Saturday, March 7, 2015

The Designed Blitz & Excerpt!

The Designed 
Kate Tailor
Publication date: January 26th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Science Fiction



Synopsis:

What if the next new drug was you? Raleigh’s body produces a drug that could define the future of medicine if the dangerous world surrounding it doesn’t kill her first.

Eighteen-year old Raleigh Groves can sense disease in others and is suffering from her own unexplained illness as well. After years and dozens of doctor visits, she has given up hope of ever finding a cure, let alone a diagnosis. Then she meets a man who explains that her talent and curse are linked. Her body produces a drug, Lucidin, which allows her to sense others. She’s rare, and the drug she makes is coveted.

Rho has spent the last few years on the run. The Lucidin that is racing through his system makes him a target. Surrounded by addicts and dealers on one side and scientists and doctors on the other, he has to rely on his wits and his team to stay one step ahead. So far he has stayed afloat, but some of his brothers haven’t been as lucky.

As Rho and Raleigh collide they must face the perilous world of Lucidin together. Nothing is black-and-white and Raleigh must decide where her alliances lie. Sometimes the hardest heart to sense is your own.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24602715-the-designed?ac=1

Purchase:
Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00STY2I2W
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-designed-kate-tailor/1121099897?ean=9781483548838


Excerpt

Rho took a long breath and sighed with relief. Unlike most prisons, his had no bars or locked gates. The drugs and fatigue were enough to trap him in his own body—but not for much longer. He would make his escape today. His captors were unlikely to lower the extraction and sedative dose any more than they just had, so he had to make his move. He would do it tonight, when the second team came to check on him.
Today was the first day in a long time that he was aware of each and every moment. He darted his eyes across the room. A small seagull was preening itself on the windowsill. One of the guards had once asked why there weren’t bars on the window. The answer was that the drop would likely kill Rho, and even if he survived the current would pull him under. Occasionally he’d heard people speaking in French, and he figured that he must be somewhere along the French coast.
Knowing that he could die while making his escape, he savored the hours. Part of him wanted to reflect on his life, but he pushed those thoughts out of his mind as soon as they arose. Those thoughts too closely resembled grieving, and he wasn’t about to grieve the life that he was fighting to save….
The sunset was particularly beautiful. Mauve and azure hues playfully painted his room, as though Mother Nature wasn’t aware of the suffering he endured. Maybe she was aware of his suffering—and glad to see it. After all, he was an affront to her.
Rho heard voices as the evening pair opened the door to his room. Of all the teams, Rho was most familiar with this one. These two talked the most, and the young man had once taken a phone call in the room, but he was swiftly reprimanded by the old man. The young, unsure little attendant asked a lot of questions, and although the old man seemed to be aggravated by his companion’s inquires, he always answered.
“The morning crew said he was doing poorly,” the old man said in a sure, deep voice.
“They turned down the machine again. He’s not giving us as much Lucid,” noted the young man as he retrieved the vials.
“From the look of his vitals, he’ll only last a few more days.”
“He’s going to die, isn’t he?” asked the young man. Despite his current job, he wasn’t the heartless kind.
“The world will be better off. He’s dangerous. They’re monsters…all of them. Don’t let his angelic looks fool you. He’s the devil.”
Rho wasn’t sure if the last part was true, but the part about him being dangerous certainly was.




AUTHOR BIO:

Kate Tailor lives in Boulder, Colorado. She has a background in molecular biology and pharmacology. Writing has been a passion of hers since she was young.

Author links:
https://www.facebook.com/KateTailorAuthor
http://www.katetailor.com/





Two Truths and a Lie blitz & Excerpt!

Two Truths and a Lie 
Ashley Stoyanoff
(PRG Investigations, #1)
Publication date: February 28th 2015
Genres: New Adult, Romance



Synopsis:

One year ago, I became a missing person. I left everything behind—family, friends, school. It seemed like a good idea at the time. My only option, really, until I realized running from a police officer isn’t as easy as I thought it would be.

It’s been exactly three-hundred and sixty-five days since I left home, but I’m finally ready to take the step I should have taken a year ago. I’m done hiding. I’m done running. I’m going to take my life back.

It was supposed to be easy. A meeting with Jason Pierce, a private investigator, was set up for me. All I had to do was go to him, let him do his thing, and then I could go home, or so I thought.

That is, until I met Jason and things got … complicated.


Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24535145-two-truths-and-a-lie


Purchase (on sale for $0.99 from now until March 6th as a special release week price!):
AMAZON US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TUCHFGQ
AMAZON UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00TUCHFGQ
AMAZON CA: http://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B00TUCHFGQ
AMAZON AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/gp/product/B00TUCHFGQ
IBOOKS: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/two-truths-and-a-lie/id969199209
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/two-truths-and-a-lie-ashley-stoyanoff/1121256764
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/520994
Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-CA/ebook/two-truths-and-a-lie-2


