• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

New Release ~ Demonstorm (HoaV #6) is here! #Vampires #romance #Ebooks @AmberKallyn

DemonStorm_Kindle Demonstorm, Heart of a Vampire, Book #6 by Amber Kallyn

Release Date: April 13, 2014

Available at Amazon B&N/Nook Google Play

(Other retailers coming soon)

Amazingly Awesome cover art by Dawné Dominique

Blurb

A vampire demon half-breed must save the only woman able to mend his soul.

Half-demon, half-vampire, Sean MacDougal is an outcast, unwelcome by all. When the Arcaine world finds out a war is brewing that will affect all paranormal creatures, Sean is the only one who can find the demoness who holds desperately needed answers.

Used for centuries as the pet Seer of the demon who destroyed her family, Mayah is rescued by a strange half-breed who asks, rather than demands, her assistance. Unable to trust, she pretends to agree, but only if he helps rescue her brother, held prisoner deep in the frozen wilds of Alaska.

Becoming a protector fulfills an emptiness within Sean he never knew existed. Being protected makes Mayah feel safe for the first time in centuries. Hunted by an entire demon army, led by the one who wants Mayah back, they must learn to trust in themselves, in one another and in the emotions sparking between them–no matter how hard they try to resist.

Excerpt

Chapter One

The Judgment Hall of the castle hummed as it filled with a variety of Arcaine creatures. Jordan, King of the local vampire clan, stood at the front, his arms crossed as he glowered at anybody who got too loud. A cell phone rang out–some hip-hop song–and the King’s glare turned sharp. A young vampire slid deeper into his seat, hastily fumbling to silence the noise.

The long rows of wooden benches overflowed, yet more Arcaine were still arriving.

Whispers said a war was coming. One that threatened to fracture the paranormal world.

Unfortunately, that was all they knew about the darkness drawing near.

Jordan, a newly found cousin, had invited creatures from all over Arizona and the southwest to his historical castle that was hidden from mortals. Together, they would discuss what steps to take to gather more information.

Sean MacDougal stood in the shadows against the wall at the back. Few clan vampires gave him a second glance, used to ignoring him. Outsiders though, had differing opinions on allowing a demon vampire half-breed like Sean to live, much less listen to a conversation regarding such delicate discussions.

A group of Fey, tall and unnaturally beautiful, glided into the cavernous Hall. As one, they stopped, turning their eerie gazes toward Sean. They knew what he was, by the scent of his power, as well as his strange eyes–light gray irises surrounded by a thin band of vampire red, and a second ring of the purest demon black

Sean straightened, ready for whatever was about to come.

One man, at the back of the group, drew a sword as he shouted, “Demon half-breed.” He lunged for Sean.

Pulling one of the thin but deadly katanas from the sheaths across his back, Sean met the Fey’s swing. Swords clashed, ringing out in an echo of magical metal. Blue and red sparks danced above the blades.

“You dare draw a weapon while given sanctuary?” Jordan’s yell boomed through the room, making everyone freeze. Intoned with over a thousand years of power, the man could make others quake with a mere glance, much less his reverberating voice.

Jordan’s wife, Dalia, slid between Sean and the Fey man, pushing their blades down. “Come, now. We’re here to work together.”

The Fey literally trembled with the need to continue his attack. “Abomination,” he growled. Turning to glance over the room, he added, “Everyone knows the law of the Council. Half-breeds are to be killed on sight.”

Dalia hummed lightly under her breath. Her strange Omega magic could bring the feeling of peacefulness to any Arcaine. “This one is an exception,” she replied sweetly, brushing back a lock of pink-streaked blonde hair from her face.

The Fey man’s eyes widened. “Not possible. The Council doesn’t make exceptions for his kind.”

“I can take care of this, Dalia,” Sean said exasperated, his voice laced with barely contained anger. Then his heart sank as he caught sight of the man storming toward them.

Connor Gregory stepped in front of Sean, pushing the Fey man hard enough to send him stumbling.

“I am the Council’s representative here.” Connor bowed slightly, lips turned up in a smirk. His deliberate flash of fangs contained deadly intent. “He is under my protection. Spread the word.”

The Fey’s sword arm shook as he faced a Judge.

Appointed by the Magic Council, Judges were recruited from the strongest, most powerful of all Arcaine and given the power to be not only judge and jury, but executioner as well.

Staring at the back of Connor’s head, all Sean could think about was smashing the flat of his sword against that skull. Knocking some sense into the man must surely prove he could take care of himself.

“Any questions?” Connor turned, his gaze piercing the entire room. Guests and clan vamps alike flinched, many sitting lower in their seats to avoid his glare.

When there was no answer, Connor waved his hand for the meeting to progress. After a long moment, conversations resumed. Connor leaned against the wall next to Sean.

“I could have taken care of it,” Sean mumbled, trying to ignore the fiery blaze of resentment as he shoved his fingers through his short, dark hair.

“Aye, son. Perhaps.”

The constant lack of confidence scratched at his already raw temper. So did the fearful glances from some around the room–not at the vampire Judge, but at Sean and his mixed blood. He barely contained a low growl.

It was bad enough anyone who saw him immediately realized what he was. They either ran away in fear that he must be possessed by a crazed bloodlust, or attempted to take his head per Council law. None could concentrate on the part of him that was vampire–they only saw the certain looming destruction by his demon half.

It was driving him insane to have everyone here continue to coddle him as if he wasn’t a nearly thousand years old. Soon he would be overcome by a bloodlust like they feared. Not because of his demon nature, but from his overprotective parents.

His mother, Ashlyn, swooped in, shooting glares at the group of Fey as they moved off. She patted his cheek. “Are you all right? I’ll teach those jerks to threaten you.”

Sean sighed, shaking his head at the uselessness of it all. She refused to think of him as anything more than a child, as if they hadn’t been on the run for centuries, protecting each other. He hadn’t failed her. Yet since finding their family and a home with this clan, as well as his father, she was more overprotective than ever. As if she was trying to compensate for the rough struggle of the past, or something.

Ashlyn sidled to Connor, placing a chaste kiss on his cheek. When she met his gaze, her eyes smoldered with such intense love, it nearly took Sean’s breath away.

And Connor, his father, looked at her with the same emotion.

Sean scooted away, uncomfortable.

He didn’t begrudge his mother her happiness. Didn’t even feel resentment anymore at his recently found father. He was truly happy they’d rekindled their love. His mother deserved it.

But he chafed at the chains of protection both his parents wanted to shackle him with.

A group of younger vampires sitting a few yards away laughed loudly. He caught a few whispers, glances his way.

How could he ever prove himself worthy of the clan no one ever let him?

Oh, sure. He was a master sword-fighter. Long swords, short, he was proficient with them all. His father had recently taught him the joys of using a katana. Sean now wore a matching pair of the thin, yet deadly, Japanese swords strapped across his back. Designed by an ancient sword master, the blades were not only unbreakable, but imbued with magics.

Every Arcaine was needed in this time of uncertain trouble, but even with all his skills, no one would give him a chance.

The huge doors slammed open and a short, old crone strode in. Stringy white hair fluttered around her deeply lined face.

Some in the room hushed, bowing their heads as the old woman walked by. Others seemed to freeze. The power roiling off her hit Sean. He took a half step forward, undeniably drawn to her magic.

She stopped, smiling kindly, before continuing to the front of the room.

The King and all those arguing with him fell silent as they took a few steps back, making way for the woman.

When she spoke, her voice was impossibly strong. Full of immense magic, more powerful than Sean had ever felt before. “All must leave but those who be in charge, and the few on this list.” She drew out a sheet of paper and gave it to Jordan.

“Connor, Ashlyn, stay.” The king read the rest of the list of those the woman wanted to remain, then he hesitated, sending the crone a sharp glance.

“Aye. I want the man,” she said.

“Sean,” Jordan finally stated, looking up briefly.

Ashlyn opened her mouth to speak, but Connor shushed her. Surprise coursed through Sean as he slowly made his way to the front of the room.

The other leaders began to grumble, but a quick glance from the old woman quieted them. Great. Yet another person trying to keep him “safe”.

Jordan repeated her edict to the lingering crowd, “You heard her. Out.”

Vamps and other creatures began filing out, most avoided looking Sean’s way. When everyone was gone save for the large group who had been on her list and the leaders of each type of Arcaine creatures present, the doors were closed and barred.

