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The Haunting of Elmwood Manor
by Pamela McCord
(a Pekin Dewlap Mystery)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: May 20th 2019
Genres: Middle-Grade, Mystery

Pekin Dewlap hasn’t seen a ghost since she was twelve. But she’d do anything to get them back. Starting a ghostbusting business with her two best friends, Amber and Scout, seems like the perfect way to accomplish her goal. Of course, playing with ghosts isn’t high on their wish list, so Pekin has to do some arm-twisting to get them on board.

Once committed, Pekin and her friends find themselves in deep, trying to solve the disappearance of fourteen-year-old Miranda Talbert. Miranda went missing in 1918, and her spirit has wandered the halls of Elmwood Manor for the last hundred years.

In the midst of finding Miranda, discovering her budding feelings for Scout, and consoling a terrified Amber, Pekin is met by an angry ghost set on thwarting her plans. Will the Ghosties be able to help Miranda, or will Pekin’s business die before she solves the mystery?

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Author Bio:

Pam was born in Arkansas several decades ago. She’s not sure if that makes her a Southern Girl or if moving to Southern California when she was five revokes her Southern Girl card. She started writing later in life when she was challenged by a friend to create a book out of his story idea. Reaching the first 5,000 words was a milestone, but with time and hard work she managed to finish an entire book, much to her surprise. Since then, she’s written several novels, in several genres. Romance, middle grade and paranormal comprise most of her work. Pam has spent over 40 years working as a legal secretary at a law firm in Orange County, California. Aside from writing, she follows the stock market, buying, selling and trading stocks and options. In contrast to that, she loves trips to Las Vegas where she can spend many happy hours at the Pai Gow tables. She shares a condo with her very own My Cat From Hell TV star, Allie, who manages to exude just enough affection to make her scary feral ways tolerable.

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Hello awesome readers. I am thrilled to share this beautiful cover reveal with you for the upcoming release of:

When the Sky Falls by Scarlett St. Clair
(When Stars Come Out #2)
Publication date: TBA
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Blurb:

Anora Silby has reached an uneasy alliance with the Order—she will ferry souls into Spirit and help weaken Influence, a God of Chaos who grows in power. To do this, she must train and learn to summon the Adamantine Gates.

But Influence isn’t Anora’s only enemy. Mysterious figures watch her from a distance and Valryn from all over the states begin to protest her freedom. Not to mention, Roth DuPont, the current head of the Order, is essentially holding her hostage.

Then a prominent Elite is found murdered, and all evidence points to the Eurydice.

Shy Savior knows Anora didn’t commit the crime, but proving her innocents becomes difficult when he discovers she’s been conspiring with death-speakers—an act that is considered treason by the Order. As he searches for the real murderer, Shy uncovers threads that lead him to truths that will change his—and Anora’s—world forever.

Alliances shift and a different kind of chaos ensues.

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Sequel to:

Author Bio:

Scarlett St. Clair lives in Oklahoma with her husband. She has a Master’s degree in Library Science and Information Studies and spends a lot of time researching reincarnation, unsolved murders and Greek mythology-all of which made it into her debut novel, When Stars Come Out.

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Hello awesome readers. It’s almost 2019 here in Cali and time to share my favorite books that I read in 2018. Without further ado, here is my list! In no particular order.

Top 10 Books of 2018

The Bug Jar by Ava Black
(Psychological Thriller, Crime, Mental Illness Awareness)

Reading Blue Devils by Jon Bennett
(The Devil visits an inner city school in this Contemporary Fiction, Satire)

Fountain Dead by Theresa Braun
(Horror, Haunted House, Historical Fiction, LGBTQ, Diversity)

The Step-Spinsters by Madina Papadopoulos
(Cinderella Retold, Her step-sisters side of the story)

Ebb Tide by Jase Kovacs
(Zombie Survival at Sea)

Monsters in the Clouds by Russell James
(Dinosaurs in our time)

The Nightmare Room by Chris Sorensen
(Haunted House Horror)

Cordial Killing by Vikki Walton
(Cozy Mystery set in a B&B)

Short Stories:

Hope and Walker by Andrew Cull
(Ghostly Mystery)

Flipside by Jenny Twist
(Sci-fi Romance)

This year I was a judge in the Indie Horror Book Awards so I read some extra special books that have inspired me to give you one more category from my reading experiences for the year: Most F*cked Up Weird Shit I Read in 2018. These were not books I enjoyed reading .

The shocking books that take the prize of
“Most F*cked Up Weird Shit I Read in 2018” are:

Siphon by A. A. Medina
(Horror. That bit where he chooses the prostitute on her period for a little snack was tooooo much.)

