Soul’s Day: Blitz

Soul’s Day Boxset: Horror and Paranormal Halloween Theme
Published by: Fire Quill Publishing
Publication date: October 20th 2020
Genres: Adult, Horror, Paranormal

Old Hallows Eve, when things go bump in the night,
Children come to play, and the witches provide the fright.
For 19 authors, USA Today and international bestselling,
The Halloween tales become more than this foretelling.
In the Soul’s Day Boxset, a mansion feeds on souls,
A gargoyle captures them, and a demon dungeon master makes the calls,
Campers gets picked off one by one,
The Karnaval’s corn dogs are less than fun,
Ghosts lurking around every bend,
‘I do’ at the wedding is the very end.
A boxset of chills and thrills to keep you up at night,
One-click pre-order to snap your copy filled with fright.

On old Hallow’s eve when creatures come to play,
With this spine chilling pages, it’s where you’ll want to stay.

AUTHOR LINE UP:

Erin Lee – USA TODAY BESTSELLING
Kristin Ping w/a Judith Holstrom – USA TODAY BESTSELLING
Amber Garr – AWARD AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Ashlee Sinn – AWARD AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
L.L. Hunter – AWARD AND INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Monique Singleton – INTE

RNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Majanka Verstraete – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Aubrey Wynne – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Stephanie Ayers – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
DM Wolfenden – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Maggie Tideswell – INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING
Sian B. Claven – AWARD WINNING AUTHOR
Kayla Krantz
Yvette Bostic
Brandy Nacole
Jennifer Fish-Ferguson
Lea Cherry

Scarlet Le Clair

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Resistor: Blitz

Resistor
C.E. Clayton
(An Eerden Novel (Eerden 1, Ellinor, 1))
Publication date: October 1st 2020
Genres: Cyberpunk, Fantasy, New Adult

Ellinor Rask has wanted one thing for the past eight years: vengeance. But when Ellinor is captured, she finds herself dragged back into the world she walked away from, entangled once more with friends she would rather forget.

As if that weren’t humiliating enough, Ellinor learns first hand that her magic can be stripped away by a piece of bio-tech—and her ex-boss is happy to leash her with the technology in order to get what he wants. If Ellinor behaves, the device will be removed. All she has to do is deliver a package. One containing a creature created from raw magical energy and discarded technology. Simple, right?

But when her goals start getting people murdered, Ellinor has to decide if the year’s planning, her honor, and even her own magic, are worth the lives it’s costing. Dodging ruthless gangsters, she finds herself on the run with a creature of immeasurable magical abilities alongside her one-time friends. Now, Ellinor must relearn to trust the people she once abandoned. She must put her faith in technology, and her life in the hands of independent contractors, all while racing to deliver the package before it gets taken by force, or worse, the creature decides to make an appearance itself.

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EXCERPT:

THIS WAS not the first time Ellinor Olysha Rask found herself bound and chained, and she very much doubted it would be her last. This was the longest she had ever been incarcerated, however.

Ellinor leaned back against the wall and closed her eyes, though it made no difference in the pitch black. She wiggled against the rough wall, never getting comfortable. The restraints clamped over her wrists chaffed at her skin. She lost count of the days she’d been locked in the rank cell, but she supposed it didn’t actually matter how long she’d been there, only how much longer she’d be staying.

She sighed loudly, her patience long gone. Not that she had been blessed with an abundance of composure to begin with, but her restraint had diminished considerably since Misho’s death.

Heaviness settled on her chest and shoulders as she imagined Misho’s disapproving tsk at her current predicament, and her chin started to quiver. Gritting her teeth, she knocked her head against the bumpy wall to focus her thoughts. She always lost control when she thought about Misho Shimizu, and she didn’t want to lose what little control she had left. She needed to conserve her energy.

For what? There’s no telling how long I’ve been here, or who took me. Time to stop waiting.

She hadn’t recognized who grabbed her, or how they had gotten the drop on her. She had been drinking, of course, but no more than usual. One minute, Ellinor was meeting with a contact who had information about the Ashlings she was hunting. Ashlings who needed to answer for what was done to Misho. The next? She couldn’t remember. The air—her own power!—had betrayed her. Everything went white and hazy, and a fog rolled over her memories.

She sat up straighter against the wall, breathing deeply, ignoring the aches and pains of her cramped muscles. Whatever had happened, poisoning or a knock over the head, had left her weak. Concentrating had been a chore, let alone summoning her magic. She knew she wasn’t at full strength, but better to do something than continue to wait around for whoever had nabbed her to remember they had her locked away.

Ellinor had heard of humani, beings like her, who were strong enough in air magic to blow apart buildings, and who had the skill to dismantle the most intricate of machines without destroying any of the delicate parts. Ellinor had never been that strong, nor that finessed with her talents. She had enough of the talent to make her someone most would shy away from, and it had been more than enough for her job. Using the air, she could turn otherwise fatal blows from knives or projectiles away, and coupled with her own abilities for creating mayhem, her magic had served her well, or well enough, until Misho died.

Then her power turned her into someone, something, most didn’t want to talk about. Someone the remainder of her family distanced themselves from. She lived only to avenge Misho.

