Paranormal Thursdays Romance Tour Week 2 ~ Serving the Serpent by Daisy Banks #PNR #UrbanFantasy

Paranormal Romance Tour 7
Welcome to the Paranormal Romance Thursdays Tour! Over 12 weeks, we’re featuring some great paranormal romance authors and their books. Check out the preview of the tour and the excerpt from Daisy Banks’ novel below, then scroll to the bottom of the post to visit all the other participating authors!

 

 

HRservingtheserpent

 

In Wales, Ceridwyn takes up her inherited duty to care for the dragons in the mountains. Awed by them and the huge book about them, she is determined to prove her worth.

Far away in Norway, Leif has growing concerns for his sick dragon. He discovers only one cure will stop his dragon’s suffering. The mighty Herensuge must journey to find his bonded mate.

When they meet, Ceri and Leif make combined efforts to aid the dragons and discover an astonishing surprise. The great lore book each of them protects tells they have a responsibility to the future. At this rare and magical time, not only the dragon pairing must occur.

Join Ceri and Leif as they work to keep the sworn silence and keep the dragons safe. Friendship is growing between them, but will it be enough? Can love blossom between two chosen to serve the serpent?

 

Serving the Serpent will be available from Liquid Silver Books on 23rd of November 2015

 

Excerpt

Ceri said a swift, silent prayer and ducked into the cave mouth. Here, she undid the belt at her hips so her robes hung smooth as they should, and she slid off her Wellington boots. From this entrance, she’d tread barefoot over the chilly surface of the compacted pale clay and raw quartz pebbles of the path. Along and down, she searched with her fingers over the cold and damp rock wall, feeling her way down. She descended deeper into the gloom and passed the low-hanging lump of granite Mam always called Lizzie’s Pap. The darkness now complete, her stomach rolling and her breathing rapid, she heard the echo of Mam’s instructions in her mind as she stepped for the first time onto the gravel-edged shore where the dark waters of the Jet Llyn joined her world to that of her new charges. She counted four paces forward. Blind for now, she stretched out her right arm and felt about in the darkness until she found the thick branch of wood holding the torch she needed to light.

Tiny pebbles stuck under her toes. The nip in the air sent a shiver over her as she set her willow wand down, and with her fingers a bit shaky, she struck the match to light the moss wound around the top of the pole wedged into the gravel. The torch flared. The dry stalks, which must be replaced each visit here, took easily and burned up bright. She breathed out in a rush of relief. So far, everything was as it should be. A fresh rash of trembles raised gooseflesh all down her arms and not because of the chill in the cavern.

Ceri picked up her wand and lifted the lit torch. She carried the light in front of her in her left hand until she reached the scrap of gritty beach with its short rock causeway that projected forward like a finger reaching out toward the middle of the deep water. Here, she held the torch shoulder high so the light glittered and reflected as in a mirror off the depths of the Jet Llyn. In her other hand, she held the quartz-crystal-tipped rod, and pointing it, she positioned the clear stone on her wand so it hovered over the still dark surface.

She swallowed, gave a little quiver, forced down her apprehension, and sucked in a breath.

Beneath the quartz point of her rod, illuminated by the bright torchlight, a single fat bubble rose. The water rippled. Stronger circular movements followed until small waves lapped at the shore inches from where she curled her toes so they gripped into the stones. An itch tickled in her palm, but she kept the rod steady.

Just as Mam said, they were coming for her.

The dragons were coming.

 

About the Author

Daisy Banks writes both sweet and spicy romance in the Historical, Paranormal and Fantasy genres. Her focus is to offer the best tale she can to readers. Daisy is married, with two grown up sons. Antiques and collecting entertain Daisy when she isn’t writing. There are also some rare occasions she makes a meal that doesn’t stick to the pan.

