Tag Archive | book blitz

Rogue bannerTitle: Rogue
Series: Convergence #1
Author: S.A. Stephenson
Genre: Science Fiction
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 19 September, 2017

 

As a rogue government official orders an alien attack on the Empire of America, two women must uncover the government’s dark truth and unravel the weave of lives that have spanned decades. They’ll learn why alien-human hybrids were created, and will need to master their own alien powers in order to survive.

RogueGenetic testing on humans began during the Cold War, when ancient alien DNA was discovered in the artic. As super soldiers were created during the war, Americans soon began to create the first wave of alien-human-hybrids in preparation for the day when the aliens would strike.

Nearly a century on, the world has been broken by an extra-terrestrial war and Kit Valletta is a human-mutant trying to survive in one of the only free zones left in the Empire. But the President wants her dead and is going to stop at nothing until all the mutants Kit freed are back in her control.

When Kit meets Evie Fox, one of the President’s scientists, who’s broken free of the wire, the two begin their fight for freedom and justice as the alien attack hits Empire soil. Together, both women will need to accept the secrets they’ve been trying to hide and decide if they’re the ones who are powerful enough to save the Empire from the President’s dictatorship regime and alien invasion.

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Excerpt:

Prologue

         Kit Valletta was asleep when the world erupted into sirens and blaring red lights. Her eyes flew open and when she looked up and saw an empty bed above her. Gia Russo, her long-time partner in crime, had a knack of knowing how the Shard’s system worked. She knew what happened at each well-timed moment, the movement of guards and the few seconds that were exposed in their well governed lives. She had managed to avoid being caught as the rest of them had filed into the dorms, or she had been caught and was on the way to one of the camps in the Nevermore. Kit quickly dismissed that thought, Gia wasn’t someone who would let a guard capture her so easily and they had been preparing for tonight for too long for Gia to get herself caught now.
         Kit needed to find her father, Edward and Gia had been preparing for this night for months, everything down to the last detail had been thought of and through a number of heated debates, they had managed to convince Kit to escape with them.
         The alarms were deafening and Kit swung her legs round from the bed, reluctantly leaving the brief comfort her blanket provided. The smell of her mother lingered in the fabric, a sweet perfume of motherly love, Kit dwelled in the moment for a fraction longer than she should, wishing Erin were there with them but she shook the thought away as she filed out with the other residents and went to find her father. Erin had been killed, Kit knew that, but there was something in her subconscious that told her mother had to be alive. They hadn’t found a body, there had never been any proof.
         The Shard Building was one of the hundreds of nondescript bunkers in Volt that housed soldiers and government workers, segregated by position and ability according to the great State of Volt’s processing system. The men were located in the Z Quarter of the Shard, the women were located in the L Quarter and they had begun to file out of the building, undisturbed by the noise that deafened the air. Kit pushed her way against the crowd when she saw Gia ahead of her.
         ‘Gia!’ She called.
         ‘Kit, what’s going on, is it time?’ She asked.
         ‘It’s time,’ Kit told her.
         ‘They’ll be heading to the Domain,’ Gia said.
         ‘We need to get to my father,’ Kit told her. Gia agreed and they continued to in the opposite direction of the crowd. The women marched around them, their expressions blank as they fell into the well-trained response that they could not break free from.
         Kit followed Gia down a flight of stairs as the sprinkler system kicked in. ‘Great,’ Gia said as they reached a door. She pushed against it and entered a back-passage way to the Z Quarter. The male quarter was filled with the male soldiers, like the women, they filed out of the bunker and Kit took a moment to survey the crowd. Her pupils widened as she tried to zoom in on the faces, looking for the one that was the most familiar. When she saw him, her heart rested. Edward was a well-built man, prime material for a soldier in Volt. His silver hair flickered against his dark grey fatigues. The wrinkles on his forehead had deepened in the previous months as concern had found a way into their conversations. The planning, the secret meetings, had all led to this moment. Edward had never been built for the walls that Galen’s presidency had created, he had come here during the late days of the plague, when there was nowhere else left to go. Kit had grown up with him telling her stories of the world and how it used to be. He told her about New York, how it had fallen and become known as the Spire, how the great Plains of America had become wastelands, the Nevermore, and how the once free United States, had fallen to become the Empire of America. Kit wondered how the world had ever been so different, but she had believed in her father’s passion for the world that once was and was determined to try and find it again.
         ‘Dad!’ Kit called over the noise of the crowd, he heard her and began to make his way over to them.
         ‘Are you ready?’ He asked.
         ‘As I’ll ever be,’ she said.
         ‘The wire is a good 15kms away,’ Edward said. ‘We need to be ready because they’re not going to let a bunch of us mutants out so easily.’
         ‘Then we’ll show them what mutants can really do,’ Gia said.
         They headed out with the rest of the soldiers, and once they had made it to the courtyard Kit saw the extent of the evacuation.
