Thursday, May 30, 2013

AD Starrling


Guest Post and Excerpt by AD Starrling











King’s Crusade Music Playlist

Hello and thanks for having me on your blog!

Today, I am pleased to present part of the music playlist for King’s Crusade, Book #2 of the supernatural series Seventeen. I say part, because the actual playlist has 61 songs on it! I’ve chosen my favorites and explained how they relate to the scenes in the book. You have been warned. They are LOUD!







1. Warrior by Disturbed

To me, this first song defines the protagonist of King's Crusade. Those lyrics send shivers down my spine and set the pace and flavor for the entire story. I had this on constant replay when I was writing the final battle scene!

2. Skin to Bone by Linkin Park

The second song comes to you courtesy of Linkin Park and is the tune I had in mind for the prologue, where Dimitri Reznak finds Alexa on the battlefield at Narva.

3. This is It by Staind

Following on from the prologue, we meet Dimitri Reznak in modern day Egypt, where he makes THE discovery of his immortal lives. This was a great song for this scene.

4. The Consequence by You Me At Six

This was the song for that opening scene of Chapter Two, when Alexa appears as an adult and jumps off the side of the cliff. The beats seriously rock. The band is British by the way!

5. Hero by Skillet

This song defines the Port Said fight scene and Alexa's one-on-one with Boyko Dragov. This is one of my favorite songs of the whole playlist. That chorus is awesome!

6. Burning Down The House by The Used

I heard this on the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Soundtrack and fell in love with the heavy beats. This is the song for the Mersin Free Zone plot line in Adana, Turkey.

7. Run by Disturbed

This was the song for the chase scene from the tavern in Istanbul to the church.

8. Our Truth by Lacuna Coil

This is the first song by Lacuna Coil to feature on the King's Crusade playlist. I discovered this amazing Italian heavy metal band from one of the songs on the Underworld movies soundtracks. Cristina Scabbia and Andrea Ferro are the lead vocalists for the band and I think their voices work very well together to produce a haunting sound. This song was the one I listened to during the Istanbul hotel scene where Alexa confesses the secrets of the Immortals to Jackson.

9. The Heart of Everything by Within Temptation

Another new group to feature on the King's Crusade Playlist, this song by Within Temptation defines Francesco Lorenzio's revelations to Alexa and Jackson in Vatican City.

10. The Path to Decay by Sirenia

Another big favorite from the soundtrack, you could say this song inspired the first part of the Rome chase scene, after the assassination in Vatican City, and the subsequent escape from Vatican Palace. Close your eyes and imagine that scene, starting with their jump from that window!

11. Thick as Thieves by Cavo

Another new band to feature on the playlist, this song by Cavo was perfect for the breaking in scene in London.

12. Sons of Plunder by Disturbed

And here comes the action again! This song is for the first part of the Freemasons' fight scene.

13. Spellbound by Lacuna Coil

The second song from Lacuna Coil to feature on the playlist for King's Crusade epitomizes the penthouse scene between Alexa and Jackson.

14. The Truth Beneath the Rose by Within Temptation

The second song to feature on the playlist from Within Temptation, this is from their album The Heart of Everything. This was the perfect tune for the Sumava lab scene, when Alexa uncovers Cavaleti's plans.

15. The Howling by Within Temptation

More from Within Temptation, this song was for the Perm train scene leading up to the gun fight in the wagon.

16. I'm Alive by Disturbed

This was the perfect song for the aftermath of the explosion and Alexa waking up in the forest.

17. Our Solemn Hour by Within Temptation

This is the song for the start of the final fight.

18. Stand My Ground by Within Temptation

For me, this was the hardest scene to write in the entire book. I agonized for a long time before making the decision that this had to happen. The haunting sounds of this song reflects the heartache at losing someone important.

19. Whispers in the Dark by Skillet

This is the first song for Alexa's fall into oblivion and the calling of an ancient voice.

20. Rebirthing by Skillet

The final song of Alexa's infinite time in darkness and her return to light. The lyrics reflect what she's going through rather well.

21. I Don't Believe in Tomorrow by Lacuna Coil

The Perm Hospital scene. This song reflects Alexa's internal conflict and pain.

22. What Have You Done by Within Temptation, featuring Keith Caputo

This song’s lyrics evoke Alexa's spiral into hell in the final chapters of the book.

23. Swamped by Lacuna Coil

The penultimate song on the playlist. I had this tune in mind for that Epilogue from the very beginning of the book.

24. Trip the Darkness by Lacuna Coil

The final song for the King's Crusade playlist was thrown in there for a bit of fun! If this book was ever made into a movie, this song would be my first choice for the end credits. Some of you will recognize this tune from one of the Underworld movies soundtrack.

I hope you've enjoyed the rather extensive playlist for the second novel in Seventeen. That was a fabulous 61 songs in total, which will all feature on my website with a weekly release under News starting May 7. I am pleased to announce that the playlist for Book Three is completed and will feature on the website next year. It’s nice and sweet, with puppies, kittens, and unicorns...I'm kidding, obviously...

Happy reading, writing, and blogging all!

AD Starrling








PROLOGUE

November 1700. Battle of Narva. Swedish territory.

The little girl stared into the dead man’s eyes, her expression steady and unflinching. All around her rose the cries of soldiers and the clash of swords, while cannons boomed on a distant hill, and the sharp reports of musket shots echoed across the banks of the nearby river.

The morning’s blizzard had turned the battlefield into a gray and bloody mire. The snow and rain that had been falling steadily during the night had grown heavy at dawn, and visibility was worsened by vicious gusts blowing in from the west. When the wind shifted to the south at midday, it provided an unprecedented advantage for the eight-thousand-strong army of Sweden’s King Karl the Twelfth. They had been able to advance virtually unseen on the significantly larger Russian contingent, which laid siege to the city of Narva in early November of that year.