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Hello awesome readers. I hope everyone has been having a fantastic holiday season! It has been a mad blur for me and I cannot believe the year is almost over. I’m sorry I meant to have this review done much sooner. Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books is a really fun book that would make a great gift for just about anyone (13+). Below you’ll find my 5 star review, as well as pics of a few of my favorite pages! Also don’t forget there is still a little bit of time left to enter our December giveaway contest so get in there while you can!

Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books & Illustrated by Karina Shor

At first glance you’d think this was another holiday book for kids, but once you open to the first page you’ll realize it’s geared for adults. It’s a large picture book, at 60 pages, full of fun rhymes and great comical illustrations. Though many of the references to social media, twerking and things like that will appeal to kids and teens, images of reindeer smoking and drinking beer might be a tad inappropriate for a younger audience. The rhymes make the story fun to read aloud and the positive themes of inclusion, and spending quality time with loved ones over the holidays, makes this a really enjoyable read for anyone celebrating Christmas or Hanukkah. This book doesn’t focus on the religious elements of the holidays and instead serves as a humorous satire for the commercially run digital culture that we live in today.

Funny illustrated book for adults.

The story features Larry a Jewish reindeer who is cruelly given the nickname Schmuck in school. He is a really relatable underdog that is unpopular and bullied, but he grows up with great ambition and lands a job working for the fat man himself, Santa Claus. One Christmas a near disaster occurs when the elves forget to put batteries in the toys. Larry’s quick thinking saves the day and earns him some long overdue respect.

Spending quality time with friends and family is the most important part of the holidays!

Even if adult illustrated books don’t tend to get the sheer quantity of re-reads that children’s books get I could still see this being a fun holiday tradition to share each year with family, and even a good coffee table book to entertain your guests with throughout the winter season.

This is my favorite scene from Schmuck the Buck.

This is my favorite quote from the book:

“Christmas isn’t just about gifts, but the love underneath,
So it really doesn’t matter your religious belief.
We give because we care, we love, and want to please,
So there’s room for every one of us under our Christmas trees.”

Happy Holidays!

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Library of Absolution
Jennifer Derrick
(Legacy of the Book Mesmer, #1)
Published by: Crimson Tree Publishing
Publication date: December 17th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

Alarick Brandon is the powerful wizard who operates The Keep, a refuge for magical people fleeing the persecution of the Ministry. A bitter realist, Alarick knows it’s only a matter of time until the Ministry succeeds in eradicating magic from the world—and exterminating all magical beings—so he has been careful to avoid any personal involvement with the people who pass through his sanctuary.

But when Elissa Stone arrives at The Keep, her village a smoldering ruin, and only her magical talent and a forbidden library left to her name, Alarick’s ordered world descends into chaos. Elissa is a Book Mesmer, a magical talent long believed extinct. She can enchant books, making them indestructible, unreadable…even deadly to unauthorized readers. But while her magic can secure a legacy for future magical generations, it’s not a skill that’s good in a fight, and certainly not one that Alarick sees any real use for. But there’s something compelling about a woman who defies the Ministry’s edicts against female literacy, and she seems determined to prove that knowledge is a weapon in its own right…

The first installment in an enticing new fantasy series by author Jennifer Derrick, The Library of Absolution is a compelling story of perseverance and determination in the face of persecution, in a Dark Age where hope is lost—and knowledge is the only thing left to fight for.

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EXCERPT:

“You told me you left to look for books,” Alarick said.

“I did, in part. That wasn’t a total fabrication. I figured if I was leaving I might as well make the effort. If I was going to get killed by the Ministry, it should be in the service of something larger than myself. Fool that I was,” she whispered.

Alarick ignored the last part. She was only stating a fact. There was no need for him to comment further on her foolishness.

“But you had no intention of returning?” he asked. “Because of something you found in my library?”

The thought of her leaving with no intention to return gutted him. It was bad enough she’d wanted to leave at all; to put her safety at risk for the sake of some books. It was bad enough that he had failed to keep her safe; to understand what she meant to do until it was too late.

But even at the worst of it, he’d believed she intended to return to him. To the Keep. That was why he’d gone after her, because he believed she still wanted to be here. That she’d intended to run away forever was unthinkable. That he’d risked his life for someone who had run from him, who wanted nothing to do with him, was galling.

He choked back his rage and sorrow, replacing them with cool disdain.

“Well, then, are you going to tell me just what was so terrible that it would make you flee and never come back? I’m aware that nothing in that library paints me in a flattering light, but you already knew of my unpleasantness. Surely the disjointed ramblings of a young man could not be quite so damning,” Alarick said.

