Monday, November 19, 2018

SPFBO 2018 Promo All books 99 cents from Nov. 15 – Nov. 19

SPFBO 2018 Promo

All books 99 cents from Nov. 15 – Nov. 19

http://www.travismriddle.com/spfbo-promo

(This link will take you to the original sale page and explain more about SPFBO and it’s authors.)

Hello everyone! If you are a fantasy reader, by now you’ve likely heard of author Mark Lawrence’s SPFBO contest that is currently in it’s 4th year running. I’ve found some amazing books from previous years, and am excited to find even more this year. Today marks the last day of a promo sale for many of the books included in this years competition. Since I read a lot of fantasy, I couldn’t help sharing this, as I thought others might enjoy this sale as well!

Blog Tour: WILDWOOD & WINDSWEPT

WILDWOOD AND WINDSWEPT

About The Books:

Wildwood New.jpgTitle: WILDWOOD (The Hightower Trilogy Book #1)

Author: Jadie Jones

Pub. Date: September 26, 2017

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 294

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Tanzy Hightower is not crazy. At least, that’s what she tells herself. Crazy looks more like her mother, who studies each sunrise with the same fascination other women give tabloid magazines in the grocery store checkout line. Crazy sounds like the woman on the radio claiming there’s a whole separate world existing parallel to our own. Still, Tanzy can’t deny the tingle of recognition she feels each time she sees her mother standing at the kitchen window, or hears the panic in the woman’s voice coming through the speakers of her father’s truck.
Tanzy intends to follow her father’s footsteps into the professional horse world. But the moment she watches him die on the back of a horse in an accident she feels responsible for, everything changes.
On the first anniversary of his death, a fight with her mother drives her back to her father’s farm in the middle of a stormy night. Neither Tanzy nor life as she knows it escapes unchanged when she is struck by lightning and introduced to a world… unseen, and receives proof her father’s death was no accident.
Two strangers seem too willing to help her navigate her new reality: Vanessa Andrews, a psychiatrist who believes lightning chooses who it strikes, and Lucas, a quiet, scarred stable hand with timing that borders on either perfect or suspect. But Tanzy has secrets of her own. Desperate for answers and revenge, Tanzy must put her faith in their hands as her past comes calling, and her father’s killer closes in.

WildWood Excerpt:

1

TRADITIONS

The sweet scent of coconut pancakes draws me from the edge of sleep. I smile, knowing my mother is standing in the kitchen downstairs mixing batter, no doubt wearing a few clumps of it in her coal black hair. I toss my denim quilt aside, cool air whisking across my skin, and blink against the warm light of dawn that filters through the old lace curtain panel covering my window and sets the worn wood floor of my room aglow. The constant autumn rain must have finally offered a reprieve. My mother will be happy to see it. She’s convinced a clear sunrise on a person’s birthday is a sign of good things to come.

As I pull on jeans and a shirt, Dad’s laughter rumbles up the stairs, and then the fire alarm chirps. Mom has probably burned a pancake on the griddle.

In the kitchen, Dad is opening the window behind the sink, and Mom is perched on one foot in a wooden chair with her back to me, stretching to fan the smoke away from the alarm.

“I swear this thing is too sensitive,” she mutters. There’s a streak of flour on her hip and a glob of batter on the sleeve of her T-shirt. My mother can forecast rain better than any meteorologist. She can predict the approach of a gust of wind a few minutes before it roars across the Shenandoah Valley, but she can’t cook to save her life.

There are three plates on the table. Two of them are still empty. Mine has a short stack of blobby pancakes and a streak of runaway butter. A couple charred pancakes are tossed on the counter, and one more is on the floor at the foot of the trash can.

My dad grins at her over his shoulder and catches sight of me standing in the door.

“Happy birthday, Tanzy!” he says. “It’s the big eighteen. You know, Hope, Tanzy’s an adult now. You should make her do the cooking,” he teases, and snaps a washcloth in my direction. His smile is all teeth, and his amber eyes glitter. It’s the one physical trait we share. Otherwise, I don’t look much like either of my parents.

“I’ve made her coconut pancakes for her birthday every birthday since she was six. She may not be home for her birthday next year.” Mom’s chin quivers. She presses her lips together.

“I’ll come home for my birthday, Mom.” I slide into my seat and shovel in a bite. It isn’t cooked all the way through, but it’s warm, and sweet enough to chew and swallow without making too much of a face.

“Thank you, Tanzy,” she says, casting a mock glare at my dad. He winks at me before disappearing through the door that leads to the back porch. He reappears less than a minute later with two mason jars full of wild flowers.

