Promo: Seal of Destiny

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Seal Of Destiny

Seven Seals Series Book One
Traci Douglass

 

Book Details:  

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Number of pages: 263

Word Count: 70,000

 

Book Description:

Love conquers all… but can it stop the Apocalypse?

Mira Herald is having the worst life ever.  Not only is she plagued by horrific nightmares starring the Devil himself, she’s now the target of a power-hungry, rogue minion, freshly sprung from Hell and bent on her destruction.  To complicate matters further, she’s acquired a stalker. One who insists he’s a divine warrior sent for her protection because she houses an ancient relic with the power to unleash Armageddon. Last time Mira checked, she wasn’t insane. Still, all this celestial mayhem is enough to drive a girl crazy.

Kagan is a member of the Scion, an elite team of immortal warriors selected by Divinity to aid mankind and save the world. After a century alone, Kagan is summoned for a new mission. He’s eager to begin. Eager until he’s informed his mission consists of protecting a woman with no clue to the power she wields. Plus, his briefing fails to prepare him for his new target’s cosmic-sized attitude problem.  As Divinity’s sworn servant, he’s required to fulfill his duty. His oath, however, does not require him to be enthusiastic about his new assignment or warm-and-fuzzy toward his new compatriot. He plans a wham-bam rescue and a quick return to solitude.

The rogue minion attacks—with the backing of a mysterious organization—and all Hades erupts, putting a fast end to any whirlwind escapes. Accustomed to staunch independence, Mira’s survival now requires full cooperation and an unwavering belief in Kagan. The battle-hardened warrior is also forced to chose: between duty and desire. Amidst the turmoil, Kagan and Mira’s undeniable passion draws them closer to each other and down a path neither expected but both yearn for, more than they ever knew.

Will love save the day? The world’s fate depends on the answer.

 

 Excerpt:

“Basta!” Kagan grabbed her by the arm and twisted slightly, not enough to hurt, but enough to let her know he meant business as he directed her to a corner booth. He ignored the half-full beverages and coats scattered on the seats and shoved Mira into the confined space. When the booth’s original owners took issue with his hostile takeover, Kagan dispatched them with a lethal glare. He wasn’t sure where the girl had gotten the idea his mind was damaged, but he was damn sure he didn’t like it. He moved in behind her to block her escape.

“Oh, hell, no!” After several unsuccessful strikes to his muscled physique, Mira tried to slide out beneath the table. The angle proved too awkward. Defeated, she shoved as far away as she could into the corner and propped those killer boots on the seat in front of her in warning. “You better let me out of here, asshole, before I call the cops! I caught you stalking me, pervert!”

Kagan took a deep breath. He never lost his cool in battle, and he wasn’t about to start now. “Pervert? You’re of age, si?”

Mira glared. Kagan ticked through their earlier interactions, searching for a reason behind her intense hostility. His preternatural instincts sensed her intention before her hand reached his carotid. He blocked her quickly, locking her small hand within his and forcing it to the table beneath his own. Her pulse raced against his palm. He took another swig of beer then flashed his most endearing grin. “Let’s start over.” He released his bottle and extended his hand. “I’m Kagan.”

She refused to acquiesce. Kagan spoke in quiet tones meant to calm, to reassure. “I know I’m a stranger, but we have things to discuss.” He glanced around the crowded club, at the bodies packed tight. “We can’t do it here, though—no privacy. My apartment is close. Why don’t we go there and talk?”

Mira kicked him hard in the thigh.

“Merda!” Kagan grabbed his throbbing leg. “What’s in those damn boots? Marble?”

“Let me out of here, jackass, before I sideline your baby-maker!” Mira struggled within the tight confines of the booth. As she squirmed, the spicy scent of her shampoo wafted, and he was overcome with the strangest urge to plunge his hands into the riotous mass of her hair, to feel it curl around his fingers. She tugged on the hand pinned beneath his, and his thumb traced over her thudding veins. His heart pounding along with hers. The odd tingle sped through his torso, and his mouth turned to cotton. Her gaze blazed up at him, a swirling mix of green and golden brown. He noted the dark smudges below and wondered what kept her from slumber.

Dolce Cristo! Kagan looked away, fought for control. This was getting way out of hand. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d bedded a woman, but apparently it had been far too long.

