Monday, December 31, 2012

Suspense from Joan Hall Hovey - Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway


Today we're spotlighting author Joan Hall Hovey on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the two suspense novels, "Night Corridor" and "The Abduction of Mary Rose" .  Both these books sound amazing ... they're firmly on my TBR pile when I have a moment to read.

Joan will be awarding a piece of Micmac jewelry - silver dreamcatcher earrings (her main character learns she is of Micmac ancestry) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour (USA ONLY), so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win some lovely earrings!

At 17, Caroline Hill was torn from the boy she loved by her tyranical father. Then they took her child. Finally, her grasp on reality.

Now, after nine years in Bayshore mental institution, once called The Lunatic Asylum, Caroline is being released.

There will be no one to meet her. Her parents who brought her here are dead.

They have found her a room in a rooming house, a job washing dishes in a restaurant. She will do fine, they said. But no one told her that women in St. Simeon are already dying at the hands of a vicious predator. One, an actress who lived previously in her building.

Others.

And now, as Caroline struggles to survive on the outside, she realizes someone is stalking her.

But who will believe her? She's a crazy woman after all.

Then, one cold winter's night on her way home from her job, a man follows and is about to assault her when a stranger intercedes.

A stranger who hides his face and whispers her name.

Review Quotes:

"…another winner. I highly recommend it to any lover of suspense, mystery, romance, or thriller. You’ll not only race through this book, but clamor for more works by this talented and polished author. Aaron Paul Lazar, author of Healey's Cave

"...The mystery and suspense in this novel is outstanding, truly top notch, in the vein of Mary Higgins Clark, but—dare I say—even better? - In the Library

"…intricately plotted and the ending will surprise even the most devoted mystery and susense reader. Gripping suspense. – Sandy Heptinstall - Whispering Winds Reviews

Excerpt: NIGHT CORRIDOR October 1973

He noticed her as soon as he walked into the bar. She was sitting with another girl, a blond; pretty, he supposed, but his attention was riveted on the dark-haired one. He ordered a beer and took a table in the far corner where he had a good view, while he himself was safe from watchful eyes. She had satiny hair to her shoulders, high cheekbones, was slender in a silk print top, black slacks, like a woman on the cover of a magazine. She was laughing at something the blond said, flashing perfect white teeth and his heart tripped. She's the one, the voice told him. Excitement surged through him as he recast her in the movie that for years now, replayed endlessly on the screen of his mind.

When the two women rose to leave, he left his unfinished beer on the table and casually, so as not to draw attention to himself, followed them outside. She had put on a jacket and it shone bright white in the lights from the parking lot.

After chatting briefly, the two girls gave each other a quick hug, then parted and went to their respective cars, parked a good distance from one another. There was a rightness to it. They might just as easily have come in one car, or parked closer to one another. But they did not. The stars were finally lining up in his favor.

He came up behind her as she was fitting the key in the lock of the red Corvair. "I'm Buddy," he said softly, so as not to frighten her. Despite his best intention, she whirled around, eyes wide. "Jesus, you scared the shit out of me. What do you want?"

He felt the smile on his face falter. A mask, crumbling. "I just want to talk to you."

"Fuck off, okay? I'm not interested."

With those words, her beauty vanished, as if he'd imagined it. Her mouth was twisted and ugly. Disappointment weighed heavy on him. Anger boiled up from his depths.

"That was wrong of you to say that to me," he said, still speaking quietly.

Belying the softness of his voice, she saw something in his eyes then and he saw that she did, and when she opened her mouth to scream, he stuck her full in the face with his fist.

She slid down the side of the car as if boneless. He caught her before she hit the ground, then dragged her around to the other side of the car, blocking her with his own body in case someone saw them. Not that he was too concerned. If anyone did see them they would just figure she was his girlfriend and that she'd had one too many. But there was no one in the lot. Even her friend had already driven off.

He lowered her limp form to the ground while he hurried round to the driver's side and got the key out of the door. He put on his gloves, and opened the passenger door. After propping her up in the seat, he went back around and slid into the driver's side. Then he turned on the ignition and the car hummed to life.

Shifting the car into reverse, he backed out of the parking spot. He gave the wheel a hard turn and she fell against him, her hair brushing his face and filling his senses with her shampoo, something with a hint of raspberry. He pushed her off him and her head thunked against the passenger window. A soft moan escaped her, but she didn't wake.

He drove several miles out of the city, then turned left onto a rutted dirt road and stayed on it for a good ten minutes. Spotting a clearing leading into the woods, an old logging road no longer used, he eased the car in, bumping over dips and tangled roots. He went in just far enough not to be seen from the road on the off-chance someone drove by, but also taking care he wouldn't get stuck in here. The headlights picked out the white trunks of spruce trees, spot-lighting the leaves that seconds later receded into blackness, as if this were merely a stage set.

