Saturday, January 18, 2014

Knowing Jack Blitz

The Defiance
Knowing Jack
Rachel Curtis
Publication date: January 17th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


I am not a slut, although I’ve been called one often enough. Yeah, I spent three months screwing one of my college professors, but I was crazy about the guy. Then he broke up with me.
I am not a bitch, although people like to say I am. I kept our relationship secret. I’m not responsible for telling the university administrators about it, but a lot of students still blame me for getting their favorite professor fired.
I am not a drama queen, although everyone thinks I am now. When I got a few nasty messages, I just deleted them. When I got the threat, I assumed it was someone being stupid. I still think that’s all it was. My parents worry, though, so they hired me a bodyguard. Now Jack follows me around, intimidating everyone who approaches me and looking obnoxiously hot.
This is what I am. I’m Chloe. I’m a twenty-year-old art history major. Kind of shy, although I pretend not to be. Stubborn enough to stay here for my senior year, even though everyone hates me.
And I’m stuck with Jack.

Purchase:
Will be found here come release day:
http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Knowing%20Jack%20Rachel%20Curtis

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/-Knowing-Jack-Rachel-Curtis-?store=allproducts&keyword=+Knowing+Jack+Rachel+Curtis+


AUTHOR BIO:

Rachel is a writer, a teacher, a romance reader, and a dog-mom. She loves animals and art and hot men with soft hearts under a tough exterior. She tries to write love stories that feel real, even in unlikely circumstances.

Author Links:
http://rachelcurtisauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/rachelcurtisauthor

https://twitter.com/RachelCurtis0


Friday, January 17, 2014

Ashlynne Laynne presents Blood Reborn (Progeny Series #4)

I’m so thrilled to be here at Share My Destiny for the first time. Today, I’m excited to promote the fourth in my erotic PNR Progeny series, BLOOD REBORN. This is the continuing story of Ascher Rousseau and his eternal love, Shauna. Enjoy the excerpt and don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter for your chance to win a 10.00 Amazon GC, (2) 5.00 GC, or a signed copy of Blood Reborn and Ascher and Shauna trading cards.


BLOOD REBORN 
(The Progeny Series #4)      

“Hell hath no fury like a Wiccan reborn.”                                                                    
Shauna McCutchin and Ascher Rousseau share a deep and passionate bond that merges their Wiccan and vampire worlds. Destined, they’ve endured trials and suffered unimaginable pain in their quest for a happily ever after.

Endowed with amazing supernatural abilities and the added attributes of her new vampire existence, Shauna is a force to rival all others—a dangerous new breed of vampire that defies conventional wisdom.

Darkness shrouds the couple’s pasts and enemies are determined to ruin their future. Will Shauna surrender to the evil side of her nature, or will she stand by Ascher’s side as the Rousseaus prepare for the revolution?

Shauna will either be an immortal miracle or an unholy menace.