Of course, he knew the truth. There were some secrets in there so damning he could imagine exactly why she wanted to run from him. It was why he kept that room protected. Damn her for finding it. Damn her for finding him.

She turned her head away from him. Not that it mattered. She couldn’t see him. But he wasn’t going to let her damn his soul and cast him out of her life without at least facing him while she did it. He reached over and with gentle pressure turned her chin toward him.

“If you expect me to forgive you for your trespass, you will at least face me while you tell me exactly what sort of monster you believe me to be,” he said.

“I’d rather you tell me the story as the man you are now, not the boy who did the things I read. Tell me there’s a better ending to your story. Tell me that you are not the monster.”

He laughed at that.

“Would that I could,” he said. “But since you read my books, I’m certain you know there is no redemption for me. That is why you left, isn’t it?”

“No. I didn’t leave because I feared you to be irredeemable. My time with you has taught me that there is more to you than the boy in those books. I left because I feared there was no place for me in your story. And that I could not bear.”

He was about to say something, but suddenly he couldn’t remember what it was. What had she said? She hadn’t left because of his past deeds, but because she was afraid he had no place for her? Was that possibly right? He struggled to make sense of it in his brain. He’d expected condemnation, not… Was it disappointment he heard in her voice?

Before he could sort out a proper response, she said, “I’ve read your grimoire. It’s terrifying. Start with why you took such an interest in dark magic and go from there.”

Alarick said nothing at first. Why had he taken an interest in dark magic? The question was better phrased as, “Why not?” He looked at Elissa. She might not be able to see him, but she had an uncanny ability to focus on his face as though she could. And something in her eyes compelled him to tell the story that he’d never told anyone in its entirety.

Author Bio:

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website: JenniferDerrick.com.

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More books by Jennifer Derrick:

 

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Once Upon the Longest Night
Publication date: December 21st 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

The longest night. A vampire’s delight.

The winter solstice, a time of birth and rebirth, life and death, waning light and rising darkness. A time when those who flee the sun and crave the taste of blood find their greatest solace.

But one never knows what the longest night might hold.

Once Upon the Longest Night, a collection of adult paranormal romances, features eight novelettes of lovers and their battles against one of the greatest legends of our time: the vampire. A 15th-century seaman and the love of his life come face to face with a vengeful manjasang. In ancient Rome, a hunted priestess captured by a loyal centurion offers her aid to the enemy. With the help of a handsome Royal courier, a reluctant Romanian princess braves the curse flowing within her noble blood. Danger awaits when a vampire in the far reaches of North Dakota must endure the lethal cold to protect the woman she loves. And in a future New York, a broken general returns home for the Longest Night Ball where he meets a young male witch who might change his life forever.

This anthology combines vampire mythos and affairs of the heart with the sacred symbolism and magic of the winter season.

Sit back and let us tell you a tale. Welcome to the Longest Night.

Heat levels: Sweet to erotic.

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SNEAK PEEKS:

From His Last Battle by Sara Dobie Bauer:

Story Blurb:

Suffering from PTSD, vampire general Devlin Frost returns home from the war on Lycans and attends the historic Longest Night Ball. Here, royal witch Elijah Crow must choose three immortal suitors to compete for his love and power. When Devlin is shockingly chosen as one of the three, his immediate attraction to the young witch coaxes him into entering the fray, but this battle is for more than Elijah’s love. The broken general might also win back his ruined heart and bruised soul—if he survives the night.

Excerpt:

Everyone knew Westwyck Coven threw the best Longest Night Ball. Devlin had been there before, six years prior, before heading off on another successful tour to battle the Lycans in Africa. Ever since they’d butchered all the humans on that continent, the werewolves had been trying to invade upon the rest of the world.

He’d only been home for a matter of weeks and had yet to remember how to be normal, although “normal” was difficult to quantify within the bounds of fae high society. As a soldier, the aristocracy frustrated Devlin. He’d spent hundreds of years fighting bloody battles with wolves, yet it was the wealthy that scared him most—with their passive-aggressive posturing and sickly sweet smiles. At least werewolves came at him with teeth bared. Now that he was back in New York, it was impossible to know who wanted to be a friend and who wanted him dead.

And, there was the matter of the posadh.

Some royal witch had apparently just turned eighteen, and as per custom, she was forced to choose three possible vampire mates to compete over her for the duration of December twenty-first’s darkest hours. Deflowering a virgin witch gave vampires increased power—whether that be physical, influential, or financial. That power could last upward of one hundred years, so competition was famously fierce. At least one of the three “suitors” usually ended up dead. It was a disgusting business but part of fae high society. The union benefited vampires, but it also granted witches a vampire’s immortality, ensuring the secrets of magic lived on and on, all part of the treaty’s give and take. Devlin wanted nothing to do with it. Already, he missed the war.

