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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Book Blitz Organized By

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: 
(On sale for 99¢ for a limited time!)
Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks
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!

Author Links

 

 

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Book Tour Organized By

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.
Purchase
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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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Book Tour Organized By

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.

Author Links

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Book Blitz Organized by

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.

Buy on Amazon

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!

Author Links

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Book Blitz Organized By

Death Island Blitz

Death Island
by Kelsey Ketch
Genre: NA Historical Fantasy
Release Date: December 31st 2017

Summary from Goodreads:

Her family name tainted by her great-grandfather’s crimes of piracy, Meriden Cummings is far from the typical 18th century woman. A social outcast, she works in a carpentry shop in a small village, where the people barely tolerate unconventional behavior.

However, her life takes a turn after a gang of pirates attack her village and her blood reveals an ancient map adorned with Mayan glyphs leading to Death Island. An island legends say is ruled by the Mayan god of the underworld, Ah Puch. Her great-grandfather had sought after the island before he vanished without a trace. Now, Meriden is about to journey across the sea to understand her family history.

There are only a few problems: her growing feelings toward a mysterious stranger linked to her great-grandfather’s past; a greedy band of pirates after her great-grandfather’s legendary treasure; and a contract she has unwittingly signed in blood with Ah Puch himself.

 

 

Purchase Links:

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Excerpt:

I paced the deck with the few men that stayed behind on watch. It was growing late, and Captain Connell’s curfew was quickly approaching. Soon all the crew would return to the ship, stumbling drunk and fucked out of their minds, but calmer than they had been for a while. Some reason, my body twitched in excitement. I’d been anxious since Meriden left with the last group. There was a knot in my gut the moment she stepped off the dock, and the feeling hadn’t gone away since.

I causally walked to the starboard bulwark, catching sight of the harbormaster’s window. The candle still burned as it had been long before night fall. Odd, I thought. The knot in my stomach twisted even tighter. I haven’t seen the harbormaster work his books this late into the night. I leaned against the gunwale and squinted a little, trying to focus my vision. The candle was nearly spent, and underneath the dripping wax laid what possibly could be a hand, but it was too far to tell. As I eased back, my gut squirmed like a bunch of worm snakes. I needed to be sure all was well, for Meriden’s safety and the rest of the crew.

Neglecting to ask Swan’s permission, I slipped down the main deck, across the gangway, and headed straight for the harbormaster’s office. The street was as quiet as the grave when I reached the door. I raised my hand to knock, only for the door to push open on the first tap to the solid oak. I swallowed the lump that crammed its way into my throat. This wasn’t good. I drew my working knife and stepped inside.

“Hello,” I called. “Anyone still here?”

It felt stupid walking into the dark hallway without knowing if I might end up dead or accused of theft, but my gut told me to keep pushing forward. I turned right into the room with the burning candle still flickering inside. The office was clean and uncluttered except for the few stacks of paper on the desk. On top of which laid the harbormaster, as if he merely fallen asleep in his desk chair. My eyes refocused again at his outstretched arm. A trail of hot, liquid wax ran across the flesh of the harbormaster’s hand, which didn’t even stir the man awake. My heart pounded with adrenaline, and I pushed the man up by the shoulder.

A maroon-colored pool poured onto his books from what looked like a dagger wound to the harbormaster’s shoulder. A serious wound, but not one that should have killed. It was the discoloration of the man’s skin and the vomit around the mouth that gave me a better idea what had brought on the man’s demise. I’d seen the signs many times before from men who died in blackish waters as well as a few victims that died at Baker’s hand.

Snake venom.

 

About the Author

Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress or organizing the New Adult Scavenger Hunt, a biannual blog hop. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

Author Links:

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Book Blitz Organized by:

YA Bound Book Tours

Sympath Blitz

Sympath (The Sentinels of Eden #3)
By Carolyn Denman
Genre: Clean YA Fantasy
Release Date: March 2018


Summary

Annie has grown up knowing she is destined to meet her soul mate. He will always remain close to her. He will always know exactly where she is, and how she’s feeling. He’ll guard and protect her. At least, until she produces the next heir to her Cherubim line.

There has to be a way to avoid this supernatural stalker. And she is not a prize-winning ewe.

Determined to find her own identity before becoming bonded to her Guardian, Annie does everything she can to keep him at a distance – until her partner Cherub, Harry, dredges up the mystery of his parents’ deaths and triggers unwanted attention from an organized crime syndicate. Now all three of them need to do whatever it takes to save Harry’s farm, solve the mystery of the missing ruby necklace, and keep anyone from finding the hidden Paradise it came from.

