Cover Reveal: Stripped Clean by Ellis Carrington


Stripped Clean 
by Ellis Carrington

Blurb: 
Carlos O’Shea is stuck. He knocked-up a girl in college after a night of too much drinking, and then married her to be honorable. With little money, fewer options, and no degree, he winds up cleaning the floors in a small town gentleman’s club and thinking desperate thoughts about the handsome owner that’ll lead to 
nothing but trouble.
Greg Moorehouse only invested in a nudie bar to help his best buddy out of a financial crisis. Now his drug-dealing ex boyfriend, his reverend father, and a parade of surgically-enhanced DD’s are driving him insane. But what’s really stripped him of all good sense is his growing obsession with his married employee, Carlos.
They circle each other in a push-pull of misunderstandings and growing attraction. Carlos needs to get his boss out of his head, and Greg can’t abide cheaters and married men. So what are a strip club owner and the guy who cleans going to do with their undeniable desires?
Please note: This is an adult GLBT romance (male/male romance), for mature readers only. Contains explicit love-making between two hot-blooded men, angsty dark moments, and cupcake-baking exotic dancers.
Available for purchase at 
      

 

(iTunes coming soon)

Excerpt
Greg glanced at Carlos’s hand. “You still aren’t wearing your ring. Were you actually married, or was that some kinda fucked-up story?”
Carlos groaned and stared up at the morning sky. “She moved out, which was why I came by the club. I wanted to talk, but you were otherwise engaged.” He coughed a laugh. “I’m not sure what kind of crack I was smoking thinking that we were that kind of friend. You’re my boss for crying out loud.”
“Oh.” Greg pressed his lips together, nodding with mock agreement. “That’s very mature. While we’re being mature, should I trot out the liar-liar-pants-on-fire argument, because I’m pretty sure I saw you kissing that guy in there.”
Carlos thumped down the barely-holding-it-together wood stairs. “You did not see me kissing him in there. Did. Not.”
“Looked a hell of a lot like kissing.” Greg’s insides washed in relief, but he wasn’t sure he was ready to buy what Carlos was selling.
Carlos leaned close. “I handed him,” he said slowly, “a cup of coffee. We were talking. Our faces were close. The screen’s kinda thick on that living room window. Not the most conducive for spying, Greg.”
Oh Jesus. “I wasn’t spying I just happened— You know what? Whatever.” He spread his arms out wide. Took a step back. “So your wife being gone has nothing to do with you humping my leg in your sleep and coming in your pants?”
Carlos didn’t answer, but his face flushed a hot red that would have been sexy if Greg hadn’t been so pissed.
“Yeah. Listen,” Greg said. “This ain’t exactly an out-and-proud part of the country, man. Nobody knows better than I do. I’ve had my share of run-ins.” He stepped backward. Suddenly his stomach was full of rocks and he needed to get back to his car. “I still trusted you.” He nodded again, more to himself this time than to Carlos. “Gotta be honest, that you didn’t? Stings some.”
“Hey.” Carlos’s long legs ate up the distance between them. He gripped Greg’s shoulder with strong, dark fingers and pushed him back against the alcove over the front door, kissing hard.
Oh God. His distant memory of kissing Sammy had nothing on kissing Carlos. This was fire. Passion. Greg’s mouth came alive with Carlos’s lips on his. Their tongues slid together. His cock hardened as their bodies pressed in all the right places. Electricity shot through his veins when Carlos’s teeth grazed his tongue.
Carlos moaned and repositioned his mouth, kissing over and over. Harder. Harsher. Grinding erection against erection, twisting the fabric of Greg’s shirt in his hand.
Greg’s brought his hands to Carlos’s shoulders, and whether he was holding tighter or pushing away, he couldn’t quite tell even to himself.
Carlos pulled away, and Greg was still gasping when Carlos whispered in his ear, “I’m awake now, Greg.”
About the Author
Romance requires a hopeful ending and that is why Ellis Carrington is driven to write it. She loves to create original stories that are gritty, witty, and a little unexpected, just like the heroes who inhabit them. Her guys come in both human and non-human form because spirit guides and vampires deserve love too. Her favorite things are great friends, great music, and books that make her sob like there’s no tomorrow.
You can find her at
         

Presented By

Interview: Bebe Knight, Author of An Element of Time

Today, we are joined by the incomparable Bebe Knight, not only a fabulous writer, but a delightfully generous person with whom to work. She is here discussing her Eternal Flame series–in particular, the first novel, An Element of Time. Welcome, Bebe!

(Also, An Element of Time is on sale for $.99 right now–it’s a great time to get it!)

_____________________________

First off, I just want to say thank you to Margo for hosting me! It’s an honor to be able to work with some amazing authors such as her!