Beside him, the woman moaned again then whimpered, her hand moving to her face where he had struck her. Blood trickled darkly down one corner of her mouth and her eyes fluttered open. He knew the instant she sensed him there beside her, like the bogeyman in a nightmare.

Except she was awake now. When she turned to look at him he felt her stiffen, could see in her eyes that she knew she was in big trouble. He almost felt sorry for her. Almost.

"Who are you?" she croaked, more blood leaking from the corner of her mouth, eyes wet with tears.

"What does it matter?"

"Please…please don't hurt me. I'm—I'm sorry for what I said to you. I shouldn't have. If you want to… I mean, it's okay. You don't have to hurt…"

His fury was like lava from a volcano and his hand shot out, the back of it shutting off her words in mid-sentence. "Shut up, whore."

She was crying hard now, heavy, hiccupy sobs, helpless, terrified. But her tears meant nothing to him. She was right to be afraid. He slid the knife from its sheath that hung on his belt and let her see it.

"Oh, God, no please…" She was choking on her tears, wriggling away from him, trapped, like a butterfly on the head of a pin. He smiled when she reached for the door handle on her side, and then drove the knife into her upper arm. She screamed and he wound his fingers into her hair. "Be quiet," he said, while she held her arm with her other hand and wept like a child.

As he had wept. As he wept still.

"You can't get away," he said. "There's no place to go."


A suspense novel interwoven with threads of romance and paranormal.

Imagine discovering everything you believe about yourself to be a lie. And that the truth could stir a killer from his lair.

Following the death of the woman she believed to be her mother, 28-year-old Naomi Waters learns from a malicious aunt that she is not only adopted, but the product of a brutal rape that left her birth mother, Mary Rose Francis, a teenager of Micmac ancestry, in a coma for 8 months.

Dealing with a sense of betrayal and loss, but with new purpose in her life, Naomi vows to track down Mary Rose's attackers and bring them to justice. She places her story in the local paper, asking for information from residents who might remember something of the case that has been cold for nearly three decades.

She is about to lose hope that her efforts will bear fruit, when she gets an anonymous phone call. Naomi has attracted the attention of one who remembers the case well.

But someone else has also read the article in the paper. The man whose DNA she carries.

And he has Naomi in his sights.

Review quotes:

"…Ms. Hovey's talent in creating characters is so real, you feel their emotions and their fears. You want to yell at them to warn of the danger . . . and you do! Your shouts fall on deaf ears . . . and you cry! The best suspense writer I've ever read!

Beth Anderson, Author of Raven Talks back "...Alfred Hitchcock and Stephen King come to mind, but JOAN HALL HOVEY is in a Class by herself!…"

J.D. Michael Phelps, Author of My Fugitive, David Janssen

"…CANADIAN MISTRESS OF SUSPENSE…The author has a remarkable ability to turn up the heat on the suspense… great characterizations and dialogue…" James Anderson, author of Deadline

Excerpt: THE ABDUCTION OF MARY ROSE

Chapter One

1982

The teenage girl hurried along the darkening street, head down in a vain attempt to divert attention from herself as she headed for her bus stop, still over a block away. The car behind her was a soft growl in the still, warm air.

It was mid-June, only two weeks till school closed. The air was fragrant with the smell of lilacs that grew here and there along the street. She wore a jean skirt and white cotton shirt, and yet she felt as exposed and vulnerable as if she were naked. She was anticipating the freedom of summer and thinking about spending more time with her new friend Lisa, when she became of aware of the car following her. She had been thinking maybe she and Lisa would swim in the pond edged with the tall reeds, near her house where she sometimes fished with her grandfather. She'd let grandfather meet Lisa. She knew he would like her. It would be impossible not to like Lisa, even though her grandfather didn't quite trust white people.

The growl of the motor grew louder, and she heard the window whisper open on the passenger side, close to her. "Where you goin' in such a hurry, sweet thing?"

She didn't turn around, just kept on her way toward the bus stop, one foot in front of the other, as fast as she could go without running. Music thumped loudly from the car radio, pounding its beat into the night. It was not music she would have listened to, not like the music they'd played on Lisa's tape player tonight, and that she and Lisa had danced to in Lisa's room. Lisa had tried to teach her some new steps; it had been so much fun. They danced to songs by Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross' Mirror, Mirror and a bunch more she couldn't even remember. Lisa had a lot of records.

The music that blasted from the car sounded angry and unpleasant. The car drew up so close to her she could smell the alcohol the men had been drinking, mixed in with the gas fumes.

The car edged even closer to the curb, and the man said something ugly and dirty out the window to her and his words made her face burn, made her feel ashamed as if she had done something wrong though she knew she hadn't. She pretended not to hear, made herself look straight ahead, her eyes riveted on the yellow band around the distant pole that was the bus stop, just up past the graveyard. She kept moving forward, one foot in front of the other, trying not to look scared, and prayed they would go away. Fear made her heart race.

