Echoes Of Paradise – Review & Contest!

GIVEAWAY

3 PAPERBACK copies of Echoes of Paradise by Deanna Kahler

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Echoes of Paradise

Deanna Kahler 

echoescoverGenre: Fiction/Paranormal

Publisher: Rose Petal Publications

Date of Publication: January 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-0615863399

ASIN: TBD

Number of pages: 228

Word Count: 54,000

Cover Artist: Cover photo by Paul Kahler

Review:

Echoes of Paradise is a sweet tale with a metaphysical slant about spiritual growth and enlightenment.

It’s atypical of the romance genre. The main character, Celeste is married with a 5 year old son, living in a flawed yet manageable relationship. It’s a situation she accepts. However, when Connor, the love of her life who left to work overseas, decides to come home, she feels conflicted. His impending return resurrects old feelings. After all, if two people could be described as soul mates it was Connor and Celeste.

Unfortunately, Connor dies in a plane crash before they can ever re-connect. Celeste grieves as someone who has lost the love of her life, confusing her current husband, Dave. He is a shallow but well meaning guy who assumes she’ll get over it. When strange, inexplicable things start happening, Celeste realizes Connor has come back as an angel to guide  her and son, Chip.  She eventually tells Dave about Connor’s visits who remains skeptical at first, then succumbs to jealousy.

And then we go on a metaphysical journey, exploring theories and beliefs of the afterlife as the story unfolds with Connor teaching Celeste how to live a happier, fuller life.

I was fine with this since it echoes my fundamental beliefs. Others may consider it fantasy or paranormal. Regardless, the story is strong enough to please both factions and a good read for romance fans of contemporary, sweet, or paranormal genres. The characters are interesting and believable.

My only criticism is the ending seemed a little contrived but once again, what’s a sweet romance without an HEA? The writing flows easily even though I found the dialogue simplistic at times. But that’s just me. I tend to read edgier content anyway, so go figure.

I recommend this book for romance fans, especially those who enjoy stories about loving ghosts, life beyond death, metaphysics or parables of enlightenment such as The Celestine Prophecy.

Book Description: 

Does Love Survive Death? When Celeste’s one true love Connor dies, she’s left with many questions and regrets. Caught in a web of painful memories from her troubled past – and a complicated marriage to a materialistic executive – she ventures into an unknown world.

What she experiences makes her more determined than ever to find out what really happens after death and what became of her lost love. Her journey takes her to places she never thought possible. But just around the corner, danger still lurks. Will she find the answers she seeks and ultimately discover the truth?

Short Excerpt: 

Celeste began sobbing uncontrollably. She struggled to see the road ahead of her through tear-filled eyes. The landscape became a fuzzy blur of moonlight and shadowy trees. The world around her spun into an unrecognizable mix of darkness streaked with occasional rays of dim light. As she drove blindly ahead, she felt as if she were plunging into nothingness. And she didn’t even care.

She would have continued in her oblivious state, but somehow, out of nowhere, she heard a very clear and distinct male voice pop into her head. She thought that surely she must have imagined it, because it sounded like Connor.

Pay attention.

Suddenly a deer darted out in front of her, its startled eyes aglow from the blazing gold headlights. Blood pulsed through her veins as she abruptly swerved her car to the right, narrowly missing the animal. With her heart still pounding, she took a deep breath and tried to regain her composure.

“That was close,” she said aloud to herself. “Stay focused, Celeste. Keep it together.”

Although she was alone in her car, she noticed a distinct presence. It felt like Connor was somehow with her. First the voice, and now this? Surely she must be losing her mind! Even so, she had an irresistible urge to talk to him. Maybe it was silly or useless, but she couldn’t fight this desire brimming inside of her. She didn’t just want communication with her deceased former love; she needed it—even if it was one-sided. She began to have a conversation as if he were right there with her.

“I’m so sorry,” she sobbed. “I’m sorry I didn’t stay in touch with you and try to be a part of your life in some way. I’m sorry I wasn’t there for you or able to help you. I’m sorry for the night I left you. I’m sorry I didn’t let you get closer to me or tell you that I love you. I’m just so sorry.”

Tears streamed down Celeste’s face like the rain on a shiny glass window, and she gasped for air. What she wanted most right now was to know that Connor still existed somehow, somewhere. She wanted proof that his spirit lived on. She wanted to know that he was alive and well in heaven. Although she had been raised Christian, her faith had faded as she’d grown older. Life’s circumstances, unanswered prayers, and the cynical, materialistic world around her had left Celeste with doubts and questions. She now wondered if God and the afterlife even existed at all. She wanted to believe. She just didn’t know how.

Right after she spoke to Connor, a song came on the radio. The words caught her attention, and she stopped crying long enough to listen. It was a tune by Nickelback titled “Someday.”

For a brief moment, Celeste noticed a tingling sensation run down her spine. She felt like Connor was speaking directly to her through this song. It felt as if he were trying to respond to her. Were the words to this song meant for her? Did he somehow hear her cries? Was he trying to tell her he was going to help her in some way?

“No,” thought Celeste. “You’re being ridiculous. This is all just a coincidence. Connor can’t hear you or help you—he’s dead.”

Somehow, even though her rational, logical mind told her this, her heart told her otherwise. Maybe Connor really was alive in the afterlife. Maybe he really could hear her. She needed to know the truth. She wanted answers.

About the Author:

Deanna Kahler is an accomplished writer and proud mom. Her work has been published in numerous corporate newsletters and magazines across the country. She began writing as a young child and enjoys the opportunity to reach others and make a difference in their lives. deannakahler

Echoes of Paradise is Deanna’s second book. Her first book, From Pain to Parenthood: A Journey Through Miscarriage to Adoption, details her difficult journey to motherhood and provides tips and resources for those facing similar circumstances.

Deanna holds a bachelor’s degree in communication arts from Oakland University in Rochester, Mich., where she graduated with departmental honors. She lives with her husband and daughter in a Metro Detroit suburb, where she enjoys writing, dancing, walking, and visiting parks in her spare time.

For more information about the author, please visit www.deannakahler.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/deannakahler

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/echoesofparadise

GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7087819.Deanna_Kahler

It’s HOT for the HOLIDAYS!!!!! Bewitching Book Tours Giveaway Starts NOW!

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I”ve been biting my tongue while waiting to tell you about the fantabulous Holiday Giveaway offered by Bewitching Book Tours. The Grand Prize – a Kindle Fire HD (or equivalent value in an Amazon Gift Card) – is enough to convince most people to enter this incredible contest . . . but it doesn’t stop there. Roxanne Rhoads, our esteemed leader and owner of one of the best virtual book tour and promotion companies around, has aligned with the stars (as in talented authors) to create a truly awesome event. There’s something for everyone.

