Saturday, April 12, 2014

Destroyed Blitz, Excerpts & Giveaway!

Destroyed by Pepper Winters
Publication date: March 7th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance



Synopsis:
She has a secret.

I’m complicated. Not broken or ruined or running from a past I can’t face. Just complicated.

I thought my life couldn’t get any more tangled in deceit and confusion. But I hadn’t met him. I hadn’t realized how far I could fall or what I’d do to get free.

He has a secret.

I’ve never pretended to be good or deserving. I chase who I want, do what I want, act how I want.

I didn’t have time to lust after a woman I had no right to lust after. I told myself to shut up and stay hidden. But then she tried to run. I’d tasted what she could offer me and damned if I would let her go.

One secret destroys them.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20324107-destroyed?ac=1
Purchase:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Destroyed-Pepper-Winters-ebook/dp/B00IUNAHZ2/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1394226971&sr=8-10&keywords=destroyed+pepper+winters




DELETED SCENES


Unedited. Copyright Pepper Winters

All I took was my Cayman and the bag of cash. I knew where Hazel lived and it was a simple matter of using the many skills I possessed and breaking into her apartment.

I stood over her, wrapped in shadows as she slept. Her face never smoothed from a frown, her lips tugged down with grief. My heart beat for her and I’d hoped—prayed—that she’d be able to forgive me, but I knew it was fruitless.

This was the only path for me. –ROAN



I screeched to a halt outside the apartment block. Oscar refused to tell me the address, but I didn’t waste time arguing. I could’ve beaten it out of him, but I had other means.

I’d learned from his refusal last time and attached a GPS tracker to his car. It was a simple matter of following the most recent route he’d taken with the app on my android.

The purr of my black Porsche set my nerves on edge. The dash clock said it was one a.m.

Too early for a house call, but this wasn’t just a house call. This was a flat out demand for her to come back. I would give her anything if only she’d give me one last chance.

Turning the engine off, I dragged bruised and cut hands through my unkept hair, and climbed out of the sports car. The sleek lines glowed like an expensive gem beneath the street lights. Raindrops ran down my face, feeling like the world cried for me. The sky sensed my inability to re-enter the human life—it mourned on my behalf the regret I felt.—ROAN



With a savage push, I chimed the doorbell and waited.

And waited.

And fucking waited.

I pressed it again.

Finally scuffling sounded on the other side of the door before it was cracked open. The safety chain stayed across.

I growled, “Where is she, Corkscrew? I need to talk to her.”

Corkscrew gritted his jaw. His dark skin and black eyes looked like the gatekeeper from hell. “She told me not to let her near her.”

Shaking my head, I said, “That isn’t an option. I just want to talk.” Swiping a hand over my face, keeping my temper in check I added, “I need to apologise for before.”—ROAN



He slammed to a knee, shaking his head.

“Hey! Don’t hurt him,” Clue screamed. I ignored her and advanced on Corkscrew. If anyone had any chance at delivering some pain it was this man.

He kept his head down, playing the victim. But I was prepared for his large hand swiping at my calf and taking my leg from under me.

I landed on my hip and didn’t have time to breathe before he landed on top of me and delivered a rain of fists.

It hurt. It fucking hurt. It was exactly what I needed.

Rolling together, I pinned him down and delivered a few swings myself. His nose gushed blood, looking dark against his black skin. “Where is she?”—ROAN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

AUTHOR BIO

Pepper Winters is a NYT and USA International Bestseller. She wears many roles. Some of them include writer, reader, sometimes wife. She loves dark, taboo stories that twist with your head. The more tortured the hero, the better, and she constantly thinks up ways to break and fix her characters. Oh, and sex... her books have sex.
She loves to travel and has an amazing, fabulous hubby who puts up with her love affair with her book boyfriends.

Author links:
http://pepperwinters.com/
https://twitter.com/PepperWinters
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Pepper-Winters/539976006062848
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7151973.Pepper_Winters


Friday, April 11, 2014

Through His Eyes Tour & Excerpt!

Through His Eyes
Deborah Camp

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Date of Publication:  April 4, 2014

Number of pages: 392
Word Count: 100,000

Cover Artist: Patricia Schmitt

Book Description:

Two psychics – one serial killer.

Someone is stalking women and murdering them in Key West.

Levi Wolfe and Trudy Tucker join forces to help identify the murderer and stop him. Levi can channel the deceased victims and Trudy can tap into the mind of the killer. As a psychic detective team, they’re formidable. As lovers, they discover that they’re insatiable.

But if Trudy can see through the killer’s eyes, can the killer see her?

