Sixteen-year-old Brieze is the apprentice and adopted daughter of a powerful wizard. She never met her biological father, a merchantman from the faraway Eastern Kingdoms who had a brief romance with her mother, then disappeared. When Brieze discovers her mother is still secretly, crazily in love with this man, even after seventeen years, she decides to find him, confront him, and get some answers from him for her mother's sake.
In her small airship the Devious, she makes the long and dangerous journey to the Eastern Kingdoms. Along the way, she confronts pirates and the nocturnal ship-crushing beast known as the Nagmor. She survives a harrowing trip through the legendary Wind's Teeth. She discovers why her father disappeared, and in the process she learns the true version of her own story.
When Brieze's boyfriend, Tak, receives word she's in danger, he sets out on his own journey east to help her. Will he be able to rescue her, or will she end up having to rescue him?
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Brieze’s mother was acting strange. She’d been moping and sighing around the wizard’s house all day, doing dumb things. She’d left her hairbrush on the stairs of all places, where Brieze had nearly tripped over it and broken her neck, and she’d forgotten to feed the wizard’s exotic birds, which squawked hungrily from their cages in the parlor. Brieze was pretty sure her mother’s state of mind had something to do with Tobias the handyman. The two had stopped talking to each other, and Tobias was moping around the house too.
Her mother had wandered outside to the wide front lawn that stretched to the edge of the wizard’s floating island. Brieze kept an eye on her from an upstairs window as she played chess with the wizard. The wizard took a long time making his moves, and she went to the window and watched while she waited.
Now her mother was doing more dumb things. She wasn’t wearing a cloak, even though the fall chill outside hinted strongly of the winter to come, and she was standing much too close to the island’s edge, especially for such a windy day. And it was hard for Brieze to tell at this distance, but she didn’t seem to be wearing a parachute pack, which was not just dumb but dangerous.
With the late afternoon sun low in the sky and the island positioned near the Highspire Mountains, the view was spectacular. From horizon to horizon, silvery gray clouds blanketed the surface of Etherium, as they always did. To the east, the mountains rose tall and craggy and green out these clouds, reaching for the sky. The mountain range stretched northward and southward in lazy zigs and zags, the farthest mountains fading off into the distance. The sky was a pretty shade of pinkish-purple. Banks of cumulus clouds piled high on the horizon like echoes of the mountains.
The nearest mountain was so close that, if her mother were looking at the view, she could have made out the terraced fields and orchards on its lower flanks. She could have glimpsed the tiny specks of ox- and donkey-drawn carts making their way along the roads that spiraled or switchbacked up the mountainside. Further up the mountain, she could have seen the city of Selestria in all its sunlit splendor, the brightly-colored pennants flying from the roofs of the stone houses, the airships swarming about the city like busy bees—constantly touching down and taking off—their silvery sails glinting when they caught the sun. At the mountain’s crown, she could have admired Castle Selestria, which seemed as much a part of the sky as part of the earth, its tallest towers and turrets lost in the clouds.
But Brieze’s mother wasn’t looking at any of this. She hadn’t gone outside for the view. She stood with her head down, shoulders hunched, and her hands thrust deep into her pockets, muttering to herself. She didn’t notice the gusts of wind tugging at her skirt. The knotted bun of her hair had come undone—it whipped around her face in a frenzy.
Brieze unclipped a brand-new spyglass from the belt of her black flightsuit. It had been a gift from the wizard for her sixteenth birthday. She studied her mother through it. The house’s rafters groaned in the wind.
“Ah ha!” the wizard said, and advanced one of his pawns with a satisfied little clink. “Your move.”
“She’s not wearing a parachute,” Brieze said, peering through the spyglass.
“Hmmmm…?” the wizard looked up from the chessboard, his blue eyes blinking beneath bushy white brows.
“It’s windy out there and she forgot to grab a chute from the porch.”
The wizard came to the window. He frowned at the distant figure of Patentia Crofter standing near the island’s edge with her shoulders hunched against the wind, her hands in her pockets, her hair flying. “That is exceedingly dangerous,” he said, his brow furrowing and his eyebrows squinching closer together.
And, as if to prove him right, a huge gust of wind ballooned Patentia’s skirt, lifted her off her feet, and carried her tumbling end-over-end off the island’s edge.