To rectify his unease, he had wandered away from the grand ballroom an hour before. He now perused the quiet back hallways of Westwyck Estate, far from the sound of an impressive all-witch orchestra that played Christmas carols arranged as waltzes and tangos. He sipped a rich mixture of blood and sweet red wine from a crystal goblet as he strolled, taking in the mansion’s interior. In homage to ancient tradition, electric lights had been dimmed for the night, replaced by tall, gilded torches standing at intervals down the endless hall. Their dancing flames cast flickering shadows on the walls, creating what he assumed should be a sensual mood. Instead, he thought of battles long past, bloody fangs in firelight. As opposed to terror, the memory afforded perspective. He would much rather have been at a twilight fight than surrounded by the cultural complexities of a fancy ball.

On the walls, papered in forest green, hung massive portraits of Westwyck witches who’d come before—men and women who’d probably died long before the treaty. For all he knew, vampires had killed some of them. Magic and blood fae hadn’t always been buddy-buddy.

He was leaning forward, almost nose-to-nose with the painting of an ugly witch named Galahad, when a hidden door sprang open to his right. A blood-soaked Lycan lunged with jaws wide.

Devlin vaguely heard his wine glass shatter. He punched the monster once in its gaping jaw, twice beneath its hairy ribs, then unleashed his own fangs, prepared to tear the monster’s throat. But a bright green light flashed through the hall, momentarily blinding him. He didn’t notice the pain until his back slammed against a wall, and he melted to the floor.

He curled in on himself, moaning. He hadn’t been hit by a spell like that in… Never. He had never felt such power in his long, long life. He tried to stand, ready to fight more and more—fight forever if he had to—but a tall, dark shape pointed a glowing finger in his face.

Eyes unfocused, Devlin at first thought the tall creature looming above him a phantom until it said, “General Devlin?”

He blinked and tried to swallow around the lingering pain rising from his gut. He tasted blood, but at least pain allowed a little clarity.

Devlin sought his werewolf adversary but saw nothing more than a heavyset thug with a bloody nose, groaning on the floor ten feet away. And the phantom wasn’t a phantom at all but a man.

Though young, he held the bearing of someone who knew how to own a room. Despite being thin and in possession of such delicate features as to appear feminine, he held his shoulders up and back, his chin high—like a soldier bracing for battle. In an all-black suit, the witch was all the more ominous due to his glowing green pointer finger, still directed at Devlin’s nose.

“I’m sorry.” Devlin pressed the heel of his hand to his throbbing temple. “I thought…” The words solidified in his throat. War had followed him home.

After his last tour—when he’d started seeing imaginary enemies everywhere—he’d been forcibly sent home to New York. The doctors said the delusions would stop once away from combat. They said to give it time. Get married. Get settled. Find happiness. But what did doctors know about being a soldier?

The phantom lowered his glowing hand and spoke over his shoulder. “Jesus, stop moping, Lucius. Some bodyguard you are. Clean yourself up.”

The injured “bodyguard” swore and shoved to his feet before disappearing through the door hidden in the wall, leaving Devlin alone with the witch.

Devlin stood slowly—no sudden moves with this witch around—and eyed the man warily. “You don’t seem like you need a bodyguard.”

With a cocked brow, the witch shrugged a slender shoulder. “I don’t, but my mother insists.”

Hand no longer glowing, he reached up to touch the long scar on Devlin’s cheek.

Devlin caught his wrist and squeezed, feeling a powerful pulse radiating into his palm. It tempted him far more than it should have. “Don’t be rude,” he said.

The witch smiled, and Devlin instantly read the question glittering in his eyes: Or what?

Hand still in Devlin’s grip, the witch’s dark eyes drifted over him, taking in the navy blue uniform and cornucopia of medals over his heart. “The great general.” A hint of admiration warmed his voice. “My grandfather used to tell stories about you. But you’ve been gone.”

Devlin still held the witch’s hand. He couldn’t seem to let go—or, perhaps, he didn’t want to. He swallowed hard, realizing how long it had been since he’d stood close enough to smell desire in someone’s blood. He smelled it now. “Only six years,” he said.

“That’s a long time. To me.”

“It would be.”

Devlin couldn’t keep from studying the witch more closely. He had the tender skin of innocent youth, the unbridled passion of a boy on the cusp of manhood, and the eyes of a fearless soul. It was almost too much. Too tantalizing.

Finally, Devlin forced himself to let go. He busied his hands with straightening his suit. “Are you even legal?”