 

 

 

About the Author:

TraciDouglasTraci is the author of paranormal/urban fantasy and contemporary romances featuring a sly, urban edge, including her current Seven Seals series. Her stories feature sizzling alpha-male heroes full of dark humor, quick wits and major attitudes; smart, independent heroines who always give as good as they get; and scrumptiously evil villains who are—more often than not—bent on world destruction. She enjoys weaving ancient curses and mythology, modern science and old religion, and great dialogue together to build red-hot, sizzling chemistry between her main characters.

A storyteller since childhood, she began putting her tales down on paper in November 2011 after the idea for the Seven Seals Series occurred to her in a dream. She finished the first draft of what was to become Seal of Destiny in one month and decided to pursue a full-time writing career in January of 2012. Life has now been a rollercoaster, crash course in pursuing your dreams.

Traci is an active member of Romance Writers of America (RWA), Indiana Romance Writers of America (IRWA) and Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Writers (FF&P) and is pursing a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Writing Popular Fiction through Seton Hill University. Her stories have made the final rounds in several RWA chapter contests, including the 2012 Duel on the Delta, the 2012 Molly Awards, and the 2012 Catherine Awards. An earlier draft of Seal of Destiny won the paranormal category of the 2012 Marlene Awards sponsored by the Washington Romance Writers.

Other current projects include upcoming books in the Seven Seals series and a new futuristic detective series with hints of the paranormal and plenty of romance.

Website: http://www.tracidouglass.net   

FB Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/TraciDouglassAuthor   

Twitter: @Traci_Douglass     

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/8112113-traci-douglass 

Publisher: www.crimsonromance.com

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Promo: I Kissed a Dog

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I Kissed a Dog

The Werewolves of the West Series Book One

Carol Van Atta

 

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Cambridge Press US under the umbrella of Charles River Press (CRP)

ISBN:  1936185725 

ISBN13: 9781936185726

ASIN: B009SV179U

Number of pages: 446

Cover Artist: Ann Falcone

 

Book Trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeuDqevNSXM

 

Book Description:

Chloe Carpenter isn’t like other women. She can communicate with animals. A gift she unwrapped following one of her frequent dances with death.

In her otherwise wacky life, she’s finally found a semblance of sanity working at the Plum Beach Wildlife Park, where her unique talents can make life or death differences for the animals in her care. That semblance is shattered when a new veterinarian roars into the park in his spiffed up sports car and sets his golden gaze on her. If she had her way, he’d roar right back out.

Problem: He’s her new coworker and he’s saved her life twice – in the past twenty-four hours.

Zane Marshall, Enforcer for the Pacific Pack of purebred werewolves, has a job to do – figure out who or what is mutilating the young men of Plum Beach.

With orders to find the woman who talks to animals, he accepts a position working alongside the fiery Chloe Carpenter, a female who ignites his interest far more than he ever expected. Remarkably, she’s the one elusive female with potential to bring meaning and passion to his empty existence.

Problem: She despises him.

Together, they’re forced to unravel a mystery of supernatural proportions, a murderous mystery with eternal implications for everyone. In the process, they discover opposites really do attract.

Major Problem: Zane is pledged to another woman, and she’ll do anything to keep him from Chloe.

 

Buy the book:    Author Blog   Book Depository   Indie Bound 

Amazon Print   Amazon Ebook  BN   BN Nook

 

 

Book Excerpt:

We pulled into Will’s gravel driveway about thirty minutes later. I could see his treasured quads parked off to the side of the garage. He’d been a great driver, somewhat of a daredevil, but good enough to convince me into taking a long thrill ride on the dunes last summer. It was almost impossible for me to accept that he was dead — killed — and would never ride again.

The police team, swarming over his property like flies on a corpse, was what convinced me.

“This way,” Officer Tate directed.

 Several colleagues acknowledged him but gave me cautious looks. I wondered if they knew the reason for my presence. If so, they weren’t sold on my special skills. I recognized the FBI agent from the news. He glanced our way without any official acknowledgment.

My arm hairs stood at full attention when his eyes met mine. He gave me what my mom referred to as the major heebie jeebies. I decided right then I didn’t like or trust Agent Green. Zane wasn’t the only one with good instincts.

