Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Erotic, Giveaway, Horror, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Tour, Writer

Nefarious by Lucille Moncrief – Book Tour + #Giveaway

15/08/17

Nefarious Volume One:
A Dark and Erotic Tale
by Lucille Moncrief
Genre: Erotic Horror

Set in a steampunk Savannah, Georgia, Nefarious weaves a tale of
intrigue, hidden desires, and devious intentions.

Talcott Henderson wants to live again.

A centuries-old vampire, he longs to destroy his maker and become human
once more. In order to do so, he must turn another. While he sets his
sights on Elyse Delafayette, a human with a tragic past, Samuel
Quartermaine, a vampire hunter with a dark secret, sets his on
Talcott. Will Talcott succeed in convincing Elyse to join the ranks
of the undead before Samuel can stop him?

Curiosity bested me, and I brushed away the hair that had fallen across Ms.
Delafayette’s neck. Two more teeth marks over the carotid, but
these were faded. Coldiron would be very interested indeed.
My eyes lingered a bit too long on her face. She had delicate,
elven-like features framed by dark curls. Her lips were like a red
seal over an unblemished envelope. What secrets did they hold? What
secrets would they tell?”
Get it FREE on Instafreebie!
Nefarious Volume Two:
Honor the Suffering
Genre: Historical Fiction, Horror
Is eternal guilt the price of human empathy?
While the bombs rain overhead, Talcott Henderson and a group of fellow
soldiers huddle in the cratered ground beneath the German front
lines. Through the never-ending din of enemy fire, the voracious,
blood-soaked machine of war haunts Talcott. Memories claw at him;
kill or be killed, eat or be eaten. In the bowels of the earth a
specter appears, and offers him an eternal life free of guilt.
But what is the cost of an unmarred soul?
*Includes custom illustrations
*Cover art by Jessica Dueck
 …
Nefarious Volume 3:
The World Is Our Exile
Can evil consume innocence?
Can the one who walks the line between both save it?
Elyse Delafayette, innocent yet darkly cynical, continues a naive
flirtation with evil incarnate. Although goodness pursues her, she
rebukes him. Although he seems sincere, she fears he is not.
Samuel Quartermaine, embodying darkness and light, races against time to
save her from the clutches of the undead. Will she let him love her?
The third installment of the Nefarious series, The World is Our Exile is
a paranormal erotic romance novella set in a steampunk Savannah,
Georgia. If you love sarcastic heroines, brooding, secretive heroes,
and exploring the stark contrast between good and evil, you will love
this story. Get your copy now to experience a thrilling, erotic ride
into vivid new world.
 …
COMING SOON on August 21st!!
 …
Lucille Moncrief is a horror and historical fiction author. A stodgy old
librarian in a past life, she loves poring over history books and
binge watching PBS’s “Secrets Of” series.
Her literary inspiration comes from the works of Poe, Lovecraft,
Fitzgerald, and her favorite author is Kurt Vonnegut.
When she is not yelling at the kids to get off her lawn, you can find her
staring out her window pretending to be pensive.
 …
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive guest posts and a giveaway!
 …
 
Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Giveaway, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, Story, Tour, Womens Fiction, Writer

UNDER THE PARISIAN SKY by Alli Sinclair – Book Tour + #Giveaway

14/08/17

UNDER THE PARISIAN SKY
by Alli Sinclair
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Pub Date: 7/25/2017
In the City of Light, one dancer must confront her fears about love and
loss before she can step into a brighter future…
Lily Johannson has returned to Paris, the city that broke her heart and destroyed her
ballet career, with two goals in mind: to overcome the grief
surrounding her fiancé’s death, and to make amends with her
estranged sister, Natalie, also a ballerina. But when Lily meets
charming composer Yves Rousseau, he is convinced she has a third
mission—as his muse…
Struggling to finish a score about an infamous Ballets Russes dancer from 1917,
Yves believes Lily is meant to help him. Despite her resistance, she
is swept once more into the exhilarating arms of the dance—and into
Yves’ passionate embrace. But when her sister is cast as the
infamous dancer and begins to imitate her tragic life, she soon goes
missing. Now Lily and Yves must set out to find her—and along the
way face their own demons, while also discovering that art, like
love, should not be abandoned so easily…
Alli Sinclair is a multi award-winning author who spent her early adult
years travelling the globe, intent on becoming an Indiana Jones in
heels. She scaled mountains in Nepal, Argentina, and Peru, rafted the
Ganges, and rode a camel in the Sahara. Argentina and Peru became her
home for a few years and when she wasn’t working as a mountain or
tour guide, Alli could be found in the dance halls dancing the tango,
salsa, merengue, and samba.
All of these adventures made for fun storytelling and this is when she
discovered her love of writing. Alli’s stories capture the romance
and thrill of exploring new destinations and cultures that also take
readers on a journey of discovery.
Alli volunteers as an author role model with Books in Homes,
promoting literacy and reading amongst young people.
….
 …
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
 …
 …
 
Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Giveaway, Paranormal Romance, Tour, Writer

Broken Angel by Amanda Jones – Book Tour + #Giveaway

14/06/17



 

Broken Angel

The Fallen Chronicles
Book Two
Amanda Jones
 
Genre: Paranormal Romance
 
Publisher: New Concepts Publishing
 
Cover Artist:  Jenny Dixon
 
Tagline: Dancing with the Devil…
 
Book Description:
 
Mara is a beautiful and talented surgeon with everything going for her…at least on the surface.  She has a dark secret she has kept buried for centuries.
 
Bataryal is a fallen angel broken beyond repair…or so it seems.
 
Will the beautiful surgeon who saved his life also be able to redeem him, or will Bataryal’s damaged soul lead them both into the depths of Hell…
 
Excerpt
1

 

 

Before she could
react, B sat up and grabbed her with his freshly set hand, drawing her face
towards his.  He felt his heart leap as
their lips touched ever so gently at first.
He’d dreamed of kissing her since the first time he’d laid eyes on her,
and could only hope that the feelings she’d admitted to were true.  Her lips moved softly upon his, her tongue
darting out to lick along the line of his lips.
B opened his mouth and let her in, their tongues sliding together
sensually as his body came to life.  It
was a feeling he thought he’d never fully experience, the blood pounding in his
veins, his heart jumping in his chest.
Mara’s arms came up to circle him, one around his back, the other
sliding up his neck, her nails raking along his scalp near the nape of his
neck.  The tiny shivers from her sharp
little nails were more erotic than any sexual experience he’d ever had.  B’s heart felt like it was soaring free.  Maybe there really could be a happy ending
for him.


Dark Angel

The Fallen Chronicles 

Book 1

Amanda Jones



Genre: Paranormal/Fantasy Romance



Publisher: New Concepts Publishing



Date of Publication: March 29, 2017



ISBN: 978-1-60394-970-5



Number of pages: 141 

Word Count: 81,321



Cover Artist: Jenny Dixon



Tagline: With this fallen angel it never felt so good to be bad!



