Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rules of Ascension Tour, Excerpt & giveaway!



Rules Of Ascension
By Suzy Knight

Blurb: 
As a child, Lady Elsabeth Durnfir dreamed of marrying a prince, but after seeing her elder sister’s personality make a complete 180 degree turn after her engagement to Crown Prince Henry of Estoria is announced, Elsabeth has traded in her childish hopes of a fairytale wedding for the equally unlikely hope of inheriting Durnfir Manor and the surrounding land.

Life at court is not something she is interested in, or good at, but in order to help prepare for her sister Alicia’s wedding, Elsabeth must live at court for an entire year. As well as trying to fit in at court while living up to her sister’s reputation, Elsabeth has a secret to keep. But, court is full of secrets that are all about to come to light.
How will Elsabeth survive court without destroying her family’s reputation—and how can she get Prince Frederick, the renowned rake, to stop teasing her?



Available for purchase at 

   


Excerpt


The high table had never been so full. The king and queen sat in the center, as always, with Georgiana on the queen’s left and Henry on the king’s right. However, Alicia was in Frederick’s normal place at Henry’s side, leaving Frederick no choice but to sit between Elsabeth and Georgiana, not willing to subject one as innocent as Elsabeth to Georgiana’s stern gaze of disapproval.

Food was served within moments of him sitting down; the kitchen had pulled out all the stops tonight. Frederick watched as his plate became laden with thick cuts of roast beef; golden, crispy potatoes, and thick gravy. The servants knew his habits well, giving him only the smallest helping of greens but loading him with still-warm rolls of bread and the thickest of the beef slices they had.

Not long after Frederick demolished his first roll, the king called for a toast to the happy couple. This was a precedent that would set the theme for the evening, for every few minutes there was yet another toast. Frederick sipped at his wine, sometimes only pretending to drink, knowing the evening meal was going to be long the toasts were not likely to stop, and he hadn’t quite recovered his head from the night before. However, after the fourth or fifth toast, he noticed Elsabeth swaying a little in her chair as a servant dashed forward to refill her wine goblet. The flush in her cheeks confirmed his suspicions as another lord stood to toast the couple. The prince leaned in to Elsabeth and whispered in her ear. “Pace yourself, sip the wine or simply pretend to drink. If you get too drunk, you’ll fall out of your chair, and then what would Lissy say?”

Elsabeth hiccupped, her big blue eyes staring at him from under her dark, long lashes. Seeming to have to concentrate on her motions, she nodded and put the cup down, glaring at it suspiciously. A smile tugged at the prince’s lips as he watched her frowning at her cup as though the cup itself were to blame for her inebriation.

Georgiana leaned past Frederick to glower at the young woman. “Is she drunk?” she hissed, eyebrows knitted tightly with judgment. Frederick felt that same knot in his stomach that he had felt earlier when Elsabeth had floundered under the queen’s questioning. It was almost a protective feeling, which didn’t make sense, as he didn’t know her at all. Besides, I never go after innocents—I only ever pursue women who understand that I’m not promising anything.

Nonetheless, he turned in his chair and rested his chin on his hand, careful to position his elbow quite obviously on the table, blocking Georgiana’s view. His distraction worked. “Get your elbow off of the table at once! Are you a heathen?” Georgiana’s whisper could cleave wood, the tone was so sharp. With a flash, she hit Frederick’s elbow with the bottom of her fork, causing him to curse and rub at the offending body part.

“Jeez, Georgiana. Is there really a need to turn to violence?”

“It’s all you men seem to understand.” She sniffed and turned away, focusing on her own meal once more.

New to the castle, the servants played it safe by putting a little of everything on Elsabeth’s plate. But, Frederick noticed her request second helpings of everything except the gravy. If the way she gazed longingly at the steaming tureen was anything to go by, he suspected her refusal of the gravy was in accordance with her wish to lessen the chance of spilling on herself.

Frederick sighed and sat back in his chair, watching Elsabeth play with the food on her plate. He felt himself smiling again as he watched her keep dropping her potatoes, her coordination suffering greatly from the amount of alcohol she consumed. There was something endearing about her, but it’s not like he could bed his future sister-in-law to get her out of his system.

“Will you tell me something?” he asked, leaning forward to take her fork from her slack grip. She pouted at him, following the fork with her gaze.

“Sure,” she mumbled, watching as he speared a golden potato and waved it tauntingly before her.

“Why were you so floundered by my mother’s question? Surely there are things you enjoy doing?”

“Of course,” sighed Elsabeth, gaze still focused on the potato he held out. “But I promised Alicia I wouldn't tell about the embroidery and nothing else I do is very ladylike.”