 

Find Daisy banks here:

Blog http://daisybanks.wordpress.com/

Twitter @DaisyBanks16

Facebook http://on.fb.me/18iRC35

Pinterest http://bit.ly/16sF1XG

Amazon  http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

 

Buy Links

Amazon http://amazon.com/author/daisybanks

Barnes and Noble  http://bit.ly/1NWh8gi

iTunes http://apple.co/1IN2oP2

Kobo http://bit.ly/1JgT1pn

 

Daisy Banks is the author of:

Christmas Carols

Marked for Magic

To Eternity

A Perfect Match

Timeless

Valentine Wishes

A Gentleman’s Folly

Your Heart My Soul

Fiona’s Wish

A Matter of Some Scandal

Daisy Banks writes a regular monthly story in the Sexy to Go compilations.

 

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Participating Authors

Be sure to stop by and check them all out!

Carmen Stefanescu
Daisy Banks
Flossie Benton Rogers
M. S. Kaye
Kim Kasch
Cassandra Ulrich
Julie Dárcy
Margo Bond Collins
Adrienne Woods
N. N. Light
Penny Estelle
Lyndi Lamont

Cover Reveal: Tell (The Heckmasters, Book 3), by Allison Merritt

Tell300

Tell (The Heckmasters, Book 3)

Author: Allison Merritt

ISBN13: 9781619233010

Length: 70k

Release date: March 8, 2016

Half demon, all male…one woman strong enough to love him.

Knowing the day will come when his demon blood will overcome his humanity, Tell Heckmaster has been searching for a miracle. Something, anything, to counteract the spell. So far, he’s come up empty.

Just as the town of Berner has finally found peace, Tell’s worst fears manifest. Strange, new powers are tearing at his finely honed control. Putting everyone-including the pretty seamstress he’s kept at arm’s length-in terrible danger.

Sylvie Duke has everything she needs. Everything except Tell, who doesn’t seem to own a lick of sense. His resistance only strengthens her resolve to stay by his side, driven by a nameless inner knowing that without her, all will be lost.

Reluctantly, Tell is forced to admit that the closer he is to Sylvie, the better he’s able to quell his demon. But when a cryptic warning from an old ally tips the balance, nothing-not even love-may be strong enough to protect Berner from the raging fires of hell.

Warning: Contains a woman who can handle a hatchet with as much skill as a needle, and a man whose touch can transport her to heaven. Or hell. Accidentally, of course. Readers may wish to invest in an asbestos suit. Potholders just aren’t going to cut it.

 

Add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/26715881-tell

 

About the Author:

author photo 2015

A love of reading inspired Allison Merritt to pursue her dream of becoming an author who writes historical, paranormal, contemporary, and fantasy romances, often combining the sub-genres. She lives in a small town in the Ozark Mountains with her husband and dogs. It’s not unusual to find her lurking in graveyards, wandering historical sites, or listening to ghost stories.

Allison graduated from College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, Missouri with a B.A. in mass communications that’s gathering dust after it was determined that she’s better at writing fluff than hard news.

 

Social media links:

Blog – http://havenovelwilledit.blogspot.com

Facebook – http://facebook.com/allisonmwrites

Twitter – http://twitter.com/allison_merrit

Goodreads – http://goodreads.com/AllisonMWrites

Pinterest – http://www.pinterest.com/allisonmwrites/

 

Read the first book in the series: Wystan (The Heckmasters)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22589377-wystan

Buy links:

Samhain – http://store.samhainpublishing.com/wystan-p-73651.html

Amazon – http://amzn.com/B00L501TJK

B&N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wystan-allison-merritt/1119847207?ean=9781619222892

Read the second book in the series: Eban (The Heckmasters, Book 2)

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25117444-eban

Buy links:

Samhain – https://www.samhainpublishing.com/book/5394/eban

Amazon – http://amzn.com/B00QZVS0I2

B & N – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wystan-allison-merritt/1119847207?ean=9781619222892

 

 

 

Bound by Blood by Margo Bond Collins, Now Available in Audiobook!

http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Blood-Night-Shift-Book/dp/B00QUB5T9U/

Written by Margo Bond Collins, Narrated by Hollie Jackson

Sometimes the monsters in the dark are real…

As a child, Lili Banta ignored her grandmother’s cryptic warnings to avoid children outside their Filipino community in Houston. When many of those other children fell ill, Lili ignored the whispers in her community that a vampiric aswang walked among them.

