Sunday, 26 February 2017

Prison of Statues by Ainsley Shay



Title: Prison of Statues
Series: Book 1 of The Statues Trilogy
Author: Ainsley Shay
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance



Everything appears colorless in Iris’ world...until she falls asleep and the nightmares begin.

Iris’ plan to stay in her small town of Gradywoods just long enough to bury her father shatters when she finds a letter he wrote to her only two days before his death. On the evening of his funeral, her nightmare bursts with colors. Being colorblind since birth, Iris feels both amazed and apprehensive, but when she wakes in the morning, her world turns gray once again.

The day after her father's funeral, Iris finds refuge from her pain at Yves Antique Pages, the small bookshop owned by Mr. Yves, her adopted grandfather. She soon encounters three mysterious strangers who are inexplicably drawn to her. Through secrets and deceit, she fears they are all here for one reason…her.

Night after night, the nightmares continue into a series of disturbing events where Iris finds herself caught in a vibrant collision of past and present. In them, she witnesses another’s loss, torture, and broken love. As each episode escalates, she’s brought closer to a place where death may be a more satisfying end.

As Iris’ world reaches fragile limits, she must find a way out of an uncompromising fight for her life and for a love she may once have had.






Excerpt:
      The front door opened. I reached across the passenger seat and rolled down the window. He was not quite silhouetted as light bathed him from behind. I could easily see the details of his shirtless, firm body. My dream hardly gave justice to the real thing. He stood on the porch with the phone still held to his ear. “Do you want to come in?”
      “Yes.” This was not a good idea. I meant, it was a great idea, the best idea I ever had. But, it was bad. Bad. Bad. Bad. I got out of my car to go to him. Blacwin waited for me on the porch. It wasn’t until I heard him breathe as I climbed the few steps of the porch that I realized we both still held the phones against our ears. He whispered, “Hi,” into the receiver.
      “Hi.” His bare chest was a distraction, as was the line that led from his chest all the way down to the waistline of his jeans.
      “I guess we don’t need these anymore.”
      Agreeing, I lowered the phone. We smiled sheepishly at each other. Bad idea, Iris. This is how things that probably shouldn’t happen, happen. But, right now, I really wanted those things to happen.
      “I hope this isn’t too creepy, me showing up on your doorstep at four-thirty in the morning.”
      “Creepier things have happened.” His smile touched his eyes, and simultaneously, every other part of me, too. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more alive than in those countless seconds of staring into his eyes. It was like he knew every secret, every moment that had ever happened in my life. He pushed open the door and gestured for me to enter. I did. As I passed him, I caught a glimpse of the pendant resting in the hollow of his throat. Unconsciously, I took a sharp intake of breath. It was exactly the one from my dream. I shook my head and tried to conjure some rational explanation. I had to have glimpsed it before and tucked the image into the layers of my subconscious. No, I haven’t. I felt positive I had never seen it.



The Author:

Ainsley Shay’s passion for writing sparks from her unstoppable brain conjuring random first sentences, a single trait of a character, or a single thread of a plot. But, when her love for the fantastical world of fiction, where anything can happen takes over, it’s exactly at that moment she is reminded that the possibilities are endless. And, there is where the fun begins.

She surrounds herself with positive people and strives for balance in everything (rarely finds it, but she’ll never give up looking for it!). She sleeps with rocks and dreams in her pillowcase, loves audio books, has more jeans with holes than without, is fascinated with the word “hence”, and has a beta fish named Enzo, who excitedly meets her at his window each morning.

Ainsley resides in South Florida with her incredible husband and three amazing daughters. She loves the beach, but like most Floridians takes that beautiful part of our state for granted. (She’s working on that!)




Other Works by Ainsley Shay:

Adelina’s Curse (Book 2 of The Statues Trilogy)
The Carving Witch (Book 3 of The Statues Trilogy)
After the Curtain Falls
Delicate Thorns
Catching Bait


Saturday, 25 February 2017

Son of a Kitchen Witch by Tim Hemlin






As if being a high school student isn't already hard enough, Bobby Hawthorne and his best friend, Angelina Dellapicallo, struggle to understand the emerging secrets of witchcraft and magic - secrets strictly guarded by Bobby's overprotective mother and her friends. The unexpected appearance of his spirited grandfather, though, sets in motion a series of events that sweep the young teens down a dangerous path, one inhabited by an ancient evil that threatens not only Bobby and Angelina but their whole community of witches as well.

Pixies can't stop the hellhounds . . . but they have sounded the alarm . . . and the magic users must respond . . .

Amazon ~



RJ Reviews - "This is a great, fun read that puts a very American spin on the story of witches living among us in the real world, blending Texan culture and Native American mythology together into something unique and enjoyable. If you're a fan of fast-paced, YA stories, then you need to give Son of a Kitchen Witch a read!"


Snippet #1:

Just as I felt myself let go and the floor come rushing up toward me, a skiff made of books swept in and Angelina and I were suddenly sailing back through time. No, not time. I realized that Esther had cast us from the shop and skipped us back through the portal like a flat rock across the smooth surface of a lake.
Angelina and I held on as we bounced from Seattle to San Francisco to L.A. to San Diego to Austin until finally we arrived back at home on Highway Six, two dazed kids surrounded by the wisdom of centuries, our ship of words now a pile of books beneath the mellow autumn moon.














Bobby Hawthorn's Playlist:

To get me in the mood, I listened to a variety of styles of rock. While Bobbie and his band, Ravenwood, love alternate and old school rock, it’s always with a twist. Bobby is currently obsessed with turning some of the old Sinatra songs into Heavy metal rock ... and doing a bad job of it. But here are the songs he, and I, love best.
  1. Coldplay

    • Paradise
    • Fix you
    • Cemeteries of London
    • 42

  2. One Republic

    • Stop and Stare
    • Apologize

  3. The Fray

    • Never Say Never
    • How to Save a Life
    • You Found Me

  4. Led Zeppelin

    • Stairway To Heaven
    • Dazed and Confused
    • D'yer Maker

  5. Rolling Stones

    • Jumping Jack Flash
    • Angie
    • Can't Always Get What You Want

  6. Sinatra

    • Fly Me to the Moon
    • Summer Wind
    • My Way

  7. Fleetwood Mac

    • Rhiannon
    • Landslide
    • Dreams

  8. Meatloaf

    • Bat Out of Hell
    • I Would Do Anything For Love

  9. Eric Clapton

    • Layla
    • Wonderful Tonight

  10. Aerosmith

    • Dream On


  11. Alice Cooper

    • Schools Out

  12. King Harvest

    • Dancing in the Moonlight


Listen to the playlist on YouTube




Snippet #2:

The first time I saw an angry Earlene Tamarack I thought it was a funny sight. And then I witnessed the storm she unleashed. You see Earlene has a strong connection with the weather and the freak tornado she cut loose caught everyone by surprise and took off a corner of Macy’s at the mall. I don’t even remember what made her angry, only the repercussions. Luckily the only one hurt was a bikini-clad mannequin in a display case.















