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text 2017-08-18 17:00
Excerpt Reveal: Blade (Bayou Heat #23)(1001 Dark Nights) by Alexandra Ivy & Laura Wright

 

From New York Times Bestselling authors Alexandra Ivy and Laura Wright, comes BLADE, a new novella in their Bayou Heat Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 

Walking out of the kitchen with careful steps, Valli wondered if Fran suspected she wasn’t feeling well. Again. If so, the older woman would insist that she go upstairs to bed. It was such a temptation, but it would not only leave Fran alone to deal with both cooking and waiting tables—it would be a reminder of the last time she’d been unwell. And she couldn’t risk losing her job, even if Fran let her stay upstairs while she hired out again. She had to push through.

 

Once out of the kitchen, she scurried down the short hallway that led to the women’s bathroom. Crossing to the sink, she splashed cold water on her face, taking deep breaths.

 

After a moment or two the dizziness receded but was replaced by a strange sense of euphoria. As if something, or someone, was filling her with pure joy.

 

Unnerved by the sensation, Valli rushed out of the bathroom, only to slam into a man who was just entering the hallway.

 

Dr. Scott Richards reached out to grasp her by the shoulders, preventing her from bouncing away like a pinball.

 

“Valli, are you okay?” he asked in concern.

 

She instantly pulled away from his touch. It wasn’t personal. The doctor was young and boy-next-door handsome, with his dark blond hair and bright blue eyes. He even had dimples. But since her return from the clinic she didn’t want anyone touching her. Especially not men.

 

She forced a smile to her lips. “Sorry, Dr. Richards.”

 

He clicked his tongue. “How many times do I need to tell you to call me Scott? Dr. Richards was my dad.”

 

She took another step backward. Since her arrival in Bonne, she sensed that Scott wanted more from her than just a doctor/patient relationship.

 

“Scott,” she reluctantly offered.

 

“That’s better.” He flashed his dimples. “Now why don’t you join me for a cup of coffee? You look like you could use some caffeine.”

 

“I’m fine.”

 

He frowned. “You’re pale.”

 

“I’m working a double shift, so it’s been a long day.”

 

“Hmm.” His gaze studied the shadows she knew marred the skin beneath her eyes before lowering to her loose smock. Did he suspect there was something she was trying to hide? Or was he just surprised in her choice of uniform? “I think you need to come in for a checkup.”

 

A flush of anxiety moved through Valli at his words. She pressed herself against the wall and began to inch her way toward the back door that served as an emergency exit.

 

She liked this man. She really did. But there was no way in hell she was allowing him to examine her. No way in hell she was letting him even get close enough to try.

 

“I told you when I returned to town that I was cured.” 

 

 

 

Sexy Suit, Blade was held captive and abused for decades. Benson Enterprises was desperate to use his superior blood to create super soldiers. But when he’s finally rescued, he can’t return to the Wildlands with the other prisoners. Not without the female he was forced to watch being impregnated. The female who has gone missing.

 

Beautiful and broken, Valli just wants to run away and never look back. But with the shocking news of her pregnancy fresh in her mind, she wonders if that’s even possible. Told by her captors that one of the caged animals assaulted her, she knows she must do everything in her power to keep her unborn child safe. But when a glorious male tracks her down and claims her and her baby as his own, will she have the strength to walk away?

 

 

 

 

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU | Amazon Canada

 

 

 

 

 

Alexandra Ivy is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Alexandra: “I’m not exactly sure when I fell in love with books. Probably on my mother’s knee listening to her read Dr. Seuss to me. I do remember that I was barely old enough to cross the street by myself when I discovered the delights of the local library.

 

Could anything be more wonderful than spending summer days surrounded by stacks of Nancy Drew mysteries? Over the years I fell in love with Victoria Holt, Jane Austen, Agatha Christie, and J.R.R. Tolkien just to name a few. I read poetry, essays, biographies, and plays. In fact, I read anything I could get my hands on.

 

Years later (no, I’m not admitting how many) I’m still an avid reader, and my tastes are still as varied as they were in my youth, which I suppose helps to explain why I enjoy writing regency historicals under the name of Deborah Raleigh, as well as my contemporary paranormals as Alexandra Ivy. For now that is enough to keep me busy, but who knows what the future might hold!

 

I do have a few other loves in my life besides reading and writing, the most important being my unbelievably patient husband, David, and my two sons, Chance and Alexander. Without their constant support and belief in me, I never could have been able to follow my dreams. They are truly my heroes.

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

 

Laura Wright is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. From Laura: “Unlike many of my peers in the writing world, I wasn’t a writer or a reader until I left high school. During my youth I was into theater, song and dance, commercials and boys. I loved romance surely, but I had never read a romance novel until my late teens. With that said, I remember the day I did like it was a moment ago – my aunt gave me the Jude Deveraux novel, Knight in Shining Armor and I couldn’t put it down until the very last word. Then I went straight to the library and got another – then another until I’d read everything she’d ever written. After that, it was McNaught, Howard, Schone, Kleypas, and the Silhouette line, Desire. I instantly loved those emotional, sexy reads, so much so that I began to carve out ideas for my own stories, themes that were unique to me and moved me. In 1997 I enrolled in UCLA extension writing classes, met my mentor and critique partners and since have never stopped writing. I was committed then and I still am now; the need to tell my own romantic stories a full on obsession. My first manuscript was rejected, and though the second one was as well the editor who’d rejected it wanted to see something else from me. I had something (note to authors; always keep working, even after you’ve sent in a proposal) and sent it right away. The day I got the call telling me Desire wanted to buy Cinderella and the Playboy was the best day of my life. That is until I married my husband, and had my two beautiful children. But I must say, writing is much like motherhood – tough, grueling, surprising, delicious and for me, a dream come true.”

 

Website ** Facebook ** Twitter

 

 

 

Alexandra Ivy & Laura Wright’s BLADE – Review & Excerpt Tour Schedule:

 

August 9th

BFD Book Blog – Review & Excerpt

I Smell Sheep – Excerpt

Reading in Pajamas – Review & Excerpt

 

August 10th

Another Book Hangover – Excerpt

Ramblings From This Chick – Excerpt

The Book Disciple – Review & Excerpt

 

August 11th

A Fortress of Books – Review

Ruby’s Books – Review & Excerpt

The Silver Dagger Scriptorium – Excerpt

 

August 12th

Brittany’s Book Blog – Excerpt

Gi’s Spot Reviews – Review & Excerpt

The Reading Cafe – Review & Excerpt

 

August 13th

Read-Love-Blog – Excerpt

Reading Between the Wines Book Club – Excerpt

Vagabonda Reads – Review

 

August 14th

Books n Wine – Review & Excerpt

Fictional Rendezvous Book Blog – Excerpt

Obsessive Reading Disorder – Excerpt

Loves Great Reads Blog – Review & Excerpt

 

August 15th

Kdrbck – Review & Excerpt

Romancing the Readers – Excerpt

Untamed Bibliophiles – Review & Excerpt

 

August 16th

a geordielass honest blog on reviews – Review

British Book Binge – Review

Evermore Books – Review & Excerpt

Reads All the Books – Review & Excerpt

 

August 17th

A small girl, her man and her books – Review & Excerpt

Jax’s Book Magic – Excerpt

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 

August 18th

Angel’s Guilty Pleasures – Excerpt

G & T’s Indie Café – Excerpt

Novel Addiction – Review

Reese’s Reviews – Review & Excerpt

 

Brought to you by:

Source: angelsguiltypleasures.com/2017/08/excerpt-reveal-blade-bayou-heat-231001-dark-nights-by-alexandra-ivy-laura-wright
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text 2017-08-18 14:05
Feature Friday for Alex E. Carey's Fire's Love with Interview, Excerpt and Guest Post

 

Today for “Feature Friday” let us welcome the awesome Alex E. Carey with her book Fire's Love, the first book in the Elemental Series.