The seersha, though . . . now they would have no trouble using wind to blow apart this cell, no matter how far underground they’d have to pull the air. They’d be able to use that same current to wrap themselves in an impenetrable force field then simply sail away like some cocky bird.

That didn’t mean she couldn’t cause some trouble, though.

Author Bio:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in the greater Los Angeles area. After going the traditional career route and becoming restless, she went back to her first love–writing–and hasn’t stopped. She is the author of young adult fantasy series, “The Monster of Selkirk”, the creator of the cyberpunk Eerden Novels, and her horror short stories have appeared in anthologies across the country. When she’s not writing you can find her treating her fur-babies like humans, constantly drinking tea, and trying to convince her husband to go to more concerts. And reading. She does read quite a bit. More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, social media presence, and newsletter, can be found on her website: https://www.ceclayton.com/

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The People We Meet Along the Way: Blitz

The People We Meet Along The Way
Beth Rinyu
Publication date: September 17th 2020
Genres: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Would you be able to grant the same forgiveness to someone else that you’re so desperately seeking yourself?

Jillian O’Rourke’s marriage died long before her husband’s tragic accident. Years of battling with infertility and demanding careers melted their once solid relationship. Bearing the burden of guilt over his death, Jillian gets lost in despair and a series of what ifs. But one chance encounter with a stranger, changes everything. Now being faced with newfound knowledge and a painful decision, Jillian must push past her anger, learn to forgive and open her heart in ways she never could’ve imagined. As she comes to grips with the devastation of her past, she learns to embrace the possibility of a future she never thought possible. A bittersweet story of love, forgiveness, and the unexpected destiny that is sometimes handed to us in life from the people we meet along the way.

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EXCERPT:

“I just wish you didn’t hate me so much.” I concentrated on the coffee in my cup as I swirled the wooden stirrer round and round.

“I don’t hate you,” I said, focusing my attention back to him. “I hate what we did. I hate that I let it define who I was for so long, and I hate that I hurt someone I cared about so much because of it. But I don’t hate you—you were just one of the many cracks in my life.”

He creased his forehead. “I don’t understand.”

I gazed at him long and hard, finally fearless of the shame the man staring back at me conjured up inside of me. He held no control over me, and he never had. I stood up and pushed my chair in as he sat there waiting for an explanation. “And I wouldn’t have expected you to. Goodbye, Jonathan.”

Author Bio:

Ever since I can remember, I have always enjoyed Creative Writing. There was always something about being able to travel to a different place or become a different person with just the stroke of a pen – or in today’s world a touch of the keyboard. I love creating deep characters who you will love or love to hate.

My life is not as interesting as my books or the characters in them, but then again whose life is? My happy place is a seat by the ocean with my feet in the sand or on the busy streets of New York City. You will more than likely find one of these places as the setting for most of my books.

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Beginning’s End: Blitz

Beginning’s End
M. Dalto
(The Empire Saga #3)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: September 8th 2020
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Ever since her unexpected return to the Empire, all Queen Empress Alexstrayna wanted was to protect her family. Despite of the life-altering events that occurred within the Borderlands, her family – those that remained- were all she had left, and as Empress is was her predestined duty to protect the while ensuring the safety of the Empire.

But when the ever-threatening forces from the Borderlands challenge all she has worked towards to maintain that peace, she must search within herself to discover a new magic stronger than anything the Annals have foretold before.

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Previous books in the series:

EXCERPT:

The lords from the outlying territories began arriving a week later.

Alex and Reylor had made the decision together that the lords would be called to the palace as soon as Alex was well enough to receive them. Rumors spread since the incident within the Borderlands, with some even questioning the health and well-being of the Queen Empress. That Alex had returned was one thing—it was as if the lords flocked to them only to see her in the flesh, living and breathing, to decide if she was truly capable of leading them.

War was coming.

There was nothing Alex could do to stop it. She knew she needed lords on her side, to believe her position, and to listen to her when the Empire needed them the most.

She had taken up residence in the rooms that once belonged to Reylor. They were a few of the only rooms that hadn’t been affected by the library’s explosion, and therefore were not disturbed by the ongoing efforts to stabilize the palace and return it to its former glory. She had initially insisted Reylor have his own rooms back, but he refused to have her reside anywhere else, and instead he took up residence in the Council’s chambers; the proper place for the Lord Steward, he told her.

One benefit of her title Alex did not reinstitute were her Mistresses.

With two of them dead, and the third dismissed for her own safety before she left the Empire, she didn’t have it in her to petition any more innocents to wait on her when there was too much at stake being a member of her inner circle. She looked after herself—dressing herself, doing her own hair. It was no different than when she was on her own in Boston, and she appreciated the time alone when she had it.

She had just finished donning her dress—simple yet elegant enough the lords wouldn’t question her level of formality when she greeted them. Her jewelry and crown and all other frivolous items were lost when the palace collapsed and she was in no state to replace them.

Wartime was not a time for embellishment.

She assessed her reflection in the mirror in passing as she grabbed her hairbrush. Alex had lost weight—she had been bedridden for a week and never regained any of it back. She ate, but nowhere near enough; nothing satisfied her. Yet, by some magic of the Empire, she looked…beautiful. As if her perfect hair, bright eyes, and flawless skin was enough of a mask to hide the destruction beneath.

