DUST. Everything was covered in dust and ashes.
Nádúr Noc, the main city of Terra was once beautiful and full of life. Not like that night, the night the darkness descended from the far land of Ifreann.
Now, the round city of Nádúr Noc was dark, burned, and destroyed.
Trees were no longer big and full of different green and golden, bright colors. The river Enosi, a river that surrounded the city with its peaceful crystalline water was now a rapid of blood and death. As for the sky, once bright and blue, it was now filled with dark smoke so thick, it made it nearly impossible to see the remains of the Zansèt Palace; a magnificent castle in the middle of the city made of pearls, flowers, rocks, and vines.
This city wasn’t the ruins of any ordinary war, it was the ruins between the light side of nature and the darkest of evils. Beasts and other horrendous creatures destroyed everything that they came across. Killed everyone in their sight. Soulless creatures who lived to torture. Answering to no one, no one except Him, the one who owned the darkness. The one who hell itself was afraid of.
The CEO’s Seductionby Diane Alberts Publication Date: December 12, 2016 Genres: Adult, Entangled: Indulgence, Contemporary Romance
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Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2habgYU
Amazon AU: http://amzn.to/2ho9Qc9
Synopsis: The last thing Brett Ross wants is to be back in the same old damn small town he grew up in, but his best friend is getting married, so there’s no way he’s skipping yet another visit back home. He knows what he’s getting into, coming back here, but the one thing he didn’t count on was the way Anna Hamilton made him feel the first time he sets eyes on her…and she’s all grown up.Anna’s always been in love with Brett, even if she’s always been his best friend’s annoying little sister to him. But when he looks at her, she doesn’t see annoyance in his eyes anymore. If anything, she sees a silent calling for her to save him from himself…and she’s just the girl to do it. All she needs is to find a way to escape her pesky, protective older brothers… And then the game is on.
ABOUT DIANE ALBERTSDiane Alberts is a USA TODAY bestselling Contemporary Romance author with Entangled Publishing. Under the name Jen McLaughlin, she also writes New York Times, USA TODAY, and Wall Street Journal bestselling books with Penguin Random House. She was mentioned in Forbes alongside E. L. James as one of the breakout independent authors to dominate the bestselling lists. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
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About the Book
Author: Harrison Fountain
Genre: Literary Fantasy
When TK dies in a car accident, the Grim Reaper gives him a second chance at life, but he says it’s more fun being a ghost. As he haunts his small Iowa town, his sleek shell of sarcasm cracks to a terrified lonely inner self. Find out why he’d rather be dead.
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The Grim Reaper reached down to me, like she wanted to help me up, but I didn’t want her bony, spectral hands on me. They might’ve been covered in the illusion of flesh but they were bony just the same. “You want your life back, don’t you?”
“I never said I wanted that.”
I slapped her palm then the back of her hand, then pounded it with my fist from above and below, and finished with a punch that exploded to fingers as I drew it back.
“It’s practically free. You just have to shake it. Most people would take the deal.”
“While haunting a bakery is a tease, I think I like being dead. It’s like the weekend but constantly. I promise to keep dodging Miss Milkmaid over there,” I said. “It’s not even the price of the deal. I’d give you my soul and do your evil bidding, no problem, but I refuse to do laundry. I don’t even do my own. That pretty much opts me out of life.”
“You’d get to eat all the chocolates you wanted.”
“Till everyone side-eyed me for getting fat.”
Anita furiously flipped through her book of emptiness for 27 undeniably happy facts guaranteed to make me smile. “Did you know otters hold hands while they’re sleeping? Norway once knighted a penguin. The blind smile despite having never seen another because it’s just instinct to show off a good mood. The genetic mutation that would’ve allowed spiders to fly was killed off because it didn’t fit the environment. Life is this beautiful, mysterious, complex phenomenon that basically came about over an accident, and whatever laundry you’re scared of is insignificant to the wondrous melodies by The Beatles.”
I nodded along with each point, secretly bopping along to a tune that’d gotten stuck in my head. Probably the one the radio’d been playing when the car smashed it into me.
“Won’t you take the deal?” she asked.
“How about I transfer it to you? Something tells me there’s no fine print on the coupon. Has anyone asked you that in the 100,000 years since the birth of consciousness? Or did you get the gig as an amorphous Archaea swimming the ammonia? Regardless, take it. Let me enjoy my vacation and you can have my 60 years of slaving away before you come visit me.”