 Just look at the rest of the available prizes:

THREE Bewitching Prize Packs full of books and book swag goodies- open to US Shipping. Prize packs may contain print copies of The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle, Would Be Witch by Kimberly Frost and Earth Angel by E Van Lowe, Paranormal Pleasures by Roxanne Rhoads, Tasty Christmas Treats by Roxanne Rhoads. Books will be distributed among the 3 prize packs

1  e-book set of the first three books in the Seven Seals Series by Traci Douglas 

1 Release, book 3 of The Angler series by Annie Nicholas 

1 ebook copy Murder on Mars A New Orleans Mystery by MM Shelley

1 Ebook giveaway Hollow’s End by Marianne Morea 

1 Ebook copy of Tigress by JE Taylor 

1 ebook copy of In Flames by Jessica Jayne

1 copy of River Road by Suzanne Johnson 

1 ebook copy of Visionary- Unleashed by N Dunham

1 copy of each Bleeding Hearts and Blood Rush by Ash Krafton 

1 ebook copy of Soul Meaning (Seventeen Book 1) by AD Starrling

1 ebook copy of Blaze Ignites by JL Madore

1  e-book copy of Operation Earth by Maria Hammarblad

1 Earth’s Requiem by Ann Gimpel. Print if in the U.S., an e-copy otherwise.

1 ebook copy Silent Oath (Book 2 of the Locked Within Trilogy) by Paul Anthony Shortt

1 Ebook: Five Golden Rings by Jeffe Kennedy from the Season of Seduction Carina Press erotic holiday anthology

1 eBook: An Unexpected Bride (The Bride Series, Book 1) by Shadonna Richards 

1 eCopy of Divine Destiny by Joanna Grace

1 Ministry Protocol: Thrilling Tales of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences 

1 Ebook giveaway. “Beautiful Stranger” by Katalina Leon

1 ebook copy of Chasing the Star Garden by Melanie Karsak

1 ebook copy of Cleaning Up by Jophrael L Avario

1 One e-book copy of Haven by Celia Breslin

1 one e-book copy of Dragon Fire by Dina Von Lowenkraft

1 ebook copy of Hex and the Single Witch by Roxanne Rhoads

1 one kindle copy of Cassie Scot: ParaNormal Detective by Christine Amsden

1 One ecopy of Cursed Ever After by AC James

1 copy of The Miss Education of Dr. Exeter by Jillian Stone

1 ecopy of Catwalk:Messiah by Nick Kelly

1 ecopy of Wucaii by Pembroke Sinclair

1 ecopy of The Bottom Line by Shelley Munro

1 Ebook copy of Dangerous Pursuit by Margaret Daly

Can you believe it??? Like I said, there’s something for any reader’s tastes. All you have to do is enter, which is soooo easy! Just click on the Bewitching Book Tours Button at the top of this post or on this link: 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f446

And if you’re a visual person like me (one picture is worth a thousand words), you’ll enjoy this enticing display of book covers and prizes featured in the contest. Remember, BBT’s HOT HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY is open to everyone, whether you’re naughty or nice!

“Lucky Phoo” is a Doggone Good Tale!

And to make this “tail-wagging” virtual book tour even more fun, enter the tour wide CONTEST to win awesome swag!
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Click on the RAFFLECOPTER link to enter one of the following prizes:

  • 4 bracelets- US Shipping Only
  • 1 full set of 8 titles of Blast to the Past (Blastothepast.com) US Shipping Only
  • 1 set Smurfs Movie Novels- US Shipping Only
  • 4 plush dogs with Lucky Phoo dog tags- US Shipping Only
  • 3 Copies of the Lucky Phoo Ebook for download- international

 

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f347/

 

Lucky Phoo coverLucky Phoo
Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon

Genre: Children’s Mid Grade

Publisher: Imajin Books

Date of Publication: August 1, 2013

Number of pages: 109

Word Count: 43,000

Cover Artist: Ryan Doan

imajinbooks.com, amazon.com, luckyphoo.com and www.staciadeutsch.com

Book Description:

Seventh grade best friends, Caylie Jiang-Kahn, Lauren Blindell, and Sabrina Robinson have busy middle school lives.

Sabrina wants to make a movie about their friendship, but a stray dog shows up and ruins the day. In frustration, Lauren curses, “Oh Phooey.” The name sticks. The crazy mutt will forever be named Phoo.

Sabrina pieces together bits of the footage she shot. She highlights Phoo’s silly antics and puts the video up on a movie contest website.

The video goes viral and suddenly, Lauren, Caylie, and Sabrina are celebrities at school. When a volunteer at the dog shelter sees the film, she assumes the dog belongs to the girls and calls them to come collect Phoo.

The girls arrange to take turns caring for Phoo until he can be adopted.

While sharing Phoo, Caylie, Sabrina and Lauren begin to notice that if the dog is around, lucky things seem to happen. The moment he’s gone…the luck disappears.

When they all need the dog’s magic at the same time, it’s up to the girls to decide once and for all: Is Phoo truly a lucky dog?

Review:

I don’t usually read children’s books. I made an exception with “Lucky Phoo” because I’m a sucker for dog stories and I respect the writing accomplishments of authors Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon. I’m glad I did.

What I discovered is “Lucky Phoo” might target the children’s market but it is a well written tale that adults will enjoy, too.

This short novel is an engaging story in a contemporary setting . . . three young girls who aspire to be filmmakers . . . and the stray dog who adds a bit of frenzy to their lives. The characters and dialogue are realistic but not so juvenile as to be offsetting to an older reader. What I really found refreshing (besides Phoo’s crazy antics) was the serious issues that weave throughout the story without dampening the fun. They unfold in such a way as to offer positive guidance and good lessons for today’s youth.

“Lucky Phoo” will draw you in and hold your interest. I highly recommend it for mid-grade children and adults, alike. And who knows . . . it may even convince you to foster a homeless dog! :)

What other reviewers have to say:

“With punchy dialogue and a fast moving pace, LUCKY PHOO takes readers on a wild adventure as three friends try to share fostering duties of a lovable stray dog.” —Marianne Mitchell, author of FIREBUG

 “Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon are two very best friends who write books together, which is very lucky for their readers. You’ll want to share LUCKY PHOO with all your friends, too!” —Jennifer J. Stewart, author of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF A THIRD WORLD KIND, Connecticut Nutmeg Book Award List; Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award List; Arizona Grand Canyon Reader Award List

 “LUCKY PHOO is a great story about friendship, love and responsibility–Phoo, the lucky dog who wanders into Sabrina’s, Caylie’s and Lauren’s world is indeed  lucky–although maybe not as lucky as these girls whose life he changes.” —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL

 “Okay, full disclosure: I LOVE good, strong, dog stories–Lucky Phoo is precisely one of those!” —Terry Trueman, Printz Honor Author of STUCK IN NEUTRAL

 Excerpt:

Mrs. Salinas was ready to go. “So if you girls are sure you can’t take him any longer, I’ll just head on over to the van―” She took a few steps forward then turned back to the girls. “You’re sure you can’t foster him any longer?”

“I can’t,” Sabrina said, her voice tight and sad.

“Not me,” Lauren confirmed.

“I might be able to squeeze out another weekend,” Caylie said, “but we’d be back here on Monday.”

“Right,” Mrs. Salinas said. “And at least this way he has a chance of getting adopted in Fresno.”

She took a few more steps towards the van. The rain, to Lauren, seemed to be coming down harder. The drops blended in with her tears now. And looking at Caylie and Sabrina, Lauren couldn’t tell, but was pretty sure they were crying, too.

Mrs. Salina’s stopped one more time, just at the edge of the parking lot. “It was great having him,” she said. “Wasn’t it?”

“Yeah,” Lauren agreed. “Great.”

