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

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

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  • Kinetic’s Tweets

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Allison Merritt stops by with a hot demon sheriff and a Giveaway @allison_merritt

Please help me welcome the lovely Allison Merritt to the blog today. She was not only gracious enough to answer some questions, but she’s sharing her HOT! upcoming release, and giving away some goodies.

Peeps! We have a HOT DEMON SHERIFF 😀 Read on to find out more.

wystantour
Allison, thanks so much for stopping in with us. And for letting us delve into your mind. First, tell me about this hot demon. If the book became a movie, which celebrities would play the characters?

 If Wystan became a movie, I’d love to see Henry Cavill play him. Man, does he have the jawline and the muscles for being a badass demon-slaying hottie sheriff? Yes, yes, he does. And for Rhia, I’d like to pick Anne Hathaway. She’s so talented, and I think she’d really capture Rhia’s personality.

 I’ll just say YUM! at Henry Cavill and we can move on 😉

 What hobby do you enjoy when not writing?

 I got a late start on watching Game of Thrones, seriously, I’m just now on season two, but I’m so into this. It makes me want to write fantasy romance. I love movies. It’s not unusual for me to bring home a different DVD ever couple of days to watch. When I’m not on my bum, I like to walk and take photographs of nature.

 It has a great storyline, love the angst, LOL.

 What’s your favorite comfort food?

 Lemon meringue pie. I call it solid sunshine, because that’s what sunshine would taste like if you could get a mouthful—you know, if it was a thing you could taste and not get horribly burned when you ate it.

 What’s your favorite color? Do you decorate your space and/or dress in this color often?

 It’s blue. I have more blue shirts and a couple of dresses than normal. I told my husband not to let me buy any more blue clothes, but it just keeps happening somehow. It’s not my fault cute clothes come in blue. We should complain to the manufacturers.

 Yay for blue! the best color ever.

  If you could time-travel, where would you go and why?

 I have an awful hankering to meet Nikola Tesla. You know the guy invented a way to get electricity without using all that crap Edison did? I curse Edison every time I get an electric bill. Tesla seems like he was a really interesting man. Little is really known about him, but I’d sure like to talk to him.

 Why are manhole covers round?

 They were inspired by stroopwafels. Have you ever had one of those? They’re an amazing thin wafer cookie filled with caramel syrup. They’re fantastic with ice cream.

 Do you have any upcoming news you’d like to share?

 Just a couple of months ago, I submitted Eban (The Heckmasters, Book #2) to my editor and I’m pleased to announce it’s coming out in April 2015. I just got the cover. I promise, between that and the story, everyone will be blown away.

  

Fast Five:

 Coffee or Chocolate? Chocolate

 Jewelry: Precious gems or gold? Gems

 Beach or Mountains? Beach

 Early Morning or Late Night? Late night

 Fruit or Veggies? Fruit

 

About the Book:

 WystancoverTitle: Wystan (The Heckmasters)

Length: 228 pages

Pubisher: Samhain Publishing

Publication date: October 21, 2014
Buy links:

Samhain            Amazon          B&N          Google Books

 

Blurb:

Her search for safety lands her in a totally new kind of danger.

 The Heckmasters, Book 1

 Certain that an ad for a job in a small New Mexico Territory town is the answer to her prayers, Nebraska schoolteacher Rhia Duke packs her sister into a rickety wagon and heads west.

 Except when they reach the near-deserted town, she learns the truth. There is no job, no future, and no welcome in the bleak blue eyes of the handsome sheriff.

 The minute Rhia’s runaway team thunders into town, Wystan Heckmaster feels the change in the air. One of three sons of a demon who dared love a human, he keeps watch over a Pit guarded by seven seals, and slays any Hellbound demon that attempts to free the master imprisoned within.

 With a gut full of regret and a forgotten town filled with reformed demons, Wystan is certain of one thing: he can’t be the man Rhia needs. But when the truth behind Rhia’s flight from Nebraska comes to light, Wystan must open his soul—and pray there’s enough love between them to overcome the darkness rising from the Pit.

 Warning: Contains a take-no-prisoners sheriff, a woman who can’t outrun her supernatural secrets, and a dusty town where hope is as thin as dust in the wind. Author recommends keeping a glass of cool spring water at your elbow while reading.

 

Excerpt:

 Something changed in the air the moment the wagon crossed the town’s border. Too  early to be a supply train, and there was no way in hell it was visitors. Berner didn’t host  town fairs, theatre troupes, peddlers, or bible thumpers.

 Wystan Heckmaster slapped his battered Stetson on his head, collected the keys to the  jail, then stepped out the door. The first thing he saw was a pretty woman with hair the color of maple sugar—a rich brownish-blonde. The frown on her face spoke volumes, and the air around her pronounced trouble. She made a straight path for him.

 “Mr. Heckmaster. Or should I call you Sheriff? Or Mayor? I need to discuss the ad in the Lancaster County Republican with you. Someone placed an ad, but your brother tells me there is no school here. I’m sure there has to be a mistake. There’s only one Berner in New Mexico Territory. I’m very capable at reading maps. If I wasn’t, I would be ashamed to call myself a teacher.”

