Witch Wolf (Elvenswood Tales) by Alexa Piper #RomCom #DarkFantasy #Gay #LGBTQ @powlingpiper

Will is a witch wolf, a werewolf who can do magic, but his life so far has been anything but magical. He was sold by his own pack and for four years, Will suffered as a slave to his captors — who used him any way they wanted. Now, after a leap of courage has brought him to Colin’s doorstep, Will’s past should be just that, his past.             

Colin can see the new apprentice he’s supposed to teach magic has been hurt. Colin wants to comfort the young werewolf who takes to magic much more easily than he takes to human contact. Their attraction seems mutual, but how can Colin be certain Will even knows what he wants?

As slow affection grows between Colin and Will, Will’s magic does as well, and he allows himself a sliver of happiness. Except the dark past Will thought he escaped from is not quite done with him, and now, it’s not just Will’s life on the line, but also Colin’s, the witch Will’s heart is beating for.

WARNING: Witch Wolf contains references to past sexual assault (with none of it happening on the page), which may be triggering for some readers.

Available TODAY at Changeling Press
or Preorder for June 10th at online booksellers

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Alexa Piper

Will

Once upon a time, Will had sent wishes to the full moon with his howls, but what had come true for him were the slick slaps of skin against skin, stinking breath against his face, the taste of his own blood and other, unspeakable things. Will, instead of meeting a prince under the full moon, had been sold to beasts.

Will carefully turned away from the large form next to him in the bed. Everything seemed so loud in the darkness, the other man’s deep breathing, Will’s own, panicked heartbeat which had not slowed while he had waited for the small hours of the morning, refusing sleep. Will moved, inch by inch, away from the other man. Will refused to think what the other man — Ed — would do if he found Will sneaking out. What Ed had done was already more than Will wanted to think about.

Will had considered packing a small bag, but that would have been too dangerous. All he had dared was leave clothes under the bed, in such a way it looked incidental, forgotten laundry.

The floor was cold against Will’s naked feet. Carefully, he stood. He could say he’d just wanted to go to the bathroom if Ed woke now, but Ed was still sleeping, and so Will got his clothes, slowly pulling them up and onto his arms. He could not make too much noise. He had to get this right.

Will didn’t dare put the clothes on in the bedroom — loup-garou hearing was sensitive. He walked through the dark house and to the kitchen, grabbing his shoes on the way. There were shards of a glass on the floor. Ed had thrown it in fury when Will had been too slow in getting Ed his beer. Will walked around the broken thing and quickly cleaned himself with a wipe. He gave one last look to the dirty dishes in the sink, then pulled on his clothes, more concerned with doing it as quietly as he could than about doing it neatly.

Before he turned the knob, he listened to the house, but it was quiet. Ed was still sleeping, and so was his pack of three, all of them loup-garous, all of them vicious. They might still hear the door, but if Will was ever going to run, then this was it.

He opened the door and crossed the threshold. Now, if they found him, they would know without a doubt that he had tried to run, and they would punish him.

Will closed the door as carefully as he could, but the mechanism made a small sound. Behind the house, the alley was dirty. Trash bags rustled in the wind, soda cans rusted and collected dirt. Will had to watch where he stepped so he didn’t make any more noise. His heart was thundering in his chest.

Out on the street, Will quickly broke into a run. He knew he had to put as much distance between himself and them, because they could shift and just hunt him down, and he couldn’t without the moon being full.

Winchester Boulevard, on foot, was quite a walk. It took Will an hour, and he ran most of the time, so when he finally got there, he was sweaty from running and trembling with the cold whenever he slowed down to catch his breath. The house he wanted had a large planter by the front door with a red and white plastic windmill in it. Ella had said the windmill would be there. It was such a silly thing, and there wasn’t even any wind to move its spokes, but Will nearly broke out in sobs with relief.

Will was scared to knock, but at this point, it was this or wait for Ed and his pack to hunt him down. And Will knew they wouldn’t just kill him. If it had been that — if he’d known that would have been the worst he’d have to fear — he might have given up at any point over the past four years, might have just accepted death. Everything else the loup-garous would enjoy doing to him — that was what Will feared.

He was huffing when he stood in front of the door, but he didn’t hesitate to knock.

Will looked over his shoulder as he waited to be let in. This neighborhood was one of the nicer ones for New Elvenswood. The whole city tended to be largely clean and touristy, even if Will had never been allowed to see all that much of the place. The dilapidated house Ed and his pack had rented was the exception more than the rule as far as Will could tell.

Across the street, there was a light on in an upstairs room. Will imagined whoever was up was awake at this hour because of their own choosing. He imagined they were working late or maybe just reading. Just living their life. Will hadn’t lived in such a long time. All he’d been doing since he’d met Ed had been surviving.

The door opened, and Will flinched.

“Yes?” the vampire asked.

Will had known it would be a vampire, but still. This one, his sheer presence absolutely spoke to Will’s wolf nature, and the vampire’s demeanor made Will want to show his belly and submit. He was stunning to behold too, but in a sharp way: almost white-blond hair, icy eyes that had a hard darkness to them, a thin mouth set in a pale face.

With a last shallow breath, Will forced the words he’d prepared in his head out of his mouth. “Ella said you can help people in trouble. I… there’s a pack of loup-garous, and I need to get away from them. I can’t pay you, but I’ll do what you want. I’ll work for you.”

Will’s voice nearly gave out on the last part, because he started shaking violently. It occurred to Will that the vampire looked like a Viking, and his cold eyes were growing only more glacial in their regard. Will doubted the man had laughed for more than a minute in the last hundred years. And he wore nice clothes, really nice clothes. Will knew the vampire was a lawyer, but he felt silly now for asking for help. He expected the vampire to tell him to go and fuck off, just with nicer words.