The witch touched his wrist where Devlin’s grip had been, as though he’d felt the heat between them, too. On an exhale, he pushed black curls behind his ear and stared at Devlin, who found such scrutiny unnerving. He would have sworn the witch saw straight to the depths of his dead, empty heart. Based on Devlin’s reputation, the witch should have been scared; instead, he tilted forward, closer. He was recklessly confident for a man his age. But more than that, this magic fae carried something akin to fire beneath his skin.

And Devlin wanted to be burned.

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Kingdom of Glass and Ashes: A Limited Edition Collection of Cinderella Retellings
Publication date: December 18th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fairy Tales, Fantasy

A classic fairy tale- but not how you remember it…

What if the stepmother wasn’t the only one who was wicked and Prince Charming wasn’t what he seemed? What if your favourite princess didn’t make it home by midnight?

Be transported to far away lands where fantasy and magic come together and pumpkins and princes are joined by shifters and stepsisters in this captivating collection of one of the greatest love stories ever told.

From the imagination of our authors, prepare to meet Cinderella as you’ve never read before. Kingdom of Glass and Ashes is a spellbinding collection of retellings, written by multiple USA Today and bestselling authors telling their own version of the beloved tale.

Get ready for romance, excitement, enchantment and more than just a glass slipper.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

SNEAK PEEKS:

Excerpt from Holly Hook:

I’m Ellia, Syndie’s ugly stepsister. Mother knows this, so she works Syndie to the bone, but this whole time, she’s been waiting. Planning. Syndie wants us on the streets, and despite my kindness, I’m no exception.

Following her to the Courts lands me in the hands of a handsome guard, Jasper. Literally. And he doesn’t seem to notice my corset or frizzy hair. Nervous and secretive, Jasper wants to stop cruel Prince Calvin from becoming King, which he’ll do when he chooses his wife at the royal ball. And now I’m key to a plan that can save my family and the entire Kingdom.

Our weapons? Two magical slippers. One gives false beauty–but only until midnight. Then the other shows the wearer’s true nature. If Prince Calvin even holds the hand of his chosen when the clock strikes twelve, the spell hits him, too. Everyone will see the truth and he’ll never become King.

He and Syndie deserve each other.

I must make her dreams come true. But Mother, my sister, and a kingdom of jealous girls will do anything to stop Syndie from snagging the Prince. But what terrifies me the most is that trapped slipper. I can’t let Jasper see how ugly I am, but if it all goes wrong, I’ll have to give myself to its magic.

The Kingdom must be saved at all costs, even if I must sacrifice my happily ever after.

Blurb from Emma Savant:

Hidden in the city of Portland, Oregon, is a shimmering world of magic—one faerie Olivia Feye doesn’t want to touch with a ten-foot wand. She’d rather study biology, or garden, or floss her teeth, or do literally anything except pay attention to the Glimmering world and her internship at Portland’s premier faerie godparent agency.

But when her supervisor is hospitalized after a flying pumpkin carriage accident, Olivia is thrust into the middle of a case. And this one won’t be easy: Her client is Elle, a barista whose plans don’t include an enchanted prom or Prince Charming.

The reward for a happily-ever-after is enough gold pieces to get Olivia out of the Glimmering world forever. But as she comes face-to-face with the complexities of faerie godmothering, she’s forced to wonder: How much is she willing to sacrifice for her own happy ending?

Blurb from D.L Pitchford:

A modern day Cinderella with a twist…

High school seniors Noah Barton and Eden Prince have competed for top of their class since age seven. When their academic rivalry ruins a thermodynamics demo, their physics teacher decides to help them get along. By forcing them to be lab partners.

As graduation approaches, Noah and Eden are too busy figuring out college to deal with each other. Noah’s football-loving dad sabotages his chance to win a big scholarship. Eden’s traditional mother cares more about finding her a husband than encouraging her dreams.

Winning big at the regional science fair is their last hope.

Will Noah follow in his mother’s footsteps? Can Eden show her parents the environment is more important than a boyfriend? Will Noah and Eden finally learn to work together?

Follow Noah and Eden’s budding romance in this emotionally charged, gender-swapped retelling of Cinderella.

Blurb from Cate Dean:

Sometimes, you have to create your own happily ever after…

Elle Summers spends her days taking care of her stepmother and stepsisters, but she is secretly working on her escape. With the help of her best friend, she plans to act her way to freedom.

When she auditions for a local production, her life is turned upside down by entrepreneur and producer Henry Winters. He needs a new leading lady for his Broadway production, and he wants her. He sweeps her off her feet and to the Great White Way, where she finally has her chance to shine.

But in the whirlwind of her new life, she forgets one thing – her stepmother and stepsisters.

