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Showing posts with label book reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Audio Series Tour: Mail-Order Brides of the West BK 1 by Debra Holland

Author: Debra Holland

Narrator: Lara Asmundson

Length: 6 hours 41 minutes

Series: Mail-Order Brides of the West, Book 1

Publisher: Debra Holland

Released: Jun. 27, 2014

Genre: Romance; Historical Fiction

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Spiritwalker by Tanith Davenport #PNR #eroticromance


Spiritwalker
Some Like It Haunted
Tanith Davenport

Genre: Paranormal erotic romance
Publisher: Totally Bound
Date of Publication: 20 October 2020
ISBN: 978-1-83943-443-3
Number of pages: 58
Word Count: 15010

Cover Artist: Totally Bound

Tagline: By night she walks with spirits. By day they turn her world upside down.

Book Description:

Tamar Steele, a successful medium for a paranormal investigative team, should be happy with her life—but life seems to be against her. Her psychic field is being mysteriously blocked, causing her physical pain and, worse, making it more and more difficult for her to come, creating stress in her relationship with long-term boyfriend Jason.

But then, during the filming of a paranormal TV show, Tamar picks up on Leslie, the recently murdered sister of her co-worker Hana—who later tells her the murderer was in the room with them. Knowing the best way to enhance her psychic ability is through sex, Tamar must rekindle her troubled relationship with Jason and rebuild their passion as she fights to solve the murder. Can she find the killer in time?

Sequel to “I Heard Your Voice” and “Tamar Rising”


Excerpt:

“Tamar?”
Adjusting her headset, Tamar Steele shifted the microphone closer to her mouth as another chair flew across the room in front of her.
“It’s all right. I’m on it.” 
There was the sound of breaking glass above her as a light bulb shattered. Tamar moved forward to avoid the falling shards, holding her torch out in front of her.
She’s here. I can feel her.
Her back was starting to ache. Through the darkness she could see a spirit beginning to form, long white robes and flowing hair framing a thin figure and pointed face. Terrified eyes fixed on hers.
“Tamar.” Hana’s voice crackled in her ear. “You need to get out of there. This is getting too dangerous. Jason’s worried.”
“Tell Jason to calm down. I know what I’m doing.”
A newspaper shot across the floor, scattering pages everywhere. Tamar took another step towards the spirit girl, holding up her hand, focussing on the energy she could feel around her.
“Matt, I need your help here.”
She felt a light tug on her hair and knew Matt, her spirit guide, had been listening.
“Listen to me,” she said firmly, holding the girl’s stare. “I can help you.”
Fear. Panic. A name. Emily—her name is Emily. Died sometime in the 1920s.
“Let me help you, Emily.”
A sudden rush forward and the girl was right in front of her, arms outstretched, mouth open, gasping for breath. Automatically Tamar caught her wrists, keeping the reaching fingers away from her face as she saw Matt’s blond head manifesting behind the girl.
“We can help you,” she repeated, then Matt’s arms were wrapping around the girl from behind, his face close to hers as he whispered soothing words into her ear.
The girl froze, then collapsed back against him, her arms falling.
“I don’t want to be here! I don’t know why I’m here.”
“It’s all right.” Tamar’s gaze met Matt’s over the girl’s shoulder. “We can send you home.”
She concentrated. “Light. Bring light.”
A glowing white light slowly formed between them, growing until the girl was engulfed. A small smile formed on her face before, in a bright flash, she was gone.
“We’re done here, Hana.”
“Okay. Asher’s on her way.”
Already Tamar heard the heavy footsteps of their newest team member coming down the stairs into the cellar. A strong smell of sweet smoke entered the room, closely followed by a short girl with rose-pink hair in a bob, her tattooed arms emerging from her T-shirt.
“Hey, Tamar.”
“Hey, Asher.” Tamar gestured to the space in front of her. “Let’s get the room cleansed and we can get out of here.”
“No problem.” Asher moved forwards, holding the burning incense out in front of her. “Another satisfied customer upstairs.”
“Glad to hear it—”
Tamar’s voice broke off as her headset was filled with an ear-splitting scream.
“Fuck!” Asher gasped. “What was that?”
Struggling to regain her composure, her heart pounding, Tamar focussed hard on the room, stretching her energy field outwards, trying to find something…
There was nothing.

Whatever it had been, it had come and gone.

My Review:
Spiritwalker is the 3rd book in the trilogy featuring Tamar Steele and her Paranormal group TINTAGEL. These books are part of the Some Like it Haunted Collection. The book is very short only 58 pages, but wow those pages are non stop. There are ghosts, which is great since it is a Haunted Series, but unlike some they do take center stage in most of the book. There is murder and mystery as well. Oh yea a couple of really hot sex scenes. The sex scenes only last a couple of pages unlike some books where they last a whole chapter. I honestly found nothing about this book I didn't like, other then the ending coming way to soon. As I mentioned this is the 3rd book of the trilogy. I did not read the first 2 books but I had no problem at all with getting into the story or keeping up. 