Excerpt from Blood Reborn
Quinn circled her with all of the stealth of a hunting lion, his gaze never leaving hers. He jabbed at her once, his fist snapping so fast it rumpled Shauna’s ponytail as his hand barely missed her face.
The guys watched as Shauna effortlessly responded to a succession of commands and postures, her body moving from pose to pose with familiarity and poise.
Gesturing her over to him, Quinn shouted, “Guards up,” again and barked a faster series of instructions. “Move. Duck. Rotate. Jab.”
Shauna’s left hand came up to protect her face, while her right punched at the mitts on Quinn’s hands.
“From the chin!” Quinn demanded, spurring her on. “Stay tall and keep those punches high!” Quinn paused, his expression displeased. Lifting the mitts back to his face, he growled, “Concentrate, Shauna! Cross jabs!”
Shauna pivoted on her heels, her left hand still protecting her face as she jabbed at Quinn’s face with the right.
“Push off your back foot and stay strong throughout the punch.” Quinn smiled. “Good. Great positioning and way to protect your face. The newborn darklings are scary strong. They’ll most likely try to get in a head or chest shot to incapacitate you, before going in for the kill. Protecting your head and chest is very important for a half-blood. ”
Tristan stepped forward. “Fighting is like a chess match. If you can get into your opponent’s head, that’s half the battle.” He grabbed the mitts from Quinn and gestured her forward. “Darklings are bred for strength, but they’re dumb as bricks.”
“And each new brood is weaker than the last,” Ascher added. “You should’ve seen her in the wine room the other night. She linked into their minds and shredded them.”
Quinn seemed to delight at the thought. He surely thought of her as his protégée now. “That’s kick ass!”
“I want you to develop your mental strength as well as your physical,” Tristan said. “Come over here for a second, Lee.”
A doubtful glance crossed Lee’s emerald orbs as he approached the center of the mat where Shauna and Tristan both stood.
“You’re strong in your gifts. I’ve heard about what you can do with your mind. Can you teach Shauna what you know?”
“Shay Shay is as strong as I am—if not stronger. She only needs to keep her focus.” Lee trained his gaze at a fifty pound weight in the corner of the room, willing it to hover over and rest at his feet. “I might not be a muscle man.” He flashed Quinn a nasty stare. “I don’t need to be. My strength is up here.” Pointing to his head, he gave Shauna a silly smirk. 
“Can you tap into my mind?” Tristan asked.
Lee concentrated his stare on Tristan, for a second, and the vampire immediately fell to the floor, clutching his head in pain.
Ascher gasped. He’d seen what Lee was capable of, but still found his powers amazing. While he never considered what having Lee Williams on the side of the warriors would mean, Ascher was beginning to believe things were coming together for a reason. He was loyal to his sister and would be an asset to the cause.
Quinn helped Tristan off the mat and into a seat. “Enough of that. Let’s do kicks.”
Resetting her posture, Shauna stood back on her left foot, pivoted her hip and landed several round kicks to Quinn’s stomach.
“No more kicking.” Quinn flinched, apparently remembering her raging kick to his groin. “I think you’ve got that down. Guards back up and come at me!”
“Unh,” Shauna grunted, engaging Quinn with an equal intensity that showed in the straining of her biceps. She circled him with alert blue eyes which sought to gain an advantage, her breathing barely audible. Her footing faltered for a second and her guard dropped, making her face vulnerable.
“Always protect your face and head!” Retreating, Quinn drew back and punched at her again, the measured hit connecting and sending her flying.
Shauna coasted through the air, her body hitting the mat with a brute force that knocked the breath from her heaving chest. Dazed, her gaze floated to the ceiling as her pulse returned to normal.
“Shay Shay,” Lee shouted, fighting against the clasp of Ascher’s restrictive hold. “Are you guys crazy? She’s hurt!”
Ascher shook his head at his dumbfounded brother-in-law. “Don’t you think I’d be over there if I thought she were hurt? Listen to her mind, Lee. She’s centering herself.”
“If you can’t take it, you should’ve stayed home,” Quinn muttered, standing over her. “I know it seems like I’m being harsh, but she has to learn. War is coming. Shauna has to be strong enough to survive it.”

Also in The Progeny Series



THE PROGENY 
(The Progeny Series #1)                      

“No fate other than the one I choose.”

The timeless creed and tattoo bore by the Rousseaus— a vampire clan with the purest bloodline of any vampire family. Out of this clandestine group came one who was different, yet the same: Ascher, a half-bloodling— half- human, half vampire.

Ascher questions the purpose for his existence and which world he truly belongs to: the human world or the vampire world. Two months from sealing to Ursula—a prearranged union to a woman he abhors —he’s at his wit’s end. He knows if he calls off the sealing, the Romanian clan will strike with deadly force, but he cannot see eternity with a cold empty shell of a woman like Ursula.

Just when he thought life was complicated enough, he meets Shauna—a beautiful, bi-racial human Wiccan—and immediately develops an unshakable attraction to her. She makes him feel alive and vital despite his origins and Ascher makes a decision that turns his immortal world upside down.


