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Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Queen of Someday (Stolen Empire #1) by Sherry D. Ficklin

Release Date: October 7th, 2014

Description: 17+

ONE GIRL WILL BRING AN EMPIRE TO ITS KNEES…

Before she can become the greatest empress in history, fifteen-year-old Sophie will have to survive her social-climbing mother’s quest to put her on the throne of Russia—at any cost.

Imperial Court holds dangers like nothing Sophie has ever faced before. In the heart of St. Petersburg, surviving means navigating the political, romantic, and religious demands of the bitter Empress Elizabeth and her handsome, but sadistic nephew, Peter. Determined to save her impoverished family—and herself—Sophie vows to do whatever is necessary to thrive in her new surroundings. But an attempt on her life and an unexpected attraction threatens to derail her plans.

Alone in a new and dangerous world, learning who to trust and who to charm may mean the difference between becoming queen and being sent home in shame to marry her lecherous uncle. With traitors and murderers lurking around every corner, her very life hangs in the balance. Betrothed to one man but falling in love with another, Sophie will need to decide how much she’s willing to sacrifice in order to become the empress she is destined to be.

In a battle for the soul of a nation, will love or destiny reign supreme?

MB's INTERVIEW
Thank you, Mrs. Sherry D. Ficklin
Russia, Saint Petersburg are pretty real elements… how much “real” history we’ll meet in Queen of Someday and how is the society you created? 
I did quite a bit of research going in, though it was all books and photos. I wanted to make the trek to St. Petersburg and tour the Hermitage (what used to be the Winter Palace) but alas. As far as settings I tried very hard to keep the descriptions and locations as accurate as possible, though they did travel to Moscow and spend some time there, I opted to keep them in St. Petersburg, and that was a personal choice. It’s such a lovely city! Selfish of me, but I wanted the Winter Palace to be the consistent backdrop for the story. As for the characters and events in the book, many are real or based on real people and events, but I did take many liberties on timing. I introduced some people that she didn’t actually meet until much later in life, and I’m sorry to say that the character of Alexander is completely fiction. 

What are the biggest challenges when you write a historical romance? 
There’s a fine balance between the “real” elements and the ones completely made up. You need to be meticulous so the changes are seamless, and more importantly, plausible. People will often complain that I strayed too far from the real history, but I remind them, history is very often written by the victors. So the truth of events may be vastly different from what is recorded. And that’s also why I made a point to leave the author’s note. I don’t want anyone looking for a history lesson here, they will be woefully disappointed, I think. 

Queen of Someday is the first volume of the Stolen Empire series. The volumes will be connected or stand alone stories? And most important, what is your opinion about the cliffhangers and clear endings? 
I think the ending is always depending on the book and the plot. Queen of Someday will be told in three parts, and I carefully chose each ending point so there Is not so much of a ‘cliffhanger’ as a place where the reader wants more, but isn’t tearing their hair out either. I like a mild cliffhanger, but if you leave me with massive unanswered questions at the end of a book, especially a first book or stand-alone book, I will toss it aside and not likely pick up any more in the series or by the author. 

From what I read, we will find not just a love triangle, but quite a square one. The question is: what makes in your opinion a great love triangle? 
Honestly, I hate love triangles. And really, while I’ve heard it described that way, I never actually thought of this book as a love triangle (or square, but that’s funny). There are options, surely, but it’s not a situation where three men are all fighting for her. She falls in love with one man, and then… things change. I would say more, but I fear revealing massive spoilers. I always perceived a love triangle as one person loving many people at once, and I don’t think that’s the case with Sophie. That’s all I will say. 

Historical romance, steampunk, fantasy… which are your favorite to write and why? Or what do you like most about each of these genres? 
Oh, I don’t know. I do have a soft spot for paranormal of any flavor, but I tend to genre in waves. This month, it’s historical. Next month, who knows? I think for me it’s more about falling in love with a character. No matter the genre, if I can connect to a character I’ll follow them just about anywhere. That’s the beauty of books, don’t you think?

About the author:
Sherry D. Ficklin is a full time writer from Colorado where she lives with her husband, four kids, two dogs, and a fluctuating number of chickens and house guests. A former military brat, she loves to travel and meet new people. She can often be found browsing her local bookstore with a large white hot chocolate in one hand and a towering stack of books in the other. That is, unless she’s on deadline at which time she, like the Loch Ness monster, is only seen in blurry photographs.

She is the author of The Gods of Fate Trilogy now available from Dragonfly Publishing. Her previously self-published novel After Burn: Military Brats has been acquired by Harlequin and will be released in 2014 with a second book in that series to follow. Her newest YA steampunk novel, Extracted: The Lost Imperials book 1, co-written with Tyler H. Jolley is now available everywhere books are sold and her newest YA novel, Losing Logan, is due for release in 2014 from Clean Teen Publishing.


Happy Release Day! Giveaway: The Last Seer (Order of the Seers #3) by Cerece Rennie Murphy

Description:

The Seers face their greatest challenge in the final chapter of the Order of the Seers trilogy…

When the fall of one nemesis unleashes an even greater danger into the world, Lilli, Joel and the Lost Seers must stand against a new enemy with the means and the will to destroy all of mankind, starting with those they hold most dear.

As the Seers mobilize to confront this new evil, the Guild tries desperately to uphold the crumbling world order on which it depends. When their attempts to manage the crisis fail, the members of the Guild are forced to place themselves at the mercy of an unlikely ally.

But the Guild isn’t the only one interested in maintaining control.

An agreement made in secret threatens to destroy any hope of a peaceful alliance before it can be made and as the betrayals unfold, no one is safe against a power that will stop at nothing to get what it wants. To defeat this threat and ensure the survival of the human race, the Seers must push the boundaries of their abilities beyond any limits they have known and risk crossing the line between life and death.