The day was fast fading, the sky a light mauve, only a sprinkling of stars yet. Soon it would be dark. She was always home before dark. Grandfather would be worried. A few more minutes and you'll be at the bus stop, she told herself. Ignore them. But it was impossible to do with the car following so close that the heat from the motor brushed her bare legs, like a monster's breath.

The car crawled along beside her. She moved as far away as she could get, but the pavement was next to none along here and broken. "Hey, sweet thing," the man said. "You trying to get away from us." He laughed.

Despite herself, she turned her head and looked straight into the man's face. He was grinning out at her, showing his square, white teeth, causing her heart to pound even louder than the music. He made her think of the coyotes that sometimes came skulking around grandfather's house at night hunting for small cats and dogs. No. I am wrong. He is not like the coyotes. They are just being coyotes. It is a noble animal. An evil spirit dwells within this beast. One tied with the most fragile of chains. She could feel him straining toward her, teeth bared. She would not have been surprised to see foam coming from his mouth.

Softly, he said, "Hey, Pocahontas, want a ride?"

Feeling as if a hand were at her throat, she darted a look behind her, praying to see someone, anyone, who might help her, but the street was deserted. She'd left the row of wooden houses behind her a good ten minutes ago and was now at River's End Cemetery. There was no sidewalk at all here, just the dirt path, broken curb on her left and the empty field to her right, leading up into the graveyard. If a car comes along, she thought, I'll just run right out into the middle of the road and flag it down. But none did. She visualized herself safely inside the bus and on her way home to Salmon Cove, to her grandfather's small blue house on the reservation. She would tell him all about Lisa, her new best friend from school. Her grandfather would smile at her, and be pleased for her and call her his little Sisup. She fingered the pendant around her neck that he had made for her, a kind of talisman. To keep evil spirits away.

Grandfather didn't always understand the white man's world though, and there would be worry on his weathered face because she was not home yet. But she would make them a pot of tea and they would talk, and he would forget his worry. She was still focused on the bus stop, the utility pole marked by its wide yellow band. With the car so close, the thrum of the motor vibrating through her, the bus stop seemed a mile away. She walked faster, a chill sweeping through her body. She was forced now to walk on the slight incline that led up to the graveyard. Only the ruined curb separated her from her tormentors.

A taxi fled past, but she'd been so intent on getting to the bus stop she'd noticed it too late. It had been going so fast, out of sight already, just pinpoints of taillights in the distance, then nothing.

"Hey, what's your hurry, squawgirl?"

She gave no answer, swallowed, and kept going. When the man did not speak for several minutes, she became even more frightened by his silence than his talk. The boys at school sometimes called her Indian, and other dumb stuff like pretending to be beating on war drums, or doing a rain dance, and though it hurt her feelings and sometimes even made her cry, this was different. The boys thought they were being funny. Not so with this man. She could feel his contempt, even hatred for her, and something else, something that made her mouth and throat dry and her blood race faster. As she continued to put one foot in front of the other on the worn, rocky path edging the graveyard, she was very careful not to stumble and become like the wounded deer under the hungry eye of the wolf, she kept her eyes on the pole with its yellow band. In the darkening sky, a high white moon floated.

Everything in her wanted to break into a run, but a small voice warned her that it would not be a wise thing to do. Anyway, no way could she outrun a car. Why did the bus stop seem so far away? It was like a bad dream, where no matter how fast you run you don't go anywhere, and whatever is behind you ... draws closer and closer.

She shouldn't have stayed so long at Lisa's. But they'd been having such fun, just talking and listening to music, sharing secrets. It was nice to have a best friend, to feel like any other teenager. But you're not like any other teenager. You're an Indian. She should have listened to her grandfather.

The man spoke again. "C'mon, get in, Pocahontas," he said, his tone quiet, chilling her. "We'll have us a little party." He reached a hand out the open window and she shrank from his touch, stumbled, nearly fell, tears blinding her. She heard the driver laugh, a nervous laugh and she knew he was a follower of the other man. There was an exchanged murmur of words she couldn't make out, then, the car angled ever closer to her, wheels scraping the curb, making her jump back.

"Got something for you, sweetheart," the grinning man said. "You'll like it."

More laughter, but only from him now. Adrenaline rushed through her and she started to run, ignoring the warning voice. But it was too late. The car shrieked to a stop and instantly the door flew open and the man burst from the car and grabbed her. She screamed and fought to free herself from the steel arm clamped around her waist, but it was no use. She kicked and clawed at him, but he lifted her off her feet as if she were a rag doll and threw her into the back seat, and scrambled in after her. He shut the door and hit the lock. "Go," he yelled at the driver but the car remained idling. The man looked over his shoulder, started to say something but the man holding her down yelled at him a second time to go, louder, furious, and they took off on squealing tires.

"Please let me out," she begged. "Please…" Her pleas were cut off by a powerful back-hand across the mouth, filling it with the warm, coppery taste of blood. "Gisoolg, help me," she cried out, calling on the spiritual god of her grandfather, and of his grandfather before him. But no answer came.