Years later, Lili returns to Houston to work for the Quarantine Station of the Center for Disease Control—but she is plagued by dark, bloody dreams that consume her nights and haunt her days. When a strange illness attacks the city’s children, Lili is called in to find its source, and maybe even a cure.

But in order to save the city, she must first acknowledge the sinister truth: A monster stalks the night—closer than she ever expected….

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Audio Book Sample ~ Listen to the first five minutes of Bound by Blood

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Buy Links

Ebook, only $.99 via Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Blood-Night-Shift-Novella-ebook/dp/B00PB3AIGC/
Paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Blood-Night-Shift-Novel/dp/0990743365/
Audiobook: http://www.amazon.com/Bound-Blood-Night-Shift-Book/dp/B00QUB5T9U/
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About the Author

Margo Bond Collins is the author of urban fantasy, contemporary romance, and paranormal mysteries. She has published a number of novels, including Sanguinary, Taming the Country Star, Legally Undead, Waking Up Dead, and Fairy, Texas. She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. Although writing fiction is her first love, she also teaches college-level English courses online. She enjoys reading romance and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about heroes, monsters, cowboys, and villains, and the strong women who love them—and sometimes fight them.
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Connect with Margo

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: http://www.MargoBondCollins.net
Blog: http://www.MargoBondCollins.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
Google+: https://plus.google.com/116484555448104519902
Goodreads Author Page: http://www.goodreads.com/vampirarchy
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/MargoBondCollins
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

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Excerpt: Give Me Hope by Zoey Derrick

Give Me Hope Blog Tour Banner

Give Me Hope

Give Me Hope

Author: Zoey Derrick

Series: The Reason Series (#2)

Genre: Paranormal Romace/Fantasy

Publisher: Self Published

Release Date: Nov 19 2013

Blurb/Synopsis:

An Angel is he…

From the first moment he saw her, MIKAH BLAKE was seized by an inexplicable need to protect Vivienne Callahan, a fragile but fiery young woman who’s awakened a slumbering power within him. With his encouragement, Vivienne has begun to turn her life around, and things seem to be heading in the direction of a slow but certain happily-ever-after. But that happy ending is side tracked by a rising evil that is determined to destroy her.

When her dark past comes back to claim her, Mikah is caught in a whirlwind of events that lead him down a path he was born into but never understood. Until now.

Can Mikah save Vivienne? Will his love be enough? Will he be able to control his angelic powers and use them to protect his newfound love?

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Book Links

Amazon

Goodreads

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Author Info

Zoey Derrick

It is from Glendale, Arizona that Zoey Derrick, a mortgage underwriter by day and romance and erotica novelist by night, writes stories as hot as the desert sun itself. It is this passion that drips off of her work, bringing excitement to anyone who enjoys a good and sensual love story.

Not only does she aim to take her readers on an erotic dance that lasts the night, it allows her to empty her mind of stories we all wish were true.

Her stories are hopeful yet true to life, skillfully avoiding melodrama and the unrealistic, bringing her gripping Erotica only closer to the heart of those that dare dipping into it.

The intimacy of her fantasies that she shares with her readers is thrilling and encouraging, climactic yet full of suspense. She is a loving mistress, up for anything, of which any reader is doomed to return to again and again.

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Author Links

Amazon Author Page

Facebook Author Page

Facebook Personal Page

Goodreads

Twitter

Website

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Excerpt

I pull the detective’s card from my pocket, dial the number and wait.

“Hhhello?”

The voice is tentative, groggy from sleep. Not like the confident officer I met last night. “Detective Stevens?” I ask.