While she starts to live the life she’s always dreamed about, they are plotting a way to bring her home. And if their plan works, Elle will fail – in a way that not even a fairy godmother can fix.

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This post contains affiliate links to Amazon.

If you like this I would also recommend these reads from my library:

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The Watchers
Misty Hayes
(The Blood Dagger: Volume 2)
Publication date: December 15th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Thriller, Young Adult

Eighteen-year-old Corinth Taylor didn’t sign up to become a Watcher—an elite warrior destined to restore balance to the human race—he was chosen.

Corinth can barely control his own hormones… much less the deadly blade. And to make matters worse, his best friend, Larna, just so happens to be the very thing he’s supposed to eliminate.

But when vampires and slayer find a common enemy, Corinth knows it’s his innate calling to hunt evil down. And evil has a name: Gabriel Stanton. The enigmatic vampire who escaped their capture, has plans for Corinth, Larna, and Alastair… and it’s a threat they’ll never see coming.

When the line between good and evil gets crossed, devastating consequences start to happen. As Watcher and vampire worlds collide, Corinth must decide where to place his trust: with his old allies or his killer instincts. An upstart slayer. A clan of vampires.

What could go wrong?

It’s only the end of the world.

The Watchers is the second book in The Blood Dagger series, a high-octane paranormal YA thriller.

If you like witty heroines, unconventional relationships, and friendships that can withstand the grave, then you’ll love Misty Hayes’ high-stakes story.

Sink your teeth into a fun, fierce vampire series today.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

After walking for about an hour, the tunnel deposited us into a larger cavern. Every inch of space was filled with mushrooms. They were glittering blue patches of bioluminescent light. It was strangely hypnotic and exactly how I imagined another planet might look.

Larna dropped her hand from my shoulder. By the soft glow coming off the walls, I could see her admiring the shimmering fungi with her mouth slightly ajar.

Upon closer inspection, I realized that not all of the mushrooms were glowing. There was a section of fungi that darkened a spot on the wall where Al had stopped.

As I joined him, his voice carried around the cavernous space, making him sound haunted and forlorn. “Bluefoot

mushrooms.” It was the first time he’d spoken in over an hour. He pulled his backpack off and filled it with the

fungi. “I used to cook with these when I lived in France … They taste great in omelets.”

I plucked one off the wall because I had worked up an appetite, and popped it into my mouth and then

immediately spit it out. “Gross. That tastes like dirt.”

Taking a quick swig of water from Larna’s pack, I hissed, “You eat that?”

“They taste better cooked,” Al said, his mouth quirking up in amusement. “But they’re great protein. You

should eat up while you have the chance.”

“I’d rather eat sludge,” I muttered under my breath.

The further we progressed, the more claustrophobic I started to feel. Being in closed-off spaces and in the pitchdark for hours was taking its toll on me. I deposited a pebble from the bottom of my shoe back to its home, noticing for the first time how many blisters I had accumulated during this trek. I couldn’t see them, but I could definitely feel them. Mental note: Converse do not make great hiking shoes. I had a pair of perfectly fine boots, but they were swimming with the fish at the bottom of the ocean. That morning, before Larna dropped my bag, I had switched them out, hoping the gnarly blisters on my feet might heal if I wore a different pair of shoes.

Everything hurt, but I didn’t want to be the first to whine, so I sucked it up, and we continued on … and on …and on … until it seemed like we’d never see the light of day ever again. I felt something dark and sinister twisting its skeletal little fingers into my gut.

That thought sent me into an even more depressed spiral, and pretty soon that depression turned into an infection. What if Al didn’t really know where he was going? What if he was leading me to my death? He loved Larna—he didn’t care about me. They could see in the dark—all they had to do was leave me behind, and I would be lost down here forever. It wasn’t until I felt Larna’s hand shift on my shoulder that I realized she was still beside me.

Still, resentment started to gnaw away at me.

Author Bio:

Misty has always called Texas home but has a passion for world travel.

Before taking up writing, she has had a long career in law enforcement. Besides the self-torture of writing books, she also loves the self-torture of running. Misty is currently working on book three of her young adult trilogy in ‘The Blood Dagger’ series. The Watchers – Volume 2 will be released in December 2018.

When not writing, Misty enjoys reading any books by Jim Butcher, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Joe Hill (Owen King), and J.K. Rowling. A lot of author’s write about pets on their bio’s… Misty has a rescue parakeet named Peeta (As in the Hunger Games).

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

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Huge thank you to Mani’s Book Corner and Bookbugworld for nominating me for The Versatile Blogger Award! You should check out both of their blogs!

Rules:

If you’re nominated, you’ve been awarded the Versatile Blogger Award.