How far would you go to protect what matters most?

About Book #1 Ms. Murphy's novel is an excellent example of why I love, not only indie authors, but debut authors so much. This book was fresh, hoppin' and a fun, yet engrossing read. A Book and a Review, blog

"This story combines family, friendship, love, danger, discovery and loss all into one; and does it magnificently...As I was reading this, I felt immersed into Liam and Lilli's world and found myself rooting for them and their fight against the Guild."Luxury Reading, blog

About Book #2 "With page-turning suspense, secrets revealed and noteworthy characters, Order of the Seers [The Red Order] is a must read for any supernatural fantasy fan. Tense, keen and gripping, Order of the Seers: the Red Order is highly recommended!" – Minding Spot

"I have to start out by saying if you haven't read Order of the Seers you have no idea what you're missing. The author has an uncanny knack for making the reader feel every bit a part of the story and feeling the characters' emotions….Order of the Seers is shaping up to be a fantastic series already and I highly recommend it." – A Thousand Lives Book Blog

Read Chapter 1 of Order of the Seers HERE.

About the author:
Cerece Rennie Murphy fell in love with science fiction at the age of seven, watching “Empire Strikes Back” at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C., with her sister and mom. It’s a love affair that has grown ever since. As an ardent fan of John Donne, Alice Walker, Kurt Vonnegut and Alexander Pope from an early age, Cerece began exploring her own creative writing through poetry. She earned her master’s degrees in social work and international relations at Boston College and Johns Hopkins School for Advance International Studies, respectively, and built a rewarding 15-year career in program development, management and fundraising in the community and international development arenas – all while appreciating the stories of human connection told in science fiction through works like Octavia Butler’s “Wild Seed,” Frank Herbert’s “Dune” and “The X-Files.” In 2011, Cerece experienced her own supernatural event - a vision of her first science fiction story. Shortly after, she began developing and writing what would become the “Order of the Seers” trilogy.

Cerece lives just outside of her hometown of Washington, D.C., with her husband, two children and the family dog, Yoda.

Website ** Blog  ** Goodreads ** Facebook ** Twitter ** Google + ** LinkedIn ** Pinterest 

Guest Post and Giveaway: Seize Me from Darkness (Pierced Hearts #4) by Cari Silverwood

Published September 23rd, 2014 

Description:

Can be read as a STANDALONE!

This book is part of a dark erotic fiction series and may disturb some readers.

In this dirty, bloody world we live in, the answers to prayers aren’t always pretty angels.

Retaken by human traffickers, Jazmine’s one hope is ex-cop, ex-mercenary, Pieter, a man with a glower that stops lesser men in their tracks.

She prays he can save her.

But this savior is far from perfect and his flaws may prove as devastating to Jazmine as the torture of her captors.

The fire of dominance never dies.

GUEST POST
Asshole heroes 

How much asshole do you like in your asshole heroes? Fifty percent? A hundred? It’s a question I’ve been contemplating lately because there seems a large number of asshole heroes in dark erotic stories. I mean, let’s face it, when the guy starts out by kidnapping the woman then dragging her back to his lair there’s a high chance he’s not going to be nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. He might get Bachelor of the Year but that’s only because kidnappers are good at manipulating the system. 

If there’s one small problem with this, it’s that my men don’t tend to follow the trend. I like to have them showing their good side at the beginning of the book and it’s only after that nice start that they descend into a state of mind where defiling the heroine seems justified. To me it’s dead easy to show reasons why an evil man would decide to do terrible and nonconsensual things to the heroine. Figuring out why a good-ish man would do those same things – that’s a puzzle I love to solve. 

Writing a bad man doing bad things is the equivalent of writing about why apples fall to the ground. As well, I have this thing where I detest giving up my heroines to truly bad men. These men need to earn her devotion, her love...or her slavery, whichever it is that happens. If the men are too damn evil, I get an urge to exterminate them partway through the story. 

Which is funny, since I can definitely read about assholes in other people’s stories doing the raping, pillaging and enslaving – it seems I just don’t like to write them into mine. 

What percentage of asshole do you like in the men in your dark stories? Would you be game to walk up to them in real life and date them or at least say hello? 

When I began writing Seize me From Darkness, I knew I was writing the most asshole-ish of all my main characters. Pieter still begins as a good guy. How does he transform from that into someone I’d be reluctant to spend the night with even if I had a SWAT team outside the bedroom window? He does it with a certain amount of flair, a hefty dose of kick in the door and drag her out by the hair, and a big dose of assholery. 

If dark books keep going like this, assholes will take over the world in 2015.


About the author:
Cari Silverwood is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer of kinky darkness or sometimes of dark kinkiness, depending on her moods and the amount of time she's spent staring into the night. She has an ornery nature as well as a lethal curiosity that makes her want to upend plots and see what falls out when you shake them.

When others are writing bad men doing bad things you may find her writing good men who accidentally on purpose fall into the abyss and come out with their morals twisted in knots.

This might be because she comes from the land down under, Australia, or it could be her excessive consumption of wine.

Freaking out readers is her first love and her second love is freaking out the people living in her books. Her favorite hobby is convincing people she has a basement...though she really doesn't. Promise. If it existed it would be a terrifying place where you would find all the dangerous things that you never knew you craved.

Own me Until Forever, Book 5 in the Pierced Hearts series, will be out late 2014

If you're curious about her other evil pursuits, keep your eyes on her:


Happy Release Day! Excerpt and Giveaway: Requiem (Chronicles of the Irin #2) by T.G. Ayer

Description:

Her name is Evangeline and she is Nephilim.