What do you write about?

My Eternal Flame Series is a paranormal romance series. In the first book, An Element of Time, you get to meet a coven of vampires, some evil werewolves and a group of hunters. There’s a little bit of something for everyone! There’s some action, suspense and a whole lot of desire when it comes to our hero and heroine, Mackenzie and Veronica.

Have you ever used characteristics from someone you know in one of your books?

Yes! My stories are very character driven and I love to incorporate real life moments into their lives. Be it physical characteristics, emotional characteristics, or even just the way they talk.

Tell us a little about your work in progress.

Right now I’m working on two things. One is the second book in my series which will be titled Sunset Shadows. And two, a young adult screenplay. (Actually, I’ve been working on it for about five years.)

What is your personal writing process?

I have to be in the zone in order to write. I need total silence, I need a cup of coffee (or wine depending on the scene I’m writing) and I need a good solid chunk of time to be able to write.

Who are a few authors you look up to?

I adore J.R. Ward and J.K. Rowling. I strive to be as talented as those two classy ladies.

What inspired you to write your first book?

NaNoWriMo and Twilight. I was talking to my sister one day about how paranormal romance was all the rage and mentioned I had an idea for a series. She introduced me to NaNoWriMo and said I should just give it a try. So I did, and the first draft of An Element of Time was born.

What do you find particularly challenging about writing?

Right now, finding the time with a toddler!

If there was one message you could send to everybody who reads your books, what would it be?

That I truly hope you enjoy it. That it tugs at your heart strings, brings you some good laughs and that the characters stay with you forever.

Any advice for aspiring writers?

Just go for it. You’ll never know how it ends if you don’t at least start.

Where can readers find you and your work?

Right now An Element of Time is available in e-book format exclusively through Amazon. Paperback due out early 2014.
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk

_____________________________
Check out the information and excerpt below. Remember: An Element of Time is only $.99 this weekend!

An Element of Time COVER

A vampire and a slayer walk into a bar… Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but for Veronica and Mackenzie, it’s the beginning of the rest of their lives…

The world has seen its fair share of evil, but Veronica Chase had no idea such monsters truly existed. Werewolves, poltergeists, witches… even vampires. Ignorance was bliss. But her reality was crushed on that horrid day her family was taken away from her. Now, Veronica has devoted her entire life to hunting those very creatures, searching for the werewolf pack that murdered her parents in hopes of finding her abducted sister. Nothing will get in her way of settling the score for the hand she was unjustly dealt. That is until her newest assignment brings her to her knees.

After one hundred and eight years on earth, Mackenzie Jones thought he had seen it all. With the exception of daylight of course, but that’s what comes with the territory being a vampire and all. Perpetually damned to live his life as a bartender in the shadows of the night, nothing has sparked his interest lately. Just once he wished something exciting would happen in his mundane life. Little did he know, his wish was about to come true. Walking through the door to his bar, and into his heart, Mackenzie allows love to take the wheel for the first time. There’s just one slight problem. She’s there to kill him.

_____________________________
Excerpt

The delectable scent of meat searing on the grill hit his senses as he made his way into the kitchen. Daniela was making his favorite meal; filet mignon. Mackenzie hadn’t realized how long he’d gone without food until now; his stomach growled in response to the sizzling steak, ready to eat it raw if he had to. Daniela turned off the blender and poured the concoction into some glasses.

“I thought this might cheer you up,” Daniela said, handing a glass to Mackenzie. “Drink up!” Her attention went back to the blender as she sang, “You put the lime in the coconut, and drink them both up.”

Daniela had a way of making all the troubles in the world just disappear, even if it was as simple as making his favorite meal or whipping up a tasty drink. Mackenzie sat at the head of the table and gulped down the contents in his cup. But for some reason, it didn’t work this time. He was still as depressed as he was before. Maybe even more so.

Smacking the glass down on the table a little harder than he intended, the crystal chimed delicately in response. One drop of blood from the Type O cocktail escaped the lip of the glass and started to slowly slide its way down to the base. Mackenzie stared at the liquid ruby and couldn’t help but image it being the warm blood of a lover, descending down her neck after a fresh bite. His fangs released in response. How he longed to hold a woman with soft, beautiful skin in his arms. Maybe Daniela was right, maybe he did need a companion. Instead, the opaque crystal goblet sat lifelessly in his palm. He picked up the glass and slowly licked the droplet in one upward flick of the tongue. The action, as harmless as it was, opened a flood gate of instincts Mackenzie had to try to repress; he had to push back into the coffin where he stashed them years ago.

“You okay?” Daniela asked, sitting down next to him. “You look a little pale, like you’re going to be sick.”