“What do you mean by ‘not very ladylike’?” He fed her the potato and speared another.

“Well, I teach the village children to read, and in return they teach me dancing. Alicia says I shouldn’t dance like a commoner. I like to walk through the gardens while the dew is fresh, but it ruins my dresses. I don’t much care for fashion, but I like sewing.” She opened her mouth patiently, expecting a reward for her answer. He obliged, holding out the second potato. Spearing a third, he twirled it while he contemplated his next question.

“Why can’t you tell anyone about your embroidery? That’s a very ladylike hobby. You must have seen how much my mother enjoyed the piece Lady Alicia made.”

Elsabeth shook her head and wobbled slightly in the chair. “I have a secret. Lissy made me promise.”

“I won’t tell anyone, I promise,” he whispered, leaning closer and teasing her with the potato, touching it to her lips and pulling it away before she could bite. A swipe of her tongue across her lips almost made him forget why he was trying to get information.

With a moan, Elsabeth nodded. “Okay, but you can’t tell anyone! Lissy can’t sew at all, so I can’t tell anyone that I can, or they might notice that my work is identical to the work that Lissy claimed as her own.” With a triumphant grin, she leaned forward and snatched the bite of potato, chewing happily.

Frederick sat back in his chair, watching Elsabeth as she reclaimed her fork and enthusiastically attacked her vegetables. Why would Alicia lie about that? It’s not as though Henry would care if she were able to sew or not. Yet she made her sister promise to keep it a secret? Frederick didn’t think Elsabeth was lying, but it gave him something to think about. He knew how the court worked, a skill with embroidery got you close to the queen—could Alicia have planned it all in order to get herself close to Henry? He shook his head clear of such thoughts. Henry is cautious, and Georgiana is like a hawk. There’s no way anyone would be able to trick their way into the royal family.

He focused on Elsabeth once more, smiling as he watched her eating with such exuberance. She seemed completely at ease, now that her inhibitions had melted away. It was hard not to laugh at her disastrous attempts to feed herself, her coordination having suffered greatly, but he didn't think he could feed her again. Not if she was going to moan in pleasure with every bite.

When the meal was finished, it was time to dance. Queen Charlotte and King George followed Lady Alicia and Crown Prince Henry out onto the floor. Georgiana had disappeared again, which left Elsabeth with Frederick. He helped her out of her chair, trying not to let others notice how heavily she leaned on him. At least she isn't tripping over her dress anymore. The music started before they reached the floor, where the tables had been pushed aside to make a dancing area. Other couples joined the royal family, giving Frederick the chance to pull her in closer than was appropriate. Only because I need to be able to hold her upright, that’s all there is to it, he told himself, ignoring the curious glance Henry shot across the room.

Their fingers were entwined and his other hand rested on her lower back, his thumb gently rubbing small patterns. He was careful to move slowly and not to turn her too often, but he couldn't help the grin that spread across his face as he watched her bite her lip in concentration. “Are you doubting me again, Ellie?” he whispered, making her head snap up. She glared at him.

“My name is Elsabeth. And I've never once doubted you, so there.” She stuck her tongue out at him, and he struggled to quiet his laughter. He tugged her closer so her hips were pressed against his.

“I’m sorry, Elsabeth, I’m glad to be thought of so highly by such a discerning young lady.” She shivered and looked up, her eyelids fluttering with the effort to keep them open.

“Are you teasing me?” she said, her head tilted to one side like a curious puppy.

He smiled, his gaze locking with hers. “Never.”


About The Author

Suzy Knight is an average English girl, who after completing a degree in boring business management decided to travel halfway around the world to the land of kpop and kimchi to be a teacher.
 
Whilst in Korea, Suzy rediscovered her passion for writing and managed to write the novel Love and War in between working at her academy and volunteering with animal rescue. Two years later and she’s back in England with her rescued Korean puppy, Panda.
 
Now she is working on her next novels, while training Panda to be less nervous. 
You can find Suzy at 
         

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Presented By




We Own the Night Blitz & Excerpt!

We Own the Night 
Kristen Strassel
(Night Songs Collection #3)
Publication date: September 1st 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance



Synopsis:

Callie Chabot would stop at nothing to save her ex-boyfriend Blade Bennett from the clutches of vampire clan leader Talis de Rancourt, even if means becoming immortal herself. What she doesn’t know is that Blade has already defeated Talis, and he’s waiting for Callie in the afterlife.

Now Callie only has her creator, Tristan Trevosier, to turn to for guidance. But he’s too wrapped up in the debauchery of the Las Vegas rock scene to give a damn about the particulars of being undead. That’s enough to drive Callie crazy on its own, but female vampires are automatic clan leaders.

