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Interview With Author Sabrina Sumsion

. . . And a preview of her exciting new Urban Fantasy novel, Saving The Hero

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Interview:

SAVING THE HERO is quite different from your sweet YA trilogy, ALIENS ARE REAL. What made you decide to write about vampires and embrace the “dark” side?

A: Saving the Hero started out as a writing exercise that was supposed to take an hour or so. I developed the idea after reading an article about a scientist studying the affect parasites have on the human body. Somehow, my brain made the connection to vampirism. I thought maybe it’s not a mythical, lose your soul thing. Maybe it’s chemical changes within the body all caused by an invader. Kassy, the main character demanded at least a short story. After I took it to my writer’s group, they helped me realize it was more than that. Kassy needed at least a book.

As a former literary publicist and author of a non-fiction guide for writers, PRODUCE, PUBLISH, PUBLICIZE (which I have bought and look forward to reading) was it difficult to follow your own advice? Have you learned anything new by experiencing book publicity from an author’s perspective?

A: It is very difficult to follow my own advice. For me, it’s simple to promote others. Promoting myself is harder. It really pushes me out of my comfort zone. Also, it’s so hard to stay in one genre. I want to explore everything!

It sounds like you live a busy life – from creating jewelry to role playing games with your family. When do you find time to write? Is there a particular time of the day when the muse is stronger i.e. mornings or evenings?

A: I find that early mornings when everyone is asleep is the best time for me to write. I used to write at night, but I find that by the time I have everyone in bed, I’m exhausted and it’s more difficult to get the creative juices flowing.

What writing projects are you currently working on or have planned for the future? Can you give us a teaser?

A: Well, there’s the sequel to Saving the Hero. I have Aliens Are Real: Part 4 about 1/3 written. I also have a fantasy called Girls Can’t Do Magic about 1/3 written. In addition, there’s a mystery series percolating in my brain. That won’t be for several years though. I have too many other projects to finish first! I find that I need several projects going at once to keep me happy. Some mornings, I just can’t work on the same project. I need something new.

Here’s a sneak peek into the first chapter of the sequel. (Mind you, it’s not completely polished!)

I shouldn’t have gone back.

The pit below me appeared smaller than when I was trapped in it three months ago. A mere eight feet or so instead of the twenty feet it had felt like when sitting at the bottom. Kneeling at the side, I pushed a handful of soil over the edge to hear the impact of the bits below.

Standing in the dim, fluorescent lit basement of the slaughter house where I missed the chance to kill the head vampire who happened to be my dad brought no closure or peace. It brought frustration and anger.

I’d watched this slaughter house while the police cordoned off the area. The crawled through the place like ants carrying bits and pieces of computer equipment and files out. Perched from the roof of a building away, I couldn’t see exactly what they took, but they had been thorough. Very thorough.

I’d watched as much as possible, but I couldn’t stay from Mike long. Well, I could have. It wasn’t like he was stopping me from doing anything anytime soon. He was still strapped to the bed like Hannibal Lecter. Being away from him was difficult. Putting aside my fondness for him, he had nothing to do but stare at a television and couldn’t even change the channels himself. I made sure to go home every night and lay in his bed beside him. The lab workers finally gave up trying to stop me a month or so ago. It might be the fact that I put my Desert Eagle gun in one of their faces. Either that or Tyrone stepped in and convinced them to avoid ticking me off.

Tyrone had walked through each of the rooms with me once the police tape was removed and the surveillance cars left. His deep voice had rumbled through empty rooms. The cavernous meat processing room had echoed eerily. At least the cops had left the air conditioning on. The smell of rotting meat would have been unbearable. It had been night so he was almost invisible in his black clothing and his dark face. I was probably glowing like a ghost because of my Scottish pale skin. Id’ kept my hair short although my red roots were showing underneath my sloppy dark brown hair dye job I’d given myself those months ago.

I fingered a curl and missed being able to pull it into my mouth. I’d tried gum, suckers, hard candies, you name it to replace chewing on my hair. Now I caught myself chewing on my nails. It wasn’t healthy, but it kept me semi-sane.

A noise like someone clearing his throat caused me to whirl about and pull my hand away from my face. It was him.

“You are an impressive one, Kassy Lassy.” Harold stood in front of a concrete pillar, his arms folded in front of him, leaning back against the support like he was some sort of cool dude from a 60’s movie.

“You son of a –“ I reached for my gun. The big one that, in the last few months, was always strapped to my back so I could hide it under my jacket. I’d taken the jacket off and laid it beside me in the basement because of the humid air down here.  I felt the holster, but it was empty. The Desert Eagle wasn’t there.

“You lack manners, but I suppose that’s to be blamed on your upbringing.”

“Considering the fact that my father is a sadistic psychopath, I’d say I turned out pretty well.”

Many readers are also writers. Since you hail from the publishing world “trenches”, what marketing/publicizing advice can you offer authors?

A: First, create a clear picture of your goals. There are so many options out there and not all options will take you to the same place. How much time do you have? How much money can you invest? Are you building a support group to help you create the best product you can? Knowing what you can bring as well as your limits will help you make honest decisions about how to pursue your career.

Next, keep writing. When you’ve finished a book, do some promotions, but then write the next book. Then the next. Then the next. The success stories you read about in the writing world come from people who have a back list. One hit wonder stories are nice, but the regular people who are making a living from their books spend several years writing at least 10 books. Just keep writing!

Which book format do you personally prefer – eBook or paper? And why?