The woman pulled a long, black cloth from a hidden pocket and laid it over the seat of Jordan’s throne. From another pocket she drew out a silver cup. Something clattered inside as she shook it, then dumped the contents on the cloth.

Small bones tumbled over one another, only to stop prematurely, as if guided by magic rather than gravity.

The woman didn’t look at the bones, but rather the crowd around her. “Most of ye know me. Some call me Jezamine. Others call me witch, seer, prophetess. Call me what ye will, no mind to me. But I have seen the next step needed if we not be dyin’ in this comin’ darkness.”

Niki, one of Jordan’s vampires, held her husband’s hand. Shane, the local sheriff and Keeper of the Peace between the Arcaine, stared at the bones scattered over the throne as if entranced.

Dalia twirled her pink and blonde hair as she stepped closer to the throne, peering at the bones. “What do you see?” she asked.

“There be one we need.” Jezamine glanced up sharply, staring at each person. Then her gaze landed on Sean. And stayed.

He looked into the crone’s black eyes, feeling as if he was falling into endless depths.

“Demon,” she said.

He was unable to shake his head, or move in any way, as he attempted to deny her words. “Only half.”

She shrugged and with a smirk, stated, “Close enough.”

She finally looked away, leaving him feeling as if she hadn’t been looking at him, but rather into him. “It be a demoness we need. She can see the future, knows about the slimy darkness comin’ over us all.”

Jordan stood straighter. “We’ll gather our best men–”

“Nay,” the crone interrupted. “Ye’re men are no match for this task. No match for the deadly poison in demon claws. Not for her, either.”

Before Sean noticed her moving, Jezamine stood before him. She slid one long, sharp nail beneath his chin and raised his head. Once more he fell into her gaze. She blinked and glanced away before he could try to break free.

The crone stared at his mother. “You coddle this one like he be child. Do ye not see the man?”

Ashlyn opened her mouth, then closed it without a sound.

Jezamine nodded to Jordan. “This one. He be immune to such poisons, and so much more,” she stated cryptically. “He must go. Retrieve the one who can be our help. And he must go alone.”

The room erupted in anger, those not his clan shouting about his tainted blood, how a half-breed could never be trusted.

Sean caught his father’s assessing stare. There was not only a surprising confidence in Connor’s gaze, but approval as well. His mother, however, looked like she was about to cry.

Standing tall, Sean faced Jezamine. “Thank you,” he said softly.

“It not be easy,” she warned. “But ye have it in ye to succeed.” She smiled beautifully, and for a split second, he glimpsed the shadow of a much younger woman shining from her gaze. “Succeed in many ways, if ye choose,” she chortled.

“We’ll get you prepared, packed–” Connor began.

“He must leave tonight.” Jezamine pulled out a notebook, stuffed with papers and all sorts of strange items, from yet another hidden pocket and handed them to Sean. “Trust yerself. That be yer key.”

 

***

 

The overpowering stench of decay in the cavernous dining hall made Mayah’s stomach churn. The sight of demons and a myriad of Arcaine creatures sitting at the long rows of wooden tables and piggishly shoveling food into their maws made bile rise to burn the back of her throat. Raucous laughter filled the air, grating, making her temples throb with a headache.

Someone tossed a cup onto a table and the eighteenth fight of the six-hour long feast broke out. A dog-faced demon wrestled some sort of rock creature across the floor.

Sitting beside her, Brüs laughed as he banged his golden chalice in front of him, shouting, “More!”

Mayah rubbed the chaffed skin beneath the leather collar at her throat, careful not to prick her skin on any of the sharp spikes of specially created iron. The metal, mixed with numerous things debilitating to any demon, would send her reeling from even a small cut. Poison would seep through her blood, taking inestimable time before her body could neutralize it.

Minutes later, the rock creature lay sprawled against a wall, unconscious, bloody and ignored. The dog demon sat back down and continued eating, those around him slapping his back with hearty congratulations.

Unfortunately, that meant Brüs was no longer entertained.

As the last “dancer” was claimed by one of his guests to attend their needs, Brüs grasped the iron chain connected to Mayah’s collar.

He jerked her close enough that she nearly vomited at the rotting stink of his fetid breath.

She glanced up at Brüs, brushing back her many colored braids, ranging from white-blonde to the deep red of blood. It was hard, but she swallowed the nausea and forced all emotion from her face, giving him only a pleasant, if blank, expression.

“You. Dance,” he commanded.

Calming the quick flash of anger, she smiled sweetly. “I didn’t realize I’d been forced down here tonight to be entertainment for you and your men.”

He scowled, taking a minute to process her words, in a near-drunken haze from the demon brew he’d been gulping down by the barrel. His pitted, scarred face remained tinged by the gray that proclaimed him an Abatu demon–one who thrived on destruction and death–rather than flushed red like some of his completely drunk companions.

“You ain’t fulfilling any other duties. When’s the last time you had a prophecy for me like a good demoness?”

She bowed her head, long used to showing a submissive pose while not cutting herself on the spiked collar. Her many-colored braids fell over her face, helping to hide her raging emotions until she could control them once more. “Truly, it grieves me to be feeling so sickly of late. But if you wish me to use my last bit of health to dance for you, I shall certainly do so.”

He grumbled, but allowed the end of the chain to slip from his grasp.

Mayah leaned back, keeping her gaze down and her fisted hands hidden in her lap, out of fear this might be the time her anger escaped.

After a few calming breaths, she risked a glance up from beneath her lashes. Her blood cooled at the calculating glint in his black eyes, as if he wasn’t nearly as drunk as he made out.

“If I don’t get a prophecy soon, perhaps I’ll allow you to join the dancers. Permanently,” he stated.

She hid the shiver that oozed down her spine, knowing exactly what he implied. Only her status as Seer and Prophetess saved her from being mauled in the beds of his guests.

The thought of fulfilling that role, when even some of the pure blooded Succubi demonesses didn’t always survive the night, snapped a tight band of bleakness around her heart.

“Of course, perhaps you may still have some usefulness after all. Can’t allow some brute to take your virginity and your powers along with it.” He sat back in his throne, rubbing his chin as he added his ultimate threat. “Maybe instead, the punishment should go to your brother. I could visit my other castle and see him. Listen to his delightful screams. Think that might reawaken your Sight?”

“No, Sire,” she whispered, struggling to remain outwardly impassive, even as a hopeless, white-hot anger filled her soul. “I shall try harder to find your future. I swear.”

“Make it soon, or your precious kin will feel my wrath.”

“Yes, Sire.”

“Good.” He turned back to his slop, but she noticed the watchful gaze he kept on the crowd.

And on her.

She picked at the fruit on her plate, not bothering to pretend to eat.

Her mind spun. If she didn’t share her recent visions, her future would become even more uncertain than it currently was as the slave of this Abatu demon. He wasn’t just a prince of their hellish realm, but one of the most powerful warriors she’d ever seen.

Lately, he’d been working for a darkness that was easily creeping over everything with a nefarious plot of its own.

Another war was brewing, like those of the long distant past.

Only this time, her visions made her fear this war might be the one to end all of the Arcaine, and all of humanity–not just on earth, but in all realms, including her home.

Not many could face Brüs and survive. But this darkness scared her more than he ever could.

***

Available at Amazon B&N/Nook Google Play

Hope you enjoy 😀

Amber

@JadeKerrion has a new release–ETERNAL NIGHT #newrelease #pnr #newread

Our good friend, Jade Kerrion, has a new title out, peeps! Aren’t you excited? We are.

So check out the awesome excerpt below, then grab your copy of ETERNAL NIGHT!

Eternal Night ebook

“What makes Kerrion’s writing so compelling is the beautifully flawed characters that find themselves in unexpected relationships…these kind of character level conflicts make Kerrion’s writing so deliciously addictive.”—Noor A Jahangir, Author of The Changeling King

“Everything you want in a great story. Love, intrigue, action, betrayal, and understanding.”—Ch’kara Silverwolf, Author of Daughter of Light and Dark

Alone for a millennium, since a human murdered her beloved consort, Ashra, the immortal icrathari queen, rules over Aeternae Noctis, the domed city of eternal night. Her loneliness appears to be at an end when her consort’s soul is reborn in a human, Jaden Hunter, but their reunion will not be easy.

Icrathari are born, not made. If Ashra infuses Jaden with her immortal blood, he will be a vampire, a lesser creature of the night, a blood-drinker rather than a soul-drinker.

