Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Cover Reveal: Once in a Blood Moon by Dorothea Hubble Bonneau


Historical Fiction
Date Published: June 11, 2020


Heaven’s Hill Plantation, upriver from Georgetown, South Carolina,1807: Sixteen-year-old Alexandra Degambia is the daughter of a wealthy African-American planter and a social-climbing mother who can pass for white. Balancing on the tightrope between girlhood and the complicated adult world is a treacherous undertaking. One misstep could ruin a young woman’s prospects forever. 

 Alexandra yearns to establish her own place in the world as an accomplished violinist. She assumes her talent and her family’s wealth will pave her way to success—however, her life becomes a nightmare when her mother dies and her father is murdered by bigoted officials eager to seize the plantation for their own. 

 Alexandra and her little brother, Jimi, heirs to Heaven’s Hill, have targets on their backs. They are forced to flee for their lives. 

What the future holds is uncertain. Sometimes fate has its own plans.





Early Review

KIRKUS REVIEW:

Alexandra is a tenacious heroine who’s easy to root for, and the author elegantly articulates her precarious position between white and black society. Overall, this novel explores issues of equality and personal freedom in thought-provoking ways.

Sharp writing, an original plot, and a strong female protagonist make for an engrossing read.



About the Author

Dorothea Hubble Bonneau is an award-winning author, an optioned screenwriter, and published playwright.
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Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Book Blitz: Cowgirl Heart by Em Petrova


Cowgirl Heart
Em Petrova
(The Dalton Boys #12)
Publication date: January 20th 2020
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
It’s not easy to impress a Dalton girl…
It’s not easy being a Dalton, let alone the last unmarried one of the Texas bunch. Keziah, or Kizzy, is drained by all the family weddings, and her sisters keep trying to rope and tie her to any old cowboy in the county. To ensure this doesn’t happen, she takes off for the big city and a job as assistant to none other than the smart, savvy and sexy KC Cohen, the mortgage company billionaire who sees her as something more than a cowgirl.
Knox Channing Cohen has achieved his goal—to build his own billion-dollar business from the ground up and without the help of his wealthy family. He’s also managed to break free of his cowboy origins and strike out on his own, far away from the prestigious ranch he grew up on. But when he receives word of his father’s death, he’s back in the saddle… the last place he wants to be.
Kizzy is dragged along as Knox’s assistant to help him deal with the family business. When she learns he’s not only loaded but a damn cowboy too, she can’t be more blindsided. Now she can see all the carved muscle on the man might not be from hitting the gym so much as hard work. Knox wants to sell out the ranch, but seeing the dark-haired, blue-eyed beauty at home around horses has him second-guessing his beliefs about the country… and wondering if he can remind her that she’s a cowgirl at heart.
EXCERPT:
Son of a bitch, he was kissing his assistant… and she was more amazing than he’d even fantasized.
As if realizing the same thing at the same moment, Kizzy drew away.
He kept hold of her, unable to force his hand to let go.
“I’m sorry,” she said.
He shook his head. “No, don’t. C’mere.” He yanked her close again and kissed her hard. Angling his mouth over hers, he applied pressure to her lips that dizzied the hell out of him. As her tongue slipped out to taste his lower lip, he issued a growl and plunged inside.
She melted into his embrace, kissing him back, tongues stroking over each other’s in a dance that was sexier and hotter than anything on this dance floor.
When he’d seen her with that first cowboy, he’d been pissed. But when Corbin got his hands on Kizzy, a white fury had risen inside him. He’d experienced strong feelings of jealousy before, but this… Hell, he couldn’t let Kizzy out of his sight.
The music changed from a boot-stompin’ riot to a slow song, and he swayed her in his arms, letting the emotions he’d been holding back for days encompass him.
There’d be hell to pay for this slip in protocol, but he’d deal with it later. Right now, he had to have her.
“Kizzy,” he whispered against her lips.
Her blue eyes, so close, were a myriad of hues, from sky blue to deep navy specks. She dropped her forehead to his, and he nuzzled her lips, brushing his own back and forth across hers in time to the music.
God, the sweetness of her gripped him so hard, he could barely breathe. When had he ever felt something remotely close to this? The attraction had been there from the beginning, but over the past few days, he’d learned what an amazing woman Kizzy was.
When she reached up and tangled her fingers in his hair, he bit off a groan of desire. To feel her beneath him, to be inside her…