A: To read, I prefer to have the paper simply because the most enjoyable reading is in the bathtub soaking in scented Epsom salts. I’m too paranoid that I will drop my Kindle in the bathtub, so I rarely will take it in there. It’s perfect for long trips, though. I can pack several books in one tiny space.

If you had the opportunity to spend one hour with any person from the past, who would it be . . . and what would you discuss?

A: The easy answer would be Jesus. I can’t even imagine how amazing that would be. Other than Him, I think Shakespere would be interesting. He had to have told the best stories!

Thank you for letting me be your guest today!

Saving the Hero

Book One

Sabrina Sumsion

saving-the-heroFINALGenre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Sanguine Publishing

Date of Publication: 8-8-2014

ISBN: 9781500569693

ASIN: B00LWTO9K0

Number of pages: 248

Word Count: 67,000

Cover Artist: Victorine Lieske

 

Book Description:

Two and a half weeks. That’s all the time he has left.

When loner vampire hunter Kassy is interrupted by nosy veteran, Mike, he ends up bitten, and infected with the vampire parasite. The warrior becomes her prey as she fights to find him before powerful vamps. A couple kidnappings later, she’s hiding in a cabin with him chained to the floor, and an eight-year-old girl in her care.

Death? Inevitable. When the parasite takes control, he’ll do or say anything to get non-infected blood—including seducing her. But, as they spend time together, she finds her resolve weakening. A kiss won’t fix him, but it might mend a deep hole in her heart.

Kassy is too practical to believe in miracles, but if he survives eighteen days without ingesting human blood, there is a chance he could be the hero she’s been looking for.

Odds are he’s a dead man.

Excerpt

Chapter 1: Bite, anyone?

 “Vampires don’t lose their souls after turning. That folklore is easy to disprove without venturing into religious debate. In the days of medieval medicine, doctors wouldn’t have known how to find or identify the vampiric parasite.”

Journal Entry, Mark McDougal: April 3, 2005

I stalked a woman through side streets and dimly lit alleyways. Her name wasn’t important. I preferred not to know what to call the victims just like I don’t want to know a rabid dog’s name. It’s easier to stay unattached that way. Easier to do my job.

Keeping up with the vampire in the making wasn’t hard. She meandered. The problem was the heat wave and the black trench coat I wore. Noticing it, a few people shook their heads as I passed. They probably thought I was a little crazy, but harmless. Without it, people would call the cops when they spotted my gear.

A bead of sweat slid from my hairline behind my ear, tickling my skin and irritating me. I brushed it away, my fingers momentarily tangled in my frizzy locks, the strands I was chewing on yanked out of my mouth. Once again, I considered shaving the mop I called hair. It wasn’t the lovely auburn tresses that men fantasize about. Mom used to call the orange-red jarring. I’d been told that my hair made me too memorable. Maybe that was so, but it took attention away from the scar that ran from my top lip to my temple. Besides, if I hacked it all away, I wouldn’t have anything handy to gnaw on. I snagged a new small curl and pulled it to my mouth. Mom used to bat my hand away. Now, there was no one to stop me.

Half a block behind the woman, she set the meandering pace. Normally, I’d keep more distance between us. I’d be concerned about the still air making me into an olfactory billboard. I could almost hear Uncle Mark’s voice in my head. “Kassy, the new ones can smell you even if they don’t know what they’re smelling. Keep your distance.” Tonight, this woman was blinded by her hunger. I could have hung back farther, but I didn’t see the point.

Around a corner, garbage cans lined the street. Good for hiding behind; bad for breathing. The muggy weather made the smells more pungent. Who was I to complain? The odor would mask my scent.

The sound of a group of people chatting and laughing echoed down the street. We’d passed a club two blocks back with bass so loud my chest vibrated. By the group’s outfits, I guessed they were heading there to dance. The woman I followed turned her head as they strode by. Her right hand reached over and unconsciously rubbed her left shoulder. The shoulder some psycho had bitten three weeks before. It had healed quickly. Miraculously fast according to doctors.

One of the guys stumbled over a trashcan, knocking my prey against the side of a brick building. She inhaled deeply as he apologized. He and his companions watched their step to avoid the trail of refuse he’d strewn. No one noticed her wrapping her arms around herself, her steps following them, or her abrupt turn into the alleyway. No one but me.

Wisps of steam from storm drain vents filled the narrow passage with an eerie aura. The dim lights reflected off the suspended water, creating a halo around the vampire’s head. The irony wasn’t lost on me. One could argue that she retained her innocence – for now.

I slipped behind a commercial dumpster filled with decaying Italian food and spotted a large box farther on that would be my next hiding spot. Before I moved, she stopped in the middle of the alleyway about thirty feet away. She squeezed her head between her hands. I sucked in a quick lung full of rancid air and waited. She paced, kicking bottles, cans and other debris in her path. She walked over to a wall, rested her head against it, and then hit a few times with her palms. I could almost see the cracks forming in her self-control.

She stopped, sniffing the air.

Busted. The billy club strapped to my right thigh reassured me and I brushed my fingers along its length to find the handle. Muscles taut, I waited for her to draw near. I still had the element of surprise and she had no clue what she could do.

How could she? It’s not like someone had handed her a pamphlet that said, “You’ve been infected: 10 ways to survive turning into a monster.” She didn’t know what her cravings were. She didn’t know why the pickle jar lid popped off so easily. She couldn’t understand why she healed quickly. The guy who had bitten her hadn’t whispered in her ear the secrets to avoiding a guard like me.