“Of course I’m pale. I’m a vampire.” Mackenzie smiled, showing off his protracted fangs. Daniela chuckled in response and went back to finishing the meal.

Lucky for him, she bought his lame excuse when in actuality he was scared. Scared that his vampire nature would spring to life and drown him in blood lust for all the years he suppressed the urge. He barely knew what it was like to be a vampire, but his instincts were rushing back to him.

Now, after visualizing that tantalizing temptation, he had to try not to be one again.

Shit, Mackenzie thought.

_____________________________
About the Author

BebeKnight

Bebe Knight is the author of the paranormal romance series, The Eternal Flame Books. She lives in Upstate NY with her husband and son. Writing has always been a part of her life whether it be books, plays, or handwritten letters to friends and family. It’s a dream come true for her to be able to share her stories with others.

_____________________________
Connect with Bebe

http://www.bebeknight.com
https://www.facebook.com/BebeKnightAuthor
http://www.goodreads.com/Bebe_Knight
http://www.twitter.com/Bebe_Knight

Review of Her Wicked Angel by Felicity Heaton

Wicked angel

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Review

In Her Wicked Angel, the dark angel Asmodeus is sent to earth to retrieve the witch Liora for his master, the Devil. But when Asmodeus sets eyes on Liora, he is lost; he can’t imagine handing her over to the Devil. Instead, he sets out to make her his own.

In this latest entry of the Her Angel Romance series, author Felicity Heaton offers a sexy hero and a beautiful heroine whose chemistry makes the pages sizzle. I particularly liked Heaton’s depiction of Asmodeus’ difficulties as a hell-born angel on his first trip to earth; the fact that he doesn’t know how to behave and Liora has to teach him evened the odds a little bit. He might be overwhelmingly powerful, but Liora is a powerful witch in her own right—and as attractive as she finds him, she’s not overawed by him. That made for a nice balance in their relationship.

I was a little distracted by what felt like the author’s constant use of “male” and “female” in the text. I get the reasoning—these demonic angels aren’t exactly men and wouldn’t necessarily think in the same terms we do. Nonetheless, the constant use of the terms seemed a little overly biological to me. I think the words “man” and “woman” would have been almost invisible in a way that “male” and “female” weren’t.

But that’s really a minor issue. This is a solid romance novel. The plot is entertaining, Asmodeus is a bad-ass, and Liora is definitely his match. Her Wicked Angel is wicked good fun.

Overall, I give it 8/10
4 stars

~Margo Bond Collins

A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris

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Amazon

Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

_______________________________________________
Excerpt
Without stopping or even slowing his stride, he grabs a map from a vendor and flips it open. “So Lethal Xperience is at the back of the park. We’ll hit that first and then make our way up to the front.”

He seems unaware that the length of his legs far exceeds my own. As I frantically attempt to match his stride, I must pant or wheeze because he finally looks down at me, no doubt pink-faced and wide-eyed both from the sensory overload surrounding us and my huffing at a near jog to stay beside him. He grins. “Try to keep up, Short Stuff.”

I grit my teeth with determination and somehow keep myself from muttering, Yes, Master. But the thought still makes me smile. Cat must be rubbing off.

We pass a circular ride filled with fake horses going up and down. Giggling and drooling children clap their adorable hands from their belted saddles while a spirited tune blares overhead. Just past that is a miniature roller coaster made to look like a giant, happy centipede. The child in the front seat waves to his mother as the cart dips, and his squeal of joy tails behind him. It’s too bad that not all roller coasters can be five feet tall.

Then I get a wicked idea.

Austin believes I am a child, naive and boring, and, it would seem, without any humor. This second challenge is supposed to be about fun, and nothing—not even the lead role in a prestigious play with a crowd of a thousand—will give me more joy than turning the tables on him, even if only for a moment.

Looking back at the children’s ride, I grab Austin’s elbow and say innocently, “Is this not the roller coaster you are looking for?”

He stops rather abruptly and peers at me through squinted eyes. “You know, it’s like you look normal…” He trails off and shakes his head. He points a long tan finger at the centipede ride and in a tone dripping with condescension explains, “Less, Arthropod Picnic is a kiddie ride. It’s made for pint-size ankle-biters ages three and under.”

I try my best to look disappointed. I do everything I can to contain my mounting delight. But after no more than a few brief moments, I let forth a victorious giggle.

Realization dawns on his face. “You think you’re funny, huh?”

When I nod, he chuckles. He leans back on his heels and lets his gaze travel over my body. Humor dissipates as my skin prickles to life. On Austin’s slow ascent back up, he pauses to look me in the eye and an emotion crosses his face. It’s so fleeting—gone and there in an instant—that I cannot catch it.