He was forsaken but not forgotten.
Nine months have passed since Grace Fortune saw the boy she loves, Jared Lorn, die before her eyes. But Grace’s suspicions have her wondering if Jared really dead. Along with her friends, she sets out to find answers, and the investigation leads to an unexpected place: Silo City, an abandoned silo complex that houses as many dark secrets as it does forsaken people.
Very much alive, Jared’s on a mission to save the girl he loves by collaborating with the enemy—a young, brash rock star named Lester Crow who fronts the punk metal band Blood Moon. Jared’s “deal with the devil” will take him on a cross-country journey into the heartland of darkness. The music of Blood Moon is a weapon against God, and Jared must wield this weapon while trying desperately to preserve his mind and soul from its power.
Jared and Grace are desperate to be reunited, but first, they must defeat the demonic forces arrayed against them. And pray that Jared, a Nephilim forsaken in God’s eyes, has a chance at a future.
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Victorian England 1872
Lady Henrietta escapes from her locked bedroom and stepfather's attempt to starve her into agreeing to an arranged marriage that will only be of benefit to him. Underage, she must avoid his clutches until she turns twenty-one, and as Amelia Brown, she finds employment in the household of Damion, Marquis of Ashton.
High-spirited and fiercely independent, Amelia has a chance encounter with Damion, which establishes a powerful attraction between the two. Their passion ignites, the sex between them of an unrestrained delight hat is contrary to the customs of the times.
But the storm clouds are gathering. Amelia will have to take desperate measures to protect herself and the man she loves.
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From Stella Knights comes the newest, sexiest installment of The Dusty Rider Series…
HOLDING MY BREATH, I am frozen in place. Waiting. Wondering.
Ding, Dong! Ding, Dong!
Again, the sound stabs through my heart.
Who is at the front door? Please God, please don’t let it be the police. Or worse, what if it’s Tom?
In Leading Hand, the past comes hurtling into the present forcing difficult decisions to be made. Old relationships and secrets complicate Holly and Aiden's romance, threatening her second chance at finding love.
Will Holly find the strength to continue following her heart?
The Dusty Rider Series will take you across Australia as Holly meets a stockman "cowboy" that shows her what real love is. This romantic story is about a possible second chance at life and love as Holly tries to follow her heart. Will she take a chance at this new life full of action and passionate, erotic adventure?
This series is for mature audiences.
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Nasir Valentine has one thing on his mind: winning a championship title in his first year as head coach of the boys basketball team. But when his team captain’s father is murdered just before the start of the season, he quickly learns coaching high school basketball in the inner city is a lot more than just drawing numbers and arrows on a dry erase board.
Struck by the tragedy of her father’s murder, Carmen Wellington is faced with the tough decision of keeping her life away from home or coming back to her hometown to support her little brother through his senior year of high school. It’s a decision that will change her life in more ways than one, especially with her brother’s handsome basketball coach in the picture.
Carmen is supposed to be focused on what’s best for her and her family. Nasir is supposed to be focused on what’s best for him and his team. But with those two worlds colliding and an undeniable attraction developing because of it, the two can only hope for more wins than losses...
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On a bitter January night, private detective Sam Carlisle steps out of a nightclub and stumbles across a severely wounded man prostrate on the ground, the victim of an apparent knife attack. Despite Sam's efforts to save him, the stranger dies in his arms, uttering three small words before taking his final breath.
Help. Me. Find.
In the days that follow, the tragic encounter plays increasingly on Sam's mind. Who was the victim? What was he trying to find? With the police investigation drawing a total blank, Sam searches for the truth himself, determined to carry out the dead man's cryptic final request. However, following in the footsteps of a murdered man brings plenty of danger of its own.
Searching For Hope is the latest mystery featuring former undercover cop Sam Carlisle as he finds himself drawn into a perilous world of unscrupulous characters, dark secrets and a family torn apart by tragedy and betrayal.
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Sam Carlisle peered down at his watch. 3am.
'Right!' he exclaimed, drinking the last of his whisky and getting to his feet. 'Time to go home.'