BLOOD BONDS 
(The Progeny Series #2)

“Forever. For always. For eternity.”

The ties that bind two hearts are powerful. For Ascher Rousseau and Shauna McCutchin, it’s more than just a blood bond. Their union is that of vampire legend. Their love is a predestined prophecy foretold centuries ago.

It’s a week before Ascher and Shauna's sealing and the couple is making final preparations for their eternity, but Ascher's ex has other plans. Ursula is hell-bent on revenge—revenge fueled by lover's scorn and her father's death—and she begins breeding a fresh army of newborn darklings to do her bidding.

When Ursula finds a new weapon—an ally with the capability to dismantle the Rousseau clan— Ascher and Shauna's bond is tested and they must stand together against Ursula or lose each other for eternity.





BLOOD PROMISE 
(The Progeny Series #3) 

“Their love is fated by an ancient prophecy. Now the promise is fulfilled.”                                            

Ascher Rousseau is a half-human, half vampire whose life has been a series of prophecies and predictions. After finding incredible love and passion with Shauna—a Wiccan with powers beyond anything he’s ever known—he seals to her and hopes for happiness. But his enemies seek to destroy all that he loves, and he finds that happiness never lasts for long.

Darkness is descending and a vampiric revolution is nearing. A new brood of hatchlings is born to join their darkling brothers, in preparation for war. A preordained chain of events is set into motion that could lead to the rise of the demonic “cloaked one” and his half-human fallen children, while ending humanity—as we know it.

Can a supernatural love and the loyal bond of a family save the Rousseaus and the world from certain extinction?


Books 1-3 of The Progeny Series and the Trilogy Box Set are available for purchase at Amazon USAmazon UK BN Smashwords i books Kobo

About Ashlynne Laynne/Q. Lane
Ashlynne Laynne/Q. Lane is a songwriter, poet and author of erotic paranormal and contemporary romance, who has always had a soft spot in her heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun-loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, she tends to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for her writing The Progeny.
                                                                                                         
She loves writing on the edge—combining the erotica and romance genres—and thinks of Ascher and Shauna as the wicked, damned version of Romeo and Juliet. She is currently working on book six of her Progeny Series, book one of her upcoming Alterity Series, and several novella spin offs. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write exclusively one day soon. Find and follow her online on Twitter. Check out her Manic Readers page, Blog and Website, or leave a note in her Reader Email.

Fall of 2013, Ashlynne Laynne started her own publishing, Q-Rotic Press. The remainder of her Progeny Series and all future projects will release through this new entity.

She lives in North Carolina with her husband and son.

About The Progeny Series

At its core, The Progeny Series is simply about a man and woman who fall in love. The fact that he’s a half-blood (half-human, half vampire) and she’s a Wiccan human are secondary factors. When we meet Ascher, he’s grumpy. Frankly, who could blame him? He’s engaged to seal to Ursula—a cold and careless vampire who wants nothing more than to get her hands on a bloodstone— and he feels conflicted about his existence.

All of that changes when he meets Shawnette McCutchin. She’s beautiful, intriguing and possesses some of the most potent blood that he’s ever smelled. A war immediately begins inside Ascher. He craves Shauna’s blood just as much as he craves her body and the closer they get, the harder it is for him to control his urges. After Ascher calls off the sealing to Ursula, the trouble begins. His family’s peaceful period ends when Ursula’s army attacks the Rousseaus.

This series encompasses a family dynamic of which we’ve never seen. The Rousseaus share a common mortal and immortal bloodline, but loyalty is the thread binding this clan. Shauna and Ascher’s dissuaded love only strengthens the family bonds. Their unique union transcends bloodlines and completes the prophecy, defying the beliefs of centuries old covenants while shattering the wall between the Wiccan and vampire worlds that has existed for ages. This series is erotic paranormal romance intended for adults, as it contains adult sensuality, language and themes.