She stumbled more than walked to a pile of boxes against the wall across the alley. A drunk or homeless person was trying to sleep there. With her attention averted, I crept closer. The timing had to be just right. I couldn’t let her bite her prey, but she needed the chance to resist the siren call of blood coursing through the body in front of her. Uncle Mark insisted. “Kassy Lassy, they’re still human. Just infected. We have to find one who can survive without human blood. It’s humanity’s only hope.” It was his last request, so I honor it.

He would have tried to take this woman in. Tried to save her. How many people had he tried to help over the years he cared for me? Twenty? Fifty? He’d failed every time. The parasite always ravaged the host body without human blood. I couldn’t stand the sight of the emaciated remains. I figured that a quick death was less cruel. I didn’t kill the newly infected right away, just in case the magical immune savior would appear, but mostly I grant them death. An escape from the monster they will become.

The woman dropped to her knees, sobs echoing through the alley. Legs stuck out of an old dishwasher box before her. The odor of piss and alcohol gagged me. Maybe the stench is what helped the woman hesitate.

Maybe, but not for long. The sobs stopped and I moved closer.

No one ever made a sound before their first kill. None of them ever thought to bring a knife the first time either. She knew what she wanted. I could almost see her thought process written out like a thought cloud in a comic book. How do I get a taste? How do I get to the blood?

I pulled the billy club out of its holster. We hovered at the point of no return. My silent steps drew me closer as she lowered herself down. Brown roots showed against her dyed blonde hair. My heart thumped. Another human, lost to the parasite. One quick crack to the skull and I could drag her off somewhere secluded then finish disposing of her body in peace. One breath, then strike.

“Hey!” someone shouted from the end of the alley.

It startled me. Threw off my rhythm. She looked up. Crap. There went my element of surprise. I swung down, but she ducked out of the way. Adrenalin surged through my body. She needed to go down fast. I put too much into the swing, and stumbled off balance. She leapt at me, her face set in a determined grimace. I matched it with one of my own. Did she have any clue what she could do? I raised my billy club and deflected her to the side. She spun and lunged again. She was fast, but that time, I was ready. I smacked her in the head while stepping to the side. She fell hard and didn’t get back up. I hefted the billy club again to crack open her skull.

A body crashed into mine from behind and hammered me to the ground. I tried to counter with ground fighting tactics, but my lungs were screaming for my attention. All I could do was suck air in. For some reason, my body was stuck and refused to exhale. I’d never felt that sensation before. Normally, I’d tell myself to take deep breaths to calm down. That was worthless advice when you can’t breathe out.

A masculine voice shouted in my ear. “Leave her alone!” This guy was a special kind of stupid. Trying to play the hero. Probably saw a pretty blonde and hoped to score her phone number.

I squirmed under his weight and managed to flip myself onto my back and gasp for air. He grabbed both of my hands and held them above my head. That made breathing even harder.

“Police are on their way. Stop fighting me.” His face was close to mine, a hint of alcohol drifting by. Just what I needed, an inebriated do-gooder poking his nose where it didn’t belong.

My wind wouldn’t come back, so I couldn’t yell at him. The air would only go one way. I needed him off. The idiot was in danger, and I was flopping on the sidewalk like a fish – as helpless as when Uncle Mark died. I stared into his black eyes and wished I could communicate telepathically. He wouldn’t like what I would say, but maybe we’d both survive the night.

The blonde’s face came into view over his shoulder. Fear stilled my struggling against the man. I’d had a feeling she wouldn’t be out for long since the vampire parasite caused elevated adrenalin levels. A smile crept up at the corners of her lips. Crap. The look in her eyes. She figured out a little of what she could do. She was committed to biting, and the fool on top of me would be her first meal if I don’t do something.

The guy looked over his shoulder. “I’m glad you’re okay miss. I have her pinned. The police are on their way. Can you go flag them down at the end of the alley?”

There was no fighting him even while his attention was diverted. Sure, he was strong, but it was the effort to breathe that crippled me. He turned back, and I shook my head, eyes wide, trying to choke words out.

The monster behind him put her finger to her lips in a silent gesture for me to be quiet. She tip toed up behind him. I fought the man, trying to get him to pay attention.

“Stop struggling!”

He thought I was the bad guy. If I could have, I would have laughed.

She leapt on his back. Her eyes gleamed in the dim light, face contorted in a wild expression of glee. My stomach churned. Let me go and pay attention to her!

He tried to shrug her off and hold me at the same time. The ineffectual move appeared to delight her.

“What the hell are you doing?” The timbre in his voice belied his wavering confidence. Finally, this guy was getting a clue that the blonde was not all she seemed.

She giggled in reply then bit his shoulder near his neck. He bellowed in agony, but her sucking noises were louder. Now, she had his attention. He let go of me and pried at her head. Her death grip wasn’t loosening, so he punched her in the face. At the third blow, she fell back. Blood sprayed from her mouth onto my jacket and the ground. She crouched, a grin on her face, scarlet rivulets running down her chin. She ran her finger along her cheek and lips, wiping the blood into her mouth. “You are delicious,” she said with a satisfied moan. She had watched too many vampire movies. I hated the ones who thought they had to fit the stereotypes.

I scooted back, finally exhaling. Although my heart raced, I forced myself to take even breaths, changing from desperate gasps to a quick, adrenaline-driven pace. The woman loomed over the man, whose hand was clamped over his wound. I grabbed my billy club, hoping she was too blood-crazed to notice me. The iron scent of the man’s blood filled my nostrils. I’d have to go past him to reach her, but he made a good distraction.

When she lunged again, I aimed my billy club at her forehead. With a satisfying crack, the blow landed. She fell. I was pretty sure she would be out for a while, but I wasn’t taking chances. I smacked her on the top of the head again. It wasn’t a death blow, but if I let her live, she would probably have brain damage.