Evie is stuck in the Underworld until she can find a way to be released from her newfound role as Hades. And the longer she remains in Hades the more secrets are revealed about her true origins. A confrontation with a Dark Angel brings two revelations to the Evie - the true identity of Daniel, the Master of the Irin's assistant, and who is he to Evie herself.

While a trip into the depths of Hades leads Evie into the fiery depths of Tartarus and eventually to the eternal peace of Elysium, will Evie find the peace she seeks? And what about the smoking hot Julian, god of Hades? How far is he willing to go to keep Evie at his side?

Her name is Evangeline and she is Nephilim.

Evie belongs to the Brotherhood Irin and together with all the other Nephilim of the world she is protector to humanity, protector against evil. But evil has found its way into the Brotherhood. Someone has murdered her guardian and Marcellus, the New Master makes demands of the warriors that go against all they stand for. Demands Evie just can’t carry out.

Evie uncovers Marcellus’ plan to collect a set of special seals, but when a high-level demon reveals the truth behind the Seals of Hades, Evie know there is no way she can allow the Master of the Irin to get his hands on them. But will keeping the Seals from Marcellus cause her to sacrifice more that she should? Will vengeance for her guardian’s death be enough or will she need more to satisfy her Immortal soul?

EXCERPT


Chapter 1 

Two weeks to the Ascension Ceremony

Evie stared at her hands and wondered, not for the first time, why they didn't shine with the blood she'd spilled a few days ago. She flexed her fingers, turning her hands over to study them in the light of the blazing fire. Long lean fingers, neatly manicured nails. Elegant hands for a cold-blooded killer. Only the slightly darker calluses on the inside of her fingers hinted at the hours of weapons-practice, hours of using weapons to kill.

She was used to being the executioner, although never guilty of ending an undeserving life. Not until the insidiously evil Marcellus Bactor had taken over as the Master of the Brotherhood of the Irin. As a warrior under the Brotherhood she'd performed missions of charity, missions of freedom, and of course missions of death. But under Marcellus death had become the sole function of the Irin.

Breakfast had not appealed to her at all. She hadn't expected to feel so strange after dispatching Marcellus. He'd been running the Brotherhood, his own needs more important than those of the humans whom they were all meant to protect. And, now she knew he'd killed her guardian, Patrick, and robbed her of the only father she'd ever known.

And yet here she was, feeling as though she ought to receive some sort of punishment for murdering the Master of the Irin. And for the first time she wondered what the Brotherhood and all her fellow Nephilim were doing right now. Choosing another Master? Perhaps Daniel? She shuddered at the thought. What was that saying? Frying pan and fire.

She sighed and shifted in the sofa, moving her cheek away from the warm flames of the fire. Julian's study was warm and cozy, and modern. Unlike anything she'd ever expected to see deep within the bowels of the earth. Dark wood shelves covered the walls filled to overflowing with books from every age, in every language. Comfortable sofas in earthy tones were scattered around the space, convenient spots for curling up with an interesting read. She tossed her dark hair over her shoulder and away from the heat from the fireplace.

She smiled at the memory of Castor's reaction to Marcellus' death just hours ago. He'd barely blinked on seeing the bloody remains of their old Master. Not that she should have expected tears considering Castor had borne the brunt of Marcellus's fury when Evie had left Greylock Estate in search of the Underworld. Evie's stomach tightened when she thought of Castor's little home on the grounds of the estate. A place the half demon had loved, a place now burnt to ash. But Castor's woes didn't seem to worry him too much right now. He was being well entertained by Pollo and his eclectic band of servants.

Julian had gone off on an errand in a bit of a hurry; something about a volcanic eruption in the South Pacific. That left Evie to her own devices, which wouldn't have been so bad if she had not needed to worry about Persephone. Evie was constantly on guard where the cold-hearted goddess was concerned, what with Persephone having already tried once to kill her. But so far she didn't seem to want to repeat the attempt. Maybe she was concerned about what Julian would do to her should she succeed. Evie snorted. No chance she'd let her guard down though.

Evie's skin tingled and she glanced at the shifting letters tattooed into her skin. They seemed alive, twisting and writhing beneath the surface of her pale skin like living things. Something Evie was yet to get accustomed to. She studied the markings then returned her attention to the pages of the ancient book lying open on her lap.

A book of dead languages, scripts from a time long gone. Perhaps a source of information, perhaps a way to undo this curse that she'd brought upon herself. Twelve seals to make a god. Not a bad way to turn an angel into the King of the Underworld.

She suppressed another sigh and rubbed her forehead. Suddenly the room seemed to close in on her and she felt desperate to leave the confining comfort of the study. She'd been on edge for hours now. What she probably needed was a sparring session. Something she wasn't likely to get down here.

She shut the book and left it on the sofa, heading for the door on feet that seemed to think she was in a hurry to be somewhere. Outside, the cool air from the shadowed tunnels teased her overly warm cheeks. She glanced up and down the passage listening for the sounds of approaching feet or hooves. Nothing. Torches shone at both ends of the tunnel, their flickering yellow light dancing and reflecting against the ominous jagged black stone of the tunnel walls.

Evie let her feet guide her, although part of her knew exactly where they were leading her.



