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Gear up for a collection packed with an exciting mix of undiscovered existing titles and brand new content! The pages inside are packed with everything from vampires, faeries, witches, and shifters to romantic quests, cities brimming with paranormal activity, secret societies, and ruthless villains.
With over a million words of fiction, this is your one stop shop for vampire and witch romance, urban fantasy, shifter romance, and spellbinding myths from more than twenty bestselling authors!
I had never been so afraid of approaching footsteps in my entire life. The fire in front of me cast a black shadow against the gray wall. Aubrey stopped, sighed, and then said, “We have to send in the Anchor.”
An echo of the scream I wanted to release in response to her words rattled around inside my skull. Screaming would do us no good. I pressed my hands against my lips as if in prayer, a ritual that stayed with me from the before times. Something else that would do me no good. Not down here in the Underground.
Sometimes magic goes as planned. Sometimes, you get Wayward Magic.
Dive into eleven lush novellas full of magic and mystery that break the mold of traditional fantasy and romance with exciting, daring, and original stories.
From sinfully sexy, to devastatingly romantic, to charmingly sweet, this paranormal romance collection will capture your heart and keep you on the edge of your seat to see what happens next.
When serendipity and fate collide, what else could you get but unexpected romance and Wayward Magic?
With new and original work from:
Margo Bond Collins
Morgan Jane Mitchell
Enter to Win
1 Kindle Fire HD, 1 paperback by Morgan Jane Mitchell, 1 paperback by Xyler Turner, and a $25 Amazon GC
a Rafflecopter giveaway
About the Authors
K.N. Lee is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author who resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. When she is not writing twisted tales, fantasy novels, and dark poetry, she does a great deal of traveling and promotes other authors. Wannabe rockstar, foreign language enthusiast, and anime geek, K.N. Lee also enjoys helping others reach their writing and publishing goals. She is a winner of the Elevate Lifestyle Top 30 Under 30 “Future Leaders of Charlotte” award for her success as a writer, business owner, and for community service. You can learn more at KNLee.com
A New York Times and USA Today bestselling, award-winning author, Calinda B pens paranormal, sci-fi and contemporary romance novels. An avid adventurer and outdoor enthusiast with a quirky sense of humor, she’s always finding ways to torture her characters, and to entertain her long time love, her two cats or her kids and friends. She lives in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, a place that soothes her soul and gives her plenty of time to write, scuba dive, work, write, bike ride, write, kayak, write and write some more. With umpteen books roaming the universe and more in her head, you can find her at www.calindab.com. Or, if you want to stay connected, join the exclusive mailing list!http://www.calindab.com/newslettersignup.html
New York Times bestselling author and award-winner, Scarlett Dawn, is the author of the Forever Evermore new adult fantasy series, the Origin paranormal dystopian stories, the Mark new adult science fiction saga, and the Lion Security contemporary series. She lives in the Midwest of the United States, adores her music loud, and demands her fries covered in melted cheese. Sign up for her newsletter here:http://eepurl.com/4X1rv
NYT bestselling author Margo Bond Collins is a former college English professor who, tired of explaining the difference between “hanged” and “hung,” turned to writing romance novels instead. (Sometimes her heroines kill monsters, too.) You can learn more about her atwww.MargoBondCollins.net
N.Y. Times Bestselling author Nicole Garcia has a degree in Nursing, but has been a stay at home mom for the past 9 years. Her passion is reading and decided to make a career out of sharing her love for books. Writing and promoting has become a full time job for her now. There are so many unknown authors out there that deserve to have their books read by many. So, after promoting for authors for two years, she decided to follow her dreams and start writing her own books. Nicole started writing poetry when she was just a little girl and had always loved the feeling it gave her. Currently she writes steamy Paranormal, Contemporary, and New Adult Romance, but plans to write other genres in the future. Join her newsletter at http://eepurl.com/buDuwT
Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, USA Today bestseller, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters. Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.
Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention. You can learn more about Danielle on her website at Danielle-Annett.com or follow her on facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDanielleAnnett
Award-winning, Bestselling Paranormal and Erotic Romance author Morgan Jane Mitchell spent years blogging politics and health trends before she rediscovered her love of writing fiction. Trading politicians for bloodsuckers of another kind, she’s now the author of bestselling post-apocalyptic fantasy novel, Sanguis City. Her action packed series of vampires, witches, demons and zombies is paranormal romance, dystopia, urban fantasy and erotica in one bite. When Morgan Jane is not creating the city of blood or conjuring up other supernatural tales, she’s dreaming up erotic and dark romances. Morgan Jane lives in the beautiful bluegrass area of central Kentucky with her husband, 3 sons, 3 cats and a greyhound shepherd mix dog named Miss Penni Lane. Keep up to date www.themorganjane.com
Angelica Dawson, best selling Naughty Nights Press author, has been writing for several years and having sex a lot longer than that. Angelica is a wife, mother and environmental consultant. Her love of plants and the outdoors is not diminished by the bloodsucking hoards — mosquitoes and black flies, not vampires.
