Labels

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Rhyker’s Key by M.C. Solaris



Rhyker’s Key
Orion’s Order 
Book Two
M.C. Solaris

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: M.C. Solaris LLC
Date of Publication: 12/21/20
ISBN: 9781952655050
ASIN: B08MZJJRZM
Number of pages: 740
Word Count: 220,000

Cover Artist: Mayhem Cover Creations

Tagline: Sexy Shifters. Hot Vampires. Intriguing Immortals.

Book Description:

Rhyker, tattooed bad boy and lethal jaguar shifter, falls for the sweet and caring healer, Keena. Except, she’s determined to keep him in the friend zone... good thing he’s a predator that enjoys the hunt.

Together, can they heal their past and forge a future bonded with true love?

SECOND BOOK IN THE ORION’S ORDER SERIES

Orion’s Order returns in another addictive installment about their secret world of magic and mystery. A world where the most powerful words in the Universe are discovered in the fight against an ancient evil force.

KEENA OLIVER

I am haunted by my past mistakes. Mistakes that I have no idea how I even made. I am an educated mind and spirit healer after all. So how in the holy healer hell did I end up in a relationship where the male who I thought I loved…

Yeah, it’s probably best not to rehash those nightmares. But if I don’t dare open up that box to my past, then how am I ever going to be able to move on? Especially because I so want to move on with a certain sexy male. A male whose lips devoured mine in a darkened corner that one time. A male whose predatory piercing blue eyes practically track my every move. A male who I shouldn’t be fantasizing about every second of every day. Why? Because it would ruin me.

RHYKER KINGSLEY

I’ve had my eye on a certain female for almost a year now. A female who is damn determined to keep me in the friend zone. A female who's been hurt by her ex but refuses to open up to me about it. So, you could say I go through a lot of smokes… a f*cking lot.

Meanwhile, my pack of lethally trained and skilled hunters and I are gunning for an evil SOB who not only signed his death warrant the second he tried to come after my pack sister and mate to our alpha, but also the f*cker poses a threat to our world as we know it. Yet, said ancient powerful bastard has gone off the grid and is all but impossible to track.

Oh, and did I mention that the past seems to be mixing with the present? I mean, the f*ck is this? The revenge year of the shitty exes? 

So, excuse me while I light up a smoke… or two. 

Devour this addictive series at your own risk...

+ Happily Ever After
+ Sexy Paranormal Jaguar Shifter Romance
+ Multiple POV
+ Mature Content
+ This series is meant to be read in order for the best reading experience
----------------------------------------------
RHYKER’S KEY is an adult paranormal jaguar shifter romance. If you like swoon-worthy males, heroines with feminine strength, an engaging plot, satisfying relationships, steamy love stories, happy ever afters, and getting sucked into a supernatural story, then you’ll want to immerse yourself in the world of species!

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

Books2Read     Amazon 

Apple Books     BN     Kobo     Google Play      Eden Books

 


Excerpt 2

“Is everything okay?”

“Yeah,” he said, unsure where that question was coming from.

“I can feel otherwise but I won’t push.”

He cursed under his breath. Of course she could feel his lethal mood and the emotional storm he had been trying to keep at bay regarding the whole fucked-up Cecille situation. He set all of that aside and focused fully on Keena. Lately, she was the only thing that was helping to get his mind off the past.

“It’s just our case,” he added in a tone that was clear he wasn’t going to say anything else.

She nodded. “Understood. I’m here if you want to talk.”

“What if I don’t want to talk?” he drawled, pressing in close to her and sliding his hand to the nape of her neck.

Her lips parted at the close contact. Suddenly, all she could feel was the heated desire between them. He leaned down and claimed her mouth in a slow, smoldering kiss that took her breath away.

“Rhyker.” Her voice was a little breathy.

“Yeah?” He playfully nipped at her lower lip.

Wrapping her arms around his neck, she went in for the kiss and it was anything but slow. She slid her tongue against his and, suddenly, she had her legs wrapped around him with her back pressed up against the wall. He broke the kiss only to move his mouth to her neck. Her hands drifted through his thick and silky black strands as she moaned. The sensual sensations of his tongue on her neck and his body against hers shot through her body and straight to the apex of her thighs.

“Wait,” she managed to get out with just barely more than an exhalation of air. She knew that if she didn’t stop this soon then she wouldn’t have the strength to stop this from going any further. She wanted it to go further—a lot further, but she also wanted to take things slow.

