his chest. Shifting her body weight, she slammed him against the vehicle even as his body mass grew, the demon pushing its way to the surface. One hand held Zed steady, the other slipped beneath his jeans to feel the skin of his hip.
“A little to the left,” the demon growled, body shaking, titillated despite itself.
He shifted his weight and slammed her against the brick wall behind her. His body pressed hard against hers, he ran a scaly tongue across her cheek. “You don’t have to get hostile, darlin’. I don’t mind if you like it rough.”
She let her power surge and kneed him in the crotch. Sparks flew as her spell sent him flying against the van. Keeping him in place with a holding spell, her fingers found the rune carved on his hip. She ripped away the denim as she tried to control the squirming demon.
“A little help?” she called out. She had pulled back the spell. Her full body weight was pressed against the demon, but he was starting to get free. Her magic had to be focused on breaking the possession; she couldn’t waste it restraining Casanova.
She released the demon as Xavier stepped from the shadows and slammed it against the van again. Subdued, the creature glared at them, its red eyes filled with hatred. Another hard slam dazed the creature, but only for a moment.
A flick of her hand and the back of the van opened. Xavier shoved Zed inside. As soon as he was strapped into the harness, Brenna ripped off his jeans. His hips now bare, she was able to see the rune carving, fresh as she had hoped.
Her ceremonial blade pulsed in her hand as she charged it with her energy.
Zed spit at her. The saliva sizzled across the corset, burning a hole in the leather.
Damn. That had been one of her favorites.
“Stuff something in its mouth. I need to concentrate.”
“Deal with it. Even in the harness this thing is a bitch to restrain.” White lines creased Xavier’s eyes, and Brenna worried his injuries were more severe than he let on.
Zed’s fingers began to work the trappings of the harness, but Xavier pulled him back, one arm around his scaly neck. In an explosion of power, Zed pulled free, knocking Xavier into the side of the van. Saliva dripping from his fangs, Zed growled at Brenna, and snapped the other wrist free. Jumping across the van, he pinned Brenna beneath him. Spittle fell from his lips, scorching its way across her skin. She pressed her palm against his face and pushed with all her strength, ignoring her burning flesh. Then, suddenly, he was gone.
Getting to her feet, she saw Xavier had strapped the beast back into the restraints.
“You got it?” Once she started, she wouldn’t be able to help him anymore. All of her energy would go into the exorcism.
A sharp giggle jarred Brenna’s attention. Looking up, she caught Hilda peering through the glass from the front seat. “If he passes out, I can help.”
“This isn’t a game.”
Zed slammed against his restraints. “I like ghosts. They burn like whiskey going down.”
“Shut up,” Xavier growled.
Tuning them out, Brenna let the words of the exorcism spell spill from her lips. Her hand pressed against the rune on the demon’s hip. The carving glowed and the green light grew until it filled the van.
Zed fought against the restraints. Obscenities, the kind only a demon would know or understand, ricocheted throughout the vehicle.
Xavier stuck a thick leather strap in the demon’s mouth, cutting off his tirade.
Brenna gathered her magic. It pooled through her and into the athame as she sliced the silver blade into the center of the rune. Blood seeped from the wound, spilling over the green light. It exploded with power, slamming Brenna against the van. Xavier fared better, still wrapped around the demon. He was surrounded by a musty green steam that reeked of brimstone.
Continuing the chant, Brenna pulled a pouch of blessed sand from the crevice between her breasts. Throwing a pinch onto the rune, she banished the demon back behind the Veil. Golden steam rose from the wound. It twined around Brenna thick and dense, but she continued to chant even as its foulness tried to seep inside her mouth.
Darkness teased the edges of her vision for a few moments, then the warmth of Xavier’s power wrapped around her body like a shield, pushing out the demonic essence. Time stood still as the final words filled the air. Then, in a flash, the beast was gone.
About the Author:
Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.
