Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Crimson Siege by Jay Raven



Title: Crimson Siege
Series: Blood Riders Book One
Author: Jay Raven
Genre: Gothic horror/ vampire
Publication Date: 22nd May 2018



In the Godforsaken badlands of Transylvania the fragile truce between mankind and monsters is about to explode...


When bounty hunters target one of 19th century Europe’s most feared vampire clans, the last place any lawman wants to be is caught in the middle…

But for Anton Yoska, Lord Marshal of the Imperial lands south of the Carpathian Mountains, fate has trapped him in a supernatural stand-off that can end only in a bloodbath.

A gang of mercenaries led by Anton’s former army comrade Milosh Drubrick have captured vampire aristocrat Stefan Modjeski, wanted for a string of frenzied murders, and have come to Anton to claim the reward. And as Stefan’s predatory undead kin lay siege to the jailhouse, Anton is faced with an agonising choice - hand over his prisoner and abandon the bounty hunters to their unspeakable fate, or stand and fight.

The jailhouse defenders are outnumbered and out of options. It’s a battle that can’t be won, certain slaughter for them all, and Anton can’t trust his scheming allies. But Lord Marshal Yoska isn’t about to surrender.

For he’s an experienced vampire hunter, a dangerous man when cornered, and a single minded warrior who knows there are worse things to fear than death…

Author Warning - The book has strong adult themes and content as fits the genre, and contains swearing, sexual content and violence.


My Review:

Former vampire hunter, Anton Yoska, is caught between a rock and a hard place when his one-time comrade, now turned bounty hunter, and his rag-tag team capture an important vampire and deliver him to Anton.
Should he do his duty and keep the vampire under lock and key until he can be tried for his crimes or save himself, and his friends, by handing him over to his aristocratic family. Either way, blood will be spilt!
The characters were well-developed, and each had a unique and flawed personality.
Crimson Siege is a well-written, action-packed gothic tale with plenty of surprising twists and turns to keep you guessing. An entertaining and riveting read which, though it has its fair share of betrayal, brutality and blood, I didn't find it especially scary.




Author Bio:

Jay Raven is the author of Gothic chillers and historical horror reminding readers that the past is a dangerous place to venture, full of monsters and murderous men.

He blames his fascination with vampires, witches and werewolves on the Hammer Horror films he watched as a teenager, but living in a creepy old house beside a 500-acre wood teeming with bats may have something to do with it.








Monday, 20 August 2018

The Forgotten Child by Melissa Erin Jackson



Title: The Forgotten Child
Author: Melissa Erin Jackson
Genre: Adult, Mystery, Paranormal
Publication date: October 10th 2018


Ever since Riley Thomas, reluctant medium extraordinaire, accidentally released a malevolent spirit from a Ouija board when she was thirteen, she’s taken a hard pass on scary movies, haunted houses, and cemeteries. So when her best friend pressures her into spending a paranormal investigation weekend at the infamous Jordanville Ranch—former home of deceased serial killer Orin Jacobs—Riley is one-hundred-percent not ready.

Shortly after their arrival at the ranch, the spirit of a little boy contacts Riley; a child who went missing—and was never found—in 1973.

In order to put the young boy’s spirit to rest, she has to come to grips with her ability. But how can she solve a mystery that happened a decade before she was born? Especially when someone who knows Orin’s secrets wants to keep the truth buried—no matter the cost.





Author Bio:

Melissa has had a love of stories for as long as she can remember, but only started penning her own during her freshman year of college. She majored in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at UCDavis. Yet, while she was neck-deep in organic chemistry and physics, she kept finding herself writing stories in the back of the classroom about fairies and trolls and magic. She finished her degree, but it never captured her heart the way writing did.

Now she owns her own dog walking business (that’s sort of wildlife related, right?) by day…and afternoon and night…and writes whenever she gets a spare moment. The Microsoft Word app is a gift from the gods!

She alternates mostly between fantasy and mystery (often with a paranormal twist). All her books have some element of “other” to them…witches, ghosts, UFOs. There’s no better way to escape the real world than getting lost in a fictional one.

She lives in Northern California with her very patient boyfriend and way too many pets.

The Forgotten Child is her debut, the first in a paranormal mystery series.




Sunday, 19 August 2018

Broken Arrow by Azaria M.J. Durant


Title: Broken Arrow
Series: Darkened Destiny Saga #1
Author: Azaria M.J. Durant
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Publication date: July 29th 2018



An ancient power long kept dormant stirs in the shadows once more as one boy embarks on a quest to earn his freedom and the freedom of his world!