“We had fun,” Caylie said.

“Fun,” Sabrina repeated the word. “Yeah. We had a good time.”

Mrs. Salinas nodded. “I thought so.” She looked down at the dog, then back at the girls. “Tell me,” she said, her voice soft, drippy like the rain. “Weren’t things better when Phoo was around?”

The remark caught Lauren off-guard. What was Mrs. Salinas talking about?

“I think she’s right,” Lauren said, turning to Caylie and Sabrina. “Things have been going better than usual for me lately.”

“You don’t think he might have some kind of powers?” Sabrina looked over at Mrs. Salinas who was now at the van, loading Phoo inside.

“Well,” Caylie said, considering.

“I think maybe,” Lauren said tentatively. “I saw this show about luck and how―” Lauren stopped herself mid-sentence when she saw Mrs. Salinas push Phoo into an empty carrying cage. His voice joined the choir of barking dogs and was the loudest of them all.

In a sudden move, the girls rushed forward to stop the truck, shouting together, “Mrs. Salinas! Wait!”

 

About the Authors:

Rhody Cohon wishes she could adopt a million pets! Until her house is big enough she’ll pamper the few she has and help others find the perfect home.

Find Rhody at www.rhodycohon.com.

 

Stacia Deutsch sits at the keyboard crafting stories all day and then, plays with her own crazy, lucky, dog at night. She and her three kids live in Southern California. You can visit Stacia at www.staciadeutsch.com or on twitter at @staciadeutsch.pic 4

Website: www.staciadeutsch.com, www.rhodycohon.com

Blog: http://www.goodreads.com/staciadeutsch

Twitter: @staciadeutsch

Facebook: www.facebook.com/staciadeutsch  or www.facebook.com/luckyphoo to post your own pet photos and videos

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/sfdeutsch/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/staciadeutsch

AuthorCentral: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B002BMB0UE

 

 

“Hand of Time” Giveaway!!!! Enter now!

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CONTEST ALERT!!!

Who doesn’t want to win an intriguing Paranormal Romance, especially during the final stages of summer while you’re perfecting a  tan . . . or if you live in the Carolinas like I do . . . waiting for the rain to stop?

Here it is – the link to hours of reading enjoyment if you are one of the lucky winners. And what’s the carrot dangling at the end of the stick? Why, 10 signed hard copies of Hand of Time (open to US Shipping).

Click the link! Enter now! and then read on for more details about this awesome release by H.R. Jackson, Book 2 in the Nemesis Chronicles series.

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f352/

Hand of Time
The Nemesis Chronicles, Volume 2

H.R. Jackson

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Geek Treats Collective

Date of Publication: April 20th, 2013

ISBN: 1484125509

ASIN: B00CFWYO3K

Number of pages: 352

Word Count: 154,22

Cover Artist: Robb Lombard

Amazon Print   Kindle  Nook  Audible

Book Description: 

Morgan… Three months after the events of Vegas turned her life upside down, she’s finding that getting back to normal is anything but easy.

Dirk… Trapped between juggling his new responsibilities and making Morgan understand his feelings, the former courtesan is discovering that letting go of the past is much harder when the past refuses to let go of him.

Nemesis… Still reeling from the Society’s attack, they find themselves facing a familiar foe and a new menace hellbent on testing their fortitude.

Midsummer madness heats up Nemesis Island. It’s a time of celebration and renewal, but the Society has other plans… with Dirk, Morgan, and the rest of Nemesis at the top of their list.

 Excerpt:HandofTimecover

Sam was a flash of Cimmerian shade, her outfit matching her blackberry hair as she zigzagged through the dense forest with the fluid grace of a gazelle with a lion on its tail. She played hide-and-seek with the shadows, and I was having a hell of a time keeping a bead on her. Bursting through the pines and out into a large clearing of short grass, I spanned the distance between us, waylaying her with an aerial kick to the back that sent her tumbling forward into a combat roll with an explosion of breath. Springing to her feet before she came to a full stop, Sam pivoted into a roundhouse kick that I barely dodged, my fist aiming directly for her jaw.

She deflected the strike with the momentum of her spin, managing to avoid my follow up kicks, before rushing in to clip my chin with her elbow. The shockwave from the sharp hit almost made me bite my tongue, pain spiking down my jaw and into my neck. Capturing my next jab, she used my kidney as a speed bag before I managed to retreat with a grunt of rapidly mounting irritation. Regrouping quickly despite the ache in my side that threatened to drop me, I lashed out with a flurry of fists and feet, hoping that sheer speed would somehow get past her defenses.

Sam expertly blocked and dodged everything I threw at her before unexpectedly stopping my forward inertia with a hard palm to the chest that sent me reeling back gasping for air as my lungs forgot how to work.

Breathing is highly overrated anyway.

In the two months since I’d joined Nemesis, I’d had many occasions to spar with Sam, the current head of the group and perpetual pain in my ass, but never at quite this intensity. With the exception of Sam’s fraternal twin, Tequila, no other member of Nemesis understood the training style I’d grown up with in my Amazonian tribe. It was a brutal, no holds barred, out for blood mode of fighting, meant to test our skills, to keep them as honed as our blades. But there was a fine line between training and the outright brawl this session was quickly turning into.

And damned if I didn’t have the first clue as to what set her off this time. But then, getting a read on Sam was like trying to capture smoke with a sieve. Holding back, she eyed me as we circled one another slowly.

She and her sister had been raised outside the tribe until they were fifteen by their mother, the former Queen Antiope. Both were formidable fighters in their own rights, thanks to her guidance. Tequila, the resident healer of Nemesis, had come back to her Amazonian roots, while Sam decided to serve with our shield-sisters the Valkyrie, before they were both recruited into Nemesis’ ranks. Where her sister was exceptionally skilled in the healing arts, Sam’s abilities resided in tactical strategy and a natural talent for Psychomancy.

I deflected another whirlwind of strikes and growled, dancing out of the way. Over the years, my experiences going toe-to-toe with Psychomancers had shown me they generally resorted entirely on fighting with their mental acumen, relying on telekinesis and telepathy to swing the odds in their favor.

But Sam had elevated it into an art form, wielding both blade and brain with the ferocity of a woman possessed and the skill of an accomplished warrior. She’d managed, numerous times, to make even me question if I’d somehow become dumb and clumsy, and I’d been swinging swords since before she and her sister were even a twinkle in Antiope’s baby blues.

Truth be told, this fight had been a long time coming. It wasn’t that I didn’t like Sam, per se, but I was unaccustomed to being bossed around, even if I understood the hierarchy as it stood within Nemesis. I wasn’t used to being the puella, the rookie. It rankled me, getting under my skin like a sliver of glass.

Sam motioned for me to attack, egging me on with a gesture. I hung back. She was baiting me. My eyes narrowed.

When she’d suggested we ‘take it to the wood line’ after our most recent verbal altercation, I was more than happy to oblige, despite wishing her timing had been better. We had a house full of reveling Amazons, Valkyrie, and other guests for Midsummer celebrations, and I had a gala date later that evening with Dirk. I’d been dragging my feet about it all day and that black cloud had gotten me into this predicament.