S.E. Babin is an award-winning author with a passion for writing books with a paranormal twist. Whether it’s romance or mystery, she loves taking the norm and turning it into the extraordinary. Her love of reading turned into a curious exploration to see whether or not she could write her own novel. Beginning with discarded pages of angsty novels and a slightly popular reimagining of Beowulf’s Grendel in her high school English class, Sheryl spent way too much time in the library, killing any chance of her becoming a cheerleader or anything even remotely cool. Find her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/SEBabin or over on Twitter @hungrybiblio. She loves to hear from readers!
Xyla Turner is a USA Today Bestselling and award-winning romance author. She was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and is a dedicated educator. Outside of reading, Xyla likes to spend time with her family and travel as much as her schedule permits. Xyla is a proud member of Romance Writers of America, the New York and Cultural, Interracial, Multicultural Chapter. She is also the founder of Author Go. Join the movement: www.author-go.com
If you want to join Xyla World, simply go to www.xylaworld.com or download the Xyla World App on iPhones & Android devices.
Blaire Edens lives in the mountains of North Carolina. She grew up on a farm that’s been in her family since 1790. Of Scottish descent, her most famous ancestor, John Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and Guardian of Scotland, was murdered by Robert the Bruce on the altar of the Greyfriars Church at Dumfries. She has a degree in Horticulture from Clemson University. She’s held a myriad of jobs including television reporter, GPS map creator, and personal assistant to a fellow who was rich enough to pay someone to pick up the dry cleaning. When she’s not plotting, she’s busy knitting, running, or listening to the Blues. Blaire loves iced tea with mint, hand-stitched quilts, and yarn stores. She refuses to eat anything that mixes chocolate and peanut butter or apple and cinnamon. She’s generally nice to her mother, tries to remember not to smack her bubble gum, and only speeds when no one’s looking.
Welcome to the Moon Borne Release Blitz Hop!
For the next five days (October 13-17th), we’ll be celebrating the release of Rachael Slate’s steamy, Greek myth fantasy romance, Moon Borne. Dozens of amazing prizes will be up for grabs at the stops along our hop. Check out the pinned post at https://www.facebook.com/RachaelSlateAuthor for a full list of giveaway locations. Be sure to follow the entry directions on each page.
On this stop, enter to win ebook copies of two books by Margo Bond Collins:
Enter via Rafflecopter:
Then, don’t forget to enter the grand prize giveaway at https://www.facebook.com/RachaelSlateAuthor (look on the pinned post for details).
Thanks for stopping by and happy hopping!
Give Me Hope
Author: Zoey Derrick
Series: The Reason Series (#2)
Genre: Paranormal Romace/Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Nov 19 2013
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?
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.
Amazon Author Page
I pull the detective’s card from my pocket, dial the number and wait.
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?”
by Judy Teel
…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.”
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.
About the Author
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!
Contact Judy Teel
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
Hi, everyone! Today, I’m reposting the guest blog from Merissa McCain’s Paranormal Month Spot yesterday (you can see the original here: http://tinyurl.com/jwq8tzx). It’s a character interview of Callie Taylor, the ghostly protagonist of Waking Up Dead. Check it out:
I do have a few questions for Callie, and she’s agreed to be interviewed, so let’s jump right on in. Oh–we have to transcribe the interview–but bear with us. This is going to be great.
Interviewer: Today we welcome Callie Taylor, the heroine of Waking Up Dead. Callie, welcome to the blog! I’m sorry to say that most of our readers won’t actually be able to hear what you have to say, since you’re a ghost. So I’m afraid that you’ll have to let me simply transcribe your words. Yes, that’s right; I’m one of the few sensitives who can see and hear you. No, I didn’t know that you were working so hard to find someone who could help you. Wait. You were there when Molly was killed? That’s terrible! Still, I don’t see that knowing me then would have helped stop it, even though I can see and hear you.
[Aside:] Pardon me, everyone. Ms. Taylor’s getting a bit agitated; I might need to calm her down.
[They speak quietly in a corner for a moment, then come back to their seats.]