“People come back from vacations.”
“Every year my mom said she wanted to stay in Florida forever. Miserable place.”
These author bios are generally in third person, right? That’s a little weird for me so--
Harrison Fountain said, “In Kindergarten, Mrs. Augustson sent me to Special Ed because of my speech impediment, the result of a 4-year-long ear infection that garbled the input and so a few letters needed the pronunciation corrected. I had to work on my Ss, Cs, Ks, Ws, Rs, Bs, Ps, Ts, Qs, Ds, Xs, Ls, and Ns.
Every year in elementary school, Scholastic gave students a hardback book with empty cream pages for us to scribble in as part of a school-wide contest. I never won. The kid in my grade who did plagiarized If You Give A Mouse a Cookie and those biased, paid-off judges didn’t even mention my amalgamation of the Silver Surfer and the Human Torch.
Still, I kept writing, finishing my first novel in my 7th grade Physical Science spiral notebook where the narrator’s best friend was an orange alien with green hair named Carrot. My next novel about a boxer, I started in high school before I’d ever even watched boxing, and fighters called out their moves (“The Double Rocket Upper—no, wait! It’s a TRIPLE ROCKET UPPERCUT!!!”) like they were Pokemon.
No one taught me to write until my second year at college when Mr. Johnson called me to his office as he did with all his creative writing students and then he bloodied my first draft of a character sketch claiming his marks were “just ink.” I almost cried. A few visits later, I’d written a character sketch about my sister’s divorce and the family dog. He crossed out a lot like usual. Told me why. Then he scrawled an A at the top. It’d be my first published short story (http://www.orangepeals.com/short-stories/loving-a-mutt/).
The pride felt earned for once.
While studying in Wales without satellite TV or an Xbox, I started a blog called Nothing Fazes a Ghost, where I posted weekly chapters. Those 10,000 views with ad revenue earned enough for a pizza. After a few years and a few drafts, it became Eidolons.
I also teach English to adorable Korean kids who, in turn, teach me cutie poses.”
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Tristan finished reading his lines. “Hey, Juliet, it’s your turn.” He smirked.
“Oh, right.” She looked down at her book. “‘O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art though Romeo.'” She tried to copy his apathetic style of reading and was secretly overjoyed when he laughed at her.
“I get it, I sounded like an idiot.” She just continued giving him the same silent treatment he had given her. “Okay, here’s the truth, Kira. We can’t talk here, and we shouldn’t even be talking now, or maybe ever.”
“You told me that already.” She stopped reading.
“Yet, you seem to have trouble understanding it. English is your first language, right?” She rolled her eyes at the joke. “Like I said before, we just can’t ever be.”
“I understand what you’re saying, but I also know you don’t mean it.” She leaned closer to him to prevent from being overheard.
“I do,” he said, forcing the point.
“Oh really?” she tried to push him now. “It didn’t seem that way when you kissed me.”
“Kira, forget that ever happened, okay?”
“Or what? You don’t scare me.”
“I should,” he said and shot Kira a lethal look.
His eyes changed color to the lightest blue she could imagine, and they held her captive. Not in the romantic way, but as though she were a prisoner held paralyzed. His eyes were ice cold, making her shiver as though she had been dropped in an arctic pool, and slowly his pupils began to expand, overtaking his irises.
Kira was scared, but more than that, she felt like he knew it and didn’t care. Try as she might, she couldn’t look away—completely stuck. Slowly, a feeling of warmth spread to her hands, burning hot, a sense of power that fought the fear tightening her stomach in knots.
Whipping her gaze to the floor, Kira breathed heavy as she finally broke his stare. Her fingertips still tingled with the heat that had coursed through her, allowing her to break his gaze. Kira leaned back against her chair, away from him, and touched her fingers to her cheek.
They burned into her skin.
“What the hell was that?” she asked unsteadily, still not looking up. The heat emanating from her hand absorbed all of Kira’s thoughts.
“Me,” he said with the venom gone from his voice. She looked at him again and caught the unbearably sad expression in his eyes before he looked away.
Or me? she thought, feeling the warmth finally ebb.
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It’s him. Mark. My ex-boyfriend.
I can’t look. I just…can’t. Too many memories are in that face. That rugged, handsome face. My heart jumps up like an excited puppy, wagging in my chest, eager to be acknowledged and touched. The rest of me shoves it down.