 Excerpt  
Trudy drew in a breath and told herself to chill out. Levi sat in the rattan chair to her right, crossed his legs, and flicked a white thread from his black trousers. He was the picture of calmness and she felt as if her chest was full of butterflies.
“Do you two have separate rooms?” Trudy asked, trying to drive past her nervousness and get Quintara’s goat.
Levi smirked and glanced at a cackling Quintara.
“Levi’s too busy seducing all the pretty television anchor women to want to share a room with a well-rounded, older enchantress like me. Isn’t that right, Levi?”
“You’re the one who was announcing your room number to every waiter and barkeep we ran into last night.”
“And a lot of good it did me,” Quintara said, flipping her string of red beads and puckering her lips in a pout. “But let’s talk about murder.” She glanced from him to Trudy. “Have you felt anything, dear? He’s been talking to you, hasn’t he?”
Trudy fidgeted on the sofa. “Yes, a little. I don’t know . . .”
“You do know,” Quintara said, her tone scolding, scalding. “You have felt him?”
“Yes.” The word almost stuck in her throat. She glanced toward Levi and flinched when she saw that he was completely focused on her. Talk about intense! It was like she was being blasted by a laser beam. “He’s thinking of murdering a barmaid that he knows. But I’m not entirely sure—.” She caught the rapier-edged glance Levi and Quintara exchanged. “What?”
“You have the right person, dear.” Quintara nodded to a folded newspaper on the coffee table. “A barkeep was murdered last night. He mutilated her.”
“Oh, no!” Feeling as if she had been socked in the gut, Trudy reached for the newspaper and located the front page article easily. The details were sketchy. No clues. No leads. Used a serrated knife. Mutilation. Worked at the Gold Lagoon on Canal Street. A shiver ran through her and guilt brought hot tears to the back of her eyes. “I should have told you about the vision sooner.”
“And what? We would have cased out every bar in Key West and warned the potential victims?” Quintara shrugged. “We must have more to go on than that, dear. We’ll put our heads together and create a profile of this killer. We’ll get to know him so well that we can predict his movements. Eventually, we’ll be ahead of him and be able to identify him and help catch him.”
Trudy turned toward Levi to find that he was still studying her, one brow slightly arched. “What have you been getting about this guy?” she asked.
He lifted one broad shoulder. “The victims haven’t given me much to go on yet. They didn’t see him coming and were knocked out. The woman before this one – Janie Fullbright was her name – was blindfolded, gagged, and when she came to, her wrists and ankles were tied. She was a heroine addict.” He held out a hand for the newspaper. He wore a silver ring on his middle finger and the square black onyx in it glinted in the sunlight.
When he moved, Trudy caught a whiff of lemony lime. One cool customer, she thought. Everything about him was controlled, calculated almost. But there was an undercurrent of turmoil just below his polished surface. She’d always felt it and that intrigued her about him –more than his psychic abilities or his reputation as a womanizer.




About the Author:


Author of more than 50 novels, Deborah lives in Oklahoma. She has been a full-time writer since she graduated from the University of Tulsa. Her background as a reporter for newspapers helped her to write fast and enjoy research. After she sold her first few books, she quit newspaper work to become a freelance writer and novelist.

Deborah's first novel was published in the late 1970s and her books have been published by Jove, New American Library, Harlequin, Silhouette, and Avon. She has been inducted into the Oklahoma Authors Hall of Fame and she is a charter member of the Romance Writers of America. She is also a member of the Author's Guild. She was the first recipient of the Janet Dailey Award.

Through His Eyes (April, 2012) is her first romantic suspense book. It has paranormal elements and is erotic. She plans at least two more books featuring Levi Wolfe and Trudy Tucker.

Also widely published in non-fiction, she and writes and edits for a magazine focused on small businesses. Deborah taught fiction writing for more than 10 years at a community college. She has been a guest speaker at numerous writers’ conferences, including Romance Writers of America (RWA), Writers, Inc., and the Oklahoma Writers Federation, Inc. She has served as a judge in numerous writing contests throughout the United States and has judged manuscripts in RWA’s Golden Heart Awards and RITA Awards. She is currently working on her next historical romance set in the wild, wonderful west.

In 2012 her books were re-issued on Amazon for Kindle Direct and have attracted tens of thousands of new fans.

Deborah’s website www.deborah-camp.com






About the Books

Too Tough to Tame

"THIS IS A WONDERFUL BOOK."

The book is funny and touching. I have read this book over 50 times already and I never get tired of it. Tess is so cute while Storm is strong and loving. They made a great couple.  -- Amazon review from Snowstar

Tough Talk and Tender Kisses

"ABSOLUTE GOLD!"

This is definitely the best novel in the "Tough Man" series. The entire series is great; this one just happens to be my favorite. I absolutely adore Reno Gold (hero) and I love how he wins Adele with love and humor.-- Amazon review from A. Gideon

Lover of the west and the people who tried to tame it, Deborah likes to write about strong, independent women and the men who are their equals. She grew up on a diet of TV westerns which have served her well. Living in Oklahoma has also been a godsend. Since she appreciates men with devilish twinkles in their eyes, she likes to mix laughter in with the love scenes in her books.

Cheyenne's Shadow

"ONE OF THE BEST!"

One of the best romance novels I have ever read. There is excitement, sadness, and passion in this book. I know I have read this book at least five times since I bought it.-- Amazon review by S. Ceballos


A Tough Man's Woman

"FIVE STARS!"

I really enjoyed this book as it was one that kept you guessing most of the time.
-- Amazon review from Phyl

Lonewolf's Woman

"WONDERFUL STORY!"