  • Thank the person who gave you the award.
  • Include a link to their blog.
  • Select 15 blogs/bloggers that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.
  • Nominate those 15 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
  • Finally, tell the person who nominated you 7 things about yourself.

Because I got nominated twice, I’ll do 14 facts.

  1. I’m a Whovian. I was super disappointed at a Doctor Who convention when John Barrowman (Cpt. Jack Harkness) made fun of a fan with a stutter during the Q&A. Don’t meet your idols I guess.
  2. The title R.T.(R) follows my name.
  3. I have a near photographic short term memory but terrible long term memory. Which is why my motto is “forget but never forgive.”
  4. Some of my favorite TV Shows include Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Doctor Who, Leverage and Arrested Development.
  5. Though I’m not currently playing it, World of Warcraft is my all-time favorite game and I have put years into it. I currently play Fortnite, Monster Hunter World, Paladins, and Black Desert Online.
  6. I used to love to draw but I rarely do it these days.
  7. One dream of mine is to be a singer in a death metal band. I also enjoy rapping quite a bit but would NEVER do it in front of people, lol.
  8. In my opinion the Sims 3 is the only version EA “got right” so far.
  9. I have one degree in science and one in art, both with honors.
  10. One genre I am a sucker for is historical romances with time travel involved.
  11. I injured my knee doing martial arts when I was 11, I had surgery at 12, it went out again on me at 21. I still walk with a limp and sometimes I fall, it sucks.
  12. I love milk chocolate, and some white chocolate but dark chocolate is too bitter for me.
  13. I drive a blueberry.
  14. My spirit animal is a sea otter.

I nominate the following awesome-sauce blogs (sorry if you’ve already done this!):

cedarhollowhorrorreviews.com

melissasfandomworld1.wordpress.com

jenchaosreviews.com

thequietgeordie.wordpress.com

alwaystrustinbooks.wordpress.com

ashesbooksandbobs.com

www.bingingonabudget.com

makeupandlifestyle.com

bookslifeandeverythingnice.wordpress.com

lovelyaudiobooks.info

allieereads.com

behindthesentence.wordpress.com

theheartofabookblogger.com

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Song of Sacrifice
Janell Rhiannon
(Homeric Chronicles, #1)
Publication date: December 26th 2018
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical

The heart of the Trojan War belongs to the women.

Mothers and daughters; wives and war prizes, whisper to us across time…

…remember our songs alongside the mighty men of myth.

As the Age of Heroes wanes, the gods gamble more fiercely with mortals’ lives than they ever have before. Women must rely on their inner strength and cunning to survive the wars men wage for gold and glory.

Clytemnestra of Mycenae struggles for control of her life after Agamemnon ruthlessly rips it apart. Leda of Sparta survives a brutal assault by Zeus, shouldering a terrible secret in silence. Penelope raises Ithaka’s sole heir alone, praying for Odysseus’ swift return. Thetis, the sea nymph, despairs of her son’s destiny and resorts to forbidden magic to save him. Hecuba of Troy mourns the loss of her second son to a dark prophesy. And Shavash of Pedasus prepares her daughter to marry the greatest warrior who ever lived.

In a world where love leads to war and duty leads to destruction, the iron hearts of heroines will conquer all.

Sing, Muse, sing their song of sacrifice…

Replaces Song of Princes as the first book in the Homeric Chronicles.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

EXCERPT:

LYRNESSUS

THRITY FOUR, Briseis and Mynes

1262 BCE

“YOUR KINGDOM SOMEDAY, little one.” Briseis rested her hands beneath her round belly, as the child stretched against her ribs. Leaning to the side, she attempted to avoid the uncomfortable tightness building at her lower back. The ache eased and she breathed easy again. Standing from the reclining couch, Briseis walked to the balcony overlooking Lyrnessus’ fields. If she squint her eyes, she could just make out the pale blue of the horizon across the Bay of Edremit. Much farther to the north, she knew Troy stood as the shining citadel of the East. “In another time, that would’ve been yours. I’d thought it mine, before―” Another pain doubled her and she gripped the banister. “By the balls of Zeus! What’s happening?”

Your daughter seeks the light …

Briseis looked around the chamber. “Who’s there?”

Have no fear, daughter, I am with you.

Another pain, this time much sharper and stronger, ripped across her belly and a gush of bloody water splashed at her feet. “Bree! Come quickly! Bree!”

The princess’ chamber door flew open, as the maid servant took in the scene before her. “My lady! By the gods, it’s your time!”

Briseis’ eyes widened in fear. “So soon? I’m not ready. I have―” Her knees buckled.

