Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Double Alchemy by Susan Mac Nicol - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular



EVERYDAY FEAR

Have you ever had that creepy sensation that someone was behind you when you look in the mirror…?

Carrie Benton kicked off her shoes, did a little twirl around her bedroom, and sank gladly into the armchair beside the bay window that looked out onto the street. She gazed down dreamily at the road below, still seeing Gerald’s tanned face smiling down at her, still feeling the gentle touch of his hand against her arm. She decided there and then that it had been the perfect evening. Nothing could mar this, she mused, and it would be even better in the morning when he came to collect her for breakfast and they would share the whole day, not just the evening.

Tosca chose that moment to make his entrance, his pitiful meow shaking her out of the dream world she was currently in. Carrie gathered the cat into her arms. ‘Hi there, cattykins, who’s hungry then?’ she crooned into his fur. He arched his back and playfully shot his paw at her. She giggled and set him down on the bed where he regarded her with an air of suspicion.

‘I am going to fix you some food,’ she teased, ‘right after I wash my face and get my dressing gown on. You’ll just have to wait a while.’

Carrie switched on the en-suite bathroom light and hummed to herself as she picked up the facial wash from the shelf. She heard Tosca scratching the coverlet of her bed in what she assumed was act frustration at being thwarted out of his food. ‘Not long,’ she sang out, ‘Then I’ll get you your dinner and I’ll tell you all about Gerald and our date.’

Carrie heard Tosca hiss as if to say,’ Damn your date, just fix me some food!’ and she heard a soft plop as the cat jumped off the bed. A minute later she shivered as she felt a sharp cold draft blowing through the bathroom. Darn cat, she thought, he must have squeezed through the bedroom door to the landing and left the door open.

Carrie smeared the facial wash over her face, mixing it with water from the tap. The soapsuds bubbled on her skin. As she splashed warm water on her face, she thought she heard someone behind her. She looked up into the mirror, her face dripping water.  Gerald stood there, framed in the entrance to the bathroom. She peered at him through a veil of soapy tears, thinking at first it was a trick of the light, or perhaps some water in the eyes making her vision blurry and unstable. It was only when she felt the quick bloody pain across her throat and smelt the scent of his Brut aftershave mixed with her blood that she realised, too late, it was Gerald and that her dream date had just turned into a nightmare.


Double Alchemy
Susan Mac Nicol

Genre: Paranormal/urban fantasy MM romance
Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group
Date of Publication: 23/03/2014
ISBN: 978-1-941260-04-3
ASIN: B00J7FVYRC
Number of pages: 335 pages
Word Count: 110 000
Cover Artist: Boroughs Publishing Group

Tagline: The World in Shadow

Book Description:

Powerful yet tormented modern warlock Quinn Fairmont must initiate the silver-eyed Cade Mairston into the world of witchfinders, Withinners, and what can happen when two men fall truly, madly, deeply in love.

In modern London there lurks a warlock, Quinn Fairmont. Dangerous, powerful, tortured, sharing his body with the soul of an ancient Welsh sorcerer, Quinn is never alone—and never wholly himself. He fights against all those who would exploit his kind. He takes pleasure where he can find it.

In the forest of Hampstead Heath, Quinn’s hometown, Cade Mairston appears to him like a waking dream. Lithe, lean and silver-eyed, he evokes feelings in Quinn unlike any other: lust with true affection, immediate and shocking. Cade is clearly more than he seems. And yet, if a man of the world, Cade is innocent. He knows nothing of warlocks, witchfinders or Withinners. He knows nothing of what he is, what he might be, or what he might feel. For him, the story is just beginning. Magyck, peril and passion await. More awaits in book two…



They lay beside each other in Cade’s bed, snuggled under the covers together. It was a large king-size bed, one they’d made the most of it that evening. Quinn turned and regarded Cade with drowsy eyes as his fingers trailed soft patterns across his chest. Cade caught his breath at Quinn's lazy touch, his body still jazzed up from their love making. Quinn fingered the small metal piercing in Cade's left nipple with lazy indolence. Cade's hands caressed Quinn's stomach, lingering on an ugly, puckered three-inch scar which stretched down to his left hip.