Still, it felt good to take out all of the pent up frustration and worry on someone who’d been an absolute thorn in my side for the last two months, even if she was making me wonder if this was going to end with one of taking a one-way trip to Bella’s morgue. The gnawing sensation of impending disaster intensified when Sam reached for her blade, a scarily grim and focused expression smoothing the lines on her face into an impassive mask. I immediately followed suit, loosing Aduro from her scabbard and pulling her free with a single smooth movement.

The slow circling continued and I knew she was waiting for an opening. The ground below me was springy, damp from the perpetual moistness that helped to keep the Emerald City its lovely verdant hue. It was a hell of a drastic change from the Vegas citadel’s sandy sparring fields, but at least it wouldn’t hurt as much to get knocked down.

And with the way Sam kept eyeballing me, I knew one of us was going to end up ass over teakettle soon.

What the hell is with her today? I hadn’t realized that telling Sam I had plans for the evening that didn’t include sitting through another boring debriefing warranted this kind of ass kicking.

About the Authors:

Once upon a time, a man and a woman looked at each other and asked, “Why aren’t we writing this down?”

Inspired by Sci-Fi and Fantasy, with a healthy appreciation of all manner of geekery, they longed to create a world where sword, sorcery, and a little sprinkling of real life could come together. With this in mind, the pair sat down and started the stories that would eventually become The Nemesis Chronicles.

When they aren’t weaving fantastical tales, they spend their time being owned by the Feline Mafia and watching the rain fall in their home city of Seattle.

Find them on the web:

http://www.thenemesischronicles.com

Follow them on Goodreads:

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2933765.H_R_Jackson

Follow them on twitter:  @hrjacksontnc

Follow them on FaceBook:

https://www.facebook.com/thenemchron

FREE! Obsession by Sharon Buchbinder

Obsession Banner 450 x 169 June free KindleOBSESSION

Sharon Buchbinder

FREE Kindle DOWNLOAD – June 4-8 on Amazon

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Page Count: 288

Word Count: 71392

ISBN : 978-1-61217-867-7

Amazon

Book Description:Obsession_w7616_Full_Resolution

A year after a barbaric childbirth, complete with a near-death experience and an encounter with her guardian angel, Angie Edmonds is just happy she and her son, Jake, are alive.

She’s finally in a good place: clean, sober, and employed as a defense attorney.

But at the end of a long work day, she finds herself in a parent’s worst nightmare: Jake has been kidnapped and taken across the Mexican border by a cult leader who believes the child is the “Chosen One.”Stymied by the US and Mexican legal systems, Angie is forced to ask the head of a Mexican crime syndicate for help.

Much to her chagrin, she must work with Alejandro Torres, a dangerously attractive criminal and the drug lord’s right-hand man.

Little does she know Alejandro is an undercover federal agent, equally terrified of blowing his cover–and falling in love with her.

Book Trailer http://youtu.be/f1kujUWoGbk

Sharon BuchbinderAbout the Author:

I’ve been writing fiction since I was in high school and have the rejection slips to prove it.

After I graduated with a BA in Psychology and no job, I realized my dreams of working in the attic writing great prose would have to take a back seat to the simple pleasures of eating, drinking, and having a roof over my head.

Fast forward a few decades, and I had a career path that would make all but the kindest say, “What were you thinking?” After working in health care delivery for years, I became a researcher, then an academic. I had it all– a terrific, supportive husband, an amazing son, and a wonderful job. But that itch to write (some call it obsession), kept beckoning me to “come on back” to writing fiction. I spent one whole month away doing nothing but writing fiction, the first of many drafts of my first novel.

My genres include horror, mystery, romance and weird blends of the three. For a sampling of my work (fiction and nonfiction), click on “Stories and Links“.

When not attempting to make students and colleagues laugh, I can be found herding cats and dogs, golfing, deep sea fishing, or writing.

http://sharonbuchbinder.com/

https://www.facebook.com/sharon.buchbinder.romanceauthor

https://twitter.com/sbuchbinder

SWAG ALERT “Soul Meaning” Book Tour

Oh me, oh my! Check out the incredible PRIZE PACKS available on this tour! Author A.D. Starrling has put together some awesomely cool swag.

8 prize packs containing a paperback, postcard and bookmark

2 prize packs with postcard and bookmark plus an ebook

10 ebooks and bookmarks

All you have to do to enter is click here: RAFFLECOPTER LINK or on the following link. It’s that easy.   http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112f236/

Soul Meaning

Soul Meaning Button 300 x 225

Seventeen Series Book One

AD Starrling

Genre: Supernatural thriller

ISBN: 978-0957282605

ASIN: B008L8IU8C

Number of pages: 420

Word Count: 108,187

Cover Artist: Streetlight Graphics

Amazon  Amazon UK  Amazon CA

Smashwords   iTunes  BN  Sony ebooks

Blackwell   Waterstones  Book Depository    Foyles   Big Hay

Soul_Meaning-800-HeightBook Description:

A half breed immortal. An international manhunt. A race against time to stop a terrifying plot that threatens to kill millions. The gripping, action-packed debut novel by AD Starrling and the first in the supernatural thriller series Seventeen.

‘My name is Lucas Soul.

Today, I died again.

This is my fifteenth death in the last four hundred and fifty years.’

The Crovirs and the Bastians. Two races of immortals who have lived side by side with humans for millennia and been engaged in a bloody war since the very dawn of their existence. With the capacity to survive up to sixteen deaths, it was not until the late fourteenth century that they reached an uneasy truce, following a deadly plague that wiped out more than half of their numbers and made the majority of survivors infertile.

Soul is an outcast of both immortal societies. Born of a Bastian mother and a Crovir father, a half breed whose very existence is abhorred by the two races, he spends the first three hundred and fifty years of his life being chased and killed by the Hunters.

One fall night in Boston, the Hunt starts again, resulting in Soul’s fifteenth death and triggering a chain of events that sends him on the run with Reid Hasley, a former US Marine and his human business partner of ten years. When a lead takes them to Washington DC and a biotechnology company with affiliations to the Crovirs, they cross the Atlantic to Europe, on the trail of a French scientist whose research seems intrinsically linked to the reason why the Hunters are after Soul again.

From Paris to Prague, their search for answers will lead them deep into the immortal societies and bring them face to face with someone from Soul’s past. Shocking secrets are uncovered and fresh allies come to the fore as they attempt to put a stop to a new and terrifying threat to both immortals and humans.

Time is running out for Soul. Can he get to the truth before his seventeenth death, protect the ones he loves and prevent another immortal war?

Excerpt:

I woke up in a dark alley behind a building.

Autumn rain plummeted from an angry sky, washing the narrow, walled corridor I lay in with shades of grey. It dripped from the metal rungs of the fire escape above my head and slithered down dirty, barren walls, forming uneven puddles under the garbage dumpsters by my feet. It gurgled in the gutters and storm drains off the main avenue behind me.

It also cleansed away the blood beneath my body.

For once, I was grateful for the downpour: I did not want any evidence left of my recent demise.

I blinked at the drops that struck my face and slowly climbed to my feet. Unbidden, my fingers rose to trace the deep cut in my chest: the blade had missed the unusual birthmark on my skin by less than an inch. I turned and stared at the tower behind me.

