Three Mages and a Margarita: Blitz

Three Mages and a Margarita
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1)
Publication date: September 14th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s aguild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.


Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.

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EXCERPT

When I gazed vacantly at her, Clara visibly paled. “Tori, what’s your class?” “My class?”
She pressed her hands to the bar top, eyes wide. “Your class, what is it?” “You mean at the community college? I’m taking—”

“No, your mythic class!” She shoved my card under my nose, even more frantic. “Why doesn’t your license have a mythic identification number? You’re registered, aren’t you?”

“Registered for what? Clara, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”

“Oh my god.” Panic flashed in her eyes. “I don’t believe it. You’re human.”

I blinked again. Squinted. Rubbed one ear like I might have misheard. “Beg your pardon?”

Clara dropped my ID on the bar and hid her face behind her hands. “Darius is going to kill me. Why didn’t I check your ID last night? I’m an idiot.”

“Clara,” I said, alarmed and confused in equal measure. “I swear it’s a real ID. I’m twenty-one, old enough to bartend, and—”

“That’s not the problem,” she moaned. “How did you even find out about this place? I never should have—but you were perfect. You weren’t scared of anyone—not even Aaron! I thought you were some badass mythic who wanted to bartend, but you—”

“Get over yourself, Aaron.” Kai’s angry voice rose over Clara’s. “We’re not doing this your way—not again. Your plans always end in fireballs and explosions.”

Fireballs? Explosions? I glanced at them as Aaron snapped, “What’s wrong with that?”
“Tori.” Clara’s panicked tone drew my attention back to her as Kai and Aaron continued to argue. “Last

night, did you see anything?”

“Huh?”

“Did you see anything … unusual?”

“Did I see anything unusual?” I repeated blankly. “Like what?”

“Say that again,” Aaron shouted furiously, “and I’ll toast your pale ass to a healthy crisp!”

His hand shot into the air—and fire burst from his fingers. The red flames danced across his skin, sparks raining down on the table. Curling his hand into a fist, he cocked his arm back, aiming for Kai.

“Aaron!” Clara shrieked. “Put your fire away!”
He froze in mid-motion, his fist still blazing. “Clara? What’s wrong?”

“Put it out!” she yelled, her voice high with panic. “Now!”

He flicked his fingers open and the flames vanished. “Jeez, don’t get your panties in a twist. I wasn’t actually going to roast him.”

“Just—just shut up for once in your life, Aaron!” Clara pressed her hands to her head like she was trying to squeeze her brain. “This is already bad enough.”

“What’s bad?” He pushed back from the table and strode over, Kai and Ezra on his heels. “What’s going on?”

I didn’t move, my eyes fixed on his hand—his hand that had been engulfed in flames. Did that count as unusual?

“I screwed up,” Clara groaned, covering her face again like she couldn’t stand to see me. “I didn’t check her ID yesterday.”

Aaron slid my driver’s license off the bar top and read it. “Victoria Dawson? Your name is Victoria?” I shook off my shock to scowl at his sniggering tone.
Kai plucked the card out of Aaron’s hand. “There’s no MID number.”
“Is it a fake ID?” Aaron asked with amusement. “Did you hire a rogue, Clara?”

“Worse,” Clara whispered. “She’s human.”

The three guys stared at me, and I stared back without the slightest idea what the hell anyone was talking about. But more important than the incomprehensible conversation was the fact Aaron’s hand had been on fire, and I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly have been a trick.

“No way,” Aaron finally said. “What’s your class, Tori?” I pointed at his hand. “Was that real fire?”
“Oh, shit,” Kai muttered.

About the Author

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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One Thousand & One Lies: Blitz

One Thousand & One Lies 
By Yumoyori Wilson 
(Reapers of Beauty #1) 
Publication date: September 8th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

Book Synopsis

 

Lies.

Words of deception that assist in manipulating a person, group, lover, or foe. With each lie that leaves our lips, a plot morphs into a quick exchange, and the end result? Death.

Some call us Reapers of Beauty. Others think we assist the Angel of Death. Assassins? Murders? The list of what we term ourselves are endless. To us, this life is nothing but a job. One we have no control over what we do or whom we kill. That was how I’d lived my life for 25 years, and I presumed it would always be that way…until last night.

It was an easy assignment. A task I was confident in executing. Yet his stunning eyes pulled me in. His addictive aroma made me sigh in bliss. Those silky strands of hair felt so nice to touch, and those lips held a level of satisfaction that made my body hum for more.

A forbidden attraction that has led me astray. Or should I change that to attractions?

A thousand lies. That is all it takes to become a Reaper, like me. For the sake of protecting this mysterious group of men from my master who wants them dead, it’s time for me to play the game and turn the tables for the sake of freedom.

Will I survive? Maybe not, but I guess I’ll die trying.

Let the game begin…One Thousand and One.

AUTHOR NOTE:
Please Be Advised:
1001 LIES- Reapers of Beauty is an 18+ Series that contains dark themes which include sexual assault, child abuse, and/or violence which may be triggering to survivors.

 

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About the Author

 

Yumoyori Wilson is from Toronto, Ontario. She’s a full-time author who loves to write many different genres. On her down time, she bothers her Mom and likes to drink bubbletea while reading and playing video games.