Author Bio:
Em Petrova was raised by hippies in the wilds of Pennsylvania but told her parents at the age of four she wanted to be a gypsy when she grew up. She has a soft spot for babies, puppies and 90s Grunge music and believes in Bigfoot and aliens. She started writing at the age of twelve and prides herself on making her characters larger than life and her sex scenes hotter than hot.
She burst into the world of publishing in 2010 after having five beautiful bambinos and figuring they were old enough to get their own snacks while she pounds away at the keys . In her not-so-spare time, she is fur-mommy to a Labradoodle named Daisy Hasselhoff and works as editor to other authors.
You can find Em Petrova at http://empetrova.com
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Book Blitz: Outpost Gypsy Tree: The North Portal by Dr. Dottie Graham


Outpost Gypsy Tree: The North Portal
YA Fantasy Adventure
Publisher: GISA Publishing

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Nestled within a thought-form in Earth’s vast realm, Outpost Gypsy Tree becomes home for six adventurous teenagers from various parts of the world. Charged by their own desire for peace and love for humanity, they are assigned to clear the earth’s light portals of the evils of mankind, starting with the North Portal. To do so, the teens must journey back in time to the winter solstice of 3107 BCE to decode an archaic sequence at Ireland's historic Newgrange that will unlock a Neolithic chamber leading them to the ‘other world’ of the gods of Erin. To prove their worthiness, courage, and commitment to battle the darkness, they must journey through the traitorous Cave of Damnation and face an encroaching inferno. At the core of this bizarre journey is the staff of Outpost Gypsy Tree: Eittod of Tulsun Minor, an ancient being with a rainbow-colored body, and Bezen and her son, Mingo, inhabitants of Early Earth.



This is a book for all ages.



Other Books by Dr. Dottie Graham




South Portal Cover Share Link
Outpost Gypsy Tree: The South Portal


With the North Portal in Neolithic Ireland cleared of the evils of mankind, Drew Megan Campbell and the light travels are once again called into service. Charged with clearing the South Portal located in Peru—or as it was once known, Og—they must travel back in time to 10,500 BCE to the final days of the continent of Lemuria, to retrieve a sacred disk from the crumbling Temple of Illumination. Aube and Gar’s great-grandfather from the stars, Commander Auben Gou-Drah, and his crew of the Bintok must rescue the light travelers and the sacred disk from a watery grave. At the core of this bizarre journey is the staff of Outpost Gypsy Tree: Eittod of Tulsun Minor, an ancient being with a rainbow-colored body, and Bezen and her son, Mingo, inhabitants of Early Earth.




Excerpt

PROLOGUE

Zero hour had arrived. The first chink of sunlight streamed through the roof box. It slowly made its way down the passageway and illuminated the ancient triple spiral carving in the stone womb. With her eyes fixed upon the pinnacle of the three-foot high obelisk before her, Drew Megan Campbell slowly rubbed a small white quartz stone between her hands. As Eittod had instructed her, she held the stone just inches above the tip of the obelisk’s pinnacle. She sucked in a deep, nervous breath; her heart pounded hard against her ribs; her face was tense, flushed. After all, this was what she was born to do; it was her task and hers alone, her great-grandfather had said. Drew had to trust, even though she did not yet know the outcome of her next action. Her fellow light travelers’ eyes were transfixed upon her. Their fate rested in her hands. As the triangular notch on the underside of the small quartz touched the capstone, three things happened in rapid succession: brilliant aquamarine lights flashed throughout the stone chamber blinding them; the earth began to tremble; and the heavy, scraping sounds of moving rocks deafened them. It can’t end like this, we’ve come too far , Drew thought, bracing herself as the ground below her feet shifted. Locking eyes with Patrick, they both instantly knew it just couldn’t end like this! The others stared at Drew with concerned eyes as the earth below their feet moved downward. It was as if the ancient chamber was devouring them whole. They reached for each other’s hands and gripped tight. The stone chamber began to descend like a modern-day elevator, but there was no light board indicating the number of floors below or above nor piped-in soothing music. Rather, ear-splitting scraping and groaning sounds of ancient heavy rocks vibrated through their bodies, rattling their bones and clattering their teeth. The aquamarine flashes became more intense, more tangible, surrounding them as if holding them all safely in place. An avalanche of thoughts spilled through their heads but no one made a sound. It was all happening in slow motion, freezing them speechless. Drew could feel their fear, hear their thoughts. Telepathically, she reminded them of her kinship with Patrick, hence this can’t be the end. Drew’s life flashed before her.