I was not sure what I was expecting to see. A face peering over the parapet of the glass and brick structure. An avenging figure drifting down in the rainfall, a bloodied sword in its hands and a crazy smile in its eyes. A flock of silent crows, come to take my unearthly body to its final resting place.

Bar the heavenly deluge, the skyline was fortunately empty.

I pulled my cell phone out of the rear pocket of my jeans and stared at it. It was smashed to pieces. I could hardly blame the makers of the device: they had probably never tested it from the rooftop of a twelve-storey building. As for me, the bruises would start to fade by tomorrow.

It would take another day for the wound in my chest to heal completely.

I glanced at the sky again before walking out of the alley. I found a phone booth at the next intersection, closed the rickety door behind me and dialled a number. Steam rapidly fogged up the glass wall before me. There was a soft click after the fifth ring.

‘Yo,’ said a tired voice.

‘Yo yourself,’ I said.

A barely suppressed yawn travelled down the line. ‘What’s up?’

‘I need a ride,’ I replied. ‘And a new phone.’

There was a short silence. ‘It’s four o’clock in the morning.’ The voice had gone blank, devoid of all traces of emotion.

‘I know,’ I muttered in the same neutral tone.

The sigh at the other end was audible above the pounding of the rain. ‘Where are you?’

‘Corner of Cambridge and Staniford.’

Fifteen minutes later, a battered tan Chevrolet Monte Carlo pulled up next to the phone booth. ‘Get in,’ said the figure behind the wheel. I opened the door and climbed into the passenger seat. Water dripped onto the leather cover and formed a puddle by my feet. There was a disgruntled mutter from my left. I glanced at the man beside me.

Reid Hasley was my business partner and friend. Together, we were co-owners of the Hasley and Soul Agency. We were private investigators, of sorts. Reid certainly qualified as one, being a former Marine and cop. I, on the other hand, had been neither.

‘You look like hell,’ said Reid as he manoeuvred the car into almost nonexistent traffic. He took something from his raincoat and tossed it across to me. It was a new cell.

I raised my eyebrows slightly. ‘That was fast.’

He grunted indistinct words and struck a match. ‘What happened?’ The orange glow of a cigarette flared into life, casting shadows under his brow and across his crooked nose.

I transferred the data card from the broken phone into the new one and frowned faintly at the bands of smoke drifting towards me. ‘That’s going to kill you one day.’

‘Just answer the question,’ he said testily.

I looked away from his probing gaze and stared blindly at the dark tower at the end of the avenue. ‘I met up with our new client,’ I muttered.

Reid looked at me expectantly. ‘And?’

‘He wasn’t happy to see me.’

Something in my voice made him frown. ‘How unhappy are we talking here?’ he said guardedly.

I sighed. ‘Well, he stuck a sword through my heart and pushed me off the top of the Cramer building. I would say he was pretty unhappy.’

Silence followed my words. ‘That’s not good,’ said Reid finally.

‘No.’

‘It means we’re not gonna get the money,’ he added, clearly heartbroken by the news of my recent passing.

‘I’m fine by the way. Thanks for asking,’ I said wryly.

He shot a hard glance at me. ‘We need the cash.’

Unpalatable as the statement was, it was regrettably true. Small PI firms like our own had just about managed before the recession. Nowadays, people had more things to worry about than what their cheating spouses were up to. On the other hand, embezzlement cases were up by a third; unfortunately, the victims of such scams were usually too hard up to afford the services of a good detective agency. As a result, the rent on our office space was overdue by a month.

Mrs Trelawney, our landlady, was not happy about this: at five foot two and weighing just over two hundred pounds, the woman had the ability to make us quake in our boots. This had less to do with her size than with the fact that she made the best angel cakes in the city. She gave these out to her tenants when they paid the rent on time. A month without angel cakes was making us twitchy.

‘I think we might still get the goods if you flash your eyes at her,’ said my partner thoughtfully after a while.

I stared at him. ‘Are you pimping me out?’

‘No. You’d be a tough sell,’ he grunted as the car splashed along the empty streets of the city. He glanced my way. ‘This makes it what, your fourteenth death?’

‘Fifteenth.’

Further silence followed. ‘Huh. So, two more to go,’ he murmured.

I nodded mutely. In many ways, I was glad Hasley had entered my somewhat unnatural life, despite the fact that it happened in such a dramatic fashion. It was ten years ago this summer.

Hasley was a detective in the Boston PD Homicide Unit at the time. One hot Friday afternoon in August, he and his partner of three years found themselves on the trail of a murder suspect, a Latino man called Burt Suarez. Suarez, who worked the toll bridge north-east of the city, had never had so much as a speeding ticket to his name before: he was later described by his neighbours and friends as a gentle giant who cherished his wife and was kind to children and animals. That day, the giant snapped and went on a killing spree after walking in on his wife and his brother in the marital bed. He shot Hasley’s partner, two uniformed cops and the neighbour’s dog, before fleeing towards the river.

Unfortunately, I got in his way.

In my defence, I had not been myself for most of that month, having recently lost someone who had been a friend for more than a hundred years. In short, I was drunk.

On that scorching summer’s day, Burt Suarez achieved something no other human, or non human for that matter, had managed before or since.

He shot me in the head.

Sadly, he did not get to savour this feat as he died minutes after he fired a round through my skull. Hasley still swore to this day that Suarez’s death had more to do with seeing me rise to my feet Lazarus-like again than with the gunshot wound he himself inflicted on the man with his Glock 19.

That had been my fourteenth death. Shortly after witnessing my unnatural resurrection, Hasley quit his job as a detective and became my business partner.

Over the last decade we have trailed unfaithful spouses, tracked down missing persons, performed checks on employees in high profile investment banks, took on surveillance work for attorneys and insurance companies, served process to disgruntled defendants, and even rescued the odd kidnapped pet. Hasley knew more about me than anyone else in the city.

He still carried the Glock.

‘Why did he kill you?’ said Reid. The car had stopped before a set of red lights. ‘Did you do something to piss him off?’ There was a trace of suspicion in his tone.

I grimaced and scratched my head. ‘Broadly speaking, he seemed opposed to my existence,’ I murmured. The rhythmic swishing of the windscreen wipers and the dull hiss of rubber rolling across wet asphalt were the only sounds that broke the ensuing lull. ‘He called me an abomination that should be sent straight to Hell and beyond,’ I added drily and paused. ‘Frankly, I thought that was a bit ironic coming from someone who’s probably not that much older than me.’

Reid crushed the cigarette butt in the ashtray and stared at me with narrowed eyes. ‘You mean, he’s one of you?’

I hesitated before nodding briefly. ‘Yes.’

Over the years, as I came to know and trust him, I had told Reid a little bit about my origins.

I was born in Europe in the middle of the sixteenth century, when the Renaissance was at its peak. My father came from a line of beings known as the Crovirs, while my mother was a descendent of a group called the Bastians. They are the only races of immortals on Earth.

Throughout most of the history of man, the Crovirs and the Bastians have waged a bitter and brutal war against one another. Although enough blood has been shed over the millennia to fill a respectable portion of the Caspian Sea, this unholy battle between immortals has, for the most, remained a well kept secret from the eyes of ordinary humans, despite the fact that the latter have been used as pawns in some of its most epic chapters.

