Showing posts with label Magic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Magic. Show all posts

March 30, 2016

Teasers, Excerpt & Giveaway! The Relentless Series by Karen Lynch


Sara Grey’s world shattered ten years ago when her father was brutally murdered. Now at seventeen, she is still haunted by memories of that day and driven by the need to understand why it happened. She lives a life full of secrets and her family and friends have no idea of the supernatural world she is immersed in or of Sara’s own very powerful gift. 

In her quest for answers about her father’s death, Sara takes risks that expose her and her friends to danger and puts herself into the sights of a sadistic vampire. On the same fateful night she meets Nikolas, a warrior who turns Sara’s world upside down and is determined to protect her even if it’s the last thing she wants. 

Sara’s life starts to spin out of control as she is hunted by an obsessed vampire, learns that her friends have secrets of their own and reels from the truth about her own ancestry. Sara has always been fiercely independent but in order to survive now she must open herself to others, to reveal her deepest secrets. And she must learn to trust the one person capable of breaking down the walls around her.


To keep the people she loves safe, Sara left everything she knew behind. She soon learns this new world is nothing like her old one, and she struggles to make a place for herself among the Mohiri. But it soon becomes apparent to Sara and to everyone one around her that she is not your typical warrior. 

As the weeks pass, Sara builds new relationships, copes with her new trainers, and tries to manage her ever-changing powers, while keeping her unique heritage a secret. Looming in the background is the constant shadow of the Master who will do anything to find her. 

Sara finds herself on a journey of self-discovery that uncovers her true strengths and awakens a part of her she never knew existed. She experiences the delight of new friendships, the sweetness and pain of first love, and a loss so deep it could be the thing that finally breaks her. At the end of it all, she discovers that the one place she was supposed to be safe might not be the refuge she thought it was. 


Sara Grey is done hiding and done being afraid. The Master thinks he has her running scared, but she’s taking matters into her own hands and taking her life back. With the help of her friends, she sets out to find the one person who can answer her questions about her past, and who may be able to lead them to the Master. 

On her journey, Sara faces new challenges and dangers, and learns that the world of good and evil is not as clear cut as she had believed. She makes new friends, unexpected allies, and reconnects with people from her past. As her powers continue to change and grow, she transforms from a struggling girl into a strong young warrior. 

But at what cost? How much is Sara willing to sacrifice in her need for independence and her quest for the truth? And will her newfound strength be enough to save her and the people she loves when she finally comes face-to-face with her powerful nemesis? Nothing could have prepared her for what is to come, and it will take everything in her to survive the final test of courage and love.


The warrior has finally met his match. 

Nikolas Danshov is the Mohiri’s finest warrior, fearless and lethal with any weapon. For almost two hundred years, he has devoted his life to keeping humans safe from the demons that walk the earth. Revered by his people, he is a legend in his own time, a warrior undefeated in battle, and prepared for anything. Until her. 

On a routine job in Maine, a twist of fate brings Nikolas face-to-face with the one person he had never expected to meet – his mate. Sara Grey is unlike anyone he’s ever met. Beautiful and fiery, she ignites his desire, while her innocence and vulnerability awaken a fierce protectiveness in him. Now all he can think of is keeping his mate safe from the dangers that hunt her, even if she fights him at every turn. 

You know Sara’s story. Now read it again, through the eyes of her warrior. 


Audible Buy Links 
Book Buy Links 
Relentless (Free!) 
Google Play: https://goo.gl/9VhMQw
Refuge 
Google Play: https://goo.gl/YOgGRD
Rogue 
Google Play: https://goo.gl/3zJHFQ 
Warrior 
(Fall 2016) 


Relentless 

My walls fell. I was vaguely aware of something cold and slimy burrowing inside me like a parasite. The Mori shrieked in agony. Choking, dying, the Mori was dying. I’d always hated the dark thing that had been a part of me my whole life. I should be happy now that the beast would be no more. Instead, sadness bloomed in my chest and tears of grief welled in my eyes. 

Coldness reached down, inching toward the center of my being. It came up against my last defense, the gate that held back the wellspring of my power. “Let meee innn,” it commanded as icy fingers pulled at the barrier in vain. I did as it asked, and I felt its triumph as it punched through and touched the essence of me. 

Someone began to scream. 

I was on fire. No, I was the fire. Roaring, raging, I was an angry volcano spewing molten rock up from deep within the earth. The lava scorched everything in its path with a cleansing fire that burned away the coldness and filth and bore down on the ugly thing pulsing in my mind. I felt a flash of terror that was not my own, and then the pressure in my head was gone. 