The Author:

Tim Hemlin has taught middle school English Language Arts in the Houston area for over 20 years and now puts his master’s degree in counseling to work as a high school counselor in the Fort Bend Independent School District.

Besides running marathons, Hemlin enjoys cheering on his favorite sports teams—the Patriots, the Red Sox and the Cowboys. He currently lives with his family outside Houston, Texas.

Son of a Kitchen Witch is Hemlin’s seventh full-length novel and is informed by the decades he has spent as an educator in Houston-area public schools. Set in suburban-Houston, Son of a Kitchen Witch is a fast-paced urban fantasy about the teenage son of a witch and how he navigates the perilous terrain of young love, high school drama, and being hunted by a pack of hellhounds.

Tim Hemlin’s other works include the Houston-based Neil Marshall Mystery series and “The Wastelanders,” a dystopian-clifi novel about a futuristic world devoid of water.

Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~




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Friday, 24 February 2017

Nite Fire: Flash Point by C. L. Schneider



I’m excited to share with you the cover for my upcoming release! After completing the Crown of Stones Trilogy last year, I wanted to do something different. And this series is it! Flash Point is the 1st book in The Nite Fire Series, a fast-paced, entertaining urban fantasy full of action and mystery. Nite Fire centers on the character of Dahlia Nite, a shapeshifting creature-hunter from a parallel world—ruled by dragons.
                                                                                                            ~ C.L.





Nite Fire: Flash Point

Slated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.
But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.
Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.

*Flash Point will release in paperback the last week of February with a pre-order for the ebook to follow.


Excerpt:

His roar blew the hair back from my face. His oddly pliable jaw opened with a wet crack of cartilage. Dropping, extending past throat, then chest, the square edge of his jaw came to rest even with the center of his abdomen. Outlined by fleshy lips, the dark maw within held an inner ring of uneven teeth, all stained with a deep red grime. Pushing out from their center, the del-yun’s gray tongue ejected like a whip. A heavy discharge of green followed. Hitting the floor in front of me with a moist splat, the glop of saliva gurgled and smoked as it devoured the concrete. A smaller rivulet of smoke curled up from the front of my left boot, where tiny beads of the creature’s spit were eating through the laces.
“Come on,” I groaned, “not the boots…” Bending, I slid my knife in behind the black crisscross. In the corner of my eye, I saw his tongue emerging again.
I broke the lace with a quick yank.
Flinging off the still-bubbling piece as I straightened, I flung the knife next. My throw was directed at his tongue, hoping to sever the bit wagging down over his teeth. But at the last second, he moved. My weapon sailed past his tongue, in through his wide mouth, and impaled his left cheek. The tip of the blade pushed out with a spill of yellowish blood and sliced tissue.
I raised a finger. Fire trickled from my nail. It slid off the side of my hand and onto the floor. Watching its journey, the del-yun knew: one little touch was all it would take. His blood would catch like kindling, and my fire would follow it down inside him like a flame on a fuse.


The Author:

C. L. Schneider is a New York-based author of adult epic and urban fantasy. Born in a small Kansas town, she grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape in high school, on a typewriter in her parent’s living room. Schneider’s epic trilogy, The Crown of Stones, tells the story of Ian Troy, a man born with an addiction to magic. Nite Fire: Flash Point is the first book in a fast-paced urban fantasy series with shapeshifters, dragons, and parallel worlds.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider and her work at clschneiderauthor.com where you can read reviews, excerpts and sneak peeks, and subscribe to her newsletter. An active part of the indie author online community, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Google+, where she is often found chatting about books, zombies, coffee, and the daily ups and downs of writing.










Murder at Midnight by John Ukah



Title: Murder at Midnight
Author: John Ukah
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Alex Simpson, an ex-police officer, decides after a bout of typhoid fever to take a break in a serene and therapeutic environment. The last thing he expects is to be called upon to solve a murder at the Kinging Guest Lodge. But that is what happens, when the delectable and vivacious Maria Marshall is found dead in her bedroom at midnight.

The gallery of characters living at the guesthouse and thrown into the mix, do not make his task of solving this chilling and brutal murder any easier …

Okadabooks is mainly for buyers in Africa.



Excerpt:

“I can’t find it!” Ayuba said with a tremor in his voice. “It’s missing … it's not where I kept it.”

“Break down the door, Mr. Simpson!” ordered Mrs. Marshall.

I looked at Ayuba, who shrugged his shoulders. So, I put my shoulder to the door. The door was quite good, but my shoulder was better. The door flew off the hinges, when I smashed into it. We rushed in and met a gory sight. Maria was lying face up on her bed; her eyes were open and staring in what seemed to be surprise, at the ceiling. Her mouth hung slightly open. A butcher knife was buried deep in her chest and the bedsheets were caked with dried blood. I did not need a doctor to tell me that she was dead. Ayuba gasped in shock and Mrs. Marshall screamed and fell forward. I caught hold of her, just in time to avoid a nasty fall.

“She is dead!” said Ayuba, in a strangled voice. Shock and dismay were boldly written on his face. It dawned on me that this was the same room in which a young lady had hung herself earlier in the year. Was it a room of death? This was not good for business in any Lodge.

“Did she kill herself?” asked Ayuba. “Her door was still locked from inside.”

“I don’t know,” I replied, as I helped Mrs. Marshall into a chair.

She seemed to be in a state of shock. Her body was shaking and she kept saying, “Maria! Maria! Maria!”

I took some steps closer to the bed and examined the corpse. She had been dead for hours and the knife was buried to the hilt. A loose, white, square button lay close to her right hand; I observed that it did not match those on her dress. Though I did not touch it, I could not help feeling that there was something familiar about the button. I had seen it somewhere before, but I could not quite remember.