You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com or at her website www.angeladennisauthor.com . She loves to hear from her readers, so find her on Twitter for a chat @angeladennis
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<span style=”font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";”>Title: The Eternal Gift<o:p></o:p></span></div>
<span style=”font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";”>Author: Candy Crum <o:p></o:p></span></div>
<span style=”font-family: Arial, sans-serif;”>Genre: Adult Paranormal Romace</span>
<span style=”font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";”>Tour Host: </span><span style=”font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";”><a href=”http://ambersupernaturalandya.blogspot.com/p/lady-amber-tours.html”>Lady Amber’s Tours</a></span><span class=”MsoHyperlink”><span style=”font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";”><o:p></o:p></span></span></div>
<b>Book Description:</b>A young girl (Kailah) discovers that she is from a lost and forgotten powerful Immortal blood line after she meets a strange new physician at work. She begins to have visions and see spirits and has trouble controlling bad things from happening when she is angry. Along the way she discovers the terrible truth about who she is and the incredible power that is locked away deep inside her. Her Immortal ancestors want to use her to destroy the vampire race. Vampires want to use her power to destroy her Immortal ancestors. But hiding in the shadows are those who have been watching her since she was born. They want to help Kailah discover who she is and help her learn to use her abilities. They simply want for her to make the right decision before it’s too late. Unfortunately for them time is not on their side and the Rogue Vampires have plans for Kailah no one could have imagined.<o:p></o:p></div>
<span style=”font-family: "Times New Roman","serif"; font-size: 12pt;”>Goodreads: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11560714-the-eternal-gift”>https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/11560714-the-eternal-gift</a></span></div>
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<a href=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7woHUdU_wHk/UzDt1SGsQ3I/AAAAAAAAJdI/NhKVn-hJSXU/s1600/amberauthorbio.png” imageanchor=”1″ style=”margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-7woHUdU_wHk/UzDt1SGsQ3I/AAAAAAAAJdI/NhKVn-hJSXU/s1600/amberauthorbio.png” height=”62″ width=”320″ /></a></div>
<a href=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nzEXFaQYnc/UzDt9ALzqUI/AAAAAAAAJdQ/jSgoHWBfJ_U/s1600/Candy+Crum.jpg” imageanchor=”1″ style=”clear: right; float: right; margin-bottom: 1em; margin-left: 1em;”><img border=”0″ src=”http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1nzEXFaQYnc/UzDt9ALzqUI/AAAAAAAAJdQ/jSgoHWBfJ_U/s1600/Candy+Crum.jpg” height=”200″ width=”150″ /></a>Candy Crum lives in Indiana and is the Author of “The Eternal Series” and other short stories. She published her first novel, The Eternal Gift, in May of 2011 and has been publishing ever since. Candy is an avid lover of the paranormal genre, stemming from years of reading the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice when she</div>
was a teenager. Later, she developed a deep love of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead and the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, furthering her love of the genre and pushing her to really push to finish and publish her novel.
Since then, Candy has released three other books in The Eternal Series and will release another later in 2014. Now, Candy is trying her hand at more contemporary pieces of work, like that of Lean on Me and other books she will release in 2014.<o:p></o:p></div>
Some of Candy’s interests include the usual reading and writing, music (of most types), movies (action and comedy or any combination of the two), cartoons (she loves to say that her children watch cartoons because she does), and drawing. She loves talking with her fans and loves reading the reviews that her fans are kind enough to leave for her. Always feel free to find Candy on Facebook and send her a message!<o:p></o:p></div>
<b>Links: </b>Goodreads: <a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4907614.Candy_Crum”>https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4907614.Candy_Crum</a>
Twitter: <a href=”https://twitter.com/TheEternalGift”>https://twitter.com/TheEternalGift</a>
Amazon: <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Candy-Crum/e/B006RZYQCU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1″>http://www.amazon.com/Candy-Crum/e/B006RZYQCU/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1</a>
Facebook:<b> </b><a href=”https://www.facebook.com/candycrumauthor”>https://www.facebook.com/candycrumauthor</a><o:p></o:p></div>
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<b><span style=”font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";”>Buy Links: </span></b><span style=”font-family: "Arial","sans-serif";”>Amazon: <a href=”http://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Gift-Candy-Crum-ebook/dp/B00522J7HS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1395715127″>http://www.amazon.com/Eternal-Gift-Candy-Crum-ebook/dp/B00522J7HS/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&sr=8-1&qid=1395715127</a></span>
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<span style=”font-size: x-large;”>Chapter Two</span><o:p></o:p></div>
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A soaking wet patient tapped on the glass surrounding the station and broke me from my mind. Regardless of whatever mental breakdown I was having, I had a duty to these people and I wasn’t going to allow anyone to get hurt because I couldn’t think straight. <o:p></o:p></div>
Sydney and I worked silently as we wrapped everyone in their blankets and rounded them up in an attempt to get them to safety. On the way out, I grabbed the backpack that I always left under the desk with my nursing books and school supplies so nothing would get wet. <o:p></o:p></div>
As we exited the doors, I was surprised to see how gray the skies were. The forecast said that it was supposed to be sunny today and there was no evidence to the contrary on my way in two hours ago. We walked the patients out to the edge of the road and helped them get comfortable on the soft grass. We were lucky not to have any critical patients still in the ER and it made for an easy transition. <o:p></o:p></div>
