Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Cover Reveal Marked Under the Midnight Sun by Susanna Strom #CoverReveal



Marked Under the Midnight Sun
Black Rock Guardians 
Book Three
Susanna Strom

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Cougar Creek Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: May 21, 2024
ISBN: 9781960382092
ASIN: B0CKKXFYFC
Cover Artist: Lori Jackson 

Tagline: He was loaded for bear. And he still wasn’t ready for her… 

Book Description:

Viggo

I do jobs no one else in my pack can do. Dirty jobs.

Like kidnapping Liv Hagen.

I didn’t want to do it. I was just following my alpha’s orders.

I never thought my bear would think she’s ours.

But there’s no way I can keep her. The consequences are too dire.

So, when the time comes, I’ll have no choice but to surrender her to fate.

Even if it kills me…

Liv

Kidnapped, held captive, and used as a bargaining chip against the Black Rock Guardians.

Yeah. Seems about right for my luck.

But if the big, bad bear shifter thinks I’m going to submit to his—or anyone’s—will, he’s got another thing coming.

Which is why I’ll just have to ignore my attraction to the sexy jerk. It’s probably Stockholm syndrome, anyway.

I mean, it’s not like he’s my fated mate or anything… right?

Marked Under the Midnight Sun, Book 3 in the Black Rock Guardians Series, is a lightly angsty, enemies to lovers paranormal romance with plenty of spice and tense moments, and just the right amount of suspense, action, and adventure. Download today and get ready for the supernatural romance you didn’t know you needed.

Amazon     Kobo     Apple     BN     Books2Read      


About the Author:

Susanna loves to read―and write―stories full of complex characters who find love, hope, and connection while navigating through an exciting and dangerous world. Susanna lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and two very spoiled cats.






Susanna’s Stormers, Facebook Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1572291033136914 





Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Release Day Blitz The Holy Man’s Sinner by T. M. Smith


The Holy Man’s Sinner
Blood Coven World 
Book Three
T. M. Smith

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Date of Publication: April 2, 2024
ISBN: 978-0-3695-0982-6
ASIN: B0CZ18QJRN
Number of pages: 79
Word Count: 1597
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Tagline: An unlikely heart seeks redemption

Book Description:

In an opposites-attract story, the vampire Elisabeta is searching for more than just pleasure and the bludfrenzy. 

When she crosses paths with Nelo, a holy man with a rebellious streak, her world is turned upside down. 

As she navigates a new path filled with self-discovery, romance, and redemption, she must confront the challenges that threaten to tear them apart. 

Will their love transcend the judgment of others and the shadows of their pasts?


Amazon      BN       Kobo     Apple      Books2Read  

Excerpt:

“Tell me about these selfless acts which will heal me.” Her lips caressed the glass as she sipped her drink.

Nelo’s breath caught at the sight. Remembering the conversation, he puzzled his chin with forefinger. “Good deeds will fill your days and contemplation your nights. At the end of your healing, a worthy, seductive male awaits your recovery.” He patted his chest. “The male would be me.”

“Cruor, you lack humility.”

“It is a flaw I work on.”

“In the meantime, you’ll assign me to a soup kitchen until I feel better about myself?”

“To something. Not a soup kitchen.” He tilted his glass, swallowing a sip and noticing how Elisabeta watched him.

“How do you know your solution will work?” she asked.

He rolled the amber liquid in the tumbler. “I am the Cruor, a male wise beyond his years.”

“With only a small flaw.”

“So tiny. Not worth mentioning.” He threw back his drink, rose, and shoved out his hand.




About the Author:

After retiring from her career in education, T. M. Smith settled in to write something more creative than lesson plans on split infinitives and inner-school memos on noise in the hallway.

Taking great interest in the lives of vampires, demons, elves, mages, and other magical beings, she began a paranormal romance series of five books with alpha males who aren't always nice and females who have no problem keeping them in line. The Blood Coven Series is complete. Her new project is a series of stand-alone, short novellas set in the Blood Coven World. In the meantime, she is working on a longer surprise project.