Book Description: 



Katia may be a celebrated musician, but she’d always felt a little like an outsider looking in. Who knew that being abducted by a handsome stranger would set her on a crash course with her destiny…

Luc has spent an eternity keeping everyone and everything at a distance as an unstoppable darkness consumes his soul. Will his beautiful captive be his salvation, or will they both be consumed by the ultimate evil…


 



Excerpt:


As Katia smiled
back at Sergei, she noticed that the stranger at the neighbouring table was
watching her again.  She did a half turn
and reached down as though she were looking for something in her purse, angling
herself towards him.  Taking a deep
breath, she looked up and found her eyes locked on his.  There was something riveting about him, but
she couldn’t put her finger on exactly what it was.  Perhaps it was the sum total of everything
that made her unable to tear her eyes away.
He looked like he had been carved from a piece of marble.  His skin was pale and perfect, not a single
freckle, scar, line, or wrinkle.  Calvin
Klein models had nothing on this guy, with his defined jaw, and full lips that
were just begging for a kiss.  His hair
was a tumbling mass of waves the colour of the sun, his eyes were the most
unusual grey Katia had ever seen, like storm clouds.  He also had the longest eyelashes she’d ever
seen; women paid good money to get lashes like that.  He truly had the face of an angel, like
something you’d see on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.  At odds with his angelic look was the black
leather motorcycle jacket, black jeans, and black combat boots.  There was also something off in his
expression, something hard about the way he was looking at her, like she had
somehow ruined his day without her knowledge. 

About the Author: 


Add caption

Amanda Jones lives in Toronto with her exceptionally spoiled pets.  Aside from sharing her crazy imagination with others through her books Amanda enjoys travelling and frequent Netflix binges.  Amanda has worked in several fields including sports, music, film, corporate human resources, and is a graduate of York University and Sheridan College.



Website: www.amandajonesauthor.com



Facebook: www.facebook.com/darkangelauthor/



Twitter: @AmandaLJ1981 



Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14761429.Amanda_Jones


Amazon Author Central: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B0196WYYRW

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Inclement Gods by Gabriele Russo Book Tour + #Giveaway

13/06/17

Inclement Gods Banner 851 x 315


Inclement-GodsB

Inclement Gods

Gods Inc Series

Book Two

Gabriele Russo

 

Fiery Seas Publishing


June 13, 2017
 

Book Description:

 
When you live in a world pullulating with gods, can you truly be an atheist? Well, yes…if you know a way to get rid them.
 
Mysantheos, a fanatic atheist at the head of a powerful lobby/terrorist organization, has created a weapon able to kill gods. All he needs is a disruptive figurehead to attract the masses. Goblin, who has just tried to supplant Queen Louhi as CEO of Gods Incorporated, has been deemed the right kind of unworthy. Mysantheos breaks him out of the Queen’s prison and the godslaughter begins.
 
As the divine bodies pile up, panicked gods blame the CEO Queen for Goblin’s escape. Resentment builds in the company and violent factions start pushing for the extermination of the human race. Will Queen Louhi’s Nerd Squad, a group of angry gods, and Richard (a down-on-his-luck private eye),  manage to find Mysantheos in time to prevent what promises to be the bloodiest conflict between men and god ever?
 

About the Author:

 
Gabriele Russo, AKA Lucie-Gabrielle Jolicoeur-Rousseau, was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors.
 
Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.
 
That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to the University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.
 
She now lives with her husband in Culpeper, Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, ripping apart and reconstructing her recently bought historical home, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.
 
 
 

www.russogabriele.com 

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Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, blog, Book, Giveaway, Romance, Silver Dagger Scriptorium Tours, suspense, Tour, Writer

Bound by Steel by Connie Lafortune – Book Tour + #Giveaway

08/06/17

*
Bound By Steel
by Connie Lafortune
Genre: Romantic Suspense
 **
**
Lyra Harper
I was driving home to spend the holidays with my family.
But I lost control of my vehicle on an icy mountain road.
I slammed into a tree on the edge of Lake Lucerne.
I barely remember writing my name on the frosted windowpane.
The darkness had swallowed me whole.
I spiraled toward oblivion.
When I awoke from the gloom
I found myself in an old log cabin
With the devil’s eyes piercing fiercely into mine.
Ryker Steel
Up until four days ago, my life was tedious and tiresome.
Until, I rescued a dainty girl with golden hair and hazel eyes.
She looks just like the one I’m trying to forget.
Now my life has turned upside down and inside out.
You see, I inadvertently revealed my true identity.
Now, she can never leave.
We will live in hell, until we take our last breaths, together.
Lyra was the one who insisted on playing the game.
But I have a gut feeling, I will be the one to lose…
 **
 *
*
*
*
Connie is a true believer in love conquering all… This being the reason
why she loves writing romance novels. She wants to create a story
based on strong, believable characters. One’s that will make you
laugh, cry and feel every emotion under the sun. Connie wants to
leave you breathless and begging for more…
 *
*
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and giveaways!
 *
*
 *
Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Action, Adventure, Author, blog, Book, Fantasy, Fiction, Giveaway, Magic, Paranormal, Story, Tracey A Wood, urban fantasy, Writer

Sentinel by L.D. Nash – Spotlight Promo + #Giveaway

03/06/17

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SENTINEL

By: L. D. Nash

Paranormal fantasy/Action-Adventure/Magic Realism/Urban fantasy

80,000 Words

Sometimes amnesia is a demon hunter’s best friend.

 

About the book

Luna Ashwind is the Grigori’s top assassin and her marks are the big, bad uglies that slither out of Hell. She’s worked for the secret society of demon hunters since they found her broken, bleeding and unconscious just four short years ago. They nursed her body back to health but her mind is a different story.

Lucifer’s made good use of his time in Hell. He’s learned of a Heaven-forged talisman with the power to either start or stop the biblical apocalypse without God’s approval. For centuries, he’s sent his best demons topside in search of the three artifacts needed to create this celestial weapon.

Hellhound wrangler Kurbane is topside to capture the angel who stole Cerberus’ key to the Gates of Hell, but when the trail leads him to Luna, he realizes he’d bitten off more than he can chew. Luna is no mere angel – she’s the life or death of all creation.

excerpt

North Roxbury neighborhood, Boston, Massachusetts

While easing through the damp, sour smelling alleyway, Luna halted mid-stride as a black, swirling vortex, roughly the size of a Volvo, shredded the foggy air around her. A rough gust of wind whipped past her, sending trash and other debris scattering around her feet.

When a huge silhouette stepped out of the whirlwind, Luna instantly abandoned her ninja-like tactics and stood in open-mouth shock.

In her four years of training, she’d never heard of demons using teleportation; their life-force was usually directly within the vicinity of where the Watchers sent their soldiers.

Smoky tendrils of smoke inked outward from the center, sending clouds of wispy darkness to pollute the air. After a few moments, the strands slowly receded and their absence revealed the hulking beast. Momentum from the vortex shoved the demon forward, making sure it cleared the swirling chasm. Then it shrank back in on itself as quickly as it appeared.