 He doubted she had taken more than two or three breaths during the speech. If she made talking in rambling paragraphs a habit, no wonder she looked so peaked.

“Teacher?” He glanced along the street, but it was deserted as usual. “Lady, we don’t have a school here. Certainly no need of a teacher.”

 Her hands balled into fists that settled on her hips. The dress she wore was patched—the egg yolk yellow faded into something even more disgusting. It had little flowers dotting the material, but they looked as worn as her scuffed black boots.

 “Then what was the purpose of placing an ad in the Lancaster County Republican?”

 She spoke with the fierceness of a mama bear warning predators away from her cubs.

 Wystan reached into his shirt pocket and drew out a toothpick. “I didn’t place any ad in any Lancaster County anything.” He looked past her, expecting Eban to saunter up the street. Eban had to be the brother she’d referred to since Tell was still on the trail.

 “Someone did,” she insisted. She fished a crumpled and much-folded piece of newsprint out of the pocket hidden by the folds of her skirt. “See? Right here it says, ‘School teacher wanted for spring term at Berner Schoolhouse. Wages paid based on experience. Room and board provided. Apply in person at City Hall, Berner, New Mexico Territory.’ I’m sure my eyes don’t deceive me.”

 Wystan stared at the clipping, then back at the woman. A galaxy of freckles spattered across her nose and cheekbones, making her look younger than her eyes said she was. Full figured and sure as shittin’ a grown woman. The wariness and worry darkening her hazel eyes gave her away as one with a lot of trouble on her plate.

 “I can read.”

 She pulled the ad away from his face, folded it, and returned it to her pocket. “Where would you suggest I look for an explanation, Mr. Heckmaster?”

 Fussy little thing. “I assure you that no one in this town did. There’s been a mistake. Sorry to inconvenience you, Miss Schoolteacher. Now turn around and head home.”

 A flush colored her cheeks. “I can’t head home! I have no home to return to. My little sister and my friend are waiting at the doctor’s office for me to straighten this mess out. The ad says that room and board will be provided. I’d expected to move into a room, sir.”

 “You left them with Eban?” That explained his absence.

 “Beryl is ill, Sheriff. This is the first town we’ve seen in days and it was past time for her to get some attention.” Despair crept into her voice.

 Wystan shifted his weight and transferred the toothpick to the other side of his mouth. “Eban’s not exactly trained in human medicine.”

 The woman’s mouth opened into an O. She shook her head and seemed to regain her senses. “He’s a veterinarian? He seemed certain he could help Beryl.”

 Wystan cleared his throat. “Sure, animal doctor. I’m sorry for your misfortune, lady, but as you can see, Berner’s about run into the ground. There’s nothing here for you or your friend. Might be best to move along.”

 She seemed to deflate. “Move along.” Her lips moved, softly forming the words, but it was as though she didn’t comprehend them. “We’ll move along, right down the trail into the next town where there won’t be any teaching jobs either. Sylvie, Beryl, and I will starve to death on the side of the road with no one in the world to care.”

 

Buy links:

Samhain            Amazon          B&N          Google Books

Click on the link for the Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

About the Author:

10624850_848959491804943_4194715946300646117_nA love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. When she’s not writing or reading, she hikes in national parks and conservation areas.

 Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

 

Social media links:

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites

Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merritt

G+ – http://gplus.to/allisonmerritt

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/AllisonMWrites

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/

Need new read? It’s HERE! HUNTED BY THE PAST has arrived! #newread #PNR

The first in an exciting new Paranormal Romantic Suspense series-HUNTED BY THE PAST is now available from Muse It Up Publishing

When facing danger, some situations require a unique skill set. Come meet the men and women of the Psy-IV Teams…

huntedbythepast

HUNTED BY THE PAST: PSY-IV Teams book 1

Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past… 

A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.

Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledging relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call. The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list–Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.

The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw. Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her. A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart.

To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves.

Available at:  MUSEITUP Publishing  in all digital formats!

READ AN EXCERPT

Since I didn’t want to touch him, much, I poked a finger against his chest, ignoring the unexpected zap of awareness. “I don’t know how you found me or why, but right now I have other, more important things to do. So, why don’t–”

The ringing of the phone interrupted my tirade.

I shot a look at the phone sitting on the counter to our left, and then narrowed my gaze at Kayden.

He quirked an eyebrow.

The phone rang again.

“You going to answer it?” he drawled.

Stepping back, I plucked the receiver off the cradle. “Hello?”

“Cyn?” What do you know, it was Thomas Anderson Gunderson, A.K.A. Tag.

I stared at the man standing across from me. “Yeah.”

“Where have you been? And why the hell won’t you answer my calls?” Despite his questions, there was a thread of relief in my friend’s voice. Ex-friend, I reminded myself.

“Why would I?” I gave my answer absently, watching Kayden make his way over to the other side of the counter and take a seat on a barstool.