Alex was a mess, but the power of the Empire refused to show the truth behind the mask.

She hated it.

She wasn’t sure she would ever be how she was supposed to be. She knew Reylor tried to keep her mind from drifting—the constant stares, taunts, dinner invitations. Perhaps he thought it would keep her preoccupied, but it wasn’t working. Or it hadn’t been working. More recently, she found herself thinking about his invitations…for no other reason than she was lonely.

A mess.

A desperate mess.

Author Bio:

M. Dalto is a bestselling New Adult author of adventurous romantic fantasy stories, having won a Watty award for excellence in digital storytelling for her debut novel, Two Thousand Years, in 2016. She spends her days as a full-time residential real estate paralegal, using her evenings to pursue her literary agenda, and when she’s not writing, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

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The Crystal War: Excerpt

The Crystal War
Tracy Auerbach
(Fragments #2)
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: April 14th 2020
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

The line between human and monster is not as clear cut as they once thought.

In the weeks since her escape from the hell of the Eastern Fortress, things have grown more complicated for Kai. She cast her lot with her brother’s self-absorbed boyfriend, who controls the Western Army, but she’s been separated from Finn, the soldier who found a place in her heart.

Finn has defaulted to his signature move: he’s run away; afraid of himself, his new feelings for Kai, and all the terrible truths he’s learned.

Tessa is free in the world for the first time, a force to be reckoned with. She’s gone to the far west and the Dome of Artifacts to seek revenge on the system that ruined her life.

The type ‘A’ soldier who was once a friendly boy named Charlie has been restored to factory settings, a weapon for Aric to use.

The Science Council has unleashed new crystal compounds, more toxic and destructive than anything the world has seen. As Kai and her friends struggle with everything that’s been done to them, they will have to find a way to unite and prepare for the fight of their lives.

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Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

Bill’s boots gouged through the sand as he was dragged from the vehicle that had stolen him from the safety of his camp; the hands gripping his biceps were huge and rough. A black scarf had been wrapped over his head, covering his eyes, and a gag stuffed in his mouth.

The toes of his leather boots bumped up then down as the sand’s softness was replaced by cement underfoot. The footsteps of those who dragged him echoed and it registered; he’d been taken indoors.

Hands repositioned themselves on his arms as he was slammed backward onto a cold metal table. Struggling, he tried to yell, but no sound got past the gag. Restraints, large and cold, closed over his wrists and ankles. He bucked and kicked before feather-gentle fingers touched his temples, a sensation vastly different from the rough grip that had previously held him.

The scarf over his eyes was lifted away to reveal slender fingers. He blinked in the harsh light, waiting for his blurry vision to focus. When it did, his heart sunk, and he froze. Struggling had been futile. The woman above him was the rumored head of the New Resistance.

Bill stared into the strange, amber eyes of the woman he had heard about. Over the past few months, whispers had traveled throughout the west; rumors of her beauty and cruelty, and above all, her power: his small army of Resistance fighters had been preparing for her imminent attack.

Everything he had heard about her magnificence was true; golden eyes that sat in a perfectly structured face; tan and well-defined, but not too sharp to be feminine. White-blonde hair stood in spikes over her arched brows. Gunmetal-gray hoops in her ears reflected the light of a small crystal fragment set into a dome lamp over the table. She was dressed head to toe in utilitarian black tactical clothing, but he could still tell that her body was a work of art. He couldn’t guess her height; she seemed tall, with beautifully defined curves and a tiny waist.

“Stop staring, prisoner,” she whispered in a melodic voice. “Looking upon me can’t save you.”

Bill was in a lab, but he couldn’t see much. The halo of light from the single crystal above was dim and focused, but beyond the table he where he lay, details quickly melted into shadows. He could barely make out the hulking shapes of the men who had dragged him from his guard post; only the beautiful, terrible woman was clear. He tried to speak, but his lips fought uselessly against the fabric still in his mouth.

“Do you wish to say something?” asked the woman.

He nodded, and she removed the binding from between his dry lips—he licked them before speaking. “I’ve heard of you,” said Bill, awed. “These past couple of months, everything’s changed.”

“It has. I am changing things. And this is just the beginning.”

“Are you going to make me into one of your slaves?”

“I must have your absolute loyalty. I’ll accept nothing less.”

Bill swallowed, feeling ill with the certainty that he wasn’t going to get out of this, and he saw her smile, as if she knew exactly what he was thinking.

“Why me?”

“Why not?” She blinked momentarily releasing him from the power behind her eyes. “You’re a good soldier; I’ve done my research. You’re exactly what I’m looking for right now. You will come and work for me, just as they have.” She made a sweeping gesture toward the men around them.

“Forgive me, Miss…”

“Raven.”

“Forgive me, Miss Raven, but what makes you think you can you ensure my loyalty?”

“It’s just Raven,” she corrected, her expression unchanging. “And the answer is simple. It’s all about consumption.”

“Consumption?”

“Yes. Everyone is a consumer. Press the right button, and anyone’s loyalty can be controlled. Even yours, soldier.”

“My name is…”

“Not important,” she cut him off.

Bill sighed. He’d had more than enough of being controlled; given over from his foster home to the Eastern Forces, trained to mine for crystals, months of being a type ‘B’ soldier on blue compound, only to be stolen in a raid by the Resistance, and retrained as a guard, led to believe that he was at last working for a higher cause. And now this.