We will have info about the book and author. Plus we have a interview with Alex, a great excerpt from the book and a guest post from her as well.

Make sure to check everything out and go and show her some love and add her books to your TBR ;) 

Happy Reading :) 

 


 

Fire's Love

 

Kira thought she was leaving her demons behind when she left for college. She quickly discovers demons are everywhere, and can be good or evil. Not only are they real, but they’re protecting her; that is, except for the ones who want her dead. Kira's parents want to reveal things about who she is, but a strange phenomenon prevents them from explaining. Before they can try again, her mother and brother die and her father disappears. Afterward, Kira finds a mysterious book in her parents‘ belongings. Although the book confuses her, it comforts her too. She's sure it holds the answers she seeks. One of Kira’s new friends, Lowell Hew, is also an earth demon named Ulric the Wolf Thief. Lowell tries to help Kira solve the mysteries involving the book, her parents, and the elements they wanted her to know. Although Lowell has a crush on Kira, he’s not looking for a relationship, or so he keeps telling himself. Meanwhile, Lowell introduces Kira to his best friend, Pyre, a fire demon with a fiery temperament and a troubled past. Pyre closed off his heart years ago, while deep inside he yearned to belong. For Pyre, learning to love again comes with tremendous risk, especially when the girl he loves is human, and his best friend has thoughts of his own. Things go well until an eerie presence threatens Kira and her new friends, and they can only speculate as to who it may be. While her friends protect her and try to uncover the enemy’s identity, Kira must adjust to the challenges of being human with demon friends. Will she bask in the warmth, or be consumed by the flames of Fire’s Love?

 

 

 

Buy Links

 

   

Other books in the series 

 

Earth's Embrace (Elemental Series Book 2) by [Carey, Alex E]

 

 

Water's Reflection (Elemental Book 3) by [Carey, Alex E]

 

 

Hello Alex. Thank you for taking the time to stop in and chat with us, it is great to have you. 

 

 

 

Thank you.  It’s my pleasure.

 

 

 

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I’m friends with several authors who write in multiple genres.  They are a great group and many have become dear friends.  Mainly, we share each other’s work, encourage and motivate, and sometimes read for each other.

Jenny Burke writes The Dragon Dreamer series about a young dragon who makes an unlikely friend in a wise octopus named Scree.  It’s a beautiful story for all ages.  We met a couple of years ago and have been great friends since.  We bounce ideas off each other and encourage each other.

Another dear friend is Dianna Wyles.  She writes children’s books that can also be enjoyed by adults.  She is a photographer and uses her photos in her Hearts Blessings book series to complement her uplifting poetry.  She also includes a seek and find activity — find the hearts in nature.  They’re beautiful books.  I pull them out when I need some motivation.  She frequently shares my book information with others or opportunities with me.  She also helps me to stay positive and focused.

Heidi Angell is an author of paranormal/fantasy suspense, children’s books and more.  Her sons like to share bookmarks with their classmates, so I was happy to send her some along with some free books.  They fell in love with my stories and tell their friends.  Heidi has a podcast where she reveals “unboxings” when she receives mail and is an avid supporter of indie authors.

Tim Hemlin is a talented author of mysteries and a YA paranormal novel released this year, called Son of a Kitchen Witch.  He and his wife, Valerie, are very supportive of other authors and love to share our news with their readers.

I recently was fortunate to be included in an author team organized by Books Go Social.  There are eleven of us in the group and we’ve all become good friends as well.

Daccari Buchelli writes YA fantasy fiction and just released the revised edition of Phoenix, the first novel in his Peradon fantasy series.  He is so supportive of the entire group and is always offering tips and motivation for each of us.  He  came up with the idea to do an anthology of samples of some of our work called, Tales of the Fantastic.

David Gilchrist is the author of The Redemption of Wist series.  He has published three books in his series and has another releasing in September.  David is always positive and upbeat.  You can count on him for a kind word, writing tips and sharing information he knows we all want to hear, such as someone looking for a book to read and review.

Grant Leishman is a multi-genre author with several books to his credit.  He writes YA fantasy, religious humor/satire, and paranormal and romantic suspense, including his Second Coming trilogy.  He helps to keep us all motivated, is dedicated to sharing information about our books on all his social media and website, and encourages us to keep following our dreams.

Nyasia A. Maire is the author of The Heretic’s Child, a wonderful fantasy story about the Rememberers, who collect and preserve the memories of dying humans, and a menace that is killing their overseers, the Cybele.  Nyasia constantly shares information about our books, offers advice, and shares opportunities to get our books into venues, such as the Pipe & Thimble bookstore in Lomita, CA.

Caitlin Lynagh is the author of Anomaly: The Soul Prophecies with more coming in that series.  She is a biologist and a wonderful writer of YA paranormal romance.  She is sweet and kind, and always offers encouragement and praise.

Kim Ross is an author of fantasy and speculative fiction.  She’s published several short stories in a variety of publications including Novascapes, Sproutlings, and Three Drops from a Cauldron.  She is ready with a reply and humor when any of us in the group need feedback.

There are many others I haven’t mentioned here who are just as supportive.  Chris Walters, Tammy Berg, Kimberly Grell, CK Dawn, C.D. Gorri — oh gosh, I could go on.  Each of them are supportive in various ways, but all are encouraging and happy to work together to further our careers and become better writers.  We believe in supporting each other, whether by giving our opinions on a blurb or chapter, sharing writing tips, events and news, etc.  The main thing is that you have someone else who understands what you experience — whether it’s a need for motivation; dealing with writer’s block; looking for cover designers, editors, or other professionals; or commiserating over a drop in sales.  I give back to them by sharing their news, reading and proofing whenever they need an opinion on something, giving encouragement and motivation, and anything else i can do.  Together, we will succeed.

 

 

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?

That’s a good question, and a bit of a tough one.  Like many writers, my budget struggles to stay in the black, so I do as much for free as I can.  i majored in English in college, but one of the best investments has been in publishing and marketing courses by Mark Dawson and Nick Stephenson.  They are great guys, very personable, and eagerly share advice in the course and in their Facebook communities.

Another excellent investment has been with my street team — Alex E. Carey’s Elemental Elite.  I have such a wonderful team of people who are friendly, encouraging and who go out of their way to share my book information with their friends, libraries, book clubs and more.  They keep after me, wanting to know when book #4 in my series will be published (coming soon in 2017 if all goes as planned), which motivates me to keep writing.  They get a free signed paperback copy of my first book, Fire’s love, with bookmarks and swag.  The members who are actively supportive — whether by sharing posts on social media, keeping me informed of events, supporting me at events I participate in online, and hopefully by leaving reviews, etc. — continue to receive free books and swag.  My team will also have the first opportunity to receive ARC’s and new releases.  The cost of print books and swag,  plus the shipping, has been a worthwhile investment to further my success.  Their support and encouragement is priceless!  They’ve all become very dear to me and like my extended family.