Ashlynne and Q’s Links

Ashlynne/Q on FB * The Progeny Series on FB * Twitter * Website * Reader Email * IAN* Vampire Book Realm * Amazon Author Page * GR * Ascher and Shauna's FB Page *

Paranormal Romance and Beyond Blog * Fangs, Romance & Erotica Blog


The Progeny Series Extras


THE PROGENY/BLOOD BONDS TRAILER


THE PROGENY SERIES DREAMCAST


Layers Peeled Blitz & Giveaway!

The Defiance
Layers Peeled
Lacey Silks
(Layers Trilogy #2)
Publication date: January 13th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance


Allie is about to knock the wind out of Tristan with the biggest news of her life.
Tristan has a few surprises for Allie as well.
While the couple tries to deal with their predicament, ghosts from Allie’s past haunt her, slowly calculating the timing of their return.
Can Allie and Tristan peel away their protective layers? Fate has stacked a threat against them and if they don’t work together, trusting and sharing information, it may be too late.
Layers Peeled is Book 2 in the Layers Trilogy and should be only read after Layers Deep. Contains adult content and graphic language suitable for mature audience.
Sequel to:
18526375



a Rafflecopter giveaway

AUTHOR BIO 

Lacey is an Author of Erotic Romance. Her stories come from her life, dreams and fantasies. She’s a happily married wife with two kids. Lacey likes to make her readers blush and experience the story as if they were the characters. Drawing on the reader’s most sensitive emotions through realistic stories satisfies her more than… …ok not really, but you get the point;) She likes a pinkish shade on a woman’s cheeks, men with large feet and sexy lingerie-especially when it’s torn off the body. Her favorite piece of clothing is a ‘birthday suit’.

LINKS:





Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chenoire Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Chenoire
Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Heat level: mild

Publisher: StoryFront
Date of Publication: December 18, 2013

ASIN: B00GMTVZYI

Number of pages: 50
Word Count: approx. 15,000

Book Description:

When Faith Garrity’s twin sister died, she lost a part of herself. Unable to move past the pain, the once-driven ornithologist is at risk of losing her career as well. To save her job, she heads to the oil-ravaged wetlands of Louisiana. There, in the bayou community of Chenoire, she encounters the handsome but guarded Zackary Préjean, still suffering from a great loss of his own.

She’s drawn to Zack, but soon finds that the Préjean family isn’t what it seems… They have dangerous secrets—and deadly enemies. Caught up in a feud that threatens the area’s uneasy truce, Faith and Zack must learn to trust each other. Survival will require enormous sacrifice, but it just might also give them both a way to move on.


Short Excerpt:

Zack Préjean wiped the blood from his skinning knife onto the faded blue bottom of the apron he wore, scanning the bayou that backed up to his papa’s back porch. Something had drawn his attention, but he couldn’t figure out what.
He’d been working on the small gator for half an hour, figuring to take off enough fresh meat for dinner and prep the rest to deal with later—it was too small for the skin to be worth much. The calls and caws of the birds and cackles of swamp hens soothed him, and God knew he needed soothing. Spending the whole month of gator season at Chenoire wasn’t what he wanted to be doing. But Papa had asked him outright for help, and he had to honor that.
          Finally, he figured out what had caught his attention; the bayou was too quiet. He wedged the knife through his apron ties, covered the gator with a towel, and closed his eyes to focus on what he could hear. Footsteps coming from the path leading down to the house—heavy ones, stirring up a whiff of anger.
          Zack tripped on his way through the kitchen, catching his toe on the edge of a chair because he’d been staring out the front window instead of watching where he was going. All this family time must be getting to him, because for a moment he swore he’d seen not a man on the path that angled toward the small circle of houses where the Préjeans had lived for generations.
No, he thought he’d seen an angel.
          Except angels didn’t stomp their feet, curse like sailors, and swat at bugs, which is what this one appeared to be doing. What the hell was a woman doing on foot way out here at dusk?
          Crossing his arms over his chest, Zack leaned against the frame of the front door, silent and still, waiting to see what trouble she brought. She looked like a city woman, and city women always brought trouble.
          He couldn’t keep the grin off his face. Whatever else she was, his citified swamp angel was pissed off and dirty as sin. Bits of mud flaked off what might be a long, lean pair of legs underneath the grime that covered her from her shoes to the bottom of her khaki shorts—or maybe they were mud-covered black shorts. Hard to tell. Her hands flew around her head, batting at what Zack knew were probably the armies of tiny no-see-ums that swarmed near the small stand of trees this time of day. Occasionally, she swatted at her own head, giving her short blond hair a disheveled look he’d mistaken for a halo.
          “Damned gnats. I’m gonna—” The angel finally spotted him and stopped in her tracks, dark-blue eyes growing wider as her gaze dropped from Zack’s face to the vicinity of the knife.
He cleared his throat and stifled the laugh that threatened to escape. “You lost, Angel?”