Sam gazed at his two friends across the table. Denny was sat bolt upright in his chair, head back and eyes closed, snoring gently. Next to him, Archie was slumped forward, chin resting in the palm of his hand, sleeping like a baby. The table in front of them was strewn with empty glasses and bottles.
Sam rolled his eyes. It had been Archie's idea to come out tonight, then Denny's to continue onto this back street club in Shard End, the notorious dock area of Newgate. Sam smiled thinly at the two men. The last of the big time drinkers.
He scanned the dimly-lit, near empty room. In the far corner, two elderly men berated each other vigorously in drunken argument. On the small dance floor, a hulking man in navy uniform clung to his leather-clad, female companion, the pair barely swaying to the soulful sixties number drifting mournfully from the speakers. Near the bar sat a young man hunched forward in his chair, empty glass clasped between his fingers, staring down morosely at the worn carpet.
Sam shook his head. It really was time to go home.
He checked his phone. No reception. With a sigh, he set off towards the entrance door, intent on calling a taxi from outside for himself and his two lightweight friends.
'Door's locked, mate! You'll have to leave out the side!'
Sam halted and stared over at the bar. The doorman, a stocky chap with heavily tattooed arms and a savage crew cut, was pointing to a fire exit across the room. Sam nodded, changed direction and headed for it.
'Oi! What about your pals?' the doorman shouted. 'They can't sleep here all night! This isn't a doss house!'
Sam resisted the temptation to point out that's exactly what it was. Instead, he gave the man a dismissive wave.
'I'll be back for them in a minute!' he retorted, heading for the fire exit, embracing the draught blowing in through the slightly open door. Sam pushed it outwards, stepped into the January night and immediately felt the cold air prick at his skin. He was in a narrow alleyway, its brick floor dusted with a light coat of frost. To his right, dustbins lined the wall leading to a dead end. The opposite direction led out onto the main road, silent and deserted at this unearthly hour. Sam grunted in satisfaction, pulled out his phone and began punching in numbers. He would ask the cab to pick them up out front.
Suddenly, something stirred nearby. The slightest noise. Sam ignored it, presuming an animal was scavenging in the bins. Shuffling his feet in an attempt to ward off the cold, he waited patiently for a reply down the phone.
Another noise. A barely audible groan. The weakest of moans coming from behind the nearest bin.
'Newgate Cabs. Where do you-'
Sam ignored the shrill voice in his ear, ended the call and stared at the bin. Curiosity roused, he walked towards the source of the noise, his every step measured and tentative. Rounding the bin, he saw something on the floor. His first impression was he was staring at a bundle of rags. Confused, he inched forward to take a closer look.
Sam found himself gazing down at a man lying flat on his back, his eyes wide open, staring up at the night sky.
His upper body covered in blood.
Sam dropped down beside the lifeless figure and located a faint pulse. The man was barely breathing. A deep chest wound was clearly visible, the lost blood dried hard on the man's coat. A knife? Sam thought it highly likely. He took off his jacket and placed it across the stranger's chest. Then he removed his sweater, folded it up and tucked it under the stricken man's head. The man groaned weakly, his lips barely moving, his eyes still fixated on the stars high above.
'Hang on,' whispered Sam. 'I'm getting help.'
He called the emergency services, studying the wounded figure as the phone rang out. Gaunt-looking. Mid-forties. Straw-blonde hair, lengthy and unwashed. Straggly beard. Blotchy, weather-beaten skin. Ill-fitting, grubby clothes. Worn-out shoes. Stale body odour. Sam chewed on his lip. This man was living rough. Homeless, surviving on the streets.
A crisp voice punctuated Sam's musings.
'Which service do you require?'
'Ambulance,' replied Sam hurriedly, 'and police. Quickly.'
Sam gave his location, tucked his phone away and turned his attention back to the injured man, noting the pallid complexion and glazed eyes. The man's lips had turned a soft shade of blue, his breathing was quiet and shallow. The life was draining out of him. In that moment, Sam was certain of one thing.
This man was not going to survive. He would be lucky to see the ambulance arrive.
Then, to Sam's surprise, the man roused. His eyes began to dart around with urgency. He tried to lift his head, causing a trickle of blood to roll down the corner of his mouth. Sam leaned over him.
'Easy,' he whispered gently, taking the man's hand in his own, trying to offer comfort. 'Don't move.'