“You seem to be getting used to this whole situation,” Quinn murmured. He caressed the nipple piercing. "And this was a nice surprise. You didn't have it in the other night.  I think I explored you enough to know you don't have any more anywhere." He grinned wickedly as Cade's fingers pinched his hip.

Cade laughed softly. “I took it out for the benefit dinner. It doesn't fit well under a dress shirt. And as for all this -I don’t believe it all myself.  But I don’t seem to have a choice. You’ve made that quite clear. And I have to say it’s not all that much of a hardship. You’re a pretty personable and sexy guy and to be honest, this just feels –so right- somehow.” He licked a wet tongue down Quinn's shoulder and grinned as Quinn lost his breath.

Cade murmured, “I saw you in the paper with a man called Adam Carnover.”

Quinn started and looked at Cade with hooded eyes.

Cade watched his eyes. “Is he still in your life? The papers seemed to think you were getting married. “

Quinn leaned over and kissed his forehead softly. “I wouldn’t be here with you if I was with another man. Adam isn’t in my life any longer.”

“What happened?”

Quinn frowned, his face dark. “We had a difference of opinion and decided to go our separate ways.”

“Was he like me, or was he normal?” Cade asked curiously, glad that the man was no longer around but still intending to find out more about their past relationship.

Quinn was still. “He was normal, nothing like you,” he said shortly.

Cade could tell he really didn’t want to talk about his ex. Wisely, he let it rest for the moment.  “Another thing you haven’t told me. Who was that man I saw in the forest that evening? Was that something to do with you?”

Quinn’s eyes narrowed as if debating what to say next.

 “Are you going to tell me?” Cade watched him closely. He reached down and grasped Quinn's semi erect cock. "Or do I have to suck it out of you like I did earlier?"

Quinn gave a low laugh and sat up, the bed covers draped across his waist as he leaned back against the headboard. "As much as I find that idea very appealing, I think I need to recuperate first. I don't think I've got any moisture left in my body after that very intense blow job. But please feel free to repeat the experience in a little while."

About the Author:

Bringing lovers together, one book at a time

The official stuff

Susan writes steamy, sexy and fun contemporary romance stories, some suspenseful, some gritty and dark and hopefully always entertaining. She’s also Editor in Chief at Divine Magazine, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and a member of The Society of Authors, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, and the Authors Guild in the US. 

Susan is also an award-winning script writer, with scripts based on two of her own published works. Sight Unseen has garnered no less than five awards to date and her TV pilot, Reel Life, based on her debut novel, Cassandra by Starlight, was also a winner at the Oaxaca Film Fest.

The ‘unofficial’ stuff…

She loves going to the theatre, live music concerts (especially if it’s her man crush Adam Lambert or the divine Cumberbatch) walks in the countryside, a good G and T, lazing away afternoons reading a good book, and watching re-runs of Silent Witness.

Her chequered past includes stories like being mistaken for a prostitute in the city of Johannesburg, being chased by a rhino on a dusty Kenyan road, getting kicked out of a youth club for being a ‘bad influence’ (she encourages free thinking) and having an aunt who was engaged to Cliff Richard.

I'd love you to stalk me so here you go..  










LinkedIn  https://www.linkedin.com/in/susanmacnicol/ 




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Rise By Moonlight by Nancy Gideon - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular



It’s Halloween Party Time!

October brings out the party animal in me!

I can’t help it . . . from the extensive decorating (too many orange tubs to count!) to the ghoulish appetizers (including skull Jell-O molds!) . . . I love it all!! But for sake of space, I’ll condense my bump in the night and howl at the moon passions into a list of favorite things.

Favorite childhood scare:  Bella Lugosi’s Dracula

Favorite type of shapeshifter:  Wolf

Favorite Halloween movies:  Wolf, Ernest Scared Stupid, Hocus Pocus, Halloween 2019 

Favorite costume from childhood:  The front half of a donkey 

Favorite scary place:  The Myrtles Plantation outside New Orleans

Favorite scary book: Stephen King’s The Shining 

Favorite paranormal TV shows:  Supernatural, Penny Dreadful (first 3 seasons), Night Gallery, Kolchak the Night Stalker

Favorite otherworldly passion: Collecting Tarot cards 

Favorite Halloween candy:  Snickers 

Favorite Halloween decoration: my animated/lighted Halloween village, now with over ten buildings and graveyard! 