Excerpt

“Stop,” he shouts, the sound of his shoes hitting the pavement coming faster.  “Just stop for a minute.”
Quickening my stride, I keep my eyes on my car, as I rifle through my purse for my keys and call out, “Stop following me.”
Where the hell are my keys?  Pushing back a swell of anger-fueled anxiety, I keep searching.  My fingertips brush against the metal ring.  I clasp onto it, pulling them out, just as a large hand wraps around my bicep and I’m jerked to a halt.  I yelp, and stumble, rocking on my heels, and dropping the keys.  Another hand settles on my hip, steading me.
Then, I’m pulled around to face Jason.  His eyes flicker over my face a few times, doing what looks like a silent assessment, and whatever he sees makes him draw his lips tight and his brow dip in a frown.  “Are you okay?”
Am I okay?  I laugh.  I don’t even know how to answer that question.  I probably should be.  I know that.  I’ve waited a year for this chance, to have someone like him help me, but right now, after the exchange in the bar, with his hand locked around my arm and another on my hip, I don’t feel okay.  Not even a little.
“Yes, I’m good,” I stammer, taking a hasty step back, yanking myself free of his grasp.  “Everything’s just fine.”
He doesn’t look reassured by my answer.  Actually, he looks a little annoyed.  He arches a questioning brow and folds his arms over his chest.
I stand there, hesitating, contemplating whether or not I should turn around and run.  My car isn’t far.  Another twenty, maybe thirty steps.  Will he chase me again if I do it?
“Can I go now?” I ask, not ready or wanting to endure another chase.
He shakes his head slowly.  “If you want to make a lie believable, you gotta weave it with the truth.”
My brow furrows, confused by the comment.  “What?”
“Two truths and a lie, babe,” he says.  “Makes the lie harder to pick up on.”
Is this guy for real?  He looks it, serious, a little brooding.  He’s watching me, waiting for … I don’t even know.
“Okay, fine.”  I throw up my hands, exasperated, and sigh, long and loud.  “I’m fine, just in a hurry to find a hotel and grab a shower.”  I bend down and snag up my keys; then, I meet his eyes.  “Better?”
He laughs under his breath, but there is not a stitch of humor in the sound.  “Yeah, but I’d rather you didn’t bother with the lie.”
I scoff.  “Well, I’d rather you didn’t chase me through a parking lot.”



AUTHOR BIO:

Ashley Stoyanoff is an author of paranormal romance books for young adults, including The Soul's Mark series and the Deadly Trilogy. She lives in Southern Ontario with her husband, Jordan, and two cats: Tanzy and Trinity.

In July 2012, Ashley published her first novel, The Soul's Mark: FOUND, and shortly thereafter, she was honored with The Royal Dragonfly Book Award for both young adult and newbie fiction categories.

An avid reader, Ashley enjoys anything with a bit of romance and a paranormal twist. When she's not writing or devouring her latest read, she can be found spending time with her family, watching cheesy chick flicks or buying far too many clothes.

Ashley loves hearing from her readers, so feel free to connect with her online.

Author links:
Website: www.ashleystoyanoff.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AshleyStoyanoff
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAshleyStoyanoff
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/ashley_stoyanoff


Friday, March 6, 2015

Soul Storm Series Tour & Excerpts!


Dark Prophecy
Soul Storm
Book 1
Ann Gimpel

Publisher: Dream Shadow Press

Release Date: 12/11/14

Genre: Urban Fantasy

When the dream world spills its murky contents, everyone’s worst nightmares run free.

Book Description:

Dr. Lara McInnis reads auras and flirts with an elusive ability to foretell the future. Ambivalent about the magic within her, she’s done a fine job ignoring other aspects of her power—until now. After several patients—and a student or two—describe the same cataclysmic dream, she uncovers ancient evil intent on draining her power. Lara knows next to nothing about her psychic side, but it will destroy her if she can’t come to terms with it.

Trevor Denoble has secrets, but he shields them well with a stunning body and a boatload of British charm. The airline he works for folds because there’s no fuel for the planes, and Lara’s changing into someone he barely recognizes. Though he doesn’t know it yet, the rest of his carefully crafted life is about to come crashing down too. 

Living in a world teetering on the edge of anarchy, Trevor and Lara are faced with a series of painful decisions. Is the love between them enough for Trevor to swallow his distrust of Lara’s burgeoning paranormal ability? Will their personal demons tear them apart in a world gone mad, as shortages of everything from electricity to food escalate?


Available at Amazon

 Excerpt 

Dark Prophecy:

…Hours later, Lara let herself out of her office, reached back in to activate the alarm, and then locked the door behind her. Arabel had gone home at six. Normally her receptionist left a note if there was something she needed to communicate. Tonight there hadn’t been any notes because there weren’t any patients she needed to call. But there had been a few zucchinis from Arabel’s lovingly-tended garden. Lara was grateful, both for the organic produce and for the lack of patient-related affairs to attend to. She was tired and hoped nobody had a crisis that evening.
She double-checked the pager that lived clipped to her belt. As she moved away from the front door of her building, she stumbled. The outside light was out—when had that happened?—and it was very dark in the shadows of the cavernous front porch. She made a grab for the railing to steady herself and took a tentative step toward the street.
“Stop right there,” a familiar harsh voice boomed from behind her.
“Mr. Beauchamp. That is you, isn’t it?” Alarm ricocheted through her, but she knew intuitively it was important to hide her fear. “What do you want?” Though she aimed for nonchalance, her voice sounded thin and shaky. Is it Ken? Aw, Jesus, who else could it be? She closed her eyes, gathering data from an unseen realm she knew well. Once her energies were focused, she discerned his twisted energy field throbbing against the darkness. Better the devil you know flashed through her mind. Not necessarily came close on its heels, as she realized, with a sinking feeling, that Ken Beauchamp really was dangerous. She’d known it the first time he walked into her office, but drawn in by his wife’s soft helplessness, she’d ignored her concerns, compassion overriding common sense.
“I want to talk. No, don’t turn around.” The man’s voice held menace as it sliced into her tumbling thoughts.
“What do you want to talk about, Mr. Beauchamp?” With effort, she kept her voice steady. “Surely whatever it is can wait until tomorrow. You really do need to call my office and make an appointment.” There, that seems like about the right amount of bravado.
“What did you tell my wife today? When you were in the bathroom. You’d better tell me the truth.”
“Are you threatening me? Because if you are, I’ll call the cops and have you thrown off my property.” Anger was rapidly displacing her fear—or at least coexisting with it. She reached a hand into her bag in search of her phone.
“That wouldn’t be smart, Doc, not very smart at all. Take your hand out of that purse.”
Ken Beauchamp’s voice was mild, but an ominous undertone chilled her. Sweat gathered in her armpits and dripped down her sides. Think! she commanded herself. There’s got to be a way out of this.
“Well, Doctor?” Ken’s voice oozed sarcasm, with undercurrents of something darker and far more primal. “I asked you a simple question. Answer it and we can both go home.”
What was he doing? Lara dug deeper with her hyper-honed senses. His breathing seemed…uneven. Was he getting off by intimidating her?
Something clicked ominously. The snick of a gun’s safety mechanism? What else could that cold metallic snapping sound possibly be? Fighting fear that threatened to paralyze her, Lara asked, “How’s Bethany, Mr. Beauchamp? She’s all right isn’t she?” Despite her concerns for herself, Lara was suddenly frantic about Bethany.
“That’s none of your business anymore. We won’t be back. I just want to know what you told her today.”
“Why is that important to you?”
“I ask the questions around here.” Yes, Lara thought as she listened intently, he was practically panting. Oh shit, this guy’s a pervert on top of all his other less-than-stellar attributes. She flirted with flying down the porch steps and trying to outrun him, except she had dress shoes on and her heavy shoulder bag. What if he really did have a gun? She hadn’t heard the metal click again.
A car pulled to the curb in front of her building and she started, heart beating like a mad thing. Christ, is it one of his henchmen come to help out? Practically moaning aloud, she wondered what Ken Beauchamp had in mind for her…