Raven gestured to the soldiers standing in shadow, and Bill craned his neck to try and see what was happening, only to close his eyes, feeling his stomach drop when one of the men approached, holding up a faintly glowing blue syringe.

So, more of the same, then.

“What’s his poison?” asked the man with the syringe.

“Primarily stimulants,” instructed Raven. “Food as a secondary, pre-established reinforcer.”

The man leaned closer, and Bill saw by the light of the glowing crystal fragment that he was young, with a healing but grisly-looking scab that ran the length of his left cheek, ending near his eye.

Bill jerked in his restraints, even though he knew it was futile, and gritted his teeth as the needle pierced the skin of his upper arm. The fire of the compound made its way through his blood, causing him to sigh in relief. It still felt good, every time, even after being off it for months now. It had only taken him a few weeks back at the Eastern Fortress to become addicted to the compound itself, and months for the Resistance to detox him.

Heart racing, his stimulant craving spiked. He refused to beg until the Raven girl held a small vial of pungent-smelling coffee under his nose—then he screamed with want. The compound created an itch that the right thing could scratch, and it felt so good.

“Would you like this?” she asked in a silky, taunting voice.

“Yes,” he whimpered.

“Open up, then.”

Bill opened his mouth, sick with anticipation of the bitter cordial that would bring relief to his burning blood. Every pump of his heart demanded it. He greedily swallowed the wetness on his tongue, but it didn’t taste like coffee.

He opened his eyes and saw that the Raven girl held a vial that was empty but for a glowing residue.

She’s given me Shine. 

Bill stared at his tormentor. It was too late to spit out the horribly addictive drug. Gulping with a heedless greed he usually reserved for coffee, he’d swallowed a good mouthful of it.

Too much. She had him.

Knowing that Shine would quickly supersede his moral compass, he tried to hold onto his terror, his ideals; he tried to retain any part of himself. But as he looked into her expressionless eyes, he began to feel the drug taking hold. Soon, the fear faded, along with all thoughts of fleeing. The world shrunk, leaving room for her alone in his mind. His senses sharpened, overwhelmed by the power of her presence and the Shine’s euphoria.

The rest of the world faded away, and nothing else mattered but his new queen.

I will serve this woman forever.

Author Bio

Tracy Auerbach is an author of science fiction and fantasy for teens and adults. As an avid reader with a vivid imagination, she chose to study film, English, and education, and went on to teach and write STEM curriculum for the New York Department of Education. This helped to polish her writing skills and ignite her passion for science fiction and fantasy.

Her first scholarly article, published in Language Magazine, was about the value of active, creative learning in science.
On the fiction side, Tracy’s work has been featured in the online literary journal Micro-horror, The Writing Disorder fiction anthology, and the “(Dis)ability” short story anthology, in addition to her novels.

When she is not teaching or writing, Tracy is usually reading or spending time with her family. She lives in New York with her husband and sons.

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Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze: Excerpt

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze banner
This is my stop during the book blitz for Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze by Veronica Elle Butler. This book blitz is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The book blitz runs from 25 till 31 March. See the tour schedule here.

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze
By Veronica Elle Butler
Genre: Fantasy
Age category: Middle Grade
Release Date: 25 March, 2019

Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze

Book Synopsis

Twelve-year-old Chloe Rose lives a quiet, happy life in her hometown Wilmoton, but she’s haunted by the same nightmare night after night—one with guns and swords and lost fathers. When another brewing battle has her town preparing for war, Chloe’s fears are made into a reality. Promises are left unfulfilled, her family is torn apart, and she must leave her comfy life in Wilmoton behind when she and her mother move into the King’s palace. Living in a castle seems like a dream come true, like the new beginning they need, but Chloe’s not convinced. After a series of altercations, Chloe Rose is kicked out, more desperate for hope than ever. To restore what she’s lost, Chloe travels to an enchanted maze where wishes come true and fairies rule. But with evil forces working against her and her new friends, can Chloe complete the trials of the maze or will her heart’s desires be left unfulfilled?

Chloe Rose and The Enchanted Maze is a powerful story of bravery, friendship, grief, and love.

Goodreads

You can buy Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze here:
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Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze is a perfect story for children in military families, mixed race families, or for readers looking for more #ownvoices stories. Discussion questions and teaching materials are available.

Excerpt

The wind sang through the meadow under the open bright skies of Wilmoton, the land advanced confidently with warmth. Each new day, the promise of spring drew near as wildflowers rose from the earth. The Langerfield battle had ended two years ago, and peace had once again returned to Wilmoton. So, Chloe Rose spent some time alone in her special place.

This was where she felt lighter and happier; its warmth spread to her heart. Here, Chloe’s favorite spot was on a little hill in the middle of a meadow that overlooked Wilmoton. It was one of the most beautiful views that her hometown had to offer.

Surrounded by gentle whispers of nature, it was also Chloe’s special place to draw flowers and pick them for her mother. The sun glared down at her from the sky, and the breeze brushed her sun-kissed skin while she let her curly brown locks down. She smiled with every twirl on her dress on the soft-bedded grass. For a moment, everything was peaceful and her heart had a steady, calm beat. Here, she was not afraid of what haunted her thoughts, that which caused her to squeeze her eyes shut to make go away. Nor did she worry about the nightmares that came every night after those thoughts. Everything is brighter and calm here, Chloe thought now.