         ‘Oz really did a job on the security system,’ Gia commented.
         ‘He’s a good kid,’ Edward said. ‘This way,’ he told them and began to break away from the crowd who were heading to the Domain. Kit could see Armistice Guards high up on the brick wall that surrounded the government quarters. Their rifles were aimed down at the soldiers below.
         ‘It’s almost cute that they think bullets kill mutants,’ Gia said.
         ‘They’re designed to slow us down, not kill us,’ Edward said.
         ‘Where’s Logan?’ Kit asked. ‘He was supposed to be here with-’
         An explosion ripped through the wall, the Armistice Guards were flung from their positions and the wall crumpled as a large army truck drove through it. Kit smiled when she saw Logan James at the wheel.
         ‘Run!’ Edward ordered and they sprinted for the truck. Kit leapt high into the air and landed in the back as Gia and Edward scrambled into the passenger seats. Logan quickly began reversing the truck as Armistice guards began shooting at them. Kit felt their energy pulsating through the air, determination emanating from them in a way she had never felt before, their intent was set to kill. She had become their prey, through all her training she had been taught to be the hunter, the one who would track down any enemy who entered the Empire’s boarders, now she would have to use those skills to survive the men who had operated alongside her for so long.
         A group of mutants broke out and followed the truck, they’d got weapons and were firing any ammunition they had up at the Armistice Guards.
         Kit looked back at the scene. ‘How far to the wire?’ She asked.
         ‘7ks,’ Logan called back to her as jets began to fly overhead. ‘Hold tight,’ he said.
         He turned the truck quickly as a plane flew down low and began firing at them. Kit dropped for cover as the bullets ricocheted off the bumper. She looked up at the plane and felt energy burn behind her eyes, their natural brown shone green and the plane quivered in the air before it came crashing down behind them. The impact caused the truck to rear up and Logan skidded it to a stop as the engine died.
         ‘Great,’ he said as he hit the wheel. ‘They’ve cut the electric grid,’ he said.
         ‘Which is why we learnt to love running,’ Gia said as she climbed out of the truck.
         More jets were approaching them as Kit climbed down from the back. She was weak, struggled to stand after her last attack. ‘You gonna be okay?’ Gia asked her.
         ‘Fine,’ Kit said. ‘Come on, we gotta bail.’ She took Gia’s hand, it’s familiar warmth helped her feel strength and they ran after Edward and Logan.
         The land outside the buildings was rough, dead earth filled with landlines. Edward guided them, his sonic vision able to see through what was normal, to what was underneath. He guided them round a number of mines and Kit’s eyes widened with hope when she saw the wire. She had heard so much about life beyond the tall electric wire, heard stories of people trying to escape, but being killed before they had even made it this far. Life beyond this tall, wired fence was as unknown. The concept of freedom, was something that had been talked about in hushed whispers, Kit and Gia had talked late into the night about what there could possibly be beyond the world that they were confined to. The world they were created in. Edward had inspired and encouraged these conversations, he wanted his daughter to experience freedom outside of a compound that a dictatorship government had created.
         ‘Remember how we’re going to get through?’ Edward asked her as the truck slowed. Kit nodded.
         Gia went over to the edge of the fence and could feel the electricity vibrating from it. She felt it shake in her fingers and smiled. Armistice Guards were close behind them. Their voices blurred into one over the sound of radios. ‘We don’t have time to hang around,’ Edward said. ‘Gia, time to shine.’
         Gia smiled, her eyes golden, Kit leant against her father as dizziness swept over her, she could hear the guards getting closer. They were only minutes away.
         Gia made a fist and punched the ground. Electric energy, that she had always called magic when they were growing up, shook throughout the soil, Kit heard the blood of the Armistice Guards boil and the bodies drop to the floor. The fence was dead, the electricity had been cut. Logan grabbed a knife from his boot and quickly cut through the chinks. He made his way through as Armistice Guards came out of the forest behind them. Gia hurried through the gap and turned back for Kit. Her nose was bleeding and she looked pale. Gia had seen this before and quickly grabbed for her. ‘I got you,’ she said. Kit pushed her way through the gap and turned back for her father to see him being held down by Armistice Guards.
         ‘Run!’ He yelled at her.
         She paused as exhaustion began to take over her. She couldn’t leave him. They had planned this for too long. Their new life in a free world, where they could be like the other humans, the ones who hadn’t been trained to be super soldiers for the Empire of America’s new army. Where he could take her to school, before he went to work in an office somewhere. Edward had been her constant support in this world of uncertainty, he raised her with her mother and after she had been taken away Kit had clung to him tighter, listened to him with more intent and believed in his ideology of how the world should be. He was born to be free, to set her free.
         ‘We gotta blaze,’ Logan said and pulled Kit to her feet as another wave of Guards came after them. They ran through the forest on the other side of the wire, Kit’s heart raced against her chest as tears streamed down her face. She could hear her father screaming in the distance. Being dragged back to the world he had wanted to destroy for so long as she ran for her freedom.