“For my girls,” he says, and places one on the window sill and the other in the middle of the kitchen table. “Birthdays are big days for moms, too.”

“Travis, when did you pick these? Did you leave any flowers in the garden?” Mom arranges the blossoms with her nimble fingers, and then leans into them, breathing deep.

“Why do you think I got up early this morning? It’s freezing out there,” he says, watching her. “Weatherman said the temp is going to drop overnight and the whole valley will be covered in frost tomorrow morning. They’ll all be dead in twenty-four hours anyway.”

“Weatherman is wrong,” she replies, one corner of her mouth curling up.

Dad snorts. “We’ll see.” He rolls his eyes, but I know he believes her. “Eat up, Tanzy. We have a lot to do today.”

“Tanzy has school today,” Mom replies.

“You cook her coconut pancakes, and then she comes with me to the farm. You have your tradition, we have ours.” He winks at me. “Besides, she’s a senior. Isn’t the rest of this school year just for show? And who says she’s going to college? What if she decides to ride professionally?”

“Travis Hightower,” Mom scolds. “We’ll argue about this tomorrow. As for today, stick to tradition.” She wipes her hands on the front of her pants. “But make sure you pick up any homework assignments while you’re out. And please get home before dark. I made a dinner reservation for six p.m.”

Dad makes a face. “Isn’t that a little early?”

“I’m pretty sure that’s when normal people eat dinner,” I say, and then choke down a sticky clump of semi-cooked batter.

“We are as normal as normal gets,” Dad replies. “We’ll do our best, honey. Let’s get a move on, Tee. I’ll take my breakfast to go.” Dad kisses mom on the cheek, scoops a fresh stack of pancakes onto a paper towel with one hand and picks up his metal coffee mug with the other, and then heads through the back door toward the truck.

“Have fun,” Mom concedes, “and please be careful.” She glances out the window at the streaked sky and gnaws on her bottom lip. Her fingernails tap a quick rhythm on the countertop. I take my plate to the kitchen sink and follow her gaze to the glowing dawn. I wonder what she sees in it, and why she seems to hunt it for answers every morning.

“We’ll be fine, Mom,” I offer.

“I know.”

“Thanks for breakfast,” I say. “I really will come back every year, no matter where I go after graduation. Nobody does coconut pancakes like you do.”

“Thank you, sweetheart.” She looks at me, blinking rapidly. “Now go, the day’s wasting,” she says, and then turns back to the sun. I steal one more glimpse of her, and follow Dad to the truck.

We ride in silence for the first few minutes. Dad rolls up the pancakes with one hand so he can eat them like a burrito while he drives. Once he finishes, he wipes his mouth with the paper towel and then tucks it into the pocket of his flannel shirt.

“I don’t know why you like those,” he says, and sucks at his teeth.

“I haven’t liked them since I was about ten,” I admit.

Dad lets out a honk of a laugh. “You’re a good girl, Tanzy,” he says. He turns up the volume on his favorite radio station to listen to the morning show. The voices fade in and out for the first few minutes as we make our way to the main road. The radio host’s voice becomes audible, announcing the beginning of the routine Science Fact or Fiction Friday segment.

“With us today is Dr. Andrews, who has a rather extraordinary theory about light and lightning, and some compelling studies to back up her claims. Dr. Andrews, thank you for joining us.”

“Thank you for having me,” she answers.

“So Dr. Andrews, give us your science fact.”

“Did you know that the human eye sees less than one percent of the color spectrum, and our ears hear less than one percent of the sound spectrum?”

“No, I did not.”

“What do you think is in all that clear, all that quiet?”

Dad glances at the radio dial as if checking the station.

“I don’t know. I haven’t thought about it,” the host answers.

“What if I was to tell you that there’s an entirely separate world in the clear, undetectable by human senses.”

“A world?” the host repeats. I shift in my seat.

“Yes, a world,” the woman continues. “A world happening around us all the time. It has been operating alongside ours like two plays on one stage.”

“Do you have proof of this world?”

“None that you’d believe,” she replies. A chill of interest conjures goose bumps from my elbows to my wrist. I pull the sleeves on my jacket down to cover my knuckles.

“Well it’s pretty safe to invent something that you claim you can’t prove.”

“There’s nothing safe about it,” she answers.

“I’m not sure what this has to do with light or lightning.” The host’s voice raises an octave, and his question sounds more like an accusation. I lean toward the dash.