And my other favorite . . . Halloween music videos! For your grim enjoyment, shiver your way through my Halloween Video Playlist on YouTube 

Have a Boo-fully scary (but safe!) holiday




Rise By Moonlight
By Moonlight
Book 15
Nancy Gideon

Genre: paranormal romance/ PNR
Date of Publication:  August 3, 2020
ASIN: B08DKGQV9G
Number of pages: 273
Word Count: 88,571

Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus, Lazarus Art

Tagline: Max and Charlotte return for the explosive conclusion of the “By Moonlight” series . . . and the stakes have never been higher!

Book Description:

He’s the Promised One

A Mobster’s attack dog turned legitimate business powerhouse, Max Savoie is the reluctant leader of New Orleans’ shapeshifter clan. They’ve kept to anonymous shadows, working and living unnoticed by the human world until their new Shifter King’s past draws dangerous outsiders who threaten all.

She’s the Protector

A fiercely determined NOPD detective, Charlotte Caissie has sworn to defend her beloved city and her unborn child from both criminals and otherworldly factions at war. While standing boldly at the side of her mate/husband, secrets from the past return to shake the foundation of her beliefs.

They Have a Problem

Walking a marital tight rope between opposite worlds, Max and Cee Cee’s paths place truth and trust at odds when outside threats force enemies to become allies. The time to take a stand for their family and their future is at hand. Time to rise together for the survival of all they love!

Amazon      Nook     Kobo      iBook


Excerpt

Max hadn’t visited that dark portion of his past for a very long time. Why now? Because of the life his mate carried? Or were the dangerous shadows of unfinished business reaching out from a swampy grave, a reminder of things he’d rather forget?

A rocking chair’s familiar creak. He tensed and twisted anxiously in the throes of his dream. Icy fingers of caution and loss clutched his chest as eyes darted behind closed lids. Unable to deny his desire to look again upon the worn elegance of his mother’s features, he faced his dread the way he’d addressed his life, with a cautious, reluctant need to know the truth . . . of who and what he was.        

Shadows, like those long-ago secrets, hung thick, revealing little of the dark head bent over the child Marie Savoie held in arms both protective and comforting. Max wished she’d look up to feed time-starved memories, craving the gentle curve of her smile and loving warmth in her gaze. He settled for the steadying croon of a voice from the past.

“What is it, Max? Another bad dream? They can’t harm you.”

As much as he loved her, then and now, he’d never quite believed that assurance. Bad things existed beyond the rusty gate imprisoning his youthful curiosity within their overgrown yard for the first five years of his life. He knew because he was one of them, a child of the unnatural world. All he’d wanted was to find his place within it. But his mother had hidden that knowledge from him, just as she’d kept the outside away for as long as she could

“Mama, what’s wrong with me?” that small voice sobbed.

The rocker continued to complain as she stroked the child’s black hair. Her tender gesture failed to calm either boy or the man he’d become.

“Nothing’s wrong with you, Max. You’re perfect. They just don’t understand, so they fear you. That’s why you must be careful to never let them see the truth.”

“What truth?” he’d pleaded. “Mama, tell me!”

Low and soft, Max repeated from where he watched, decades away, “Mama, tell me.”

She brushed a kiss across the top of the child’s flushed brow then slowly straightened, turning toward Max Savoie, a surreal voyeur from the future she’d never see. Her gaze swam with tears like liquid silver before flaring bright, then hot.

Then red.

“Max,” she crooned, “you’re just like me.”


About the Author:

Nancy Gideon is the award-winning bestseller of over 70 romances ranging from historical, Regency, and series contemporary suspense to dark paranormal and horror, with a couple of produced screenplays and non-fiction writing books tossed into the mix. Newly retired from 20 years as a legal assistant, she feeds a Netflix addiction along with all things fur, fin, and fowl, and dotes on her grandguy. She’s also written under the pseudonyms Dana Ransom, Rosalyn West, and Lauren Giddings.