The conflict suffered a severe and unprecedented setback in the fourteenth century, when the numbers of both races dwindled rapidly and dramatically; while the Black Death scourged Europe and Asia, killing millions of humans, the lesser known Red Death shortened the lives of countless immortals. It was several decades before the full extent of the devastation was realised, for the plague had brought with it an unexpected and horrifying complication.

The greater part of those who survived had become infertile.

This struck another blow to both sides and, henceforth, an uneasy truce was established. Although the odd incident still occurs between embittered members of each race, the fragile peace has, surprisingly, lasted to this day. From that time on, the arrival of an immortal child into the world became an event that was celebrated at the highest levels of each society.

My birth was a notable exception. The union between a Crovir and a Bastian was considered an unforgivable sin and was strictly forbidden by both races: ancient and immutable, it was a fact enshrined into the very doctrines and origins of our species. Any offspring of such a coupling was thus deemed an abomination unto all and sentenced to death from the very moment they were conceived. I was not the first born half-breed, both races having secretly mated with each other in the past. However, the two immortal societies wanted me to be the last. Fearing for my existence, my parents fled and took me into hiding.

For a while, life was good. We were far from rich and dwelled in a remote cabin deep in the forest, where we lived off the land, hunting, fishing, and even growing our own food. Twice a year, my father would venture down the mountain to the nearest village, where he traded fur for oil and other rare goods. We were happy and I never wanted for anything.

It was another decade before the Hunters finally tracked us down. That was when I learned one of the most important lessons about immortals.

We can only survive up to sixteen deaths.

Having perished seven times before, my father died after ten deaths: he fought until the very last breath left his body. I watched them kill my mother seventeen times.

I should have died that day. I did, in fact, suffer my very first death. Moments after the act, I awoke on the snow-covered ground, tears frozen on my face and my blood steaming as it stained the whiteness around me. Fingers clenching convulsively around the wooden sword that my father had given me, I waited helplessly for a blade to sink into my heart once more. Minutes passed before I realised that I was alone in that crimson-coloured clearing, high up in the Carpathian Mountains.

The crows came next, silent flocks that descended from the grey winter skies and covered the bloodied bodies next to me. When the birds left, the remains of my parents had disappeared as well. All that was left was ash.

It was much later that another immortal imparted to me the theory behind the seventeen deaths. Each one apparently took away a piece of our soul. Unlike our bodies, our souls could not regenerate after a death. Thus, Death as an ultimate end was unavoidable. And then the crows come for most of us.

No one was really clear as to where the birds took our unearthly remains.

‘What if you lived alone, on a desert island or something, and never met anyone? You could presumably never die,’ Reid had argued with his customary logic when I told him this.

‘True. However, death by boredom is greatly underestimated,’ I replied. ‘Besides,’ I added drily after a pause, ‘someone like you is bound to kill himself after a day without a smoke.’

‘So, the meeting was a trap?’ said Reid.

His voice jolted me back to the present. The car had pulled up in front of my apartment block. The road ahead was deserted.

‘Yes.’ Rain pounded the roof of the Monte Carlo. The sound reminded me of the ricochets of machine guns. Unpleasant memories rose to the surface of my mind. I suppressed them firmly.

‘Will he try to kill you again?’ said Reid. I remained silent. He stared at me. ‘What are you gonna do?’

I finally shifted on the leather seat and reached for the door handle. ‘Well, seeing as you’re likely to drag me back from Hell if I leave you high and dry, I should probably kill him first,’ I said wryly.

I exited the car, crossed the sidewalk and entered the lobby of the building. I turned to watch the tail lights of the Chevrolet disappear in the downpour before getting into the lift. Under normal circumstances, I would have taken the stairs to the tenth floor: dying, I felt, was a justifiable reason to take things easy for the rest of the night.

My apartment was blessedly cool and devoid of immortals hellbent on carving another hole in my heart. I took a shower, dressed the wound in my chest, and went to bed.

About the Author:

author-pic1-1

AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Paediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.

Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in a supernatural thriller series entitled Seventeen. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the second novel in the series while drinking gallons of tea.

She still practices medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.

www.adstarrling.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/AD-Starrling/382768535066991

http://twitter.com/adstarrling

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6469599.A_D_Starrling

http://www.amazon.com/AD-Starrling/e/B008KS77GO/

Paranormal Fans: CONTEST ALERT!!!

Revelation Button 300 x 225Bewitching Book Tours is hosting an awesome contest with great prizes from author Erica Hayes . . . BIG CONTEST . . . GREAT . . . PRIZES . . .

Yep, and it’s so easy to enter. First, let me share the SWAG that several lucky readers will win.

 

1 $25 bookstore gift card (winner’s choice of bookstore)

1 signed set of the Shadowfae series (4 paperbacks)

2 Kindle copies of short vampire romance HUNTER’S BLOOD

Just click the RAFFLECOPTER link to enter:  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now, on to more good stuff. Erica has a new release signaling the beginning of another exciting series, REVELATION,The Seven Signs – Book 1. This is Paranormal Romance in its finest form, and I’m not talking about just the cover art.

RevelationRevelation_cover
The Seven Signs, Book 1

Erica Hayes

Genre: paranormal romance, urban fantasy romance

Publisher: Berkley Sensation

ISBN: 978-0425258378

Number of pages: 330
Word Count: 100K

Cover Artist: Kris Keller

Paperback: Amazon  Book Depository  BN

Ebook:  Amazon   BN    Sony    iTunes

Book Description:

A fallen angel with a mission and a medical examiner who’s lost her faith are fighting for their souls in a glittering, near-future Manhattan…

Blind faith is for fools. That’s what Dr. Morgan Sterling believes. And she’s going to prove it by curing the zombie plague ravaging her city’s slums. She’s certain it’s not a sign of the End of Days, but a nasty disease—until an angel appears in her morgue in a flash of glory.

Luniel is not just a fallen angel. He’s a powerful warrior sworn to fight evil in hopes of a chance at redemption. He’s after the demon princes who are stealing the seven vials of holy wrath which, when perverted, will unleash eternal hell on earth.

To stop the plague, Luniel needs Morgan’s help, and her faith. But Morgan believes science is their salvation. If the zombie plague is a demonic curse—and if Luniel is true—he’ll have to prove it. Even if he loses his heart to true love or his soul to Hell…

Excerpt:

Today, of all days. It was Thursday. The world couldn’t end on a Thursday.

Luniel, the fallen angel, crouched on the shore of Liberty Island in a hot August sunset with blood lapping at his feet. It licked the rocks beneath his boots, clotting. All the way across the bay, to the firelit Brooklyn shore and the gleaming blue arcs of the Narrows Bridge, what used to be water gleamed sick and scarlet.

The angel sniffed the air, and tasted copper. A dead fish bobbed belly-up, pale white flesh and fins. He poked the warm liquid with his finger, and licked. Yeah. Definitely blood. And human. There were seaweeds and algae that sported the same fleshy color. But Luniel had tasted enough blood in his three thousand years to know this wasn’t algae.

He straightened. No breeze flicked his long black hair back. In his human guise, he had no wings. He scanned the distant shore with sharp blue eyes, further than any human could see, and his nose twitched. Hunting. For something. Anything. A trick. A college prank. A fish slaughterhouse. Overflow from some industrial accident, one of the factories along the built-up Jersey waterfront spilling toxic chemicals.