“Come inside,” the vampire said instead and opened the door wider.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alexa Piper writes steamy romance that ranges from light to dark, from straight to queer. She’s also a coffee addict. Alexa loves writing stories that make her readers laugh and fall in love with the characters in them. Connect with Alexa on Facebook or Instagram, follow her on Twitter or TikTok, and subscribe to her newsletter!

Book Blitz: Dead Wrong by Annie Anderson #UrbanFantasy @XpressoTours @annieande

Dead Wrong
Annie Anderson
(Grave Talker, #6)
Publication date: May 24th 2022
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Never make a deal with a demon.

There are two things Darby Adler wants more than anything: to take a vacation, and to find who is responsible for the rash of witch abductions in Knoxville.

With an ancient vampire in town and a slew of fugitives on the loose, her suspect pool is vast. But Darby has a sneaking suspicion she knows the culprit all too well.

And if she can’t catch him on her own, she might just have to resort to more creative measures to get the job done.

Here’s hoping she doesn’t lose her soul in the process.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

Hooking a finger in the bridge of my sunglasses, I pinned him with a cold glare. “Tell me, is it fibbies in general, my gender, or me in particular you don’t like, Preston? Because this is the second time in a matter of days that you have skirted around another agent to tell me to get off a crime scene, and I gotta say, it’s pissing me off.”

A sneer curled his lip as he planted his feet, leaning forward just a touch too close for my comfort. “Maybe I don’t like your kind, Warden,” he growled, cutting through any and all levels of pretense. “Maybe I don’t like trying to clean up arcane fuck shit on my only day off. Maybe I—”

I caught sight of his KPD brethren stopping to stare, and cut him off.

“Shut. Up,” I growled, fighting off the urge to cover his mouth with my hand. The absolute last thing I needed was a cranky beat cop exposing the arcane world to all a fucking sundry. “If you know who I am and even an inkling of what’s good for you, you will keep your fucking mouth shut until I tell you to open it.”

Snatching my cell from my back pocket, I dialed Tobin’s number.

“Yeah, boss?” he answered, the timid waver to his voice gone now that he was alone in the house and couldn’t see my face. Tobin didn’t like direct contact of any kind, but on the phone? In front of a computer? He was an absolute powerhouse.

“I need everything you have on an Officer N. Preston.” I squinted at the shield pinned to his chest. “Badge number 745632. And I need it yesterday, if you please.”

Tobin paused briefly, a faint snicker rattling down the line. Tobin loved it when other people were in trouble. His keyboard clacking like machine gun fire was music to my ears. “On it. Give me five.”

Without so much as a nod to polite phone etiquette, the line disconnected, and I stuffed the cell back in my pocket. I’d have to talk to him about that.

Staring at the prick whose face had turned an unhealthy shade of puce in the short time I was on the phone, I tilted my head to the side and narrowed my eyes.

“Now that’s done, what were you saying about my kind, again? Not that you know what my kind even is or what I’m capable of.” The subtle buzz around the guy had a solid human flavor to it, but I’d been wrong before.

I’d been wrong about a lot of things.

Author Bio:

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest

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Rejected Mates – multiauthor anthology #PNR #UrbanFantasy

Title: Rejected Mates

Authors: Rebecca Hamilton, Kathrin Hutson, Sofia Storm, Eliza Gayle, K.G. Reuss, Brenda Trim, Skye Alder, D.E. Chapman, Rebekah R. Ganiere, Ashley C. Harris, A.G. Harris, Brantwijn Serrah, Stephanie Mirro, Aliyah Burke, Jennifer Laslie, Julie L. Kramer, Krysta Fox, Lily Winter, Sapphire Winters, Kyrii Rayne, Dania Voss, Missy De Graff, Cassidy K. O’Connor, Candace Sams, Verika Sloane, and Elena Forest


Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy Anthology

Secrets, Lies, Betrayals.

Add a dash of danger and a pinch of sin,

Heart-pounding stories are waiting within…

What happens when fate steals their happily-ever-after? When the one person they were supposed to spend their life with rejects them? Can these shifters, vampires, demons, and fae find love again from the ashes of rejection?

Or will they be tied to the mates who rejected them, forced to find a way back to them or suffer for an eternity?  

Lose yourself in the magic of this limited edition paranormal romance and urban fantasy collection featuring 20+ rejected mate stories full of heartache, angst, second chances, frenemies, and forbidden love.

Excerpt from Treaty Born by Krysta Fox, participating author for Rejected Mates

AYSHA

The wind howled around the little car, battering it with icy shards of rain. A gust pushed it toward the right, and I fought to keep it on the winding road.

“Just get to the trees,” I muttered to myself, my knuckles white on the steering wheel. “Just get into the trees and you’ll be fine.”

The metal groaned as another blast hit us, and I bit my lip. Glancing up at the mirror, I checked the back seat for any disturbance. Everything was quiet. The car lurched to the right again and I forced my gaze forward, wrenching the vehicle back onto the road. Relief hit me as we dropped off the edge of the pavement, onto the gravel that marked the boundary I’d been searching for. Seconds later, the dark shapes of trees loomed up on either side of the narrow road. Rain still fell, but the sound of the storm faded instantly and I felt my muscles release. Safety was close now.

The small car chugged along. It wasn’t fast, but it doggedly handled every dip and twist in the road as we climbed toward our destination. I could feel the sting of tears in the back of my eyes, a lump forming in my throat, but I refused to give in to them. Until I had found the Safe House, I wasn’t going to give in to the emotions swirling through me.