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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Review Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Peace Talks (The Dresden Files, #16)Peace Talks by Jim Butcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am so glad I decided to start reading this series right before the latest two books released. Before starting this series I had no idea the last book came out was 6 years ago. I feel so bad for fans who have waited so long.

I started the series in May and have been working my way through them. Now I just have one more to go.

What a wild ride. It's been a pleasure to see Harry grow as a character.

Peace Talks was an intense, nail-biting read that ended too soon. Thankfully the second book of the duology is on my Kindle ready to be read.

Peace Talks focuses exactly on what the title hints at- Peace Talks among all the supernatural factions. But in this world things are never as they seem, the deck is always stacked, and it's never in Harry's favor.

Things go from bad to apocalyptic fast. And when shit really hits the fan, the book ends.

But it all leads to Battle Ground.

So I'm going in, starting the next book. I don't think I'll be disappointed.



View all my reviews

Cover Reveal Black Oak: The Loveless Chronicles Chapter 1 by Titus Murphy

 


Black Oak 
The Loveless Chronicles 
Chapter 1 
Titus Murphy 

Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Publication Date: October 31, 2020
Publisher: Cosby Media Production 
ASIN: B08KRQDCGY

WELCOME TO BLACK OAK!

In the town of Black Oak, nothing is ever what it seems. Besides the wrangling local country-types, the city is marred by a history of indiscretions, murders, and no-named civilians perpetrating as heroes. But beneath the surface of this "run of the mill," Midwestern locale lurks a pervasive past that is about to come full circle: like a blazing blood moon.

Mark is an unassuming trucker who has fallen for a beautiful clerk working at a “Mom & Pop” store named Sharon, and nothing else in the world matters more than stealing her heart. But after making a run into the Bayou to deliver a package, destiny steps in and serves him a plate of "the unexpected," which sparks the flames of wickedness that will set his hometown ablaze. And as the secrets buried in this town begin to unearth, the truth will fan those burning flames until there is nothing left but ashes and chaos.

In the end, the only mystery left to solve will be if this is isolated to one town or involve the fate of the entire world...

FOREWORD REVIEW: "...full of interesting characters who hold attention...the secrets of their home are a binding force that brings the tale together."

CLARION RATING: 4/5 "In the fantasy novel Black Oak, citizens across two ears reckon with strange creatures among them."


About the Author:

Titus Murphy was born and raised on the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana.  From a small child, there was an overarching desire for Titus to do one thing: win. His drive and determination drove him to succeed. Armed with a strong mind, a quick wit, and a sharp tongue, he set out to emblaze his mark on everyone he would encounter. Unknown to him were the overwhelming obstacles and seemingly insurmountable tragedy he would have to endure. From this devastation came a resolve fueled by an uncompromising commitment that resonates through every aspect of his life. Forced from the city he knew and loved, Titus relocated to Atlanta, Georgia. It was there his desire and commitment came together resolutely to birth a dream that had long been held in his heart. Oblivious to detraction, and beyond all doubt, Titus would become an author. From the streets of New Orleans that marked his life, to the ink-graced pages upon which he now pours his soul, Titus Murphy has come to show the world that he is truly…something more. 




Friday, October 16, 2020

Interview - The Queen of Harlem Commandments by Michelle Smalls


What inspired you to become an author?

Watching the obstacles and pressures that society, institutions, media, and the government put on the youth inspired me to write Queen of Harlem Commandments.  They would have the youth believe that if you had a rough childhood, grew up in poverty, or made mistakes in your life that it disqualifies you from becoming a successful person. By sharing my story I want troubled teens to know that the odds are not against you. Success is your birthright, and you can have anything you desire. 

 
How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

Growing up in Harlem, New York the only way I was going to survive in the streets was to live by a certain code of ethics. It is not to say that the way that I lived was right or wrong, but it is my story. There are unwritten rules that you have to live by if you want to reach a certain level of success. The circles that I ran in required that of me and it became ingrained in DNA.. The title represents struggle and triumph. 

The Queen of Harlem: Represents the evolution of my life. 