In my ear, Tag cursed. “Dammit, Cyn. I don’t have time to explain shit now— ”

“Why are you calling me?” I cut him off, ice coating every word.

“Why are you in Sedona?” he shot back, his voice hard.

“I’m more concerned with how you got this number and why everyone seems determined to turn my cabin in to Grand Central Station.”

Momentary silence filled the line. “Shaw’s there?”

“Got it in one.”

“Thank God,” Tag muttered. “Be as bitchy as you want, Cyn, but tell me you’re okay. You ran away—”

“I didn’t run from shit, Tag, I was kicked to the fucking curb as soon as you and everyone else got what you wanted.”

“That’s not what happened.”

“Really? Because from where I stood, it sure as hell looked like it.” Silence answered. Turning away from Kayden’s too avid gaze, I tried to regain control so I could kick both of these men back out of my life. “I’m fine, but I’m little busy dealing with my own situation.”

“What kind of situation?” It actually sounded as if he gave a damn.

Closing my eyes, I tried to shove aside the urge to bang my head against a wall at the single minded intensity of the male gender. “My sister is AWOL. Now, can we just focus on why you’re bothering me and Kayden has decided to pursue a career in B&E?”

“How long has Kelsey been missing?”

The urgent note underlying Tag’s question reignited my earlier sense of unease, as if there was something bigger at play here. Worry about Kelsey trumped hurt feelings, so I answered. “Not sure, a couple hours maybe. Her car is here.”

The string of oaths spewing over the line from Tag proved no one could swear like a Marine. “Son of mangy bitch,” he muttered, then he took a deep breath. “The cabin’s an hour and half outside of Phoenix?” He didn’t wait for my answer. “I’ll meet you up there. Stay with Kayden.”

“Tag,” his name came out as a warning of my waning patience. My fingers tightened around the phone, and it took an amazing amount of will-power to not share my own colorful vocabulary. “You need to tell me what’s going on. Right. Now.” The last two words emerged around gritted teeth.

“It’s about Flash. His killer is out.” His unexpected answer stabbed deep, drawing blood under my skin. Brutal memories boiled up and I almost missed his, “Stay with Kayden, Cyn.”

The drone of a dial tone filled my ear. My world spun. I concentrated on setting the phone back in the cradle. My legs were doing a great impression of spaghetti noodles, so I let them fold under me and sat on the cool tile. Six months, I’d run as hard, as fast and as far as I could, but in a matter of minutes I was right back where I started, trapped in a never-ending nightmare.

You have to wonder which fickle fate decided to dump everything on me at once. If I ever got my hands on her, I’d beat her to a pulp. Damn, damn, and triple damn!

The past surged, breaking through to rise in a swamping wave of ghostly screams and the stench of burnt flesh. I dug my fingers deep into my thigh muscles in a desperate attempt to stave it off. No such luck. Greedy memories sucked me down.

My kitchen disappeared, replaced by a fetid alley behind a dive in Where-the-fuckistan. Sprawled on the ground, my head spinning with dizzying sickness and my leg screaming with agony, all I could do was watch and listen. Watch the spreading pool of blood and brains seep from Ortega, his sightless eyes staring past me. Listen to the snap and crackle of a raging fire hissed through the night while the smell of burning flesh wrapped around me. Behind me, someone screamed, his wail high-pitched and full of hopeless agony.

I knew that broken voice.

Even as excruciating pain beat inside my skull, I turned my head, recognizing the figure in the midst of the hellish scene. Searing loss, rage, and fear rose to a scream. My mouth opened and the stench coiled down my throat, blocking the air in my chest. No, no, no!

The shocking feel of hands against my face snapped my paralysis, bringing a touch of the present into the past. Desperate to escape, ignoring the pain radiating down my leg and through my head. I struck out, my hand connecting with flesh. “Don’t touch me!”

Harsh breathing filled the air around me. It took a few seconds to realize it was coming from me. A few more before the low soothing voice penetrated the layers of the past. “Come on back, Cyn. You’re safe.”

 

Now available at: MUSEITUP Publishing

 

Jami Gray Small

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Her latest release, SHADOW’S MOON  was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, HUNTED BY THE PAST, hits shelves in July 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.

Come stalk Jami at any of these fine locations:

Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Goodreads  /  Google+  /  Amazon 

 

Cover Reveal and pre-order for new PNR series by @JamiGrayAuthor #HuntedByThePast #newrelease #pnr

I’m so excited to share with you the cover for the first in my newest series: Hunted By The Past. It’s hitting shelves July 11th from Muse It Up Publishing. After tormenting my cover artist for weeks with nit picky changes, we have a beautiful new cover to share. Without further ado, may I introduce…Hunted By The Past….

Coming July 11th, the first in an exciting new Paranormal Romantic Suspense series-HUNTED BY THE PAST available from Muse It Up Publishing. From now through end of July, you can pick up your digital copy for $2.99. Don’t wait too long, because come August, it’ll be back to $5.95.