About the Author:


Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual. She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick. She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, and a new romantic thriller beginning this month with Lovely, Dark, and Deep. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series.




  


A Date of Godlike Proportions Blitz & Excerpt!

A Date of Godlike Proportions 
by Tellulah Darling
(The Blooming Goddess Trilogy #2.5)
Publication date: December 20th 2013
Genres: Comedy, Mythology, Young Adult

Synopsis:
There’s bound to be pressure when it takes 2500 years to get to a second date. Which is exactly why Theo Rockman, a.k.a. Prometheus, would rather not go. With his best friend gravely injured and the fate of humanity still on the line, Theo has all sorts of creative excuses to avoid dating swoon-worthy god and love of his life, Hephaestus.

YA romantic comedy gets an epic mythological twist in the free (at select retailers) short story A Date of Godlike Proportions (The Blooming Goddess Trilogy Book 2.5). Being human hasn’t killed Theo, but this date just might.


Purchase:
--It's free at Kobo: http://bit.ly/18BArwG 

Excerpt

Great. The cavalry had arrived. I flicked my gaze over to my other best friend Hannah, staring at me incredulously from her position in the doorway, where she had joined Festos.
Festos patted Hannah on the shoulder affectionately before edging past her to leave.
I reluctantly tore my eyes from his retreating figure to meet her bemused gaze.
Allies. That’s what I needed. “There’s too much at stake right nowlike your future for examplefor us to be going out on a
She flapped a hand at me. “Get dressed.”
I looked down at what I was wearing. Which was basically what I always wore. A long-sleeved black T-shirt and baggy black pants. “I’m dressed.”
Hannah rolled her eyes. “Pierce,” she called out.
Her boyfriend trotted into the room at her call. “Yeah, love?”
Hannah pointed to a spot in front of me. “Stand there and look pretty, so this idiot gets the picture.”
Pierce nodded. He got into position and, with a toss of his blond tousled head, adopted the most pouty model boy expression imaginable. He winked at me, obviously amused.
Hannah blinked at him. “Whoa. That’s pretty … pretty.”
“Down, Saul,” I said. “Besides, he’s the God of Love. I’m sure there’s some kind of inherent pretty built into his DNA. With me?” I cast a skeptical look down at myself. “Festos knows what he’s getting.”
Pierce pulled up a desk chair and turned it around to straddle it.
Hannah kicked my legs away so she could sit down on the bed next to Sophie. She picked her friend’s hand up to clasp between her own. Her lip quivered as she stared at her friend but she quickly replaced any concern with a determined glare my way.
She crossed her legs and leaned forward toward me. “Have you seen that boy’s room? It’s like a hurricane went off in there. He’s going nuts trying to find the perfect outfit for this special event and you can’t even get changed?” She tucked a strand of her blond hair behind her ear.
I swung my head in Sophie’s direction. “Did you not notice your bestie lying there unconscious?”
Her hand tightened on Sophie’s. “Don’t be an idiot. Or drag Soph into this. We’re here. Nothing else is going to happen to her. She needs to heal. And don’t pull any of that ‘fate of the universe’ crap either. It’s one night. So, next excuse. I’ll shoot that down too.”
I closed my eyes. There was silence for a blessed moment.
“You feel guilty, don’t you?” She spoke softly.
I shrugged, my eyes still closed.
I felt her make the sign of the cross over me. “I absolve you of guilt, Prometheus.”
I gave a faint smile. “I’m not Catholic.”
“Well, I have no idea how to absolve a Greek God.”
“Titan,” I murmured. “And I’m not even that anymore.”