 

What is the most challenging thing about writing for you?

Time.  Always!  Balancing working my “day job”, writing, reading, family time, promotion, social media, and other activities is difficult.  I tend to get immersed when I write, and overlook reading and other things.  I will suddenly realize I haven’t checked email or Facebook messages in several days; or I’ll remember I promised to read a book for someone.  Yes, I have a huge stack of books I’ve promised to read.  Or I need to vacuum the carpet — but what’s one more day?  There are books to be written or read.

 

How do you select the names of your characters? 

I start by searching for names with certain meanings or significance in some way.  My three main characters are Kira, Pyre, and Lowell.  For Lowell, I looked up names that had “wolf” in their meaning.  Lowell means “wolf” and “beloved”, so I liked that.  The word pyre means “a heap of combustible material”.  That pretty much describes Pyre in a nutshell.  I got the name Kira from a Japanese anime show I used to watch.  I also try not to choose a name that has been used frequently. 

 

 

 

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

 

That’s an interesting question.  I think most everything boils down to time for me.  I’m about experiences in life.  If you want to become a better writer, you need to practice, or maybe you need to take a course.  That may involve money, but it definitely involves time.  Time you spend taking a course is time you don’t have for someone or something else.  I took dance for over twelve years, and I still enjoy it.  I stay in practice whenever I can, but unfortunately, I don’t have the time to spend on it as much as I used to.  I guess you could say that’s one thing I have given up or sacrificed to dedicate more of myself to my writing.  One thing I would not sacrifice is my family, and fortunately I don’t have to.  My mother and brother are completely supportive and work with me.  My mother helps with proofreading, editing, publishing and anything else I may need.  They both have come up with suggestions for scenes, and they always assist when I have a book signing event.  Spending time with them in collaboration makes up for anything I have sacrificed for my writing.

 

 

This was fun, again thank you so much for taking the time to chat. You rock! 

 

 

 

The last scene in Chapter 4 - Getting Answers and Proving One’s Self

 

The next afternoon, Lowell and I went to the library to study together. “I forgot one of my books in my room,” Lowell said after searching through his bag. “You can borrow mine.” “Thanks, but I need my notes too.” “I’ll go with you. We can study in your room instead.” “No, I don’t want to study there in case my roommates return. They’re loud and distracting. I’ll be right back. You don’t need to come with me.” “I can either go with you to your dorm or stay here and endure the glares from your jealous admirers. Frankly, they’re a little scary when they travel in packs.” When we reached Lowell’s room, he stood still outside the door, huffed, and rubbed his forehead. “What’s wrong?” I asked. He shook his head and set his jaw before opening the door. “How many times must I tell you not to enter my dorm when I’m not here?” Lowell asked. Pyre leaned against a wall with his arms crossed. The sight of him took my breath away, but then he spoke. “I don’t take orders.” “Why are you here?” “We’re supposed to train, remember?” “Oh, right, I forgot. Kira, I’m sorry.” “No problem. We can study another time.” “Why don’t you come with us?” Pyre made a rude face, and I raised my brows at him before responding to Lowell. “I don’t want to intrude.” “It’s no intrusion. Besides, my other friends will be there, so you can meet them.” “In that case, I’ll go.” “Good. Let me put my books away and change clothes, and then we’ll leave.” “Hn.” Pyre grunted and rolled his eyes. Lowell frowned at Pyre and left the room. Pyre stared at me intensely as though searing a line into my soul. My eyes wandered around the room, and I pretended he wasn’t there, but I failed. I tried not to meet his blue eyes or imagine how his smooth, black hair would feel if I ran my fingers through it. I mentally slapped myself to regain my senses. Why is he staring at me? I get it, he doesn’t like me. He doesn’t even know me, but still he doesn’t like me. So why must he stare at me? “Why does Lowell talk to you?” Pyre asked. “Um.” I studied the ceiling and walls, unaware how to respond. “You’re a weak and worthless human with no special abilities. Why does the Wolf Thief talk to a weak human?” He circled me once before facing off with me, eye to eye, only slightly taller than myself. “How should I know? Why don’t you ask him yourself?” “I did. He says he likes you, and you’re a good friend, but I bet you did something to him.” “You said there’s nothing special about me.” “Doesn’t mean you didn’t do something to him.” “Why are you talking to me if I’m such a weak and worthless human?” He frowned and grew quiet. Seems he doesn’t have a real reason. “I feel something strange toward you.” He examined me from head to toe. “What kind of strange feeling?” “I’m not sure, but I don’t like it.” “You’re the one who mentioned it.” “So?” He asked. “So if you don’t like it, you shouldn’t have said anything.” “You’re the one who asked why I was talking to you.” “Only because talking to someone who doesn’t like me is weird.” “Then maybe I’ll leave if it’s so weird.” He stepped toward the door. “Maybe you should.” “You want me to go.” Pyre squinted at me with suspicion. “That would be great, thank you.” “You manipulated me into saying I’d leave. I’m not going anywhere. You go.” He planted his feet and gestured toward the door. “I’m nothing special, but I manipulated you? How embarrassing for you. And I don’t take orders either.” I confronted him with my arms crossed and stomped my foot. “Hn.” He made a face at me and disappeared. Lowell entered the room in time for the door to slam shut behind Pyre and held up his hands in a silent question. “Don’t leave me alone with him again.” “What did he do?” Lowell groaned, convinced he wouldn’t like my answer. “He creeps me out, and he’s rude. Not to mention obnoxious.” Lowell laughed when I finished. “And here I thought you two would be such good friends.” His voice oozed with sarcasm. When I only raised an eyebrow at him, he said, “Let’s study since he’s gone.” A thunderous knock suddenly shook the door. Lowell opened it to reveal a furious Pyre. “Are you ready to train or not?” Pyre yelled. “Yea, I guess.” Lowell winced as he looked at me, and I nodded that I understood. “Then come on. Leave the human.” “The human doesn’t want to go after all.” I stuck out my chin and glared at him as I stomped past them and out the door. “The human isn’t allowed to go!” Pyre yelled. “The human doesn’t care.” I called back over my shoulder. “The human needs to keep her mouth shut.” I whirled to confront him again. “The demon needs to stay away from the human.” “The two freaks need to stop making a scene.” Lowell stepped between us and gestured with his head to the people gawking at us. “What’re you looking at?” I yelled. The people hurried away from us. I glanced back at Lowell, but Pyre already left. “Keep him away from me.” “I’ll do my best. We’re going to Caedmon’s apartment this weekend. If Pyre’s there, it’s not my fault. I better go with him now though.” “Fine. I’ll see you tomorrow.” I stomped off toward my dorm ranting in my head about demons. Infuriating, obnoxious, insane, devilishly handsome demons.