About the Author

Outpost Gypsy Tree, the North Portal is the first in a series of books for young adults. Dr. Dottie Graham first conceived of the series in the early ’90s. It has gone through many evolutions over the years as she stepped into her role as a storyteller.

Her inspiration for the series grew out of vast life experiences as a mother, grandmother, an RN, a Doctor of RoHun and a certified practitioner, mentor and instructor of the worldwide Healing Touch Program.

She believes that everyone needs to own their specialness and step into the true nature of themselves. Thus, the characters are mirror images of the greatness within everyone, especially the young.

Dottie’s goal for the series for young adults is to awaken their imagination and ignite within them a love for and responsibility to humanity.

This is a book for all ages.

Dr. Dottie Graham is the Founder and CEO of The Graham Institute of Self Awareness (GISA) and the Virginia Center for Healing Touch (VCHT), and is its primary teacher and clinician. A licensed health care professional for over 50 years, she received her doctorate in RoHun from the RoHun Institute, Delphi University, Georgia, in 1994. She is an Advanced Regression Therapist, a Hypnotherapist, and a Certified Healing Touch Practitioner, Instructor and Qualified Mentor. She is an International Field Instructor for the RoHun Institute, Delphi University, GA.


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Monday, January 20, 2020

Book Blitz: There Be Demons by M.K. Theodoratus


Demon Wars, Book 1
Supernatural Fantasy

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Britt never dreamed demons existed. Then, the Angeli drafted her to fight them.

When the stone effigy she finds turns into a live gargoyle and tells her she must learn magic in order to fight demons, headstrong Britt Kelly wants to run the other way. She has enough problems fitting into a new high school in the projects and coping with her parents' divorce, thank you very much.

Gillen, the centuries old leader of the Gargoyle Guardians, knows he has a serious problem--teaching Britt and her teen-aged friends to control enough Grace to survive the coming battles against invading demons.

Britt and Gillen soon fight over the best way to cope with the demons. Will anyone survive?





Other Books in the Andor Demon Wars Series:





Running from Demons
Andor Demon Wars, Book 2


Pillar Beccon travels across Andor to discover her mother's mysterious past. But danger is never far away as a demon seeks to destroy her.

An orphaned null without a hint of magic, Pillar can't remember ever belonging anywhere, especially not in the Freemage commune where she grew up. After she graduates from high school, she jumps at the chance to learn why her mother ran away from her family.

During an accidental encounter, Grylerrque, a surviving commander from The Demon Wars, recognizes what Pillar is and decides to feed the girl's life force to her clutch. The demon sends her minions to capture the girl. Pillar escapes with a help of an unexpected allay, only to learn she was pulled out of the frying pan and thrown into the fire.

Running from Demons tells the story of Pillar's search to find a place to call her own. The book continues the chronicles of Andor, a land where the mundane world clashes with one of magic and demons from another plane prey. If you love paranormal stories of discovery and mayhem, this is the story for you."





About the Author

Fantasy has always been part of M. K. Theodoratus's life from having an imaginary friend to reading. Now she also writes fantasy.