Commandments:  Represent the unwritten codes that guided me on my journey to success


If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Maya Angelou

 
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

The unfolding of what seems to be a ‘typical’ girl from the hood that kept going in spite of the challenges she faced. They'll read how my transition from a girl to a woman was not easy but I made it through because I decided to trust God. My story is not uncommon. Unfortunately and there are a lot of young Michelle’s out there in tough situations. I want readers to see how hard times can build your character IF you use your intuition and you choose to learn from the lessons. I want readers to understand the power of intuition and bear witness to the power of God.

 
Who designed the cover of your latest book?

 
Lytoya Parker (Gorja RCC Marketing Agency ) & Latesia Horton (LvH Creative Media)


Do you have any advice for other writers?

Get your ideas out. Don't worry about there being a RIGHT or WRONG way to the process. Once you get the story down on paper decide the type of people you want to share your gift with. Everything is not for everyone so let acceptance the measure of success or failure. More than anything DON'T STOP! 


Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book?

I do not but I have a lot of songs that I can put together to create the perfect play list.


What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

That I am a highly spiritual woman


When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?


Gambling & Building my brands


What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress?


The launch of my Merchandise. I decided to turn The Queen of Harlem Commandments into an apparel and accessories line. We will offer sweatshirts, mugs, t-shirts and some other great items.

                    

The Queen of Harlem Commandments 
Michelle Smalls

Genre: Biographical Fiction 
Publisher: Michelle Smalls
Date of Publication: August 18th 2020
ISBN: 979-8674253112
ASIN:  B08FW293RG
Number of pages: 218
Word Count: 42,000

Book Description: 

The Queen of Harlem Commandments is the first book by Michelle Smalls, a Harlem powerhouse who turned her pain into prosperity by following a code of conduct she first learned living the life of a street boss. Ms. Smalls's journey is not unlike many young women of color living in the inner cities that learn early in life how to rise above pain, loss, and disappointment.
 
Through it all, the Queen made no excuses. Instead, she made commandments.

This book shares Ms. Smalls' moments of heartache, triumphs, betrayal, and disloyalty. She believes in order to survive and be successful in the hustle of life, you must respect the Code and follow the Commandments.





Excerpt 

NEVER TAKE YOUR SHOES OFF.

"I remember when you didn't have shit, and your bed was on the floor," said my son's father.

I am sharing my story because not all that glitters is gold. Do you think you want to walk in my shoes? Let me tell you, my inner soles (from the little pink pumps to my Fendi boots) have nothing but tears, pain, and disappointments. My teenage years and early twenties were not the brightest. I dealt with plenty of hurt and deception.

Yes! I once was a bum. Yes! I have a criminal history. Yes! I've done things I am not proud of in life. But something I learned early in life: The best thing you can do in life is to accept your past. Once you fully accept the turmoil and embarrassment, no one can use it against you. You will have the confidence, courage, and strength to stand within your very own power. You will inevitably build your character and your life commandments.

My son's father's expression about me was 100% facts! There was a moment in my life when my bed was on the floor, and I did not have shit. His words were unable to penetrate me because I've grown to be emotionally detached and accept my past. His goal was to humiliate me in public in front of a crowd of millions, at the club while shooting a reality series. We were in front of the producers and executives, and yet I was able to laugh it off. Some shit is not even worth my attention! I didn't even entertain him with a response.

I went from sleeping on the floor to owning a $700,000 home, multiple investment properties, owning businesses, becoming a real estate broker in multiple states, and a philanthropist. My accomplishments came from being focused, hardworking, and determined to "Never take my shoes off."

I am Michelle Smalls also known as the Queen of Harlem.

You think you know me, but you have no idea!

Welcome to my journey.



About The Author:

Michelle Smalls is known as “Queen of Harlem” to many in the community. Michelle’s goal is to put smiles on the faces of young people, by way of giving back to the community at large. Michelle is an influencer, serial entrepreneur, real estate broker, and philanthropist. For well over a decade, Michelle smalls, as a social impact leader, has always placed a high priority on youth and the community.