“My lady!” Bree swept to Briseis’ side, lifting the princess to her feet, half carrying her to the chamber bed.

“The pain. By the … balls of … Zeus. I.can.scarce.breathe.”

There is glory in your pain, Briseis.

“Bree, who else is here?”

“No one, yet,” she said, tucking a sheet about the princess. Bree ran to the door, yelling down the cavernous hall for the midwife. Within moments a gaggle of women flew through the door clucking about the impending royal birth.

Briseis’ scream startled them all. The midwife was at the princess’ side in the blink of an eye, pulling back the privacy sheet. Her hands firmly palpated Briseis’ belly. Without a word, she pushed Briseis’ thighs apart. Her eyes widened.

“What’s wrong?” Briseis asked, tears spilling down her hot cheeks.

The midwife pressed her lips together in a grim line. “My lady, this will be a difficult birth. I must put my hand inside of you to confirm my suspicions.”

“Do it!” Briseis screamed as another pain wracked her body. She groaned in agony as the midwife’s hand pressed into her. “By the gods …”

Bree pressed a cool cloth to her lady’s forehead and cheek.

“The child is breech,” the midwife pronounced, wiping her hands on a towel. A hush settled around the chamber. They all knew it was likely a death sentence to mother, child, or both.

Briseis wept. “No. No. By the gods, no!” Another pain tore through her.

Bree dipped the cooling cloth in the water basin again. “Can nothing be done? Can you save Princess Briseis?”

Briseis rolled back against the cushions. “Save my child, please.”

If that is your wish …

Yes, save my child. “Save my child. Take me instead.”

Bree’s face whitened. “What’s she saying?”

The midwife answered, “What all women say, when faced with such a choice.”

A dusty swirl of air blew into the chamber, snuffing out the oil lamps. The women froze, as a tall, glittering woman emerged from the small storm. Her gown flashed silver and gold. They fell to their knees, heads bowed, the goddess’ name on their lips … Eleithyia.

The goddess glided to Briseis’ side, stars blinking along the hem of her gown as she moved. She reached out a pale, cool hand to Briseis’ forehead. “Calm yourself, daughter. I’m here.”

Briseis smiled weakly. “Gratitude, Goddess.”

Eleithyia signaled to Bree. “You appear a strong maid. Help me set her onto her knees and place her hands on your shoulders.” She looked to the midwife. “Watch. Learn.”

The midwife nodded, as Briseis was placed into position.

The goddess moved her hands on either side of Briseis’ hard belly, running her palms flat against the lower abdomen. “Now, push your daughter to the light. Push like a warrior afield. Push for your life and for hers.”

Briseis cried out in agony, her limbs shaking with effort. Blood spilled as the child’s buttocks crowned.

“Hold your lady tightly.” Eleithyia’s voice was steady, as her hands worked calmly. Gently, she pulled each leg to length. “Push, Briseis.” The goddess, holding the babe with both hands, slightly turned the torso, releasing a shoulder blade and freeing the arm. Then, repeated the same for the other arm. The women gasped as the child hung half-suspended, face down, from Briseis’ body. Eleithyia positioned one hand on the baby’s chest, while the fingers of her other hand cradled the neck and head. “One last push, Briseis. Victory is yours with this battle.”

Briseis’ fingers dug into Bree’s shoulders. She screamed with her final effort, as the goddess guided the slippery child to the light. The princess collapsed against her maid, weeping with her exertions and aching body. Gently, Bree lay Briseis down.

Eleithyia handed the limp newborn to the midwife. “Rub the baby with clean linen, until she cries.” Turning to Briseis, she said, “You’ve won this battle, but you’ll lose the war.”

“What do you mean? What war?”

The goddess stood to her full height, sparkling in the dimly lit room. “The one inside of your heart, daughter.” With the ominous words still hanging in the air, Eleithyia’s image shimmered to nothing.

The midwife stared at the spot the goddess had stood. “By all that is sacred, I never thought in all my days to witness this. Blessed be our princess and her child.”

“Bring me my daughter,” Briseis said, proudly. Once the weight of her baby was settled in her arms, she smiled and joyful tears filled her eyes. “Phila, for love conquers all.”

Author Bio:

In graduate school, Janell focused on the ancient history of Greece and Rome. Hooked by the “sword and sandal” world, she studied everything she could about mythology and Alexander the Great.

The Homeric Chronicles series is dedicated to merging dozens of Greek myths, including Homer’s epics, with plays, history, and archaeology. Her intent is to raise the heroines’ voices equally alongside the heroes, opening up a traditionally male focused genre to a female audience.

She lives in CA and enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren. She has a pack of two big dogs and two cats.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Amazon

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