Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Natasha's Quest by Blair Drake (@BlairDrakeBooks, @RoxanneRhoads)



Natasha's Quest
Finding Magic #6
Amazon
Tash Pruitt lands in 17th century Massachusetts with a mission which soon becomes clear to her: she has to save Goody Cooke from a charge of witchcraft and escape back to the present before she herself is charged as a witch.

Seventeenth-century Massachusetts, and charges of witchcraft fill the air. When Tash Pruitt is catapulted from the Grey Cliffs Academy into this strange colonial environment, she has no idea that she herself is a witch. All she knows is that she has to save the woman who has taken her in—an unmarried healer—from charges of witchcraft, and keep the woman’s ward safe. Soon enough, Tash realizes that another life she has to save is her own.
Excerpt: 

Owww.
Tash lifted her head and gazed around. She was propped up on her hands and knees like a baby learning to crawl, planted in the middle of a dirt road. She had landed hard. Her knee throbbed.
Where was she?
More dirt road stretched ahead of her, rutted gray and brown. On one side of the road was a field filled with weeds and wildflowers, bordered by dense forest. On the other side was more forest—thick, towering pines, streaks of white birch, a crazy tangle of undergrowth lining the road. She recognized ferns, ragged daisies, and poison ivy sprouting through a carpet of rust-colored pine needles. She might have the wind knocked out of her, but she knew enough not to mess with poison ivy. A painful rash would spoil the soccer season, plus she wouldn’t be able to get close to Kyle. Poison ivy was contagious, wasn’t it?
Why was she wasting time worrying about poison ivy when she had no idea where she was or how she got here? One minute she was standing in her dorm room, her backpack slung over one shoulder and her phone in her other hand while she texted Kyle about their plan to study for the calculus final together. The next minute Headmistress Lalane was ordering Tash to put her phone away and herding her, along with a bunch of other kids, first to Headmaster Auster’s office, where they’d stood around, confused, while the office got darker and colder, and then they’d been taken up to the roof. And the minute after that…
The minute after that, Tash opened her eyes to find herself crawling down a dirt road, with pebbles embedded in the palms of her hands and her right knee bruised and bleeding.
This was really weird.
She shifted to sit, swinging her leg around carefully because it hurt. After plucking the grit out of her hands, she flexed her fingers to make sure they still worked, then checked her knee. The skirt of her uniform was dirty. The flesh around her kneecap—her patella; she’d knocked herself memorizing the proper names of the bones in the human skeleton in honors biology last year—looked like a puffy pink sponge. The skin was scraped raw. Trickles of blood skittered down her shin.
She groped for her backpack and discovered it missing. Great. No tissues. More important, no phone. No wallet. No money. No anything.
Where the hell was she?
What the hell happened?