Furthermore, Jaden is sworn to protect his half-sister, five-year-old Khiarra. She is the child of prophecy, destined to end the eternal night and the dominion of the Night Terrors—the icrathari and the vampires.

As Ashra struggles to sustain her crumbling kingdom in the face of enemies without and treachery within, Jaden fights to defend his sister and unravel a greater mystery: what is the city of eternal night, and how did it come to be?

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

READ AN EXCERPT

With Tera beside her, Ashra strode forward. A wall of vampires parted to reveal the other two icrathari, Siri and Elsker. A dark-haired human slumped at Elsker’s feet, his wrists cuffed behind his back. Ashra stifled a chuckle. Surely Tera was overreacting; the human was by far the weakest creature in the chamber.

Tera knelt down, wrapped her fingers into the human’s hair, and pulled his head back. The human’s face was handsome enough—the slash of his cheekbones accentuated his perfectly proportioned, sculptured features—but taken as a whole, he was not compelling enough to justify the fuss.

Ashra shrugged. “You’re wasting my time, Tera.”

Apparently undeterred, the icrathari warlord shook the human hard. His eyes flashed open. They were brilliant green, the exact color of the emerald ring Ashra wore on the index finger of her right hand. His gaze was unfocused, and the reflexive narrowing of his eyes matched the clenching of his jaw, hinting of wrenching pain.

Tera looked up and met Ashra’s gaze. “Taste his soul.”

Ashra recoiled, her upper lip curling in disgust. She had no desire to taste a human’s soul. Over the centuries, humans had grown weak, their small lives consumed by superstition and fear. It was better to live on the edge of perpetual starvation than fill her hunger with the pitiful excuse humans called a soul.

“Go deep,” Tera said.

But why? Ashra’s brow furrowed. She glanced at Siri and Elsker, but the two icrathari shrugged, apparently no more clued in than she was. She looked back at Tera. The icrathari warlord known as Ashra’s Blade was the epitome of calm understatement. If she was so insistent, she must have had a reason.

Ashra knelt beside the human. Without flinching, she placed her hand against his muscled abdomen. It was bloody, his flesh ripped by a vampire’s talons.

The man tensed at her touch, and his eyes flared wide with agony when her soul-sucking powers leeched into him. His breath came hard and fast, his chest heaving with the effort as he twisted in Tera’s unyielding grip, trying to break free.

Ashra’s eyes narrowed. The human was weakened—tapped into his life source, she waded through his dazed thoughts and shivered from the echo of each spasm of pain that wracked his body—but still, he fought Tera on the physical plane and Ashra on the psychic dimension, denying her access to his memories and to his soul.

She frowned and slammed her will against his, tearing an anguished scream from his throat, but still, his will did not crumble.

Askance, Ashra looked at Tera. “Did you taste him?”

Tera nodded. “It wasn’t hard the first time; he didn’t know what to expect, but apparently, he does now and is doing a fine job of fighting back.”

Was that grudging respect she heard in Tera’s voice? “Does his soul really matter?”

The icrathari nodded again.

Ashra’s shoulders shifted with the motion of a silent sigh. His resistance left her with little choice. She leaned forward and glided her lips over his in a whisper of a kiss.

Human myths spoke of succubi and incubi—demons that, with a touch, could stir lust in their unwilling victims. All myths were based in reality. The maddening beauty and soul-sucking powers of the icrathari had spawned the legends of succubi and incubi. With a touch, the icrathari could lure their victims into a state of sexual ecstasy, bending the will and baring the soul.

The human tensed against Ashra, resisting the intimate contact. She almost recoiled. Had the centuries dulled her innate powers? Surely she had not forgotten how to lure a man.

She closed her eyes and remembered love.

As always, Rohkeus’s fine-featured face—those beautiful gold-flecked green eyes, so unusual for an icrathari, and teasing smile—came to the fore. With a dreamy half-smile, she deepened the kiss, driving the memory of love before her like a sharpened stake.

At last, the man relaxed, succumbing to the kiss. She leaned into him, heedless of his crimson blood staining her white gown. He was warm, feverish even. Just skimming over six feet, he had more than twelve inches on her, but his physical strength, compared to hers, was puny. She was well aged; over four millennia old, she was the oldest of the icrathari and the strongest. She could have broken his neck with as little effort as a human child snapping a twig.

Her hand trailed across his muscled torso. He made it easy for her to be gentle. His body trembled as if he longed for her. His mouth was hungry for her kiss. He arched up against her, as if craving more. His need was like a living creature, wild and aching for her touch.

Eyes closed, Ashra shivered. Only one other person had desired her as much.

And he was dead.

She forced her way through the memories of pale bodies tangled upon cool silk sheets. When her soul-sucking power leeched out, it found no opposition. Images of the human’s life rewound in a blaze of vivid sights, sounds, and sensations.

Ashra looked up at Tera, her smile little more than a barely perceptible curve of her lips. “He fancies himself the protector of the child of prophecy. Was she among those taken tonight?”

Tera nodded.

Ashra chuckled, the sound without humor. “It’s a pity her genetic heritage wasn’t sufficiently superior to prevent her from being culled.”

“There’s more. Go deep.”

She pushed past the blackness at the start of his memories, expecting deeper darkness. Instead, the colors shifted into shades of ochre and gray. Memories, older than his body, resided in his soul; memories of an Earth long since lost to them—a planet surrounded and nourished by water; images of tall buildings glistening beneath a benevolent sun, and of thriving cities filled with the bustle of humans; memories of quiet and intimate conversations beneath a silver moon, the same silver moon that now graced Malum Turris with its light, though a thousand years older and viewed only from beneath the protection of the dome.

She saw herself as he must have seen her, a much-younger icrathari, still hopeful for the future, never realizing that the Earth they had all known and loved was irretrievably lost. Had she ever looked that vulnerable? Had her smile ever been so beautiful, so filled with love as she looked upon—

Rohkeus?” Oh, blessed Creator, was that stricken whisper her voice?

~*~

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion at: Website / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

Can you keep a holiday secret w/ @khlemoyne and THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS? If so, you could win! #holidays #anthology #giveaway #BOB

It’s almost here! THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS hits shelves TODAY, Dec. 14th! We wanted to get you ready for the release and today we have KH LeMoyne with us and she sharing, but shhh! don’t scream about it too loud, we don’t want to scare everyone away! Besides, you don’t want everyone to know what an awesome gift you’re picking up this year. 

((sigh)) Never mind, go ahead and tell everyone one….please!

3D Paranormal Anthology

Jami, thank you for having me on your blog. I’m thrilled to be in the Things That Go Bump For the Holidays anthology with you and so many other wonderful writers.

My contribution in the anthology, Heart Strings, is a follow-on short story with the characters from my first Portals of Destiny book, Return of the Legacy. For those of you who can commiserate with the difficulty of buy gifts and keeping secrets from your loved ones during the holidays, the task takes on a new level of difficulty in a family of gifted empaths and mystics.

Here’s an excerpt from Return of the Legacy to whet your appetite:

A glint of steel flickered in the shadowed dusk.

“What’s your business here?”

Logan shifted his eyes to make out the owner of the deep rasping voice. He slid his hand higher to palm the child’s head and shield her.

The sword was fisted in the hands of one short, but solid, old man, white hair plastered to his head. Fierce eyes challenged Logan’s, urging him to make a wrong move. Logan had no doubt a mistake now would end his life. Practiced calm seeped through him and froze him in place.

“Logan.” Robert moved closer, but a sword blade from a second person motioned him silent. Robert sank to his knees beside Logan, hands raised in submission in an attempt to defuse the aggression and take the brunt of the attention.

The position would make no difference. Robert was as deadly on his knees as he was on his feet. So was Logan if the protection of the fragile child hadn’t come first.

“There’s no need to hurt anybody.” Logan’s voice stayed calm and low. “We’re no threat.”

“That’s not for you to determine,” the older man rasped.

Logan moved his second hand from the anchor of the rock to the sling.

“Hefin, there’s a child.”

The deep, sultry voice drew Logan’s gaze to the woman’s face. His eyes narrowed. He moved back as she reached toward him, but the sword stopped his movement. Slender long fingers touched the sling with a gentle touch. They paused to cover Logan’s hand on the child’s head, and then retreated. Beneath her hood, he saw the outline of full lips and high cheekbones. Recognition struck a blaze through his body in spite of the wet and cold.

“Stay back from them, Briallen. They’re likely Vandals. Or scouts.”