Officer Mark Paulson stands in front of me in uniform, soaking wet, his hat making the rain fall in streaks in front of him. The curtain of water catches my eye. It’s easier to watch it than to stare at him. If I did stare, though, I know what I would see.
Broad shoulders under that crisp black uniform shirt. A thin scar running under his jaw, where he was knifed in a fight when he did a tour in Afghanistan. Wet, blonde hair I used to love to stroke. Gentle hands that once cupped my face. Eyes that could draw me in with a hot breath. The tender taste of lips meant only for me.
He speaks, pulling me out of the memory. Stop it, Carrie, I think. Stop with the dreams you destroyed.
“You okay?” he asks, looking around swiftly. He’s worried. That’s really touching. It’s nice to know he cares. Three years is long enough for him to stop hating me, right?
And I know he hates me.
He has to. I disappeared one day and never said goodbye to him. When you do that to someone, they tend to really resent it. Especially if they love you.
“I’m, uh…” My voice fails me as I watch the water fall in sheets down his cap. “My tire blew.”
He thumps his hand on the car door. “She’s still around, huh?” I know he means the car, but it feels like a dig. Like he’s cutting into me for leaving.
Like he’s still hurt.
If he’s still hurt, that means the feelings haven’t faded, and if his feelings are still that strong, then mine make more sense. I thought when I left town I would shed so much damage and hurt. Because leaving town meant I could leave behind so much pain.
But leaving Mark? That meant the pain came with me.
I start to shiver. It’s not from the cold and the rain. Those arms. The rain drops gather and ripple down his taut muscles, dotted with a sprinkling of dark hair. I remember when I was in those arms.
I remember every single time he touched me.
Meet the Author:
Anita’s rapid paced storytelling style pulls readers into a parallel universe where mystery, mayhem, murder are the order of the day. Her stories are an addictive diversion, trading the heavy, gray world of real life for a fantastically colorful world where bad is good, and cool is smoking hot. Raised on America’s Rock Coast in Cleveland, Ohio, Anita was born while the river burned. Music, food and family shaped Anita’s life and provide much of the fodder for her stories. Her love of mysteries and puzzle solving came from her Grandpa John, who introduced Anita to her first detective hero – Nero Wolfe. Food was as central a character in Anita’s life as it was in Nero’s, where Sunday dinner at Nonna’s table was a command performance. Anita has been writing scorching mysteries and suspense since 2006 with stories ranging on the heat index from a “nice spicy little pepper” to “pass a mop for my forehead, please.” Check out tastes of Anita’s stories and like her on Facebook. Anita is a member of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America.
About the Book:
Private security entrepreneur Jeb McCormick is in over his head with his latest client. Not only is the painfully shy woman he’s meant to be protecting a total knock-out, she’s also his former Army buddy’s sister. Helping her find the reason why anyone would ransack her house is demanding enough, but keeping his hands off her is proving to be the real challenge.
Carolina Walker wants a quiet life, thank you very much. She left intrigue and deception behind in Washington D.C., never expecting it to follow her home to Bowling Green, Kentucky. When events happen that can’t be explained away, help arrives in the form of the very attractive and muscular Jebediah McCormick. But as the tension escalates between Jeb and Carolina, so does the danger facing them…
Each book in the Lost series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | Kobo
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Check out the other books in the Lost series:
Date Published: Eformats- 2/19/16, Print 10/21/16
Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing
There is magic beneath the mundane and in The Dragon in the Garden, Siobhan Orsini witnesses it all. No lie can fool her, no glamour or illusion can cloud her Sight. She sees through them all and wishes she could close her eyes. Returning to face her past, Siobhan inherits her grandparents’ house in California’s wine country. She encounters a talking dragon, a hot fallen angel, a demon lord, a Valkyrie, and, oh yes, her ex-boyfriend. And that is just in the first twenty-four hours.
It’s time to find out why she has this power.
Siobhan seeks out the Oracle and learns that only her Sight can help mankind navigate the travails of an ancient war. Our world is the prize in a battle between the dragons, who would defend us, and Lucifer’s fallen angels, who seek to take the Earth for themselves. Using her gift, she will have to make a choice that will decide humanity’s future.
The memory has haunted me for years.
In the middle of a bright California summer, dark days came. My mother and grandparents spoke in hushed, serious voice, arguing about my absent father. Was it my fault he left? A soft whimper escaped my throat and my eyes burned. I needed a hug, but no one paid any attention to me that day. So I ran away to the refuge of my grandparents’ garden where I could hide among its statues and flowers.