Goodreads ** Pre-Order Amazon **  iTunes
About the author:
I have been a writer from the time I was old enough to recognize that reading was a doorway into my imagination. Poetry was my first foray into the art of the written word. Books were my best friends, my escape, my haven. I am essentially a recluse but this part of my personality is impossible to practice given I have two teenage daughters, who are actually my friends, my tea-makers, my confidantes… I am blessed with a husband who has left me for golf. It’s a fair trade as I have left him for writing. We are both passionate supporters of each others loves – it works wonderfully… 

My heart is currently broken in two. One half resides in South Africa where my old roots still remain, and my heart still longs for the endless beaches and the smell of moist soil after a summer downpour. My love for Ma Afrika will never fade. The other half of me has been transplanted to the Land of the Long White Cloud. The land of the Taniwha, beautiful Maraes, and volcanoes. The land of green, pure beauty that truly inspires. And because I am so torn between these two lands – I shall forever remain cross-eyed.


Special Offer and Giveaway: Ice Massacre by Tiana Warner

Published: September 18th 2014

Description:

A mermaid’s supernatural beauty serves one purpose: to lure a sailor to his death.

The Massacre is supposed to bring peace to Eriana Kwai. Every year, the island sends its warriors to battle these hostile sea demons. Every year, the warriors fail to return. Desperate for survival, the island must decide on a new strategy. Now, the fate of Eriana Kwai lies in the hands of twenty battle-trained girls and their resistance to a mermaid’s allure.

Eighteen-year-old Meela has already lost her brother to the Massacre, and she has lived with a secret that’s haunted her since childhood. For any hope of survival, she must overcome the demons of her past and become a ruthless mermaid killer.

For the first time, Eriana Kwai’s Massacre warriors are female, and Meela must fight for her people’s freedom on the Pacific Ocean’s deadliest battleground.

EXCERPT



Somewhere on the Pacific Ocean

The young man aimed his crossbow at the water, ready to fire a bolt of solid iron at the first glimpse of flesh beneath the surface.

“Sir,” he said, “shouldn’t we have seen one by now?”

The captain turned his back to the salty wind, jaw tight. “They know we’re here.”

“So what are they doing?”

He followed the captain’s gaze. Blackness merged with the empty grey horizon in every direction. A long silence passed, filled only by gentle swells lapping against the ship.

The captain drew his own crossbow.

“Forming a plan.”

All twenty men aboard the ship readied their weapons, reacting in a chain until the last man at the stern took steady aim at the waves.

“Make ready your iron, men,” shouted the captain. “We have ripples approaching off the port side.”

A handful of places in the water puckered, as if something lingered just below the surface. The sea was too black to tell.

Then it happened. Fifty, maybe sixty sea demons burst from the water and slammed against the ship. The men wasted no time. They reacted with trained speed and agility as the demons thrust stones and jagged shells into the wood, both to break holes in the ship and to scale the sides. The men picked them off with bolts of iron and watched them fall one by one back into the sea.

But they were outnumbered. Soon the demons were upon the ship, pulling themselves across the deck with bony arms.

The young man had already shot a dozen and the water reddened with each passing second.

Slow scraping sounds threatened him from behind. He whirled around, crossbow ready. Burning eyes met his, and sharp teeth, bared to rip into his flesh. He gripped the trigger, felt the bow tighten—

And the demon was gone. The young man stared into the wide gaze of a girl his own age. With a startled cry, he jerked his aim so the bolt barely missed her.

She held a black shell in her hand, sharp at the edges and ready to use as a club. But she didn’t raise it. She just looked at him.

He lowered his crossbow.

Her blonde hair fell heavily over her shoulders, dripping beads of water down her naked chest and stomach, pooling where her torso joined her tail.

He blinked, but made no other motion—where her torso joined her tail. Scales faded into flesh like some sort of beautiful, green and tan sunset.

She pulled herself closer.

“Stay back,” said the young man, unsure what prompted him to hesitate.

He looked into her eyes—emeralds surrounded by pearl white—where moments ago they had burned red. Her sharp teeth had retracted behind rosy lips. The seaweed-coloured flesh of her upper body was now olive and raised with goose bumps from the icy wind.

Hanu aii,” she whispered. Do not fear. She spoke his language.

He loosened his grip on the crossbow, studying her. She lifted a frail arm and pushed the hair from her eyes, then motioned him forwards.

His pulse quickened as he stared at the beautiful girl.

Hanu aii,” she said again, her voice resonating sweetly, as if she sang without singing.

Suddenly, he was kneeling in front of her, level with her luminous eyes. The sounds around him faded but for the soft purr in the base of her throat.

She reached up and held an icy hand to his cheek, not for a moment breaking eye contact. The hand slid behind his head and pulled his face towards hers, slowly but firmly. He inhaled her sweet breath.

“No!”

He flinched. He turned to see the captain racing towards them, aiming his crossbow at the maiden.

The young man grasped the scene around him. The ship was empty. A few stray weapons and barrels bobbed serenely in the water. Blood soaked the deck in places, and even the main mast had a splatter across the bottom.

The captain fired wide. Before he could reload and aim again, the sea demon put a hand on the young man’s chin and pulled his gaze back to hers.

Her eyes blazed red. Her skin rippled into the rotten colour of seaweed. Her ears grew pointed and long like sprouting coral. She opened her mouth to reveal a row of deadly teeth.

The young man screamed.

The demon pulled him against her with more strength than three men combined, and they dove headfirst off the side of the ship.

They disappeared into the blood-red water.






ecopy is Free during the blitz on Amazon
About the author:
Tiana Warner was born and raised in British Columbia, Canada. She enjoys riding her horse, Bailey, and collecting tea cups.

New Release! Excerpt and Giveaway: Bone Deep by Brooklyn Skye

Published: September 29th, 2014

Description:

The boy who wants forgiveness…

Haunted by the train accident his father instigated, college freshman Krister Ledoux is obsessed with finding the person sending him cryptic hate mail. He knows it’s one of them—a family member of one of the accident victims, and he’s willing to go to hell and back to find out which one.