Her hood feel back. Almond shaped eyes widened before her delicate brows drew together in puzzlement. “No, they are not.”

Ignoring the rivulets from rain that streamed down his face and the sword at his neck Logan met her gaze. “The girl is very sick. She needs a dry, warm place and some medical attention.”

Her hand gently pushed aside the blade at Logan’s throat. “Hefin, there is no harm here.”

Want more? I know you do! Check out her Amazon Author Page for all her titles. We’re going to share her Return of the Legacy:

5.5"X8.5" Post Card Template

Three magical dimensions…Two mystical bloodlines…One undeniable destiny.

Born a magical empath, Logan MacKenzie has spent his life protecting his family from discovery. Evil has found them anyway. What begins as Logan’s search for answers on Earth becomes a race for survival in the magical dimension of Loci.

The battle to save those he cares about will reveal his true lineage—the bloodline of the Makir, one half of a pair of sentinels chosen to guard the mystical portals between dimensions. The price of his acceptance: a love he never imagined possible and a heartbreaking choice.

Her family attacked, her home destroyed, and now stranded on Loci, Briallen of Tir Thar, descendant of a magical race, has only to summon the power within her to return to her own dimension—or so she had hoped. Unfortunately, her powers aren’t cooperating, and the sorcerer bent on her family’s destruction will stop at nothing to possess her.

Raised without knowledge of the portals, the Makir guardians, or her own destiny, Bri takes a leap of faith in an alliance with Logan. Embracing an uncertain power and accepting his goals as hers offers her the only way home. If they fail, the consequences of allowing the portals to fall to evil are unthinkable—the destruction of every magical dimension throughout space.

Or for those who want a little more pulse pounding excitement, check out her Dragon Rider’s Gift:
5.5"X8.5" Post Card Template

Three souls. Two hearts. One courageous calling.

Roark of Nedres spent his life absorbing lore, legend, and rumor to claim his dragon beast in order to save his people. Nothing has prepared him for the ultimate bond fate will demand.

Princess Nira Meriel Estar was born with the power of prophecy. Her most recent vision forecasts a dire fate for her people, promises few answers, and will deliver the country of Fyrhall a victorious future or crushing defeat. 

Kraz, an ancient dragon of mythical power and knowledge, has eluded capture for a thousand years. However, only a dragon of great wisdom would consider an eternal bond to his warrior rider to save his dragon race.

I bet you want your own copy of Return of the Legacy, or Things that Go Bump for the Holidays, or maybe even, Dragon Rider’s Gift?

Good, because KH is going to share one AMAZON or B&N copy of one of these with one of our lucky commenters.  Just tell us, do you like:

variety (Things that Go Bump for the Holidays)

a tale that tugs on your emotional strings  (Return of the Legacy)

 a fantastical tale of mythical proportions (Dragon Rider’s Gift)? 

Indicate your preference: VARIETY, EMOTIONAL, or FANTASTICAL, but don’t forget your email* so we can shower gifts on December 16th !

*we’ll only use your email for gifting, we promise not to send you a plethora of joke emails or newsletters

 KH LeMoyne 

KH LeMoyne left behind a career as technology specialist and now lives in Maryland with her family and two corgis. Her love of things mystical and magical keeps her writing, with characters who fight for never-ending love against insurmountable odds. Well, that and occasionally she gets to write about elves, dragons, immortals, and shifters. You can find Kate on the web at: www.khlemoyne.com, her blog: www.fantasypoweredbylove.com  and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/khlemoyneauthor

Character Interview w/ @JadeKerrion and her #DOUBLEHELIX series… #newrelease #PERFECTIONCHALLENGED #scifi #fantasy

I’d like to welcome Jade Kerrion. She’s brought along one of her award winning characters, Zara Itani, from the Double Helix series.  Double Helix series 4

Today, on our character interview, we’re pleased to welcome Zara Itani, from the seven-time award-winning Double Helix series. Her author, Jade Kerrion, has insisted on sitting in on the interview. It’s not quite the norm, but we’ve agreed to Jade’s request. Let’s start with some easy questions, Zara. How did you first meet Jade Kerrion? Want to dish about her?

Zara: I think Jade was having a midlife crisis when we met. She was growing older, and realized that she was going to live out her life in the frantic corporate rat race of America, while being a mom with husband, two kids, and a mini van. She probably felt that she needed to live vicariously through someone else, namely me.

Jade: I am not having a midlife crisis!

Did you ever think that your life would end up being in a book?

Zara: I’m a mercenary, and I own an agency of mercenaries. No, I do not crave the spotlight or expect to make headlines, at least not with my name in print next to my unfortunate victims. Jade, however, appears to be a strong proponent of full disclosure—it’s amazing, though how her novels are full of people who never disclose anything to anyone else—and she decided to get my name out there.

Tell us about your favorite scene in the Double Helix series.

Zara: My favorite scene from the first three books takes place in the second book, Perfect Betrayal. It’s an intimate moment with Danyael Sabre. It’s especially memorable because, if you know Danyael, then you know that Danyael doesn’t do “intimate” often. Danyael, of course, swears the encounter never took place. He’s lying, of course. We have a daughter and five genetic tests to prove it. (smiles) Of course, I have many favorite scenes in Jade’s upcoming novel, Perfection Challenged. The closing scene is particularly memorable.

It sounds like you have a complicated relationship with Danyael. Tell the truth. What do you think of your fellow characters?

Zara (arching a perfectly tweezed eyebrow): They’re…charming, like black mambas are charming. Still, we’ve gone through a great deal together, and on a good day, I’d trust them, but not too much.

What do you like best about Danyael Sabre? What do you like least?

Zara: Do we have to talk about Danyael?

Well, your name is frequently mentioned in conjunction with his name and Galahad’s. How do you choose between two men who look alike?

Zara: Danyael is Galahad’s physical template, but in every other way that matters, they are nothing like each other. Galahad, the lab-created perfect human being, is eager and impatient to seize the world. On the other hand, Danyael, after a traumatic childhood as an undiagnosed alpha empath, wants nothing more than to be left alone to do his job as a doctor in a charity clinic. I used to think Danyael was evasive and a coward, unwilling to face his past or embrace his mutant powers. He isn’t really. He’s both courageous and compassionate, but most people don’t see him for what he is.

And what about you? What impression do you make on people when they first meet you? How about after they’ve known you for a while?

Zara: Ideally, they’d know me as a practical, levelheaded person who isn’t afraid of doing what it takes to get things done. After they’ve known me for a while, I hope they’ll continue to say the same thing.

Jade (in a stage whisper): Ask her about that compassionate streak…

Zara (shrugs an elegant shoulder): Not there. It doesn’t exist, and you can’t prove it.

Ladies, please. Zara, what would Danyael say about you?

Zara (flashes an amused smile): Ah, he’s much too polite to say anything, but if he did, I imagine he would say that I’m more abrasive than steel wool, and that I have a cruel and ruthless streak several miles wide. He wouldn’t say anything about compassion.

Jade (scowling): He wouldn’t have fallen in love with you otherwise…

Jade, if you don’t mind, I’m interviewing Zara here. Zara, if your story were a movie, who would play you?

Zara: Kate Beckinsale would do a great job. She’s beautiful, and she knows how to kick ass. She’s not Lebanese-Venezuelan, but nobody’s perfect.

Will you encourage your author to write a sequel?

Zara: She’s already written four Double Helix novels, five, if you include the Young Adult spinoff, When the Silence Ends. She insists that Perfection Challenged is the end of the Double Helix series, but that’s not to say that there aren’t other stories to be told about the world of the Double Helix. Knowing her, she’ll be back with another fascinating story about my world and the people who live in it.

What do you like to do when you are not being actively read somewhere?

Zara: You already know what I do for a living; I find ways to keep busy to pay the bills. I also have a two-year-old daughter, Laura. She’s learning her alphabet by reading Dr. Seuss and gun catalogs.

Jade (pulls Zara to her feet and drags her away): I am so sorry. This is why I don’t let my characters out unsupervised. I think they say stuff like that just to embarrass me.

Ah, okay, and that brings to an abrupt end our interview with Zara Itani today. Thank you for joining us for this character interview, and we hope you’ll take the opportunity to get to know Zara better in the DOUBLE HELIX series.

“The best of the four books…the perfect ending to an amazing series.”