After two switchbacks and a sharp turn to keep the wheels on the road, the cabin appeared before me, the promise of safety burning from the candle in the front window. A sound strangely like a sob escaped me at the sight. I coasted to a stop and took a moment to collect myself, pulling my hood up before daring to open my door. I shivered as the rain hit, stinging my exposed hands with the chill, but pulled open the back door, lifting out the blanket draped shape before running to the porch.

Excerpt from Graveyard Shift, The Grave Warden Saga, by K.G. Reuss, participating author for Rejected Mates  

Sophira

          “Sophira. Zander is here.”

          “I’d hope so,” I said, looking around the room. I had to keep an eye out for the jerk in case he tried to light my dress on fire or something. Tonight was the choosing. His perfect mate would be picked from hundreds of names by the cauldron. I knew my name was going into the depths, but I wasn’t worried. Our hatred for one another ran far too deep for the fates to lump us together for eternity.

          “There he is. Ugh. He looks amazing.”

          “Where?” I didn’t really care how he looked, but I did want to keep an eye on him in case he really did try to cast on me and send me squealing straight to the beyond in a blaze of glory.

          I didn’t have to wait long to find him.

          “Well, if it isn’t Sucky Von Morris.” His voice rang out behind me, using the nickname he’d given me when we were kids. I let out a groan, drawing in a deep breath and counting to three before I turned around to greet him.

          “Zander,” I said tightly, taking in his slicked back black hair and dark suit that had obviously been tailored to hug every muscle he’d sprouted over the years we’d know one another.

          “Wow, Sophira?” His green eyes widened as they raked over me. A blush, something very unlike him, clouded his handsome features before he cleared his throat, averting his eyes. Inside, I smiled smugly. I’d never made Zander blush before. Mom and her friends had done a great job on my attire tonight.

          “How are you doing, Zander?” Hazel chuckled as Zander ran his fingers through his black hair.

          “Uh, good.” Zander glanced at me quickly. “I, uh, almost didn’t recognize your face there for a second.”

          “Well, I’d never forget your face,” I shot back. A grin spread over his features, reaching his sparkling green eyes. He visibly relaxed.

Buy Links:  

Pre-order today for only 99 cents, then request your free gifts at: https://tinyurl.com/RejectedMatesGifts

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09HFFDT5J

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rejected-mates-cassidy-k-oconnor/1140215805?ean=2940162266822&st=AFF&2sid=Draft2Digital_7968444_NA&sourceId=AFFDraft2Digital

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/rejected-mates-a-paranormal-romance-and-urban/id1587915904

Jack (Summon a Bad Boy) by Megan Slayer #urbanfantasy #agegap #PNR @MeganSlayer

I call on the fates to bring my love to me. As I will it, so mote it be…

What if those simple words plus a name on a scroll could guarantee true love? The moment Mandy meets Jack, she knows he’s the one. Tall, dark, handsome and those tattoos… He’s quiet, smart and brooding, too. She wants to run her hands all over his body and taste his kiss. What’s a girl to do? Turn to the Summon a Bad Boy spell and take a cooking class with him?

Mix a bad boy with some magic and have faith. Anything’s possible, and Mandy won’t stop until she gets her man.

Available Today at Changeilng Press

Get it at Retailers on April 22nd – PREORDER HERE

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Megan Slayer

Karey grinned. “I don’t want to sing karaoke all night.” She tucked against Jimmy. “Why not give yourself the chance to look for someone, but don’t expect him to be right outside. Let him find you.”

“Right.” She hated to admit Karey might be right, but she also hated to admit she wanted the guy to be right outside. Hell, anywhere close would work. Somewhere she’d find him.

“See you.” Karey left with Jimmy, abandoning Mandy at the bar.

So much for her friend. Nikki, Natalie and Sarah danced while various men ground with them.

Mandy shook her head. Her friends could want her to be there, but she refused to hang out at the bar. She needed some air. She ducked out to the patio and leaned on the fence. The chilly breeze cleared her mind but made finding her dream man a little more difficult. There wasn’t anyone else on the patio except for another bouncer.

She might as well talk to him instead of ignoring him. “Hi.”

The bouncer smiled. “Hi.”

“I’m Mandy.” She pulled her jacket around her tighter. “Chilly, isn’t it?”

“Sure is.” He nodded once and said nothing else.

She didn’t mind. She liked to talk. “I came here with my friends as the designated driver. I don’t drink, so that sort of helps. They wanted to go out, and I had nothing else to do,” she said. “I don’t know. Hanging out with them makes me feel silly. I feel left out. They’re all fun and easygoing, but then there’s me.”

He half-smiled.

Maybe he wasn’t listening. Maybe he didn’t care. She did. She stared at him. The man wasn’t bad-looking. Strong jaw, dark eyes, a little bit of scruff… or was it that he’d never be able to achieve a clean shave? The muscle in his jaw tightened, and he stood with his hands behind his back. His muscles strained under his tight shirt and leather jacket. He stood about half a foot taller than she did, just the perfect height.

The karaoke singing stopped and a song played on the speakers. She bobbed her head. “I like this band. They’ve got a way of hitting the groove, while keeping the feel of the song hard and getting the feel of the lyrics across.”

His eyes sparkled and he nodded slightly. “I like them.”

“Dale Krieger and Scotty Norman wrote this song.” She prided herself on knowing the lyrics and writers.

“I didn’t know that.” He leaned on the wall. “I’m impressed.”