“So, you think you’re ready to play at the big girl table now.” The left side of his mouth kicks up in a grin. “We’ll just have to see about that.”

The apparent taunt and Austin’s added wink spur me on.

This is my chance to prove to him that I’m not the timid girl I once was. To prove to myself that I’m no longer the child of my youth but a woman ready for the future.

I sashay toward a person dressed as a shiny nugget of gold posing for pictures with children, feeling Austin watching me, his gaze on my every step like a physical touch. My legs feel wobbly under my skirt, but an energizing spark ignites in my blood. I glance over my shoulder, confirming I have his complete attention, and then with an outward shrug (and an inner dance), I reply with every ounce of confidence I can muster, “Yes. We will.”

Austin’s smile widens. The sounds and patrons of the park fade away, and it is as if we are the only two around. I don’t know what is happening…I scarcely even recognize myself in this moment. Being with Austin does that. It turns me into someone else.

And I like who I become.

I watch his slow saunter, my body poised with tension. I don’t know what is going to happen next, but I wouldn’t trade the delicious expectation for anything. Austin doesn’t stop until he is right in front of me, close enough that I have to look up to meet his demanding blue gaze, and so close that warmth fans across my face as he says in a low voice, “Careful, girl. You’re playing with fire.”

“I’ve been careful my whole life,” I tell him, surprising myself with the resentment ringing in my tone. But it’s the truth. “And you know, I think it’s about time for me to be a little…” I bite the corner of my bottom lip, searching for exactly the right word to describe the emotions and thoughts that have surfaced the last few days. When I find it, I smile and wiggle my eyebrows suggestively “Wild.”

Austin sucks in a breath. He searches my eyes and I boldly stare back, praying that he cannot see my knees shaking. Then, obviously concluding that I meant every word, he flashes his devilish grin. “I can work with that.”

_______________________________________________

About Rachel Harris

I grew up in New Orleans, where I watched soap operas with my grandmother and stayed up late sneak reading my mama’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, I still stay up way too late reading my favorite romances, only now, I can do so openly. I firmly believe life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.

When not typing furiously or flipping pages in an enthralling romance, I homeschool my two beautiful girls and watch reality television with my amazing husband.

I write YA, NA, and Adult Fun & Flirty Escapes. Taste The Heat is my adult romance debut, and I’m also the author of MY SUPER SWEET SIXTEENTH CENTURY and A TALE OF TWO CENTURIES, as well as a ton of other books to come. I love hearing from readers and dishing books!

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Book Blitz: Elemental Killers by Mia Hoddell

Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell
Release Date: February 2013

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ASIN: B00BDQ3QGA
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9
Blurb:
The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.

Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.

Available from:

Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu
and only 99c / 77p on Kindle for September!

Praise:
“I couldn’t put it down. So I finished it last
night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.”
Brianna (Book Blogger)

I loved how the author took a different
approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present.
I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing.
Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

I will admit I scoffed at the way it
started but in the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely
untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern.
This story had
such a good plot and the story structure was sound.
Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author
Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still – despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.
Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series ‘The Wanderer Trilogy’ and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series ‘Elemental Killers’ before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.

***Excerpt***
Happy with the amount of photos I had collected I started to head back out of the forest, still flicking through my shots. As well as close ups, I had taken a few landscapes and as I was almost at the edge of the forest I noticed something in one of the photographs that made me stop.
In the left hand corner was a figure that looked mostly human, but was blurred as if they were moving on the spot.
A cold shudder shot through me.
Looking over my shoulder I became slightly panicked and felt as if someone was following me.
My eyes flicked and searched the shadows. Even though there was no sign that anything had ever been behind me, the forest looked different now – dark and threatening.
Instinctively I broke away and ran, still clutching the camera that was displaying the freaky image. Surrounded by trees I didn’t stop until I was free of the forest and back in the open light and sight of my house.
Throwing open my door, I slumped against the inside of it, regaining my breath from the short sprint. Once I had recovered I looked down at the photo once more, just to make sure that I hadn’t been seeing things. The old saying “the camera never lies,” came into my mind and for the first time I wished it not to be true. Sure enough though, as I looked down at the screen, the figure was still there and this time I noticed a red and orange glow around where its feet should have been. The image almost looked like the person was on fire but I thought I would have surely noticed if there had been a burning man in front of me.

***GIVEAWAY***
Mia Hoddell is giving away an Amazon gift card this month only there is a slight twist: the more entries she receives the more money she will put on the gift card to giveaway! For example:
No matter what = $5
100 entries = $10
150 entries = $15
200 entries = $20
and so forth…
So if she gets 1000 entries she will give away $100, there’s no limit!