The demon, which she now recognized from her textbooks as an Arsena – a lesser demon that crawled through Hell on its underbelly, begging for scraps – snarled and gnashed its razor sharp teeth before rushing toward her. A fashionably late entrance coupled with its particular method of travel succeeded in totally throwing Luna off her game. All her training went right out the window.

She was only briefly discombobulated, but long enough for the demon. It rushed past her and its large scaly arm caught her beneath the chin; its momentum and element of surprise clothes-lined her painfully, yet beautifully.

She hit the asphalt back-first, air whooshing from her lungs on an elongated hiss. She gasped and gulped, her mouth opening and closing like a fish out of water as she tried to force sweet air back into her lungs.

I’m sorry, Luna, Barr’s soft voice flitted through their telepathic connection. I failed to see it till it was too late. Her falcon-companion’s intense, guilt-ridden emotions blasted through her mind like a frigid tidal wave, the unexpected intrusion seized her mind and almost fried her brain.

Can you believe a freaking Arsena rode a vortex in and attacked me?!? Luna projected her thoughts and then shut down their mental connection. She focused on keeping well away from the sharp claws and gnashing teeth.

Once she was capable, she drew a complete breath and then quickly rolled back to her feet. She lowered herself into an offensive crouch with hands fisted before her and waited for the demon’s next move.

It swung its huge, slimy, talon-tipped left hand at her. She saw it coming and managed to duck in the nick of time, saving herself from sporting a severed head.

An angry roar shook the ground and the Arsena swung its right arm around from behind its huge body. Luna’s eyes widened in shock when she realized he had a gun and it was aimed it directly at her. Demons never used human weapons.

“Shit,” she hissed and feigned to her right milliseconds before a shot rent the night. Pain exploded in her left shoulder and she crashed to the pavement for the second time in less than five minutes. Her breath, again, whooshed from her body.

She’d never felt so helpless before and was lost as what to do next.

Pain blazed through her system, her blood sizzling in her veins like fresh lava. Inhaling deeply, she pushed herself to her feet, determined to get her ass moving. She’d suffered plenty of wounds during training, but never something this severe. Zeke had stressed the danger of hunting, now she understood his blatant reluctance to send her on her first mission alone.

Luna, get out of there! Barr roared forcefully, shattering the concrete wall Luna had shielding her mind. Depth-less black spots converged in Luna’s mind as a result of Barr re-establishing their mental connection without Luna’s consent.

Luna winced as agonizing heat tore through her head, finding every nerve ending possible. She blinked rapidly in hopes of shaking the side-effects of the falcon’s mind-meld. Her stomach rolled in response, threatening to send her dinner back up.

Barr’s forceful invasion, combined with the gunshot wound, left Luna not only temporarily blind, but also in intense agony. Her body weakened and grew sluggish.

Summoning every ounce of strength she had left, she pushed herself back to her feet and slowly approached the demon. When she was within reach, she shoved him roughly and lurched past him, heading for the alley on the right

The Arsena’s roar only partially registered through the shock flooding her mind. Her main concern wasn’t that she’d been shot by a demon with a human weapon. It was the fact that she ran from a demon to being with; something she’d never believed she’d do.

A warrior at heart, Luna abhorred weakness as much as cowardice. Yet Barr was right. There was no way she’d survive a battle now that she’d been bodily wounded and mentally incapacitated.

Already, the gushing wound leeched her strength too quickly for her liking.

“Zeke’s going to kill me,” Luna declared, her thoughts flashing to her mentor. She’d all but bullied her way into this mission by swearing she’d be safe and now here she was severely wounded. She inhaled deeply and pumped her legs harder, putting as much distance between her and the demon as possible.

*

“Have we received word from her?” Sem stormed into the Control room. When Luna failed to check in after a couple hours, he’d grown worried. Allowing for the possibility she ran into unexpected problems, he’d gave her some extra time. Now, it was way passed time for her to have returned.

“No.” Penn shook his head, no hint of emotion in his voice. He wasn’t one to get ruffled over anything unless there was reason to. Penn was all about patience and it was one virtue Sem could do without. When it came to Luna, few of the Watchers had much patience. She was the daughter of a dead friend and it was their responsibility to protect her no matter what. Even if she wasn’t the salvation of them all, Sem would still lay down his immortal soul to protect her.

“When was her last update?” Sem asked and ran long fingers through his narrow strip of purple spikes.

“Twelve a.m. Dispatch received an update.” Penn narrowed his eyes as fingers flew over computer keys. “She’d landed and began her search for the demon.” He turned to spear Sem with ice-blue eyes; worry glazing their surface. “That was over ten hours ago Sem. She should have called by now. It wouldn’t have taken her ten minutes to shred the bastard. Something’s wrong.”

Sem’s blood turned to fire in his veins. The thought of Luna hurt didn’t sit so well with him. “Maybe she lost her phone, have you activated her internal tracker?”

Penn turned back to the computer and more keys clacked noisily. The air suddenly grew very heavy and a malevolent aura cloaked the room. Sem sighed heavily. The last thing he needed right now was the angry man now standing behind him. He felt the fiery blast of anger emanating from the soldier and sighed heavily. They’d barely avoided a blood bath earlier and it was only Luna’s presence that had calmed him.

“We’re looking for her now, Zeke,” Sem warned before the other man could even utter a word. He knew his brother too well. If Zeke had the slightest inkling Luna was in danger, he would be gone in the blink of an eye. No matter that none of them could pinpoint her location; Zeke would blast through the Nether until he found her.

As one of the Watchers with the ability to transport, Zeke was an ever present threat to the group’s anonymity. His emotions, which he denied having on a regular basis, seemed to rule him when it came to Luna.

“You’d better find her or I will,” Zeke threatened and slammed the stainless steel door shut behind him before propping himself against it. With arms and feet crossed, he presented an unmovable roadblock. His silent challenge blasted into the air, engulfing the room in an almost malevolent fog.

“There’s no signal,” Penn murmured. “I can’t find her anywhere.”

A loud crash preceded the slamming of the Control room door. When Sem turned, Zeke was gone and a hole marred his formerly pristine door.

“Dammit, I just had that door replaced,” Sem cursed. “Keep looking Penn, I’ll go with Zeke to make sure he doesn’t kill anyone he shouldn’t. Send the area coordinates to me; maybe we can search until something pops up.”

Penn nodded, his floppy blonde hair bouncing.

“Sure thing boss,” he called.

As Sem raced down the hall toward the weapon’s room, he recalled the night Luna literally came crashing into their lives and hoped with every fiber of his being that she was alright. Injured, he could handle, but if she were dead, they were all fucked.

He slid to a halt when Zeke emerged, armed to the teeth, sporting a murderous glint in his eyes. It was moments like this, that made Sem grateful that Zeke was on his side. The warrior made a formidable enemy and Heaven help anything that dared harm Luna.

about the author

Me

S.D. Nash was born, raised and still lives in the northern piney woods of Louisiana. She doesn’t have alligators in her front yard and she isn’t surrounded by swamps. She loves trekking the lush woods surrounding her home in search of buried treasures of times long past. Old, abandoned homesteads and barns are her favorite places to explore. She has a very rich imagination and loves all things unexplainable and supernatural.

