Tuesday, August 20, 2019

RECENT RELEASE w/EXCERPT - YA FANTASY - BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN (Frozen Sun Saga, #1) by Jill Criswell

Beasts of the Frozen Sun
(Frozen Sun Saga, #1)
by Jill Criswell
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.


BLURB
Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.

When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.

As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.
EXCERPT:
Something made me stop.
There, sitting atop my father’s black warhorse, was a Westlander unlike any other. Long ashen hair trailed behind him. He was bare chested, as if he didn’t fear the threat of blades on his skin, and he radiated a sleek, savage sort of beauty.
His gaze locked on me.
Beautiful. Savage.
The Savage prodded his mount. Leaning to one side, he brought his axe crashing down into the Sons of Stone who ran at him, wielding his weapon like an extension of himself. My clan’s warriors fell. Blood splashed in waves across his skin.
His eyes never left mine. My limbs were heavy as boulders, stiff as plaster.
A voice called my name. Rhys rushed toward me, sword in hand. His eyes darted from me to the Savage, trying to reach me first.
The horse was coming. My legs wouldn’t move.
The Savage veered at the last second, passing between Rhys and me, so close his calf brushed my arm, and I shivered. He circled his horse back in our direction, and Rhys grabbed me, yanking me forward. The warhorse’s hooves pounded, nearly on top of us. We only made it a few steps before Rhys stumbled and choked, eyes widening. His hand slipped from my arm. His sword fell into the grass.
A battle-axe was buried between his shoulders.
My scream was the raw, wrenching keen of an animal. I caught Rhys as he collapsed, lowering him to the ground. I looked around wildly, calling for Father and Garreth.
The Savage leaped off his horse.
“Stay away!” I let go of Rhys and picked up his sword.
With a swift kick, the Savage knocked the weapon from my grip. I drew the dagger, and he slapped it away too. He pulled me to him, smelling my hair, running his fingers through it. I hammered my fists against him, but it did nothing. This close, I saw every detail of his face, his body. I absorbed them through a haze of shock.
Older than Garreth, younger than Father. Tall, muscled, with thick hair hanging down his back in braided ropes of silvery-white. Eyes a shade of greenish-gold, like a cat’s. Black ink crawling across one entire side of his body: up his stomach, chest, and neck, then back down the length of his arm to his fingertips, coiling along one jaw and cheek, to his forehead, disappearing into his scalp. Knotted patterns, with intricately etched claws and tails and reptilian heads interwoven between the twisted links.
If the other Westlanders were frost giants, he was a leviathan; if they were beasts, he was their king.
I struggled feebly, my palms smacking his chest. Anguish had torn my mind wide open, left my abilities untethered; my consciousness plunged into the depths of his soul. Except what I dove into was nothing. Colorless, shapeless, void of sensation. The space was starkly, infinitely empty. A barren abyss.
The Savage had no soul.
I pulled my hands free, snapping back into my body as the Savage grasped my chin. “What you see, soul-reader?” The words sounded cumbersome to his mouth. He took hold of my wrist, bending it to expose the scar of flame Reyker had marked me with, laughing like my scar was a joke meant to offend him. “He is here.”
The Savage thrust one of his hands into my hair, holding my head still, and the other tightened around my waist, crushing me against him. He pulled a delicate knife from his belt, pushing my hair back and sliding the stiletto behind my ear. The blade bit into my flesh in short, deep cuts. He was carving me. Marking me, just as Reyker had, only this felt far more violent. I whimpered as blood dripped down my neck. “Mine,” he said.
A threat and a promise.











Author Info
Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she's visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
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RECENT RELEASE w/EXCERPT - EROTICA - SEDUCING THE BILLIONAIRE (The Blue Room, #1) by JM Stewart

Seducing the Billionaire
(The Blue Room Series, #1)
by JM Stewart
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Erotica, Romance





BLURB
When her ex leaves her with a wounded ego, curvy tech writer Jenna Mancini sets out to prove to herself that she’s just as sexy as any size six. With an invitation to Seattle’s hottest new club, a place that promises no risk, no commitment, no holds barred, she sets her sights on the one man who can help her test her theory—the only man at a sex club who doesn’t participate.

Billionaire Hunter Thane has a secret only a select few know: a fear of being touched. A rough childhood has left him scarred, inside and out, and he’s resigned himself to a life alone. So while he can’t deny he finds Jenna incredibly sexy, he’s determined to save her from the disappointment of an encounter with him.

