The Fourth Element Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
The Fourth Element Trilogy: Boxed Set 
by Kat Ross
Publication date: September 22nd 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Gladiator meets Romeo and Juliet in this “spellbinding fantasy” trilogy (Kirkus Reviews) set in ancient Persia!

They are the light against the darkness.
The steel against the necromancy of the Druj.
And they use demons to hunt demons….

Nazafareen lives for revenge. A girl of the isolated Four-Legs Clan, all she knows about the King’s elite Water Dogs is that they leash wicked creatures called daevas to protect the empire from the Undead. But when scouts arrive to recruit young people with the gift, she leaps at the chance to join their ranks. To hunt the monsters that killed her sister.

Scarred by grief, she’s willing to pay any price, even if it requires linking with a daeva named Darius. Human in body, he’s possessed of a terrifying power, one that Nazafareen controls. But the golden cuffs that join them have an unwanted side effect. Each experiences the other’s emotions, and human and daeva start to grow dangerously close.

As they pursue a deadly foe across the arid waste of the Great Salt Plain to the glittering capital of Persepolae, unearthing the secrets of Darius’s past along the way, Nazafareen is forced to question his slavery—and her own loyalty to the empire. But with an ancient evil stirring in the north, and a young conqueror sweeping in from the west, the fate of an entire civilization may be at stake…

So begins an epic story of adventure, romance and betrayal that leads to undiscovered magical realms and a final confrontation with a demon queen bent on destroying them all.

 

 

 

Purchase:
99¢ for a limited time only!
AUTHOR BIO:
Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy trilogy (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and a new gaslamp mystery series that opens with The  Daemoniac and continues with The Thirteenth Gate. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. For more information about Kat’s books, come visit her at katrossbooks.com.
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a Kindle Fire

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Winter’s Siren Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
Winter’s Siren 
by Krystal Jane Ruin
Publication date: November 1st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Synopsis:

For the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.

His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.

As Fawn plots her escape, whispers spread through the shaded corridors of dark sorcery, warning her that she must flee by the next opening night.

But when Fawn draws close to the exit, it’s Devi who’s standing in her way, leading Fawn to suspect that Devi has something to gain if she fails.

(a dark reimagining of Swan Lake)

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

Excerpt:

Frosty air nips at my nose. I stand almost knee deep in fresh fallen snow, letting the diffused sunlight hit my face. There is no sound. Peace settles over me. In this moment, I truly feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere.

Something cold and wet explodes on the back of my neck. For a moment, I fear the worst. A boil. Pus. My father’s description of my mother’s face plays out in my mind.

But then I hear Andrew laughing behind me. I touch the rough skin on my neck and bring a shaky and damp glove to my face. Snow. It’s just snow.

It’s the middle of the day, and my face is uncovered. To make everything worse, it’s bright outside. Freezing and overcast, but bright.

My hands fly to my face automatically.

“Are you going to let me get away with that?” Andrew laughs again.

I twist around and peek at him through my fingers.

He stands before me, his arms spread wide. A thick coat covers his arms, and in his gloved hands, he holds another snowball. “You have two seconds to stop me!”

I flip my hood over my head and drop down to gather snow in my hands.

Another snowball bursts against my head. The wetness plasters my hair to my face. I hurl my deformed ball in his direction. It misses him completely.

Another wad of snow lands on my neck while I gather a larger, rounder ball of snow. “Cheating!” I throw my handful at him. It lands weakly by his knees.

“Here, let me help you.” He climbs towards me and gathers a nice, solid ball in his fist. He hands this to me, and then stands back and spreads his arms wide again. “Try again.”

I throw it square at his nose.

 

 

AUTHOR BIO:
Krystal is the author of supernatural and paranormal fiction, living in the Tennessee Valley with a collection of swords and daggers. When she’s not hoarding stuffed pandas, hourglasses, and Hello Kitty replicas, she can be found in YouTube hole or blogging about books, writing, and random things at KrystalSquared.net.
Author Links:
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a Grimm’s Fairy Tale anthology + swag (incl keychain, quill pen, candle, bookmarks, and a notebook with the book cover on it)

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The Canary Club Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
The Canary Club 
by Sherry D. Ficklin
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: October 16th 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance, Young Adult
Synopsis:

“Bad Luck” Benny is a boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Recently released from jail, he has vowed to keep his head down and stay out of trouble. But he also needs to care for his ailing sister and the rest of his struggling family, and he’ll do anything to make that happen—even if it means taking a position with a notorious crime boss. He soon finds himself in over his head—and worse still—falling for the one dame on earth he should be staying away from.

Masie is the daughter of a wealthy gangster with the voice of an angel and gun smoke in her veins. Strong-willed but trapped in a life she never wanted, she dreams of flying free from the politics and manipulation of her father. A pawn in her family’s fight for control of the city, and with a killer hot on her heels, she turns to the one person who just might be able to spring her from her gilded cage. But Masie is no angel, and her own dark secrets may come back to burn them both.

Two worlds collide in this compelling story of star-crossed lovers in gritty prohibition-era New York.

Perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams’ A CERTAIN AGE or Libba Bray’s THE DIVINERS, THE CANARY CLUB by Sherry D. Ficklin will entice Historical Romance fans of all ages. This Gatsby-era tale filled with dazzling speakeasies, vicious shoot-outs, gritty gangsters, and iridescent ingenues has also been compared to the television series Z: THE BEGINNING OF EVERYTHING and BOARDWALK EMPIRE.

 

 

CANARY CLUB EXCERPT 

“Is the laudanum not helping?” Doctor Mackie asks, shining a penlight in my eyes, momentarily blinding me.

I take a deep breath. Truthfully, I passed the last three bottles off to June for recreational use. Despite his assurances it will help with my insomnia, I can’t bring myself to use it. After seeing Mother abuse it so often, and with such devastating results, just the thought of it turns my stomach.

“I don’t like it,” I complain. “It makes my mind foggy.”

Putting the light down, he tsks. “That’s the point, dear.”

Far greyer than a man should be in his mid-thirties, Doc Mac has a surprisingly grandfatherly countenance. One stern look from him carries the guilt of a hundred nuns, and he gives me one now.

“I know you are under a great deal of strain, dear.” He hesitates, choosing his words very carefully. My father is his employer, so he can only complain so much about my working such long hours, my frequent headaches from the smoke and lights, and my borderline high blood pressure. We both know the culprit behind my troubles, but we also know that nothing either of us says or does will change my circumstances. “But you must try to rest. You will put yourself in an early grave otherwise.”

“Better me than someone else, I suppose,” I quip, attempting to lighten the mood, but failing.

“The laudanum will help you relax. Help you rest. You need that, at least.”

Sprawling back against the white wing-backed chair, I wave him off. “Whatever you say, Doc.”

He opens his mouth to speak, but he’s cut off by Butler, who clears his throat behind him.

“What is it?” I ask, wearily draping one arm over the headrest.

“JD just telephoned, Miss. He and your father are on their way here. Doctor, they ask that you remain here until they arrive. There has been a shooting.”

I spring forward, the bodice of my floral dress tightening around my middle, adding to tension already growing there.

“Is everyone alright?” I demand, pushing to my feet and slipping back into my t-strap shoes.

“One assumes not,” Butler responds, holding out his gloved hands. “But I gather that he and your father, at least, are unharmed.”