Ah, fascinating to the last drop (or page). Highly recommended. Surely, a keeper!
-- Amazon review from M. Hartmann

Black-eyed Susan

"FIVE STARS!"

I found it hard to put down. It made me realize how things were in those years (long before I was born). I looked for more books by the same author.
-- Amazon review from C. Schmidt

Lady Legend

"I LOVED IT!"

The main characters in the book, Copper and Tucker, are great together even though they are totally different. I never read any of Deborah Camp's books before, but after reading this one, I'm looking for more. -- Amazon review from Love to Read Jan.

Books by Deborah Camp

Amazon Exclusive Release

To Seduce and Defend

Amazon Kindle Novella

The Madcap and the Miser 2012

Avon Historical Romances

Blazing Embers
Primrose
Fire Lily
Black-eyed Susan
Fallen Angel
Cheyenne’s Shadow
My Wild Rose
Lady Legend
Too Tough To Tame
Tough Talk, Tender Kisses
A Tough Man’s Woman

Harmony Hardcover
Belle Starr, Bandit Queen

Silhouette Romances

To Have, To Hold
Devil’s Bargain
This Tender Truce

Silhouette Special Edition

For Love or Money
In a Pirate’s Arms
Just Another Pretty Face
Vein of Gold
Right Behind the Rain
After Dark
Master of Moonspell

Harlequin Temptation

The Butler Did It
Wrangler’s Lady
Hook, Line, and Sinker
Love Letters
Weathering the Storm
The Second Mr. Sullivan
A Newsworthy Affair
Destiny’s Daughter
Taming the Wild Man
Oklahoma Man

Rapture Romances

Sweet Passion’s Song
A Dream to Share
Winter Flame
Midnight Eyes
Riptide

Serenade Romances

Tomorrow’s Bride

To Have and to Hold  Romances

They Said it Wouldn’t Last
Strange Bedfellows

Available for the Kindle:

Wild Hearts
Passionate Hearts
Daring Hearts
Tender Hearts
Dangerous Hearts
Love and Laughter
Love and Adventure
Love Everlasting





Freedom Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Freedom by S.A. Wolfe 
(Fearsome #2)
Publication date: April 7th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:
*This is a stand-alone sequel to Fearsome. No cliffhanger!

Dylan Blackard is back in town and certain everyone knows his secrets.

Putting away his notorious reputation as the wild guy with a womanizing past, he’s now on a new path, wanting to be the good guy his brother can stop worrying over. As long as he gives up his old vices—including women—he can keep himself on the straight and narrow and finally live up to everyone’s expectations.

However, obsessing about his lack of self-control is making Dylan one humorless, cranky hermit. That all changes, though, when his brother hires a new employee, the stunning Emma Keller, who will be sharing an office with him and all of his tightly wound nerves.

Emma, a spunky young woman from New Jersey, isn’t about to feel sorry for Dylan and his situation. She is beyond distracting to him, and that is enough to turn his emotional balancing act upside down. Not only is she intelligent, and a smart aleck, she’s also very determined to pull the sexy Dylan Blackard out of his self-imposed isolation.

From the moment he meets her, he feels alive again, but Emma doesn’t come as a gift with a pretty bow; she comes with major baggage—a family embedded in its own tumultuous history.

Will Emma be the tipping point that causes Dylan to regress into his past destructive behaviors…or will he actually pursue her for keeps?

*Due to adult language and sexual content, this New Adult Contemporary Romance is intended for readers over the age of 18.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20828093-freedom?ac=1
Purchase:
Freedom will be 0.99c for the duration of the blitz - it would be great if you mentioned this on your post!
Amazon: http://amzn.to/1i6ZxmV
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1hpmxzF
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1hQP6lT


Excerpt

“You’re living with her and you’re trying to keep it platonic?” Dr. Wang pauses his typing and squints at me.

“Am I screwing up?” I ask. “I really like Emma, but I don’t want this to go to crap. I don’t want to do what I did to Jess… I don’t want to get in deep and then find out I’m on another bender.”

Dr. Wang smiles at my term for going manic. “I’ve been seeing you for months and you’re doing well. There’s nothing wrong with being attracted to Emma and dating her, if that’s what you’re suggesting, although living and working together so soon may be a challenge. However, if it’s comfortable for both of you, it doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong. Although, you seemed to have rushed right in to living with her, the circumstances are unique. Dylan, no one—not even your brother—expects you to never have a relationship with a woman again. This choice of celibacy was yours. Did you plan on living like that forever?”

“I’m not sure. I suppose I thought I could pull it off and keep it together.”

“Do you really think it’s realistic?” Dr. Wang leans back in his chair and looks at me. “You’re young, you’re healthy, and for the most part, you’ve got your depression under control. You sound indecisive about it. Tell me about that.”

“I’m indecisive about what to do with her. I don’t know what I’m allowed to do.” I get nervous just talking about Emma and my hands start fidgeting on the armrests.

“Allowed? You keep referring to these rules you think someone has established for you. Tell me more about what you’re feeling with Emma.”

“I like her a lot.”

“You’ve said that at least six times since you walked in the door.” He smiles. “From my perspective, I can see you’re different. You’re happier. Is that all because of Emma?”