“Lightning and other weather events aren’t random. They’re tools of—”

“Okay, that’s all the nonsense I can take for one morning,” Dad interjects, his voice filling the cab, and turns the knob on the radio until a country song comes in clear enough to recognize. “Ruined my morning show and my drive,” he grumbles. “Let’s hope your mom didn’t hear that woman spreading her paranoid crap. She’ll stuff our house with furniture from floor to ceiling just to take up all the empty space. A world in the clear.” He huffs. “What’s wrong with these radio shows and news reports anymore? All they do is try to stir people up. They’ll give any nut a microphone and air time so long as it’ll get a reaction out of somebody.”

My gaze drifts out of my window, and to the clear air whistling by the car as we wind down a tree lined road, soaring skyward until it fades to black thousands of miles above us. Maybe it’s just the sound of the tires grinding against the asphalt vibrating through the bottom of the old Ford truck, or the whine of air curling around the hood, but the silence seems fuller than it did a moment ago.

“You are your mother’s daughter,” Dad says softly. “Don’t give wild hares prime real estate in your head. Your mom thinks her fears keep her safe, that they prepare her. All fear does is build walls, Tanzy—walls she can’t break because she’s convinced herself they’re useful.”

“I can cook. And I would rather be outside than inside,” I say, listing off the first two differences I can think of between my mother and me. I can’t imagine islanding myself at home the way she does. We only have one vehicle because she doesn’t like to drive and won’t go anywhere alone. In the last year, the walls of my room, of every room in our house, have felt a little closer in than they did before, the ceilings lower, too. Still, my heart sinks. I have felt the rabbit of nervousness race through me with nothing prompting the chase. What if, one day, I need walls the way she does?

“Before you came along, your mom couldn’t stand to spend a whole day inside. Hell, even a single lazy morning would make her agitated, and she’d need to go for a ride. Then she had that bad fall, and she didn’t want to have another one. Taking a risk has a higher price tag attached to it when you have someone depending on you. And it’s not just that. Being a parent changes things—changes everything. You see the world through the eyes of someone whose sole purpose becomes keeping a tiny, helpless baby safe. This world we’re in has more sharp edges and teeth than you realize.”

“Now who’s paranoid?” I smile at him.

“You’ll see one day, if you decide to have a kid of your own,” he says, his gaze following the nose of the truck as he makes a turn.

“That’s a big if,” I say.

“It’s also a long ways off. It better be, anyway.” He winks.

“Dad, seriously.” I fold my arms across my front. “But is Mom . . . is she okay? I know me leaving next year is hard on her. But she wants me to go, doesn’t she?”

“Of course she does. She’ll feel better once you know what you want to do and where you’re going. It’s the unknown that bothers her most. But you don’t need to worry about her. She’s stronger than you could ever imagine. I think when you have to raise yourself like she did, well, it shapes your perspective.”

“What really happened to her parents? I know you guys have said no one knows, but I always thought maybe it was some secret you were keeping until I was an adult or something. I am eighteen now.” I raise an eyebrow, and try to keep my tone light.

“It’s just something your mom isn’t willing to talk about. It took me a long time to accept it, and it’s natural for you to be curious. That’s a piece of your family and your history, too. But whatever it is, your mom keeps it from us for her own reasons, and I have learned to respect that.”

“I know.” I bite at the inside of my cheek, my mind still digging at the dark place in my mother’s past. I’m not as curious about who the people were in her life as I am interested in who she was during it.

I stare at the eastern horizon. Dad has watched the sunrise through the windshield of his truck on this drive to Wildwood Horse Farm six days a week for as long as I can remember. Nested against the west side of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley, the sunrises are long and spectacular. Mostly, so are the days. The sun comes up. The horses eat. Some of them are worked through training exercises, some are shown to potential buyers, and the rest are turned loose to run in the pasture. Stalls are cleaned. Water buckets are filled. Aisles are swept. Students are taught. The horses eat again. The sun goes down. He drives home. Aside from the sun, Dad controls everything at Wildwood. He is the head trainer there, and the biggest gear in the proverbial clock, making the other parts turn.

Next year will be different. Where will I be? Mornings will either find me in a saddle, working to climb the rungs of the international show jumping circuit, or sitting in a desk with a college text book propped open in front of me. Either way, it won’t be here in this truck. It’s hard to imagine my world changing so unequivocally while theirs remains the same, save my absence.

We pull into the parking lot at Wildwood Farm. We are the first car here. Dad could turn over the first daily chores to the staff, but he likes to be the one to start each day, to see how each horse has come through the night, and wants to be the one to discover anything out of the ordinary, not be told about it secondhand.