Although tired and hungry after traveling across miles of treacherous back roads and countryside laid to waste by the invaders, the better-equipped and more experienced Swedes managed to get within fifty yards of the enemy’s front lines without being detected and led a swift attack on two fronts.

After overcoming Russian General Veyde’s and Prince Trubetskoy’s men, they now marched for the troops on the adversary’s left flank, which were under the charge of Duke de Cröy, the field marshal whom Tsar Peter I of Russia had left in charge of his army.

As he carefully made his way across the treacherous ground, Dimitri Reznak glanced at the bruised skies overhead. Though the worst of the storm had passed, heavy flakes still fell from the low clouds that covered the land in eerie twilight. Interspersed with rain and sleet, the snow melted rapidly in crimson puddles that dotted the plain, forming brief teardrops on the cooling skin of the hundreds of Russian and Swedish soldiers who had fallen since the start of the battle. Reznak frowned at the gruesome sight.

Given that he was an immortal who had witnessed countless wars and conflicts over the five centuries of his existence thus far, he knew he should have been immune to the spectacle of blood and gore that surrounded him. Yet, despite the fact that he and the two hundred Crovir immortals under his command were assisting the young Swedish King in his endeavor to keep the new territories his predecessors had acquired during Europe’s bloody Thirty Years’ War, Reznak could not help but feel overwhelmed by sadness at the needless loss of human life. Which was why he headed straight for the little girl when he saw her standing on the knoll in the middle of the battleground.

Although he hadn’t expected to see a child in the midst of the war zone, Reznak was not surprised. Some civilians had still been trying to reach the safety of the fortified city when they were caught between the advancing armies, and those who had not succumbed to the fierce blizzard perished in the subsequent crossfire. He could only presume that the child had become separated from her parents during the ensuing chaos. The chances of finding them alive, he knew, would be slim at best.

When he got within twenty feet of her, the little girl finally looked up. It was not the panicked, wild movement he had been anticipating. Instead, it was a slow and measured gesture. Reznak froze.

Her eyes were a clear gray, the irises wide and almost silvery in their sheen. Her skin, where it was visible beneath the dirty yet elegant ivory dress she wore, was an alabaster white. Thick, dark curls crowned her head and fell in waves to her shoulders, framing a surprisingly slim face and neck. She looked to be about eight years old and was without a doubt the most shockingly beautiful being he had ever seen.

Yet it was not her startling appearance that stopped him in his tracks; it was the look on her face that sent a sharp chill through his bones and a shiver down his spine, immobilizing his legs.

There was only one word to describe the expression in her eyes: fearlessness.

Pure and unadulterated, the feeling seemed to seep through her pores and emanate from the very core of her being, an almost palpable energy focused in a lance-like beam projected from her dark pupils.

That was when Reznak knew she was not human.

The little girl blinked. Reznak suddenly found that he could move again. His gaze drifted down to her right hand, where the handle of an ugly knife was clasped firmly between her slender fingers. Red droplets still gleamed wetly on the edge of the blade and dropped into an expanding pool by her bare feet. His eyes followed the crimson trail to the dead man lying inches from where she stood. There was a deep, linear wound on the left side of the soldier’s chest; by the looks of it, she had stabbed him in the heart.

It would have taken the man less than a minute to die.

Reznak’s gaze shifted to the girl. ‘Hello,’ he said gently in German, conscious of the weight of the sword at his waist. ‘My name is Dimitri. What’s your name?’

The little girl remained silent. He hesitated. Certain he would not get a reply, he repeated the question in the local Estonian dialect. He was shocked when, in a clear and low voice that was oddly devoid of emotion, she said, ‘Alexandria.’

Reznak took a cautious step forward, his eyes never leaving hers. Her chin tilted as she stared up at him. ‘Where’s your mother, Alexandria?’ he continued quietly in the same vernacular.

A faint frown dawned on her face at his words. ‘I don’t know,’ she said.

Less than two hundred feet from where they stood, scores of soldiers fought to the death, their swords and daggers carving through the flesh and bones of their enemies. The harsh breaths of their nervous horses misted the cold air, while musket rounds peppered the ground around them.

Reznak took another step forward. ‘Can you tell me where you came from?’

The little girl’s frown deepened while she considered the question. ‘I don’t know,’ she repeated.

It was then that he noticed the fresh blood matted in her hair. She had suffered a blow to the side of her head. His gaze dropped to the red finger marks on her arm. His eyes narrowed.

‘Did that man hurt you?’ Reznak asked stiffly, indicating the dead soldier at her feet.

Her chin dipped in a brief nod.

He stared at her for a moment before slowly squatting down. With his face level with hers, he carefully extended a hand. ‘Would you like to come with me, Alexandria? It’s not safe here.’

The little girl gazed at him silently. Undaunted, Reznak stood up and waited. She turned on her heels and stared through the thin veil of snow at the river and the city beyond it. The wind picked up and ruffled her hair.

He peered at the back of her neck curiously. Imprinted a scant inch beneath her hairline, in the very middle of her delicate spine, was a triangular mark—a trishula. Although generically shaped like a trident, the more intricate details of the design reminded him strongly of the weapons he had seen wielded by fearsome Asian warriors in battles past. It was not a tattoo. It looked more like a birthmark.

The knife thudded softly in the deepening snowdrift when the little girl opened her fingers. Still gazing at the battlefield before them, she raised her bloodied hand toward him. Reznak clasped it in his own and was surprised at how warm her skin felt.

‘Are you my father now?’ she asked calmly.