“Yeah?” She dragged over a stool and sat beside him. “I listen to them and whatever’s on the radio at work. I work at the Craig’s store,” she said and took a breath. “I guess I like the band because they really seem to get me. They don’t know me, obviously, but it’s like they’re singing my life. They understand how sometimes I feel invisible. I know I’m not a bad person or a lousy girlfriend, but I never feel good enough.”

This time he didn’t reply. He’d probably heard plenty from other people while at the bar, and she annoyed him. She had to. How many times had Sarah told her to be quiet?

“I know I talk too much. I don’t do well with silence, and I hate sitting still,” she said. “I’m annoying you, aren’t I? I get that a lot.” She fidgeted with her ring. “I got this one from my grandmother. It’s not worth anything, but I love it because it reminds me of her.”

“It’s nice.”

At least she’d gotten him to talk. “I like your tattoo.” She touched his hand. “That’s neat. Did it hurt to have the top of your hand inked?” She’d think it would. “I don’t mind needles, but I hate pain. Where did you get them done?”

“Tattoo You.”

“My friend Karey’s boyfriend owns that shop.” She nodded. “I’ve only been there once. It seems nice.” She wasn’t sure what to expect from a tattoo shop, but his seemed decent enough.

“Kurt?”

“No, Jimmy. I like him. He treats Karey well and is polite.” She nodded. “I met Kurt once. He left when I showed up.”

“He’s private.”

She stared at him again. “So are you.” She held out her hand. “My name is Mandy.”

He dipped his head once and shook hands with her. “Jack.”

ABOUT MEGAN SLAYER

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

BOOK BLITZ: Curse & Craving by Jill Ramsower #Urbanfantasy #Romance @XpressoTours

Curse & Craving
Jill Ramsower
(Of Myth & Man, #1)
Publication date: April 4th 2022
Genres: Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

My new job landed me in another country, but it might as well have been an entirely different world.
An underground world of magic and secrets ruthlessly guarded by an elite group of Fae warriors.

This place has brought out a power buried deep within me.
A dark and monstrous power.

I have no choice but to turn to the Fae for help.

Lochlan is the leader of those warriors meant to guard the border between realms.
He’s secretive and arrogant yet undeniably alluring.
I have no reason to trust him, but he’s the only person who can teach me to protect myself.

He pushes me to my limits and threatens to unravel me with every husky command.
More than anyone, he has the power to undo me.
Because with every lesson, I lose more of myself to him and this new world I never asked to be a part of.

Author’s Note: This story was originally published as part of The Fae Games Series but has been substantially rewritten. This 140,000 word urban fantasy romance novel is for adult audiences.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play

EXCERPT:

We walked a mile or so to the city gates, where we were offered a mount by the city guards to ride to the palace in the center of the city. Not anticipating visitors, they only had one spare horse at the gate. We would have to ride together.

Of course, we would.

I took a deep breath and joined Lochlan near the majestic black beast. The horse began to whinny anxiously and prance in place, his brown eyes bulging wide. I was no horse expert, but it was plain that the horse was uncomfortable with my presence.

“Stop upsetting the horse,” Lochlan said as he walked up to the agitated creature and took the reins, stroking the behemoth’s neck while cooing softly at him.

“I’m not doing anything!” I replied indignantly.

Lochlan grunted, then swung me onto the saddle without warning. I squealed like a five-year-old girl.

“Stop your screaming. You’ll upset the horse more than he already is.”

“I couldn’t help it. You startled me. Next time, let me know before you throw me onto the back of an angry animal.” Boorish, impossible man.

Lochlan lifted himself onto the saddle behind me, one arm snaking around my middle. His lips lowered to my ear. “Keep up with the attitude and see where it gets you.”

His words sent an avalanche of shivers down my spine.

Before I could recover, he gave the reins a tug. The horse surged forward, forcing me to cling to Lochlan’s arm at my waist.


Author Bio:

Award-winning author of contemporary and fantasy romance. With Jill’s books, you can count on confident heroines, plenty of steamy tension, and deliciously assertive leading men. There are no guarantees in life, but with her books, you know everything will work out in the end. However, a perfect ending would not be nearly as satisfying without a seemingly insurmountable challenge. Jill loves to add plenty of adversity in her stories, creating unforgettably dynamic characters and sneaky plot twists you will never see coming.

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BOOK TOUR: For the Murder by Gabrielle Ash #AuthorInterview #UrbanFantasy @XpressoTours @GabrielleAsh4

For the Murder
Gabrielle Ash
(The Murder, #1)
Published by: City Owl Press
Publication date: February 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

A lone crow is a dead crow.

That’s what Diana Van Doren, exiled crow shifter, has always believed. The last murder of crow shifters known to exist wouldn’t accept her into the flock, leaving her vulnerable. Worse, her kleptomaniacal father’s schemes put them in a demon’s crosshairs. Without the support of the murder, Diana fears death will come all too quickly. So when an opportunity to steal a rare blade that can kill anything—even demons—crosses their path, she decides to play her father’s games one last time.

However, she isn’t the only one hoping to take the blade. Sasha Sokolov, a clairvoyant, has been forced from childhood to serve the very demon hunting Diana and her family. After two decades of service, his boss finally offers him what he can’t refuse: freedom. All he has to do is bring in the knife and the Van Dorens, and his bloodline will be free from serving the demon forever.

When Diana and Sasha meet at the auction, they strike an uneasy alliance. Diana sees a way to finally be welcomed into the murder. Sasha sees an opportunity to get his freedom. To get what they want, only one of them can walk away with the blade. But when their magic inexplicably links as they reluctantly work together to steal the knife, betraying each other for their own ends may no longer be an option.