The girl he can’t forget…

She was a stranger who kissed him in the middle of the train station, and now she’s the girl who pleads with her eyes for Krister to be the distraction she’s so desperate for. Krister doesn’t know what it is about her, why he’s sucked into playing Cambria’s game… All he knows is that when he’s with her, he isn’t consumed with thoughts of the crash.

The collision that can’t be avoided…

Cambria doesn’t know who Krister is—that he’s the son of the town’s most infamous killer, and he knows if his true identity surfaces he’ll lose her forever. However secrets can’t stay buried forever, and now Krister must fight to prove that their bone-deep connection is far more powerful than the hatred she now has toward him.

EXCERPT

She stares at me, tracing her finger over my face, my eyebrows, the two-day-old stubble on my jaw. I catch her hand and kiss her knuckles, then wrist. “It’s just…” Jesus, how do I say this? “My life’s a little complicated right now, and I’m trying not to drag you into the middle of it.” The look she gives me is one I’m starting to recognize. The one that makes it seem like she understands there’s something more I want to tell her, but can’t. Or don’t know how. “On top of that…I’m a dickhead. And being with me will ultimately result in me hurting you, and I don’t want to hurt you.” 

“Actually…” She lowers my palm to her thigh, narrowing her gaze onto mine. “…you being concerned about hurting me is very non-dickhead-ish of you.” Little by little, she slides my hand up her leg and around her ass. “Besides, what if I want to be in the middle of it?” 

I slam my eyes shut, my fingers burning at the touch of her. She doesn’t know what she’s asking for. Being with me—being constantly reminded of her dead mother—will slowly but surely kill her inside. And I’m not a murderer like my father. 

About the author:
Brooklyn Skye grew up in a small town where she quickly realized writing was an escape from small town life. Really, she’s just your average awkward girl who’s obsessed with words. She writes young adult and new adult fiction.

She is the author of  FRAGILE LINE, STRIPPED,Without You, and STRIPPED Without You
For updates, teasers, giveaways, and more you can follow / visit her: 

Author's Giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post and Giveaway: Ursa Unearthed (Scourge Survivor Series #2) by J.L. Madore

Cover Artist: David Wysotski

Description:

Mika’s life has never been normal, but it’s hers.

After being told by the Great Spirit to stand up for the Earth Mother’s children and “save the great species from extinction,” she buries herself in an investigative journalism career hunting down poachers and exposing illegal trade in wildlife exotics. A survivor by nature, she would rather fight injustice than maneuver the hassles and heartache of relationships anyway. 

When danger suddenly finds her unprepared, Mika’s perception of her life is shattered and she is hurled into a realm of magic and murder she does not understand. Seduced by Bruin, the powerful and sexy warrior who saves her life, Mika is catapulted into a world where Were-creatures and Scourge assassins threaten not only her life but her heart as well.

With the boundary between worlds crumbling, Mika realizes that her destiny to save the great species will draw her deeper into a reality more terrifying to her than anything she has faced before.

Trusting in love. 
GUEST POST
What are the challenges of writing the second book?

From the beginning of the Scourge Survivor Series, I knew it would take me five-six books to tell the whole story. I had an idea of who would star in each one of the novels and how those characters would build to the final climax in the overarching drama of the series. With the whole story already in mind, I suppose the biggest challenge I faced for book two, Ursa Unearthed, was making sure the narrative voice of the five lead heroines didn't become homogenized.

Jade, Mika, Lexi, Lia and Zophia are all diversely different characters and I had to make sure their voices and their struggles remained individual and true to their characters. Each of them are strong in their own way, but I had to ensure that their vulnerabilities rang true to who they were and the circumstances of their stories.

Another challenge was figuring out how to shift from the story being told in a 1st person/female narrative (which all five books are) to the story of the end game, which is the completion of the Ambar Lenn – Fate's Journey. You'll notice the second book starts with the musings of Aust, setting the stage of things to come. In book one, Blaze Ignites, the story begins with the coming of age journey of three Highborne Elves—Galan, Tham and Aust. That is actually what the series is about. Each of the five books weaves the tale of one of five women, but it's the struggles and survival of the three males which is the tether that draws us through until the end. If I've done it right. Which I believe I have, given the comments and questions of the reviews.

Now with Ursa Unearthed launched and Torrent of Tears, book three) in edits, I'm finding it more and more difficult to continue to really twist the knife because everyone, including me, is more and more invested in the characters. Conflict may be King, but I've grown to love these three. Don't worry, though their lives might not turn out how they'd originally thought, but I'm a woman who believes in love and believes in the 'Happily Ever After'.

Thanks so much to Mythical Books for hosting me here today. I hope you all enjoy Ursa Unearthed.

EXCERPT



Ambar Lenn – Fate's Journey

Alone in the dark, Aust sat at the bottom of the grand staircase of Jade's manse, staring at the cryptic words mounted on the foyer wall. Translated by the Centaur, Chiron of Deleran, the Queen Oracles' prophesy hung opposite the double entrance doors. Aust's Elven brothers and warrior friends boasted thoughts and theories as to its meaning, but theories they remained. And on nights when reverie evaded him—which occurred more oft than not—he sat within the silent stone walls of Jade's new home and tried to glean the prophesy's meaning:

Journey of Fate, two realms to purge
Weapons drawn against the Scourge
Blaze of passion,
Trust unearthed,
Cleansing of past,
Spirit rebirthed,
Fate or free-will, which to choose?
With love to gain and life to lose.
Darkness hides in familiar form
A brother's betrayal, a sister's storm
Empower lost souls or evil shall reign
Noble the child of argenteous mane

Journey of Fate—the first line referred to their Ambar Lenn, everyone agreed on that point. Four fortnights past, the inception of his, Galan's and Thamior's journey to manhood had triggered unforeseen events. On that night—the night the exile of his people was lifted—the three of them had set off from the Highborne village to find their path.