Magic has turned to myth, the Vaelhyreans of old to legend, and the power wielded by the ancients has long been forgotten. However, with Ealdred, a mere half-breed slave boy, myth becomes real, the forgotten remembered, and the power of legend is reborn within him.

Ealdred is merged into a world of mystery, brimming with deceit, where the remaining Vaelhyreans are in a desperate fight for their very survival. When Ealdred is kidnapped by the power-mongering dark lord Zeldek himself, he must make a choice; to commit his newfound magic to Zeldek’s service or die. But when he meets Bellator, clever yet treacherous servant of Zeldek, an alternative is presented to him: to escape from Zeldek’s stronghold and embark on a quest to find a cursed arrow and free the Vaelhyreans from the spell that keeps their powers at bay.

Yet how can he survive in a world where magic is illegal, half-breeds are hated, and the four countries are on the brink of war?



Guest post by Azaria: 

Meet Ealdred (MC of Broken Arrow)

Ealdred is a half-breed, the hated mix of the people of Lavylli, who live in the heart of the earth, and the people who live under the sun. He has been a slave since birth, tossed from master to master throughout his childhood.  In spite of being put down and abused his entire life, he still fights to be worth something, even though he believes deep down that he is worth nothing. He learned to fight through the anger and pain caused by the constant abuse he was shown, and instead looks for the good in others. Even so, he never really trusts anyone.

He doesn’t see himself as brave, but if he sees someone who is wronged or hurt, he can be quite dangerous in defense of them. Sarcasm comes naturally to him, but he keeps it to himself unless he’s especially annoyed. His biggest dream is to one day find the family that he imagines he was taken from as a child and to live happily ever after with them.


Age: 15
Race: Half-breed
Height: 4’ 8”
Appearance: Black curly hair, unnaturally blue eyes,  pale skin. Thin eyebrows, slightly pointed nose. Thin, hollow face. Very thin and small build.
Personality: Sweet, gentle, can be fierce under pressure. Intelligent, but doesn’t know much about the world other than how to survive the cruelty of others.
Weapons: Dagger, sword, magic
Magic Type: Unknown

Quotes: 
“My respect must be earned before it is given.”  — Ealdred to Zeldek
“Well, what do you think?”
For a moment, I think that she is talking about herself and I am grasping for something to say when I realize that she’d gestured to everything in general.
“Oh!” I stammer, glancing around. “Right! Yeah. It’s nice. Has a lot of interesting detail. And fire. Who would have thought to use a mountain range as a wall?”
She grimaces in irritation.  “I was talking about Fyra.”
I try to speak clearly, but my tongue won’t let me.  “Oh- oh, right.  Her.  She’s great too.  Flying is amazing!”
— exchange between Ealdred and Bellator after their flight on her dragon
“She told me to jump off the tower and I did it,” I say blandly.  “I’m pretty sure I knew what I was getting myself into.”
— Ealdred to Zeldek
Concept art:














Drawn by Azaria




Meet Bellator (Ally of Broken Arrow)

Bellator is a skilled warrior and assassin in the employ of the sorcerer Zeldek, who she serves as general of his elite guard. She enjoys fighting, terrorizing her master’s servants, and flying with her great black dragon, Fyra. Bellator takes pride in being undefeated, as no one has ever bested her in combat for many years.

In spite of her scorn of courage, Bellator is courageous, bold, and intelligent. She is always two steps ahead, and quickly comes up with a clever plan for any problem that comes her way. Trust is not something she gives easily, and loyalty even less. She is not good with friendships. Most often, she seeks to benefit herself, though overall she has a keen sense of right and wrong and tries to keep to her set moral code. She has a soft spot for half-breeds, as one saved her from getting her hand cut off for theft when she was young. Emotions are foreign to her.

Bellator values cleverness, intelligence, and honor above all, though she herself struggles with the latter.


Age: Unknown
Race: Human
Height: 5’ 2”
Appearance: Dark brown wavy hair which she always wears in a tight braid around her head. Ocean blue eyes. Light tan skin, cut scars all over face. Thick brows.
Personality: Vicious. Takes shit from no one. If you try to control her, she will plot your swift demise.
Weapons: Sword, daggers, bow and arrows.