The man wasn't listening. His lips began to move wordlessly. His eyes, suddenly clear and piercing, locked onto Sam with intent.
The solitary word came out as a croak. More blood flowed.
'You're going to be okay,' replied Sam, giving the man's hand a gentle squeeze, lying through gritted teeth. 'Just hang on-'
Suddenly, Sam felt himself being tugged forward. Amazingly, the man had found enough energy from within his weak body to grab Sam's shirt and pull him close. Sam didn't resist. The man desperately wanted to convey something.
Sam shook his head, mystified. The two men were so close their noses were almost touching. Sam could feel the man's breath on his face. He saw no fear in the stranger's eyes, just a burning desire to communicate before it was too late. Then the grip began to slacken on Sam's shirt. The man's eyes began to roll. A whisper escaped his lips as his eyelids closed.
A sudden commotion shattered their tragic solitude. Sam looked up. Denny and Archie had appeared, the pair being expertly manhandled out the fire exit by the doorman. The surly bouncer was giving them the benefit of his wisdom.
'Now, go home and don't come-'
All three of them stopped in their tracks when they saw Sam, kneeling on the frozen floor, cradling a dying man.
Sam looked back down.
The man had stopped breathing.
Barely fourteen, Ceci Prejean is a tomboy running wild in the hot Louisiana summer. After breaking the nose of a local boy, her father decides to enlist the aid of Hecubah, a beautiful Creole woman, with a secret past, who takes Ceci in hand and turns her into a lady.
Now, eighteen-year-old Ceci meets and falls passionately in love with a handsome young northerner, Trent Sinclaire. Trent is a cadet at the West Point military academy. He acts as if he knows Ceci. They begin a torrid affair, even as the southern states begin to secede from the Union.
Only weeks before their wedding, the Confederate army attacks Fort Sumter and the civil war begins. Trent is called to active service in the north, leaving Ceci heartbroken in the south.
Swearing vengeance on the union, after the untimely death of her family at the fall of New Orleans, Ceci meets with infamous spy master, Henry Doucet. He initiates her into the shadowy world of espionage.
After her failure to avert the catastrophe at Gettysburg, Ceci infiltrates the White House. There, she comes face to face with Abraham Lincoln, a man she’s sworn to kill. Forming a reckless alliance with the actor, John Wilkes Booth, she is drawn deeper into the plot to assassinate the President of the United States. A Confederate spy in love with a Union officer, her next decision will determine whether she lives or dies.
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What would you do if you were the monarch of a
perfect, tropical paradise without a care in the
world? Well, King Norr would like to leave, and
"Where else but Nibb?" his subjects would contend.
Venturing away from Nibb was only inviting misery
Nevertheless, the King was intent to experience
the world beyond and this is the story of the
adventures that found him during that pursuit.
Telling too much would ruin the surprises in store,
but some of the mysteries include --
Who was the curious, little girl who would not speak?
Had Doctor Hinkus fallen prey to marauding drumbkins?
Whose prank set the Palace afloat?
What's a spudcake?
Do pirates bathe?
Did Uncle Fenwad roll out of the Palace?
What's a Sober Tooth Tiger?
Do Nibbian pigs have a future in aviation?
These questions and more arise just as Norr may
have found what he had always wanted. Never
mind his world had become perfectly chaotic. It
was also chaotically perfect, and nothing that
couldn't be remedied with an additional nap.
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R E V I E W S --
Marigold Deidre Dicer @ Versus Blurb -- Brisbane, Australia
Maxine @ Parakeet Book Reviews -- California
Deborah Gafford -- writer & book blogger -- Texas
Bethanie Armstrong @ Bethanie's Books -- Alabama
Laura W @ Blue Eye Books
Trang @ Bookidote -- Montréal, Québec
Saradia Chatterjee @ The Page-Hungry Bookworm
AUTHOR'S BIO --
The Gift of the Quoxxel is Richard's debut novel. His life
experience includes visual arts, freelance graphic design and
illustration, truck driving, verb conjugating, military service,
and mastery of an adequate meatloaf.
A Michigan native and parochial school survivor, Richard resides
with wife Marina close to, but far enough from New York City.
Jayla Anthony had it all.