“What is she on?” The man’s voice shook as much as his hands. After a few deep breaths, he looked as though he might be okay again. Most people would have been on the ground crying. He warranted a second glance.

He was taller than my five-foot, ten-inch frame, muscular and dressed as if to pick up women at a bar. He had almond-shaped eyes, dark hair and a slight yellow hue to his skin. His rugged good looks convinced me he would have been successful picking up a woman had he not seen the altercation and come to investigate. Now, he was infected with the parasite. He was another vampire in the making. I would have to kill him, too.

I pushed my hair from my face, wiping the perspiration away –trying to drag my ugly reality with it. My fingers wrapped around a lock and pulled it to my mouth. The chewing helped me relax. Would gum have the same effect? I wished I had money for a luxury like that. I felt stupid with hair in my mouth in front of him. A glance revealed he wasn’t even paying attention to me. He was staring at the blonde.

What was going through his mind? I don’t remember my thoughts from the first time I’d witnessed a vampire succumb to the blood lust. Probably best I didn’t. I doubted that people stayed sane if they lingered in that moment. I stuffed those memories back and focused on the matter at hand.

Time to get out of here. I grabbed the woman’s arms and start dragging her down the alley.

“Where are you going?” he demanded, following.

Not only does he mess up a clean vamp hunt, he has to ask questions. I ignored him. It was easiest to do what I did when I didn’t talk to them. When I knew a victim, it made it harder to remember that they were turning into vicious killers. The last thing I needed to know was if he had a family or even his name. When they had names, it was harder to put them down. I dragged the woman another ten feet.

“You can’t leave. The police will be here any minute!” He shouted as if the police could fix the situation. Poor fool.

We stood about three quarters of the way down the alley. I knew the guy had been traumatized, but he didn’t know what he walked into. It was better for me to leave with the vampire and let the authorities spin this however they might. The headlines would probably say something like a drug crazed female attacked him. The real story would never come out. The government wouldn’t let that happen.

He grabbed my arm, putting his face in mine. “Stop, now!” My muscles tensed. I forced myself to relax. He was obviously used to being obeyed. His grip was strong, and I could tell through my jacket that his hands weren’t soft and manicured. This guy worked hard and gave orders. Military maybe? Possibly a boss at a construction company?

I had a spark of admiration for him that I immediately tried to stomp out. I couldn’t respect him. He was going to become a killer. I’d be back to stalk him after I finished dealing with her.

Right then, if he made much more noise, there would be more spectators. Ones that weren’t hurt. Ones without alcohol on their breath. The authorities who weren’t in the know could write off this guy as in shock and a poor witness. Any more people telling the same story and I’d have a harder time evading the cops.

I dropped the vampire’s hands and faced him. He had a look in his eyes like he was thinking “finally, she’s come to her senses!” The guy’s shoulder wound was bad. His hand was firmly clasped over it, but the blood seeped past his fingers. When I reached for it, he jerked his shoulder back like I would hurt him more.

“You’re bleeding.”

He sneered. “You think?”

“You need to apply pressure.” I reached into my Sash purse hung underneath my leather jacket and found the medical pads and tape I kept there. He snatched them out of my hand and slapped them on the wound. “You were going to drag her away and not give these to me?”

With a shrug I said, “You look big enough to handle yourself. I didn’t realize you would be an idiot and follow me while bleeding everywhere.”

A glare was his only reply. Maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to kill him after all.

Retrieving the woman’s hands, I dragged her further away from him.

“What the hell are you doing?”

Man, he irritated me. “Walk away. You don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into.” We were almost to the end of the alley. There was a sewer access by my foot, but I couldn’t go there with him watching. He’d rat me out.

He grabbed my arm again. “She attacked me. She needs to be arrested. I don’t know what the heck you were doing in this alley.” He pointed his finger in my face. “But you tried to attack her. You should probably be in jail as well.”

Obviously, he wasn’t good at convincing people to turn themselves in. I stared at his bandages. His efficient wraps told me he probably had field medical training or something. However, blood was still seeping through. I pointed to his shoulder. His glance was the amount of time necessary to catch him flat-footed. I used my billy club to pop him with a brachial stun, and he went down with a groan. The strike had been careful since I wasn’t ready to kill him, yet. He wasn’t unconscious, but I was sure he was seeing stars. Too disoriented to notice where I was going. I only needed a minute to disappear.

I didn’t like to attack people when they were still in control of themselves, but time was running out. Police response wasn’t fast in this neighborhood, but we’d been dallying about 15 minutes. I needed to leave.

I flipped my jacket back and grabbed the pry bar hanging from my belt. A quick jab and tug later, I had my escape route. I shoved the woman’s limb body through the hole. She slid over the lip and crunched onto the cement below. If she wasn’t dead before, she was now. Her body lay in a crumpled mess below. The dry spell in the city helped me with my job. No slogging through cesspool tides and a quick way to end things. One bright side to my dark task.

The next tool I pulled from under my coat was a whiskbroom. Sweeping back and forth, I obscured the drag marks starting ten feet from the manhole and moving towards my escape. I went around the vet. As he struggled to recover, he’d conceal everything beneath him. When I reached the hole, I scrambled half way down the ladder. The lid was heavy and awkward as I dragged it back to the opening while balancing precariously.

I heard the guy moan again. He rolled a bit as though he was trying to regain his feet. Luckily, he rolled away from me. He didn’t see as I nestled the lid back into place.