Michelle intuitively sees the needs and desires of her community, as an inspirational leader who focuses on problem-solving. She takes full action and hosts outstanding charity events like her Christmas Toys and Coats drive, Community Halloween party, Back to school drive, preparing teens for their proms, and having an all-girls basketball team.

Ms. Smalls is a pillar in the Harlem community. She is transforming the lives of our youth by empowering them with love and opportunities that could build a tighter bond in our lifetime.
 



  




Thursday, October 15, 2020

Last Chance to Sign Up for the 2020 Bewitching Book Tours Deck the Halls with Books Holiday Extravaganza



Last Chance to Sign Up for the 2020 Bewitching Book Tours Deck the Halls with Books Holiday Extravaganza

Do you have a book that you’d like to put in front of readers this holiday season?

Put your book in the gift buying spotlight with the Deck the Halls with Books Holiday Extravaganza.

From December 1-22 you will be featured with daily (Mon-Fri) Bewitching Tour Stops, Social Media Promotion and a multi-author Facebook party in mid- December.

Each participating author will receive:

* 3 week Holiday Theme Virtual Book Tour (retail value $125)

* Custom Tour Banner and Instagram Graphic

* Professional Media Kit 

* Option to Offer Review Copies

* Group Rafflecopter for Cross Promo

* Time Slot in Multi-Author Holiday Facebook Party

* Inclusion in December Book Fair on BewitchingBookTours.com

The fee for this promotion is $75 per author for one book, $50 for additional books by same author.

Sign Up Here: https://forms.gle/LSgNokwnaugZJFyr5 


#holidaybookpromotion #christmasbookpromo #yulebookpromo #yule #christmas #kwanza #wintersolstice #Hanukkah #winterholidays #bookpromotion #booktours #winterbooks #holidaybooksales 


Queen’s Ascension by Barb Jones - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular




Halloween Recipes That Kids Love

Pizza Mummies

Ingredients
2 english muffins, cut in half
8 teaspoons pizza sauce
2 mozzarella cheese sticks
3 green olives with pimentos

**Preheat oven to 400℉.

Place the English muffin halves on a baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes.

Remove muffins from oven and spread 2 teaspoons of the pizza sauce onto each English muffin half.

Peel the mozzarella sticks into strings and decoratively arrange them on top of each English muffin. Slice the green olives into 1/4 inch thick rings and place them on top of the cheese to create eyes.*

Bake mummies for 3 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted.

Bloody Eyeballs

Ingredients

½ watermelon

1. Using a melon scooper, scoop the melon into balls, try to vary the size/shape for fun
2. Finish scooping out any excess watermelon and let it sit on the side
3. Take sprite or 7up and pour some into the watermelon for additional flavor.  Use your own judgment for that extra flavor.
4. Take the melon balls and put back into the watermelon and pour the excess watermelon on top for that “gooey appeal”
5. Serve.

Chocolate Pudding Guts

1. Take your favorite chocolate pudding or make your own and place in a large bowl.
2. You want this either room temperature or cold because what you add in it, should not melt.
3. Add marshmallows, gummy bears/worms, nuts, whipped cream (your choosing)
4. Mix so that it is blended and ready to serve in small bowls to the monster hunters and monsters.

Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy
Book Three
Barb Jones

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
Print ISBN:  9781953271013
eBook ISBN:  9781953271020
ASIN: B08DKK66PM
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words
Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Tagline: Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

Book Description:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart -- her friends, her great love -- Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people -- Chloe and Michael -- that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon     BN


Excerpt:

 Malakai, Seattle, Present Day

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.

He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.

…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.

Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling. 

***

Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day

Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.

She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.

A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.

She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.

“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”

She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.

Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her. 

About the Author:

Barb Jones is a paranormal thriller author, IT professional, and the mother of two fantastic children. She is known for her ability to create relatable characters and detailed settings without compromising her unique plots. When people have asked her who she is, she's been quoted saying, "It can be hard to write at times, but never give up on what you're passionate about." She's a mother, first and foremost, and an author and supernatural enthusiast after. She currently resides in Sarasota, FL, but is a Seattle native at heart. When she's not writing, she's traveling and looking for new inspiration for her books.













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