“Yeah. When I’m around her, I think I actually feel my blood pumping, and I start feeling optimistic. It’s like every part of me has finally been woken up from a coma. It’s very vivid and that’s what’s scary.”

“So you’re in love?” Dr. Wang asks thoughtfully.

“No, I like her a lot, though.” I have to downplay my feelings for her. If I say that I think I’m falling in love with her, I really will sound like a nut job.

“That’s seven likes.” He smiles again. “Okay, I see where this is going. I’m going to ask you two questions, and I want you to give me the first thing that comes to your mind. A quick response without deliberating. Understand?”

I nod and think of Emma back at the office, probably wondering why I have been keeping my hands off her for the last two days since our hot and heavy, near-sex episode on the couch. We drive to work together and spend our days dealing with accounts, and then when we go home, I cook dinner and we watch TV while she knits. We’re like an old married couple that never has had sex, not even the consummation part. That’s my fault, of course. She is not shy about what she wants, and I would want it, too, if I knew that my crazy head couldn’t possibly put us on the road to ruin.

“Go ahead,” I say.

“Why do you like Emma?”

“She makes me feel fantastic.” I sound remorseful rather than thrilled.

“Why are you afraid of being with Emma?”

“Because she makes me feel fantastic… and I might turn into the old Dylan again. I might lose all this self-control I’ve been managing for months.”

“Okay, this is what I want you to hear. Fact, you like her a lot and she makes you feel fantastic. You worrying about losing control and turning into the old Dylan are speculation and fear, not fact. We have to work with facts. If you keep letting your fear dictate how you live, you will miss some very big things in life.”

His words provide some relief. It’s like my shrink is handing me a golden ticket.

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AUTHOR BIO

S. A. Wolfe lives with her very loud, opinionated children and husband. She is a voracious reader and passionate about writing, and when those two activities don’t keep her locked away in her room, she loves roaming the streets of New York City. Sometimes she even hikes mountains, but most of the time she finds excellent ways to procrastinate.

Author links:
http://www.sa-wolfe.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6993649.S_A_Wolfe
https://www.facebook.com/sawolfe24
https://twitter.com/sawolfe_


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Raven's Blood Tour, Bonus Content & Giveaway!

Raven’s Blood
Moon Virus
Book 1
Cassandra Lawson

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication:  03/25/2014

ISBN: 978-1495234514
ASIN:

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 85,088

Book Description:

Following the death of her wood nymph mother at the hands of vampires, Raven worked hard to build a life for herself in one of the few remaining human settlements. Her life takes a frightening turn when she finds herself an unwilling guest in a vampire settlement, but things are not anything like she expected them to be. Still, she cannot help but feel that her attraction to the vampire leader is a betrayal to her mother’s memory and her human friends.

From the moment Connor first laid eyes on Raven she has thrown his entire world off-balance. In order to prove his strength as a leader, he has no choice but to take her up on her offer to trade her freedom for that of her human friends. Having begun his life as a slave, he has no interest in keeping the wood nymph captive. As a man, he has no desire to feel this overwhelming attraction to a woman who hates him and his kind.

As Raven spends more time with the vampires, her feelings for Connor grow even stronger and Connor finds that she may be the one thing he cannot live without. Unfortunately, a new danger emerges that could threaten the survival of vampires and humans alike. As Connor struggles to unravel the mystery of the attacks from a new species of vampire, a madman will go to any lengths to get Raven’s blood.

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ravens-blood-cassandra-lawson/1118929069?ean=2940149365500
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/ravens-blood/id828176593?mt=11

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/412188

Excerpt:

Connor was shocked when Raven took off. She skipped the overgrown trail and headed straight into the trees. He followed her, awed by her graceful movements. If he’d been human, he never would have been able to keep up with her. With each step she seemed to gain strength.

Connor finally caught her arm. “Slow down some, little nymph.”

“Why?” she asked with a radiant smile. “Are you having trouble keeping up with me?”

Connor stepped in closer to her body and leaned in until she was trapped against a tree by his much larger body. Her gasp made him smile. She had obviously noticed his erection pressed against her belly. “Vampires get excited by the chase,” he said. “It weakens my self-control.”

Her eyes widened. “I thought you said you didn’t want an unwilling partner.”

“I don’t,” he said. “That’s why I would have to lay you down on the ground and lick every inch of your sweet body until you begged me to take you.”

Her pulse quickened and Connor couldn’t resist the temptation to lean forward and run his tongue across it. That made him even harder and he hadn’t thought that was possible.

Damn, but she seemed to be considering letting him do it. The green tint to her cheeks deepened. Never in a million years would he have guessed that green tinted flesh would be a turn-on. This hadn’t happened before so he assumed it had something to do with her proximity to nature. He suddenly wondered if other parts of her body flushed green when she was excited. Damn, he really would love to strip her naked and find out.

Finally, she let out a shaky breath. “Sorry, I’ll move slower.”

He released her and adjusted his jeans. “We need to stop for a minute so I can get things under control,” he said.

“I’m sorry,” she said nervously. “I wasn’t trying to do that to you.”

