June 26, 2017

Not His Dragon Blog Tour Spotlight




Not His Dragon
Not This Series
Book One
Annie Nicholas

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Annie Nicholas

Date of Publication: 7/2016

ASIN: B01FP2XSE2

Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 75,000

Cover Artist: Janet Holmes

Tagline:  Here be dragons.

Book Description:

Eoin Grant hasn’t encountered a female of his race in decades, and this crazy person’s scent declares her unmated. Fate set her in his path, and he won’t let this opportunity slip through his claws. No matter how wary she is of him. After all, how many chances does a dragon have at finding love? But fate can be a crueler mistress than his perfect mate. Of all things, she thinks she’s human.

Business is taking off for Angie Weldon. She put her freakishly sharp nails to good use when she opened her back-scratching spa in downtown New Port. The local shifter community pounced on her skills and she’s knee-deep in shed fur. By the end of the year, if lucky, she could afford to move out of her crappy apartment.

Dollar signs flash before Angie’s eyes when a dark, brooding stranger books her solid for a week but she notices the possessive fury in his glare. She’s been around enough shifters to know the look, and she won’t go down that road again. Angie is literally swept off her feet by the intense shifter and he wants more from her than she’s willing to give. She figures it’s best to avoid eye contact and back away slowly. Until he changes her life by insisting she’s a dragon.

On Sale for 99 cents until 7/1/17
Excerpt:
Only one block separated Angie from her workplace. Her lungs burned. No matter how much air she sucked in, there didn’t seem to be enough oxygen.
A tall, slim man smoking a cigarette watched her from half a block away.
How did she notice him in her state of asphyxiation? Because his pale, blue gaze cut across the distance and met hers with such intense fury that it scorched her retinas.
She slowed her pace, glancing over her shoulder, but saw no one. Why was she the focus of his death glare? Maybe he was friends with the jackass in the truck who’d cat-called her and didn’t appreciate her attempt at sign language? If so, he could take a number and get in line with all the other things wanting to destroy her life today.
As Angie jogged closer, she couldn’t help but notice the brightly colored tats peeking out from under his long-sleeved dress shirt. His business attire looked out of place with his shaved head and a cigarette hanging from his lips. He’d never be the poster boy for GQ Magazine, but he sure fit her bad boy fantasies.
He strode into her path, blocking her way. “What are you doing here?”
She tried to brake, but flip-flops weren’t made to stop on a dime. The front ends folded under and she scraped the tips of her toes along the concrete sidewalk. “Mother fucker, son of a bitch…” She hopped on one foot to rub her bloody toes, then repeated the process on the other foot. “What’s wrong with you?” She planted her hands on his chest and shoved, propelling herself backward.
Pinwheeling her arms, she caught her balance. Great, a supernatural. She had a better chance of pushing the Hanover Tower.
He grabbed her upper arm and yanked her kissing-close. “Don’t do that again.”
Her blood smeared across his white shirt where she’d laid her dirty hands. She couldn’t help but notice a small blue symbol tattooed by his left eye. From this angle, she couldn’t see the design completely.
Try as she might, she couldn’t jerk her arms free. Her heart hammered. “Let go.” She glanced around for help, but no one seemed to want to meet her desperate stare. They crossed the street, gazes glued to the ground. The pedestrian population thinned out quickly as many of them found stores they just had to enter. The scent of fear filled the air and only some of it was hers.
“What are you doing in my city?” His whispered question sent chills down her spine.
“Your city? No one owns New Port.” Oh God, she couldn’t stop her mouth. All she had to do was apologize profusely for whatever imagined transgressions and he’d most likely let her go. Angie stared at the shaved dark stubble on his head, since she couldn’t take his penetrating glare. He kept his hair cropped real close. Almost like velvet. She caught her hand before she reached to touch him. Her senses said he was some sort of shifter, but she couldn’t tell what. She suspected she had a little supernatural blood in her lineage, so her skills were limited. Definitely not werewolf. Her ties to the pack were close enough that she knew them at least by sight.
Unfortunately, humans didn’t hold the monopoly on criminals. Supernaturals had them too and Ryota had shown her how to best defend herself. She slid her free hand into her front pocket. “I said, let me go.” She gave her arm another jerk.
He gave her a condescending smile that would have frozen the Eastern Ocean. “Or what?”
She withdrew her hand, aimed at his face, and pulled the trigger on her pepper spray, remembering at the last moment to close her own eyes and mouth.
He let go and roared an inhuman sound. The noise rattled the windows. She thanked God that she’d emptied her bladder before setting the kitchen on fire.
Shit, shit, shit.

She geared her ass to holy-shit-it's-going-to-eat-me speed and didn’t think the soles of her flip-flops hit the ground until she reached the door to her own little business.

About the Author:

Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with bite. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont.