Here are more orts, scraps, and fragments from her life. (a homage to Virginia Wolf and Shakespeare.) She moved from sunny Las Vegas to the less-than-sunny Pacific Northwest. Here she has adventures with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters who also moved to the area. She also enjoys a membership at Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN), a local organization that supports the arts and offers classes and events in eleven different studios. It was at BARN where her critique group began. With equal time given to in-depth comments on each other's works, snarky remarks, and laughter, they have now been together nearly eight years.



Contact Me Form: https://bit.ly/43AUMjA

Newsletter sign-up: http://eepurl.com/h8rQVL







Friday, March 29, 2024

Chasing The Dragon by Mark Towse #Horror #Thriller #Romance #Comedy


Chasing The Dragon
Mark Towse

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime, Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
Publisher: Eerie River Publishing
Date of Publication: 23rd March 2024
ISBN: 1998112268
ASIN: B0CR6PNZLQ
Number of pages: 234
Word Count: 68,650

Cover Artist: Tom Brown

Tagline: The town needed a hero… it got Reformo.

Book Description: 

A town on its knees, dread's bony fingers wrapping around its throat and squeezing, death rattles soon to follow.

Drugs, filth, and a lack of human decency are starving it of hope.

Introducing Simon Dooley, our trauma-driven wannabe superhero, the relentless voice of his dead mother pleading with him to "end the chaos." Dressed in a leotard and armed only with a dozen dog poop bags, Simon's plight will find him falling in love and going head to head with the seediest characters walking the streets.

The town needed a hero... it got Reformo.



About the Author: 

Mark Towse is an English horror writer living in Australia. He would sell his soul to the devil or anyone buying if it meant he could write full-time. Alas, he left it very late to begin this journey, penning his first story since primary school at the ripe old age of forty-five. Since then, he's been published in over two hundred journals and anthologies, had his work made into full theatrical productions for shows such as The No Sleep Podcast and Tales to Terrify, and has penned fourteen novellas, including Nana, Gone to the Dogs, 3:33, and Crows. Chasing The Dragon is his debut novel.









Thursday, March 28, 2024

Cosmic Requiem Circle by Lucinda Wicked #LGBT #ParanormalRomance #DarkRomance



Cosmic Requiem Circle
Book One
Lucinda Wicked

Genre: LGBT, Paranormal, Dark Romance
Date of Publication:  January 13, 2024 
ISBN: 979-8872258339
ASIN: ‎B0CQKNLLF5 
Number of pages: 236
Word Count: 51,097 words 
Cover Artist: Lucinda Wicked

Tagline: Where shadows dance, and echoes of demise intertwine, Lady Death and Mistress Misery conduct the cosmic requiem, orchestrating the symphony of eternal darkness.

Book Description: 

Slice, butcher, kill

Misery has lived the last eon by their code. Hunting everything with and without breath for the right price. Unfeeling, without mercy. A greedy overlord makes Misery an offer they can't refuse. All they have to do is kill the silver ghost

Except this ghost is not really a ghost…

Collect, collect, collect

Death has learned the hard way that solitude is the only way to safeguard her heart. Cold, ruthless and without compassion, the universe has learnt to be terrified of death. Deserting at the mention of her name.

Until there was one who wasn't terrified. One who dared hold a knife to her throat.

Death is curious…

The universe has thrown death and Misery together and an ancient force looms in the background…

Death is about to find out that there are more twisted things in the universe and that perhaps…Death doesn't have to walk alone.


Excerpt:

Death was finally able to take a nap, she rested, moving to a beach in her dreams. As she sunbathed, she felt a ripple through her dream. An odious black thing streaking the sky. She felt a subtle tremor in the cosmic threads, a disturbance that distrusted her sleep, bathing her dream world in darkness.