Songlines on Goodreads

Sanguine on Goodreads

No History To Speak Of

A teaser to Sympath – Sentinels of Eden #3 by Carolyn Denman

The envelope fell to the floor, ignored in favour of its contents. George Durante let his eyes blur, feeling his heart thud against his ribs, but when he focussed his vision again, the numbers on the letter in front of him hadn’t changed. Must be a mistake. Too many digits. He opened the locked file behind the till, flicking through the files to ‘D’ and drew out the valuation certificate he’d arranged weeks ago. Fingers that had been trained to remain steady while setting the tiniest of jewels, trembled just a little as he laid the certificate next to the letter on the counter. His cousin’s signature embellished the certificate with inked promise, clearly stating that the gemstone was worth $28,400. Jimmy had never been wrong or unreliable with his valuations. George trusted him. That figure seemed right for a ruby of that size and clarity, and the client had been very tempted to part with it for that price, although she had denied it, and left his shop muttering that she would never sell her husband’s wedding gift. He was not one to push, and after eleven years of working in Nalong, he knew he didn’t need to. Mrs Doolan would be back once the bank sent another foreclosure notice for her farm.

She’d need a lot more than $28,400 to solve their financial problems though, which was why George had asked his cousin to send out a few extra enquiries. He’d hoped that some of his family contacts might have yielded a better offer for her. If he could find a buyer willing to pay a bit extra for the gem, she might just be able to tip the balance with the bank. Just enough to hold them off for another season. Just long enough for the rains to return.

The ruby was stunning. It had been a joy to work with when Geoff Doolan had brought it to him eight years earlier. George had polished the stone, bringing out its deep crimson shine the way blood returns to chilled fingers when you rub warmth back into them. And the setting Geoff had requested suited it perfectly. A heart-shaped 8.17 carat ruby, just under 12mm diameter, cradled by golden angel’s wings – the ideal wedding gift for a girl named Ruby. The piece was pretty enough to sell for well above its value if he found the right buyer, and according to the letter he’d just received, it had apparently attracted someone’s attention.

George picked up the typed, unsigned letter again and almost lowered his magnifying glasses from his forehead to examine it, as if he could pick out the flaw by staring at the ink more closely. His extended family in Melbourne had some…dubious contacts. Could he trust this? Celarsi Holdings. Never heard the name before, but he also knew better than to pry into it. If they wanted to offer that much for the necklace, then he should do his job and arrange the transaction. Just how much of a cut should he take? The valuation certificate was genuine, as far as he could tell. Jimmy wouldn’t risk his reputation by faking it, but it had taken longer than expected to receive it. Had the gem been sent for a second opinion? If so, he hadn’t been advised of the result – no, he couldn’t think too hard about those implications. Ruby Doolan wouldn’t know how much he was selling it on for. He genuinely wanted to help her, but this was business, and there was nothing legally wrong with buying her jewellery at whatever price she was willing to agree to. If some rich lady had fallen in love with the necklace after seeing the photos he’d sent, and wanted to play games with her husband’s money, that was not for him to judge.

His hand hovered over the receiver for a few seconds before he picked it up and dialled.

‘Hello, Ruby Doolan? This is George from Durante Diamonds. I’ve been thinking about your situation and I’d like to help. I’ve been studying the current market and I believe I’m in a position to be able to offer you a slightly better price than the certified valuation. Is there a convenient time we can meet to discuss it?’

About the Author

Carolyn lives on a hobby farm on the outskirts of Melbourne with her husband, two daughters, and her parents. The fact that she always has at least three of her pets following her around at any one time in no way means that she is the fairest in the land. They probably just like her taste in music.

As well as writing stories for Aurealis and Andromeda Spaceways magazines, Carolyn is also the author of the YA Australian fantasy series The Sentinels of Eden.

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Fire and Bone
by Rachel A. Marks
Genre: YA
Release Date: February 20th 2018

 

Summary:

In Hollywood’s underworld of demigods, druids, and ancient bonds, one girl has a dangerous future.

Sage is eighteen, down on her luck, and struggling to survive on the streets of Los Angeles. Everything changes the night she’s invited to a party—one that turns out to be a trap.

Thrust into a magical world hidden within the City of Angels, Sage discovers that she’s the daughter of a Celtic goddess, with powers that are only in their infancy. Now that she is of age, she’s asked to pledge her service to one of the five deities, all keen on winning her favor by any means possible. She has to admit that she’s tempted—especially when this new life comes with spells, Hollywood glam, and a bodyguard with secrets of his own. Not to mention a prince whose proposal could boost her rank in the Otherworld.