 

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Cutie Pies and Deadly Lies Blitz

Cutie Pies and Deadly Lies 
By Addison Moore 
Publication date: September 13th 2018
Genres: Adult, Mystery, Romance

Book Synopsis
HILARIOUS cozy mystery from the New York Times bestselling author Addison MooreMy name is Lottie Lemon and I see dead people.Okay, so I rarely see dead people, mostly I see creatures of the dearly departed variety, aka dead pets. And for some reason those sweet, fluffy albeit paranormal cuties always seem to act as a not-so-great harbinger of deadly things to come for their previous owner. So when I saw that sweet orange tabby twirling around my landlord’s ankles, I figured Merilee was in for trouble. Personally, I was hoping for a skinned knee—what I got was a top spot in an open homicide investigation. Throw in a hot judge and an ornery detective that oozes testosterone and that pretty much sums up my life right about now. Have I mentioned how cute that detective is?

Lottie Lemon has a bakery to tend to, a budding romance with perhaps one too many suitors and she has the supernatural ability to see dead pets—which are always harbingers for ominous things to come. Throw in the occasional ghost of the human variety, a string of murders and her insatiable thirst for justice and you’ll have more chaos than you know what to do with.

Living in the small town of Honey Hollow can be murder.

From the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author, Addison Moore—Cosmopolitan Magazine calls Addison’s books, “…easy, frothy fun!”

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Excerpt

I see dead people.

Okay, so I don’t see dead people—at least not on the regular—I see dead pets. Yes, pets. At first, I had no idea what these hologram-like beasts were up to until after an unfortunate run of something akin to trial and error that I concluded each dead pet was some sort of a harbinger for its previous owner, a very, very bad omen if you will. Sometimes I see them floating around willy-nilly in a crowd and it’s hard to decipher exactly who the bad luck is coming for. But on occasion, I see them attached firmly to the side of whoever the incoming disaster is set to strike. I’m not sure why this is my lot in life. In fact, my lot in life hasn’t been so stellar in general. My birth mother thought it was a brilliant idea to leave me on the floor of a firehouse, and that’s where a brave and thankfully curious firefighter spotted me, waddled up and squirming. It just so happens that I was adopted by that sweet man, Joseph Lemon, and his wife, Miranda, and gifted a book-loving big sister, Lainey, currently Honey Hollow’s lead librarian, as well as a feisty and shenanigan-prone younger sister, Meg, who is also known as Madge the Badge on the Las Vegas female wrestling circuit. And being that Las Vegas and all of its glittery wrestling venues are a good distance from Honey Hollow, Vermont, we don’t see her very often.

But back to that strange gift of mine, or curse as it more often than not feels like—I have zero clue where it came from or why, or even the major significance of it. A part of me has always believed that something alarmingly supernatural occurred around the time of my birth, and that’s exactly why my birth mama decided she so desperately needed to offload a seven-pound chunk of bad luck.

The very first time I put the furry-dearly-departed and outright chaos together was when I was seven and I saw the flicker of a barely-there turtle swimming next to Otis Fisher’s ear. Later that day, Otis fell from a tree and broke his arm. At the time, I wasn’t too sorry about it either. That boy had a mad hankering for pulling on my pigtails. And as fate would have it, the boy who lived to tease me, one day admitted to having a mad crush on yours truly. And post that amorous admission we dated on and off for about three years. If I thought that boy was annoying in elementary school, he outdid himself in high school. In fact, Otis—or Bear as he’s affectionately known around these parts for having once chased off a black bear before it could invade and devour an entire herd of innocent tourists who were on a leaf peeping tour—is one of the reasons I left Honey Hollow to begin. No sooner did my high school diploma cool off than I hightailed it to New York—Columbia University to be exact—where I’ve had the displeasure to ogle other people’s dead pets.

I’m quick to push what I’ve affectionately dubbed the New York Disaster out of my mind as I take a step outside of my apartment. It’s a duplex, actually, and my landlords, the Simonson sisters, live upstairs. They’re the primary reason I’m headed out on this unforgivably crisp September morning wearing my Sunday best, even though it’s smack in the middle of the week, Wednesday. Usually, I’d be happily snug in my favorite jeans, sporting my comfiest sweatshirt with my hair in a ponytail, and on my way to the Honey Pot Diner where I’m currently employed as the chief baker, not that there’s anyone baking underneath me but, hey, I like the title. Instead, I’m stuffed in a pencil skirt, two sizes too small, and a blouse that looks as if I swiped it off a mannequin at Goodwill, partially because I did. Okay, so I don’t own many Sunday clothes per se, but only because the local church is all about casual attire. They’re far more concerned with keeping your soul free from the flames than they are about your accruements, but I digress. I’m not headed to work or any holy house in the great state of Vermont. I’m headed to court—small claims court to be exact—all the way over in Ashford County.

Just as I’m about to head to my beat-up old hatchback, I spot both the aforementioned Simonson sisters at the foot of the driveway squabbling amongst themselves about who knows what—most likely me. It is me they’re hauling to court after all, and over something completely ridiculous.

It just so happens that last summer at the county fair my blueberry buckle pie won the coveted blue ribbon in its division, and it seemed as if all of Ashford County were thrilled for me, at least all of the townsfolk here in Honey Hollow. But the Simonson sisters were decidedly not enthused in the least. Sometime between the taste test and the judging, someone edited my entry to read Simple Simonson Pie and crossed out the all-important part about the blueberry buckle. Regretfully, a riot of laughter ensued, mostly from the fine, and, might I add, intuitive folk here in Honey Hollow, but I swear on all that is holy that good time only lasted about three thrilling minutes before I made the correction. Although, to hear Mora Anne and Merilee tell it, the aftermath not only bruised their egos and reputation but managed to cause a retail apocalypse down at the shop they own and run. It turns out, The Busy Bee Craft Shop was short on patrons and dollar bills alike and had a difficult time paying its rent last month, so the only logical solution they could come up with was to sue me for every last red cent.