“You ready?” Before I realized what he was doing, Zane rested his hand on my arm. The electricity remained, but this time it felt less intense, yet no less pleasurable. His touch provided a calm and confident feeling I was grateful for.

You are a good woman echoed through my tumultuous thoughts. As much as I’d like to believe otherwise, Zane was the reassuring presence I was desperate for right now.

Remembering why I was here, I nodded at Officer Tate. “Take me to talk with the animals.” I hoped I sounded halfway pleasant — anything to slice through the gloom that hung over the crime scene. My earlier morning cheer had been replaced by a grim sense of duty.

Exiting Will’s house, a woman approached. “You must be Chloe Carpenter. I’m Detective Davis. You are?” She looked at Zane with open approval.

“Dr. Marshall. I’m the new wildlife vet down at the park.” He extended his hand.

She disregarded it and jotted something in her flip pad; the evidence of her approval gone like it’d never existed, replaced with suspicion. “I may want to talk with you later, Dr. Marshall.”

I attempted to swallow my surprise. So, not all women were automatically under his spell. Even more unexpected, though, was my intense desire to protect him from her probing eyes. As if aware of my intentions, she gave a curt nod and strode away.

Inside the house, everything appeared undisturbed. A man was dusting for prints and other law enforcement personnel were removing plastic bags of evidence.

I couldn’t begin to imagine how I’d feel right now had we been lovers. Once again, my commitment to maintaining my virginity had saved me from additional heartache.

“Here’s Junior. The cat took off.” Another officer led a young pit bull into the room.

I confirmed the puppy’s leash was secure. I’d never forgotten or forgiven the pit bull that had escaped with my favorite shoe.

“Hey, little guy.” I had to admit he was adorable. His stubbed-tail wiggled and he yipped, excited by the attention. “You sure are cute.” He squirmed and pranced around us more like a pony than a pit. I realized I’d have to hold him and get him settled down if I was going to retrieve any information other than: Pet me! Pet me! I like you! Pet me!

After some reassuring whispers and gentle strokes, Junior calmed; his round puppy-eyes melting into mine. For a brief scary second, I couldn’t see or hear anything. Then the memories roared into my mind like a tornado. Woman. Sex. She smelled like a dog. The pictures were beyond my wildest and most horrifying nightmares.

A redheaded woman was clinging to Will like a rider on a bucking bronco, her head thrown back in ecstasy. Following their vigorous coupling, everything blurred. She changed into something I couldn’t explain. Either that or she’d let a wolf the size of a grizzly into the bedroom.

All I knew for certain was that Will hadn’t been stabbed.

He’d been ripped to shreds.

 

About the Author:

IMG_0854Like most authors, Carol Van Atta is no stranger to the written word. She penned a short novel at age 12 (somewhat frightening illustrations included, and lots of bunnies were involved), and had a creative writing piece published in her high school newspaper (about David Bowie’s Diamond Dogs LP). Yes, she’s an ex-80′s chick.

Devouring books from numerous genres, Carol developed a deep thirst/hunger for more reading material, and could almost always be found with her nose in a book.

She has contributed to several popular inspirational anthologies and devotional books, and lives in the rainy wetland of Oregon with a terrifying teen (another in college) and a small zoo of animals. She is taking an undetermined hiatus away from inspirational writing to delve into her darker side. (Though you can check out her latest spiritual suspense novel, Soul Defenders). It is rumored that this genre-jumping occurred after Carol discovered too suspicious red marks on her neck, and experienced an unquenchable urge to howl at the moon.

 https://www.facebook.com/pages/Werewolves-of-the-West-I-Kissed-a-Dog/153030771437034

https://www.facebook.com/carol.vanatta.1

http://www.werewolvesofthewest.com/

http://vampswereswhyohmy.blogspot.com/

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1237874.Carol_Van_Atta

 

 

 

Promo and Giveaway: Shattered Circle

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Shattered Circle 

Persephone Alcmedi

Linda Robertson 

Book Details:

Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages

Publisher: Pocket Books 

ISBN-10: 1451648936

ISBN-13: 978-1451648935

Book Description:

JUST YOUR AVERAGE MEGA-WITCH. . . .