 

About the Author:

S.A. StephensonS.A. Stephenson is a sci-fi author, blogger and editor. She writes LGBTQ+ stories about kickass women and can be found hanging out at writing events in Auckland.

She’s originally from the UK but now calls New Zealand home.

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This is my stop during the book blitz for Rogue by S.A. Stephenson.

I hope you enjoyed reading.

The book blitz runs from 13 till 19 November.

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Something Down There by Nancy Widrew

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Title: Something Down There
Author: Nancy Widrew
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: November 15, 2017

Not all caves are uninhabited

something-down-thereHorror erupts when newlyweds, Karen and Jeremy, cross paths with members of a diabolical cult inside a West Virginia cave. Living below the earth’s surface has triggered mutations, rendering the cult members nearly infertile. Their leader, a wild-eyed, cunning brute, refuses to let the couple leave, believing they and their potential offspring hold the key to surviving underground. Are Karen and Jeremy doomed to spend their lives inside this sunless, subterranean wasteland, or do they escape before their minds shatter and their bodies betray them?

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Excerpt:

 

      Reaching into his pants pocket, he drew out a small leather case attached to a silver chain and dangled it before her eyes.
      Karen grabbed it from his hand and looked it over as if she needed to make certain it was real. “I know I took the damned keys from the car,” she said. All the same, she felt a moment of relief at having a new set in her possession. That relief, however, ended in a flash.
      With a powerful leap to a ledge above, Rahm crossed his arms over his chest like a dictator about to make a pronouncement. “They won’t do you any good,” he bellowed.
      Jeremy swallowed hard, raising a hand to his throat. “W-what do you mean?” he said, reaching out for something to grab onto. Finding nothing, he spread his legs wide, feet flat on the floor, trying to maintain his balance.
      Rahm, aware of the significance of this moment and wanting to ensure that it remained stamped in everyone’s mind, stood tall, chin out. “While you were sleeping last night, I climbed out and drove your car off a bridge. You will not be allowed to leave.”
      Karen’s hands flew to her face. She began to cry and dropped to one knee. Protectively, Jeremy rushed to her side, encircled her in his arms, and pulled her close. He glared at this insane man, his new enemy, standing above. With hate etched in the dark hollows of his cheeks and in the lines of his furrowed brow, he said, “What do you mean? Why can’t we leave? You won’t get away with this!”
      Rahm, a leader of few but a leader nonetheless, addressed his flock, gathering with solemnity about the pair, now unofficial members of the tribe, even if against their will. All eyes riveted up.
      “You can’t leave because we need you. That is, we need your baby—the baby you will have, sooner or later. And yes, we will get away with it. You see, the harnesses are gone, and we dismantled the machinery that lowered you down. You will never be able to find your way out. Don’t even try. It would be suicidal.”
      Karen stared at her husband, her jaw dropping in disbelief, as the horror of her predicament bore down with jackhammer force into her brain. Unless she and Jeremy were guided out, they were snared, trapped, condemned, damned. Without the candles, lanterns, or torches they couldn’t see the tips of their fingers, and even with their carbide lamps they wouldn’t know the way through this puzzling maze with its unknown levels and intricate network.
      Jeremy’s nails dug into his wife’s shoulders. “Dear God,” he wailed. “We’re doomed, and it’s all my fault. Forgive me, Karen. Please!”
      She looked at him blankly, then blinked, her breath coming in staccato bursts, piercing her lungs like wounds from a knife. She began to run blindly, crying, “Let me die! Let me die!”

 

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Author Bio:

nancy-widrew2Nancy Widrew was born and raised in NYC before settling in New England with her husband. She has two grown children and two four-legged furry ones, always a source of amusement. She has had short stories published in webzines and a print anthology. This is her first novel.

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Heir of the Hamptons by Erika Rhys

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Title: Heir of the Hamptons
Author: Erika Rhys
Publication date: November 7th 2017
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

A playboy heir. A near-bankrupt floral designer. A fake marriage gone awry.