Both sisters are dressed head to toe in long velvet coats with ruffled shirts peeking out from underneath like a couple of throwbacks from some long-forgotten steampunk era. It’s eerie the way they choose to dress alike each and every day despite the fact they’ve been on the planet for twenty-six long years—and twenty-seven respectively. I know this because I happen to be the exact same age as Merilee. We’ve all grown up together, but the way they treat me you’d think they were my bitter and scorned elders.

Merilee snarls as if she were rabid. “Well, look who’s here? If it isn’t Honey Hollow’s favorite jester who will soon be performing live in court.” Those narrow slits she calls eyes light up like cauldrons. The sisters have always held a witchy appeal to me, what with their long, dark, stringy hair and bony, long fingers. The fact they look as if they suck on lemons day and night doesn’t exactly help their plight. “Are you ready to have your bank account turned inside out?”

I scoff at the thought. If they think this is the day they hit a financial jackpot, they’d better think again. Working shifts at the Honey Pot Diner doesn’t afford me much of a bank account. The only thing in my savings at the moment is enough to cover my rent and Pancake’s Fancy Beast cat food. I’ve had Pancake now for over a year, and he officially qualifies as the greatest love of my life.

I glance over to the living room window where he’s currently monitoring the situation while licking his paw. Pancake is a butter yellow Himalayan with a rusty-tipped tail and dart of a line running between his eyes. He is a precious little angel now that he’s no longer using my leather ottoman as a scratching post and chewing down all the cables and cords he could get his hungry little paws on. The entire apartment has been cat-proofed, and Pancake hasn’t forgiven me yet.

An icy breeze picks up and the row of liquid ambers and maples that lines the street shed the first smattering of red and gold fall leaves. I steal a moment to take in the glory of nature on full display around the two wicked witches determined to make my life a living hell. Our little corner of Vermont has a habit of turning into a golden and ruby wonderland this time of year, so much so that the leaf peeping keeps the tourists coming in strong right up until winter.

Speaking of tourist traps, the Honey Hollow Apple Festival is coming up later this month, and I’ve been asked to supply the pies for the occasion. After my shift was over at the Honey Pot last night, I baked two dozen personal-sized caramel apple pies—cutie pies as I like to call them—and I need to deliver them straight to the orchard this afternoon because the owners requested a sample for their employees. My guess is they want to be sure my baking skills are up to snuff before they live to regret the decision come the day of the festival. But I guarantee they’ll far from regret it. In fact, the only thing they might regret is not ordering enough to keep up with demand. It took me weeks to perfect the right combination of caramel and spices, and I even threw in a handful of crushed walnuts into each tiny pie to give it a little crunch. But it’s that buttery caramel that steals the limelight from those golden delicious apples. It’s so smooth and creamy, my best friend Keelie and I spent an hour last night licking the bowls clean ourselves.

I can’t help but sigh over at the two beady-eyed siblings who relish my financial undoing. “I won’t be having my bank account turned in any direction this morning because there isn’t a judge on this planet who would side with—” I’m about to lay into the Simonson sisters with every colorful word in my lexicon when something akin to a flame flickers around Merilee’s ankle. For a brief and fleeting moment, I think it’s simply a stray leaf, but suddenly that flicker materializes into the clear outline of a long-lost, dearly departed orange tabby that I’m guessing once belonged to one of the shrews before me.

“Ha!” Mora Anne scoffs as she takes a step in close. “She can’t finish the sentence because she knows she’s guilty. Just admit it and whip out your checkbook. Save us all the trouble of driving to Ashford. We’re meeting with Darlene Grand this afternoon to secure a booth for the festival. We don’t have a lot of time to dilly-dally with you over a handful of change. Hand it over right now and we can all get on with our day.”

I take a moment to scowl at the surly sisters. Since when is three thousand eight hundred dollars a handful of change? And if it’s so darn piddly, why bother to sue me to begin with?

The ghostly cat twirls around Merilee’s left foot before pausing to look up at me, and I would bet my life that feisty feline just smiled. The pets I see are never skeletal or gruesomely decomposing but clear as vellum versions of themselves in their plush and fluffy prime. On the rare occasion, I do see a once-upon-a-person, but neither the pets nor the people breathe a single word to me. I’m guessing the lack of vocal cords has something to do with it. And, believe you me, I am more than grateful.

I’ve only confided my strange gift to one person, and she wasn’t family at that. Nell Sawyer is my best friend’s grandmother, and she might as well be mine. She’s been that kind to me. If my mother knew about my morbid third eye, she would tie me to a stake and light the flames just trying to usher the dark side out of me. And, well, considering the fact my mother has a way of spreading an errant word around town—you would think she were aspiring to be the biggest gossip Honey Hollow has ever seen—I’m not too sorry I’ve never broached the subject with her. But Nell seemed as understanding as she was intrigued, not one ounce of judgment spilled over from that woman. I’m not sure why I told Nell and not my sisters, or Keelie, Nell’s granddaughter and my BFF, but something about Nell’s sweet round face has the power to pull even the darkest secret from my soul.