About the Author:

Tanith Davenport began writing erotica at the age of 27 by way of the Romantic Novelists' Association New Writers' Scheme. Her debut novel "The Hand He Dealt" was released by Totally Bound in June 2011 and was shortlisted for the Joan Hessayon Award for 2012.

Tanith has had short stories published by Naughty Nights Press and House of Erotica. She loves to travel and dreams of one day taking a driving tour of the United States, preferably in a classic 1950s pink Cadillac Eldorado.

Tanith's idea of heaven is an Indian head massage with a Mojito at her side.





T's Stuff  With Tanith Davenport

Do your characters seem to hijack the story or do you feel like you have the reigns of the story?
It’s a constant balancing act – I plan stories out as best I can but often characters will say and do things which add new dimensions or take stories in a new direction. I usually go along with it – my characters seem to know what they’re doing.

Convince us why you feel your book is a must read.
Spiritwalker is the final story in a trilogy and will be perfect for anyone who enjoyed I Heard Your Voice and Tamar Rising. My heroine Tamar has developed as a person and reaches her peak in this story.

Have you written any other books that are not published?
I wrote three books as a teenager which I’m very glad never got published – they were terrible! I’ve used characters from them in books I’ve written since but I don’t think I’ll go back to them; they were very good training, however.

Pen or type writer or computer?
I do my planning on pen and paper but type the story on my computer. I find it easier to plan by hand.

Anything you would like to say to your readers and fans?
I’ve loved working on this story and the trilogy in general, so I hope you enjoy seeing what finally happens to Tamar and her friends!


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Fated Memories by Joan Carney

Joan CarneyFated Memories
by Joan Carney
Genre: Historical Romance/ Time Travel Romance
Age category: Adult
Release Date: April 15, 2016

Blurb:
A woman, a war, a vision of the future past...

Burdened with the scars of a tortured childhood and a shattered romance, Kitty is being forced to resign from the dull, anonymous job she’s been hiding behind. With her life in shambles and her friends moving on without her, she jumps at her cousin, Maggie’s, invitation to visit.

However, Maggie’s new boyfriend, Simon, has a secret that accidentally hurls the trio a hundred and fifty years into the past. Trapped in the midst of the bloodiest war in American history, and acutely aware their actions might trigger a butterfly effect on the future, the events that unfold will require more mettle than Kitty’s ever had.


You can find Fated Memories on Goodreads

You can buy Fated Memories on Amazon. This book is part of Kindle Unlimited.

Joan CarneyAbout the Author:
A transplant from the concrete sidewalks of New York City to the sunny beaches of Southern California, Ms. Carney enjoys writing stories about women who are strong—whether by nature or circumstance—and the men who love and respect them for who they are. Things that make her happy are rainy days (too much sun is a bore), writing the perfect first line, family get-togethers, reading books that grab her heart, and finding new connections in her genealogy research. Bold coffee and dark chocolate fuel the artistic fire inspired by her family, friends, and psycho, lizard hunting cat.

You can find and contact Joan here:
- Website
- Facebook
- Twitter
- Goodreads


My Review:
Fated Memories is by Joan Carney. This is my first book by her and I was drawn in on page 1. I enjoy time travel books and love the Civil Wat era. This book had both and a couple of romances. I would love a series personally.

In the book Kat is unhappy with her life and job. She is ready to give up her independence and move back home to get a fresh start. When her cousin Maggie asks her to come stay with her. Kat jumps at the chance. Maggie's dying Grandmother asks for some things in a hidden room in her old house. The house had been sold a few years before so Maggie decides to break in to find this hidden room. Once there they find the room and amongst the things in the chests they find an old necklace. Little do they know the powers this necklace possesses. 

Maggie's New boyfriend has had images or more like memories from a past life of being in the Civil Wat in 1861. Maggie buys into it but Kat just can't wrap her head around it. Past lives are just not in her belief system. 

One night the trio goes out to a bar, there a drunken co-worker or Maggie's shows up and starts trouble. This moves to the parking lot. There he goes after Maggie and the chain to the locket is broken with Maggie holding it in her hand Simon grabs both ladies and starts to run away as he does he is thinking he wished they were back in 1861 and this wouldn't be happening. 

The trio wake up in an empty field lost and bewildered. They soon find out they are in 1861 in the middle of the Civil War. None of them know how or why. They just know they need to figure out how to get home. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Secret Spirit Guardians of Santa Fe by C.A. Masterson


Secret Spirit Guardians of Santa Fe
C.A. Masterson  

Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher: Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication:  October 5, 2020
ISBN:  978-1-5092-3351-9 Paperback
ISBN: 978-1-5092-3352-6 Digital
Number of pages:  330
Word Count:  82,600
Cover Artist:  Debbie Taylor

Tagline:  Most families have quirks, but not like Marissa’s.

Book Description:

After Marissa Tahy returns home to Santa Fe, she is haunted by visions and glimpses of danger no one else sees: the spirit of Old Man Gloom in his true form. 

For a hundred years, people have burned their troubles in the spirit’s effigy at the Zozobra festival, each year making the spirit angrier and more powerful.  This year, Old Man Gloom demands his due. The vengeful spirit targets those Marissa loves. 