Goodreads / Amazon

Interview with Gabrielle Ash…

BCH: Thank you for joining us on the blog today. We’re so excited to have you! The cover for your book is so eye-catching! Do you know who the artist is?

GABRIELLE: Didn’t they do such a great job on it? MiblArt has done all of my covers so far. They also helped me design my bookmarks, and they were such a pleasure to work with.

BCH: So, urban fantasy… What led you to choose that genre? Do you write other genres as well?

GABRIELLE: The thing that drew me to urban fantasy initially was the whole ‘masquerade’ trope—the hidden world and magic beneath the world we know. Cell phones and social media have made this trope less popular, but there have been a lot of cool subversions of it where the magic is already part of the mundane. There are so many possibilities with magic in contemporary worlds, and I love playing with those possibilities!

BCH: When you switched from teaching to writing, was it a scary transition? What made you take the leap?

GABRIELLE: I had wanted to leave education for a couple of years before I actually left. So when my husband graduated from medical school and got into a residency program out of state, I decided to leave the profession when we moved. Since I was facing a lot of new things all at one time, leaving teaching for a writing career was actually a comfort instead of something scary because I love to write.

BCH: Can you tell us a little about the inspiration behind your latest book For the Murder?

GABRIELLE: There were a couple of things that inspired For the Murder, or at least things I wanted to do when I set out to write the book. Going into it, I knew I wanted to do a different take on the fated mates trope, and I knew I wanted crow shifters. I also wanted to explore what safety means, and what it means to truly feel not only physically safe, but emotionally safe.

BCH: How hard is it to name your characters?

GABRIELLE:  I struggle hard with names. Most of my characters are [NAME] in my drafts for several weeks until I figure out what to call them. A few times a character has come to me with a name already, like Sasha and Diana, but most of the time, that isn’t the case.

BCH: Are you a plotter? Or do you write by the seat of your pants?

GABRIELLE: I am a plotter in that I have a vague outline with the big plot points mapped out before I write, but I leave how we get to the points up in the air.

BCH: Your bio says you have a dog. Does your pooch ever try lending a paw when it’s time to write?

GABRIELLE: I do! He is a shorkie named Maynard, and he’s 12 years old. He mainly sleeps on my feet when I’m working, and in that regard he does help because my feet are always cold.

BCH: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about For the Murder or about writing?

GABRIELLE: While For the Murder is the start of a series that revolves around safety and what it means, it’s also about a lonely man, a reckless woman, and a teenage boy with a heart of gold trying to steal a knife, and I hope readers have fun.

Author Bio:

Gabrielle Ash is an author and perpetually tired mom of four from the great state of Texas. Born into a family of mischievous storytellers, she grew up listening to tales of the chupacabra, ghosts, and other things that go bump in the night, never entirely confident that she wouldn’t get eaten if she went out to the creek after sunset.

She earned a Bachelor of Arts in English, which ultimately landed her in a high school classroom to teach writing and coach the debate team. Dismayed at her inability to wear sweatpants to work, she left the classroom and now dedicates her brain power to books and taking care of her daughters.

When not writing, she spends time with her husband, four daughters, and their dog. The Family Cross is her debut novel.

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BOOK BLITZ: Dead Ahead by Annie Anderson #urbanfantasy @annieande

Dead Ahead
Annie Anderson
(Grave Talker, #5)
Publication date: February 22nd 2022
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

Some secrets should stay buried.

After accidentally freeing a demon, ticking off the werewolf alpha, and possibly inciting a war, Darby Adler’s Warden job is in serious peril.

With the council up in arms and a literal god on her doorstep, Darby needs to figure her life out and pronto.

If she can’t, losing her job might be the least of her problems.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

I was going to punch a god right in the face.

Sure, he was the actual God of Torment. Okay, so he probably didn’t deserve it. But I would sock him right in the mouth…

Just as soon as I got the nerve.

“Now, that’s just rude,” Deimos muttered, straightening the tie of his impossibly crisp suit as he stared me down. “I came here to have a civil discussion,” he tutted, as if I were a naughty puppy that had just piddled on his rug, “and all you can think of is violence.”

Yep. Definitely going to punch a god in the face.

It was one thing to come here—after the absolute catastrophe of the last twenty-four hours, I could get that—but to imply he was here for anything other than to beg my forgiveness for what his son had done to me, well…

“A civil discussion? A civil discussion?” The laugh that came out of my mouth made me sound cracked even to my own ears. “Maybe the reason all I want to do is hit something is because your son wormed his way inside my skull,” I seethed, roughly tapping my temple as I stepped forward, “and killed two people with my hands. Maybe it’s because he didn’t exactly ask permission first before he wore me like a skin suit while he got himself free. Maybe it’s because I have been violated beyond measure after losing half my damn family. Really, the possibilities are endless as to why violence is on the menu.”

Another unhinged giggle popped free of my mouth which had Deimos shuffling backward a pace or two.

Or five.

“You freed my son—”

“I didn’t free shit,” I spat, following him down the steps and across the ribbon of pavement that bisected the front yard. “Did you miss the part where he wore me without consent? Add to that, Azrael locked me inside my own mind, so I couldn’t even shove your son out either. Oh, no. You aren’t pinning this shit on me.”

And if it was possible that I may have yelled that at a god while slowly stalking him across the grass, well then, so be it.

Author Bio:

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she’ll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life… interesting.

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BOOK TOUR & INTERVIEW: Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding by Cynthia Fridsma #urbanfantasy #thriller #authorinterview @cynthia_fridsma

 

Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding

Cynthia Fridsma
 
Genre: horror/thriller/urban fantasy
Publisher: CynhiaFridsma.COM
Date of Publication: November 24, 2021
ISBN Paperback: 979-8773139225
ISBN Hardcover: 979-8779427166 
ISBN Audiobook: 978-1669614173
ASIN: B09MJXPCMY
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: 67,415
Cover Artist: Cynthia Fridsma
 
Tagline: Since the pandemic, she stayed home. Then they kidnapped her friend.
 