“You never are,” he said mostly to himself.




Raven’s Blood Cookies
I love to bake and I am always experimenting with new cookie recipes. Okay, I also love eating cookies. As a busy mom and author, some days I need a simple recipe to satisfy my cookie cravings. This recipe requires very little effort but results in a cookie that is chewy on the outside with a moist cakey center.

Prep time: 15 minutes
Bake time: 18-20 minutes
Makes: 22-24 cookies
Preheat: 350ºF (175ºC).

Chocolate Cookie Base

Ingredients: Directions:

1/2 cup butter softened Mix butter until it has a nice creamy consistency, around

1 box of chocolate cake mix 5 minutes. Add cake mix, egg, egg yolk, oil, and vanilla

1 egg and 1 egg yolk extract. Mix until well-blended. Fold in chocolate chips.

2 tbsp. vegetable oil Form balls of dough and drop on cookie sheet lined with

1 tbsp. vanilla extract parchment paper. Place about 1 inch apart. Press down on

1 cup mini chocolate chips center of balls with a spoon to make an indent.


Red Velvet Center

Ingredients: Directions:

1/2 cup butter softened Mix butter until it has a nice creamy consistency, around

1 box of red velvet cake mix 5 minutes. Add cake mix, eggs, and oil. Mix until well

2 eggs blended. Form smaller balls of dough and then drop them

2 tbsp. vegetable oil in the indents on the chocolate base. There will be extra red

velvet dough. I recommend forming balls of dough, dropping them on the cookie sheet and sprinkling powdered sugar on top.

Bake cookies for 18-20 minutes. Allow them to cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.




About the Author:

Cassandra Lawson is an author and homeschooling mother of three from the San Francisco Bay area. She has always had a very active imagination and loves making up stories. When she is not writing she enjoys baking, spending time with her family, listening to music, or curling up with a good book.






Mine to Claim Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Mine to Claim by A.C. Arthur
(Damaged Hearts #1)
Published by: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publication date: April 8th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance


Synopsis:
Shadow Shifters: Damaged Hearts—a deeply emotional, unforgettable New Adult paranormal romance series by A.C. Arthur about the men who are sworn to protect the females—human or otherwise—from the savage fury of his own nature…

In Mine to Claim by A.C. Arthur, Grace Kincaid has been trapped her whole life. Controlled in every way by her domineering parents, she has never had any moment of excitement or passion in all her eighteen years. When a rare night out with a friend ends in violence, Grace believes that perhaps her parents are right to keep her under lock and key. There’s just one problem—she can’t get the irresistibly sexy, mysterious man who saved her from danger out of her head. She knows she should go back to her safe world, but her newfound passion for life—and for her enigmatic protector—are making that impossible…Despite his strength and power, Aidan Sanchez cannot escape. Bound by his Shifter bloodline, he is repulsed by the very attributes his family wishes him to embrace. His main goal is to keep his more dangerous…hungers… under wraps. But when a fight at a club forces Aidan to protect the most alluring woman he’s ever seen, there’s no turning back. He knows he shouldn’t drag her into his world, but she’s awakened a fire within him, and for once, he’s willing to lose control if it means having Grace…

Don’t miss Part of Me coming in May 13, 2014 and Hunger for You coming June 10, 2014.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/19079945-mine-to-claim?ac=1
Purchase:
--Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mine-Claim-Shadow-Shifters-Damaged-ebook/dp/B00H0V04EY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1396535106&sr=8-1&keywords=Mine+to+Claim+arthur
--B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mine-to-claim-ac-arthur/1117539153?ean=9781466857087


Excerpt

“Why do you keep saving me?” I don’t know why I asked that question, wasn’t really sure I wanted the answer. But I didn’t want to walk away from him, not just yet. “I mean you just keep showing up where I am, when there’s some guy bothering me, like you’re my personal bodyguard.”

When he didn’t speak I got worried.

“You’re not, are you? My parents didn’t hire you to watch me, did they?”

“Wow,” he said with a wry chuckle. “What kind of parents do you have?”

I was about to answer or at least give him some sort of retraction statement when I noticed something. He’d smiled, or one half of his mouth had lifted as if he wanted to smile and his voice hadn’t sounded so ominous.

“I guess the same type anybody has,” I replied lightly, “if you have insanely strict and overprotective ones that don’t know when to let go.”

He nodded then, that partial smile still in place. “Yeah, I guess I sort of know that tune.”

“Gotta love ‘em, huh?” I lifted my cup to my lips, drinking from what was left and acting as if I wasn’t standing on the side of a building as darkness was finally beginning to set with a guy that was wanted by the police.

The half-smile faltered. “Guess so.”

A group of people came out of the coffee shop, laughing and joking with each other, their voices causing Aidan’s head to snap in their direction.

“I should go,” he said without looking back at me.

He was right, he probably should go. But I didn’t want him to so I didn’t respond. He didn’t seem to care because he moved around me heading for his bike. I turned, opening my mouth, prepared to say . . . what? “Stay with me?” “Take me with you?” I didn’t have the guts.