Up in the graveyard, an owl screeched as it too swooped down on its night prey. And all fell silent.


In addition to her critically aclaimed novels, Joan Hall Hovey's articles and short stories have appeared in such diverse publications as The Toronto Star, Atlantic Advocate, Seek, Home Life Magazine, Mystery Scene, The New Brunswick Reader, Fredericton Gleaner, New Freeman and Kings County Record. Her short story Dark Reunion was selected for the anthology investigating Women, Published by Simon & Pierre.

Ms. Hovey has held workshops and given talks at various schools and libraries in her area, including New Brunswick Community College, and taught a course in creative writing at the University of New Brunswick. For a number of years, she has been a tutor with Winghill School, a distance education school in Ottawa for aspiring writers.

She is a member of the Writer's Federation of New Brunswick, past regional Vice-President of Crime Writers of Canada, Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.

Website: http://www.joanhallhovey.com/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=Joan+Hall+Hovey

The Silver Sphere by Michael Dadich - Virtual Tour and Giveaway


Today we're spotlighting author Michael Dadich on his tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the YA fantasy novel, "The Silver Sphere".

Michael will be awarding a $75 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during this tour and his reviews tour, so comment today AND follow his tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of his tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Shelby Pardow never imagined she could kill someone. All she wants to do is hide from her troubled father… when she is teleported to awaiting soldiers on the planet Azimuth. Here she is not a child, but Kin to one of the six Aulic Assembly members whom Malefic Cacoethes has drugged and imprisoned. He seeks to become dictator of this world (and then Earth by proxy).

His father, Biskara, is an evil celestial entity, tracked by the Assembly with an armillary device, The Silver Sphere. With the Assembly now deposed, Biskara directs Malefic and the Nightlanders to their strategic targets. Unless….

Can Shelby find the other Kin, and develop courage and combat skills? Can the Kin reassemble in time to release or replace the Assembly, overthrowing Malefic and restraining Biskara?

I’ve been writing since first setting pencil to steno pad at age 8. A year later, I began developing the world of my current series-in-progress, and even created its title, The Silver Sphere. Now, with the support of years of experience, those early maps and back stories have progressed into what I hope is a fresh and entertaining take on the classic young adult fantasy adventure.

Despite my frequent escapes into parallel worlds, I root myself firmly in my very real family and community. When not pacing the yard maniacally after every few pages of writing, I spend as much time as possible hanging out with my studly 9-year-old son, and my inspirational wife Jenna. I also coach several local youth sports teams in Beverly Hills, and alternate between yelling at my two crazy Corgis and hiking with my trained German Shepherd.

For more, join me in my favorite fantasy worlds, from Lord of the Rings to the creations of C.S. Lewis, Anne McCaffrey and Terry Brooks. Even more importantly, stop by and say hello on my Facebook page at AuthorMichaelDadich, tweet me at @MichaelDadich, and stalk my website at http://www.thesilversphere.org.org.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Sound of the Heart by Genevieve Graham - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

From Genevieve Graham, author of Under the Same Sky, comes a sweeping romantic historical novel of one man’s strange gift and dangerous battles . . .
Dougal MacDonnell, a fierce warrior from the Highlands of Scotland, is able to hear the thoughts of other men and dream how the future will unfold. Devastated by the loss of his family during the Battle of Culloden in 1746, he fosters a deep hatred for the English. But when Glenna, the love of his life and a Scottish outlaw, is captured and shipped overseas, Dougal is forced to join an English army made of vanquished Scots. Now fighting on the side of his sworn enemies, he embarks on a journey that will take him across the seas to the colonies. There he will risk everything for the chance to find his true love.

"Graham's sweeping tale unfolds with the kind of luscious, unrushed prose that feels rapturously close to epic."- Shana AbĂ©, New York Times bestselling author of The Time Weaver

"Beautifully written, riveting novel. Graham is a remarkable talent."- Madeline Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of Dangerous in Diamonds

The Book
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Genre: Historical Romance
Formats: Trade Paperback/All eBook types
Pages: 336
Publisher: Berkley Sensation / Penguin US

Meet The Author
Genevieve Graham graduated from the University of Toronto in 1986 with a Bachelor of Music in Performance (playing oboe). While on a ski vacation in Alberta she met a really cute guy in the chairlift line-up and they skied together for two days. After the second day she decided she had to have him . . . permanently. The couple (now husband & wife) subsequently moved to Calgary and brought two beautiful and talented daughters into the world. They have recently settled in a small, peaceful town in Nova Scotia and are loving their quiet life.
Writing became an essential part of Genevieve's life a few years ago, when she began to write her debut novel, "Under the Same Sky". Her second book, "Sound of the Heart" was released on May 1, 2012.
Learn more about Genevieve at: http://www.genevievegraham.com




An Excerpt
“How ye manage to be such a skilled hunter, I’ll ne’er understand,” she said. “I could hear ye breathin’ a mile away.”
          “Ye’ve the ears of a squirrel,” he grumbled.