The wind began to pick up slightly and everyone began clutching their blankets as they shivered. Sydney narrowed her eyes as she studied the sky. Something about the innocent passage of time registered on my paranoia meter. It felt as if she was looking for something specifically. Thunder cracked in the distance and her head snapped to the right. I followed her gaze and found that the sky had darkened even more off to the west. <o:p></o:p></div>
I began to feel dizzy as pressure settled into my head. Pinching the bridge of my nose, I massaged the area as I attempted to relieve the tension. <o:p></o:p></div>
The voice sent chills down my spine and I felt the tiny hairs on my neck beginning to rise. My skin tingled all over and I turned to Sydney, who was still looking to the sky. I opened my mouth to tell her that I was beginning to feel badly again but fear began trickling down my body at the sight of her, setting my nerves on fire and making the crackle in the air intensify. <o:p></o:p></div>
Her eyes quickly focused forward, meeting mine, as if she felt the change in my emotion. I couldn’t stop the sharp intake of breath as I looked into her eyes. The hazel color had sharpened and her pupils were slightly dilated, even outside at this time of day. <o:p></o:p></div>
And, though it was faint, I could see the air directly around her body wavering slightly like heat rising from pavement on a hot summer day. It would disappear from my sight but show itself again in a pinkish-red hue. Realization struck me as I stared into those eyes. Her presence, the reason why it seemed so familiar was because it reminded me of the woman from my dream. She reminded me of the woman that I was told was a Vampire. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Kailah, why don’t you just head home? It’s obvious that you don’t feel well. I can handle things from here,” Sydney said. <o:p></o:p></div>
A fake reassuring smile spread across her face as she tried to soothe me and warning bells began going off. Something wasn’t right. The tingle in the air that was nipping at my skin felt sickly recognizable. Aside from Sydney’s familiar presence, there was something else here that was much more threatening. It was then that I saw something that nearly brought me to my knees, but I knew that I had to hold on. <o:p></o:p></div>
The patients seemed content and not at all alarmed so I wondered if I was simply seeing things or if they were completely unaware of the danger that they were in. It was possible that I was going crazy, that what I was seeing was a hallucination, but it was also possible that there was something big going on that I needed to figure out. Last night’s dream wasn’t the first one I’d had, though it was the most detailed. It had to have meant something. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Sydney,” I began, making an attempt to hide my nervousness. “I saw someone in the ER around the time that the sprinkler system went off.” I waited before continuing with a description, wanting to judge her expression. All I received was a shrug and confused look. “I saw her last night in a dream. She had long white hair and had control over the elements. She conjured a storm, not unlike this one.”<o:p></o:p></div>
Her eyes narrowed and there was a brief flash in the pinkish-red aura of hers before everything returned to normal. “Kailah, you’ve had a long day. I think that you just need to go home.”<o:p></o:p></div>
I nodded knowingly. “I suppose you’re right. I’m probably just exhausting myself from working so much between here and school.” Her brows furrowed. “It’s just, the dream that I had, that woman was battling another woman with long, black hair. The white-haired woman called her a Vampire.”<o:p></o:p></div>
Sydney’s aura flashed again as she smiled nervously. “That sounds like a very imaginative dream. I’m going to order you on bed rest for a few days. You can come back tomorrow for the doctor’s excuse for any classes you may miss but you should leave right now.” She reached out and thunder cracked loudly directly overhead as her hand came to rest on my shoulder. Shock rolled across her delicate features and her eyes began darting around the growing crowd.<o:p></o:p></div>
I nodded once again. This was my make or break moment and I feared the outcome. “So, I have a question for you then, Sydney.” Her frantic eyes met mine and I already had my answer but I needed to hear it out loud. “If that dream was only a dream, and you have absolutely no idea who or what I’m talking about – then I suppose the young white-haired woman watching us right now is just part of my imagination too. Right?”<o:p></o:p></div>
I pointed across the parking lot to a woman standing just outside the crowd. She smiled menacingly as she leaned against a large truck and I could see the glow of her crystalline blue eyes as she watched us. Her white hair never moved though the wind whipped around us. Sydney’s body was a blur as she turned to see the woman standing in the distance. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Kailah run!” she shouted. <o:p></o:p></div>
I found myself stalling out of shock as she stepped between me and the strange woman. It was real. Everything was really happening. Honestly, I half expected her to tell me that I was wrong, that I was crazy. Tires squealed behind us and I turned to see my best friend, Rachel Roberts’ blue Sunfire skid to a stop. <o:p></o:p></div>
“What the hell is she doing here?” I asked. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Kailah! We have to go now!” Rachel shouted from the car.<o:p></o:p></div>
“Listen to your friend. Go now. I’ll occupy Khia while you escape,” Sydney said. <o:p></o:p></div>
“While I escape? What’s going on? Who is that woman?” I shouted. <o:p></o:p></div>
Sydney turned to face me and her now dark red aura flared violently as her eyes darkened to a shadowy gray. My chest felt as though it wanted to explode as a light blue barrier burst forth from my body and surrounded me. Sydney hissed slightly in pain as she forced her arm through the barrier to grip my throat. In one swift, forceful movement, she threw me like a ragdoll a few yards back, slamming me into the passenger side of Rachel’s car. <o:p></o:p></div>
I sputtered as the air attempted to escape my lungs and I quickly righted myself, scrambling up and getting into Rachel’s car. Rain mixed with large hail began falling and I could hear the pained screams of the patients as I belted myself in. Rachel’s car lurched forward with screeching tires as she quickly began our getaway. I was flooded with guilt because I wasn’t able to save my patients. They were caught in all of that and I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to them. <o:p></o:p></div>