My eyes opened to see the witch—I knew what he was now—stagger and fall to his knees. His eyes no longer glowed white, and his face had paled to a dark gray. “What… are you?” he choked, his black eyes full of shock and fear. 



Karen Lynch grew up in Newfoundland, Canada, a place rich in colorful people and folklore to which she attributes her love of the supernatural and her vivid imagination. She moved to Charlotte, North Carolina years ago and was immediately charmed by the southern people, but she says she will always be a Newfie. 

Though she loves supernatural fiction, she has a soft spot for Charlotte Brontë and Jane Austin. She is a fan of classic rock, country, and classical music, but her favorite music is the sound of a good thunderstorm or a howling blizzard. Two of her favorite pastimes are baking artisan breads for her friends and spending quality time with her two German Shepherds. 


March 18, 2016

Excerpt, Author Interview & Giveaway! Daughter of Magic by Teresa Roman


Lilli sees things no one else does.


Desperate to make sense of the dreams and visions that have plagued her since childhood, Lilli confides in Devin, her closest friend, and the boy she’s fallen for.

Instead of questioning her sanity, Devin confesses to secrets of his own, which are far darker. His revelations about magic, witches and demons stun Lilli. But it’s what he knows about Lilli’s mother, long believed to be dead, that leaves her feeling betrayed. Despite her anger, Lilli will have to learn to trust Devin again, because he is the only one who can protect her from a dark danger that’s coming for her from a world away.




The third round of knocking was accompanied by a voice. “Lilli, it’s me. I know you’re in there. Open the door, please,” Devin pleaded.

At the sound of his voice, my heart shattered into a million pieces. I rose from my chair and started for the door, my need for him intense. Halfway there, I stopped. I wanted to open the door and run into his arms, but I was afraid. For a minute I considered pretending I wasn’t home, but I knew that wouldn’t do any good. He could probably hear me from where he was. 

“Go away,” I shouted. It hurt to say those words, they were the last thing I ever wanted to tell him, but the look of agony on his face from earlier was etched into my mind. I refused to cause him pain like that again. 

“I’m not going anywhere.” His voice sounded as tortured as I felt, and I was afraid that it was me hurting him all over again. “I’ll stay out here all night and all day and the day after until you open this door and let me talk to you.”

“I don’t want to hurt you again,” I said, trying to be strong, not only for myself, but for him, too.

“The only thing that hurts is being away from you. Please, just let me in,” he pleaded. “You won’t hurt me. I can help you. I can teach you how to control your power.” 

“No.”

“Lilli, please … I need you. I can’t breathe without you. I love you.” His voice cracked and I wondered if I’d heard him right, but then he said it again, and again, and again. 

Forgetting everything else, I ran to open the door and threw myself into his arms. Relief flooded through me as he wrapped his arms around me. I seriously doubted I’d ever be able to let go again.


Q. Why do you write? 

A. I love books. After being such a die-hard reader for so long my head became filled with all these ideas that I just needed to get out. I want people to smile when they finish reading my books, just as so many authors have made me do. 

Q. What is the inspiration for the story? 

A. I've always really liked the fantasy and paranormal genres. I just find stories about magic and supernatural creatures to be so much fun. There really are no boundaries when your story is a fantasy. The main character in Daughter of Magic is quiet, a loner. That was me at her age, and I constantly fantasized about my life being bigger than it was. Books gave me that escape, and that’s what I wanted to create with Daughter of Magic.

Q. Where can readers find out more about you? 

A. I have a website - www.teresaromanwrites.com. You can also find out more about me on my Amazon author page, Facebook and Goodreads.



Teresa currently lives in beautiful Sacramento, CA with her husband, three adorable children and a dog named Parker that her son convinced them to adopt. When she's not at her day job or running around with her kids, you can find her in front of the computer writing, or with her head buried in another book. If you'd like to find out more about her, she can be found at www.teresaromanwrites.comwhere you can also sign up for her newsletter to receive exclusive book release information.



March 7, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway! The Changelings, War of the Fae #1 Elle Casey


NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR, ELLE CASEY, brings readers Book 1 in the YA Urban Fantasy WAR OF THE FAE Series.

Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?

Content Warning: Mild violence and significant foul language within. Meant for older Young Adult readers (age 15+).




I couldn’t take much more of the high school nonsense. I felt like I wasn’t supposed to be there. Where would I be if I weren’t there? ... I don’t know. All I did know was I was in the middle of all that crap, going to class, taking tests - but I was on autopilot, going through the motions, waiting for life to start happening. 