“Oh for fuck’s sake.” She said, stretching her hand for her scythe. She got up and took off the sarong, slipping her arms through the sleeves of a satin robe.

With the sharp edge of her scythe, she ripped through the fabric of the dream world.

“I actually put a lot of work into creating this one. This better be worth it.” Death murmured, stepping out of the dream and entering a black void.

She found herself standing within the threading—a vast expanse where the fabric of existence intertwined.

Threads stretched in every direction, touching each other in a complex web of interconnections. Each thread was connected to another. They revolved around a small spool in the center.

She found herself, a small piece of black lopping around each thread.

“What is it this time?” She said into the endless void, her voice echoing.

Tainted threads manifested before her, the red threads had clumps of black glue choking it. Her face contorted in a grimace.

“Damn. That’s a lot of dirt. What has this soul done?” She asked. “Come. Let’s go find them. Someone has to die.” She sighed.

She stepped into Misery’s dream. She was lying awake in a dark space.

“Really? You have the ability to think of anything and this is what you choose?” She said, scoffing. “You’re unbelievable. I don’t know why I bother.” Death finished.

Deathless eyes stare back at her.

“The dark is comforting. You should know that better than anyone else. It is home to vile twisted things like us. Come lay with me.”

“Would love to but this is a bye bye text. I’m too lazy to reach for my phone. I’m killing two birds with one scythe.”“That’s not how the saying goes.”

“Who cares.”

“Where are you headed?”

“Somewhere terrible. " Death said.

Misery sat up, the shadows binding her to the black space falling away. “Where are you going?”

Death looked up, trying to convince her eyes to unsee Misery soft, white, naked, eyes open in ecstasy.

“To hunt a tainted thread.” Death said mindlessly.

“I’m coming with.” Misery said.

“You’re not. You’re busted up. Why are you naked?”

“I sleep naked.” Misery said, brows scrunching in confusion.

“I did not need to know that.” Death said, making a strangled noise. “Why do you insist on coming with me, Misery?” Death questioned, her mood souring. She looked at Misery with cold emotionless eyes.

Misery, undeterred, responded, “I’m connected to the balance as much as you are. I’m connected to you. It’s a roundabout thing. won’t stay idle when darkness threatens.”

“Everybody is connected to me, little psycho. Try again. I’ll be the last to leave this universe when it ceases endless existence. I’ll turn the lights out behind me. I’ll escort your soul to the after life too. Try again, Mise.”

“I have no soul.” Misery grinned, cracking open her chest to reveal a black empty space.

Death scowled. “You’re still not coming along.”

“Yes I am. I’m coming to cover your ass.”

“Literally or figuratively.” Said Death, her lids lowering. Misery flushed, disappearing into the shadows.

“Well. I’ll see you when I’m back.” Death said.

“I’ll be downstairs in five minutes. We both need to get dressed and you take ten years to change your clothes.” Misery said at the same time, wrinkling her nose.

They looked at each other, both frowning.

“I’m coming. The End.” Said Misery, disappearing into the shadows. Death cursed, opening her eyes.

She stood up, heading to her closet. She yanked out a long flowing lace vest and a pair of leather pants. She wore a silk shirt under the vest, the lace vest on it and a corset on the whole ensemble.

The lace looked like it was sewed to the corset. She slipped on a pair of black studded six inch stilettos and raced outside, sliding down the railing to the foyer.

She rushed outside, opening her Mercedes and taking a seat in the driver’s side. She pulled out of the castle, doing a victory dance.

She dialed Misery’s number, tapping her acrylics on the screen joyfully. The phone rang from inside the car.

She looked back to see a grinning Misery lounging in the back seat.

“You have to be shitting me.” Death said, shaking her head.

“I wish. You’re not supposed to leave people you’re going out with at home.” She said, laughing. She smoothly maneuvered herself from the back seat to the passenger’s side.