My breath escapes in a low hiss. Is this my fault? Retaliation for the beating I’d personally ordered on the man who’d assaulted my friend? Or was this something else entirely? Father has no shortage of enemies on his own. Even so, I mentally curse myself for adding one more name to that list—even if he’d well and truly deserved it.

Doc nods to me. “I should go wash up and get ready to receive any wounded.”

I nod, but say nothing. This is his real job, after all. Not looking after me—though Lord knows he tries to do that as well—but pulling out bullets and stitching up knife wounds. The sort of thing that can’t be done in a hospital without having to answer too many questions. I motion to Butler, who stands in the doorway still.

“Fetch some clean linens and towels. Set them up in the kitchen. It will be easier to clean up blood from the tile than the carpet.”

He bows stiffly and exits, leaving me standing in the study and wringing my hands. I should probably go, or at least hide in my room. That’s what Daddy would want. He’s very keen on pretending the violence of his world can’t reach its icy hands into my life—though deep down, I’m sure he knows better. Perhaps this will be a good thing, a way to remind him that, despite his best efforts, he can’t shelter me. He can’t keep me safe, not really. Perhaps he’ll be more open to the idea of sending me off to college, then.

I roll the thought around in my head, balancing it with the silent prayer that whoever is hurt will be all right, while wondering if using this person’s misfortune to my own advantage makes me a truly awful person.

I don’t have time to debate it too much because the front doors open with a thunderous boom, and I rush toward the sound. One young man, his face pink with exertion and speckled with sweat, carries the limp body of another as JD ushers them toward the kitchen. Father enters last, followed by Vincent, who twists his cap in his hands. Daddy rushes toward me, planting a rough kiss on my forehead.

“You should go to your room, darling. You don’t need to see this,” he mutters, nearly pushing me down the hall. Then he points toward Doc, who is ushering the boys into the kitchen. “Take care of that boy. He saved my life.”

I dig my feet into the long carpet. “No, that’s alright, Daddy. I want to see if I can help.”

Without giving him a chance to respond, I hurry to the kitchen, throwing open the door just in time to see Doc lean over the young man now laid across our antique mahogany table.

The one who’d been carrying him backs up against the sink, watching Doc work with intent eyes.

“What can I do?” I ask, taking a spot across the table.

Doc doesn’t even look up; he simply hands me a towel. “Apply pressure here while I remove the bullet.”

Taking the towel, I press it to the young man’s side, drawing a deep groan from the mostly unconscious patient.

Doc uses his light to check the boy’s eyes. Though his face is spotted with blood, his skin paler than my fine bone china, there’s something attractive about him in the cut of his jaw and the small, barely noticeable dimple in his chin. As soon as the thought comes, I shake it away, forcing myself to remain clinical as Doc cuts off his shirt and tie with a pair of medical shears.

No time for that now.

“Young man, can you hear me?” Doc asks as he sets to work. “What’s your name?”

The other boy answers, “It’s Benny. Benjamin.”

“Alright Benny, this is going to hurt, but I need you to lie very still.”

Doc motions to the other boy, then to me. “You two are going to need to hold him.”

I almost ask why since he clearly isn’t responsive, but the other boy takes one shoulder, just above where Doc begins to cut. As soon as the metal pierces his skin, the boy bucks, his eyes flying open. I struggle to hold his other side, pinning him to the table with all the weight I have.

Finally, there’s a wet popping sound, and Doc wrenches the bullet free. Blood flows in earnest now, down Benny’s arm and soaking his chest. The boy whimpers through gritted teeth. Doc wets a rag with some laudanum, pressing it over his nose and mouth for a few seconds. When he finally draws it back, the boy’s head lulls to the side, his green eyes wide.

Leaning over, I lower my face close to his. “Are you alright?”

He opens and closes his mouth a few times, as if it isn’t quite functioning.

Finally, he half grins and manages to slur, “I can’t feel my tongue.”

I let out a sharp laugh, and he smiles up at me. “Hey, you’re really pretty.”

“You aren’t too shabby yourself,” I offer with a grin. “I mean, except for being full of holes and all.”

He frowns. “Why am I full of holes?”

His face is so full of concerned innocence that it’s hard not to smile. “Because you got shot, silly.”

“I got shot?” His head jerks up in alarm. “Is everyone else alright?”

“Calm down,” I say, soothing him as best I can with a hand on his shoulder. Then, realizing I’d almost forgotten to keep pressure on the towel at his side, I return to it. “Everyone else is fine.”

He nods once, his expression relaxing again. “I feel pretty good, considering. Really good, actually.”

“That’d be the laudanum Doc gave you. Takes the edge off,” I offer, my eyes flicking up to Doc. He’s slowly stitching up the hole in the boy’s shoulder. The bleeding has mostly stopped; it’s just sort of weeping now. “But you’re gonna be fine, Benjamin. Just rest now.”

His eyes flicker up to mine. “That’s a shame.”

“What is?” I ask.

“That I’m gonna be fine. I kinda like being here with you.”

I sigh. “Oh, you like bleeding out on my kitchen table?”

He nods once, his face serious. “Whatever it takes.” He hesitates, then continues, “But just in case I don’t make it, do me a solid and look in on Aggie for me.”

I raise one eyebrow. “Aggie… that your girl?”

But his eyes roll back and his face goes slack, his head rolling to the side once more.

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Glitter and Gold (A Canary Club Prequel) is currently FREE!

Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

 

Author Bio:

Sherry is the author of over a dozen novels for teens and young adults including the best selling Stolen Empire series. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.
Sherry also writes contemporary romance under the pen name SJ Noble. You can find her at her official website, www.sherryficklin.com, or stalk her on her Facebook page www.facebook.com/sherry.ficklin.

 

 

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Beyond the Mist Book Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
Beyond the Mist
by Casi McLean
(Lake Lanier Mysteries, #2)
Published by: The Wild Rose Press
Publication date: September 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Time-Travel
Synopsis:

Piper Taylor concedes she’ll never fall in love, until a treacherous storm spirals her into the arms of the handsome Nick Cramer. Unrelenting remorse over a past relationship haunts Nick, but he can’t deny the mysterious connection and hot desire Piper evokes.

The allure of a secret portal hidden beneath Atlanta’s Lake Lanier tempts him into seizing the opportunity to change his mistakes. But his time slip triggers consequences beyond his wildest dreams.

Can Piper avoid the international espionage and terrorism of 2001 New York, find Nick, and bring him home before he alters the fabric of time, or will the lovers drift forever Beyond The Mist?

 

 

 

Excerpt 

A soft mist hovered over the moonlit lake, beckoning, luring him forward with the seductive enticement of a mermaid’s song. Rhythmic clatter of a distant train moaned in harmony with a symphony of cricket chirps and croaking frogs. Spellbound, Nick Cramer took a long breath and waded deeper into the murky cove. Dank air, laden with a scent of soggy earth and pine, crawled across his bare arms. The hairs on the back of his neck bristled, shooting a prickle down his spine that slithered into an icy pool coiled in the pit of his stomach. He clenched his fingers into a tight fist, determined to fight through the emotion consuming him. Fear sliced through his belly like icy shards until he finally heaved, forcing rancid bile to choke into his throat.