Aidan lifted his leg and sat on his bike. With one booted foot he pushed the stand back and straightened the bike. Digging in his pocket he pulled out a key. I was watching his every movement as if transfixed. His fingers were long, his hands wide, he looked strong. He started the bike and my heart thumped wildly, beneath the leather gloves my palms began to sweat, the hand that held the coffee cup shaking.

“Come with me,” he said softly.

So softly I barely heard him over the rumble of the bike.

“What?” I sounded like a dweeb or a scared, nervous female, or whatever, it didn’t sound good.

He didn’t seem to mind because he repeated his statement, “Come with me.”

The first night he’d said that to me I’d hesitated because Rory had said the same thing when he’d invited me to his house that night. The second time Aidan had said it, last night at the party, I’d been so shocked at seeing him I hadn’t related it to Seattle or what happened there at all. Tonight, he was saying it again and I had a choice. I could get on this bike and go with him—the guy that Scarlett had so politely pointed out was a recluse and I didn’t know a damned thing about. Or I could go back to my dorm room and sit in front of a computer pretending to work when I was really thinking about the recluse that I didn’t know a damned thing about, except that his kiss had excited me more than anything I’d ever experienced in my entire life.

I tossed the coffee cup aside, not caring that I was littering. Okay, that was probably going to bug the hell out of me tomorrow, but not right now, not at this instant. The only thing on my mind right now was climbing onto the back of Aidan’s bike, fitting my front against his back, and loving the feeling of warmth that immediately seeped through him into me.

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AUTHOR BIO

A.C. Arthur was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland where she currently resides with her husband and three children. An active imagination and a love for reading encouraged her to begin writing in high school and she hasn't stopped since.

Working in the legal field she's seen lots of horrific things and longs for the safe haven reading a romance novel brings. Her debut novel Object of His Desire was written when a picture of an Italian villa sparked the idea of an African-American/Italian hero. Determined to bring a new edge to romance, she continues to develop intriguing plots, sensual love scenes, racy characters and fresh dialogue--thus keeping the readers on their toes!

In the young adult arena, A.C. also writes under the name Artist Arthur. Visit her Amazon Author Page for details about available YA books. amazon.com/author/artistarthurbooks

Author links:
http://www.acarthur.net/
https://www.facebook.com/pages/AC-Arthurs-Book-Lounge/140199625996114
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/100764.A_C_Arthur


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Covenant Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Covenant
The Books of Raziel
Book 2
Sabrina Benulis

Genre: Paranormal Fantasy

Publisher: Harper Voyager

Date of Publication: 4/1/2014

ISBN: 9780062069412

Number of pages: 400
Word Count: 98,000


Book Description:

The haunting gothic tale started in Archon continues-a mesmerizing work of the paranormal in which a young woman discovers that she is caught in a labyrinth of intrigue where angels, demons, and all the creatures between Heaven and Hell will stop at nothing to possess her.

A year ago, Angela Mathers, a talented artist with a tortured soul, enrolled at the Westwood Academy and encountered the angels who haunted her dreams. Then she discovered the dark truth … she is the Archon, a being of supreme power who will determine the fate of the universe. But with such power comes great danger, and for every force seeking to aid Angela there is another burning to stop her. After a scheming demon kidnaps the Book of Raziel, Angela must find her way through a nightmarish game and enter the Door to Hell to rescue her only friend before it is too late.

The perilous fate of both Heaven and Hell rests on her success.




Excerpt

Genesis ~ The Story So Far

In the beginning of all things, there was a song, and starlight, and a Garden within eternity's shadows. There, God created three great angels, and they were destined to rule all of Heaven from three majestic thrones.
          Israfel, the Creator Supernal, was considered to be the most beautiful of these angels. A vision of bronze feathers and grace, he found favor in the eyes of God and Heaven and soon outstripped his siblings in both popularity and power. His brother Raziel, the Preserver Supernal, became known for the virtues of wisdom and gentleness. And then there was Lucifel, the Destroyer Supernal embodying creation's fathomless darkness and depths, who despite her taciturn personality still managed to snare the hearts of creatures.
          The storms and upsets of the universe could not touch these three angels. Sickness and death were beneath them.
But they were not immune to the passions of the heart.
As Israfel's favor grew, so did Lucifel's frightful envy and discontent.
          Seeing herself as an equal to her sibling and with a loyal band of angels to support her claim, Lucifel finally broke with the established order and challenged Israfel's position as Heaven's supreme ruler under God. When Raziel--who had always seemingly vacillated in his loyalty between both siblings--took Lucifel as his lover, a bloody revolution exploded. The children of their forbidden union were executed, but in retaliation Lucifel engulfed Heaven in a War that ended in Raziel's suicide, Israfel's abdication, and her own tragic destiny.
Though defeated by both fate and circumstance, Lucifel chose to begin a new regime in lower, darker places. Yet she was swiftly imprisoned in her new kingdom of Hell.
Those who had once worshipped her in her glory were now her fearful jailers. They called themselves demons.
          In the darkness below all things, caged and alone, Lucifel's ideals twisted even as her shadow of influence grew. From Hell it then spread like a poison, touching even the mortal world.
          Though her true motives remain unknown, she is now suspected of wishing to open Raziel's fabled Book, seeking to use its power to silence the universe and the light within it that mocks her. Lucifel moves quicker by the day to manipulate events in her favor. But Raziel's death was not completely in vain. He has returned as the guardian spirit of a human girl to see that his sister Lucifel fails in her goal. This human girl is called the Archon.
          The Archon is the only soul believed to be capable of opening the Book for the power of good. But like all creatures She has a choice, and will either stand against Lucifel and destroy her, or kill her only to take her place on the Throne of Hell and begin a darker era of Ruin.
          In either instance, Her decision must be made quickly.
With the ties that once held the universe together brutally severed, an order long teetering on the edge of collapse has started to slide toward complete annihilation. A silence more threatening than Lucifel's looms over all creatures--one without hope of resurrection. The whereabouts of the Lock and Key of Raziel's Book are unknown, and the task of opening it to save what remains of the world verges on the impossible.
The Archon is a soul born in mortal misery, and she has only recently grasped the virtue of friendship. There are many who believe that her dark destiny is--like Lucifel's--unavoidable.
          But if Ruin and Death born of three unhappy angels sparked the end, it is also true that covenants broken can be remade, and that the wheels of fate can be turned backwards despite all odds. Hearts call to one another, undoing the knots that have strangled hope, and imprisoned peace. For darkness to exist, there must be a brighter light. The world has always known pain, strife, and wars.
Yet it is the bonds between souls that have moved the stars.