Heart of a Thief by Ella Miles Blog Tour with Excerpt and #Giveaway


Heart of a Thief
Ella Miles
Publication date: June 26th 2017
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense
I’m the villain in most romances.
I’m a thief that steals happily ever afters.
Except unlike most romances love doesn’t conquer me, I conquer it.
I’ve stolen countless women from unsuspecting men.
Gotten my one night with them.
And then watched the heartbreak that occurs in my wake.
Love doesn’t survive once I enter the picture, if it ever existed at all.
Although, stealing Sloane might be my greatest challenge of all.

Asher is a villain trying to a put a horrible life behind him by doing the only two things he knows to do: surf and steal. Sloane is an angel that runs a charity helping children needing a fresh start. Asher will do anything to have her. There is just one problem…she’s about to marry another man.
CHAPTER ONE:
I grab a beer out of the mini fridge while I wait to see if Danielle is coming up or not. I pop the cap off against the counter in my hotel room and then bring the cold liquid to my lips as I stare at the door.
I met Danielle three weeks ago. It was a lucky happenstance really. Well, lucky for me, not so lucky for her. I met her like I meet most of my targets—in a bar. She was with her fiancé, minding her own business, just having a drink at the bar, when he was called away for work. That was when I stepped in and gave her the attention that she was so desperate for.
That’s all it took. One night of being nice to her, and I knew I could steal her from her fiancé. I knew it wouldn’t take long. I probably could have had her that night if I really wanted. But that’s not my game. Cheating isn’t enough. Many a men take back fiancées or wives who have cheated on them. No, I don’t entice the women so that they will cheat on their husbands. I hit on the women to steal them and make them mine—at least, until I get bored with them.
I’m not looking for anything long-term. I’ve never dated a woman for longer than a few weeks after claiming her as mine. Others, I get bored with much faster. I’m not really after the women. I’m after the chase that comes with stealing them away, and that satisfies the rush I used to get when I stole objects instead of people.
I don’t know which makes me a worse person. Stealing things like cars, money, or jewelry. Or stealing women and their hearts. But, this way, at least I don’t have to worry about going to jail.
I sit on the edge of the bed as I take another sip of my beer. I thought tonight was the night I would claim her. I thought tonight was the night I would steal her away. But, as every second passes, I become less sure of myself.
Maybe Danielle loves her fiancé, Wade, more than I thought she did.
I hear a soft knock on my door. Once, twice, and then a pause before the third knock. I grin before I down the rest of my beer and toss it into the trash can as I walk to the door. I open it and widen my eyes when I see Danielle standing outside my door, like I’m surprised that she is standing here even though I’m not the least bit surprised.
“What are you doing here, Danielle? Shouldn’t you be in bed, dreaming about that fiancé you are going to marry tomorrow?” I ask.
I haven’t stolen her yet. Not fully. I don’t win until she’s broken up with him, and I’ve had her in my bed.
Danielle wraps her arms across her chest, covering her cleavage that was sticking out from beneath her sparkly white dress that she wore to the rehearsal tonight.
I didn’t have to do much to get Danielle here. At least, not tonight. All I did was show up at the rehearsal. I made an appearance in the background, and it was enough to convince Danielle that she might be making a huge mistake.
“I’m not getting married tomorrow,” Danielle says.
“Oh,” I say, my voice dripping with sadness that isn’t the least bit real. “Would you like to come in?”
She nods, and I hold the door open for her. She walks over to the edge of my bed and sits down. I walk over to the mini fridge and pull two beers out. I open the caps on both and then hand one to her. She takes it, loosely holding it in her hand. She stares at it for a while, not able to look at me.
I keep my distance until she is ready to talk. Leaning against the counter next to the mini fridge, I sip on my beer.
“I broke up with Wade tonight,” Danielle finally says.
“I gathered that. Why though?”
She looks up at me with puppy-dog eyes. “Because I don’t love Wade anymore. I love you.”
I look at her seriously and say, “I want you.”
She hears I love you though. It’s clear from the goofy smile and blushed cheeks.
But that’s the one thing I won’t ever do. I won’t lie to these women. I can’t help it if they hear what they want to hear.
I put my beer down and walk over to her until I’m standing between her legs. I take the beer out of her hand and place it on the counter. Her eyes follow me.
I push her back on the bed, and then I take the off the T-shirt I’m wearing… She bites her lip as she stares at my abs that have formed from surfing every day.
“Tell me you want me to fuck you,” I say.
Danielle sits up and unzips the back of her dress, letting it fall to her waist, revealing her white lacy bra that holds her perky breasts in, away from me.
“Fuck me, Asher.”
I grin as I grab ahold of her dress and roughly pull it off her body. She lets out a gasp.
She grabs at my neck, trying to pull me in so that she can kiss me. I let her pull me into her. I let her kiss me, and then I turn the kiss into rough kisses that show her what I really want.
“You like it rough,” she says.
“Don’t you?” I ask.
“I like anything with you.”
I flip her over on the bed, and she lets out another surprised gasp.
I slap her ass. “I’m going to fuck this later, but first, I have to claim your pussy.”
“God, just fuck me already. I can’t wait,” she cries into the pillow that she is now face down on.