Perfection Challenged, the thrilling conclusion to the multiple award-winning, bestselling DOUBLE HELIX series, is finally here. Grab your copy today.

If you’ve never picked up the DOUBLE HELIX series, keep reading for a special offer on the six-time award-winning novel, Perfection Unleashed.

perfection-challenged-600x800PERFECTION CHALLENGED

An alpha empath, Danyael Sabre has survived abominations and super soldiers, terrorists and assassins, but he cannot survive his failing body. He wants only to live out his final days in peace, but life and the woman he loves, the assassin Zara Itani, have other plans for him.

Galahad, the perfect human being created by Pioneer Labs, is branded an international threat, and Danyael is appointed his jury, judge, and executioner. Danyael alone believes that Galahad can be the salvation that the world needs, but is the empath blinded by the fact that Galahad shares his genes, and the hope that there is something of him in Galahad?

In a desperate race against time and his own dying body, Danyael struggles to find fragments of good in the perfect human being, and comes to the wrenching realization that his greatest battle will be a battle for the heart of the man who hates him.

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple iTunes / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK

PERFECTION UNLEASHED Perfection Unleashed

“Higher octane than Heroes. More heart than X-Men.”

Recipient of six literary awards, including First place in Science Fiction, Reader Views Literary Awards 2012 and Gold medal winner, Science Fiction, Readers Favorites 2013.

FOR A LIMITED TIME, E-BOOKS AVAILABLE FOR JUST $0.99 (Discounted from $2.99)

E-books available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Apple / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / Smashwords

Paperbacks available at Amazon / Amazon UK / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

Connect with Jade Kerrion: Website / Facebook / Twitter

Meet #Romance author @NanaPrah visits w/ @JamiGrayAuthor, bringing her #debutnovel LOVE THROUGH TIME!

Greetings, my lovely Swamp peeps, today I have the pleasure of hosting the adorable Nana Prah, fellow Black Opal author, and sneaking a peek at her debut romance novel, LOVE THROUGH TIME.

As always, leave your weapons at the door, try not to shed any blood as you take a seat (I just washed the floors), and give us your undivided adoration….Smokey made some lovely finger foods.  I don’t think they’re actually from Eerie’s Free Range Zombies, but you never know.  I can guarantee they’ll be delicious though.  

Everyone have a seat? Yes? Good, good.  Okay, Snarky, lock the door.  Without further ado, my lovely Pagies (yes, I made this up, think foodies, but with pages!), may I present: NANA PRAH….

If your character(s) came with a warning label, what would it say?

Warning on the heroine, Jasmine: I have a very low nonsense threshold level, so unless you want a fantastic ass kicking, I’d behave myself if I were you. But if I do happen to stomp you down, I’ll be sure to heal you afterwards, because I’m an awesome nurse.

–hmmm, sounds oh so familiar…low patience level, no nonsense, kicking much ass, yes I do believe I know someone just like that!

Personally, I tend to be a bit on the introverted side so the thought of being in the actual presence of one of my favorite writers makes my heart race, my knees shake and tangles my tongue (yes classic fan girl behavior).  Who could reduce you to such a level and how do you imagine your initial meeting?

I love, love, love Dorothy Koomson.  At our initial meeting I’d fall down prostrate at her feet, of course she’s turn and run, and I’d dash after her screaming, “Wait, I’m not crazy. Well maybe a little, but it’s the creative kind. I love your books.”  Once she stood protected behind a police officer, she’d turn and recognize that I’m a fellow writer and a huge fan of hers, and then we’d have a wonderful chat.

–crazy is completely in the eye of the beholder, or the one buckling the straight jacket…

What’s the one genre you won’t ever try and why?

I’m staying away from horror. I have no intention of ever frightening the crap out of anyone with my writing. Plus in the midst of my writing I’d probably end up scaring myself sleepless and that does not sound like fun.

 —Eerie, back off, she doesn’t want to see your collection of severed tongues…no, not the shrunken heads either…

As children we tend to have an idea of what we want to be by the time we’re ten.  Before you decided to pursue the artistic dream of being a writer, what did you want to be and why?

I wanted to be whatever I read or saw (I was a pretty fickle kid). An astronaut, a clown, a tap dancer, an accountant (that one was the weirdest), a member of the  A Team, a chef (I lost that dream when I learned that I don’t actually like to cook). You name it and I wanted to be it. Everything except a nurse, teacher, or a writer- all of which I have become. Life sure is funny.

 –A Team, weird? NEVER!

Share one uniquely strange experience you’ve had that remains crystal clear to this day.

Experiences of de ja vu so intense that I predict what’s going to happen next, and I’m correct. It doesn’t happen often, but it freaks me out every time.

 –You’re not the first guest we’ve had that’s mentioned this one. Writers plus deja vu, I wonder….

Now for our BULLET LIST…Nana’s off and running…can you keep up?

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

I’m a martial artist, I’ll take all four of those bad boys, I know their value.

–Woman after my own heart…

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Mulan (not sure if it’s a fairy tale, but I don’t care). That girl did the rescuing, no damsel in distress there. Plus I fell in love with the captain.

—Bad guys, good guys, kick ass female, magical creatures, we’ll consider it a Fairy Tale!

Three titles and their authors sitting on your nightstand/bookcase/table/floor waiting to be read?

I hope you appreciate how difficult this is for me.

My computer holds Shadow’s Edge by the fabulous Jami Gray

On my Kindle: His Princess (Men of Valor) by Kiru Taye and The Woman He Loved Before by Dorothy Koomson

–awww, now you have me blushing….

Greatest one liner of all time?

“Just remember that I’m an artist, and I’m sensitive about my s^*t.” Erica Badu, Live.

–succinctly put!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism- I’m trying to cut down, but I can never remember why, it’s so much fun.

–Cut down? Blasphemy, Nana! More, you must use more!

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A bottle of Listerine. Don’t ask me why it’s not in the bathroom.

–ummm, have hubby or kiddos, that’s generally a good enough explanation for me!

Favorite supernatural creature?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, she’s not a creature, but she is supernatural.

–Buffy is always welcomed, along with Spike, Angel and the Winchester brothers….

LOVE THROUGH TIME..coming to shelves near you!

Love Through Time Cover

Defending her family – no problem. Recalling past lives – maybe just a small problem. Taking a chance on love again – well…

Jasmine Gibson has her world turned upside down when she meets gorgeous Sean Taylor. He’s the first man she’s been attracted to since her fiancé dumped her two years ago. But when the disturbing daydreams start, Jasmine begins to fear that her actions in a past life may have finally caught up with her.

Sean finds it impossible to stay away from Jasmine even though he can’t shake the inexplicable feeling of betrayal, simmering deep inside him every time he sees her.

To complicate things, someone is out to hurt Jasmine and every time she and Sean are together, the police have to be called. Even if Jasmine can make Sean trust her, the two of them may not stay alive long enough to enjoy their love this time around.

Buy Links: Black Opal Books | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |Smashwords|ARe

Have we whetted your curiosity? Good, our plan has succeeded then!  Nana can be found in these cyber locations for those who have more questions….

Blog : www.nanaprah.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NanaPrah

FacebookNana Prah, Author

Nana Prah was born in Ghana, West Africa, raised in the US and currently resides in Ghana where she loves her job as a writer and nurse educator. She has been writing since she can remember (in her journal) and has been an avid reader of romance novels since the eighth grade. She has finally been able to utilize the years and years of inadvertent research into writing her own romance novels where love always conquers all.

New Release ~ Woot! Magicstorm (HoaV #4) now available & Giveaway

Please welcome Magicstorm into the world, Heart of a Vampire, Book #4.

Magicstorm_Kindle_Smashwords Buy Links:  Amazon     B&N     Smashwords    Kobo    (Coming soon to Apple/ITunes)

Blurb:

When a mortal cop must delve into the paranormal, only a Viking vampire can save her soul, and her heart.

Detective Celeste Wilder knows who she is, a damn fine cop. But when the recently dubbed ‘Cult Murders’ start back up, this time targeting city prostitutes she’s sworn to protect, she’s thrown into a world of paranormal creatures she never believed existed. And now, they’re out to keep her from uncovering even more secrets.

An immortal Viking vampire, Brandon Wulfgar knows something is strange the moment he sees Celeste valiantly fighting for her life against a group of rogue vampires. When he’s asked to work with her–solve the crime while keeping the mortal woman safe–he figures no problem.