Zero

          Many doors begged to be opened in the city of Luz. Kim was certain he'd at last found the only one that mattered.
          Like all ominous things, it had materialized in the darkest hour of his life. Now he stood in front of its immense black wood and gasped for breath, cold sweat trickling down the side of his nose. A thousand warnings sounded off in his brain, and his lungs ached as they sucked in the freezing air. His hands had gone numb. Ice shellacked the tips of Kim's hair, and the strands swept punishingly against his neck. The wind strangled him with every breath, searching relentlessly for other lives to snuff out, sighing like a cold song through the alley.
A soft hiss shivered through the bone cold night, and the harsh breeze died for a moment. The damp and stone-filled city had hushed, as if waiting. Flurries drifted serenely to the ground.
Kim glanced over his shoulder, shuddering. Fear throbbed through him in waves.
He would have to move fast. He didn't have much time to make a decision before she caught up to him.
The door beckoned, suspicious and dark. Should he? Shouldn't he? 
Kim stared at the door, gasping for breath. He peered at the odd carvings and symbols in the wood. Impulsively, he reached for the snake-shaped iron knob.
Reality twisted and warped like a flash of lightning. Without warning the iron serpent came alive and lunged.
Inch long metal fangs sunk into Kim's palm. Needles of agony wrenched through his arm.
Kim cursed under his breath, tears of pain bunching at the corners of his eyes. He snatched his hand out of the snake's reach, wrapping fingers around his injured palm. Blood seeped hotly between his fingers. The iron snake recoiled back to its original position, glaring into him. Its reptilian eyes glowed with an unnerving yet familiar shade of orange. Try again, they seemed to say.
Frantically, Kim searched every inch of the wood for a keyhole. But there was none, and he realized with a newer shot of panic that he had no key anyway.
Another icy hiss echoed through him, drifting through the alley along with the snow. A soft rattle, like the sound of tiny bones rubbing together, cut through the silence.
Kim peered around again, sweaty bangs screening his vision.
A pair of phosphorescent yellow eyes gleamed back at him from the end of the cobbled road. Sickle-shaped black wings flickered once within the night. The sad glow of a gas lamp brushed the tips of his cousin's nails, and then her devilish form melted back into the darkness.
In a few more breaths, those nails would rip him apart. His hunter was badly hurt, but that wouldn't buy Kim enough time to escape.
He glanced around pathetically and sucked in more horrendously cold air. Silvery ice shellacked the surrounding walls of brick and stone, the hard ground. Snow drifted, fell, tumbled in the renewed gusts of winter wind. He didn't want to die in the cold depths of Luz alone. Too much life awaited him, and possibly love.
He clung to that last hope with fanatical loyalty.
          Kim clutched the cross necklace at his chest, and his mind raced and filled with thoughts of Angela Mathers and how much she needed him without even realizing it. He pictured her brave face, deep red hair, and cool blue eyes. He felt her kiss on his mouth and ached for the part of his heart he'd unwillingly left with her in a moment of such irrational anger. He heard an angel's voice say like it had said before that Kim was about to get exactly what he deserved.
          A terrible, crushing sensation threatened to stop his heart. The hair stood on the nape of Kim's neck. His veins throbbed with terror. Blood rushed and roared in his ears. He fought off the screams rising up into his throat. Unseen and silent, death's stealthy approach felt keen as a knife in his back.
          Kim threw himself at the door, pounding on the wood with his fists.
Seeing Angela's face in his mind one last time, he knew he'd give anything to reach her again. The screams left his mouth at last, reverberating in the icy air. Someone, anyone, for the love of God let him in. He knew footsteps were behind him and ragged breaths and pitiless teeth and the thought was unbearable. He banged harder and harder, ignoring the threat of another bite from the snake because his hands were dead with cold and pain.
He would do anything, if someone would save him.
The world paused. A voice like a snake's touched the edge of his thoughts.
Anything? It sounded amused.
Yes. Yes. ANYTHING.
A tremulous click broke the silence.
Kim jumped backwards and stared, his heart pounding. The immense black door had opened, and a sliver of nothingness peeped at him from the gap between door and wall. Like a man in a trance, he opened the door wider, revealing a worn stone stairway that led down into a dimly lit darkness. A stale but warm breeze wafted upward from the depths. There was no telling what waited for him down there. For a single moment longer, he hesitated.
Pain slammed into him like a thunderbolt.