Sitting in World History and bored out of my mind, I was looking at a girl one row over who was the polar opposite of me. She was staring attentively at the teacher, her pen poised above an already nearly full page of notes, eager to write down every nugget of educational wisdom he was throwing our way. She loved high school, and she had big plans for moving on to college next year. She had cheer practice after school and a boyfriend named Mike who played wide receiver on the football team. Ugh. 

I owned a pen. I probably had some paper somewhere in my backpack too. That day, however, I was using my pen to draw symbols all over my right hand - temporary tattoos. I write and eat with my left hand but do just about everything else with my right. My own body was confused with what it was supposed to do. 

I was in the minority in that school. It seemed like just about everyone else knew exactly what they were doing now and what they were going to be doing until the day they died. Me? I didn’t have a clue. All I knew was this wasn’t it.



Elle Casey, a former attorney and teacher, is a NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling American author who lives in Southern France with her husband, three kids, and a number of furry friends. She has written books in several genres and publishes an average of one full-length novel per month.




February 22, 2016

Sale Blitz! Excerpt & Giveaway: The Affiliate, Ascension #1 by K.A. Linde



On the day of her Presenting, in front of the entire Byern Court, seventeen-year-old Cyrene Strohm's lifelong plans come to fruition when she's chosen as an Affiliate to the Queen.

Or so she thinks. When Cyrene receives a mysterious letter and an unreadable book, she finds nothing is as it seems. Thrust into a world of dangerous political intrigue and deadly magic, Cyrene's position only grows more treacherous when she finds herself drawn to the one man she can never have...

King Edric himself.


Cyrene must decide if love is truly worth the price of freedom. Find out in this first book in USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde’s new Ascension series.




“Let them in.” King Maltrier pulled in a shuddering breath and then coughed raggedly for a minute.

“Your Majesty, are you sure?” his longtime servant asked. He had the same relentless attitude that he always had, but he sounded more earnest than ever, as if he could will the King not to die.

“Get them, Solmis. Now.”

Solmis walked wearily across the darkened room. He heaved open the weathered door to the King’s bedchamber and spoke to the pair of guards standing watch, “Get the boys. The King wishes to speak with them.”

One guard punched his right fist to the left side of his chest in a formal Byern salute and then walked into the outer chamber. A moment later, he returned with two young boys with the same dark hair and blue-gray eyes that marked them as Dremylon heirs.

“This way, boys,” Solmis said. He was one of the few people who could get away with calling the Princes boys.

“Thank you, Solmis,” Edric, the crown prince, said with a smile and the confidence of someone who never wanted for anything.

The second son, Kael, pushed past them both, mimicking his brother’s stride. His face was set in a scowl. Some of his youthful exuberance had already drained out of him, and in its place was cynicism from losing a mother too young and from having a sick father, but mostly, it was from being second.

“Father,” he called out.

“Come here, Kael,” the King said. He patted the side of the bed. “You, too, Edric.”

Edric walked to his side and settled into a chair while Kael hoisted himself up onto the bed. 

With Edric being fifteen and Kael at thirteen, both were much too young for this kind of loss. 

The King had seen his youngest, Jesalyn, earlier that day. She had cried the entire time, understanding what was coming and knowing she could do nothing to stop it. In tears, she had run out of the room and straight into Consort Shamira’s arms. She had all but raised the child after his wife, Queen Adelaida’s unceremonious death.

But he couldn’t waste thoughts on that now. He was tiring with every passing moment. The boys…they had to know.

“Solmis,” the King said, regaining a shred of strength. 

His servant, his old friend, left the room, giving them the privacy they needed.

“Father,” Kael repeated impatiently.

“I’m dying,” King Maltrier said. 

Silence followed the declaration. Kael looked aghast. Edric tried to hide the shock of what he knew would be coming next. 

“Edric will succeed me.”

“I’m too young to be king,” Edric whispered.

“Fifteen is not too young.” The King thought that was questionable, but he would not dispute it with his son. Edric had to be strong. He had to rule. “You have the Consort and my High Order to help and guide you.”

Edric swallowed and nodded. “Yes, Father.”

“Trust in yourself, and all will go as planned. I have formed an alliance with Aurum for Jesalyn to be queen and another with Tiek, who has offered you their young Princess Kaliana. Honor these matches to keep our people safe. A strong king is one with an heir.”

The King leaned over and coughed into a handkerchief for several minutes. His throat was raw, and his lungs ached. He didn’t know how much more he could take, but he had to pass on their legacy.

But could he put that burden on them? 

He had to decide now.

No. He would tell only one. He would pass it on to the boy most like himself—the one who could handle the knowledge, the one destined to rule.