Even when Marissa discovers the secret history binding her family to Zozobra, joining their forces may not be enough to prevent the furious spirit from burying Santa Fe beneath an avalanche of misery.

Book Trailer:  https://youtu.be/j3HVxC6azcQ 

Amazon     BN

Excerpt:

The crack between worlds happened before I decided to move home to Santa Fe. Had the thought occurred to me, I’d probably have laughed, a little. Until the memory pushed through, a half-remembered nightmare hidden in an undercurrent of emotion, but

always there, flowing beneath the surface of consciousness. Sometimes it’s better if those feelings stay buried, where they can’t pull you under.

After twenty-four years, here I was. Back in the City Different. Because sometimes, life makes hard choices for you. Otherwise, I’d still be in San Diego, not in my aunt’s house, trying hard to pretend I wasn’t a stranger to my own family. For the last half hour, I’d tried to shake off the odd sensation after Zelda made an impromptu, awkward stop at the site of my childhood home, whatever that was about. No longer commenting

on family social media posts from a distance, instead I was in the thick of things.

“How’s Javi been?” I asked Zelda. My aunt had answered my offer to help prepare dinner by handing me a glass of wine and telling me to relax, she had it under control. I had no doubt. Despite driving me from the airport, she was as cool as a freshly picked jalapeno, and as likely to burn you.

“Wonderful. But you can ask him yourself at dinner.” Her deep, distinctive voice was like smoke pouring across gravel.

“Cool, I can’t wait.” When I’d last spent time with my cousin, we’d been kids. Closer than most first cousins, we shared a family conspiracy, hoping none of our classmates would find out that we were not like any of them. No matter where we went, we didn’t belong.

Zelda’s silver bracelets jingled as she briskly arranged vegetables around haddock fillets. “Phoebe will be excited to see you again.”

“You still have her?”

“Of course. She’s as old as you, which makes her barely middle-aged. Phoebe, dear,” she called, “we have company.”

A squawk sounded from the other room, where sunshine poured across the floor in a welcoming sea of light.

I’d always loved my aunt’s house. From sunup to sundown, daylight flooded through the house’s tall windows. The wood-framed stucco structure was a typical style for Santa Fe, not much different from the others in the neighborhood. What had stood out in my

memory was the tall wooden fence that bordered the yard, painted a vivid shade of blue, with myriad crosses along the top of the front gate.

“Careful,” Zelda said. “She’s testy sometimes.”

“Aren’t we all?” I only half joked.

Before my aunt could answer, I made my way from the kitchen to the sunroom beside it. The glass enclosure looked out onto the back yard and faced the outdoor fireplace. On either side of the tall chimney, colorful painted angels decorated its white stucco surface.

The bird cage, as tall as me, occupied a corner. And as always, the door sat wide open so Phoebe could climb in if she wanted, which she almost never did unless she got hungry. A bamboo perch ran above the cage, between the two potted palm trees that provided shade. There Phoebe sat, eyeballing me. Sunlight caught the green and blue feathers, making their colors rich as jewels.

At my approach, the parrot bobbed its head and danced along the perch. Even a nip from Phoebe’s curved beak hurt like hell, so I kept a few feet between us and cooed my greeting.

Pans rattled in the kitchen. “Be nice, Phoebe girl.”

The bird gave no indication of recognizing me. I didn’t know why I’d expected a different reaction. Because I’d taught it more than fifty words, over two decades earlier? Moving home shouldn’t reduce me to childish notions.

So much for a reunion. I returned to the kitchen.

“Sure I can’t help with anything?”

“When do you start your new job?”

“Monday.” Fluttering in my belly reminded me it was coming up fast. Another long adjustment period awaited me, learning a new job, getting to know all the quirks and qualities of my coworkers. After I’d been hired as the new reporter at the Santa Fe Chronicle, I’d read the online edition every day. The stories helped give me a sense about the writers. Glimmers of their personalities shone through in their word choices, the nearly undetectable spin they gave topics.

“That doesn’t leave you much time for moving in.”

Spooning a marinade over the dish, Zelda flicked up her gaze.

The look hit me like lightning. The cogs were turning in my aunt’s head; I could practically see the rotation behind her eyes. If I didn’t put her off track, Zelda would start commandeering my daily life.

I folded my arms and shifted toward the island, a not-too-subtle body language indicating my need for a barrier between us. “The two guys I hired to bring my stuff are supposed to arrive tomorrow morning. I don’t have much, so they can get everything inside the apartment in a few hours. I prefer to take my time settling in.” All taken care of, my subtext said. No need for Zelda to worry. She could divert those black eyes elsewhere.

On cue, Zelda flashed her Mona Lisa smile and glanced away. “Too bad I gave my extra furniture to Javi.”

I watched my aunt with a mixture of wonder and frustration. All these years, and Zelda still pretended. Spoke with flawless Spanish enunciation, wore her long black hair in a bun at the back of her neck, decorated her house with painted ceramic geckos and metal sun faces, even named her son Javier to avoid question of our true nationality. My parents had committed the same sins of omission and pretense and expected us children to do the same.