Interviewer: Okay. Let’s try this again. Callie, could you tell us a little bit about yourself? Mm-hm. Okay. Sure, sure. Callie says that this is the most screwed-up afterlife she could never have imagined for herself. She was supposed to get heaven or hell. She got Alabama. That was not in her afterlife plan. She would have settled for that squeaky voice psychic from the Poltergeist movie telling her to go to the light. But no. She can’t go anywhere, unless it’s in Abramsville, Alabama.
Interviewer: So what do you do all day? Television? That’s all? No, no. I understand. There’s not a lot you could do in your disembodied state. But wasn’t there something about trying to save a man from prison? What did you do to help him? Yes, I can see that having your partner Ashara could be helpful. Right, and Ashara’s boyfriend Stephen. And . . . wait. Her elderly grandmother Maw-Maw? Um . . .
So let me get this straight. You’re a ghost. She’s a bank teller. He’s a musical-instrument repairman. She’s an elderly, cane-wielding grandmother. Together, you fight crime. Seriously?!
To see what happens when a displaced ghost teams up with an unlikely trio in small-town Alabama to solve a local murder, check out Waking Up Dead, by Margo Bond Collins, available from Amazon.com.
When Dallas resident Callie Taylor died young, she expected to go to Heaven, or maybe Hell. Instead, when she met her fate early thanks to a creep with a knife and a mommy complex, she went to Alabama. 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 dead in Alabama?
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.
Connect with Margo
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/margobondcollins
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin @MargoBondCollin
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
Be sure to add Waking Up Dead to your Goodreads bookshelves: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18428064-waking-up-dead
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.
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.”
“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.
“ . . . 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.
About the Author
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.
Release: October 17, 2013
New Adult/Adult Contemporary Romance
Numbers are everywhere—they play such a vital role in our everyday lives. But what would happen if we measured love with equations just as we do our morning cup of coffee? My nana had many recipes in her cupboards, but it was her calculations for love that she insisted I live my life by; and I’ve followed her rules all these years.
One Critical Impact
That’s all it took for the numbers to start flying in a jumbled mess through my brain as I stared into the violet eyes that would forever make me question my choices. In a split second, the possibilities and reality of true love are revealed and I’m questioning all I’ve ever known.
I can’t ignore the storm brewing around—and within—me. Everything I am is confronted by these new numbers, and all they represent. My past, present and future will all be determined by the gambles I make right here, right now. Again, it’s all about the numbers.
And what I’m learning is, one plus one doesn’t always equal two and sometimes three times isn’t always the charm.
About the Author
Shannon Mayer lives in the southwestern tip of Canada with her husband, dog, cats, horse, and cows. When not writing she spends her time staring at immense amounts of rain, herding old people (similar to herding cats) and attempting to stay out of trouble. Especially that last is difficult for her.
She is the author of the The Nevermore Trilogy; a romantic suspense series, The Rylee Adamson Novels; a paranormal urban fantasy romance series, A Celtic Legacy; an urban fantasy romance series and High Risk Love; the first new adult romance novel in The Risk Series. Her newest romance, Ninety Eight; a contemporary new adult romance, is scheduled for release in October of 2013.
I work with Dr. Winston, he’s a crotchety old veterinarian who seems to tolerate me better than anyone. I love my job, I work with horses every day, and even though it can be dangerous, I can’t really see myself doing anything else. I know that my life looks boring from the outside, that I look like a ‘beige’ kind of girl. But that isn’t an accident. This is what I’ve been aiming for as long as I can remember. A life of safety, security and predictability.
I know that stepping outside the box only gets you hurt, that taking chances is what brings ruin and pain into your life. I know this . . . . yet with one encounter my whole world turned inside out.
All the rules flew out the window and I could no longer see the lines of black and white they faded into a smoky grey that swallowed me whole.
I want to shake myself, point out that the path I’m taking was exactly what I’d been warned about, that my heart will be broken into a thousand tiny pieces with no chance of putting it back together . . . yet I can’t seem to stay away from him . . . I can’t seem to breathe without him at my side.
That is what scares me the most. How much he completes me, how he pulls me out of my world of ‘beige’ and the world around me explodes in a kaleidoscope of colors I’d never seen before. Feelings I’ve never experienced.
And a love I never even dared dream of.
But only if I dare to step outside the rules, if I dare to face my fears and reach for the one thing I want more than anything else.
Full Moon on the Rise
By: Natalie Carlisle
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…
Link to Follow Tour: http://tastybooktours.blogspot.com/2013/09/now-booking-tasty-blurb-tour-tasty.html
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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“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.
“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.