The King turned to one of his sons and said, “I need to speak with your brother alone for a moment.”

His eyebrows knit together as hurt and confusion clouded his features. “But, Father—”

“Go,” King Maltrier commanded.

He clenched his jaw, stood, and left without another word. 

It was the last time the King would ever see his son.

The door closed roughly behind him. 

King Maltrier turned to his other son. “You know the story of our ancestor Viktor Dremylon.”

He nodded, but the King continued anyway.

“Viktor struck down the evil Doma court that subjugated our people. Then he claimed the throne for himself with the sole purpose of ruling in a fair and just system.”

“Yes, Father.”

“History is told by the winners.”

“What do you mean?” He tilted his head and looked concerned. 

Perhaps he thought the King had already lost his mind.

“Viktor did destroy the Doma court, and he ushered in a new era of Dremylon rule that has persisted two thousand years up until you today. But what is not in the stories is that the Doma court had ruled because they had powerful…abilities.”

His son laughed like his father was telling a fairy tale.

“Listen!” the King snapped. That sent him into another fit, and his son helped him sit up, so he could cough into his handkerchief. 

When King Maltrier leaned back again, the King saw blood had coated the white silk.

“Father, you should rest.”

“I need to tell you—” He was interrupted by another cough. “—the truth. Viktor beat the Doma court and the most powerful leader they had ever known, Domina Serafina, by stealing magic—dark magic, a magic that cursed Viktor and all his ancestors. It cursed me…and you…the entire Dremylon line.”

His son remained silent and still. The King had gained his attention.

“Now, I must leave you with this, Son.” The King retrieved a heavy gold key from around his neck and placed it in his son’s hands. “A lockbox in the wall in my closet contains Viktor Dremylon’s writings. Collect it, and tell no one. You must continue our legacy. Anyone who has Doma blood and discovers their magic must be eliminated. They threaten our power, your power. They threaten the very world we live in.”





USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde is the author of The Affiliate, the first book in the Ascension Series. As a military brat, she traveled the world with her family, imaginary friends, and ever-increasing supply of books. She has spent much of her life dreaming up new worlds and characters and forcing them into uncomfortable, usually life-threatening scenarios. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a masters degree in political science, she began spending every waking hour putting those characters onto paper.

When not writing, she spends her time dancing, collecting paperbacks in the hopes of filling a Beauty and the Beast style library one day, traveling to visit her friends who live all over the country, and still reading anything she can get her hands on. She currently resides in North Carolina with her husband and two puppies, Lucy and Riker, where she is hard at work on her next novel.



February 11, 2016

Excerpt & Giveaway! The Prophecy of Shadows, Elementals #1 by Michelle Madow




Filled with magic, thrilling adventure, and sweet romance, Elementals: The Prophecy of Shadows is the first in a new series that fans of Percy Jackson and The Secret Circle will love!

When Nicole Cassidy moves from sunny Georgia to gloomy New England, the last thing she expects is to learn that her homeroom is a cover for a secret coven of witches. Even more surprisingly … she’s apparently a witch herself. Despite doubts about her newfound abilities, Nicole is welcomed into this ancient circle of witches and is bedazzled by their powers—and, to her dismay, by Blake—the school’s notorious bad-boy.

Girls who get close to Blake wind up hurt. His girlfriend Danielle will do anything to keep them away, even if she must resort to using dark magic. But the chemistry between Blake and Nicole is undeniable, and despite wanting to protect Nicole from Danielle’s wrath, he finds it impossible to keep his distance.

When the Olympian Comet shoots through the sky for the first time in three thousand years, Nicole, Blake, Danielle, and two others in their homeroom are gifted with mysterious powers. But the comet has another effect—it opens the portal to the prison world that has contained the Titans for centuries. After an ancient monster escapes and attacks Nicole and Blake, it’s up to them and the others to follow the clues from a cryptic prophecy so that they can save their town … and possibly the world.



“Run!” Blake yelled, grabbing my arm and pulling me off the merry-go-round. 

It spun under our weight, and I held onto the metal bars, pushing off them to leap over the edge. The cedar chips on the ground cushioned my landing. The car was behind us, which would mean running towards the monstrous hound, so I bolted for the playground, hurrying up a ladder of rubber tires that led to the closest platform. Blake followed close behind. The second he was up he took the lighter out of his pocket and aimed a blue fireball at the tires. They melted to the ground seconds before the hound reached them. 

It looked up at us and growled—a low, menacing sound that if I spoke dog I would have assumed meant “I’m going to have you for dinner”—and tried to jump onto the platform. It missed by only a few inches. 