Book Description:
 
Since the pandemic, Sybil Crewes hasn’t left home. She stopped her duties as an ATU agent (Anti-Terrorism Unit). But then, she got a disturbing phone call. Her friend, Harry Brown, has been kidnapped, and this forces Sybil out of her house.
 
While doing so, she uncovers an illegal lab where they created a deadly COVID-19 variant that turns its victims into skinned zombies. She contacts the ATU to resume her duties as an ATU agent to stop the new threat and save the world from its undoing.
 
Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding is a fast-paced modern horror/thriller novel, and partly based on true events.
 
 
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Libro     NookAudio
 

Excerpt

The cold air was refreshing as she sprinted to her Ford Mustang in the parking lot. After she sat down in the driver’s seat, she opened Windows Maps on her cell phone to search for the address her evil handler had texted. Since Microsoft stopped
supporting Windows Phone, she couldn’t use her voice to enter the address in
the navigation app of her cell phone. It felt weird to go unarmed, on a mission unknown, while the navigation calculated the best route from her current location. Whoever captured Harry held all the cards. At the moment, she had no other choice but to follow up on their instructions. She started the car and drove off. Luckily, there wasn’t much traffic on her way to the mansion.

Since the pandemic, life was slow. People had more time on their hands, working from home, distracted by their kids and spouse. Eating more comfort food—watching TV all day, or in Sybil’s case, spending time with her pet rabbit, Max, and trying to avoid the news. She didn’t have a TV. Well, she did, but she used her 70-inch display as a monitor. It was connected to a Windows 10 laptop with an external soundcard attached to a Dolby digital surround set. Felicity installed the equipment and showed Sybil how to use her dinosaur cell phone as a remote control for the
laptop.

The laptop offered her a safe window to the world. She had online meetings once a week, on Sunday night at eight, and sometimes she watched the news on CNN. Most of the time, she used the laptop to binge-watch streaming media. Prime video, Netflix, Disney Plus, and reruns of her favorite TV shows: Body of Proof, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and she loved movies starring Denzel Washington. My life during the pandemic.

She wanted to floor the gas pedal, but then she noticed a police car and she slowed down considerably. The police vehicle turned left at the intersection. She glanced over her shoulder. A truck came into sight, and a few more cars appeared on the street ahead of her. Morning rush hour was about to begin, even though she hadn’t
expected it.

Sybil reached her destination in twenty-six minutes after she floored the gas pedal when she reached the outskirts of Boston. She had some time to kill, but she didn’t want to waste it by sitting in her car. So, she explored the area. The mansion
didn’t stand out by itself. It was a wooden, two-story building, Victorian architecture style, late 1800s, set in a rural landscape outside Boston, normally a thirty-five-minute drive if she hadn’t gone way above all posted speed limits. Its shingles used to be white at some point.

She exhaled and contacted Vanessa Dogscape—an ATU data analyst, and currently married to her friend and coworker Felicity Walker. Perhaps Vanessa could help her—off the record. She didn’t want to involve the ATU. It took a while before Vanessa answered the phone.

“Sybil. You know what time it is?”

“I’m aware of what time it is. Look, I need your help. Harry’s been kidnapped by—I don’t know who. Anyway, they want me to do some errands.”

“My God!” Vanessa replied in a worried voice.

“I need you on this. But please, keep it off the record. I don’t want to endanger Harry’s life.”

“Sure. How can I help?”

“Perhaps you can pinpoint them somehow and get their location so I can kick some ass?”

“I need more intel before I can do anything,” Vanessa said.

“They contacted me via my cell phone and sent me a text message. Oh, and a picture of Harry’s battered face.” She gritted her teeth at the thought.

“Send the text message and the picture to me. And please activate the ATU app Felicity programmed three years ago for your Windows Phone, so I can tap into each conversation and perhaps ping their location while you talk to them. Are you sure you want me to help you off the record? It’s better to make this an official ATU investigation. At least, let me inform Jack.”

Sybil closed her eyes for a moment. If the criminals found out she had informed the ATU, it’d complicate things. Perhaps endanger Harry’s life. But then again, she sure could use all the help she could get. Otherwise, she wouldn’t bother Vanessa with it. Taking that into consideration, and the knowledge that Jack was a professional, Sybil agreed to Vanessa’s suggestion.

Despite the sun in a clear, blue sky, her body responded with a shiver that ran down her spine. She did not know what to expect as she stood near the abandoned mansion with its weather-beaten, cracked walls covered in pointless graffiti. But she knew she had to go inside as she sat down on her haunches, studying the rusty sword
lying in the mud. She took a deep breath before she carefully touched its sticky
handle. Blood! Clotted blood.

Her stomach gnawed at the sight. She smelled. It wasn’t human. She stared at the mansion as she heard a strange sound she couldn’t identify. Immediately, her old instincts kicked in—weird sounds coming from an abandoned mansion equals danger. She grabbed the sword in both hands, jumped up, kicked the battered door wide open and ran inside. It was time to act; this was no time to be cautious. Lives were at
stake.

The wooden planks creaked under her feet as she rushed into the dark hallway. The sound of rasping breathing reached her eardrums when she entered a dark room with just enough light to see the overturned furniture and the bloodstained, fractured walls …

Author Interview

What do you love most about the genre you write?