She was in major trouble. Leaving campus without permission was a serious breach. She’d probably be dragged before the disciplinary board, and they’d contact her parents, and God knew what would happen next. Loss of senior privileges? Expulsion just weeks before graduation? Serious shit from Mom and Dad?
Would they go light on the punishment if she explained she hadn’t done anything wrong? She was minding her own business, texting back and forth with Kyle about studying for the calc final, when Lalane poked her head through the open door to Tash’s dorm room and ordered her to come. Tash obeyed. Surely the school would cut her a little slack.
Especially since she had no idea how she’d even gotten here—wherever here was.
Her dorm. Auster’s office. The roof. She recalled the other kids—nine of them—murmuring among themselves as Lalane hustled them up the stairs to the roof. She recalled Lalane dropping something into the pocket of her blazer. She recalled the roof. The air was chilly, the sky surprisingly dark, clouds as dark as soot obliterating the morning sunlight.
She reached into the pocket of her blazer and pulled out a pin. Round, sort of gold, it didn’t look like much. Why had the headmistress stuck it in Tash’s pocket? Was Tash supposed to pin it to her blazer?
She did now, fastening it to a lapel. Who knew why Lalane gave her the pin? Some of the students were kind of pals with the headmistress, but Tash always maintained her distance from the administrators. She was a scholarship student. She didn’t want to run the risk of antagonizing the folks in charge—or to seem like she was kissing up to them.
She returned her attention to her knee, using her thumb to wipe the rivulets of blood leaking out of her torn skin. Now her thumb was bloody, too. Wonderful. She supposed she could use the tail of her shirt to mop up the mess, but then her shirt would be stained, and she’d get in trouble for that.
Above her, the sky was a crisp, vivid blue marbled with rippling white clouds. One minute she was breathing the aroma of the travel-mug of coffee she filled in the dining hall during breakfast and brought back to her room, and the next she was breathing a dry, piney fragrance. No hint of the musty scent hanging in the corridors of the old school buildings, or the stale smell of the locker room adjacent to the soccer field, or the ocean-tinged breezes drifting across campus. Was she even still on the island? She’d never seen this field before, or these woods.
She forced herself to stand. Her knee ached, but her leg didn’t buckle. No broken bones, she decided. Correction: no broken patella, femur, tibia, or fibula. If she was going to do pre-med next year, a notion she was considering at the moment, she ought to practice using the correct terminology.
She bent over and tried to rub the blood from her sticky thumb on a patch of grass. That didn’t work too well, but a little saliva helped, and she got most of the blood off. Then she straightened up and started down the road. Maybe her backpack dropped somewhere along the way. She’d be royally screwed if she couldn’t find it. It contained not only her phone and wallet but a few textbooks. If she lost them, she’d have to pay to replace them, and she wasn’t exactly rolling in money.
Replacing her textbooks would be cheap compared to replacing her phone. When her parents gave it to her last Christmas, they went on and on about how much it cost, which kind of spoiled the whole Christmas thing. You weren’t supposed to mention the price of presents at Christmas. You weren’t supposed to make a person feel guilty about the gift you were giving them. You were just supposed to give it and say, “Merry Christmas.”
She hobbled along, scanning left and right in search of her backpack. If it slid off her shoulder somewhere in the field, she would spot it easily, but it could have landed in the woods. She hoped she wouldn’t have to traipse through poison ivy to retrieve it.
Like that was going to happen. How could she think logically when this was so illogical? She didn’t know where she was. She didn’t know how she’d gotten here. She didn’t know why she was here.
She ought to be scared—except she didn’t do scared. Scared was for wusses. Tash was the girl who killed the spiders venturing into the third-floor bathroom in her dorm. She was the girl who argued with Mr. Pritchard, the meanest history teacher in the school, when he insisted on popping surprise quizzes or grading essays on a curve. She was the girl who stood up to that bitch Susie Martland two years ago, when she was picking on Mary Ann Leominster, who obviously had Asperger’s, even if she wasn’t officially diagnosed. Mary Ann was hard-wired and weird, everyone knew it, but that was no reason for Susie to give her a hard time.
Tash noticed a movement in the woods. Not her backpack, which didn’t  move, at least not on its own. A shadow weaving through the trees, meandering toward the clearing. An animal? A dangerous beast? Not that Tash was afraid, but were there wolves on the island?
The shadow drew closer, and Tash noticed a flutter of pale gray, and then a crescent of white. She halted, which actually made her knee hurt a little more, and watched as the figure moved through the forest toward the clearing.
It was a girl, dressed in a shapeless gray dress with long sleeves and a full skirt falling to her feet, which were shod in dusty black flat-heeled shoes. A sagging drawstring bag hung from a belt around her waist, and a strange white cap fit snugly over her head. Her hair was tucked up under it, but a few pale strands leaked out and drizzled down around her round, open face. Freckles dappled her tiny nose. Her mouth shaped a perfect O as she gaped at Tash.
Tash gaped back. If this girl was a student at Gray Cliffs Academy, Tash had never seen her before. It wasn’t as if she knew all the younger students, but the school wasn’t that big. And if she ever heard about some eccentric freshman who dressed like a stowaway on the Mayflower, she would remember.
To her surprise, the girl broke into a smile as she stepped into the clearing. “Greetings, wayfarer!” she called to Tash.





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Blair Drake believes in magic, especially the magic of stories with fantasy, adventures, romance, action, and surprises. She has loved writing and living in the stories of the Finding Magic series and is so excited to share the quests of the Gray Cliffs Academy students with her readers.

When she’s not writing about magic, she’s reading about it. Her influences are Cassandra Claire, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Garth Nix, and many more.

In the mortal plane, following the lure of magic has drawn Blair into strange and wonderful adventures from Australia to New York City, with many stops in between. She currently lives near Denver. Her very favorite spot is a red loveseat in her office, frequently shared with two cats, an outnumbered Dalmation, and occasionally her bewitched husband.

She might have gone to a school similar to Gray Cliffs Academy and would love to go through a magic portal. In the meantime, she’s creating her own in more books of magic.

Find Blair and her books
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Tour Wide

a Rafflecopter giveaway

New Releases: 8/19-8/25


Mon. Aug. 20th

 Darkest Heart (Dominion #1) by Juliette Cross

Tue. Aug. 21st

 The Black God's Drums by P. Djèlí Clark
 The Fated Sky (Lady Astronaut #2) by Mary Robinette Kowal
 Fierce Like a Firestorm (Hibiscus Daughter #2) by Lana Popović
 Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett
 Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey
 Nightblood (Frostblood Saga #3) by Elly Blake
Vox by Christina Dalcher

Happy Reading!!

Monday, August 20, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Captured by Her Cougar by Felicity Heaton (@felicityheaton)



New York Times best-selling paranormal romance author Felicity Heaton is here today for the book tour of her new shifter romance release, Captured by her Cougar, the second book in her brand new Cougar Creek Mates Series. Set in her popular Eternal Mates world, Cougar Creek Mates takes you into the deep Canadian wilderness to a secret place that’s home to a cougar shifter pride led by four sexy brothers, each guaranteed to steal your heart and set it racing! With all four books in the series releasing just weeks apart, this is going to be one hot summer.