About the Author 

Award-winning author C.A. Masterson loves stories of any genre. Multi-published in contemporary to historical, fantasy/dark fantasy to paranormal/speculative, she sometimes mashes genres. In 2010, The Pearl S. Buck Foundation awarded first place to her short literary story, Christmas Eve at the Diner on Rathole Street. Her short literary story, All is Calm, All is Bright, was awarded second place in the annual Pennwriters Short Story contest in 2005.

Visit her at http://paintingfirewithwords.blogspot.com or look for her romance stories as Cate Masters at http://catemasters.blogspot.com and in strange nooks and far-flung corners of the web.




 

 


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Friday, October 23, 2020

Key to Eternity by Mallory M. O’Connor

Paranormal Thriller

Date Published: March 2020

Publisher: Archway Publishing

 

photo add-to-goodreads-button_zpsc7b3c634.png 

 

Female psychic detective, Epiphany Mayall is on the track of stolen antiquities and a clay tablets relating the Epic of Gilgamesh. Through a combination of her psychic abilities and the technological resources of PI Maro Gaido and the FBI's art crimes division, they zero in on the mysterious conspirators who people the shady global underworld of the arts and antiquities black market. Can they find the Gilgamesh tablet with its map to the “flower of immortality,” or will the treasure disappear forever into the private vault of a billionaire art thief?




Excerpt


Chapter 1

The Spiritualist Camp

Watoolahatchee, Florida


Nana, Nana! Come quick.”

Epiphany Mayall got to her feet and hurried across the dining room. “What is it, Maddie?”

Look, Nana. Endora’s acting really funny.”

Epiphany leaned forward and peered out the window. Endora, her black and white cat, was crouched in the grass, completely focused on something. The cat suddenly flinched and jumped sideways, then resumed its position as though preparing to pounce.

She’s stalking something,” Epiphany said, “But I can’t see what it is.” Even as she spoke, the cat once again sprang sideways and dropped to the ground.

What do you think it is, Nana?”

A bird maybe, or a frog. Goodness knows what she’s got cornered.”

Epiphany unlocked the window and lifted the bottom pane. She pressed her face against the screen and looked down. A slow wave of movement caught her eye. “Oh,” she said, stepping back, “it’s a snake!”

A snake,” Maddie cried with delight. “Where?”

Right below the window. Along the foundation. It’s hard to see because of the leaves.”

I see it!” Maddie looked up at her grandmother. “What kind is it?”

I don’t know, dear.” Epiphany turned away from the window. “Michael,” she called. “Michael, can you come here?”

The measured sound of Bach’s “Prelude from the First Cello Suite” halted abruptly and Epiphany’s son Michael appeared in the dining room arch. A brown-haired man with a round face and a neatly trimmed beard, he was already growing a bit stout in early middle age. “What is it, Mom?”

Sorry to interrupt your practice, but Endora appears to have cornered a rather large snake, and I don’t know if it’s poisonous or not.”

Michael crossed the room to stand beside his mother and daughter. “Where is it?”

Down there,” Maddie answered, pointing.

Michael braced his hands on the sill and looked. “I see it. Looks like a brown rat snake. They’re harmless.” He grinned at his mother. “Unless you’re a rat.”

Maddie wriggled under her father’s arm and peered out. “What’s it doing, Papa? Why is it turning upside down?”

It’s, uh. . . Wow! It’s shedding its skin. Look at that!”

Awesome!” Maddie cried.

Michael turned to Epiphany. “Take a look, Mom.”

I’d really rather not.”

Can we go outside, Papa, and get up close?”

Sure. But we don’t want to get too close. Snakes get a little edgy when they’re shedding. But we should grab Endora.”

Maddie looked up. “Why, Papa?”

Snakes are really vulnerable when they’re shedding. They need some peace and quiet.”

What’s all the fuss in here?” A small woman pushing a walker came through the dining room arch, wisps of white hair radiating around her face.

It’s a snake, Great-Gram,” Maddie said.

Where?” Susan said in alarm. “In here?”

No, outside. Under the window. Endora found it,” said Maddie.

Good for her,” Susan said. “Florida,” she muttered. “First alligators in the yard and now snakes. Sometimes I wish I was back in Ohio.”

It’s a harmless little rat snake, Gram,” said Michael. “Come on, Maddie. Let’s go watch it shed.”

Watch it what?” Susan asked as father and daughter hurried past her.

It’s shedding its skin,” said Epiphany. “Something snakes do now and then,”

That sounds perfectly dreadful,” Susan exclaimed.

Mom,” Epiphany objected, “we had snakes in Ohio. Remember the time I brought that garter snake into the parlor when Reverend Ashby was visiting?”

I remember telling you to get that evil serpent out of our house.”

Serpents aren’t evil. They do a lot of good.”

Such as?”

They eat vermin.”

Fine. I just want them to stay in the garden where they belong.” Susan steered her walker toward the hall. “I’ll be in the kitchen if you want me,” she said over her shoulder.

Epiphany stood for a moment, considering. Then she headed for the kitchen door.