AUTHOR BIO

Tellulah Darling
noun
1. YA Novelist
2. Alter ego of former screenwriter and instructor
3. Sassy minx

Geeks out over: cool tech.
Squees for: great storytelling.
Delights in: fabulous conversation.
Writes about: where love meets comedy. Awkwardness ensues.

Author Links:



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Gatekeepers of the Em'pyrean Series Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

The Portal’s Choice
The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series
Book One      
KD Pryor                                          

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers

ISBN-10: 0989251403
ISBN-13: 978-0989251402
ASIN: B00CNV5LHG

Number of pages:  502
Word Count: 148,139

Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Covers  


Book Description:

Portals. Doorways. Gateways. All ways to get in or out of someplace, right?
Nothing weird, spooky or otherworldly about them. Or, at least that’s what Tallis Challinor always thought. Tallis is a practical young woman, a writer, a lover of words and a natural storyteller. But she’s not sure what to do when real-life sucks her into a story far stranger than anything she’s ever imagined.

Tallis discovers that portals are passageways between the human and spirit worlds. She finds out that bent-on-evil ghosts can escape from the spirit realm through those gateways whether they are supposed to or not. And when they do, Tallis finds herself the chosen human, picked by the portal in her basement in New Hampshire, to seek out and return the wayward spirits.

All Tallis wants to do is recover from the loss of her parents and settle into her new home. She’d like a boyfriend, someone like the cute guy, Aiden, down the street. She’d like some girlfriends to talk to and maybe even go shopping with. And she’d like the ghosts, the portal, and the responsibility that has been thrust upon her to disappear. 

But when the ghosts threaten her new hometown, her friends, and the family she holds so dear, Tallis discovers the inner courage to meet the portal’s challenge and save those most precious to her. Along the way, Tallis learns that she is more than she’s ever imagined herself to be and that she deserves more than she’s ever dreamed possible.



The Inn of the Kindred Spirits

The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean Series
KD Pryor

Genre: YA Paranormal

Publisher: Madaket Lane Publishers

ISBN-10: 0983232415
ISBN-13: 978-0983232414
ASIN: B00GQC7L58

Number of pages:  194
Word Count: 52,870

Cover Artist: Bespoke Book Cover  


Book Description:

Brittany, France. Near the coast. A picturesque inn. Spectacular scenery. Tasty French treats. Time off from school.

Tallis Challinor imagines this as the perfect vacation scenario, so when her grandfather suggests that she accompany him to the country of her ancestors, she is more than happy to tag along. What Tallis doesn’t bargain on is another ghostly encounter, especially not so soon after she’s sealed up a bunch of unruly ghosts on their side of the portal between the human and spirit realms. But, when she feels the energy radiating from the megalithic standing stones dotting the countryside around Carnac, France, an energy that feels frighteningly like the power exuding from the portal in her basement back home, she has a feeling she might be in trouble.  And she is right.

When her grandfather goes missing, Tallis leaps into action. She calls the only ghostbuster she knows in France and, with help on the way, she gears up to battle another set of spirits bent on causing destruction. Along the way, Tallis is forced to examine her life, her relationships, and her tightly-held beliefs about who she is and where she comes from.  She also has to juggle two impossible males, both attractive but annoying, both seemingly set on driving her nuts or breaking her heart. 