But as the undeniable connection between them grows and danger appears from every side, they will have to trust one another not just for their lives, but for their very souls.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

 

Brandon Wulfgar sat stiffly on the icy metal chair. He took a hefty gulp of his drink–a mix of blood and whiskey–never glancing away from his twin brother. Eric lay in the bed, facing the stone wall of the dungeon room. He mumbled in his dreams, the quiet mutterings occasionally punctuated by short, guttural screams. Was he reliving the painful past they’d shared, or that of Eric’s own more recent tortures?

The room stank of cold sweat, permeated by fear and agony.

Brandon’s hands clenched and the mug cracked. It crashed to the floor, shattering.

He stared at the white shards of ceramic covered in crimson. The sight mirrored how he felt, unable to help his brother pick up the pieces and leave the darkness he’d descended into.

With a sigh, he stood and headed for the hall. His king’s new wife was going to be pissed he’d broken yet another cup. He snorted, the sound lacking any amusement. Dalia would just have to deal with it.

He opened the door, then stopped short.

Dalia stood in the hall, arms crossed, tapping her foot. Her short pink-streaked blonde hair settled around her pointed chin and her green eyes flared, vampire-red circling the irises. “Again?” she demanded.

It didn’t matter he dwarfed her with his six-foot-four height, nor that he was ten times stronger. All she had to do was shoot that look of hers and even the strongest of the vampire warriors living in the castle crumbled as if facing a disappointed mother.

Brandon merely shrugged. “I’ll clean it up.”

“Yeah, right.” Her gaze softened as she looked past him to Eric. “No change?”

“None.”

She straightened, rubbing her hands together. “Jordan wants to talk to you. I’ll sit with your brother. And I’ll clean up the poor cup. Again.” Shooting him an ironic look, she added, “We’re almost out of dishes.”

It wasn’t true, but she had a point. He’d gone through an awful lot of mugs lately. But it wasn’t on purpose.

As the older twin, albeit only by five minutes, he’d been raised to protect his brother. To fight the world, side-by-side. Yet he was failing miserably, unable to draw Eric from the cocoon of sleep where he’d escaped.

Dalia entered the dungeon room, and leaving the thick metal door open a bit, sat in the chair Brandon had vacated. She leaned back, hands folded in her lap and started humming. Her voice was soft and airy, a sound guaranteed to get soul-deep inside anyone listening and make them feel better.

As an Omega, she could calm people’s ragged emotions. More recently, with her magic growing, she no longer needed to look into their eyes to gain that connection. Her voice could suck anyone in when she tried.

Brandon’s shoulders tightened when her voice brought no reaction from Eric. It took most of his will to leave, but he forced himself to walk down the icy hallway, and upstairs to his king’s chamber.

Inside, Jordan reclined in a chair, facing the fireplace. The man held a glass of amber-colored liquid. A second full glass sat on the table beside him.

“Sit for a while,” Jordan stated, his Scottish brogue thicker than normal.

Brandon twitched at the tension in Jordan’s voice, and crossed the room to the waiting chair on the other side of the table.

“Any change with Eric?” Jordan lifted his drink and sipped, trying to act casual as he ran a hand through his short blond hair.

Taking his own glass, Brandon gulped it down. The smooth whiskey burned his throat, then settled warmly in his gut. “No.”

Jordan sighed, shifting to face Brandon fully.

Trepidation filled him. The man was normally direct.

“The ‘cult killings’ have started once more in the city,” Jordan said, his gaze dark with anger and confusion.

“But Connor killed the demon behind them just a few weeks ago,” Brandon protested.

“Aye. Yet, here we are.”

Brandon set his empty glass back on the table before he broke that one too. “So is Connor returning?”

“He’s busy with something else.”

“What? His refound family?”

“Nay. Something for the Magic Council.”

Considering the man was a Judge for the council, it shouldn’t be surprising. “So they’re not sending him back?”

“Not now.”

A sinking suspicion crawled into his gut. “Then who are you sending to investigate?”

Jordan just stared at him.

Jumping to his feet, Brandon paced to the fireplace. “I can’t go. Eric needs me–”

Jordan’s voice broke through his agitation. “Needs you? He hasn’t said two words in the last month. He doesn’t respond to anything we try.” He stood, arms behind his back, as Brandon paced. “Someone has to take care of the problem. If it’s another demon, you’re the only one I can send.”

Anger turned his stomach, bile burned up his chest. “I can’t leave my brother.”

Jordan’s voice cracked like steel. “You’ll tell me no?”

Stopping short, Brandon slowly swung around and met his king’s blazing red gaze. He’d never told Jordan “no,” since the man had rescued both him and Eric from living agony. But to leave his brother…

The tension in his shoulders ached. His chest tightened and he gave his king the only answer he could. “When do I leave?”

 ***

 In the lingering heat of the evening, Celeste Wilder strode from her unmarked car towards the flashing lights shining from the alley. Near the yellow police tape, cameras flashed as bystanders tried to capture anything interesting they could put online or sell to the news.

Whipping back her long black hair, she muttered under her breath, “Mierda! Gotta start keeping a damn hair tie in the car.”

One of these days, she was actually going to remember, so when she was called into a crime scene unexpectedly, she didn’t have to deal with the looks she was getting now. It was difficult enough being a female detective without flaunting her femininity. More importantly, it got in the way.

Like usual in Arizona, the weather had bypassed spring entirely. Sweat dampened her neck, making her loose curls cling uncomfortably to her skin.

“Daily, let me in,” she growled at the nearest officer blocking the alley.

He hurried to pull back one of the sawhorses. “Yes, ma’am.”

She pushed past him, taking in the scene. Phoenix PD officers guarded the sight from the lookie-loos, while the coroner hunched over a body only partly hidden behind a rusty dumpster. Overlaying the scent of rotting garbage, she caught the distinct coppery odor of fresh blood.

“Who was first on scene?” she demanded from an obvious rookie as he nervously flicked his notepad open and shut.

“Um, I was, detective, um, ma’am.”

She read his name-tag. “All right, Portensky. Details.”

He fumbled open the notebook, nearly dropping it. “The call came in at 8:02 p.m. I was dispatched, and arrived at 8:09. I didn’t see anything at first.” The kid paled, swallowed hard, then continued. “Then I smelled it.”

“Any information on the caller?” She studied how the dumpster had been pulled away from the wall. Black and red lines of wax snaked from the brick to the center of the alley.

“No, ma’am. Distorted voice, barely clear. Dispatcher said she wasn’t sure she’d even heard the address right.”

“Make sure your report is on my desk by morning.”

“Yes, ma’am.” He hustled toward the street, as if trying to put as much distance between himself and the body.

Unfazed, Celeste headed right for it.

Hovering over the body, the coroner, Frankie, glanced up. Weariness dulled her dark eyes. “Hey, girl. Rough night?”

“About to get worse.”

Frankie sighed, pushing her long bangs from her eyes with the back of her hand, then waved at the body. “No name, no ID.”

“I assume that’s why I was called in. These are my streets,” she replied.

“Sad state this last month, with all these killings.”

Shrugging, Celeste stepped closer. The woman lay mostly exposed, tattered remains of her clothing spread back from her chest. A small piece of red cloth had been draped over her face. Bleach-blonde hair spread around her head, the tips soaked with blood. The killer had taken a knife to her throat and chest.

“Time of death?”

“Her temp is still high. I’d say in the last hour.”

Considering Portensky had been dispatched less than a half-hour ago, it was possible the rumors were true. This cabrón was calling it in before his victim was dead.

Frankie pulled off her gloves. “What kind of sicko mutilates young girls? That’s what I’d like to know.”

“Aren’t they all sickos?” Celeste replied, forcing her emotions away. The victim’s wounds were ragged, as if caused by a serrated weapon. They still hadn’t figured out what the killer was using.

“We’re ready,” Frankie said.

Nodding, she replied, “Go ahead.”

Frankie lifted the red cloth from the body to seal it in an evidence bag.

Celeste’s breath caught, hitching in her tightening throat. “La madre que te parió!” she cursed.

No woman, just a girl.

Baby had been fifteen, max. She’d worked the streets, saying it was better there than at home.

Trying to get these girls into shelters was a trial. Every time Celeste got one off the streets, five more took her place. But Baby had been sweet, mostly clean, not the hardened type Celeste was used to dealing with.

And next week, there was an opening at one of the shelters Celeste worked with that Baby had agreed to enter.

Three damn days.