I have to do this––he inched forward––only a few more steps and––

A sudden surge swirled around him, yanking him into a whirling vortex, where a violent blue streak dragged him deeper, deeper beneath the lake into the shadowy depths. Heart pounding, he battled against the force, twisting, thrusting toward the surface with all of his strength but, despite his muscular build, he spun like a feather in wind into oblivion. When the mist dissolved, Nick Cramer had vanished.

 

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon / Barnes and Noble / Kobo

 

AUTHOR BIO:

Award winning author, Casi McLean, pens novels to stir the soul with romance, suspense, and a sprinkle of magic. Her writing crosses genres from ethereal, captivating shorts with eerie twist endings to believable time slips, mystical plots, and sensual romantic suspense, like Beneath The Lake, WINNER: 2016 Gayle Wilson Award of Excellence for BEST Romantic Suspense. WATCH THE TRAILER https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TwOqm8DUUfA

Casi’s powerful memoir, Wingless Butterfly: Healing The Broken Child Within, shares an inspirational message of courage, tenacity, and hope, and displays her unique ability to excel in nonfiction and self-help as well as fiction. Known for enchanting stories with magical description, McLean entices readers in nonfiction as well with fascinating hooks to hold them captive in storylines they can’t put down.

Her romance entwines strong, believable heroines with delicious hot heroes to tempt the deepest desires then fans the flames, sweeping readers into their innermost romantic fantasies. Ms. McLean weaves exceptional romantic mystery with suspenseful settings and lovable characters you’ll devour. You’ll see, hear, and feel the magical eeriness of one fateful night. You’ll swear her time travel could happen, be mystified by her other worldly images, and feel heat of romantic suspense, but most of all you’ll want more.

Author Links:
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Signed copies of both books in the Lake Lanier Mysteries series

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The Dark Mermaid Book Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
The Dark Mermaid
by Christina L. Barr
Publication date: September 5th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

“True love is not a myth. It’s mystic. It’s a force in the universe that draws two people together, resulting in incredible power, for either good or complete chaos.”

On the day Luna proves that she is powerful enough to be her father’s heir, she is banished for saving the life of an enchanting human boy. Her father, the king, gives her two options: kill Ian and regain her honor by the time she comes of age, or be destroyed.

Luna finds shelter in forbidden waters and comes under the protection of her father’s greatest enemy, the Sea Witch. As her ward, Luna becomes a fearsome warrior, but struggles with the fear of turning her powerful magic dark.

With only days remaining before her seventeenth birthday, Luna finds Ian sailing the seas in search of answers. Luna is determined to escape her father’s wrath, and the Sea Witch’s plot of revenge, but dark forces won’t allow her to live a human life without making an impossible sacrifice.

 

 

Excerpt:

Chapter One

I was born with a serious defect. On the surface world, they call it “kindness”. My father first noticed it when I was a child. When we turn thirteen, we swim out of our territory with nothing but a small blade. I watched my king’s eyes dig into mine as violently as the knife that bleed my arm numb. He always told me that he had a lot of faith in me. It’s funny how faith only felt like heavy expectations on my tiny shoulders. And when I could feel the vibrations in the water from an oncoming threat, he made sure to leave me in the darkness, surrounded in a cloud of my blood.

I heard tales from my sisters of their glorious fights against the monsters of the deep. They only had to face one and return home with the corpse. They spoke of their fear boiling and bursting out of their hearts like a geyser rushing out uncontrollably, but they had a thirst for battle that was born as soon they saw their vicious opponents in the water. The victory shifted their terror into a satisfying thrill, but I was not as fierce as my sisters, and I was surrounded by three fish, three times my size.

I swam up fast and avoided two of them, but the third nearly took my bloodied arm off with its sharp and jagged teeth. I did manage to stab its eye as it swam past me, which was the only easy meat to get to. The rest of its body was covered in scales as hard as stone.

Taking on all three was impossible, and my little body was pumped full of fear. The adrenaline helped me swim faster, but they were made to chase and kill. They couldn’t hide their nature, and I couldn’t run from mine.

When I had about a thousand feet on them, I turned around and braced myself. I had little hope in my blade, but I gripped it firmly and told myself that I could defeat those monsters, if I truly believed in myself. My father would not accept me if I needed to be rescued. The rumors were that he’d rather have me dead than be a disgrace. I could not fail!

I closed my eyes and swung my blade forward. I put all my strength into that swipe, and I felt my energy leave my body and expand forward like a giant fin. I opened my eyes just in time to see their bodies disintegrate into ash, and glitter from the fading light that I somehow produced.

I was too stunned to move for a great while. I never had such an incredible power on my own, so I looked to the blue and red crystals embedded into the golden blade. It was an ancient weapon forged by my ancestors, but I had no idea that it could do so much damage. My sisters had never mentioned it, and I’m certain they would have boasted about their exploits.

Even though I had rightly fought for my survival and won, I was rattled. I was certain that I could do it again—in extreme circumstances—but I wasn’t changed like my sisters. They were

reborn as warriors, and I still felt like a child. Worst of all, I didn’t have any remains. I would have to find another creature to kill, but I needed to tend to my wounds.

I returned home, struggling not to break down from fear of what my father would do to me. When I entered the walls of our crystal palace, my people were my enemy. They once revered me as a princess, and now they sneered their noses from my repulsive presence. I could feel their eyes whispering tales of my cowardice, and they were not as subtle as they believed. And when I entered my father’s throne room, so I could properly explain, I was met with his trident pinning my arm against the wall.

I couldn’t afford to lose any more blood, and he had severely cut me again. I tried pulling the trident away, but I couldn’t even get it to budge. I took my eyes off my bloodied arm, and by the time I looked up, his coal eyes were peering into mine. “Father—”

“Silence!” His hand clasped tightly around my neck. “Do you think I’ll grant mercy to a failure? You are my blood, and you’ve disgraced me!” It was insane to me at the time, but beyond the intensity of his rage, I remember sensing that my failure wounded him.

I whimpered as he freed me from the trident’s grasp. I was overwhelmed with an unbearable guilt that his disappointment burdened me with. The only reason why it didn’t crush me, was because I saw my demise reflecting in the golden trident he raised to strike me down with. “Do you have any last words?”

“I did kill!”

“Then where is the body?” He glared with a hatred I thought he only reserved for his enemies. I didn’t understand how his disappointment in me could transfer into such violence. When I was smaller, he would often tell me that I was his favorite. What good did his favor do?

I held up the blade that he had given me, and out of my desperation, I was able to make it glow a radiant blue with speckles of golden dust. “I used this blade to kill them, Father. Their bodies were completely blown apart. I swear!”

His eyes moved to the blade. Then, he looked at me in awe. “You do hold the power.” He smiled and cradled my face. “You are my true successor.”

My sisters were gathered around. They were mildly jealous before, but I had a feeling they would rip the flesh from my bones, if it weren’t for my father’s praises and the fear of what he would do if they attacked.

My father was never affectionate toward me, but he’d always gaze upon me with a curious eye. When I trained with my sisters, I thought he was testing me and assessing my potential as a warrior. It was no secret that he wanted a son, but Fate gave him six daughters instead. He made us twice as fierce to make up the difference. I couldn’t have known that he was expecting me to have such great power. “I want to see what you can do.”

“Sire.” One of his warriors came into the throne room and bowed. “There are humans sailing in our waters. What are your orders?”

He looked down at me and smirked. “My daughters and I will handle this ourselves.”