I sigh. “They never have patience,” I mutter to myself, annoyed that I can’t take my time to properly enjoy her body.
“What?” she asks.
“Nothing,” I say, hitting her hard on the ass, causing her to cry out.
I shove my shorts and briefs down and pull out a condom from the nightstand. I quickly slip it on before she finds a way to get herself off without me.
“Ready?” I ask, pulling her panties down and positioning myself at her entrance.
“Just fuck me already.”
I do. I push inside her tight pussy that I know is anything but ready for me. I’ve barely spent any time turning her on, but if this is what she wants, I won’t object.
She moans loudly and then quickly starts screaming, “Yes…yes,” over and over.
I keep thrusting until I come, not concerned at all if she comes or not. I’m an asshole after all. Although most have called me worse than that.
She must have come because she screams loudly, followed by nothing.
I pull out of her and go to the bathroom to clean myself off. When I’m done, I stay in the bathroom with my hands clenching either side of the sink as I look at myself in the mirror. I can’t handle this woman much longer. It was hard enough to pretend to like her to get her to want me, but now that I’ve had her once, I don’t think I can keep up the act to fuck her more than that. I’m ready for the implosion to happen.
I walk back out and dig through my suitcase to find a fresh pair of briefs to put on. After I do, I glance over at Danielle, who is now under the covers of the bed. Her cheeks are flushed, her brown eyes heavy, and her long brown hair is a mess on top of her head.
“That was amazing,” she says.
I nod and force my lips to curl up into something that resembles a smile.
“I’m ready to go again if you are. Or if you want to sleep some first…”
I take a deep breath, ready to tell her that I’m through with her, that she can’t stay here, when I hear a loud pounding at my door.
I hold up a finger and then walk to the door in just my briefs, not caring who is on the other side. I throw the door open, and before I can register who is standing there, a fist flies at my face and hits me square in the nose. My body jolts backward with the hit, and I put my hands up to my nose as another hit rains down on my face, followed by another. My nose is pouring blood now, and I’m sure it’s broken. My eyesight is blurry, but I think I make Wade out through the haze. Or, at least, my prior experiences with ex-fiancés verify that he is most likely on the other end of the fist that keeps coming at my face.
“Wade, stop!” Danielle screams, running to my aide.
I hear Wade breathing heavily.
“I’m done. I’m done with both of you. You’re a rotten scumbag who deserves to be locked up in prison. And you’re a lying, cheating slut. I’m done with both of you.”
The blurriness finally leaves my eyes long enough for me to see Wade stumbling out of my room, clearly drunk. It’s a wonder he was even able to aim for my face. The door slams shut, and then I see Danielle standing naked in front of me.
“I’m sorry about Wade. He’s just upset that I broke off the wedding, that I no longer love him. He’ll get over it.”
I walk into the bathroom without saying a word and see that I was right about my nose. It’s most definitely broken as blood pours down my face. I grab one of the towels and hold it up to my nose to try and stop the bleeding, but I know it is going to take a while to stop.
“Here,” Danielle says, holding up a bag of ice.
I take the bag from her and hold it up to my face.
“It stings,” I say, wanting to pull it away from my face.
She laughs. “It will help with the swelling and stop the bleeding.”
I keep it on my face and walk back to the bedroom. Danielle follows me.
“I think you should go,” I say.
“What? Why?”
“I don’t want to worry about Wade coming back and beating me up.”
“He won’t.”
“And I don’t think you and I are going to work out. You’re not worth my trouble.”
Danielle’s jaw drops. “I broke up with Wade for you though. I called off my wedding tomorrow for you. I want to be with you. I’ll do whatever it takes.”
“You made a mistake then. You should have stayed with Wade, or you should find someone else. I’m not the man for you, Danielle.”
“He’s not going to take me back now,” she says, her voice shaking.
I smirk. “No, I don’t think he will take you back.”
“You fucking bastard! You asshole!” Danielle shouts, raising her hand to no doubt slap or punch me.
At least, this time, I’m ready for the attack. I grab her wrist midair, stopping her from hitting me.
“You are an evil, vile person,” she says through tears.
I nod. “I am.”
She jerks her hand out of my grasp. “Why would you do this?”
I open my mouth to speak, and she holds a hand up to stop me.
“Never mind. I don’t want to know. I don’t want to spend another second listening to this crap.” She grabs her crumpled dress from the floor and quickly puts it back on, not bothering with her underwear. She cries the whole time.
Occasionally, the women recover after this. They are able to convince their fiancés to take them back. But I don’t think Danielle will. And I’m not sure she is strong enough to fully recover from it either.
She hesitates a second, like she is trying to decide if she should say anything or if I’m going to. When I don’t, she storms out the door without another word.
I take a deep breath as I go over to the bed and lie down, ensuring the ice pack is still on my face.
Shit, I curse to myself when the ice stings my face again.
If I’m going to keep this up, I need to be better prepared. I can’t keep getting hit like this. Next time, I might get a concussion, and then I won’t be able to surf. I won’t let that happen. Next time, I’ll be ready for a hit.
Maybe I should take some boxing classes or something.
I grin. Despite the pain I’m feeling now, I’ll sleep like a baby for the first time in weeks. I stole her heart and then tore it to pieces. It feels good.