 

She’s obsessed with the television series Supernatural and has recently developed a deep interest in AMC’S Preacher, SYFY’S Wynonna Earp and Doctor Who. Her favorite quote is by an unknown author: It’s only impossible until it’s done.

 

Her writing career began later than she’d wanted, but as with all things, it has begun. You can find all her titles on Amazon and select ones on Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Scribd, Apple and Smashwords. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and her blog by clicking the links below:

Amazon Buy link: http://amzn.to/2rAFFnM

www.facebook.com/authorldnash

www.twitter.com/authorldnash

www.ldnashauthor.blogspot.com

www.pinterest.com/lesliedawnnash

 

Giveaway

Two E-copies of Sentinel are up for grabs. To enter all you need to do is share this post on Twitter, tag in the author (@authorldnash) and two randomly selected winners will receive either a mobi or pdf copy.  The author will contact the winners directly.

Other titles by L. D. Nash:

The Lost Outlaws

Six Guns & Garter Belts (Book 1)

Celestial Keys

Sentinel (Book 1)

The Last Keeper (Book 2) – Coming Soon

 

Stand Alone Novels

Trinity

Southern Fangs

AnnWenn

Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Adventure, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, blog, Book, Fiction, Giveaway, Romance, Tour, Writer

Where on Earth by David H. Minton – Book Tour + #Giveaway

31/05/17

 

Where On Earth? An Alaska Adventure
By David H. Minton
Fiery Seas Publishing
May 2017  
Romantic Adventure
Book Description:
Dan Richards, an Iraq war vet, is a surveyor for the mining company, looking to open a new silver mine. Scrambling to establish his helicopter charter business in the wilds of Alaska, while trying to stay connected to his teenage daughter, his world soon turns upside down when he rescues a woman and her dog sledding team after an avalanche.
Samantha Bettencourt, an environmental engineer, is eager to begin her first project with the university. A spokesperson for an environmentalist group intent on preserving the wilderness, she is on the path to saving the wild, but when Dan walks into her life things start to change.
Sparks fly between Dan and Samantha as they find themselves running for their lives—from the good guys as well as the bad guys out to ruin the things they long to protect. Will they be able to escape before it’s too late? Will they get a chance at love or will they lose everything. . . including their lives?
 
 
About the Author:

 

After graduating college, David spent two tours in United States Military Assistance Command Republic of Viet-Nam, before beginning his career as a nuclear engineer, then electronics engineer, tele-communications engineer, and software security engineer. He has previously published three non-fiction books, several poems, and many non-fiction technical and historical articles.  


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Remnants by Carolyn Arnold – Book Tour + #Giveaway

29/05/17

Remnants
Brandon Fisher FBI Series, Book 6
by Carolyn Arnold
Genre: Crime Mystery, Thriller
**
All that remains are whispers of the past…
When multiple body parts are recovered from the Little Ogeechee River in
Savannah, Georgia, local law enforcement calls in FBI agent and
profiler Brandon Fisher and his team to investigate. But with the
remains pointing to three separate victims, this isn’t proving to
be an open-and-shut case.
With no quick means of identifying the victims, building a profile of this
serial killer is proving more challenging than usual. How is the
killer picking these victims? Why are their limbs being severed and
bodies mutilated? And what is it about them that is triggering this
killer to murder?
The questions compound as the body count continues to rise, and when a
torso painted blue and missing its heart is found, the case takes an
even darker turn. But this is only the beginning, and these new leads
draw the FBI into a creepy psychological nightmare. One thing is
clear, though: the killing isn’t going to stop until they figure it
all out. And they are running out of time…
**Can easily be read as a standalone!!**
Series Information
What to expect from the Brandon Fisher FBI series:
Profilers. Serial killers. The hunt is on. Do
serial killers and the FBI fascinate you? Do you like getting inside
the minds of killers, love being creeped out, sleeping with your eyes
open, and feeling like you’re involved in murder investigations?
Then join FBI agent and profiler Brandon Fisher and his team with the
Behavioral Analysis Unit in their hunt for serial killers.
This is the perfect book series for fans of Criminal Minds, NCIS, Silence
of the Lambs
, Seven, Dexter, Luther, and True Crime.
Read in any order or follow the series from the beginning.
**
CAROLYN ARNOLD is an international best-selling and award-winning author, as
well as a speaker, teacher, and inspirational mentor. She has four
continuing fiction series—Detective Madison Knight, Brandon Fisher
FBI, McKinley Mysteries, and Matthew Connor Adventures—and has
written nearly thirty books. Her genre diversity offers her readers
everything from cozy to hard-boiled mysteries, and thrillers to
action adventures.
Both her female detective and FBI profiler series have been praised by
those in law enforcement as being accurate and entertaining, leading
her to adopt the trademark: POLICE PROCEDURALS RESPECTED BY LAW
ENFORCEMENT™.
Carolyn was born in a small town and enjoys spending time outdoors, but she
also loves the lights of a big city. Grounded by her roots and lifted
by her dreams, her overactive imagination insists that she tell her
stories. Her intention is to touch the hearts of millions with her
books, to entertain, inspire, and empower.
She currently lives just west of Toronto with her husband and beagle and
is a member of Crime Writers of Canada.
 **
Connect with CAROLYN ARNOLD Online:
**
 **
Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and giveaways!
Posted in #Book, #Giveaway, Author, Bewitching Book Tours, Fantasy, Giveaway, Story, urban fantasy, Writer

Lady Knight by T. Nathan Mosley – Book Tour + #Giveaway

22/05/17

 

 

Lady Knight

The Knight Case
Book One
T. Nathan Mosley
Genre: Fantasy/Urban Fantasy
Date of Publication: January 27th, 2017
ISBN: 9781520470863
ASIN: B01N26OWAV
Number of pages: 229
Word Count: 84,819
Cover Artist: Ruben G. Ramos
Book Description:
Detective Cameron Knight does not believe in magic. It’s kind of hard to when you’re a single(-ish) mother in a high stress job that pulls you from bed at all hours of the night. One of these nights, though, Cameron encounters a magician. Not one of those guys who pulls rabbits out of hats, but a real, true magician. Of course she doesn’t believe it. Until Mathias reveals to her a world that is full of magic, Knights, kings, and more.
Following the writings of one of the most powerful magicians to have ever lived, Mathias escaped to Earth, running from Knight Captain Emil Rouland. Emil has been tasked with bringing Mathias before the King of Draeca to face the King’s justice.
But Marek, a magician and enemy of Mathias, has other ideas. He sees this as his big break to finally exact his revenge on Mathias and become the hero he’s always wanted to be. Little do they all know, however, the cost of traveling between Earth and Draeca has a terrible cost.
The fate of both worlds will hang in the balance as Vee, a being of immense power and evil, plots to conquer one, or both, of the worlds.
  