I love to combine multiple genres together as one. For instance, one of the main characters in my book: “Pandemic: Chaos is Bleeding” is Sybil Crewes. A vampire who hates being a vampire (horror genre). But she’s also a part-time ATU (Anti-Terrorism Unit) agent, to keep America safe from terrorist attacks (thriller genre).

Combining these two genres makes a story more vivid. Rather than fighting monsters, Sybil also faces terrorists with the help of her friends from the ATU and from a Medical Examiner working for the coroner’s office in Boston.

Blending two genres into one makes my books unique. I don’t use classical horror themes—no religion, no vampires turning into bats, or sleeping in a coffin during the day. Sybil clips her fangs and use liquid silver (kind of like colloidal silver, but with a higher percentage of silver particles) daily to pass on for a human and eat solid food.

Where do you find inspiration for your stories?

I find my inspiration in the news. The news is my most important tool to blend reality with fiction. If I find an interesting article on a news website, I do a lot of background research. Like the pandemic and fake news—before I write. I love to combine reality with fiction. I also use personal elements in my story.

I see you like Edgar Allan Poe. If you had to pick one of his stories as a favorite, which would it be and why?

I grew up reading books from Edgar Allan Poe. As a kid, I enjoyed watching movies starring Vincent Price adaptations of The Pit and the Pendulum, Tales of Terror, The Raven, and The Masque of the Red Death.

The story I loved most, back in the days, is “The Pit and the Pendulum.”

It’s a story about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition. The narrator describes his experience of being tortured. What I liked about it, is that the story is effective at inspiring fear in the reader because of its heavy focus on the senses, such as sound…

Can you tell us about your furry writing companion?

Max is a three-year-old free roam small tan rabbit—our condo is bunny proof—and he loves to be petted on his head. He’s my best friend, and he asks daily for attention. I love giving him that. He follows me around like a dog when I stand up from the couch to get something from the fridge. Max doesn’t like carrots. When I try to offer him a carrot, he gives me the look. Which is a good thing because I read carrots have too much sugar in them. His favorite snack is Timothy Hay.

Before I go to bed, or when it’s 7:30 a.m., I lie down next to him and talk about anything that bothers me. He’s a great listener, and he knows how to keep a secret.

And I partly wrote my book on my cell phone while lying next to Max.

If you could give one piece of advice to anyone pursuing their dream in the creative arts, what would it be?

The best advice I can think of is this: write everything that pop-ups in your head. Don’t overthink it. Just write. Read it back the next day, scrap the parts you don’t like, rewrite some of it (don’t overdo this), and prepare yourself to send your story to a few people. Listen to what they say about your writing. And don’t be annoyed about critics.

About the Author:

 
As far back as she can remember, Cynthia Fridsma has been listening to exciting stories told by her mother. She grew up reading books by Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, and Philip K. Dick, among others. It was Cynthia’s mother who inspired her to start telling—and writing—her own stories.

Ms. Fridsma’s writing career started after a handicap in 2014—she has a tremor in her right hand, numbness in the fingers, and pain in her wrist. She had to give up her other creative outlets, such as photography, computer programming, and gave up on juggling, so focused on what she could do rather than what she couldn’t do. Besides writing, she sometimes plays guitar—in Jimi Hendrix style.

 
Cynthia lives with her husband and pet bunny, Max, in Amsterdam.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

SPOTLIGHT: Jimmy (Summon a Bad Boy 1) by Megan Slayer #UrbanFantasy #agegap #PNR @MeganSlayer

I call on the fates to bring my love to me. As I will it, so mote it be

What if those simple words plus a name on a scroll could guarantee true love? Karey’s determined to find out if the spell, Summon a Bad Boy, works, and she knows just who she’s going to ask for. Jimmy McCreadie. The tattooed man makes her weak in the knees — he’s every naughty desire she’s had come to life. She’s nothing like the women he dates, and far too shy for her own good, but she’s not giving up.

Mix a bad boy with some magic and have faith. Anything’s possible. Karey’s desire just might come true.

EXCERPT

All rights reserved.
Copyright ©2022 Megan Slayer

“I’m tired of being single.” Karey folded her arms. She’d met with her friends at the same cafe every Thursday evening for the last year, and every time they complained about their collective troubles with men. None of the five had a boyfriend, and not for a lack of trying.

Karey couldn’t help her crippling shyness. The moment a handsome man started talking to her, she clammed up. Part of her brain understood the man was simply talking to her, but the rest of her couldn’t understand how a good-looking guy would want to be seen with her.

She’d been told she was mousy and boring her entire life. If she’d get her nose out of her books and understood how to use makeup, she’d be better looking. Makeup confounded her, and she’d never been good at using hair styling tools. A simple ponytail worked for her.

“Well, what do we do?” Natalie asked. “We’ve tried the clubs.”

“Bust,” Mandy said. “So were the bars.”

“Double bust,” Nikki added. “I want a bad boy, but not one that will do me harm. Those guys looked scary — not in a good way.”

“Agreed.” Sarah thumped her spoon on the table. “And I have a suggestion.”

Karey sat up straighter and paid more attention. Instead of their normal grumbling, someone had a plan? Good. “What is it?”

Karey admired her friends. Nikki was the sexy one. She could walk into any establishment and have men falling at her feet. They seemed to love her tall, slender appearance and deep brown eyes. Then there was Mandy. She embodied sweet-natured and cute. At just over five feet tall, Mandy was the sprite of the group. She laughed easily and smiled a lot. Natalie could be moody, but she knew how to play nearly any sport — and usually better than her male counterparts. Karey loved cheering her on at the local baseball games. Sarah was the born leader and the pushiest of the five. Her intelligence could be a hindrance or an asset, depending on how she used it. Most people saw her as pushy, but she could organize and plan like no other.