He clears his throat. “Yes.”

Much better. “This is Mikah Blake. We met last night.”

“Oh, of course. What can I do for you?”

“I sent you an email this morning that shows your boy Riley meeting his dad outside my building around two this morning. I have a security detail working on the full video exchange.”

“Are these cameras yours? The ones used to capture these images?”

“Yes, I had the security system installed a couple years ago, the previous one was shit.” I can hear my own irritation coming through. “If we find something you can use, you call your evidence boys and have them come get it.”

“Uh…that’s great. Thank you.” I can hear it in his voice: He’s not used to being told how to do his job.

“Don’t thank me yet. I want a report on Vivienne’s building from last night.”

“It doesn’t work like that, Blake. This isn’t quid pro quo here. What is your need to know?” The skepticism can be heard in his voice and the pain in my back spikes.

“Because when I arrived here this morning, there was a cab parked outside. Still is. I’d like to know when it arrived.”

“I can’t do that, Mr. Blake.”

“Don’t give me that bullshit. Why don’t you call your guy parked down the block from her apartment and ask him. Then we can move on from there.”

“Alright, hang on.” There is a series of clicks. Then he comes back on the line. Ring. “Blake?”

“Yup.” Ring. “Thanks, Detective.” I know he’s violating company policy. Ring. And, I know it’s killing him to give in to my demands.

“Yeah.” Irritation fills his voice. Ring. “Just don’t say anything when he answers.” Ring.

Click. ”You’ve reached the voicemail of Officer Anders. Please leave—” Click.

“What the hell?” Stevens says. “It’s ringing, so it’s on. But why not answer?”

“Let’s find out, shall we?”

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Shifty Magic by Judy Teel

Shifty Magic
by Judy Teel

Shifty Magic cover

…some people will do anything for revenge.

A tough PI struggles to track down a vengeful serial killer only to discover that the murderer holds the key to her secret magical heritage.

Book One in the YA13 paranormal/mystery series Dangerous Magic by Judy Teel. “Expect action, on-the-edge-of-your-seat suspense, and the perfect touch of romance.”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Win a $25 Amazon / BN GC! A Rafflecopter Giveaway

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Excerpt

I inched forward, far enough to see past the end of the alley and into the loading area of the abandoned Walmart. Only one stubborn streetlight on the other side of the broken security fence cast its inadequate glow across the cracked asphalt. Shadows pushed around the edges of the open space, deepening where they cluttered up against rusty dumpsters and smashed crates.

My heart thudded against my ribs at the sight of the woman standing just inside the slash of light, huddling in on herself, shaking. She was average height and on the plump side, around twenty like me, with light brown hair. Unlike me, her boobs looked ready to spill out of the low-cut halter top she wore, and her tight micro skirt was so close to showing her goods that if she twitched, I’d be scarred for life.

Three male vamps cruised around her like sharks. Their fangs were displayed like sharp, curved knives, their features sunken parodies of a human face, more like fleshy skulls as their insatiable hunger gained control. I wondered how much money they’d offered to lure her out of her zone and into such a dangerously secluded area. Maybe all they’d needed was to promise her the erotic trip that their venom gave. Either way, she’d made a fatal error.

People were incredibly stupid about vampires. They had no idea what they were dealing with.

Teel-Magic-Animated1

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About the Author

Shifty Magic Author pic 1

I live in North Carolina with my boisterous family–husband, three kids, a dog and a geriatric bunny–and yup, I’m Southern so occasionally I let a “y’all” slip out. Maybe more than occasionally.

I love my job and dedicate as much of my time to writing as I can. When I’m not doing the weaving of the adventurous and romantic tales, I’m running errands, driving people around (or crazy depending on your perspective), and generally pretending I’m a grownup.

When I was fifteen, I knew I wanted to be a novelist–wanted to write for Harlequin actually. But the calling to tell stories came a lot earlier than that, I just didn’t know what it meant.