To enter all you have to do is buy or have bought Deadly to Love. It’s only $0.99 or £0.79 on Amazon for the duration of the giveaway! This will also unlock extra entries for you so you can earn more points by sharing the giveaway. Remember the more entries she gets the bigger the prize for you so share!


Spotlight On: An Element of Time by Bebe Knight

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An Element of Time
Eternal Flame Series: Book One

By: Bebe Knight
Releasing September 24th, 2013 through Solstice Publishing

A vampire and a slayer walk into a bar… Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but for Veronica and Mackenzie, it’s the beginning of the rest of their lives…

An Element of Time COVER

The world has seen its fair share of evil, but Veronica Chase had no idea such monsters truly existed. Werewolves, poltergeists, witches… even vampires. Ignorance was bliss. But her reality was crushed on that horrid day her family was taken away from her. Now, Veronica has devoted her entire life to hunting those very creatures, searching for the werewolf pack that murdered her parents in hopes of finding her abducted sister. Nothing will get in her way of settling the score for the hand she was unjustly dealt. That is until her newest assignment brings her to her knees.

After one hundred and eight years on earth, Mackenzie Jones thought he had seen it all. With the exception of daylight of course, but that’s what comes with the territory being a vampire and all. Perpetually damned to live his life as a bartender in the shadows of the night, nothing has sparked his interest lately. Just once he wished something exciting would happen in his mundane life. Little did he know, his wish was about to come true. Walking through the door to his bar, and into his heart, Mackenzie allows love to take the wheel for the first time. There’s just one slight problem. She’s there to kill him.

Rafflecopter Giveaway

_________________________________________

Excerpt

Veronica took a seat on an empty stool in a deserted corner, far enough away from anyone to hear a conversation. He glanced her way and held up a finger to let her know he’d be right over. Mackenzie was currently busy talking with two girls, a blond and a brunette, who were both dressed to kill and definitely playing him up. The blond kept laughing louder than necessary, while the brunette playfully hit his arm.

Veronica rolled her eyes. It was obvious to anyone with half a brain what they were after. However, his demeanor suggested that he was uninterested. Either that or just very naïve. Points for her if that were the case. When he was finally able to remove himself from the talkative twins, he made his was over to take her order.

“What can I get you?” Mackenzie asked with his back to her, ringing out another customer on the cash register. He had no clue that she held the fate of his life in her hands.

“Make it a Bloody Mary,” she requested. Trying to see if she could get him to turn around, she hoisted her messenger bag onto the bar, making a loud thump in the process.

He cocked his head toward her, and raised an eyebrow. “You sure you can handle it? I like mine extra hot.”

“Yeah, ninety-eight point six degrees,” she muttered under her breath. “Bring it on Mackenzie, I like a challenge.” He turned around at the mention of his name.

God, he’s gorgeous, Veronica thought. Shit, is he using mind control on me? She shook her head to clear her thoughts. Now was her chance– all she had to do was hop over the bar and stake him. Easy enough, right?

“Now that I have your undivided attention, let me introduce myself. I’m Veronica Chase and I’ll be your slayer tonight.” She took a stake out of her bag and placed it on the bar. “Any questions?”

_________________________________________
About the Author

Bebe Knight is the author of the paranormal romance series The Eternal Flame Books. She lives in Upstate NY with her husband and son. Writing has always been a part of her life whether it be books, plays, or handwritten letters to friends and family. It’s a dream come true for her to be able to share her stories with others.

Contact Bebe:
http://www.bebeknight.com
https://www.facebook.com/BebeKnightAuthor
http://www.goodreads.com/Bebe_Knight
http://www.twitter.com/Bebe_Knight

BebeKnight

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Spotlight On: The Second Shadow, by Elizabeth Arroyo

The%20Second%20Shadow_900

Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 9/5/2013

Jake thought being demon meant a shredded humanity, stripped of all human emotion. Chaos and self-preservation dominates a demon’s instincts. But Jake feels every ounce of pain and despair around him.

And it’s driving him deeper into Hell.

Gabby’s choice to save him last summer left a fissure in Hell’s gate that released a malevolent evil. When Jake’s given a mission by the demons to shadow a human girl who may know the whereabouts of an ethereal weapon, he doesn’t expect to see Gabby. But Fate has her own agenda.

When Jake and Gabby are thrown together on a camping trip with a group of delinquent teens, Jake begins to grapple with the haunting choices he made in the past. When the evil finds them, the group begins to battle for their lives, alliances are made, and truths revealed.

As the evil begins to influence Jake, he questions his link to the demons, his purpose, and his love for Gabby.

But the answers to those questions are only found in Hell. And it may cost him his soul.