HeirRONAN
I was born into money, but I can’t touch my trust fund until I turn 35. Unless I get married. But I’m not a one-woman man, and marriage isn’t a trade-off worth even considering.

Until now. With my business on the line, I need to tap my trust. And to do that, I need a wife.

Ava’s beautiful, classy, and smart. She’s also a hell of an actress, and more than capable of fitting into Hamptons society.

In every way, she’s the perfect fake wife for me. Except that I want to tap her, too.

 
AVA
I never imagined I would consider a fake marriage. All I wanted was to get my floral design business off the ground, and someday—eventually—to meet Mr. Right.

But with my dreams about to end in bankruptcy, Ronan’s offer is my only way out. Unfortunately, there’s a catch. When he looks at me, my knees turn to rubber, and when he touches me, my body lights up like a g*ddamned disco ball.

He’s anything but Mr. Right. He’s domineering, stubborn, and hot-tempered, and while he also knows how to turn on the charm, I can’t let myself fall for it—or for him.

He’s my financial salvation. But if I don’t protect myself, he could also break my heart.

Heir of the Hamptons is a steamy, standalone romance with an HEA. If you like sizzling romance, razor-sharp wit, and characters who you’ll laugh and cry with, then you’ll love Ronan and Ava’s story!

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Excerpt:

“Why don’t you just get married?” my sister Cara said.

“You can’t be serious,” I picked up my water glass and downed half of it, hoping that its icy contents would stimulate my brain into sparking a fresh idea. In the aftermath of my latest loan rejection from Bank of America, I needed a new plan to save my company, Kingsley Technologies, and I needed it fast. Either that, or I’d be forced to lay off most of my employees, which was a betrayal I wasn’t ready to contemplate.


Not that I expected Cara to solve my problems over lunch at Bar Six, a mellow West Village bistro that I hit up regularly for its savory Croque Monsieur sandwiches. I adored my outspoken younger sister, but her art degree and career as an aspiring painter hadn’t given her a lick of business sense. Still, she was the only one in my family who was always on my side, which was why I had just told her about my financial dilemma. Cara’s unwavering support gave me strength, which was exactly what I needed right now.


Cara flicked a strand of her long, straight blonde hair away from her face and fixed me with her bright blue gaze. “Your share of Grandfather’s trust is around fifty million,” she said. “Isn’t that enough to solve your problems?”


“It’s more than enough,” I said. “But there’s no way to tap that money until I’m thirty-five.”


“Think creatively,” she said. “Under the terms of the trust, we get unrestricted access to our money when we turn thirty-five, when our father dies, or when we marry—whichever happens first.”
“I’m two years away from thirty-five, our father is in perfect health, and marriage is out of the question,” I said. “When it comes to monogamy, I’m my father’s son. You know that about me.”


“You’re nothing like our father,” she said, dipping her fork into her arugula-and-parmesan salad. “He’s a chronic liar and cheater—you’re neither.”


“I know who I am,” I said. “Like our father, I’m not a one-woman man. Unlike him, I don’t make promises I can’t keep.”


“You wouldn’t have to,” Cara said. “Not if your marriage was purely a business arrangement.”


I stared at her. “What?”


She rolled her eyes. “Come on, Ronan. I can’t believe you haven’t thought of this yourself. You’ve only dated half the women in New York—there must be one of them who would be willing to take a big fat check to marry you.”


“It would never work,” I said.


“Why not?”


“Lots of reasons.”


“Such as?”


“There’s no point in even discussing it,” I said.


“Then consider this a theoretical discussion,” Cara said. “I’m curious. Why are you so sure my idea couldn’t work?”


“Two words,” I said. “Job qualifications. No woman in her right mind would sign on to be my fake wife. Any woman crazy enough to take it on would lack the brains to carry off the amount of acting involved.”


“I get that your fake wife couldn’t be just anyone,” Cara said. “She’d have to look convincing to Dad and Veronica. She’d have to be trustworthy and intelligent.”


“Convincing our father and stepmother would only be scene one of the farce you’re proposing,” I said. “This imaginary fake wife would have to live with me for two years, pose as my wife in public, and not fall in love with me.”


Cara screwed up her face at me. “Ewww. I can’t believe you just said that.”


I shrugged. “Women like me—they always have.”


It was no less than the truth. The genetic lottery had gifted me a handsome face and a muscular six-foot-two body, which I kept toned with regular workouts. And while no woman had ever tempted me to consider a long-term relationship, I had the short-term thing down. Be a nice guy, make the woman I was with feel beautiful, and attend to her pleasure as much as my own. I didn’t do commitments, I didn’t make promises, and three nights was my self-imposed limit—although in practice, I rarely took it beyond one. Manhattan was filled with gorgeous, single women, which made it the perfect playground for a guy like me.