Today, the morning runs like clockwork. I am allowed to come to the farm for my birthday, but I’m certainly not allowed to throw off the farm’s routine. I wouldn’t want it to. The routine is a heartbeat, a living thing, breathing life into the cracked concrete aisles and faded barn walls. A horse farm isn’t wood and sand and grass and steel. It’s the movement that happens around and in and on the wood and sand and grass and steel.

After a quick lunch, we unload a tractor trailer’s worth of alfalfa into the hay shed. My dad throws a bale of hay like most people toss laundry into a hamper—easy and mindless. I grit my teeth to keep from grunting with the effort it takes to try to keep up with him. By the time we’re halfway through, sweat beads along my scalp and trickles into my ears. The radio show from this morning resurfaces in my mind. Dad’s right, that woman was a loon. She’s probably never worked a day on a farm, never felt the ache of real labor, the release of exhaustion. If she’d just look around at her own world, maybe she wouldn’t need to invent something invisible, and impossible to prove or disprove.

My thoughts drift to my mother. I don’t know how different I would be if I grew up without parents or any family to speak of. Who would she be if she’d had the security of walls and home-cooked meals, no matter how badly they were burned? I wish she’d tell me about her life growing up, and I wish she would want to be here with us on days like this. Maybe a hard day of farm work is exactly what she needs to remember that life doesn’t always have a twist lurking around every corner.

Dad waves at the driver as the empty rig pulls up the driveway.

“Do you want to take Teague and Harbor for a ride in the woods, Tanzy?” he asks. “It’s the first pretty day we’ve had in a while. It’s not going to last, though. The radar looks busy again in about an hour.”

I pause, studying his face for any sign he’s kidding. I still have stalls to clean, and he has three client horses on the schedule for training sessions. Dana McDaniel, his assistant manager, has the day off. Not to mention my mother expects us home at a decent hour. There’s no time for a leisure ride on our own horses.

“Your mom was right. This might be your last birthday at home for a while, depending on where you are next year. We should make the most of it,” he continues.

“Okay,” I answer slowly, waiting for him to change his mind or list off what we need to take care of before we tack our horses. Instead, he retrieves his helmet from his office and heads to his horse’s stall. I hustle to Harbor’s stall, buckle her halter, and jog down the aisle to where Dad has tied Teague for tacking.

“We haven’t done this in too long, Tanzy,” he says on an exhale as we finish fitting the bridles to our horses. “Life is short. Too short. Sometimes you have to slow down and take in the view. I don’t care what that whack job said on the radio this morning. A big clear sky is one of my favorite things on earth, and I think we should go enjoy a little piece of it. Let’s ride up the ridge. I bet the river is up high with all this rain we’ve had.”

“Are you sure we have time? Mom did say to stick to tradition. Leaving work behind . . .” I trail off and glance back at his office door, imagining the to-do list printed on the whiteboard. It’s only half-done. “Well, it’s not tradition,” I finish. My middle stirs and twists. Is this just one of the wild hares dad was talking about before? Is this how it all starts, and then one day I’m staring out my window at the sun, reading its color and clarity for omens of the day to come? My entire life is going to change in a matter of months. Change is a good thing.

“Maybe it’s time we start a new tradition. A birthday trail ride sounds like a good one. Are you coming?” Dad asks.

I steel myself with a quick breath in. Harbor peers at me, black eyes round and soft. “Yep, here we come,” I say, and lead her down the hall.

 

unnamedTitle: WINDSWEPT (The Hightower Trilogy Book #2)

Author: Jadie Jones

Pub. Date: November 13, 2018

Publisher: The Parliament House

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 276

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Tanzy’s journey continues in Windswept, the second installment of the Hightower Trilogy… An Unseen World believes Tanzy Hightower is the key in an ancient prophecy meant to deliver the only new birth in all of time. They have waited a thousand years for her soul to return to life in human form. Some of them will stop at nothing to fulfill the prophecy, and others have sworn an oath to end Tanzy’s existence, permanently. Tanzy’s body is compromised. Her veins are now home to the blood of a savage, wild horse, and its instincts are becoming impossible to control. Her world is also divided. She is determined to rescue Lucas, an Unseen creature who has loved her since her first life, and to find her treasured Harbor and the other stolen horses, which are bound for a catastrophic end in a world she can’t access on her own. Yet the only allies she has left insist she seeks refuge in a remote safe house on the Outer Banks. While her fellow candidates beg her to stay in hiding, new enemies work to draw her out, making it clear Lucas and the horses are hers for the taking. But Tanzy knows all to well that when your loved ones are used as bait, finding them is only the beginning.