Swallowing hard against the dark, useless emotions trying to choke her, Celeste forced herself to move, to get on with the job. She noted the wounds and the bruises covering the girl’s face and upper arms. A broken necklace of cheap, brightly colored glass lay discarded near her left hand.

A dark smudge against Baby’s pale skin caught her eye. “What’s that?”

Frankie bent closer, snapping some photos, then gently turned the girl’s hand over.

A black mark had been drawn on her wrist. A question mark with a bar crossing the center of the straight line. Celeste drew a replica in her notebook.

“Didn’t see anything like this on the other bodies,” Frankie said as she took more pictures.

“I didn’t either. They were only left on the walls.” She continued to note the details of the crime scene as the morgue techs wheeled away the body, along with the scattered trash on the ground. They took it all. Anything could hold a clue.

As the other officers dispersed, Celeste stood back and watched. Waited for the scene to clear so she could search for clues. See if she could find more of the strange markings, some sort of runes, like at the other scenes.

As she waited, tapping her foot impatiently, her anger burned hotter.

These “Cult Murders” as the press called them, were supposed to have been solved weeks ago. They had disbanded the taskforce on her captain’s orders.

The city began to breathe easier.

Until a few nights ago, when they’d started up again.

Buy Links:  Amazon     B&N     Smashwords    Kobo    (Coming soon to Apple/ITunes)

Giveaway:

I’ll be giving away a $5 Amazon gift card, INT, Winner to be drawn next week on May 1st at my blog www.AmberKallyn.com

IT’S COMING…SHADOW’S SOUL…ARRIVING JUNE 23rd!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE!

The official release day for Shadow’s Soul is JUNE 23rd!  The exciting follow-up to Shadow’s Edge by moi, Jami Gray!

Even though I’m out roughing it with the other Evil 7, without electronic interruptions so my Muse can focus, I had to share the exciting news!

So drop everything and go pick it up!

Okay, fine, put it on your to do list if you don’t have time to wait!

Here, I’ll even give you the links!

Black Opal Books

Amazon

But before I do, remember next week we have another visitor: Adriana Ryan! So make sure you pick up any body parts so she doesn’t trip on her way in!

Just so you have an idea of what you’re getting…here’s a teaser (because yes, I’m cruel that way!)…may it whet your appetite for more!

CHAPTER 1

Blood dripped into her eyes. Raine McCord raised a hand to brush it away, smearing the warm wetness across her face. The world shimmered feverishly around her, sunlight glinting off the snow draped forest. She stumbled over a fallen log. Pain screamed through tattered nerve endings and down her right leg before the overload caused it to go limp. Collapsing to her side, she tried to protect her right shoulder, which was singing its own chorus of agonies. With a groan, she used her left hand to push herself up to her knees.

She knelt, head down, eyes closed, trying to breathe through the never-ending dizziness. She had to keep moving. Struggling to lift her heavy head, she forced her eyes open so she could focus on the ground ahead of her. You’re dead if you don’t move, Raine! her mind screamed. Faint whimpers and the sound of ragged breathing filled her ears as she dug her bloodied hands into the wet, cold dirt. Dead leaves and fallen twigs scraped against her tender palms. The chill from the patches of snow still clinging to the forest floor under the white barked trees barely made a dint in the pain.

Inadvertent sounds fell like whispers on the icy air as she pulled her battered body along the ground. Somewhere a branch cracked, jerking her attention behind her. Only drag marks denoted her path, looking as if they’d been made with scarlet paint. Forcing her attention forward, she blinked. Her vision wavered between gray and bright white. She aimed for the large, dark shape looming just out of reach.

Inch by agonizing inch, she made her way forward. The indistinct shape came into focus. It was the remains of a large tree, large enough to hide behind. Reaching the dubious protection, she managed to crawl behind it before her arms and knees gave out, sending her face first into the cold, wet earth. The winter forest was strangely silent. Each slow movement torture, she pulled her knees to her chest and curled into a ball.

Quiet. She had to be quiet. Stuffing her fist against her bruised lips, she muted the soft pain-filled noises coming from her abused throat. The rattling shivers from earlier had been replaced by a bone deep weariness. She might freeze to death, but she couldn’t find the strength to care. Closing her eyes, she let the swirling darkness and cold drag her under.

***

Her dreams included strangely soothing chants and curiously subdued drumming. It was a new experience. Generally, her nightmares involved cages, mad scientists, and monsters. At least the forest motif remained familiar. Rough edges dug into her spine. Trying not to be obvious, Raine reached behind her and found—tree bark? Slitting her eyes open, she was met with a curtain of dark, matted hair. Hazy light filtered through the strands. She rolled over. Her hair slid away to reveal a lattice work of branches above her with leaves dancing in the soft green light. Something was off. Something beside the fact she was lying at the foot of a freaking huge tree. The towering branches swayed hypnotically. There was no wind. How did leaves dance without wind?

Gingerly she sat up, brushing her hair out of her face and snagged her hand on a twig. Pulling the tangled mass forward, she found crushed sticks and leaves snared in the inky strands. Flowing white sleeves fell back from her arms as she pushed the mess back.

White? Flowing? What the hell? She didn’t own a white, flowing anything. Jeans, leather and steel, that’s what she was comfortable in.

The crackling of dried leaves heralded the arrival of a new player. All thoughts of the weird clothing disappeared as she instinctively moved into a crouch, reaching for her weapons. A streak of panic hit when she found nothing.

All she could do was wait. It didn’t take long before a wolf emerged from the shifting shadows. Its amber gaze was strangely calm as it padded forward then sat, like a dog. Not once did its attention waver. No dog she knew had fur blending from white to gray to black. She slowly eased back until the great oak pressed against her spine, not once breaking eye contact with the waiting animal.

Unsure of where she was, she dropped the mental barrier she held for protection between herself and the everyday world. Her senses flared to life. Thanks to her Fey heritage she could feel the presence of the natural magic in the fauna around her, a steady ebb and flow of life. If she really wanted, she could dig a little deeper and paint that energy with a visible palette of colors. A recently discovered talent which had nothing to do with her bloodlines and everything to do with her time spent as a lab rat.

She reached for her magic, only to have it slip through her psychic fingers like mist. Startled, she tried again while the strange wolf continued to watch her. The result was frustratingly the same. “What the hell?” she muttered.

Feeling behind her she dug her physical fingers into the rough edges of the tree bark. That was definitely real. She eyed the wolf, possible options cascading through her mind. Escape or confront?

As if reading her mind, the wolf gave her a canine grin full of very pointed teeth. The taunt was clear.

She snorted. “Yeah right, Mr. Big Bad Wolf. Do I look like I’m wearing a little red hood?” She was surprised at how hoarse her voice was. Only one thing had ever made her throat this raw. Problem was she couldn’t remember anything requiring that much screaming.

“Red would not be your color, Raine,” a female voice mocked. Raine jerked her head up so fast everything did a slow, stomach-churning spin. Once her vision settled, she was able to refocus on her surroundings. Other than the wolf and the tree behind her, everything else was shrouded in shadows and mists.

“You need to come back.” A woman stepped out of the shadows. Moving to stand beside the wolf, she scratched behind one gray ear. The woman was tall, taller than Raine’s own five-foot-five frame by a good couple of inches. Various shades of blonde were drawn into a simple braid. Deep brown eyes sparkled with some inner amusement. “You can’t stay here.”

“I don’t know where here is.”

The blonde tilted her head in a strange bird-like manner. “Here is where you go to heal, to get away from the rest of the world. Think of it as your own personal garden of Eden.”

Raine couldn’t stop the snort of disbelief or the bitter twist of her mouth. “This is the first time my Eden doesn’t look like hell, so I’m not so sure this is all my doing.”

Impatience passed over the strong-boned face. “Regardless, you need to go back now.”

The snappy tone didn’t sit well with Raine. Rising from her crouch, she hid the shakiness of her legs with a sneer. “How am I supposed to get back?”

This place set her teeth on edge and getting out of here was priority number one.

Frustration tightened the woman’s lips. “Don’t you know how to do this?” Her voice was sharp, impatient. “It’s your spirit you’ve trapped here. You have to make the decision to come back to yourself. If you don’t, you’re going to die.” Her braid slid over her shoulder when she crossed her arms. A flash of comprehension passed over her face. “Ah. Perhaps that’s what you want then?”

Raine found her hands clenching into fists at her sides. Her instincts were screaming that danger was barreling toward her. “If this is my Eden, who the hell are you?”