Rachel and I inhaled sharply as a large pink Dogwood standing on the corner of the street spontaneously engulfed in thick orange and blue flames. Before we could even reach the end of the block, the tree broke in two from the intense heat and completely blocked our turn. <o:p></o:p></div>
The scream of the Sunfire’s brakes sounded out, once again, as Rachel locked them up on the wet pavement but it was too late. The front tires manage to climb over the trunk but dangled over the other side as the underbelly came to rest on the downed tree. <o:p></o:p></div>
“She’s not going to let us leave!” I shouted. My breathing was coming in ragged gasps as I began panicking. “What are we going to do?” I immediately began thinking of the car exploding with the fire blazing underneath us. <o:p></o:p></div>
Rachel was a pillar of strength as I looked into her eyes as she studied our surroundings. She was calm and cool in situations that required it and I envied her that. She was my rock and, though I had no idea how or why she was here now, I was truly grateful. <o:p></o:p></div>
“I don’t think it’ll be much of an issue,” she said, putting the car in neutral as she looked in the rearview mirror.<o:p></o:p></div>
I opened my mouth to ask what that meant but I only screeched as the rear end of the car lifted. Turning, I saw Sydney’s tiny form lifting the car and pushing it the rest of the way over the tree.<o:p></o:p></div>
“Go Kailah!” Sydney painfully roared over the noise of the heavy rain and hail. There was no doubt now what she truly was and I imagined the fire licking at her skin as she saved us took a toll on her.<o:p></o:p></div>
As soon as Rachel hit the gas, a large gust of wind slammed into us, momentarily lifting the car onto two wheels and throwing Sydney across the street and into a large fence. Rachel wasted no time speeding down the street once all tires returned to their resting place on the ground. <o:p></o:p></div>
Ignoring the red light and cutting off several people in the process, Rachel made a hard right onto the main highway that lead out of town. I felt her hand on mine and I realized that I was still breathing rapidly. My throat was on fire from being so dry and my head was splitting. All things that I failed to notice during the getaway. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Rach, how did you know?” I asked as tears began streaming down my face. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. That was the most terrifying moment of my life. <o:p></o:p></div>
“I got a random phone call from someone telling me that you were in danger. She said that you didn’t know her yet but that you would and if I didn’t listen you’d either be dead or in grave danger within the hour. She told me exactly where to go and how much time I had to get there. It was the craziest thing. She was right about everything.”<o:p></o:p></div>
Someone that I didn’t know, but would. I wondered if it was the raven-haired Vampire in my dream. “Did she give a name?” I asked.<o:p></o:p></div>
“She said her name was Sayen.” Something about that name sounded very familiar. “Do you recognize it?”<o:p></o:p></div>
I nodded as my memory returned to me. “Yeah but it’s not possible. When I helped my grandfather and my uncle record the family tree onto their computers, I saw that name. That was the name of my great-great grandmother on my dad’s side. She would have to be over a hundred and twenty years old probably. Did she sound elderly?”<o:p></o:p></div>
“Not at all. She sounded no older than you or me, but Kay, are you really going to dismiss her as unreal or impossible? A woman weighing all of a hundred pounds just picked you up by the throat and tossed you like a football. She did that just before lifting this car over a tree to save us from another woman with some obviously nasty powers.” <o:p></o:p></div>
I nodded again. “I suppose you’re right. This is all just too much to bear. Yesterday I was a normal girl with a normal and hectic life. Today, I’m not even sure I’m human, or at least partly.”<o:p></o:p></div>
“We’ll figure this out. I promise.”<o:p></o:p></div>
I stayed silent the rest of the ride home, staring out the window and watching the world pass by as we headed back to my house. In the wildest section of my mind I could never have imagined anything like this would ever be possible let alone happen . . . to me. <o:p></o:p></div>
I was the timid one. The shy one. Sure, I was witty as hell and could make anyone laugh but the fact that I was always awkward in social situations completely killed that. So how in the hell was this happening to me? What made me so special? Or cursed . . . <o:p></o:p></div>
* * *<o:p></o:p></div>
One Week Later<o:p></o:p></div>
The entire week Rachel and I looked through the files that I had my uncle email me. He was curious to know about my sudden interest in the family lineage since it obviously had nothing to do with school but I decided the less he knew the better. I told him about being curious about our Native American ancestry and he bought that. Honestly, it wasn’t far from the truth so I didn’t feel too bad about it.<o:p></o:p></div>
There wasn’t a lot of information that I didn’t already know. My mother’s side didn’t even have a family tree, which I found annoying in this particular situation. Thankfully, my dad’s side was a little more with it. <o:p></o:p></div>
One thing that I found interesting was that, on my dad’s side, the information stopped with my great-great grandmother, Sayen. There is no information on her parents or where she came from. My great-great grandfather Taima, however, was a bit better and went another three generations back and all of them were from around this area. <o:p></o:p></div>
Today, I struck gold. My papa loves me and sent a bunch of old photos with my uncle so he could scan them and email them to me. Most of them were of my papa when he was just a little boy and honestly, I’d never seen anything more adorable in my life. He was so dark complected and, though the photos were black and white, you couldn’t mistake those big, chocolaty brown eyes with the thick eyelashes and coal black hair. <o:p></o:p></div>
Rachel and I giggled and awed at how ridiculously cute my grandfather was as a baby but it wasn’t until the final photo popped up that the gravity of the situation settled back in and quickly sobered us. It was a photo of my great-great grandparents holding my grandfather. It was Sayen and Taima. <o:p></o:p></div>
Chills ran up and down my spine as I stared into the dark brown eyes of the man that I’d seen standing at the foot of my bed a week ago. Without a doubt, it was him. His silvery hair hung over his shoulders in long braids and was the same color of my grandfather’s today. It wasn’t gray; it was as silver as the ring on my finger and looked like it was spun of the same material as it gleamed in the bit of light in the photo. And even in the shades of black, white, and gray I could tell that his dark Native American skin had the slight red glow to it that my father got when he tanned from working outside. <o:p></o:p></div>
The woman next to him brought no further comfort as I stared into the eyes of a woman who I had always believed was Native American but was clearly not. The shade of her irises was only a few shades darker than her corneas and I realized they must have been icy blue. Her hair was white, impossibly white, and rested in a long braid that reached down past her waist. <o:p></o:p></div>
Though her skin was dark, it wasn’t even close to the color of Taima’s. It was obvious this woman was not Native American and had never shared a bloodline with one either.<o:p></o:p></div>
Sayen looked like the woman that Sydney had referred to as Khia at the hospital that fateful day last week. It was possible that Khia was a descendant of my great-great grandmother’s but, while some of the features were uncanny, their faces were completely different. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Alright, Kay, I love you. I do. But I can’t do this anymore. My eyes are burning and my head is splitting with all the research we’ve been doing this week. We need a break. We’ll get back into it tomorrow. What do you say?”<o:p></o:p></div>
I felt terrible when I looked into Rachel’s light brown eyes. They were slightly glassy with strain from all the reading we’ve been doing online and through the family journals that I’d typed up a few years ago but never paid any attention to. Her dark blonde hair was thrown back in a sloppy bun and her medium toned skin didn’t have the same healthy glow that it normally did. Even the once cozy clothes covering her athletic body were wrinkled and looked uncomfortable. I’d been running her to death with this stuff and hadn’t thought twice about it because I’ve been so obsessed. Some friend I was.<o:p></o:p></div>
“What did you have in mind?” I asked. <o:p></o:p></div>
“I think I need a drink. Loud music certainly wouldn’t hurt,” she said. “Louisville?”<o:p></o:p></div>
Louisville was roughly an hour and a half from my house and, while I was definitely up for getting my friend out to relax a bit, I really didn’t want to drive over an hour to do so. It’s terrifying to think of the bad that could happen in that time and that far from home. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Kailah I’m begging you. I’ve had a rough few weeks. Mom is scaring the hell out of me because she keeps getting really sick and she doesn’t know why. I found Jeff in bed with another woman and I haven’t spoken to him since, though he’s been texting me the past two days harassing me. Then there is this stuff with you. <o:p></o:p></div>
“I’m freaking out but I’m trying to hold it together because, while I know my life is full of drama and stress, your life is full of intense everyday stress and very real danger. Your actual life is at risk. You need me good, but I can’t be good all the time. It’s been a week and we’ve gotten nowhere except for that photo of Sayen and Taima. I just need tonight to take a step away and calm down a little and tomorrow I will be back to normal me. I promise.”<o:p></o:p></div>
I smiled at my friend. She was right. While all this insanity was happening to me, not only did she have her own things to deal with, but she was dragged into mine when she received that phone call. We needed to be at our best and, while going out and getting a drink doesn’t sound like the best idea at the moment; it is the best idea as far as our emotional status went. Rachel won – as usual. <o:p></o:p></div>
“I’ll go get ready. Meet me back here when you’re through?” I asked. <o:p></o:p></div>
Rachel squealed with delight. “Thank you! You won’t regret this. Also, yes. I’ll be back here as soon as I’m ready!” With that she quickly kissed the top of my head and made her hasty retreat. <o:p></o:p></div>
Laughing lightly and shaking my head at her intense change in spirits, I lifted myself from the computer desk in the spare bedroom and headed to my room. Truth was, though I was enjoying Rachel’s change in attitude, I was terrified. I had a bad feeling and I couldn’t shake it. I decided to chalk it up to paranoia and let it go because I needed this as much as she did. <o:p></o:p></div>
As I made my way into the large walk-in closet in my bedroom, the air warmed and a deep calm settled in me. It was like every fear I’d ever had just washed away. I felt something softly brush against the bare skin of my upper arm not covered by my shirt and I turned to find what had touched me. <o:p></o:p></div>
My initial reaction was to scream but for whatever reason, I was unable. The calm that had invaded my body prevented it. A warm smile spread across the face of the spirit of my great-great grandfather standing before me, his dark brown eyes mirroring the enlightened expression. <o:p></o:p></div>
“Taima.” It was the only word that managed to escape me.<o:p></o:p></div>
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Title: Discovering Daniel
Author: Nadine Christian
Genre: Young Adult
Tour Host: Lady Amber’s Tours
When a shocking memory surfaces that Ava McCoy can’t understand, she looks for answers. With her parents and her Uncle Sam trying to convince her that she is only chasing dreams, she is determined to prove that they are wrong, the vision too vivid in her mind to be anything but truth. When her investigation reveals another world so shocking and yet so familiar, it feels as if the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together – with only one question left unanswered. Who is Daniel? The very memory of him draws her to the sea. Then, the ocean brings her the answer she’s seeking. Daniel himself. United, Daniel and Ava must find out why everyone wanted to keep them apart – and who is now trying their best to do it again. They must find the answers – before they succeed. Before Ava loses Daniel all over again – this time, forever.