Check out the book, download it with your Kindle Unlimited subscription if you have one, and be sure to enter the awesome grand giveaway happening at her website!

Captured by Her Cougar
 Cougar Creek Mates #2
Amazon.com | Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.ca | Amazon.com.au

In the wake of an Archangel attack on Cougar Creek, Storm is seething with a need for revenge against the hunter organisation and the key to it might be the petite blonde mortal he’s locked in his cabin, one he’s determined to make sing for him. Only the beauty has a fiery temperament to match his own, and the more time he spends with her, the more she stokes a fire inside him. One that fills him with a startling and undeniable need to make her sing in another way—in his arms.
Gabriella isn’t going to take her captivity lying down. She’s going to give the pig-headed brute holding her against her will hell until he finally believes she’s innocent. He might be a cougar shifter, but she isn’t afraid of him. Or at least she isn’t afraid of what he is. The way he affects her, the flames that lick through her whenever they’re close, terrifies her though, because the longer she’s around the towering sexy-as-sin shifter, the hotter that fire blazes, and it’s only a matter of time before it burns away all her restraint.
With the mating heat and the attack bringing cougars back to the creek, Gabriella is a complication Storm doesn’t need, but she’s one that he wants… because she might just be his one true mate.
Book 1: Claimed by her Cougar – Available in Kindle Unlimited!
Book 2: Captured by her Cougar – Available in Kindle Unlimited!
Book 3: Courted by her Cougar (coming 8th September 2018)
Book 4: Craved by her Cougar (coming 29th September 2018)

Excerpt:


When he held up a bag and jerked his chin towards the cabin, Gabi ducked away from the window, missing what he said to his brother.
The door opened a split-second later, and his eyes landed on her where she stood near the log burner, the mug of coffee in her hand.
“Drinking my coffee now?” He arched an eyebrow at her, and she ignored him, because he wasn’t angry with her.
No. There was a satisfied glint in his grey eyes that said he had wanted her to fall for the coffee trick and was sure she was going to fall for whatever one he employed next.
He held up the bag and waggled it. “Ivy and some of the females donated to your cause. Must make a change… being shown charity?”
He opened the bag when she didn’t respond and peered inside it.
“Ooh…” His shoulders trembled beneath his black woollen jumper as if he was shuddering. “All kinds of goodies. Clothes… candy… other necessities to keep you beautiful.”
That gave her pause.
Keep her beautiful?
Pig thought she was beautiful?
He didn’t seem to notice his choice of words, because she was sure that if he had, he would have been horrified by them—by finding a human of all things beautiful.
He pulled out a near-empty bottle of perfume, and some deodorant, plus a toothbrush and razor, and damn, she wanted them but she wasn’t going to let him see that. She wasn’t going to let him win.
She folded her arms across her chest. “Let me go. I’ve done nothing wrong. You can’t keep me here… like a prisoner.”
Like a prisoner?”
She nodded.
He smiled coldly. “Little Bird, you are a prisoner… and I’m your jailer… and until you tell me what I want to know, you aren’t going anywhere.”
She planted her hands on her hips and glared at him. “You know this is illegal, right?”
“You’re trespassing on our land, you brought assault rifles and intended to slaughter us all… and you think you have a right to say what we’re doing is illegal?” he barked and she shrank back, but then rallied and stood her ground. He advanced on her, but she refused to let him intimidate her. “I can, and I will, do whatever it takes to protect my kin.”
Gabi set her jaw as her heart began to pound, anger trickling through her veins to heat her blood. “I swear, I’m not going to tell anyone. Who would believe me anyway?”
“Archangel,” he snarled and stepped into her, his huge body crowding her as she tried to hold her ground. “The people you work for. I’m sure they’ll believe you, and they’ll come back with more guns… more hunters… and I can’t allow that.”
“I told you… I don’t work for Archangel!” She squared up to him, which did nothing. He just glared at her, his eyes blazing gold, triggering an instinct in her that screamed at her to run because she was in danger. She had nowhere to run, so all she could do was fight. He had her backed into a corner but she was damned if she was going down without a battle. “So that’s it then… I’m just going to be your prisoner forever?”
“Unless you tell me what I want to hear, that’s pretty much the case, Little Bird.” He glowered down at her, his jaw muscles tensing beneath his golden skin.
“I’m not going to accept that,” she bit out. “I want to talk to Ivy.”
“You’ll talk to me.” He grabbed her arm, the press of his fingers hot and hard, making her aware of him and how close he was to her.
His body brushed hers, her breasts against his stomach, his thighs against her hips.
Her breathing quickened as his proximity wreaked havoc on her, had thoughts spinning through her mind that she damned well wasn’t going to entertain.
“Get your bloody hand off me.” She meant it to come out loud and forceful, but it left her on a whisper.
“No,” he muttered and his deep voice was as strained and low as hers.
His eyes darkened, but it wasn’t anger in them.
It was desire.
Fire that lit up the gold of his irises.
She was seeing things, her tired mind messing with her, because the pig didn’t like humans, he liked his women fast and forgettable, and she didn’t like her men going furry and feral.
But then his eyes dropped to her lips.
It was just the briefest glance, but she caught it and how his eyes darkened further.
Oh, cougar boy wanted her.
Gabi couldn’t resist tilting her head back, part of her wanting to lure him in even when she wasn’t sure whether she was doing it because she wanted to find a way to escape and gaining his trust in this way felt like the right move to make, or because she wanted to kiss him too—burned with the same fire that was in his eyes.
He glanced at her mouth again, and for a heart-stopping moment she thought he would kiss her, braced herself for it and found herself fiercely wanting it.
Fool.
His lips quirked in a cold smile. “You’re not my type. I prefer my females to have a heart behind their breasts and without a knife in their hand, ready to stab me in the back.”
Son of a bitch.
That hurt even when she tried to let it glance off her. It cut deep, his aim true.
“You flatter yourself a bit too much,” she bit out, venom in her tone, and he leaned back and frowned down at her. “I have a fiancé… one who will be looking for me… a very powerful man.”
One who she doubted was really worried about her since the match had been Alexander’s idea and she had only gone along with it at the time to help him out when he had needed an investor to save his business.
Her words had the desired effect though.
The man released her, looked at her through truly dark eyes for the first time, no flicker of light and warmth in them at all, and left, slamming the door behind him so hard that one of the glass panes cracked and she flinched.
She had the feeling she had upset him, just as she had wanted, but it didn’t make her feel better.
It only made her feel worse.
Gabi sat on the couch, keeping still and silent, lost in thought as she stared at the flames. Day drifted into night, and when he didn’t return, she settled in his bed and slept as best she could, expecting to wake when he came home and stomped around the cabin, making her aware of his mood.
Only she woke the next morning and there was no sign of him.
She padded across the wooden floor to the bag he had left on it near the kitchen, picked it up and emptied the contents one by one on the polished wooden counter. She glanced at the door, but didn’t bother to check it. The key was missing, and she had no doubt he had locked it while she had been busy flinching.
Gabi used the supplies he had given her to clean up in his small bathroom. The water was freezing. She hurried through washing herself, and used the deodorant but not the perfume, and dressed in the dark green t-shirt and the brown trousers that were a few sizes too large for her. Ivy’s?
She cinched them at the waist with the supplied belt and went into the kitchen, finger-brushing her blonde hair as she gazed out of the window at the woods and the strip of the clearing that she could see.
There were another three men she didn’t recognise today, together with two more women, both of them very pretty and both of them brunettes. They reminded her of Ivy, and she ached to see the woman she had come to think of as a friend, her heart heavy as she stood in silence in the empty cabin.
She just wanted to see a kind face.
She went through the process with the coffee machine, replacing the filter and grounds, and the water, only to realise the power was out again.
Had he disconnected it to punish her, because she had tried to punish him?
Tears filled her eyes but she sniffed them back. “Screw him. Bloody bastard. You can’t keep a good Gabi down.”
She rifled through his cupboards and found a steel kettle and a cafetiere, and grinned. She filled the kettle with water, set it on top of the log burner, and went back to the window as she waited for it to boil.
Pig appeared, dressed in the same black jeans and jumper he had been wearing yesterday as he crossed the grass, heading over to one of the women. He smiled as he spoke with her while they walked, following the path towards the woods and his cabin, each one a needle that pierced Gabi’s chest and made it sting for some reason.
His eyes remained locked on the woman as they stopped near the cabin, in full view of Gabi. The hunger in his gaze made her want to look away, even though it was a pale shadow of the way he had looked at her yesterday, before he had spent the night away from the cabin.
With one of the women?
She remembered what he had said to Flint—that he wanted in on the action.
He wanted these women.
He glanced in her direction, and smirked at her, and she looked away from him, refusing to let him win. He was doing it to spite her, to hurt her because she had hurt him.
She was sure of it.
He wanted the women who were coming to the area.
But he wanted her more.
And damn her.
She wanted him too.
But she wasn’t going to give in to him.
Never.


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Felicity Heaton is a New York Times and USA Today international best-selling author writing passionate paranormal romance books. In her books, she creates detailed worlds, twisting plots, mind-blowing action, intense emotion and heart-stopping romances with leading men that vary from dark deadly vampires to sexy shape-shifters and wicked werewolves, to sinful angels and hot demons! If you’re a fan of paranormal romance authors Lara Adrian, J R Ward, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Gena Showalter and Christine Feehan then you will enjoy her books too.