“What’s the matter?” Merilee chides with a bony hand set over an equally bony hip. “Cat got your tongue?”

I glance down at the curious cute little kitty. “Yes, as a matter of fact, it does. I’m guessing luck is on my side today.”And not yours, I want to say. “I’ll see you ladies in court.” I bite down a smile as I give one last look to the tiny poltergeist licking its ghostly paws.

Who knows? Maybe Merilee will trip on the courthouse stairs—and if she does, I hope to see it.

Aw heck, maybe she’ll skin a knee.

 

About the Author
Addison Moore is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author who writes contemporary and paranormal romance. Her work has been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine. Previously she worked as a therapist on a locked psychiatric unit for nearly a decade. She resides on the West Coast with her husband, four wonderful children and two dogs where she eats too much chocolate and stays up way too late. When she’s not writing, she’s reading.

 

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Truth in Lies Blitz

Truth in Lies
By Jennifer DiGiovanni 
(The Generators, #2) 
Published by: Evernight Teen
Publication date: September 7th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Romance, Young Adult

Book Synopsis

 

Cara Scotto is living a secret life. She hates holding back the truth about her supernatural powers from her family and friends, but tells herself it’s the only way to protect them. When she struggles to control her surging energy levels, she fears someone will uncover pieces of the truth in her lies.

Intent on learning how to best use her new abilities, Cara trains with her boyfriend Alex, hoping to increase her speed and strength. Though Alex and Cara vow not to let fear rule their lives, they can’t forget Ian, the supernatural scientist intent on uncovering Cara’s true potential, and wonder what his next step will be. They won’t need to wait long before he strikes again.

Soon, the answer becomes clear—someone needs to step up, eliminate Ian, and replace him. Until now, Alex has avoided the underground supernatural networks, but he realizes that agreeing to take over Ian’s position may be the only way to secure the future he and Cara dream of having.

 

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Excerpt

“Why are you so happy?” Nate asks when I jump in his car and shoot him a smile. Typically, he’s carting my semi-conscious body back and forth to Amber Lea High. Most mornings he shakes me awake after he pulls in the school parking lot.

“Alex is coming home … he’s taking me to the prom … it’s a sunny day…” I list the simple pleasures in life that would make any eighteen-year-old girl happy.

“Back it up. You’re dragging the most eligible bachelor on the East Coast to your prom?” Nate acts like this is the first time he’s hearing about it. He must not listen to the one-way chatter I keep up on our drives home from school when I’m actually awake.

Puzzled, I ask, “Who else would I take to the prom?”

“I don’t know. A friend, maybe. Not Alex.”

“Nate, have I done anything without Alex in the last four months?”

He makes a careful turn on Main Street. “No, but seriously, Cara. Aren’t you a little beyond a high school prom?”

I hold up a hand to stop him. “Don’t ruin this for me.”

But he plows ahead, undaunted. “Aren’t those boring DeMarsh charity events enough for you?”

“Are all of my friends there? Do I get to wear a prom dress?”

“Does it matter? You’re with Alex. The so-called love of your superhuman existence. Tell him to buy you a prom dress and you can wear it around town this weekend when you go on a coffee run. Or better yet, invite your friends to his house and have your own prom without people staring at him all night long.”

My chest pangs. Is Nate putting a voice to what Alex really feels? But, wouldn’t Alex tell me the truth? He’s never complained about going to the prom with me. And I went with him to Crestview’s prom a month ago, although we spent most of the weekend driving around the city, scoping out apartments for next fall, so we can live as close as possible to each other, though we’re attending different colleges. “Can’t I just be normal for one night?”

“No, you can’t. Want to know why?” Nate presses the brake pedal and turns to me. “Because you’re not normal! You never were normal although you tried to ignore that fact for the last eighteen years.”

About the Author

I’m the author of contemporary and light fantasy books for teens. Aside from writing fiction, I’m also a freelance writer and a small business owner. After graduating from college with a dual major in Business and English, I started out in the business world and eventually returned to school for my MBA. But, I always seemed to choose jobs that involved a lot of writing.

Today, I spend my days managing a small business and writing. Some days I write more than others, but I try to spend my mornings working on fiction. I also like to hike and run. Often, I’ll challenge myself to learn something new, from archery to video games to guitar, and call it future book research.

My most recent work-in-progress was named a finalist in the Serendipity Literary Agency YA Discovery Contest. It’s about a girl who was cured by a medical miracle and a boy who never received the miracle he so desperately wanted.

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The Hope of Azure Springs: Book Blitz

THE HOPE OF
AZURE SPRINGS 
by
RACHEL FORDHAM
Genre: Inspirational Historical Romance 
Date of Publication: July 3, 2018
Publisher: Revell

Number of Pages: 336

ABOUT THE BOOK: Seven years ago, orphaned and alone, Em finally arrived at a new home in Iowa after riding the orphan train. But secrets from her past haunt her, and her new life in the Western wilderness is a rough one. When her guardian is shot and killed, Em, now nineteen, finally has the chance to search for her long-lost sister, but she won’t be able to do it alone.

For Azure Springs Sheriff Caleb Reynolds, securing justice for the waifish and injured Em is just part of his job. He’s determined to solve every case put before him in order to impress his parents and make a name for himself. Caleb expects to succeed. What he doesn’t expect is the hold this strange young woman will have on his heart.
Welcome to the charming town of Azure Springs, Iowa, where people care deeply for one another and, sometimes, even fall in love.
 