About the Author:

Meet Lucinda Wicked – a seasoned cosplayer with over a decade of experience. When she's not donning epic costumes, Luci runs her own gig catering to the spooky souls out there. Stickers, sweaters, and more – she's got your eerie cravings covered. Luci's love for all things spooky is practically woven into the fabric of her creations.

But Luci is not just a business owner; she's a proud member of the LGBT+, BIPOC, and Neurodivergent communities. Embracing diversity and uniqueness is not just a trend for her – it's a way of life.

You can snag Luci's otherworldly wares at Luminous Moon Swag, whether you prefer the virtual aisles of Etsy or the online realm at luminousmoonswag.com. And if you're in the mood for a quick cosmic escape, check out her TikTok micro-episodes featuring the Cosmic Requiem Circle.

In her spare time, you'll find Luci immersed in the magical realms of her own creation, embracing the spooky, and spreading a cosmic vibe. This is Lucinda Wicked – crafting dreams and bringing a touch of the supernatural to your everyday life.










Monday, March 25, 2024

Crossroads Magic by Tracy Cooper-Posey #ParanormalWomensFiction #ParanormalRomance



Crossroads Magic
Witchtown Crossing
Book One
Tracy Cooper-Posey

Genre:  Paranormal Women’s Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher:  Stories Rule Press
Date of Publication:   March 21, 2024
Amazon ISBN: 9781779431943
ISBN: 9781779432018
ASIN:   B0CP3CKP12
Number of pages: 306 pages
Word Count:  74,000 words
Cover Artist:  Dar Dixon, Wicked Smart Designs

Tagline:  I’m just an ordinary, middle-aged woman, and my life is falling apart….

Book Description:

When did I become such a cliché?  I’m divorced, working a crappy job, living on next to nothing, and wondering how it all went so wrong. 

Then it goes even more wrong.  My grown daughter turns up after not speaking to me for two years, with stunning news of her own, and to cap it off, I’m summoned to a tiny, isolated hamlet in northern New York called Haigton Crossing, where my mother has lived for decades.

Haigton Crossing looks like a throwback to another time.  For such a small place, it is stuffed full of secrets.  The people there are different, including the town’s doctor, Benedict Marcus.  And Haigton Crossing is way, way too small to host a murder….

This book is part of the paranormal women’s fiction series, Witchtown Crossing
1.0: Crossroads Magic …with more to come!

A Paranormal Women’s Fiction novel.



Praise for Crossroads Magic:

Love this new series. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down.

Now I must wait for the next book which is pure torture.

Nice to read about a woman starting over after her daughter has grown.

As I adore everything Tracy writes...I am on cloud nine with the start of a new series.

It was wonderful to read a book about a woman who is closer to my age facing problems that I might actually have.

She explains the sights, sounds and smells in a way that makes you feel like you are there. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series!

What a delight! A heroine with some life experience, with real world problems.

A NEW Series From TRACY!!! EEEK!

Tracy's strong suit in her writing is her character development and knowing when a good twist and turn is needed to further captivate her audience.

An excellent beginning to what promises to be a most intriguing series, Crossroads Magic is a fascinating story in itself, though there are so many different directions this series could take.

Excerpt Chapter One

The only thing I was worried about as I headed back to my apartment building was the spot on the back of my hand where hot fat had left a burn the size of a nickel.  Small, but mighty, the burn throbbed and ached, reminding me it was there.  It was worse when the sun hit it, which it did frequently.  It was one of those perfect, mild days in December, when you could actually see the sky over L.A. and it was blue.  

Who am I kidding?  The burn spot wasn’t the only thing I was worried about.  If you were to ask me, I could rattle off a dozen major and minor problems, including the sumo-sized rat I suspect was trying to take up residence under my kitchen sink.  But those were all chronic problems.