Not only does Callie have no idea how to wrangle a vampire clan, but her would-be followers have more to gain from her failure. They instead choose to follow Blade—and he’s hell-bent on making Callie pay for her bad decisions. Since he took out the existing clan leader, that automatically puts him at the helm of what should be Callie’s new clan.

That’s when seasoned rogue vampire, Cash Logan, shows up, shrouded in magic and mystery. No one is sure which side Cash is on, but Callie needs to take a chance on the one vampire who is willing to give her the answers she needs, no matter how dark and frightening they may be. Callie must trust her instincts and form alliances that may backfire. Cash shows Callie that playing nice is no longer an option, and that fixing her wrongs won’t always make everything right.

To take control of her clan, Callie must look to her rival to discover exactly what makes her a leader.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22538749-we-own-the-night?ac=1


Purchase:
--Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Own-Night-Songs-Collection-Book-ebook/dp/B00MQ5JQ0C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1409327136&sr=8-1&keywords=We+Own+the+Night+by+Kristen+Strassel
--B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/we-own-the-night-kristen-strassel/1120081025?ean=9781500510886


THE NIGHT SONGS COLLECTION:
Seasons in the Sun
Because the Night
Night Moves
We Own the Night--Available September 1, 2014


Excerpt 
“I don’t know what the hell your little bundle of paperwork said, but the lack of respect pisses me off.”
“Tell me about it.” I dropped the lamp, letting it shatter on the floor. Blade let go of me and I sat up. Thank God, because those sheets were rank.
“I play guitar way better than your boyfriend, but I don’t have a rich daddy who can mortgage a hotel. So I don’t get what I want. Then I meet this great girl, but she can’t keep her hands off of the pretty, pretty vampire. And somehow, because of the two of you, I wind up getting kept in a meat locker having the shit kicked out of me every day until they decide to make me like this.”
“This isn’t what I wanted,” I whispered.
“But it’s what you got.” He pushed me back down on the bed, and pressed the weight of his body against mine. He ran his finger against my cheek. “You don’t know how happy it made me to find out that you’re just like me. I’m sure Tristan changed you over so you two could live happily ever after together.”
I opened my mouth to tell him that’s not how it happened, but I shut it without saying anything. He didn’t deserve to know the truth.
Someone kicked at the door. Blade jumped up, but after a few blows, Tristan and the rest of the band were already in the room. Tristan jumped on Blade, looking wilder than I’d ever seen him. He pushed him against the wall, punching him repeatedly. Monkey and Ramsey, the drummer and the singer, pulled me up off the bed and forced me out of the room.
Both of them had to wrestle me into the hallway. Whatever the hell was about to happen could be nothing short of catastrophic. They could tear each other apart. Someone could actually die, and I wasn’t prepared to lose either one of them. I screamed every time I heard something crash against something else, breaking into pieces.
And why the hell was I not stronger than the rest of these vampires? When was I going to get answers?
Damn it.
When I didn’t think I could stand another second of waiting, Tristan came out of the room.
Alone.
He took down Blade.
He shouldn’t have been able to do that.
Open wounds bled on his face. He wiped them clean with his shirt. “We’ve reached an understanding.” He pulled his phone out of his pocket. “And we should be able to start the show on time.”


AUTHOR BIO

Kristen Strassel is the author of The Night Songs Collection, a paranormal romance series about vampire rock stars in Las Vegas. After all, they tell you to write what you know. She is a passionate music fan who also loves football games and diners. Kristen works as a makeup artist on film and TV shows when she's not writing, and loves being behind the scenes. A former resident of Las Vegas, Kristen now lives in the Boston area.


Connect with Kristen!
www.kristenstrassel.com
www.facebook.com/kristenstrasselauthor
www.twitter.com/kristenstrassel
deadlyeverafter.com


Friday, September 5, 2014

Witch's Bane Tour, Excerpt & Guest Post by the Author!

Witch’s Bane
The Witch Chronicles
Book 2
Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Taliesin
ISBN: 
Release Date: 8/7/14

Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance
Word Count: 65,000

Two stubborn people—a witch and a mage—come together with a fierceness borne of desperation. Can passion trump their intense need for independence? Will they live long enough to find out?

Book Description:

Roz, Jenna, and Colleen are the last of the demon-stalking witches. So far, they’ve escaped disaster, but their luck is running low. When demons strike in the midst of Colleen’s wedding, Roz launches desperate measures because she and her sister witches are Earth’s only hedge against being overrun by Hell’s minions. As she shape-shifts to keep one step ahead of the demons, at least it takes her mind off her other problems. Personal ones. She burned through a couple of marriages with a string of loser men before, after, and in between. Though she wants to be happy for Colleen, the jealousy bug bit deep and hasn’t let go.