Not a sign of the Apocalypse. Not God’s wrath.

Across the bloody bay, Babylon’s glittering towers razored the red sky, the decadent sprawl of skyscrapers and spires they once called Manhattan. The sunset flashed on steel and mirrored windows, glaring in competition with neon lights and rainbow columns of virtual advertising. Even from here, Lune’s preternatural ears detected buzzing electrics, the faint digital beep of comms towers, snatches of conversations, and in his magical angelsight, the city glowed, green with the living, pulsing energy of human souls.

Helicopters lasered their searchlights through smoke and heat haze, sweeping over burned-out housing projects and shining condominiums. Traffic noise hummed, the groaning subway, horns and engines and wailing sirens, police and fire and the ever-more-urgent ambulances. At the height of summer, plague had stolen into the Empire State like a homicidal houseguest, more frightening than California dengue and deadlier than arctic flu, and people were afraid.

But terror happened in Babylon, the world’s richest, rottenest city of sin. You only had to look at the shining glass spire piercing the sky, one hundred and ten stories high, built back in wiser days where a pair of ill-fated twin towers once stood. The world had turned ever more rapidly to shit since then, but Luniel still remembered that day well. That day, angels dived for earth, fiery wings flashing, but it was too late. Even the fallen, like Lune, were powerless. The people screamed and died and thought the world was ending.

Horrific? Yeah. But the monkeys had no idea what they were in for.

What the end of the world would really be like.

Luniel shivered. This wasn’t over yet. It couldn’t be.

He dug into his jeans pocket for his phone, and speed-dialed. Trendy SIM implants in your ears were all very well for humans, but fast-healing angelflesh rejected biotech. The irony was pleasing and bitter. “Come on, Ithiel,” he muttered. “Answer your rotted phone.”

Ithiel was still on heaven’s A-list, but he and Lune stayed in contact. If anything was going down, Ith would know. But voicemail kicked in, his brother’s laid-back laughter: I’m busy. Leave a message. If I give a shit, I’ll call back.

Luniel swore—even after centuries, defiance felt good—and waited for the beep. “Party never stops upstairs, huh. Call me, asshole,” he said, and ended the call.

A week. Ithiel hadn’t answered for a week. And now this.

It could be stupid luck. Coincidence. Random events colliding like flotsam.

But after two millennia spent dealing out heaven’s wrath, and going on another one walking the earth and seeing it all from the other side, Luniel was wearily certain that what goes around, comes around to kick you in the balls.

Coincidence was bullshit. Nothing was random. Everything happened for a reason, and fate was one dastardly, despicable motherfucker you just couldn’t avoid.

But inexorably­—inexplicably—the blood lapping at his feet made him angry.

Defiantly, recklessly, sinfully angry.

authorphoto_ericahayesAbout the Author:

Erica Hayes was a law student, an air force officer, an editorial assistant and a musician, before finally landing her dream job: fantasy and romance writer.

She writes dark paranormal and urban fantasy romance, and her books feature tough, smart heroines and colourful heroes with dark secrets.

She hails from Australia, where she drifts from city to city, leaving a trail of chaos behind her. Currently, she’s terrorizing the wilds of Northumberland.

http://www.ericahayes.net

http://erica-hayes.blogspot.com

http://www.facebook.com/ericahayes.author

http://www.twitter.com/ericahayes

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2922003.Erica_Hayes

Another Giveaway – Great for the Holidays!

Relax. Your gift giving just got easier. Enter this Rafflecopter giveaway for a chance to win a set of the three released Enchanted Bookstore Legends by Marsha A. Moore: Seeking a Scribe (book 1); Heritage Avenged (book 2); Lost Volumes (book 3). Just click the link below and submit your info. It’s that simple.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Lost Volumes: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Three by Marsha A. Moore

Genre: Fantasy romance

Amazon

Description:

Lost Volumes button

When Lyra McCauley learns residents of Dragonspeir’s Alliance are suffering with a deadly plague, she doesn’t heed the warnings of her fiancé, wizard Cullen Drake, to remain safe in her human world. After all, she’s the present Scribe—one of five strong women in her ancestry who possessed unique magic, each destined to protect the Alliance against the evil Black Dragon of the Dark Realm. With Cullen dependent upon Alliance power to maintain his immortality, the stakes are doubled for Lyra.

She leaves her college teaching and puts herself at risk for the community afflicted by black magic. To find a cure, she and Cullen travel into the vile, lawless underworld of Terza to strike a bargain with an expert. Their efforts further enrage the Black Dragon, vowing to decimate the Alliance and avenge the murder of his heir.

Lyra must secure the three lost volumes of the Book of Dragonspeir. Written by the three earliest Scribes, each book contains energy. Possession of the entire set will enable overthrow of the Dark Realm. Following clues into dangerous lands, Lyra and Cullen seek those volumes. His assistants, Kenzo the tiger owl and Noba the pseudodragon, prove invaluable aids. Only if they succeed, will the Alliance be safe and Lyra reach closer to the immortality she needs to live a life with Cullen.

 Series Blurb: Enchanted Bookstore Legends

The Enchanted Bookstore Legends are about Lyra McCauley, a woman destined to become one of five strong women in her family who possess unique magical abilities an

d serve as Scribes in Dragonspeir. The Scribes span a long history, dating from 1200 to present day. Each Scribe is expected to journey through Dragonspeir, both the good and evil factions, then draft a written account. Each book contains magic with vast implications.

Lyra was first introduced to Dragonspeir as a young girl, when she met the high sorcerer, Cullen Drake, through a gift of one of those enchanted books. Using its magic, he escorted her into the parallel world of Dragonspeir. Years later, she lost that volume and forgot the world and Cullen. These legends begin where he finds her again—she is thirty-five, standing in his enchanted bookstore, and Dragonspeir needs her.

When Lyra reopens that enchanted book, she confronts a series of quests where she is expected to save the good Alliance from destruction by the evil Black Dragon. While learning about her role, Lyra and Cullen fall in love. He is 220 years old and kept alive by Dragonspeir magic. Cullen will die if Dragonspeir is taken over by the evil faction…Lyra becomes the Scribe.

Heritage Avenged: Enchanted Bookstore Legend Two ~ available for only $1.29

Seeking a Scribe: Enchanted Bookstore Legend One ~ available for only 99 cents

EXCERPT:

From Chapter One: An Urgent Message

Lyra almost deleted the email marked urgent, suspecting some virus that might take control of her computer, but stopped when she realized the sender was her lover—a 220-year-old wizard, who rarely used a computer. She couldn’t open the message fast enough.

Lyra,

Alliance mortals and lower magicals are taking violently ill. I’m leaving the bookstore for a while to offer aid. DO NOT come to Dragonspeir. Stay safe in your world.

Love always,

Cullen

She stared at the screen, twisting a strand of her long hair. Leaning forward, she gripped the armrests of the chair. Her breath caught when she noticed how the dragon’s sapphire eyes on her new bloodswear ring sparked from the energy of her concern. His message left her undecided, reading between the lines and weighing the choices.