As loyalties shift, and as the two men vie for her attention, Sage tries to figure out whom to trust in a realm she doesn’t understand. One thing is for sure: the trap she’s in has bigger claws than she thought. And it’s going to take a lot more than magic for this Celtic demigoddess to make it out alive.

 

 

Buy Links:

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Advanced Praise:

 

“…brilliantly plotted and executed. Every sentence felt carefully yet beautifully crafted. Overall, this was an A+ book…memorable and captivating characters, original ideas, an interesting and action-filled storyline, and beautiful, lyrical writing.” – Night Owl Reviews, Reviewer Top Pick

“…A complex supernatural world…The Irish-pantheon premise injects originality…” Kirkus Reviews

“Marks mashes together Irish mythology and Southern California in the brilliant start to her new series. Fire and Bone hooked me from page one, and the last page left me desperate for more.” Beth Cato, author of The Clockwork Dagger and Breath of Earth

“Fantasy readers who enjoy Celtic mythology will revel in the detailed backstories, while romance fans will find plenty of Harlequinesque physical description…It’s certainly fun, and the ending nicely teases the sequel.” Booklist

“Clever, addictive, and paced to steal your breath. You’ll come for the Celtic demigoddess and you’ll stay for the complex, unpredictable world. The romance is sizzling, the powers are intriguing. I look forward to the next book!” —Emily R. King, author of The Hundredth Queen

 

 

About the Author

I’m an author and professional artist, cancer survivor, mother of four, and wife to the most amazing man in the world. In my free time I’m a beach bum and entertainment cheese junkie. If you don’t like Superman I may wonder about you and suggest you seek professional help.

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Curiouser and Curiouser Blitz

Curiouser and Curiouser: Steampunk Alice in Wonderland
By Melanie Karsak 
(Steampunk Fairy Tales) 
Publication date: July 17th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Retelling, Steampunk

Book Synopsis

To save the Hatter, Alice must work with the one man she despises so much that she might still love him.Alice thought she’d turned over a new leaf. No more working for Jabberwocky. No more making deals with the ruthless Queen of Hearts. No more hanging around The Mushroom with tinkers, tarts, scoundrels, and thieves in London’s criminal underbelly. But she’d been bonkers to dream.

Hatter’s reckless behavior leads Alice back to the one person she never wanted to see again, Caterpillar. Pulled into Caterpillar’s mad schemes, Alice must steal a very big diamond from a very royal lady. The heist is no problem for this Bandersnatch.

But protecting her heart from the man she once loved? Impossible.

Sometimes love is mad.

 

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Excerpt

I approached the guards cautiously, stopping just short of the entryway.

They looked from me to one another, unsure what to do.

I stared at William who toked on a hookah pipe, blowing a ring of smoke in the air.

The guards shifted uncomfortably.

William, who’d been lounging on a chaise, sat up and looked out at me through the sheer fabric.

He smirked then leaned forward. “Who are you?”

His question silenced those around him. Everyone knew who I was.

“When I woke up this morning, I was Alice.”

He rose then moved closer. “But who are you now?”

“That depends. Who are you? Which Alice is here depends on your answer.”

He came to the curtain. “Well then, that makes it hard to say.”

“I’m sure it does, given how good you are at betraying your true nature.” I was trying to keep a lid on my feelings but was failing miserably. As he drew closer, I smelled the sweet aromas of jasmine and sandalwood that always clung to him.

“You’re one to talk. So, what does Alice from this morning want?”

I frowned at him.

“Don’t get too frustrated,” he replied then pulled the curtain open, beckoning me inside, “or the other Alice might peek out. Come.”

I entered the semi-private enclosure. Inside, I spotted William’s chief bodyguard, the Knave. A tart lay naked, asleep in an opium stupor, on a chaise nearby.

I nodded to the Knave.

“Alice,” he said with a soft smile. I caught the lilt of his Irish accent in his voice. His real name, of course, was Jack. He’d been friends with William and me since we were young. As was the habit in the industry, Jack went by a pseudonym. If someone ratted you out, it was better that they had no idea what your real name might be. It’s a lot harder to track a man named Knave than it was Jack O’Toole or Caterpillar than it was to find William Charleston.

“Have a seat, Alice from this morning,” William said.

I sat on the chaise, gently pushing aside the legs of the intoxicated strumpet.

“What brings you here?” he asked, rubbing a thoughtful finger across his chin. He’d grown a short, neatly-kept beard since I saw him last. It looked very handsome.

“Rabbit stole a pocket watch from my employer. I want it back.”

“What does that have to do with me?” William asked.

