Showing posts with label Excerpt. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Excerpt. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Spotlight: Black Rose Queen



"If you desire the lightning, you must also prepare for the storm."

Az-ca's Kings have never invaded the land of their enemy. Will a Queen be so bold?

Sherra devises new ways to strike at the Supreme Leader of Ny-nes, only to discover that he is stronger and more devious than she and Kerok could ever imagine. When they inevitably clash, will there be a victor?

About the Book

Black Rose Queen
by Connie Suttle
Series
Black Rose Sorceress #3
Genre
Adult
Urban Fantasy
Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher
Subtle Demon Publishing, LLC
Publication Date
September 20, 2017
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Also Available On



Arresh


I call myself by that name—Arresh—because it is the near-mirror image of Sherra's name. We are one and separate, at the same time. I stand at her bedside, watching her sleep, taking care to place a shield over her so she won't be wakened.



This time I had to be careful; if she awoke, she would argue with me. I disliked that idea—in this case.


I intended to break the law.

The Black Rose Sorceress Series

       

About Connie Suttle

Connie Suttle is the author of the Blood Destiny series, the Legend of the Ir’Indicti series, the High Demon Series, the God Wars series and the Saa Thalarr series. Other titles are scheduled for release very soon.
Connie earned her MFA from the University of Oklahoma and has taught courses at the university level. Reading (and writing) have been a constant throughout her life.
The author lives in Oklahoma with her patient, long-suffering husband and three cats. Obviously, the cats are not so long-suffering and are certainly not patient.

Connie's Links

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Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Cover Reveal: Day Reaper







Day Reaper
Night Blood
Book Four
Melody Johnson

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Kensington/ Lyrical Press

Date of Publication: April, 2018

Number of pages: 414
Word Count: 116, 525

Cover Artist: Kensington/ Lyrical Press

Tagline: A dangerous choice for the chance to live.

Book Description:

On the brink of death, Cassidy DiRocco demands that New York City’s master of the supernatural, Dominic Lysander, transform her—reporter, Night Blood, sister, human—into the very creature she’s feared and fought against for months: a vampire. The pain is brutal, she'll risk the career she’s worked so hard to achieve, and her world will never be the same. But surviving is worth any risk, especially when it means gaining the strength to fight against Jillian Allister, the sister who betrayed Dominic, attacked Cassidy, and is leading a vampire uprising that will destroy all of New York City. . .

When she awakens, however, Cassidy realizes the cost of being transformed might be more than she was willing to sacrifice. The overwhelming senses, the foreign appearance of her new body, and the lethal craving for blood are unrecognizable and unacceptable. But if Cassidy hopes to right the irrevocable wrongs that Jillian and her army of the Damned have wrought on New York City, she’ll need to not only accept her new senses, body and cravings, but wield them in her favor.

Irresistible and enigmatic as Dominic is, he no longer has command over the city or its vampires. Only Cassidy has the connections to convince the humans, Day Reapers, and the few vampires still loyal to Dominic to join forces, and maybe, if Dominic can accept her rising power over the coven he once commanded for the past several hundred years, the two of them together might forge a bond more potent than history has ever known. . .

Excerpt:

A bird was squawking, and after several minutes of attempting to ignore its repetitive, shrill, bleating, I came to grips with the fact that it didn’t seem inclined to stop on its own. I snapped open my eyes, prepared to reach out the window and stop it myself, with my bare hands if necessary—I’d never heard such an obnoxious bird in my life, not in the city, not on the west coast, not even on my one excursion to visit Walker upstate—and froze. There was no window. And if the vents Bex used to filter fresh air into her underground coven were any indication, there was no bird. Despite the similarity of the vents to Bex’s coven, however, I didn’t recognize the room as the inviting, well-decorated step-back in time that Bex had created, either: no extra furniture for lounging, no scented candles, no Gerbera daisies, and no kerosene lamps pulsing in a hypnotic, romantic beat.
This room contained only sparse necessities: vents for underground air filtration, a bare bulb for light, a door for privacy, and of course, a bed. I was in a strange room in a stranger’s bed, its dimensions and d├ęcor familiar only by its unfamiliarity, and suddenly, the last moments of my memory smashed into my brain like a semi.
            Jillian tearing out my throat. Dominic healing me. The blood and burning. The transformation.
Someone was speaking in the room outside this bedroom’s door, and despite the distance, the scarred door, the cement wall, and my disorientation, I could hear every word being said, and I recognized the voice speaking: Ronnie Carmichael.
“Lysander said he would. There’s no reason to think he won’t, so I don’t think—”
And following Ronnie’s voice was the squawking of that damn bird.
“Exactly. You don’t think,” Jeremy snapped.
“Lysander said that he would try,” Keagan said patiently, his voice nearly drowned out by the bleat of that insufferable bird. “His priority is Cassidy and our safety. He won’t take unnecessary risks, like remaining above ground, away from Cassidy longer than absolutely necessary.”
 “Yes, he said he would try,” Ronnie insisted, but her voice was faint now. “Lysander doesn’t say anything lightly.”
The bird squawked even louder, in time with Jeremy’s audible groan, triggering a memory of Ronnie’s little girl voice and something she had confided in me: I never even knew he thought of my voice as grating. I never knew someone’s annoyance had a sound let alone that it sounded like a squawking bird.
I was right about the bird not being underground, but unlike anything I’d ever heard, the sound wasn’t a bird at all. The squawking was the sound of Keagan’s annoyance at the grate of Ronnie’s whining voice. Unlike Jeremy, Keagan was too well-mannered to audibly express his frustration with Ronnie, but among other vampires, he could no longer hide his true feelings. His unspoken annoyance had a sound—as loud, obnoxious and obvious as Jeremy’s audible hostility—and Ronnie could no doubt hear it, too, despite the calm, reasonable tone of his words.
I could hear it.
I could hear the sound of Keagan’s annoyance.
The weight of the sheets covering my body was suddenly suffocating. I raised my hand to tear them from my body, but someone else’s hand whipped into the air. I gasped at the skeleton-skinny joints of each finger, the knobby protrusion of its wrist and the elongated talons sprouting from each fingertip instead of nails. I ducked under the hand, trying to avoid its attack and swallow the scream that tore up my throat, but the hand moved with me, moving with my intensions, attached to my body. I froze again, for the second time in as many seconds, and raised the hand in front of my face. It looked lethal. With one wrong move, it could eviscerate me. As I ticked each finger, the long talons swept the air as I counted—one, two, three, four, five—and each moved on my command. Like the inevitability of a pending dawn with the rising sun, I realized that the hand was mine. Fear of that hand turned to horror and then to a kind of giddy resignation. Hysteria, more likely.
I had ducked against the attack of my own hand.
A swift peal of laughter burst from my mouth. 
            I stopped laughing just as abruptly. Even my voice was different: guttural and sharp, like shards of glass scraping against asphalt.
            The voices outside my door and the squawking bird had abruptly stopped, too, and in the sudden silence following my outburst, an uncomfortable, aching vise circled my chest. The pain wasn’t physical, but its presence triggered a dull burn in the back of my throat. I had the immediate urge to destroy everything, to pound the cement walls into crumbs with my fists and tear the sheets into ribbons with my nails—my talons—and fight my way free from this prison. I held myself motionless, resisting the urge, and I realized with a belated sort of curiosity that the aching vise was panic. Without a beating heart to pound and without a circulatory system to hyperventilate, I hadn’t recognized the emotion without its physical symptoms, but even so, it felt the same in one way. It felt horrible.
            I took a deep breath to dispel the panic, purely from habit, but the action wasn’t calming. My heart that wasn’t pounding didn’t slow, and I couldn’t catch a breath that I hadn’t lost. The vise around my chest tightened. I squeezed my hands into fists, trembling from the force of my will to remain still and silent. Something sharp pierced my hands, and I gasped, the raging panic stuttering until I looked down at my bleeding fists. My talons were imbedded in my own palms.
            A door slammed somewhere outside this room, further away than the voices directly behind the door, but I didn’t hear it slam with my ears. I felt it slam from its flat slap against my skin. Never mind that the door wasn’t near enough for me to see, nor in this room, nor the impossibility that I could feel its sound waves, my entire body felt its sting as if I’d been smacked from all sides.
            “Why are you just staring?” Despite the impatience and aggravation in those words, hearing his voice made the aching around my chest both loosen and worsen.
            The clip of his tread across the cement floor stung like the warning barbs of a wasp. I knew the physical pain on my skin was only the tactile manifestation of sounds— first, the door slam, and now, his walking—but that didn’t change the fact that the sounds really did hurt my skin. I tried to rub away the lingering sting and realized my hands were still fisted, my talons still imbedded in my palms, so I just sat on the bed, motionless and bleeding, like someone trapped without an EpiPen, waiting for the inevitable swelling, choking and death: trapped within a body that had betrayed me.
            “Did you have time to—” Ronnie began, but her voice was too small and too fragile not to crumble under the weight of his will.
            “You heard her waken,” he accused. “Don’t you smell the blood?”
            I could actually taste the pungent, freshly sliced, onion musk of their silence.
            The door swung open, and suddenly, inevitably, Dominic entered the room. He didn’t need permission to cross my threshold, not anymore, and he didn’t bother with the perfunctory acts of knocking or requesting my consent to enter. He simply strode inside and slammed the door behind him with a final, fatal bee sting.
            He’d recently fed. I could tell, as I’d always been able to tell, by the bloom of health on his cheeks, his strong, sculpted figure, and the careful calm of his countenance, but my heightened senses could now also smell the lingering spice of blood on his breath and hear the crackle of it nourishing his muscles. From the top of his carefully tousled black hair to the soles of his wing-tipped, dress shoes, Dominic was insatiably sexy, but his physique was an illusion of his last meal. I knew his true form. Upon waking, before feeding, he appeared more monster than man. Although not many people look their best in the morning, Dominic by far looked his worst.
            The way I looked now.
            That thought made my fists tighten, embedding my talons deeper into my own flesh.
Despite his grievance with Ronnie, Keagan, and Jeremy for their inaction, he too just stared, immobile after entering the room, but his gaze absorbed everything. I felt the slash of his eyes slice across my face, down my body, and eventually, settle with dark finality on my fisted palms.
He didn’t move, and that I could tell by the stillness of his throat, he didn’t make a sound, but despite his still, silent stare, I heard the unmistakable rush of wind. There were no windows underground, and in the stagnant stillness of the room—the tension between our bodies like an electric current stretching to complete its circuit—no relief from the heat of his presence. The sound wasn’t wind, it only sounded like wind, but whatever it was the sound of, it was emanating from the only other person in the room.
I blinked and Dominic was suddenly, but no longer impossibly, beside the bed. His movements were just as inhumanly fast as ever, but with my enhanced vision, I could track his movement, see his grace and fluidity. I heard the slide of air molecules parting for him, felt the electric snap of his muscles flexing, and smelled an emotion he wouldn’t allow me to interpret on his carefully neutral expression. Whatever he was feeling was spiced, sweet, strong, and dangerous with overuse, like ginger.
            He reached out and carefully wrapped his palms around mine to cup my fists. His voice was steady when he spoke, but I knew better. The rush of wind emanating from him heightened, the smell of ginger became chokingly poignant, and his heart that didn’t need to beat to keep him alive, contracted just once. I could both hear the swoosh of his blood being pumped through each chamber and taste the silky spice of that sound.
My hands were injured yet his trembled.
            “Relax,” Dominic murmured. “I’m here. I should have been here when you first awakened, but I’m here now.”
            I blinked at him. With him here, everything was somehow simultaneous better and horribly worse.
            “Mirror,” I growled. I tried to form a complete sentence, to demand, Get me a mirror, so I can see the horror of a face that matches these hands! but my throat was too dry. Even that one word rattled from my vocal cords like flint scraping across steel, and the resulting sparks flamed the back of my throat. I sounded dangerous and angry and monstrous. If I had stumbled upon me in an alley, I would have run.
            Then again, I’d stumbled upon Dominic in an alley, and look how that had played out.
            Whether Dominic saw my anger or thought me a dangerous monster now wasn’t revealed by his carefully masked countenance. He stroked the back of my hand with the soft pad of his human-feeling thumb. “You need to calm down.”
            Calm down? I thought. I jerked my hands free from his gentle hold and shook my fists between us, in front of his face. All things considered, this is calm!
            Dominic sighed. “I can’t see your claws from inside your palms, but did you happen to notice their color before stabbing yourself with them?”
            I frowned. I had claws, for Christ sake. Claws. No, I didn’t take note of their color.
            “I’ll take that as a no,” he said, still gentle, still careful, and so fucking infuriating.
            A comforting flood of hot anger blast-dried my shock and sorrow. I spread my fingers, tearing said claws from my palms and ripping wide my self inflicted wounds, but I didn’t take the time to note their color. I swiped at Dominic.
            My movements were lightning. Dominic’s movements were just as fast; he leapt back, dodging my claws. I lunged off the bed after him. A familiar sound rattled from deep inside my chest, a sound I’d heard emanate from Ronnie, Jillian, Kaden, and Dominic, a sound that coming from them had raised the fine hairs on the back of my neck. Now, that sound came from my throat. I was growling.
            Dominic summersaulted out of reach. I watched his movements, fascinated by the strength of his muscles as he leapt into the air, his coordination as his legs tucked and his arms caught his knees, and his athleticism as he stuck the landing and raised his hands to block my advance. He was the epitome of power and grace under pressure, and with the enhanced ability of my heightened senses, I could actually see it. He wasn’t just a blur of movement but a perfectly choreographed symphony of muscle, control, and honed skill. I watched, and unlike the jaw-dropping awe of impossibility that Dominic’s physical feats would normally inspire in me, I was just inspired.
            I attempted to mimic Dominic’s movements with a matching forward summersault of my own, but instead of landing on my feet, like I’d intended, like Dominic had stuck so effortlessly, I landed in an awkward, bone-jarring, heap, flat on my back.
            Dominic leaned over me, his mouth opened with concern, surely about to ask me if I was all right. My pride was more injured than my body, and the hot embarrassment fueled my anger, as every strong emotion could fuel my easily provoked temper. Taking advantage of his concern and close proximity, I raked my claws down the front of his shirt.
            Buttons severed from their threads, but before the pops of their little plastic heads hit the floor, Dominic was airborne again, back flipping away from me before my claws could do any real damage. I lunged after his leaps and twists and rolls, milliseconds behind his acrobatics, but even without the advantage of his fancy gymnastics, my body’s newfound abilities were astonishing. Each muscle contraction burned beneath my skin, but not like human muscles burning with fatigue. Mine sparked to life, twitching with power and reveling in unleashed speed and strength.
I’d never been particularly athletic; my entire life, even before being shot in the hip, my skills were better served in an intellectual capacity—interviewing witnesses and writing articles. After being shot, my physical abilities had shriveled to the point where I could barely walk. Now, I could not only walk, I had the potential to fly. I was a force in both body and mind, and the limitlessness of those abilities after being physically limited for so long was intoxicating.
            Time suspended. Our battle raged in the timespan of a blink, but within that blink, we fought and danced and completely trashed the little utilitarian room in what felt like years—a lifetime of limitations revealed and obliterated with every movement and newly discovered capability. Our movements were lighting, the evidence of our devastation scattered across the room—Dominic’s torn clothing, upended and smashed furniture, pillows gutted and their insides fluffed over the rumpled comforter and upended mattress—the cause unseen.
I made a move of my own instead of following Dominic, cutting him mid-leap and smashing him face-down into the box spring. He was vulnerable for the split of a millisecond, me at his back, my razor claws splayed across his shoulder blades, his neck bared as he craned to look over his shoulder at me, and I had him. If I chose to, with a swipe of my hand, I could sever his head from his body. My claws were sharp, his skin was soft, and unlike any other physical battle I’d waged in my life, I had the advantage.
            My body’s speed and strength were new to me, but the feelings of rage and intoxicating addiction were not. I knew those emotions intimately; they had been the very core of my personality and shaped a person who, despite my former physical limitations, had unbeatable mental strength, evidenced by my winning battle against Percocet addition and an ability to entrance vampires as a night blood. Memories of addiction and the bone-deep reasons I’d fought to overcome it, kept me grounded when I would have taken advantage of Dominic’s weakness. I nearly let the strength and power overwhelm reason, but I knew when to stop. I knew when the need and heat felt too good to be good. The rage reminded me that despite the claws sprouting from each fingertip, despite the fact that I might look like the devil and have the strength of God, I was the same flawed person I’d always been.
I was still me, and despite his flaws, I loved Dominic.
I jerked my hand from his back, ripping fabric with my movement but not skin, and fell to my knees.
Dominic summersaulted over me. He landed at my back, but I didn’t turn to face him. He knew I’d resisted the opportunity to kill him. Our battle was over, but mine had just begun.
He fell to his knees behind me, wrapped his arms around me, holding my hands, cradling my body, and it was only then, with the steady press of his cheek against mine, that I realized by the solid stillness of his arms holding me that I was shaking.
I burst out weeping. The sobs wracked my body and bathed my cheeks.
Dominic’s arms tightened. He stroked my hands and murmured promises into my ear that I knew better than to believe, promises that no one could keep, but having him hold me, his lips moving against my ear and the familiar tone of his voice resonating like a blanket cocooned around my body, was comforting anyway. I sobbed harder at first, relieved that he was here, that I wasn’t alone, that he’d experienced this, too, and had survived and eventually thrived. Buoyed by the knowledge that I, too, could survive and eventually thrive, I calmed. My weeping slowed, the sobs wracking my body lessoned, and my tears eventually dried.
I relaxed into Dominic’s embrace—my back flush against his chest, his arms cradling my arms, our fingers entwined. His breath fluttering my hair wasn’t winded, and I noted with a detached sort of astonishment, that neither was mine. I was suddenly struck by a wary sort of certainty that my new, debatably improved physical form would continue to astonish for a very long time. I stared at our entwined fingers—his perfectly formed human hands still larger than my emaciated fingers but not nearly longer than my elongated claws—and I pulled into myself, embarrassed that he was touching them.
“Don’t,” he murmured, tightening his hold. “Some aspects of the transformation might take some getting used to. You’re already becoming accustomed to your heightened senses and increased strength, which is impressive. In a few days, you’ll land that summersault, I assure you. And eventually, you’ll look into a mirror and recognize yourself, but for tonight, let me be your mirror.” He raised his hand and urged my face to the side to meet his gaze. “Let me show you how beautiful you are.”
My physical appearance wasn’t the only aspect of the transformation that shook me, but when he cupped my cheek in his palm and ducked his head, pressing his lips to mine, I kissed him back. My lips felt foreign against the long protrusions of my fangs, but his lips were soft and the texture of his scar familiar. His Christmas pine scent enveloped us, and with my enhanced senses, I felt its chilled effervescence simultaneous heat and create goose bumps over my body. I turned in his arms, angling for more access, and a rush of blood filled my mouth.
Dominic stiffened.
I jerked back, startled by the blood coating my tongue, a taste which wasn’t entirely unpleasant, was in fact, not unpleasant at all. The blood was absolutely delicious, which was also startling, not to mention disturbing. Dominic had a gash across his lower lip, and I realized that I’d cut him.
I swallowed the blood in my haste to apologize and choked.
Dominic covered my lips with a finger and shook his head. His thumb swiped back and forth over my cheekbone as we stared at each other, and before my very acute eyes, I watched the intricacy of Dominic’s body heal. The split sides of his lip filled with blood, and that blood pooled in the crevice of his cut, coagulated, scabbed, and flaked to reveal new, shiny, pink skin. That skin darkened to a faint thread, and if he’d still been human, the healing might have stopped there, but his body healed the scar, too, until his lips bore not one sliver of evidence of my clumsy lust. What had once seemed to occur instantaneously and magically was now a simple bodily function, but I suppose, that in itself was a kind of magic.
I touched his lips, grazing my fingertips carefully over the perfection of his newly healed skin to the divots and pucker of the permanent scar gouging through the other side of his lower lip and chin, a reminder of his human lifetime, and for me, a reminder of the few things we had in common. Although looking at the skeletal, talon-tipped hand touching him—the hand that I controlled but didn’t resemble anything I recognized as mine—we had much more in common now than I’d ever anticipated having.
He touched my lips with his fingertips, mimicking my movements with the human-looking version of his hand, and I couldn’t help it. Despite the impossibility of this situation and the state of my hands and what I could only imagine was the state of my face, I smiled.
“Sorry,” I murmured. Dominic’s blood had moistened the scratch in my throat, so it didn’t feel like my vocal chords were raking my esophagus with razor blades anymore. “I’m not myself this morning.”
Dominic grinned—full and genuine and lopsided from the pull of his scar—and the warmth and affection in his expression widened my own smile. I let that warmth soak into me, filling my unfamiliar body with hope, reminding me that I could survive. That I wanted to survive.
“No one looks or acts their best upon waking, not even you when you were human.” Dominic reminded me. “Not even me.”
I sighed. “I will miss working on my tan though,” I said, only half-jokingly. The feel of the sun’s warmth on my skin had become a safe haven after discovering the existence of vampires. Having become one, I supposed the necessity was moot, but that didn’t mean I wouldn’t miss it.
Dominic grunted. “Many things about you will never change despite the transformation, including your ability to enjoy the sun and your stubbornness it seems.”
I raised my eyebrows. “My stubbornness won’t cure a fatal sun allergy.”
“Look at the color of your claws,” Dominic said dryly.
Despite my said stubbornness and the urge to resist looking at my claws just to defy him, I looked. The skeletal appendages coming from my body were long and knobby and honestly grotesque, a monster’s hands with four-inch, lethal talons sprouting from their tips.
And those talons were silver.
Dominic was right, as per usual, and unfortunately, so was our dear friend, High Lord Henry. I was a vampire, but I wasn’t allergic to the sun.
I was a Day Reaper. 

About the Author:

Melody Johnson is the author of the gritty, paranormal romance Night Blood series set in New York City. The first installment, The City Beneath, was a finalist in several Romance Writers of America contests, including the “Cleveland Rocks” and “Fool For Love” contests. 

Melody graduated magna cum laude from Lycoming College with her B.A. in creative writing and psychology, and after moving from her northeast Pennsylvania hometown for some much needed Southern sunshine, she now works as a digital media coordinator for Southeast Georgia Health System’s marketing department. When she isn’t working or writing, Melody can be found swimming at the beach, honing her newfound volleyball skills, and exploring her new home in southeast Georgia.





LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/melody-johnson-20ab7334    

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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Release Day Blitz: Witch Wars




Witch Wars by T. A. Moorman
Paranormal
  • Print Length: 194 pages
  • Publisher: After Glows Publishing (September 12, 2017)
  • Publication Date: September 12, 2017
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B075C8LFLZ
                                                                                                    

Synopsis:

Tialanna is fated to become the queen of all Underlayes witches. She thinks the worst part of her life is the fact that she’s betrothed to a complete stranger while in love with someone else. She’s in for a rude awakening when she discovers who, and what, she truly is.


Tialanna is about to learn the truth behind several lies, because not only does her life depend on it, but so does the fate of the family she never even knew she had. But hey, life would probably just be boring if she didn't have to deal with elemental witches, vampires, demons, sorcerers, bindings, spells, lust and betrayal. Right? 



***This book is intended for mature audiences only as it includes both graphic violence and graphic sex***



Excerpt:

“Yes. No. Just stop!” I shouted in his face, barely able to think, to breathe. “Tonight is the beginning of my courtship with Bran. We have to stop.” Even though stopping was the last thing I wanted.

“You think Bran can make you feel like this?” he damn near growled as he grabbed the back of my head, gripping my hair and rubbing his face in the crook of my neck. He inhaled deeply, sending chills down my spine. “I can smell your lust, Tia, your desire for me. Me, not him.”

“It doesn’t matter,” I replied weakly.

“The hell it doesn’t matter. I am not giving up that easily, Tia. If this is the last chance I have with you, I am taking full advantage. I will make it so that every time you look at him, you will wish it was me.” He ground out each word slowly and precisely through clenched teeth. “Every time he beds you, it will be my face you’ll see, my hands you’ll long for, my name on the tip of your tongue.”

“Grimm, please…”

And then he was kissing me again, harder and faster than before. His tongue exploring every inch of my mouth. Our tongues twisting together in a wild, exotic dance. My body felt like it was on fire, and so did his. Then we were sliding down to the floor to our knees. He gently laid me on my back, never breaking our kiss, my legs opening seemingly of their own accord to accommodate his girth. Slowly, oh so slowly, he broke our lingering kiss. He was on top of me, hands on the floor like he was doing a push up, eyes as black as pitch; I could see my blazing eyes reflected in those dark pools.

Still balancing on one arm and looking into my eyes, he was sliding his other hand down my body, pulling off my pants. Very slowly, he slid his hand up the inside of my thighs, spreading them apart. His hand crept up my inner thigh until he found that spot that let him know just how hot and wet I was for him. Then he was nipping and licking his way down my neck while flicking his thumb over my clit, making my body shudder against his. When he found my breast and took as much of it into his mouth as he could, he drove two fingers inside me. Then he released my breast and kissed his way down to my navel, licking delicately down toward more sensitive regions, all the while his fingers caressing, rubbing, and probing. Suddenly, just when I thought I was about to explode with pleasure, his fingers were replaced by his tongue, going deeper than I would have thought possible, and he was drinking me like I was the finest wine.

Somewhere in all of that, he must have taken off his own pants, because suddenly he was once again hovering over me, and with our gazes locked he thrust every inch of himself inside me—and trust me, there were a lot of inches—leaving me gasping for air and wanting to beg for more.

“If you want me to stop, tell me now and I will,” he snarled, pulling out slowly until only the tip of him was left inside, making a small sound escape from my lips. “But if I am only allowed this one last time, allow me at least this much to keep with me. Allow me to have every piece of you, if only once more.” He gave another deep, powerful thrust, making me cry out. “Allow me to give you every inch of myself for just one final time. Allow me to feel every hot, sweet spot that is all you. Even if you do go on with this foolish plan, he will only have your body. Only I will forever own your heart.”

He kissed me again, then said, “I swear, you will regret leaving me.”




Author Interview

What is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?
I could go on for days on this one. Lol. Let’s just go with the longest standing one, the fake publishing houses. The ones that truly aren’t publishers at all, but really just a vanity press and not up front about what they truly are. If you’re paying for an editor, and for graphics for your cover, and everything else, then you are not with a legit publisher; you’re just self-publishing and don’t even realize it. A true publisher is one that believes in you enough to invest in you. After all, if you aren’t selling they aren’t earning. It’s more than a win win, it’s a partnership.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?
See above. Lol. Also, beware of phony editors, if you’re self-publishing. Ask for credentials, ask for references, you do not want to end up with someone who is truly no more than a paid beta reader. I love my betas, but they will be the first to tell you, they are not editors and only have a wide tooth comb, not the fine tooth needed to find the mistakes you both might miss. Never be afraid to ask the needed questions. Remember, there is no such thing as a stupid question, just dumb ass answers.

What is your writing Kryptonite?
Myself. Sometimes, though I hate to admit it, I let the doubters and the naysayers get into my head and doubt myself because of that. Kind of hard to get the words flowing when you second guess every word you write.

What's your favorite genre to read for pleasure?
Paranormal. I’ve been through pretty much everything you can think of, when I read I want to escape ALL of that.

Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
Yup. LOL! Especially in the second book in the Underlayes series. Let’s just say one particular ex gets what’s coming to him. Since I would never be able to do the things I’d like to do to him in real life… It was very satisfying writing those scenes.

What was your hardest scene to write?
The ending! I am not a planner, I’m strictly a pantser. I have to just let the story take me wherever it goes, and sometimes those endings have me in tears as I write them.

What do you want readers to know about your book?
In the Underlayes series there are a few Goddesses you may not be familiar with. They don’t play an integral part where you’ll miss anything by not knowing them, but their names just may be new to you; Sekhmet, Nyx, Hel. And always keep in mind I love ALL my readers. So if you have a questions never hesitate to ask. You can find me on my FB page.




About the Author:

When you become a Mom, you begin to put yourself last, and your combat boots begin to collect dust. Going to your child's PTA meetings in full Gothic, especially industrial, regalia is pretty much frowned upon. Especially by your own children, and your teens would die of a heart attack. But, one should not have to completely stop being themselves, uniqueness is greatness. So all of that darkness is put into words in her books, and designs in her jewelry sold in her GothicMoms DarkCharms shop.

Mother of five beautiful children, but by far more than just that. T. A. Moorman is an artist, a violinist, a seamstress, a crafter, a writer, a blogger, a reviewer, a dark confidant and a darkly dangerous, fiercely protective friend. And currently broke, so go buy something of hers. Lol.

Author Links:

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Excerpt & Review: So I Married A Sorcerer

So I Married A Sorcerer by Kerrelyn Sparks
The Embraced Book 2
Published August 29, 2017 by St. Martin's Press
Review by Crystal Blood
5 Mystical Stars!


Synopsis:

Growing up on the Isle of Moon, Brigitta knows nothing of her past, except that she is Embraced: born with powers that forced her into hiding. Everything changes when she learns she’s a princess, hidden away from her villainous half-brother who now rules the kingdom. But he knows about Brigitta, and he’ll do anything to get her back. Unless a certain roguish pirate has anything to say about it…

Rupert is both an infamous pirate and a sorcerer with the power to harness the wind. He’s been waiting nineteen years for revenge—and he needs Brigitta to get it. What begins as a kidnapping of the fiery beauty turns into a fierce attraction. But can he win the captive princess’s heart?
 (Goodreads)


Review:

So I Married a Sorcerer is the second book in the Embraced series but also reads as a standalone if you didn't read book one. Nuns, pirates, and magic oh my! 

Brigitta was abandoned as a baby because she was one of the Embraced, children born with magical gifts, she was raised in a convent with no memory of her past. When one of her sisters need her, Brigitta and her other sisters leave the safety of the convent to go to her sisters side. On the journey, the boat she was traveling on is surround by two opposing fleets. To save her sisters on board, Brigitta allows herself to be captured by the infamous pirate Rupert. 

Living his life on the sea has made Rupert happy but what he desires most of all is the revenge which has been denied to him. When Rupert finds out who Brigitta is he sees her as a way to get the revenge that has been after for many years but he didn't count on falling in love with the daughter of the man who betrayed his family. When Brigitta's life is in danger will Rupert be able to follow his heart and save Brigitta or will Rupert finally get his revenge? 

So I Married A Sorcerer is a delicious blend of action and adventure with a bit of romance thrown in. The world of the Embraced drew me in from page one and left me wanting more, I can't wait to read what else in story for all my favorite characters. 

EXCERPT

Chapter One
k



“I cannot play, Brigitta told her sisters as she cast a wary look at the linen bag filled with Telling Stones. Quickly she shifted on the window seat to gaze at the Great West- ern Ocean. The rolling waves went on for as far as she could see, but her mind was elsewhere. Calm yerself. The prediction will neer happen.
At dawn they had boarded this ship, accompanied by Mother Ginessa and Sister Fallyn, who were now resting in the cabin next door. This was the smallest vessel in the Eberoni Royal Navy, the captain had explained, sturdy enough to cross the ocean, but small enough to travel up the Ebe River to the palace at Ebton. There, they would see their oldest sister, who was now the queen of Eberon.
According to the captain, Queen Luciana had intended to send more than one ship to safeguard their journey, but at the last minute the other naval ships had been diverted south to fight the Tourinian pirates who were raiding vil- lages along the Eberoni shore. But not to worry, the cap- tain had assured Brigitta and her companions. Since the royal navy was keeping the pirates occupied to the south, their crossing would be perfectly safe.



Indeed, after a few hours, it seemed perfectly boring. If we dont play, how will we pass the time? Gwen- nore asked from her seat at the round table. Twill be
close to sunset afore we reach Ebton.
“I wish we could wander about on deck, Maeve grumbled from her chair next to Gwennore. “ Tis a lovely spring day, and were stuck down here.
Sorcha huffed in annoyance as she paced about the cabin. Mother Ginessa insisted we remain here. I swear she acts as if shes afraid to let anyone see us.
Perhaps she fears for our safety because we are Em- braced,Gwennore said.
Sorcha shook her head. Were safe now in Eberon.
But only in Eberon, Brigitta thought as she studied the deep-blue waves. Being Embraced was a death sentence anywhere else on the mainland. The other kings abhorred the fact that each of the Embraced possessed some sort of magical power that the kings, themselves, could never have.
When Brigitta and her adopted sisters were born, the only safe haven had been the Isle of Moon. Theyd grown up there in the Convent of the Two Moons, believing they were orphans. But almost a year ago, theyd discovered a shocking truth. Luciana had never been an orphan.
Since then, Brigitta had wondered if she had family somewhere, too. Had they hidden her away or, worse, abandoned her? She feared it was the latter. For in all her nineteen years of life, no one from the mainland had ever bothered to contact her.
You are loved, she reminded herself. Shed grown up in a loving home at the convent. Her sisters loved her, and she loved them. That was enough.
It had to be enough. Didnt it?
Sorcha lowered her voice. I still believe Mother Ginessa knows things about us that she wont tell.



Brigitta silently agreed. She knew from her special gift that almost everyone was hiding something.
Lets play the game and let the stones tell us, Maeve said. I need to do something. This cabin is feeling smaller by the minute.
Brigitta sighed. Sadly enough, this was the largest cabin on board. Captain Shaw had lent them his quarters, which had a large window overlooking the back of the vessel.
The ship creaked as it rolled to the side, and Sorcha grabbed the sideboard to steady herself.
Have a seat afore ye fall,Gwennore warned her. Fine. Sorcha emptied the oranges from a brass bowl
on the sideboard, then plunked the bowl onto the table as she took a seat. Lets play.
Brigittas sisters gave her a questioning look, but she shook her head and turned to gaze out the window once again. It had been twelve years ago, when she was seven, that Luciana had invented the game where they could each pretend to be the Seer from the Isle of Mist. Theyd gathered up forty pebbles from the nearby beach, then painted them with colors and numbers. After the stones were deposited in a bowl and covered with a cloth, each sister would grab a small handful of pebbles and what- ever colors or numbers shed chosen would indicate her future.
Well just have to play without her, Sorcha grum- bled. A clattering noise filled the cabin as the bag of Telling Stones was emptied into the brass bowl, a noise not quite loud enough to cover Sorchas hushed voice. Ye know why she wont play. Shes spooked.
Brigitta winced. That was too close to the truth.
She could no longer see the Isle of Moon on the hori- zon. As the island had faded from sight, a wave of appre- hension had washed over her, slowly growing until it had



sucked her down into an undertow of fear and dread. For deep in her heart, she believed that leaving the safety of the convent would trigger the set of events that Luciana had predicted.
But how could she have refused this voyage? Luciana would be giving birth soon, and she wanted her sisters with her. She also needed Mother Ginessa, who was an excellent midwife.
Im going first, Sorcha declared, and the stones rat- tled about the bowl as she mixed them up.
O Great Seer, Maeve said, repeating the line they spoke before each prediction. Reveal to us the secrets of the Telling Stones.
What the hell? Sorcha muttered, and Maeve gasped. “Ye mustnt let Mother Ginessa hear ye curse like
that, Gwennore warned her.
These stones are ridiculous! Sorcha slammed them on the table, and out of curiosity Brigitta turned to see what her sister had selected.
Nine, pink, and lavender.
Gwennore tilted her head as she studied the stones. In nine years ye will meet a tall and handsome—”
Nine years?Sorcha grimaced. I would be so old!Twenty-seven. Gwennores mouth twitched. Practi-
cally ancient.
Exactly! Sorcha huffed. Ill wait nine months for my tall and handsome stranger, and not a minute more.She glared at the colored stones. “I hate pink. It looks ter- rible with my freckles and red hair.
Maeves eyes sparkled with mischief. Who said ye would be wearing it? I think yer true love will look very pretty in pink.
Hes not wearing pink,Sorcha growled.
Aye, a lovely pink gown with a lavender sash, Gwen- nore added with a grin.



Nay, Gwennie. Maeve shook her head. The lavender means hell have lavender-blue eyes like you.
Ah. Gwennore tucked a tendril of her white-blond hair behind a pointed ear. “Could be.
Are ye kidding me? Sorcha gave them an incredu- lous look. How on Aerthlan would I ever meet an elf?Ye met me, Gwennore said. And apparently, in nine months, yell meet a tall and handsome elf in a pink gown. She and Maeve laughed, and Sorcha reluctantly
grinned.
Brigitta turned to peer out the window once again. Over the years, the Telling Stones had proven to be an entertaining game. But then, a year ago, something strange had happened. Lucianas prediction for her own future had actually come to pass. Shed met and fallen in love with the tall and handsome stranger shed foretold in specific detail, using the Telling Stones. And if that hadnt been amazing enough, shed become the queen of Eberon.
Eager to experience something equally romantic, Bri- gitta had begged her oldest sister to predict a similar future for her.
A mistake. Brigitta frowned at the churning ocean. Blue, gold, seven, and eight. Those had been the stones
Luciana had selected. Blue and gold, shed explained, sig- nified the royal colors of the kingdom of Tourin. Seven meant there would be seven suitors to compete for her hand. And eight . . . in eight months, Brigitta would meet a tall and handsome stranger.
The eight months had now passed.
She pressed a hand against her roiling stomach. When theyd boarded this morning, shed quickly as-
sessed the captain and his crew. None of them had struck her as particularly tall or handsome. Captain Shaw was portly, bald, and old enough to be her father.



As for the seven suitors vying for her hand, she had initially been thrilled, considering the idea wildly exciting. But when her sisters had likened it to her being a prize in a tourney, shed had second thoughts.
Why would seven men compete for her? She had noth- ing special to offer. Even the gift she possessed for being Embraced was hardly special. And did this contest mean she would have no choice but to marry whichever man won her? The more shed thought about this competition, the more it had made her cringe.
So, five months ago, shed played the game again, hop- ing to achieve different results. But to her shock, there had been four stones in her hand.
Blue, gold, seven, and five.
Had some sort of mysterious countdown gone into ef- fect? Reluctant to believe that, shed attempted the game again a month later. Blue, gold, seven, and four. Alarmed, shed sworn never to play again.
But one month ago, Sorcha had dared her to play, taunt- ing her for being overly dramatic. Those words never failed to irk Brigitta, so shed accepted the dare. With a silent prayer to the moon goddesses, shed reached into the bowl, swished the pebbles around, and grabbed a hand- ful. And there, in her palm, four stones had stared up at her.
Blue, gold, seven, and one. A fate was shoving itself down her throat whether she liked it or not.
And she did not.
Brigitta had been raised on the Isle of Moon, where women were free to determine their own futures and everyone worshipped the moon goddesses, Luna and Lessa.
It was different on the mainland. Men were in charge there, and everyone worshipped a male god, the Light.



Luciana had been fortunate to find a good man who respected her independent nature. As king and queen, they had declared it safe to worship the moon goddesses in Eberon.
But it was not that way elsewhere. In the other main- land kingdoms, Brigitta would be executed for making the sign of the moons as she prayed. Executed for being Embraced. So why did she keep picking the blue and gold colors of Tourin?
And why would seven suitors compete for her? She glanced at her sisters. Sorcha had always seemed the stron- gest, with a fiery temperament that matched her fiery red hair. Gwennore had always been the smartest. Maeve, the youngest, had always been the sweetest. And Luciananow married—had been their brave leader. Brigitta had never been quite sure where she fit in.
Gwennore, with her superior intellect, had always been the best at translating books into different languages. Maeve had excelled in penmanship, and Sorcha in artwork. Luciana had been good at everything.
But Brigitta . . . the nuns had despaired with her. When transcribing a book, she could never stay true to the text. A little embellishment here, a tweak there, and eventu- ally she would take a story so off course, it was no longer recognizable. This, of course, upset the nuns, for their male customers on the mainland were paying for an ex- act copy of an old tale, not the romantic fantasies of an overly dramatic young woman.
Whenever the nuns had fussed at her, her sisters had come to her defense, insisting that her story was much better than the original. And each time the nuns tried to use Brigittas overly dramatic mistakes for kindling, her sisters always managed to rescue the pages and give them to her. Theyd even begged her to finish her stories



about dashing young heroes, so that they could read them.
Brigitta adored them for that. Shed do anything for her sisters, including this voyage to Eberon that she was so afraid would activate the events shed been dread- ing.
She shifted her gaze back to the rolling motion of the ocean, and her stomach churned. Did a persons destiny have to be set in stone, in this case the Telling Stones? This was her story, so why couldnt it be one of her mak- ing? Surely she didnt have to stick to a text that had already been written without her consent. Couldnt she be the author of her own destiny?
Ye should watch the horizon, not the waves, Maeve said as she sat next to Brigitta on the window seat. “ Tis a sure way to make yerself ill.
Oh. Brigitta turned to her youngest sister. I didnt realize . . . Her stomach twisted with a sharp pain, and she winced.
Gwennore gave her a worried look. Ye look pale. Would ye like some bread or wine? She motioned toward the sideboard and the food that had been left for them.
Brigitta shook her head. Perhaps if she sat perfectly still for a few moments, the nausea would pass. “Did ye finish playing the Game of Stones?
Aye, Maeve answered. Didnt ye hear us giggling?Brigitta groaned inwardly, not wanting to admit shed been too engrossed in her own worries to pay her sisters
any mind.
My prediction was the best, Maeve continued. In four years, Ill meet a tall and handsome stranger with green teeth, purple hair, and three feet.
Brigitta wrinkled her nose. Ye call that handsome? How can he have three feet? Does he have a third leg?



Maeve waved a dismissive hand. We didnt bother to figure that part out. But he is taller than most.
Aye.Sorcha snorted. By a foot.
Maeve grinned. As ye can see, the game is nonsense. Besides, I have no desire to meet any man, no matter how tall or handsome. I plan to live the rest of my life with all of you at the convent.
Aye, Sorcha agreed. Im not leaving my sisters for an elf in a pink gown. Tis naught but a silly game.
Exactly. Gwennore gave Brigitta a pointed look. So ye shouldnt believe anything the stones say.
They were doing their best to relieve her fear, Brigitta realized, and as her heart warmed, the ache in her stomach eased. Thank you. What would I do without ye all?
The ship lurched suddenly to the right, causing Bri- gitta and Maeve to fall against the padded wall of the window seat. The oranges rolled off the sideboard and plummeted to the wooden floor. Empty goblets fell onto the floor with a series of loud clunks.
Sorcha grabbed on to the table. What was that?
Loud shouts and the pounding of feet sounded on the deck overhead.
Something is amiss, Gwennore said as she gazed up at the ceiling. Theyre running about.
Maeve peered out the window. I believe we made a sudden turn to the south.
That would put us off course, Gwennore murmured.
The door slammed open, and they jumped in their seats.

Mother Ginessa gave them a stern look, while behind her Sister Fallyn pressed the tips of her fingers against her thumbs, forming two small circles to represent the twin moons.


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