Review:
While I was excited to start this one, I was a bit slow to really start reading it. This is one of those that sounded amazing, but since I hadn’t heard anything about this series or author before, I wasn’t quite sure it would live up to the potential. It does! While I’ll admit, I’ve always loved this kind of story, and it likely isn’t for everyone, I loved how unique and original the writing is! If you enjoy horses and mythology/fantasy/paranormal/lore type stories (It’s not really all those things…or is it? XD It’s something along those lines) then you should pick up this series.

About Jadie: Jadie

Young-adult author. Equine professional. Southern gal. Pacific Northwest Transplant. Especially fond of family, sunlight, and cookie dough.​​

I wrote my first book in seventh grade, filling one hundred and four pages of a black and white Mead notebook. Back then I lived for two things: horses and R.L. Stine books. Fast forward nearly twenty years, and I still work with horses, and hoard books like most women my age collect shoes. It’s amazing how much changes… and how much stays the same.

​The dream of publishing a novel has hitch-hiked with me down every other path I’ve taken (and there have been many.) Waitress, farm manager, road manager, bank teller, speech writer, retail, and more. But that need to bring pen to paper refused to quiet. Finally, in 2009, I sat down, pulled out a brand new notebook, and once again let the pictures in my head become words on paper.

​As a child, my grandfather would sit me in his lap and weave tales about the Cherokee nation, and a girl who belonged with horses. His words painted a whole new world, and my mind would take flight. My hope – my dream – is that Tanzy’s journey does the same for you.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Facebook | Goodreads
Giveaway Details:

One lucky winner will win a $10 Amazon Gift Card, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Rafflecopter Link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba2846/?

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/12/2018- Here is what I read blog– Excerpt

11/13/2018- Mythical Books– Excerpt

11/14/2018- lori’s little house of reviews– Review

11/15/2018- Lifestyle Of Me– Review

11/16/2018- Rhythmicbooktrovert– Review

Week Two:

11/19/2018- Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review

11/20/2018- Whatever You Can Still Betray– Excerpt

11/21/2018- BookHounds YA– Interview

11/22/2018- Graced with Books– Excerpt

11/23/2018- Texan Holly Reads– Excerpt

Week Three:

11/26/2018- PopTheButterfly Reads– Review

11/27/2018- Daily Waffle– Spotlight

11/28/2018- Novel Novice– Excerpt

11/29/2018- The Book Bratz– Interview

11/30/2018- Character Madness and Musing– Excerpt

Week Four:

12/3/2018- Dorky Girl and Skeletor– Spotlight

12/4/2018- Viviana MacKade– Excerpt

12/5/2018- Smada’s Book Smack– Review

12/6/2018- Parajunkee– Excerpt

12/7/2018- Sincerely Karen Jo Blog– Excerpt

Week Five:

12/10/2018- Good Choice Reading– Excerpt

12/11/2018- Oh Hey! Books.– Interview

12/12/2018- Two Chicks on Books– Excerpt

12/13/2018- Two points of interest– Excerpt

12/14/2018- D Books and Reviews– Review

Release Blitz: Dark Arts and a Daiquiri

Dark Arts and a Daiquiri
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound, #2)
Publication date: November 16th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

When I found myself facing down the scariest black-magic felon in the city, practically daring him to abduct me, I had to wonder exactly how I ended up here.

It all started when I accidentally landed a job as a bartender—but not at a bar. At aguild, populated by mages, sorcerers, alchemists, witches, and psychics. Good thing this lame-o human is adaptable, right?

Then my favorite guild members—three sexy, powerful, and intermittently charming mages—asked for my help. Did they want access to my encyclopedic knowledge of cocktails? Oh no. They wanted to wrap me up in a pretty ribbon and plunk me in the crosshairs of a murderous rogue to lure him out of hiding.

So that’s what we did. And that’s why I’m here. About to be kidnapped. Oh, and our grand plan for safely capturing said murderous rogue? Yeah, that completely fell apart about two minutes ago.

Why did I agree to this again?

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

Tori has no problem getting herself into trouble in every book in the Guild Codex series, but each one is a complete adventure—no cliffhanger endings.

THE GUILD CODEX: SPELLBOUND

Three Mages and a Margarita (#1)

Dark Arts and a Daiquiri (#2)

Two Witches and a Whiskey (#3)

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

“This is really nice,” I gushed, unconcerned by the apartment’s lackluster finishes. Beggars couldn’t be choosers, and having spent the last ten months sleeping on my brother’s sofa, I was ready to overlook anything less than holes in the walls.