Michael and Maddie were standing next to the house gazing down in rapt fascination. Maddie had Endora in her arms, but the cat was struggling to get free.

Here,” Epiphany said, reaching for the cat, “I’ll hold her.”

Take a look, Mom,” Michael said. “It’s rubbed the skin loose from its nose. That’s the first step.” Michael put his hand on his daughter’s should. “Let’s stay back and bit and give it some room.”

They all took a few steps back from the struggling snake, then watched as the process continued.

Look,” Maddie cried, pointing. “It’s crawling out of itself!”

Epiphany watched in amazement as the snake writhed and pushed, rubbing its nose against the twigs, then oozing away from its own skin like a lady peeling off a nylon stocking. The empty sack of paper-thin scales lay still as the snake inched forward bit by bit until it left its former self behind. Its new skin shone, bright and smooth, in the late morning sun. It rested for a few moments, then curved its way along the base of the foundation, pausing now and then to sample the air with its tongue. Then it flowed around the corner and disappeared into the grass.

Now that,” said Michael, “was a great performance.”

Worthy of a master,” Epiphany agreed.

Look, Papa. It’s a perfect empty snake.” Maddie was holding up the discarded skin.

Epiphany set Endora down and joined Michael for a closer look. “My goodness,” she exclaimed. “You can even see its eyes.” The delicate ribbon of skin was like a phantom serpent¾nearly weightless and paper thin but decorated with a herringbone pattern of tan and brown. The head was perfectly formed¾mouth open, clear bubbles where the eyes had been. It looked as though it might at any moment re-animate itself.

Can I keep it?” Maddie asked, the snakeskin dangling from her hands.

Fine with me,” said Michael.

Just don’t show it to Gram,” advised Epiphany.

#

It wasn’t until that evening that Epiphany thought again about the snake. She was sitting on the screened porch listening to the chirp and buzz of frogs and cicadas. In the distance, a limpkin gave a shriek and a pair of Barred Owls erupted into a riotous duet of hoots, cackles and gurgles. The early summer air was heavy with moisture blowing in off the nearby Atlantic. Lightning flickered toward the east, too far away for the thunder to be heard.

Epiphany drifted with the gentle breath of the wind, watching the Spanish moss swaying like silver veils from the branches of the oak trees.

But her peaceful reverie was suddenly interrupted with a mental image so clear and so immediate that she bolted upright and stared out at the dark canvas of the yard. The image blazed in her mind’s eye¾a naked man sprawled on the ground surrounded by two snakes. The man was so emaciated she could see his ribs quite clearly. His hair was carefully fashioned into small curls, almost as though he was wearing a wig, and his beard was also formally dressed. In his left hand, the man was grasping a leafy plant. But one of the snakes had also grabbed the plant in its mouth and appeared to be trying to take it from the man’s clenched fingers. She then realized with a little jolt that the second snake was the empty skin of the first.

She tried to determine what the image was made of¾clay, perhaps, or maybe carved, the lines enhanced with a dark pigment. It looked ancient, but undamaged. Like a piece from a museum. She dredged her memory for something similar. Egyptian, maybe. But no, not Egyptian.

Mesopotamian! That was it. She remembered seeing a similar image when she took a course on the art of the ancient Near East. This was an image of the legendary King Gilgamesh who left his home to search for the secret of immortality.

Instructed by a wise man, Gilgamesh locates a magical plant that renews youth. But during his journey home, he falls asleep. A serpent steals the plant, eats it and promptly sheds its skin. Thus, the serpent thwarts man’s hope for immortality, keeping for itself the ability to renew itself and re-emerge in all its youthful radiance.

When she finally went inside to go to bed, Epiphany couldn’t stop thinking about the possible connection between witnessing an actual snake shedding its skin and the evening’s vision of the Mesopotamian carving. Had watching the snake simply jogged her memory, or was there some deeper meaning? What message was Spirit sending?

You’d think that after thirty years in this business, I’d be able to figure out where a damned vision came from,” she said aloud. But it just wasn’t that easy, was it?

Psychic visions had been a part of Epiphany’s life since childhood¾images, voices, visitations, phantoms materializing out of thin air. Sometimes she just wanted it all to go away¾for the voices to fall silent, the images fade to black. To stop being a conduit between the living and the dead. She remembered saying to a reporter in a TV interview that sometimes her “gift” was more like a curse. But there was no escaping destiny.

Get over it,” she told herself. She would just have to wait for Spirit to send her the next clue.


About the Author


Award-winning author Mallory M. O’Connor is a writer, art historian, musician, and professor emerita at Santa Fe College (SFC) where she taught art history and served as director of the Santa Fe Art Gallery. Since retiring from her position at SFC, Mallory has written five novels, the American River Trilogy. Book One, American River: Tributaries, was published in 2017 and recently won First Prize in the Fiction Category from Northern California Publishers and Authors. The book also won the President’s Award for Fiction from the Florida Authors and Publishers Association. Book One of her new paranormal/eco-thriller series, Epiphany’s Gift, was released in April 2019. Key to Eternity is Book Two in the new series.