“Call the police, Ayuba! And get an ambulance,” I said.

The other guests had been attracted by the scream and were now crowding the doorway.

“What happened?” asked Willie, who led the group. A shocked silence followed, when they saw the body.

Within the hour, an ambulance and two police vans arrived. While waiting, I had kept watch by the door of the bedroom, so that nothing would be tampered with. The others had hung around, too. Mrs. Marshall had been taken to the lounge, where Amina sat with her. She looked like she was desperately in need of medical attention. She was still saying, “Maria! Maria! Maria!” intermittently. She was also crying and shaking.

As soon as the police came, we were all waved aside. We were kept out of the room, while they worked, as was routine in such circumstances. Finally, a gurney was brought out of the ambulance and wheeled into the room. Maria's body was placed on it, covered with a sheet and wheeled inside the ambulance.

Mrs. Marshall asked to accompany them to the morgue and they only agreed, when it was explained that she was the mother of the dead girl.

Ten policemen were dispatched; they went over the room and asked us all kinds of questions. They kept nodding to themselves. I introduced myself as an ex-policeman, thinking that would make them take me into their confidence. I was greatly mistaken. They just smiled and asked some polite questions about my career in the Force, then completely ignored me.

But I was eager to know whether they had found the button, which I had seen. So, I called one of the policemen aside.

“I don’t know if you saw a white square button on the bed?” I asked.

“What about it?” asked the policeman. His eyes narrowed suspiciously.

“I just wanted to know if you took note of it,” I explained. “I observed that it did not match those on the dress of the deceased.”

“We saw it and also took note. Thank you,” said the officer curtly and he left. They probably thought I was poking my nose into their investigation. I would have thought the same. All the same, there had been something familiar about that button.




The Author:

John Ukah is a seasoned banker and Associate of the Institute of Capital Market Registrars (ACMR). He is a graduate of Business Administration from the University of Benin, where he was listed as University Scholar. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration (MBA).






Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Trials and Tribulations



Title: Trials
Editor: Faith Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy

21 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix.

The Rogue Mage world began long ago, when the epic battle between the High Host and the Darkness was won and lost. TRIALS takes fans of Thorn St. Croix into the past, before the opening pages of BLOODRING. These stories, set in Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing dangers unimaginable. And they must save the world all over again.

If you ever wondered what happened between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans, dragons, and their creatures before the series, now is your chance to delve deeper and wider. TRIALS features new short stories from nine authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.

TRIALS Authors: 
Faith Hunter, Misty Massey, Lou J Berger, Ken Schrader, Spike Y Jones, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Christina Stiles, Tamsin Silver, Melissa McArthur.



Title: Tribulations
Editor: Faith Hunter
Genre: Urban Fantasy

17 Vignettes and Short Stories set in Faith Hunter’s World of Thorn St. Croix

The Rogue Mage story began with the post-apocalyptic novels BLOODRING, SERAPHS, and HOST, when epic battles between Thorn St. Croix and the forces of Darkness were fought. TRIBULATIONS (Rogue Mage Anthology Vol. II) takes place during and after the series timeline. These stories and vignettes, set in Faith Hunter's Rogue Mage world, are adventures with new characters and old, facing Darkness and an uncertain future.

The relationships between seraphs, kylen, second-unforeseen, mages, seraph-touched, spawn, humans grow deeper, and the battles with dragons and their creatures grow more dangerous. TRIBULATIONS features new short stories from five authors—including Faith Hunter—and vignettes from the Rogue Mage role playing game.


TRIBULATIONS Authors: 
Faith Hunter, Jean Rabe, Spike Y Jones, Christina Stiles, Lucienne Diver.

Amazon | B&N



TRIALS and TRIBULATIONS will soon be followed by TRIUMPHANT—the paperback omnibus (both Anthology Volumes I and II in a bound format).


Bones
by Faith Hunter

(late Winter 105 PA/2117 AD)

                David lifted the chunk of crystal. On first glance, it appeared to be a huge chunk of amethyst, gem quality, smooth to the touch, but it contained a luminescence that looked biological rather than mineral when he placed it under a microscope. It looked like things were swarming inside, creating purple light. He had no idea where the rock had been found—or even if it was true rock.

                Though he had done it a thousand times already, he rubbed a thumb across the stone and inspected the pad of skin. Nothing rubbed off.

                With a chisel, he scraped along one smooth facet of the natural crystal, collecting the rock dust onto a glass slide. He lowered the 100 X microscope lens. The dust sprang at him through the oculars, glowing. Then the luminescence dimmed, the motion that he could almost—almost—see slowed. And the faint light went out. Just like always.

                David removed the slide from the scope and carried it to the workbench. With tweezers, he removed the cover glass and scraped half of the rock dust onto a petri dish. The other half, he carried back to the crystal. He pressed the start button on a stopwatch as he shook the dust back onto the rock. He watched as it was reabsorbed. Clicked the stopwatch. 8.4 seconds. The first time he had done the test, the dust had taken over twenty-four hours to reabsorb. It was as if the rock had learned a new task, and now excelled at it.

                David closed the crystal up in its metal box and entered his notations into the computer file. An Earth Invasion Heretic and a self-taught scientist, David was also a blasphemer. Not an atheist—not exactly. He believed that the being the seraphs referred to as the Most High did in fact exist. He just didn’t like him very much. He didn’t like what the seraphs and the MH (a glib abbreviation he was careful never to voice among his kirk-employed co-workers ) had done to the Earth or to its people, so he had joined the EIH to prove that the Most High (whatever it was) could be defeated. And now the EIH had joined with the orthodoxy to study artifacts and find a way to defeat the Dark. It was an uneasy alliance, and David imagined that when the Dark was conquered the coalition would fall apart—messily.

                His curiosity unsatisfied, David locked the lab and walked down the hallway to check on his most recent experiment. The seraph. Well, the watcher—a fallen seraph. This one had allied with the Light in the Last War, and was wounded in the battle over Mexico City nearly a hundred years ago: burned to a crisp, sixth-degree burns over his entire body, leaving only bones. But he hadn’t died. Not exactly.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Princess By Ariel Marie


Princess
Book 1 of The Dark Shadows

For centuries, a vicious war has raged on between the Necromancers and Vampires. Two powerful races who refused to surrender in defeat. A half a century ago, the Necromancers disappeared from the face of the Earth…. until now.