Quotes:
“Your head would be at the end of my sword if my master elected to give the order.”
— Bellator to ‘Zandelba’
“Lord Zeldek does not tolerate disrespect, and neither do I.  You will learn your place here, or you will have me to answer to. And I promise, I won’t have as gentle a touch with you as the Master has had thus far.”
— Bellator to Ealdred
“If courage is a sufficient substitute for foolishness.  I’ve always seen them as synonymous.”
— Bellator to Zeldek
“I am no mere child, you insolent swine!  I am Bellator, known as the Crimson Shadow. I demand to know who you are and what your purpose is with this town!”
— Bellator to a crowd of ruffians
Concept art:















Drawn by Azaria




Author Bio:

Azaria M. J. Durant is a young, passionate writer of fantasy with plans to branch out into sci-fi and dystopian. She enjoys writing stories with action, adventure, unexpected plot twists, and fleshed out characters that challenge gender roles and expectations.

Azaria lives in Atlantic Canada with her family, cats, and dogs, and her big dreams to travel the world. In the moments when she isn’t writing, she is sketching concept art for her stories, participating in community theatre, or curled up with a good book and a bag of mint chocolates.









Saturday, 18 August 2018

Dark Opius by Dariel Raye & Muffy Wilson


Title: Dark Opius
Series: Watchtower #11
Author: Dariel Raye & Muffy Wilson
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Publication date: July 31st 2018


One passionate decision can be hell for an archangel.

Gabriel’s mission from God was simple. At least that’s what he thought, until Helen Warner, his charge, loses her husband in the cataclysmic disaster perpetuated by Asmodeus, the ruthless demon of lust. Unable to stand by and watch while Helen plummets, Gabriel plunges to earth with no regard for the consequences.

Problem? Intervening without God’s permission sets him on a dangerous course rife with deadly distractions and pitfalls, including the mesmerizing affection of a witch—Narsaé. Pitted against Asmodeus and his army of demons, unexpected human emotions threaten his most basic beliefs. Gabriel must protect those he has come to love, while controlling the foreign emotions that torment him.

Can Gabriel save their home, all the besieged residents, and Watchtower 11, sending Asmodeus and his army of demons to a fiery Hell? Will he risk Heaven, immortality, and his very soul for the love of Narsaé?

AmazonB&NKoboiBooks

Excerpt:

         He worked silently, allowing his mind to wander. In addition to his growing feelings for Narsaé, the body count continued to grow in their region, aptly known as Nale Bá, loosely translated to mean ‘come tomorrow.’ A fitting title as Gabriel prayed every day for the swift arrival of deliverance—tomorrow.
         Years passed, and the body they’d found on their way home from the park was just the first of many. Over time they learned the half-human creatures were exactly what Gabriel had suspected. Throughout time, werewolves had always kept their distance. They were not particularly fond of humans despite their common lineage—they were half-human as well. Recently, they’d started feeding on the human population due to the scarcity of other meat sources. Werewolves were huge in stature, yet they barely left traces of their arrival or departure. They also left very little waste, consuming meat, blood, and most of the bones of their victims. Gabriel knew the name of the pack alpha, Lucan Shadow, but had never met him. There had never been a reason to, but he was fairly sure the day would come when their meeting would be inevitable.
         Gabriel felt her nearness before she spoke. He always felt her presence, just as he felt her absence.
         “Can I help?” Narsaé walked into Gabriel’s work room and sat on the floor across from him, crossing her legs akimbo.
         Narsaé had stayed inside the center more since learning of the new threat, and that meant she had been even closer to him. Unlike demons, the werewolves were not evil, and it was unlikely that they were working with Asmodeus. This fact made them immune to wards set by the local witches and warlocks to guard against evil. In addition, their ravenous need for meat made them bold and vicious. This space, his work area, had become a respite when he needed space to think things through, and this was one of those times.
         Just as he started to tell her no and send her away, he noticed the look of sadness in her beautiful eyes. Ignoring the voice of caution, he handed her three horns and one of his welding tools. He used the work area to craft musical instruments for the residents and others who lived in their sector. He had been making instruments his entire life, but now that he’d reached his late teens in this human form, the sense of peace the methodical endeavor brought was insurmountable. “Here. You can bend these for me.”
         Narsaé glanced at him, but said nothing as she accepted the task.
         They worked in silence for some time before she finally spoke. He remembered the last time—the only time—they kissed. The feel of her soft lips on his was a constant reminder of his weakness. He couldn’t free himself of her haunting scent, her taste on his mouth, her hair woven through the grip of his hand, and the alluring dip in her back at the small where he held her tight. He remembered lifting her to his side, the tips of his fingers finding the rise of the young flesh her small breasts presented just under her armpit, and she locking her legs around his midriff, sliding around to his back as they had done a hundred times on their way home. But, that time, the swing of her weight to his back was different, and now, he found it hard to look at her at all without wanting more.
         He was keenly aware she was growing, and as they grew together, their relationship blossomed into something he had never expected and could not completely comprehend.