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Release Blitz: Diana: The Voice of Change by Stewart Pearce


Non-Fiction / Self-Help
Date Published: Jan 10th, 2019
Publisher: Fitzrovia Press (Imprint: Shimran)

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DIANA – THE VOICE OF CHANGE ……isn’t just another biographical account of Diana’s life, but rather it is a deeper exploration of the unique idiosyncrasies, extraordinary events, and changes of destiny that created a flow of force by which Diana evolved, transmuting from being the Peoples Princess into the Queen of Everybody’s Heart, and so to beyond her death………

It is written by the legendary Voice Coach: Stewart Pearce, who confidentially coached Diana during the last two years of her life, adding both a physical and metaphysical support to Diana’s vast transformation. This we palpably saw, as she moved from the demure and pained young woman, seen in the Martin Bashir interview, to the assured, powerful humanitarian leader witnessed in July 1997. For Diana’s voice revolutionized both the African Landmine issue, and the face of the Global Aids epidemic, and irrespective of her HRH title being removed, Diana acquired such public support that her voice of freedom almost toppled Queen Elizabeth, and exposed the anachronisms of the Windsor Household!



The book answers volatile questions such as:

Why was the marriage of a century known as a Fairy Tale?

Why was Diana the most photographed woman in recorded history?

Was Diana murdered?

Why did her incandescent love affect so many, and where did it come from?

What was the extraordinary energy that affected 5.9 billion people during August 31st and September 6th, 1997?

What has happened to Diana’s voice post-death, the resonance of which appears to have precipitated significant social movements, such as the #METOOCAMPAIGN?



The book is packed with Vocal Exercises, Sound Meditations, and Presence Techniques, which allowed Diana to become the spell-binding, radiant being that she became – about which Henry Kissinger said: “ I remember, Diana was a beautiful young woman whose blue eyes melted grown men’s bones!”


The content of this book is seen as a developing work, which will eventually evolve to become a series of workshops known as THE DIANA HEART PATH

Stewart Pearce
(copyright)




About the Author

Stewart Pearce is a Master of Voice and Corporate Presentation Coach who finds and liberates the authentic power and presence in the world’s most extraordinary people.

As a Master of Voice, Stewart has a reputation for his holistic training of the Actor, within renowned Actor Training Centers throughout the World, – Stewart was Head of Voice at the Webber Douglas Academy between 1980-1997, assisting the pioneering of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre between 1997-2010, as well as consulting on Broadway and in the West End. Stewart has coached world-acclaimed actors such as Oscar-winning Eddie Redmayne and Mark Rylance, Matthew Goode, Hugh Bonneville of “Downton Abbey”, Simon Callow CBE, Vanessa Redgrave, Michelle Williams, Minnie Driver, Gwendoline Christie. Stewart also develops iconic presence for luminaries such as Marianne Williamson, Dame Anita Roddick, Margaret Thatcher, Mo Mowlem, and Diana, Princess of Wales.

In the corporate sphere, he is the “go-to” Mentor for Presentation Coaching with senior iconic business people and organizations. Corporations, where he has developed leaders and chief executives, include Giorgio Armani, L`Oreal, BT, BBC, ITN, Qatar Holdings, World News, McKinsey & Co, Merrill Lynch, WPP, UBS, Nat West, Vidal Sassoon, Redken, and McKenzie Boston and The British Government and the LONDON 2012 OLYMPIC Bid.

Stewart Pearce is the author of several acclaimed books about the human voice and its power for personal development and healing. In addition, he has recorded six award-winning sonic meditation albums. Stewart’s work is regularly featured in the global press, and he is sought after for private Mentorship, and Master Classes throughout the world.

Stewart Pearce’s great passion is to assist extraordinarily talented individuals to change the world, whilst finding and embodying their soul’s note and signature style, which brings a magnetic presence to the work. In this work, Stewart helps people find great joy, authenticity, and clarity of purpose in their work and personal lives.

Stewart Pearce is based in London and New York and leads Master Classes around the World.

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Book Blitz: Silent Threat by Jeff Gunhus


Silent Threat
Jeff Gunhus
Published by: Kensington
Publication date: December 31st 2019
Genres: Adult, Thriller
A father charged with treason. A daughter sent to kill him. A shocking conspiracy that changes all the rules of the spy game for a new generation . . .

With more than a dozen kills under her belt, ex-Marine Mara Roberts is one of the Agency’s most reliable assassins. But her latest target—a convicted traitor about to be released from prison—is different than her other marks. He’s a former agent who betrayed his country. He’s responsible for the death of Mara’s mother. And he happens to be Mara’s father . . .