 

 

 

I am often asked if there’s a message I would like to pass on to my readers. I do have some, but for this post, I want to focus on one specific issue. I write strong female characters, probably because I’m a strong female character, and I see more women who need to be strong as well. I come from a long line of strong women. Being strong doesn’t mean being rude or arrogant. To me, it means knowing who you are and what you stand for, what you’ll accept, and what you won’t. I’m also a bit shy and quiet in a crowd, which isn’t a weakness. Actually, it’s a strength and enables me to write good characters, because I’m a good listener. Teens these days are under pressure to have sex way too soon or before they’re ready. The lead female character in my book is sixteen when she begins college, and turns seventeen in October. She’s never had a boyfriend or been worried about it. Life isn’t about getting or keeping a boyfriend, regardless what your peers say. It’s about knowing who you are. When you do, you’ll know what you have to share, and you’ll find the right person. They’ll come to you naturally without any pressure or forcing it. Yes, by all means date, and if you are ready for the next level of a relationship, that’s YOUR choice, no one else’s. If the guy pushes you into it, either way, he’ll probably be gone the next day. Yea, that’s probably something your mother would say. I’m only twenty-five, not that much older than high school teens. Know what? She’s right. (To my own mother, yes, I actually said those words.) Still, I have another issue on my mind. My mother home schooled me until college, so this issue was a bit of a shock to me. When I started working, I met people younger and older, but I was used to age differences. The part I wasn’t used to was the people, most of them female, many of them younger than myself, who had an abusive relationship with a romantic partner. I couldn’t understand why a high school girl, for example, would date a guy who physically abused them. When I asked, they replied that this is how it is in the real world and you have to accept it if you want to have a boyfriend. I was horrified, not because I believed them, but because they believed it. Before I go any further, I will say that women these days are more capable of defending themselves from an attack than in the past. We are more educated as to what to do in a scary situation. The first question is, if faced with an attack by a stranger, whether we remember the training. The second question is, if the attacker is someone we have feelings for, what will we do? Additionally, it’s important to recognize that abuse happens to men in relationships too. When I started dating, my mother told me something that stuck with me. Although we had a great bond and relationship through the teen years, I probably wouldn’t have admitted it at the time. She said our lives are open books, and we are the writers. People we meet or become close to are the characters. Some of those characters will be villains who should be defeated, or left behind. Some chapters would be happy, fun, peaceful and full of hope. Others, would be sad and have some grief, pain or disappointment. Everyone makes bad choices or has regrets, but unlike the books an author writes, those bad choices can’t simply be edited out of your life’s book. Either way, the pen belongs to you. Make sure you write your book. Don’t allow someone else to do it for you. Yes, there will be some pain in life, whether it’s losing a loved one, fighting cancer, or worrying about bills, etc. Those are inevitable, unfortunately, and part of life. Allowing someone to abuse you, whether verbally or physically - I’m talking forced sex, black eyes, broken bones, hospital visits - is not meant to be part of life. Don’t accept that from anyone or for any reason. No one was born or deserves to live that way. You aren’t a whipping post. Don’t be their tool. If someone truly loves you they will build you up, grow your confidence, and they will never intentionally hurt you. It’s your book, and the characters in it are your choice. If you find yourself with someone who only wants to hurt you or make you feel inferior, kick the loser out of your book That person doesn’t belong there. I grew up with an amazing, supportive family, not that we didn’t have our own issues. I understand a lot of people don’t have that. Many people overcome whatever isn’t perfect in their lives. People from lower income families “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”, go to college and make a good life for themselves. People with disabilities of some sort go on to achieve great things in careers and life. Some people have to overcome the people closest to them putting them down or discouraging them. Whatever you have to overcome, work for it, do it, follow your dreams. Will you fail? Who knows? You’ll be able to say you went for it, and you won’t grow old and bitter because you never gave it a shot. Moreover, you will have taken control of your life and not let someone else destroy it or you. Why give someone else control over your life when theirs is a mess? Write your own book. Make it long and full of everything a life should be. Remember, no one was born to be someone else’s tool.

 

 

 

 

 

           

Alex E. Carey was born in Texas and majored in English at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.  When she started college, she planned to be a dance teacher or an archaeologist.  Kira’s story came to her during her first semester of college.  Alex scribbled stories in between classes and ideas continued to flow for more stories and characters.  She soon realized she was meant to be a writer.  She is now the author of three published novels in the Elemental Series.  She is currently working on the fourth book in the series, as well as other short stories and novels in progress.

            Alex studied dance since the age of four.  She took classes in several dance forms and enjoyed them all, but her favorite was modern/contemporary.  She still loves dance and stays in practice when not working or writing.  She believes in tolerance and acceptance and feels strongly about equal rights for all.  She is passionate about issues involving women, children, the elderly, animals and the environment.

            Alex enjoys a variety of books and genres, but her favorites are paranormal and fantasy.  She reads a variety of authors and has many favorites including Emily Dickinson, Kim Harrison, Stephen King, Rick Riordan, Edgar Allan Poe, J. K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.

            When not at work on her latest book, she enjoys reading, walking trails, gem mining and spending time with her family and their three dogs.

 

Links

 

Website *** Facebook *** Twitter *** Bookhub 

 

Source: snoopydoosbookreviews.com/feature-friday-alex-e-careys-fires-love-interview-excerpt-guest-post
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text 2017-08-17 19:51
Guest Post: Kerry Adrienne (Taming the Lion) ~ Giveaway/Excerpt

 

Favorite Scene 

 

Thanks for having me guest! I appreciate it.

 

Taming the Lion was a book that went through a lot as I wrote it. My mom passed away, at 66, and that threw me for a loop. I actually stopped writing Taming the Lion and wrote Saving his Wolf to take a break and try to re-orient myself.

 

Even though I complain about first chapters, one of my favorite scenes to write was the very first one. I love how the first chapter of a new book has to set up everything that’s to come in the book, without being too heavy-handed. It’s not easy and I usually re-write the first chapter and tweak it multiple times before I can even move on to the second chapter. Even so, I end up going back to the first chapter time and again to drop in a hint, add a detail, or make sure I’m not telegraphing the ending.

 

In a romance, the hero and heroine often meet in the first chapter and that first meeting sets up everything. It’s so important. Taming the Lion is a true enemies-to-lovers book so the first meeting had an extra layer of emotion. Alicia is a bear shifter and healer and she comes across a lion wounded in battle. She’s faced with the choice of whether to kill him (which the bears expect), or heal him (which fulfills her healer oath). Suddenly, it’s not a theoretical moral decision. She has a dying lion in front of her and her actions directly impact whether he lives or dies. Add to that, he’s all tough and “I can handle myself” and she’s a little afraid he might kill her—though he can barely mouth off at her.

 

There were other fun scenes in Taming the Lion, especially after I got back on track. Any scene with Shoshannah, the ancestral spirit, is a lot of fun to write. She’s got Deep Creek in her hands and she’s evolved in the series to an integral part of the war. The final book, Claiming his Lioness, will have Shoshannah really step out of her role. I’m looking forward to that!

 

Thanks again for having me and letting me discuss a little about my writing process. I’m super happy this book is out in the world now. It was a long time coming. I hope readers enjoy it! 

 

Kerry Adrienne

 

 

Title: Taming the Lion

 

Author: Kerry Adrienne

 

Series: Shifter Wars

 

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Release Date: August 14, 2017

 

Publisher: Carina Press

 

For Marco, heir to the lions’ throne, seizing control of the Cave of Whispers from the bear clan is more than just a quest—it’s fulfilling the legacy of his breed. But the latest crusade has left Marco gravely wounded in enemy territory and in the hands of Alicia, healer for the bears. An irresistibly sensuous adversary, Alicia presents a serious problem. She carries the scent of a mate.

 

Drawn to this dominant master of his den, Alicia knows her allegiance has been compromised. His brooding sexuality is testing her defenses, but falling in love with Marco means falling in league with a rival shifter. And turning her back on the bears in a time of war is a lethal move.