Excerpt

 Prologue of The Portal’s Choice



April 29th, 2:30 in the morning
One week to go.
I feel it, the nearness of the spirits. The fact that everything is aligning to some sort of conclusion. I hope I’m ready. I hope I have the power to finish this thing. And, I hope that Gregory Millard calls soon.
The shrill ring of the phone pierced the late night silence of the house, startling me out of an exhausted sleep. My body jerked to semi-awareness and I reached for it, knocking it to the floor in my confusion. I reached down, patted the floor, and finally found the phone as it rang for the third time.
“Yeah?” I mumbled.
“Hello, can you hear me?” shouted a voice I didn’t recognize.
I was groggy with sleep and confused as to my exact location. The voice continued hollering at me, but I had trouble focusing on it as my sluggish brain worked to figure out why I wasn’t in my bed. Finally, I remembered that I’d fallen asleep on the sofa in the front room. Satisfied that I could place my body in space, I directed my mind to the person who was calling. A glance at the clock on the wall said it was 2:00. In the morning.
“Who is this?” I asked, stretching my neck until I felt a loud, satisfying crack.
“My name is …” a male voice started, then abruptly stopped. The connection appeared to be lost.
“Hey, are you there?” I hollered back into the phone, assuming that if the caller had to yell to be heard, he needed me to yell back at him.
“Tallis, what’s going on down there?” my aunt, Gabbie, called to me. She hurried down the creaky, wooden staircase.
“Phone call,” I mumbled when she appeared in the doorway. “But I think the connection’s broken. It wasn’t too good to start with.”
Gabbie  moved  to  my  side  and  looked  down  at  me.  The flickering fire in the wood stove illuminated the paleness of her skin and amplified the heavy shadows under her eyes. She looked awful, much older than her twenty-seven years.
“Do you think?” she began, and then swallowed. “Is it him?”
I shook my head. “I don’t know.”
The voice burst through the static. “Gregory Millard.” He was gone again.
“Gregory,”  I  stood  up,  pacing,  anxious  not  to  lose  the connection I had with this guy, no matter how tenuous it might be. I’d been calling him for the past three weeks, leaving him voicemails asking him to call back. Messages that had grown in desperation even as I’d tried to keep calm so that my growing sense of panic didn’t wash through in my voice, did not warn him away.
“I’m here,” he said, and I reached for Gabbie’s hand, feeling a wave of relief that I wanted to transmit to her. “Is my Grandmother Ethel okay?”
“She’s fine,” I said. “But we really need you at her house.”
“I’m in Northern Canada... Baffin Island… Pretty remote… Bad connections here… Just got your messages.”
“I thought you lived in Montreal?” I said, and immediately thought who the heck cares where he lives? “Can you get to Landry?” I hollered, hoping he’d say yes, praying he’d be on the next flight.
“Not sure how long it’ll take.” His voice faded in and out, insubstantial and so far away, yet still our lifeline. He had to get here. “Why?”
“Uh,” I hesitated, not sure how to answer, but knowing this wasn’t the time to explain, and pretty certain that he wouldn’t believe me even if I tried. Gabbie was giving me an is that the best you can say to this guy? look. She lifted her hands in the air, exasperated. I shrugged, knowing she was as anxious as I was to get him here even though her hand gestures weren’t helpful. I shot her a you want to try and do better? look and continued. “It’s too hard to explain over the phone,” I improvised. “Especially with this connection. Please come. I’ll tell you all about it when you get here.”
“But, Grandmother’s fine?” his voice trailed through the ether.
“Everyone is fine,” I said, striving to relay a maturity I didn’t feel. “Your great-aunt Constance is anxious to see you,” I added, wanting to reassure him that I had a real connection to him.
 “Be there as soon as I can find a way off the island.”
“Thanks, Gregory.” I felt relief wash over me, accompanied by a glimmer of hope that, with his help, I’d finally get the escaped ghosts back to the spirit world and close the portal in the basement of his grandparents’ home once and for all.
The connection broke. He was gone. I sank back onto the couch, exhausted. Gabbie joined me.
“He said he’d come?” she asked, rubbing her eyes and tucking a strand of hair behind her ear.
“I think so. He said he was somewhere remote, some island or something. He hadn’t gotten the messages before.”