Nadira Olaru, the youngest offspring of the Vampire King has become the target of the re-emerging Necromancers. The King of the Necromancers has offered a peace treaty, an offer he refuses to take no for an answer. His one demand— Nadira to mate with his son.

The Dark Shadows, Vampire warriors run by her eldest brother, have been charged with protecting the Vampirian Princess at all cost.

Zac Cooper, human police detective, never believed in the supernatural world, that is, until he witnessed a dead body walk right out of the morgue.

Fate brings Zac and Nadira together. Twice. Nadira knows that Zac is her Fated Mate, but now he is caught in the middle of the war between the Vampires and Necromancers. Nadira is torn, should she be selfish and mate with the love of her life for all eternity? Or should she sacrifice their love forever, and let him go, in order to save him?

Free from February 21-25



The Author

Ariel Marie is an author who loves the paranormal, action and hot steamy romance. She combines all three in each and every one of her stories. For as long as she can remember, she has loved vampires, shifters and every creature you can think of. This even rolls over into her favorite movies! She loves a good action packed thriller! Throw a touch of the supernatural world in it and she’s hooked!

She grew up in Cleveland, Ohio where she currently resides with her husband and three beautiful children. Want to know more about her and her books? Visit her website.


Monday, 20 February 2017

Right to Silence by Lily Luchesi



Another great book in the Paranormal Detectives series.

This one is a book of two halves, so you get two amazing stories for the price of one!

The first half follows Brighton and Mark's relationship through both lives, past and present, and is an emotional story, with a heartbreaking ending.

The second half picks up where Life Sentence left off, with Angelica still 'missing' and Danny trying to make a life away from her and the P.I.D. Add in multiple murders, a kidnapping, an ancient prophecy and some trips into hell and you have a book filled with action and surprising twists.

This book is somewhat darker than the previous ones in this awesome series...
...and I can't wait for the next one.



Synopsis:


The truth can be deadly.

In the first of this two-part novel, we learn the history of hunters Brighton Sands and Mark Evans in their two lifetimes, culminating in their final battle with the insane vampire they have been hunting for centuries.

In the second part, with Angelica Cross still on the run, multiple vampiric murders lead to the kidnapping of a famous vamp. Detective Danny Mancini must drag a mortal into the bowels of Hell in order to rescue her.

But why does Leander Price want her so badly, and what does she have to do with an ancient vampire prophecy?



The Author:



Lily Luchesi is a young author/poet born in Chicago, Illinois, now residing in Los Angeles, California. Ever since she was a toddler her mother noticed her tendency for being interested in all things "dark". At two she became infatuated with vampires and ghosts, and that infatuation turned into a lifestyle by the time she was twelve, and, as her family has always been what they now call "Gothic", she doesn't believe she shall ever change. She is also a hopeless romantic and avid music-love who will always associate vampires with love, blood, and rock and roll.

Her interest in poetry came around the same time as when she was given a book of Edgar Allan Poe's complete work. She then realized that she had been writing her own poetry since she could hold a pen, and just had not known the correct terms. She finished her first manuscript at the age of fourteen, and was first published at twenty-one.







Pork Pies by Judy Nichols



Title: Pork Pies
Author: Judy Nichols
Genre: Cozy Mystery


Crusty British transplant Ian Dodge is back on the beat, this time in the service of Her Majesty, otherwise known as Laura Lane, the Food Queen, star of a popular TV cooking show. A blackmailer has threatened to expose her sordid past as a con artist, so she turns to Ian Dodge to get it sorted.

When her blackmailer is found stabbed to death in his hotel room, Her Majesty is the prime suspect. It’s Ian’s job to untangle a web of deception and pork pies (lies) to find the real culprit, all the while dealing with the antics of his twin sons, Jesse and Mac.



Excerpt:


      It was a Saturday, late in the afternoon, hot and humid like it always is in the middle of a Carolina summer. My twin sons Jesse and Mac were with me. Mac was sprawled in the hammock I’d hooked up between the trees next to my trailer. As usual, he had his nose in a book. No e-books for this kid. He was analog all the way. He even collected typewriters.
      His brother hurled tennis balls in an aimless fury, throwing them out as quickly as my border collie Shep could return them.
      “Dad, is there anything to do around here besides throw tennis balls to the dog?” Jesse asked.
      He was the taller of the two, lean and lanky with a head of unruly blond curls. His brother looked more like me, with wispy dark hair and, unfortunately, my nose. While Jesse had brown eyes, Mac’s eyes were an odd shade of green, hidden behind his wire-rimmed glasses.
      “There’s plenty to do.” I said. “You can go around to the shed and get yourself a rake. The yard could do with a good leafing.”
      Besides the pine trees, those of us who live in this part of North Carolina are blessed with pin oaks—trees that shed their leaves all year long. There are always leaves on the ground needing to be raked up.
      Mac figured out a long time ago that saying “There’s nothing to do” around my house meant he’d end up with a rake in his hand. He made a point of bringing a stack of books with him whenever he visited. His brother kept forgetting.
      “I meant something fun.”
      “Raking can be fun,” I said.
      “In what universe?”
      “It’s a job well done in this and any other universe,” I answered, knowing full well that Jesse was not at all interested in doing anything that felt like work. “You know what there is to do around here. Maybe your brother has a book he can lend you.”
      “Jesse doesn’t like dystopian futurism, Dad.”
      “I’m not sure I like the sound of it myself,” I said.
      “It’s what happens when our civilization falls apart,” Mac answered, in an authoritative voice. “It’s not a question of if, you know, but when. Civilizations run in cycles. They’re born.       They live. They die. Then another one comes up and it starts all over again. But it’s always chaos in between. Everything falls apart. I figure we’re due for a civilization shift any day now. I want to be prepared.”
      Well, that was depressing. My son was preparing for the apocalypse, which he expected to happen sometime in the near future. I made a mental note to ask my ex-wife Jeannie next time I saw her if this was a problem. And to stock up on the canned goods, just in case he was right.




The Author:

Judy Nichols grew up in a Batavia, Ohio a small town twenty miles east of Cincinnati and eventually found herself living in Aurora, Indiana, a small town twenty miles west of Cincinnati. She would be there still if GE Aircraft hadn't made her husband Nigel an offer he couldn't refuse-- a chance to live near the ocean with GE footing the bill for moving expenses.

So now she lives in Wilmington, North Carolina.