My sisters all cheered. They apparently had enchanting voices, but I had never heard them, nor had I ever opened my mouth up to speak. I suspected that I shared a similar gift, but I didn’t want to use my voice to lead unsuspecting sailors to their deaths.

“Keep the blade,” my father instructed. “I want to see you in action.”

I looked at the dagger in my hands. I heard such terrible things about the humans. Everything they touched, they laid waste to. Father said we had to kill humans to keep their dark nature from destroying us, but I didn’t see how we could be any better than them. I didn’t know if my life served any purpose beyond hunting and defending my home.

“Come, my children.”

He must have been in a good mood, because he let my eldest sister bind my wounds before we followed him into battle. Each stroke of my tail made my heart pound faster. I had never been to the surface before. My sisters told me that humans didn’t have tails. They had legs to stand upon, and they loved to watch them run for their lives as they tried to save their ships from sinking. It was one of their favorite games.

The water illuminated the higher we rose. I saw something large and round far up into the sky, but it glowed and brightened up the world. And when I breached the surface, the light gently rested on my skin as I whipped my hair back.

There were hundreds—thousands—of lights far up into the sky, and the biggest one was radiating a foggy white. I took in air, and it filled my lungs with an odd sensation. I wanted to finally hear my own voice, but for some reason, I was afraid to speak.

“Scout the area,” my father encouraged. My sisters waded just a few feet below the surface and waited for my report.

I gulped and slowly swam to a boat not too far away. I had seen ships before, but they were sunken treasures abandoned by the humans and eroded over time. I don’t know why the mystery of the humans intrigued me so much. I heard they were an evil menace that threated our way of life. I had also heard they were cowardly weaklings that we could easily destroy. I didn’t know how to imagine weaklings with such power. Some of the stories must have been false or highly exaggerated.

But when I finally snuck close enough to see the faces of the terrible creatures, I saw they were just like us.

There was a boy running along the deck with some sort of white animal. His smile was infectious. He was making noises with his mouth that I didn’t quite understand. Spoken words were very different than thought. There were also other sounds coming from some sort of box that an older human male controlled. He sat beside a beautiful woman with golden hair.

The sounds coming from the box were magical, like the melody that the whales would sing to each other, except there were so many different noises to make it complete. It was fast, and his human feet moved along with it. It was incredibly strange, but so intriguing. The boy looked like he could have been from my world, if he weren’t having the time of his life on those legs. I moved my tail along with the sounds, but it wasn’t the same as his clumsy and wonderful feet.

When the boy smiled, the right side of his mouth curved just a little higher than the left, and it made his eyes shrink, just a smidgen. They were as vibrant as the blue lights flickering in the sky. His short but bountiful hair bounced with the rhythm of his body, and even though it was as dark as the deepest of the ocean’s depths, the white glow of the night reflected onto his locks so brilliantly that I wouldn’t have questioned if he held some sort of power over night sky. His skin wasn’t too different than mine, but he had a glow to his skin that made him look as if life itself had kissed him. I know that this sounds silly, but I found myself wishing that I could keep him as a treasure to gaze upon.

He had a pretty face, but his arms were frail and easily breakable, but threats could come from even the tiniest of creatures, so I closed my eyes and listened to his thoughts. I tried to connect his mind to the words he was speaking, and it wasn’t long before I could begin to understand his conversation.

“It’s good to know that those expensive hip-hop lessons haven’t paid off,” the older man teased.

He stumbled from the insult and his bushy brows furrowed against his sparkling eyes. “Aw, I’m not that bad,” the boy said.

“I think he’s wonderful,” the woman encouraged. “But stop dancing around on the boat. You’re gonna make the whole thing tip over.”

“How old do you think I am? Five? I can’t tip over this huge thing.”

“Maybe,” the man said. “We’re in the Bermuda Triangle. All sorts of weird things happen here.”

The boy rolled his eyes. “Those things aren’t true.”
“We’re here to explore the mysteries of the Atlantic.”
“Really? Because I thought we were sailing to Puerto Rico so Mom can buy shoes.” “And other things,” she laughed. “You’ll love Puerto Rico. It’s gorgeous. You might even

meet a little summer girlfriend.”
“What makes you think I don’t already have a girlfriend?” he teased with a dashing smile. “You better not!” She got up from the comfort of her husband to tackle her son. He fought

her off viciously, but he was laughing as if he enjoyed it. It was odd. I had never seen a family interact in such a way. A family was supposed to be a pack you could hunt with. They were supposed to look out for you while you slept, and you did the same for them when they needed to rest. What the humans were doing was completely different than anything I had ever experienced. They were enjoying each other’s company. They were…Happy? I think that’s the word I’m looking for.

“What are you doing?” My father’s voice rang in my head. He wouldn’t understand what I was seeing. I hardly did, but I yearned for it so badly. Why couldn’t he hold me in his arms like the human father did to his son? The boy didn’t fear his father as I did. He would probably never intentionally hurt him, yet I still ached from the wounds my father inflicted upon me. Any lessons the boy learned, was probably for his personal benefit, and not because of some war that I didn’t understand.

“I’m observing.”
“You’ve done enough observing,” he said. “It’s time we attack.”
“No!” Out of desperation, my words entered through my mind and out of my mouth. My

voice was still weak, but I had finally heard it, and I thought it was beautiful. “Did you hear that?” the boy asked.

“Ian, don’t!”

He didn’t listen and ran over to the edge of the boat. I quickly dunked back under the water to escape his eyes, but I felt like such a fool. It was forbidden for humans to know of our existence. Anyone that saw us had to die.

I thought I had gone down far enough, but I felt a light shine on me. “Who’s there?”

I heard him speak to me, and I was at a loss of ideas. If only I could have convinced him that I were a human! It was either that, or I had to make him and his parents leave immediately. I slowly breached the surface, so he could see my face.

There was a slight pause as he laid eyes on me for the first time. My sisters told me that they were able to enchant humans with their beauty, before they dragged them into the ocean’s dark waters to drown. Perhaps I was doing that to Ian. I should have grabbed him by the back of the neck to finish him off. That was our way.

“You’re beautiful…” he mumbled very quietly, but in complete awe. I suppose I was right about him being enchanted.

But—for some mysterious reason—I found that I felt the same. My world was incredibly vast. It didn’t matter how far I ventured out in the water; there was always so much more to explore. Suddenly, my world was rapidly shrinking, until it was small enough to fit into a speck of light inside his eyes. “Ian…” My voice wasn’t strong enough. I tried reaching out to him through my mind, but he wasn’t ready to listen. “You have to—”

“How did you get out here? Are you hurt?”
I shook my head, hoping that was a sufficient answer.
“Mom! Dad!” he called.
“No.” My protest was only a whisper. “They can’t see—”
“Where did you come from?” his mother asked in a panic.
“Give me your hand.” His father got on his stomach to reach me better. He didn’t know

  1. He should have assumed I was dangerous. In my world, we didn’t tolerate any threats. He was probably three times my age, so how could he have lived for so long being that naïve?

I wanted to know why they were being such fools, but I could feel the vibrations in the water from my family fast approaching. “I’m sorry…” I dove back in the water and waited for the worst to be over.

They called out to me, and I knew that if I didn’t come back up, they would dive back in to get me. They must have at least feared sharks. It boggled my mind as to why they would risk their lives for mine.

I heard Ian’s parents scream, and then, there was a splash in the water. I backed away and prepared to strike them—if I needed to—but it was young Ian that bravely came to my rescue. And when he saw that I did not need to be saved, he yelled something in the water and lost his air.