If you love your angels a little dark and wicked, the best-selling Her Angel series is for you. If you like strong, powerful, and dark vampires then try the Vampires Realm series or any of her stand-alone vampire romance books. If you’re looking for vampire romances that are sinful, passionate and erotic then try the best-selling Vampire Erotic Theatre series. Or if you prefer huge detailed worlds filled with hot-blooded alpha males in every species, from elves to demons to dragons to shifters and angels, then take a look at the new Eternal Mates series.


If you want to know more about Felicity, or want to get in touch, you can find her at the following places:

Find Felicity and her books
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Enter the grand tour-wide giveaway to win one of a $75, $50 or $25 Amazon Gift Card at the Captured by her Cougar book page. This giveaway is international and open to everyone, and ends at midnight on September 2nd. 



Sunday, August 19, 2018

Week in Review: 8/12-8/18



Books Received for Review

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews
City of the Lost by Debbie Cassidy
How to Dance and Undead Waltz by Hailey Edwards

Books I've Read

Frenchman Street by Suzanne Johnson
Moon Spell by Samantha Young
River Cast by Samantha Young

Reviews Posted

None this week!

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* New Releases for the week. Was there anything you were looking forward to reading?

* Monday- Promo + Giveaway for Elijah's Quest by Blair Drake (@BlairDrakeBooks)

* Wednesday- Promo + Giveaway for Dylan's Quest by Blair Drake (@BlairDrakeBooks, @RoxanneRhoads)

* Thursday- Promo + Giveaway for Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill (@chloeneill, @BerkleyPub)

* Friday- Guest Blog + Giveaway for Shifting Auras by Claire Davon (@ClaireDavon, @SoulMatePublish, @RoxanneRhoads)

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* Did you know you can follow UFI on these other sites?

You can also add me (as in Stacy) to your friends on these sites if you're on them.
 

 * I love comments so if you see something you like (or not) please comment away and let me know.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Guest Blog + Giveaway: Shifting Auras by Claire Davon (@ClaireDavon, @SoulMatePublish, @RoxanneRhoads)

UFI welcomes Author Claire Davon. Thanks for Joining us!!

Hi, and thanks for hosting me on your blog!

I’ve always been fascinated by super powers. Whenever those quizzes pop up on Facebook and ask “which super power would you rather have?” my answer is always “yes.” Yes, to wanting to be able to turn invisible. Yes, to being able to move objects with your mind. Yes, to transforming into the image of other people without all the pesky masks necessary of a Mission: Impossible character.

When I was researching Shifting Auras I had to look into all sorts of super powers—since this is a running series I had a lot of characters to establish! It’s amazing how many powers there are out there, fictional and otherwise and it was very easy to go down the rabbit hole of “what power is tickling my fancy today?” I thought I’d share with you some of them with you in the context of the characters in the book.

Telekinesis-Ian Sanderson, my hero in Shifting Auras, has this ability. He can move and manipulate the objects in the physical world using only his mind. What a great talent to have. Imagine never having to bend over to pick up the remote, or to have to go to the refrigerator to get your snack.  Of course, it is useful in other ways too, like stopping trains, or bullets.

Psychic ability-Maya Wingfield, my heroine, is a psychic, or sensitive as they are called in the story. She can see auras and pick up what people are feeling. There is no hiding the truth from a psychic, but they are also vulnerable to mental attack due to this sensitivity to other’s minds.

Weather manipulation-Imagine never having to worry about the rain when you schedule a picnic, or your wedding? Zared, a secondary character in the story, can manipulate weather. When he gets mad so do the skies. He can bring down hail when needed and create a storm, or get rid of one, when necessary.

Invisibility-Quillan, the boss of the government agency, can turn invisible. This is one of my personal favorites. It is the ultimate “fly on the wall.” I used to dream about being able to slip into places I’m not supposed to be and check things out. What fun! Someone who can turn invisible can evade all sorts of blockades and wind up where they are least expected.

Precognition-This is different than psychic ability in that it is the power to see things before they happen, but it isn’t reading people’s minds. Yin, another secondary character, has this ability. She can see things shortly before they occur. Sometimes she can warn people, other times she doesn’t. To me this power goes back to the question about whether or not warning someone about a future event that changes that future event so it never occurs is a good or bad thing.

Ferrokinesis-I shuddered when I read this one. Thomas Araline, the ultimate head of Universe and a very enigmatic character, is ferrokinetic. He can manipulate metal, whether in objects…or in people. It wasn’t until I researched this super power that I realized that someone ferrokinetic could pull all the metal from your body, including the iron in your blood.