When facing off with danger, some situations require a few more unique skills than most. Come meet the men and women of the Psy-IV Teams…

huntedbythepast

HUNTED BY THE PAST: PSY-IV Teams book 1

Sometimes death is the only way to out run the past… 

A reluctant psychic who can relive the past, a man well versed in keeping secrets, and a psychopathic killer enter a deadly game where the past determines the future.

Changing the past is an impossibility ex-Marine, Cynthia “Cyn” Arden, understands all too well. Struggling in the aftermath of a botched mission, which cost her two teammates, her military career, and a fledging relationship, she’s brought home by a panicked phone call. The psychic killer behind her nightmares has escaped military custody to hunt down the remaining teammates, one by one. Next on his murderous list–Cyn. Her only chance at survival is to master the psychic ability she’s spent years denying.

The killer’s game brings her face to face with the one person guaranteed to throw her off kilter—the unsettling and distracting man she left behind, Kayden Shaw. Once she believed he’d stand by her side, until he chose his job and his secrets over her. A choice that’s left the scars of the past etched deep on her mind and heart.

To survive this twisted game, Cyn must risk trusting her heart and accepting who and what she is, or lose not only her life, but the man she loves.

Now available for pre-order at:  MUSEITUP Publishing

READ AN EXCERPT

Since I didn’t want to touch him, much, I poked a finger against his chest, ignoring the unexpected zap of awareness. “I don’t know how you found me or why, but right now I have other, more important things to do. So, why don’t–”

The ringing of the phone interrupted my tirade.

I shot a look at the phone sitting on the counter to our left, and then narrowed my gaze at Kayden.

He quirked an eyebrow.

The phone rang again.

“You going to answer it?” he drawled.

Stepping back, I plucked the receiver off the cradle. “Hello?”

“Cyn?” What do you know, it was Thomas Anderson Gunderson, A.K.A. Tag.

I stared at the man standing across from me. “Yeah.”

“Where have you been? And why the hell won’t you answer my calls?” Despite his questions, there was a thread of relief in my friend’s voice. Ex-friend, I reminded myself.

“Why would I?” I gave my answer absently, watching Kayden make his way over to the other side of the counter and take a seat on a barstool.

In my ear, Tag cursed. “Dammit, Cyn. I don’t have time to explain shit now— ”

“Why are you calling me?” I cut him off, ice coating every word.

“Why are you in Sedona?” he shot back, his voice hard.

“I’m more concerned with how you got this number and why everyone seems determined to turn my cabin in to Grand Central Station.”

Momentary silence filled the line. “Shaw’s there?”

“Got it in one.”

“Thank God,” Tag muttered. “Be as bitchy as you want, Cyn, but tell me you’re okay. You ran away—”

“I didn’t run from shit, Tag, I was kicked to the fucking curb as soon as you and everyone else got what you wanted.”

“That’s not what happened.”

“Really? Because from where I stood, it sure as hell looked like it.” Silence answered. Turning away from Kayden’s too avid gaze, I tried to regain control so I could kick both of these men back out of my life. “I’m fine, but I’m little busy dealing with my own situation.”

“What kind of situation?” It actually sounded as if he gave a damn.

Closing my eyes, I tried to shove aside the urge to bang my head against a wall at the single minded intensity of the male gender. “My sister is AWOL. Now, can we just focus on why you’re bothering me and Kayden has decided to pursue a career in B&E?”

“How long has Kelsey been missing?”

The urgent note underlying Tag’s question reignited my earlier sense of unease, as if there was something bigger at play here. Worry about Kelsey trumped hurt feelings, so I answered. “Not sure, a couple hours maybe. Her car is here.”

The string of oaths spewing over the line from Tag proved no one could swear like a Marine. “Son of mangy bitch,” he muttered, then he took a deep breath. “The cabin’s an hour and half outside of Phoenix?” He didn’t wait for my answer. “I’ll meet you up there. Stay with Kayden.”

“Tag,” his name came out as a warning of my waning patience. My fingers tightened around the phone, and it took an amazing amount of will-power to not share my own colorful vocabulary. “You need to tell me what’s going on. Right. Now.” The last two words emerged around gritted teeth.

“It’s about Flash. His killer is out.” His unexpected answer stabbed deep, drawing blood under my skin. Brutal memories boiled up and I almost missed his, “Stay with Kayden, Cyn.”

The drone of a dial tone filled my ear. My world spun. I concentrated on setting the phone back in the cradle. My legs were doing a great impression of spaghetti noodles, so I let them fold under me and sat on the cool tile. Six months, I’d run as hard, as fast and as far as I could, but in a matter of minutes I was right back where I started, trapped in a never-ending nightmare.

You have to wonder which fickle fate decided to dump everything on me at once. If I ever got my hands on her, I’d beat her to a pulp. Damn, damn, and triple damn!

The past surged, breaking through to rise in a swamping wave of ghostly screams and the stench of burnt flesh. I dug my fingers deep into my thigh muscles in a desperate attempt to stave it off. No such luck. Greedy memories sucked me down.