 

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Author Bio:

ErikaErika Rhys is the international best-selling author of Heir of the Hamptons and the Gentlemen’s Club, Over the Edge, and On the Brink series. A romantic at heart–and a lifelong fan of reading romance novels–she decided to start writing them herself in 2013. Nine books later, she hasn’t looked back.

Due to spending much of her life in Boston and NYC, she’ll always be a city girl at heart, but she now lives in coastal Maine, where she enjoys fresh ocean air, poop-free sidewalks, and the novelty of cooking in a real, human-sized kitchen–something that eluded her for years when she lived in the city.

If she’s not working on her latest book, you can find her reading, watching nature programs on Netflix, or indulging in a double espresso at a nearby café. She can also usually be found at www.facebook.com/ErikaRhys.Author, and you can learn more about her upcoming projects at www.erikarhys.com.

 

 

 

AnguiSH by Lila Felix

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Title: AnguiSH
Author: Lila Felix
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: November 6th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
 

The help-wanted ad on the bulletin board at Ashland’s college was simple enough: mother seeks live-in maid for son. But it turns out Breaker James is a mess in more ways than one. He’s confined to a prison of his own making, crippled by his fear of people and any social interaction whatsoever. Every vibe he’s giving off is begging Ashland to stay away, yet she finds herself strangely drawn to him. Can she coax him out of his darkness and help him overcome the deep trauma of his past to reclaim a normal life?

A contemporary romance perfect for fans of Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall and JoJo Moyes’ Me Before You, AnguiSH delves deep into complex human emotions and the struggle to move forward from devastating past events.

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Excerpt:

She moved over on the bed, giving me room to get in next to her. I got in. “I’m afraid I’m… God, this is hard to admit.”

Her hand glided down my jaw. “Tell me.”


“I tried—I tried to go out the other day, just for a walk or something. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t make it past the damned threshold of the door.”


Her face was pure disappointment, and I knew mine mirrored it. Admitting it to her, I felt like a shadow of a man.


“But you tried, right? That has to count. I mean, you go out with me all the time.” Her voice faltered at the end of the sentence.


“I did try. But I couldn’t go through with it.”


She scooted closer to me and put one hand on my face while she buried her own in the hollow of my neck. “Can you just hold me and forget that there’s something we can’t do? I’d like to hang on to the notion that you can do anything—just for the night.”

 

 

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Author Bio:

Lila Felix is full of antics and stories. She refused to go to Kindergarten after the teacher made her take a nap on the first day of school. She staged her first protest in middle school. She almost flunked out of her first semester at Pepperdine University because she was enthralled with their library and frequently was locked in. Now her husband and three children have to put up with her rebel nature in Louisiana where her days are filled with cypress trees, crawfish, and of course her books and writing. She writes about the ordinary people who fall extraordinarily in wild, true love.

 

 

Dead Blue Sea by Erin Hayes

DeadBlueSeaBlitzBanner-copy-copyTitle: Dead Blue Sea
Series: The Berkano Vampire Collection
Author: Erin Hayes
Publication date: November 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Post-Apocalyptic

Point Break meets Buffy in post-apocalyptic Cape Town, South Africa.

 
DBS

They say that surfing used to be a way of life.
In Devil’s Bay, it’s the only way to survive.

My name is Carlyle. I’m a water witch who protects the fishermen of my village from the danger beneath the waves. My days are spent on my longboard saving everyone from the fins. My nights are spent dreaming of something more than my small village isolated from the outside contact by cliffs and jagged peaks.

Then a storm strikes out of the blue, and, well, I wipe out. When I wake up, I’m on the other side of the bay surrounded by vampires who want to see me dead. Major bummer.

Only Kopano, an outcast of the fangers, seems to take pity on me. You see, Kopano also spent his nights dreaming of something more, and he thinks I hold the key. The only catch? To find the truth, we’ll have to face the dead blue sea.

 

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Excerpt:

      “There’s some sort of irony,” I grumble, “in being sensitive to sunlight but also having to be outside during the day. Every damn day.”
      She shrugs. “Do you want me to go tell the sharks to stop being nocturnal and hunt during the day?”
      I snicker. “Aw, could you? Because then the fishermen could do their thing at night. And we could all avoid the sun like good, self-respecting, UV-sensitive witches.”
      She chuckles darkly. “Ag, if only! But this is what we signed up for.”
      I flick some sea water her way, and she squeals in mock-shock. “I signed up for this?”
      Her smile falters. “Well, your mother did. But you’re still out here.”
      Not that I really have any choice in the matter. It’s what’s best for the village, and there’s no denying that. I’m the best remaining water witch—if I suddenly stopped, we all knew that fishermen would lose their lives, food would become scarce in my village, and my own sense of self-preservation would be to blame.
      Stuck between a shark and a wet place, I guess.