There are so many other powers, some big, some small, some useful some not so useful. Other characters have the ability to slow down time, to turn into other people and to manipulate shadows. There are as many abilities as there are ways to use them. As I’m writing this I realize I don’t have anyone who flies. That could be fun. Hmm. I need a super power for story #4…

What about you? If you had to choose one what would your super power be and why?
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Claire can’t remember a time when writing wasn’t part of her life. Growing up, she used to write stories with her friends. As a teenager she started reading fantasy and science fiction, but her diet quickly changed to romance and happily-ever-after’s.

A native of Massachusetts and cold weather, she left all that behind to move to the sun and fun of California, but has always lived no more than twenty miles from the ocean.

In college she studied acting with a minor in creative writing. In hindsight she should have flipped course studies. Before she was published, she sold books on eBay and discovered some of her favorite authors by sampling the goods, which was the perfect solution. Claire has many book-irons in the fire, most notably her urban fantasy series, The Elementals’ Challenge series, but writes contemporary and shifter romances as well as.

While she’s not a movie mogul or actor, she does work in the film industry with her office firmly situated in the 90210 district of Hollywood. Prone to breaking into song, she is quick on her feet and just as quick with snappy dialogue. In addition to writing she enjoys animal rescue, reading, and movies. She loves to hear from fans, so feel free to drop her a line.


Find Claire and her books
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Shifting Auras
The Universe Chronicles #1
Amazon
Maya Wingfield was raised to trust no one—least of all the dueling U.S. and Russian paranormal agencies, Universe and Night Stars, who’d love to harness her mind-reading gift.

She thought Richmond a safe place to escape their influence and hide from a rising psychic malevolence that drove her out of San Diego. But when she gets yet another call to retrieve her drunken roommate, her mind shows her an amber-eyed Universe operative with an impenetrable net around his deepest secret—and a voice that sends shock waves of awareness down her nerve endings.

Maya’s curves and aquamarine eyes aren’t the only things that jolt Ian Sanderson’s mental shields, bringing sexual tension thrumming back to life. It’s a power his Universe-trained mind knows he shouldn’t trust. And a vulnerability that makes his telekinetic power burn in his palms to protect her.

But to Universe, she is just one of too many unanswered questions. A target for Whisper, a shadowy new group of paranormals with powers beyond anything Universe has ever seen. Once before, Ian failed to protect a sensitive from a brain-scrambling attack. He will not fail again . . . if it means using his talent—or his body—to stop a bullet.
Excerpt:

The metallic squeal in the distance indicated the train was arriving. A light in the tunnel swept across the concrete wall as it rounded a curve and the brakes continued to shriek. People began to crowd the yellow line, jostling for position, trying to determine where the doors would open so they could leap on and get a seat, a premium on the Metro.
By now the train was visible, moving at a rate that didn’t seem normal. His experience with the Washington Metro was limited, but the tube in London would have been slowing by now.
Awareness flowed through the air, and there was a shift in the commuters as they began to understand that something wasn’t right. Ian released Maya and shoved her behind him. People scattered as the train started screaming into the station at too high a speed.
“Bugger all,” Ian said and reached out with his talent.
Without warning, Maya was yanked from behind him and hurtled toward the moving train before he could halt her.
He split his mind, one focusing on the subway cars and one on her. People were flowing around her, one or two pausing to try and help the woman jerking past them. Maya careered forward, out of their grasp. Sparks lit the tracks as the wheels lifted off the rails, the engineer no doubt applying the brakes in an effort to make the cars stop.
Ian’s talent blazed through him, starting in his belly and moving up his body. It pulsed and crackled, filling him with power fueled by fury and desperation. He reached out his hand, the palm glowing red as his ability hissed out in an arc. Maya halted on the demarcation line that had just been vacated, her eyes wide and staring. Her body was stiff, and her head was bent backwards in an attempt to clear it from the path of the oncoming train.
Beads of sweat broke out along Ian’s body as he found the train’s brakes on the wheels, applying pressure via his telekinesis. The conductor was already applying everything to the pedals, but they were going all the way to the floor. Instead, Ian focused everything on those pads, stomping down as if he were physically there. The train lurched and made a shrieking sound as it slowed. It slid by Maya, her hair blowing back from the rush of displaced air.
For a panicked moment, Ian saw Maya falling onto the tracks in his mind’s eye. Inside, the people standing were thrown forward and then back as the brakes caught. The train shuddered and ground to a halt.
Ian stumbled when he released his grasp on the train. Maya ran to him as he slumped, his shaking hands still glowing with red light. Energy drained from him but all that mattered was Maya, safe.
The train doors opened, and frightened passengers disembarked rapidly. The tourists had wide eyes and open mouths while the regulars seemed more sanguine. They were used to the vagaries of the subway and to them it was nothing more than a bad stop. A very bad stop, to be sure, but just a random day on the Washington Metro.
“Ian?” Maya asked, and he tasted the acrid, metallic scent of fear. It had been a long time since anyone had mattered.
“What did you sense? Anything?”
“I . . . it was so brief. Someone surfaced and before I could react to his mind—it felt like a he— I was being shoved forward. I reached out and tried to stop him, but I didn’t know how. It had to be a telekinetic, right?” By her expression he didn’t think she expected an answer. “It was only a flash, and then it was gone. Why, Ian? What did he want?”
The oath on Ian’s lips was savage. “I don’t know who it was, but they won’t get away with this. Blast. Yin was right. You’re in danger.”