Karey sometimes wondered how she fit in with these fantastic women. She was smart, but not hyper intelligent. She loved books and observing but tended not to talk much.

“The plan?” Natalie checked her watch. “I’m late for a game.”

“Tonight, we meet at my place. I’ve found a spell that guarantees we’ll find our perfect man within the next seven days.” Sarah smiled and narrowed her eyes in triumph. “All we have to do is write down exactly what we want on a scroll, say the words of the spell, and toss the scroll into the fire. What do you think?”

“It’s guaranteed to work?” Karey didn’t believe it.

“Really?” Mandy toyed with her water glass. “You’ve had can’t-miss plans before that were duds.”

“I know, but this one is really guaranteed.” Sarah nodded. “If you’re in, be at my house at nine. I’ll have the scrolls ready.”

“You’re sure this works?” Karey asked again. “You don’t seem to have all the details.”

“Hey, where I found it says it’s foolproof.” Sarah shrugged and toyed with her scroll. “I might not have all the details, but it’s just a spell. For all we know, it won’t work. Do we really need every last piece of minutia? No.”

“Right.” Karey sighed. What did she have to lose? She lived alone, didn’t go out much, and only met people at the store. If a spell could work, then why not give it a try? If nothing else, she’d have an adventure.

Right?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Megan Slayer, aka Wendi Zwaduk, is a multi-published, award-winning author of more than one-hundred short stories and novels. She’s been writing since 2008 and published since 2009. Her stories range from the contemporary and paranormal to LGBTQ and white hot themes. No matter what the length, her works are always hot, but with a lot of heart. She enjoys giving her characters a second chance at love, no matter what the form. She’s been nominated at the LRC for Best Author, Best Contemporary, Best Ménage, Best BDSM and Best Anthology. Her books have made it to the bestseller lists on various e-tailer sites.

When she’s not writing, Megan spends time with her husband and son as well as three dogs and three cats. She enjoys art, music and racing, but football is her sport of choice. She’s an active member of the Friends of the Keystone-LaGrange Public library.

BOOK TOUR & Exclusive Excerpt: Discovery of the Five Senses (The Urban Boys) by K.N. Smith #YoungAdult #thriller #urbanfantasy @knsmith_author 

Discovery of the Five Senses

Book One – The Urban Boys Series

By Kristene N. Smith

Genre: YA Adventure, Thriller, Urban Fantasy

About the Book

Welcome or unwelcome. Fate has arrived.

A suspenseful incident in a forbidden preserve heightens the senses of five friends. Sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell become super-gifts that forever change the world. But furious battles confront the boys as they try to understand their sensory super powers in a race to save mankind. With light beings and mysterious strangers complicating their plight, will the boys be able to defeat the evil Druth before it’s too late? Get prepared for the twisting and grinding of this award-winning, action-adventure story — an edge-of-your-seat narrative for young and mature readers alike.

“A captivating and poetic tale of mystery, fantasy, and reality tied together by action!” 5-stars, Lars Jackson, Amazon Customer

Exclusive Excerpt

AN ALLURING MIDNIGHT seeped through the preserve, where huge, wavy leaves danced beneath the moonlight. The setting was suited for a late-night encounter between two friends. But almost immediately, their conversation went awry. “Everything’s alright, I guess.” Ross Dawson weighed his words. His eyes roamed away from his friend. “But  you’ve changed.” 

An imposing Joaquin Grayson grabbed Ross’s arm,  squeezing it to the point of pain. “You don’t think I’m capable of leading us in the right direction, do you? We can’t stay here going nowhere. I chose you to go with me. We need to stick together!” 

His long nails dug into Ross’s skin, the piercing, half-moon impressions nearly bursting through. His flaming hand absorbed Ross’s fear, the constricted flow of blood beating against his palm. 

Ross bore the numbness of his arm. “Look at you. It’s  like I don’t even know you anymore!” 

“We’ve been doing fine for almost a year.” A blush wine color flooded Joaquin’s cheeks. “Why do you want  to cut out now?”

For the first time, Ross trusted himself to speak up, to question the mounting dissension clouding their friendship. “Man! Why do you need so much power?” 

He remembered when a youthful adventure had first brought them to these forbidden woods. A place with tales of strange happenings, mysterious noises, and unsolved disappearances… or so it was said. 

During that youthful adventure, they’d all changed.  Then, he’d changed. And somehow, the misunderstood,  glowing energy that had dripped from the huge leaves awakened a solo ambition fueled by wrought emotions. 

Regardless, the two friends stood firm in the dark night. 

Joaquin breathed deeply. As a result of Ross’s questions, and while wondering what would happen to Ross’s gift, he set his intention. He let go of Ross’s arm and ran his fingers through his long, thick hair. 

He stilled his lean, muscular frame, restraining the rising tension in his body, hiding any indication of his next move. Still clutching his hair, Joaquin closed his eyes, listening for Ross’s movements. He knew he would not be able to turn back. It’s on me. I’m the only one who can build a new way of life.

Book Links

US/International Amazon 

Goodreads

Barnes and Noble/ Nook

About the Author

K.N. Smith, winner of the “Best of” in the category of “Outstanding Young Adult Novel” at the Jessie Redmon Fauset Book Awards, is an author, screenwriter, and passionate advocate of literacy and arts programs throughout the world. She inspires people of all ages to reach their highest potential in their creative, educational, and life pursuits. She lives in California with her family. Visit K.N. Smith at www.knsmith.com.

Social Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/knsmith_author 

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