She started her novel Caviar Dreams while her daughter was napping one day. Five years later it was finished. The biggest challenge arrived once her daughter stopped taking naps and eventually lost interest in watching the “Toy Story” video.

Judy holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Kent State University. She has been a newspaper reporter, a teacher, a temporary office worker, a customer service representative, and currently stay-at-home mom with way too much time on her hands. (And never mind that her daughter has graduated from college and lives in San Diego).

In April of 2012, Judy achieved her lifelong goal of appearing on the quiz show “Jeopardy!” She was a two day champion winning a total of $46,500 and the distinction of being officially named the smartest person in a room full of very smart people.

She has earned only two awards in her lifetime. Neither of them has anything to do with writing, but she is immensely proud of them nonetheless. Adia Temporary Agency presented her with the "Temp of the Month" award for March, 1987 and The Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy gave her a Volunteer Appreciation Award in 1991.

Her experience with The Nature Conservancy inspired her second novel Tree Huggers, about a single mom reporter covering the deadly clash between an unscrupulous developer and a militant environmentalists, published in 2008 She followed it up with a sequel in 2014 called The Reason for the Season.

Her latest book Pork Pies is the latest in her Ian Dodge mystery series. Ian is a British national, living in a small town in rural North Carolina and stubbornly hanging on to every shred of his Britishness. Any resemblance to Ian Dodge and her own prickly British husband is purely intentional. Other books in the series are Sportsman’s Bet and Trouble and Strife.

Currently, Judy is a volunteer with Phoenix Hometown Hires, a non profit group that helps people find meaningful work.




Sunday, 19 February 2017

La La Land by Logan Keys



Wow!

I might've had to wait a while for the second installment in The Last City series, but it was totally worth it.

This epic story continues in the same style as the first book, with different points of view and separate story lines that keep you wondering how and when they will join up.

The characters (new and old) are still 'real' with depth and emotions, and the world building is superb. The pages are filled with non-stop action and suspense, twists and turns, love and hate, and happiness and heartbreak.

The unique and engaging plot kept me on the edge of my seat from start to finish, and left me wanting more!




Synopsis:

A rebel who's been revived to save the world. A soldier with a monster locked inside.

Liza and Tommy return to a destroyed America, continuing their fight for freedom, only this time, their search for allies will end with the same madmen and women who've engineered new monsters in an attempt to create the perfect soldier.

Faster. Smarter. Hungrier.

These rejects from the special program have replaced the undead at the top of the food chain.

Blood suckers roam the wilds, while brutal youths trap unsuspecting travelers.

No place is safe.

If Tommy and Liza can't stop the warmongering council that rules the new fortress, they might not get a chance at freedom again.

Grab your copy today.

Following the best-selling novel The Last City (Gods of Anthem), La La Land is a must-read for fans of dystopian zombie books, and young adult fiction. Those who enjoyed The Walking Dead, Divergent, or Hunger Games, will love this sequel that delivers an epic tale of survival until the heart-stopping finale.

Book Order:
The Last City
La La Land




The Author:


Logan Keys says she’s not so much a writer, as she is a soothsayer and preparer for those who are still blissfully unaware. Her stories aren’t dystopian, but rather a warning for the next generation. When she’s not writing zombies, vampires, superheroes, and robots, she’s fighting against government over-reach and oligarchy, using military tactics mixed with a little bit of poetry.





Saturday, 18 February 2017

Cloak & Dagger by Michel Lee King


Title: Cloak & Dagger
Author: Michel Lee King
Genre: Fantasy


A demonic howl rips through the air. Panicked voices call out. Women race through the fields to the sanctuary of their walled village. The wolf howls again. Men barricade the entrance, daughters are wrapped in the protective arms of their mothers. Sons race to assist their fathers.

It is a scene I've seen many times. Heard many times. Caused many times. Their fear does nothing for me. I'm not here for them. I am here for the one they harbor, the one they protect. The harpy in maiden's clothing. I am here for the one who changed me.

She stole my life, my husband, my future, my sanity. Now with the wolf inside I will find her. I will shred her. That harpy will never fly again.

My name is Ashleigh. I am the big bad wolf. And I am here for Rosamund.



Excerpt #1:

The sun rose languid over a desolate land. Scrubby trees stood at sparse intervals throughout the woodland. Their pathetic limbs scrabbling for the few rays of clear sunshine making it through a perpetual blanket of thin clouds. They ringed our valley, presenting a wooden barrier at the edge of our fields. Their brethren stood stripped and bare, spiked and roped together around the village, an impenetrable wall of twigs. High above, the jagged peaks of the Carpathian Mountains looked down on us, waiting to unleash ancient evils from its cliffs.

Everything about that land appeared masked in a veil, obscured by a constant fog more smoke than mist. Mysteries and the mysterious played through the everyday. Plagued by nightmares at all times, we were a people bereft of hope or happiness. We children did not run and play as we were meant, instead we bent to our tasks staying near the parent we were obliged to mimic. Bend, cut, throw, heft, carry, do not get left behind.

I trailed after Mother in the fields, a bundle of decrepit wheat bouncing at odds with my mood in my arms. My only present from my father, a too big leather cloak stained red, kept the wind off my back. A wolf’s call rent the air. Not the yip of a normal, average, livestock-devouring creature. But the howl of the hungry demon, of a soul stealing devil who took from maidens their essence and left a flame of hell in their bodies.

We ran. The crimson leather flashed in the mist like some morbid omen as it tugged on my neck slowing me down.

The blacksmith’s eldest daughter tripped in a gopher hole, yelping in pain. I rushed to her side pulling with all the strength I could muster at ten years old. Fur flashed between the trees, glowing orange eyes tracking us as it weaved closer, and closer. The sturdy woman beneath me lurched backward as her foot popped free of the hole. She hoisted me up by the cloak and shoved. “Run, Ashleigh!”

We raced through the fields back to the safety of our village, feeling the monster stalking behind us. We crossed the painted and carved totems and symbols still maroon with dried blood thinking ourselves safe from evil. Talismans were meant to protect, sacrifices would stave off the beast’s bloodlust. Or so we thought, and we had slaughtered a fair few of our sick and weak kinsmen in those deluded hopes.

Men in leather and wool urged us deeper into the village. My mother helped them slam the heavy door closed and hold it.