The thought of returning to pick up his trail caused my stomach to drop. If my life had been normal, maybe we would have gone to the same club. I’d have spotted him and tried to catch his eye. Probably would have danced too close and drunk too much, then woke up at his place in the morning. Now he was another prey to stalk and kill when he succumbed to the parasite.

About the Author:

sabrinaI’m a ninja disguised as a homeschooling mom, former literary publicist, craft-aholic and all around reading diva.  Really, I kick down doors –no, wait, that was my husband when I locked us out of the house . . . Well, I engage in combat on a regular basis –online when I play MMORPGs with my children . . . OK, maybe I’m not a real ninja but my husband says I stole his heart.  Does that count?  No?

Shoot.  Well, I love reading and I love writing.  I think imagination is the biggest advantage a child can get in life and I try to allow my children many opportunities to expand theirs every day.

I love teaching authors how to avoid publishing traps and scams as well as how to market themselves and their works.  There is nothing better in life than giving someone information that helps them become successful.

I also take a few hours each week and create jewelry, make lotions or paint something.  I have little creation stations scattered through the house.  My daughter gets into it a lot and scatters things which drives my husband crazy but remember how I mentioned that he says I stole his heart?  Yeah.  I’m not giving it back.  He’s stuck with me forever.  Bwah ha ha ha!

www.sabrinasumsion.com

www.twitter.com/sabrinasumsion

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSabrinaSumsion

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4847683.Sabrina_Sumsion

 

Spotlight on Sexy Shifters: CADE by V.A. Dold

Cade

Le Beau Series, Book 1

V.A. Dold

cover

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication:  March 17 2014

ASIN:  B00J1WTSE2

Number of pages:  239

Word Count: about 62,000

Cover Artist:  Bookfabulous

Available at Amazon

Book Description:

Anna James is single again, finally. In her opinion, men are self-centered and will never love her for who she is, a beautiful, plus sized woman. All except the fantasy man that she’s been meeting in her dreams for five years.

She just never expected her fantasy to be a real live alpha shifter…

Cade Le Beau isn’t what he seems. He’s a billionaire wolf. A Shifter. He laments his missed chance six months ago to meet his fantasy woman in the flesh. Just as his second chance presents itself, his fantasy woman, his mate, is threatened by the local mob boss and her ex-husband. Now, he has forty eight hours to deal with this threat once and for all or chance losing her again.

Is it Anna who’s in danger, or the humans who unwittingly threaten her?

The heat is on the moment they lay eyes on each other. Neither, age, children, horrid ex-husbands, nor mob bosses will stop this love affair.

NOTE: Complete novel. No cliffhanger. Dual POV. Rated 18+ for language and strong sexual content. This is an adult paranormal romance with erotic content. The series centers on wolf shifters but also includes vampires, voodoo priestess, a Marine, and magic. These are stand alone books that create a series. They do not need to be read in order.

 Excerpt:

Prologue- The Plan

“Emma, we need to take matters into our own hands or they’ll never find their mates.” Isaac Le Beau set his snifter down before he crushed the glass in frustration. “We have seven virile, grown sons, who after two hundred years haven’t found their mates. If we don’t step in and give a hand to the wolf-goddess Luperca, our sons may spend their lives alone, without children to raise and without their other half to love. Dang it, I want some grandchildren, while I’m still young enough to enjoy them.”

He slowly raised his head and gazed at the love of his life, Emma. She was a unique blend of Romanian gypsy heritage and a very powerful voodoo priestess. Even after two centuries her exotic sparkling dark eyes and compact killer soft curves left him breathless. Some would classify her as a big, beautiful woman. He called her ‘sex on a stick‘. He swore she controlled every beat of his heart.

The warmth and agreement in those mesmerizing eyes silently prompted him to continue.

“Would you do your high-priestess voodoo thing and ask the spirits to identify their mates? With some influence we could bring them together, so they can recognize them on their own. I don’t want to force a meeting. Simply provide the opportunity. How about it, will you give it a try?” Isaac asked.

He knew Emma wouldn’t deny him. “Of course, I’ll perform the ritual, but I can’t give you any guarantees. All I can do is try. If we are truly blessed, Luperca will appear to me and give this endeavor her approval. I want our sons happy and I’d love to have a dozen grandchildren running around the house, too.”

Isaac opened his arms wide, inviting Emma to slide onto his lap. He buried his face into her hair breathing in her unique scent. The familiar fragrance calmed him like nothing else. He was confident everything would change for his sons very soon. He could hardly wait for each of them to meet their one true mate. No wolf should go fourteen hundred years alone.

 

Two weeks later, they enjoyed the cool breeze that came off the river, flowing through the open windows. A secret little smile lit up Emma’s entire face and her fingers tapped a tune on her cut crystal wine glass. He knew that expression well.

“Out with it, Emma,” Isaac said with a grin of his own. “What is it you’re dying to tell me?” He waited patiently for her to tell him her grand news.

Emma actually bounced in her seat. “I received answers from the goddess.” She clapped her hands excitedly.  “Cade’s mate is in New Orleans right now. Her name is Anna James. The goddess said she has had many unhappy years, but is now open to finding her one true love. Isn’t that fantastic? Two days from now she is destined to be in Jackson Square and then stop to eat lunch at Crescent City Brewhouse. She’ll be in the bar around eleven-thirty. As for the rest of the boys, the goddess said we must have patience. She’ll grant me visions in my dreams or come to me for each of them when the time is right.”

A surge of excited energy rushed through him as a hundred butterflies took up residence in his stomach. This must be what it felt like to win the lottery he thought. “We’ll have to move fast. We need to think of a way to get Cade there at the right time.”