______________________________________________________________________________

Prologue
Old, dead things

Gabriela Vega was going to pay. It was all Tasha could think about after the little freak soaked her in mop water—as if. No one in the cafeteria had lifted a finger as Tasha pounded on the new girl. They wouldn’t dare. Suspended after she tackled the little swine, Tasha knew she’d be in deep shit when she got home. Grams was going to have a fit.

Wiping her dripping nose as she stepped onto the bus, she took a seat near the window in the rear. Tasha hated riding on the bus, but Robin refused to take her wet ass home. He didn’t want to ruin the polyester upholstery in his car. Asshole.

But Tasha hadn’t left the fight empty-handed.

She lifted the chain in front of her eyes and scrutinized the small silver angel pendant. The pendant made the fight worthwhile, even the suspension. Wait until Gabby saw Tasha wearing it. Let the little shit try to take it back. Rubbing the warm pendant with her thumb, she felt tiny vibrations under her skin. It felt good.

A strong odor caught in her throat from the guy sitting next to her. The smell of old, dead things. Scooting away from him without jumping out the window didn’t help. His shoulder nudged hers, forcing her to turn and face the dark, hollow pit that replaced his face. She tried to move, to pull back, to scream, but her body and her voice wouldn’t comply. The fabric of his dark trench coat fluttered, as if caught by an unfelt wind.

And then he began to lean toward her. The air grew thick, pressing against her as if she’d fallen into a deep ocean trench and the pressure threatened to crush her. Implode.

She couldn’t breathe.

No one noticed her dying on the bus. No one noticed the thing beside her, with its hollow face inches from hers, and stench of death. It whispered words in her ear and a cold wetness draped her in fear. Tears leaked from her eyes and pain exploded inside her skull. Then she did move. She pulled away from him, closed her eyes to keep them in her head, and rubbed her forehead with her palm.

“Are you okay?”

Tasha looked at the woman sitting beside her.

“Huh?” Tasha rubbed her head again. A splitting headache tightened its nasty clamp around her head. “No, I feel like crap.” Tasha stood up as the bus reached her stop, and she got off.

She arrived home with no memory of the bus ride or the walk. She needed to crash. Cold sweat forced shivers throughout her body. The buzzing in her head wouldn’t stop. Sick. She was getting sick. The flu maybe. She rubbed her ear and felt a wet sticky substance. Black goop on her fingertips made her stomach roll. She stepped inside the apartment she shared with her grandma and sister and a foul smell forced her eyes to water. Her stomach lurched, and she ran to the bathroom.

“Are you sick?” Grandma’s voice tore into her brain as she stumbled back to the couch. Moaning, Tasha threw herself on it, her limbs heavy, her breathing hard. She needed sleep. Rest. Peace.

“I asked you a question!” Grandma hollered.

There is no peace for the wicked.

Tasha sat up, eyes closed. Grandma’s in one of her moods again. “Please, Grams, can I sleep for a little bit?” Pain exploded on her left cheek, then, in quick succession, her right. She’d been slapped. Twice. Opening her eyes to her grandmother, Tasha restrained the urge to crawl away and die.

“You demon spawn, what did you do?” Spittle fell from Grams thin lips, the only feature on her face that looked…human. “The school called! What did you do this time?”

Tasha stood up on shaky legs. Grandma’s face, a writhing mass of bugs, stood a foot away from her own. Her heart did a double-take, and she felt the blood drain from her body. Tasha felt the scream at her throat and opened her mouth to release it into the space between her and the monster. But nothing came out. As if she’d been dropped into cold water, her limbs felt heavy, slow, uncoordinated. Sidestepping the sofa in an attempt to get as far away from the bugs on her grandma’s face, Tasha’s feet got tangled on the rug, and she crashed to the floor. Pain brought her flittering to the surface of reality and the instinct to survive grew into panic. Crawling on all fours, she reached her bedroom door, but strong arms lifted her by the hair, pulling, tearing her scalp. A scream escaped her, cut short by more pain.

Grandma had never beaten her. Grandma wasn’t strong enough to do much but holler at her and her sister. But it dawned on Tasha that the thing in front of her wasn’t her grandma anymore. “Grandma, please.”

“You did this to her. And now you will pay,” an inhuman voice said between the colonies of bugs slithering along Grandma’s flesh.

Tasha stumbled into the kitchen. Fear drove her to reach for the block of knives, pulling one out. The buzzing in her head grew louder. She turned to her grandma with the knife in her hand. “Please, don’t do this.”

But Tasha couldn’t see anymore. Her vision darkened.

The Pain. The buzzing in her head. It wouldn’t stop.

Her muscles liquid fire, her body not her own.