It’s tough being a modern woman, but Persephone Alcmedi has it worse than most. Being the prophesied Lustrata has kicked her career as a witch into high gear, and juggling a wærewolf boyfriend who is about to become king of his kind and a seductive vampire who bears her magical Mark isn’t easy either.

Still, Seph’s beloved foster daughter, Beverley, is causing more trouble than these two men put together. The young girl’s been playing with a magical artifact that’s far more dangerous than she realizes. Now Seph must summon help from a mystical being so potent that even vampires fear him . . . and the cost of his aid may be more than she’s willing to pay. Seph, Johnny, and Menessos face threats from all sides—and a few from within. Will the forces of destiny cement their tenuous supernatural union, or shatter it forever?

Excerpt:

Liyliy, a vampire-harpy, had tried to kill me a few hours ago, and the struggle left me exhausted and sore. That was the reason I was still abed at nearly two in the afternoon. When my satellite phone blared the opening riffs of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon,” it startled me, instantly reminding me about all the sore muscles I had.

Mid-reach, I stopped. That was Johnny’s ringtone.

He had tried to kill me, too.

My hand shook as my finger jabbed the Answer button.

“Hello?”

“Red . . . I’m so sorry.” Johnny’s voice was barely audible.

I sat up and deliberated whether to play deaf and repeat my “hello” as if I hadn’t heard him. I considered being a jerk and hanging up. I even contemplated ripping him a new one.

Instead, I remained silent.

Two days before, minutes after I’d performed the forced-change spell on him and his loyal pack mates, Johnny had attacked me. He’d always retained his manmind while transformed, but that last time he didn’t—he’d been pure animal. The only reason I was still among the living was because I’d pumped ley line energy into him like a human Taser.

“Red?”

He’d frightened me to my core. The unshakeable faith I’d had in him had been shattered by an emotional earthquake. Damage was done. My fear felt like betrayal.

But . . .

Could going through the forced-change spell repeatedly have an undesired effect?

No. I was sure the whole terrible incident could be pinned on the fact that my mother, Eris, had revoked the tattooed bindings she’d placed upon Johnny eight years ago. He suddenly had access to all the power and potential she’d locked away from him. That was surely a disorienting, difficult situation.

I’d helped him dig up the clues, helped him achieve that goal. Hell, I’d even been a part of the reversal spell. So some responsibility for the consequences was mine to bear.

“Persephone?”

He rarely used my full given name; he usually called me Red, as in Little Red Riding Hood to his Big Bad Wolf. Or Seph like nearly everyone else. I had to respond.

“I’m here.”

“Then say something.”

Pushing back the covers, I stood and began to pace. “I don’t know what to say.”

He paused. “Can you forgive me?”

I wasn’t sure.

Part of me said I couldn’t allow his attack to be a personal issue because of the fateful trio that Johnny, Menessos, and I forged by binding ourselves magically. The other part argued that no matter the circumstances, attempted murder was very damn personal.

It all happened because Johnny had surrendered to his destiny. His unique ability to transform at will made him the Domn Lup—king of the wærewolves. It was a position with power, prestige, and perks such as a Maserati Quattroporte. Johnny knew his royal place was unavoidable, but he’d fought it and hid from it a long time. He’d finally pushed forward because it was beneficial to our triple union, but kinghood was costing him his dream of being a rock star.

It had been my fear that he’d lose who he was in the course of this alliance of ours. More than ever, it seemed this fear was being borne out.

On the other corner of our triangle was Menessos. He now bore two witches marks—mine, of course. That made him my servant. When Heldridge, his former right-hand man, learned of my authority over Menessos, he tattled to the highest vampire authority, the Excelsior. To protect us against the personal grudge of the truthseeing vampire-harpies sent by VEIN to make formal inquiry, Menessos had allied himself at great personal expense with someone dangerous—a “nameless” guy I had aptly dubbed Creepy.

The secrets he’d wanted to hide from VEIN—secrets even I didn’t know—were apparently safe, but our little who-marked-whom secret was out. Menessos lost his haven and his status as Northeastern Quarterlord. Johnny had accepted great power and lost a lifelong dream. Menessos had lost great power and accepted serious personal risk. It didn’t seem fair.

And what about me?