‘No,’ he said with a weak smile. He glanced at the top of her head. The dark curls shivered slightly in the wind. Beneath them, the child’s body was as still as stone. ‘Can I call you Alexa? Alexandria is a bit of a mouthful.’

She gave this some thought. ‘Yes,’ she said finally with a curt nod.





King’s Crusade Seventeeen Series Book 2 
AD Starrling 

Genre: Supernatural thriller 















Book Description: 


The perfect immortal warrior.

A set of stolen, priceless artifacts.

An ancient sect determined to bring about the downfall of human civilization.

The exciting, action-packed follow-up to Soul Meaning and the second installment in the supernatural thriller series, Seventeen.

When a team of scientists unearth scriptures older than the Dead Sea Scrolls in a cave in the Eastern Desert mountains in Egypt, a mystery lost to the tides of time is uncovered. Heading the expedition is Dimitri Reznak, the Head of the Crovir Immortal Culture & History Section. But the monumental discovery is spoiled by evidence of looting and half the priceless artifacts Reznak has been seeking for centuries have disappeared.

Alexa King is a covert agent for the Crovir First Council. When she is approached by her godfather for a mission that could help elucidate the enigma of her lost past, she finds herself delving into the dangerous and shadowy world of secret religious societies. Assigned by Reznak to assist her is Zachary Jackson, a gifted human and Harvard archaeology professor.

In their search for the missing artifacts, King and Jackson stumble upon the existence of a deadly sect whose origins are as mystifying as the relics they are searching for. From North Africa to the doors of Vatican City itself, they unveil a centuries-old plan that aims to shatter the very structure of civilized society.

With the help of Reznak and a group of unexpected allies, King and Jackson must stop the enemy and uncover the astonishing truth behind the missing artifacts and King’s own unearthly origins before all is lost.


Smashwords Amazon US ebook Amazon UK ebook Book Depository









About the Author:

AD Starrling was born on the small island nation of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean and came to the UK at the age of twenty to study medicine. After five years of hard graft earning her MD and another five years working all of God’s hours as a Paediatrician, she decided it was time for a change and returned to her first love, writing.

Soul Meaning is her debut novel and the first in a supernatural thriller series entitled Seventeen. She currently lives in Warwickshire in the West Midlands, where she is busy writing the second novel in the series while drinking gallons of tea.

She still practises medicine. AD Starrling is her pen name.

www.adstarrling.com

http://www.facebook.com/pages/AD-Starrling/382768535066991

http://twitter.com/adstarrling

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6469599.A_D_Starrling

http://www.amazon.com/AD-Starrling/e/B008KS77GO/




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More of the tour...


May 31 Spotlight
Cover Reveals
http://CoverReveals.blogspot.com

June 3 Spotlight
the girl with red cape
http://thegirlwithredcape.blogspot.in/

June 3 Guest blog
2 Bibliophiles Guide
http://2bibliophiles.blogspot.com/












Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Victoria Danann



Excerpt by Victoria Danann 









CHAPTER 1

"What do you know about my sister and that prancin' prick of a fairy prince?"

Elora blinked, but in the space of that flutter he learned all he needed to know. He had found out the first night Storm brought her to poker, back at Jefferson Unit, that her very expressive face telegraphed even the tiniest nuance or feeling or thought. By now he knew her so well that she was as transparent as air. She was caught off guard because she hadn't expected that question while Ram was cooking a leisurely Sunday breakfast.

"Say that three times fast?"

"No' goin' to work this time. Stay on topic."

"You just don't like him because he can stand toe to toe with you and not be cowed by the H.O.H. elfster."

"ELFSTER!? What in Paddy's Name, Elora? And what is H.O.H.?"

"Hall of Heroes."

Ram turned away from frying bacon and gave her a look. It probably didn't have the effect he intended. He was wearing jeans, a long sleeve black tee that stretched across his chest enticingly, and a black Jack Daniels apron tied around his waist. She thought perhaps nothing was sexier than watching Ram's muscles ripple while cooking her breakfast.

"Do no' try to deflect. 'Tis I. And Paddy knows I can tell when you're hidin' somethin'." Ram looked determined.

"Speaking of hiding. You're going to have to do something about all these guys overrunning our property. Our home - the one that was intended to be our very own, very private property. Please, Ram. Make them go away."

His expression softened a little as he decided to allow himself to be temporarily derailed.

"Sol, Simon, and every one of your friends agree that we can no' leave you and Helm vulnerable after the threat those alien buggers left hangin' in the air. That goes especially for your friend, Sir Storm."

"My friend, Sir Storm?"

"Aye. Your friend. The bloody wanker suggested that I'm no' responsible enough to be entrusted with lookin' out for you. Said, 'You're no' takin' good care of my namesake's mother. I'll be forced to give the job to someone else if you do no' shape up and begin takin' it seriously'."

Elora laughed. "He said that?"

"Aye. As if 'twas all my doin' that you ended up givin' birth alone in a freezin' wolf cave. With. No. Phone."

"Well..."

Ram narrowed his eyes at her. "Think very carefully about what you are about to say before you say it."

Elora smiled brightly. "I was going to say that no one in his right mind could fault you."

Ram nodded and resumed turning the bacon. "Exactly. I should have reminded him what happened when he was in charge of the Baka interview at Unit Drac. He pouted for hours after learnin' first hand that the Lady Laiken does as she fuck-well pleases."

Elora concurred by nodding vigorously. "It's a burden, but you bear it well, my love."

"All kiddin' aside. I do. I really do." He began setting strips of cooked bacon out to drain the grease.

"Well, Sir Storm is going to be plenty busy with his own burdens."

"What's your meanin?"

"They're expecting."

"Expectin' a baby?"

"No. They're expecting Publishers Clearing House to pay for their villa renovation."