Was he afraid of what I was? Did I disgust him? I wasn’t sure. All I sensed from him was his confusion from the herd of mermaids coming to rip him into pieces. His father dove in the water next. I knew my sisters would attack him. We always tackled the biggest prey first.

I’m not sure why I did what I did, even to this day, but I grabbed Ian by his waist and swam as fast as I could. He reached out to his father, but I couldn’t stop if I were going to save Ian.

He screamed, and I knew he would not have enough breath to survive the journey to safety. I had no choice and pressed my lips against his. His eyes bucked, but he soon relaxed enough to close them, and he allowed me to breathe life into his weak and pitiful body.

Through that moment, his mind was open to me. I could feel his desperation to be reunited with his father and mother. What he felt for them was deeper than anything I had experienced my entire life. His father wanted to protect him because he loved his son, and he loved his son because he was his. There was nothing more to it than that. It was their bond of blood and a covenant they forged together from the first time his father held his newborn son in his arms. I didn’t understand how something so simple could be so definite and infinite. My father only wanted to protect his legacy. If it weren’t for my strange power, I would be dead, and he would have been glad to be rid of his weakling daughter.

I wanted to leave. I wanted to go with Ian and be with his family. If all the humans loved like he did, then that’s what I wanted to experience. If only I were born into their world…if only I had a pair of legs to stand upon—to dance! What a glorious life I would have.

Ian tried to swim back to his father, but my sisters had already gotten a hold of him, and they were using their daggers to slash him apart. I grabbed Ian to keep him from leaving, and we were compelled to watch as his father’s flesh was ripped in pieces.

My eldest sister jumped into the air and clear over the boat, returning with Ian’s frightened mother in her arms. Ian’s struggle to get away from me intensified, but I held him tighter. I was much stronger than him, and there was no escaping their fate.

My father enjoyed watching his daughters kill. It made him proud to know he had raised such ruthless warriors. But he couldn’t rest while his daughters did all the work. He was also a warrior, and he needed to destroy to feel powerful. “Stand aside.”

My sisters quickly separated and waited with glee. My father was king because he could control the most powerful of weapons that my ancestors left for us: a trident. He didn’t use its powers too often. He much preferred to kill with his bare hands. But when he outstretched his hand toward his victim, and summoned the might of the trident, it was a glorious sight to behold.

Ian’s mother began to swim toward her son, and he reached out his hands for her. But they were too far apart to ever touch again, even after she exploded in golden and red streams of light. His father was a bloodied corpse. His mother was eradicated from existence. Only Ian was

left, and I had a serious choice to make. I could feel his broken mind. His tears were lost in the immensity of the ocean. He was screaming, so he was surely about to suffocate. It would have been a service to put him out of his misery. He couldn’t take care of himself. His mother and father were his entire world. It was only right to let him die like all the other humans my family had destroyed.

I still don’t understand why I swam away. I even rose to the surface for a jump, so Ian could catch a breath.

“What are you doing?” my father yelled. “Kill him.”

His furious command echoed in my head. When and if I returned home, he was probably going to kill me. My sisters chased me for a good while, but they eventually let up when I started approaching the shore.

I found a rock large enough to place Ian on. Someone was sure to find him. I only hoped that he could salvage what was left of his life and find people that loved him as much as his mother and father did.

“Ian?” The dawn was beginning to break. I didn’t want him to become crispy in the sun, but I couldn’t stay with him. “Ian?” I shook him, but he would not open his eyes.

I pressed my ear against his chest. His heart was still beating. “I think you’ll be alright, Ian.”

I brushed some hair off his face. Ian certainly was a handsome creature. I was desperate for him to open his eyes, and I think it was more than wanting a mental memory of his sea glass gems. I saw that my fingers were trembling as I stroked his cheek, and I realized that if he never

opened them again, I would be lost without a world. His heart was pulling tightly onto mine, and I was being ripped into pieces. “Please, be alright.”

I pressed my forehead against his and looked inside Ian’s mind again. He was at peace in his mother’s arms as she hummed a pretty melody. She rocked back and forth while he drifted between consciousness. The sun lit the world in its gold and warm embrace, and the beams of light poured into his eyes every time he was close to finally resting them. I think he was in his home, surrounded by trinkets he had grown attached to, but none of it was as fulfilling as his mother’s touch.

I didn’t understand how he could retreat to a peaceful place after witnessing such horrific death, but I grew envious of him. If I were torn apart in my trial by those monsters, where would I go in my final moments? There wasn’t a hug or a tender kiss from my kin to draw from, and even though I was accustomed to not having affection or admiration, I was suddenly aware of how awful that was.

I was desperate to have what he had lost, and I was aching from the fact that I had taken away the people he loved. It was selfish of me, but I retreated into Ian’s memory to feel the comfort that we both desperately needed. I could hear his mother’s soothing voice just as clear as I heard my father commanding me to slaughter Ian. As I watched her holding her baby boy, I could feel her intentions of protecting him. I could feel the love that he felt, and in a few seconds, her lovely song was on my lips.

He began to open his eyes, and I stayed long enough for a swift peek. I knew that I’d never be able to keep him for myself, but I’d never forget his mystifying eyes.

“Wait!”

I couldn’t. I jumped back in the water and swam home to beg for forgiveness. I couldn’t stay with the humans as long as I wasn’t one of them. It was foolish to think differently, even for one second.

I was hoping that my father possessed even one ounce of love and compassion that Ian’s parents had for him. If he did, I had the smallest bit of hope that I would survive. I swam to where I believed my home was, but I didn’t see the crystal walls or my wicked sisters waiting to judge me.

“You won’t find Atlantis,” my father said from behind. “It’s hidden from outsiders.” I was too frightened to face him, but I needed to. “Father—”

As soon as I tried to turn my head, it snapped back from the force of his blow to my face. “You let one of them go.”

“I’m sorry! He was only a boy.”

“He’s a human,” he seethed. “He’s a filthy, disgusting human. Human explorers killed your mother. Did you know that?” He never spoke of my mother. How was I supposed to know?

“No.” I held my cheek and struggled not to sob from the pain. My father was large in stature and very muscular. He didn’t need to hit me that hard to get his message across. I could taste blood in my mouth.

“He’ll tell others of our existence. More humans will come. They’ll kill us, and we’ll kill them. They won’t be satisfied until blood fills our waters, and I won’t be satisfied until their cities are ruins at the bottom of the ocean. There will be no peace.” My father was masking his excitement, but I could see the intention in his mind. He wanted the end of humanity, and it didn’t matter how many of us had to die in the process.

I had to stop it. “No one will believe him, Father.”
“Where is the dagger?”
I clenched my fingers on instinct, and my eyes bucked. I knew I had it when the attack

started. I didn’t remember dropping it in the water, but I hadn’t held it for a while. “I must have dropped it on the rock where I left him. I’m sorry. I’ll bring it back here and—”

“You’re not welcome back unless that boy is dead.” He yanked my hair and pulled me close to his face, so I could see his dark eyes. “I want that dagger to slit his throat and his heart in your hand. Do you understand?”