“Maybe we can come up with a way to use Jackson square? Cade sits there so often it might be an option?” Emma offered.

“Maybe.”

He rubbed his chin, forehead crinkled in deep thought. “First we need to get him out of his home office and into the French Quarter. The bank called yesterday about a restaurant up for sale. I’ll have them schedule a meeting with Cade to review our investments and recommend this new opportunity.”  He tapped his chin as the plan took shape, mumbling as he worked it out. He stood and paced across the room, prowled like the animal he was. He couldn’t think properly sitting down.

As he strode back and forth, he noted she had settled into an easy chair to watch him.

“That’ll get him to the city,” he thought aloud as he continued to tap his finger on his chin. “You’re right about his constant people watching, I’m sure he’ll take a walk and perhaps sit a while. A possibility.” Isaac cupped his jaw in his hand and rubbed the coarse stubble.

A satisfied smile tugged at his lips. “I’ve got it! I’ll ask him to meet me for lunch at Crescent City at eleven-thirty. Richie tends the bar, he’ll know the mating signs. When Cade arrives, goddess willing, he will sense his mate. I’ll have Richie tell him I won’t be able to make it. If I’m not there for lunch he will be free to spend time with her.”

Smile broadening, he folded his arms across his chest and nodded. They had a solid plan. In less than a week he could have his first daughter-in-law. Isaac settled into his leather captain’s chair. “I’ll arrange everything with Richie.” He felt two hundred years younger, like the bold robust young man who had swept his mate off her feet. By the wistful expression Emma wore, he must look it, too.

As he sipped his rich, sweet cognac, he imagined a baby in Emma’s lap, sleeping peacefully while a toddler played with blocks on the floor. His sigh brought her attention to him with a raised brow. She would laugh if she knew what he was dreaming.

A smile continued to pull at his lips. He couldn’t help it. He was very pleased with his little romance ambush, positive it would be successful. Cade was in for a wonderful surprise in two days’ time.

“Now that we have the plan, what do you think she will be like? Did the goddess give you any hints?”

She laughed. “No, you silly man, the goddess doesn’t have time for things like that.”

“You know he has always favored curvy women. I sure hope she isn’t skinny, he might not even look at her if she is.” A little shiver ran through him. “Remember the gal he dated who looked a lot like you? She was a plus sized beauty. Cade never said anything, but Marcus drove him crazy with that ‘Oedipus’ nickname.” He laughed as he recalled the antics of the boys.

“You’re right, he does like a woman with meat on her bones. All the boys do.”

About the Author:

V.1526145_1464698327086416_1194617067_nA.Dold is the bestselling author of the Le Beau Brothers series, New Orleans wolf shifter novels. A graduate of Saint Cloud University, she majored in marketing. Prior to becoming a full time writer, she was a publicist to the authors, owning Innovative Online Book Tours and ARC Author & Reader Con’s (ARC NOLA) (ARC Phoenix). Still is. The companies mesh so well together, much like PB&J.Her idea of absolute heaven is a day in the French Quarter filled with nothing but her computer, her coffee mug and the Brothers, of course.

A Minnesota native with her heart lost to Louisiana, she has a penchant for titillating tales featuring sexy men and strong women. When she’s not writing, she’s probably taking in a movie, reading or traveling.

Her earliest reading memories are from grade school. She had a major fixation with horses, and the Black Stallion was a favorite. Then junior high came along and teenage hormones kicked in. It became all about the Harlequin Romances. She has been hooked on romances ever since

vadold.com

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@VADOLD

Tour Wide Contest & Review: BORROWED PROMISES by Judith Ingram

You’ll love the SWAG for this TOUR WIDE CONTEST so keep reading to the end for details on how to win custom designed Note Cards, Coffee Mugs and MORE!!!Borrowed Promises Banner 851 x 315

Borrowed Promises

Moonseed Trilogy – Book 2

Judith Ingram

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Vinspire Publishing, LL

Date of Publication: May 31, 2014

ISBN: 978-0-9890632-4-1

ASIN: B00JD0H2ZE

Number of pages: 249 pages

Word Count: 73,300 (approx.)

Cover Artist: Elaina Lee/For the Muse Designs

BorrowedPromisesCoverREVIEW:

Time travel stories usually involve one character transporting to a different era from whence they came. Borrowed Promises, by the talented Judith Ingram, switches things up a bit by offering a tale of TWO women who change lives with the aid of a magical coin.

Katharine Kamarov finds herself in the body of Victoria Ashton . . . one hundred years in the future. She’s excited to experience contemporary living and finds it suits her narcissistic personality – until she starts caring for Ryan, Vicki’s husband. Ryan is bewildered by the night and day changes in his wife and suspects she may be suffering from a split personality. Secretly, he likes this bolder, more adventurous version.

Meanwhile, Victoria, the more timid of the two, is back in time  trying to patch things up with Katharine’s friends and family. She falls hard for cousin, Michael, but realizes the Moonseed transfer will only last a year.

Both women evolve into better people  but each is bound by the fear of losing the life they’ve come to love.

Borrowed Promises is the second book in a trilogy. I’ll be honest, I wish I’d read Book One before diving into this one. There were some vague areas where I had to use my imagination for gaps that I”m sure were covered in Bridge To The Past, Book One. Still, Ms. Ingram pens a remarkable and beautifully written tale that pulls readers in from the first page. Her writing is lyrical . . . poetic . . . and filled with emotion. The characters are so comfortable and realistic, you’ll swear they are people you know.