She nodded, then returned to her earlier line of questioning. “What were ye doin’ there?”
“I came to see . . . I was worried that . . . I thought maybe . . .” He winced, realising how pathetic he sounded. He leaned down to pluck a tiny purple flower from the grass and snapped the bloom between his fingers.
“You were worried? About me? Since when? After all ye’ve seen me do, ye’d ken that most of the time I’m just fine on my own, thank ye very much.” She glared at him. “I’m no’ delicate flower, Dougal MacDonnell.” She gestured toward the torn flower between his fingers. “I’m no’ shrinkin’ violet, either. If I’m a flower at all, I’m maybe . . .” She paused and grabbed the crushed flower from Dougal’s grip. “Maybe I’m a thistle. Ye’d best not squeeze me too hard.” She slid her knife back into its sheath, keeping shrewd eyes on him. “Ye know what? I’m sick o’ this, Dougal. O’ the way ye treat me these days. I’m no different, but ye are. What is it wi’ ye? Why do ye sneak around behind me all the time, watchin’? Why can ye no’ be yerself anymore?”
He shrugged. “I’ve no idea.”
“Ye’d best just say it,” she demanded. “For if ye dinna speak yer mind, this will never ease between us an’ it will end badly.”
“I canna say what I am thinkin’, because I dinna ken what it is.”
“Ye do.”
“I don’t.”
She shoved his shoulder and he stepped obligingly back. She came closer and pushed him again, harder this time. He frowned and his backward movement was less.
“That’s right,” she said. Her eyes glittered with anger. “I’m askin’ ye to be the man ye were. The man ye are now isna worth a pot to piss in. Ye dinna speak of anythin’ worthwhile, ye dinna laugh, ye dinna do anythin’! Ye’re dull as a stone!” She shoved him hard again. This time he tripped back, then stepped forward and grabbed her wrist, holding it in place.
“Don’t do this,” he said, almost pleading.
In response, she slapped his face with the hand he wasn’t holding. He shook his head to clear the sting, then grabbed that wrist as well. She leaned toward him, trying to put her face in front of his, but he was a foot taller. She hissed up at him through bared teeth.
“Do somethin’, Dougal MacDonnell. Dinna turn into some ninny. Do somethin’.”
“I dinna have to do anythin’. I’ve no need to prove myself.”
“Oh no? Then why is it ye’re spendin’ so much time talkin’ of things that dinna matter? Why do ye try to do more than ye did before? Ye need to show me what a big man ye are? Is that it?”
“No . . .” he said, but his voice lacked conviction.
She pressed even closer to him. Her voice lowered to a dangerous level, almost a whisper. Almost the sound he’d heard her make in her sleep. “Do ye think I canna take care o’ myself anymore? Is that why ye came out here jus’ now? Well, I can do jus’ fine on my own, sir. I heard ye comin’, an’ I’d hear that lot if they came within a mile o’ me.”
Dougal felt the air buzzing between them, felt the pulse hammering in her wrists beneath his fingertips. Her eyes were furious, glowering at him like blue flames, challenging him.
“What do ye want?” he demanded. “What do ye want me to do?”
“Anythin’! Just be the Dougal ye were, man. Dinna tend to me as if I were a child. I’m still me. Why aren’t you still you? Do something, Dougal. Do something!”
So he kissed her. He dropped her wrists and seized the sides of her face, bringing her lips to his. She pulled instinctively away, but he held on, kissing her mouth, slightly open with surprise. He touched the skin he had longed to touch ever since he’d first found out the truth about her. It was warm, hot even, because she was angry. He felt his own face warm as he sank into the kiss.
She was so small, just like she’d said. Despite what she claimed, the bones he held between his hands were so wee, so delicate, fitting into the palms of his hands like she was made to be there. He slid one hand down her back so it rested on her waist and pulled her snug against him. He felt her body adjust, felt her muscles bunch up in response. Yes! Yes, this was what he’d been wanting. His blood sang, tingling his fingers, dancing in his lips—
And she bit him. He yelped and stepped back, rubbing his lower lip.
“What—” he cried, but she was there first.
“What was that?” she shrieked.
  
Book Content
The book contains attempted rape and rape. The situations are not overly done or    vulgar.


Tour Giveaway!
$35 Amazon Gift Card. Readers may leave a blog post comment, but the winner will be chosen from the Rafflecopter!
Ends 12/21/2012 
 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Spotlight on: Lycaon Press - Virtual tour and giveaway!


Lycaon Press is celebrating the release of two awesome young adult stories with a virtual book tour with Goddess Fish Promotions and we're helping to get the word out.

Every comment on this post (and all the others during their one week tour, click on the banner above to find out all their tour stops) earns you an entry to win a $20 Lycaon Press Gift Certificate! So comment here, and all the stops -- and tell a friend. A deal like this is too awesome not to share!