I had a lot of growing up to do before I could manage it, though many would claim the growing up part didn’t take–you know who you are–but I finally have my dream job.

Life rocks—so should the books you read!

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VBT_ShiftMagic_NBtM_Banner

Contact Judy Teel

Webpage: http://judyteel.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JudyTeelBooks?ref=hl

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/judyteelbooks

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008K8WHHI

Shifty Magic for Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/shifty-magic-judy-teel/1115409891?ean=2940016703961

Shifty Magic for Kindle: http://amzn.com/B00CXQ7EOE

VBT_ShiftMagic_NBtM_CoverBanner

Cover Reveal: Chasing the Star Garden, by Melanie Karsak

Chasing the Star Garden_Melanie Karsak_D3

Chasing the Star Garden
The Airship Racing Chronicles

An opium-addicted beauty.

An infamous poet living in self-imposed exile.

An ancient treasure about to fall into the wrong hands.

Melanie Karsak’s Chasing the Star Garden takes readers on a thrilling adventure from the gritty opium dens of gaslamp London to the gem-colored waters of the ancient world. Lily Stargazer, a loveable but reckless airship racer with a famous lover and shattered past, reluctantly plunges into a centuries-old mystery in a novel best described as Dan Brown meets Mary Shelley.

It all begins on one of the worst days of Lily’s life. She just lost the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix. To top it off, a harlequin fleeing from constables shoved a kaleidoscope down her pants, told her to fly to Venice, then threw himself from her airship tower. What’s a girl to do? For Lily, the answer is easy: drink absinthe and smoke opium.

Lily’s lover, Lord Byron, encourages her to make the trip to Venice. Lily soon finds herself at the heart of an ancient mystery which has her running from her past and chasing true love and the stars along the way.

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Chapter 1

I was going to lose-again. I gripped the brass handles on the wheel and turned the airship sharply port. The tiller vibrated in protest making the wheel shake and my wrist bones ache. Bracing my knees against the spokes, I tore off my brown leather gloves to get a better feel. The metal handgrips were smooth and cold. My fingers tingled from the chill.

“Easy,” I whispered to the Stargazer. I looked up from my position at the wheelstand, past the ropes, burner basket, and balloon, toward the clouds. They were drifting slowly left in a periwinkle blue sky. There’d be an updraft as we passed over the green-brown waters of the canal near Buckingham House. I locked the wheel and jumped from the wheelstand onto the deck of the gondola and looked over the rail. The canal waters were a hundred feet away. I ran back to the wheel and steadied the ship. If I caught the updraft, it would propel me up and forward and give me an edge.

“Cutter caught it, Lily,” Jessup yelled down from the burner basket below the balloon opening. “Up he goes,” he added, looking out through his spyglass. The gold polish on the spyglass reflected the fire from the burner.

“Dammit!” I snapped down my binocular lense. I saw Hank Cutter’s red-and-white striped balloon rise upward. At the top, he pitched forward with great momentum, catching a horizontal wind. I could just make out Cutter at the wheel. His blond hair blew wildly around him. He turned and waved to me. Wanker.

I was not as lucky. Just as the bow of the Stargazer reached the water, a stray wind came in and blew us leeward. The balloon jiggled violently in the turbulent air. I missed the air pocket altogether.

“No! No, no, no!” I cursed and steadied the ship. I had chased Cutter from Edinburgh across the Scottish and English countryside. He had been off his game all day. I’d had him by half a mile the entire race. With the bottom feeders lingering somewhere in the distance behind us, I’d thought the London leg of the 1823 Airship Grand Prix would be mine. That was until St. Albans, where Cutter caught a random breeze that pushed him slightly in front of me. Cutter had a knack for catching favorable winds; it was not a talent I shared.

“We’re coming up on Westminster,” Jessup yelled down from the basket. “Lily, drop altitude. Cutter is too high. Come in low and fast, and you might overtake him.”