Nadine Christian lives on Pitcairn Island, a small isle in the middle of the South Pacific. With no airport and no way on or off the island unless traveling by the island’s supply ship on it’s quarterly supply run, she supplements her free time with writing.
Free time is hard to find — with five children, four goats, two cats and thirty chickens and a life full to the brim. With its rich maritime history, Pitcairn’s romantic past comes alive in her novels, capturing the taste of life on an isolated tropical island, miles from the rush and bustle of normal city life.
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Discovering-Daniel-Nadine-Christian-ebook/dp/B00J2I7T1O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1395354672&sr=1-1&keywords=discovering+daniel
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Discovering-Daniel-Nadine-Christian-ebook/dp/B00J2I7T1O/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1395443040&sr=8-5&keywords=Discovering+Daniel
Her reflection wavered in the water, the ribbon cutting a line in the wavering picture of herself once more. Her mouth frowned down at the face in the water. The watery reflection frowned back. She grinned and the face in the water grinned back too. Laughing now, she pushed the tip of her nose up with her finger and the girl in the water did as well.
Behind the reflection something moved, and she blinked hard. Bubbles rose, breaking the surface with gentle burbles, carrying what sounded like a tinkling laugh with them. A shimmer of scales darted under the boat and she leaned further out in surprise. That fish was big, she thought and waggled her ribbon enticingly. Then a face, pale and smiling peered up at her, black hair fanning out in the water, blue eyes crinkling in the corner with delight. The face suddenly crossed its eyes and poked out a pink tongue and Ava reared back in surprise, dropping her ribbon in shock.
The momentum carried her in a jerky marionette step across the boat, and then her legs caught the side of the boat, and in what seemed like slow motion, her arms wind-milling, she went backwards over the side.
She heard her father shout out, and then water filled her ears, cold and deafening. Salty fluid filled her mouth and nose and she breathed involuntary as she shrieked in fright. Within seconds, her jacket had righted her in the water, but she struggled to draw a breath. Vomiting a copious mouth of nauseating warm salty water, she coughed hard enough to bring tears to her eyes, and then the tears began in earnest. Legs and arms heavy with fright, she bobbed in the water like a cork, panting with the urgency to get her breath back.
“I don’t know what to say.” Ava forced between frozen lips.
“Don’t bother.” She slid off the bike and began pacing. “You know, I don’t know what’s worse—that you thought you couldn’t tell me what was going on, or that you lied to me.” She slid to a stop, turned to Ava, and put out her hands palms up in confusion. “I thought we were friends, Ava.”
Ava swallowed hard, horrified to see tears glittering in Sally’s eyes. “We are friends.”
Anger replaced the sadness, and Sally ran fingers through her short hair. “Then why couldn’t you tell me about the Mer? Tell me what Daniel was? That’s who he is isn’t it—not a crew member from the Picton Castle of course. What a fool I am.” She face palmed herself and glared at Ava.
“Could you not trust me? What have I done that could ever make you think that?” She stared at Ava, anger mixed with hurt in her expression.
“Wait…just wait a moment,” Ava drawled. She slit her eyes at her friend. “The Mer part isn’t pissing you off, you’re more upset about me not confiding in you.” She raised one brow and stepped toward her friend who now stood, hands on hips, frown creasing her forehead. “Why aren’t you surprised? I mean that Daniel’s a Mer, not a Picton Crew member, not a human even. You look like you don’t even care.”
“Because! I don’t. He could be an alien from some distant planet. He could have six heads for all I care. It’s just proof to me.” Sally wailed and threw her hands in the air. “I always knew there was something more than just us in this world. It couldn’t be just us humans. I always thought it would be angels or vampires or werewolves…but, Ava…” Sally’s shoulders drooped. “You found a mermaid! You found a creature of the sea and didn’t even tell me!”
Sally rolled her eyes and growled with aggravation. “You’re correcting me now?”
“Sorry,” Ava said. “Sorry for everything. I wanted to tell you, Sally, but I just couldn’t.”
“Couldn’t or didn’t want to?” She crossed her arms and glared at Ava.
“I couldn’t. I promised. I promised my father, my uncle, and I promised Daniel.”