Author Bio:
Ella Miles writes sexy romance with strong females that could kick your butt if you piss them off, which they often do to the men that fall for them. She's currently living her own happily ever after near the Rocky Mountains with her high school sweetheart husband. Her heart is also taken by her goofy two year old black lab that is scared of everything, including her own shadow. Ella is the author of the Aligned series. Get a free book by visiting her website. Or by stalking her on Twitter or Facebook.

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Gravestones and Wicked Bones Shadow Creatures by D.D. Miers and B. Crow Blog Tour


Gravestones and Wicked Bones
Shadow Creatures
Book One
D.D. Miers and B. Crow

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Book Description:

Half Fae. Half Demon. 100% Badass Bitch.

My sisters and I weren’t born with magic. No, we were forced into it. Betrayed into it by the one person who was supposed to protect us. Now we’re living in a shithole desert town at the mercy of a sexy-as-hell Fae named Bastian.

So far, I’ve been able to buy Violet and Jade time to live freely, without being held to Bastian’s constant call. I’ve been doing his dirty work for five long years, but my sisters’ freedom is wearing thin. Soon he’ll summon them, just as he did me—and I can’t let that happen.

Bastian’s latest assignment offers an escape for my sisters, and I’d be a fool not to take it. But my target is more powerful than any man I’ve faced before, and doubly seductive. He draws out my inner demons—literally—and evading this attraction might prove more difficult than finishing what I started.


June 25, 2017

Hart of Mine by Annie Arcane With Excerpt and #Giveaway


Hart of Mine
Annie Arcane
(Cale & Mickey #4)
Publication date: June 25th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
God, this woman drives me insane.
In all of the good, most of the bad, and some of the ugliest ways imaginable. But it doesn’t matter because she’s mine. My little sadist. My crazy girl. My beautiful wife.
And you don’t ever f*ck with what’s mine.
Warning: Strong language, mature content, drama, and angst included. Shirt sold separately.
This novella is an adult contemporary romance featuring a disabled hero who (still) happens to be a rich and sexy alpha male with a potty mouth.
Cale and Mickey: Book 4 of 4
EXCERPT:
Fate could be a bastard and fuck with me all day long, but I would never be caught off-guard again. I would leave nothing to chance.
Liabilities were mine.
Assets were hers.
It was simple.
There were no ifs, ands, or buts.
“Doesn’t matter what you want, Mickey. It’s yours regardless.”
“Seriously?” She was staring at me as if I’d sprouted horns and was in desperate need of an exorcism. “Can you even hear yourself?”
I didn’t bother answering. Of course, I could hear myself. I was making perfect sense.
She gave a loud sigh, “I hate it when you act like this.”
“Like what?” The pussy-whipped husband who spoils his wife rotten? The pathetic bastard who empties his bank account at her feet?
“Like this. Like a dumb idiot. Like a controlling jerk. Like…like…” Another sigh. Louder. Far more exasperated. “You. You’re acting like you.”
My fists clenched.
Great. Now I’m jealous of my hypothetical competition. Keeps on getting better and better.
“And who would you rather I act like?”
“Hmm, I don’t know,” she countered sweetly. “How about a reasonable human being?”
Oh, fuck, no.
“How the hell am I not reasonable? I do anything you ask me to. I do everything you ask me to. Even when it’s a blow to my ego, I swallow my damn pride and do whatever you want. For Christ’s sake, we just got married at a drive-thru because that’s what you wanted,” the reminder was bitter on my tongue. “You think that’s what I wanted? You think I spent months learning to stand on my own goddamn feet again because a fucking drive-thru wedding was my end goal?
“But you say jump, I say how high, right? So, by all means, let me know what else you need me to do, Mickey. Tell me how else to prove I trust you because I’ve literally given you every single thing in my possession and it still isn’t good enough. Because I’ve placed my entire life in your hands and…shit!”
It happened so fast.
The crazy girl tackled me.
I didn’t even see it coming. Which was fortunate since I probably would’ve broken something had I braced for impact. She tipped my chair over backward, knocking me right out of the damn seat. And landed hard on top of me, knocking the wind right out of my lungs.
As the room swirled, her panicked voice clawed through the fog, “Oh, my God, Cale. Are you okay?”
Crazy fucking girl.
I nodded, attempting to catch my breath while the fancy-ass ceiling tiles came into focus. Guess I must’ve cracked my skull on the floor too.
“I can’t believe that actually happened.”
A sixteen-pound titanium wheelchair with no brakes vs. a stunningly gorgeous human torpedo with no fear.
Physics 101.
What the fuck did she expect would happen?
“I was only trying to distract you.”
More like trying to kill me. Closing my arms around her, I managed a hoarse chuckle. It was more of a cough. I took a ragged breath and murmured, “You don’t have to try.”
She relaxed into my chest and whispered, “Sorry.”
“No harm done.” Minus the splitting headache.
“Are you sure you’re not hurt?”
“Yeah, except…”
Her head snapped up. “What?”
I curbed a smile, knowing full well this was going to cost me dearly. There was no doubt she’d make me pay for it later.
She scrambled to alleviate her weight, hovering inches above. “What?
Worth any punishment, “I can’t feel my legs.”
God, that laugh.
Who cares about the consequences?
I’d sell my soul to hear that laugh.