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Thursday, August 16, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Wild Hunger by Chloe Neill (@chloeneill, @BerkleyPub)


Wild Hunger
Heirs of Chicago #1
 Amazon | Barnes Noble | iBooks | Kobo | Books-A-Million | Indiebound

In the first thrilling installment of Chloe Neill's spinoff to the New York Times bestselling Chicagoland Vampires series, a new vampire will find out just how deep blood ties run.

As the only vampire child ever born, some believed Elisa Sullivan had all the luck. But the magic that helped bring her into the world left her with a dark secret. Shifter Connor Keene, the only son of North American Central Pack Apex Gabriel Keene, is the only one she trusts with it. But she's a vampire and the daughter of a Master and a Sentinel, and he's prince of the Pack and its future king.

When the assassination of a diplomat brings old feuds to the fore again, Elisa and Connor must choose between love and family, between honor and obligation, before Chicago disappears forever.

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Photo by Dana Damewood
Chloe Neill is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Devil’s Isle, Chicagoland Vampires, and Dark Elite series. She was born and raised in the South, but now makes her home in the Midwest.  When not writing, she bakes, knits, Pins, and scours the Internet for good recipes and great graphic design. Chloe also maintains her sanity by spending time with her boys–her favorite landscape photographer/husband and their dogs, Baxter and Scout. (Both she and the photographer understand the dogs are in charge.)

Chloe is represented by Lucienne Diver of The Knight Agency. Chloe is a member of the Romance Writers of America.

Find Chloe and her books
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The fun doesn’t stop here. Want more chances to win? You can also enter the Wild Hunger Grand Prize Giveaway, which runs August 6 through August 17 on Chloe’s web site.

What is the Grand Prize Giveaway prize?
  •     A Wild Hunger tote bag and bookmark
  •     A Stuffed “Connor Keene” Wolf Keychain
  •     A gorgeous box of Ladurée French Macarons (You’ll find out why in WILD HUNGER!)
  •     Amazon Kindle
  •     $50 Amazon gift card
  •     Bookmarks and swag

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Promo + Giveaway: Dylan's Quest by Blair Drake (@BlairDrakeBooks, @RoxanneRhoads)


Dylan's Quest
Finding Magic #5
Amazon
The most normal thing about Dylan’s morning was being called to the headmaster’s office. And that’s where normal forever changed for him. One minute he’s in the office, the next he’s on the roof, and moments later, he opens the doors to Gray Cliffs Academy to find he’s in a whole new world.

Troll, and pixies, and chameleman, oh my. In a dimension with real-world technology along with magic, Dylan must find his grimoire and get back to Gray Cliffs before the darkness invades both worlds.

Excerpt:

When Dylan opened the door, he thought maybe he was dropped off the roof onto his head and suffered a concussion. Nothing else, short of a dream (which he decided it wasn’t a dream when he pinched himself and it hurt like hell), could explain what he saw.
“Quantum physics is real,” he said aloud.
He stepped through the doorway and closed the doors firmly behind him, to keep the fog at bay. Turning around to what should be the foyer of the school, he saw a city. Was it a city? Could that be possible? And it felt familiar, only he was sure he never saw anything like it before now.
“Holy…” He didn’t finish his sentence because awe overtook him. He’d seen this place before. Not the whole place necessarily, but he’d seen that house. He looked to the left...and that house.
His father was an architect, and he had drawings and paintings of Victorian homes all around his office. But the homes were surreal, with blithely assembled gables, dormers, turrets, and finials. It was a surreal whimsy. His dad said he interpreted what he was taught about Stic, Eastlake, and Gothic Revival architecture. He always thought his dad reimagined and reinvented original architectural designs, but he drew real houses.
Dylan took a tentative step forward. What the hell happened? Where were the rest of the kids? And why wasn’t he terrified? Fog seeped through the seams of the door and clouded the vision before him. He could see this town was near the sea and thought maybe it was the other side of the island—or not.
He considered pinching himself again, because this had to be a dream. Only he looked down and saw the welt he gave himself moments ago. Not a smart idea. He’d roll with it. He stepped forward onto the sidewalk and was nearly run over by an egg-shaped man wearing what he’d call steampunk clothing: cream colored, high-waist Regency fall front trousers, a brown vest with a burgundy jacket with little round tassels hanging from the hem, a white cotton neck scarf with the same tassels, and tan and burgundy wingtip shoes.
The egg man walked on the tips of his toes while three cats, all tiger striped, walked with him. The three cats were on leashes. With his nose in the air, not paying attention, it was no wonder he nearly ran over Dylan.
Dylan started to say a sarcastic, “Excuse me,” but he was awestruck by what he saw in the street.
An elephant, wearing a hat and blanket the same colors of tan and burgundy as the round man, had a miniature version of the Taj Mahal strapped to his back. As the elephant walked past, Dylan could see two monkeys inside the Taj Mahal, playing chess.
Dylan shook his head. What happened on that roof? He looked around to see the streets were filled with other oddities: a woman who looked like a mermaid with legs, was riding a seahorse as if the air were water; a frog with wings; fish floating by in bubbles. And when he looked to the sky, he swore the crescent moon smiled at him, then winked.
He felt something hot in the pocket of his khaki school uniform pants and pulled out a pin. It glowed. It was warm, but not really hot, though it felt quite hot in his pocket, like it tried to get his attention.
“Hey,” he heard a muffled cry.
Looking around, he didn’t see anyone looking at him.
“Down here, stupid,” the whiny voice said again.
Just as he leaned over to see where the voice was coming from, a bee the size of a small dog swooped down at him. As it flew away, he saw it wasn’t just a bee. The insect had the upper body of a woman, with the butt and wings of a bee.
“Watch out, that one can kill you,” the voice said.
Dylan looked at the grass next to the sidewalk. A man’s pocket watch was wedged between the grass and the white picket fence. He bent down and picked up the watch.
“Whoa,” he said when he almost dropped it, after looking into the clear glass cover.
Instead of seeing the face of a watch through the glass, Dylan saw a man’s face, and his bare arms and legs. It looked as if he’d been stuffed into the pocket watch.
“Hey, be careful,” the naked old man inside the pocket watch said.
“Sorry,” Dylan responded without thinking.
“Press the top and open this thing. I’m getting cramps.”
Dylan didn’t immediately open the pocket watch. He turned it over in his hand to look at the back. It looked like tarnished sterling silver, and it was old. But where were the watch parts? He’d have to open the glass watch face to see what was inside. How did that old man fit inside? And the man inside was talking to him. How had he heard such a small man, who was closed inside a watch?
Dylan could see the man’s face peaking from between his knees, which looked smashed against the glass. His legs were bent, and his knees were on either side of his body, with his ankles crossed. His toes were large and gross. He only had three fingers and a thumb on each hand. Dylan could see a cog embedded in the left side of his chest. He had a long, narrow face with a prominent chin, a wide nose, smallish eyes that were hard to see behind his goggle-like glasses, and no hair.
“You gonna stare all day, or are you gonna let me out?” he said, then yelled, “Let me out!”
Dylan’s fingers moved to the top of the watch and popped the cover open. It felt as if his fingers were moving of their own freewill, even though he tried to keep them from letting the little old man out. Something told him this old guy was trouble. T. R. O. U. B. L. E.
The man tumbled out and dropped to the grass. “Umph.”
Dylan blinked and when he opened his eyes, the old man was no longer small enough to fit into the watch. Dylan covered his eyes. “Dude, you’re naked. Your junk is hanging out for everyone to see.”
When he opened his eyes, the old guy had his hands over his crotch. “Sorry, I’m getting old. Things don’t always go the way I plan them.”
The old man did something Dylan didn’t see, and suddenly he was dressed in the same manner as the round man with the cats.
“Who are you? And where am I?” Dylan asked, now that he could comfortably look at the man.
“I’m Henry Gidiro, but my friends call me Hank.” He swept his hand across and in front of him, bowing deeply from his waist. When he stood again, he said, “And you’re the young and stupid Dylan Streetman.”
Dylan’s chin dropped, his mouth wide open. Just then, another bee swooped down at his mouth.
Henry moved faster than a comic character, closing Dylan’s mouth with one hand and swinging his other hand in the air to ward off the bee. “Nasty things.”
“How do you know my name, Hank?” Dylan mumbled through his closed mouth, because Henry’s hand was still on his chin.
“It’s Henry to you, and I’ve been expecting you. You’re uglier than I expected,” he retorted, pulling his hand away.



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Blair Drake believes in magic, especially the magic of stories with fantasy, adventures, romance, action, and surprises. She has loved writing and living in the stories of the Finding Magic series and is so excited to share the quests of the Gray Cliffs Academy students with her readers.

When she’s not writing about magic, she’s reading about it. Her influences are Cassandra Claire, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Garth Nix, and many more.

In the mortal plane, following the lure of magic has drawn Blair into strange and wonderful adventures from Australia to New York City, with many stops in between. She currently lives near Denver. Her very favorite spot is a red loveseat in her office, frequently shared with two cats, an outnumbered Dalmation, and occasionally her bewitched husband.

She might have gone to a school similar to Gray Cliffs Academy and would love to go through a magic portal. In the meantime, she’s creating her own in more books of magic.

Find Blair and her books
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