Dark Pursuit
Soul Storm
Book 2
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press

Release Date: 12/30/14
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Old blood and ancient power pit themselves against evil so dark, deep, and menacing it changes everyone who comes into contact with it. And not for the better.

Book Description:

Widespread rioting, plus shortages of fuel, food, and electricity lure demons across the veil to invade Earth. Drawn by anarchy, they’re out of control, drunk on their own power, and growing stronger by the day.

With her life crumbling around her, Dr. Lara McInnis is reluctantly roped into channeling her unpredictable psychic talents to help a detective who saved her from a psychopathic killer. Problem is, she’s still quite the neophyte in terms of either summoning her magic, or bending it to do much of anything. Her lack of skill strands her in the murky underbelly of a world inhabited by dark forces.

Trevor Denoble may not be psychic, but his old blood gives him gifts as well. After years of uncertainty, Lara is really and truly finally his. He’s determined to keep her by his side, but she refuses to cooperate. The detective’s daughter is trapped in darkness, and Lara insists on going after her—to a place barred to Trevor. Not to be denied, he latches onto his Celtic blood and uncovers latent power. No stranger to violence, more blood on his hands is a small price to pay to keep the woman he loves safe.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt 

Dark Pursuit:

…Fingers hesitant on the keypad—the last thing she needed was another snag in a life that already felt way too complicated—Lara entered the number. Seconds later, Detective Brad Archer’s familiar voice answered, “Archer here. That you, Lara?”
“Yes,” she replied. Normally, she’d have asked what he needed, but a part of her didn’t want to know. Detective Archer had shot and wounded Ken Beauchamp, setting a string of events into play that led to the man’s eventual capture. Since Beauchamp was dead, Lara assumed Archer must want something from her—and pretty badly to call at such an ungodly hour.
There was a pause, typical of what law enforcement officers did when they thought they might have a reluctant recruit on the other end of the phone. Lara’s stomach tightened, and she relaxed her grip on the phone because her hand was cramping.
“I—I’m calling to ask a favor, Dr. McInnis,” he began formally.
She girded herself for whatever the request might be. Trev and I owe him big time. If it’s a favor, I’ll have to at least try to help, even though I’m so overwhelmed with everything else I’m drowning.
“It’s my daughter, Adriana,” Brad choked out, anguish blasting through the phone lines. “Lara—she’s missing.”
“That’s terrible! What happened?” Shocked by his revelation, she sat up straighter in bed. More than that, though, she was confused why he was calling her. “Don’t you have an entire fleet of officers who hunt for missing persons?”
“Yes, we do. Even a couple psychics. That’s the problem, Doctor, uh, Lara. Even with all that, they’ve been hunting for her for almost a week and haven’t found a single lead.”
“How old is she?” Lara asked. Warnings rained from her psychic side, but she ignored them.
“Seventeen.” Archer’s voice was about an octave too high and strained.
“Maybe it’s not as bad as you think,” Lara suggested gently. “After all, teenagers are notorious for this sort of thing. Are you certain she didn’t run off with some boy? Or that she’s not holed up with a girlfriend? Did you or your wife have a fight with her?”
“No fights, but I’m not sure about either of the other two,” Brad admitted. “Look, Lara, I know you’re busy, but I could really use your, ah, special abilities to help me.” He sighed heavily, and his breath whistled from between what sounded like clenched teeth. “There’s not even a fucking clue, Doctor. Not one. My men have worked this thing to within an inch of its life.”
Tormented words tore out of him. “Her car’s disappeared, which isn’t all that unusual in kidnapping cases, but so have her motor vehicle and school records. Whatever happened to her, it wiped her off the face of the Earth. Christ, her hospital birth records don’t even exist anymore. And my wife…” He stopped, obviously struggling for control. “She’s been sedated for the past three days. When she wakes up, she starts screaming. Adriana was…is our only child.”
Lara closed her eyes. The amulet hanging around her neck pricked unpleasantly. So there’s magic involved here.
“Doctor?”
“Yes, I’m still here. I’m thinking.”
“Please.” The single word held all the angst of a man caught in an ever-tightening web.
“Okay, I’ll meet you wherever you want around noon.”
“I’ll come to you,” he said quickly. “Your office?”
“Yes,” she replied. “If you brought lunch, we could eat while we work.”
“No problem,” Archer replied. “Thanks, Lara.” Before he rang off, she heard him crying, sobbing actually, in great, gulping gasps. More than anything, that gave her pause. He was tough, a twenty year veteran of the police force. Her fears about what she’d just agreed to skyrocketed when the amulet—with its uncanny sensitivity to psychic events—radiated disapproval by sending waves of bitter cold against her skin…

Dark Promise
Soul Storm
Book 3
Ann Gimpel

Dream Shadow Press

108K words

Release Date: 1/29/15

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Some choices can never be undone.

Book Description:

Lara and Trevor flee Seattle in the wake of rising chaos. Like raptors drawn to road kill, demons converge on what’s left of civilization, urging it to implode even faster.