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Monday, October 19, 2020

Residual Magic by Suzanne M Sabol


Residual Magic
Blood and Bone Legacy
Book Two
Suzanne M Sabol

Genre: Urban Fantasy, New Adult
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: 10/21/2020
ISBN: 978-1-64716-143-9
ASIN: 
Number of pages: 357
Word Count: 104,215
Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: To save Ev and Tag, Brittany must master the powerful magic of a goddess to stop a sorcerer from raising the Goddess of Carnage from manifesting through the cauldron.

Book Description: 

Brittany is a long way from the scared witch who watched a necromancer murder her mother. She’s grown and more powerful than even she realized as the sorceress she truly is. But all the magic in the world doesn’t mean anything if her best friend and werewolf, Everett Cooper, rejects her again. How many times can a person’s heart break? Brittany isn’t willing to find out. So, when another werewolf asks her out on an actual date, she jumps at the invitation.

Caught between two werewolves, Brittany will need all her friends when one of the pack goes missing. But nothing is ever easy, and magic has a cost that they may not be willing to pay. A trail of disappearances follow in Brittany’s wake, as someone tracks her every magical movement. But to what purpose? To what end?

Brittany has been powerful. 

Brittany has been patient.

Now, will Brittany be enough to save her friends . . . and the world?


Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Caught by Surprise

“I’m sorry, what did you just say?” I mumbled, as Tag’s question tumbled around in my head. My brain hitched, unable to follow. The kitchen island was a hard edge at my back as I clutched the sweating glass of soda tight in my hand. Huh, the refrigerator door was open. Did I leave that open? That’s such a waste of energy. Why was I worrying about the electric bill and the energy? God, Brittany, pull it together. Focus!

“I asked if you would like to go to dinner with me,” the werewolf asked . . . again. “On a date,” he clarified as if I hadn’t understood the first time. In all honesty, I hadn’t. I was staring at him with my mouth gaping open wide enough to catch flies but I couldn’t seem to snap myself out of a stupefied shock. His lips turned up in a teasing smirk that made my gut tighten and my brow crinkle in confusion.

“A date?” I asked, my voice uneven and hesitant as I considered. As many times as I’d dreamed of being asked that question by a werewolf—and I had, many many MANY times—the werewolf in my daydreams had never been Tag.

Stewart Taggar was long and lean, towering over my five foot six inches. I wasn’t a giant but I wasn’t tiny either. His red hair was more carrot than auburn but it seemed to shimmer when set against his bronzed skin. He was muscled but not bulky like a lot of the werewolves in the pack. He gazed down at me now in a way that was new or maybe it wasn’t and I just hadn’t noticed. He’d always treated me—I’d thought—like a little sister. Honestly, most of the pack did. Yes, I was only twenty-two and decades or centuries younger than most of the wolves and vampires but that didn’t mean I was a child. Tag wasn’t looking at me like I was a kid, that’s for sure. And I wasn’t sure how I felt about that development.

“Aren’t you a little old for her?” a gruff, clipped voice called from the kitchen doorway. Without my knowledge or permission, my body reacted to that voice in ways that made heat creep into my cheeks. Everett Cooper was three or four inches taller than me at most; lean and muscular. He seemed to be gaining bulk every day and it looked good on him. His sandy blond hair was styled away from his face, exposing the deep navy-blue of his eyes. His gaze fell on me like a weight, not crushing or overwhelming but comforting and all too familiar.

“That’s for her to decide, pup,” Tag responded, with an edge of condescension in his last word that surprised me.

Tag and Ev were friends, or at least had been, I’d thought. I wasn’t sure what was going on between them lately, but something was definitely up. Standing between them, I was ridiculously uncomfortable. Tension boiled in the kitchen until it was a physical heat against my skin as the two werewolves faced off. Sweat beaded on my upper lip. I was waiting for one of them to pee on me and mark their territory or something dumb like that. To be honest, I only wanted one of them to pee on me. Oh God, that didn’t sound right.

“She’s not going anywhere with you, old man,” Ev growled, squaring his shoulders. I perked up at that statement. I may be desperately in-love with Everett Cooper in a shameful and embarrassing sort of way, I wasn’t fool enough to lie to myself anymore about that fact. I was head-over-heels in-love with the idiot. That didn’t mean he could order me around like a piece of property. Because he couldn’t. I did not belong to him.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” I huffed out, throwing my shoulders back in irritation and raising my chin in defiance. I was a strong independent woman, darn it, and even if Ev was the man of my dreams, I wasn’t going to let him talk about me like a piece of meat.

Yes, Ev had kissed me a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it had been a-maz-ing. And yes, I’d said I would wait for him to figure his stupid, insecure, man-baby crap out. But it had been more weeks than I’d like to admit since our kiss and I was tired of waiting for this grown man to figure out what he was going to do with me. If anything. Maybe a little fire under his rear end would move his addled brain along. Or maybe he’d decide I wasn’t worth the effort and let me go. Either way, it was good to know . . . wasn’t it? That’s what I told myself, anyway.