In Roz’s secret heart she’s attracted to Ronin, one of the Daoine Sidhe. He’s so profanely beautiful she can barely breathe around him, but he’s also headstrong and arrogant. Not good partner material, she tells herself, unless she wants to end up dusting her heart off one more time.

Ronin set his sights on Roz when she was at his home in the U.K. for a strategy meeting and he can’t get her out of his mind. Unfortunately, she’s so prickly getting close to her requires scheming. He casts an enchantment to lure her at Colleen’s wedding, but she senses the spell and rebuffs him.

Roz is used to calling the shots. So is Ronin. Sparks fly. Tempers run hot, right along with an attraction too strong to be denied. Roz and Ronin come together with a fierceness borne of desperation, but demons are determined to rid themselves of the witches for good, no matter what it takes.

Guest Post

Thanks so much for inviting me back to your blog, Noelle! It’s always such a pleasure to be here.

I’ve been thinking a lot about series books lately, maybe because I was reading one about the same time I was finishing the third (and last) book of my Earth Reclaimed Series. The first two books are Earth’s Requiem and Earth’s Blood. The one I just turned in to my publisher is Earth’s Hope.

Somewhere about the time I was slogging through one of Robert Jordan’s endless series, I promised myself if I ruled the universe, I’d make a law forbidding more than three books in a series. I loved the Wheel of Time series up through, maybe, book five. Possibly book six. It’s been a long time, and I can’t exactly remember. The problem all authors run up against is there’s only so much they can do in a make-believe world. Eventually, the same things have to happen again and the characters and world get stale.

The book I was reading recently happened to be number seven in a series. Book five was decent, book six held an interesting premise, but book seven was a disaster on many fronts. For one thing, the alpha hero took a swan dive off his pedestal, leaving me with a true WTF moment. He’s going to be content sinking into obscurity and leaving everything me (and every other reader in the world) thought he cared about? To say I was upset is putting it mildly.

From an author’s perspective, series books have other problems. For me, the main one is balancing backstory with the new story unfolding in the current book. Different authors have different strategies. One book I read recently simply did a huge info dump that took up the first two chapters, and then moved on. While it got the job done, it wasn’t very satisfying to be on the receiving end. I’d have liked it better if I hadn’t read the first book, but hey, you can’t please everyone.

How about all of you. When you read series books, how do you feel about later books in the series? How do you prefer backstory woven in? Inquiring minds want to know.