The burn on my hand was new and painful.  I didn’t need new problems and was trying my best to ignore it until I could slather aloe vera gel on it.  Marjorie, at the diner, had hacked off a leaf from the plant sitting in the pot outside the kitchen door when Deborah, the assistant manager, hadn’t been looking. Marj had wrapped the leaf in plastic. It was in my bag, along with the serving of pecan pie which Deborah had ordered the waitresses to throw out because it was too old.  Three days old…there was nothing wrong with it, and it had more calories in it than the egg and toast I had lined up for dinner.

In this world that wasn’t the one I would voluntarily choose, today was turning out okay. Pecan pie, and Hobgoblin of History in my ears.  I had been waiting weeks for book fifteen of M.K. Lint’s fantasy series.  The library had doled it out to me yesterday and I was on chapter three.  Harry the Hobgoblin was looking for the Fairy Eloise, this book; he’d lost her at the end of the last one, because he hadn’t closed the Doors of Eternal Flame in time and a demon had abducted her.  

I like reading.  I like it a lot.

 My building was a white monstrosity that did nothing to enhance the L.A. skyline.  The white had long ago turned to a stained, dull grey.  Five years ago, a fire had broken out on the top floor and burned out a few apartments.  The black smoke had billowed up out of the windows, staining the walls above them.  The stains were still there and every time I saw them, I had to remind myself they were smoke stains, not black mould taking over the building.  Black mould seemed more appropriate.

I turned off the audiobook, stashed my phone in my pocket and headed for the front door.  I only used the front door when I came home from work.  Usually, I used the side door, because it was closer to the bus stop.

There was another homeless person sitting on the front steps, leaning against the wrought iron bannister as if they couldn’t prop themselves up, their jean jacket pulled in tight.  It wasn’t that cold, although this late in the afternoon, any warmth in the day was beginning to fade.
I swung around the homeless person’s worn boots, and up the steps, digging out my key.

“Mom?”  The voice wavered.

I whirled, my heart rate climbing, to face the woman rising from the steps, a denial on my lips.  

Blue, short, spiky hair.  A nose ring.  Black eye makeup that had run…or that she had been wearing for too many days.  The black looked like bruises.

“Ghaliya?” I asked, for the high cheekbones, narrow chin and high forehead were hers.  So were the blue eyes—even if they were blood shot.  The next question was right there, behind my teeth.  What the hell are you doing here?

Ghaliya pulled the jacket in around her once more.  She’d lost weight since the last time I’d seen her…two years, two months and five days ago.   And about thirty minutes.  

“The super said you’d be home around now,” Ghaliya said.  She bent and picked up a small black backpack that had been sitting under her knees and straightened.

Was it possible she’d got taller?  She’d been an inch shorter than me.  I didn’t think she was shorter than me anymore, and I am nearly always the tallest woman in the room.

I didn’t ask why she was here.  That was obvious.  She needed help.  

I hefted my keys instead.  “You’d better come in.”





About the Author:

Tracy Cooper-Posey is the author of the popular Once and Future Hearts historical fantasy romance series, among others. She writes romantic suspense, historical, paranormal, fantasy and science fiction romance, plus women’s fiction. She also writes under the pen names of Cameron Cooper (science fiction) and Taylen Carver (fantasy).  She has published over 200 titles since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year. Tracy won the award in 2012, a SFR Galaxy Award in 2016 and came fourth in Hugh Howey’s SPSFC#2 in 2023. She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. 

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian Canadian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.

 


Barnes and Noble: https://shorturl.at/fhsu7 
 
 



Facebook Fiction Page:  https://www.facebook.com/TracyCooperPosey   

Facebook Readers' Hangout:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/TCPHangout/ 






Wednesday, March 20, 2024

A Murder of Wizards: Apocalypse Rising Year Two by Eric Swett



A Murder of Wizards: Apocalypse Rising Year Two
Armageddon Angels 
Book Three
Eric Swett

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Haileybug Publishing 
Date of Publication: 12/9/23
ISBN: 979-8867576660
ASIN:B0CN7HJCGN
Number of pages: 251
Word Count: 95,789

Cover Artist: Eric Swett

Tagline: The Grim Reaper looks for a serial killer who is ritually murdering wizards and taunting them in the process. He needs to find the killer and stop him before his plot comes to a disastrous conclusion.