Blake flicked on his lighter and threw a fireball at its chest, but the hound jumped to the side to get out of the way. It turned all four of its eyes up at us, one head letting out a deep roar as the other snapped its teeth together, taking bites out of the air. 

My hands shook, and I gripped one of the log posts behind me for support. “Have you learned how to fight these things in homeroom?” I asked Blake, my voice rising in panic. 

He threw another fireball, and it missed the hound again. “No,” he snapped, the flames lighting up his face. “Fighting legendary creatures isn’t on the syllabus.” 

“Maybe it should be,” I said as he launched another ball of fire, hitting the hound on its front paw. Both of its heads yelped in pain. The scorpion tail lowered between its legs, and it growled again before turning away from us and running around the side of the playground, woodchips flying behind it as it gained speed. 

My heart pounded, and I looked around to figure how to get off the platform. The exit was a slide that dropped off at the monkey bars. I could get down and run to the car, but I didn’t know where the hound was, and leaving the platform could give it the perfect opportunity to pounce. 

Then the hound growled again. I turned around, spotting it clamoring up a ladder of logs that led to a nearby platform. Only a wobbly bridge separated that platform from our own. My entire body shook, and I moved closer to Blake, grabbing his arm for support. 

The hound reached the top of the platform, and its glowing eyes narrowed, ready to attack.

Not having anywhere else to go, I launched myself down the slide and hurried to the monkey bars, climbing up the ladder and hoisting myself on top of them. Gripping the sides, I crawled to the center bar, but the ground spun beneath me, my lungs tightening as I looked down. I had to take a few deep breaths to steady myself. A six-foot fall wasn’t deadly. Now wasn’t the time to let my fear of heights get to me. 

Blake scrambled behind me, and I turned around to make sure he wasn’t hurt. Sweat dripped down the sides of his face from the flames, but other than that he looked okay. He took his lighter out again, holding it up in preparation to create another fireball. 

I looked back at the hound in time to see it run along the bridge and hurl itself towards us. It bared its teeth as it flew through the air, its arms outstretched as it came closer to the monkey bars. But it must not have had enough force behind the jump, because it fell to the ground with a loud thump. It stood and shook the woodchips off its fur, a low growl coming from somewhere deep in its throat as it turned its heads up to look at us. 

Before I could say anything to Blake about how completely screwed we were, he threw two balls of fire towards the hound, hitting both of its faces. It howled and collapsed, whimpering as it buried its snouts in its paws. The smell of burnt skin filled the air. My stomach swirled with nausea, and I lifted a hand to my nose to block out the smell.

Only a few seconds passed before it stood up again. The fur on its faces had changed into a charred grey. Its yellow eyes glowed brighter now, both snouts chomping madly in the air, strings of saliva dripping to the ground as it waited to devour whichever one of us lost our balance first.



Michelle Madow grew up in Baltimore, graduated Rollins College in Orlando, and now lives in Boca Raton, Florida. She wrote her first book in her junior year of college, and has been writing novels since. Some of her favorite things are: reading, pizza, traveling, shopping, time travel, Broadway musicals, and spending time with friends and family. Michelle has toured across America to promote her books and to encourage high school students to embrace reading and writing. Someday, she hopes to travel the world for a year on a cruise ship.
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December 6, 2015

Excerpt & Giveaway! The Witching Hour Collection




Good witch. Bad witch. White magic. Black magic. Kitchen magic. Pick your potion. Ready for Halloween? The authors of the Blazing Indie Collective, who brought you the Falling in Deep Collection, are brewing up something new. Check out all the novellas in The Witching Hour Collection coming October 2015:

Melanie Karsak: Witch Wood

Claire C. Riley: Raven's Cove

Eli Constant: Sleeping in the Forest of Shadows

Elizabeth Watasin: Charm School: The Wrecking Faerie 

Erin Hayes: I'd Rather be a Witch 

Carrie Wells: Playing with Magic 

Evan Winters: The Witch of Bracken’s Hollow 

Minerva Lee: Spun Gold 

Blaire Edens: The Witch of Roan Mountain 

Poppy Lawless: The Cupcake Witch



Limited edition box set! 
This collection will be available until the end of the year only! 
Buy Links: 

~*~ 
Excerpt from The Cupcake Witch by Poppy Lawless 

HOLDING THE WHISK TIGHTLY, I swirled the pale-yellow batter around the bowl, the sweet scents of vanilla, brown sugar, and bitter dark chocolate perfuming the air. Even though it was a cool autumn morning, the heat from the oven made the kitchen feel toasty warm. I’d been baking all morning: expresso mini cupcakes with cappuccino flavored frosting, matcha green tea macaroons, and strawberry rhubarb coffee cake. The kitchen smelled divine. Now, with a pot of coffee brewing and a batch of chocolate chip walnut cookies just about ready to go into the oven, I could almost relax. 