As time crept up on her, Chloe finished her drawing and brushed the pencil shavings and eraser crumbs from her dress. She walked down the slope of the Meadow and back home to her mother, Catherine. She picked some rosebuds for her mother—Mom likes to watch the petals expand slowly as they bloom. She also grabbed the sketch of her view of the meadow, which she made for her father, Michael.

Chloe’s affection and admiration for her parents were unfathomable. She liked to believe her father had superpowers. Her father was the captain of the Wilmoton’s army. The ongoing dispute between Wilmoton and Cottondale was as old as time. A dispute over land and who owns what and who was the first one on the more fertile land.

Cottondale’s features ranged from cracked sidewalks and deteriorated houses that either had weathered paints along their walls or were in ruins from previous conflicts. Remnants of broken swords and shields littered its fields. The people of Cottondale showed no inclination to repair these damages. Instead, they carried on with their lives in the only way they could, with the hope of reusing the broken swords and broken shields, whenever the situation would inevitably call for it again.

Wilmoton was a quaint town with unsurpassed colorful cottages and a huge bell tower named “Armstrong” at the heart of its harmonious infrastructure. The women learned to sew and weave every day in workshops. The people of Wilmoton were hardworking, and it showed. It was the type of place where almost everyone knew each other and people greeted each other with a smile. Wilmoton was ruled by King Francis II, a kind king who protected his people.

Apart from the never-ceasing war between Wilmoton and Cottondale, Chloe loved living in her hometown. As she skipped along the sidewalk, her pink gown flared up and down in the wind with every bounce. She soon spotted Mr. Andrews with the evening newspaper— a worried look on his face. 

 The Andrews family lived a couple of cottages away from the Roses, and their two daughters Chloe Rose and Thyra Andrews were best friends. Like Chloe’s father, Albert Andrews was in the army, too.

During one of the many conflicts between the two towns, someone abandoned a baby in a wicker basket on the boundaries of Wilmoton. Disturbed by this little bundle of joy’s being abandoned, Mr. Andrews hurried back to his home with the baby, showing her to his wife, Ava, who had no child of her own. Ava Andrews was overjoyed, so they adopted the baby and named her Thyra.

Upon seeing his worry, Chloe waved her hand to say, “Hello, Mr. Andrews!” Her broad smile revealed her glittering brown eyes, which could cheer up any sad face on a normal day. This time, it did not.

“Hello, Chloe,” Mr. Andrews replied in haste, his whole face lit up with worry and confusion. Chloe did not know how to interpret the look on his face, so she continued home.

About the Author

Veronica Elle ButlerVeronica Elle Butler is a Middle-Grade Author. Growing up, her childhood dream job is to become a doctor like most children but her life path leads her to a different role; wife, mom, twin daughters in a nutshell . She conceives the idea of an Enchanted Maze one night after reading bedtime stories to her twin daughters. She wants to create a world she could share with her daughters and other children as well, so, she begins to map out her story on a notebook every night when it’s quiet without distractions. Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze pulls the reader into a world of mystery that overlaps our mortal world all consisting of grief, pains of rejection, a curious twist of fate, heart of courage, and forming lasting friendships, she delivers an unforgettable adventure to her readers. She’s an avid scrabble player, enjoys documentaries and, learns along side of her husband the roles of a Military Man when she’s not writing. She enjoys spending time with her daughters and being a Mom. Her twins absolutely love Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze and she hopes every child would fall in love with it as much as they have. To find out more you can follow her on Twitter @MazeEnchanted. Her debut novel Chloe Rose and the Enchanted Maze will be available in Spring 2020.

You can find and contact Veronica Elle Butler here
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Off Balance: Blitz

Off Balance
Aileen Erin
(Aunare Chronicles #2)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 11th 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin comes the second book in the Aunare Chronicles.

Broken, beaten-down, and plagued by nightmares, Amihanna di Aetes is surrounded by the Aunare race that makes up the other half of her heritage, but she feels alien amongst them. She’s not sure which is worse: SpaceTech’s overt hatred of Aunare or the Aunare’s covert hatred of halfers. She hears their whispers whenever she enters a room and sees her death reflected in their eyes. Amihanna doesn’t know who to trust anymore, but she hasn’t survived this long by ignoring the warning signs all around her, especially when her instincts are screaming that a familiar choice is coming: flee or fight.

Her parents assure her everything is okay—that there won’t be any reason for her to fight, let alone flee—but with Amihanna’s sudden return, questions arise among the Aunare: who should be blamed for the start of a full-scale war with SpaceTech, how much danger will the war bring, and is Amihanna truly fit to be the next high queen?

Honestly, Amihanna wants to forget all the politics, her betrothal to Lorne, and the possibility of being queen. Her needs are much more basic. All she wants is a solid night’s sleep where she doesn’t wake up screaming with the phantom pain of her skin burning. All she needs is to live without fear of a mob tearing her away from her family. All she hopes for is a chance to dream of a future instead of constantly fighting for her right to live.

