Showing posts with label Guest Post. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest Post. Show all posts

Friday, October 30, 2015

Guest Post: Heroes or Villains



Do you love your Heroes more, or your Villains?

I love my heroes.  But I love my villains, too.  The first book in my Wolfe Creek series (Lone Wolfe Protector) features Zane Wolfe as a “kind of” villain/bad boy/is he-or isn’t he-a werewolf.  I started out writing Zane as a guy who was supposed to just make the reader question who the real villain was, but as the story went on, I started falling in love with him.  Then as the book ended, I realized Zane would have to have his own story.  He was that hot, that alpha, that yummy ;) 
However, Koda (the hero in Lone Wolfe Protector) is pretty hot and alpha himself.  I loved Koda just as much as Zane.  Talk about confusing.  At one point I wouldn’t have minded finding myself in a Koda/Zane sandwich.
The third book, The Moonshadow’s Daughter, features Jake Blackstock as our hero.  He’s fairly yummy, too.  He’s the kind of guy who’s marriage material from the get-go and his hero status is firmly rooted from the first chapter.  I heart Jake.  Tall, dark, handsome...and a doctor to boot.  I hope you’ll love him, too!
Happy reading!      



To the citizens of Wolfe Creek, Aimee Styles is dead. What they don’t know is she’s alive...and a werewolf. After she was bitten two years ago, Aimee isolated herself away from the town, determined to keep them safe. But all it takes is an icy winter evening—and an incredibly virulent flu—to interrupt her self-imposed exile.

Nothing prepared doctor and single dad Jake Blackstock for the sight of Wolfe Creek's missing girl, or her delicate beauty. He's instantly and fiercely attracted to her, despite her secrets and the shadows in her near-black eyes. Jake's falling hard. He knows nothing about Aimee...or what she really is.

But something else lurks in Wolfe Creek's shadows. Something malevolent. Something that won't hesitate to rip apart their life and new love…


Purchase your copy of THE MOONSHADOW'S DAUGHTER:

“We might get more than a foot tonight,” Jake said,
looking out the window. “Maybe two.”

She nodded, not liking the thought of what else might
be out there in the darkness beyond the cottage. Tonight, she
was glad to be sitting in Jake’s living room, so close to him
and Daniel. If there was something watching in these woods,
it’d have to do it from a distance.

“Why are you here?” he asked.

She glanced up to find him studying her. She could tell
the beer was having the same effect on him that the wine
had on her. His gaze dropped to her chest for a moment,
then her thighs, before coming back to rest on her face. His
expression was bold, unapologetic.

“Why? Can you tell me that much?”

She took an even breath and put her glass down. She
knew she’d have to give him some kind of decent answer.

He deserved one. But she couldn’t exactly tell him the
two biggest reasons why she sat here now. That, one, she
was pretty sure something was stalking his little family in
the woods of Wolfe Creek, and she had to watch over this
home and the people inside it. And two, she was completely
attracted to him and lonelier than she’d ever been in her life.

“I’m…tired,” she said, choosing her words carefully. “Of
being alone. It’s hard.”

She let her gaze shift back to him, afraid of what she’d
see there. It was more than she’d intended to say, mainly
because it was so true. She hadn’t really meant to open up to
Jake Blackstock, but she guessed she could thank the wine
for that. She’d always had a problem with her filter, but add
any kind of alcoholic beverage to the mix, and forget about
it.

His eyes didn’t hold any kind of pity. Nothing to make
her feel like some kind of charity case. Instead, she saw
empathy, a kind of connection that touched her deep down.

“Me too,” he said simply. “I am, too.”
She watched him, studying his features. As beautiful as
they were, they were unable to mask the pain that lay behind
them.

“I guess we have something in common, then,” she said.
Her heart tumbled as his gaze dropped to her mouth.

He sat only a few feet away and she could almost feel his
body heat against her skin. The wind continued to howl
outside, impatient, lustful. The fire burned, but it was dying
down now. Only the embers remained, an aching memory of
what blazed there only an hour before.

“Why won’t you come back?” he asked. “You have so
many people who care about you. They must love you very
much.”

“I can’t. Maybe someday, but not yet.” Her voice hitched,
surprising her. Tears filled her eyes. She hadn’t let go and
cried for so long. But since meeting Jake, she’d done a lot of
things that she hadn’t in a while.

About the author:

Kaylie Newell was born in the great state of Oregon, where she was raised alongside rivers and lakes and scruffy dogs that chased their tennis balls as far as Kaylie's noodle arms could throw. As she grew, so did her imagination, and it didn't take long to realize she was a romantic at heart. She began to fancy herself the future wife of a cowboy, the likes of which graced every paperback novel she could get her hands on. She decided to go to college in Oklahoma to snag herself one, but irony won over when she fell in love with a hippie in sheep's clothing instead. Together, they came back to Oregon, started a family and watched their dreams unfold. Kaylie wrote her first book when her girls were toddlers, editing sex scenes with The Wiggles on in the background. She's proud of many things in life, among them the fact that she can still recite her lines from Romeo and Juliet from her seventh grade play, the fact that she can set a grilled cheese sandwich on fire faster than most people can make one, but mostly she's proud of the stories blossoming inside her noggin on a daily basis.

Connect with Kaylie Newell

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Release Day Spotlight: Tainted Kiss


Tainted Kiss by Sharon Kay
Watcher's Kiss Book 1
July 21, 2015

Blurb:

Tactical, lethal, resolute. 

Haunted by a centuries-old tragedy, there’s no room in Arawn’s life for softness. Every action he takes is for the betterment of his race and the good of the realm. He leads his elite band of warriors the same way he lives his life: full on, without compromise, determined. Except for one sexy female who happens to be his subordinate.

Tenacious, passionate, tough-as-steel. 

Ria relishes the duties Arawn assigns her as much as she respects the deadly combatants on her team. And she has a secret: her formidable boss is also her deepest fantasy. Years of working under his authority haven’t dulled the spark she feels, yet her passion is tempered by the hints of loss she gathers about him. His dark and sexy moodiness draws her, but he’s a hard man to approach as he keeps the world at emotional arm’s length. 

Secrets laced in blood burn his battle-hardened soul.

When Ria is gravely injured in the line of duty, Arawn can no longer fight his own long-simmering feelings. But a secret, more heinous and ugly than anyone could imagine, prevents him from surrendering his heart. Despite his intentions, he and Ria forge a connection both fiery and unexpectedly tender. Yet every day brings them closer to shocking facts. Evil stirs in his blood, and hiding the truth from her will be the ultimate betrayal.


Excerpt:

Wake up.
He always told her to wake up. The male voice was always light, almost teasing as it cut into the sluggish images that chased across her mind, disturbing them in a way that was surprising and wonderful. Wake up. But in his deep voice there was also a need. Not urgent, but…something different.
He wanted her to wake up. To join him. There was a tenderness in his voice that made no sense. Was she dreaming? This man, her leader, wasn’t patient.
Her thoughts were muddled, a jumble of questions and darkness. Certain voices echoed in her head now and then. Voices of people who loved her. Nearby and hushed. His voice, always, talking to her.
“Wake up. Now.”
Wait. This time, she heard it in her ears as well as her foggy brain. Ria forced heavy eyes open.
Bright lights. His huge body near her. Her left hand, impossibly warm…held in his?
He’s here. And his head was lowered over their hands.
Soft words whispered…what had he said?
What was happening? Am I dead? Something amazing and peaceful surrounded her inside and out, a feeling of belonging and…and rightness. And it had to do with him.
Abruptly his fingers tightened on hers, the trace of softness gone.
Powerless to do anything but stare, she was transfixed by his dark hair and impossibly wide shoulders. So she caught every nuance in his eyes when he lifted his head and started to push up from his chair.
She caught the resigned look of tenderness that flickered when he first looked up.
She caught the slice of absolute shock when he met her open eyes.
She caught the genuine smile he gave her. Gods, he rarely smiled. She tried to smile too, couldn’t help it. He looked like a warrior god created just for her. If this were a dream, she wanted to live here forever. Stay.
He was getting up.
No! “St—” Her voice was barely a whisper, cracking through the dry tissues of her throat. Did he even hear her?
Dark eyes wide, he leaned closer. Brooding, big, a swift protective presence. “Ria! Holy gods. Can you hear me?”
She nodded and opened her mouth to try to say more.
“Don’t try to talk yet.” He still held her hand in his much larger ones, concern and wonder on his handsome face.
Arawn.
His name burst like a firework in her mind. The Lash demons’ uncompromising Commander. His voice was the one that had cajoled her and ordered her to wake up.
She didn’t know why he was here, or why she was here for that matter. All she knew was this huge, lethal man was one hundred percent focused on her. He almost always looked ready to tear something apart, rarely cracking a smile.
But now, the grin he wore would have brought her to her knees, if she hadn’t already been in a bed.
And why, exactly, was she in bed? She glanced around, taking in the pale green walls. This wasn’t her room. She didn’t have a painting of the black sand beach of Tarsa on her wall. “Where am I?” Her voice rasped over the words.
“Already ignoring that I told you not to talk.” But his eyes twinkled. “You’re in the medical wing. Gods, it’s good to see you in the realm of the living.” He pulled out his phone and dialed. “Ashina. Get in here. She’s awake.”
Ashina…Ria knew that name. The healer. “What do you mean, the realm of the living?”
“You decided to take a month off.” He spoke wryly, but that grin remained in place. “And you didn’t request permission.”

Top 10 reasons why Paranormal worlds are better than Earth…

Hi everyone, and thank you to Gothic Moms for having me as a guest today! I write adult paranormal romance and, not surprisingly, this is also my fave sub-genre to read. I LOVE getting lost in the characters and worlds that other authors create.

I have a secret – sometimes I get lost in my own paranormal realms as well. It’s hard not to, when I created them. Every two-headed animal and every environmental disaster sprang from my mind, as well as every hot alpha warrior.  I filled my realms with good demons and very bad ones, along with fairies, nymphs, elves, witches, and lots of magic. This is SO MUCH FUN!

Another secret – when I was writing my first novel, Wicked Wind, I needed to send my characters on a journey and briefly debated sending them to South America. Yep, that lasted about a day, and then I decided 1) I didn’t want to get bogged down in research (I’ve never been there) and 2) I didn’t want anyone calling me out on incorrect terrain and climate and 3) if I made up my own world, I would have zero limits! And so…the immortal realms of Torth and Evena came into existence.

Sometimes reading is a necessary escape, sometimes it’s a way to pass a lazy afternoon, but I’d happily jump into a paranormal world any day. Here are my Top 10 reasons why, with details courtesy of the Solsti Prophecy series:


10. Supernatural hotties that live for centuries and can fight off enemies in any possible way (swords, spells, firearms, jiu jitsu, you name it).

9. An endless parade of characters with unusual kick-ass powers.

8. No financial worries. These guys live so long, they have accumulated LOTS of “old money!”

7. Traveling by portal is always on time, unlike airlines… though you might get queasy. Best to travel with a hot warrior demon to hold onto.

6. The wood nymph colony of Rivkin. What? You haven’t heard of it? Best vacation spot ever. Gorgeous tree homes, good food, and the nymphs (male and female) can’t get enough sex. Nymphy entertainment is always on tap!

5. No housework (unless you want to cook – one of my characters is a breakfast expert). There are dust elves, laundry elves and dishwashing elves to take care of all the hum-drum stuff.

4. No need for nanny-cams or wishing you could be a fly on the wall at your kids’ school – you can observe through a scrying bowl. Works best if you can find a hot Deserati demon to work the spell for you.

3. Once a mate claims you, not only will you enjoy every second of it, but he will know exactly what you want and need. All the time, because….

2. The mate bond includes a mental connection that will clue him in when you’re mad about something. Not only will he show up with presents, but it will lead to much hotter make-up sex!

1. Problem? Any problem you might have? There’s a spell for that!


About Sharon

Sharon Kay writes award-winning fiction and can never get enough reading time. She loves paranormal romance, with romantic suspense following close on its heels.  She loves winter and black coffee, and is endlessly inspired to write kick-ass heroines and the men strong enough to capture their hearts.

Sharon lives in the Chicago area with her husband and son, and didn’t expect to write one book, let alone a series.  But WICKED WIND and the Solsti series formed in her head one weekend and refused to stay quiet until she put pen to paper.  Her characters tend to keep her up at night, as they banter, fall in love, and slay endless varieties of power-hungry demons.

Sign up for Sharon’s newsletter to keep up with her demons, see early cover reveals and be entered in periodic giveaways.

Twitter: @sharonkaynovels 




Monday, July 20, 2015

Guest Post: Why Shifters? by Tami Lund


Of Love and Darkness
Twisted Fate
Book One
Tami Lund

Genre: Paranormal, Shifters

Publisher: Soul Mates Publishing

Date of Publication: June 24, 2015

ASIN: B00ZJ7SRB8

Number of pages: 181
Word Count: 60k

Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone

Book Description:

OF LOVE AND DARKNESS kicks off the new Twisted Fate shape-shifter series. There are two kinds of shifters: Rakshasa and Light Ones. Rakshasa want to snack on human bones. Light Ones want to protect the humans.

Unfortunately, the Rakshasa are currently winning the battle, as the Light Ones are not fertile. Only one type of Light One, exceedingly rare females called Chala, are able to produce offspring. The Rakshasa know this, and have managed to nearly decimate the population.

Enter Gavin Rowan, a cursed Rakshasa who believes he is a Light One. He feels all his Rakshasa urges to kill, but has been cursed to protect the Light Ones instead.

Throw Sydney Amataya into the mix. She is a Chala– except she doesn't know it. At least not until Gavin saves her from a Rakshasa attack and then declares her as his mate.

But that’s not how Sydney operates. Encouraged by her cross-dressing Fate, William, she refuses Gavin’s claim. If he wants to mate with her–once she gets over the shock of discovering this supernatural world, that is–he's going to have to woo her, impress her, wine and dine her. Romance her. She deserves no less, end of the world be damned.

Available at Amazon


Guest Post: Why Shifters?

Here’s a question: why shifters? I’ve now started two series centered around shifters – the Twisted Fate Series (Of Love and Darkness is the first of three books) and the Lightbearer Series. Twisted Fate is entirely about shifters, while Lightbearer was supposed to be about magical beings called, well, Lightbearers. Yet when I threw shifters into the mix in that series, it became about shifters. How did that happen?

The answer is simple: shifters are one of my favorite genres to read. So not coincidentally, I also happen to enjoy writing about them. They are sexy, strong, powerful, hot, did I mention sexy? In my reasonably extensive research, I have learned a few things about these seductive alpha beings.

I’ve learned they all have one thing in common. All shape shifters have the ability to change from human form into…something else. And that, as far as I have been able to determine, is the single aspect that defines every shifter in every book I’ve ever read or written. Beyond that, well, every author interprets them a little differently. Which is the way it should be, right? We’re talking magic, and magic is defined by the imagination of the person writing it.

Some shifters can only change into the form of one animal. These are typically referred to as were-animals (werewolves, were-bearers, were- you get the picture). Others are able to shift into pretty much any animal, or, as I like to explain in my books, the form of any warm-blooded being. The shifters in my Lightbearer Series can even shift into the form of birds, if they are so inclined. This comes in handy when one wants to escape rapidly and he’s on the second floor or at the top of a cliff (both situations occur in the first book in this series).

Many shifters’ clothing cannot shift with them. The clothing is either shed before the shift or, if the shift must occur with little notice, the clothing is torn to shreds when the body changes and alters, and the shifter must figure out another means of covering his naughty bits when he returns to human form.

The shifters in my books can shift while wearing clothing, and when they return to human form, their clothing returns to their body exactly as it was before the shift. I admit, I made this decision out of convenience. I considering the no-clothing route because, let’s be honest, that makes more sense, from a non-magical standpoint. But I was having a difficult time writing the whole, “Hold on, I have to strip and hide my clothing for later” aspect into the various scenes and plots and sub-plots of the series. So I decided if magic can make a person change from human to animal, then magic can make that person’s clothes reappear when they return to human form.

Some shifters have the ability to speak to each other telepathically. Some are able to harness other forms of magic, too. Some have glowing eyes. In my Lightbearer series, the shifters’ eyes glow when they are feeling strong emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness, passion. Even if the shifter is trying to act stoic and passive, the object of his desire, if she is smart enough, can figure out pretty easily that he feels something, if his eyes are glowing. It’s practically a declaration of love.

Or lust.

Some shifters eat only red meat. Actually, the desire to eat red meat might possibly qualify as the second thing all shifters have in common, now that I think about it. Or maybe not. A vegetarian shifter could make for an intriguing storyline.

Many shifters have obsessive, jealous personalities. Like a dog, protecting his bone. Or his house. Or his mate. My shifters have this trait. In fact, it plays heavily into the next couple of books in the Lightbearer series.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few common traits. What other traits do you notice in your favorite books about shifters or weres? Which common traits are your favorite?



Excerpt:

It was silent for long moments before Sydney realized the two animals had stopped fighting. She risked a quick glance over her shoulder and saw that one of them, the larger, bulkier one lay on the ground in a pool of blood, his lifeless eyes staring at her, unseeing. Sydney swallowed back bile and turned away from the grisly scene.
And found herself staring at Gavin’s T-shirt-covered chest, as he crouched in front of her and cradled her wounded arm with more gentleness than she would have given him credit for. She tried to wrench her arm free and let out a gasp of pain.
“Stop moving,” Gavin commanded in his gravelly voice. He gently slid her shredded coat off her shoulder, as if he meant to inspect the wound more closely.
“Where the hell were you?” Sydney demanded. “I just got attacked by a rabid dog. A really big dog. I need to go to the hospital. I need a rabies shot. Damn it, that hurts.” She hissed as he ripped off the arm of her sweater, instead of trying to tug the entire thing over her head.
“Hey,” she protested, “that’s my favorite sweater.”
Gavin gave the sweater a look that indicated he could not quite understand why it was her favorite, and then he prodded the wounds on her arm. Blood poured freely from four long slashes, dripping off the tips of her fingers and onto her now-ruined coat.
“I doubt he had rabies,” he muttered as he continued to inspect the wounds. “And I just rescued you, so you’re welcome.”
Sydney gaped at him. “Rescued me? Rescued me? You ran like a cat when somebody pulls out the water hose, you moron. There were two dogs. One jumped out at me and the other attacked him. They started fighting and I somehow got caught in the crosshairs. We should probably get the hell out of here though, because only one of them is dead back there. The other one might decide to come back and attack us.”
“He won’t,” Gavin said with an odd inflection in his voice. “But you’re right, there are others, and the scent of blood will bring them relatively quickly. Especially your blood. What are you?”
To Sydney’s utter horror, he leaned close to her wounded arm and sniffed, like a dog checking out another dog’s scent.
She gave her arm another jerk, but Gavin held her in a death grip. “What are you doing?” she asked as he bent closer still and then . . . licked her wounded arm.
“Ew!”
Gavin’s eyes glazed over, as if he had fallen under some sort of spell. He blinked dazedly for a few heartbeats, his hands grasping her arm in a tight enough grip she thought the appendage might go numb. And then he bent his head and licked her wounds again, this time with earnest, licking over and over, as if he intended to clean up every last bit of blood. By the time the entire area was cleansed of all traces of blood, he was panting heavily and his eyes were still glazed. Sydney couldn’t be certain, but the bulge in his pants seemed to have gotten larger.
“Gross,” she snapped. “Now I have to get a rabies and a tetanus shot. I hate shots. Can you get hepatitis this way? I bet you have some sort of sexually transmitted disease, and now you’ve given it to me.”
“No disease,” he managed between pants and licks.
“I’m supposed to take your word for it? Get away from me.” She twisted her shoulder, and slid her arm out of a grasp that had gone slack. She was startled that she only experienced a twinge of pain, and when she looked down at her arm, her eyes widened as she realized the four long gashes were no longer bleeding, and in fact, appeared to actually be healing right before her eyes.
“What the . . .?”
“Chala,” Gavin whispered, his eyes still glazed and, were they glowing? It was the third time that evening she thought she saw glowing eyes. Sydney glanced up at the darkened, cloudy sky and wondered if it wasn’t some trick of the lights in downtown Detroit.
“Chala,” he whispered again.
Sydney gave him a cross look. “My name isn’t Chala.”
“You are a Chala,” Gavin said. The glazed look faded from his eyes, and while they still appeared to glow faintly, they had taken on a far more calculating look. Despite her current situation, she couldn’t help but think he had lovely silver-blue eyes.
“And you are my mate.”



About the Author:

Tami Lund likes to live, love, and laugh, and does her best to ensure the characters in her books do the same. After they've overcome a few seemingly insurmountable obstacles first, of course.

Tami is multi-published, both self and with a few publishers, including Crimson Romance, Liquid Silver Books, and Soul Mates Publishing. Chances are, there is a new book coming out soon. Be sure to stalk her on social media, so you know when.

And most important, if you enjoyed one of Tami's books, please let other readers know by leaving a review on the site from which you bought it, or on Goodreads. Otherwise, how will they know which book to read next?


Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/baCo4j








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Friday, June 26, 2015

Blog Tour: The Blood of Woobane




Horror
Date Published: January 2015


Once they bayou was thick with it. The buttery yellow petals. The delicately veined green leaves. The seductive scent of wolfbane.

The DAWN OF DOOM...

Philip was happy now that he had his pint of old character and decided to take a shortcut through the graveyard toward home. He paused every now and then to speak to the headstones or crypt of some poor departed soul he had known it better days. Then he heard a moaning. He looked around, spotting a huge mound of earth that he did not remember being there the last time, he took this short cut. Philip decided to look. He staggered toward the mound of earth, stopping as he heard a snarling sound. It was muffled, as it came from the grave itself.

Excerpt
SATAN’S WORK

The cats lay silent in their hidden places, waiting out the storm…and watching, as strange, misshapen creatures rose from out of the ground, cooing out of the dark swamps. The Beasts stood in the rain; they were not fearful of this rain, for they knew it had been sent by their Master. They stretched their arms and loosened their muscles. They had been asleep for a long, long time. And now they were free.

Huge, clawed hands waved through the wet air powerful jaws that dripped stinking saliva snapped at nothing. The fangs of the Beast were four to five inches long, and yellow. The creatures, well over six feet tall when erect, weighed between two hundred and fifty and three hundred pounds. Their eyes were small and evil, with Hell-sent hate shining bloodred. Their bodies were covered with thick, coarse hair.

The cats lay concealed and watched the Beasts as they stretched and growled. And the cats knew that the devil’s work had just begun….


Guest Post
Hardest thing about character development

The character have to talk like themselves and not how I would talk sometimes that involves me talking out loud to see how it sounds.  It is too much like me, then I need to change it especially  if it is  a teenager.




My favorite authors are: 

1. Clive Barker; It is impossible to please everyone when it comes to any form of top 10.  List

2.     Joe Lansdale is one versatile due very spooky

3. Dan Simmons approaches horror well, he’s an attention thief.

4. Dean Koontz I myself however, still consider the man an excellent write who, when he gets it right, gets it really right.

5.    Ramsey Campbell; The man’s mind seems to function on the same intricate plane, that Clive Barker Traverses, and I love it.

6.    Stephen King: isn’t remotely near as Campbell or  even as prolific as Koontz. But he’s got magic in his mind, and it bleeds onto paper in wondrous fashion.

7.     Edgar Allen POE; He creates so much suspense and it’s like he’s right they’re telling you an ancient story that has been passed  down from generations but had neither there less decreased its scariness   

8.      Bram Stoker; One of the greatest writers of all  genres, of the 20th centaury.

9.      Bentley Little; His novels made me stay awake all night, unable to put it down.

10.    Peter Staub;  Every book has written has entranced me spooked the heck out of me.


10 things readers would be surprised to know about me

1. I love to cook
2. I love doges 
3. I three younger sisters
4. My son is my best friend
5. I  love music 
6. I love to read a good horror book

Day  in   my writing life

1 alarm goes off and  I’m to work  checked e-mail
worked 8 hour come home shower, eat dinner  check email
 and phones messages write  for 3 hours

About the Author

Joann Harris was born in Durham, North Carolina and from an early age, she always wanted to write horror. What is it about horror that she finds so tantalizing? For one she finds terror a thrill a minute. Even when she was a teen she taunted her friends and relatives with stories about blood and gore, embellishing on the sordid details as they squirmed and cringed. Harris currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.





Purchase Links


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Guest Blog: Spell of Shattering


Spell of Shattering 
Dark Caster Series 
Book 4
Anna Abner

Genre: paranormal romance

Publisher: Mild Red Books

Date of Publication: June 20, 2015

ISBN 978-0-09914031-4-1
ASIN: B00XDBNURI

Number of pages: 275
Word Count: 70K

Cover Artist: Jaycee DeLorenzo 
at Sweet & Spicy Designs

Book Description:

Dive into the heart-pounding final chapter of the Dark Caster series! 

If the Chaos Gate opens… 

Demons will infest the world. 

When the charismatic mayor of Auburn hires junior agent Jessa McAvoy to acquire him a very specific property, she hopes this is her big break. She’ll do anything to make her first real estate client happy, but the one favor he asks of her is impossible—convince her former friend Derek Walker to come out of hiding. Doing so will not only bring her into the orbit of dangerous casters, but force her to confront long-buried feelings for her missing friend. 

After failing his tasks for the Dark Caster, necromancer Derek Walker is hiding in Alaska from his humiliating defeats as a card-carrying member of an evil dark cabal. But when his old boss begins opening the Chaos Gate, there is nowhere on earth Derek can hide. With no other options, he must return to the last place he wants to go—home. 

When Derek Walker joins forces with Jessa and the entire Raleigh coven, the dark cabal’s biggest disappointment may be the only thing standing between earth and total destruction. 

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

Spell of Shattering (Dark Caster #4) by Anna Abner Excerpt

With a little pressure, Derek Walker punched his boning knife through the throat of a dead Silver Salmon. Working the knife like a saw, he removed the head and tossed it into the trash, and then got to work gutting the unlucky creature. Bright fish blood swirled in the lake below, creating an abstract waterscape.
Bo’s voice carried over the sound of the lapping tide. "Ice is the strongest element there is," he shouted at Stubby.
They were certainly surrounded by the stuff. Bits of frost clumped in Bo’s scraggly beard, heavy snow clung to drooping tree limbs, and gray clouds swept across the sky ready to shower ice upon their heads at any moment. Derek hoped the storm would hold off a little while longer, though, at least until the men finished fishing.
"Bullshit." Bo’s friend Stubby dug through the nearby cooler but came up empty. The six-pack was long gone, and it wasn’t even ten a.m. Frustrated, Stubby spit brown tobacco juice into the mud. "Fire's stronger than ice."
Derek shifted weight from one foot to the other and skidded in the mud, catching himself on a rock. It may be August in Alaska, but the wet ground around Bear Lake at first light was cold and seeped through his sneakers.
"No it ain't," Bo argued. "Glaciers carved up the earth, you dummy. A few drops of frozen water will break boulders." He waved Stubby off. "You don't know what you're talking about."
Stubby seemed to take the argument personally. "Fire melts ice. End of story."
Derek prayed it was, but of course, it wasn't. Bo and Stubby could argue for hours over the most accurate brand of deer rifle, the stoutest superhero, or the most potent tequila. The latest debate over nature’s most dangerous element could rage on for days.
Derek sliced up two beautiful fish fillets and wrapped them in paper for his boss’s dinner. Most likely, Derek would sear them on the grill with some peppers and serve them up tonight to a small house party of world-class belchers and bearded survivalists on Bo’s deck.
It surprised Derek he could even wield a knife or a BBQ grill in his condition. The memory spell Holden Clark had hit him with four months ago had devastated his mind. Literally. He may as well have dropped him headfirst from a forty-story building onto broken glass and concrete. Holden had stolen every single memory, skill, and instinct Derek possessed, leaving him alive but hollow.
Waking in a hospital bed blank and vulnerable had been the most terrifying moment of his life. He picked up the second fish and attacked it with the knife.
Generally, the work he did as Bo’s assistant was exhausting, which suited Derek just fine. He didn’t need the money. He needed the distraction.
Actually, it wasn't that much different from the work he’d done in Auburn as Rebecca Powell's assistant. Then, he’d redecorated houses, delivered paperwork, sometimes picked up coffee and her dry cleaning, and most of the time surfed on his computer or chatted with Jessa McAvoy, the adorable junior agent working as Rebecca's protégé. Here, he bought groceries, cooked rudimentary meals, lugged trash to the dump, and drove Bo home when he drank too much.
Whether it was good living or not didn’t enter his mind. It was just living.
"All done, boss," Derek said with effort, throwing the last of the slimy scraps into the trash and tucking the fillets into the cooler. It was a constant struggle to form words and transfer them to his tongue. He was getting better, but he feared he would never be whole again.
"Anything else?" Derek asked, rinsing his bloody hands in the icy lake.
"Yeah, run into town and get another twelve pack, will ya'?" Bo asked.
"Sure." He ambled for Bo’s pickup, jingling a ring of keys as he went.
“You’re putting too much weight on your bobber again,” Stubby accused. “You’ll never catch anything that way.”
“You don’t know what you’re yammering about,” Bo shot back. “I’ve caught twice as many fish as you have, and that’s just today!”
Derek climbed into the truck before he caught Stubby’s reply.
He didn't care. He didn't care about much anymore. Even after the memory-destroying spell had been reversed, he still wasn't the same. Like tying shoelaces. He just couldn't get it. No matter how many YouTube videos he watched, he couldn't make the bunny go round the tree or the fox go in the hole or whatever nonsense he was supposed to do with ease. It worried him how much he didn't remember. What else was gone, never to return?
Kissing, for one. Surely, he must have kissed a woman at some point—he was a grown man—but he couldn't recall specifics. Or even gather the desire to try it again. It seemed silly to him. That and sex. Bizarre, pointless endeavors when he had other much more important stuff to worry about.
Like how he was…
"…A huge fucking disappointment," the spirit spat at him. "A total waste of good space. You think you deserve a second chance? What have you ever done…"
A grizzly of a dead man with a full beard and hunters cap hovered beside Bo’s truck, a gleeful smile on his pudgy face. For the past four months, the ghost had been his unwanted but constant companion.
Derek tuned out the ranting. It was getting a little easier. Night was the hardest. Trying to sleep while a nasty ghost screamed obscenities and curse words at him from the ceiling was challenging. Ear plugs only muffled the noise. They didn’t erase it completely.
The irony was, Derek was especially good at shield spells. With a spirit’s assistance, he could produce an invisible barrier impenetrable to both magic and spirit chatter. With a spirit of his own, Derek could cast banishing spells on all the ghosts the Dark Caster sent to torment his every waking moment. But Derek didn't have a spirit companion anymore. Robert had been destroyed back in Auburn, North Carolina in the magical fiasco that had stolen Derek's memories. And a necromancer without a spirit was just a man.
Almost the way a stray, foul-mouthed ghost couldn’t do any real damage without a necromancer to channel his spirit power.
He and the taunting soul were in the same boat—stuck with each other and frustrated.
It didn’t make listening to his insults any easier.
“Go away,” Derek murmured.
“What’s that, you miserable piece of crap?”
Clenching his jaw, Derek glared through the mud-streaked windshield at his new boss reclining in his favorite camp chair.
“Lost your voice?” the spirit taunted. “Loser,” he chanted. “Imbecile. Idiot.”
Alaska seemed far enough away to be safe.
So far, the worst the Dark Caster had managed since Derek’s escape was the big-mouthed ghost clinging to the inside of the truck.
Derek cranked the engine and steered away from the lake at a leisurely five miles an hour. Driving was something he had only re-learned since he’d been in Alaska. With the way Bo drank, it was a necessity.
Derek drove slow. Probably too slow. He remembered, vaguely, driving his former sports car fast on long, lonely stretches of highway, taking turns at warp speed and weaving recklessly through freeway traffic. Not anymore. Now, he was worse than an old woman. He didn't drive the speed limit. He drove under it. When Bo teased him about it, which Bo loved to do at all times about all things, Derek blamed it on the rain and snow, but it honestly had little to do with weather conditions.
Just one more thing Holden Clark had stolen from him.
He parked in front of the town's shopping center, bypassing a hardware store, a smoke-filled tavern, and the post office to pull open the heavy glass doors of a grocery store. Derek selected a twelve-pack of cheap, cold beer from the refrigerator case in the rear of the shop, and when he spun around, he came face-to-face with the eighteen-year-old checkout girl.
"Hi, Derek," she said, grinning brightly.
It was too cold, too quiet, and too depressing to be so happy.
"Hello," he returned, veering around her.
"Going fishing again?" she asked, trailing him down the baked-goods aisle.
"Bo is." Derek didn't fish. He’d never learned and didn’t see the point.
"I love to fish," she exclaimed, scampering behind the register as he set the beer on the counter. "I'll teach you how. I mean, if you don't know how. Do you know how?"
While he rearranged possible responses in his mind, he studied the girl. Lea, read her nametag. She was young and dewy, and he envied the ease with which she spit out words, but something was missing. There was no light in her. An overabundance of enthusiasm, but no inner glow.
The thought of touching her in any way, let alone kissing her, made him slightly queasy. Definitely uncomfortable. And not in a good way.
"No, thanks," he said, the same as every other time Lea had invited him somewhere.
Her face fell. "Oh. Yeah. Some other time."
He paid for the beer with Bo's credit card and turned to leave.
"You're gay, right?" Lea called after him. "That's it. You only like boys?"
He lowered his eyes and exited fast, tossing the beer in the cab of the pick-up.
Derek had been called worse in his life. It hardly bothered him anymore. He knew what kind of person attracted him. At least, he used to know. Since Holden's spell, it was hard to say what turned him on anymore because nothing did.
He just wasn't interested in being tangled up in someone else's life. Or worse, someone tangling up in his. Because his was a twisted disaster of epic proportions.
To prove it, as if Derek held any doubts, his least favorite ghost appeared in the seat beside him.
“Worthless,” he repeated, making his voice purposefully ominous. “Worthless…worthless…worthless…”
Arriving at the lake a bit distracted, Derek stomped around thick-trunked trees toward Bo and Stubby's camp chairs and silently arranged the twelve-pack in their cooler.
"Thanks, my friend," Bo exclaimed. "Come pick us up later."
"I will." Until then, Derek would be working on his cabin. Struggling, he finally spit out, "Text me if you need anything."
Once Bo and Stubby started drinking, though, they’d be arguing good-naturedly and downing cold beers for hours. Derek would have the rest of the day to himself.
“…just kill yourself already…you spineless worm…” The Dark Caster’s spirit trailed him toward the truck. “…cut your own throat, and I’ll laugh while you die…”

Or maybe not.


About the Author:

Anna Abner lived in a haunted house for three years and grew up talking to imaginary friends. In her professional life, she has been a Realtor, a childcare provider, and a teacher. Now, she writes edge-of-your-seat paranormal romances and blogs from her home in coastal North Carolina about ghosts and magic. You can connect with her online at AnnaAbner.com. 



@AnnaAbner



Local Mystery Man Derek Walker Spotted at the Raleigh Airport By Ray X

Just when you thought things couldn’t get stranger in former bad boy Derek Walker’s life, he showed up at the Raleigh International Airport two days ago looking scruffy and tattered. Things are not looking up for my favorite decorator to the rich and fabulous.

Q: Derek! Oh, my God, is that really you? Where have you been?
A: …
Q: [I spotted the tag on his gym bag.] You were in Alaska? Were you there for business or pleasure? Do you have family there?
A: …
Q: Derek, why won’t you talk to me? We used to be friends, didn’t we?
A: We were friends?
Q: Yeah, of course. We met at the Battleship Bar like a million times. You were the best wing man I’ve ever had.
A: I don’t remember.
Q: Wait, don’t leave! Come on. What were you doing in Alaska? Is that where you’ve been hiding for the past four months?
A: …
Q: Can I ask about the car crash? No, don’t get in that taxi. Derek!

And he was gone. So, friends, what is your take on the mystery that is Derek Walker? Is he home for good? Is he recovered from that frightening single-car accident he caused in April? And why in God’s name was he summering in Alaska?


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