Ram gave her a look. "You know, I'm thinkin' there's only enough of this lovely bacon for one and, since I cooked, I really should be keepin' it for myself."

"Yes! They're expecting a baby. Litha thinks it's a girl."

"A girl!" Ram practically whooped. "Paddy's Great Balls Afire. I can no' wait to see Storm try to be da to a girl." He laughed enjoying that idea and then grew serious. "As for the buggers who violated my grandda's forest, I'll no' be givin' 'em a second chance at my family."

"Rammel. I hear you and I understand you."

"I do no' suppose the next sentence will be 'and I obey you'."

Elora smirked while she snagged a piece of bacon. "Have I ever mentioned you make great bacon?" She nuzzled his ear on the way back to her stool. "Almost as good as chocolate."

Ram pointed a spatula at her. "I swear to Paddy you have that thin'... that ADDD."

"ADHD?"

"Aye."

Elora started laughing. "Pot."

When his brows drew together she smiled because Helm looked at her with that same expression several times a day. They made him accidentally in a snow covered cottage, but he was made with love and now he was a little bit her and a little bit him. A miracle indeed.

"You can no' concentrate 'cause you've been smokin' dope?"

"No! 'Pot' as in 'you're the pot calling the kettle black'."

Ram stared at her for a few beats, finally shook his head and said, "No idea."

"You don't have an expression here about the pot calling the kettle black?"

"We do no' that I know of, but I think I begin to follow your point. You're tryin' to say that I should no' be accusin' you of short attention because mine is even shorter?"

Of their own accord, his eyes drifted down to the cleavage showing between the henley buttons she'd left undone.

She chuckled. "See?"

"See what?"

She did a little shimmy and he grinned sheepishly. "Guilty." He put an orange juice in front of her. "And be careful of the sexy dancin'. You'll be gettin' Helm's milk all over your clothes again."

Elora rolled her eyes. "He gets enough. Have you seen how chubby his little face is getting?"

"Well, blood will tell."

Elora narrowed her eyes to slits. "Rammel. Paddy help you if you're saying what I think you're saying."

"All I'm sayin' is that chubby cheeks do no' run on my side of the family." When she took a mock threatening step toward him, he laughed. "Just teasin' darlin' girl. Just teasin'. You know I would no' change a hair on your head. Or his."

"Okay. All I'm sayin' is that insanity doesn't run on my side of the family." A look of horror slowly covered her face as she realized what she'd just said. She hadn't yet personally confronted what the assassin in the woods had said about the Laiwynn clan, but if it was true, it meant that cruelty and despotic behavior might run in her family.

Ram put his utensils down, wiped his hand on his apron, and offered himself for a hug. She stepped into the comfort of his arms.

"What I was trying to tell you earlier is that I've never made any secret of the fact that I won't give up my freedom to live a restricted life, no matter how luxurious or comfortable. Not for anything."

"No' even for Helm? And me?"

"That's not fighting fair and you know it."

"When it comes to your safety - and our son's - you think I care about fightin' fair? 'Tis the very last of my concerns."

"Let me put it this way. You need to come up with a more agreeable Plan B and you need to do it while I'm still in a listening mood."

"Any ideas?"

She looked down at her pretty Holland china plate, part of the set they got as a wedding present from Kay and Katrina. She had a picture of how good life was going to be there in their new home. Had the Ralengclan assassins spoiled her vision of the future to the point of ruin? Was it time to confront that possibility?

"No." When she looked back up, Ram thought he might have seen her look just a little worn. Like her aura hadn't been buffed in a while. Sometimes he caught her looking off into space and he suspected that she was thinking about what she'd been told by the Ralengclan assassin, wondering if the massacre of her family was really a coup d'etat." Armed people guarding the house. Hardly what I pictured."

"I know." Ram sat down next to her and took her hand in his. "We'll figure it out. Monq's workin' on it." He pulled up like he had an idea. The change was so subtle that no one besides Elora would have even noticed it.

"What?"

"He's workin' on detectin' interdimensional activity - identifyin' the source and location. He says 'tis a logical first step toward the defense system we're goin' to be needin'."

"Yeah. I heard."

"Well..." She knew she was in trouble when he turned on that look that he had given her the first night they had met, the puppy dog plea that was so irresistible she could be manipulated out of her socks with full knowledge and complicity. She hated that. It was... manipulation by consent.

"Stop that right now!"

"'Twas just thinkin' that, for the time bein', just while we're sortin' this out, maybe we should move back into Jefferson Unit. You and Helm would be safe there. I know 'tis no' ideal, but there is the courtpark, food, and babysittin' on demand. 'Tis no' this." He looked around the room and gave a little sigh. He had put a lot of himself into renovating the property and somewhere along the way had come to understand why she loved it and pictured their little family living happily ever after there. "But we were happy at Jefferson too. We could even help Monq. Maybe speedin' thin's along a bit?"

"I'm expecting puppies."

"I truly hope no one is recordin' this conversation." Ram's mouth softened at the corners making him look so beautifully kissable that she had to lean in and remind herself if those kisses were as good as she remembered. He didn't seem to mind complying with her wish. When she pulled back, he said, "We could get Glen to keep an eye on that. The wolf pups I mean."

"This is not just some ruse that's going to get us sucked back into active duty?"

Ram cocked his head like he was having trouble with that question. "Why would I go to so much trouble to keep you safe only so I could risk gettin' you killed?"

Elora stared at Ram for a few seconds. "I'm not the only knight in the room and we both know how persuasive Sol can be when he wants something. Before I even consider this proposal, I need some reassurance that none of us, not you, not me, not the baby - none of us - are going to end up on any field assignment. Not in any capacity."

Ram nodded. "Deal."

"Okay."

"Okay you approve of my answer or okay we're packin' for Fort Dixon?"