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PRAISE FOR THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS: “In her promising first novel, Fordham assembles an endearing cast of characters in the rugged Midwest plains for a tale about surviving and thriving. . . .Fordham depicts heartbreaking emotional and physical suffering, while beautifully illustrating the power in simple acts of kindness to foster healing, hope, and happiness.”
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EXCERPT: PROLOGUE
FROM THE HOPE OF AZURE SPRINGS

Iowa, 1881

     She dead?”
     Em heard a man’s voice from somewhere above her. A strange thumping pulsed through her with each word he spoke. Her throat burned, screaming for water, but she could not cry out.
     “There’s life in her. Not much of it though,” a second, raspier voice answered. She felt a hand press against her throat and then move over her body, gently probing. “She’s bleeding pretty bad.”
     “Gunshot?” the first voice asked.
     If only her eyes would open, and she could see them. Straining, she struggled to pull her heavy eyelids open. Finally, bits of light darted in front of her eyes, but she could not focus. The faces above her were fuzzy and indiscernible.
     Fear swept through her, suddenly waking her battered body. Afraid the men from before had returned, she opened her eyes wide, finding strength that only moments before she had lacked. With thrashing arms, she flailed at the men. Her arms flopped about but offered little defense—she was too weak from blood loss. And then they moved no longer, subdued by large, strong hands.
     “Easy, girl. We aren’t going to hurt you. We just want to help. Take you into town, that’s all. There’s a good doctor there.” The man’s deep voice sounded gentle, but still she did not trust him. Voices could be deceiving. Arms could hurt as well as help. She knew these things well.
     Soon she felt her body being raised above the ground, and moments later the hard planks of a wagon became the resting place for her injured frame. Too weak to move, she lay looking at the sky, wishing there were a way to end the agony, but knowing that for Lucy she would fight on.
     Once the wagon lurched forward, she lost track of everything again. The wheels bouncing over ruts made her pain so intense that everything closed around her and then faded to black.
 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rachel Fordham started writing when her children began begging her for stories at night. She’d pull a book from the shelf, but they’d insist she make one up. She hasn’t stopped since. She lives with her husband and children on an island in the state of Washington.

 
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The Changeling’s Fortune: Blitz

The Changeling’s Fortune


By M.C. Aquila & K.C. Lannon

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy


Release date: May 25th 2018



Summary

When optimistic seventeen-year-old orphan Deirdre travels to Neo-London, a city created after a near-apocalyptic attack by Unseelie faeries, she is caught in the tension between faeries and the Iron Guard, a militarized faction created to keep the peace. After a banshee tells her fortune, Deirdre develops destructive magical abilities but quickly discovers she cannot control them. These powers soon make her a target of Alan Callaghan, an extreme anti-faery general.

His sons, Iain and James, cross paths with Deirdre. Iain is a rookie soldier in the Iron Guard trying to atone for past mistakes and keep his younger brother from harm. James, a fourteen-year-old aspiring scholar fascinated by faeries, becomes fast friends with Deirdre. They soon plot to escape the barriers and lies of the city to find answers about her magic and James’s disappeared mother.

However, when Deirdre is framed for a treasonous crime, their search for answers soon becomes a quest for freedom. Beyond the iron walls of Neo-London that protect the city from the Winter Court lies a landscape of unchecked magic, faeries, and monsters.

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The Changeling’s Fortune

From Chapter 15

They were following a deer trail between two groves of trees when suddenly the birds shot up from the branches around them, beating their wings fast into the sky, crying out in alarm. They both stopped, looking around.

“Do you see anything?” James asked, sidling beside her.

She shook her head and was about to reply when the ground shook hard beneath them, knocking them both off their feet. Immediately she pushed herself up, her gaze darting up and down, searching through the darkening groves.

The ground shook again, but this time they were ready; they both got to their feet, and Deirdre tugged on James’s shirt for him to follow her. Staying low, they continued down the narrow path, both alert as hunted rabbits.

Once again the earth shuddered, making them stagger.

“What is going on? What’s happening? This can’t be an earthquake,” James began to ramble in a hoarse whisper. “It could be a giant monster or something with earth-shaking magic or—”

“James.” Deirdre grabbed his shoulder hard, nodding up above the nearest tree, her mouth a grim line.

He followed her gaze and gasped.

Behind the nearest tree was what first looked like a gigantic, grey-green boulder, thick as five trees. But through the leafy branches a gigantic, single eye looked at them. The eye was humanoid save for its size and deep bloodshot color, and it stared at them without blinking. The rest of the face was hidden.

James was gibbering, perhaps trying to guess what it was but falling short of pronouncing anything clearly. They were frozen as the eye considered them, looking from one to the other.

Then it shifted, and they heard a low growl as the eye rose up higher, narrowing slightly, fixed on them.

Run. Deirdre willed her frozen legs. We need to run. Run. Run…

Then the eye stopped and there was a slow sniffing sound. It continued on for nearly half a minute, the pupil of the eye looking away and around, an invisible nose loudly smelling the breeze.

Then, without another glance at them, the eyeball disappeared and the ground shook again and again. With each stomp, the hidden giant moved farther and farther away, the clomping and sniffing fading off into the distance.