Scott Roberts knows that his daughter was sent to kill him. He realizes he has only one chance to change her mind, to convince her that he’s been framed for treason—and that every member of their family are pawns to be sacrificed, one by one. Mara isn’t sure she can trust her father. He is a master of manipulation, as ruthless as he is resourceful. But when her nephew is abducted, she agrees to follow Scott’s lead and expose the global elites who are pulling the strings. But first, they must infiltrate the highest levels of power. Then, they must attempt the unthinkable: Kidnap the President of the United States . . .

“A brilliantly written thriller. Breakneck twists, political intrigue and bristling action scenes—Jeff Gunhus writes with a gripping and gritty authority.”
—Simon Gervais, author of Hunt Them Down
EXCERPT:
Mara Roberts knew the Agency would try to kill her father the day he got out of prison, she just didn’t expect they’d ask her be the one to do it.
Before she received the assignment, she would have bet even money he would survive whatever welcome party the CIA had planned for him. Too bad his odds had migrated down to zero now that the job was hers.
She sat in her rented Range Rover, waves of Oklahoma heat shimmering off the parking lot blacktop, bending the prison chain link fence into wavering lines. Coils of concertina wire topped the walls, razor blade edges glistening in the sun, each loop perfectly spaced. Just like inside the walls of the Cimarron Correctional Facility — orderly but lethal.
Behind the security gate was a low-slung building with a copper overhang at the entrance. More like a school administration office than a prison. The schematics she’d studied revealed the facility extended back into eight separate cell blocks. Each one housed more dangerous criminals than the previous one. She hoped they’d put her dad in the worst of the lot.
The car idled, both for the AC and in case she needed to adjust her plans and leave in a hurry. The few guards she saw moved slow and had dark sweat pits spreading under their arms and on their backs. She pegged them as complacent. Washed up. Bored. Just like she wanted. As she analyzed the prison’s weaknesses, she couldn’t help but wonder whether her dad had changed much since she’d seen him last.
Sure, he was past fifty now and, according to the photos in the briefing, finally starting to show his age. Wrinkles at his eyes. A close scalp shave, the kind favored by men fighting a losing battle with their hairline. He was still in shape, though. Surveillance camera footage showed a recent fist fight he’d had on the yard, started by some con paid off by the Agency. Obviously a new guy. Anyone who’d been there longer than knew not to mess with the quiet guy with the broad shoulders.
The video showed her dad could still throw a punch, but the couple of jabs he took to his face also showed he’d lost a step or two. Yet, the old man still had skills. And she wasn’t about to underestimate her target. Hell, four years on the run and the last two months in prison might have even toughened the bastard up. If that was even possible. She wasn’t sure it was.
A routine face recognition search through the US prison system by a junior analyst had turned him up. As she read the report, it made her laugh that assets all over the world were searching for him, and there he was serving time under an alias for manslaughter. Seems he took exception to a group of five young men roughing up a prostitute. Four of them ended up with broken bones and long hospital stays. The fifth wasn’t going to harass anyone ever again. It was just like her dad to risk blowing his cover to save someone. Typical Boy Scout bullshit.
She’d been raised on stories about him. Even in her macho world of counter-intelligence they seemed outlandish. Insanely risky missions. Many of them unsanctioned. Succeeding against insurmountable odds. Like stuff out of bad action movies, and yet people swore to her the stories were true, that they’d seen him do these things with their own eyes.
But they always whispered about him, as if just talking about the man and his exploits might suck them into the same darkness into which he disappeared.
Still, even with what had happened, she always heard a grudging admiration as they told her about the exploits of the great Scott Francis Roberts, the father she barely knew. The man she was about to kill.


Author Bio:
Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade/YA series, The Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.
After his experience with his son, he is passionate about helping parents reach young reluctant readers and is active in child literacy issues. As a father of five, he leads an active life in Maryland with his wife Nicole by trying to constantly keep up with their kids. In rare moments of quiet, he can be found in the back of the City Dock Cafe in Annapolis working on his next novel or on JeffGunhus.com.