Excerpt:
“We found
someone – a man. He’s… not quite right, and he’s got this weird costume on.
Said he knew about the explosion. Thought you’d want to try talking to
him.” The kid said. Cameron exchanged a look with Kim and pulled the
cigarette from her mouth, sighing. It would have to wait.
“Alright,
where is he?” Kim said.
“Over
talking to the paramedics, they’re saying it’s dementia, uh, maybe caused by
shock or something. I’m not a doctor.”
“That’s
what we pay them the big bucks for. Good work, uh…” Cameron inspected
the officer’s name badge, “Officer Winsley. Off you go.” Cameron
nodded to him and patted him on the shoulder as she blew past him, heading for
the ambulance. The ‘costume’ Winsley had reported was actually a set of long,
flowing green and gold robes that draped off the man. A heavy cloak was set
about the man’s shoulders, and he spoke calmly to one of the paramedics as they
asked him questions.
“My
eyesight is perfectly fine, madam. This is the third time you’ve put that
lightstick into my face – I kindly request that you cease immediately.”
The man said, and the paramedic looked to the detectives with a shrug.
“He checks
out. No signs of drug use that I can see, physically healthy, just…” The
paramedic made a spinning motion with her hand, one finger pointing at her
head. “He’s all yours.” She said.
The man stood as
the detectives approached, his head bowing to them so deeply it bent his
shoulders and torso towards them. “I know not who you are, but please
allow me to thank you for getting that… vulture, away from me. Poking and
prodding with her…” he waved a hand, “instruments.” The man
was strikingly handsome, and Cameron couldn’t help but notice how focused and
intense his blue eyes were as he regarding them. His black hair was slicked
back with some sort of gel, and it was cut close to his head – just long enough
to be styled and flare out slightly behind his ears and along the back of his
neck.
“That’s her
job.” Kim said as Cameron took the time to light her cigarette, puffing on
it as Kim continued, “She’s a paramedic. She wanted to make sure you were
okay.”
“Ah, a
healer! I beg pardon, I did not understand her ways, and this word…
‘paramedic’. It is foreign to me,” he said, a look of worry crossing his
face. “Please, assure her I am quite alright. Perfect in all of my
faculties,” he paused as Kim and Cameron shared another look, “Well,
except, I cannot seem to find my staff, but it will turn up sooner or later I
suppose.”
“Alright,
cut it out. Enough of the jokes,” Cameron said, and the man frowned at her
in confusion, “How about we start from the beginning. Who are you, what
are you doing here, and what do you know about the explosion?”
The man’s face
brightened some, and he swept into a low bow, leg forward and one hand on his
chest as the other swept out to one side. “I am Mathias, Lord of the House
of Relain, personal magician to His Majesty King Lerrad Olmsith of the Kingdom
of Draeca, and…” Mathias frowned, “Well, that is who I used to be.
I am now an outlaw by decree of King Lerrad, but I suppose that is not what you
are inquiring about. I brought myself here as I was fleeing from his soldiers –
you understand I am sure, it is difficult to corner a magician,” he
finished with a wink at Kim.
Cameron put a
hand on Kim’s arm as she took a long drag from her cigarette, stopping Kim from
decking the wacko. “Alright, let me get this straight. You’re, what, some
sort of wizard? And you want us to believe that you brought yourself here,
using…”
“Magic,
yes, of course. The signs are evident,” Mathias said, nodding towards the
warehouse. “My apologies about the, ah, building there. An unintended side
effect of my hastily constructed spell. I believe in my haste I may have made a
mistake in the incantation. It would also explain the disappearance of my
staff…” He said, his tone turning thoughtful as he spoke.
“Can you
give us a moment?” Cameron asked.
“But of
course,” Mathias said, bowing his head towards them again.
The detectives
stepped away from the man and Cameron dropped her cigarette, smashing it into
the pavement with her shoe. “Okay. What the hell.” She said.
“He’s
clearly lost his mind. The explosion knocked him into something and he
snapped,” Kim said.
“He didn’t
have a mark on him, Kim. No dust, no ash, nothing,” Cameron pointed out.
“Well,
okay, but – wait, you’re not saying you actually believe him?”
“No, of
course not! Magic and spells and kings… Ridiculous, of course. Okay, how
about this: He sets a bomb, gets clear, and then the shock of what he’s done
makes him conjure some crazy fantasy.”
“What, like
repression or something?” Kim said, glancing back at Mathias – if that was
even his name. He was standing patiently, watching them with his hyper-focused
eyes and his hands clasped behind his back.
“Yeah.
Maybe it started before he even knew what he was doing. Got caught up in his
fantasy and doesn’t really know what’s going on.”
“Okay.
Works for me. How do we handle him?”

 

“Play
along, for now.” Cameron said, frowning towards Mathias. He returned her
frown with a wide, toothless grin. She looked back at Kim and sighed, pulling
another cigarette from her pocket. “It’s gonna be a long night.”
 
About the Author:
 
T. Nathan Mosley was born and raised in Woodstock, Georgia. He is an avid fantasy and science fiction fan and gamer. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia with his two cats and dog that he tries constantly to avoid spoiling too much. His primary genres include general fantasy and urban fantasy, though he has played with the idea of science fiction on occasion. He is currently studying to become a professor of mathematics.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tnmosleybooks/




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Beneath the Night by Jen Colly – Book Tour + #Giveaway

27/04/17

*
BENEATH THE NIGHT
by Jen Colly
*
Pub date: 4/25/2017
Genre: Paranormal Romance
*
*
Sometimes survival means surrendering everything . . .
Lord Navarre Casteel wakes from a long sleep to
find the vampire city he rules forever changed and his future in the
hands of a mysterious beauty who offers her life for his.
Fiery-haired Cat survives his feeding, fueling Navarre’s body and
mind—as well as his suspicion that she is one of the Forbidden—a
lethal mix of vampire and human blood. Yet that doesn’t stop the
throb of Navarre’s desire, the feeling that she is destined to be
his mate, to hell with consequences. . . .
A solitary fighter sworn to protect the
children in her charge, Cat never expects to feel so much for Navarre
in the face of his savage feeding. Which is why his offer of
protection is nearly her undoing. For how can she let down her guard
when she has always walked alone? But Cat has never faced an enemy
like the one she faces now, never felt such a powerful need to
surrender to the force of love . . .
*
btn- excerpt
*

Chapter 1

 

Peace. He didn’t care for the word, didn’t believe in its existence. The

concept seemed possible, and certainly desired, but he’d yet to witness it

in his own life. Even when Balinese had been under Lord Navarre’s rule,

the city prospering and harmonious, Devlin Savard had not been at peace.

Savard glanced over his shoulder for the second time tonight. Something

had him on edge. He scanned the tree line at his back. Nothing.

From where he stood, high on a hillside, the impressive château below him

seemed somehow benign. Yet it concealed the entrance to Balinese, a vast

underground city of vampires. The forest surrounding the château took it a

step further, cloaking the stone structure from any who might wander near.

Winter was well on the way, and though snow had yet to fall, it would

come soon enough. The château had been sealed and prepped months ago,

and only in the last few weeks had the chill of the night permeated the

ground and seeped into the city below.

Savard cocked his head slightly. A low ripple of energy in the air sent

his senses on high alert, rousing survival instincts that had refused to fade

over time. Someone, or something, approached.