“Cake?” one of William’s girls offered, holding out a tray on which sat a colorful selection of petit fours.

I looked down at the small treats. I could smell the aroma of the frosting, nearly taste the sweet confections in a glance. I could see the game was truly afoot. They were my favorite. I raised an eyebrow at William who smiled.

The stubborn part of me wanted to tell William, and the girl, to sod off. But the part of me who hadn’t tasted strawberry frosted, vanilla-sweetened, and raspberry-and crème-filled cake in months could say no such thing. I lifted a small cake and popped it into my mouth, feeling annoyed and enraptured all in the same moment. I closed my eyes, savoring the taste. They’d come from my favorite baker. William had remembered. Once more, angry and elated feelings swept over me.

“Drink?” the girl then offered.

I opened my eyes to see the girl was holding a bottle of absinthe.

“Alice isn’t the type. Do you want some tea?” he asked.

I shook my head.

“Run off,” he told the serving girl, waving her away.

The girl turned to go, but before she could leave, I reached out and grabbed just one more petit four: pistachio and chocolate. I popped it into my mouth.

“I’m glad you like them,” William said, grinning at me.

The warmth of his gaze made me angry. He didn’t have any right being this nice to me. “The pocket watch?” I asked after swallowing the last bite.

Alice from the morning is very business-oriented. Right, then. What of it?”

“I hate it when you play coy. And you’re not very good at it. Rabbit entered this tent not a moment before me. I want that watch. Must I remind you that we have an understanding? You don’t tangle in my affairs, remember? It was agreed upon.”

“You certainly are Alice from this morning,” he said with a frown. “Not that the outfit didn’t give it away. Crisp white apron you have there, Alice. But the blue maid’s dress brings out your eyes.”

“We all wear costumes, don’t we, Caterpillar and his Knave?” I said, casting a glance at Jack. “Is he Jack or is he the Knave? Are you Caterpillar or are you William? Hard to tell what’s truth and what’s fiction, isn’t it?”

William smirked then turned to Jack. “Find Rabbit.”

“He shouldn’t be far. You waved him off just a moment ago,” I said.

Chuckling under his breath, Jack left.

“Why did you bring me here?” I asked.

“Bring you here?” William replied.

Now I was getting irritated. “Yes. Why did you bring me here?”

“Chance brings you here.”

“There is no such thing. Rabbit would never steal from me or mine unless you told him to.”

“Really?”

“William,” I replied, a warning in my voice.

“Let’s just say that a pocket watch brought you here,” he said.

About the Author

 

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Melanie Karsak is the author of The Airship Racing Chronicles, The Harvesting Series, The Burnt Earth Series, The Celtic Blood Series and Steampunk Fairy Tales. A steampunk connoisseur, zombie whisperer, and heir to the iron throne, the author currently lives in Florida with her husband and two children. She is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

 

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Book & Author Details:
Derailed 
by Genevieve Iseult Eldredge
(A Circuit Fae Prequel Novella)
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: January 23rd 2018
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Synopsis:

Syl Skye. Rouen Rivoche. Star-crossed lovers who should be mortal enemies. This is the story of how they met.

A nightly excursion to DC. A goth-rock show. One innocent train ride. That’s all it takes for high school sophomore Syl Skye’s perfectly normal world to come crashing down.

Because unbeknownst to her, she’s a sleeper-princess of the fair Fae—a vessel of Fae power that has yet to Awaken—and there are dark Fae who want her dead, dead, dead.

Rouen Rivoche is one of those dark Fae. Bound to the Agravaine the dark Fae Huntsman who is dedicated to wiping out all sleeper-princesses, Rouen has no choice but to hunt Syl down and spill her blood.

But a chance meeting in a nightclub, a brush of their hands, a lingering look… Despite herself, Rouen is attracted to Syl. And when she lets Syl get away…that’s when their troubles really begin.

After all, every couple has their issues, right?

Find out how Syl and Rouen met in this new prequel novella to MORIBUND, Book 1 of the Circuit Fae…

THE CIRCUIT FAE

.5. Derailed (Moribund prequel novella) – January 23, 2018
1. Moribund – September 12, 2017
2. Ouroboros – March 27, 1018

Perfect for readers of romance, urban fantasy, fairy stories and LGBT.

“Moribund is a little bit Throne of Glass, a little bit Buffy, and a whole lot sexy.” – Skye Allen, author of The Songbird Thief

Excerpt:

In this scene, Syl and her squad are at a club where Euphoria’s playing. Syl’s never seen Euphoria, and she’s excited, but Fiann’s acting weird, treating Syl poorly and trying to bully her into double-dating the Dickinson twins, Brody and Bryce. Syl ducks into the bathroom to catch her breath.