Both men turned, meeting my heavy—okay, angry—stare. I was too young and too cute for heavy. I just didn’t have the menace behind any stare to classify as heavy. Feisty anger though, I could do.

“First,” I started, meeting Ev’s deep, dark, and penetrating gaze. Ugh, he was so cute. Shake it off, Britt. Pull yourself together. “You’re not the boss of me,” I hissed. Tag snorted in laughter and I turned on him, “Second, don’t provoke him.” Tag had the good sense to drop the grin on his face and appear suitably apologetic. “Third,” I said with a bright and cheerful smile that was actually true, and my smiles hadn’t been true for a very long time. “Tag, I would love to go to dinner with you.”

“What?” Ev erupted, wide-eyed surprise clear on his face as he took an aggressive step in my direction.

Ignoring Ev’s apparent surprise, Tag stepped in front of me with his back to Ev, blocking my view of the angry werewolf. “I’ll pick you up tonight at seven.” Clutching my hand in his, Tag squeezed reassuringly and smiled down at me in a way that made me feel like I was his whole world. Something about that expression made my insides flutter and I couldn’t help but grin back at him. I hadn’t expected that look in his eyes or my reaction to his attention. Did that make me an attention-starved idiot? Ugh, maybe it did.

“I’ll be ready,” I said, feeling giddy at the prospect of just being wanted. Yep, attention-starved idiot right here. He squeezed my hand again and strode by Ev, his head just a little bit higher.

“My shift starts soon, so I’ve gotta go but dress up tonight,” he said over his shoulder. “We’re going someplace upscale.”

“We don’t have to,” I said, suddenly feeling awkward at the thought of Tag spending money on me. Somehow, I didn’t feel comfortable with the idea of a fancy date. I could clean up, for sure, but I wasn’t very comfortable—like it wasn’t me but a bizzaro-world version of me.

Tag stopped, maybe hearing the uncertainty in my voice or wanting to drive the knife into Ev a little deeper, I don’t know. He turned to me and said, “You deserve the best, Brittany,” meeting my uncertain gaze with a self-confident grin. I blinked hard at him, seeing the man instead of my friend. It was the first time since we’d met—that I could remember, anyway— that he’d called me anything but “G”. He liked to refer to me as Glenda the Good Witch of the North because, by his own words, I had been all pink-fluffy-witchy-goodness when he’d first met me.

Tag continued, “You deserve so much more than anyone can or has ever given you.” With that last parting jibe, he left to go to work at the coroner’s office.

The front door closed behind Tag and silence descended on the kitchen. Uncomfortable and now, suddenly anxious, I turned and made my way around the overly large island toward the stairs. I took the long way around the island, clutching my soda close to my chest and letting the condensation soak into my shirt in an effort to keep as much space between me and Ev as I could.

“You said you’d give me time,” he whispered, sounding pained, or maybe that was anger. I couldn’t tell. Living in a house full of werewolves and vampires meant that nothing was really private unless you worked really hard to keep it that way. At that moment, I couldn’t decipher if he was protecting my privacy or his own.

“I did,” I agreed, turning to meet his now sea-foam green eyes. His wolf was close to the surface, magic flooded his irises with his wolf’s power. That show of power would have worried most people. But not me. I knew in my gut that neither Ev, nor his wolf, would ever hurt me. “I also told you not to wait too long or you might miss your chance.” I was so proud of myself, managing to get the words out without my voice shaking too much. I made my way around him with my shoulders back and my head high, looking to escape as quickly as my two feet would carry me.

“Brit,” he sighed, reaching for me, he caught my hip with the tips of his fingers. I froze at the touch as heat pooled in my center. My breath hitched in my throat and my fingers tightened around the glass. He made me stop and meet his questioning gaze instead of retreating up to my room like I desperately wanted. Ev and I lived in the same house with the vampire colony liege, the werewolf pack alpha, and their significant other—The Blushing Death. It’s a long and complicated story. Our living arrangement had made the last few weeks . . . awkward at best. “Brit, I—” he started but didn’t seem to know how to finish.

“Ev,” I said, wanting very much to ditch this mostly embarrassing and gruesomely uncomfortable conversation. “I’m not your mate. We both know it,” I said, the words sticking in my throat a bit. Werewolves had a mystical fated mate. Some werewolves found that mate over the course of their lifetime and some didn’t. Kurt, the pack Beta, had described it as a string tugging in his chest that linked directly to his mate’s heart.

Voicing the unequivocal fact that I was not Ev’s mate, made my heart break a little bit more each time I said it. Actually, a lot. It crushed me to my very soul. I cannot overstate this fact. Knowing I wasn’t his mate broke me on a foundational level. But the reality was, werewolves had fated mates and I wasn’t Ev’s.

He closed his eyes and breathed deep.

“It’s not fair to me to keep beating around this bush when nothing will ever come of it,” I said around the defeat lodged in my throat.

“You’re not Tag’s mate,” he growled as if that solved everything.

“No, you’re right about that,” I said, very proud of myself for not bursting into tears. “But I don’t love him,” I whispered, wishing desperately that I could suck those words back in. But I couldn’t. I’d said them out loud and to his face. There was no going back now.