 

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Author Bio:
ErinSci-fi junkie, video game nerd, and wannabe manga artist Erin Hayes writes a lot of things. Sometimes she writes books.

She works as an advertising copywriter by day, and she’s an award-winning New York Times Bestselling Author by night. She has lived in New Zealand, Hawaii, Texas, Alabama, and now San Francisco with her husband, cat, and a growing collection of geek paraphernalia.

You can reach her at erinhayesbooks@gmail.com and she’ll be happy to chat. Especially if you want to debate Star Wars. You can also sign up to her newsletter and get her free starter library.

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Winter’s Siren by Krystal Jane Ruin

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Title: Winter’s Siren
Author: Krystal Jane Ruin
Publication date: November 1st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

WSFor the last five years, Fawn has been the star soprano of a secluded opera house, forced to sing for her kidnapper.

His daughter, Devi, waits patiently in the shadows, hiding a face so horrible that no one who’s seen it will look at it again.

As Fawn plots her escape, whispers spread through the shaded corridors of dark sorcery, warning her that she must flee by the next opening night.

But when Fawn draws close to the exit, it’s Devi who’s standing in her way, leading Fawn to suspect that Devi has something to gain if she fails.

(a dark reimagining of Swan Lake)

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Excerpt:


      The musicians set up in the orchestra pit and start warming up. The off-key kaleidoscope of music rises into the warm and stuffy air. I stand on the back edge of the stage, watching dust motes drift down from the rafters.
      The first rehearsal. Time is dwindling much too quickly.
      The urge to run for it is imprinted on my bones. But my jailer waits for me nearby in the darkness, like always. I know from experience how quick he is.
      Muted footsteps sound from behind me. I spin around and force a wide grin on my face, expecting Dillion. I find Andrew instead, and my forced smile melts into a real one.
      “You’re here.” I scan the shadows behind him, but there’s no sign of Devi. He came alone. Good. I was afraid he might have run off to spend some time with the little monster. “I missed you at dinner. I hope you can join us next time.”
      He returns my smile with a warm one of his own. “I can certainly try.” His eyes roam the backstage area. Parts of old sets are tucked away close to the walls, collecting dust. Parts of new sets sit drying in the middle of the room. The thick scent of latex paint sticks to everything.
      “Where did you run off to earlier?” I ask. “I am sorry to have scared you away.”
      His smile starts to fade. “You didn’t scare me. I just . . . worry about her.”
      Irritation punches me in the ribs. “Yes, I worry about her as well. She’s so guarded. It’s so hard to get close to her.” My throat tightens. Why do you even care?
      A haunted look passes through his eyes. “Yes, it is.” He clears his throat. “Is this the first official rehearsal? Are you excited?”
      Excited is not a word I would use about anything pertaining to my life. “Yes, very much. I love the new music. It’s so emotive and beautiful.”
      “I can’t wait to hear it.” His gaze flickers past me to someone on the stage.
      I turn and see Dillion standing on the other end, surrounded by singers and dancers, watching us, his expression guarded. He nods when he catches us staring and turns to say something to the dancer closest to him. They both laugh.
      “You and Dillion seem like you’re getting along well.” Andrew’s gaze shifts back to my face.
      I wave his comment away. “Yes. Viktor wants me to make him feel welcome and special. It’s all very shallow, though.” I watch him closely and decide to test the waters on his end. “I’d much rather spend that time with you.”

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Author Bio:

KrystalJaneRuinKrystal is the author of supernatural and paranormal fiction, living in the Tennessee Valley with a collection of swords and daggers. When she’s not hoarding stuffed pandas, hourglasses, and Hello Kitty replicas, she can be found in YouTube hole or blogging about books, writing, and random things at KrystalSquared.net.

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Q&A’s with Krystal Jane Ruin:

What inspired you to write Winter’s Siren?

Usually, this is the hardest question ever, but I love fairy tales, I love retellings, and I love the theatre: ballet, musicals, opera. My love of theatre directly influenced the direction of this story. You don’t want to know what it looked like before.

 
Why paranormal and what other genres are you interested in writing?

I’ve always been drawn to dark stories. Some of my first memories are of me trying to scare myself for some reason. Haha. My writing tastes have always been a lot more narrow than my reading tastes. But I would like to experiment with some dark historical fantasy and supernatural horror. I might talk myself into trying another high fantasy story one day.