Jenna is every bit as determined to push all his hot buttons and see if she can crush his iron-clad will…
EXCERPT:
“Because you don’t participate.” Her gaze searched his face. After a moment, she moved farther into the room, stepping up to the pool table in the center. As she walked around it, she reached into the pockets, tossing the balls onto the table. “May I ask why you don’t?”
His shoulders slumped. He couldn’t keep side stepping around this, but he had no desire to watch her expression when he told her the truth. “Encounters with me are…complicated. Most ladies come here looking for fun. That’s the whole idea of this. Something carefree and frivolous. Our motto is ‘no risk, no commitment, no holds barred.’ I’m not any of that.”
“It’s not a bad thing to be the serious sort, you know.” All the balls now atop the table, she leaned over, stretching to reach the triangle. “Why host a party like this then? Why stay?”
“Because I want things I can’t have.” Damn. He shouldn’t have told her that, either, but the feeling nudged him. The desire. The need. To finally let it all go. Hell, even his therapist encouraged him to step out of his comfort zone.
“Such as?”
“Nothing. I shouldn’t have mentioned it.” Heart hammering in his throat, he crossed to the rack hanging on the wall opposite the table and pulled down a couple of cue sticks.
Jenna remained silent, and a sick sensation twisted in his stomach. Any second now she’d voice the question in her eyes. Some part of him said he ought to be honest with her and let the chips fall where they may. Except he knew how this would end. He’d tell her his long list of rules, then have to watch her leave when she decided she no longer desired an evening with him.
He’d tried once before, at Liam’s insistence. The woman had gotten so frustrated with him she’d stormed out in a huff. And who the hell could blame her?
When he turned, cue sticks in hand, Jenna smiled at him. It was an awkward smile, one filled with tension, with all those things they weren’t saying, but a smile nonetheless.
She nodded in the direction of the pool table beside her. “You any good?”
Relief flooded his chest. God bless her for not pushing. “Spent a lot of time in here in high school. I should warn you. I’m pretty decent.”
“Then you have yourself a game, cowboy, because so am I.” She winked and moved around the table, studying it. “I grew up with one of these. Mom thought it would keep us kids out of trouble.” She glanced at him, brows raised. “Tell me. Do you want to participate?”
Damn. Her and her questions.
“I’m only the host.” He waved a hand in the air. “My house and all that.”
She returned to the head of the table and leaned over it, lining up her shot. A quick flick of her wrist sent the multicolored balls flying in all directions. Three balls sank in various pockets, and she straightened. “I’ve got solids. And you said that before. Now tell me the real reason you’re here.”









Author Info
JM Stewart writes heartfelt contemporary romance. Whether the heat level is sizzling or sweet, her stories are always deeply emotional. Her heroes are strong but sensitive (no alpha jerks here!), and her heroines are more Cinderella than Buffy the Vampire Slayer. 

Recently transplanted, she now lives in a small town in Texas along with her husband, two sons and two very spoiled dogs. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cooking and playing computer games. As a sensitive soul with a romantic heart, she believes in angels and hopes everyone finds their happily ever after.
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Monday, August 19, 2019

RECENT RELEASE w/EXCERPT - HYBRID: Adapt or Die by Rebecca Henry

Hybrid: Adapt or Die
by Rebecca Henry
Publication date: August 5th 2019
Genres: Adult, Horror, Science Fiction