My family was harsh, but they were all I had. He couldn’t expect me to live on my own in the ocean. There was no crueler place in nature. Practically everything ate each other to survive. Safe territory was hard to come by, and it was only safe until something came along to kill you for it. Sharks and giant octopuses were the least of my worries. There were other creatures like me who were much more dangerous and even stronger. “Father, please—”

“You are no daughter of mine.” He threw me away in repugnance. “I am incapable of breeding weakness. You will never be one of us until you destroy that boy.”

I was literally shaking, even though I consciously tried to steady myself. It was disgraceful to be fearful of anything, but being alone in an endless world of predators was a death sentence. I

wasn’t sure if I had anything to live for, but I knew that I wanted to live long enough to find a reason. “There has to be another way, Father. Please!”

“You would forsake your honor and your people over the life of a human boy?” Rage flashed in his eyes, and his trident pulsed with power like the jolt from an eel. The spark frayed my tail, and I whimpered. Every bit of pride he held for me deteriorated like a meal inside of a beast’s belly. “Has he infected you with his weakness?”

“No, but…” The image of Ian’s eyes opening as I sang to him completely overtook my mind. I tried to suppress it, because I didn’t want my father to experience the intensity of my memory, but it poured out of me. Ian was groggy and terrified. His world had been crushed. The love that I felt in his heart should have been replaced with a need for righteous vengeance. He inhaled from the shock of seeing my face, but the hate never flooded in. Instead, an exhale of relief and awe followed, as if being with me needed no explanation. We were together, as we were meant to be.

I know that I left as soon as I could clearly see his eyes, but I remembered seeing my reflection inside of them. I think I saw a different mermaid than I had ever seen before. Perhaps we were always the same, and I was only beginning to wake up to the truth that she knew her entire life.

I was living in a nightmare, and I wanted to be free.

I had offended my father too greatly to be allowed to live. He thought too little of me to be disappointed. Eradicating me was a matter of propriety. He gripped his trident, and its power rippled toward me. I raised my hands instinctively. The little hairs on my arms began to singe, but before I could burst into dust, I felt my skin beginning to harden. I had closed my eyes, but it felt so odd that I looked to see my skin darkening. I had heard that my father turned an enemy to stone once. I was certain he was doing the same to me, but he actually seemed startled once he noticed that I was changing.

I might have been mistaken. The light from the trident skewed my vision, and your mind plays tricks when you’re certainly about to die. I might not have been sure about what I saw, but my father did clearly see something that made him withdraw his attack.

“Your sisters are weak. You’re strong enough to be my heir. I have no respect for you, but I do value you’re potential.” Even admitting that terrible compliment was difficult for him. “You have until your seventeenth birthday.”

“To do what?”
“To regain your honor and kill that boy.”
My hands returned to their normal color and softness, but I was aching internally. “What

if I can’t find the same boy? Can it be another?”
“No. It must be him.” His commandment rung through me like the crunch of a skull being

crushed between his fingers. “It’s either him, or I kill you both.”
And once again, he left me. I had no friends, no family, no resources, and no weapons. I

could hear the sounds of whales singing in the distance, but I could feel other vibrations in the water. There was danger surrounding me for miles, and I wouldn’t have the protection of my family or my father’s subordinates.

I felt like I didn’t have a choice. I returned to where I had left Ian, but he was already gone. I probably could have deceived my father, if I found the blade, but it was missing as well. I swam around the shore, but he was nowhere to be found. I couldn’t blame Ian if he never returned to the water, but if I couldn’t find him, I would never be able to return home, the humans would bring war to us, and we would bring hell to them.

“I’ll find you,” I said to Ian, wherever he was. “I don’t care what I have to do, but I swear that I will.”

And that’s how my story began. I showed mercy to a human boy that should have died with his parents. His life meant nothing compared to the safety of our worlds. I had no choice but to search the ends of the earth until I found him. But finding him wouldn’t prove to be the most difficult matter. The man I swore to kill, also became the man that I loved.

Regardless, he still had to die.

 

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Everyone is eligible to receive a free song that the author sang herself. It’s inspired by the book.
The author would need to email the songs, so you can fill out the form here to get it via email before September 9thhttps://goo.gl/forms/9KorGZygAPRGcWKj2

 

 

 

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AUTHOR BIO:

As the daughter of sci-fi enthusiasts and a pastor, Christina L. Barr has been taught to believe that anything is possible. She’s been a serious composer as far back as twelve-years-old, and has had the opportunity to sing her songs around the world.

In 2007, she graduated from Holly High School number nine in her class and attended College for Creative Studies. She started a pop culture website called The Gorgeous Geeks with her two older sisters, and was even featured on Times Magazine.

Her addiction to writing emerged when she was eighteen and started her first novel. To date, she has nine novels published, fourteen completed, and her goal is to finish thirty books by her thirtieth birthday.

She is currently a Creative Director and spends her days making graphics and videos.

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Swim Book Blitz and Giveaway

 

Book & Author Details:
Swim 
by M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #2)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: August 29th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

A mermaid has no fear of the deep…

Angelique is not your typical fairy tale mermaid. She’s edgy, with a quick temper and intense personality that sometimes leave her feeling like an outsider even among her own clan. Reeling from the recent changes in the Mer-world hierarchy, Angelique is struggling to find her place in the ocean. But a chance encounter with a handsome two-legged Fin-man will leave her questioning more than just her place in the underwater order.

Packed with adventure, romance and drama, Swim continues the compelling story of life and love in the magical underwater realm of Atargatis.

 

 

Excerpt:

Would they serve me on a platter, or just toss me in tank and use me as an exhibit?  Some of the humans Mother captured spoke of places where even the ocean’s greatest predators were put on display for the amusement of the young and hardened of heart.  An aquarium they called it.  Manatees, dolphins, sharks.  All subject to the degradation of living in a box for the rest of their days.

Oh, Poseidon help me, I’d rather die right now.

Almost as soon as my body contacted the sea floor, the rope connecting me to the human vessel tightened.  An illusion of weightlessness befell me as it pulled me up.  Despite already feeling drained, I swam against the pull right up until my entire body left the water.  Suffocating aridness strangled me.  I danged inside the net a good ten feet above the water, swaying along with the howling wind as if it was dancing with me.

I scanned the rough waters below, desperate for a trace that Lennox was around.  But the sea was fuming.  Furious, whether at me or the fisherman I didn’t know.  Already turbulent waters intensified, until waves the size of small squalls slammed into the boat from all sides.

Even if Lennox was down there, and I doubted he was, there would be no way to see him through the chaos on the ocean’s surface.  I didn’t waste much time searching.  He’d said it himself; he was a warrior, a killer at heart.  It wasn’t in his nature to go around saving anyone or anything unless it served his king.  He was long gone, left me for dead.

“You see,” I heard the horrible man shout.  “Look at that tail.”

“I’ll be damned.  You weren’t seeing things after all, Reggie.”

“Yep.  Heard stories about mermaids in this area.  Didn’t much believe them.  Until now, of course.  She’s awfully pretty, too.  Prettier than I ever imagined a mermaid could be.”

“What should we do with her?”

“Are you kidding?  People would pay a fortune to just take a quick look at her.  Mortgage their own houses, I bet.  We’re gonna be rich!”

The blond man tapped his chin with his index finger, pondering the idea.  A small, naïve part of me hoped he might listen to that slight little voice in his head, the one that should tell him I was a living thing.  A sentient, conscious, and intelligent living thing and should be treated with common decency.  His conscience should’ve told him to put me back in the water and drive his boat far out of here and leave me be.