Excerpt

Ronin Redstone unwound his arm from Roz and gripped his hands together in his lap to lessen the temptation to touch her again. Where he figured most of the guests were anxious to see the bride, he’d been interested in Roz. Probably too interested since he’d bounced to his feet the moment she entered the room and had even spun the mildest of spells to coerce her to sit near him. He pressed his lips into a flat line as he wrestled with his thoughts. Ever since he’d met the tall, imposing witch at his home in northern England a couple of weeks before, he’d been able to think of little else. She even entered his dreams with her silky black hair, pronounced cheekbones, and hawk-like nose. In those dreams, she was naked, her bronze skin glimmering in moonlight.
Her heady scent, pine forests and jasmine, tickled his nostrils and made him wonder what she’d feel like in his arms. Once he kicked the door open to that slippery slope, his cock sprang to life, clearly eager to find out. He tried to clip his libido before things whirled out of control and she noticed his arousal, but his cock wasn’t in the mood for negotiation—or retreat. He wove the tiniest don’t look here spell and draped his lower body with it.
In years past, he’d simply have created a love charm, imbued it with compulsion, and bedded the woman. That probably wasn’t a good idea, though. Roz would sense his magic, be outraged he tried to coerce her, and that would be the last he ever saw of the striking witch. Never mind she had good reason to not want much to do with him since he’d been one of the key players two hundred years ago who’d suggested foisting demon stalking onto the witches. He tightened his jaw muscles. Who could have guessed his little machination to get his kin out from under a highly unpleasant task would nearly be the death of the few witches who’d inherited the power through a magical version of gene splicing? Of course, he’d also been the one to send Duncan to fetch one of the witches to quell a demon uprising in the U.K. last month. That was how they’d discovered only three of the special witches remained…
No wonder she’s not overly fond of me. Ronin grimaced, not liking the truth in his thoughts. An inner voice huffed, reminding him it wasn’t his fault the witches in question hadn’t produced more offspring, but he shushed it.
Surely I can at least charm Roz out of that sour expression on her face.
He forced his breathing into a regular pattern and glanced toward Duncan and Colleen at the front of the room. The resident witch had completed her part of the ceremony and Titania was speaking in Gaelic so old he had trouble following it. The Sidhe binding ceremony lasted at least half an hour, so he let his thoughts drift. Anywhere but to his cock, which still throbbed uncomfortably.
As de facto leader for the Sidhe, a post he held more because no one else wanted it than because of any special skills on his part, he sensed they stood at the edge of a cataclysmic event. Abbadon and his henchmen, the Irichna demons, had grown appallingly strong. Capturing them one at a time and shepherding them to the Ninth Circle of Hell where they were trapped for all eternity wasn’t a workable solution anymore. There were too many of them, and maybe not enough space in the bottom of Hell.
Because he was afraid of a firm answer regarding Hell’s demon storage capacity, he hadn’t asked Titania, though surely she’d know. If they couldn’t dump Irichna behind the Ninth Circle’s gate, he had no idea what they’d do with them. And if Abbadon consolidated his full power, Earth would be laid waste. Ronin clamped his jaws together. Apocalypse didn’t come close to describing what would happen if Abbadon were freed from protecting his demons and could concentrate on taking over Earth.
In addition to not inquiring too closely about the Irichna, I also haven’t asked about Oberon. Ronin grimaced again. If the King of Faerie were truly so tired of immortality he’d let himself fade into the Dreaming, Ronin didn’t want to know about that, either.
When did I turn into such a craven I avoid unpleasant answers?
Even though he wasn’t expecting one, a response popped up anyway. He’d loved a human woman once, but she’d died bearing their son, who’d perished right along with her. The major vessel serving her heart had ruptured, and no amount of Sidhe magic could heal her or breathe life into their dead child. Ronin withdrew from the other Sidhe after that, mostly because he didn’t want to hear their lectures about the whole debacle being his own fault. After all, they weren’t supposed to mate outside their blood. When he finally picked up the reins of command a couple of centuries later—or maybe it had been three—he held himself aloof and avoided confrontations with anyone, about anything.
He ground his jaws harder together. His internal inventory was damned depressing; it forced him to take a harsh look at himself, and he didn’t like what he saw. He glanced at Titania. She clasped Duncan’s and Colleen’s hands between her own, and his eyes widened. Had he truly spent the entire ceremony sunk in memories and self-pity?
It would appear so, he thought dryly. In moments, Titania would utter the final words, Duncan would kiss Colleen, and the ritual would be done. He barely had time to wonder why Titania hadn’t kicked up more of a fuss about Duncan marrying a mortal, when the bridal pair kissed.
The tiniest sigh escaped Roz, and he looked sidelong at her. Her full lips were parted in half a smile, and she looked captivated by the ancient binding that had unfolded, mostly without him paying one whit of attention to it. She leaned toward him, her earlier ire apparently forgotten. “They make such a lovely couple,” she whispered.
Ronin narrowed his eyes and looked hard at Duncan and Colleen, wrapped in one another’s arms and kissing enthusiastically. He didn’t know about the lovely couple part, because he didn’t view the world that way. “They do look happy,” he whispered back because he thought he ought to say something.
Bubba, who’d been standing off to one side, made a grab for a bag Ronin hadn’t noticed before. The changeling reached inside and Ronin’s internal alarm went off. The changeling was about to throw something at the couple. Had the creature been co-opted by demons? It wasn’t unheard of since their race contained a smattering of demon blood. Afraid if he hesitated he’d be too late, Ronin pulled strong magic and rose to his feet.