Aust had yet to find anything . . . save grief.

His Eda had been slain, his Naneth left heart-weary, and his people so offended by his goddess-given affinity to communicate with his animal brothers and sisters, they cast him out.

Galan fared well enough, and for at least that much, he rejoiced. Jade was a remarkable female, and to have Recognized with his mate . . . there was no greater blessing. Together, partners in life and purpose, the two now served Castian as Protectors of the Realm of the Fair.

Thamior's journey? Well . . . Tham remained Tham e'ermore. Aust marveled at the strength of spirit the male possessed, his love and wonder of all things, the simple joy he found in living free within the Realm of the Fair. Tham had yet to make any progress in his journey, yet paid it no mind.

Weapons drawn against the Scourge—Aust was more than ready to take up arms against the enemy of the realm. He yearned to prove his value, burned to avenge his dead. There were moments, the fury boiled so white-hot in his blood, he almost drowned in the lure of vengeance and pain. He quelled those impulses as best he could.

For the choices made to navigate the journey of the Ambar Lenn would determine if he could ever be thought of as a male of worth. And so he pushed back the anguish and the anger and waited . . . .






About the author:

JL Madore, lover of family, animals and chocolate has a soft spot for romance and a hot button for sexy stories. She didn't find writing so much as it found her. Waking each morning with a vivid cast of characters tangled in chaos in her head, it seemed essential to capture them on the page. 

Cover reveal and Giveaway: 'Til Death ('Til Death #1) by Bella Jewel

Release Date: November 25th, 2014
Cover Design: LM Creations

Description:

I married a douchebag.

It's my own fault, really. He came in like a handsome stranger and blew me off my feet. I fell madly in love, like the naive girl I am.

Then he left me high and dry.

Turns out, I was nothing more than a business plan for billionaire playboy, Marcus Tandem. He needed to be married to obtain his grandfathers business, and I was the poor victim in his path. I thought we had something real, I believed it was special until the truth reared its ugly head.

I never meant anything to Marcus. Not a damned thing.

Five years on and my life has been a struggle. Left with nothing, I've had to work myself into the ground to clean up my debts and take care of my sick mother, as well as trying to divorce a man that refuses contact with me.

Five years is a lot of time to plot the perfect revenge.

What my dear husband didn't count on, is that fact that I was smarter than I looked. After all, what married couple doesn't take out a life insurance policy? If he dies. I get five million dollars.

Of course, Marcus doesn't know about it.

One drunken night just after I left made sure of that. My mother is unwell, she can't pay for treatment. And I'm a bitter woman. I've been the joke of Marcus Tandem for five years while I've formed the perfect plan. Now it's my turn.

I have to kill him.
Oh yes, Marcus will pay for what he did. I made a vow before God, that I would be by his side 'Til death do we part.
I plan to keep that vow.
Goodreads ** Preorder Amazon
About the author:
Bella Jewel is a self published, USA Today bestselling author. She’s been publishing since 2013. Her first release was a contemporary romance, Hell’s Knights which topped the charts upon release. Since that time, she has published over five novels, gaining a bestseller status on numerous platforms. She lives in North Queensland and is currently studying editing and proofreading to further expand her career. Bella has been writing since she was just shy of fifteen years old. In Summer 2013 she was offered an ebook deal through Montlake Romance for her bestselling modern day pirate series, Enslaved By The Ocean. She plans to expand her writing career, planning many new releases for the future.

Happy New Release! Giveaway: Hometown Heroes--Hotter Ever After (Pets for Vets Charity Bundle)

Description:

Available for a limited time at a discount of $1.99. All proceeds from this bundle benefit the Pets for Vets charity. The Pets for Vets program is dedicated to providing a second chance for shelter pets by rescuing, training and pairing them with America’s veterans who can benefit from a companion animal.

They’re all hometown heroes, guys from small towns who’ve made a name for themselves, big or small, who’ve withstood the odds and risen to the challenge, who are heroes in their own right.

Presenting a contemporary romance bundle of 16 novels with happily ever after endings, including previously published readers' favorites and brand-new material by USA Today Bestselling Authors: Melissa Schroeder, Lucy Monroe, and Nancy Warren

NY Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Sabrina York. Along with bestselling and award-winning authors Allie K. Adams, Destiny Blaine, Cathryn Cade, Jami Davenport, Kate Davies, Taryn Elliott &Cari Quinn, Rachel Grant, Sandy James, Adrianne Lee, Hildie McQueen, Katy Regnery, Sandy Sullivan.

A LITTLE HARMLESS SEX (Harmless, Book 1) by USA Today bestselling author Melissa Schroeder--When Anna falls for her best friend Max, it might be true love, or the biggest mistake of her life. 

CHANGE THE GAME by USA Today bestselling author Lucy Monroe--Alex is looking for revenge. Isabel is looking for a relationship without those pesky things called emotions. Neither will get what they're looking for, but a whole lot more!

WILD RIDE (Changing Gears, Book 1) by USA Today bestselling author Nancy Warren--Trouble is piling up in the small town of Swiftcurrent, Oregon with hints of a treasure missing since WWII, a motorcycle riding bad boy history prof, a sexy librarian and a murder. It all adds up to a very Wild Ride.

HEARTBREAK ON A STICK by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Sabrina York--When the man who broke her heart ten years ago suddenly returns to town—a hot shot movie star—Gina Fox is determined to avoid him. But for some reason, Jason Sherwood is pursuing her again. It is all she can do to resist his seductive wiles. But she must. Sexy Jason always has been heartbreak on a stick.