Resolved: The Shalean Moon, Book 6 by J. Lilley

When Shaleans fight Shaleans nothing is simple. With the help of true friends can good overcome evil?

To save Shalea, so much depends on so few people, that nothing is certain. It's not even clear just which side some of them support, and the Sept is getting weaker.

Brios and his friends must save their world, but time is running out. To make things worse, the identities of some people might just result in no resolution at all.

Can everything become clear and good triumph over evil before the next Shalean Moon, or is Shalea as they know it over?


Tony started to talk about Marok again.

"All we can hope is that Marok continues to recover, and that he knows more about what's going on. I'm not happy or comfortable with anything at the moment."

Rach still thought there was a lot more to worry about than Marok's recovery; her dad wasn't the only one uncomfortable, but she didn't say so. It wasn't like her dad to be so negative, and it worried her. Not just that, Aibhlinn worried her as well. It had been during those long scary hours they'd spent together that she'd begun to get to know the other girl, and found she liked her. She suspected her aloofness was in all probability due to the situation she'd found herself in. What she hadn't found out was what Aibhlinn's involvement was with the Shalean-turned-Rogue, Struan Scott. In Rach's opinion that was crucial to help her understand what had taken place and might occur in the future.

"Well, I still wish I knew what was going on," she said again. Gah, I'm beginning to sound like a stuck record. She was tired but restless, and needed to find a way to solve her problems. She had an idea. "Dad, shall we go for a bike ride? It's not dark yet, and I've got to get some of these jitters out of me. I feel like a volcano about to erupt and it's not nice. I'd shift if I was with Brios or Leira, but as I'm not, well, could we cycle somewhere?"

"I'll hazard a guess you've an idea where that somewhere would be?" her dad asked her. "The Pardes'?"

Rach laughed. "Actually I hadn't thought of that, but if we did go there, maybe I could shift and run a bit, just along one of the tracks. You could watch, you know, keep an eye on me."

She waited and looked at her dad's face as he thought about her request. In general, his face was very expressive. However, this time, she decided, he was not about to let her see anything he thought.

"And maybe we could come back past Ali's," she went on. "And maybe her mum can tell us what's happening, and then maybe..."

"And then maybe," her dad said, "you'll draw breath, and I can say hold on, okay. Why does everything have to start with 'and'? Okay, let's do it. We've got about an hour I'd guess, before it gets too dark to ride with safety. Or." He paused. "I could drive you and you can run for longer?"

She liked the sound of that. "Really? You don't mind?"

Tony shook his head. "It makes sense. I'll jog while you shift and stretch your leopard. I reckon if anyone sees the car, they'll think it'd be natural for you to go and...er, water Shala's flowers for her, or well, something," he finished. He didn't sound too convinced. "I guess. While they're away."

Rach laughed. "Have you seen Shala and flowers? She tends flowers about as well as she cooks. Badly. Leira says that's why they have shrubs, and her dad looks after them. No, I'm going to check on the gerbils."

Now her dad looked bewildered. "She doesn't have gerbils, does she?"

Rach sighed. "Nah, but hell, what else can I think off of the top of my head? Rabbits, hamsters, or god-knows-what. From now on, if anyone asks, Leira's got a pet, even though she doesn't know it. So if we have to, we'll bluff it."

Tony laughed. "Gerbils it is. Okay, lets go."

He picked up his car keys and phone and followed her out of the house. He locked the door and checked he'd done so. Rach grinned. He would never change.

"Paranoid, are we?"

He shrugged. "Well, yeah, do you blame me?"

She shook her head. "Nope, not at all."


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Elemental: The Rare Sisterhood, Book 1 by Alyce Lewis

Born of magic and created as a weapon, eighteen-year-old quadruplets Anila, Terra, Aydan, and Yara use their elemental powers to battle evil.

The world of Rare Root is about to be forever plunged into darkness, overtaken by a shadowy force, and the last hope for peace comes in the form of eighteen-year-old quadruplets Anila, Terra, Aydan, and Yara. Born of magic and created as a weapon, the Sprites must use their elemental powers to hunt down and vanquish the evil. When the sisters realize their powers are not yet strong enough, they seek out allies. Aided by an Elf prince and a Fairy queen, they face perilous obstacles, traitorous enemies, and prepare for the most epic battle of their lives.

But there's no training manual for love, and when Anila starts to fall for the prince, it forces a rift between the sisters. In order to destroy the threat and restore Rare Root, the four Sprites will need to rally together as one.

Because in a world of darkness, unity is elemental.


Mother Fairy ran her hand along the ledge of her cottage's stone windowsill, tracing the grooves with wrinkled fingers. The smooth stone was cool under her warm, rough skin. It was comforting, yet...it made her tremble. Or maybe it was what was beyond the window.