“Here, taste this,” I said to Dad, scooping up a small bite of the dough with a spoon and sticking it into his mouth before he could protest. 

“You’re going to give me salmonella poisoning,” he said then sighed deeply. “A little food poisoning is worth it. So good, but they taste…different.” 

“Bad different?” 

Dad shook his head. “Tasty different.” 

“Organic brown sugar and sea salt.” 

“I’m going to gain ten pounds before you go back to college next week,” he said with a laugh then turned back to his paperwork. 

Sighing, I placed the cookie dough on the baking sheet and stuck it in the oven. How was I going to tell Dad I wasn’t planning on going back? With Mom gone…well, I just didn’t even know why I was there anymore. It wasn’t like I had ever wanted to go to college. I wanted to be a baker. But Mom wanted me to be a dentist, so I was studying pre-dentistry. Now, Mom was gone. The pain of her loss still felt like a huge lump in my chest. 

I poured Dad and myself coffee and sat down at the table. He was thumbing through a heap of real estate briefs. Dayton Real Estate was busier than ever, and with Mom gone, an agent short. Dad was running himself ragged. 

I spooned some raw sugar into my cup and tried to think of something to say other than the fact that I hated school. It was nearly the end of October and thus far junior year had been a bust. I told Dad I wasn’t ready. After losing Mom that summer, I just couldn’t get my head back into the game. I didn’t want to waste my life pursuing a career in dentistry just because everyone, but especially Mom, thought it would be a good move for a smart girl like me. Mom’s death had taught me many things, the most important being that life was short. Why was I working so hard for a future I felt pretty apathetic about? 

“Here is the property in Chancellor I was telling you about,” Dad said, saving me from having the dreaded conversation once more, as he handed me an envelope. From inside, I pulled out a yellowed photograph of a tiny little Tudor-style cottage. Under the photo, the words Serendipity Gardens had been written in faded pencil. 

“It looks like a witch’s cottage. Mrs. Aster, the woman who left us the building…how did you say we were related again?” I stared at the photograph as I twirled one red dreadlock around my finger. The little building was a mess, the glass nursery overgrown, but there was something quaint, almost fairy tale like, about it. 

Dad was eyeing the table full of sweets, finally settling on one of the mini cupcakes, popping it into his mouth. “These are amazing, Julie. Seriously,” he said after a moment. “Mrs. Aster was Grandma Belle’s husband’s sister.” 

“And how does that make her related to us?” 

“Through marriage only, but we are her closest living relatives,” Dad said then shrugged. “I’ve got the property into the MLS system, but I need to run over to Chancellor this week and put up the signs. Probably won’t be hard to move the old place. I already have a message—which I haven’t even managed to return yet—from Blushing Grape Vineyards inquiring on the property. Need to get that sign up, see if I can fish any other bids out of the pond. Maybe the college will want the property, turn it into an office or something. On the corner of Main Street and Magnolia, the location is great. We’ll probably get a good price if we can get some competition,” Dad said then paused. He looked up at me, a serious expression on his face. “You know, Chancellor College offers science degrees. Jules, I know you aren’t happy…” he began then stopped. Trying again, he switched directions by saying, “Maybe if you were closer to home, things might be easier.” 

Panicking, I picked up the envelope. “Chancellor, eh? Don’t they have a harvest festival at this time of year? Why don’t I take the signs over? I’ll grab a pumpkin spice latte or something.” 

My dad pushed his glasses back up his nose then ran his hand through his hair. Was it my imagination or did his hair look whiter? His face was certainly more drawn. He must have shed twenty pounds from his already thin frame. Mom’s death had hit us both hard. It was just manifesting differently. Dad was running thin, and I was running scared. I didn’t want to waste my life following the dream Mom had lain out so neatly for me. My real passion had always lain in the kitchen. Fondant. Buttercream. Meringue. Ever since I got my first Easy-Bake Oven, I knew what I wanted to do, who I wanted to be. My dream, however, had never jelled with what Mom had wanted. And as much as it hurt, Mom was gone. I could keep going to college for her, but that didn’t feel right. I needed to do something. Something needed to change. And in the meantime, I was failing my classes. 

“Walk around the campus while you’re there. Check out its vibe. See if you like it.” 