I ran into my father’s arms, the customary crinkle at the edges of his blue eyes tight and fierce. “Do not fear, my Ashleigh.” His voice, a soft tenor thick with our Hungarian accent, set a soothing balm across my frenzied nerves. He gave me a tight squeeze before shoving me toward Mother. “Miriam, get her inside and barricade the door.”





The Author:

I drink copious amounts of coffee while writing light and dark fiction. It is an obsession of mine (both coffee and writing). I love to create different world people can delve into. Whether set in our world or a fantasy, I love to push my characters through experiences that most of us can relate to. We’ve all been embarrassed by our own actions. We’ve all had those moments you wish you could take back. We’ve all had the “naked on the first day of school” dream. Our idiosyncrasies are what make us human. And, I love to force those traits on my characters to see how they cope with them.

I live in western Washington state in the shadow of Mount Rainier with my husband, son, dog, and the cat that adopted us and refuses to leave. When not writing, I can be found in a library, in the woods, or reading next to the fire.

I am a raging introvert, but I can be found on social media.





Excerpt #2:

...My father joined the large group of men that gathered their weapons and stumbled into the trees.

Only half returned.

I remember that day vividly. Through the lightening grey fog, shapes, mere shadows, resolved themselves. Bulky forms swaying in the distance. “Papa!” I yelled jubilant, my red cloak flaying open as I threw my arms wide in joy expecting him to run and snatch me up like always. I knew he would save us. He always provided for us and I thought he always would.

But he didn’t answer. No jovial boom met my ears. No happy embrace. No smile that twinkled from his eyes. Just the muffled cries of the women around me being lost in the swirling mist. I scanned the shadows trying to find his shape among the others. “Papa!” I tried again, louder, more forceful and urgent, placing my fists on my hips as I had seen the other women do.

Nothing.

My mother came up behind me and cupped her hands to her jaw. I slapped my palms over my ears over the leather hood as her bellow cut through the cotton clouding our view. “Jaque?!”

My godfather, Baldarich broke away from the head of the group and strode toward us. The set of his mouth, the crease in his brow, the fatalistic warning in his eyes were interpreted in an instant by my mother who had seen her share of death. In a furious wail of agony she collapsed to her knees. She clawed at her face and hair until bloody strands fell to the desolate dirt. Other women followed suit around us as their husbands and fathers and brothers were not found in the throng.

Through the cacophony of wailers Baldarich’s voice met my ears. “Your papa fought bravely. He is the reason we are alive.” He placed a bracing hand on my shoulder that felt more like an earth shattering blow than a gesture of solace.

Young heart crushing in on itself and shattering within my foundling chest, I joined the others on their knees and wailed my anguish to the sky. I never understood why it was our custom to scream so. That day I learned the hard lesson. Sometimes the heart and soul and mind are so filled with pain that the only way to keep from going mad with the ferocity of it is to give it a voice. So I did, cloaked in crimson and feeling my heart shatter for the first time. I screamed though my chest tightened, though my heart refused to beat, though my lungs felt full of ice. My world spun, shrunk, then exploded into a thousand black shards all seeming to say, “no more.”





Friday, 17 February 2017

In the Presence of Knowing by Valarie Savage Kinney



On the run, hiding from an abusive ex-boyfriend, Keisha takes a job at a Renaissance Festival and finds out about a world she never knew existed.

The people there are strange, dressed up like fairies, gnomes, and pirates. Not to mention the bizarre owner of the festival, who really thinks he’s the captain of a ship.

As an introvert, she thinks she’ll never fit in.

Then she meets Rogan, who plays the troll of the festival.

Rogan is incredibly sweet. He also possesses an ability to see and hear things that other people can’t… and he’s not the only one there who can.

When her friendship with Rogan becomes something more, Keisha finds she fits in at the festival better than she ever imagined she would.

Because as it turns out, her baby has the same ability.

When danger comes to the renaissance festival, she’ll need the combined powers of Rogan and his friends to keep her and the baby safe.

In the Presence of Knowing is the first book in the Secrets of Windy Springs series.












Thursday, 16 February 2017

The Amaranthine Chronicles by Tiffany Shand



Betrayed By Blood

In a city of lies and deception, only one thing stands between chaos and justice. For centuries, a band of outlaws called the Amaranthine has kept the peace in Ormere and hidden in plain sight whilst the Order of Sorcerers spreads their deadly magic among the city’s inhabitants.

After losing her fiancé in bust gone wrong, Amaranthine Agent Kaylan Avilion returns home to discover that Elijah didn’t die but instead was changed by the twisted guards of the Order, who seek to find a dangerous artefact tied to Kaylan’s past and the murder of her family. When her sister goes missing and a foe from their past remerges, Kaylan knows she must save Freya before she’s poisoned by the very people who took Elijah away from her. But how will Kaylan react when she learns Elijah’s secret and can they come together to stop the Order’s plan in time?


Dark Revenge

Darkness is sweeping through the city of Ormere as unnatural creatures stalk through the streets. People are dying and time is running out as a new evil threatens to take control of everything. The Amaranthine Order has been decimated leaving only a few of its people left to fight the coming terror.

Stunned by her sister Freya’s betrayal and plot to take over the city, Kaylan must do everything she can to find out what Freya plans to do when she finds an infamous book linked to the murder of their family. A book considered so dangerous that the last High Lord erased its location from history, the Amaranthine Chronicles are said to contain the darkest of all magics.

Kaylan is happy to finally have her ex-fiancé, Elijah, back in her life but he’s not the man she once knew and loved. After being turned into a shapeshifter, Elijah struggles to control his inner beast and his lingering feelings for Kaylan.

Can Elijah and Kaylan come together to stop Freya and uncover the secrets of the book before it’s too late?


The Final Battle

Darkness has claimed the city of Ormere and death has become a certainty for anyone stalking its empty streets. The government is in ruins and lawlessness ensues.

After their last encounter, Kaylan and Elijah barely managed to thwart her sister, Freya’s, latest attempts to find and use the elusive Amaranthine Chronicles. But in her desperation to receive ultimate power, Freya will stop at nothing to get what she wants. Even if it means destroying the last of her family.

Kaylan and Elijah must work on their fragile relationship and put their personal feelings aside to find the book and stop Freya before it’s too late. But with their allies growing thin, and a gang of ruthless shapeshifters close on their trail, will they finally find the book and stop Freya before time runs out? And will Kaylan have to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her city and the man she loves?