The airship towers sat at the pier near the Palace of Westminster along the Thames. A carnival atmosphere had overtaken the city as it always does on race day. Colorful tents were set up everywhere. Vendors hawked their wares to excited Londoners and international visitors. I could hear the merchants barking from their tents even from this far above. I fancied I could smell roasted peanuts in the wind.

I jumped down from the wheelstand, ran across the deck, and pulled the valve cord, opening the flap at the top of the balloon. Hot air released with a hiss. I kept one eye on the balloon and another eye on Tinkers’ Tower. At this time of day, the heat coming off of the Palace of Westminster and Tinkers’ Tower would give us a bump. I looked up. Cutter had started preparing his descent. It would be close.

I ran back to the wheel.

“Angus, I need more speed,” I yelled down to the gear galley, rapping on the wooden hatch that led to the rods, belts, and propeller parts below.
Angus slapped open the hatch and stuck out his bald head. His face was covered in grease, and his blue-lense monocle glimmered in the sunlight. He looked up at the clouds and back at me.

“Let’s giddyup,” I called to him.

“You trying the Tower sling?” he yelled back.

“You got it.”

He laughed wildly. “That’s my lassie,” he yelled and dropped back down, pulling the wood hatch closed with a clap. I heard the gears grind, and the propeller, which had been turning nice and steady, began to hum loudly. The ship pitched forward. Within moments, we were coming up on Tinkers’ Tower. The airship towers were just a stone’s throw away.

I aimed the ship directly toward Tinkers’ Tower. Just as the bowsprit neared the clock, I yanked the wheel. The warm air caught us.

“Whoa!” Jessup yelled as the balloon moved within arm’s length of the tower.

The sound of “Ohhs!” echoed from the crowd below.

A mix of warm air and propulsion gave us some go, and seconds later we were slingshotting around Tinkers’ Tower toward the airship platforms. Gliding in on warm air and momentum, we flew fast and low.

Cutter had kept it high, but now he was dropping like a stone toward his own tower. Damned American. I didn’t blame him; I would have used the same move. His balloon was releasing so much air that I wondered if he would be able to slow down in time, not that I would have minded seeing him smash to the ground in a million pieces.

“It’s going to be close,” Jessup yelled as he adjusted the heat pan.

I guided the helm. The Stargazer was temperamental, but we understood one another. A shake of the wheel warned me I was pushing too hard. “Almost there,” I whispered to the ship.

The Grand Prix Marshalls were standing on the platform. Cutter and I had the end towers. I was going to make it.

“Cut propulsion,” I yelled toward the gear galley. On the floor near the wheelstand, a rope led to a bell in the galley. I rang it twice. The propeller switched off.

A soft, sweet wind blew in from the port side. It ruffled my hair around my shoulders. I closed my eyes and turned the wheel slightly starboard, guiding the ship in. Moments later, I heard a jubilant cheer erupt from the American side and an explosion from the firework cannon signaling the winner had been declared. My eyes popped open. I tore off my goggles and looked starboard. Cutter’s balloon was docked. I threw the goggles onto the deck and set my forehead against the wheel.

The Stargazer settled into her dock. Jessup set the balloon on hover and, grabbing a rope, swung down to the deck. He then threw the lead lines and anchors onto the platform. The beautifully dressed crowd, gentlemen in suits and top hats and fancy ladies in a rainbow of satin gowns carrying parasols, rushed toward the American end of the platform to congratulate the winner.

I was, once again, a national disgrace. Lily the loser. Lily second place. Perhaps I would never be anything more than a ferrywoman, a cheap air jockey.

“Good job, Lily. Second place!” Jessup said joining me. He patted me on the shoulder.

I sighed deeply and unbuttoned my vest. The tension had me sweating; I could feel it dripping down from my neck, between my breasts, into my corset.

“You did great,” I told Jessup. “Sorry I let you down.”

“Ah, Lily,” he sighed.