"Fort Dixon, but that's all of us. Blackie too. And we need an apartment big enough for the four of us."

"Thank Paddy. I'm goin' to get a good night's sleep for a change."

She hadn't realized just how much stress the fear of assassination had caused Ram until she saw his facial muscles relax. Yeah. It was a good plan. A good choice, everything considered.

"And, let's outline what would have to happen to make it possible for us to come back here and proceed to live life the way it should be lived. By ourselves. Speaking of which, I'm also not giving up the pleasure of a weekend at the cottage - just us - forever."

"Certainly. I'm no' unreasonable."

She smiled at him lovingly and indulgently. "Of course not. You're my hero."

***




Moonlight: The Big Bad Wolf 
The Order of the Black Swan, Book 4
Victoria Danann



Genre: paranormal romance, fantasy romance


Publisher: 7th House
Date of Publication: 05/26/2013 


ISBN: 978-1-933320-69-4 ebook
ISBN: 978-1-933320-64-9 paperback 







Book Description:

This is the fourth installment in the Black Swan serial saga. Reading in order is essential. The first book, My Familiar Stranger, is free everywhere. (Nominated for Best Paranormal Romance by REVIEWERS CHOICE AWARDS. Nominated for Best Indie Paranormal Romance and Best Indie Fantasy Romance for READERS CHOICE AWARDS. Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK.

What would you do for love?

1. Storm's unexpected reply when tapped to replace Sol as the new Jefferson Unit Sovereign.

2. B Team learns the shocking truth about the origin of the vampire virus.

3. Monq races to develop a defense system to repel invasion from Stagsnare.

4. Litha volunteers her father to help to Black Swan.

5. Desperation drives Stalkson Grey to embark on an adventure beyond his wildest dreams in a bid to save the Elk Mountain werewolves from extinction. In the process he learns that true love can find you in the strangest places, even when you’re far, far from home.









About the Author:

If you're looking for something new and different in PNR, you've come to the right place.

I write unapologetic romances with uniquely fresh perspectives on paranormal creatures, characters, and themes. Add a dash of scifi and a flourish of fantasy to enough humor to make you laugh out loud and enough steam to make you squirm in your chair. My heroines are independent femmes with flaws and minds of their own whether they are aliens, witches, demonologists, psychics, or past life therapists. My heroes are hot and hunky, but they also have brains, character, and good manners - usually - whether they be elves, demons, berserkers, werewolves, or vampires.

My first book, My Familiar Stranger, was nominated for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012 by the Reviewers' Choice Awards. Each of my books has remained on the Amazon best seller list in category every day since release. All three also earned the Night Owl Reviews TOP PICK award.

My work has been compared to J R Ward, Karen Marie Moning, Sherrilyn Kenyon, and Lara Adrian. For example:

"I do see shades of Lara Adrian's Breed books and shades of J R Wards Black Dagger books, but this story is unique enough that it stands out all on its own and can stand up along side those other books and I think given time will elbow them out of the way with the rich story telling and deep emotional core that makes you want to know more." - Kerry, Musings of a Bookworm

The Order of the Black Swan is a series that is also a serial saga. Each book is an episodic installment in an ongoing story. Join me for the adventure.

WEBSITE: http://www.VictoriaDanann.com

BLOG: http://VictoriaDanann.me

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/vdanann

TWITTER: @vdanann





More of the tour...

May 29 Interview
Roxanne’s Realm
www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com





Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Danica Winters

Guest Post by Danica Winters









Living in Montana 
By Danica Winters 

I consider myself blessed to live in a place in which the pounding of horse hooves and the song of the blackbird are its heartbeat. At night the sky is filled with the brilliance of a million stars, the Milky Way, and on some occasions the Aurora Borealis. I live in a place where grizzly bears, mountain goats, and elk are not strangers, but instead the stewards of the craggy, timbered mountains and the endless wheat-filled plains. I live in the Last Best Place, under the Big Sky, and in the unforgettable state we call Montana. 

Right now my ‘backyard’ has finally seen the last bit of the winter snows melt and the soil has begun to churn with the new lives of the delicate yellow kisses of the Glacier Lilies and the native purple and sage green Lupines. Soon the beautiful, but deadly, soft-leaved Arnicas will begin to dot the ground, filling the land with untouchable beauty. As beautiful as the spring and summer are in Montana everything is appreciated with a bated breath—nothing in this land of enchantment lasts long—nothing is permanent except the stars in the sky and the passing of time. 

The constantly changing beauty serves as the backdrop for my new novel Montana Mustangs (published May 6, 2013), the second book in the Nymph Series. In fact, Montana Mustangs takes place in Somers, Montana which lies just south of the (small and humble) city of Kalispell—the city that many fly into in order to visit Glacier Park, one of the best and most picturesque parks in the contingent United States. 






Image Courtesy of http://www.gloriousphu.com/places/national-parks/united-states-canada/united-states/47-glacier-national-park


Somers, Montana lies at the edge of one of the largest (and coldest) freshwater lakes in the U.S., Flathead Lake. At the beginning of Montana Mustangs we first get the chance to meet our characters as they are standing at the edge of this picturesque lake, where they have made a macabre discovery—one in which sets the book into motion.

My love of life, horses, and Montana are represented in every aspect of this book, but please know that just like our beautiful spring flowers, to everything there is possible impermanence—especially for the main character, Aura, a nymph cursed to never keep true love. Like the others of her kind, she has been struck with a curse by Zeus that if she falls in love, the man is fated to die a tragic death.

When her sister is kidnapped, she must team up with a local Sheriff’s deputy, Dane, and work together to solve a case steeped in mythology, lies, and deeply hidden secrets.