Excerpt from The Final Battle:

      Kaylan winced as bright light flashed around her and Elijah. She glanced around and saw that they had reappeared in the great hall of the High Lord’s mansion. Her sister, Freya, glared at them from across the room.
      “I think we’re back,” she murmured and shook her head, trying to get rid of the memory of witnessing her parents’ final moments and the shock of discovering Freya had been behind it.
      Elijah breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank goodness.”
      Freya staggered, clutching her side as blood dripped down her dress from where a long, silver knife embedded in her abdomen. “Kill them!” she screamed.
      Three shifters appeared, advancing towards them, fangs and claws extended.
      Kaylan glanced around the room for a possible escape route. To her disappointment, there was no sign of either Geth or Sierra.
      Elijah growled, his own fangs and claws emerging as he braced himself for an attack.
      They were trapped.
      Kaylan reached for magic, but it felt weak and sluggish as she tried to conjure a fireball. Damn Freya for dragging them back in time. It would take a few hours for her powers to recover, since the spell had sucked so much of her energy.
      Elijah punched the first shifter that came at them.
      Kaylan tried to take flight, but her ability wouldn’t work either. A chandelier sparkled overhead, sending prisms of dancing light over the dark oak floor. Kaylan raised her hand, mustered all the energy she had and hurled a fireball at the ceiling. The chandelier exploded, crashing to the floor and sending crystals and bits of plaster flying. She grabbed Elijah’s arm, dragged him across the hall and out onto the corridor.
      “Nicely done,” he murmured.
      Two guards, also known as Glistans, stood at the end of the hall. They fired streams of energy towards them.
      My powers are too weak for me to fly, she said.
      Elijah picked her up, and using his speed, he shot down the corridor.
      She clung to him as they blurred. We need to find Geth and Sierra.
      We’ll worry about them later. Let’s just get out here, Elijah replied.
      No matter which way they turned, guards and shifters came at them from every direction.
      Head for the study, Kaylan suggested. Dad always said it was the safest room in the house.
      Elijah darted up the stairs, making Kaylan’s head spin from the force of their speed. It felt much more nauseating than flying.
      They had almost reached the door to the former High Lord’s study when a male shifter charged towards them.
      Elijah gripped Kaylan in a bone-crushing embrace as the shifter slammed them against the wall. He grunted, and Kaylan yelped from the impact. Bits of stone and dust flew down from where their bodies had formed an outline in the brickwork. The air left her lungs in a whoosh as she gasped for breath.
      The shifter stared at them; his mop of black hair fell almost his shoulders and his golden glowing eyes fixed on them.
      She heard Elijah’s sharp intake of breath. “Michael?” he asked, brow furrowing.
      The shifter’s eyes widened and turned to a shade of brown. “Do I – Elijah?” His claws and fangs retracted. “Is it really you?”
      Kaylan winced as Elijah set her down but didn’t let go of her. She knew she’d have bruises despite his body shielding hers. “What’s going on?” she asked. “Do you know him?”




The Author:

Tiffany Shand was born in Essex, UK and started writing short stories when she was a child.

She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.
Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance during this time.

She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and love helping writers to build their author platforms.
After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.





Wednesday, 15 February 2017

An Interview with C.L. Hunter

Last week I spotlighted the Soul Mate Series by C.L. Hunter and today the author has joined me for an interview.

C.L. enjoys writing, reading, gardening, decorating and living life to the fullest!

Hi C.L. and welcome to Just Books.

Would you like to start by telling us what you enjoy most about writing?
I love the freedom it brings to me. I love seeing and hearing the character’s come to life as I write about them. It’s inspiring as it happens right in front of me.


...and how your interest in writing originated?
I started writing poems as a young girl. It turned into a passion. My grandparents owned newspapers in Arkansas and I’d send them my poems. In return, they would put them in the paper and send them back to me. That is when I saw my work in print and fell in love


What gets your creative juices flowing?
Different things at different times. Sometimes something as small as a bird chirping outside my window. Other times, stories, or parts of stories, come to me as I travel. I also have dreams that bring life, to certain characters.


Do you use your personal experiences in your writing?
Good question. I do, not in all areas, but there is a little of me in all my books.


What inspired Soul Mate Series?
Interesting enough, I was lucky enough to travel to Ireland. (One of my favorite places on earth.) I stayed there for a few weeks. During my stay, I went to castles, old pubs, and felt something completely extraordinary. There was some presence I’d never felt before. I tried to ignore it, but the spirit of the land stirred up or brought to life character’s that I couldn’t ignore.
The story followed me over three-thousand miles back home to Florida and I thought, I need to write this story down. I didn’t think I’d write a book, moreless a series. But, here I am writing the third book, “Our Souls Entwined” in the “Soul Mate” series.


For those of us who are thinking of reading your book, could you tell us what to expect?
These books are all about second chances. I reach deep into the souls of all my characters, so the readers can feel their pain, love, passion and amazing love scenes. You will travel to places around the world and discover places in your own life that you can relate too with each book.


Tell us about the covers and how they came about.
Well, that’s tough. My first book, “Your Soul Was Made for Mine” I had a cover made and loved it, but the feedback wasn’t as positive, so I replaced it with a man in a sexy tux and a woman in a red dress with red heels. It represented Nolan and Emmalyn perfect.
For book two, “My Soul Belongs to You” I also tried the first cover and decided it needed to flow better with book one. So, Kate has a sexy red dress and Deacon has on a suit and tie. It fits their character’s well. They both have different scenes of Ireland and places they travel as their backdrop.




Walk us through a day in the life of C. L. Hunter
I get my boy’s ready for their day and send them on their way. I feed my dog, Brody. I wait for him to settle down. He’s an Irish water spaniel and a bit hyper. I rarely drink coffee, but if I do it is decaf, if not, I’d be a cleaning fool. Haha! Coffee and I don’t mix well together. I Love music, so depending on the day, the book, my mood, I turn on music. It then starts my energy in whatever direction it will take and I go in the direction it takes me.


So, what do you like to do when you're not writing?
I love to go boating, spending time with family and cooking out. I love gardening, so flowers are my passion. All my books, in some way, have flowers in them.


I wish I’d known ___ when I was younger. (fill in the blank)
'the secrets of life'


What is your biggest fear?
I’m not sure I have a real fear. I will admit, I HATE spiders.


What is your favourite book?
I don’t have one favorite book. I love all kinds of different books. I will say, I love Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series. Her in depth writing of time travel, character’s, scenery, will make you feel like you’re there with Jamie and Clair. It’s just fantastic.