“Or not,” I said absently. The last thing I wanted was more college: more homework I couldn’t get myself to complete, more classes I couldn’t get myself to go to, more anything. 


“You know, they also have a culinary program,” my dad said carefully. “A letter came from your college’s advising office. It said you’re failing all—” 

“I…I know,” I stammered, standing. “Can we talk about it tonight?” 

He nodded. “I love you. We’re both just trying to manage here.” He lifted a macaroon then looked from it to me. “The culinary program. Mom and I always disagreed...tonight, let’s talk. But you’re making dinner.” 

“Of course. It’s pizza night! I bought portabella mushrooms, arugula, and goat cheese.” 

“You had me at portabella,” Dad said with a chuckle. “Anything would be better than those damned frozen dinners.” 

“Dad! You can’t eat that garbage.” 

He shrugged. “What can I say? I don’t have time to cook. Speaking of which, did you know it only takes five weeks to get a real estate license? Without your mom, I could use the extra help,” he said then patted the massive stack of inspection reports, loan documents, and other paperwork that was my dad’s—and had been my mom’s—life’s work, “and a home cooked meal, on occasion.” 

I picked up the envelope then kissed my dad on his balding head. “Home cooked meals I can handle.” 

My dad patted my hand. 

“Take the cookies out when the timer goes off?” 

“Of course. I’d never let a Julie Dayton cookie burn. Too precious a commodity.” 

I wrapped my arms around my dad and hugged him tight. 

“Love you,” I said. 

“Love you too, Julie bean,” he replied. 

Letting him go, I grabbed my purse and keys and headed off to the witch’s cottage.
~*~

The Authors


November 18, 2015

Excerpt & Giveaway! Emerald: Good and Evil, The Stones of Power #5 by M.D. Grimm




Home. Family.

Those words often invoke a sense of love and comfort. But for the dark mage Morgorth, they mean hate and pain. As the seventh son of a seventh son, many believe Morgorth’s destiny is to become the Destroyer. His father embraced such a future and trained Morgorth through torture and fear to become his weapon. Morgorth managed to escape his father’s cruelty, but not the nightmares that still haunt him. For many years he’s lived with the stain of his father’s savagery, but now he must confront his nightmares head-on.

His father has found a stone of power.

Morgorth must return to his land of birth, to the memories he’s tried his entire life to suppress. Aishe is determined to help Morgorth defeat his inner demons, but he knows he might not be enough to save Morgorth from embracing his darkness. They know it will be a fight to the death and know Morgorth won’t be the same if he survives. With Aishe by his side, Morgorth hunts for his father, and finds answers to questions he never dared to ask—and must live with the truths they reveal.

~*~
I glanced at Aishe to see he had his bow, an arrow nocked, and quiver at his side. He was crouched, still looking ill, but his eyes were hard and flat. I grinned in pride. Nothing could keep my mate down. I let the wind die and the ship slowed, rocking violently, the water lapping hard at its sides. The tentacles caught up and tried to wrap around the ship once again. I didn’t risk fire, but I had another element that was aplenty around me: water. Just as I gathered focus for the next spell, a tentacle tried to slither onto the deck, heading toward me. Before I could react Aishe shot an arrow, puncturing the slimy flesh of the tentacle. Then he ran and leapt over it, and with his sword, sliced off the tip. The tentacle shot back into the water, and the monster bellowed in pain. Aishe spun around, nocking another arrow. He was now close to me, and I could see it was a struggle for him to remain focused. He was sweating profusely and deathly pale. I would have ordered him below deck if I thought he would listen.

More tentacles were now slithering around the ship and the crew did what they could, cutting at the appendages and shooting their own arrows. They gave me the time I needed. I ran across the deck and realized the monster’s tentacles seemed to be following me. I wasn’t surprised, since most creatures could sense magick and many predators were attracted to it. If a predator ate a mage, they sometimes gained the power of their food: you are what you eat. I could use that to my advantage.

I reached the other side of the ship and flung my hand down with another word, using the magick in the water—every element had magick, instilled there by the Mother—and used it to freeze the water. But not just on the surface, I made the ice sink below where the beast rested. I continued the spell, causing the tentacles to freeze. It wasn’t easy to freeze saltwater but as I was using the magick within the element, and not my own to control it, it was much easier. Once the tentacles stopped moving, I instantly swung around and used the wind again to get the ship to move. We shot across the water once more, and I happened to look back to see what the beast was doing. We hadn’t gone very far before the ice broke. I realized the beast was far bigger, and stronger, than I’d suspected. I watched, fascinated and terrified, as the beast surged completely to the surface. Its bulbous head and gaping mouth appeared, its tentacles writhing in rage. Those black, pitiless eyes focused on us, and then the monster dove back into the water. It sped toward us, creating a hump in the water.