Those affected—mortals and lower magicals—seemed to place her in the risk group, obviously Cullen’s concern. However, those mortals were all born in Dragonspeir, while she originally came from Tampa. Lower magicals did include members of both worlds. But as the current Scribe, Lyra possessed inherited power at least as great as high-order wizards. She just didn’t fully grasp how to command her magic yet.

She did want to help. Since her parents and dear Aunt Jean died, the Guardians, wizards, dragons, and other residents of the Alliance were her only family. Lyra’s unique powers might be useful, especially since they now lacked an alchemist.

Eburscon disappeared after he attempted to steal her scribal aura, and she’d heard no reports of him since, so he was presumed dead by many. According to Cullen, no one wanted him back. However, living without a person capable of creating remedies for a plague or widespread illness had left many residents uneasy. Some talked about trying to persuade Tarom, the Dark Realm’s alchemist, to switch his allegiance. Two centuries ago, he served the Imperial Dragon, leaving only when he couldn’t tolerate working under Eburscon any longer.

Despite ranking as the top wizard, the Imperial Sorcerer in the Alliance High Council, Cullen lacked alchemical skills. Even though untrained, Lyra possessed a keen intuitive sense in the craft. She could help him. Aries guided the fire in her scribal powers and also fueled her impatience.

Lyra checked and secured Aunt Jean’s cottage since the last gasps of late winter storms in the upper peninsula of Michigan could be brutal.

Dashing off a few emails to her college students in Florida, she gave them feedback on their independent study in the Fantasy Lit course. She was glad her leave from on-campus teaching responsibilities continued until the next fall term.

Lyra saved and printed the chronicle draft of her bloodswear quest, completed at the end of last year. It was mid-March, and she’d almost finished the written account, storing magic in her words that would empower the Alliance—her role as a Scribe. The hard copy she stuffed into a commuter bag to work on later with the Imperial Dragon and the other three Guardians. She needed to sort through their research details that had helped her kill the heir to the Black Dragon. Additional supplies could be conjured from memory.

Outside, the dock in the backyard looked weather-beaten but sound. Waves from Lake Huron lapped at its old boards. In the flower bed, the first spring perennials peeked through the packed ground and would require plenty of care soon. Lyra hoped to be back in time to maintain what her aunt had loved so much. Crocuses stood bravely against the melting snowpack—a reminder.ragon and the other three Guardians. She needed to sort through their research details that had helped her kill the heir to the Black Dragon. Additional supplies could be conjured from memory.

As she turned from the garden, a large black butterfly flitted around her head. It was the same type that had spied on her before and been in her aunt’s room when she was killed—purple spots like eyes on its wings. Suspecting it was a transformed magical from Dragonspeir’s Dark Realm, Lyra swatted at the insect. Thinking that someone watched her leave caused a chill to run down her spine.

Finally shooing it to the nearby bushes, she lifted her head high, put her bag inside her silver Subaru sport wagon, and drove straight to Drake’s Bookstore.

After parking in back, she twisted her dragon ring to unlock the back door of Cullen’s shop, no longer needing the magical skeleton key. “Sheridan, I’m using your portal,” she called out.

From his cage on the showroom counter, the cicada chirped, “I already knew it was you, sweetheart. Nice perfume.”

Lyra shook her head. Darned bug never stopped flirting.

“By the way, Sire Drake

told me to not let you pass. Something about an illness in the Alliance. Don’t make me use my magic on you.”

“I’m going anyway,” she replied as she prepared herself in the storage room.

“Like I knew you would,” he snapped.

She gave her ring another twist and stated, “Pateo porta!” In response, two metal bookcases moved apart. Between them lay the connector to Dragonspeir. She stepped across. The familiar tingling sensation now felt invigorating, when last summer it had frightened her. Her jeans, t-shirt, and jacket transformed into a full-skirted gown of light blue cotton under a navy cloak.

It was her first time back since being publicly honored for completing her bloodswear quest and sorcery studies. She’d have to wait to find out if her new abilities could alter the clothing she acquired at the portal.

Lifting one side of the long garments, Lyra ran the short distance along the wooded trail to the location of the old, sentry tree, Gatekeeper Cranewort. Reminding her of the shape of grand live oaks in Florida, his branches spread wide and high, taller than any nearby. His large, flat leathery leaves were turned to collect the warm morning rays.

“Hello, Cranewort,” she called ahead. “I don’t mean to disturb your sunbathing, but I need to pass to the Imperial Dragon’s lair, or to the Meadow—whichever place I can help most with those who are sick.”

“Not sunbathing, child, merely enhancing my immune functioning to bolster my health after the harsh winter. Sire Drake instructed me to not permit your passage. He and all of us fear you will fall ill.” He lifted extensions of his roots into a spiky barricade, one of his gate-keeping defenses.

“Perhaps I can help,” she maintained, hands on her hips.

“It looks to be a horrible disease—elevated fever, chills, vomiting blood. Some are dying. Please stay here, Adalyra.”

“I’m not like any from Dragonspeir. I won’t get it.” Lyra hoped what she said was true but couldn’t turn her back on thousands who were ill.

“Well…you most certainly are unique.” He folded his leaves and tipped his trunk forward to look at her directly. “The Alliance relies on your special scribal abilities to battle the Dark Realm. Losing you to illness would risk too much. Be wise and stay back.” He smoothed down his bark and held out a twigged hand to her.

She stepped beyond his touch. “The entire Alliance is my family, and I need to help them.”

The gnarled tree let out a sigh and lowered his roots. “Very well. You have your own mind, and it is one of a leader. That is your inheritance from the four female Scribes in your family. But, I expect you to use every caution available. Sire Drake is in the Meadow. Stay with him.”

“I promise.” Lyra hurried toward the crossroads, which connected dozens of trails. There she selected the short path leading to the Meadow.

Pluch trees lined the trail. Their weeping branches, active with new sap, swept after Lyra in attempt to caress her golden hair, now grown almost to her waist. Flower buds on the bell flowers peaked out. The air held gentle notes of fragrant jasmine from the vine’s first purple flowers. She took a deep breath as she sped down the familiar walk. She had missed Dragonspeir.

Along the way, Lyra thought about her action, entering the land without permission. Although she recently passed sorcery training for all crafts except powerthrowing, Lyra only elevated her immortal status. In Dragonspeir, they used the term afflation—having received divine impartment of knowledge and strength to endure more physical hardship than a non-magical. Until gaining enough afflation to become fully immortal, she needed to be invited by the Imperial Dragon to be his guest in Dragonspeir.

As a new Alliance sorceress, the Imperial Dragon decided when he needed her. Lyra clearly broke his established protocol. But she often bent Alliance customs to suit her needs while working for the greater good. So far, she had only raised eyebrows, and no one troubled her. She hoped this time would be the same, but entering a plague-ridden land against orders was a bit different than wearing jeans or hugging dragons.

 About The Author:marsha moore

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Her creativity also spills into watercolor painting and drawing. After a move from Toledo to Tampa in 2008, she’s happily transforming into a Floridian, in love with the outdoors. Crazy about cycling, she usually passes the 1,000 mile mark yearly. She is learning kayaking and already addicted. She’s been a yoga enthusiast for over a decade and that spiritual quest helps her explore the mystical side of fantasy. She never has enough days spent at the beach, usually scribbling away at new stories with toes wiggling in the sand. Every day at the beach is magical!

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