Which, unfortunately, had been included in all the apartments we’d viewed so far, along with complimentary mold, cockroaches, and suspicious odors. That wasn’t including the batshit crazy landlords. Did normal people not dabble in real estate investment, or did all the well-adjusted landlords have tenants already?

“It’s clean,” Sin observed. “Running water. Heat. Wait, does it have heat? It’s cold in here.”

“Well, it is a basement.” I flapped my printout. “It says all utilities are included in the rent. How sweet is that?”

Sin wrinkled her nose suspiciously. “It’s too cheap. There’s got to be something wrong with it.”

“Maybe there’s a hobo living in the crawlspace.” I pointed at a half-height door tucked in a corner of the living room. “That’s a crawlspace, right?”

We crossed the room and I crouched at the door, Sin leaning over my shoulder. I pulled it open. Inside was nothing but impenetrable darkness.

“Use your phone’s flashlight,” Sin suggested. “There must be a light switch or—”

Chill air whispered over my skin and all the hair on my body stood on end—then arctic wind blasted me in the face.

I recoiled, crashing into Sin’s legs. She landed on her ass as the wind howled out of the crawlspace, whipping dust through the room. My printouts went flying and we scrambled backward on our butts with the papers spiraling toward the ceiling.

The darkness in the crawlspace leaked out from the doorway and pooled on the floor like ink. Shadows writhed and something pale materialized in the threshold—a skeletal woman on her hands and knees, toothless mouth gaping, empty eye sockets dribbling black blood.

I took one look at the moaning specter and screamed like the sissy girl that I am.

Sin let out her own terrified shriek as the ghostly woman dragged herself out of the crawlspace, her long hair trailing on the floor. She stretched a hand toward us, blackened fingers curled like claws, and icy gusts lashed at our faces. Still screaming, Sin grabbed my arm, her fingernails digging into my skin. Sharp pain cut through my panic.

I jammed my hand into my pocket and whipped out my trump card—yes, a literal card.

My trusty Queen of Spades was more than it appeared: a sorcerer’s artifact embedded with a spell that reflected magic. Was there any magic here to rebound? I had no idea. Would it work on a ghost? Also no idea. I wasn’t a sorcerer. I was a crime-of-convenience thief and I had only the vaguest notion how to use the card.

But it was the lone magical defense I had, so I thrust it at the phantom and shouted, “Ori repercutio!”

The air rippled and the gale-force wind reversed direction. It slammed into the woman, flinging her back into the crawlspace. Her head hit the door frame with a whack.

“Ow!” she squeaked.

Sin’s scream cut off. In unison, we launched to our feet. We weren’t screaming anymore, but I for one was even more freaked out. The woman was too solid to be a ghost, but holy freaking shit, that body did not belong to a living being—papery skin clinging to bones, empty sockets for eyes, stringy hair down to her knees.

The ghost woman sprang up, raising her hands like claws. “Begone from this place,” she moaned. “Begooooone … or else!”

I tilted my head toward Sin, not daring to take my eyes off the not-a-ghost. “Hey, Sin. Is that … a vampire?”

“No.” She pulled a handful of vials with colorful liquid contents out of her purse. “Not even close.”

Selecting a bottle, she dropped the others back into her bag and unscrewed the top. A hideous smell like burnt iron singed my nose.

“No!” the woman shrieked—except she didn’t sound like a woman anymore. Her voice was two octaves higher and painfully nasal. “Don’t!”

Sin held out the bottle threateningly. “Show us your real form or I’ll drench you!”

“Noooo! Go away!” The woman stomped her foot. “Stupid humans! This is my house!”

Raising her hand higher, Sin started to tip the bottle.

“Uuuuugh. Fine.” The woman threw her hands up—and her body melted. It lost solidity and shrank, then reformed into something new.

The creature was dark green with skin the waxy texture of pine needles. Even with twigs sprouting off its large head in place of hair, it barely reached my waist, and a mixture of spruce branches and pine cones hid its torso. Thin arms and legs stuck out of the twiggy mess, its hands and feet comically oversized.

Its eyes, narrowed angrily, dominated its face, the crystalline green irises unnaturally bright and entirely lacking pupils—just giant green orbs.

The creature pointed an accusing finger at us. “This is my house! Leave or I’ll turn you into bean sprouts!”

I cleared my throat. “Okay, not a vampire,” I said to Sin. “What is it?” “This,” Sin replied grimly, “is a faery.”