* * * *

I take a deep breath and pat the nail where it rests secretly against my skin. Okay, Syl. It’s go-time. I shove the door open. Head held high, I step out into the flashing lights of the club, and bam! run right into someone.

“Steady on.” Strong hands keep me from falling on my butt, and during our awkward two-step, I catch a glimpse of raven-dark hair and sapphire-blue eyes ringed in gold. Her deep chuckle is like rolling thunder.

“I-I’m sorry.” I look up, brushing my red curls out of my face.

Whoa. My poor heart. She’s gorgeous. Her eyes are all intense and glowy as she searches my face. The ache in my chest gets worse—but also, somehow better.

What is happening? I reach out and touch her hand. Where I want to feel skin, I feel the leather of a glove.

Still, a jolt passes between us.

She lingers, her pretty face a bit dazed. She looks from our touching hands back up. “You…”

She feels it too. Whatever it is.

And dear heaven and all the angels, she’s… Wow. She’s something else. High cheekbones, full lips curved into a smile that’s part mischief, part mayhem. Her bronze skin holds an inner glow even in the dim light of the club, and those eyes… When she looks at me, the club, the flashing lights, all the people—everything falls away and there is only the two of us.

“Who are you?” she whispers, and I hear it because she’s leaned in close, so close I can feel her warm breath on my cheek.

“I…” Introduce yourself already! But I’m all tongue-tied, frozen like the world’s biggest dork. My fingers find the strip of skin between her glove and her sleeve. Ohhhh…so warm and silky, and… What the heck are you doing, Syl?

She chuckles again, more rumbly, rolling thunder. “Are you all right?”

Yes. No. Urgggg… I step back, my cheeks on fire. She smells like all the good things in autumn—crisp leaves and harvest moons and sultry bourbon vanilla. Whoa. I’m getting a little swoony. “I-I’m fine. Really. Are you?”

“Yes, but I’d like to…” She swallows hard, seeming almost shy beneath her super-cool exterior. She licks her bottom lip, and I nearly pass out right there. “Will you meet me after the show?”

Did mine ears deceive me? Girl works fast! Plus, I can tell she’s at least a year older than me. “I…” Say something, silly!

“I’m sorry.” She pulls her hand from mine and steps away.

The loss of her touch leaves me cold. Moments from losing her to the crowd, I pluck up my courage. “What’s your name?”

That smile curves her lips like a kept secret. “I’m Euphoria.”

Euphoria. Whaaaaaaaaatttt? Seriously, Syl, only you could carry on an entire freakin conversation with your goth idol and not even recognize her.

But no…there’s something else, some other reason I didn’t recognize her right off the bat. I just can’t put my finger on it. Plus, I’m still swoony.

“I have to go.” She leans in, whispers in my ear, “After?”

I feel like only my heart can answer that question, but before I can even blink, she’s gone. Like gone-gone. One moment she’s in front of me; the next she’s vanished. Poof!

Euphoria. And she wants to see me “after.”

Crazy. This is crazy.

I shade my eyes from the blue-and-red houselights and look to the stage. After about ten minutes, the house music fades away, and the stage goes dark.

A lone silhouette appears there, backlit. It’s her.

Heat races through my body, my hand tingling from her touch. My stomach does a lazy barrel-roll, and those butterflies everyone’s always told me about? Yeah, apparently mine are Olympic gymnasts, because my whole stomach feels like it’s going for the Gold.

Oooookay. Chill out. I touch the iron nail beneath my dress. Gotta thank Glamma for the lucky pendant.

I step out of the bathroom and beeline toward the stage. I feel feverish, mad as hatter and a March hare all rolled into one.

I only know this: I have to see her again.

I’ve always hated crowds, but without another thought, I push my way to the stage.        Toward Euphoria, and toward the “after” that will bring me back to her.

 

 

Purchase Links:

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AUTHOR BIO:

Raised by witches and dragons in the northern wilds, GIE writes angsty urban fantasy YA romance–where girls who are mortal enemies kick butt, take names, and fall in love against all odds.

She enjoys long hikes in the woods (where better to find the fair folk?), believing in fairies (in fact, she’s clapping right now), dancing with dark elves (always wear your best shoes), being a self-rescuing princess (hello, black belt!), and writing diverse books about teenage girls finding love, romance, and their own inner power.

She might be planning high tea at the Fae Court right now.

GIE is multi-published, and in her role as an editor has helped hundreds of authors make their dream of being published a reality.

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