Before he could loose it, Roz fastened a hand around his lower arm. “It’s just rice,” she said, her voice still low. “He’s going to throw rice at them. Stand down.”
Ronin met her dark, luminous gaze. “What sort of custom is that?” he demanded. Magic thrummed around him, making the air shimmer in iridescent hues. The changeling indeed tossed rice high in the air, showering everyone within a ten-foot radius of him, laughed uproariously, and then did it again.
“An old one.” Roz tugged on his arm and he sat reluctantly. “Bubba adores Colleen. He’s laid his life on the line for her a bazillion times. He’d never hurt her.”
“Better safe than sorry,” he muttered, feeling like an ass. “How was I to know?”
“It’s okay.” She let go of his arm and patted one of his hands.
As long as he was in an apologizing mood—they were rare for him—Ronin exhaled sharply and said, “I’m sorry I, um, suggested you sit next to me.”
She cocked her head to one side and quirked a brow. “If you’d only suggested, it would have been fine, but you did a tad more than that.”
Flutes and guitars began to play Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.” Colleen and Duncan turned and floated up the center aisle with Bubba right behind, still throwing rice. Even Ronin had to admit they looked radiant. He’d known Duncan his entire life, and he’d never seen his fellow Sidhe look so carefree and besotted with joy. In one wild, unrestrained moment, before he glossed his emotions over with rationality, he wanted the same for himself.
Ronin felt Roz’s gaze still on him and knew he couldn’t ignore her comment. “You’re right,” he said stiffly. “I did do more than that.”
She repositioned herself so he had to look at her. “Why?”
Because I’ve wanted to strip you naked and worship your body from the day I met you. He cloaked his mind, hoping he’d been fast enough and she hadn’t read his thoughts. “I’m not quite sure,” he stumbled over the words, because they weren’t the truth.
Her dark gaze never left him as she weighed his statement. Finally she nodded, almost to herself. “When you figure it out,” she said and winked broadly, “be sure to let me know.”
Heat rose from his neck and swooshed over the top of his head. Damn! He was a Sidhe and a warrior. It was unseemly to blush like a love-struck maid. He opened his mouth to stammer some sort of reply, but she got up, along with the rest of the guests. “Come on,” she said. “I’m starving.”
He’d been afraid the second the ceremony was over, she’d race away from him as far and as fast as she could, but she’d just invited him to eat with her, at least he thought she had. He bit back a smile until just the edges of his mouth twitched. Maybe she didn’t abhor him as much as it seemed when she’d shot him that poisonous look once she sensed his magic.
I learned something. I have to ask her, not simply push her to do what I want. He hurried after her swishing skirt, not wanting to lose her in the crowd. He could always locate her, but the less magic he used until she got to know him, the better.
*
Roz caught up to Jenna just inside the dining area and hugged her. “Wasn’t it just perfect?” she gushed, still caught up in the mystical pull of dual wedding ceremonies.
Jenna hugged her back and nodded. She disentangled herself and eyed her friend. “What the hell, Roz? It isn’t like you to fall all over yourself.”
Roz settled her face into its usual, stern planes. “There. Is that better?”
Jenna grinned. “Yup. There’s the grumpy witch I know and love. What happened to you anyway? I looked back and you were trailing after that hunky Sidhe.”
“He snared me in a spell.”
“Ooooh.” Jenna clapped her hands together. “He must be interested.” She leaned close. “What did he do during the ceremony?”
Roz felt her face redden. “Nothing. I got mad at him once I realized he’d bamboozled me. Hush. Here he comes.”
“Awesome.” Jenna practically vibrated with enthusiasm. “He can eat with us.”
“I already invited him.”
A knowing look crossed Jenna’s face and she opened her mouth, but Roz hissed, “Can it, sister,” just before turning to Ronin and asking, “Where would you like to sit?”
He half-bowed—a courtly, old world gesture that drove home just how old he was—lifted Jenna’s hand to his lips, and said, “Nice to see you again, Miss Jenna. Anywhere the two of you wish to settle is fine with me.”
“Maybe we should get our food first,” Jenna suggested brightly, “since the tables will fill fast.”
“Good idea,” Roz snapped, feeling unaccountably jealous. Ronin hadn’t kissed her hand, but he’d been quick enough to snatch Jenna’s.
“If you don’t want him…” Jenna spoke in their telepathic speech.
“I thought you were interested in Tristan.” Roz led the way to a buffet table and picked up a plate.
Jenna smirked. “I am, but he’s not here.”
Roz dished up an interesting looking salad, brimming with shrimp and crab, and followed it with a few slices of rare beef and a roll. They found a table beneath a leaded glass window and laid their plates down.
“I’ll get us something to drink.” Ronin smiled. “Preferences?”
“What are you getting?” Roz asked, avoiding Jenna’s gaze.
“Mead,” he answered. “It’s what I prefer.”
“I’ll take Irish whiskey,” Jenna trilled and settled into her seat.
“Just bring me a glass of one or the other,” Roz muttered. “I’m not picky.” As soon as Ronin was out of earshot, or close enough, she glared at Jenna. “Leave him alone.”
“But you’re not even sure you’re interested in him,” Jenna protested.
“And how would you know that?” Roz stuffed a forkful of salad into her mouth, chewed with a vengeance, and swallowed.
The other witch dropped her gaze, looking sheepish. “I, um, peeked.”
Roz slammed a fist on the table hard enough the dishes rattled. “You looked inside my head without asking?”
“’Fraid so. Sorry.” Jenna started eating with a studied nonchalance.
Roz exhaled and then did it again. Both of them were lonely; getting angry with her longtime friend wouldn’t serve any purpose other than creating bad water under the bridge they’d have to clear at some point. “Jenna. It’s the wedding ceremonies. All the old magic in them makes us want what Colleen and Duncan have.”
“I suppose you’re right.” Jenna’s hazel gaze met hers and she looked repentant, her brows drawn together. “I’m sorry.”
“Me too.” Roz smiled crookedly. “Let’s not fight. Not today.”