Author Bio:

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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Saturday, November 17, 2018

Blitz: STILL BREATHING

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Women’s Fiction
Date Published:  November 17, 2018
Designer: Damonza
Publisher: Acorn Publishing
 
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Newly widowed and on the threshold of seventy, Lizzie Warton questions the value of her remaining years. Uncharacteristically, she decides for the first time in her life to do what she wants, instead of what everyone expects.
Against the wishes of family and friends, she sets out for Africa to work at a Ugandan middle school. When she lands at night in the Entebbe airport, her hosts are not there to meet her. Near panic, she hires a local taxi. The driver drugs her, steals everything, and dumps her limp body in a slum. Waking in the dark, she feels someone tugging off her shoes.
Without money, a passport, clothes, or medications, Lizzie is forced to start over and find a way to survive. 



Soon she learns that nothing in Africa is as it appears. The grind of daily life in the third-world is beyond anything Lizzie imagined. Nevertheless, encouraged by budding friendships in surprising places, and against every sensible instinct she’s ever developed, Lizzie’s own personal search for meaning becomes the grand adventure of a lifetime.

Excerpt
      “Hey, muzungu! Over here!”
“Lady, best prices in Owino!”
 “I have jeans. You want jeans? New styles from America!”
“Hey! Pretty white lady! Over here!”
 “Best quality! Best prices! Today, only for you, muzungu!”
“I have a new shipment! Come and see!”
“Muzungu! Lady, what you need?”
Lizzie was sick of the accented voices shouting at her. She had yet to see another white woman in the claustrophobic market. Warned in advance, she had ignored the hands on her arms, the fingers trailing across her fingers, even the nudges to move her toward their shops, but she was fed up with the vendors’ constant calls aimed at her. Still, she doggedly maintained her wooden smile, even though she was gritting her teeth behind it.
At one point, a vendor called out a question in Luganda and someone else answered it. Lizzie was sure it had something to do with her. Laughter broke out and other voices chimed in with more quips. Grinning faces nodded at her as she walked away.
Lizzie shot a questioning look at Mrs. Birungi, who rolled her eyes, even though a smile tugged at her mouth. “It is nothing – just vendor talk. Ignore it. We need to go over that way.” Birungi pointed to a split in the congested path ahead, and steered them to the right.
Afiya pulled abreast of Lizzie a little later as they bobbed through a brief open place in the moving crowd. “They said they not sure if you are white or Ugandan.”
“What?”
“It was joke. Our people always make jokes.”
“How was it a joke?”
“Somebody said you half Ugandan.” The girl suppressed a grin.
“I don’t get it.”
“They said you have white top but Ugandan bottom.” Afiya smiled broadly as she said the line.
Lizzie looked back at her, puzzled.
“This kind bottom.” Afiya patted her own rump. “Word means both things. They admired your…bottom.” Afiya couldn’t help but giggle as she repeated the word.
Lizzie understood and sighed. “Well, I guess that’s not the worst thing I’ve ever heard.” In her mind, a little appreciative thought blossomed at still being noticed in that way, at all. She hastily chided herself and kept walking, but her hips now swayed a tiny bit more, nevertheless.
About the Author

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Originally from South Minneapolis, Gene Fournier earned a BA in Philosophy & Literature from St. Louis University followed by a Masters in Film from USC. Gene is a member of the Writers Guild of America west (WGA) and worked as a screenwriter and editor in Hollywood, but sadly, he never got that big break.
Seeking a return to his roots after twelve years in California, he accepted a Director of Media position with a multinational company headquartered in the Midwest. For thirty years he wrote, directed, edited and distributed corporate video programs around the world, managed live presentations, and orchestrated the creative elements for national and international meetings.
Retired now, with his seven children grown, and a dozen grandchildren to distract him, Gene is finally able to write down the stories he’s been carrying in his head all these years.
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Friday, November 16, 2018

Release Blitz: BOUND BY SECRET

About The Book:


Title:
 BOUND BY SECRET (The Queen’s Consorts #2)

Author: Elena Lawson
Pub. Date: November 16, 2018
Publisher: Elena Lawson
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 221
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

I’ll be the first to admit it…my rise to power hasn’t gone entirely as planned.

I’m still getting over Thana’s betrayal and the news of the Mad King when a long-lost war hero reappears at court. He’s beguiled the nobles, but I’m not so easily swayed or quick to trust.

At least amidst all the chaos has been one constant; my males. They’ve been there at every turn, and I’m falling deeper in love with them every day.

But the secrets are starting to pile up and weigh on all of us. Our forbidden romance and the matter of my multiple graces being the least of them…so why do I feel like the secrets others are hiding could be even more destructive than my own?