She opened the azure-colored shutters and a piece of white hair escaped its neat bun and trailed down to her stomach. She tucked it back and slid open the glass of the closed windowpane. A muggy wind rushed over her, and she grimaced. The faint smell of smoke swept over her face and into her nostrils, causing Mother Fairy to wrinkle her nose and cough. Bah, it's at it again, she grumbled to herself. Foul, cursed blight.

She squinted her tired brown eyes and looked out at the skies. It was only midafternoon, yet the skies were darkening, and a sizeable shadow was cast over the ground. Looming clouds rolled in overhead, and she fixed her stare on the piece of brilliant blue that was fighting against the dark. The blue faltered and strengthened as it sparred with its opponent. She wanted so badly for it to win. She wanted the darkness to go away.

A flash of movement on the ground caught her attention, and she ducked her head to the side, out of view. The Rot hovered in the distance. It had its black tendrils around some unseen prey, lifting its victim into the air until the feet dangled there, limp, like two noodles. The body went still, and the Rot slithered into the woods, dragging the unconscious form behind it.

Made of misty shadows and reeking of death, the Rot was the darkness that plagued Rare Root.

The haze swirled over Mother Fairy's cottage, as thick as ink. She shivered and looked away from the spot where the Rot had just been hunting. Clutching at the sudden ache in her chest, she rushed to close the window and shutters. She stopped short when screams of agony carried across the wind and into her ears.

Without thinking, the old Fairy brought a hand to her open mouth and held her breath, straining with her declining senses to pick up more sounds. A few seconds later, faint at first, but then louder as they drifted in the breeze, were the pitiful cries of townsfolk begging for mercy. The cries were coming from the direction of Pineglade. If innocent folk were suffering, she could only surmise the Rot was somehow responsible.

Mother Fairy snapped the shutters closed and crumpled down onto her reading bench. She clamped her thin hands over her ears to block out the horrible wails and screams of the fairies in the neighboring town. "No," she whispered, and then started rocking sideways. "Not Pineglade."

She wanted her mind to go numb, but instead found it racing, and her thoughts drifted to her beloved world...and how it was changing.

Two alignments, as different as day and night, coexisted in Rare Root. They were Light and Dark, or the Light Ones and the Dark Ones. The Light Ones valued honesty, kindness, generosity, respect, and selflessness, while the Dark Ones were selfish, unscrupulous beings driven by hatred and greed.

Multiple realms divided the world of Rare Root, each of them occupied by either Light or Dark. As such, a power struggle had existed since the beginning of time. The Rot materialized, seemingly out of thin air, and started building a Dark army. Now, the balance of power was shifting.

Mother Fairy thought about the gallant and honorable Light leaders. They were doing their best to keep the Rot away, but Mother Fairy understood their abilities had limits. Little by little, Rare Root was growing dim. It wasn't just the blue in the sky that fought to shine. It was the pure radiance of the Light Ones whose spirits were fettered, too afraid to hope anymore for the terror to end. Unless something drastic occurred, all the goodness that was Rare Root was fast approaching its end.

Salty tears streamed down the Fairy's cheeks. A strangled sob caught in her throat, and her chest heaved up and down. She stopped rocking and uncovered her ears, making fists with her hands. There was a hard glint in her eyes as she shouted into the silence of her living room, "Not Pineglade! Not anywhere else!"

She raised herself up from the reading bench just as the air around her became warm and shifted into a howling wind. It whipped fast around her tiny frame, and its strength matched the searing heat of rage in her chest. Her withered face, as worn as the great, majestic maple that stood in the middle of her modest home, contorted into an unrecognizable shape in the gusting gale. When Mother Fairy spoke next, it was not in her usual gentle, steady voice, but a near-primal roar.

She held her arms out in the wind and said, "Too long has the Rot threatened our lands and peace of mind. No longer will I let my fellow beings suffer in fear. I make my stand now to ensure this world survives for the pure-hearted creatures that live here. I will leave a gift, a legacy that all the beings of Rare Root, good or evil, will never forget."

As soon as Mother Fairy finished speaking, the wind vanished. To conjure magic through emotions or thought was an ability few possessed naturally. Most magic users in Rare Root were spell casters, and it was typical that incantations or objects aided their spells. It was unusual for Mother Fairy to lose her temper, but when she did, her emotions careened through her body and a whirlwind sometimes erupted.

Now, the evidence of her rage was gone. She put her hands on her knees and doubled over at the waist, desperate to catch her breath. Yet with each exhalation, her energy faded. Tears coursed down her creased cheeks, and she wiped them away with the back of her hand. Deep down in her core, Mother Fairy knew that it was time.


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Green-Eyed Doll by Jerrie Alexander - Virtual Tour and Giveaway


Today we're spotlighting author Jerrie Alexander on her tour with Goddess Fish Promotions for the romantic suspense novel, "The Green-Eyed Doll".