In this final book of the Soul Storm series, Lara and Trevor’s relationship undergoes stresses that threaten to annihilate them. Constantly hungry, besieged by dark forces, they need every resource they’ve developed as a couple to keep from ripping each other apart.  With her mentors snared in a chokehold by Goblins, Lara has only her half-baked magic standing between survival and certain death for herself, her love, and their unborn child.

The remote location that was supposed to solve all their problems has done anything but. Though she works diligently, Lara’s crash course in magic proves woefully inadequate. Trevor’s determined to protect his family, but he’s developed a decidedly haunted edge from all the carnage.

When he’s captured by demons, Lara curses their decision to leave Seattle, risks everything to go after him, and falls headlong into a cunningly crafted trap.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt 

Dark Promise:

…Trevor let himself out the kitchen door, Brad’s Heckler and Koch tucked under his arm. In a distant corner of his brain, he thought he must be mad to march off to face Christ-only-knew-what with a weapon he’d never fired before. Feels like it did the night I snuck out into the dark to see who had the night vision lamp. This gun didn’t do shit when Brad fired it that night. Not against Goblins. With memories swamping him, Trevor felt ill. He tightened his grip on the gun’s stock, and his breath came way too fast as he scanned the yard for movement.
The only reason he’d survived that other night was because a goddess had intervened. He didn’t figure he’d be that lucky twice. Besides, the supernatural creatures seemed to have other things on their minds. He’d cornered Elidora a couple days before to ask what was wrong. The Carlisle witch-woman mumbled something cryptic in Celtic Gaelic. Trying to decipher it after she left, he wondered if the Dreaming might not be under Demon attack.
Standing on the bottom step, with the comforting bulk of the house behind him, Trevor tried reaching out with all his senses. At first, the frantic beat of his heart drumming in his ears overwhelmed everything else. He forced himself to take some steadying breaths. Somewhere between them, he caught a sense of something not quite right, and the fine hairs on the nape of his neck quivered. He peered anxiously around the familiar yard, illuminated by strands of sunlight peeking through fluffy clouds. Nothing moved. In an effort to be methodical, he shifted his gaze from left to right, then back again.
Still nothing.
Is something hiding in the trees? That’s what they did last time. A vision of the Goblin that had jumped Brad rose unbidden, and Trevor bit hard on his lower lip. “No Goblins,” he mumbled. “They haven’t been here since that night. No reason they should come back.”
Bolstered somewhat by the sound of his own voice, he straightened his back, seeking courage to move away from the house. None of the animals were making any unusual noises like they would if they were frightened. Whatever had stirred up the goats before must have left. He checked the safety—clicking it off with fingers that weren’t as steady as he might have liked—and patted his pocket for the spare magazines Brad had shoved into his hand, the last of the ammunition for the automatic rifle.
“Best get moving,” he muttered, striding purposefully across the yard. He glanced from side to side to reassure himself no one else was there. Deciding to check the barn first, since it was closest to the house, he altered course. When he got there, he unlatched the door and pushed it open.
“Mary, mother of God,” he gasped and fell back a step, as he took in a scene out of the nine levels of Dante’s Inferno. Something—or someone—had slaughtered the goats. Blood was everywhere. The floor was slick with it, and it blotched the walls. Nausea roiled through him. Trevor struggled not to vomit. A muted bleat came from somewhere. As he sought its source, a kid crept from under one of the corpses mewling piteously.
“Poor thing.” Trevor reached down to stroke the small creature. It shook as it nuzzled his hand. He wondered how it had escaped, then realized its mother must have thrown herself atop her child. The reality of what the carnage meant hit home. He tasted fear, bitter and acrid. A metallic taste filled his mouth, burning its way deep into his soul.
Goblins. There are Goblins here. There must be. No animal could have done this and latched the door behind him.
Trevor’s head snapped up. He felt sure he heard something, its feet slogging through the mud. Lurching to the still-open barn door, he opened fire, swinging the weapon in a broad swath, while trying to avoid firing directly at the house. He still didn’t see anything, but he knew in his guts he wasn’t alone. Hadn’t been since he set foot in the yard. That was why he felt so odd. He fired another burst, hoping against hope to hit something.
A shriek, and then another, assailed him. It sounded like someone was being murdered five feet away. He twisted wildly from side to side, but didn’t see a thing. His mind rebelled at the contradiction. He lunged to pick up the kid and make a run for the house, but something closed about him from behind. Panting hot and fast, he swung the gun barrel sideways to hit whatever was there, but didn’t have enough reach.
Laughter brayed. The same damned, maniacal laughter he’d heard the last time Goblins showed up. A cloying miasma, reminiscent of road kill lying in the sun too long, clogged his nostrils.
Even though he still couldn’t see what had him, steel bands wrapped around his chest. Breathing became difficult. He considered yelling for Brad, but didn’t want either the crippled detective or, God forbid, Lara, anywhere near what was happening to him. Fear clawed at his belly. The edges of his vision grayed as his oxygen supply diminished.
“For bloody fuck’s sake, I’m going to die here,” he growled, just before the darkness swirling ever closer dragged him downward…



 About the Author:


Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent.  Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing.  A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 20 books to date, with several more contracted for 2014 and beyond.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.





@AnnGimpel




Earth Reclaimed Series Tour & Excerpts!



Earth’s Requiem
Earth Reclaimed, Book 1

By Ann Gimpel
Dream Shadow Press
107K words

Release Date: 3/1/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Resilient, kickass, and determined, Aislinn's walled herself off from anything that might make her feel again. Until a wolf picks her for a bondmate, and a Celtic god rises out of legend to claim her for his own.