In the last several weeks I’d learned that I was the longprophesied Lustrata, the Witches’ Messiah, She Who Walks Between Worlds, She Who Will Bring Balance, blah blah blah. As this news spread throughout the nonhuman communities, some scoffed and some believed. I was fine with the scoffers; it was the believers who were dangerous. They wanted to know if I truly possessed the power that accompanied those titles. Yeah, I was a magnet for nasties who either a) wanted me dead to be sure I didn’t have that power, or b) wanted to try to force me to wield power for their gain.

I guess I’d accepted the endless complications of my status and was well on my way to losing all scraps of naïveté.

At that thought, I stopped pacing. As I stared into the nothingness of a darkened corner, it felt like my innocence had slipped from my grasp and I was watching it skitter across the floor, waiting for it to come to a stop so I could reclaim it.

I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort to look for it. Or perhaps it would be impossible to find if I made the effort. Maybe it had rolled into some crack, never to be seen again.

I heard Johnny breathing through the phone.

It wasn’t Johnny who had rescued me last night.

When I defeated Liyliy, Menessos had been there to bring me to the haven. Sure, Menessos had a hand in creating the monster she now was. And it was he who had imprisoned her, creating her need for revenge. But it was me and my marks upon him that had brought her to Cleveland. When she pursued me from the haven—according to the Offerling I’d spoken to—Menessos had sent everyone out to search for me.

Had Johnny even known I was missing?

It was shitty of me to compare the two men in my life, but I couldn’t help myself. Though Menessos had drunk my blood numerous times, he hadn’t tried to kill me.

Yes he did! He nearly killed you not long after you first met.

We were strangers then, I argued with myself. Now, we know each other well.

Better, perhaps, than you should. . . .

Defiantly, I ignored my conscience’s scolding. I will not regret what I did last night. During the predawn hours, reeling from my encounter, I’d kissed Menessos.

Fine, but clearly you were able to forgive him.

That was true. Considering this, I felt hope. I sighed heavily into the phone. My whispered answer was, “In time.”

“There’s so much I need to tell you.” Johnny’s voice was raw, and the rev of an engine punctuated his words. I wondered where he was going. And I wondered if I should tell him about kissing the vampire.

It hadn’t been a peck.

When our lips had touched, I felt the promise and power of a more intimate union. He’d definitely felt it. It wasn’t only the power of the marks between us that had been kindled.

“I don’t know where to begin,” Johnny said.

His voice drew me out from my memory of a passionate moment with another man. Guilt swelled around my heart . . . but not remorse. What am I going to do?

 

About the Author:

Linda Robertson is the mother of four wonderful boys, owns three electric guitars, and is followed around by a big dog named after Bela Lugosi. Once upon a time she was a lead guitarist in a heavy metal cover band and has worked as a graphic artist. She still composes and creates art, when time permits. Linda currently writes and rocks in northeast Ohio. Visit her at

AuthorLindaRobertson.com and @authorLinda

http://www.authorlindarobertson.com/

http://www.facebook.com/authorlindarobertson 

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Book Promo: Kindred of the Fallen

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KINDRED OF THE FALLEN

Kindred Chronicles Book One

Isis Rushdan

 

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Date of Publication: January 8, 2013

ISBN: 9781619212893

ASIN: B009R89AF2

Number of pages: 444

Word Count: 115,000

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

 

 

Book Description:

Serenity’s soul-reading ability lets her easily create custom tattoos. Everything else in her life is a struggle, from trying to make it work with her best friend, Evan, to nightmares and visions that make her question her sanity.

Then she meets a man who sharpens her craving for something more.

Cyrus has been preparing to claim her as his Blessed mate—the other half of a split soul that, once reunited, is his only chance to break the curse that plagues his people.

One moment, armed militants are firing questions Serenity cannot answer. The next, she is safe in Cyrus’s arms…and learning she isn’t even human. She is Kindred, blessed with preternatural powers, cursed to suffer the twin horrors of the blood rage and the dark veil.

Their union is the greatest hope for redemption in a thousand years, but not all Kindred want to be saved. A dark secret could snuff out their lives before love has a chance to unite them…and redeem the Kindred for all time.

Greater the love…sweeter the pleasure…higher the price that must be paid.