Author Bios:

Dariel Raye

Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and award-winning author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She is a mezzo-soprano who fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. She also plays over 11 musical instruments.

Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). Dariel is currently writing two series: "Dark Sentinels" (wolf shifters), and "Orlosian Warriors" (Vampire-like Nephilim).




Muffy Wilson 

Muffy, a USA Today, International and Amazon Bestselling Award Winning Author, likened in style to one of the Bronte sisters and Anne Rice, is an author of provocative romance about love, sex, hope and passion. An American author of the popular Shadow Seduction Series (a paranormal love story) and the Ribbons of Moonlight Series (a contemporary romance), she has penned several dozen other books and anthology collections.

Muffy was born in Texas to traditional parents. With two older brothers, she was the youngest, the family "princess," indulged and pampered. Her father was a career Colonel and pilot in the U.S. Air Force which required the family to travel extensively. Muffy spent her formative years in Europe and 'came of age' in France which forged her joie de vivre and love for books and writing. Married and living in the tropical paradise of SW Florida along the Gulf Coast, Muffy writes and enjoys life in the sun with her husband and wee Havanese pups, Buddy and CoCo.





Friday, 17 August 2018

Siren’s Curse by Katee Robert


Siren’s Curse, a dark and haunting standalone novel in the multi-author series, The Sea King's Daughters is Live!

In Siren’s Curse by NYT Bestselling Author, Katee Robert, a cursed mermaid has lost her powers and her ability to shapeshift and the only creature that can help her reclaim herself is one who may mean her the most harm…

Title: Siren’s Curse
Series: The Sea King’s Daughters #3
Author: Katee Robert
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: August 13, 2018
Publisher: Indie
Page Count: 76 pages
Format: Digital
ASIN: B07DJK2HQR


Lorelei Fischer is cursed. A mermaid who can’t shapeshift, can’t create portals, and is no longer fully who she was meant to be. Too ashamed to admit how badly she failed to her sisters, she takes refuge in a small town in northern California and opens a used bookstore. With no way to regain what she’s lost, she resigns herself to a life half-lived.

After nearly drowning under the dark of the new moon, there’s no escaping the truth. She’s being hunted, and this enemy will stop at nothing to take her.

Lorelei must find a way to reclaim her birthright and her abilities before it's too late. Because the sea holds more monsters than she could have dreamed—and one of them wants her dead.




Look for other stories in this exciting Urban Fantasy series from Philippa Ballantine, Stacia D. Kelly, Lauren Harris, and Asa Maria Bradley.


Excerpt:

      I start for home, the wind and water turning my hair into blond snakes that whip around my head. Less than a quarter mile to my house and it might as well be on the moon. I pull my jacket tighter around my body and pick up my pace. Each harsh breath makes my chest ache, reminding me about the way this morning started.
      I shouldn’t be alive.
      There’s no other way to say it. When I closed my eyes, parted my lips, and inhaled… I made my choice. That I hadn’t died. That I woke up on the beach… Someone put me there, though I can’t begin to guess their purpose.
      Lorelei.
      I jump and spin in a circle, searching for the source of the voice. There’s no one in sight. There isn’t even a single pair of headlights on the road. Just the trees whipping back and forth in front of me and the beach at my back. I turn slowly to face the beach—the water—and squint into the driving rain. No part of me is dry at this point, so I might as well investigate.
      Lorelei.
      There it is again, barely more than a whisper on the wind. Calling me back to the water.
      I take a step before what’s left of my self-preservation kicks in. “No.” I don’t mean to say the word aloud, but it settles something inside me. I am not some weak-willed creature to be drawn in by curiosity. Whatever has the power to reach me here on dry land is something I want no part of. “Get the fuck out of my head.” That’s where I must be hearing him. There’s no way he’s actually speaking to me on the wind.
      Whoever he is.
      I have something you want.
      I freeze. The faintest tugging in my stomach dials it up a notch. It never really goes away, even when I’m sequestered in the bookstore and surrounded by earth instead of sea. That tug tells me the exact direction my necklace—my powers—lay. I never get more than a hint of water that’s such a dark blue, it might as well be black, or an intense pressure that conveys exactly how far from the surface my necklace is kept. Too deep for humans and their machines.
      Too deep for me.
      I start for the beach before I can think better of it. For over two years, I’ve been missing a vital piece of myself, walking around as only half of a whole. I might not be completely helpless in my current state, but I’m easy pickings for any supernatural creature who decides to gun for me. Last night more than proved that the sea will take me, one way or another
      It might as well be on my terms.
      Lightning flashes, bright enough that spots dance over my vision for the several seconds of silence before thunder rattles my bones. The storm isn’t directly overhead yet, but it will be soon. I’m a damn fool if I’m still out by that point.
      I yank off my boots and socks and toss them onto the beach just out of reach of the waves coming faster and faster. One step, maybe two, and I’ll be submerged up to my ankles. My finding power will spiral out of me, instinctively seeking the one item I want more than anything in this goddamn world.
      Not my sisters.
      Not even the portal home.
      No, what I want more than anything is to be whole again.
      I should just turn around and go home. Whoever this voice belongs to, they mean nothing good for me. There’s a proper way to reach out, and it’s not by drawing a finless one of the merfolk into the ocean and nearly drowning her human body. Stepping into the ocean will boost what little magic I have left, and it will create a clear channel for him to speak to me.
      I take that first step, and then the second. My power streaks out into the deep and then rebounds, slamming me with a vision of my necklace. It’s different than it’s been in the past. Barely any pressure to speak of. Blue-gray water that stretches for miles and miles and miles around without encountering land. A vaguely fishy taste on my tongue.
      Tentacles.
      And then his voice is in my head, curling through me in a way that’s just shy of being invasive. Hello, pretty.
      Telepathy isn’t one of my skills, but apparently his is so strong that it allows me to fire off a reply. Tell me what you want and get out of my head.
      His chuckle is pure predator. More like I have something you want.
      Surely not. The Deep Dwellers, sworn enemy to my people, wouldn’t be so foolish as to lose a coup like my necklace. In the endless history of wars between our kind, I can’t think of a single instance when they’ve managed to steal the very essence of what one of the merfolk is—to sever one of us from our power. It’s priceless. They wouldn’t have traded it—would have, in fact, guarded it with their lives. So why does this monster in my head have access to it?
      I cross my arms over my chest and tell myself that the shiver racking my body is from the cold. I’m listening.
      Come to me.
      That surprises a laugh out of me. Pass.
      You’d turn down a chance to regain yourself?
      I’d turn down a chance to walk into a trap like an idiot. I shake my head. This is a waste of time. I turn for the shore when power slams into me, sending me to my knees. The water rushes in—or maybe I rush out—and the next thing I know, I’m up to my chest.
      Don’t be a fool.
      This deep, I finally have a sense of him. He must have held himself back up to this point, because he’s positively ancient. Older than anything I’ve ever felt—even my father—and so powerful that pain lances through my head. It would be so easy to give him what he wants, to stop fighting, to…
      “Get the fuck out of my head!” I sprint for dry land. This deep, it’s more of a fast wade, but I curse and spit and fight the pull of the magic current trying to yank me off my feet. “No, no, no, no, get your stupid magic off me!
      He releases me all at once and I fly the last few feet and land in a heap just past the now-normal waves. I sit up and scrub sand from my face. Even without the water connection, his dark amusement slithers through me. Another time, pretty. His presence recedes faster than any tide, leaving the storm just a normal storm.
      It’s official—I’m in even worse trouble than I could have imagined.



Copyright © 2018 Katee Robert












About Katee Robert:

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Katee Robert learned to tell her stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her 2015 title, The Marriage Contract, was a RITA finalist, and RT Book Reviews named it 'a compulsively readable book with just the right amount of suspense and tension."  When not writing sexy contemporary and romantic suspense, she spends her time playing imaginary games with her children, driving her husband batty with what-if questions, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Website ⬪ Facebook  Twitter  Instagram 
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Thursday, 16 August 2018

Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon by Gareth Worthington


Title: Children of the Fifth Sun: Echelon
Author: Gareth Worthington
Genre: Adult, Science Fiction
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: August 14th 2018


She thought there was nothing stronger than a mother’s bond.
She was wrong.