He curled his fingers around the hilt of his sword, but then the shift in

energy became substantial and settled at his right side. Heavy, like waves

on the ocean. Then, though the air around him was already cold, a chilled

patch of air pushed toward him.

“Report,” Savard commanded. Keir dropped out of his invisible Spirit

form and appeared at Savard’s right.

“You’re damn hard to sneak up on,” Keir said, and then suddenly

thinking better of his words, he raised his hands in mock surrender. “Not

that I was sneaking.”

Savard nodded, but said nothing. It was best others didn’t know how

Savard’s talents worked, especially when he knew of no other who possessed

a similar gift. In Spirit, Keir moved with a certain high-energy fluidity,

something Savard had yet to encounter in another vampire, and was

easily recognizable.

Finally glancing at the man who had joined him, Savard asked,

“What did you find?”

“Nothing,” Keir said, supremely confident in his own abilities.

Savard simply nodded.

“I give you the same answer every night. Seven years of nothing. You’re

not paying me to say ‘nothing’ to you every night.” Keir scratched his chin,

the goatee darkening his already sinister look. “You bought my loyalty.”

“Have I?”

Keir cracked a grin. “Yeah, you have.”

“Perhaps.” Savard looked over his shoulder, once again peering deep into

the forest, but still finding nothing amiss. “One day your answer will change.”

“And when it does?”

“Then everything will change,” Savard said, his tone even, expectant.

Savard would have been a fool to not at least attempt to buy Keir’s loyalty,

and so far it had paid off. The man was an ace in his pocket. While Savard’s

own ability to travel in Spirit was extensive, Keir’s was unsurpassed.

Since the phenomenon of traveling in Spirit only seemed to surface

when a vampire was caught in a fight-or-flight situation, Guardians tended

to be the most likely to possess the ability. The species had lived in peace

for centuries, and few had experienced even a small taste of taking Spirit.

Once the trick of walking in Spirit was learned, it was simple to duplicate,

though most couldn’t advance beyond several feet in this invisible form.

Some grew physically ill should they pass through an object. The process

also seemed to deplete the body so extensively that most vampires needed

to feed soon after traveling in Spirit.

Not only could Keir travel great distances and pass through multiple

structures with ease, he could linger in Spirit for nearly an hour. Invisible

and undetectable, he was the perfect spy. Having Keir on his side had been

useful, and on occasion, life-saving.

“Same time again tomorrow?” Savard asked.

Keir shook his head, smiling just a little. “And again and again.”

The radio at Savard’s hip popped with static and Steffen’s voice came

through, sounding hollow as it floated away on the chilled night breeze.

“Several animals were just spooked.”

Savard searched the edge of the forest surrounding the château and

saw nothing. Whatever movement Steffen noted had settled back into

the safety of the trees. He gripped the radio in his hand, brought it to

his lips. “Where?”

“North forest. Deer.”

The north forest was at his left, the château his right. A call concerning

the north forest made him nervous. The entrance to the château, the gate,

faced north. In the recent past, his Gatekeepers had occasionally reported

the night going silent, or animals fleeing the woods. They’d come to

associate these signs with the presence of demons.

“Damn it. If the deer are moving at this hour, then something deep in

the forest disturbed them,” Savard said as he switched radio channels.

“Briona! I have Keir. I need two more Guardians at the gate. Now!”

“Already on their way!” the cheeky little half-Irish dispatcher yelled.

“Move your arse, m’lord.”

Savard broke into a run, Keir at his side, racing down the hill toward

the château. The disturbance warranted an investigation. If demons had

made their way onto the property yet again, his Guardians would engage,

but it was near dawn and he risked the sun, and their lives.

He checked his watch. They’d have a tight timeline to work within, but

thanks to Briona, they’d have a chance. A few years ago, Briona had barged

into his office and promised she was the answer to problems he didn’t know

he had. She’d been right. Briona was a technical genius. Whatever it was

she did in that little room surrounded by buttons and wires, she did well.

She’d boosted his Guardians’ response time, increased overall efficiency,

created a number system for different high-priority zones in the city, and

became adept at predicting situations and reactions.

Briona listened to all Guardian radio chatter, often making the call for

backup before a Guardian could ask for help. She’d saved lives, and she’d

been on top of this situation as well. No doubt the men Savard trusted at

his side would already be waiting for him.

The door to the château was in sight. His Gatekeepers, Steffen and Ivan,

stood guarding the entrance to Balinese. As Savard and Keir approached,

Osric and Titus emerged from the château. No one spoke. Steffen simply

pointed to the forest where he’d seen the deer in flight.

Savard nodded to his Guardians, and they vanished, as did he. Moving

effortlessly up the hillside, speeding toward the woods, Savard floated

unseen, like a ghost over the grass. He couldn’t see his men, nor they him.

Titus would hold the west. He was young, but the extent of his abilities

so great that his careless and cocky attitude was rarely a hindrance. When

Titus put a man down, he stayed down.

Osric was a recluse, his main goal to hide the rippled burn scar that ran

from high on his cheek down the side of his face and neck, disappearing

beneath his shirt collar. He only emerged from his home as a Guardian,

and he served his city well. Osric would take the east.

And Keir? As a former assassin, he’d have the north well in hand. Savard’s

personal bodyguard was without question an exceedingly capable Guardian.

Savard took the southern position, cutting off the direct path to Balinese.

He would stay in Spirit. An observer. As lord, he was not to engage in

combat unless necessary.

Traveling in Spirit had definite advantages, one of which was speed.

Savard easily raced over the dense forest floor, through trees. His passing

startled only a few small rodents.

In a clearing just ahead, nearly a dozen men sat in a circle and focused

on their leader with eyes glowing red in the dark. Demons.

Attacking a group while in Spirit was underhanded, and in most cases,

a guaranteed win. The expertise in this sort of warfare belonged to

the assassin. Without making so much as a whisper of sound, his men

surrounded the demons and waited for Keir’s command.

Savard kept his distance from the demons, as would the others, until

signaled. He had no problem holding his Spirit this night, and Titus never

wavered, but Osric couldn’t linger in this state for much longer. They

needed to attack soon.

What does Keir wait for?

Then Savard felt a ripple as the assassin passed near, or maybe through,

his Spirit. It was Keir’s way of pinpointing their locations, confirming they

were in position. Seconds passed. Still, Keir waited.

“We enter through the front gate at dawn. Only two guard the door,”

one of the demons said, its red eyes glimmering oddly in the night. “Even

if we catch them in the middle of switching shifts and their numbers are

doubled, it’ll be easy to get by such a small group.”

Grunts followed, acknowledging their leader.

Suddenly the blond demon sat tall and rigid, its eerie red eyes searching

the surrounding trees. “I feel…”

Several other demons stilled, shared glances. The man in charge finished

the sentence. “Like the night air has changed.”

“It has, demon,” Keir said, his body still invisible, his distorted words

floating through the cold night, everywhere and nowhere.