Book Description:
Aislinn Lenear lost her anthropologist father high in the Bolivian Andes. Her mother, crazy with grief that muted her magic, was marched into a radioactive vortex by dark creatures and killed. Three years later, stripped of every illusion that ever comforted her, twenty-two year old Aislinn is one resilient, kickass woman with a take no prisoners attitude. In a world turned upside down, where virtually nothing familiar is left, she’s conscripted to fight the dark gods responsible for her father’s death. Battling evil on her own terms, Aislinn walls herself off from anything that might make her feel again in this compelling dystopian urban fantasy.
Fionn MacCumhaill, Celtic god of wisdom, protection, and divination has been laying low since the dark gods stormed Earth. He and his fellow Celts decided to wait them out. After all, three years is nothing compared to their long lives. On a clear winter day, Aislinn walks into his life and suddenly all bets are off. Awed by her courage, he stakes his claim to her and to an Earth he's willing to fight for.
Aislinn’s not so easily convinced. Fionn’s one gorgeous man, but she has a world to save. Emotional entanglements will only get in her way. Letting a wolf into her life was hard. Letting love in may well prove impossible.

Excerpt
Aislinn tried to stop it, but the vision that had dogged her for over a year played in her head. She squeezed her eyes shut tight. Mental images crowded behind her closed lids, as vivid as if they’d happened yesterday. She raked her hands through her hair and pulled hard, but the movie chronicling the beginning of her own personal hell didn’t even slow down. She whimpered as the humid darkness of a South American night closed about her…
Her mother screamed in Gaelic, “Deifir, Deifir,” and then shoved Aislinn again. She tried to hurry like her mother wanted, but it was all too much to take in. Stumbling down the steep Bolivian mountainside in the dark, she ignored tears and snot streaking her face. Her legs shook. Nausea clenched her gut. Her mother was crying too, in between cursing the gods and herself. Aislinn knew enough Gaelic to understand her mother had tried to talk her father out of going to the ancient Inca prayer site, but Jacob hadn’t listened.
A vision of her father’s twisted body lying dead a thousand feet above them tore at Aislinn. Just a few hours ago, her life had been normal. Now her mother had turned into a grief-crazed harridan. Her beloved father, a gentle giant of a man, was dead. Killed by those horrors that had crawled out of the ground. Perfect, golden-skinned men with long, silky hair and luminous eyes, apparently summoned through the ancient rite linked to the shrine. Thinking about it was like trying to shove her hand into a flame, her pain too unbearable to examine closely.
Aislinn was afraid to turn around. Tara had already slapped her once. Another spate of Gaelic galvanized her tired legs into motion. Her mother was clearly terrified the monsters would come after them, but Aislinn didn’t think they’d bother. At least a hundred adoring half-naked worshipers remained at the shrine high on the mountain. Once Tara had herded her into the shadows, her last glimpse of the crowd revealed one of the lethal exotic creatures turning a woman so he could penetrate her. Even in Aislinn’s near-paralyzed state, the sexual heat was so compelling, it took all her self-discipline not to race to his side and insist he take her instead. After all, she was younger, prettier. It didn’t matter at all that he’d just killed her father.
Aislinn shook her head so hard, it felt like her brains rattled from side to side in her skull. Despite the time that had passed since her father’s murder, she still fell into these damned trance states, where the horror happened all over again. Tears leaked from her eyes. She slammed a fist down on a corner of her desk, glorying in the diversion pain created. Crying was pointless. It wouldn’t change anything. Self-pity was an indulgence she couldn’t afford.
Pull it together. The weak die.
Even though she wasn’t sure why life felt so precious—after all, she’d lost nearly everything—Aislinn wanted to live. Would do anything to hang onto the vital thread that maintained her on Earth.
A bitter laugh bubbled up. What a transition: from Aislinn Lenear, college student, to Aislinn Lenear, fledgling magic wielder. A second race of alien beings, Lemurians, had stormed Earth on the heels of that hideous night in Bolivia, selecting certain humans because they had magical ability and sending everyone else to their deaths.
It was a process. It took time to kill people, but huge sections of Salt Lake City sat empty. Skyscraper towers downtown and rows of vacant buildings mocked a life that was no more. In her travels to nearby places before the gasoline ran out, Aislinn had found them about the same as Salt Lake.
Jacob’s death had been a harbinger of impending chaos—the barest beginning. The world she’d known had imploded shockingly fast. It killed Aislinn to admit it—she kept hoping for a miracle to intercede—but her mother was certifiable. Tara may as well have died right along with her husband. She hadn’t left the house once since they’d returned a year before. Her long, red hair was filthy and matted. She barely ate. When she wasn’t curled into a fetal position, she drew odd runes on the kitchen floor and muttered in Gaelic about Celtic gods and dragons. It was only a matter of time before the Lemurians culled her. Tara had magic, but she was worthless in her current state.
The sound of the kitchen door rattling against its stops startled Aislinn. On her feet in a flash, she took the stairs two at a time and burst into the kitchen. A Lemurian had one of its preternaturally long-fingered hands curved around Tara’s emaciated arm. He crooned to her in his language—an incomprehensible mix of clicks and clacks. Tara’s wild, golden eyes glazed over. She stopped trying to pull away and got to her feet, leaning against the seven-foot tall creature with long, shiny blond hair, as if she couldn’t stand on her own.
No!” Aislinn hurled herself at the Lemurian. “Leave her alone.”
Stop!” His odd alien gaze met hers. “It is time,” the Lemurian said in flawless English, “for both you and her. You must join the fighting and learn about your magic. Your mother is of no use to anyone.”
But she has magic.” Aislinn hated the pleading in her voice. Hated it.
Be strong. I can’t show him how scared I am.
Something flickered behind the Lemurian’s expression. It might have been disgust—or pity. He turned away and led Tara Lenear out of the house.
Aislinn growled low in her throat and launched herself at the Lemurian’s back. Gathering her clumsy magic into a primitive arc, she focused it on her enemy. Her tongue stuttered over an incantation. Before she could finish it, something smacked her in the chest so hard she flew through the air, hit the kitchen wall, and then slumped to the floor. Wind knocked out of her, spots dancing before her eyes, she struggled to her feet. By the time she stumbled to the kitchen door, both the Lemurian and her mother had vanished.
An unholy shriek split the air, followed by another. Aislinn clapped a hand over her mouth to seal the sound inside and clutched the doorsill. Pain clawed at her belly. Her vision became a red haze. The fucking Lemurian had taken her mother. The last human connection she had. And they expected her to fight for them? Ha! It would be a cold day in Hell. She let go of the doorframe and balled her hands into fists so hard her nails drew blood.
Standing still was killing her, so she walked into blindingly bright sunlight. She didn’t care what happened next. It didn’t matter anymore. A muted explosion rocked the ground. She staggered. When she turned, she wasn’t surprised to see her house crack in multiple places and settle. Not totally destroyed, but close enough.
Guess they want to make sure I don’t have anywhere to go back to.
Her heart shattered into jagged pieces that poked her from the inside. She bit her lip so hard it ached. When that didn’t make a dent in her anguish, she pinched herself, dug her nails into her flesh until she bled from dozens of places. Fingers slick with her own blood, she forced herself into a ragged jog. Maybe if she put some distance between herself and the wreckage of her life, the pain sluicing through her would abate.