MADRONA SUNSET (Madrona Island) by bestselling author Jami Davenport--Meet a wounded warrior suffering from paralyzing guilt and a woman pining for her dead husband--both damaged souls craving comfort for a moment or a lifetime.

BRACE FOR IMPACT by bestselling author Allie K. Adams--Bush pilot Reid Cavanaugh’s life is turned upside down when he takes a fare that ends up driving his plane into the ground and him into the danger surrounding her. When he discovers that she’s a doctor—the only profession he hates more than lawyers—he knows better than to trust anything that falls from her sexy lips.

HONORABLE SACRIFICE by bestselling author Destiny Blaine--Hired to protect an affluent family with embarrassing secrets, Audra McAllister doesn’t believe in love until she reconnects with a small-town hero willing to risk everything to win Audra’s heart.

SHE'S WORTH IT ALL (Club 3, Book 4) by bestselling author Cathryn Cade--Mase Barnett is a hometown hero with a secret. Natalie Cusco has a broken heart only a strong man can heal. Will this wounded hero risk everything to show her she's worth it all?

DECEIVING DANTE by award-winning author Kate Davies--A stolen car on her front lawn. A sexy cop - looking to arrest her favorite student. A principal ready to fire her. Could Ellie's Monday get any worse?

ROCK, RATTLE AND ROLL (Lost in Oblivion, Book 1.5) by USA Today bestselling author Cari Quinn and bestselling author Taryn Elliott--A beachfront cottage, hours of alone time, and plenty of skin-on-skin action is just what the rock star and his new wife ordered. Until the future comes much quicker than they expected, threatening to crumble not only their perfect honeymoon but also their brand new marriage.

GRAVE DANGER by Golden Heart finalist Rachel Grant--An archaeologist digs up a murder victim in a Northwest archaeological site and must help the hunky local police chief solve the crime before she becomes the next victim.

TURNING THIRTY-TWELVE by award-winning author Sandy James--Jackie Delgado didn't want a new man in her life until a dreaded blind date with police detective Mark Brennan turns out to be more exciting than she'd ever imagined.

HIS ONLY DESIRE by Adrianne Lee-- Nick Rossetti married the wrong twin sister. Will the right one ever forgive him? Not if her stalker has his way.

EVEN HEROES CRY by Hildie McQueen--War widow Tesha Washington slowly draws Adam Ford out of the shell that used to be a man, and learns there really is such a thing as starting over.

THE VIXEN & THE VET by bestselling author Katy Regnery--In a Beauty & the Beast reboot, an ambitious reporter tracks down a wounded war vet for a scoop and ends up falling in love with him instead.

TROUBLE WITH A COWBOY by Sandy Sullivan--Can some slashed tires and an ornery bull bring two hard-headed people together for some fun in the sun...and a little more?

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Excerpt and Giveaway: Let Me In (Blurred Lines #3) by Erin McCarthy

Published: September 25th, 2014 

Description:

A girl in danger…
Aubrey Walsh never dreamed that she would find herself in an abusive relationship, but after her boyfriend hits her so hard he breaks her tooth, she flees the University of Maine to hide on a remote island with her best friend. Only to discover that she is pregnant. Terrified of what will happen if Jared finds out, she is walking along the rocks, deciding her future, when she slips.

A guy with a secret past…
After a job gone wrong, Riker has left the assassin business and is incognito as a ferryboat operator off the shores of Maine. It’s a lonely life, and when he sees a young woman almost fall off the rocks, he doesn’t hesitate to save her and take her in, though he’s determined to stay unemotionally uninvolved. But when the truth about her situation is revealed, he will do anything to protect Aubrey and her unborn child.

Even marry her. Even kill for her.
When Jared comes looking for the only girl who has ever rejected him, Riker won’t allow it. And Aubrey is torn between protecting herself and her child, or protecting the mysterious husband she has come to love.
And when chance brings them together but fate tears them apart, can their love survive the storm?

EXCERPT



“What’s wrong?” Cat asked me, turning towards me as I came into the living room. 

“Nothing,” I lied, putting my hand in my pocket so the stick wouldn’t slide down out of my sleeve, where I had tucked it. “I’m going for a walk.” 

So I could cry and rage in private. 

But she didn’t believe me. She knew me too well. 

“Aub, come on. You can tell me. Did you hear from Jared?”

I heard from Jared all the time. I had changed my number, but then he’d found me on social media. I’d blocked him, then he’d emailed me. No matter what I did, he found a way to track me down. A way to alternate between coaxing and cajoling me with pleas for me to come home, vows of love, and scathing condemnations on my character. How a man could claim he loved me and turn around and call me a dick-sucking whore was something I would never understand. Then again, how could a man who loved me knock out my teeth and leave me bleeding on the floor?

But this anxiety wasn’t about a communication from Jared. 

It was about what I’d been suspecting but was determined to ignore. 

“I haven’t heard from Jared today. I just want to take a walk. Am I allowed to do that?” I sounded bitchy and I knew it, but I needed to get away, to escape. 

Living with Cat and her boyfriend, Heath, for the last month had allowed me time to think, feel, heal. I was grateful to both of them for taking me in when I hadn’t been able to face my family with the shame of what had been done to me, what I had become. I owed Cat everything for hiding me, helping me to feel safe, not pressuring me to make decisions, and listening to me when I needed to talk. 

I wasn’t ready to share this yet though. I wasn’t even ready to admit it. 

Her look was one of sympathy, which made me feel worse. I was the girl everyone felt sorry for. That was the identity Jared had created for me. 