The assassin appeared behind the blond demon. Keir’s wild, curly hair

and goatee lent him a wickedly sinister look. And that smile of his. That

nasty gotcha smile. In one quick, clean motion, Keir sliced the demon’s

throat, then disappeared again.

Demons scrambled to their feet, drawing swords. Osric dropped from

Spirit first, drove his shoulder into the nearest demon like a linebacker,

and knocked it to the ground. He ignored the downed demon, bent on

sinking his sword into the next, much larger foe.

Titus appeared beside the demon Osric had just knocked down. Flipping

his grip on the hilt of his sword, Titus took only a moment to jab the blade

through the fallen demon’s chest, barely sparing it a glance. Ducking

under the sweeping blade of an approaching demon, he spun to catch it

across the torso, then left it incapacitated on the ground to search for a

more active target.

Keir was surrounded, but he seemed to like it that way, taunting those

red-eyed creatures. He’d leave himself open to their attack, then move with

an uncanny speed to slice through major arteries left and right, weakening

those he didn’t have time to kill.

Titus took on two, using anything at his disposal, be it sword, elbow,

hilt, or head. The vicious physicality of his fighting style made Savard

wonder why the young vampire never brought his teeth out to play.

Savard scanned the scene before him, desperate to remain in the here

and now, to be mentally present for his Guardians. The chaos of swords

hitting in repetition, of men grunting and yelling in the throes of battle

messed with Savard’s head, threatened to throw his mind back to a different

time and place. Making a sincere effort to block the sounds, he focused on

movement instead. Short, contained blows from his Guardians suggested

everything was well in hand.

Then a demon broke away from the center of the battle and threaded

through the melee, its sights set on Osric. The Guardian’s sole focus was on

the big bastard he was trying to take down. He didn’t see the demon coming.

Savard, still in Spirit, moved to intercept. He appeared, sword drawn

and braced for impact. Clotheslined, its head nearly severed, the demon

never saw Savard.

Now visible, Savard turned to fight anyone left standing. Only two

demons remained, each engaged with a Guardian and fighting for their

lives. Keir stalked through the battlefield, checked the downed bodies for

signs of life, but suddenly he stopped, stood motionless. Savard felt it too.

The telltale tingle at the back of his neck signaled the rising of the sun.

Savard assessed their now-urgent situation. Osric had taken down his

demon. Titus battled the last. Weapons lost, the two were face-to-face,

throwing punches, wrestling for higher ground.

Keir was on the move before Savard could say a word. Knife bared,

Keir came up behind the last demon and sank his blade deep into its back.

Titus shot Keir an angry glare. “What gives?”

“We don’t have time for this. Not anymore.” Keir stepped back and the

demon slipped off his blade, crumpled to the ground.

“He’s right,” Savard said, sending a short nod in Keir’s direction. “Drag

the bodies east, outside the tree line.”

Osric and Titus shared a concerned glance, but it was Titus who spoke.

“You want them to burn in the sun? Let their ash become part of our earth,

their evil seep into our lands?”

“Do you know how long it will take the four of us to drag twelve men

back to the city, remove their heads, encase them in coffins, and bury them

deep?” Savard didn’t wait for an answer. He grabbed a demon’s ankle and

began hauling it through the forest. “We have no other options, no time

to appease an ancient superstition, and it doesn’t take long for demons to

come back after they’ve been killed. I, for one, prefer them as ash and dust.”

The four men hauled the bodies, and the occasional detached head,

out into the open. Vampires didn’t care to admit they shared several base

similarities with demons, but they did. One of which was their inability to

dwell in sunlight. Direct exposure would cause cells to destroy themselves,

slowly at first, but once the chain reaction began, the body would combust.

A few demons still lived. Barely. The sun would finish what the

Guardians had begun.

When the last demon was dropped at the east edge of the forest, Savard

turned to his men. “Get home. Now.”

Titus vanished, as did Keir, but Osric ran. After holding his Spirit for

so long initially, Osric had nothing left to give. Damn it. He’d never make

it back before the sun claimed him.

Savard didn’t know Osric’s story, or how he’d gained those burn scars,

but being vampire there were only two possibilities: trapped by a fire

below ground or burned in the sun. If Savard didn’t help him, then the

final moments of Osric’s life would be spent burning, reliving the fear, the

pain he’d already suffered to a point of leaving him crippled inside and out.

There was no decision to make. Savard couldn’t allow Osric to die this

way, even if it meant exposing one of his unknown abilities.

Savard disappeared into Spirit and was at Osric’s side in seconds. He

released his Spirit, became corporeal just long enough to take hold of

Osric’s arm and drag the Guardian into Spirit with him. He raced home,

speeding through the trees and down the hillside, Osric in tow.

They made the shelter of Balinese just before the sun brightened the

east sky. Once inside, Osric stumbled as he fell haphazardly out of Spirit.

Savard appeared a dozen feet away from him. They shared a glance, and

for a moment Savard thought Osric would say something, point out the

impossible feat. The marred Guardian only nodded, a quick and silent thankyou.

Then all four were on the move again, headed through the kitchen,

down the back stairs, into the cellar, and through the door to Balinese.

When their feet touched the corridor that encircled the city, the men

scattered. Each went a separate way, never saying a word, and acting as if

the entire event had never happened. Unless Savard decided the skirmish

would go on public record, it hadn’t happened. He trusted these men, and

his Gatekeepers, to keep quiet and never acknowledge the incident unless

directed otherwise.

If the citizens of Balinese knew how many demons had been found

above ground on their land, or how many had entered the city, they’d never

sleep. Unless a citizen witnessed a demon, any encounters the Guardians

had with demons never officially occurred.

Savard walked alone now, taking the back route to his home. He needed

to clean up. Black demon blood had spattered across his face, dotted his

shirt. Thankfully, these exterior corridors in Balinese tended to be empty,

lit only by sconces hung high on the wall.

“M’lord?” Briona chimed through the radio.

Savard scanned the corridor. Empty. “We’re clear. Go ahead.”

“Bravo, then, you lived.” She took a breath, then pushed on as if

his survival was expected and his response unnecessary. “You wanted

notification if anyone was scheduled to enter the royal storage. Why am

I still doin’ this? Isn’t this Soren’s job, since, I don’t know, he has the

keys to the room?”

“It is. I’m just overcautious when it comes to safeguarding Navarre’s

possessions. What is Soren having removed?”

“He just sent two Guardians to collect a golden birdcage.” There was a

pause, but Savard knew better than to think Briona was finished talking.

“We’ve a birdcage?”

“No. We do not. The Casteel family was gifted with the large golden cage

from a Chinese ambassador in the late 1600s, along with an assortment

of birds. Did you fail history class?”

“Nah, slept through it. Want me to send a couple extra Guardians up to help?”

“No, I’m sure they can handle it. Make sure Soren has them log out the

cage when they return the keys to him. Thank you, Briona.”

“And now I’m your wee secretary,” she mumbled before the radio died.

Savard shook his head, almost entirely certain she’d left the radio channel

open a second longer on purpose.

He continued past the corridor leading to his home and stopped a good

four feet before the next. Taking Spirit once more, he floated up through

the ceiling. When in the room above, a large attic with angled ceilings, he

released his Spirit. This was the royal storage, and the Guardians would

be here any moment.