And yet, somehow, everything she does leads her back to Lorne. He always seems to know when she’s about to break under the pressures of her new life. His quiet patience is wearing Amihanna’s protective walls down, and she’s terrified of what will happen if they fall.

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EXCERPT:

“Let’s get this one thing straight—I’m not breaking our betrothal contract.” He stalked back to me. “Not now. Not ever. If you want to break it, then we’ll discuss it. They’ve talked a lot about our contract on the news, so I’m sure you have it in your head that I’m planning on breaking it. But I’m not. I haven’t brought it up because you’ve been dealing with enough. I was giving you time, but I’d marry you tomorrow if I thought you’d agree.”

Tomorrow? I had zero clue before this moment that he was completely insane. He couldn’t marry me, especially not tomorrow. I couldn’t be queen.

“What if I want to break our betrothal?” I wasn’t sure I did, but I wasn’t sure I didn’t either.

He strode quickly to me, knelt in front of my chair. I hugged my legs tighter to my chest, but he grabbed my ankles. “Look at me.”

I looked everywhere but him.

“Look at me, please.” He squeezed my ankles and let go. “Please.”

I blew out a breath and rested my chin on my knees so that I could meet his gaze. It was hard to really look at him. Every time I did, I wanted him more and more, and I wasn’t sure how much more I could want him without becoming completely addicted. It took everything in me not to wrap my arms around his neck and pull him to me.

He let go of one ankle and cupped my cheek. “Do you want to marry me?” He was using his low voice, the one that set my skin on fire.

My skin was so bright and my stomach fluttered and flipped and I forced myself to choke down my first immediate response. The dumb one that wanted to slide past my lips effortlessly. I couldn’t answer his question because I didn’t trust myself to give him the right answer. The one that made sense.

All signs of anger melted away from him. His back straightened, he held his head high, his fao’ana stopped flashing, and his skin dimmed a little.

But it was his smile that told me he knew exactly what I’d been thinking.

“This is where being your shalshasa comes into play. I’m as sensitive to frequencies as you are, but even more attuned to yours. I can feel your frequencies as your moods shift. Your immediate answer was going to be yes before you got scared.” He rose just a little, cupping my face with both his hands, and all I could see were his aquamarine eyes.

The color I associated with calm and safety. The color I’d painted the walls in my room on Earth so that I could feel more at home. The color I wanted to get lost in forever.

He brushed a soft kiss on my lips. It was quick, too quick, and it left me wanting more.

“Until you can say no—honestly and without stress—I’m going to assume your answer is yes, and that you just need more time. I don’t want fear to be a part of your decision. Okay?”

He leaned in for another kiss, and I wanted. I wanted it more than anything. But I made myself lean back in the chair, pulling my face from his hands.

“I can’t do this.” The words were shaky, but I’d said them. I had to stop it before this went too far.

“Why?”

“Because…” There were too many reasons.

Because he needed a queen.

Because I didn’t want that much responsibility.

“Because you deserve someone not broken.” That wasn’t the one I meant to go with, but words slipping out of me seemed to be the theme for our little chat.

“You’re not broken. If anything, you’re confused. Which is totally understandable. You’ve been through a very rough thirteen years, and memories that would help you readjust to being home aren’t there. So, you need some time to heal. Which is what I’ve been giving you. I think you’d feel less fragile if you got a decent night’s sleep. If you ate more. If you took a moment to take care of yourself instead of spending twenty hours a day in the gym. Declan and his mission are going to kill you.”

Author Bio:

Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

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Book of Enchantresses

Book of Enchantresses 
By Mary Ting
(Book of Watchers, #2) 
Publication date: February 21st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult

Book Synopsis

Keira is convinced her guardian, Ezekiel, knows more than he shared about her biological parents, and she will do everything she can to find out who they were. She secretly meets the powerful witch Awan at a nightclub and is promised the answers she seeks on one condition: she retrieves the legendary Book of Enchantresses.

Keira, along with Uriel, Samyaza, Jonah, and her Nephilim friends, must travel to another realm in Gotjawal Forest on Jeju Island to recover the spell book. But nothing is free, and actions have consequences. When Keira’s team returns to their world, vampires attack a demon stronghold. No one knows who to blame, but the fragile peace has been rocked.

And it’s about to get worse—Lucifer has escaped Hell.

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Awan

He leaned back against the cabinet, his hands inside his pockets. “First of all, where is my money? That’s the reason I summoned you here.”
“If you have a seat in TO then you won’t have to worry about money for the rest of your eternal life. Think about it, Cain.” He released a deep, bored sigh. “Listen. It sounds very tempting, but I will not risk the peace within the vampire community for my own selfishness. I am the original, but that doesn’t mean I come first. I have to look after my people.” “Your kind are dying out, and you know it. There aren’t many of you left, thanks to the TO.”
He shrugged. “Then let it be so. Perhaps, one by one, the supernatural beings will be extinct. Just like the dinosaurs.” I clenched my teeth and my nostrils flared. “You are a disgrace to your kind. Pathetic. And it’s exactly what I thought you would say, so I brought back up.”
“Awan?” He pushed up from the wall, ready to grab me or shield himself.
Too late.
Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud. Thud.
Cain looked down at his chest. Five needles.
“You.” He pointed at me but stumbled forward, swaying. “You can’t do this. I didn’t say I’d allow—”
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I’m tired of people telling me what I can and cannot do. I’m a witch, after all. Sisters?” My voice resonated through the room.
Corian and Giselle stepped out of their cloaking spells. “Nice work, sisters.”
“What are you … going … to do … with … me?” Cain spoke slower than before, blinking to stay awake.
I patted his back, causing him to trip and drop to his knee. He’d lost his muscle control.
“Don’t worry, Cain. I’ll take good care of you. After all, you’re going to give me plenty of blood. I’ll make sure you don’t feel any discomfort.” I leaned into his ears. “I’m going to take every single drop.”
“You’re all going … to … He …” He dropped, stomach down.
“We’re already in a hell. It’s just not as hot.” I turned to my sister.
“Pick him up. We’re taking him to Malum’s place. I have a special cell waiting for him.”