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

Book Blitz: Lock and Key by Evangeline Anderson


Lock and Key
Evangeline Anderson
(Nocturne Academy, #1)
Publication date: January 18th 2020
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
What do a mysterious necklace, forbidden Blood Magic rituals, and a sarcastic Nocturne boy with the face of a fallen angel all have in common?
Me, apparently.
Since I started school at Nocturne Academy, strange happenings have befallen me. The weird key-shaped necklace I found at a flea market chokes me every time I try to take it off. Also, a tall, beautiful, and bitingly sarcastic Nocturne has the lock that matches it.
His name is Griffin Darkheart, and—like this freaking necklace—I can’t seem to stay away from him, though he’s being Censured for mysterious crimes. Among a student body composed of vampires, witches, were-dragons, and fairies, I no longer know what my future holds.
To heck with graduating with honors. I’m just hoping to graduate alive. Nocturne Academy is full of deadly dangers.
And I’ve already got a target on my back…
EXCERPT:
A warm breath of humid Florida night air breathed through the hallway like the exhalation from a giant mouth. On it, I caught the scent of orange trees mixed with the flat, wet scent of the lake that surrounded the castle.
And running through it all was Griffin’s own scent—a cold, clean, somehow completely masculine aroma that flooded my senses and made the key around my neck throb even harder.
Stop him! it seemed to be crying—I swore I could almost hear its voice in my mind. Stop him—he’s getting away!
Maybe that was what made me speak—what made me call out to him, though every instinct I had told me I should stay silent and let him pass. Griffin was a predator—seeing him in the darkness like this, I knew it to my bones. He was a killer and his kind preyed on mine. I had the feeling of a rabbit calling back a hawk that had wheeled by overhead or an antelope calling out to a lion.
But still I spoke.
“You’re wrong, you know,” I called to his back, when he was already halfway out the door.
Griffin turned, his eyes gleaming silver in the dim moonlight spilling in through the half open door. He seemed to deliberate for a moment—almost to struggle with himself—and then he let the door close and came striding back to stand in front of me, even closer than before.
“Wrong about what, little witch?” he murmured in that cool, silky voice of his. The voice a snake might use before it struck.
“I…I’m not a witch,” I told him, lifting my chin and meeting his eyes, though he radiated danger the way another male might radiate body heat.
“Oh no? Then what are you, Megan Latimer?” he drawled, putting emphasis on my last name.
“I’m just a Null,” I went on doggedly. “I can’t even light a candle with magic. I don’t have any magic—I don’t belong here.”
“Yet, here you are. Putting yourself in harm’s way. Why?”
He reached out and gently—oh so gently—stroked one long, cool finger down my hot cheek. The key jumped at his touch and so did my heart. I was beginning to feel like I couldn’t get a deep enough breath.
“I…I don’t know,” I whispered. And then—either daringly or stupidly added—“Are you the harm you’re talking about?”
“Maybe.”


Author Bio:
Evangeline Anderson is the USA Today and NYT Best Selling Author of the Brides of the Kindred, Alien Mate Index, and Born to Darkness series. She is thirty-something and lives in Florida with a husband, a son, and two cats. She had been writing erotic fiction for her own gratification for a number of years before it occurred to her to try and get paid for it. To her delight, she found that it was actually possible to get money for having a dirty mind and she has been writing paranormal and Sci-fi erotica steadily ever since.