“I’m frightened, Tallis. For all of us, but especially for you.” She scooted closer to me and we leaned against one another. I felt soothed by her presence and glad for her support. Because I was scared, too. As Gabbie dozed, I allowed my mind to wander over all the ins and outs of my situation. As if being fifteen isn’t hard enough.
All I wanted was a normal life, like any teenager. Instead, here I was, living in a small town in New Hampshire and dealing with a horde of nasty ghosts who were seeking revenge for perceived wrongs done to them during their living years.  And, for the murderous deaths most of them had endured. When I’d been deputized as a Gatekeeper of the portal between the human and spirit worlds, and been given the responsibility of rounding up the recalcitrant ghouls, the otherworldly thugs had come after me. They’d focused on making my life hell and, in the process, had turned me into the biggest freak Landry had ever known. In the last three weeks, I hadn’t been able to go anywhere without an earthbound spirit showing up to taunt me and to hurt a bystander or two. I was getting sick of the entire mess. Not to mention, I wasn’t too popular around town.
Gabbie shifted and settled against a cushion, allowing me the freedom to grab my journal. I wanted to record my conversation with Gregory, jot down the mess of thoughts running through my brain, and then, hopefully, get some sleep. I’ve always kept a journal, but I’d never had such interesting entries. Of course, when I was being the most honest with myself, I knew that what I was really doing was leaving a record of my experiences. Just in case.
A creak from outside the living room put me on alert. The hair on my neck rose and I held my breath, straining to hear any other sounds. Not tonight. Please.
When no other creaks sounded, I let out a sigh. It’s an old house. There’s bound to be a few noises.
Noreis’ face floated into my mind and, at that moment, I wanted  him  there  because  he’d  know  what  to  do  and  then  I wouldn’t be the responsible one. Noreis. Gabbie’s husband and a man I’d once dismissed as weird, but whom I’d come to respect immensely. I missed him, although he did manage to keep in touch. Returning the spirits to the Netherworld would be as much for his sake as for mine.
Gabbie snored softly. She was tired most of the time and I was glad she could rest. Still, I envied her. I’d been on alert for what seemed like years because whenever I let down my guard, the spirits attacked. That’s why I’d chosen to sleep downstairs tonight. Being in my room at the top of the house was too far away from the portal to quickly respond to an attack.
I hated being on the defensive. It was wearing me down. I needed to switch to the offense, which was why I needed Gregory Millard to get to Landry quickly. As the grandson of the last active Gatekeeper for this particular portal, I hoped he might have the power to help me corral the wandering spirits back to the spirit realm and close them in forever.
Another creak, louder and closer this time, and coming from the vicinity of the basement door, sent me to my feet, my journal clattering to the ground. The noise woke Gabbie just as another sharp crack of old wood disturbed the stillness of the house. We stared at each other, terrified, and then we turned to watch for movement beyond the slot of space between the open pocket doors. Something was out there. I could feel it.
“Tallis.”

2- $25 Amazon gift cards 



About the Author: 

KD Pryor started life in Missouri, where she read lots of books, even sneaking them into baseball games to the irritation of her father. Kelley graduated with a degree in International and Comparative Studies from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. After college and marriage to a great guy, she decided to pursue a law degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Her oldest son was born soon after law school, followed three years later by her daughter and a move to Kentucky. One more son, a move to Ohio and four years later, her family jumped on the opportunity to move to India. They lived in Bangalore, now Bengaluru, for four wonderfully chaotic years, traveling all over Asia, Australia and Europe.

Now, settled in New Hampshire with her family and herd of cats (only three), she can often be found in her office, working on the next installment of “The Gatekeepers of Em’pyrean” series, reading one of a dozen books she has started, and dreaming of her future travel destinations.

“The Portal’s Choice”, book one in “The Gatekeeper’s of Em’pyrean” series featuring Tallis Challinor, was released on May 6, 2013.

“The Inn of the Kindred Spirits”, a novella featuring protagonist Tallis Challinor, was released in November 18, 2013.

“The Forgotten Gate”, book two in “The Gatekeeper of Em’pyrean” series, is scheduled for release in 2014.




@KDPryorbooks