Waking Up Dead Sneak Peek and Giveaway

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Waking Up Dead

When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?

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Excerpt

As Molly straightened up, the man slipped the wire over her head and twisted it around her neck. She struggled, but he pulled the garrote tighter and tighter.

I was screaming at the top of my ghostly voice, for all the good it did me. I moved up behind the man and beat at his back with closed fists–fists that slipped in and out of his back without ever making real contact. He shuddered a little–clearly he was one of the very slightly sensitive ones–but he didn’t loosen his hands.

I reached up and tried to grab the wire, tried to pull against the pressure he was exerting on the wire and it did loosen for an instant. But only for an instant. The living have more control over solid objects than the dead do. I never resented that fact more than at that moment.

But I kept trying. I kept trying as Molly’s face turned purple, then blue, then black, kept trying even as she drooped in the man’s grip.

Then he loosened the wire and it was too late. I watched that wispy, light-on-fog life force slip out of Molly and move on to wherever it is that other people go when they die. I was glad she didn’t show up next to me as a full-blown ghost. At that moment, I wouldn’t have wished my impotent half-existence on anyone.

I couldn’t help thinking that if I’d been alive, I might have been able to save her.

If I could have cried real tears, I would have. As it was, I was sobbing hoarsely and calling the man every dirty name I could think of.

I was still cursing as I followed him around the kitchen. First he opened the pantry and pulled out a box of Hefty garbage bags. Then he grabbed a knife out of the block on the counter. And finally, he picked up Molly’s body and carried it to the bathroom.

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About the Author

Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

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Connect with Margo

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website: 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
Facebook Novel Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Waking-Up-Dead/502076076537575
Tumblr: http://vampirarchybooks.tumblr.com/
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/mbondcollins/

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead

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Book Trailers:

Spotlight On: The Second Shadow, by Elizabeth Arroyo

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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.

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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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Waking Up Dead – Pre-Release Blog Tour Kickoff and Giveaway!

Hello, and welcome to the first stop on my pre-release teaser tour for the paranormal mystery Waking Up Dead, due out from Solstice Publishing and available via Amazon on October 8! Be sure to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of four copies of Waking Up Dead or a $10 Amazon card–and follow the tour or come back here once a day for even more chances to win!

Enter to Win

Waking Up Dead

When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex. Now she’s witnessed another murder, and she’s not about to let this one go. She’s determined to help solve it before an innocent man goes to prison. And to answer the biggest question of all: why the hell did she wake up in Alabama?

Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves!
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Excerpt

When I died, I expected to go to heaven.

Okay. Maybe hell. It’s not like I was perfect or anything. But I was sort of hoping for heaven.

Instead, I went to Alabama.

Yeah. I know. It’s weird.

I died in Dallas, my hometown. I was killed, actually. Murdered. I’ll spare you the gruesome details. I don’t like to remember them myself. Some jerk with a knife–and probably a Bad-Mommy complex. Believe me, if I knew where he was, I’d go haunt his ass.

At any rate, by the time death came, I was ready for it–ready to stop hurting, ready to let go. I didn’t even fight it.

And then I woke up dead in Alabama. Talk about pissed off.

You know, even reincarnation would have been fine with me–I could have started over, clean slate and all that. Human, cow, bug. Whatever. But no. I ended up haunting someplace I’d never even been.

That’s not the way it’s supposed to work, right? Ghosts are supposed to be the tortured spirits of those who cannot let go of their earthly existence. If they could be convinced to follow the light, they’d leave behind said earthly existence and quit scaring the bejesus out of the poor folks who run across them. That’s what all those “ghost hunter” shows on television tell us.

Let me tell you something. The living don’t know jack about the dead.

Not this dead chick, anyway.

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About the Author

MargoBondCollins

Margo Bond Collins lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, several spoiled cats, and a ridiculous turtle. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters. Waking Up Dead is her first published novel. Her second novel, Legally Undead, is an urban fantasy, forthcoming in 2014 from World Weaver Press.

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Connect with Margo

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com
Website
Twitter: @MargoBondCollin
Google+
Goodreads Author Page
Facebook Author Page
Facebook Novel Page
Tumblr
Pinterest

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Book Trailer

Sneak Preview: Worth the Fight, by Vi Keeland

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Title: Worth the Fight

Author: Vi Keeland

Age Group & Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance

Expected release: October 3, 2013

 

It didn’t matter that the ref called it a clean hit. Nico Hunter would never be the same.

Elle has a good life. A job she loves, a great apartment, and the guy she’s been dating for more than two years is a catch and a half. But it’s boring…and she strives to keep it that way. Too many emotions are dangerous. Her own past is living proof of what can happen when you lose control.

Then Nico walks into Elle’s office and everything changes…for both of them. But what can the tattooed, hard-bodied MMA fighter and the beautiful and always steady attorney have in common? A lot more than they bargained for.

*Standalone, HEA

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Dream Cast
Worth the Fight Dream Cast

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Worth the Fight

Excerpts: Meet Elle & Nico

Elle on Nico

I’ve never seen a body like his so close before. It just doesn’t seem real. Both of his arms are covered in tattoos, it looks like he’s wearing colorful sleeves, only he has no shirt on. They intertwine and wrap around his bulging biceps and I get the urge to trace a path from the first splat of ink to the last with my tongue. My body’s reaction to him is unlike anything I’ve ever felt before. These aren’t feelings that I’m used to, they seem to come out of nowhere and are uncontrollable.

One side of his lip curls up slightly, as though he is amused at my staring. He hands me a glass of wine without asking if I want one and I take it because I need it to calm my nerves. I’m here staring at this bigger than life man, and suddenly I’m speechless. The wine can’t seep into my bloodstream quick enough. Half the glass is gone in one long, unladylike gulp.

“Thirsty?” I look up at him and find a glimmer of amusement in Nico’s eyes, mixed with something else. I think he knows I’m trying to calm myself and I fidget in my seat on the couch as he stands there looking so unaffected.

Worth the Fight Excerpt - Elle on Nico

Nico on Elle

I’m up at five a.m. every morning. Well, every morning except today. I slept like shit, my body a mass of pent-up frustration. I kept my word all night. Even though all I wanted to do was pick her up, carry her into my bedroom, and ram myself into her to claim her as mine. Then she kissed me. I know I could have taken it further after that kiss. But I don’t want one night with Elle. I want more. I have no idea why, but I do. A lot fucking more.

By the time I drove back home last night, I’d gotten myself under control. I’d reasoned with my hard-on until it finally saw my way. Who knew you could reason with a fucking hard-on. I guess I never tried. I just took care of it, did what it wanted me to.

But then I walked into my loft and I smelled her. And all reasoning went out the window. I couldn’t sleep with a steel pipe in my pants, so I took a cold shower. It didn’t help. Then I was wide awake with a hard-on. I tossed and turned with a picture of Elle smiling at me in my head. Taunting me for being such a sap.

Worth the Fight excerpt pic - Nico on Elle

 

About the Author

Vi Keeland is a native New Yorker with three children that occupy most of her free time, which she complains about often, but wouldn’t change for the world. She is a bookworm and has been known to read her kindle at stop lights, while styling her hair, cleaning, walking, during sporting events, and frequently while pretending to work. She is a boring attorney by day, and an exciting smut author by night!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

 

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