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Saturday, January 18, 2020

Book Blitz: The Last Starling by C.L. Denault


The Last Starling
C.L. Denault
Publication date: December 24th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, Paranormal, Young Adult
“They’re coming.”
Words of warning haunt Jayce Wakefield’s dreams. He doesn’t believe them any more than he believes in the blue-eyed raven delivering the message. It’s totally absurd. They’re just dreams. He has nothing to worry about.
Or does he?
Jayce’s life revolves around three things: being a senior, worshipping a girl he can’t have, and killing vampires. As a werewolf, his job is to protect the Starling woods. That means taking out any bloodsucker who dares to cross the Boundary. And since his autistic brother can’t handle wolfing out, it’s up to Jayce to keep pack territory safe.
But between the dream-raven, humans going missing, and vampires acting weird, he’s losing his grip on reality. Add to that a runaway in his territory, and he welcomes the distraction. The fact that she won’t talk about herself makes him obsessed with learning about her past. The deeper he digs, though, the more she withdraws. It’s not until her life is threatened that he discovers the truth. Who she is. Why she’s there.
And the sinister darkness headed for them both.
EXCERPT:
The shed door creaks as Dad swings it open. Heaving Jordy inside, I lay him on the dirt floor and peel off his covers. Heat rises from his body as I strip him down. I check his pulse—steady—and roll him onto his stomach, turning his face to one side. Balling up his sheets and clothing, I race outside and hand them to Mom.
She takes them in numb silence. The shed door closes with a bang, but she doesn’t flinch. She just turns and walks back to the house, Pip at her heels. My heart aches for her. She shouldn’t have to do this. Her life shouldn’t include leaving her disabled son naked in the dirt, alone, with a Shift coming and nothing to ease his pain.
“Jayce. It’s time.”
The strain in my dad’s voice knocks me back to reality. He’s kneeling beside the shed, fully undressed, his back arched. He groans, and I know what I have to do.
My heart pounds.
I shed the last of my clothing, then drop to my hands and knees. The wild thump of my heart initiates the process. Blood races through my body, activating the gene that jump-starts my transformation. Every inch of my skin tingles, itches, thickens.
Burns.
Fine brown hair sprouts from my body. Claws force their way through my fingers and toes. My ears throb with pain as they widen, then extend into points. The cartilage in my nose bellows out. Elongates. Makes it hard to breathe. I open my mouth and suck in a lungful of cool air.
The exterior is done.
Now for the hellish part.
My back arches. I cry out as the bones in my spine crack. They start at the top of my neck and work their way down, breaking. Reforming. My tailbone fills out. It lengthens, piercing my skin, and I yelp. Dig my hands and knees into the grass.
Groan. Sweat profusely.
Muscles knot and twist. My body hitches as each bone in my ribcage expands, creating a chest cavity with room for bigger, stronger lungs. Arm bones break. Then the ones in my legs. They reshape, curving into limbs that can run like the wind. My hands and feet lengthen, my heels push up. Snout extends.
Almost there.
The morphing of my internal organs is excruciating. Liver, lungs, stomach, eyes—they go from human to canine in seconds. In those seconds, I can’t move or breathe. Time stops. The world blurs.
My existence reduces to one blinding pinpoint of pain.
I come out of it with a snort. Shake out my body, look around. The yard is different, ripe with colors I didn’t see before and smells that weren’t as strong. My ears twitch as they pick up the sound of an approaching vehicle. Dad is already loping for the house. I test my muscles, find them strong, and follow him.
We stop at the porch. Gramps is there, waiting on the truck that careens to a halt in the driveway. Two husky males—my uncle and cousin—jump out and race for us. They shuck their clothes.
Drop to the ground.
As they Shift, my wolf-eyes scan the trees for Boo. He’s always around for the hunt, and we understand each other better when I’m like this. Spying him in the tree line, I chuff softly at him. He hoots back a reply. He’s ready.
So are we.
Gramps projects a wolf-thought to bring us close. He sniffs the air, and we do the same. The smell of the Trespasser is still there. Dark and menacing. Something lurks in the Starling, a territory long forbidden to those who drink blood to survive. My pack growls in unison. For us, this is more than just a threat.
It’s an insult.
Tipping back his head, Gramps draws a deep breath. He expels it in one long, drawn-out howl. A howl that pierces the night, uniting us as a pack and sending a message to our enemy. We know youre out there, it says. Youre not welcome here.
Dad sprints for the woods. We follow in pack hierarchy—my uncle, then me, my cousin last. Our minds link, connecting mentally to each other and Gramps.
As we break through the tree line, our Alpha howls again. One last time. A message to the creature roaming our hallowed ground.
Were coming for you.