  
About the Author:


Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains.

It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.





@AnnGimpel



Midnight Kiss Cover Reveal!

Midnight Kiss: Four New Adult Paranormal Romances
Alyssa Rose Ivy, Jennifer Snyder, Juliana Haygert, Sarra Cannon
Publication date: October 1st 2014
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal Romance



Synopsis:
This Halloween, prepare to be haunted by a kiss…

Midnight Kiss is a limited edition collection of four BRAND NEW, NEVER RELEASED novellas, all set in New Orleans on Halloween night.


AFTER MIDNIGHT by Sarra Cannon
From the outside, Becca Goldberg looks like any normal freshman girl at Tulane, but she’s been keeping a terrible secret. She’s really Allison Moore—a young witch from Peachville hiding out from an evil coven of witches known as the Order of Shadows. She thinks she is safe until an unexpected accident occurs. Now, she only has until midnight on Halloween until her identity is discovered.
She must turn to the hottest, most elusive guy on campus for help. Will he help save her? Or will her life come crashing down around her after midnight?


THE MIDNIGHT TEST by Juliana Haygert
Being the weakest witch of her generation, nineteen-year-old Hazel is convinced she's supposed to live a normal, human life—except for the occasional ghost hunting. When Hazel moves to New Orleans, the most powerful witch coven in the world grants her a chance to join them, but only if she passes a dangerous test on Halloween night. Everything is going fine until mysterious Sean steps in Hazel’s way, putting her entire test at risk.
Will she be able to ace the test and keep them both alive at the same time?


SEDUCTION'S KISS by Alyssa Rose Ivy
Never agree to a road trip to New Orleans with your roommate. At least not when your roommate is dragging you along while she reconnects with an ex boyfriend. Possible consequences of failing to take my advice:
1) Unknowingly going out with a vampire stripper.
2) Getting kidnapped by said vampire’s nest mates.
3) Falling head over heels for your winged hero.
Believe it or not number 3 is the worst one, especially when no one believes you that he exists.


KISS OF AWAKENING by Jennifer Snyder
With one kiss, everything will change...
When a mysterious letter arrives from her estranged mother, twenty-one year old Kenna Blake and her best friend, Bree, make a trip to New Orleans hoping for a little Halloween fun and to get away. The mystifying Crescent City has something else in store for her though.
Cryptic messages, a hot tour guide, and a new sense Kenna can't seem to explain are just the beginning of this eye opening trip. Will Kenna accept what awakens with in her or will she crumble under its reality?

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22874207-midnight-kiss



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Chandrea Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Chandrea:
The Return of the Avatar Queen
Marlene Wynn

Book Description:

Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman.  But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever.  Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue,

Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known.  But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. 

Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world?