If you have a love of Montana, horses, the unexplained, and paranormal romance (which is centered in the not-so-supernatural world) then this book is a must read. Montana Mustangs is my own spring flower, a story filled with such beauty it will never be forgotten even long after you have turned the last page.





Montana Mustangs 
The Nymph Series Book 2
Danica Winters 

Publisher: Crimson Romance

Publication Date: May 6, 2013

Heat Level: Sensual, m/f, HEA












Book Description:

A Nymph. A woman with the ability to seduce at will, shift to protect, but cursed with the fate to have the man she falls in love with die a tragic death. As one of the ill-fated nymphs, Aura Montgarten has spent her lifetime drifting from one place to another hiding from love. Until she meets Dane.

When a body washes up on the shore of a rural Montana lake, police officer Dane Burke is faced with the task of finding the killer—even if it means he will be forced to put his life and heart at risk by working with a drifter. As the truth of Aura’s Mustang-shifting Nymph ways are revealed, Dane learns exactly the amount of danger he and Aura are in, but can’t force himself to leave a case unsolved when the truth is right outside of his grasp.

When the killer decides he needs to take another victim—Dane—Aura must choose between their forbidden love and her immortal life… Can there be life without love, or is death her only choice?






About Danica Winters:

Danica Winters is a bestselling author who is known for writing award-winning books that grip readers with their ability to drive emotion through suspense and often a touch of magic. When she’s not working she can be found in the wilds of Montana working on her patience while she tries to understand the allure of various crafts (quilting, pottery and painting are not her thing). She always believe the cup is neither half full nor half empty, but it better be filled with wine. 





More of the tour...

May 29 Spotlight
Share My Destiny
http://sharemydestiny.blogspot.com

May 30 Guest blog
TBQ'S Book Palace
http://tbqspersonalbookpalace.blogspot.com/

May 31 Interview
All I Want and More –
http://alliwantandmore.blogspot.com/

June 3 Spotlight and review
Words of Wisdom from The Scarf Princess
http://wowfromthescarfprincess.blogspot.com

June 4 Spotlight
Paranormal Romance and Beyond
Ashlynnelaynne.blogspot.com

June 5 Spotlight
Brianna Lee Book Reviews
http://www.briannaleereviews.blogspot

June 11 Spotlight
Book Lovin' Mamas –
http://www.booklovinmamas.blogspot.com

June 12 Guest blog and review
Erzabet's Enchantments
Http://erzabetsenchantments.blogspot.com/

June 14 Spotlight and review
Faerie Tale Books
www.faerietalebooks.org












Thursday, May 23, 2013

Maer Wilson


Guest Post and Excerpt by Maer Wilson










Guest Post - All About Reo
By Maer Wilson

Cloey, thanks so much for letting me stop by today! I’m quite excited to chat about one of my characters - Brandon Arreo Malone. Reo is one of my favorite characters to write because there are so many layers to him.

Best friend to Thulu and La Fi, he also has abilities. He’s a telepath, empath and psychic, but his abilities can be erratic. They aren’t weak, though, by any means! He’s strong enough to have the popular show “Magic” showcased at a five star hotel in San Francsico. It’s sold out months in advance due to the special nature of the performance. In order to protect his anonymity, his show is a mix of very real magic and music. Oh, yeah, and he performs under the stage name of Brandy Malone, a sultry songstress and magician.

As a female impersonator, Brandy’s show is a reflection of Reo and has almost as many layrs as Reo humself. He’s playing Brandy, but he’s also hiding his paranormal abilities in plain sight. He roams through his audience helping where he can, with songs and magic thrown in for diversity. He might answer a question about a dead loved one, hypnotize someone to quit smoking or give advice based on what he sees in the future. He keeps an empty table at his show for any ghosts who want to stop in.

Reo is not in a relationship in Relics, having broken up with his partner before he meets Thulu and La Fi. And he’s not a token or stereotypical gay character. Offstage, he tends to be quiet and thoughtful, although he does have a flair for the dramatic. His parents, wealthy artists, adore and support him. There is no angst surrounding Reo, who has a truly sunny disposition. I think of him as an optimistic realist.

One of the things I love about Reo is his big heart. He genuinely helps the folks who go to the sold-out performances of his show night after night. And afterwards, he often roams the streets of San Francisco alone, using his gifts to help the less fortunate.

Reo is honest and won’t pull punches, but he’s also kind and generous, giving his advice gently when needed. He has style, grace and class and is warm, loving and caring. He’s that guy a lot of people want for their best friend.

Thanks again for letting me stop by, Cloey.







Under miles of mountain-cloud I have wandered
Through ancient woods without a human track 

TOWARD THE TEMPLE OF HEAPED FRAGRANCE
Wang Wei (A.D. 701 - 761) 


Chapter 1 


When the dead are afraid, you know there's a big problem. The fear cut through the abandoned warehouse as sharp as the dagger at my throat. The tall, powerful being easily held me immobile. Breaking promises and lying to ancient creatures who can make you very dead, very fast was not such a good idea.

Humans and non-humans, living and dead, all of us were cautious not to make any sudden moves that would send my captor over the edge.

I tried to take careful breaths. I was terrified, more afraid than I'd ever been in my life and in shock, too. Betrayal and death will do that to you, let me tell you. And this frozen tableau definitely wasn't part of the plan, either.

Like a car out of control on ice, my thoughts careened all over the place. I could only hope someone in the group was thinking clearer than me. I kept my eyes down to hide the emotions I knew would upset the others. No sense letting Thulu and the rest know just how freaked out I really was.

All I could tell myself was to breathe easy and try not to swallow. There was nothing but silence for long minutes, as both sides continued to wait. No one moved. Even the dead were frozen with fear. Now there's a scary thought.