Fifteen thousand years ago, the knowledge bringers—an amphibious, non-humanoid species known as the Huahuqui—came after a great global flood, gifting humans with math, science and civility. We killed them all.

Seventy years ago, we found one of their corpses preserved in ice and eventually created a clone, named K’in. Our governments squabbled over the creature and we killed that, too.

Now, a sinkhole in Siberia has opened revealing new secrets and humans may once again have a chance to prove we deserve the gifts the Huahuqui bestowed.

***

Freya Nilsson has spent the last five years trying to forget her role in the Huahuqui cloning program. Instead, she hid her son, KJ, from the regimes and agencies who she believed would exploit him for the powers he acquired through his father’s bond with K’in.

An innocent trip to help KJ understand his abilities results in the global conspiracy she fought to bury exploding back to life. Chased by new foes, and hounded to put the needs of the world first, all Freya can think of is protecting KJ—at all costs.


***Sequel to the award-winning children of the fifth sun***

AmazonB&NKobo

Excerpt:

Location: Yamal Peninsula, Siberia

         Svetlana was nowhere to be found. The ice-laden wind whipped about the leathery face of her mother, Anuska, rendering her blind. Defying the storm, she pulled the thick reindeer-skin hood over her raven-haired head and trudged onward through the snow, away from the tents, in the only direction her daughter could have gone. With unsteady steps, she called into the blizzard but her voice carried no more than a few feet.
         “Svetlana!”
         Nothing.
         Pushing farther on, Anuska searched with outstretched hands, feeling her way forward. The snow concealed jagged rocks that cut into the leather of her reindeer-skin boots, letting frigid water seep in and freeze her toes. Still, she pressed on. She was Nenets; used to the perils of living in the open—and children often became lost. Though, this was different. Svetlana had not been herself. Not been awake. She’d wandered off several times since they set up camp near the sinkhole. Normally a girl who always completed her chores, tending to the reindeer, Svetlana had become obsessed with visiting the deep crater and peering over the edge for hours at a time.
         Anuska could only hope her daughter had not tried to visit it on a night like this.
         Before long, she stood at the edge of the sinkhole. More than one-hundred feet wide, it was an almost perfect puncture in the Earth’s crust. Here the wind seemed to swirl around the black hole, but never over it. Anuska could make out the twenty-foot thick rim of gray rock that encircled the hole, and the pitch black center that absorbed all light, even during the day. She edged her foot forward, sending crumbling rock into the void.
         “Svetlana!” she called again.
         Anuska held her breath, squeezed her eyes shut and listened—hoping against hope.
         “Mama …”
         The Nenets mother faltered at the edge. “Svetlana?”
         The wind howled. But on its very edge, the voice came again. “Mama …”
         “Svetlana!”
         Anuska scrambled to the ground and crawled backward into the hole, searching for a foothold. Through snow-soaked boots, her toes found an outcropping. She tested it for stability. It didn’t move. Anuska allowed her weight to rest on it, then lowered herself a little more and with her other foot began the search for another base.
         Slowly, she climbed down into the pit, one awkward step at a time. Her reindeer-skin mittens prevented the dexterity needed to properly grip the rock face, yet she clung to it with all her might. Her forearm muscles burned and her legs ached.
         As she lowered farther and farther down, the storm’s power lessened. The wind didn’t bite as hard, and visibility got better. She chanced a glance below, but it made her stomach roil with vertigo. The gray lip of rock was almost at its end, and there seemed to be nothing more beyond but a bottomless quarry. As she stared into the pitch, her vision blurred and her world spun.
         “Mama …” came the voice from the void.
         Startled, Anuska lost her footing. She scrambled to regain purchase, but it was no use. Her legs slipped out from under her and she slid down the remainder of the rocky gray rim. Her knees smashed into a ledge, and then she fell screaming into the darkness below.


Author Bio:

Gareth holds a degree in marine biology, a PhD in Endocrinology, and currently educates the World's doctors on new cancer therapies for the pharmaceutical industry. He has hand-tagged sharks in California; and trained in various martial arts, including Jeet Kune Do, Muay Thai, and MMA at the EVOLVE MMA gym in Singapore and Phoenix KampfSport Switzerland.