“Of course you can do that. I just don’t want you to keep everything bottled up. You can tell me anything.”

“You just don’t want me to throw myself off a cliff,” I said dryly, leaning over the back of the couch and giving her a hug from behind. “For which I thank you. No worries. I’m not suicidal.” 

I wasn’t. The opposite in fact. Staring into Jared’s eyes, seeing his rage, had made me realize just exactly how much I wanted to live.

Even now, even with this, I wanted to survive more than anything. I wanted to reclaim my life, find me again. Or at least a new version of me.

She leaned forward and glanced up at me over her shoulder. “I still can’t get over your hair.” She touched the ends of loose, auburn strands. “It’s so different now that you dyed it.”

I was a natural blonde, but that didn’t feel right anymore. There was nothing carefree and beachy about the way I moved, always glancing over my shoulder, keeping my mouth closed as much as possible, self-conscious of the two missing teeth on the back right side. Dark auburn suited me better. It was moody, mysterious. It made my skin seem pale, and that was how I felt. Pale. Fragile. 

“Redheads are feisty,” I said. “I’m trying to find my inner feisty.”

“You’ve always been feisty. And the master of sarcasm.”

Not anymore. Cat had been living on an island off the coast of Maine for the last eighteen months. She’d never seen me with Jared. I was glad. The less witnesses to my humiliation the better, and maybe with her seeing me as I had been, I would become me again. 

“I think the feisty got knocked out of me. Literally.”

“Don’t joke about it.” Her dark eyes searched mine. “I don’t think that’s healthy.”

Nothing about it was healthy. But I was trying my best to cope. And when she looked at me like that…that’s when I needed to escape. 

“I’ll be back in an hour tops. Don’t send Heath out looking for me again. I promise I’ll be fine.” 

That was why I’d come to Cat in Vinalhaven—it was remote, isolated. Everyone knew everyone, and the only way on the island was by ferry. If, for some insane reason, Jared tried to track me down, I would know immediately that he was there. It made me feel safe, protected. Walking helped clear my head. 

The porch door slammed behind me, and I put the hood of my sweatshirt up. It was only September, but I was always cold. I used to think I would go to grad school down South. Now, the future was a great gaping hole filled with fear.

And a baby.

I fingered the stick stuck up my sleeve and tried to process the truth. I was pregnant. With Jared’s baby. Tears filled my eyes as I walked down the gravel drive towards the shoreline, my feet moving faster, my head hunched down. Heading in the direction of the least possibility of seeing any other humans, I cursed when I realized almost immediately that the guy who lived in a crumbling farmhouse was out in his yard. Chopping wood with his shirt off. He was in his mid-twenties and I’d seen him twice before. He never smiled, he never waved, he never spoke to me, and he was muscular, ominous. There was no joy on his face, only a kind of silent disdain as he watched me walk by. He was the kind of man who could corner me, beat me, rape me, kill me. 

Five years ago, I would have seen his sweaty shoulders, watched the ripple of muscles in his back, and I would have flirted with him, smiled, flipped my hair. He might have flirted back and we might have gone into his farmhouse and fucked just because it felt good. Now, the thought of him touching me made me flinch in fear, and I rushed past him, glancing up only to track his movements, make sure he wasn’t following me. 

Cat had said that his name was Riker and he was harmless. That he’d come back from being in the military and he had PTSD, so he kept to himself. Riker was sweet, she’d insisted. He had always been a good guy. 

Whatever. What he was then didn’t make him that now, and I was afraid of the intensity of his stare. 

He was doing it now. His ax paused as he eyed me. Then his gaze shifted back to the log and the sun hit the blade as it came down with a violent whack. I winced. The wood split in two directions and tumbled to the ground. 

Suddenly, it was too much—the realization that a guy forty feet away could frighten me, that I was pregnant, that I had let myself get in this situation by wanting so desperately to be important to Jared in the beginning that I had ignored all the warning signs. I started to run, wondering how I was going to support myself and a child, afraid that if Jared ever found out, he would take my baby away from me. Knowing that, at some point, I had to face my family. 

I ran, pumping my arms hard, the hood falling back off my head, my lungs straining. When I reached the edge of the island by the rocks, I came to a crashing halt, sobbing in frustration. Yanking the pregnancy test out of my sleeve, I stared at the pink line showing my new reality. 

“It’s not fair,” I whispered. 

I’d always wanted to be a mom. But not like this. Not with that man.

“No,” I said, louder this time. “No. This isn’t fair!” Then I pulled my arm back and hurled the test stick as hard as I possibly could. 

I was panting, my vision blurry from tears as I watched it sail through the air and drop down onto the rocks. Leaning forward to see where it landed, I slipped on the wet turf.

Suddenly, I was falling and screaming and trying to grab on to anything. Pain shot through my hip, but clipping the rock helped slow my fall and I landed on my chest, my legs dangling, my grip tenuous, but no longer free falling. The air whooshed out of my lungs and I clawed at the slippery rock with my feet, trying to find a ledge to haul myself up. But my shoes slid around uselessly and I paused, panting, arms straining. I was wasting too much energy and I needed to think.

Looking up, I opened my mouth to scream for help. 

What I saw almost made me lose my hold entirely.

A man’s face stared down at me with dark, intense eyes.

Riker.



About the author:
USA Today and New York Times Bestselling author Erin McCarthy sold her first book in 2002 and has since written almost fifty novels and novellas in teen fiction, new adult, and adult romance.

Erin has a special weakness for New Orleans, tattoos, high-heeled boots, beaches and martinis. She lives in Ohio with her family, two grumpy cats and a socially awkward dog.