I’ve developed a passion for this series and intend to read Book One while anxiously awaiting the last of the trilogy. There’s a teaser for Book Three at the end of Borrrowed Promises that sets the stage for the final round of the story.

Book Description:

On the night of the new spring moon, a near-fatal accident propelled Victoria Reeves-Ashton over a century back in time to awaken in the body of Katherine Kamarov.

Now, after three months of pretending to be Katherine and laboring to repair relationships damaged by Katherine’s brash and selfish personality, quiet and gentle Victoria finds that her heart is putting down roots in Katherine’s world, in her family relationships, and especially in a deepening friendship with Katherine’s winsome cousin Michael.

Hidden letters reveal the story of other moonseed-time travelers like herself-and Victoria realizes that she and Katherine will likely be returned to their own times the following spring. Tension mounts when a rich and handsome suitor applies to marry her, and Victoria must choose whether to accept him for Katherine’s sake or to follow her own heart.

Ryan Ashton, the husband Victoria left behind, is baffled by the woman his wife has suddenly become. Unwilling to believe her story about an exchange in time, Ryan struggles to understand the stark transformation of his timid, remote wife into a sexually aggressive and captivating siren. Against his better judgment, he falls hard for this new woman who is a perplexing mixture of cruelty, sensuality, and tenderness, a woman who he suspects has the power to either break his heart or heal the aching loneliness he has lived with all his life.

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Signed by the Author

Excerpt:

I bit my lip, wanting to avoid any subject that could ruin the easy camaraderie of our afternoons together. Michael had been friendly and funny, teasing me gently, treating me with the easy affection of an older brother. Once or twice I’d caught him watching me with a fierce intentness that made my heart skip. But then he’d grin or offer a quip that made us both laugh, and the uncomfortable moment would pass.

I enjoyed the lightness of our friendship, grateful for the reprieve. In the rose garden at Summerwood and later on the trip to San Francisco, I had felt the slow but persistent budding of a new feeling that both thrilled and frightened me. The lightest touch of Michael’s hand pricked up hairs along my skin like electricity; his boyish grin twisted a slow, sweet pain deep into my body. His clean, male scent in close proximity could stun me with unexpected waves of need, often forcing me to look away so he wouldn’t see the flame in my eyes.

I couldn’t allow Michael to guess where my heart was taking me—because of Raymond.

Although many things were unclear to me, one fact seemed certain—Katherine must marry Raymond Delacroix and have at least one child with him. If I gave in to my new feelings for Michael, and if I were cruel enough to let him see them, then I risked both hurting him and ruining Katherine’s chances with Raymond when she came back to her own time.

And Katherine would come back. I was convinced of it, all my desperate wishes to the contrary. She would marry Raymond, give birth to Elise, and secure a future that would eventually lead to her daughter painting a picture of Katherine and me at the bridge over Two Trees Creek. By the same token, I would return to life as a lingerie model and a cold marriage with Ryan Ashton. Ryan.

“What?” Michael’s voice made me jump and turn my head.

“What?”

“You said ‘Ryan’ again.”

“I did?”

Michael had removed his glasses, and he blinked at me from only a foot away. God, he has beautiful eyes, I thought. Soft gray-green depths that held me breathless, fighting a slow, aching pull to be in his arms.

“He’s…nobody,” I said.

Michael was studying me, his eyes so solemn and searching that I couldn’t look away. He didn’t speak, but in that moment my heart yearned toward him, and he saw it. His expression changed. His gaze moved slowly from my eyes to my mouth.

I turned my face away and shut my eyes over a sudden sting of tears.

“Kat?” he said softly.

His voice held a new, cautious note of intimacy. A moment later his thumb brushed my wet cheek, and the tenderness of his touch wrenched a low cry from me. I pushed his hand away and struggled to sit upright.

“Don’t touch me!” Pain made my voice sharp. “You can’t touch me, Michael!”

But his hand was already under my elbow, helping me to sit. He pushed a handkerchief into my hand.

“Here. Take it.” He sounded bewildered and hurt. “Seems you’d rather do the job yourself.”

He watched me wipe my eyes and blow my nose with his handkerchief. I couldn’t look at him, and after a moment he reached for his glasses and slipped them on.

In a tight voice he asked, “Do you still want to visit Union Square?”

I pressed the soggy handkerchief to my lips and nodded.

Michael pushed himself to his feet and thrust out a hand to help me up. We folded the blanket between us, careful not to touch each other’s fingers, and he picked up the hamper. As we crossed the grass in uneasy silence, a fresh roll of tears made me reach into my handbag for a clean handkerchief. A flash of copper tumbled into the grass.

I stopped quickly, but Michael was quicker. He scooped up the coin, examined it briefly, and gave it back to me.

“You still carrying that thing around?”

I looked up at him, my handkerchief arrested halfway to my face. “My coin? What do you know about my coin?”

He squinted at me and frowned. “You’re kidding, right? I was with you when you paid a nickel for that worthless thing at the county fair. You said it was good luck, and you carried it around in your pocket for years.” He stopped at my look. “What is it?”

“Michael, are you certain this is the same coin?”

I handed it back to him. His gaze lingered on my face, puzzled, before he examined the coin. He weighed it briefly on his palm, flipped it over, and gave it back to me.

“Of course I’m certain.” He pointed his finger at the familiar nick in the rim. “There’s where the wagon wheel ran over it, and you were so furious because you thought the magic was ruined.” He screwed up his eyes against the sun and studied me. “What’s the matter with you, Kat? You’re looking at me like I’ve got two heads.”