As an author, he is represented by Renee C. Fountain and Italia Gandolfo of Gandolfo-Helin-Fountain Literary Management. His debut novel, Children of the Fifth Sun, won the Sci Fi category at the London Book Festival 2017 and has been optioned by Vesuvian Entertainment for TV/Film. His second novel, It Takes Death to Reach a Star co-authored with Stu Jones, will be published by Vesuvian Books in 2018 and has optioned by Vesuvian Entertainment for TV/Film. Book two in both series is forthcoming.

Born in Plymouth UK, he currently resides outside of Zurich, Switzerland.






Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Cradled by Christina Bauer


Title: Cradled
Series: Beholder #4.5
Author: Christina Bauer
Genre: Paranormal, Young Adult
Published by: Monster House Books
Publication date: July 31st 2018


An Epilogue Novella

At last, Elea and Rowan are settling in to their new lives. Trouble is, Rowan is spending a lot of time cleaning up messes from his childhood. And considering the nightmare that was his mother, those are some ugly messes indeed. In fact, the experience is enough to make Rowan vow that he never wants children of his own.

Oops.




Excerpt:

Meeting the Lightning Goddess

A circle of light appeared on the ceiling of the stone feasting hall. A chill of recognition moved down my spine. “It’s the round gateway,” I whispered. “The one from Jicho’s vision.” I repeated the boy’s prophecy once more.

“Watch for the round gateway; it will bring you the lightning goddess and her consort.”

Rowan scanned the loop of brightness as it whirled above our heads. “If that’s a gateway, then I’ve never seen anything quite like it.”

Heavy silence filled the central feasting hall. The swirl of light by the ceiling flared more brightly, casting odd shadows onto the tapestries and floor. A charged sense of anticipation hung in the air.

I shared a quick glance with Rowan. Every line of his rugged face was tight with determination.

Light pulsed in the center of the round gateway as a man and a woman tumbled through, landing on the floor in a crouch. Although their backs were facing us, I could still make out some basics about the pair. The woman was tall as me but far more curvy. Her long auburn hair cascaded down her back. The man beside her was broad shouldered and fit with short brown hair. Both of them were wore black body armor like none I’d ever seen before. It appeared to be flexible. Interesting.

Something twitched behind the woman, and that’s when I noticed it. She had a tail. It was long, black, and covered in some kind of scales. The end was as pointed as an arrow.

In our realm, we did have people with non-human body parts. They were called Changed Ones, and they were the unfortunate results of by brother Viktor’s experiments in combining Casters with their animal familiars. My stomach sank. Was it possible that Viktor had somehow gotten to this woman and her realm?

The man lifted his right arm, and he was holding a severed head in his fist.

Wait, a head?

I rubbed my eyes, wondering if I was seeing things. But once I lowered my hands, the man was still there, his back facing to us. And he still gripped a severed head in his hand. And what a head it was. The thing had the profile of a humanoid pig with green skin and a pair of large curlicue horns growing out of each temple. The man gripped the head by a single horn.

“The good news is, we killed the phase demon.” The man tossed the head onto the floor before him.

“The bad news is, he phased us somewhere before he died,” added the woman. Her tail perked up and tapped her shoulder. The woman looked to the arrowhead end. “What’s up, boy?”

The tail gestured toward me and Rowan as if to say: pay attention; there’s something behind you.

The woman slowly turned around. “Hello there,” she said. If she was shocked to be in a strange place, she didn’t show it.

The man turned around as well. He had mismatched eyes—one blue and one brown—as well as strong bone structure. The pair of us were a study in opposites. I was thin and dark haired, while the woman was curvy with long reddish locks. The man was pale and regal looking. At the same time, Rowan may be a king, but he always looked tanned and rugged.

The woman waved at us. “I said, hello there.”

“Hello,” I replied. “I’m Elea and this is Rowan. Who are you?”

“I’m Myla,” said the woman.

The man gave us a chin-nod. “Lincoln.”

Rowan stepped forward. “Are you a lightning goddess, by any chance?”

“You could call me that,” answered Myla.

I couldn’t help but smile. Jicho’s prophecy was coming true.




• Cursed
• Concealed
• Cherished
• Crowned
• Cradled


Author Bio:

Christina Bauer thinks that fantasy books are like bacon: they just make life better. All of which is why she writes romance novels that feature demons, dragons, wizards, witches, elves, elementals, and a bunch of random stuff that she brainstorms while riding the Boston T. Oh, and she includes lots of humor and kick-ass chicks, too.

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.



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