 

 

 

About the Author:

Isis Rushdan was born and raised in New York City. She has a B.A. in psychology from The Ohio State University. Wanderlust has taken her across the globe and has kept her moving every three years. Fortunately, she is blessed with a husband who shares her passion for travel, movies and fantastic food. Prior to following her bliss as a writer, she had a bright career as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force. She currently resides in sunny Florida, where she hopes to finally  establish  roots,  with  her  husband,  son  and  canine  kiddies.

http://isisrushdan.com/

http://www.facebook.com/Isis.Rushdan.Author

http://isisrushdan.blogspot.com/

http://twitter.com/isisrushdan

Book Promo and Giveaway: Vigilante of Shadows

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Vigilante of Shadows

Scarlet Rain Series, Book One

Miranda Stork

Book Details:

Genre: Paranormal Thriller/Romance

Publisher: Moon Rose Publishing

Number of pages: 267

Word Count: 88,487

Cover Artist: Miranda Stork

Book Trailer:

Book Description:

Aodhan clutched uselessly at his head, groaning. He knew it was useless, because the voice was not inside his head. It followed him, skimming across buildings and land. It had followed him since he was sixteen, and it still followed him today, like a memory too horrific to be forgotten…

Aodhan is a shadow-demon, hardened and cold after years of being alone, after his love, his Entwined, was cruelly taken away from him. He has closed his heart to the world, and now spends his life ridding the world of men like those who took his beloved away, an immortal hit-man…

Arianwen Harris is a young DCI, working for York City Police. When a known criminal is found viciously killed, she finds herself trailing a hit-man who has seemed to escape clutches again and again…but she begins to find herself drawn to his dark charms and roguish good looks…

As their two worlds collide, Aodhan and Arianwen find themselves coming together to escape a far greater enemy, one that threatens to create a world far worse than the one they live in. As they battle to hold back the oncoming forces, fate has another plan; one to draw them together and heal their broken pasts together…

Excerpt:

Knocking his drink back, feeling the rich liquid burning his throat, Aodhan wiped his mouth off with the back of his hand, and slowly stood up from the vinyl bar stool. He waved his hand to get the attention of the barmaid, but she was far too engrossed in the attentions of her personal Adonis to notice Aodhan. Shrugging, he laid a ten-pound note down on the bar, next to his empty glass.

He turned and walked out of the bar door with long strides, feeling the cool night air on his face. The bouncer outside the doors turned and stared at Aodhan’s six foot frame, no emotion showing on his features. Aodhan returned the cool stare, and then began walking off into the night.

He walked along speedily, his hands shoved deep in his jean pockets. The sounds of the night surrounded him-distant cat song, the steady hum of far-off cars, the soft sound of wind whistling underneath people’s windows. He loved being out at night, not because it was a time when his ‘kind’ were more active, but simply because it was so much quieter than the day. The sounds of people rushing around disappeared, and left a peaceful calm with the soothing darkness.

Of course, there were the voices in his head, but that was another story.

He shrugged his shoulders up, cutting off the wind whistling around his neck. He wasn’t particularly cold, but the noise was annoying when your ears were so sensitive that a pin dropping sounded like a two-ton weight.

Aodhan’s mind went back to the girl from the bar. He hadn’t meant to be so brisk with her, but it was really best that no-one got that close. It really wasn’t his style to be the mysterious, dark, lone ranger, but it was for the best in this case. He had begun to…kill people. People who wouldn’t die if they hadn’t found out about them…

Aodhan was a demon.

A rare demon, as well, a shadow demon. He had been born to a Scottish clan just over eight-hundred years ago, to humans. Contrary to what he saw people believed in the media and books, demons were actually born to humans. There was no line of them, like vampyres or werewolves. They were simply…random.

When he had been born, there were no noticeable signs of what he was. He just looked like any of the other babies born to them, strong and healthy, but definitely human.

As he grew older, he had shown great proficiency with all weapons, learning faster than any of the other boys in the clan, becoming more powerful and stronger than most of them. Even some of the boys older than himself had a hard time keeping up with him. He was never big-headed about it though, simply fitting in with everyone else. However, the clan talked about how the strange-eyed boy was so much quicker and stronger than others twice his age, and whispered about ancient gods coming back to the earth. His looks weren’t too odd for his clan, everyone having black, brown, or auburn hair, but his eyes were odd. All others in his clan had mostly blue eyes, some of them had brown eyes. But he had startling clear green eyes, more like a cat, in the clan’s eyes, than a human.

When he was thirteen, he suddenly began developing strange growths near his temples. After going to see the clan’s wise woman about it, she simply cackled, and whispered, “Those who are given the gift of darkness, should not fear the unknown.” He had shaken off the wise women’s words, telling himself that she had finally gone crazy.

The growths had developed further, until they started to look like small dark horns, about the length of his thumb. They curled close to the curve of his head, smooth with small ridges forming at each stage of their growth. Luckily, Aodhan’s hair grew wild and long, allowing him to cover them up as much as he could.

When he became twenty, he was a well-loved member of his clan. He was kind and helpful to all, and helped to fight off their enemies more times than he could count on both hands. But he was holding a dreadful secret from his family. Since his horns had grown, he had also noticed many other things.

He had begun to…see things. Shadows.

When he was out hunting in the forest near to their home, he would think that he had seen someone moving in the trees behind him, but when he swung around to face them, nothing. Then he would hear a soft chuckle, his name being called on the wind. At night, in his bed as he tried to sleep, he would see black figures running around the walls.

He had tried to tell the wise woman of the village again, thinking them to be spirits sent to drive him mad, or something worse. She simply shook her head at him, and chuckled, rocking herself to and fro. He had got used to them by now, drawing the blanket up over his head so that he couldn’t hear their taunting murmurs….

Aodhan suddenly stopped walking, snapping out of his daydreaming. He was sure he had seen one of…them. Looking all around himself, he scanned the buildings around him with his vivid eyes. The problem with them, was that they could hide anywhere they chose-walls, buildings, floors, anywhere-especially at night.

The red brick buildings around him looked empty, the few alleyways just leading alongside the backs of houses, a few bins scattered about. No-one else was walking near him on the pavement, no sound anywhere.

Just as he was about to turn around and carry on walking, pulling his jacket up again, when he heard something behind him. Something whispery and cold.

“Aodhan…”

About the Author:

I was born in Guisborough, North Yorkshire in 1987 and have lived in various places around Britain, including Newcastle and Glasgow.

My writing is inspired by various writers, including the vivid characters of Charles Dickens, the imagination of Stephen King, and the gothic imagery of Anne Rice.

My love of horror began at an early age, when I was only three or four. I could read proficiently at the age of three, and devoured fairy-stories, but I always had a bent towards the darker stories, such as the Brother’s Grimm’s tales…Red Riding Hood was always a firm favourite, although I always felt sorry for the wolf, despite him having tried to eat everyone!

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/Miranda-Stork/e/B0082YW92S/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Blog: http://writermirandastork.wordpress.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Mirandastork

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/authormirandastork

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4279057.Miranda_Stork

 

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Book Promo and Giveaway: The Stone Guardian

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The Stone Guardian

Theresa McClinton

 

Tagline:

When myth becomes reality, reality becomes a nightmare.

Book Description: 

Like any other teenager in America, Ashley just wants a normal life. But growing up in an orphanage for the insane is anything but normal. After endless therapy and increasing medication, her nightmares have only gotten worse.

Probably because they’re not nightmares.

When Ashley’s mysteriously abducted, she finds a reality even less normal than the orphanage. And she discovers something else—she’s no ordinary orphan. Faced with enemies thought to only exist in fairy tales, Ashley discovers she possesses a powerful Maya bloodline. She’s the daughter of an ancient Maya Guardian, whose duty is to protect the Stone of Muuk’ich, an enchanted relic blessed by the gods. But first she must get it back from Sarian, a power-hungry demigod who slaughtered the last guardian—Ashley’s mother. Without the stone, all will be lost.

When she meets Arwan, a hot Belizean time bender, his delicious olive skin and dark eyes make her feel a little less alone. But his gentle whispers and reassuring touch might not be all they seem. How can she balance love and duty when it’s up to her to prevent the rising of the underworld? Especially when the guy she loves might be its crown prince…

 

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Excerpt:

“Where are we going?” Ashley asked, walking a few steps behind. Arwan slowed his pace for her much shorter stride. She wasn’t used to hiking in the jungle, but she didn’t want to show it. He found that a cute addition to the many things he admired about her.

Without offering an explanation, he grabbed a stick from the ground. If he told her where he was taking her, it would ruin the surprise. He just hoped the creatures hadn’t taken shelter somewhere else because of the heavy rains.

Soon they arrived at a clearing where hundreds of tall, thin bushes with elegant purple blooms covered the ground. Mature trees formed a canopy overhead, while gaps in the branches allowed the sun to speckle the jungle floor with light.

“I thought you would like it here.” He watched for her reaction.

She inspected the space. “It’s neat.”

Of course, she didn’t know why they were really there. He watched her shift her weight. Did she lie when she said he didn’t make her uncomfortable? It seemed like he did. Every time he smiled at her, her cheeks flushed or her muscles tensed.

Arwan gently took her hand. She allowed him to, without hesitation. It was the first time.

Carefully, he guided her through the maze of shrubs. When they reached the center, he stood in front of her and put his lips close to her ear. “Can I hold you?” She took a small step back. He waited for her to decide and, at the slightest nod, took her hand. “I just want to show you something.”

He slid his hand gently around her waist and drew her close. Her chest jumped when they pressed together. He savored the feeling of her drumming heartbeat. In fact, he could almost hear it.

She rested her hands against his chest, and he wondered if she felt his heart drumming too. “You’re blushing.”

She pressed the backs of her hands on her face. “I am?”

He caressed the silky curve of her cheek. “You’re lovely when you blush.” The stick secure in his hand, he extended it to the side. “Watch.” With a powerful strike, he whacked a nearby bush on its base. Dozens of butterflies launched into the air.

The flight of few caused a chain reaction, and soon they blanketed the sky. Several landed in her hair and on her arms while more flew overhead.

Arwan tilted his head back to the sky. Ashley gasped and stared at the countless array of colors gliding overhead. A butterfly rested on his shoulder, pumping its cobalt blue wings. She gently blew on it, her warm breath caressing his neck.

His chest swelled with longing. He clenched his jaw. Watching her lips form into a soft circle, she continued to blow on its colorful wings. He had never wanted someone so fiercely. She brought something out of him he couldn’t control. Something instinctual, animalistic. He watched her lips, longing to kiss her. To feel her mouth pressed against his. The need surged in his chest and spread throughout his limbs. He tensed and pulled her closer.

He knew he had to be gentle. As much as he tried to conceal the need, it threatened to destroy him if he didn’t at least try. Slowly, he leaned in to kiss her. His lips hovered above hers. Her hot breath broke over his mouth.

Ashley gasped and stepped back. Her teary eyes forced him to look away. He silently cursed himself. He’d pushed her too far.

“I…” The hurt in her voice surprised him. “I can’t. I’m sorry.”

Before he could respond, Ashley ran back toward the house, leaving him alone in the clearing.

He watched her stumble through the trees until she was gone. The jungle was quiet, except for the sound of chirping birds and the rustling of lemurs in the trees.

He turned, balling his fists. What the hell was he thinking? He’d known that if he tried to kiss her, it would push her away. He should have shown more restraint.

Each of his steps pounded against the jungle floor. The birds’ chirps ceased, and the lemurs took quiet refuge in the branches. When he escaped the maze of bushes, he charged his fist into the trunk of a mature tree, spitting layers of bark and redwood in every direction.

About the Author:

A long time enthusiast of things that go bump in the night, Theresa started her writing career as a journalism intern—possibly the least creative writing field out there. After her first semester at a local newspaper, she washed her hands of press releases and features articles to delve into the whimsical world of young adult paranormal romance.

Since then, Theresa has gotten married, had three terrific kids, moved to central Ohio, and was repeatedly guilt tripped into adopting a menagerie of animals that are now members of the family. But don’t be fooled by her domesticated appearance. Her greatest love is travel. Having stepped foot on the soil of over a dozen countries, traveled to sixteen U.S. states—including an extended seven-year stay in Kodiak, Alaska—she is anything but settled down. But wherever life brings her, she will continue to weave tales of adventure and love with the hope her stories will bring joy and inspiration to her readers.

 

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