Angus emerged from below wiping sweat from his head with a greasy rag. He pulled off his monocle. He frowned toward the American side. “Well, we beat the French,” he said with a shrug and kissed me on the cheek, smearing grease on me.

“Good job, Angus. Thank you,” I said, taking him by the chin and giving him a little shake as I wrinkled my nose and smiled at him.
Angus laughed and dropped his arm around Jessup’s shoulders. They grinned happily at one another.

“You stink, brother,” Jessup told him.

“It’s a wee bit toasty down there. Besides, I pedaled this ship across the entire fucking country while you were up here looking at the birds. That, my friend, is the smell of success.”

I laughed.

“You pedaled the ship?” Jessup asked mockingly. “Like Lil and I were just up here playing cards? If I didn’t keep the balloon aloft, your ass would be kissing the ground.”

“Now wait a minute. Are you saying your job is more important that mine?” Angus retorted.

I could see where this was going. “Gents.”

“More important? Now why would I say that? Just because I’m the one . . .” Jessup started and then his mouth ran.

“Gents.”

“ . . . and another thing . . .” Jessup went on.

“Gentlemen! Our audience awaits,” I said cutting them both off, motioning to the well-shod crowd who waited for us on the loading platform outside the Stargazer.

I grinned at my crew. “Come on. Let’s go.”

I patted the rail of the Stargazer. “Thanks,” I whispered to her, and we exited onto the platform.

A reporter from the London Times and several race officials stood waiting for me.

“Well done, Lily! Well done!” the British race official congratulated me with a pat on the back. “Second place! King George will be so proud. One of these days you’ll have it, by God.”

I was pretty sure that the last thing I needed was the attention of George IV, the extravagant, unpopular lush. But I bit my tongue and smiled politely.

“Lily, how did Cutter beat you? You led the entire race,” the reporter asked. She was a round woman wearing a very thick black lace collar that looked like it was choking her. Her heavy purple walking dress looked hot under the late afternoon summer sun, and the brim of her black satin cap barely shaded her nose. I noticed, however, that she had a small clockwork fan pin attached to her chest. The fan wagged cool air toward her face.

I pulled off my cap, mopped my forehead, and thought about the question. “Luck,” I replied.

“Lily, that was some move around Tinkers’ Tower. How did you learn to do that?” another reporter asked.

“My father,” I lied.

“Make way, make way,” one of the race officials called, ushering a Marshall forward.

The Marshall looked like someone who lingered an hour too long at supper. The gold buttons on his satin, marigold colored vest would take an eye out if they popped. His overly tall top hat was adorned with a ring of flowers that matched his striking orange colored dress coat.

“Miss Stargazer, congratulations,” he said, shaking my hand. “The Spanish airship is coming in now. Will you please join Mr. Cutter at the winners’ podium?” he asked politely as he guided me forward by the hand.

From below there was a commotion. A man dressed in an unusual costume rushed up the stairs. The London constables, a full squadron of the Bow Street Runners, chased him. When he got to the loading platform, the man pushed through a crowd of well-dressed ladies and gentlemen, many of whom were gentry. It was then I could see he was dressed as a harlequin. He wore the traditional red and black checked outfit and a black mask. He scanned the towers until he caught sight of me. He jumped, landing on the tower railing, and ran toward me. A woman in the crowd screamed. Moments later the constables appeared on the platform. The race Marshalls pointed toward the harlequin who was making a beeline for me.

I let go of the Marshall’s hand and stepped back toward the ship.

“Lily,” Jessup warned, moving protectively toward me.

Angus reached over the deck of the Stargazer and grabbed a very large wrench.

Was it an assassin? Christ, would someone murder me for winning second place? I turned and ran toward the Stargazer. A moment later, the harlequin flipped from the rail, grabbed one of the Stargazer’s ropes, and swinging over the others, landed on the platform directly in front of me. Any second now, I would be dead.

He panted and muttered “Lily?” from behind the mask.

“Stop that man! Stop him!” a constable yelled.