Someone let out a painful scream. And Tasha felt warm liquid seep between her fingers curled around the knife. Then silence.

And she was floating. Sleep. She needed sleep.

Not sure how long she’d been in darkness, she found herself sitting on the sofa, staring at the front door. She reached for the angel medallion around her neck. She didn’t remember putting it on. But it wasn’t hers. She had to give it back.

A shadow moved in front of her, its hand extended. She pulled off the chain and dropped it inside its palm.

Make the buzzing stop. Please.

One more.

Tasha had one more job to do.

She sauntered back to the kitchen, stepped over the body on the floor, and pulled out the stove as if it weighed nothing. The connector snapped and gas hissed into the room. Good.

Slowly, she went back to the living room, pulled out her lighter, and waited.

Burn.

Her sister would be home soon.

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About the Author

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Elizabeth Arroyo

Born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, Elizabeth spent most of her younger years as an avid reader with a wild imagination which led her to write her first manuscript at the age of fourteen.

But, life got in the way. Elizabeth completed a Bachelors degree in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice at Northeastern Illinois University and works in the community strengthening families.

But her love of stories held, and in 2008 she found herself back into her storytelling roots and began writing again. In 2012, Elizabeth signed with Sapphire Star Publishing to release her debut novel, THE SECOND SIGN.

Elizabeth still resides in Chicago’s south west side with her family, a household of kids, and the bliss of chaos. The good kind. She continues to work in the community.

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Cassandra Giovanni, Author of Love Exactly

Welcome to Cassandra Giovanni, author of Love Exactly, who joins us today with a great Top Ten list!

10 Things I Wish I Knew About Being an Author Before I Published

1. Writing is more than just sitting down and typing. It’s about writing, editing, letting people in, deleting, editing, writing, marketing, marketing and well, more marketing.

2. Pre-release marketing is the key to great sales.

3. That I would work 70+ hours every week to accomplish everything.

4. I’d known about more than Nook and Kindle.

5. What social media is a waste of time and what social media is worth it.

6. Post-release marketing is just as important as Pre-release marketing.

7. That people always ALWAYS ask for a sequel.

8. If you’re writing a series, have it done completely before you release book 1.

9. That putting myself out there was the hardest thing I could do in my life–but one of the best decisions ever. I would have done it a lot sooner.

10. Amazon’s return policy…enough said.

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Love Exactly

love exatly

Emma Walker was a writer who’d lost herself to someone else’s anger–who had given up on ever feeling like herself again.

Evan Levesque was a rock-god–the one all the woman wanted, but he’d never gotten used to the loneliness between the stage and real life.

With just one cup of coffee they’ll begin a journey of self-discovery at each others sides, but can Emma handle Evan’s fame while dealing with her own demons? Emma’s checkered personal past, a bad relationship that haunts the edges of her memories, threatens to make everything implode on them when Evan takes matters into his own hands.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but your words…they’ll destroy my soul–Can Emma handle being put back together and facing who she’s become because of it?

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Excerpt

I traced the outline of the beads on his neck showing through his v-neck t-shirt. “What does this symbolize?”

“Prayer beads.”

I let my fingers follow the line of his vein down his shoulder, over the flowers that dotted his upper arm and down to his forearm. I turned it so I could trace the lion on the inside. “And this?”

“Lions are bad ass.”

“Seriously?”

He shrugged. “Unfortunately, not every tattoo I have has a meaning.”

“The roses?”

“My mom’s favorite flower. I know it’s not original,” he commented as he took my hand and put it over his heart where the roses were. “But after everything my parents went through with me I wanted something to symbolize them.”

“Everything they want through?” I asked as I let my fingers fan out across the shape of his chest muscles before bringing them back up and playing with the tips of his hair that were beginning to curl.

“I left home when I was sixteen to record our first CD, went on tour at seventeen, and started tattooing the crap out of myself at eighteen. I know I’m successful, but I can’t say I think this was what my parents wanted.”

Evan had moved his head so he was staring out at the ocean. I watched as the waves reflected in his eyes and his chest heaved with a deep outlet of breath.

“I’m sure they’re proud of you,” I tried to reassure him, but I could tell from the way his jaw tightened that this was something he had been dealing with for a long time.

His eyes met mine and he reached up to touch my face. “I know…but it doesn’t change the fact I was their only child, and I abandoned them for a life they never approved of.”

“I’m not an excellent poster child for things parents approve of either. There’s so much guilt I deal with day to day. I know that I hurt them,” I explained, my voice diminishing to a cracking whisper that was only just audible against the sound of the waves. I closed my eyes, unable to bear the look on his face as I admitted, “What’s worse is the anger I feel at myself for it.”