His gaze narrowed on me in question and what I thought might be pity. I don’t think I could stand it if he pitied me. Before I could let that thought sink in, he asked, “Then why?”

“Because HE can’t crush me,” I answered succinctly. Blinking back the hot tears now flooding my eyes, I shifted my hip out from under his soft touch and made my way up to my room. Carefully, I closed the door behind me and finally released the tears I’d managed not to shed in front of Everett Cooper.

“Crying again?” a distant voice teased from my desk.

“Stay out of it, Cerridwyn!” I hissed, not wanting either of our voices to be heard by anyone. Everyone pretty much thought the succubus-witch that had killed ten people across Columbus and almost destroyed our house was dead. I hadn’t had the guts or the stomach to kill her. But I had managed to drag her soul out of her body and shove it into an amber amulet. Thinking back on it now, I’m not entirely sure I chose the kinder option. Maybe this was why the preternatural community thought sorceri were evil. Wynne certainly didn’t like being confined to the amulet. I was working up to telling everyone that I’d messed up on that one. Actually, I was trying to find a way to banish her so I wouldn’t have to confess my mistake to anyone. That seemed like a better idea. It was just taking longer than I’d thought. Especially if I didn’t want to destroy her soul in the process which I didn’t.

“So young and stupid,” she muttered loudly, clearly wanting me to hear her.

“I don’t need your two cents, Wynne,” I snapped. I’d come to my room for quiet but had forgotten about the nagging succubus currently residing in the amulet on my desk. How had I ever forgotten? The woman took every opportunity to gripe, badger, harass, or simply voice her opinions. I’d tried silencing her with my magic but it hadn’t worked. Sometimes my magic just did what I wanted with a single thought. Other times, I couldn’t do the simplest parlor tricks. My whole life, all I’d ever been told was how powerful I was. But since my mother’s murder, I haven’t been able to get anything to work right. It was either all or nothing at all. Unless, that is, I was cornered. Then everything seemed to work just fine.

“What two cents? I have no money,” Wynne replied, confused.

I smiled to myself at her confusion. Having been stuck in a vast wasteland of desert and mirrors the succubus-witch had dubbed the In-Between for more than a millennium, sometimes Wynne’s understanding of colloquialisms wasn’t up to scratch. I don’t know why I thought it was funny, but I did.

“Either way, it doesn’t change the fact that you are young and stupid. How many times have you cried over that boy? Too many to count by my opinion.” She huffed at me as if I was wasting her time. All she had was time. Plus, I was pretty sure she secretly loved it. I’d come to understand that Wynne liked to be needed. Who didn’t though? That was the point, wasn’t it? I wanted to be wanted and needed and it didn’t seem like Ev wanted or needed me at all. But maybe Tag did.

“Well, you’ll be glad to know that I have a date tonight,” I said, my chin high. I couldn’t keep the pleased grin from my face, even through the tears. When she stared at me, the words clearly not registering in her mind I added, “I’m going to be spending time with someone tonight in a romantic way . . . a man.”

“The boy finally became a man,” she grumbled and this time I wasn’t so sure she’d intended for me to hear her.

“Ev?” I asked, confused but continued on, “No, Tag. I’m going to dinner with Tag.”

“The soul stealer?” she asked, and I could hear the surprise and disgust in her voice. She almost spat to ward off evil spirits. I could almost see her bright blue eyes the size of saucers in astonishment from the small amulet.

“Wynne,” I said. “Redheads don’t steal souls. They just don’t.” I sighed. “But you know who does?” I asked and she was quiet for a moment, waiting. “Succubi. Succubi steal souls and that’s you.” When she didn’t respond—because I had her on that one—I said, “Tag is a nice guy. He’s steady. And he wants me.”

“Ahh,” she responded in a way that made my blood boil, as if she saw everything and I saw nothing.

“Ahh? What does ahhh mean?” I hissed, angry now. It felt good to be angry and show it. Turns out, I’d been angry for a while and keeping it pent up wasn’t doing me any favors. For some reason though, I felt completely comfortable showing anger to Wynne.

“Nothing,” she clipped, pleased with herself. “Just . . . ahh. Have fun on your . . . date,” she said with a snide lilt. And in the blink of an eye, she was gone, retreating back into her amulet to let me stew. I hated when she did that. She put just enough doubt in my head to make me second-guess everything. Wynne was just mean.

“I will!” I snapped at her, knowing full well she wasn’t listening. I plopped down on my bed and sighed. I would have a good time with Tag. I always had a good time with Tag. We were friends and I wouldn’t let Wynne’s nagging doubts cast a shadow on our date. This wouldn’t be weird at all.


About the Author: 

Suzanne M Sabol is the author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has two Bachelor of Arts degrees with majors in Criminology, International Studies, Russian, and Political Science. She has a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs. She is married with one child and lives in Columbus Ohio.

The Blushing Death Series and the Blood and Bone Legacy are published through Soul Mate Publishing. Editor, Debby Gilbert, can be contacted through their website at www.soulmatepublishing.com












 

 



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