He immediately halted and looked at her in a way that let her know she was in complete control of how far this went.

She could see the fiery desire in his now glowing, piercing blue eyes. “I want us to take this slow.”

His smirk was sinful. “We can go as slow as you’d like, Fire Gem.” His tongue made the slowest ascent from the curve of her neck all the way to her ear where it flicked her soft little lobe.

She shuddered.

“Is that slow enough for you?” he teased on a rough whisper.

She somehow managed to nod.

He repeated the motion. “I could lick you all day.” He smiled in satisfaction at the involuntary sound caught in the back of her throat. He slowly kissed his way back to her soft mouth and sucked on her bottom lip.

Using the last of his reserves, which were severely lacking when it came to this female, he allowed just enough space between them so she could slide down the length of his body until her feet were back on the ground. The friction and crackling desire pulsing between them had them sucking in heavy breaths.


About the Author:

M.C. Solaris’s life took an unexpected turn during the super blood moon eclipse on January 20, 2019. She woke up and began writing bios for her imaginary friends that she met that day. As soon as the pen hit the paper (or fingertips to the iPhone), she couldn’t stop. It was kind of like one of those fire hydrants, spewing copious amounts of water all over the place. The characters and their stories just flowed out of her. She is honored to be the scribe, getting to share her friends’ stories. You can read all about her gifted friends in the Orion’s Order series (Book 1 is Calypso’s Heart).

On a personal note, M.C. Solaris is actually the pseudonym of Marina Schroeder, women’s health enthusiast and lover of all things paranormal romance (PNR) and happily ever after (HEA). When she is not curled up on the sofa with her partner’s oversized hoodie, a PNR novel, peppermint tea, and one of her three cats, you will find her either at the ocean with her toes in the sand or in a forest hugging a tree. Well truthfully? There is one more place you might find her: trolling the aisles of Whole Foods for a satisfying combination of salty and sweet while hiding in her partner’s hoodie… like any proper PNR-writing introvert.

Want to get the latest scoop, sneak peeks, and short shares all about her imaginary friends? Go to www.mcsolaris.com/newsletter and sign up for the newsletter.

Welcome to The Order!

Books2Read Universal Link: https://books2read.com/u/b6K8ME  

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3qfuWxA

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/rhykers-key/id1539418078

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/rhykers-key-m-c-solaris/1138115643?ean=2940162791867

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/rhyker-s-key  

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/M_C_Solaris_Rhyker_s_Key?id=k7QHEAAAQBAJ  

Eden Books: https://edenbooks.org/product/rhykers-key-an-orions-order-novel/





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Audio Series Tour: Romance a Medieval Fairytale by Demelza Carlton

Author: Demelza Carlton

Narrator: Mary Sarah

Length: 3 hours 37 minutes

Series: Romance a Medieval Fairytale, Book 6

Publisher: Demelza Carlton

Released: Aug. 29, 2020

Genre: Fantasy; Romance

Monday, December 21, 2020

My Sweet Vampire by Arabella Holmes



My Sweet Vampire
Arabella Holmes

Genre: Paranormal Romance Erotica
Publisher: Little Willow
Date of Publication: 29th November 2020
ASIN: B08N66SBMK
Number of pages:478
Word Count: 170,000
Cover Artist: E L Savage

Tagline: One night with a vampire hypnotherapist is an experience no woman will ever forget.

Book Description: 

Meet Dr Nick Craven – a renowned hypnotherapist who works in London’s affluent Harley Street. Tall, dark and debonair, Nick is everything a woman could want. Except for one thing – Nick Craven is a vampire with an insatiable blood lust.

When the beautiful Carly Singleton books a session with him to help her quit smoking, Nick is overwhelmed by desire and will do anything to get her into his bed.

One night with a vampire hypnotherapist is an experience no woman will ever forget.

Can Carly resist Nick’s devilish charms and will she live to tell the tale?

My Sweet Vampire is a steamy page turner that will keep you guessing right until the end.



 Excerpt:

 

Our suite is on the second floor of the hotel. As soon as we get inside, Nick switches on the lights, and I feel a flutter of apprehension. My legs are weak and it’s a struggle to put one foot in front of the other. I can’t believe I’m about to do something I’ve dreamed of constantly since the first day we met. And yet, a part of me is petrified I’ll end up disappointing him. It’s been so long, and I’m so out of practice. What if this is all a big mistake?