When was the last time you walked for more than an hour?
I walk almost every day for an hour. But, I decided to take a walk on the beach in Saint Augustine, Florida. It was back in September 2016. My gram was declining faster than we thought she ever could. Her time here was coming to an end. I took the time that I walked to pray and meditate on all the wonderful years we had with her. What a blessing it was to have her in our lives for so many years. How much she inspired me to be whatever I decided to be in this life. She passed away in December 2016 and to this day, the memory of that day makes me smile and think how blessed I was to have her and the amazing memories we shared together.


Tell us a bit more about your dog, Brody.
Brody is our two year old Irish water spaniel. I got him after we went to Ireland. While in Ireland I met Oliver. He is an Irish wolf hound, but his breed is way too big for my house. I started searching for the right dog for our family. My son, Dakotah, is autistic and he needed a playmate. Brody loves the water like my son and loves to play fetch. They make quite the team together.


Who is your favourite actress?
I love Jennifer Aniston. She is timeless and gives the feel of the girl-next-door. I think we’d be great friends.


What is your favourite holiday?
Christmas is my most favorite holiday. I love the family time, atmosphere, the lights, the cheer, the parties.
It’s a magical time of year. Saying goodbye to one year and getting ready to bring a new fresh year in, is refreshing.


When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I’m laughing at this question. I sing all the time, now the problem with that is, as much as I love to sing, I’m a terrible singer. That was one gift from heaven I wasn’t blessed with.


...and finally. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained one quality or ability, what would it be?
Gosh. I’d love to be able to time-travel. That would be my wish or ability if I could ask for anything.


Thank you very much for joining us, C.L.
Have a wonderful day!







Monday, 13 February 2017

Lineage by J.N. Sheats


Title: Lineage
Series: JJ Morris #1
Author: J.N. Sheats
Genre: YA Paranormal Mystery/Thriller


"Cameron, why do you call me dove," I asked, ready for disappointment. 
"Because, you bring my soul peace." 

Joey Morris has spent her young life moving around the country with her constantly absent mother until finally ending up in the small college town of Portstown, Pennsylvania. Here history is thick in the air and Joey discovers that her family has long reaching roots in the town, dating back to the very first settlement. Because of her heritage she is welcomed into the group of the other founding families, and quickly becomes one of the popular girls in school.

After over a year of the good life and Homecoming just days away, Joey is thrown into a terrifying new reality. Happening across a violent black dog with glowing red eyes, and a handsome stranger that puts his life on the line to save her only to stick a gun in her chest moments later.

Now people are dying in Portstown, people close to Joey and she doesn't understand why. Will Joey have anyone left after she discovers the truth about her past?

Cameron Davis is a man from another life, for years he has been focused on his mission. The drive that keeps his soul locked inside a physical body, staving off the reaper. That all changes when he is given the task of protecting Joey and stopping the attacks.

This girl makes him weak and brings up memories of a past he left behind nearly a century ago. What secrets lie beyond his contract with the elusive Warner family, and why does this girl need protecting?

Lineage is a young adult novel but is recommended for readers 16+ due to violence.



Excerpt:

      “Wait, don’t leave.”
      I hated how pathetic I sounded, like I was begging him to stay. To my surprise the stranger paused as if considering my request. To which I added a concerned, “It’s not safe out there.”
      “It doesn’t matter, I have a job to do. Stay in this house.”
      Pressure was bearing down on me, a heavy weight that made it hard to take the smallest of breaths. I couldn’t let him leave…he couldn’t walk out that door. I didn’t want to be alone.
      “Let’s call the police,” I belted out without any thought.
      I didn’t see him move or even hear him cover the distance from the back door to in front of me, his swift movement causing me to gasp. His death stare held my attention.
      “No cops,” he hissed, ice in his voice.
      His face was close to mine, hardly an inch between us, but I could still see the gun in his hand. The gun that was now pointed at my heaving chest.
      What?
      My mind started playing through death scenarios again. A new violent reality set in…this time the papers would be reporting on my murder instead of a tragic encounter with a savage animal. Something that would end up a cold case and passed off as a failed home invasion. I didn’t know if that was worse than being ripped apart by that wolf-thing or not.
      I tensed, waiting for the loud bang of the gun…it was coming. His eyes were far too serious for it to be a bluff. I had accepted my end once already tonight, and it gave me courage to do it again.
      “You saved me back there to shoot me now?” I challenged.
      The corners of his wonderful mouth twitched upward as he pressed the gun against my chest, daring more challenge. My body was trembling, but my gaze remained firm on the deep cold azure of his stare. Such raw brutality in his eyes, long hard years reflecting back at me with a cynical gleam. The muzzle of the gun pushed harder into my chest as he took a step back, putting distance between us, but still keeping the gun in place. I refused to back down.
      Fresh adrenaline drove my reckless actions as I leaned into the muzzle of his weapon, daring him to do it. The corners of his mouth inched upward even more, creating a wicked smile. A flash of hunger in his dangerous eyes, and I could feel my heart jump into a bounding speed of excitement.
      As quickly as the moment became heated and complicated, it was gone. His lips fell into a straight line, and he dropped the gun. The stranger appearing hardened and neutral as he backed away.
      “Stay inside,” he ordered in a dark tone before rushing outside.


Catch the first 5 raw unedited chapters of Lineage on my blog:
Inside the Insanity



The Author:

J.N. Sheats is an artist turned author. Living in Maryland with six wild cats, and her husband, J.N. spends her days designing covers and teasers for other authors. At night she is at the mercy of her demanding characters, and their wild fantasies.

Dark Paranormal Fantasy is her preferred genre of writing, but anything is game. Maybe even a lovely romance novel or two in the near future.

When not writing, designing, or drawing, J.N. spends her time doing a host of other activities. Including: gardening, jewelry making, cooking, and watching far too much television.

Catch what’s up in J.N. Sheats’ crazy life with the links below. Stalkers welcomed. ;)




Get exclusive sneak-peeks and more of Dreamscape, JJ Morris #2, on my patreon.


Follow the progress of Dreamscape and all writing/art projects. Plus, first looks at raw chapters, prizes, deleted scenes, and much more!

“A dream is but a lie humanity embraces with eager submission—longing for it’s devious reality.”
~The Dream Conductor, Dreamscape~