“W-w-what was that?” James finally gasped. “Was that… what…”

“A…” Deirdre gulped. “It was a giant or something, I guess. And it didn’t seem to be all that interested in us.” She giggled hysterically. “Lucky us!”

“It could have been a giant. But wasn’t it a bit small? And there aren’t many giants.” James rambled on, “Probably it was something else, like a Red Cap or troll or a Fachan, or maybe…”

“A Fachan? Fachans come down this far? I thought they were only in Scotland.”

James nodded; some color was coming back into his cheeks as he talked. “They used to just be up there, but they and other Winter Court creatures have been coming farther and farther down south. I think the Court sends them. I heard my father talking about it once.” He shivered. “Should we… What are we going to do?”

About The Authors

M. C. Aquila graduated from Winthrop University with a degree in English. She grew up in Pittsburgh, PA but currently resides in South Carolina. When she is not co-writing the Winter’s Blight series, she tutors both native and ESL students in English, giving her a renewed love for the strange wonderfulness of the language. She also enjoys drawing daily, baking recklessly, hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains, searching for the best red wine in existence, and reading any story with a villain she loves to hate.

K.C. Lannon graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in English. When she is not co-writing the Winter’s Blight book series, she tutors English, walks dogs, and dabbles in painting, drawing, or just making a general mess on paper. She enjoys cooking vegetarian meals, daydreaming she is a Gothic Heroine, and playing tabletop RPGs.

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Spectacle: Blitz

Spectacle
By S.J. Pierce 
Publication date: June 4th 2018
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Synopsis
People fear what’s different…

Mira (Mirabella) Foster and her parents are citizens of New America, one of three remaining landmasses after the great floods, and with the threat of starvation and disease looming on the horizon, a discovery threatens to push everyone to the brink of chaos – blue markings develop on people’s skin. Markings that allow them to camouflage, but also make them feared, and eventually, targets of violence.

Mira’s dad is one of them.

Secrets of who they are and why they’re here are quickly unveiled, and though her father and his kind work to make peace, something goes wrong and a war erupts between the races. Something her father is blamed for and ultimately leads to their banishment on a deserted island.

Freedom comes at a hefty price…
Terrified and broken, Mira is ripped from her human mother and is sent with her father’s kind to live among the treacherous wildlife where rattlers, boars, and mountain lions run rampant. But just as they manage to find their new normal, a set of unearthed secrets threaten to turn everything she knows upside down. Nothing is as it seems, and their banishment may have been for darker reasons than she ever could have fathomed. And strangely enough, everyone looks to Mira, the daughter of their shamed ruler, and her friends to be the ones to help make it right…
If she can only find the courage. Because after everything they’ve already survived, this may just be what costs her and her friends their lives.
Spectacle, Part One is the beginning of a three-part series. Suitable for ages fourteen and up.
_________________________________________________________________
 
Spectacle has made it to my TOP TEN LIST OF DYSTOPIAN BOOKS to read.★★★★★

This book is totally 
ADDICTIVEFAST-PACEDand SUSPENSEFUL, with great lead characters and complex world building. ★★★★★

HUNGER GAMES meets AVATAR in this spellbinding Young Adult, Science-Fiction series by bestselling author S.J. Pierce.

Purchase: 
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Excerpt

 

When Luxxe and I make it into the crowd, they part for us, their cheers and attentions trained on him – the camp’s hunting trainer and star of our monthly hunting expeditions. In other words, their well-respected (and sometimes feared) hero. I’ve seen him hunt enough to know why too. He’s precise and brutal. No holds barred. It’s safe to say he’s the best one here, and I have to admit, though anything violent makes my stomach turn (even for the purpose of food), to see him in his element is like witnessing the athleticism of an Olympian god. This is what he was made for – to kill.


His arm slips from my shoulder as he turns to hug his best friend and training assistant, Cole – another mountain of a teenage boy. He wears his dreads shorter, and his eyes are the color of liquid metal. His markings have harsh angles like bolts of lightning and cover his arms and half his torso. They’ve multiplied since I last saw him. 
The cheers around us ebb as they wait for Luxxe to finish his greetings and lead us into the forest; this is the part where I have to fend for myself. Then we’ll part ways into smaller groups and kill whatever we can carry. Our group is usually me, Luxxe, Taylor, and Cole.


While I stand with my hands clasped and looking at the ground, the lonely snowflake in a frenzied bed of coal, I feel some of their eyes on me but pretend not to notice. I know they wonder about me – the blonde, pale girl with no markings who hardly ever comes around; the girl Luxxe is close with even though he has a very committed girlfriend, not that it’s any of their business; the daughter of the former head liaison who met with the President all those years ago. Though most believe my dad is innocent, I think some blame him for starting the war that placed us here, though they don’t say it. At least not to me. I’ve overheard rumblings in the market a time or two about how he went ‘mad’ or ‘rogue’ and secretly planned to take the President out but was taken out instead. And it might be my imagination, but I feel their resentment when they look at me, still fresh after all this time. Like I was somehow in on whatever they assume he did. 


Oh, well. Screw them. He was innocent.

About the Author
Multiple Award Nominated and Bestselling Author Susan James Pierce has a degree in Marketing Management, works for a Fortune 500 company in Atlanta, Georgia, and devotes her precious, spare time to writing Paranormal, Sci-fi, and Contemporary Romance novels.