My kitchen disappeared, replaced by a fetid alley behind a dive in Where-the-fuckistan. Sprawled on the ground, my head spinning with dizzying sickness and my leg screaming with agony, all I could do was watch and listen. Watch the spreading pool of blood and brains seep from Ortega, his sightless eyes staring past me. Listen to the snap and crackle of a raging fire hissed through the night while the smell of burning flesh wrapped around me. Behind me, someone screamed, his wail high-pitched and full of hopeless agony.

I knew that broken voice.

Even as excruciating pain beat inside my skull, I turned my head, recognizing the figure in the midst of the hellish scene. Searing loss, rage, and fear rose to a scream. My mouth opened and the stench coiled down my throat, blocking the air in my chest. No, no, no!

The shocking feel of hands against my face snapped my paralysis, bringing a touch of the present into the past. Desperate to escape, ignoring the pain radiating down my leg and through my head. I struck out, my hand connecting with flesh. “Don’t touch me!”

Harsh breathing filled the air around me. It took a few seconds to realize it was coming from me. A few more before the low soothing voice penetrated the layers of the past. “Come on back, Cyn. You’re safe.”

 

Now available for pre-order at: MUSEITUP Publishing

 

Jami Gray Small

Jami Gray is the award winning, multi-published author of the Urban Fantasy series, The Kyn Kronicles, and the Paranormal Romantic Suspense series, PSY-IV Teams. Her latest release, SHADOW’S MOON  was a Golden Claddaugh Finalist, and the first in her newest series, HUNTED BY THE PAST, hits shelves in July 2014. She is surrounded by Star Wars obsessed males and a male lab, who masquerades as a floor rug as she plays with the voices in her head.

Come stalk Jami at any of these fine locations:

Website  /  Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Goodreads  /  Google+  /  Amazon

 

SHADOW’S MOON is on Tour! #booktour #newrelease #UF #PNR

Look at the lovely banner…isn’t it pretty? SHADOW’S MOON is touring during the month of June. Much thanks to Enchanted Book Tours for setting this up for me.  To see the complete list with links, just click on the banner below.

We have giveaways, excerpts, interviews of all kinds. Come join the celebration as we follow Xander and Warrick’s further into the Kyn world!

Shadow's Moon is on Book Tour in June!

Shadow’s Moon is on Book Tour in June!

BOOK TOUR SCHEDULE

June 1st: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading June 2nd: Promo Post @ I’m an Eclectic Reader June 3rd: Book Excerpt @ The Book Gazette June 5th: Author Interview and Giveaway @ The Single Librarian June 7th: Promo Post @ Book Club Sisters June 8th: Book Excerpt @ Bookaholic Ramblings June 9th: Guest Post @ Forever Book Lover June 10th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog June 11th: Book Review @ Endazzled Reading June 13th: Promo Post @ Hollow Readers June 15th: Character Interview @ The Book Daily June 16th: Book Review @ Bookish Madness June 17th: Book Excerpt @ 365 Days of Reading June 19th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog June 21st: Book Review and Giveaway @ Forever Book Lover June 23rd: Promo Post @ The Reading Guru June 25th: Author Interview @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog June 26th: Book Excerpt @ Realm Tramper June 28th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading June 29th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Book Skater June 30th: Book Review @ Paranormal Romance Authors That Rock July 1st: Book Review, Excerpt and Giveaway @ Dalene’s Book Reviews

Time to meet award winning @AnetaCruz and her latest release THE GUARDIAN #psythrill #newrelease

Today we have the privilege to spend a little bit of time with one of Black Opal’s authors, award winning Aneta Cruz, and her latest release, THE GUARDIAN. If you’re looking for a psychological thrill ride, pick this up! In the meantime, stick with us because you’re going to love who she’s bringing to her dinner party. Swear, I’ll be crashing it. I have a few questions of my own for Mr. Edgar A. Poe. I bet Mischievous and Eerie would gladly help cater. We promised our raven would stay on his best (or the best we could manage) behavior.

The Guardian

THE GUARDIAN

Dr. Josef Stein was trained as a man of science and rationality, but after a tragic experience, he believes that there is something within—or even without—the human body sciences cannot explain. And Stein would do anything to witness it! When his patients begin seeing a ghost, and a woman suspected of killing her child even accuses this spirit of the crime, Stein takes it upon himself to investigate. Unexpectedly, evidence of a supernatural phenomenon starts to mount. The good doctor’s quest to seeis ignited with fervor. He thinks he is on the verge of uncovering the veracity of a thousand-year-old myth when his research gets interrupted by the Gestapo. Stein turns to his colleagues and friends for help, but they begin to suspect that the doctor’s determination may have unhinged his mind. Has Stein, after years of treating the crazy, gone mad himself?