 
Are you a plotter, pantster, or hybrid writer?

I often pants the beginnings of stories or pants my outline as I write, but I always have a clear plan and direction I’m going in. That said, I have to have a finished outline at some point. It helps me remember little details better, and I write faster with one, as well.

 
What is your mutant power?

Freezing everything! Don’t ask what for. I have a long-standing fantasy of water manipulation, and I would just love that. In my head, it’s like a cross between Ice Man and Storm. Ice Storm anyone? No?

 
If you could live in any novel, which one would you choose and why?

Is it weird if I say I want to live in Middle Earth? I read The Hobbit a long time ago, but I’ve only recently watched all the movies, and I’m obsessed with them! I hate the thought of giant spiders and trolls and orcs, but I wouldn’t leave Hobbiton anyway, and I think I’d love it there. Also, no creatures there. Bonus. (I mean, if Gandalf was with me, I might  be talked into going on an adventure.)

 
If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach?

Shakespearean Drama! But I’d also be happy to do plain Shakespeare or plain Drama. Either one of those would be most up my alley. If a class existed that was dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, I’d also be interested in that.

 
What three movies would you take to a deserted island to watch over and over again for a year?

Easiest question ever. The Little Mermaid, Clueless, and The Craft. They are my favorite top three movies of all time, but I feel sorry for anyone who knows me after returning from such a trip. I have a really bad habit of quoting movies, and I’d likely have them all completely memorized by then.

 
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Straight to Hell by Jane Hinchey

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Title: Straight to Hell
Series: Hell’s Gate #1
Author: Jane Hinchey
Publication date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Paranormal Romantic Suspense

Everything you think you know is about to change.

StHMy name is Lucifer. You can call me Lucy – I’m also known as the Devil and Satan, though why my idiot brothers came up with those nick names is beyond me. I’m a Guardian Angel and I run Hell. Yup, I’m the CEO.

Hell is easy. Hell runs like a well-oiled machine. Punishment befitting your sins is carried out and once your sentence is done, voilà, you get to go to Heaven. Simple. Easy.

Until suddenly there’s a blip on the radar. A breach. Some numb nuts on earth is trying to open a portal to another dimension. A very bad, very terrifying, very deadly dimension. So instead of my simple life in Hell, I end up earth side, where nothing is as it seems, looking for the soul stealing monster, avoiding the grumpy angel sent from Heaven and finding out my brothers Michael and Gabriel are twats. That last part’s not true – I’ve known they were twats all along.

With an unexpected fondness for my new human friends as a distraction, and my demonic presence stirring up a shit show of epic proportions, all I want to do is go back to my peaceful life in Hell. But someone has to save the world. It may as well be me. 

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Excerpt:
 