As she ran, a phrase filled her mind. The same sentence, over and over in time to her heartbeat. I will never care for anyone ever again. I will never care for anyone ever again. After a time, the words etched into her soul…

Earth’s Blood
Earth Reclaimed, Book 2

By Ann Gimpel
Dream Shadow Press
105K words

Release Date: 3/1/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Clinging to their courage in a crumbling world, Aislinn and Fionn vow to save Earth, no matter what it takes.

 Book Description:

 In a post-apocalyptic world where most people have been slaughtered, the Celtic gods and a few humans with magic are all that stand between survival and Earth falling into chaos. The combination of dark sorcery leveraged by the enemy is daunting. Destruction is all but certain if the small enclaves of humans who are left can’t get past their distrust of the Celts.
Captured by the enemy, Aislinn Lenear wonders if she’ll ever see her bond wolf or Fionn, a Celtic god, again. She’s had nothing but her wits to rely on for years. They haven’t failed her yet, but escape from her current predicament seems remote.
An enticing blend of dystopian urban fantasy and romance, this second volume of the Earth Reclaimed Series provides fertile ground for Aislinn and Fionn’s relationship to deepen. Headstrong and independent, the pair run up against each other’s demands time and time again. Fireworks spark. In the end, they learn to savor every moment in a bittersweet world where each day may well be the last.

Excerpt
…One last quick breath. Aislinn threw her power wide open, diverting some to shield herself. She funneled the rest into a wild sprint away from the gaping maw of a door. Pain lanced up her leg, but she ignored it and urged her muscles to greater speed. She needed to free up at least a three-minute lead so she could jump herself out of there. Portals took time to form, so she was vulnerable at the start of traveling jumps.
Her lungs burned; the ragged sound of her own breathing echoed off the walls. Where were Rune and Fionn? Throwing caution to the winds, she called for Rune. Maybe he could find her. If he can do that, he’ll lead Fionn to me.
A high-pitched shriek filled her ears and built to where it was unbearable. Her leg wasn’t the only thing on fire. Her eardrums ruptured. Hot fluid ran down the sides of her face. A wave of dizziness threatened to flatten her, but she didn’t slow. It had taken the Lemurians a few precious seconds to react to her disobedience. She prayed it would give her enough time to escape.
The air in the corridor shimmered fifty feet ahead. Desperate, she looked for a side tunnel, an open doorway, anything she could duck into. It would be just like the Old Ones to cut off her escape from all sides.
Noooooo, a voice in her head screamed. I do not want to die here.
The brightness intensified. It may not matter what I want, a different inner voice muttered dourly. She snuck a peek over one shoulder. The air looked funny there, too, but it was different somehow. Bleaker.
Lass, drop your shielding.” Fionn’s voice sounded in her head. “Ye must, or I canna jump us out of this hellhole. Hurry, or they’ll have you from behind.”
She wondered if it was some kind of insidious trap. She tried to sense Fionn, but couldn’t. He’d be warded as well, but still... She risked another glance behind her. The ocher-tinged air was, indeed, closer. It smelled like the reptile exhibit at the zoo her parents used to take her to when she was a child: musty and rank. A few more steps, and the brilliance ahead surrounded her. “Now, lass. Now.”
Fionn’s unique energy pulsed against her. Practically sobbing with relief, Aislinn pulled magic from her wards. The second she did so, he closed his arms around her. The gut-wrenching sensation of jumping when someone else controlled the spell pummeled her. Even if it made her puke, she’d never felt anything quite so welcome.
Rune?”
He’s fine. Hush. I need to concentrate. This was a much narrower margin than I’m comfortable with. We’re not out of the woods yet, leannán.”
Her ears throbbed. Her leg ached. She didn’t mind being quiet. Not when Fionn’s arms were around her. She could stand just about anything so long as they were together. Travis’s sneering face filled her mind, along with an impotent rage.
I’m going to kill that bastard if I ever see him again.
Only if I doona get to him first,” Fionn snapped.
She considered complaining because he was in her head again—without her permission—but choked on a snort. After today, Fionn MacCumhaill could spend as much time as he wanted in her mind. Hell, he could take up residence there for all she cared.
The familiar walls of Marta’s kitchen rose around her. Snarling and snapping came from the study, followed by Gwydion’s Celtic brogue. “There now. She is back. ’Tis a stubborn creature, ye are. Ye dinna believe me. Go.”
Rune galloped into the kitchen, his claws skidding on the wooden floor, and launched himself at Fionn in his eagerness to get at Aislinn. “Put her down,” the wolf demanded.
Bella flew into the room right behind the wolf, quorking, “Yes, put her down.” The bird landed on Fionn’s shoulder.
Be careful,” Fionn cautioned. “She’s hurt. Doona be too exuberant. Bella, watch your talons.”
I know how Aislinn feels,” Rune said indignantly. “After all, she is bonded to me.”
Och aye, I hadna forgotten.” Fionn rolled his eyes and chuckled indulgently, while ruffling Bella’s dark feathers.
Aislinn lowered herself to the floor and closed her arms around Rune. She gloried in the feel of his rough outer coat and the soft fuzz beneath. Fionn and the hard, muscled planes of his body would keep. In spite of everything that had happened, desire forked through her at the thought of his lips on hers, his hands stroking her naked flesh, and his hardness buried deep inside her.
Soon, lass.” Fionn winked at her. He added a vision of her mouth locked around his shaft and quirked a brow.
She laughed and raised her gaze to meet his intensely blue eyes. “No secrets, huh?”
Never, lass. It may not be a Hunter bond like ye share with the wolf, but our pledge, one to t’other, runs just as deep.”
Bella took flight, landed on Aislinn’s shoulder, and rained love pecks on her head. “Don’t be listening to my bondmate. He always had a honeyed tongue.”
“Really?” Fionn stepped close enough to mock-swat the raven.
No secrets,” the raven cawed scornfully.
Point taken. Come here.” Fionn held out an arm, and Bella fluttered to him. The two bent their heads together. Aislinn figured they were probably talking in their private mind speech.
The wolf howled and then whined and licked every inch of skin he could find. “Hurt? Where are you hurt, bondmate?”
Ankle and ears. It’s nothing. Aw, Rune. I never thought I’d see you again.” Gratitude swelled inside her. Her throat thickened until it was hard to breathe; tears rolled down her face. The wolf licked them up…