* * *

I'm not quite sure how old I was when I first saw the dead. Maybe I'd been seeing them all my life and never realized it. They didn't approach me when I was a little kid, so it's hard to tell. Besides, I didn't really pay attention to people in the background. That all changed when I was ten years old and found out that I could communicate with them.

There was a big storm in Phoenix that early-spring day, and it was quite dark when I came out of my after-school computer club meeting. The other kids ran through the rain to waiting cars and SUVs, but my folks were late again.

I sat on the steps under an awning and watched the pounding rain as I waited. My parents were usually pretty good about being on time, but sometimes they got involved with a client in their small accounting firm and time got away from them. Usually they called my cell phone, but it had been silent that day. A sure sign they'd be there any moment.

I pulled my well-used copy of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix out of my bag and started reading it for about the fifth time.

I loved the smell of rain in the desert. There were a few gusts of wind and rain, but a light jacket was all I needed over my jeans and t-shirt. At one point I heard a loud crashing noise in the distance. I got up to check the sky for lightning, but the cloud cover was a dome of uniform dark gray.

I was always fascinated by the desert light shows of crackling lightning, but the show was dark that night. That one crash of thunder was all there was, so I gave up and went back to my perch on the steps. I got lost in my book, and it must have been half an hour later when I heard voices.

“Oh, there she is. Fiona, I'm sorry we're late.”

I looked up and saw my parents in the rain about twenty feet away, coming toward me. The lights from the well-lit school entrance didn't quite reach them for some reason. Or rather, the light seemed to go through them. I put my book in my bag, slipped a strap over one shoulder and looked up just as they got to me.

That's when I froze. I could see through them – both of them, just a bit.

Fear tinged my voice, “Mom? Dad?”

“I'm sorry we're late.” Dad gave me his crooked grin. “We were in a car accident, and we had to walk. It took a while in the rain.”

I think my horror finally registered with them.

“Fiona, what's wrong?”

“What happened to you – both of you?” I could feel the blood draining from my face. Suddenly, my hands were ice cold and shaking. My bag slipped back to the sidewalk.

They looked at each other in surprise, but they too realized that the other wasn't quite substantial. I don't know how long the three of us stood there, but it seemed an eternity. I watched their facial expressions change from concern to horror to resignation.

“I'm so sorry, my dear, sweet Fiona.” Mom's voice was gentle. “I don't think we will be picking you up after all.”

I felt the rain on my face as I looked from one parent to the other. I was a bright kid. I knew they were there to say goodbye. Whatever had happened, they were no longer alive.




Relics

Book 1 of The Thulukan Chronicles
Maer Wilson


Genre: Urban Fantasy




Publisher: Crescent Moon Press

Date of Publication: 5/1/13








Book Description:

When the creatures of myth and magic return to Earth, they're nothing like your mother's fairy tales.

Most of Thulu and La Fi's clients are dead. Which is perfect since their detective agency caters to the supernatural. So, a job finding relics for an ancient daemon should be simple.

The daemon needs the relics to keep a dangerous portal closed. His enemy, Gabriel, wants the relics to open the portal and give his people access to a new feeding ground – Earth.

Stunning humanity with their existence, portals to other worlds begin to open and the creatures of magic return to Earth.

When Gabriel threatens their family, Thulu and La Fi's search becomes personal. They'll need powerful allies in the race to find the relics before Gabriel does. But maybe that's what grateful dead, magical allies and daemonic clients are for.






About the Author:

After a successful career being other people, and later teaching others the many tricks of that trade, Maer Wilson has decided to be herself for a while.

Turns out she's a writer. She's always loved stories, especially fantasy, mystery and sci fi. Maer was born in the Year of the Dragon and has a dragon-themed room in her home, but sadly no dragons in the back yard.

When she's not writing, Maer plays online video games, teaches college and reads. She also co-hosts the literary podcast, “MythBehaving”. She lives in the high desert of Southern Nevada with her two dogs, a chihuahua and a poodle.

Relics is her first novel and will be released by Crescent Moon Press on May 1, 2013. You can visit her website at www.maerwilson.com.

Website/Blog: http://maerwilson.com/

Facebook Author page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Maer-Wilson-Author/149085628472833

Facebook Series Page:
https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Thulukan-Chronicles/581452925200282

Facebook Street Team Page - Team Thulukan - https://www.facebook.com/groups/TeamThulukan/

Google + Series Community - The Thulukan Chronicles - https://plus.google.com/u/0/communities/109768648938269805454

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaerWilson




a Rafflecopter giveaway





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May 24 Guest blog and review
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http://somuchtowritesolittletime.com
Topic: anything writing related

May 27 Spotlight and review
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www.faerietalebooks.org

May 31 Interview
Pembroke Sinclair.
pembrokesinclair.blogspot.com
















Friday, May 17, 2013

Caroline Hanson

An excerpt by Caroline Hanson and an interview








An interview with Caroline Hanson

Cloey: When did you become interested in writing?

Caroline: I’ve always been interested in writing, I just wasn’t able to get it done. But after I had my second child and was home a lot, the time was right.

Cloey: What inspired you to write Love is Darkness?

Caroline: I grew up reading about vampires and love their complexity. They have depth in history, deal with moral issues and are usually pretty intellectual. And they always have a lot of baggage. I guess that’s what happens when you live for hundreds of years!

Cloey: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Caroline: I wanted people to be able to relate to Valerie and her life. She isn’t perfect or strong but she tries. She’ll die for the ones that she loves, but she’d really rather not.

Cloey: Who was your favorite character and who was your least favorite character to develop and why?

Caroline: Marion was my favorite because she always said hilarious things. I was surprised how much I enjoyed writing her. Lucas was the most complex. He’s a complicated cat.

Cloey: What did you enjoy most about writing Love is Darkness?