My males would give their lives to protect me, but I don’t think they realize how much I’d sacrifice to ensure that never happens.

BOUND BY SECRET is the second installment in The Queen’s Consorts series, a medium-burn reverse harem fantasy romance!

#WhyChoose

Optional Info:
About Book 1:

Title: CLAIMED BY NIGHT (The Queen’s Consorts #1)
Author: Elena Lawson
Pub. Date: July 26, 2018
Publisher: Elena Lawson
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 714
Find it: GoodreadsAmazon

Trapped on an island, Liana’s life has been a boring montage of skipping stones and listening to lectures, waiting for her mother to die. 

Now the wait is over. The Queen of the Night Court has been assassinated, and the ship has arrived to ferry Liana back to her birthplace and claim her throne.

But not everyone at Court wants Liana to rule.

To make matters worse, she worries her ancestors haven’t graced her with magic, and an ungraced Queen could never keep her crown. Overwhelmed and filled with self-doubt, Liana finds solace and protection in the arms of four Fae warriors.

Charming, devoted, and maddeningly eager to please—it’s clear the males crave more than just royal favor. They want her… and they’ll do whatever it takes to keep her safe.

Can Liana’s warriors help her claim her rightful place as Queen, or will she fall to the denizens of Night?

*CLAIMED BY NIGHT is the first book in a new reverse harem fantasy series featuring four irresistible Fae warriors and a Queen on the verge of becoming legend. Intended for Mature YA and up.

Excerpt:

If only he’d take off that ridiculous armored vest, I’d have a full view of his perfectly sculpted chest. But then, I don’t think we’d be playing chess anymore—at least, not the kind you played on a checkered board.

I swallowed back the hint of warmth spreading through me at the thought of Kade bared before me, swallowing air in a way I hoped he wouldn’t notice. I watched him consider the chess pieces before him, and I knew from where he looked what he would do, but it would be his end, he just didn’t know it yet.

Kade clenched his jaw, reaching out to move his bishop into the perfect place for me to check his king.

“I wouldn’t,” I warned, and he groaned in frustration, placing the bishop back to where it had been.

His shoulders relaxed as he realized once again that no matter where he moved, I would end the game within two turns. “You are maddening, you know that?”

I barked a laugh, “And you’re just mad you got beat by a female—sorry, that you keep getting beat by a female.”

Kade’s lips shifted into a coy smile. “One of these days, I will win. You’ll see.”

I put the pieces back into formation, “I doubt it.”

He chuckled low, standing from the armchair to stretch out his stiff muscles, “Oh, do you?”

“I do.”

“How about a deal then, since you’re so cocky?”

I considered what he could be after but could only think of one thing. Heat pooled between my thighs.

“If I win,” he said, his voice taking on a husky tone that vibrated through the air, settling over my skin like a warm blanket after coming in from the cold, “If I win, I get you.”

My lips were suddenly dry. I licked them. Kade growled in response to the gesture. When I didn’t answer right away, he added, “You don’t have to agree, if you don’t want to. I enjoy playing with you whether or not there’s a reward.” He winked.

He really had no idea, did he? How badly I wanted him. If I was being honest, how badly I wanted all my men. Alaric, the contemplative. Tiernan, the lionheart. Finn, the scholar. And Kade, the flame. They were all pieces to my broken puzzle of a self. Bits of my soul I lost along the road to finding my crown and accepting my duty.

I needed them to feel whole.

“I accept the challenge,” I said to Kade, rising to meet his wide-eyed gleaming stare, “But you have your work cut out for you, Kade.”

A delicious, slow smirk spread over his lips, crinkling the tan skin around his honey-amber eyes. His gaze roved along my frame, taking in my neck, my breasts, the curves of my waist and hips, setting on a spot somewhere just below my navel.

Swallowing, I offered him my hand, but not as his queen, as his equal. As a man does another man when a bargain has been struck. His smile faltered, replaced with an earnest respect. He put his hand in mine and shook it, once, hard, before he pulled me against his warm, solid chest.

About Elena:
Elena lives in a small town in Canada with her family. She writes reverse harem fantasy romance stories full of feisty heroines, unforgettable heroes and spellbinding romance. When she comes out of her writing cave, she can be found obsessively rearranging her bookshelves, drinking wine somewhere sunny, or cooking overly fancy meals for her family and friends.

#WhyChoose

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Giveaway Details: All International
1 Winner will receive a signed paperback of book 1 CLAIMED BY NIGHT, and a $10 gift card, International.

Ends on November 30th at Midnight EST!
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