Earth’s Hope
Earth Reclaimed, Book 3

By Ann Gimpel
Dream Shadow Press
95K words

Release Date: 3/6/15

Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy

Power so old, deep, and chilling it hurts to think about it will overrun Earth if nothing changes. Targeted, furious, and fighting back, Aislinn runs wide open, gathering allies and putting her life on the line.

Book Description:

Aislinn Lenear has traveled a long road since the dark gods invaded Earth better than three years ago. After seeing her father slaughtered in front of her, and her mother sink into madness, Aislinn built strong walls around her heart. First her bond wolf, and then Fionn MacCumhaill, changed all that, but she and Fionn are far from home free.
Four of the six dark gods are still sowing destruction, and they’ve joined forces with Lemurians, a desperate lot, running just ahead of the tide of their own mortality. In a bold move, they try to coopt a group of young dragons, and very nearly succeed. Dewi, the Celtic dragon god, and Nidhogg, the Norse dragon god, banish their brood to the dragons’ home world, but they refuse to stay put.
In a fast-paced, tension-riddled closure to this dystopian, urban fantasy series, Earth's Hope sweeps from Ireland to the Greek Islands to the Pacific Northwest to borderworlds where the dark gods live. Fionn’s and Aislinn’s relationship is strained to the breaking point as they struggle to work together without tearing one another to bits. Fionn is used to being obeyed without question, but Aislinn won’t dance to his tune. If they can find their way, there may be hope for a ravaged Earth.
In a post-apocalyptic world where most people have been slaughtered, the Celtic gods and a few humans with magic are all that stand between survival and Earth falling into chaos. The combination of dark sorcery leveraged by the enemy is daunting. Destruction is all but certain if the small enclaves of humans who are left can’t get past their distrust of the Celts.
Captured by the enemy, Aislinn Lenear wonders if she’ll ever see her bond wolf or Fionn, a Celtic god, again. She’s had nothing but her wits to rely on for years. They haven’t failed her yet, but escape from her current predicament seems remote.
An enticing blend of dystopian urban fantasy and romance, this second volume of the Earth Reclaimed Series provides fertile ground for Aislinn and Fionn’s relationship to deepen. Headstrong and independent, the pair run up against each other’s demands time and time again. Fireworks spark. In the end, they learn to savor every moment in a bittersweet world where each day may well be the last.