Please visit www.sjpiercebooks.com and sign up for her mailing list or subscribe to her blog if you’d like to hear when new books come out!

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Moonlight And Midtown: Blitz

Moonlight And Midtown 
By Christina Bauer 
(Fairy Tales of the Magicorum #1.5) 
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: May 27th 2018
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis

 

After battling werewolves and evil aunties, Bryar Rose is ready to enjoy her new life. No more crazy aunties. Her curse is toast. And Bry’s new man, Knox, is literally a dream come true. Best of all, Bry will soon attend a regular high school. Forget those sketchy tutors! To get ready, Bry is dedicating the rest of her summer to some serious back-to-school shopping with her best friend, Elle. It’s a blast, except for one thing:Mysterious strangers are following Bry across Manhattan.

All these stalkers have oddly familiar scents and an uncanny ability to slip into the shadows whenever Bry tries to confront them. Even worse, their presence is making Knox act crazy with a capital C.

But Bry’s having none of it. Enough of her life has already been ruined by secrets. With Elle’s help, Bry plans to confront these strangers, find out what they want, and send them packing. Trouble is, the truth about their identity won’t be so easy to manage, especially when Bry finds out how these stalkers could change her future with Knox…and not for the better.

***An interim novella between WOLVES AND ROSES and SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS***

About The Series
The Fairy Tales of the Magicorum series includes WOLVES AND ROSES (Book 1), MOONLIGHT AND MIDTOWN (Novella 1.5) and SHIFTERS AND GLYPHS (Book 2, Fall 2018). Eight full novels are planned in total.
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Excerpt

MOONLIGHT AND MIDTOWN

“That’s why packs have Alphas,” says Knox. “You need to set her loose, and then, let her attack me.”

Every inch of my body goes on alert. “Attack you? Why?”

“Your wolf has been through a lot. Ritual fighting is how wolves work out their place in the pack. Your wolf needs a firm hand.”

I stare at my palm. “Firm hand?”

“I’m not talking about physical power here. I’m talking magic. My power is Alpha energy, but you’ve got your own magic. Once I subdue your wolf, I think you’ll get the idea.”

My head feels woozy. “Ritual combat? Really?”

“Yes. Release your wolf and attack me. Now.”

I hug my elbows. “I’m not sure. If I’m patient, my inner wolf might just calm down on her own.”

“That’s not how wolves work, even when they aren’t of the magical variety. And a werewolf? Our animals are far more intense. I’m your Alpha, and if I let this go on for one more minute, I’m putting you at risk.”

Something in his tone sets my nerves on edge. “Meaning?”

“Your wolf will go feral. When it happens, it’s fast and intense. Your wolf will take over and you’ll disappear.”

I suck in a shaky breath. “She wouldn’t.”

My wolf’s voice sounds in my head. “We will run! I demand we shift NOW!”

That manic tone to her voice is now higher than ever before. Every inch of my body trembles with the urge to shift. I reply to my wolf in my mind.

“Didn’t you hear what Knox said?” Normally, my wolf can’t help but listen in on most of my conversations. “Our mate thinks you’re going feral.”

“Mate?” The manic tone to her voice hikes up an octave. “We have no mate. All we have is the need to run.”

A chill runs up my spine. “You don’t remember our mate?”

“No mate! Run, now!”

My blood chills. No matter what happens, my wolf always knows her mate. In fact, my usual complaint is that she won’t shut up about him.

This is really happening. My wolf is going feral.

All of a sudden, it’s like I can’t pull in enough air. “You’re right. My inner wolf is losing her mind.”

“Hey, I won’t let that happen.” Knox rests his hands on my shoulders. “Breathe, Bry.”

It takes serious concentration, but I slow my racing pulse a little. “Okay.”

“Now, you need to set your wolf loose and trust me. Can you do that, yeah?”

“I can try.”

“Good.” Knox pulls off his dress shirt over his head and tosses it aside. “Set her loose.”

Normally, the urge to shift is a constant tug of war between me and my wolf. Most times, all it takes is for me to stop fighting the urge to shift. After that, I turn furry. So that’s what I do now—I drop my guard and let my wolf take over.

About the Author
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

 

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Everything Under the Sun: Blitz

Everything Under the Sun
by Jessica Redmerski
Genre: YA/NA Dystopian
Release Date: August 28th 2017


Summary from Goodreads


Thais Fenwick was eleven-years-old when civilization fell, devastated by a virus that killed off the majority of the world’s population. For seven years, Thais and her family lived in a community of survivors deep in the heart of the Appalachian Mountains. But when her town is attacked by raiders, she and her blind sister are taken away to the East-Central Territory where she is destined to live the cruel and unjust kind of life her late mother warned her about.

Atticus Hunt is a troubled soldier in Lexington City who has spent the past seven years trying to conform to the vicious nature of men in a post-apocalyptic society. He knows that in order to survive, he must abandon his morals and his conscience and become like those he is surrounded by. But when he meets Thais, morals and conscience win out over conformity, and he risks his rank and his life to help her. They escape the city and set out together on a long and perilous journey to find safety in Shreveport, Louisiana.

Struggling to survive in a world without electricity, food, shelter, and clean water, Atticus and Thais shed their fear of growing too close, and they fall hopelessly in love. But can love survive in such dark times, or is it fated to die with them?

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About the Author

Jessica Redmerski is a New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and award winner, who juggles several different genres. She began self-publishing in 2012, and later with the success of THE EDGE OF NEVER, she signed on with Grand Central Publishing/Forever Romance. Her works have been translated more than twenty languages.