Author Bio:
C.L. Denault is a speculative fiction writer who loves dreaming up tales of adventure and intrigue. A former systems analyst, she gave up her nerdy code-writing skills to care for her family (including a son with special needs) and currently lives among the vast stretches of cornfields in Illinois.
Writing and working out are her biggest passions, along with coffee and sci-fi. When she’s not hanging out with her husband and kids, she can usually be found at a library or tucked away in the shadowy corner of a hip coffeehouse. She’s also been glimpsed sneaking into her garage, late at night, to work on her time machine.
She enjoys connecting with people—especially those from other planets, nearby dimensions, and the future. To find her, just visit her website or social media pages. Or use a Stargate. Whichever is easiest.

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Friday, January 17, 2020

Interview with Amanda Arista, author of The Truth About Night


The Truth About Night 
by Amanda Arista 
Genre: Paranormal Mystery 


As an investigative journalist, Merci Lanard has an uncanny knack for getting the truth out of people, a talent she uses to expose the real story behind her city’s most gruesome crimes. 

Until one night, when her partner, Ethan, is killed. 

Reeling from shock and grief, Merci vows to track down his murderer. As she starts digging, she meets Ethan’s estranged brother, Rafe, who agrees to work with Merci to find his brother’s killer. She soon discovers Ethan had been hiding things from her, mainly that he was a Shifter and had a whole life in a supernatural world she knew nothing about. 

A Shifter himself, Rafe introduces Merci to magic she never knew existed. As they work together to uncover hidden connections between Ethan's murder and a series of strange dead bodies, they find themselves in the crosshairs of a turf war for the soul of the city. 

If Merci is to have any hope of saving her city, she will have to face the truth about this war, the truth about this new magical world, and the truth about who she truly is. 



Favorite thing about being an author? Thing that surprised you the most about being published? What is hardest part of being a writer?
My favorite part of being a writer is using as it an excuse to ask people the most random questions. Recently I went to my eye doctor and asked about retina burning and he looked at me with the strangest of expressions. Until I told him I was a writer. Then he proceeded to tell me everything I needed to know. Its like having some sort of special issued pass that means you are just curious, not homicidal. 


What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both?

I write out a few scenes with the characters to see who they are and then I try to outline, but sometimes I just write what the characters are telling me and piece everything together later.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?
Coffee and Junior Mints? But seriously, the more I writer, the more curious I become. The more questions I ask myself, my characters and I explore my answers to those in new story ideas.


If you could write in any other genre what would it be, and why?

I’d really love to write a non-fiction about something cool and go explore it. Mary Roach is one of my favorite writers and I love the humor she brings to the big life questions. And honestly, it would probably be about identity and adoption. 
I’ve had this Sc-fi book brewing in the back of my head, but I have this notion that I have to understand time travel to write about it and I’m just not that smart. 

Where can we find out more about you and your work?
I’m trying to get my website up and running with new content. www.amandarista.com I’m on Twitter a lot as Pantherista. 


Can you tell us a bit about what book(s) you have coming out next and what you’re working on now?
I’m currently working on the next two Merci Lanard books and will have a whole bunch of other THOSE WHO WANDER projects out later this year.


Amanda was born in Illinois, raised in Corpus Christi, lives in Dallas but her heart lies in London. Good thing she loves to travel. 

During the summer after second grade, she read every book in the young adult section of the library, much to the surprise of the local librarian. So she started making up her own stories and hasn’t stopped. 

She has a husband who fights crime, one dog who thinks he’s a real boy, and another who might be a fruit bat in disguise. She recently added a tiny human to the mix who is following in her mother’s footsteps of storytelling. 

Along with her BA in English & Psychology and her MA in Education, Amanda is a graduate of the SMU Creative Writing Program and now teaches other aspiring authors. She has delivered lectures at several writer conferences and loves discussing craft, character, and structure. Her current favorite: Stirring up Trouble with Romantic Subplots. 

She is represented by Kimberly Brower, of Brower Literary & Management. 

Random Facts: 

Amanda is adopted and loves to share that story with others to promote adoption. 

Amanda has a collection of turtle figurines that collects on her travels. 

Amanda has a strange love of cheesy horror movies. She prefers demons and witchcraft to slasher films. 

Amanda is a really good bowler and completely rocks at croquet. 





Amazon gift card and Merci Lanard swag pack. 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!




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