 

Two breeds united by destiny could inspire a peaceful new future for their opposing clans—or ignite the fiercest battle yet and destroy all of Deep Creek forever.

 

 

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An excerpt from TAMING THE LION

Copyright © Kerry Adrienne 2017

 

“Go away.” His voice barely a whisper on the thick summer air. “I’ll kill you.”

 

Alicia gripped the scalpel. She could slide it across his neck in a flash, and it’d be over. No one would have to know. A mercy killing, of sorts. Though she’d be lying to herself to categorize it as such.

 

Her grandmother’s words echoed. Alicia was a healer, not a killer.

 

From the looks of the lion’s shirt, already dark, yet now wet with blood, he might not recover even with her best efforts to save him. The scent of gunpowder and burnt flesh peppered the blood-laden air. The lions had left him to die under a bush in bear territory, shot in the shoulder.

 

She shook her head and settled to the ground on her knees. “I’m not going anywhere.” The strength of her voice hid her fear, though he might sense it anyway. His scent was that of a strong and confident shifter, even in his current state.

 

He looked at her.

 

She blinked, trying to calm the adrenaline rush that shot through her. His eyes, mesmerizing and wide, lured her in, and she couldn’t turn away. Deep green or maybe brown or even both, they were a color she’d never seen and his gaze was magnetic. Her mouth went dry.

 

He was her sworn enemy. Sexy, but injured.

 

She glanced to the sky, but didn’t see Grandmother Hawk. Typical. Recently, she’d started leaving Alicia to figure out the moral decisions on her own, trusting that she would make the right one.

 

Part of the training.

 

“Shit.” The scalpel had warmed in her hands, and the sun glinted off the blade in a flash of silvery-white. What would her grandmother do? No doubt, she’d help the lion. Maybe she wouldn’t tell the bears, who she was loyal to, but she’d never let a lion die if she could heal him. She’d never intentionally let anyone die on her watch.

 

“War is for the weak minded,” she’d always said. Alicia was beginning to think she was right. Why couldn’t shifters all get along?

 

Because the damn lions wanted the bears’ territory. If they’d stayed in their own area, none of the bloodshed would’ve happened. Even though Alicia had heard the stories of the lions and bears and wolves sharing the cave, the actuality felt as foreign as items in an ancient history book. As remote as a fairy tale.

 

Fantasy.

 

“Go.” He turned away, but she could still see the strain on his face as he winced.

 

His black hair, falling to his shoulders, was damp and matted. How early in the battle had he been wounded? He was bound to be dehydrated.

 

“I’m here to help. Like it or not.” She slid the scalpel into its sheath and back into the pocket of her pack. Her earlier assessment was correct. The lion was no threat at the moment. He could barely move. The rise and fall of his chest showed his respirations were high and labored. Blood loss was nearing the severe level.

 

He needed help before his body went into shock.

 

She looked back toward the trail to make sure she was alone. If Griff or Derek found out about him, the lion wouldn’t need help anymore and her time as medic would be over.

 

She’d worry about that another day. She had a lion to save. 

 

 

USA Today bestselling author Kerry Adrienne is repped by Marisa Corvisiero at Corvisiero Literary Agency. Kerry writes in many sub-genres of romance including paranormal, science fiction, erotic, m/m, time travel, and many more.

 

She loves history, science, music, and art and is the mom to three daughters, many cats, and various other small animals. She loves live music and traveling most anywhere. In addition to being an author, she’s a college instructor, artist, costumer, editor, and bad guitar player.

 

Connect with Kerry at: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Amazon 

 

 

 

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text 2017-08-17 13:05
Blog Tour : Sin Eater by Alesha Escobar and Samantha Lafantasie with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Today’s stop is for Alesha Escobar and Samantha Lafantasie’s Sin Eater. We will have info about the book and author, and a great excerpt from the book, plus a great giveaway. Make sure to check everything out and enter the giveaway.

Happy Reading :) 


 

 

 

 

Aria Knight has an unusual set of skills: she will hold back the hounds of Hell so you can fly toward the Pearly Gates, and she will wipe your slate clean so that you don't become karma's bitch...for a price.

A Sin Eater has to make a living in today's world somehow.   But when she's called in the dead of night to perform her rite for a recluse billionaire, she stumbles upon a murder scene, and the evidence points to her.   In an attempt to clear her name and uncover the true culprit, Aria is forced to team up with a private investigator who's possessed by three spirits, and a handsome wizard who would rather see all Sin Eaters like Aria go extinct.   Aria knows her job is never easy, but now it's become downright deadly.   SIN EATER is the first book of the Aria Knight Chronicles by USA Today bestselling author Samantha LaFantasie and Alesha Escobar, author of the bestselling Gray Tower Trilogy.