Author Bio:
Romance with wounded heroes, disabled characters, alpha males, and angst.
Annie doesn’t like long walks on the beach, getting dolled up, or HEA endings with a boringly perfect hero. She’d much rather be rock climbing, shooting guns, or ending on cliffhangers with a deliciously imperfect hero. And hugs. She likes hugs.
She also has a B.Sc. in Biology and feels kinda sorta weird referring to herself in 3rd person. Just saying.

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June 23, 2017

Caloric by Tricia Barr Blog Tour with Excerpt and #Giveaway


Caloric
Tricia Barr
(The Bound Ones #1)
Publication date: October 1st 2015
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Phoenyx Blake has a secret. When she wakes in a dungeon with three strangers, she is forced to face it, which isn’t easy seeing as her cellmate, Sebastian, has starred in her dreams. As days pass, they learn they are each one of the four elements bound in human form and they have been abducted by an ancient society that plans to kill them and steal their powers. If they hope to escape, they must master their powers, and Phoenyx must learn to let go of fear and let love in, before it’s too late.
EXCERPT:
The door clanked unlocked and then swung open. This time when the large bald man stepped inside, he paused, did a double take of the room and dropped the large paper bags at his feet. His face went sallow and he looked clearly distraught.
“Shit,” he muttered. Then he approached the cell to take a closer look and assess his next move.
As soon as he came close enough, Phoenyx grabbed his arm. He jumped in shock and confusion, but then quickly relaxed, soothed by her touch.
“Don’t be afraid,” she said in a sultry voice. “You want to help us. All you have to do is unlock these cells and let us out.”
“I would but I don’t have the key,” he said, his eyes locked on hers, looking like a love-sick puppy.
There was a collective sigh of disappointment behind her.
“Who does?” she asked.
“Dexter has it,” he confessed eagerly.
“Is there any way that you can get the key for us?”
“Uhhh, I don’t know,” he said. “He keeps it hidden in his office and no one is allowed in there. I will gladly try.”
She frowned. Why did we just assume this automaton would have the key? This really put a damper on their plans.
“Ask him what we’re doing in here,” Sebastian whispered.
“Right, why are we locked up in here?” she asked the oaf.
“Because, you four are the Bound Ones, from the legend,” he said as if it was simple and obvious.
“The Bound Ones?” she asked, feeling like she just stepped into The Twilight Zone. “What legend?”
“Yes, the legend we learn when we join the brotherhood. The legend of the Bound Ones says that, thousands of years ago, man was a slave to the elements. Man could not master crops because Earth was fickle. Volcanic eruptions would swallow whole villages and earthquakes would topple any and all of man’s accomplishments. Man could not master the sea because Water was too proud to be tamed. Air constantly tore apart cities with tornados and hurricanes, and Fire ravaged everything in its path. So our forefathers, the wisest of the Celtic sorcerers, forged a powerful spell binding each of the four elements to a volunteer from the rite, so that man would have control over the elements, rather than be controlled by them.”
“So…you’re saying that the four of us each have one of the four elements inside of us?” she asked, unable to keep the tone of doubt from spewing out.
“Yes, you are Earth, Air, Fire, and Water in bound human form,” he said, as if none of this sounded ridiculous.
Phoenyx turned around and looked at the others. Their faces were a mixture of skepticism and pensiveness.
“If this is true, what makes you think we are these Bound Ones? Wouldn’t they be long dead seeing as this legend happened so long ago?” Skylar asked.
“According to the legend,” the bald man began, “the spell was made to keep the elements bound in human form through reincarnation. The elements are eternal and cannot be destroyed, so if the bound human died, the element would once again be free. The spell was made to assure that once the human died, the element would be immediately reborn into another human vessel. Unfortunately for our forefathers, they didn’t take into account how that would make it impossible to keep track of them. After the first volunteers died, we lost hold of them permanently.”
“That still doesn’t explain why you think these Bound Ones are us particular four people,” Skylar argued.
“There was another partition in the spell,” the man continued. “When one of the Bound Ones dies, all die, and when one is born, all are born.”
That struck a chord in all of them.
“That’s why we all have the same birthday,” Lily said.
“That’s why they want to keep us alive,” Sebastian said. “They think if one of us dies, we’ll all die.”
“Yes,” the man said.
“That doesn’t prove anything,” Sebastian said. “So we were all born on the same day. Big deal. There must be thousands of other people all over the world born that same day.”