BUY YOUR COPY HERE:   AMAZON     BARNES AND NOBLE    BLACK OPAL BOOKS

We managed to lure her with the promise of visiting Snarky’s Dragons, then we whipped out our questions…

If you were to hold a dinner party for six, who would you invite and share at least one question you would have for each? Your guests don’t have to be alive and if you really want to make it fun, you can use favorite fictional characters.

I think I’d like to have the cast of FRIENDS over for dinner. And I don’t even have to be at the table. I can just sit on the couch [get it] and watch their shenanigans without the remote. I’ll have Monica prepare the food, Rachel whine about how she and Ross were on a break, Chandler can smoke by an open window, Joey must come wearing everything Chandler owns, and Phoebe has to sing the Smelly Cat. And when they leave, I’d like to dig up E. A. Poe, re-heat the leftovers, look into his mad eyes, and ask, “What the hell happened during the days you went missing?” I’d take notes of course, so I can write a book about it. Then I would thank him and say, “The Raven really isn’t all that good.” But I think I would have to quickly throw him back into his grave so he can roll over in it.

–I do believe you’d get a few extra guests…me, Eerie, Mischievous we promise not to embarrass you. Okay, not too much!

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 an astronaut. I’ve been infatuated by the cosmos ever since I looked up at the night sky and realized that we are no more than a speck of star dust. I wanted to be the first woman in space (missed that one). Still, space travel is on my bucket list, so I’m not allowed to die until I take a trip through the cosmos. Oh, and I would really like to meet an alien. Really.

–You know, we might luck out and find a few aliens down here. I could’ve sworn that guy at the coffee shop was from a totally different planet.

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

Jeez, so many come to mind. But this one is definitely true: “She [meaning me the author] can’t control us. We control her!” Yup, no matter how I try to steer my character, they always do what they want to do, say what they want to say, and when I don’t want to let them have it their way, my writing sucks.

–Yeah, those damn characters get so testy when they don’t get their own way. *looking over my shoulder* But you didn’t hear it from me.

What’s some of the funniest/sweetest/strangest things you’ve heard from your readers?

I’m not sure whether one would consider this funny/sweet/strange; however, my readers say countless times that I must be crazy to come up with the stuff I do. Little do they know…I hear voices [insert wicked laughter].

–Just voices? Darling, wait until you start holding entire conversations in public with your “imaginary friends”.

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

“Just make up some good shit.”

 –Hmmm, I detect overtones of Chuck Wendig here…

What is the best advice you can share with others?

“In order to make up some good shit, you must read a lot, and I mean a lot, like a whole pile of shit.”

–Yep, Wendig all the way!

Poor Aneta, we even subjected her to our bullet list. The girl is quick, so don’t miss these…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Neither. Quick wit.

–snicker, giggle

  Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

The Mysterious Mandolin by Yours Truly. I’m not bragging. I really, truly love it!

–bragging rights are totally allowed here in the Swamp.

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

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro, Beloved by Toni Morrison

  Greatest one liner of all time?

Atheists have the best sex.

–Okay, that’s the best one I’ve heard this year!

  Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic wisecracks with a pinch of geeky disdain.

  Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

My husband’s fishing poles. WTH!

–I have a hubby that appears in mine sometimes. I ask the same question.

  Favorite supernatural creature?

Lucifer, Frankenstein, Grendel, Dracula, Hunchback, Veelas, Witches, Ghosts, Dragons… did I mention I love monsters?

–You’re in good company on this one!

Much love to Aneta for stopping by and bringing THE GUARDIAN with her. You too can bask in her presence, just find her in the following places:

Aneta

WEBSITE      FACEBOOK         TWITTER @AnetaCruz     BLOG: conundrumcorner.blogspot.com

Aneta Cruz was born and raised in the Czech Republic. She spent most of her childhood hiding in the library because her friends called her a liar. In her defense, she was only “telling stories.” There Cruz fell in love with books and vowed to become an author. She’d heard that dreams come true in America, so she packed her suitcase and got on the plane shortly after her twentieth birthday. Since then Cruz has earned a BA in English Literature, MFA in Creative Writing, and published a-Muse-me[a]nt, a Collec-tion of Poetry and Prose,  Heartbreak Hotel, The Mysterious Mandolin and took part in the anthology, A Touch of Winter. Her works can be found in Bad-lands, the GNU, the Global Alchemy Forum, and Mused. Cruz is the winner of the 2011 Desert Literary Society Fiction Award.

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

Melissa Groeling’s New Release LIGHTS OUT sheds a harsh light on tough topics #Suspense #Occult #mystery #thriller

Today we have the pleasure of visiting with our friend, Melissa Groeling. Of course, catching her was a bit of a challenge. She kept muttering something about a new release as she dashed about the blogverse. When she finally fell into our trap stopped, we managed to interrogate ask her a few insightful questions. 

If you feel the need to assist in keeping her calm, don’t forget to pick up your copy of LIGHTS OUT, her second book, and watch your back as you travel through Paul Holten’s dark and disturbing world. 

For now, I give you Melissa!  