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Aria would die tonight. If Hessa didn’t unlock her damn door and let her in, that would certainly be the case. Aria’s back stiffened when she heard the faint but distinctive howls from the Hounds of Hell. Their shrieks always struck her as a cross between wolves wailing at the moon and jackals whining into the night. Hessa finally opened the door and stood at the threshold, sizing her up and taking a long drag from her cigarette. A tear, mingled with ruined mascara, trailed down her cheek. “Thanks for coming, Aria. This was the last thing Mom asked for, so…” “I understand. May I come in?” Aria nearly knocked her over trying to slip inside. The howling grew louder. They were down the street, and Aria’s time was running out. “Yeah.” Hessa rolled her eyes at Aria’s terse attitude, but she’d do the same if she could hear what came their way. “You should place a ward around the house.” Aria speed-walked down the hall. “Okay…” Hessa’s voice trailed off. She wished she had been called sooner. If the hellhounds made it to the dead woman before she did, then she’d have to watch them tear the old woman’s soul to shreds before dragging her off to the abyss. Aria wrinkled her nose at the smell of wet fur and garbage. A small dog somewhere in the house barked a few times. As if drawn like a magnet to metal, she guided herself to the last room, toward the deceased. A short, white-haired woman in a long-sleeved gown lay in repose on a bed. Her arms were crossed just below her chest, with her hands meeting in a clasp. Aria’s lips pressed into a thin line. She didn’t have time for this. She had told Hessa over the phone not to move or position the body. She quickly took the dead woman’s right hand and extended it, placing it to her right side. She did the same for the left hand, so that nothing sat on or near the deceased’s chest. She felt the moment Hessa cast her warding spell around the house. It felt like a stab of tension in her chest, the same type people felt when walking downstairs and missing a step. “What was her name?” Aria asked, when Hessa joined her in the back room. She needed to know this in case she needed to grab the spirit’s attention. “Lora.” “Beautiful name. Do you have the bread?” Aria grabbed a rickety stool from the left corner of the room and brought it over. She sat down next to the bed. The hellhounds circled the house, probably salivating over their prey. Aria could hear their gleeful snarls at the prospect of devouring another soul. If she weren’t careful, they would tear into her as well. It wasn’t unheard of for them to go after sin eaters. Hessa jabbed her cigarette into an ashtray on the nightstand and then unraveled a fresh-baked loaf of bread. Steam rose from the bread, and Hessa used the towel that was covering the small loaf to protect her hands as she transferred it to her mother’s chest. As a sign of respect, and also as a way to mark the beginning of the Final Rite, Aria inclined her head in a slight bow, mentally offering up an ancient prayer of blessing. She was the very last call, the end of the line for many. Probably in some ancient desert Monastery or buried in the Vatican archives, there was a dusty old manuscript with a footnote, speaking of the loophole offered by sin eaters. Most would ask for her if they couldn’t reach a priest, or as extra “insurance” after receiving Anointing of the Sick. Aria raised her right hand, palm facing forward, revealing the birthmark that identified her as a sin eater. She lowered her hand, but kept it suspended in mid-air just above the bread. She already felt the pulsating power of the S-shaped mark on her hand that begged to let the flame emerge. It happened whenever she began a sin eating ritual, and the first time her birthmark erupted into a large flame, she fell on her ass and tried to smother it with a handkerchief. Not exactly a move that would instill confidence in a client entrusting their loved one’s soul to her. The flame meant there were sins that needed to be ripped away from a penitent Lora and passed on to Aria instead. Lora’s soul would be free to throw off any shackles burdening her and find peace, and Aria would know that she helped guide someone to paradise. There were also the perks of increased longevity for Aria, youthful appearance, and extra cash. Witching families paid well for this gig. “Once I begin,” Aria said, watching the flame on her palm subside, “don’t interrupt the process.” She decided not to mention that hellhounds would make their way in within the next few minutes, seeking Lora’s soul. Aria turned her attention toward the bread resting on Lora’s chest. She reached over with her right hand and took the small loaf, biting off a large piece and chewing it. The bread was plain and slightly salty, but what really made an impression on Aria was the rush of mystical energy that filled her from head to toe. All of her physical senses were amplified in that moment. The lights in the room looked brighter, the color of Hessa’s green dress and auburn hair were more vibrant, and the scent of wet fur and garbage returned with a vengeance. And so did the howls of the hellhounds. Aria almost felt buzzed by the sensations, but she had been sin eating for a long time, so she knew when to shove them aside and get to work. She motioned toward the nightstand. “The wine, or beer, please.” Hessa blinked a few times in astonishment, probably wondering if her mother’s final request was some elaborate practical joke. With a little hesitance, she leaned over and grabbed a cup. She handed it to Aria and backed away, conveniently close enough to the door just in case she didn’t like what would happen. Aria held the cup with a steady hand just above Lora’s chest. Inclining her head in a gesture of respect once more, she brought the rim of the cup to her lips and drank. The beer traveled down her throat; it was cool and spritzy, with a surprising richness in body and a malty flavor. Now Aria’s spiritual senses were heightened. A burst of light temporarily blinded her, and when her view came back into focus, she saw Lora’s soul standing next to Hessa. Silver speckles of light adorned the elderly woman’s white hair, and her face appeared thirty years younger than that of her corpse. Aria grinned when she saw that Lora chose to wear a yellow evening gown reminiscent of the starlets of Old Hollywood. Lora made a sweeping gesture with her hand, showing off her lean frame. “If I have to go, why not in style?” “Agreed.” Aria took a final swig from the cup and placed it aside. Hessa raised an eyebrow, and her gaze went from Aria and then across from her, where from her perspective, she was talking to an invisible person. “Aria? Is it working?” “Shhh.” Aria kept her gaze on Lora. The entire room quivered as the hellhounds broke through Hessa’s protective ward, but only Aria felt it. Barking erupted in the hallway, but this wasn’t the yapping of the little dogs in the house. Hessa couldn’t hear it, but Lora and Aria did. Lora’s expression fell, and she floated across the room, through her bed and body, and stood next to Aria. “I’ll make it, won’t I? I know I’ve done some things terribly wrong in my life, but I’m a believer. Would’ve told Hessa to fetch the Padre, if my lungs hadn’t given out on me, but she knew that I also wanted her to call for one of you when it was my time to go.” Aria stood and placed her hand on Lora’s shoulder. After imbibing beer or wine in her ritual, she could see, hear, and touch souls. “Of course. I won’t let anything bad happen to you.” “Shit.” Hessa chuckled as she slipped another cigarette into her mouth and lit it with a snap of her finger. “If I’m forking over five hundred big ones for a dramatic act, I’m gonna be pissed.” A gray portal that looked like a whirlpool of storm clouds appeared right behind Hessa. Lora stepped behind Aria, grasping her shoulders with trembling hands. “Please, don’t let them get me!” Aria cleared her throat. “Hessa, you might want to step aside.” The other woman turned around, and upon seeing nothing out of the ordinary behind her, faced Aria and shrugged. “Okay, are you for real?” “Too late.” Aria raised her right hand, letting her birthmark bring forth the flame that had ignited earlier. In an instant, two hellhounds burst through the portal and passed straight through Hessa. She went rigid and let out a shriek. The cigarette fell out of her mouth and onto the floor. “Oh my God! What was that? What just happened?” Hessa frantically patted her chest and torso. When smoke began rising from the floor, she screamed again and grabbed a nearby towel which she used to smother the flames from the carpet where the cigarette fell. Aria ignored Hessa’s plea to stop the ritual. She wouldn’t, and she couldn’t. Besides the fact that she promised to help Lora, she now had to deal with two large, black, salivating hellhounds bent on dragging Lora’s soul away. Their red eyes glowed with malice as they circled Aria and Lora. They had come for souls many times, and most of those times, sin eaters like Aria had repelled them. She swore to herself that tonight would be another victory. As if reading her thoughts, the hounds unleashed deafening barks that echoed throughout the room. Hessa couldn’t hear them, but she did gag at the pungent odor that filled the bedroom. Aria wanted to vomit in response to the smell, but she quelled the unease in her stomach and swept her flaming right hand in an arc. A fiery circle enclosed itself around Aria and Lora. “This penitent is under my protection,” Aria said in a clear voice. “She will pass on to the light, and I will bear the darkness.” One of the hellhounds blew an ice-cold breeze toward the fiery circle, while the other opened its mouth and made a sucking motion. Lora squealed when an invisible force lifted her and started pulling her toward the hellhound. Aria grabbed hold of Lora. “Uh, I don’t want to rush your spiritual enlightenment, but now’s a good time to let go of those vices.” She doubted Lora wanted to be swept away because she kept the flaws that had entrenched themselves in the depths of her being. Lora gritted her teeth. The icy wind whipped her white hair in different directions. “I…don’t know if I can!” No shit. This wasn’t like giving up ice cream or chocolate for Lent. If Lora couldn’t, or rather wouldn’t, peel away the slivers of corruption that still clung to her, then the hellhounds would claim their right to her and clamp down with their hungry mouths and drag her away. “Lora, whatever’s in there trying to stick around, don’t give in to the idea that you can’t defeat it. We’re weak, yes, but you know what’s stronger?” Lora looked over at Hessa, her daughter, and her expression of fear softened. The old woman’s grey-blue eyes shined, and a sense of confidence took hold of her. She turned and met Aria’s gaze. “Love. True Love’s light.” Aria used her flaming hand to brand the “S” symbol, the same as her birthmark, onto Lora’s forehead. In that moment, they were bound together, and small black specks, the remaining sins and darkness in Lora, floated out of her and went straight into Aria. The old woman had finally let go of what held her down. The hellhounds let out disappointed howls. They backed away with indignant whines. With a few threatening snarls, they turned and jumped back into the gray portal and disappeared. Once the portal faded, Aria released Lora from her grasp. The elderly woman slowly faded, but she wore a grateful smile. She was finally moving on to her next journey--sans the hellhounds. “Thank you, my dear,” Lora said right before she completely disappeared. Aria nodded in response. Her throat was on fire and her hands felt numb. “Can I come in now?” Hessa’s voice carried from just outside the room. Aria rolled her eyes and sighed. “Yes. It’s done.” Hessa stumbled back into the room, trying to hide her shaking hands by smoothing her green dress, which had now lost its vibrancy. She placed her hand over her heart and eyed her mother’s body. “Whatever passed through me,” she said, taking in a deep breath, “it was horrible. But I felt Mom’s presence, and I just knew she was here.” “She was, and now she’s moved on. She’s fine now.” Seeing Hessa’s affection for her mother ignited a twinge of jealousy in Aria. She wished she had something like that with her mother, but the woman gave her up when she was just a baby. She had been told that her father, whoever he was, had passed away before she was born. She had always wondered if her mother, a witch named Clare, didn’t want her because she was born with the mark of the sin eater, or, if there was more to the story. Hessa shook her head, still in disbelief at what she just experienced. She reached into her ample cleavage and pulled out a wad of cash. “I felt Mom right next to me, I swear it. I guess you earned this, honey.” Ew. Sweaty boob cash. Aria pinched the roll of money and slipped it into her leather jacket pocket. “Thanks. You can call and have the body picked up now.” She nodded. “Will you do me when I die?” “Yes, good night, Hessa.” She acquired most of her clients through word of mouth or by them sitting through a sin eating ritual as a witness. Most of the world had forgotten that her kind even existed. She left the room and headed down the hallway, but paused when the other woman called out to her. “Does it hurt when you do that?” Aria turned and shook her head, her long, dark, wavy hair moving back and forth. “Does it hurt when you do your type of magic?” Hessa’s eyebrows rose together in an expression that told Aria that she understood. “But, how come there aren’t more like you?” Aria shrugged and gave a confused look, though in truth, she’d known the answer for over sixty years. Most of her kind had decided that they would rather die than go on absorbing the sins of a mankind that thought throwing innocent people into death camps was a good idea, or slaughtering innocents by the millions was acceptable. There were a few hundred sin eaters in the world, and only a handful left in the United States. She was the only one she knew of in Miracle Falls, California. “Goodnight,” she said again with a little more agitation in her voice. The Final Rite had exhausted her, and the last thing she wanted to do was recall memories of the 1940’s. As she went down the steps of the front porch and headed toward her car, she slipped her hands into her leather jacket pocket. A biting chill hung in the November air, but what caused a tremor in her fingers and her body to shudder was the effect of the ritual. It tired her out, making her feel like an athlete who had just passed her peak and was about to head downhill. She knew of only one solution to that. She shoved those thoughts aside and concentrated on what she could attain immediately. She wanted a big ass glass of wine. She needed her nice, warm bed. And then, she needed to magically be prepared in the morning to serve as nanny to a mind-reading ten year old, and her awkward older brother who probably knew more about human history and magic than most scholars in the world. Joy.
 