About the Author

International Bestselling, Award-Winning Author Mary Ting writes soulful, spellbinding stories that excite the imagination and captivate readers all over the world. Her books run a wide range of genres and her storytelling talents have won her a devoted legion of fans and garnered critical praise. 

Becoming an author happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she had in high school. After realizing she wanted to become a full-time author, Mary retired from teaching after twenty years. She also had the privilege of touring with the Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book: No Bullies Allowed. 

Mary resides in Southern California with her husband, two children, and two little dogs, Mochi and Mocha. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. 

Author Links

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Child of Mine

Child of Mine 
By Jana Richards 
Publication date: February 20th 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

About the Book

Lauren didn’t intend to sleep with her brother-in-law Cole on the day of her husband’s funeral. But now that she is pregnant, she’s not sorry. Cole’s given her a baby, a long-wished-for miracle. He’s been her friend forever, though she never told him or anyone else how unhappy her marriage to his cheating brother was. And she’s afraid to tell the small town that considered her husband a hero that the baby isn’t his.

Cole’s been in love with Lauren since he was sixteen. It kills him that everyone believes the baby is his dead brother’s. All he wants is to claim the baby, and Lauren, as his own. Though she marries him, will Lauren’s heart ever be his?

Lauren must tell the truth or risk losing Cole. Is her newly-discovered love for him greater than her fear of scandal in her hometown?

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My Favorite Scene

One of my favorite scenes in CHILD OF MINE, my newest release and book 1 in my Masonville Series, is the wedding scene. Lauren and Cole are getting married in a hastily arranged wedding at Cole’s house a few weeks before Christmas. Only a couple of weeks before the wedding, Cole discovered that Lauren was pregnant with his child. He asked her to marry him, and for the sake of the baby, Lauren said yes. She wants her child to know her father. 

But things are complicated. Everyone in Masonville, including their families, believes the child Lauren is carrying was fathered by her late husband, Cole’s brother. No one, except for Lauren and Cole, know that the baby was conceived on the day of her husband’s funeral.

Like I said. Complicated.

Lauren and Cole have been friends since they were teenagers, and they care about each other and their child. Because of that, Lauren is optimistic they can make their marriage work. But she can’t help feeling a little apprehensive:

She’d thought the ceremony would be simple and quick, no fuss, no muss. But Isabelle and Greta were obviously planning dinner for far more people than she’d anticipated, and now she and Charlotte had beautiful bouquets. Cole was making this into a real wedding. It was as if he’d guessed her innermost wishes. 

For the first time, nervousness made Lauren’s stomach swoop. She desperately wanted to be a good wife to him. More than anything she wanted to make him happy. But they were starting their marriage with a lie that made her wonder if she deserved him. 

Her father spoke. “Charlotte honey, you go first. Head toward Cole and Garrett. They’re standing in front of the fireplace. Lauren and I will follow in a minute.” 

Charlotte squeezed Lauren’s arm before walking out of the kitchen. Her father grasped her hand. She clung tightly to him. 

“Are you ready?” 

She focused her concentration on breathing in and out, willing her sudden nerves to relax. There was no need to be nervous, she told herself. The people gathered were her friends and family and they only wanted the best for them. And she was marrying Cole, her best friend. The thought calmed her. She smiled at her father. 

“Yes. I’m ready.” 

The first thing Lauren saw as she entered the living room on her father’s arm were the flowers. The room was filled with red and white and pink poinsettias. The strains of the wedding march played in the background. The room was filled with people. She saw Audrey and Evelyn, Dr. Waverly and his wife, and Jamie Garven from the clinic. Ella and her sister were there, as were several neighbors, friends, and relatives. 

Then she saw Cole standing next to the fireplace, and she didn’t see anyone else. He was her beacon, her lighthouse, and she made her way toward him like a ship to safe harbor.

Starting a marriage with a lie is not the ideal way to begin married life. Lying to their friends and family and their hometown is one thing. But lying to each other about how they feel about each other could mean their marriage is over before it begins.  

About the Author

When Jana Richards read her first romance novel, she immediately knew two things: she had to commit the stories running through her head to paper, and they had to end with a happily ever after. She also knew she’d found what she was meant to do. Since then she’s never met a romance genre she didn’t like. She writes contemporary romance, romantic suspense, and historical romance set in World War Two, in lengths ranging from short story to full length novel. Just for fun, she throws in generous helpings of humor, and the occasional dash of the paranormal. Her paranormal romantic suspense “Seeing Things” was a 2008 EPPIE finalist.