Jessica is a hybrid author who, in addition to working with a traditional publisher, also continues to self-publish. The Portuguese rights to her popular crime and suspense series, In the Company of Killers, have been picked up by one of Brazil’s largest publishers – Suma de Letras; Paikese Kirjastus in Estonia; Ephesus in Turkey; Konyvmolykepzob in Hungary; Niezwykle in Poland; Bragelonne in France; Ahavot in Israel. The series has been optioned for television in the United States by actor and model William Levy, and a film exclusive to the Dominican Republic.

She also writes as J.A. Redmerski.

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A Skin of a Dragon Blitz

A Skin of a Dragon
By Frances Jones
Genre: YA Fantasy

Release date: March 17th 2018

Summary

After a chance find in a smugglers’ cave, Tom Wild is kidnapped by a stranger and whisked away to London to face a secretive and ancient group of magicians. He is presented with an agonizing choice: join them and forsake his old life and family forever or face a grisly death. Tom quickly realises that all is not as it seems and that the group’s leader is engaged in a dangerous game of magic, power and war.

At stake is the future of England, her King, and the very existence of magic.

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Excerpt

Chapter 1

My mother believed I possessed the gift of foresight. I was born at the stroke of midnight under a full moon, a curious time bestowing special abilities upon newborns, or so the midwife assured my parents. Yet, despite my mother’s belief, I had no sense of the shift my life was poised to take one rainy day in mid-September 1648 as I peered into a rock pool in search of crabs.

I wrinkled my nose and dangled my line into the water. The grey sea sloshed around the rock on which I stood, met by the rainwater that trickled down in rivulets from the cliffs above. Summer wasn’t yet a distant memory, but the storm of the previous day had been a sharp reminder that autumn had arrived. Peggy, my wiry-haired mongrel, watched the gulls scavenging amongst the rocks but had yet to summon the energy to chase them. Beside me my sister, Lizzie, shivered and looked forlornly back to the beach.

‘To think the fields were ploughed but a fortnight ago,’ she muttered.

I felt a tug on my line and lifted an enormous crab out of the rock pool, but Lizzie was distracted. She glanced up at the sky as a finger of sunlight broke through the clouds overhead.

‘Zooks! Look at the sun, Tom! Mother will be starting supper.’ She grabbed her bucket of crabs and scrambled back across the rocks. ‘Don’t forget the tobacco for Father,’ she called over her shoulder as she crossed the beach towards the lights that were beginning to twinkle in the windows of the cottages that made up the tiny hamlet of Osmington Mills. 

I replied with a wave as I set my bucket on a ledge out of the wind and began the slippery climb to the smugglers’ cave. It was a precarious route in wet weather, with fissures into which one could quite easily slip and become stuck, but in an hour’s time the tide would be in, cutting the cave off from the beach entirely.

The rocks were slick beneath my feet, and the drizzling rain soaked right through to my skin as I clambered from one to the next. This exposure to every extreme of weather that the Dorset coast endured had weathered my complexion into a freckled ruddiness. My usual mop of sandy curls now lay plastered against my forehead, and my eyes squinted against the rainwater that dripped from my brow.

As I set my feet on sand once more, I stooped to pick up a small wooden box nestled between two rocks at the mouth of the cave. It was perfectly plain, cylindrical in shape, with an elaborate lock formed of tiny brass cogs, dials and pulleys, some of which were clearly missing or broken. I looked back to the beach. Only the smugglers ever came here. Perhaps it belonged to one of them- except that all the smugglers in Osmington Mills were far too careful to leave anything out in the open. There were crevices and tunnels that wound right into the heart of the cliffs where contraband was cleverly concealed from the prying eyes of the customs men. There was no need to leave anything in plain sight. Besides, the little drift of sand piled up against the box seemed to indicate it had been deposited there by the sea.

‘I bet it’s from that shipwreck yesterday,’ I muttered to Peggy as I tucked it under my arm and ducked into the cave. The entrance was just a few feet in height and submerged at high tide, but inside it widened and rose steadily above the tide’s reach, opening out into several passageways and crevices scooped out by the sea in ancient times. It was a perfect smugglers’ cave.

I selected one pack of tobacco from a pile of goods stuffed into a cleft in the wall and tucked it into my belt. With the crabbing line, I lashed the box to my back. I would need both hands to scale the rocks back to the beach.

Outside, the wind had picked up, and the drizzle was replaced with great spots of rain. Across the beach, a flicker of firelight glowed in the mouth of another smaller cave beyond a rocky outcrop.

”Tis a fool who ventures out with a storm about to break,’ I thought to myself.

Thunder rumbled overhead, and the foamy white tips of the waves collapsed against the rocks with an intensity that had become a familiar sight over the past week. The few fishing boats that had braved the rain were now gone, safely moored in the harbour. Everyone was braced for another mighty storm.

About the Author

Frances lives in Shropshire, England with her husband and two pet rabbits. She started writing to fill her evenings while her husband, a former Grenadier Guard in the British Army, was away. A Skin of a Dragon was inspired by the Tower of London ravens which her husband told her about after one of his guard duties at the Tower. Folklore and the history of magic are also a continual source of inspiration.

Aside from writing, Frances’ other passion is rabbits, and she spends far too much time watching videos of the furry critters online!

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