The door slammed shut. Kim whipped sideways into the bricks, scraping his cheek on bitter ice.
His hunter rolled to the slippery ground next to him, her sparsely feathered wings beating the stone in a frenzy. Ice cracked and split beneath her weight. Cold air rushed over him in merciless waves.
Scabs covered Troy's black pinions, and her entire body had become even leaner with hunger. Growls of rage peppered her almost unintelligible words. Kim stole one more glimpse of his cousin's lethal angelic beauty, the sight of her sharp teeth, the terror of her hypnotic eyes, and he wrenched himself from the slick wall and once again flung open the door.
Troy grabbed his leg, cutting more blood out of him.
Frustrated shrieks sliced into him like her nails. Her broken ankle had cost her time and speed, but it was her other injuries that had brought her close to starvation. Kim screamed a prayer.
Shuddering, she let go.
In a second she was on her hands and feet, preparing to pounce again. Kim swung himself through the doorway.
Troy's bony hand grasped the bloody tatters of his coat and pulled. Kim slammed to the ground. Her wings buffeted him, punishing his legs and waist. She scrabbled for a foothold on the unfamiliar ice, and he fought against sliding into biting range. Troy's hot breath reached his skin. The chain of his necklace threatened to choke him.
Kim pulled with all of his strength.
The coat fabric ripped from between her fingers. The necklace chain snapped. With a cry of triumph he dashed for the stairway again and turned, slamming the door shut.
Troy's feet and hands clanged like a sharp wind against the wood.
Kim staggered back, nearly pitching down the stairs. Grasping blindly, he clung to an iron bar on the door's inside, trying to keep his balance. In a fury of Jinn nails and thundering wings, Troy scratched against the door and rasped his name, screeched out her fury. Her voice was like a song of terror.
The door shivered beneath the onslaught. Kim was sure a mere two inches of wood separated them.
It didn't seem to matter. Something was protecting him and Troy knew it.
Her hisses of defeat continued, cutting through him like poisonous ice. Kim let go of the iron bar and stood at the top of the stairway, keeping his hand on his other bleeding palm, whispering every exorcism prayer in his memory.
Hours passed. Every so often, chalk-white fingers and sharp nails slipped under the door, searching for Kim's skin. Above the howling wind, he heard Troy's hiss or the rattle of the bones in her hair, and sometimes the screech of the crow that haunted her side. So he waited with her, certain that one of them would eventually give up but that, God willing, it wouldn't be him.
Finally, unbelievably, she left.
Kim's sanity returned by degrees. With it came suffocating hunger and thirst. He'd been running from Troy for so long, food and drink had become hasty and disgusting occasions. Now the overwhelming need for both began to overcome his terror at what might be waiting outside the door. He touched it, weighing his fortunes. No, he couldn't bear it anymore--
Kim set his jaw, pushing on the door from the inside.
It wouldn't budge. There was no interior knob either, only the iron bar that had left his arm muscles aching. He was trapped.
A warm breeze rose out of the darkness and brushed against his skin. The ice coating his hair dripped onto the stone.
Kim patted his chest, sensing emptiness. His cross necklace was gone, probably lying on the icy ground where Troy had torn it from his neck. There was no sense in grieving. That memento his foster-father had given him was now long past its usefulness. The memories it symbolized would best stay where Kim had left them, half-buried in snow and ice. Besides, he couldn't return even if he wanted to.
With the most furtive glances, Kim examined the staircase.
He breathed hard, his chest aching. His throat was raw from screaming, and as he stood, every muscle screamed back at him in protest. Carefully, he stepped onto the first set of stairs.
Troy's steady breathing sounded from the door's other side.
She'd never left at all.
With his next step, she breathed louder, as if growing desperate.
Kim knew better than to walk down a mysterious set of stairs, after entering a mysterious door, all because he'd made a desperate promise. Yet he had no other choice, and deep inside, he couldn't help feeling that this was somehow the right one. A whisper at the edge of his memories called from far below. Perhaps this was the moment he'd been waiting for.
Here is your chance, the voice called to him again.
Despite Kim's better judgment he believed it. He needed to believe it. So he left death behind to meet salvation where it waited--darker and darker down.




About the Author:


Sabrina Benulis graduated with a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She currently resides in the Pocono Mountains of Pennsylvania with her husband Mike, and her spoiled cockatiel Caesar. COVENANT is the follow-up to ARCHON, her first novel.