I took a deep breath, reaching a decision. It wasn’t going to stop, not until it had eaten me and destroyed the ship. I stopped the wind.

“Everyone hold onto something!” I bellowed. I glanced at Aishe as he clung to the rail, his eyes huge and locked on me.

I stood in the middle of the ship again and closed my eyes. My magick flashed hot inside me, and I used it to once again grab hold of the water’s magick. I clenched my fists and let the foreign magick fill me, feeling the pressure of it, the fluidness of the water, the refreshing and cool sensation. Then I opened my eyes and quickly grabbed a crystal from one of my pouches. It was small but it would serve for the task I gave it. I clasped the crystal between both hands and unleashed the spell with a focused word inside my mind. The spell latched onto the crystal and just as the beast reached us, intent on smashing the ship to pieces, the water suddenly shot upward, like a reverse waterfall.

A large column of water lifted the ship out of harm’s way and the tentacles of the beast slashed at the column as it roared in frustration. I made sure the ship reached a good height before locking the spell into the crystal. Spells only lasted if there was enough energy, or rather, magick, to sustain them. With crystals, I could hold the spell longer by pumping a predetermined amount of magick into them, turning the spell into an enchantment. I used such techniques for Geheimnis. I frequently had to recharge the crystals but it meant I didn’t have to consciously think about the spells anymore. They were very nearly freestanding. I used the same concept here but of a shorter extent. What I had planned wouldn’t take very long.

I ran to Aishe and pushed the crystal into his hands. “Hold onto this. It will keep you all airborne.”

“What are you doing?” Aishe made to grab me, but I had already leapt onto the rail, struggling to keep my balance.

“I’ll be right back,” I said.

“Morgorth—”
I took a deep breath before I dove off the rail. I locked my hands over my head and made sure my magick was bubbling right below the surface. The beast rose out of the water and opened its mouth. This was going to hurt.
~*~

M.D. Grimm has wanted to write stories since second grade and nothing has changed since then. Thankfully, she has indulgent parents who let her dream, but also made sure she understood she'd need a steady job to pay the bills. After graduating from the University of Oregon and majoring in English, she embarked on her writing career and couldn't be happier. Working by day, writing by night, she enjoys journeying on romantic quests and daring adventures and creating characters that always triumph against the villain, and find their soul mate in the process.



November 15, 2015

Excerpt & Giveaway! His Witch to Keep, Keepers of the Veil #2 by Zoe Forward

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A paranormal category romance from Entangled's Covet imprint... Wanting her was one thing. Keeping her was another... Serenity Danssaert was already in way over her head. Not even her MI6 training or her powers as one of the seven Pleiades witches is going to save her sister. Then Alexi Jovec shows up. A secret operative working for unknown forces, he's impossibly sexy and dangerous...and the guy who bailed on Serenity after a red-hot, racy night. So bonding to him as her destined—the One—is so very wrong. While Alexi’s need to own Serenity—body, soul, and beyond—is nearly unbearable, it's also forbidden. He's the last man who could ever be her destined. Besides, Hades's right-hand man cannot bond with a chosen Pleiades witch. He may be the one man who can protect her, but she can never be his to keep.



Teaser 1
~*~
“You can’t keep your gun. I don’t want you shooting someone tonight. I will be the only one killing.” His arm wrapped around her waist and pulled her flush to his body again. He backed her against the edge of the conference table and slid the hem of her dress upward, his fingers trailing along the inside of her thigh. She bit back a groan at the erotic sensations. His eyes smoldered with answering heat. She rolled her pelvis against his arousal. He sucked in a sudden breath. With one swift move he unlatched her holster. His fingers disappeared. He stepped away. “Fine.” Disappointment flared. She detested his control when her heart was racing and her body begged for his continued touch. The fact she couldn’t handle him like she could everyone else in her life pissed her off. Only this man could shake her.
~*~
Teaser 2


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Zoe Forward is a hopeless romantic who can’t decide between paranormal and contemporary romance. So, she writes both. In addition to being a mom to one rambunctious kindergartener and wife to a conservation ecologist who plans to save all the big cats on the planet, she’s a small animal veterinarian caring for all the small furries, although there is the occasional hermit crab. When she’s not typing at her laptop she’s tying on a karate belt for her son or cleaning up the newest pet mess from the menagerie that occupies her house. She’s madly in love with her globe trotting husband of ten years and happiest when he returns to their home base in North Carolina.