      “Ummm. Lucy?” Ashliel stepped in beside me, electronic clipboard in hand.
      “Yes, Ash?” I knew she had a long list of requests, meetings, messages. As CEO of Hell, my days were busy. I’d built my torturous dimension to great heights over the last few hundred millennia.
      In the last two hundred years alone, attendance of lost souls entering Hell has risen over two hundred percent, and that number looked to be on the rise. There’s a man who wants his punishment of having a buzzard constantly pecking his eyes out to be lessened, a man whose memories have been wiped and he wants to know who he was, and a woman who wants to warn her sister on Earth about the afterlife.” She spoke fast, knowing my time was limited.
      “Buzzard man, no can do. This isn’t a negotiation. His punishment was set when he entered Hell. He knows this. Deny future requests. Memory man…good point, how can he atone for his sins if he can’t remember them? See to it that his sinful memories are returned. Only his sins, mind you. And no to the woman who wants to warn her sister—they get plenty of warnings. It’s not like this place is a secret.”
      Ashliel’s fingers flew across her clipboard. By the time we reached my offices, she was done. Before stepping out of the glass box I looked down, into the fiery pit where the most heinous of sinners resided. It was eerily beautiful from this vantage point. Sighing, I turned my back on the bubbling pit of fire and exited the elevator, stepping into the opulence of Hell HQ.
      I greatly admired the skyscrapers on Earth and had modeled Hell HQ on them. Over two hundred floors, soaring high into the red and orange sky, built from gleaming black marble. My offices took up ten floors alone; the very top floor was my penthouse. Yes, I lived in luxury, but I damn well earned it. Running Hell was hard work, never a moment’s peace. And now this. A breach. It niggled me. Security was tight. It couldn’t have come from the pit; I was just there. Had it come from one of the cell blocks housed on the other side of Hell HQ?
      I crossed to the floor-to-ceiling windows and looked out on the cells. Row upon row of fiftystory skyscrapers, all housing sinners. They spanned as far as the eye could see, each one providing different levels of punishment. Wingless Demons patrolled the streets, their black skin and red eyes clearly identifying them. Their winged counterparts took to the skies, massive wings spanning over twenty feet, soaring around and around the buildings. Who could escape this? That is if the breach had even come from Hell in the first place. Earth was my brothers responsibility. They were charged with watching over the humans. I was annoyed I was being dragged into it, yet I liked the humans. I didn’t want to see them destroyed by some other dimension creature. Not if I could stop it.
      A ding on Ashliel’s clipboard caught my attention. I arched a dark brow at her.
      “You have a delivery.”
      “Probably from my brothers.” I sighed. Had they heard the news and were already poking fun?
      “They might have sent something nice,” Ashliel suggested, ever hopeful.
      “Knowing my brothers, I doubt it.”
      Stepping through the glass doors into my office, I spy a huge gift-wrapped parcel on my sleek black desk. Here we go.
      “Thank you, Ashliel. That will be all.” I waited for Ash to leave the room, then approached my desk cautiously. What were they up to? Gabriel and Michael were archangels like me, but when Father chose me over them to head up the Hell Division, to say the boys were a little prickly was an understatement. We hadn’t spoken in over a hundred years. Why now? Today? Were they connected to the breach? Did they instigate it? I wouldn’t put it past them. They’d do anything to see me fail.
      Hoping I was wrong, and that maybe, just maybe, the box on my desk was an olive branch, I tore open the wrapping and cautiously opened the lid. Inside was a single piece of paper. On it was written the name, “Emily Barlow.” Who the hell was Emily Barlow? Was she a lost soul? I reached to pull the paper from the box, but the whole thing went up in flames. Great.
      With a wave of my hand I put out the flames and cleaned the debris from my desk before crossing to the giant screen across the room, one so big that I had to stand in front of it, or if I preferred, recline on the leather couch a few feet away. I could split the screen into hundreds of smaller screens and monitor Earth and Hell at the same time if I so chose. This time I raised my hand and halved the screen, keeping an eye on my own dimension on the left, and scanning through files searching for Emily Barlow on the right. There were several humans with that name and I flicked through until one caught my eye.
      There. Emily Barlow. Human. Alive. Her dossier flashed across the screen, a mini movie of her life so far. She was young, a teenager, seventeen and a high school student, blonde hair, blue eyes,
pretty. She was a bossy little thing, liked to be involved in community events and social activities at school. She wanted a career in Public Relations or the Media. As I watched, the screen glitched, froze, then resumed. Emily was in a graveyard. Something was there with her. Something dark. I leaned forward, watching intently as Emily was clasped in a tight embrace, held for a matter of seconds, then let go. Glowing red eyes looked up, directly at me. Then it was gone, leaving Emily’s body on the ground drained of life.
      The screen flickered, a brief moment of static, before settling again. This time I no longer saw Emily, but a man. He was sitting at a table, one hand resting on the table, palm up, and in the center of his palm a deep azure blue rock. He sent the message. Did he mean to send it to me I wonder? His eyes sprang open and he flopped back in his seat as if exhausted. I looked into his eyes, magnified the screen so it focused on his face. A very handsome face: strong jaw covered in a light beard, full lips that held my attention for slightly too long. I wondered what they looked like when he smiled.
      Then I wondered…
why am I wondering about his lips? Okay, seriously, he’s a human, I scolded myself. But it had been a long time since I’d…you know. Had any fun in that department.
      Maybe a dalliance with a human would take my mind off the stresses of running Hell. As much as I loved my job, I’d yet to have a vacation. I shifted my attention from his kissable lips to his eyes. A
combination of hazel and gold, they were striking with their dark lashes. And the way he was looking directly into the screen, it was as if he were looking right at me.
      Decision made.

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Author Bio:

janeAussie Author Jane Hinchey writes sexy, snarky, badass, paranormal romances and urban fantasy novels.

Living in the City of Churches (aka Adelaide, South Australia) with her man, two cats, and turtle, she spends her days writing fantastical stories full of dark sexy vampires, hot shifters, sexy aliens, jaw dropping demons, sinful angels, and magical witches – and while they can be snarky and swear a lot, they mean well and you’ll grow to love them. Honestly.

When she’s not in her writing cave she’s usually playing the Sims, Civilizations or something similar, binge watching Netflix or upping the ante in the crazy cat lady stakes. She loves to hear from her readers, so swing on by her website at www.janehinchey.com and say hi.

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