Available at  BN  Smashwords  Amazon  Kobo  iTunes

Add it to your Goodreads Shelf




 Excerpt

~ PROLOGUE ~

The assassination changed everything.
On the day Crown Princess Chandrea Averill was born, the entire Kingdom of Averill celebrated. The streets of Cellia, her capital city, were overflowing with people honoring the birth of the new heir. Food and drink were plentiful and the mood of those gathered was joyous. Songs and laughter echoed gaily off the walls of the great stone buildings.
Those in the know speculated on what powers the crown princess would eventually develop, as no female born of the queen’s lineage ever had the same powers as those who came before her. The form and strength of the magic varied from female to female, but – without fail – magic was present in some form.
The merrymaking went on for hours into the night, and all at the Llireva Palace celebrated. Wrinkled old men sat in the corners, smoking their pipes and spinning grand and fanciful tales of the Averill family. Small children gathered at their feet, listening raptly to tales of magic and bravery. Gaily dressed dancers spun and swirled as the eager audience clapped to the rhythm. Jewels glittered and gleamed in the warm candlelight as they moved, dazzling the eye.
As the night eased into the early morning hours, those who should’ve retired long ago still remained. Sleepy-eyed and =yawning, they nevertheless continued with the celebration even as the moon set on the horizon and dawn approached. Drinks were handed out generously, and drunken, happy people roamed the palace. Staggering about, their laughter filled the hallways of the grand palace. Guards became lackadaisical about their duties, laughing and drinking with their friends as they came wandering by.
This made the attack on the Llireva Palace and those inside exceedingly simple.
The assault was ruthlessly calculated and seamless. Having been there for hours, posing as drunken guests, the invaders easily overtook and dispatched the inebriated guards. Thousands of the enemy swarmed over the palace, slaughtering all in sight, whether guest or staff. Swords and knives flashed in the candlelight, and terror-filled screams filled the warm night air.
 Taken completely by surprise, the guests and staff were easily overcome. Some tried to fight back, but were ruthlessly cut down where they stood. Stepping carelessly over the bloodied bodies of the dead, hard-faced officers ordered their men to look for the king, queen, and the newly-born crown princess. The enemy soldiers scattered, each keen to be the one to find the royal family and draw first blood.
One loyal servant – Adelaide – was tasked with caring for the new crown princess while the queen recovered. Like the queen, Adelaide was a powerful sorceress, and served in the capacity of royal advisor and friend to the queen.
After giving birth, the queen had been exhausted and was resting peacefully in her chambers, while the king attended to her. Princess Chandrea was in the nursery, being cared for by Adelaide. So, when the assassination of the king and queen occurred, the princess was nowhere to be found. Enemy soldiers then spread out in search of the newborn.
Unknown to the intruders, in the days prior to her birth, protective spell webs had been cast by Adelaide and the queen in the hallways of the family wing. These spells prevented unauthorized access to the nursery by causing an agonizing death. The magic also alerted the creator of the spells of anyone entering the space. Unfortunately, the queen had been too wearied and depleted from giving birth to act upon the warnings that had been sent by her spells, and thus, she and the king soon perished. But Adelaide was not at such a disadvantage. As the assailants crossed her protective spells, she was alerted immediately by their piercing screams as the magic seared the flesh from their bones.
Adelaide quickly picked up the baby, and with an urgently muttered spell, opened a hidden passageway known only by the royal family and their most trusted advisors. Slipping out of the nursery, she turned and sealed the door with a wave of her hand, eliminating any chance that any marauders lucky enough to have a sorceress strong enough to penetrate the defensive spells could follow.
Rushing down the stairs, holding the princess close to her bosom, she finally reached the bottom. There she entered the back of a large cave. Moving quickly forward to the front, she found herself looking out at the dark expanse of the Averill Bay, named after the royal family who ruled the bordering land. She turned and gently laid the baby in a small depression in the rock, sat beside her, and allowed herself to momentarily succumb to her grief and fear. Adelaide knew that for the invading soldiers to have gotten as far as her protective shields, they would have had to defeat the queen first— and she would have been in no condition to fight them off.
Sitting quietly for a few moments to collect herself and her thoughts, she was able to form a plan of action, and to gather the resolve for what she knew would be required from her.
Taking a deep breath, she stood and faced the now-orphaned crown princess lying on the rocks. Adelaide knew without a doubt that if this tiny child were killed, all hope for Averill, and the surrounding kingdoms and cities that made up Lyrunia, would be lost. The freedom and peace they’d known under the reign of the Averill family and the Triad would make way for a dark and violent time. Above all else, Princess Chandrea must survive not only this night, but also grow safely to adulthood so that she could take her rightful place on the throne.
Raising her hands into the air, Adelaide urgently weaved them back and forth as she cast her spells. Many hours passed as she chanted through the night, knowing that in the palace above her, an intense search for the princess was being conducted, and that she and the baby could be discovered at any time. Her voice grew hoarse and her arms weary, but still she labored on, until, finally, only one more spell needed to be cast.
Sweat-soaked and exhausted, she reached down and picked up Princess Chandrea. Expecting that this would be the last time she held this dear, tiny child, Adelaide cuddled her close for a few moments. Then, looking at the precious little wrinkled face, she gazed directly into the princess’s eyes, and cast her last spell.
Bright, white light blazed forth from the infant, transforming the cave into a dazzling, glittering chamber. Princess Chandrea slowly rose from Adelaide’s hands until she hung suspended in the air. The soft blanket covering her fell unnoticed to the floor. Adelaide’s hands moved in harmony with her voice as she chanted the final spell that would transport the crown princess from Itova—the world into which she’d been born—to another one. The only place that she would truly be safe until she reached adulthood and her powers had fully manifested.
Air swirled madly about the infant and the light grew brighter and stronger. Then, with the sound of a massive thunderclap and a final burst of brilliance, the crown princess vanished. 







About the Author: 


Marlene Wynn is a Utah native - fondly referred to as "Utonian" by a friend.  She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since.  Though she has worked in the benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.