“Get out of my way!” Angus roared at the crowd that had thronged in between us.

The masked man grabbed me, tugged on the front of my trousers, and leaned into my ear. The long nose of the mask tickled the side of my face. “Go to Venice,” he whispered as he stuffed something down the front of my pants.

“We got you now,” a constable said, grabbing him, raising his club.

The man shook him off, took two steps backward, and with a jump, leapt off the tower.

Several people in the crowd screamed.

I rushed to the side of the tower to see the harlequin lying at its base. His body was twisted, and his arms and legs bent oddly, contorted into three distinct points. Blood began pooling around him.

“Miss Stargazer, are you all right?” a constable asked.

“A man just killed himself in front of me. No, I am not all right.”

“I mean, are you harmed? Did he hurt you?”

I shook my head and looked down at the mangled body which lay in the shape of a three-sided triskelion. It was the same symbol that was painted on the balloon of the Stargazer.

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About the Author

Melanie Karsak Author Pic by Orange Moon Studios

Melanie Karsak grew up in rural northwestern Pennsylvania where there was an abysmal lack of entertainment, so she turned to reading and hiking. Apparently, rambling around the woods with a head full of fantasy worlds and characters will inspire you to become an author. Be warned. Melanie wrote her first novel, a gripping piece about a 1920s stage actress, when she was 12. A steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, the author now resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Melanie is an Instructor of English at Eastern Florida State College.

Blog: http://www.melaniekarsak.blogspot.com

Twitter: twitter.com/MelanieKarsak

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMelanieKarsak

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melaniekarsak/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6539577.Melanie_Karsak

Spotlight On: Full Moon on the Rise, by Natalie Carlisle

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Full Moon on the Rise
By: Natalie Carlisle

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Blurb
Someone in Emerson Fox Academy is determined to kill him, and Kale Rollins doesn’t know how much more he can take. And on top of everything, his adopted mom has “disappeared” and his real brother, Trey, is leaving just when Kale needs him the most. Not to mention, Miller and Kit are getting too close for his comfort and there is nothing he can do about it.

Frustrated, scared, and struggling for “control” Kale doesn’t trust himself at all. With the full moon on the rise, Kale soon realizes he isn’t the only one who might die.

What he wouldn’t do to be normal these days…

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Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Natalie-Carlisle/e/B00DQDBLN8

Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/09/now-booking-tasty-blurb-tour-tasty.html

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Author Info
Natalie

Natalie Carlisle currently lives with her husband and two dogs in New Jersey but misses the mountains of her hometown in PA every day. When not writing, Natalie can be found reading, drawing, painting, watching chick flicks, taking pictures of nature, running (when her knee is being cooperative)and hiking. She loves being active though lately most of her time is spent in front of a computer working on her next novel.

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Author Links
http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6555319.Natalie_Carlisle
http://nataliecarlisle.blogspot.com/
http://www.tell-talepublishing.com/natalie-carlisle.html
https://www.facebook.com/natalie.carlisle.71

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Rafflecopter Giveaway (Digital Set of THE SHIFTED and FULL MOON ON THE RISE or $10.00 Amazon or B&N Gift Card)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Excerpt

“Please pick up… come on, pick up.” Kale’s fingers worried the cord of the library’s phone for the second time that day. And just like yesterday, and the day before that, and the day before that… there was still no answer. “Come on.”

Another ring passed loudly in his ear. Two more and he knew the answering machine would pick up. Again. He held his breath.

One…

Come on.

Two…

“Hi! You reached the Rollins’ residence. We can’t come to the phone right now—”

“Damn it!” Deep inhale. He slammed the receiver. Heads turned toward the noise to stare at him. It took everything in him not to snap at them. Bending over he snatched his book bag off the floor and swung it hastily over his shoulder. Ignore them. They don’t get it. Their lives are normal.

What he wouldn’t do to be normal these days.

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Full Moon On The Rise Natalie Carlisle Blurb