I shook my head in dazed wonder, suspended once again in that universe where Katherine’s world and mine overlapped and where it made perfect sense that her lucky coin should have somehow come to me—twice.

JudithIngramAbout the Author:

Judith Ingram weaves together her love of romance and her training as a counselor to create stories and characters for her novels. She also writes Christian nonfiction books and enjoys speaking to groups on a variety of inspirational topics. She lives with her husband in the San Francisco East Bay and makes frequent trips to California’s beautiful Sonoma County, where most of her fiction characters reside. She confesses a love for chocolate, cheesecake, romantic suspense novels, and all things feline.

Website, blog & free weekly devotional: http://JudithIngram.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudithIngramAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/@judithingram20

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/judith-ingram/a/122/62

CONTESTBorrowed Promises Banner 450 x 169

4 signed paperback copies of Borrowed Promises withbookmarks.

4 ebook copies (.pdf or .epub) of Borrowed Promises.

4 sets of Moonseed notecards; each set of six cards features scenes from the story, sketched by artist Amy Wong.

4 Amazon gift cards at $25 each.

4 coffee mugs featuring the book cover for Borrowed Promises along with tagline, “The past isn’t always behind you…”.

CLICK HERE to Enter

Spotlight on: Messenger by Laury Falter

GIVEAWAY

 1 set of all three eBooks in the bestselling Guardian Trilogy 

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Messenger Banner 450 x 169

Messenger

The Guardian Trilogy

Prequel, Book One

Laury Falter

COVER

Book Description:

Messenger is the first prequel to the bestselling Guardian Trilogy – the breathtaking romantic saga about a love that has lasted centuries between a messenger and her guardian.

Maggie does not know she is a messenger. She has never met her eternal lover. She has never survived a Fallen One. All this changes when a messenger awakens in the Hall of Records only to die moments later, never to return.

As Maggie sets out to determine why the messengers are suddenly beginning to die, she crosses paths with the infuriatingly appealing Eran and their story begins.

In this riveting account of Maggie’s first life on earth with Eran, the star-crossed lover’s romance transpires amidst treacherous enemies, their friends’ resistance, and their own opposing wills. With the odds against her, can Maggie survive long enough to admit the feelings she has so carefully denied?

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EXCERPT:

As Eran’s feet left the ground, he found me in the crowd and gave me one final burning look. There was something in his eyes now, not pride at having subdued Jacob or to impress upon me the importance of the lesson he’d just demonstrated. All that seemed to have been forgotten. No, what I saw was intense curiosity. And just before he broke our gaze to adjust his sight on the route they were taking, I was certain that he felt the same way I did…that he wished he understood what had just happened between us.

As the rest of us watched in awed silence, I couldn’t help but notice that, in a way similar to the messengers on their arrival, Eran’s group departed with the same close-knit familiarity.

“Who are they?” I asked, my head still tilted back.

“Part of a legion,” Daniel replied.

Despite my seclusion, I’d heard of legions. There were several of them, each with a primary purpose. “Which one?”

“The one that oversees castigated entities.”

“Those who have wronged humankind?”

“Yes, the Fallen Ones,” confirmed Daniel.

I’d heard of them, too. In passing.

“And Eran’s a part of that legion?”

“No,” Daniel said with a subdued chuckle. “Not a part of, the leader of. He’s their colonel.”

“Colonel?” I said, finally lowering my head.

Eran had been out of sight for a while, but this was the first time I’d felt enough conviction to look away.

“You really have no idea who he is, do you?” Daniel was astonished.

“No.”

He didn’t reply for what felt like a very long time. “Eran has been credited with keeping the most dangerous entities from committing further atrocious acts while they are sentenced to an eternity on earth.”

“You mean his legion has,” I corrected him.

“No, I mean Eran. There is a reason why he is renowned. When the most vicious of the Fallen Ones are too much for others in the legion to handle, they request Eran, which is to say that he pursues and restrains those who all others cannot handle.”

“That takes skill,” Jacob muttered, stretching a kink from his neck.

Daniel chuckled at the understatement. “Some of which you just witnessed…personally,” he added.

I didn’t share Daniel’s humor, being too preoccupied by who I’d just met, and how his attention had been so finely tuned to me. “Do you think he’ll be back?”

“Eran?” Daniel said. “It’s possible. I’ve heard every action he makes is deliberate…calculated. He was here with a reason today. If he returns, he’ll have a reason then too.”

Jacob groaned, evidently not anticipating Eran’s return. “Next time you can spar with him.”

Daniel chuckled. “I’d think our time would be better spent training the messengers, which is something we should probably return to…,” he hinted.

Jacob nodded, rubbing the side of his neck where I remember a vine had hit him. Daniel pitied his friend through a quiet, suppressed laugh, wrapping a friendly arm across Jacob’s shoulders and walking him toward the waiting group. But my attention drifted back to the sky where Eran had disappeared.

The anticipation of seeing him again proved too much and my insides were ignited in a way I’d never felt before. That searing pleasure worked its way through my belly, and as much as I wanted to dwell in that sensation, I had to force myself to ignore it. There was work to be done and that feeling was a distraction.

Resigned to concentrate on my task at hand, I joined the messengers shortly after, but not before peering back for one more lingering glance at the sky.

About the Author:

Laury Falter is a bestselling author of young adult romantic suspense and urban fantasy. She has three series out: the Guardian Trilogy, the Residue Series, and the Apocalypse Chronicles.FALTER

Website: http://www.lauryfalter.com

Twitter page: http://www.twitter.com/LauryFalter

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Laury-Falter/196033543803745

Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/lauryfalter