 
 
 
I’m a caffeine addict and chocoholic who enjoys reading and writing engaging stories, loveable (and not-so loveable) characters, and expressing my creativity daily. I write fantasy with intriguing characters, action-packed scenes, and always throw in a good dash of humor and romance.
Science Fiction and Fantasy are my favorite genres, but I also adore the classics (Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, etc.) and I have a soft spot in my heart for Victorian poetry. You can geek out with me all-day every day over these
Some of my favorite contemporary fantasy authors are George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan (rest in peace), J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher (Dresden Files made me love Urban Fantasy), and Ilona Andrews among others. I enjoy movies and shows like Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, The Avengers…there are too many to name!
I want to read more comics and graphic novels, please shoot a recommendation or two my way (I LOVE the Hellblazer comics, by the way).
Please don’t be a stranger–I want you to kick up your feet, sip your coffee (or tea) and join in on my weekly rants, discussions, and updates.
 
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text 2017-08-16 17:24
Cover Reveal: Treasured by a Tiger (Eternal Mates #14) by Felicity Heaton ~ Excerpt

 

 

Treasured by a Tiger
(Eternal Mates Romance Series Book 14)
Felicity Heaton

 

Despised by his tiger shifter pride as an abomination, Grey has ventured far from home, deep into the bowels of Hell in search of answers about the machinations of Archangel, the mortal hunter organisation who held his twin captive. With no knowledge of the realm, and little skill with the local languages, he quickly finds himself at a dead end—until he crosses paths with a beautiful hellcat female who rouses his darkest most dangerous instincts.

 

Lyra has been a fool, falling for the charms of a male whose only desire was to make a fast buck by selling her. Shackled and collared, her strength muted by magic, she awaits her time on the stage at a black-market auction, but before it can come, all hell breaks loose and she seizes a chance to escape—and runs straight into a majestic warrior who steals her breath away and tempts her like no other as he battles alone to free everyone.

 

When Lyra offers her services as a translator to repay Grey for saving her, will he be strong enough to resist the needs she awakens in him and spare himself the pain of her inevitable rejection when she discovers the truth about him? And when the powerful male in charge of the slave ring starts a bloody hunt for Lyra, can she escape another collar and find the courage to trust the tiger who is capturing her heart?

 

 

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The special sneak preview for Treasured by a Tiger begins on September 3rd, exclusive to Felicity’s mailing list. Every subscriber is entered into the giveaway to win a signed personalised paperback copy of Treasured by a Tiger, with a chance to win a copy in each of the three exclusive sneak peek chapters being sent out on September 3rd, 5th and 7th.

 

Not only will joining her mailing list ensure you’re in with a chance of winning one of the signed copies of Treasured by a Tiger, it means you’ll start receiving her newsletters, where she gives away 2 x $25 Amazon Gift Cards in each issue, and rewards subscribers with exclusive excerpts, teasers, flash fiction and cover reveals, and plenty of fun! Plus, you’ll receive FOUR FREE EBOOKS in her Series Starter Library just for signing up!

 

Join her newsletter HERE 

 

  

Someone peered over his shoulder.

 

A black clawed finger landed on the piece of paper in front of him, close to his. “Here.”

 

Grey jumped and growled at the male beside him. The warlock. Wizard. Whatever the hell he wanted to be called. He reeked of magic and death.

 

Even the succubus backed off, her usual bright smile and sultry air turning cold and dark. She said something, and the male said something back at her, a bite in his tone.

 

“You speak English?” Grey didn’t want to talk to the male, but he wasn’t going to get anywhere speaking with the bartender or anyone else in the joint.

 

The male didn’t nod.

 

Not a good sign.

 

“This is here?” He pointed to the name on the piece of paper again.

 

The male nodded and looked around. “Here.”

 

It was a start.

 

“You speak her tongue?” Grey pointed towards the bartender. “Speak. Her.”

 

The male frowned, his icy green eyes darkening a shade, and looked at the female, and then back at him. “Yes.”

 

Getting there.

 

But the male didn’t really understand him. He couldn’t ask complicated questions and have him relay them to the bartender for her to answer, and the male wouldn’t know the answer to them himself since he was clearly just passing through and using the village as a rest stop.

 

He needed to boil it down into something the male might understand.

 

“Mortals. Humans.” It was worth a shot. He pointed to himself. “I’m looking for mortals.”

 

The male’s eyes lit up. He pointed east. “Mortals.”

 

Grey looked in that direction. East. The dragon realm and the Devil’s lands were east of here. He slid his blue gaze back to the male, his hackles rising and his animal side growing restless, prowling beneath his skin.

 

Was the male telling him the truth?