Folding my arms across my chest, I step into the bedroom area of our suite. It’s breathtaking, with a king-size bed, leather-panelled walls, a plasma-screen TV and a balcony with a panoramic view of the River Thames. By the window is a large cocktail cabinet, a gas fire and an ornately carved walk-in wardrobe. To my right, a glass partition slides back to reveal a spectacular bathroom with marbled walls, a huge stone bath and a gold-plated shower.

Suddenly, I start to panic; things are moving too fast.

“I’m sorry. I don’t think I can do this.” I turn to go, but before I reach the door, Nick’s in front of me, barring my exit.

“Please don’t go,” he begs, slipping his finger under my chin so he can see my eyes. “Nothing’s going to happen if you don’t want it to. We can just sit here and talk, or watch a movie. I don’t want this night to be over. Please, stay. Is that too much to ask?” I stare up at him and for the first time, I see a desperation that almost matches my own. “Nothing’s going to happen,” he repeats. “Scout’s honour, I promise to be on my best behaviour. I just want to spend some time with you, Carly.”

My head is screaming for me to get out of there, but his eyes hold me entranced and my body is refusing to take instruction.

At last, I let out a sigh. “All right, I’ll stay.”

Bowing my head, I allow him to lead me over to the bed, and for what seems like forever, the two of us sit side by side, looking away from each other, the air thick with unspoken tension. My arms are still folded across my chest, putting up an invisible barrier between us. The screeching silence pulsates through the room like an electric current.

I start getting heart palpitations; Nick’s giving me long, lingering looks that make my body tingle. He’s probing me deep, reading my face like my features are hieroglyphics.

Suddenly, he leans forward and whispers, “You’re so beautiful. Can I touch you?”

I catch my breath then nod slowly.

Cautiously, he reaches out and tenderly caresses my cheek with the back of his hand. Then he gently strokes my hair and the dip and hollow of my ears, his fingers warm and slightly shaky. With a shock, I realise he’s just as scared as I am, and this knowledge makes me feel a little less insecure.

Slowly, his hand travels down the side of my face, then down to my neck, and lightly caresses the sculpted base of my throat. As he works his way back up, tracing the outline of my veins, I marvel at the silky softness of his fingers.

“Shall I take off your jacket?” he breathes.

I swallow hard. “Y-yes.”

With deliberate slowness, Nick eases off my coat and drops it to the floor. Then he takes off his own and I find myself becoming aroused as he fixes me with an expression so hungry, it’s like he’s got me paralysed. Desire spreads under my skin and burns me all over as he sits back down next to me. His sweet cologne is making my head spin.

“You’re trembling,” he observes.

I drop my hands into my lap. Damn. He wasn’t supposed to see that.

“Don’t be afraid …” He reaches out again and delicately touches my lips, my nose, my eyelids. I arch my back and moan softly as his strong hands slither down to my waist and pull me closer to him.

“Can I kiss you?”

I nod mutely.

Tentatively, Nick presses his lips against my cheek and breathes in my scent. Lightly, he kisses his way from the corner of my mouth to my neck and runs his hot tongue in and out of my ear hole. The heat from his breath makes me crazy and I utter a low groan of pleasure.

Goaded by my desire, he gently but firmly tilts my face toward him. His lips brush the periphery of my cupid’s bow, teasing me into a frenzy that shoots straight to my crotch. With trembling hands, he cups my cheeks and takes my mouth in his, pulling on my lower lip with his teeth. I whimper as he kisses me hard and deep, his long, agile tongue plunging down my throat with reckless abandon, igniting an inferno of longing inside me. The force of his need leaves me breathless, his soft lips eating me out like he wants to consume every piece of me. No one has ever kissed me this way before, and the depth of his passion tips me to the brink of insanity.

For what seems forever, our tongues glide together in a flurry of unrelenting lust. Finally we pause for air, and the room is quiet except for the sound of our heavy breathing. Nick stares down at me, his body shuddering in a way that indicates he’s trying mighty hard not to act on a violent impulse.

Instinctively, I raise my fingers to my lips; they feel all puckered and bruised.