“You were all born, not just on the same day, but at the exact same time,” the man said. “Your births coincided with the deaths of four people who showed signs of being the previous Bound Ones.”
“We were all born at the same time?” Lily thought out loud. “That would definitely bring the odds down quite a bit. Approximately two-hundred and fifty people are born every minute—at least, that’s what I remember from my nursery rotation.”
This was ridiculous. It had to be. These people clearly had some screws loose…then again, the four of them did have powers. That couldn’t just be coincidence. That same nagging, writhing feeling reared its ugly head once more. She ignored it and went on with the interrogation.
“Okay, so let’s say we are the ‘Bound Ones’,” Phoenyx said, air-quoting with her free hand. “What do you want with us?”
“The Celtic sorcerers who bound the original humans founded a brotherhood to keep an eye on the elements, to keep everything in balance, and called it the Four Corners.” He moved the fingers of his free hand over the pin on his shirt. “Dexter Mauldive, our Grand Master, convinced the High Council that it was time to put the elements back under our control, and that it would be best to put all four elements into only one vessel, making it easier to relocate them after each rebirth. He has volunteered to be the first.”
“Just how do you plan to do this?” Skylar asked.
“We have realized that we can’t just kill you, because then the elements would immediately be reborn somewhere else and we would lose them once more. Our best researchers have said that the elements must be in a sort of limbo state in order to be manipulated and placed inside a new host.”
Phoenyx swallowed hard. “Limbo state? How will you accomplish that?”
“There is currently a massive solar storm happening. In three days a very rare, very large solar flare is forecasted to explode. Our researchers say the radiation and electro-magnetism this will release will both heighten the powers of all four elements and weaken their hold to your bodies. On that day, the four of you will undergo a series of electrocution which will further weaken that hold enough for the spell to work. In order to break down your bodies even more in preparation for the ritual, we were going to starve you. This is the last time you will be fed.”
Phoenyx’s heart pounded wildly and the hand she grasped him with was trembling and dripping cold sweat. Holy shit, this was so much worse than anything she could have imagined in her head. The prospect of being killed was already bad enough but to find out that they were going to be starved an electrocuted? This was a goddamn nightmare!
She sensed Lily was crying. Like hell she was going to let this happen to them!
“What’s your name?” she asked, her steady voice disguising the panic and anger she felt.
“Lucas,” he answered. She noted to herself how creepy it was that, even as he told them about all the horrible things that his cult planned for them, he still gawked at her like a horny gorilla.
“Lucas, you have to bring us that key and get us out of here,” she commanded, pushing her will into him with everything she had. “At all costs but be discreet about it. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” he said, almost like a moan of pleasure.
She released his arm. “Now go, and hurry!”
He nodded eagerly, moved the last brown paper bags closer to the cells, and left the room.
Now that he was gone, the room was dead silent, except for the loud banging of Phoenyx’s heart. No one spoke for a very long moment. Finally a sniffle escaped from Lily. Phoenyx instinctively turned and put her arms around Lily, inviting Lily to stop holding it in and her tears soaked into Phoenyx’s already quite dirty shirt. Phoenyx had no words to comfort her with this time. If Lucas didn’t come back to free them, they would die.


Author Bio:
Tricia Barr is a Professional Engineer and award-winning author. Her novel WYNDE earned a Gold Medal in the 2014 Independent Publisher Awards for Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Horror e-Book. She co-authored DK Publishing’s ULTIMATE STAR WARS (2015), which compiled all canon material moving forward prior to the release of “The Force Awakens.,” followed by the new STAR WARS: THE VISUAL ENCYCLOPEDIA (2017), which includes content from “Rogue One.” An expert on storytelling, Barr pens a regular series on the Hero’s Journey for the print publication Star Wars Insider magazine. She founded the respected website FANgirl Blog, and her writing can be found on a variety of websites, including Lucasfilm’s StarWars.com, and PopSugar, and Random House’s SUVUDU. She provided editorial services on Del Rey’s STAR WARS: THE ESSENTIAL READER’S COMPANION (2012).
Tricia Barr is an accomplished podcaster, co-hosting the popular Star Wars podcasts Fangirls Going Rogue and Hyperspace Theories. In her spare time, she competes as an amateur equestrian, earning top ten spots three times in national finals.