*aside to Eerie* Why don’t you go check on your free range Zombie herd, you might be down a few head…

Jami! Hey there! *pauses to catch breath* Just barely made it past those shambling hordes you mentioned down at the end of your driveway. Persistent little buggers, aren’t they? So hey, you know it’s good to be here…in one piece too. Thanks so much for having me once again! I considered babbling through my own post for this second go-round but I was reading these questions you sent me and well, some of them were just too good to pass up. So if I may…

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

Paul Holten, my main character from Lights Out, who I tormented relentlessly, has so many issues he’s a lot like those old cars with ten thousand bumper stickers slapped on the back end. With all the edges overlapping, the pictures faded and blackened with exhaust smoke. But the one warning that would be clear would say something like, “Beware: Unstable Ground Ahead.” Now Aaron who is Paul’s boss, would have a warning label in a neon sign over his head. I imagine it would say something like, “Dangerous Curve Ahead.”

Yeah. These two guys are not really conducive to a healthy lifestyle.

 –We all know “healthy” isn’t as much fun as “demented”.

If you turned your laptop/computer/pen/typewriter (yes, some of still use these!) over to your character(s), how would they describe you?

I guarantee that every single one of my characters would describe me as confused and slightly unhinged. They would demand to know why I’m putting them through so much crap. They would probably scream at me to give them something to smile about and I try! I really do but…*sighs* I just can’t. They would call me mean, heartless but I’m trying my best to get them through their issues! Believe me, it’s hard work getting them to see things my way.

 –Tell ’em to pull up their big boy pants cuz there’s no such thing as great art without a little pain and suffering. (Yeah, tried that with Raine, have the scars to show how well that went over…)

What is some of the best advice you were ever given?

I am going to say the most cliché line ever but man, is it the truth: don’t give up. If you give up, you’re only going to regret it later. Then you’ll have nothing but resentment and you’ll end up taking it out on your wife, your husband, your parents, anyone because you didn’t follow through. If you want something bad enough, you go after it and you keep going after it until you get it. Plain and simple.

 –Amen, sister!

Share if you dare, one of your favorite research experiences. Did you join a ghost hunters group? Did you step outside your comfort zone and into the wild world of your characters?

Okay, so this wasn’t really research, per say but when I was writing my first book, Beauty Marks, my main protagonist had been splashed with something…and I’m not going to tell you what because that would give it away. *winks* As a result of being splashed, she was left with some brutal-looking scars. So my job was to find out just where the scars would fall given the distance and the amount of the stuff that was thrown at her. Does that make sense? I hope so. So this was in the middle of February and it was at least 20 degrees outside. I stood on the deck, outside (there was no way I was going to do this indoors—what a mess!) and my dad stood about three feet away from me and tossed a glass of water at me. I jotted down where the water marks were on my T-shirt. Then I changed my shirt, had my dad stand about six feet back and he tossed another glass of water at me. I was laughing so hard I think I ended up snorting half the water up my nose when it hit me. My dad of course was having a field day and my mom was taking pictures. It was insane so apparently I will risk hypothermia for a book!

–Love it! The sacrifices we make for our writing.

We’ve lost Melissa again (Eerie, I told to hold that rope tighter!), but we did get the following bullet list out of her before her disappearing act…

Blades, guns, fists or feet?

Blades

–The bestest things ever!

Favorite Fairy Tale of all time?

Beauty and the Beast

 –I’m amazed at how many writers love this one (including me).

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

White Fire by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

Grim Reaper—End of Days by Steve Alten

–mmmm, variety, the spice of life… 

Greatest one liner of all time?

See ya in the funny pages!

Sarcastic witticism, Southern sweetness or Geeky disdain?

Sarcastic witticism

–Of course!

Strangest item currently taking up space in your writing cave?

A plush laughing skull that no longer laughs

 –What does it say about us that we have skulls on our desk? Mine has some lovely tribal artwork…

Favorite supernatural creature?

Hmmmm….Shape-shifter

Ready to find out just how tough it can get for an assassin? Then pick up your copy of LIGHTS OUT by Melissa Groeling. Shoo *waving hands* go forth, my faithful Swamp followers. Just make sure you keep the lights on!

Lights out

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

            Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

Available NOW:

AMAZON     BARNES AND NOBLE   SMASHWORDS    ARe     GOODREADS

Authorpic

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Lights Out is her second novel to date.

Come find me    FACEBOOK    TWITTER    BLOG

 

@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?

~*~

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

2014–It’s going to be a BIG ONE! #newreleases #pnr #romance #goals #coverreveal

And now for our regular programming…

Dr Who 2

Before we get into the swing of 2014, here at the Swamp we do the annual creation and review of writerly goals for the Evil 7 (or 8). This means we’re trying to hold ourselves accountable while grasping for our writer dream.

For me, the last few months have been a hectic whirlwind.