“It’s been so long,” he murmurs. “So very long …” His hand snakes around my back and starts to lower the zipper of my dress. I moan as he brings his face level with mine and whispers, “I promise I won’t go too crazy.”

About the Author:

Arabella Holmes grew up in Wandsworth, South London. From a young age she developed a great love of horror films and gothic romances. Her favourite director is Stanley Kubrick and her favourite authors include Charlotte Bronte, Sarah Waters and Mark Edwards. When she isn't writing, Arabella enjoys directing short films for the festival circuit and looking after her cat, Mambo. An avid tea drinker, Arabella can be found hanging out in cosy London cafes in search of new brews to tease her taste buds. My Sweet Vampire is her first Paranormal Romance novel. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marked by Athena Floras


Marked
Dark Kindred Spirits  
Book One
Athena Floras

Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: November 21st, 2020
ASIN: B08MBNHBR7
Number of pages: 108
Word Count: 19 679
Cover Artist: Nicholas Mallet

Tagline: When all hope is lost, love will find a way.

Book Description:

When there is darkness, seek the light…

Sebastian Falls has known his fair share of pain and sorrow in his life. His world is one filled with evil and danger. He’s learned to keep his emotions to himself and not let anyone get close. It’s the only way to not get hurt. But when he meets Ariel Olivier, the shy, awkward girl in his class, he wonders if he should continue to stay in the darkness. There’s something about Ariel that makes him want to let her in.

Ariel Olivier never knew when she got a tattoo on her eighteenth birthday that her whole world would change for the worse. From that moment on, her normal, mundane life turned into something sinister. An evil grows within her and it threatens to consume her and all those she cares for.

There is only one person who can help her vanquish what wants to destroy her, the alluring, mysterious Sebastian Falls. She can’t help but be drawn to him. He comes from the same evil world that is trying to kill her. Can she trust him and her growing feelings or let whatever dark power that is controlling her take over completely?

Amazon     Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.ca

Excerpt:

Ariel Olivier’s wandering mind never rested. It kept her occupied at the most inopportune times, like right now in her Humanities’ class. Mr. Brentwood’s monotone voice as he read a passage in the reference book on religion and its influence on politics was the driving force propelling her thoughts away from the subject matter.

This was her least favorite class. She probably wouldn’t have chosen it if another Humanities subject was available in the same timeslot. But there hadn’t been, so she was stuck with this boring class and Mr. Brentwood’s unemotional and slow-paced teaching methods for the rest of the semester.

The squirrel doing a balancing act on the powerline outside her window had her undivided attention at the moment. It seemed to stare at her, urging her to open the window to let it in. It was cold outside. The puissant wind blew the fur on its puffy tail, making it shiver.

If she could do it undetected, she would have let it in. She hated to see it suffer.

When the squirrel saw she wasn’t budging, it scurried farther down the powerline, searching for another opportunity to come into the building.

She sighed, glancing down at her watch. There was only a few more minutes of class left and then her school day would be over.

She couldn’t wait until she was out of the school. Throughout the entire day, she worried someone would realize it was her birthday and wish her best wishes.

She hated drawing attention to herself. She was shy and reserved. She felt the most at ease when she could sit in class or in the library and not be seen or heard. Being invisible was what she thrived for, because it meant freedom without prejudice. No one could criticize her bad posture when she sat or how her hair curled untamed. Or how she wore only monotone colored clothes and hated patterns of any kind.

She could be herself and not be judged for any quirks, odd habits, or preferences she might have.

Mr. Brentwood flipped the massive textbook closed. The echoing noise it produced sliced into the silence drawing her out of her reverie. She blinked focusing on his words.

“That’s the end of today’s lesson. I’d like you all to read the next chapter in the book and we’ll discuss it on Tuesday.”

All of a sudden, he honed his gaze onto her and he smiled. “I almost forgot one very important thing to mention before you go.”

She shifted her eyes and fidgeted in her chair. Somehow, she knew what he’d say next. She should have expected it. He always did it for all of his students.

“It’s Ariel’s birthday today. She turned eighteen. Please wish her along with me a happy birthday.”

All eyes turned to look in the direction Mr. Brentwood focused. Only a couple of the students knew immediately she was Ariel. The rest seemed to have noticed her for the first time, as if they never knew she existed before now.

She felt her cheeks burning. She wanted to crawl under her desk and hide.

* * * *

Sebastian Falls witnessed the chaos from afar. He cringed noting the scene was stressing Ariel out.

He didn’t know her personally. They’d been in the same Humanities class for the past month and had never spoken to one another. But from the frequent times he’d observed her from the back of the classroom, he could tell she was a lot like he was, an introvert who didn’t like talking in class.

Too bad Mr. Brentwood hadn’t figured that out yet. The worst thing he could have done, he did. Drawing everyone’s attention to the fact it was Ariel’s birthday was freaking her out.

Her cheeks turned beet red and she couldn’t keep eye contact with the students as they swarmed in and offered her happy birthday wishes.

He even caught her eyeing the door. She obviously was contemplating running the hell out of there. If he were in her shoes, he probably would have been thinking the same thing, except his reason was different from hers. She was shy and awkward. He just hated crowds and wanted to be left alone.

Grabbing his books, he made his way out, avoiding the traffic jam around her desk. It was getting too busy and too noisy for his liking. Peace and quiet were what he thrived for. He couldn’t get it at home, but he made damn sure to get it at school.

He walked into the hallway and leaned on a random locker waiting for the perfect time to act. He had no idea how long he’d have to wait—a minute, ten minutes, or even half an hour. But he didn’t mind. It would all be worth it in the end if everything fell into place like he planned. 

About the Author:

Athena Floras is a wife and proud mother of three who loves to read and write suspenseful and romantic stories. When she isn't busy being a mom, she spends her spare time in her den, totally immersing herself into the whimsical, fantastical world of fiction. She hopes the stories and characters she creates will bring readers as much pleasure and entertainment as they have her.

Website/Blog: https://athenafloras.blogspot.com/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Athena-Floras/e/B018N7U26S

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlorasAthena

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, December 18, 2020

Crow's Curse Series by Laura Bickle





Csodaszarvas
By Laura Bickle

The white stag
Hunted through years and centuries
Evades its pursuers, kings and huntsmen alike.
He has a more important mission.
He hunts too, you see
For the sun in winter.

He follows the sun south, 
Moving through forests blanketed by snow
Past trees stripped of leaves.
He searches out that cold orb in the sky,
Chasing it
Until it kisses the horizon on the solstice.

There
Then
He captures it in his mighty antlers. 
And carries that glowing source of light and life
Past the darkness and snows
Into the new year
Into the warmth and possibilities of the future.

Morrigan’s Blood
Crow’s Curse 
Book One
Laura Bickle

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC
Date of Publication: Sept. 25, 2020
ASIN: B08B9TJ4V9
Number of pages: 188
Word Count: 57000

Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

Tagline: Garnet has the blood of the legendary Morrigan – and legions of vampires and witches will go to war to possess that power.

Book Description: 

Garnet has the blood of the legendary Morrigan – and legions of vampires and witches will go to war to possess that power.

As a trauma surgeon, Garnet Conners has seen more than her fair share of blood. But when one of her patients walks off the operating table and disappears into the night, she finds herself caught in a war between legions of vampires and witches in her city.

Garnet has dreamed of bloody battlefields for years – and a mysterious lover who controls a kingdom. In her waking life, Garnet is shocked to meet that man in a club. Merrel knows her from another life, a life in which she was the legendary Morrigan, goddess of death and war.

Garnet rejects the notion of magical incarnations altogether. But she falls in with Sorin, a handsome warlock who’s determined to protect the former bootlegger city of Riverpointe from a secret society of vampires. Haunted by crows and faced with undeniable proof of magic, Garnet scrambles to protect her career and loved ones from magical violence.

Abducted by vampires who seek to turn her into a vampire against her will, can Garnet seize the power of the legendary Morrigan to forge her own path in her embattled city? Or will she be forced to serve as a fearsome weapon in a deadly nocturnal war?



Excerpt Book One:

          “What have you got for me tonight, folks?” I asked.

            I backed through the doors of the operating theater, butt-first, gloved hands lifted before me to keep them clean. I took small steps, mindful not to lose traction. Those thin booties were slick, and I’d fallen on my ass on more than one occasion when I made sudden moves. Tonight, I was determined to get through surgery in an upright position and not have to scrub in twice.

            One of the nurses read from notes on a computer terminal. “This guy was found in the parking lot of a closed bowling alley. Speculation is that he took a trip or two through the pin setting machine and got badly torn up.”

            “Well, that’s a first.” I turned toward the operating room table. The light was so bright that hardly any shadows were cast in the room. They focused on the unholy mess on the middle of my table.

            This. I’m supposed to fix this.

            A man lay, unconscious, on the table. His chest was torn open, flaps of skin oozing onto wads of gauze and a paper sheet. His face was a mass of blood, now being daubed at with sponges. The anesthesiologist had found his mouth to thread a tube down, and someone had managed to get an IV started in one of his scraped-up arms.

            My nose wrinkled under my mask. “What do the X-rays show? How deep does the damage go? Did he get a CT?”

            A nurse clicked on a flatscreen monitor that displayed a carousel of CT images. I  squinted at them, muttering dark oaths.

            “Radiologist says it looks like a lacerated pancreas, punctured lung, and two rib fractures,” the nurse said. The image switched to the head, and he said: “Also the bonus of a fractured orbital bone.”

            I stared at the CTs. “Let’s start with that lung. We leave the pancreas, and call plastic surgery on that orbital bone. This guy’s going to need all the king’s horses and all the king’s men to put him back together again.”

            “Will do.”

            I gazed down at the poor suffering bastard. I liked seeing the imaging, but I preferred to get a good visual with my own eyes on my patients. Sometimes X-rays and CTs didn’t tell me everything I needed to know about what to start sewing where. Something about seeing where the blood moved and pooled in an injured person gave me an idea of where to begin. The blood always led me to where I needed to direct my attention. Where it spurted required my immediate expertise. Where it clotted or moved lazily, I could wait a bit. When blood drained out of a limb and had left it white, I needed to add more. I noted with approval that he was already receiving a transfusion. As long as blood was moving, there was a chance for him

            I frowned at his chest and touched the edges of the rends in his flesh with gloved fingers. Those were ragged and would have to be cut clean before I sewed him back up. I could see the edge of one of those protruding ribs, sticking up like a finger. I glanced over his limbs, counting the usual four. Hey, it pays to count. Count twice, cut once. I mentally cataloged bruises and scrapes, nothing that needed my immediate attention, though I flagged the palms of his hands to get a few stitches from the surgical resident. Looked like defensive wounds, like the guy had tried to fight the pin machine, but lost.

            My eyes moved up to his face. One blackened eye was swollen shut. My fingers and gaze wandered over his scalp, checking for major wounds, when I spied a laceration at his throat.

            I gently probed it with gloved hands. Some kind of puncture…the machine must have caught him near a seeping vein. It had nearly dried up, smelling rusty and not like the bright, coppery blood of his more critical wounds. It could still take a few extra stitches.

            I stared down at the unfortunate guy’s oozing chest. Peeling back a flap of skin, I felt around for the collapsed lung. My finger quickly squished around and found the hole, and I extended my free hand for a scalpel. Time to get this party started…

            …when the patient sat bolt upright on the table. His good eye was open, rolling.

            I yanked my hands back and yelped at the anesthesiologist, “Curt, what the actual hell?”

            The OR erupted in a flurry of activity. The anesthesiologist arrived at the patient’s side with a syringe, while nurses tried to push the patient back down.

            But he was flailing, windmilling with his arms like a pro wrestler in the ring. The IV ripped out of his arm, and the line slashed back at the anesthesiologist, whipping across his face. The patient reached up and ripped the tube out of his throat. His foot caught an instrument tray, sending scalpels flying. His blood line yanked away, spewing crimson all over the floor.

            I held my hands out, using my most calming voice. Not that I had a particularly calming voice; I was a surgeon. We don’t talk to patients. But I tried: “You’re safe. I’m your doctor, Dr. Conners. If you just lie back, we’ll make you comfortable and—”

            The guy shrieked and launched himself off the table. The paper sheet tangled around his legs, and he grasped it around his waist as he put his shoulder down and aimed for the door. His shoulder hit me in the arm, and I slipped on my booties, landing on my ass on the tile floor. The patient launched through the swinging doors and disappeared down the hall.

            I swore and ripped my booties off my sneakered feet. I clambered to my feet and punched the intercom at the door with my elbow. “Security, code orange at OR 6.” I couldn’t say: I’ve got a runner taking off down the hall. Please send somebody to stop him, because anyone listening to that would freak the hell out, and I would get a talking-to from HR.

            I straight-armed the door and took off after the guy. I had no idea how the hell this man was still walking around. Those injuries should have flattened him, and he’d been anesthetized. I had graduated med school with Curt a few years ago, and knew him not to be a careless anesthesiologist who played on his phone in the OR.

            The patient skidded down the hallway, landing at a dead end, where a window overlooked the parking lot. The sun had just set, and the sky was the violet color of a fresh bruise. I approached him slowly, like I was herding a feral cat. I tugged my mask down to try and give him a human face to look at.

            “Hey, it’s okay. It’s gonna be okay,” I murmured soothingly. I wanted to keep him here until security arrived. If he got even further loose and hurt himself, that would be one obnoxiously long incident report. And an even more involved surgery after that.

            “No, no,” he said, shaking his head. “It’s not gonna be okay. The bloodsuckers found me…and the Lusine couldn’t protect me.”

            “I don’t know who that is,” I said, thinking that the guy had probably run afoul of some loan sharks. Maybe the mob? “But you’re safe here. We can protect you.”

            “No,” he gasped, his face twisted in agony. “No one can protect me. And no one can protect Emily.”

            He turned toward the window, backed up a few steps.

            “No, wait…” I could see what he was trying to do, and I was helpless to stop it.

            He rushed the window, aiming for it with his shoulder. All the latches on the hospital windows on patient floors were welded shut, but this wasn’t an area where conscious patients had access, and the window was not secured against suicide attempts. The glass buckled under his shoulder, the window crumpled away, and he pitched through in a hail of glass into the falling darkness.

            I rushed to the window and stared down at the parking lot in horror. Three stories down, the patient sprawled on the parking lot blacktop, flattened like a bug under a shoe.

            Curt had come up behind me. “Oh, my god, Garnet…did he…”

            “He jumped,” I said, my heart in my mouth. I turned and ran to the stairwell, barking at him. “Get a gurney and the ER team.”

            I burst into the stairwell, taking the steps two at a time. As I rounded the third curve, my path was blocked by a tall, dark-haired man in a brown velvet blazer and jeans. He was the type of guy that I might have liked to meet in my off-time—he had a kind of scholarly intensity in his hazel gaze and a bit of roguishness in the stubble that covered his sharp jaw.

            “Stand aside,” I blurted. “Emergency!” As if my bloody gloves and surgical gown weren’t warning enough.

            But he blocked my path, one hand on either stair rail, his long arms spanning the length of the stairwell. “That man is dangerous,” he growled softly.

            “That man is under my care,” I announced, lifting my chin. I walked into the man, figuring that he would give way to my outstretched bloody gloves. Like a normal person would.

.           But he didn’t. My sticky gloves nearly mashed into the velvet of his jacket, and he didn’t flinch. This close, he smelled like old books and moss.

            “You can’t go down there,” he said. His voice was soft, but insistent. 

            My eyes narrowed. “You don’t get to tell me where to go,” I chirped petulantly. I ducked under his arm, darting out of his reach, and barreled down the steps the remaining way to ground level.

            I rushed out into the parking lot and stopped short.

            “What the actual hell—”

            The patient peeled himself off the ground and crawled to his feet. He reminded me of a half-dead insect when he did so, shaking and rickety and dripping blood.

            That’s impossible, I thought. There was no way that a human being could do that. I took two steps toward him…

            …and a dozen people flitted out of the darkness, from the shadows beneath cars and behind shrubs. The overhead parking lot lights, haloed by moths, illuminated their long shadows on the pavement.

            I breathed a sigh of relief. The squad was here and would get him stable, get him back to my OR.

            But…my brow wrinkled. That wasn’t the squad. Nobody was in uniform. They converged on him as he turned, screaming.

            “Stop!” I shouted.

            Heads turned toward me. Their faces were moon-pale and glistening in the lamplight.

            The man in the velvet jacket grabbed my arm, dragging me back. “You want no part of this.”

            “Don’t tell me what I want,” I growled. I stomped on his instep and twisted my arm to break his grip at the weakest part, the thumb. I whirled and ran toward the fracas.

            The shadowy people had plucked my patient off the pavement, clotting around him.

            I yelled at them, the way I might yell at pigeons in the park who were eating my dropped French fries.

            Overhead, the parking lot lights shattered, one by one, in a series of pops. Someone had a gun. I flinched back, shielding my face from flying shards of plastic with my hands, as I was suddenly plunged into darkness. I heard fighting, yelling, as if a gang war had broken out in front of me, roiling in the dark where no one could see.