BLURB
Agent Van of the CIA is sent to an Australian underground military surveillance base called Pine Gap. Agent Van finds himself thrown in a conspiracy cover up of an ancient alien race known as species X. He falls in love with Annika, a mysterious and uncommon woman who displays unusual abilities, leading Van to question her own origin. Mystery and horror explode around Agent Van during a cave diving exhibition to search for a lost colleague referred to as Agent One. The only clue for Agent Van and his team is a cryptic message carved on a wall inside the bleak cave that reads “Agent One is gone. No more Agent One.” Terror arrives as the agents are trapped inside the ominous cave. Agent Van soon learns that there is more to Pine Gap than Species X.
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EXCERPT:
A man in a white lab coat turned to me with a smile. A tie-dye bandanna held back his long, graying hair. Doctor Helix was an older man somewhere in his 60s, but still had the hippie heart of a Dead Head. Wiry in build, he was a dead ringer for Bob Weir. Doctor Helix flashed me a peace sign as he rifled through a stack of vinyl records on a desk. Selecting one, he drew a joint from his lab coat and put Sugar Magnolia on the record player, adjusting the needle as he expertly lit the joint with one hand.
“It’s always best to remember the dead with a tribute song and a little smoke,” Doctor Helix explained. “Makes the job less of a job, you know.”
I smiled, uncertain if he was talking to me, or maybe to himself.
He pulled back the sheet and blew smoke into the dull-gray face of one of the dead aliens. “Here’s to you, buddy,” he whispered, his expression soft. “Had some good times, man. I’ll miss ya.”
I stared at the lifeless body in wonder as I observed this new and unknown species of alien. The skin shimmered with hints of blue against its smooth gray complexion. Its closed eyes were set deep within a triangular-shaped face that tapered to a sharp point. The alien’s spidery limbs hung motionless over the side of the metal table. I studied the delicate, elongated fingers that nearly touched the floor, its thumb almost as long as its index finger. I was surprised at how humanoid it appeared; they didn’t look too different from humans, just more exaggerated in comparison.
“He was a friend of yours, Doctor Helix?” I questioned, watching him.
“You young kids and your formal titles,” he scoffed. “Man, call me Doc Do Good. I might be old enough to be your grandpappy, but I ain’t no old fart.”
I liked him instantly.
“Yeah, kid, he was my friend. They all were.” He was silent for a few beats before shaking his head. “Shouldn’t have gone down this way. Good people, man, shouldn’t have happened.”
My eyebrows shot up to my hairline. “You called the aliens people.”
“Well, hell, man,” he answered with a shrug. “They weren’t aliens to me. They were the same as us—better even.” Doc pointed to one of the cabinets lining the far wall. “Lab coats are in there, kid.”
I opened the cabinet, selecting from the wide array of liquid-proof radiation aprons, accompanied by radiation attenuation gloves. The Doc turned with an encouraging nod, indicating for me to suit up. Selecting one, I pulled it over my uniform of black cargo pants and shirt.
“Grab one of those lead face shields as well, kid. The ones with the lamp attached.” He touched his head, noticing he was absent a mask. “And kid, grab one more for me,” he called. “Don’t want any splatter getting in my eyes.”
I selected another face shield and passed it to the doctor. I’ve always been intrigued by autopsies. It’s fascinating to see the world inside our skin; the mechanics to the amazing anatomy that keep the human body alive and functioning. But I’ve always found alien autopsies unnerving. Those autopsies set me on edge. Seeing a new system—an unknown and usually much more complex structure of a living creature not from this earth—both astonished and troubled me. Every time I look inside an alien I am overwhelmed by the vulnerability of humans, how simple and trivial our bodies are compared to an extraterrestrial.
Doc rolled a free-standing surgical light over the cadaver of Species X as he activated his own head lamp and pulled down the lead acrylic shield to protect his face. He took out a recorder to begin his dictation.
“It’s the fifth of November of the year 2025. Agent Van and I are going to perform a Species X autopsy on Phylax Number 571. Number 571 is roughly seven feet, weighing in at 140 pounds.” Doc looked over at me, a scalpel poised in his hands. “Ready, kid?”
“Yeah, Doc, open him up.” I slid the shield over my face, ready for anything. I’d witnessed many autopsies, but this was my first experience with Species X.
With practiced fingers Doc sliced a smooth Y-incision into the alien’s chest, standard procedure during alien and human autopsy. A thick fluid oozed from the cadaver, and I coughed over the gagging stench, the taste of rotten anchovies coating my mouth. “Looks like thick cream,” I said as I rubbed the viscous substance between my gloved fingers.
Doc didn’t look up. “They don’t have blood like us, kid,” he explained as he worked. “I call it ‘lactrum.’ It has more nutrients than any mineral or vitamin we know of. Lactrum carries more genetic coding then all the species of our entire planet put together.” He paused to gaze down at the alien with what I imagined was wonder. “These guys could live forever, never aging, never falling sick with illness.”
Doc waved me closer. “Take a good look, kid. See how vulnerable our God made us compared to Species X.”

BOOK TRAILER:










Author Info
Rebecca Henry is a newly published author. Her debut novel is The Lady Raven, A Dark Cinderella Tale, which was published in 2017. The Lady Raven, is for those who have an affinity for fairy tales retold with a link to witches, magic and the macabre. Her second novel, Louisiana Latte, a chick lit comedy was released February 28th 2019. Louisiana Latte, is a feel good comedy that focuses on the bonds of sisters, and how audacious life can be when you have a diva for one! Both books are available on amazon as well as Barnes & Noble. 
Rebecca Henry is a world traveler living abroad in England. Besides being an author of two published books, Rebecca is also a podcast talk host on the show The Latte Talk. The podcast was inspired by her latest novel, Louisiana Latte and her diva sister Deb. She is a serious vegan, gardener, crafter, wife and mom who practices yoga. She loves to laugh, her drug of choice and loves all things witchy with a hint of the macabre. Her favorite holiday is Halloween and her favorite movie of all time is Practical Magic.
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