Jerrie will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn commenter at the end of each week, and a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to one randomly drawn commenter from all comments during the tour, awarded at the end of the tour, so comment today AND follow her tour (if you click on the banner above, it'll take you to a list of her tour stops)! The more you read and comment, the better your odds of winning. You could be introduced to a great new author AND win a GC!

Jerrie was incredibly brave and opted to share five deep, dark secrets with us on her stop.  The floor is yours, Jerrie!

Ooooh, you're not going to make this easy. Five things...I can do this...I trust you to keep my secrets.

1) You'd never guess by looking but every summer for the past seven years I've gone snorkeling. My daughter, granddaughter, and I, leave the husbands home to guard the home front, and we have a girls only week. The baby was seven years old when we went to Nassau, Bahamas. You'd have thought she was born with fins on her little feet. I was hooked. (no pun intended) We start our search in January, because we never go back to the same place. In Belize, I snorkeled the beautiful reef, swam with stingrays, and sharks.

2) Here's another one. Many years ago, I sang lead in a group. We performed at proms, Lions Clubs, etc. We were going to be rich and famous. One by one, we went our separate ways. Life had other plans for us. I wouldn't change a thing.

3) Most folks don't know I once lived in a house built by a famous singer. The company flew us to Newnan, Georgia, which is a beautiful city located outside of Atlanta to look for a place to lease. Moving every couple of years had us shy of buying a house. The second day, we found the perfect house with an added bonus of having a huge pool. In fact, the pool had the same square footage as the house. After we signed the dotted line, we learned that Newnan is the country singer, Alan Jackson's, home town, and he'd been the original owner. Our daughter was disappointed that he never stopped by.

4) Everything that shoots or is blown up in one of my books gets fact checked by a retired Navy SEAL. He explains how each weapon works, what to use, where to aim, etc. This young man refuses to allow me to credit him by name, insisting that he's just an average guy. He's a hero who doesn't know it!

5) I'm a cancer survivor. When my daughter was four, a pap smear revealed uterine cancer cells. I'd been blessed with a boy and girl, so the decision was made to do a hysterectomy. The cancer was caught early and hasn't returned. I can't stress the importance of well-woman exams! Like the Nike slogan says...Just Do It!

Catherine McCoy is running from her past. She's been on the move for a year, hiding the secret and guilt in her heart. When she lands in small-town Texas and meets Sheriff Matt Ballard, he ignites a flame she thought lost forever.

Matt has scars of his own. He left the big city after an undercover operation went bad and his partner was killed. Now, as Matt hunts for a serial killer who paints his victims like porcelain dolls, Catherine becomes a safe haven for him. Two tortured souls finding comfort in each other's arms—until he uncovers her secret, and their bond of trust is broken.

When Catherine disappears, Matt races to find her, fearing the murderer has found his next green-eyed doll. But the killer has a surprise coming. Catherine will fight to the death before she'll be a victim. But will her determination be enough?

His anguish, more than she’d planned for, hit her hard. His dedication and concern, traits she admired, shook her conviction that no man could be trusted. His tenderness, something she’d never had, touched a long-neglected place in her soul.

In that small space of time, where no one else in the world existed, Catherine’s heart found hope. Tears, she’d promised herself never to shed again, slid unchecked down her cheeks. But these tears weren’t because of her pain or grief. She cried because Matt suffered and grieved for the missing woman. She slid her arms around him, stroking his tense muscles.

“Hey, yourself.” He leaned back and studied her face. The warmth behind his eyes returned as he wiped away her tears with the pads of his thumbs. “Were those for me?”

She nodded and emotions swirled in her head. Catherine struggled to regain her perspective. “I have to remove no more tears from the Never list.”

“Why would you hold yourself to such a never?”

“The only thing crying gets you are red eyes.”

“Okay, tough guy. Maybe someday you’ll trust me enough to explain. Why’d you break a rule for me?”

“The worry for Annie Travers in your eyes broke my heart. I’ve never known anyone with your compassion and dedication.”

“Careful.” The corners of his mouth lifted. “You’ll be calling me John Wayne again.”

“Same soul.” She pushed a lock of black hair off his face. He caught her wrist in his hand.

“Stop, Catherine. I’m nobody’s hero. I failed miserably in that department.”


A student of creative writing in her youth, Jerrie set aside her passion when life presented her with a John Wayne husband, and two wonderful children. A career in logistics offered her the opportunity to travel to many beautiful locations in America, and she revisits them in her romantic suspense novels.

But the characters went with her, talked to her, and insisted she share their dark, sexy stories with others. She writes alpha males and kick-ass women who weave their way through death and fear to emerge stronger because of, and on occasion in spite of, their love for each other. She likes to torture people, make them suffer, and if they’re strong enough, they live happily ever after.

Jerrie lives in Texas, loves sunshine, children’s laughter, sugar (human and granulated), and researching for her heroes and heroines.

http://jerriealexander.com
http://twitter.com/jerriealexander
http://facebook.com/JerrieAlexanderAuthor