Then this human, the one who moments ago seemed so kindhearted and eager to help me until my tail was exposed, reminded me of that one ever-important detail I managed to allow myself forget:

Humans have no conscience.

 

 

 

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AUTHOR BIO:
ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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Masked Book Blitz and Giveaway

Book & Author Details:
Masked 
by J.D. Wright
(Superheroes Undercover, #1)
Published by: Limitless Publishing
Publication date: August 15th 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Superheroes, Young Adult
Synopsis:
Vada’s To-Do List:

– Turn 18 (check!)
– Register super name
– Order supersuit
– Attend superhero indoctrination
– Graduate high school
– Start kicking criminal tail

Vada Lawson can’t wait to be a superhero. Born into a family with special powers, she’s been training to fight criminals and villains her whole life. But her indoctrination into the underground super community is derailed when normals start breaking out in superpowers themselves.

Not trained to control their new abilities, the normals are frightened and vulnerable. Then their mutilated corpses begin turning up all over town. What the heck?

Somehow, with the help—and hindrance—of an annoying newly-minted super named Orion, Vada has to stop the chaos before it destroys her and everything she holds dear…and ruins her superhero debut.

 

 

Excerpt:

Nick couldn’t take it anymore.

The entire morning had been one shock to his system after another. The nice long weekend in his giant but silent house had made him all but forget about the weird run-in with Janet. He’d spent the entire time working on his homework and enjoying the peace and quiet.

But after only five minutes at school, he was rudely reminded that he must be losing his mind. The voices came like a whirlwind into his head, one after another. So many that he couldn’t decipher whose thoughts belonged to who. He couldn’t even separate his own thoughts from the others. There were so many, and every one of them was as loud as the other, washing over him like waves of pounding noise.

Being in class gave no relief, either. The other students may not have been talking aloud, but every one of them was thinking, loudly. Nick heard too many things that he never wanted to hear and a lot of mundane thoughts that no one cares about.

…I wonder if I forgot to lock the door this morning…

…Oh, man. I’m not sure if I’m ready to do this. What if I get pregnant? But Luke is so cute, though…

…Mrs. Yates has such nice tits…

 Nick actually agreed with that last sentiment, but he couldn’t be sure who had said it.

…Only thirty minutes left. I really need to pee…

…Nick is too good for Scarlet. What does he see in her? She’s such a bitch…

…This class is about as useless as my stepmother…

 There was just so much noise. Nick pulled his hood up, but it did nothing to block the sounds. Every single thought that crossed someone else’s mind entered his. He didn’t give a damn about someone’s new pet lizard. And while he appreciated the girl across from him’s glances and thoughts of admiration—at least, he was pretty sure those belonged to her from the way she watched him—he didn’t want to know what other people were thinking.

What had caused this? Was it some sort of mental illness? Was he imagining these things? He couldn’t be sure he was even hearing real thoughts. He considered quizzing someone, but he was almost too afraid to confirm what he suspected.

He was reading people’s minds. Hearing their thoughts. Without even trying.

And it was excruciating.

 

 

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AUTHOR BIO:
J.D. Wright is a military wife, mother of four, and author of paranormal and fantasy romance books filled with strong-willed heroines, swoon-worthy heroes, and sprinkled with humor and adventure. J.D. creates artistry in many ways, as a baker and cake artist by day and author by night. You can usually find her typing away at the computer or covered in frosting.
Since discovering she has a knack for writing, J.D. has so far written and self-published eight books of the Everealm and Songs of Everealm Series and is now venturing into the world of paranormal with her new superhero-themed series. She is an avid reader and lover of all things romance so she always includes a good love story in her paranormal and fantasy novels.
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Swept Away Book Blitz and Giveaway

 

Book & Author Details:
Swept Away 
by S. McPherson
(The Water Rushes #3)
Publication date: August 1st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Elev nos senaremdos: Live on in memories

Milo is gone and Vladimir and the others plan to go after him before he gets himself killed…if it isn’t already too late. But they have no way of making the gethadrox and they are not all working as together as they think.

Secrets hushed and secrets kept are soon revealed when Dezaray gets a package that leads to her taking matters into her own hands and following a path that leads to the unimaginable.

Only Lexovia and a small band of misfits stay behind in an attempt to save the world and Lexovia soon finds herself in a position of power she never truly wanted.

Dive deeper into worlds & war in this thrilling third installment of an epic fantasy. Loved by fans of Cassandra Clare and Sarah J Maas.

 

 

Excerpt:

As I walk, I allow the woods to claim my mind. I appreciate the low hanging branches of the tall robust trees, the flutter of the wind rippling the surface of the stream and the scuttles and flurry of the wildlife.

Something shiny in the shadows strikes my eyes. Peering through the lampposts’ haze, I recognise the man I’ve dubbed Tinfoil leaning against a tree just off the path. I call him Tinfoil because that’s what he always wears: tinfoil hat, coat, and fingerless gloves. I often see him on the weekends in town, yelling out predictions and profanities at passers-by. Most people give him a wide birth – especially since he once told a man he was heading for a fall, and the next thing I knew, that same man was in a wheelchair – however, I’ve never really bothered. Tinfoil never offends me in any way and usually fails to notice my existence, keeping his head down and his crinkling hands inside his torn pockets.

I move closer, preparing to give my usual nod on the off chance he looks my way, but stop when his head twists in my direction. His eyes widen with that crazed look I’ve seen him give others, and he jumps into my path.

‘I see the light,’ he gasps, ‘shining bright. Walk through it.’

I furrow my brow.

‘I see the light!’ he cries, ‘shining bright. Walk through it.’

My heart pounds as I stumble to get around him but he keeps leaping in my way.

‘I see the light. Shining bright. Walk through it.’

Oh dear. A crazy person is telling me to walk into the light, this can’t be good. I pretend to step one way, and when he follows, quickly step another, finally getting around him. His gloved hand grips my wrist, the folded foil poking at my skin.

‘Get off!’ I exclaim.

‘Tonight free.’ Tinfoil leans close, so close I can see a spit bubble bobbing from one lip to the other as they meet. ‘Tomorrow a cage.’

I gulp, twisting my wrist, but he’s surprisingly strong for such a withered character.

‘Tonight free. Tomorrow a cage.’ His eyes leave mine and lower to the ground. ‘Tonight free. Tomorrow a cage.’

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AUTHOR BIO:

USA Today Bestselling Author & a citizen of the world; S. McPherson was born in England, moved to Saudi Arabia when she was five then on to Dubai at the age of seven. S. McPherson briefly lived in Scotland, she is originally from Jamaica and her mind is often far, far away in lands people have never heard of.

S. McPherson has always loved writing in all its forms and at the tender age of eight, she dreamt of being a member of the next big pop group where she could sing and write songs all day. When that inexplicably fell through (how could she not be the next Beyonce??), she moved on to poems, scripts and eventually novels.

Having met many different people – imaginary and real – along her travels, S. McPherson has a vast array of characters buzzing in her head bursting to be let loose on a page or two of fantasy.

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Sink Blitz and Giveaway



Sink
M.E. Rhines
(Mermaid Royalty #1)
Publication date: July 31st 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Obedience has always been a matter of survival for sixteen-year-old mermaid princess Pauline. Her mother is the tyrannical Queen Calypso, who rules the kingdom of Atargatis with an iron trident. To utter one word against her would mean banishment—or worse—so Pauline bites her tongue and minds her manners. But on the eve of her sister’s merling-shower, all of that is about to change. Confronted with the truth about what happens to the human men who are betrothed to the mermaids of Atargatis, Pauline realizes she can stay silent no more.