In her life away from writing, Jana is an accountant/admin assistant, a mother to two grown daughters, and a wife to her husband Warren. She enjoys golf, yoga, movies, concerts, travel and reading, not necessarily in that order. She and her husband live in Winnipeg, Canada with an elderly Pug/Terrier named cross Lou. She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.janarichards.com

Author Links

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Three Mages and a Margarita: Blitz

Image

Three Mages and a Margarita
Annette Marie
(The Guild Codex: Spellbound #1)
Publication date: September 14th 2018
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Broke, almost homeless, and recently fired. Those are my official reasons for answering a wanted ad for a skeevy-looking bartender gig.

It went downhill the moment they asked me to do a trial shift instead of an interview—to see if I’d mesh with their “special” clientele. I think that part went great. Their customers were complete dickheads, and I was an asshole right back. That’s the definition of fitting in, right?

I expected to get thrown out on my ass. Instead, they…offered me the job?

It turns out this place isn’t a bar. It’s aguild. And the three cocky guys I drenched with a margarita during my trial? Yeah, they were mages. Either I’m exactly the kind of takes-no-shit bartender this guild needs, or there’s a good reason no one else wants to work here.

So what’s a broke girl to do? Take the job, of course—with a pay raise.


Note: The three mages are definitely sexy, but this series isn’t a reverse harem. It’s 100% fun, sassy, fast-paced urban fantasy.

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EXCERPT

When I gazed vacantly at her, Clara visibly paled. “Tori, what’s your class?” “My class?”
She pressed her hands to the bar top, eyes wide. “Your class, what is it?” “You mean at the community college? I’m taking—”

“No, your mythic class!” She shoved my card under my nose, even more frantic. “Why doesn’t your license have a mythic identification number? You’re registered, aren’t you?”

“Registered for what? Clara, I don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.”

“Oh my god.” Panic flashed in her eyes. “I don’t believe it. You’re human.”

I blinked again. Squinted. Rubbed one ear like I might have misheard. “Beg your pardon?”

Clara dropped my ID on the bar and hid her face behind her hands. “Darius is going to kill me. Why didn’t I check your ID last night? I’m an idiot.”

“Clara,” I said, alarmed and confused in equal measure. “I swear it’s a real ID. I’m twenty-one, old enough to bartend, and—”

“That’s not the problem,” she moaned. “How did you even find out about this place? I never should have—but you were perfect. You weren’t scared of anyone—not even Aaron! I thought you were some badass mythic who wanted to bartend, but you—”

“Get over yourself, Aaron.” Kai’s angry voice rose over Clara’s. “We’re not doing this your way—not again. Your plans always end in fireballs and explosions.”

Fireballs? Explosions? I glanced at them as Aaron snapped, “What’s wrong with that?”
“Tori.” Clara’s panicked tone drew my attention back to her as Kai and Aaron continued to argue. “Last

night, did you see anything?”

“Huh?”

“Did you see anything … unusual?”

“Did I see anything unusual?” I repeated blankly. “Like what?”

“Say that again,” Aaron shouted furiously, “and I’ll toast your pale ass to a healthy crisp!”

His hand shot into the air—and fire burst from his fingers. The red flames danced across his skin, sparks raining down on the table. Curling his hand into a fist, he cocked his arm back, aiming for Kai.

“Aaron!” Clara shrieked. “Put your fire away!”
He froze in mid-motion, his fist still blazing. “Clara? What’s wrong?”

“Put it out!” she yelled, her voice high with panic. “Now!”

He flicked his fingers open and the flames vanished. “Jeez, don’t get your panties in a twist. I wasn’t actually going to roast him.”

“Just—just shut up for once in your life, Aaron!” Clara pressed her hands to her head like she was trying to squeeze her brain. “This is already bad enough.”

“What’s bad?” He pushed back from the table and strode over, Kai and Ezra on his heels. “What’s going on?”

I didn’t move, my eyes fixed on his hand—his hand that had been engulfed in flames. Did that count as unusual?

“I screwed up,” Clara groaned, covering her face again like she couldn’t stand to see me. “I didn’t check her ID yesterday.”

Aaron slid my driver’s license off the bar top and read it. “Victoria Dawson? Your name is Victoria?” I shook off my shock to scowl at his sniggering tone.
Kai plucked the card out of Aaron’s hand. “There’s no MID number.”
“Is it a fake ID?” Aaron asked with amusement. “Did you hire a rogue, Clara?”

“Worse,” Clara whispered. “She’s human.”

The three guys stared at me, and I stared back without the slightest idea what the hell anyone was talking about. But more important than the incomprehensible conversation was the fact Aaron’s hand had been on fire, and I couldn’t figure out how it could possibly have been a trick.

“No way,” Aaron finally said. “What’s your class, Tori?” I pointed at his hand. “Was that real fire?”
“Oh, shit,” Kai muttered.

About the Author

Annette Marie is the author of Amazon best-selling YA urban fantasy series Steel & Stone, its prequel trilogy Spell Weaver, and romantic fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced adventures and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it’s not quite that bad) with her husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.

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