“Tala Whiteriver, and you, Raine McCord, are dying.” Tala’s voice was melodic, yet there was something in the undertones which sent shivers down Raine’s spine.

The woman turned, her voice floating back to Raine. “Follow then, if you have the courage.”

The last was a challenge. Rising to its feet, the wolf stood, its tongue lolling out in obvious canine laughter. Tala’s figure disappeared into the thick surrounding shadows. The wolf began to follow his mistress into the haze.

Not one to ever back down, Raine stepped away from the sheltering tree. As she moved near the gray shifting shadows, the drums and chanting came back. At the edges of the glade, they became insistent, driving. A few more steps and she was in the mist of dark shadows

Missing the Blog Train…

Sincerest apologies! Totally dropped the dagger on the blog post for last week–and honestly, I have no excuse.  Even the fact that the Prankster Duo have revved up their antics, the Hellhound has decided to start experimenting with strange growths near his butt, the Knight in slightly muddy armor has been fending off the dragons single handedly, and me…I don’t think I’ve slowed down since the week prior.

Summer is when the temps rise, so you laze around a body of water (hopefully flying kola free), drink something cold and fruity (maybe a new blush from the Werewolf Monastery), and watch the days pass on by while Swamp Thing’s new and decidedly more colorful garden blooms.  Right?

Wrong.

Summer is when you realize that although every other Swamp resident may get to sleep in, you’re SOL.  Because as soon the sun starts to burn off the miasma of Zombie stench, you should have already:

  • hunted down breakfast for the Hellhound and presented it to him, making sure your presentation is up to Gordon Ramsay levels, because if it’s not you and the entire neighborhood will be forced to listen to his displeasure.
  • made sure Knight’s armor is still slightly muddy, plus make sure he was able to find not only his lunch, but his assorted weaponry before he takes the loyal steed out for his next adventure.
  • confirmed that Eerie’s Zombies did not breach the perimeter security during the night and invite Grandpa and Grandma Wizard to participate as snacks (‘Let’s eat grandma & grandpa!’ takes on a whole new meaning when it’s moaned!).
  • yell at the computer as it slowly decides to find an electronic signal in North Timbuktu so I can do my quick pop in/pop out to all the overwhelming social venues I am now indentured to for the next eternity.
  • straighten up the shack, including but not limited to, putting away the stack of dishes that have re-populated during the evening hours (I so don’t want to know what those dishes are really up to in the wee hours!), push/pull the Prankster Duo from their nesting spots with minimum of cursing, try to find the other boot that disappeared between taking it off and getting up (damn poltergeists!), shoving the detritus that is determined to conquer the entire cabin behind the boys’ doors, and then…
  • discuss, rationally, the pros and cons of sugar coated sugared versus fruit and oats as a nutritional requirement for growing males.

And that’s just the first 30 minutes.  It grows like a snowball of doom after that.

So the fact that I’ve been buried under the avalanche of “responsibilities” has put some serious hurdles into getting Shadow’s Moon some alone time.  I’ve managed to re-write the first couple of chapters three (or is it four?) times now, but think Xander’s finally decided to settle down a bit and share.  Considering the annual trip of the Evil 7 (we’re currently at 8, but unlike Snowhite and the Huntsman, we haven’t decided which one gets to take the arrow yet!), is quickly descending, I CAN NOT WAIT!

Think about it…4 blissful days of no internet (except for research, of course!), no phones (did you know cell phones have off buttons?), no TV (no hardship there, it’s why DVR’s were invented) and no outside responsibilities to pull me away from my fantasy world and the nightmares that inhabit it!  Plus, there is enough food to feed a small garrisson of trolls, witty humor with others who understand the necessity of demonstrating the proper techinques behind breaking necks and can intellecutally debate the merits of various herbal poisons and sharp, pointy weapons.  Ah…nirvana!

Plus, the cherry on top?  Shadow’s Soul is set to hit shelves on JUNE 23rd!

All of this is what will get me through the next week…then I’ll be back and we’ll chat again!

The Impending Release…

Okay drag your mind out of the gutter and let mine float by!  Not that kind of release, I’m talking about release dates for books!  Oh yes, I finally got my release date for Shadow’s Soul: Book 2 of the Kyn Kronicles…

JUNE 23rd, 2012

Some nightmares are born of love…

Raine McCord has no problem taking down the monsters of the world, it’s one of the reasons she’s so good at her job.  So playing bodyguard to Cheveyo, head Magi of the Northwest, as he consults with the Southwest Kyn should be an easy assignment. Unfortunately, simple task turns into a nightmare when Cheveyo is kidnapped and Raine is left for dead by one of the Kyn’s most feared beings, a Soul Stealer.

The Stealer’s attack leaves lasting wounds, undermining Raine’s confidence as a warrior and damaging her unruly magic. Her ability to heal her mind and spirit hinges on the one man who can touch her soul, Gavin Durand.  Compelled to face the emotions raging between them, they must embrace not only their stormy relationship but their evolving magic to escape the twisted threads of murder and betrayal to find Cheveyo.

As Raine and Gavin come together and begin to unravel the complex web of secrets and hidden vendettas haunting the Southwest Kyn, they discover unsettling new truths that threaten their very existence.

Plus, our very own Snarky Dwarf has a title coming out on Friday, April 13, 2012.  For those who love their romance with a bit of bite (I know, over used pun but it works!) check out her title:

BLOODSTORM

Cover Art by the amazingly talented Dawné Dominique

When duty forces a shaman to stop a vampire from her revenge, love doesn’t just burn… it bites.

For two hundred years, Niki DeVeraux has been tracking the monster who murdered her family and made her a vampire. She finally catches up to him only to face more than she bargained for in a too-sexy sheriff who makes her remember she’s still a woman. With duties as Keeper of the peace and Sheriff, Shane Spencer must protect humanity and stop the friction between the local Arcaine races before it turns into an all out blood war.

When wolves start turning up dead, the tension between the races grows and suspicion falls on Niki. Shane knows she’s not to blame, and it has nothing to do with the primal urges she stirs within him. Working together, they must stop the hostilities from going over the edge. Trouble is, the desires raging between them might prove more dangerous than the surrounding threats.

So on Friday the 13th (yep, you saw that right!) head over to Amber Kallyn’s Blog and join in on the release party.  She even has some cool giveaways! Hope to see you all there!

Reminder:  Blog stops for this week:

4/9/12              Bri Clark’s Belle of Boise where we explore how I learned plotting from soap operas.

4/14/12            I’m visiting with Lindsay Jones’s at Just Another Book Addict to chat about my family.

If you missed last week’s spots, you can still catch them at:

Mona Karel’s blog   The Rise of the Furry Sidekick

Nanny Berry’s Getting Naughty Between the Stacks         You Never Really Grow Up…

 

–Wicked

IT HAS ARRIVED!

IT’S HERE!  IT’S HERE!

SHADOW’S EDGE MAKES ITS DEBUT ON  NOVEMBER 1, 2011!

You must run right out and get it! Right now! Put down that cup of coffee, it will still be there when you get back.

Zip over to Barnes and Noble if you’re a NOOK-er, Amazon if you prefer KINDLE, or Black Opal Books if you like holding the actual book in your hand!

Go…go on…go get it!

Not only is this happening this week, but THERE’S MORE!

Yes, indeedy.  I am appearing at: Marketing For Romance Writers Blog  on Friday, November 4th! So go check out my post!

BUT WAIT! THERE’S STILL MORE!

Can’t get enough of me? That’s okay, because I’m making the round on NOVEMBER 8th at the following:

The lovely Michelle Miles has invited me over to Ye Old Inkwell.

And for those who like their romance so hot even the local Fire Dept. isn’t enough, I’m dropping by

Menagerie Authors for a little chat!  But ID maybe required!

So find me this week! It’ll be fun!

  • Follow The World of the 7 Evil Dwarves on WordPress.com
  • Enter your email address to follow the 7 Evil Dwarves and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 8,478 other followers

  • Blog Stats

    • 25,112 hits
  • Current Chats

    lisamorrowbooks on What Type of Dragon Are You?…
    lisamorrowbooks on Asimov vs. Dick – What D…
    bagcal on Asimov vs. Dick – What D…
    lisamorrowbooks on Asimov vs. Dick – What D…
    Mortimer on What Type of Dragon Are You?…
  • Archives

%d bloggers like this: