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

 

 

 

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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Tour Wide Giveaway

10 Ebook copies and Swag packs, containing a signed poster, bookmarks, and postcards; open internationally.

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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…

 

The Stone Guardian RDB Button 300 x 225

 

 

 

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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Book Promo and Giveaway: Christie Palmer

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Please welcome the amazing Christie Palmer, author of Shadow Play.

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Shadow Play

Book 1 of the Tracker Series

Christie Palmer

Book Details:

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal

Publisher: Jinx Fantasy Fiction LLC

ebook: 978-0-9885557-0-9

Paperback: 978-0-9885557-1-6

Word Count:  375

Cover Artist: Jaycee De Lorenzo of Sweet N’ Spicy Designs

Book Description:

A small town in the mountains of Marshall, Montana is being plagued by an unknown entity. It’s mutilating and killing the women of the town. At his wits end the Sheriff of Marshall has nowhere to turn but to a friend. A friend, with the abilities to track and kill any prey.

Ryder doesn’t normally do mortal issues. However, he can’t turn his back on a friend. Besides he is the best at what he does. After all he is a Tracker, an ancient race with unparalleled abilities to track down any prey. With one of the three essential elements: Taste, Touch or Smell. Heartless and cold, Ryder knows what needs to be done and performs his duty without feeling.

Kyra, an Air Element and the only female Elemental Enforcer, is sent on a fact finding mission to Marshall, by the Druid Council. She needs to find out exactly what is happening in Montana before the Tribunal goes in and kills everyone.

The last thing she expects to find is a Tracker, and is even more surprised to find out that he is on her side. But can they get past their initial feelings upon meeting and the sexual tension? Or will the evil that is living in the mountain kill them both.

Ryder and Kyra must learn to work together to destroy the shadow and save Kyra from a fate worse than death. When pure evil is involved is love enough?

 

Chapter 1:

Grisly pictures of a mutilated female body stared up at him from where his brother had tossed them at his feet it had been a woman now ripped apart. Her remains resembled a plastic baby doll with its arms and legs torn off and haphazardly flung away. Ryder knelt down and gathered up the pictures before turning to his brother.

“You needed something?” Ryder asked.

“How long are you going to ignore Max’s request for help?” Lykar asked waving the pictures he still held at Ryder.

“It’s a mortal issue.” Ryder rose to his feet and handed the pictures back to his brother. He had seen them already. Ryder did not do mortal issues, regardless of the person requesting the help.

Besides, he had not ignored Max’s request. He had looked over the information Max had sent, and he didn’t want anything to do with what was going on. He was sure that Max would be able to figure out what was going on and take care of it. The killing could be mortal, but he doubted it. The entire issue reeked of Other, and he wanted nothing to do with it. Hundreds of years of following his instincts had kept him alive. Although he owed Max, and the injustice of turning his back on a friend clawed at his conscience with sharp talons.

Lykar waved the pictures in Ryder’s face. “A mortal is not capable of doing this …” He stammered, “This type of torture, mutilation … it just isn’t right.”

If anything, mortals would be just as capable of this kind of horrifying act as Others, and they both knew it. Ryder raised one eyebrow. “Tell me you’re kidding.” He pushed past Lykar in order to leave the study.

“The Council thinks it is unusual. Something they have never seen before. They are worried the Tribunal will get involved.” Ryder snorted at Lykar’s ominous pronouncement. It is problematic, Ryder thought. But with his mind set, he would not get involved.  “The Council does nothing these days unless it benefits them.”

“The last victim was only fourteen.” Lykar’s voice dropped low and solemn, making Ryder hesitate for just a fraction of a second before slamming through the door and into the hall. Lost innocence no longer affected him; the emotion of sentimentality is something an immortal Tracker shouldn’t dwell on.

He didn’t want to get involved. Why did it have to be him? “Because,” his conscience whispered, “Max asked for you.”

“You are the only one who is capable of tracking whatever is doing this.” Max’s words haunted him.

The last victim had only been fourteen, way too young to have her life snuffed in such a brutal manner. Could it be a mortal? Or an Other? Five women in three months. It could be a serial killer. He tried to pull the cold-hearted warrior back into place. Nevertheless, he faltered, leaving him swearing at himself for caring.

“Son of a bitch.” Ryder slammed a fist into the wall, leaving a gaping hole in the paneled wood. Lykar opened the door of the study and looked from the hole in the wall and back to Ryder. A smile played at the corner of his lips.

“Where is Marlee?”

“Just sent her a text. She’ll meet you at the airport.”

“Of course she will.” Ryder rolled his eyes, his annoyance ratcheting up a few notches. “If this is some reckless mortal serial killer, I’m going to tear him to shreds and feed him to Marlee.”

“Whatever.” Lykar shrugged. “Just take care of it before the Tribunal gets involved. There are several different communities of Others in the region.”

Ryder glared at his brother. “And when have the lives of mortals or Others meant anything to me?” Beside his brothers and a select few, Ryder couldn’t give a rat’s ass for anyone else. His brothers often accused him of not having a heart, but it had never paid off to be sentimental, so he just didn’t bother with it.

Lykar stopped him as he headed up the stairs. “Um, by the way, Marlee isn’t happy about this, with the full moon only having been last night. Also, my information says the Council is sending someone else in. If the Council picked him, whoever he is won’t be able to tie his own shoes without help, so I wouldn’t worry about him. Just be aware you might not be alone.”

“No shit,” Ryder muttered, more to himself than to Lykar. Stopping halfway up the stairs, he said, “Tell me why you aren’t doing this.”

Lykar gave him a serious look, “’Cause, bro, you’re the best.”

Yeah he never failed to complete a track, never brought feelings or emotion into play. If it defined him as heartless, he could live with it. He did his tracks with skill and precision, no feelings involved.

 

Kyra sat for several minutes after she’d pulled over, waiting for the motorcycle to cool, during which she’d been able to listen, and she hadn’t liked what she heard whispered on the breeze. The air barely rustling within the trees, as if in doing so the trees themselves would be punished. Evil hung in the air like the blade of a guillotine, hovering moments before its plummet through silent air toward its victim’s fragile throat.

Kyra swung one leg over the seat of her Honda VTX and looked out into the woods, the trees so dense she could see only several feet into the thick forest before it closed in, hiding its secrets from peering eyes. The overhanging trees and thick moss covering rocks and roots shrouded the malevolence like a blanket.

She planted her feet into the dirt path and soaked up the senses of the earth below her, taking several deep breaths, trying not to gag from the filth suspended in the air.

Kyra focused all her Elemental powers, blocking out the sounds of screams and the smell of old and fresh blood. The sounds of the surrounding air started to whisper to her, and she shuddered at the pain emanated there. So much pain and loss, years, even centuries choked her. Whoever had perpetrated the killings chose well. Darkness flourished within comfortable surroundings. Surroundings where murder and pain had been committed unfettered. This forest thrived on the darkness and secrets held within its shadows.

Kyra gazed through the thick branches. The sun just peeking through the shroud of branches, creating a halo of light in the exact spot where she stood. She tilted her face up to the sun soaking up the light, pulling it into her chest and deep into her soul. It fueled her power and chased the shadows away.

Holding her hands out, she felt a shiver pass over her as she phased into a smoky and mist. A power Air Elements had giving her the ability to flow with the breeze over the rough earth, letting the air and gentle wind take her where she needed to be. It pulled her forward

around and through some trees, the path uncertain. The air she floated on stopped suddenly. Cold air tickled her nose, sending chills down her spine as she came to a halt.

Her feet settled into the earth as she rematerialized, her biker boots sinking into the moist soil. Everything in her recoiled she wanted nothing more than to pull her feet back as visions of what had passed assaulted her. Shadows of things that had been done: clips, whispered screams, mumbled pleas, and vindictive horrifying laughter, both male and female. Frightening and unclear, without any substance, the horror of it churned her stomach. Kyra was shocked at the state of the problem facing her, it was Other, but now what? Visions assaulted her, feeling as if the horrors had happened to her. Unable to control herself, she doubled over and retched into the bushes, adding to the damage already done to the area. Swearing, she spat and wiped the back of her hand over her mouth. Still nothing moved. Even the air seemed to be holding its breath.

This type of action wouldn’t go unnoticed for long by mortals or the Tribunal. Kyra didn’t have a lot of time to get information back to the other Elemental Enforcers and the Council. She soaked it up, committing it to memory for her report.

Kyra had learned darkness and a brutalizing type of death would taint a place, would steal the air and life. She looked up through the shadows, trying to find a shred of light. To feed her starved Elemental senses.

“What did this?” she asked the shadows, not expecting an answer. Darkness held and kept its secrets.

When a Shade appeared, Kyra stepped back in surprise, stumbling. The Shade’s transparent body bled through the bushes Kyra had just emptied her stomach into. “He comes!” the Shade shrieked, pointing toward the woods behind Kyra. Kyra covered her ears, the shriek loud and overpowering.

Kyra shook herself and examined the woman in front of her. She wore a long white dress, which meant she could be lingering from one hundred years ago, or one of the latest victims. Shades seldom shared why they lingered in the mortal plane. They differed from ghosts, which held memories of people and how they had died. Shades, on the other hand, had substance, knew that they no longer lived. However, something about this Shade made the small hairs at the base of Kyra’s neck stand on end.

She looked over her shoulder in the direction the Shade had pointed. Reaching out with her Elemental senses, she sensed something, but couldn’t place it. Human or Other? At its current distance, it wouldn’t be a threat. Trying to ignore the Shade Kyra moved past her to continue to look for evidence.

The Shade didn’t like that and stepped in front of Kyra. “You must run,” she wailed, pulling at her curled brown hair hanging in waves around her shoulders.  Kyra reached forward and put her hand into the chest of the screeching woman.

“Who did this to you?” Kyra asked the apparition she closed her eyes trying to see what secrets the Shade held. Images assaulted her, nothing she could focus on. Nothing to give her any idea of who or what had happened. Just snatches of pain and dissolution.

“Run!” the Shade screamed, making Kyra jump back in surprise. The Shade shoved her farther into the bushes. Kyra yelped in pain as she fell back into a thick bush, the small branches scratching at her face and neck as she fell back landing on her back.

“Bloody freaking hell,” Kyra cursed. Rolling out from beneath the bush, she froze. All her Elemental senses going haywire: the nonhuman, non-Other entity she had sensed miles away now stood in the clearing ahead of her. Power radiated from whatever was no closer than she would have liked to let anyone much less an unknown entity. Kyra knew this meant trouble. She

remaindered herself there happened to be a murderer in the woods, and she may have just stumbled onto whatever it might be.

Taking shallow breaths, Kyra steeled herself before looking up. Several yards in front of her stood the largest man she’d ever seen. Short dark hair cut close to his scalp, shoulders so broad, Kyra would be unable to wrap her arms around him and touch her fingers in the back. He looked as if he could snap her in half without even trying. Jean-clad legs spread wide in a fighting stance. A black t-shirt  stretched over a broad chest. He radiated power, control, and deadly intent.

Kyra pushed herself to her feet and stood and palming the Glock strapped to her back. She didn’t pull it out, but if the man made one move toward her, she had no qualms about firing it into his beautiful face. He may not be mortal, but that didn’t necessarily mean immortal. The way he looked at her made her want to shoot first and ask questions later.

“Who are you?” He tilted his head at her in such an animalistic way, it gave Kyra the chills.

“Who are you?” she fired back.

He stared at her with black eyes, nostrils flaring. Recognition tickled at the back of her mind, but she pushed it aside. Trying to figure out what type of creature he was didn’t rank at the top of her list. The top of her list? Did he want to kill her?

“Can I help you?” she asked in her most adult voice, a voice her brother Eric always laughed at.

A low growl surged from deep within his chest, raising the hackles on the back of her neck. When he did speak, it rumbled, like a thunder cloud. “I only ask once.” He stepped forward, sucking up all the air between them; Kyra couldn’t control her involuntary step back.

If her brother Eric could see her now, he would laugh his ass off. She couldn’t remember the last time she’d backed away from anything, mortal or otherwise. But damn, the guy stood six and a half feet tall and just as broad. Muscles no guy outside of a bodybuilding room should have rippled as he rolled his shoulders. It looked like an involuntary movement. And then he took a breath, drawing in the smells of everything around him. His eyes narrowed as if making up his mind about her. By the look he gave her she had somehow come up on the losing side.

Kyra planted her feet and squared her shoulders, refusing to move another step back. She didn’t know of a creature capable of moving with his speed he had moved up on her without her notice and nothing she knew of had that type of ability. She reached out again and faltered when she felt a Lycan moving in fast on their location. Kyra wished she had received a proper invitation to the party this had turned out to be. The only question? Whose side would the Lycan be on? Kyra would bet it wouldn’t be hers.  It was just the way her day had gone.

Fiona had sent Kyra to find out all she could and bring back information to the Druid Council. The mission did not include stopping the killings. This was to be a simple fact-finding mission. What could be easier? She felt the need to kick something. Why did things just not work out the way they should? The way Kyra wanted them to?

She had been sent to gather information and bring it back to the Enforcers, and then a plan would be made. Kyra hadn’t come to fight, but that didn’t mean she would back down from a fight it cornered. After all, she had been raised as an Elemental Enforcer. It didn’t mean she could retreat until she better understood her foe. It just meant living to fight another day. And she hadn’t come to cause more unnecessary deaths.  Especially her own.

“So, would you like to tell me what you’re doing here?” she asked, trying to decide if she would shoot him or not. Maybe it would help decipher what type of creature he was. Most importantly, whether or not he could be killed.

The thought whizzed through her brain just as the Lycan stepped through the trees, freezing Kyra in absolute shock. Kyra shook her head, sure she was seeing things. The Lycan, stood around six feet tall, wore skinny jeans, a tight T-shirt that read “I’M THAT BITCH” printed in black across her ample chest, and red stilettos, the heals sinking into the soft earth. She relaxed into a casual stance looking like she totally belonged, as if everyone dressed in such attire while tracking and killing helpless women. Kyra wondered how the hell she traversed the soft earth with those shoes. The Lycan stood with her hands on her hips and looked from Kyra to the man. She didn’t look happy. Kyra could smell the irritation rolling off the woman. Unhappy didn’t begin to encompass the Lycan’s feelings.

“Ry?” the Lycan asked, her painted lips taking on a practiced pout. It made Kyra want to rub her beautiful face in the dirt. Nobody should look as good as this Lycan did at that moment.

“Shut up,” the man growled. The Lycan bristled, but closed her mouth.

“He keeps you on a short leash, doesn’t he?” Kyra asked, knowing Lycan’s had very short fuses. Getting this one riled up would be an easy task and a perfect distraction.

Kyra just telegraphed his launch as he growled low, sending shivers up her spine. She phased out just in time, but still felt the breath of his hands close around her shoulders. When she reappeared several feet back, the woman hunched down into an attack pose, her breathing heavy. Her red fingernails dragging in the soft earth.

“What are you?” the man asked.

“What are you?” Kyra threw back.

“I’m your worst nightmare,” he said, crossing his arms over his chest. Nightmare isn’t the category she would put him in. His voice resonating deep in her chest. The saner side of her brain marked him dangerous as hell, but she wouldn’t classify him in the nightmare category, but with just enough dark ruggedness to make her think twice about his actual motives.

Kyra let the corners of her mouth turn up. “Cliché’ much? Besides I’ve been told something similar before but …” She raised a palm to the sky in a shrug. “I just don’t seem to scare that easily.”

“I’m really going to enjoy killing you,” the woman snarled.

“I could say the same to you.” Kyra didn’t even turn to look at the woman, keeping all her attention on the large man several feet away.

Kyra hated to disappoint the woman, but she didn’t have any plans on dying today, or any other day. Instead Kyra pulled her gun out from behind her and pointed it at the woman, her eyes steady on the man.

“My silver bullets say otherwise, sweetheart, so back the hell off.”

The Lycan bared her teeth. “I don’t believe you.” She glared at Kyra before exchanging a look with the man they shared a moment of silent conversation before the Lycan stepped back growling low.

Kyra heard the growl and shook her head as she pulled the trigger, planting a bullet into the dirt within an inch of the Lycan’s left hand. The show of dominance died a quick death as the Lycan saw that Kyra did, in fact, have silver bullets in her gun. When you dealt with immortals of all kinds on a daily basis, you always came prepared for a fight. Silver could hurt and kill a substantial number of Others. Kyra refused to shoot any other kind of bullet.

“Short leash,” Kyra said, again wanting to keep the Lycan on edge because she didn’t yet understand the man in front of her. She needed to keep the pieces of this puzzle moving, and keeping the Lycan pissed would be a good start. As long as she kept the pieces moving, she had different plans for her escape. Once the pieces stopped moving, she hoped to be in an advantageous position.

“Kill her now,” the Lycan snarled between her teeth. Kyra wondered if she would start foaming at the mouth soon if the man didn’t make a move of some kind.

“Are you the one who has been killing the women?” he asked Kyra in a voice that bounced off the inside of Kyra’s skull, making her want to run screaming into the woods. She blinked refocusing on the man in front her. What the hell? She wanted to spill her guts about everything she had seen in her mind’s eye since arriving in the cursed place. Kyra shook her head again and blinked. Clamping her mouth shut around her traitorous tongue, drawing blood in the process.

“What are you?” Kyra asked, her voice sounding weak even to her.

“I’m the one asking the questions. And if you’ll remember, I only ask once. So if you want to answer my questions, now would be a good time.” He leveled the words at her, his black eyes swirling with gray. His words burned into her brain like lava. Kyra felt each word as if it was being etched in her the small lines of her brain making her wince in pain.

The hand holding her gun started to shake and she feared dropping it. Something trickled from her nose, and she realized she was losing this battle. The pieces of the puzzle screeching to a sudden and furious halt. Kyra glared at her two unknown opponents, before using everything she had left to Shift away. Reappearing next to her bike, she wiped the blood from her face and pulled on her helmet.

What type of creature had those abilities? Kyra thought as she climbed onto her bike and took off.

She searched her brain for a species with the power to control someone with voice. But her head hurt and she could barely keep her bike on the road. Nothing came to mind, which only pissed her off more. It disappointed her that this situation would require a call to Fiona for further information before moving forward.

The question seemed to taunt her as she drove down the road, ignoring the posted signs. Kyra felt the urge to wrap her bike around a pole. She had either just made contact with whatever had been killing the women here, or she had stumbled onto something else. She hoped it would be the latter. If these two were the ones doing the killings, Kyra didn’t know if she had enough fire power on her own to stop them.

 

“You need to get the hell out of there,” Fiona barked into the phone so loud, Kyra almost dropped it. The fact that Fiona was freaked out spurned Kyra into action. She grabbed her saddlebags and threw everything she had into them.

“What is he?” Kyra asked as she packed.

“Tracker,” Fiona said, but the word froze Kyra in her steps.

“But Trackers are extinct.” Kyra breathed the words. She scrambled through everything she knew about Trackers, everything she had learned while in training, which was little. The things she did know, they had an extraordinary sense of taste, touch, and smell.

“The only species with voice compulsion are Trackers. And not even all of them have that ability. I believed them to have died out several thousand years ago.” The last Fiona

mumbled more to herself. Kyra could imagine the look on her face, she would be chewing on the inside of her cheek.

“You can’t fight him alone,” Fiona said.

“Have they been known to be murderers? Monsters who would kill helpless women?” Kyra asked.

“I will need to do some further research. Get moving and come home now.” She grabbed her bag at Fiona’s rushed words and headed for the door. “How long until you are a safe distance?”  She barked.

Based on the limited knowledge she had about Trackers, Kyra knew she wouldn’t be able to hide or get away from him. She only hoped she hadn’t been in contact with him long enough for him to get her scent. Maybe he wouldn’t be able to track her because of her ability to Shift. You can’t track something that’s not there, right?

“How long?” Fiona asked again. To Fiona, it would mean enough of a distance so the Tracker couldn’t locate Kyra.

“Give me twenty-four hours. If I need to, I’ll ditch the bike and take a plane.”

“Ditch the bike and get on the damn plane. Forgo everything else. Just get back to the Haven.” Her urgency made Kyra’s head pound harder.

“I’m going, I’m going.” Kyra threw her bag over her shoulder and headed for the door.

With one hand on the doorknob and the other holding the phone, she was lifted off her feet as the door and part of the wall exploded, it picked her up and threw her into the opposite wall of the motel room behind her. She rolled to her side, gasping for air and getting a lung full of smoke and debris.

“What the fuck?” Debris, smoke, and fire rained down all around her. She covered her face and head with her arms.

“Kyra?” Fiona screamed from the phone but rubble and dust made it impossible for Kyra to see where the phone had landed. “KYRA?”

“Do I get to kill her now?” a female voice asked from somewhere over her head.

“Fuck.” Kyra muttered, pulling out one of her guns. She pointed it into the thick smoke, waving it around as she tried to pick out movement. But the edges of her vision started to get fuzzy. She blinked, forcing herself to stay conscious.

“No, not until we have the information we need,” the male from the woods said, somewhere to her right. Kyra scrambled back, hoping the smoke and remnants of the room would camouflage her, hoping for the few more seconds it lasted, they would be as blind as she.

She watched as two figures emerged from the dusty plume. Kyra didn’t hesitate to pull the trigger, and bullets flew at the couple. Her aim off, the three shots went in different directions, going left when they should’ve gone right. She shook her head again trying to hone in on her attackers.

The male shook his head in disgust. “The room is on fire. Get her out of here.”

Kyra snorted smoke and coughed. “No shit, Sherlock. You just blew a hole the size of a train into my room. I hear explosions cause fire.” She snapped lowering her guns as her vision blurred again.

The Lycan kicked the gun out of Kyra’s hand and leaned down so they were face to face. “Hello again.”

“Fuck you,” Kyra spat. At least now every part of her body felt as miserable as her head.

“Tsk, tsk. It will go so much better for you if you just stay quiet,” the woman said, placing her index finger against Kyra’s lips. She pressed until Kyra tasted blood, proving she and her freaky ass companion had complete control. “Now isn’t that better?”

Kyra kept her mouth shut, instead glaring at the woman. The Lycan stood and arched a perfectly shaped brow at her companion. “If looks could kill.”

“You’d have died a hundred years ago,” he quipped before bending down and picking up Kyra. He leaned her against the wall. Kyra couldn’t hear Fiona screaming from the phone any longer and new the old Druid had stopped to listen, to gather any information she could. Fiona never stopped when one of the Elements could be in danger. It defined who she was.

“Are you going to come with us?” the male asked. His voice vibrated over her skin and sunk deep into her brain. At the moment, she would do anything if he would never ever use compulsion on her again.

As she no longer seemed to be in control, Kyra clamped her mouth shut. If the Lycan didn’t want her to speak, she would keep quiet.

“Have it your way.” He leaned close and whispered the next part into her ear, making her shiver for a different reason. “But remember I told you, I only ask once.” She didn’t see what knocked her out. But blackness swept up and swiftly consumed her. Kyra welcomed it, sinking into oblivion.

 

 

Author Bio:

selfpicChristie was born and raised in a suburb of Salt Lake City, Ut. She lives less than a mile from the home she grew up in. World traveler she is not. But what she lacked in travel she more than made up for in her imagination. Within her vivid imagination she has traveled the world over as well as different worlds and different times.

She works a full time day job to pay the bills but loses herself in books and her writing whenever possible.

She is a loving mother of two wonderful children that she admits she is obsessed with. She has been married for 18 years to a very tolerant man that is grounded in reality in order for her to fly to the heights of her own imagination.

She started writing when she was a teenager after reading a book that she didn’t like the ending too. Took a hiatus to raise her wonderful children but has dedicated herself to becoming a published writer for the last several years.

http://www.author-christiepalmer.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/christie.palmer.5011

Twitter: @christieauthor

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/11563672-christie-palmer

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Guest Post: Jacqueline Paige

Please welcome Jacqueline Paige….

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All about Dade (Autumn Dance)

 

Sometimes when you’re writing there’s one character that just jumps in and fills all the little blanks in the plot, Dade Jones is that character throughout the whole Magic Seasons series.

While writing the first book in the series (From Beltane Magic) Dade was supposed to be in the back ground as a secondary character. Of course when I started the first book, it was going to be a single story and not an entire series.  It didn’t take long to see that there was no way Dade was going to stay in the shadows as he kept stepping up and being the white knight in the book.

I’m not saying he’s infallible, not but any means, Dade gets himself into more trouble throughout the series than any of the other characters do, but his caring heart always helps to redeem him.

I was so thrilled to write his story and finally let him get the girl by the time Autumn Dance came to light. (Even though I’m going to give away little bits of the story line, there’s so much packed into the first four books, I won’t be spoiling any of the good parts.  J)

Aside from everyone using Dade as their sounding board throughout the series (at all hours of the day or night) this is a few other things he’s done that won him a place in readers hearts;  He takes the lead in repairing the bridge after the storm so everyone can go home.  He has no problem chasing down killers, whether on foot or car chase.

Here is a new excerpt from Autumn Dance and a little taste of poor, lovable Dade and how well he gets himself into trouble.

Steven shook his head slowly and walked through the door. He stopped suddenly and Dade walked into him.

Looking around the other man Dade saw the women they’d just mentioned standing in his living room with their hands on their hips looking very unhappy. All four of them, he thought. “Oh, shit,” he whispered.

“Uh-huh,” Steven answered back.

Rachel smiled and walked over to Steven. “So, Doc, how’s the…” She studied Dade half hiding behind her fiancé, “Patient this evening?”

Steven wasn’t sure if falling to his own knees would save him any cross fire so he just quietly answered. “He’ll live.”

“That’s debatable,” Leena said walking over. She stopped and glared at Dade—or what she could see of him from behind Steven. “Head okay, Dade?” she asked quietly. He shrugged. “Good,” she said sweetly.

Kasey looked around the living room again then turned and glared at Dade. She walked towards them and both stepped aside as she opened the kitchen door and looked in the room. “There isn’t a clean place to sit anywhere,” she said looking at Cora. She spun back towards the men.

Steven went to step away and felt Dade grip his shirt from behind in a silent plea. “Don’t sit on the couch—uh, we poured water over him.”

Dade looked at him in surprise.

“Did you think Rachel wouldn’t share the details with us?” Cora asked in a hissing voice looking at Dade.

He swallowed and shook his head. He studied her face trying to see, something.

Leena blew out a breath and walked over and looked in the kitchen. “Well, at least it’s dry in there.” She pointed to the kitchen. “Sit.”

Neither man had ever heard her use that tone and immediately turned and walked into the kitchen. Steven turned and looked at Rachel.

She smirked at him. “Stop looking like the guilty child, Doc, we’re not mad at you.”

He put his hand over his heart and let out a quick breath.  “Whew.” He stood behind her and pulled her back into him. Then looked to see Dade sitting at the table looking around at the three women hovering looking at him.

Kasey leaned on the table and brought her face down level with Dade’s. “Well?”

He looked up at her. Then down at the table. The buttons were sitting there. Leaning forward he put his hands over them. “I’m an—asshole,” he said quietly searching for the right word to make them happy.

She snorted. “Clearly.”

“Kase?” Chris’s voice bellowed from the door.

“In the kitchen, Chris.” All heads turned towards the door as Chris stepped in.

He looked around and rubbed his jaw. Then gave Dade a sympathetic look. “Need a lawyer?” he asked him quietly with a smirk. Kasey glared at him. “Sorry,” he said softly and leaned back against the counter. He looked at Dade sitting on the hot seat and shook his head with sympathy ‘you’re on your own’ his expression said clearly.

Dade let out a long breath. “I appreciate the concern…”

“Concern?” Cora hissed. “You appreciate the concern?”she repeated. Slapping both hands on the table she leaned down and stared at him. Speaking quietly in a low voice she hissed, “Do you have any idea, any inkling of an idea how worried we’ve all been for the last two weeks, Dade Jones?”

He opened his mouth then closed it and shook his head. “I didn’t realize…”

“Realize what?” Kasey spat at him stepping back to the table.

Owen stepped into the room and looked around. He smirked at Dade. “Bet you wished you did die now, you dumb son of a bitch.”

Dade closed his hand over the buttons and started to stand. A slap of wind knocked him back into his chair. He looked around to see Rachel shaking her head.

“We’re not finished yet,” she said almost sweetly.

He stuffed his hands into his pockets shoving the buttons in. He watched Steven glance towards the table then his hand. Looking around at them he shrugged. “I fucked up. I was messed up…”

“From?” Cora asked quietly crossing her hands over her chest.

He opened his mouth, then clenched his jaw thinking.

“Do you know anything that’s been happening in the last few weeks, Dade?” Leena asked him. He shrugged. “You know we have a handfast happening in three weeks?”

He grinned and nodded.

“And that you agreed to be a witness with Cora for all of us?”

He looked at Steven for confirmation. He nodded at him. Not knowing what to say he looked back at Leena.

“Did you know Owen sold his house?

He grinned. “Yes, I know that,” he added quickly.

“To Cora,” she finished quietly.

He looked from Owen to Cora. “Oh.”

Kasey crossed her arms. “Did you know Kevin was going to be working here and is subletting Cora’s apartment?”

He looked quickly at Cora then back to Kasey and shook his head.

Kasey threw up her hands and walked out of the room leaving the bottles on the counter rattling. “I can’t talk to him right now!”

Chris shot Dade a look and went after her.

Dade let out a slow breath. “I’m sorry, more than you know. I’m over it. It won’t happen again.” He rubbed his hands over his face.

Cora hissed out a breath and walked out of the room.

He watched her go then turned to look at Leena. “Lee, I can’t talk about this to everyone, I just…”

Leena looked at him sympathetically for a moment and turned to look around then walked out.

Owen looked at him and shook his head. “Well, when you fuck up you do it large, Bro.” He followed Leena out.

Dade groaned and sat back for a minute. He looked up at Steven who raised his hands then dropped them back to Rachel’s shoulders. Rachel was looking at him.

Shaking her head she turned and walked out the door.

Steven dropped his head down and let out a long breath. Smirking at him he quipped, “Well, you’re still alive.” He opened the door then turned his head and whispered, “You are going to be sucking up for months over this one.”

 

Thanks for having me here today! J

 

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Autumn Dance

Book IV in the Magic Seasons series

At the autumn gathering twelve angry and determined witches use their power to draw out the killer before anyone else can become a victim.

With his magic ability Dade has control like no other— if he had that in his everyday life he could have the one thing he wants.

Coralee is a woman that represents grace and simplicity.  She has the skill of being able to feel emotion, aura and see beyond the now.  The pain sometimes associated with this gift has forced her to live her life from a distance.  She decided early in life what she wanted, and returned from her years away at school set to obtain her biggest dream. Unfortunately she has found the past few years lacking just that as she waits for the man she wants to stop and look at her instead of every female that throws themselves in his path. 

Dade is a man that follows life simply, yet his charitable personality brings him a wealth of   satisfaction.  He is the first to lend a hand, the last to stay and help and the one everyone calls when something goes wrong.  Even though his own generous nature fills his life, he still manages to find time enough to get himself into a mess at every turn and spends most of the time imploring forgiveness from the one sexy voodoo woman he can’t seem to get close to.

 

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