My eyes lingered over the familiar garden ornaments. I passed the old birdbath, the statues of gnomes, and a cheerful squirrel. I ran one hand over the stone deer. Its brown paint had faded from years under the sun. Walking with quick steps down the gravel path, I made my way to the center of the garden, my special spot where my favorite statue waited.
A gnarled apricot tree grew there. Right now it was covered with tiny green apricots. Later in the summer the sweet fruit I loved would ripen. I would get to pick them with my parents, no, just with my mother. My lip trembled. My father wouldn’t be here.
The bright-green dragon lay curled at the foot of the apricot tree, partially covered by vines. My mother called the color jade green—the same shade as my eyes. As a child she talked to all the statues, but I only spoke to the dragon. I named her Daisy. Sitting down next to her now, the tears welled up at last, spilling over my cheeks. I wrapped my arms around my legs, making myself into a little ball of five year old misery.
“Child, why are you sad?” said a woman’s voice.
“Who said that?” I asked, wiping my cheek.
“Where are you?” I stood and peered at the plants and statues around me.
“Are not,” I retorted.
A soft laugh filled the air and the woman spoke again. “Perhaps you are right. Easy enough to fix, I suppose.”
The breeze picked up. The space beneath the apricot tree shimmered. Ripples warped the air like the heat over the barbecue when my father cooked. The sweet notes of wind chimes filled the yard. Grandma and Grandpa didn’t have any wind chimes. I whirled around to find the noise.
Under the branches appeared an enormous green dragon’s head.
About the Author
Erika is a sixth generation San Franciscan of Irish descent. She attended the University of California at Davis and completed degrees in Medieval History and Biological Sciences. A lifelong lover of books and a scribbler of many tales from a young age (her first story was completed at age five) she turned to writing full-time in 2011.
Erika resides in Northern California with her incredibly hot husband, their three amazing kids, and their chocolate Labrador named Selkie. To reach Erika regarding her books, wine recommendations, or to debate which Iron Maiden album is the best (clearly, it’s Brave New World), you can find her online at www.erikagardner.com.
About the Book
Title: Better Off Thread
Author: Amanda Lee
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Santa finds himself in a stitch of trouble in the tenth in the series from the national bestselling author of The Stitching Hour…
Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can’t refuse—especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Despite the ridiculous outfit, Marcy finds herself enjoying spreading cheer—until the hospital’s administrator is found murdered.
Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to fill her stocking with coal, evidence pins the crime on Moe. Now it’s up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend Ted and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe’s name—before someone else winds up crossed off Santa’s list for good…
The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The heroine, Daphne, has returned to her hometown of Brea Ridge to open a cake baking and decorating business and is wrestling with the question of whether or not one can go home again. She enjoys spending time with her sister, nephew, and niece, but she and her mother have a complicated relationship that isn’t always pleasant. Daphne has also reconnected with her high school sweetheart and is pursuing a rekindled romance while desperately trying to put her past behind her. Kerry Vincent, Hall of Fame Sugar Artist, Oklahoma State Sugar Art Show Director, and Television Personality says the series is “a must read for cake bakers and anyone who has ever spent creative time in the kitchen!”
Says Dean Koontz, #1 New York Times bestselling author, “One day I found myself happily reading . . . mysteries by Gayle Trent. If she can win me over . . . she’s got a great future.”
The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. Marcy Singer left her home in San Francisco, along with the humiliation of being left at the altar, in order to move to Tallulah Falls and realize her dream of owning her own shop. She takes along her faithful companion, a one-year-old Irish wolfhound named Angus O’Ruff. She makes many new friends in Tallulah Falls, but she also makes a few enemies. Thankfully, her best friend Sadie MacKenzie and her husband Blake run the coffeehouse right down the street from Marcy’s shop, the Seven-Year Stitch; and Detective Ted Nash always has her back.
Publishers Weekly says, “Fans of the genre will take kindly to Marcy, her Irish wolfhound, Angus O’Ruff, and Tallulah Falls. This is a fast, pleasant read with prose full of pop culture references and, of course, sharp needlework puns.”
One winner will get a paperback copy of the book and a vintage Hallmark Sherlock bear ornament (US only). Three other lucky winners will get a paperback copy (or Kindle copy for international readers).a Rafflecopter giveaway