Book Description:  

Apocalypse Rising: A Murder of Wizards is an Urban Fantasy about a fallen Angel named Justin. He just happens to be one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Grim Reaper himself, Death. 

Two years have passed since he remembered who he was and what he is. He is regaining  abilities and memories he lost when he chose to fall to earth and live among humans, but he has a long way to go before he can fully reclaim his title. When Justin is asked by a friend to investigate a string of supernatural murders he can't say no. Justin discovers he has a connection to the murders and has to find the murderer before their plans come to fruition.

Amazon      Books2Read      MyWritersCramp

Excerpt:

“Don’t look.” Justin turned and pulled Lilly to him. He tried to shield her from the gore splattered about the alley. The copper stink of fresh blood assaulted them as they stood across the street from the scene. As the Grim Reaper, eons of death dulled the impact for Justin. He wanted to keep Lilly from it if possible.

“I can’t.” Lilly looked away, but it did not help. Despite being blind, the murder shone in vivid technicolor to her. Being Justin's Oracle gave her sight far beyond what any normal person enjoyed.

The pull of death drew her attention, and in her mind's eye, the scene coalesced as clearly as if she stared at it. The violence and butchery lit the aura surrounding the dead body in angry tones of black and red that shone like a spotlight upon the murder.

She placed her hand over her mouth to keep from vomiting.

The splayed open corpse's entrails hung about the alley. The smashed kidneys hung from the side of a dumpster. The lungs sat in a pile against the alley wall. The liver dripped blood into a shallow pool beside the corpse. The buzzing of flies grew louder as the dead man's evacuated bowels drew them to the feast.

The callous mess made of another human left her uneasy.

She wanted to block it out, bury her head in Justin’s chest, and flee the scene. She tried to look away, but ancient instinct forced her to bear witness to the death of a fellow human. Her instincts buzzed with warning. Her palms sweated, and her lips trembled. A predator lurked nearby, and she needed to be aware.

“Lilly.” Justin put an arm around her shoulders and turned her back to the horrific scene playing out in the alley. “It’s okay. I’ve got you.”

Justin wanted to go home and leave it all behind them. Lilly wanted to know what happened and needed him to tell her so she did not have to face it alone. The closer they got to it, the more apparent the full extent of the horror became.

“What…what is it? What happened, Justin?” Lilly held onto him tightly, seeking comfort in his strength.

He apprised the situation with a practiced stare. His experience on earth gave him some insight, but his familiarity with death brought everything into focus. He scratched at the stubble on his chin as he considered the dead man. “Looks like a sacrifice of some sort, a ritual, but not one I’ve seen before. Doesn’t appear demonic, but it could be part of a summoning. Maybe something geographical...”

“Can we go? I don’t like the way this feels. There is something wrong about this. I can't put my finger on it, but there is something dark here. It's tickling my senses, tempting me, drawing me toward it like an inevitable conclusion.” She turned her back on the scene and shuddered.

“Huh? Oh. Yeah, sure. Let’s get out of here.” Justin guided Lilly away from the murder. Justin held her hand gently as they walked. “Sorry about that. Hazard of the profession. As the Angel of Death, I've seen a lot of corpses. It’s not every day you come across something this unusual.”



About the Author:

Eric Swett is a husband and father. He has a beautiful wife named Tracy and three fabulous children (Zachary, Connor, and Kaitlyn). Between the four of them, he has absolutely everything he really needs in this world. If everything else went away and he still had them, he could die and count himself a fortunate man.

He works in IT, streams video games, and dabbles in 3D printing.

He is a self-proclaimed Geek and does not adhere to a single form of geekdom. He likes roleplaying games, tabletop games with painted miniatures, video games, comic books, science fiction and fantasy, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who. 










Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Review Rift in the Soul (Soulwood, #6) by Faith Hunter

Rift in the Soul (Soulwood, #6)Rift in the Soul by Faith Hunter
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Non-stop action from beginning to end.

Nell has really come into her own, no longer is she a meek church woman, she is a powerful plant woman and she is proud of it.

No need to hide in the shadows, she uses her gifts to solve para crimes and to keep her family and friends safe.

In book six of the Soulwood Series, Nell gets summoned by the vampire Ming of Glass. This sets off a chain of events that puts everyone in danger and keeps everyone on their toes for days. A new, very dangerous vamp is in town with an entourage of vamps all hellbent on collecting items and creatures of power. Nell and her family are caught in the crosshairs because they have powers the vamps are interested in.

Oh and the vamps are all batshit crazy- partially because of events that occurred in the final Jane Yellowrock book. The references to Jane/The Dark Queen are numerous in this book. I love the continuity though I am missing Jane and Alex Younger. I hope to see them in future books and short stories.

Lincoln Shaddock and the Everharts were mentioned. This was highly intriguing and I am still hoping for a series dedicated to the Everhart witches because wow- there have been some bombs dropped in several of the short stories that "faithful" readers need to know more about!!!

Overall this newest installment of the Soulwood series was phenomenal. Action, adventure, and all the feels. It ends on a beautiful high note.

View all my reviews

Thursday, February 29, 2024

Storm's Convergence by Valerie Storm #YAFantasy


Storm's Convergence
Demon Storm 
Book 5
Valerie Storm

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing
Date of Publication: 2/13/24
Cover Artist: @Ginkahederling
ASIN: B0CRYQJRN1
Number of pages: 313
Word Count: 78962

Tagline: The Fire Witch ruined Kari's life once before
                Now she's back
                And she's not alone

Book Description: 

The calm can only last so long.

Now a member of Freehaven's Council, Kari tries to put her past behind her and settle down in her new home with her ever-present Lord and love, Ari.

Cracks in her mind, parting gifts from the heart eater, make planning the upcoming Spring Festival a struggle, but Kari is determined to do her best, even after Guine departs the town.

When a mysterious child appears at the festival and marks Kari, all semblance of normalcy is banished.

A triple threat from her past awaits beyond the walls of Freehaven and options are thin. Not willing to spill any more blood, Kari takes it upon herself to stop them—with Ari by her side.


Excerpt:

The girl grabbed the neckline of her shirt and jerked her closer with too much ease. Kari stiffened as the girl’s cheek touched hers.

“Funny wolf demon, hiding in this wretched town.” Her voice was low and cruelly amused. Kari tensed, prepared to jerk free and throw a fist, but the girl hissed, “Ah, no, don’t move. There are many innocents here, though I would not call demons innocent. I know you would not want them hurt.”

She suddenly realized the closeness of so many villagers, as if she’d been ripped out of reality and dropped harshly back into it again.

Kari bit back a growl. “Who are you?”

She knew, though, before the small girl laughed. The boastful yet righteous arrogance of someone who believed truly and wholly in her cause—it could be no one else.

“I feel your defeat. You’ve answered your own question.”

Kari’s throat was dry. “Ri…Riniko. What are you doing here? Why—”

“Since you’ve yet to heed our warning, I’m here to play a little game.”

“Kari!” Ari called.

Riniko’s small hands tightened. “Tell him to leave. We’re busy.”

She hesitated. Ari yelled for her again, and now she envisioned him pushing through the crowds, looking for where she’d gone.

“It’s fine,” she yelled back. “I…I’m helping someone. I’ll catch up!”

Riniko’s grip didn’t loosen. “Your boy is insistent.”

Kari turned her head with some difficulty, given Riniko’s grip. The little witch traded, wrapping her arms around Kari’s neck with a giggle that cracked against her eardrums.