Excerpt
…One of the red dragons leaped from the water, wings flapping, and dive-bombed her, showering her with slimy moat water.
“Ewww.” Aislinn sputtered the dank water away from her lips.
“Play with us,” the female dragon demanded.
“It’s almost time for bed.” Aislinn tried to sound stern, but she had the same problem with the younglings that plagued Dewi. They were so damned cute, it wasn’t easy to pull rank.
“Bed?” echoed from six other dragonlings. They vaulted from the water and converged on her, nearly crushing her beneath their bulk.
“Get off me,” Aislinn cried. “You’re heavy.”
“Yes,” the one black dragon announced proudly and nudged Rune with his scaled snout. “Once I rode you. Soon you’ll fit atop my back.”
“Don’t count on it,” Rune snarled.
Aislinn snickered. Flying atop a dragon wasn’t the wolf’s favorite activity. He tolerated it when he had to, but avoided it when he could.
“How’s it going, leannán?” Fionn strode down the greenway separating the moat from his castle.
Aislinn scrambled to her feet and shook water out of her hair. Her beige trousers were thick, boiled wool and fairly resistant to moisture. A cloak woven from the same wool wrapped around her body. She’d found the clothes in one of many trunks in Fionn’s attic. He couldn’t recall who they’d belonged to, but she assumed it was an earlier wife or girlfriend since he’d been born in 1048.
“Good, you’re here.” She squinted through the gloom. When he got close enough for her to see his face, the welcoming smile died on her lips.
“Aye, well at least someone is glad of my presence.”
“Didn’t go well, huh?” She held out her arms. He walked into them and wrapped his around her.
“Nay. Mostly the humans want to wait until we’re attacked. Bran wants to annihilate the Lemurians first.” He tightened his arms around her shoulders. “I want to bash our way through the dark gods until they get fed up enough to retreat, but I canna do it by myself.”
“We’ll help.” The black dragonling tried to wriggle between Fionn’s and Aislinn’s bodies. His scales caught on Aislinn’s pants.
“We will, we will,” other young voices chimed in.
“The dark ones killed our sister,” the black dragon went on, his piping voice serious. “We want revenge.”
“Mother won’t let us fight,” a green dragon spoke up. “She already said so.”
“Father disagreed,” the red dragon who’d invaded Aislinn’s lap said.
She’d gotten better at telling them apart, but it would be a relief once they named themselves. In all, there were two red females, three green males, the black male, and a copper male.
“I fear all of us will get our chance in battle afore this is over.” Gwydion, flanked by Bran, walked into their midst. “Come with me. Time to give Aislinn a break.”
“Will you tell us a story?” the copper dragon demanded.
“Yes,” a red dragon clapped her clawed forelegs together. “You tell the best stories.”
“I’ll be your bard tonight.” Bran made a sweeping bow. “Mayhap you’d care to hear about how dragons came to be.”
“Yes!” the red female shrieked.
“Follow Bran,” Gwydion urged. Once the dragons were in motion, some flying, some walking, he rolled his eyes and brought up the rear.
“Thanks,” Aislinn shouted after him.
“Ye owe me, lass,” he called over one shoulder.
Aislinn leaned her head into the nook between Fionn’s neck and shoulder. “Would you like to walk a bit before we go inside?”
“Aye, lass. Now ye mention it, I’d like that verra much.”
“Do you suppose we could go as far as the sea?”
“I thought we’d remain within my wards—”
Bella flapped out of the darkness and landed on Rune’s back. “We’re coming,” she announced.
“Of course we are,” Rune seconded. “My bonded one would never consider leaving me behind.”
Aislinn stifled a snort. The bond animals had their own network and frequently shared things among themselves that they’d never tell their humans. Apparently Bella had complained about Fionn ditching her, and the wolf was reminding her of that in a less-than-subtle manner.
“Since we’re all going,” Aislinn cut in before Fionn got into another argument with the cantankerous raven, “let’s do this. I sat for so long, I’m cold.” She wriggled out of Fionn’s embrace, reluctant to leave the warmth of his body.
“Would ye like me to find you a warmer wrap?” Fionn asked.
She shook her head. “I don’t want this to be a big production number. Mostly, I want to work the kinks out of my legs before we go to bed. Thank Christ Dewi will be back by the middle of tomorrow.”
Fionn hooked a hand beneath her arm and guided her toward the wall that rose all around his manor. He’d had the mansion built in the fifteen hundreds to exacting specifications. Flat, gray stones comprised the outer wall; they fit together so precisely it was nearly impossible to detect their edges. The house itself was built from huge wooden beams and river rock. Five stories, with turrets and a tower and leaded glass windows, it looked like something out of a movie set.
Aislinn fell into step beside him, grateful for her long legs that let her keep pace easily. They passed beneath one of four curved gateways set into the outer wall and out onto open moorland. Humans who’d been assigned sentry duty nodded as they passed. The salt tang of the sea deepened, tickling her nostrils. For a moment, she felt homesick for the dry air of the American west where she was from. Rune jumped to one side, jaws snapping, and came up with a small, wriggling creature.
“I shall hunt too,” Bella declared and launched herself off the wolf’s back. The black of her wings melted into the shadows until Aislinn couldn’t see her anymore without magic.
“Why’s she unhappy this time?” Aislinn asked.
“What it comes down to,” Fionn replied, “is she doesn’t enjoy sharing me. Aye, she likes you well enough. Not like your mother, who she detested, but jealousy still gets the better of her.”
“She’s good to have by our side in battle, though.” Aislinn licked her lips and tasted salt from perpetual mists that hung in the air. “Speaking of which, I assume there’s another pow-wow with the humans.”
“Aye, that there is. If nothing else, we must craft a defensive plan should we be attacked.”
“Not if, but when,” she cut in. “I can’t put my finger on it, but time grows short. I feel it here.” She laid a hand over her chest.
“Ye and Bran, both. He says the Lemurians are closing, and I presume the dark gods are masterminding whatever they’re up to.”
Rune growled from around his impromptu meal. “I’m ready.” He shifted to mind speech because his mouth was busy.
Aislinn waited for the raven to jump in, but either Bella was out of earshot, or biding her time. The roar of breakers on sand got louder as they closed the distance to the beach. Fionn stopped walking and spun her in his arms until they faced one another. He murmured a string of Gaelic endearments just before he closed his mouth over hers.
Aislinn wove her arms around Fionn’s muscled torso and opened her mouth to his insistent tongue. Need flared, hot and urgent, but Fionn always had that effect on her. From the moment their bodies had first slammed together, passion drove reason from her mind.
She’d lost her father to Perrikus and D’Chel the night they’d pierced the veil separating Earth from their borderworlds. Lemurians had killed her mother a year later, and Aislinn had vowed to never let another soul get close enough to hurt her if something hideous happened to them. She’d held firm for two years, but first Rune and then Fionn, had walked into her life and changed everything.
Too late. It’s too late to worry about it now. Her breath quickened, and her nipples formed hard peaks where they were squashed against his chest.
Fionn dropped his hands lower and cupped the curves of her ass, pulling her hard against an obvious erection. She tore her mouth from his. “So, do you just want to fall into the wet grass and get it on?”
He made a decidedly male sound deep in his throat. “Not a bad idea, leannán. I can make us a dry place with magic.” He butted his hard-on against her pelvis. “At least we’d have a shred of privacy. No telling who’ll burst into my rooms back in the house.”
“No kidding. Do you suppose the dragons have figured out how to work their way past the deadbolt?”
“Och, lassie. Now ye mention it, I caught the black one using magic to do just that earlier today.” He tugged one of her arms from around him and pushed her hand over his engorged flesh. “We willna be long. Think of the adventure aspect.” Muted humor ran beneath his words…

Bio:

Ann Gimpel is a national bestselling author. She’s also a clinical psychologist, with a Jungian bent and a vagabond at heart. Avocations include mountaineering, skiing, wilderness photography and, of course, writing. A lifelong aficionado of the unusual, she began writing speculative fiction a few years ago. Since then her short fiction has appeared in a number of webzines and anthologies. Her longer books run the gamut from urban fantasy to paranormal romance. She’s published over 25 books to date, with several more contracted for 2015 and beyond.

A husband, grown children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out her family.

@AnnGimpel (for Twitter)