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June 22, 2017

Gate of Air by Resa Nelson Blog Tour with #Giveaway


Gate of Air
Resa Nelson
(Dragon Gods, #1)
Publication date: June 19th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Frayka must find and convince the dragon gods of the Far East to appease the gods of her Northland heritage. If she fails, her own Northlander gods will destroy all the mortals who once promised to worship them.
The Far East is a mysterious place of legend to Northlanders like Frayka. Only an old map can show her how to get there. Once she arrives, all of Frayka’s sensibilities put her in danger. And every dangerous turn delays her from finding the dragon gods whose help she so desperately needs.
Although Frayka looks like a Far Easterner, she is a powerful Northlander warrior who is quick to voice her thoughts. She is trained to fight and won’t hesitate to do so.
But everything about Frayka puts her in deadly peril in the Far East, where the laws are strict and the punishment cruel.
Especially when the one being punished is a woman.
CHAPTER 1:
How did my life become so turbulent?
As the pale blue and pink light foretold the dawn of a new day, Frayka walked the narrow length of the Northlander ship, a long and sleek vessel that looked like a sea dragon slicing through the choppy ocean waves. The oars piled on the center of the deck rattled against each other. The scent of fish and brine permeated the air. The taste of salt in the air gave her a thirst that seemed impossible to quench. Frayka focused on the horizon instead.
She approached the rail and leaned on it, barely noticing the sound of her sweetheart Njall grunting while he adjusted the sail. After several days at sea, Frayka recognized the coast of her homeland, the Land of Ice, in the distance ahead. But instead of filling her heart with happiness or even meager content, the sight made her stomach twist into knots.
All her life, Frayka had given no thought to the fact that she looked like no other Northlander. Everyone in her homeland—including her own family—stood tall with long blond hair and blue eyes. While Frayka stood as tall as any Northlander woman, she inherited her looks from her father’s grandmother, a woman from the Far East who must have died many years ago.
Although Frayka’s skin looked similar to everyone else’s during the winter months, too much exposure to the sun simply turned Frayka’s skin a golden brown while the skin of all other Northlanders burned bright red. And her long black hair, straight as rain, made her stand out, as well as her dark brown eyes.
Njall joined her side and draped an arm across her shoulders. “Home at last.”
Exhausted from the journey and lost in worry about the days ahead, Frayka didn’t respond.
Njall squeezed her shoulder. “Why so glum?”
“No one told me I’d be meeting a Northlander god,” Frayka said. “I’m still reeling from what the All-Father told me.”
Weeks ago, a shaman led Frayka to the ethereal world of the gods. The god of all Northlander gods—the All-Father—singled out Frayka because she dared to live as a Northlander despite her Far Eastern looks.
To appease the anger of all Northlander gods, the All-Father tasked Frayka with the duty of finding the dragon gods of the Far East. The All-Father told Frayka she then must figure out how to make peace between those dragon gods and the Northlander gods. If Frayka failed, the Northlander gods would kill her.
Why did all gods have to act so foolish and petty?
Why should it be her problem that Northlanders had once worshipped the dragon gods instead of their own gods?
Why should the Northlander gods involve her just because they felt angry and rejected by the mortals who adopted the dragon gods in their absence?
Frayka knew the dragon gods destroyed the Northlands and surrounding countries, even though she’d been an infant at the time. The full blame for that destruction fell on the true Northlander gods, who were enraged first for being ignored and then for being faulted for something they didn’t do.
Why should I care that mortals blame the Northlander gods for the sins of the dragon gods?
The task given to Frayka by the Northlander gods overwhelmed her. Frayka wished she could crawl below deck, curl up in a corner, and sleep until her life felt normal again.
But Northlanders never talked of such feelings. If Frayka admitted to any of them, she would appear weak in Njall’s eyes. He loved her because of her strength and courage. And right now, only Njall knew about the task she’d been given. If no one else believed her, she’d still have Njall by her side.
I can’t afford to lose him, too.
Njall laughed. “You’re spoiled by your own portents. Welcome to the ordinary world that the rest of us live in.”
Frayka knew Njall was right. Since birth, her portents gave her regular glimpses into the future, something no other Northlander could do. She’d known for years that Njall would someday marry her, and her faith never waived. Years ago, he teased Frayka about her portents. Thinking about those days, she said, “Remember when you used to call me Frayka the Freak?”
“Be fair,” Njall said, failing to hide his shame. “I don’t call you that anymore.” He ran his rough hand against her silky black hair. “Not since I saw you become a brave warrior. Not since you saved my life. Once I tell everyone what you’ve done, everyone will love you as much as I do.” Njall hesitated. “Wait. That’s a terrible idea. Someone might try to marry you before I can.”
“If anyone tries to get between you and me, I’ll kick him in the shins.” Frayka laughed briefly before worry overtook her again. “But it’s not my portents I’m worried about. It’s what the gods want me to do. What I have to do.”
“This isn’t like you. You never worry.”
Frayka cleared her throat, knowing the time to keep secrets had to end. “I had a portent last night after you fell asleep. A portent about the gods.”
His arm tensed. “What kind of portent?”
Frayka looked at the sea. “I saw what will happen if I fail. If I don’t do what the gods ask.” When Njall stayed silent, she continued. “They will kill every Northlander who still survives. They will kill you and me and our families and everyone in the Land of Ice.”
“But your portents,” Njall said. “Sometimes they give you an idea of the future. They’re not always exact.”
“This one was,” Frayka said. “Very exact and very clear. I have to find the dragon gods and figure out how to make peace between them and the Northlander gods. Otherwise, we all die.”
Njall shifted his weight when the ship tilted. “Then let’s fight the Northlander gods. Let’s kill them before they can kill us.”
Frayka shook her head. “You don’t understand. All the stories we heard about gods are lies. Northlanders thought the dragon gods were their gods, but it’s not true. Mortals thought the Northlander gods forced the dragon gods to destroy our homeland, but that’s not true either.” She frowned. “Not entirely. Even if we could find the Northlander gods—which is impossible—it wouldn’t solve anything. The All-Father told me what I have to do, and nothing else will satisfy him.”
Njall wrapped his arms around Frayka and held her close. “You’re not alone, you know,” he said. “You’ve got me, and I’ll walk by your side every step of the way.”
His words comforted Frayka. For a moment she found hope and felt excited about the chance to make a difference in the world. She felt no fear of the danger she might face.
Njall pointed at the coastline, now close enough that Frayka saw its black sandy beaches glitter and sparkle in the sunlight. “We’re home,” Njall said. “Look how beautiful it is.”
Taking his advice, Frayka stared at the waterfalls falling from the high cliffs standing behind the beaches. Pointing, she said, “There’s Blackstone.” The settlement of small stone houses rested a short distance from the shore, and grassy hills stretched behind it. In the far distance, a mountain of ice glinted. “What are we going to tell them about why we left?” Frayka said.
“The truth always strikes me as a good idea,” Njall said.
But the truth would involve stories about Frayka’s portents and gods and strange lands.
“What if they don’t believe me?”
“Be yourself!” Njall said. “This is your home! Your family knows you. Everyone in Blackstone knows you. And I know you, too.”
But I befriended someone who suffered because she looked different. Because she came from a different world than the people she lived with. Because she walked with one foot in each world: the one she came from and the one she lived in.
And if I do what the gods ask me to do, won’t I have to do the same?
“Frayka?” Njall said. “Did you hear me?”
“Of course.” Frayka straightened her spine and drew again on her new-found hope. “Let’s go home.”