            Or at least, as dark as things could get in Riverpointe. Riverpointe was a decently sized city, and ambient light filtered back quickly from the freeway, headlights on the access road to the hospital, and the hospital’s helipad above.

            As my vision adjusted, I realized I was alone. The people who were trying to abduct my patient, my patient…even that fascinating-smelling velvet guy…all were gone. 

            Ambulance lights flashed at the end of the parking lot, approaching me. Behind me, I heard the hammering of footsteps on the stairwell. Security spilled out behind me, along with a few cops who’d been hanging out in the nurse’s lounge. The EMTs pulled up to the curb, and there were all of a sudden a couple dozen people churning in a uniformed cloud around me.

            “Where’d the guy go?” a security guard asked me.

            A moth that had once orbited the parking lot lights flitted down and smacked my face. I batted at it, grimacing.

            “I don’t know,” I whispered, stunned. “He was just…taken.”

            The moth landed on the ground on its back, wiggling.

            With bloody fingers, I picked it up and placed it gently in a nearby shrub. Lights, voices, and radios crackled around me. Questions rose and fell, directed at me in a tide of inquiries I couldn’t answer. But I stared at the bloody moth, stained by my touch, as it sought a safe place among the churning shadows and light.

 



Morrigan's Bite 
Crow's Curse 
Book 2
Laura Bickle  

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Publication Date: October 23, 2020
Publisher: Syrenka Publishing 
ASIN: B08B9GVMZM

Book Description:

Becoming a vampire was the worst thing to ever happen to Garnet Conners. But does she have to become a monster, too?

Garnet had a beautiful life…and it was stolen from her when she was turned into a vampire against her will. Once a successful trauma surgeon with good friends, she now finds herself hiding out in the basement of a coven house governed by hostile witches. Struggling with her vampiric urges, she despairs of ever returning to her former life.

Garnet’s discovered that she’s an incarnation of the legendary Morrigan. She dreams in blood, of the Morrigan’s other bloodthirsty incarnations over the centuries. Garnet’s dreams reveal her previous existence as Erzebet Bathory, and Garnet fears becoming that monster once again.

With the help of the witches, she attempts to learn to use her magical powers to control her vampiric nature…an experiment that ends in disaster. When her sister and friend go missing, Garnet knows she’s being hunted by vampires who will stop at nothing to bring her back into their fold.

Merrel, the vampire who turned her, offers her a bargain. He will return the abducted women, but Garnet must agree to spend three nights with him, training as a vampire. Garnet reluctantly accepts, but she fears giving in to her vampire nature and becoming the killer of the previous lifetime she’s reliving in her dreams.



Morrigan's Bond 
Crow's Curse 
Book 3
Laura Bickle  

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Dark Fantasy
Publication Date: November 19, 2020
Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC 
ASIN: B08B9KRLKZ

Book Description:

To end the war between vampires and witches, Garnet must battle the queen of the vampires, a woman who the Morrigan narrowly escaped in the skies of World War II.

Garnet Conners, incarnation of the legendary Morrigan, has pieced her life back together. After being turned into a vampire against her will, she’s quit her career as a surgeon and taken a job on the night shift at the city morgue. To her dismay, victims of vampires are piling up at the morgue…including the body of the vampire who turned her, Merrel.

Merrel’s faked his own death to set into motion a plot to wrest control of Riverpointe’s vampires from their queen, Varya. If Garnet helps him, he promises to move the vampires away from Riverpointe entirely, leaving Garnet and her lover, the warlock Sorin, in peace.

But Garnet’s haunted by dreams of her prior incarnations as Alix, one of the pilots of the fabled Night Witches in World War II. Alix fought Varya during the war… and was nearly destroyed by her. Varya held a magical artifact hostage, the magical sword Durendal, which she still uses to control the Asra hive of vampires.

When the vampires burn down the witches’ coven house, Garnet and her allies must locate the vampires’ stronghold. She, Merrel, and the surviving witches must rip Durendal away from Varya…or the city and all its supernatural inhabitants will be devoured in flames.




About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs and sometimes reads them to her cats. Her books have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Laura’s work has also been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. The latest updates on her work can be found at authorlaurabickle.com.











a Rafflecopter giveaway