Sally put her hand to her chest. “God, I always knew there was something different about him.” A dreamy smile crossed her lips and then she visibly shook herself and glared at Ava. “Who has kept your secrets for you since we were in preschool together? Who covered for you when you were late home from school when you met Mark Christian to practice French kissing behind the water tank at school? You could have trusted me, Ava.”
Ava gave in. “I’m sorry, Sally. It’s been killing me keeping this from you. I hated sneaking around behind your back and lying to you. Can you forgive me?”
Sally pursed her lips and cocked her hip. “You’ll tell me everything?”
Ava nodded. “Everything.”
A smile grew wide on Sally’s lips and she clapped her hands with glee. “Good. You can start by telling me what it’s like to kiss a Mermai…Mer-male. Did he taste like fish?”
Title: The Eternal Gift
Author: Candy Crum
Genre: Adult Paranormal Romace
Tour Host: Lady Amber’s Tours
A young girl (Kailah) discovers that she is from a lost and forgotten powerful Immortal blood line after she meets a strange new physician at work. She begins to have visions and see spirits and has trouble controlling bad things from happening when she is angry. Along the way she discovers the terrible truth about who she is and the incredible power that is locked away deep inside her. Her Immortal ancestors want to use her to destroy the vampire race. Vampires want to use her power to destroy her Immortal ancestors. But hiding in the shadows are those who have been watching her since she was born. They want to help Kailah discover who she is and help her learn to use her abilities. They simply want for her to make the right decision before it’s too late. Unfortunately for them time is not on their side and the Rogue Vampires have plans for Kailah no one could have imagined.
Candy Crum lives in Indiana and is the Author of “The Eternal Series” and other short
stories. She published her first novel, The Eternal Gift, in May of 2011 and has been publishing ever since. Candy is an avid lover of the paranormal genre, stemming from years of reading the Vampire Chronicles by Anne Rice when she was a teenager. Later, she developed a deep love of the Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead and the House of Night Series by P.C. Cast and Kristin Cast, furthering her love of the genre and pushing her to really push to finish and publish her novel.
Since then, Candy has released three other books in The Eternal Series and will release another later in 2014. Now, Candy is trying her hand at more contemporary pieces of work, like that of Lean on Me and other books she will release in 2014.
Some of Candy’s interests include the usual reading and writing, music (of most types), movies (action and comedy or any combination of the two), cartoons (she loves to say that her children watch cartoons because she does), and drawing. She loves talking with her fans and loves reading the reviews that her fans are kind enough to leave for her. Always feel free to find Candy on Facebook and send her a message!
BURNING AT LAST BOOK BLITZ
AUTHOR: CRYSTAL RISTER
GENRE: PARANORMAL ROMANCE
A tragic fire set ablaze with vengeful intent turned two lives upside down. In one night lives were lost and changed as the enemy neared with only one ending in mind.
When Jarroth and Sara are reunited the union is not the happy event it should be. Sara discovers there is more to the story and much more to come as secrets are revealed.
When Jarroth finally shares what he has kept hidden will Sara will stay or consider him one of the same monsters that began it all? Or will she see past the tragedy and into his heart?
Crystal is a mother to eight wonderful children whom she calls ‘her reason’. Her husband is dubbed her rock as she says he anchors her. She lives in rural Quincy Kentucky where everyone knows everyone. When she’s not writing you can find her working on her pieces for her handmade line of jewelry and accessories. She loves listening to all music, as long as it fits her mood and soul. She has a love for everything Paranormal as long you find romance. Steamy is her heat and seductive is her spice.
Title: Murder and Magic Among the Dwarves
Author: Erik Bundy
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Publisher: Untold Press
Tour Host: Lady Amber’s Tours
Amanda is used to living a life that is less than ordinary. Haunted nightly by her late husband, she is a psychic living next door to a colony of dwarves. Despite males normally taking on the task, the colony’s females ask her to find a lost baby for them, and then hire her to tell them who strangled their midwife with a diaper and cut out her gossiping tongue.
She’s thrilled at the honor, but Amanda must learn to tame her own unruly psychic power. The shadowy side of her gift raises a demon that attacks her, stalks her, and slashes her hand. When she feels something live wriggle in her wound, she knows no one can fight her battle for her. She must face her demon alone.
The town’s sheriff asks Amanda to help him solve the disappearance of a missing teenage girl. Her involvement in this case brings a predator into her life, an enemy who allies himself with her demon. To make matters worse, the midwife’s murderer comes after her, too. Amanda, though, has no intention of becoming anyone’s victim.
Death is no longer her worst possible fate.
Erik Bundy lives in the magical North Carolina woods where chocolate is a semi-sweet vegetable, female chipmunks are called chipnuns, and mice claiming to be cousins move in for the winter then take the bath towels when they leave in spring. The federal government pays him not to work in one of their offices. He is a graduate of the Odyssey Fantasy Writing Workshop and a grand prize winner of the Sidney Lanier Poetry Competition. He has published more than thirty stories and poems.