At least, that’s what it looked like from the outside. But from the inside looking out, she knew there was much more to life than her current situation. And when she decides to press the reset button on everything she thought she knew with her newly divorced status, her new occupation, and her move to a brand new town, she hardly expects that to somehow end up including the young, handsome security guard from her company’s building.
Khalid Irving is a man on the come-up now that he’s found a steady, good-paying job, a better living situation, and most importantly, a better outlook on life after a few years of no real direction. And now that he feels like he’s on the right track, he’s ready to pursue the woman who stole his attention the second she stepped into his building, even if that means he has to become her client first.
Jayla knows the risk of mixing business and pleasure. Khalid knows how bad he wants her. And when the two finally get together, the chemistry is electric.
But just because the fire is there, that doesn’t mean there won’t be a few tough lessons to learn along the way...
(Note: While this book can be read as a standalone, it’s HIGHLY recommended that you read, The Games We Play: FWB Book 1, first!)
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After ending a relationship that left her emotionally and physically scarred, Ivy is ready to start fresh by taking a break from relationships and focusing on herself. While avoiding love and relationships she finds comfort in an unlikely place. Her new work assignment may put a wrench in her plans to avoid love.
Career driven and workaholic Grant has been under his dad wings since high school preparing to take over the family business. Now that he has become CEO he is determined to expand the company to every major city. His new contract has him focusing less on work and more on love. Never one to shy away from a challenge Grant is instantly attracted to Ivy and will stop at nothing to be with her.
Will Ivy open her heart and take a chance on love again or will she continue to keep her heart closed off?
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I looked at my phone. Another missed call from my mother. I was racing home from a hotel I reserved for the weekend. I needed a getaway from my life. It was spiraling out of control. I was becoming a prisoner of love. I couldn’t take it anymore. I parked I front of my apartment building and exhaled. I needed to take a hot shower and relax before answering the in answers calls from my parents. I have been keeping this secret from them long enough. Now was the right time to expose the lie I was living.
I opened my front door and dropped my keys on my kitchen counter. I turned on the light in my living room and there sat Kingston. I quickly tried to make a break for the front door but I wasn’t fast enough. He grabbed me by my arm and threw me over to my couch.
“Where were you?” He asked. I could tell he was upset. His nostrils flared as we waited for my answer. The longer I took the more upset he got. He balled his fists up and punched the wall behind me. “ANSWER ME!” He yelled.
“I needed to get away and clear my head. A lot has been going on with us lately.” I struggled to get my sentence out before he started to choke me. He was choking me so hard I turned purple in the face.
“Get away? Clear your head? You aren’t going anywhere. You will never find another man to love you the way I have! You hear me Ivy?! No one!” his voice bounced off the walls of my one bedroom apartment. I felt his bare hand come across my face and I couldn’t help but ask why I allowed this to go on for so long. It has been six years of mental and physical abuse.
I loved Kingston with all my heart. He was my first love. Since I was 18 he was the only consistent thing going in my life. At first he was my knight in shining armor then he changed. I always kept hope that he would one day become the man I originally fell in love with but I now see that isn’t going to happen.
He just recently graduated from college and felt it was time to take our relationship to the next level and move in together. I was slowly coming to terms that our relationship would soon come to an end. I decided to leave for the weekend only telling my best friend, Autumn where I would be. He blew up my phone and my parents causing them to worry and question my whereabouts.
“Don’t you ever threaten or try to leave me again. Now get up we are going to my house.” He ordered as he threw my jacket towards me.
“No” I said holding my neck. “I am not going anywhere with you. We are done. Leave before I call the police.” I yelled. I had reached my breaking point. No man should ever put his hands on a woman that isn’t love at all. I had to cover bruises causing me to miss work and ghost on my family. I was constantly looking over my shoulder whenever I was out because Kingston would pop up on me whenever he pleased. I was tired of living like a prisoner. I am young and I have so much life to live. Kingston snatched me by my neck and slammed me against the wall.
“You aren’t going anywhere.” He said through gritted teeth. Tears began to fall from my eyes. He threw me on the floor and began to kick me in my stomach repeatedly. All I did was lay there and cry until I couldn’t feel or think anymore. I kept telling myself this will be all over soon…