Determined to end the queen’s dark tradition, Pauline goes along on a search for shipwreck survivors, secretly planning to free them. But things get complicated when she finds herself inexplicably drawn to one of the men. Before she realizes what’s happening, she has kissed him—and a kiss from a mermaid is not without consequences. Now Pauline will have to risk everything if she is to save the young man and thwart the queen’s dark plans…

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EXCERPT:

My eyes widened, my heart hammering against my rib cage. A fear I didn’t understand tugged at my tailfin, like an anchor had been tied to its end. I sank against the wall of our pirated vessel and watched the chaos as it unfolded in slow motion.

Gene laughed at something my sister said just before it hit him. His smile fell in an instant as soon as the sudden deadening feeling pummeled into his chest. He

dropped the plate and held out his hand. From my experience with Beaked Sea Snake, he was seeing double the fingers.

A fogginess washed over his eyes. He reached out for Fawna for just a second before his arms fell to his sides, limp and useless. Then, his human legs gave out from under him. A loud crack sounded as his knees made impact with the hard floor of the ship.

When he finally fell backward, my sister stood over his paralyzed body with a shameless, cruel smirk that gave me the chills. My mother, hovering well above me, nodded her approval with a warm, glowing pride showing on her face.

I looked around, expecting to see the same shocked expression I wore among my clan. But not one jaw was dropped. Every one of them watched with tense, excited eyes. They looked like bloodthirsty demons from where I was sitting.

“Mother,” I whispered. “What’s going on?”

She didn’t hear me.

“My Queen,” someone shouted from below. “What are your orders?”

Mother took in a long, powerful breath and shouted, “Air him out.”

I gasped, disbelief shuddering through me. “Mother,” I screamed. “Mother, you can’t!”

My protests were drowned out by the unified battle cry that erupted from every member of our clan. Angelique dropped her guitar, dashing for Gene with two other mermaids close behind.

I rushed for him, but Mother grabbed my arm with bruising fingers.

“Let me go,” I demanded.

Even through the screeching cheers below, I could hear Mother’s teeth grinding. “Don’t make a scene.”

I stilled, having every intention to stay put and comply, as usual. But then, I caught a glimpse of Gene’s face. While his muscles were tight and immobile, his eyes were filled with a conscious terror. They pleaded with me from across the ship, begging me to save him.

Before I could stop myself, I twisted my arm out of Mother’s grasp and swam to him, hoping to talk some sense into my sister before she did something terrible.

It was no use. I couldn’t reach them. They had too much of a head start. All I could do was watch as they snatched the helpless human and dragged his lifeless body up, up, and up until…

Bubbles sprayed all around them as they held Gene’s head and neck above water, but kept their own gills safely submerged. Even if he had working legs to thrash and fight with, he would be outmatched. Our tails treaded water in a way a human’s boney appendages couldn’t come close to.

He was in our world, by no choice of his own. We brought him down here against his will, and now that he was a part of it, my mother was sending him back home to die.

The gills would not disappear. They would only struggle for a short while before giving up to the heat of the land above. Gene’s chest moved in and out, in faster but shallower spurts.

I kicked my tail harder. Just as he came into my reach, he took one final gulp of air from his own world, and the movement stopped.

Mother had killed him.

 

Author Bio:

ME Rhines a southwest Florida native currently living in North Port with her two beautiful children and a third, much larger child whom she affectionately calls husband.
She writes young adult paranormal romance to feed her belief that fairy tales are real and
nonsense is necessary.

She also writes adult romances under her edgier alter-ego, Mary Bernsen.

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Hunted Fate: Excerpt and Giveaway

Hunted Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae, #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult

Alex and Atropos have taken refuge at an abandoned mountain resort compound. Atropos is a wanted woman in hiding, and the downtime with her soul mate is a nice change of pace. But the peace will be short-lived. The authorities are after her for her role in the attack on the city of Charlotte. Zeus has put a bounty on her head. There’s also a war to prepare for—and if she wins, the gods will be deposed once and for all. But first she needs to track down Gaia, and even that won’t be simple. Gaia resides at the bottom of the ocean, and the humans and gods are already hot on Atropos’ trail…

A heart-pounding romantic adventure where Greek mythology and modern-day life collide, Hunted Fate is the third book in the epic Threads of the Moirae series by Jennifer Derrick.

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Previous books in the series:

Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!

EXCERPT:

“We need whoever provides security around here. Or Hades. They’re bound to be the ones who can open this. If we can find them, we can drag them down here and slap their hand on this thing to get it open,” Alex says.

“We need another way,” Sara says, shaking her head. “We haven’t seen a single person since we got here. It’s too time consuming to track them down. And we’ll never get Hades.”

“Anyone know of any other ways to crack a palm plate?” I ask.

“Short of finding a valid fingerprint and going through an awful lot of steps to create a fake finger, the only other way is to break down the software controlling it,” Alex says.

“Are any of you hackers?”

Alex raises his hand.

“You can hack this?” I ask. “I didn’t know you were a hacker.”

“I’m not. But there isn’t a lot to do when you’re stuck at home with a terminal disease or trapped in a crappy boarding school. I taught myself a few things, made a few online friends who were a little shady. Depending on how sophisticated the software is, I might be able to crack it.”

“Would it be controlled from the computer out front?”

“It might be. Or it might be controlled from a central server that’s who knows where. No way to know without looking,” he says.

“That computer is password protected. If you try to force it, you may set off alarms.”

“Then I’ll have to be careful,” he says, heading back to the lobby.

We follow and gather around the desk while he works. The keys clack under his fingers as he mutters instructions to himself.

“Okay, I’m in the system,” he says. “While I’m here, I’m going to shut down those security cameras. No need for everyone to know where we are.”

The TV feed blinks and is gone.

He keeps typing and clicking and muttering. The rest of us sit down on the floor and wait. There’s nothing we can do.

“Huh. That could be tricky,” he says.

“What?” I ask, getting up and going around the desk so I can see his screen. Not that the gibberish there means squat to me.

“The system that controls the fingerprint scanners also controls the card locks. Worse, it’s not separated by floor. I’m not good enough to bring down only one piece of the system. It’s all or nothing.”

“What’s the problem?” I ask.

“It means that the only thing standing between us and whatever is behind

those cell doors is the hope that none of them try the doors. If the inmates figure out the doors are open, then security will be the least of our problems. All of them could walk right out of here.”

“Do it,” I tell him. “It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting the locks are down. No one will notice. Hopefully.”

“Okay,” he says and goes back to pounding on the keys.

After a few minutes, the computer beeps and Alex pushes away from it.

“Done,” he says.

The words are barely out of his mouth when a series of small pops echoes around the room. They sound like they’re both surrounding us and simultaneously heading away from us.

“Aw, shit,” I say. “The locks. We forgot they make noise! We are idiots. Come on,” I say, racing for the doors on the right.

We slam through the doors and pull up in front of door number four. No one is coming into the hall yet. I’m hoping the inmates think it’s a trap and are too intimidated to try their doors. Either that or they didn’t hear the locks release. Please, just let me get out of here before hell literally opens, I think.

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

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