I felt Evan get up and kneel in front of me, pulling my face to his own. I concentrated on the touch of his rough finger tips, the smell of his heady Axe cologne and then the feel of his forehead as it pressed against mine while I tried to calm my breathing.

“Tell me something…” his voice drifted with the waves; “tell me why it feels like you’re a part of my soul?”

I opened my eyes to look into his, watching as the yellow around his iris darkened to a burnt orange and the brown faded to a muted green.

“Because you’re a part of mine.”

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About the Author

Cassandra doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. In fact, the first time she was published was when she was seven years old and won a contest to be published in an American Girl Doll novel. Since then Cassandra has written more novels than she can count and put just as many in the circular bin. Her personal goal with her writing is to show the reader the character’s stories through their dialogue and actions instead of just telling the reader what is happening. In 2012 she became a published Young Adult author, releasing In Between Seasons (The Fall, #1) and Walking in the Shadows. In 2013 she branched out by using her artistic illustrating talents to publish her first Children’s novel, The Adventures of Skippy Von Flippy: Tales of Friendship (Skippy Tales, #1). Cassandra released her first New Adult novel, Love Exactly, in the Spring of 2013.

Cassandra is a freelance professional photographer known for her automotive, nature and architectural shots. She is the owner of Gio Design Studios, a photography and publication marketing company that designs covers and marketing materials for authors utilizing the company’s photography. She is currently studying to receive a degree in Marketing. Cassandra is happily married to the man of her dreams and they live in the rolling hills of New England with the other loves of her life, their dogs, Bubski and Kanga.

Spotlight On: Wolf Creek Enforcer by Jo Ellen

Wolf Creek Enforcer – Mega PROMO Blitz
By Jo Ellen
Paranormal Romance
Date Published: 6/27/2013
 Ian is the head enforcer for his pack. Something is pulling at him until he hits the road, looking for his mate. He finds Melanie, a free spirit hitchhiking in New Mexico. Once he gets her to his home in East Texas, he has to protect her from a wizard who wants her for her magical abilities. Melanie couldn’t wait to explore this feeling that led her to take to the highway. Finding Ian was more than she could have hoped for. The difficult part would be telling him of her family’s legacy and the job she was entrusted with.
EXCERPT
 “Baby?  Come on, wake up.  I’ve got you.”

Ian maneuvered his body to where he could sit on the shelf.  He didn’t notice the cold mud against his backside.  Holding her in his lap, he ran a finger down her jaw.  She was burning up, her face flushed.  While her body was pale, her face was not. 

Ian stiffened when he saw the bruising on her cheek.  He was going to kill that fucking wizard.  

He had to get her out of there and to a doctor, fast.  Something wasn’t right.  She could not get this sick from a virus so quickly.  Then again, what the hell did he know?  He was not a doctor.  His mind was swimming.  Kill the bastard later, he had to get Melanie to a hospital.

Ian howled for Devlin.  “Tear this den apart so I can get her out of here.”  No way would he take her down into the water. 

While Devlin worked, Ian spoke softly to her.  “You have to wake up, Babe.  I cannot live without you.  Come on, babe, I love you.”  He gently kissed her lips. 

“I’m not sleeping beauty,” Melanie growled.  Her voice was rough with fatigue.  “That’s two, Fluffy.” 

Hearing his pack, he shouted, “Help Devlin tear this den apart, we’re sitting on a shelf above the waterline.”  

The guys made quick work of removing the sticks and debris the beavers had used to build their home. 

Melanie had trouble keeping her eyes open, she felt horrible.  Something was wrong, she could feel it throughout her body.  This was not the common cold virus or flu.  The best description she could come up with was that she felt contaminated.  She was so weak she could barely keep her eyes open.

Feeling the sun on her face, she squinted and saw seven naked men standing in the water.  As weak as she was, she could not leave well enough alone.

“I must be dead, cause I see seven naked men surrounding me.  Cool,” with that, she passed out.




About the Author

Jo Ellen

Jo Ellen is the mother of three, two in college and one in high school. Before becoming a stay at home mom, she worked for a publishing company dealing with trademarks. She has always loved books in almost any genre. Her favorite being romance, but a couple of books she enjoyed were “With Malice Toward None” and “The Right Stuff.” She stays busy with her writing and taking care of her family, which, besides her husband and children, includes a dog, two cats, a bearded dragon, and one koi in the backyard pond. Jo Ellen loves baseball, professional and amateur, and of course watching her son play in high school. Breast cancer slowed her down somewhat, but now that her chemo and radiation are finished, she is looking forward to getting her writing back on track. Her Wolf Creek series are contemporary romance, supernatural/fantasy books about werewolves, witches, shifters, mates, druids and wizards. 


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