My NaNo attempt fell short (hit 39K out of 50K)

My EDJ (Evil Day Job–a nifty new term I’ve learned and come to adore) has been undergoing a flux like the Time Vortex under the stunning gaze of our endearing Time Lords (yes, most of my holidays were spent with the Prankster Duo and a marathon of The Legendary Dr. Who),

Black Opal’s THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS came out in December, including my Kyn short: WRAPPED FOR THE HOLIDAYS. Having all those great authors come visit was fun, but now I have to clean up the place.

The shack has become Grand Central Station during the end of year celebrations.

I had multiple offers for my new Paranormal Romantic Suspense series and after whirling like a dervish, I finally, FINALLY got to put my name to paper with an awesome house… (insert name here), so now I can officially say I’m multi-published.

Which means 2014 will be mad, I tell you, absolutely MAD, because:

SHADOW’S MOON, the third book of the Kyn Kronicles will be out in Spring/Summer 2014 by Black Opal Books. And here is the COVER:

JamiGray_ShadowsMoon1400

In May the Knight and I are joining Might Dwarf at the 2014 Romantic Times Reader Convention in New Orleans. ((mad dancing abounds)). For those who don’t know about this conference, it’s like a Red Carpet event for writers and readers. Since I can technically claim both statuses, and it’s in a city that’s on my bucket list to see, I’M EXCITED!

Then we come home, and, if my current contract negotiations go well, HUNTED BY THE PAST, the first book in my Paranormal Romantic Suspense, Psy-IV Teams series will release in Summer 2014. Once the ink is dried on the contract, I’ll tell you who I’m lucky to be publishing with, so stay tuned.

Then, then, as if that was not enough for any writer to giggle manically about, my fourth Kyn book is coming in Fall 2014 from Black Opal, SHADOW’S CURSE.

So because I have so much going on, I decided it is time to create a….NEWSLETTER.

See that nifty link over there in the upper right corner, you can click there and sign up. I’m hoping to have my first one out in Feb/March.  It may only come out a couple of times a year, but still, I wanted a way to reach out to my awesome audience.

Don’t worry, I don’t share your emails with anyone, not even under threat of death, so you’re safe.

I’ve got a couple other events throughout the year planned, but I’ll keep you posted as they come up.

Now, last year we had some of the most fabulous author interviews, and this year is looking just as exciting. Check out the Where Am I? Who’s Here? tab. Kaylea Cross, Deborah Cooke, Martha Bourke, Melissa Groeling, Mona Karel, Pamela Cross, Cynthia Eden and OH SO MANY MORE! (think Despicable Me “It’s so fluffy!” voice).

((big gasp of air))

And all of this would not have been possible without all of YOU! Thank you, all of you, sincerely, for following my blog and continuing to follow–through the interviews, rambling, chaotic writer posts, and blog hops.

Here’s to a rousing 2014!

Coming soon–SHADOW’S MOON…come get hooked! #MRFWhooks #bookhooks #PNR #shifters

I get to take part in Marketing For Romance Writers Book Hook hop and today I’m sharing a little teaser of  SHADOW’S MOON, the third book in my Kyn Kronicles, coming in Spring 2014.  

I don’t have my cover yet (that too shall be coming), but I wanted to share anyway!

SHADOW’S MOON, the third installment of the Kyn Kronicles…

Wolf-Couple-wolves-1383781-633-480-3

As the Northwest Alpha wolf, compromise isn’t in Warrick Vidis’s vocabulary, but when his reluctant mate, Xander Cade, refuses to leave off the hunt for the one threatening their pack, will he be able to bend before they both break?

A blonde, a brunette and a monster walk into a bar and all hell breaks loose.

It should have been the start of a bad joke, but days from a full moon Xander Cade, Tracker for the Northwest Motoki Pack, finds nothing funny about confronting an enraged Shifter in a crowded Portland nightclub filled with unsuspecting humans. The resulting carnage begins to fray the thin veil of secrecy shielding the supernatural Kyn community from public scrutiny. It also ensures there is no escaping the one man she’s been determined to avoid, her Alpha and mate, Warrick Vidis.  Dominating, protective and compelling, Warrick threatens her individuality like no other.

Warrick Vidis has no qualms using whoever or whatever necessary to protect his Pack, or his very reluctant mate. A series of unusual deaths involving lone wolves and anonymous threats against him and his Pack jeopardizes his normal steely control. Add in Xander’s continual reluctance to fully accept their Soul bond, and the line between intellect and instinct begins to blur leaving him wondering if one woman’s love and acceptance will be enough to save both man and wolf.

As the danger escalates, threatening not just their Pack but those closest to them, Warrick and Xander must find a way to trust each other and accept their rare bond or risk losing everything-their pack, their friends and each other.

If you want to catch up before Spring, get your copies of SHADOW’S EDGE and SHADOW’S SOUL, available now!

ShadowsEdge front

AMAZON    BARNES AND NOBLE    SMASHWORDS    ARe     BLACK OPAL BOOKS

ShadowsSoul_HR

AMAZON    BARNES AND NOBLE    SMASHWORDS    ARe    BLACK OPAL BOOKS

Now continue onward to find awesome new reads for the new year, just click below

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