Author Bio:
Resa Nelson is the author of the 4-book Dragonslayer series: The Dragonslayer’s Sword (nominated for the Nebula Award, finalist for the EPPIE Award), The Iron Maiden , The Stone of Darkness , and The Dragon's Egg . Her 4-book Dragonfly series takes place after the Dragonslayer series.
Her standalone novels include the mystery/thrillers All Of Us Were Sophie and Our Lady of the Absolute .
Resa has been selling short stories professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America), and she is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years as well as a regular contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.

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June 21, 2017

The Drowned Girls by Loreth Anne White Review


Angie Pallorino is a kick ass detective.  Unfortunately, there are those on the force that aren’t convinced that she has what it takes and are ready to see her removed from the force.  There are skeletons in her closet.  Some of which she is unaware.

Detective James Maddocks has picked up his life and moved to Victoria to be closer to his daughter, Ginny.  He is trying to make up for his absence in her life.

James and Angie meet under some very unorthodox circumstances.   When they learn who the other is, it comes as quite a shock.  Then, when they are partnered up, things get hairy.

There is a killer on the loose and Angie is determined to catch this sadistic freak who is torturing and killing young teens.  Little does she know, this case goes far deeper than she ever could have imagined.

The Drowned Girls is a fast-paced thriller that keeps you sucked in to every single page.  The author’s writing style is intoxicating.    I inhaled this book and I am so excited that there are more Angie Pallorino books slated for the future.  If you like murder mystery thrillers, add this to your list of books to read.  You won't be disappointed!

Visit the author's website.

Buy a copy here.

**I received a complementary copy of this book for review purposes.**