Connect with Erik:
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Magic-Murder-Among-Dwarves-Bundy-ebook/dp/B00J0NMFRE
Amazon Smart Url: http://bookShow.me/B00J0NMFRE
Goodreads- book link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20930528-magic-and-murder-among-the-dwarves
You tube link: http://youtu.be/UObdj_79Ssw
Fate didn’t announce itself by rapping its hard-luck knuckles against my green cottage door. Nor did it bother to crawl in through my cranked-open bathroom window. So I gave it no more attention than I did the mountain air I breathed every day. That was my downfall, my sin. Fate might forgive greed, gluttony, or even bloodlust, but it never ignores being ignored. It punished my neglect with death and a demon. It yoked guilt like a leprous shadow to my heels.
Fate’s wakeup call came to me one cool spring night after I had lived on Crying Woman Lane for about a year. I was in bed, just skirting along the edge of sleep, when a guttural, female voice called, “Amanda,” through my window screen.
My bedside clock, instead of displaying numbers, looked back at me with a luminous green eye. Startled, I watched it, waiting to see if this obvious sign would make its meaning known. The eye winked, and the clock became normal again with the numbers 11:02 brightly displayed. The numbers added up to four, the number of wholeness. It didn’t describe me at the moment.
Fully awake, I rose up on one elbow, tucked a tuft of hair behind my right ear, and listened. Beyond my open window, the tidal racket of katydids rose and fell with the shrill anguish of self-centered insects braying for sex. I stayed quiet, hoping the female would go away but knowing I shouldn’t let her leave. The sign indicated this meeting was important. On the other hand, my body felt raw and jangled with a restless need for sleep. She could come back.
A second time she called my name from the tangle of darkness and moonlight in the woods. At least it was not a ghost’s voice. It had breath in it. The throaty intonation, though, was not quite human, the vowels veined in iron, the consonants ancient and startling.
“Not tonight,” I yelled back.
“Now,” the female insisted.
I punched my pillow. My eyes felt dry as dust, gritty, and probably looked as though threaded with varicose veins. One consolation was that they paid in gold, and come flood or parching drought, I was going to make them pay me a bucketful of nuggets this time.
Peevish as a cat sprayed with a garden hose, I delayed getting up and wished mouth sores on the jolly, jowly realtor who had sold me this cottage a year before.
Handing me two sets of door keys, he had said, “There’s one other little thing you might want to know.” His blue eyes twinkled. “Most of your neighbors are a bit peculiar. They live in a colony and only come above ground after dark.”
I knew about dwarves, of course. Everybody did, but I hadn’t known my newly bought property bordered the treaty land of one of their colonies. The realtor had lied by saying nothing. He had conned me, a young widow, and deserved the ulcerated mouth I wished on him now.
When the realtor saw his late disclosure angered but didn’t alarm me, he threw his head back and yodeled laughter at a ceiling fan.
“They’re allergic to sunlight, see.” His eyes widened with mock delight. “It paralyzes them, turns them into granite statues.” He held up an open hand. “Scout’s honor, petrifaction is their preferred method of suicide. It’s painless, see. It’s clean and saves their families the cost of a funeral pyre.”
He patted my arm as if to let me know I didn’t need to thank him for the favor of his settling me near these considerate suicides. Not amused, I flinched away from his presumptive familiarity. Sourwood was a valley village isolated by mountains, a place where everyone bumped into everyone else often. He and I would meet again.
“Don’t expect a Christmas card from me,” I told him and punched his forearm.
All the same, the realtor had been wrong, and I took childish satisfaction in that. Tall Tristan, he with the precious green eyes, and my closest human neighbor, had put the lie to that tale. The suicidal dwarves didn’t turn themselves into fossils to save their heirs the price of a funeral pyre. No, they did it for revenge.
They bequeathed a monumental problem to their daughters and sons. Where do you put Uncle Steen after he has become a statue of himself? The irascible Uncle Steens of the colony usually committed suicide because they felt unwanted and ignored. On their granite faces after death were the smirks of those who knew they now had their kinfolks’ full attention, even if only for long enough to find permanent storage for them.
So why would a female dwarf come calling on me? Did she want to use my psychic power, my oddsense, to find another killer? I had already solved two dwarf murders for Brialdur, the colony’s sheriff. He had been considerate enough, though, to come calling just after sunset while I was still awake.
A chesty cough for attention outside curtailed my reverie of resentment. I was not being neighborly. I glanced at the clock and saw only the time, no eye or other sign. Oh well, you couldn’t ignore a dwarf any more than you could the constant flush of a stuck toilet.
I slipped out of my canopied bed and slid into a fuzzy white robe that fit my body like a sock. The dwarf outside knew I had gotten out of bed. She could hear a spider tickle along its web toward a struggling fly.
I baby-stepped through my dark living-room so as not to stub my toes against furniture, wrenched open the cottage’s reluctant front door, and strutted outside onto the moonlit porch. There I knuckled my fists into my hips and stood balanced on both feet, my back straight, posed as if to wrestle any half-quart boogeyman that dared show up. I was a modern young woman, fearless and capable (with mace spray in my robe’s right pocket), and I didn’t care who knew it. Attitude was everything when dealing with dwarves.
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