Treasures from all over Europe had been covered, hidden from view,

while others lay exposed, collecting layers of dust. A gold, jewel-encrusted

urn half the size of a man glinted in the dim light seeping from beneath the

door. A golden yellow chaise in Greek styling was half hidden beneath a

sheet, the craftsmanship elaborate. Yes, he grew nervous when Guardians

were scheduled to enter this room, but theft was not his fear, nor was the

handling of such priceless artifacts.

He’d have given his life to protect what was beyond the row of five

large French curio cabinets in the corner of the attic. Savard slipped into

Spirit long enough to move through a curio, and once inside the makeshift

seclusion, returned to his true form. Here, easily hidden behind the towering

cabinets, was the most priceless treasure in Balinese.

Navarre Casteel, the true lord of Balinese, lay motionless on a small

bed, trapped in a deep healing sleep. Not waking, not dying.

Navarre had fallen in the demon attack nearly seven years ago. A demon’s

blade had pierced his chest, and from what they could tell, nicked his heart.

Navarre had slipped into a healing sleep, his body shutting down to repair

from the inside out. After that point, nothing could be done to help him.

Their lord would have to heal on his own, or not at all.

Every day since, Savard expected his lord’s death, even planned for

the loss. It never happened. Months had passed. Years. Seven years of

total stillness.

Savard blamed himself. He never should have set foot inside Balinese.

Decades ago Lord Navarre had taken him in, and the people of Balinese

had hatefully labeled Savard “the stray.” They’d watched him, judged him,

from the moment he’d stepped foot inside their grand home. While the

people of the city suspected he did not belong in their rich and secluded

world, Savard knew for a fact that he did not. Navarre seemed not to

notice. Or care.

Months into his tentative stay, Navarre had placed him in command of

the city’s Guardians. Savard had objected, along with Navarre’s council,

but the lord would not be swayed.

Savard had reluctantly taken the position, and for the first time in his

life buckled his sword to his hip with a great deal of trepidation. Becoming

captain to such a great lord and legendary city had felt wrong.

Every night Lord Navarre had proudly said, “I’m glad you’re here.”

Savard’s consistent response? “It’s only a matter of time before I’m gone.”

Navarre would nod, and they’d move on with life. The same conversation

repeated. At first once a day, then as time went on, once a month. After

five years Navarre had stopped triggering the conversation altogether,

never believing his captain had any intention of leaving.

Leaving was no longer an option. He had a responsibility, not just to

Navarre, but to the city Navarre loved. Savard had done everything in his

power to keep the city functioning smoothly, and to keep threats away.

But if Navarre died? If his friend left this world, then there was no reason

to care for the things Navarre had held dear, and Savard couldn’t live

surrounded by memories of yet another massive failure.

The padlock outside the door rattled, the heavy hinge laid back against

the door. Then the large wooden slide latch was moved, wood scraping

wood, until the handle hit the end of its range with a solid thud.

Savard knelt beside the bed and took his lord’s lifeless hand in both of

his, ready to weather the brief intrusion, prepared to Spirit Navarre away

should it become necessary.

The hinges on the thick door creaked as it opened. The Guardians

stepped inside, flipped on the lights. Boots scuffed the uneven floorboards

beneath their feet, and long, purposeful strides quickly carried them deeper

inside the room.

“There it is,” Dyre said, his young, smooth voice trapped in the low

ceiling of the attic. “It doesn’t appear heavy, only awkward.”

“Why are we putting an empty birdcage outside the dining hall?” Cat

said, suspicion bleeding through her tone.

The presence of these two was unexpected. As arena Guardians, Titus

and Graydon often drew the short straw, being sent on random missions

that sometimes involved moving furniture. Not today. Somehow Dyre and

Cat had taken their place.

“Don’t ask, just do,” Dyre said.

“Ugh.” She exaggerated the guttural sound. “I hate your motto. It’s stupid.”

“It’s not my motto,” Dyre said, the effort of sliding wooden furniture

across the floor temporarily halting his speech. “And you seem to like it

just fine when you’re the one barking orders.”

“Fair enough,” she said, relenting.

Savard smiled slightly, shaking his head. In public those two barely spoke

a word to each other, and after the parade of Guardian partners Cat had

gone through, he never would have thought Dyre would be the one she’d

accept. But then, Dyre was one of the few able to bring her unpredictable

temper down to at least a simmer.

“Here, take this end,” Dyre directed. “I’ll go down the stairs backward.”

“You think I can’t go backward?” Cat snapped at him, instantly geared

up for a fight, offended her partner might find her lacking.

“No,” he said calmly, his tone hinting at simple honesty. “I

think you’re short.”

If Cat gave him a response, Savard didn’t hear it. Boots scuffled across

the floor, the lights went out and the door closed, the bolt slid home, and the

padlock clunked into place. The room was left in silence once again. Savard

peeked through a crack between the dressers to make certain they’d left.

Turning Navarre’s hand over, Savard pressed his fingertips to his lord’s

exposed inner wrist. As he did with each visit, Savard searched for a pulse,

craved confirmation that Navarre still lived. Beneath his fingers, the

normally slow, lurching rhythm of Navarre’s pulse seemed to have sped

  1. Not rapid or racing, but simply stronger. This could be his body’s last

surge of energy before death. Savard looked at Navarre’s face, fearing it

might be the last time.

Navarre, still deep in a healing sleep, turned his face slightly toward

the door. He wasn’t dying. He was waking.

“Oh, God. It’s her.” Jaw slack, Savard sank back onto his heels.

He shoved his hair off his face. How had he not seen this connection?

When Cat had first arrived on the night of the attack, he hadn’t known

what to do with her. He’d put her in one of Navarre’s extra homes. That

home was on the floor beneath this attic, not terribly far from where

Navarre lay sleeping.

Most vampires could recognize the beckoning call of their fated mate.

Supposedly, though he’d never seen it happen, the presence of your mate

could even negate the deadly call of the sun. Her proximity was most likely

the only reason Navarre still clung to life. Cat must be his mate. If so, then

she was the key to Navarre’s awakening. Ironically, her continued presence

in the city was contingent upon Navarre allowing her to stay once he woke.

Plans quickly took form now that Savard at long last had a clear solution.

If Navarre’s condition was going to change, it would happen tonight. He

would make it happen tonight.

While this new development should bring elation, Savard’s skin crawled

with a morbid anticipation. Something unstoppable was happening in the

world around him, a life-altering force headed his way. He’d felt this same

unease the night he’d become lord, an awareness that he balanced at the top

of a mountain and would soon fall. He just didn’t know in which direction

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Jen Colly is the rare case of an author who
rebelled against reading assignments throughout her school years. Now
she prefers reading books in a series, which has led her to writing
her first paranormal romance series: The Cities Below. She will write
about anything that catches her fancy, though truth be told, her
weaknesses are pirates and vampires. She lives in Ohio with her
supportive husband, two kids, one big fluffy dog, and four rescued
cats.
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