 

“Mortals?” Grey pointed east, along the length of the bar.

 

The male nodded and attempted a smile. It came off twisted and disturbing rather than reassuring.

 

“Definitely?” Because he was starting to get the feeling that the male was trying to get him killed. “Because dragons are that way.”

 

The male shook his head. “No dragons. Mortals.”

 

Grey pulled the map out of his trouser pocket, spread it across the bar top and jammed a finger against the area Sable had labelled as ‘here be dragons’ and had drawn what he imagined was meant to be a dragon, but it looked more like a snake fighting a spider.

 

“Dragons.” He tapped the paper.

 

The warlock shook his head again, his eyes darkening another shade and his thin lips flattening. He jabbed a black claw against a spot west of the dragons, and east of their current location.

 

“Mortals. There.”

 

So close?

 

Was it possible?

 

“Here?” Grey pointed to the map.

 

The male looked as if he was going to kill him if he asked again, an inky sort of darkness growing around his pupils to devour the pale green of his irises. 

 

“Okay. Here it is. Got it. Thanks.” Grey bundled up his papers and his backpack in his arms and left before the male could even think about muttering a spell to flay his fur off his body.

 

He breathed deep as he hit the village square again, shaking off his nerves and the sensation that the male was trying to get him killed. He just smelled of death, that was all it was. It had put Grey on edge.

 

He looked back at the tavern. Even the succubi had avoided the male. He turned away from the village and headed east, glancing at the male’s tent as he passed it. It was set up a good distance from the rest of the tents and from the huts, placed right against the perimeter wall of the village.

 

That struck a chord in him.

 

The warlock had come to the village, but had separated himself from them, was keeping his distance even though he obviously wanted to be around others.

 

The male had been helpful, but because he had looked different to the others, Grey had found it difficult to trust him. He had judged him on his appearance, and had believed he wanted to kill him because of that. He was no better than the others.

 

He should have been.

 

Experience should have taught him something, should have made him react differently to the male, but he had treated him with suspicion, just like the rest.

 

Just like his pride had treated him.

 

All because he was different to them.

 

Gods, he was no better than them.

 

He hated that.

 

It weighed him down as he trekked east, following the lead the male had given him.

 

It took him across the valley basin to the foot of a low mountain range.

 

He looked along it in both directions, and then at his map. By his calculations, the quickest route would be over the mountains, because the range stretched in both directions for miles. If he tried to go around, it would take him at least another day to reach the destination the warlock had marked for him.

 

By then, Archangel might have moved on.

 

He adjusted his pack on his shoulders, huffed and started forwards, picking a path up the gently sloping side of the mountain. He crossed a trail around two hundred metres up and followed it as it wound through the sharp towering rocks and up through tall crevasses that sliced into the black mountain. The trail grew narrow near the top, heading towards a sweeping curve between two peaks. 

 

He brought his pack around to his front and pressed his back against the black rock as he edged sideways along the path, his eyes on the steep drop to jagged rocks below and his heart hammering against his ribs. No damn way he was going to fall. He breathed through the fear, refusing to let it get to him, and looked to his right, focusing on the path instead. 

 

It opened up a short distance ahead.

 

Relief was quick to sweep through him when his boots hit the wider path and the trail led away from the edge, over the ridge.

 

Gods, he was tired. 

 

He pulled a cloth from his back pocket and wiped the sweat from his brow, and ran his other hand over his silver hair. He would rest on the other side. This high up the mountain, he was unlikely to run into any wild beasts. He could spare a few minutes to catch his breath and rest his legs. He unhooked the canteen from his pack, took a swig of the tepid water, and capped it and put it back again. He was getting low.

 

Thorne had warned him not to trust the water in Hell. 

 

Apparently, some of it wasn’t water at all.

 

Grey didn’t want to know what that meant.

 

He figured it wouldn’t end well for him and that was enough to have him steering clear of hitting any stream he saw for a refill of his canteen.

 

He reached the top of the mountain.

 

His breath caught.

 

Good gods.

 

It was as if he could see the entire world.

 

Or at least all of Hell.

 

Beyond the valley far below him, steeper mountains rose, forming ridge after ridge into the distance, where the sky glowed bright gold. The Devil’s domain.

 

Hell was bleak, grim, but had a strange sort of beauty to it from up here.

 

He started down the mountain, his eyes leaping back to the view whenever they could, drinking it in. It was incredible. How big was Hell? He should have looked back in the other direction at the ridge to see if he could figure it out. Maybe he would stop there and drink it all in if he came back this way.

 

He picked out a spot to rest as he scouted the route ahead of him, a nice flat space just a little over halfway down the mountain and only accessible from one side, giving him some protection.

 

He was close to it when lights in the valley caught his eye.

 

He slowed his steps and tracked them as they flickered and danced, a row of flaming gold spots crossing the darkness, heading to his left, deeper into the valley.

 

Archangel?

 

He looked in the direction they were heading, and frowned. More lights glowed there. Another village? Or a base of operations for a mortal hunter organisation up to no good?

 

Thoughts of resting scattered and he marched down the mountain, intent on reaching the valley floor before the people walking towards the settlement reached it. He needed to find out if they were Archangel soldiers, and he needed to do it before they joined up with the others. He could handle a few hunters, but not an entire base of operations.

 

His boots skidded on the loose black shale as he hurried down the mountain, and he fought for balance more than once, attempting a controlled slide that would get him down into the valley quicker than using the paths.

 

When he hit the valley floor, he paused for breath, his eyes scanning the dimly lit world around him. He spotted the torches off to his left, about five hundred metres out from his current position. He drew down a deep breath, held it in his lungs to steady his heart and centre himself and exhaled slowly. His senses sharpened, his animal side rising to the fore, allowing him to see into the darkness ahead of him.

 

Allowing him to see the people crossing the valley.

 

Every inch of him stilled.

 

And then a slow burn started in his blood.

 

It wasn’t Archangel.

 

He growled low in his throat at the sight of the large male figures, at the thick chains they gripped, and the captives they dragged along behind them.

 

It was slave traders.

 

He caught a flash of the two tiger shifter females he had found huddled naked and terrified in their cages, held against their will by Pyotr, the male Maya had been promised to as a cub.

 

That burn grew hotter, fiercer, blazing white hot, and he curled his hands into fists, his emerging claws digging into his palms as his tiger side raged, battered his control and pushed him to react, to obey his instincts.

 

To protect.

 

No one deserved to be treated that way. No one deserved to be abused, mistreated, held captive and condemned to a life of fear. 

 

He snarled through his fangs.

 

Dumped his backpack and stripped off his t-shirt.

 

These bastards were going to pay for what they were doing.

 

 

 

Book 1: Kissed by a Dark Prince (Only 99c at all retailers!)
Book 2: Claimed by a Demon King
Book 3: Tempted by a Rogue Prince
Book 4: Hunted by a Jaguar
Book 5: Craved by an Alpha
Book 6: Bitten by a Hellcat
Book 7: Taken by a Dragon
Book 8: Marked by an Assassin
Book 9: Possessed by a Dark Warrior
Book 10: Awakened by a Demoness
Book 11: Haunted by the King of Death
Book 12: Turned by a Tiger
Book 13: Tamed by a Tiger
Book 14: Treasured by a Tiger

 

Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

 

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.

 

If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

 

WEBSITE | BLOG | FACEBOOK | TWITTER | GOODREADS | INSTAGRAM

 

 

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