Visible between passersby, Ari made his way to them. His brows raised at the sight of the girl around her neck.

“Who is…”

Kari smiled, big and wide, and prayed he didn’t notice her trembling lips. “She’s lost. I’m part of the Council, so she came to me. Go back to Rathik and Essie, I’ll catch up.”

Ari saw something in her face; his eyes constricted, his jaw pulsing, uncertain of what to do.
Please walk away, Ari. It’ll be okay this time. I promise.

When she did not say anything more, he relented. “Alright. Meet us over there, okay?”

Kari nodded, jostling Riniko. Ari glanced between them, then jogged off.

Riniko giggled again, quieter this time. “Good.”

Kari grabbed her around the waist and yanked her off. There was something insanely surreal about holding a small child in her hands, a child whose eyes burned with unmatched cruelty and fire.

“What do you want?” she snarled.

Riniko wrapped too-small fingers around Kari’s wrists and met her eye with a cool, even gaze.

“You know what we want. I’m only here to set the fire of action a little higher for you.”
Her palms, pressed against Kari’s skin, warmed. Kari’s eyes widened, and she struggled with the instinct to fling the small child away.

“We do not want to burn this entire village to the ground. Despite the way these villagers associate with demons, they are still good, innocent people. The demons can be excused as long as they remain thusly. But you cannot. You must come and face your fate.”

Her arms were burning; Kari bit back a scream. “I keep telling you, I don’t want to hurt anyone! Why can’t you just leave me alone?”

“Tell that to those poor people in the east. They probably thought you didn’t want to kill them. But now they’re very, very dead.”

Kari staggered back. There were fewer villagers out now, less to see this odd pair, but Kari dreaded what Riniko would do if even one was drawn to them. She inched away from the square, edging toward an alley between two buildings.

“Isn’t it enough that I died once? What more can you want?”

Riniko laughed. “Oh, yes, but Zina got cold feet. Superstition, I guess. She couldn’t let it die with you. No, she believed it would go on, despite having no body. So here you are, her little pet wolf demon, but she won’t be here to save you a second time.”

Cold feet? Let it die with her?

The burning on her arms increased, snapping her attention back to Riniko’s young-girl face.
“I’ll come to you,” Kari croaked. “Does that make you happy? I’ll leave and find you.”

Riniko’s eyes lit up, though she did not remove her hands. The heat continued to rise until Kari thought she could smell her flesh cooking.

“Oh, do you promise?” Riniko asked, her voice girlish, sickeningly sweet. “Pretty please?”

“Please stop,” Kari whispered between her teeth.

Little hands lifted, releasing her from the agony of fire. Kari trembled, then froze as those hands touched her cheeks.

“It was easy to infiltrate this place, Kari. It would be even easier, now, to set it all ablaze. You remember my previous work.”

Kari’s hands around Riniko’s waist shook with the effort to not squeeze her into pieces. “You’re the monster, witch,” she snarled.

“It takes a monster to slay one,” Riniko responded. “Remember that if you decide to hesitate any longer. I’m tired of waiting for this final show. My sisters have both seen that I was right and now it’s time to end this.” Riniko raised her hands. “Put me down.”

Shaking profusely, Kari set Riniko on the ground, where the little witch-girl brushed off her plain, brown dress. She fluffed her hair, then raised a finger to her lips.

“Remember your promise,” she said, then spun and skipped away into the darkness.



About the Author:

Valerie Storm was raised in Tucson, Arizona. Growing up, she fell in love with everything fantasy. When she wasn’t playing video games, she was writing. By age ten, she began to write her own stories as a way to escape reality. When these stories became a full-length series, she considered the path to sharing with other children & children-at/heart looking for a place to call home.












a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
BLOG DESIGN FOR FANG-TASTIC BOOKS BY BARBARA.
RED CORSET © HALAQUINN ARCADIAS. GOTHIC NIGHT © ASHEN SHARROW.