Caroline: All of it! It was the most fun of the three IMO. I wrote that book for me, but the other two were written knowing that people were waiting for them and had expectations. I think that steals some of the magic.

Cloey: What are you working on now?

Caroline: A time travel that will hopefully be out in July. It’s called A Lady Out of Time and has a kick-butt heroine and a very stuffy Duke that she blackmails. It’s set in Victorian England.

Cloey: What do you like to read in your free time?

Caroline: I read a lot of historicals, urban fantasy and MM. Big fan of male/male romance.

Cloey: Share with us something about yourself that we wouldn't see in your bio or on any other blogs (this can be anything from the type of music you like, your favorite color, or even your favorite meal - share whatever you want your fans to know about you)

Caroline: I love to re-read books. I’ve read some of my favorites four or five times.

Cloey: Thank you so much for sharing your writing process and Love is Darkness with us today. I am sure that my readers will love your writing as much as I do.

I love this book! Ms. Hanson is one of my favorite authors. Love is Darkness was so good I downloaded the second book in the series "Love is Fear" before I finished "Love is Darkness" and I can't wait to read the next in the series. This novel is highly recommended - it is a page turner so do yourself a solid and enter the contest to win it - you will not regret it.






Decision made, Lucas grabbed Roberto, biting into his neck before Roberto could defend himself. Blood coursed into him with a hot rush. The taste was bitter because it came from another vampire, but underneath that was a faint sweetness and spice that infected him.

Just a taste and then I’ll stop.

He knew that for a lie. He’d stop only when the blood finished riding him.

Lucas drank furiously, like he’d just emerged from the desert, some unknown amount of time passing before he became aware of himself and his surroundings. Gathering himself, he forced himself to slow his drinking, feeling a physical pain as he released fangs from flesh.

He threw Roberto from him and Roberto scrambled away, his hand at his neck, holding the torn flesh together.

Lucas paced away from Roberto, hand over his mouth. What am I doing? His hand was frozen, blood coating his lips and now his fingers. He wanted to lick his lips, suck his fingers clean, go back to Roberto and find more. What a mistake.

His hand trembled, in moments he'd be overwhelmed.

His whole body pulsed in time to his heart, the blood snaking through him, leaving each nerve, blood vessel and cell altered and waiting for the magic to strike.

He was a rod in a lightning storm.

Was there even time to dispose of Roberto before he succumbed to the blood? He had to kill him, couldn't risk anyone finding out about the daughter.

The daughter.

Swiftly, he went back to Roberto, circling behind the crying man, hiding death for a few moments longer. With one solid blow his fist punched through Roberto’s back and into his chest, gripped the man’s heart in his hand and tugged it free, Roberto dissolving into ash.

Lucas felt caged, the need to move, run, cry, laugh and hurt all vying in him for control.

No.

He could control himself. After almost two thousand years he was his own master. He was the oldest and the strongest. Lucas was his own law.

His hands clenched.

Emotion touched him like a cattle prod and he fell to his knees, dead heart pounding in a staccato rhythm. His hand rose to his chest like he could catch the sharp pain knifing from his heart outwards.

Then it was gone. For just a second he thought that was it, that over the last four hundred years he’d become so deadened and powerful that the magic touched him, sputtered and died.

Then there was a pulse.

It’s not over.

A small kiss of sensation that was almost visible, like heat shimmering off asphalt, tickled down his spine.

This was a fatal mistake.

Emotion crashed over him. Feelings of joy filling him until he wanted to laugh like Roberto had, laugh like he was happy, carefree and mortal. But he couldn't remember how to laugh, a rough sound erupting from him instead.

The feeling changed, became a heavy pulse that left a deep throb in his sex. He was suddenly hard, full to bursting, aching painfully. Desire gripped him and he began to tremble in his need to—

No.

But the blood twisted through him, invaded every cell and molecule of his being, urging him onwards.
He'd forgotten this power. The tide of emotion that even a small amount of blood had upon him.
He'd known and forgotten.

Lucas remembered being a man, the pleasure taken and given. He could almost smell feminine heat around him, what it was like to feel a woman's thighs lock around his head in pleasure. The whimpering cries as he kissed her deeply. Once he'd become a vampire, sensations and feelings had become muted, but not now. Now he felt human again.

Desire became a fire within him, consumed him so that he was nothing but need. He fell to his knees, staring at his fisted hands. He swore, surprised to find his own hand gripping his cock. His hips rose jerkily, body demanding release even as his mind resisted.

And lost.

His whole body seized, feelings of pleasure twisting within him, the power rebounding. He shouldn't fight it, he knew that, but it went against his nature to give in, and so he tried to hold out against the blood's call.

His breath sawed out of him as he remembered the blood's rich sweetness. He squeezed himself reflexively, the memory of flavor flashing through his mind and then his body.

Like a landslide, the orgasm swept through him, his mental shields collapsing and he felt the heavy spasm of his cock as he came. He breathed heavily, unable to move as the aftershocks of pleasure gripped and released him.

An empath.

Stumbling to his feet, Lucas went to his rooms, discarding his clothes haphazardly on his way to the shower.

His mind raced and he remembered the world as it had been centuries ago. An uneasy balance of vampires, witches, werewolves, empaths and Fey. For centuries there had only been vampires, the Others gone. But an empath had escaped. Maybe the vampires were not as alone as he’d thought. Maybe the Others were scattered or hiding. What if they could come back? Restore a balance to the world and keep vampires under control. Could he find them? Did he want to?

The thought was… intriguing.

And then he remembered the dead empath had a daughter.

Interesting.



Love is Darkness
The Valerie Dearborn Trilogy, Book 1
Caroline Hanson

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Host of the Hills

ISBN: 9781465819901
ASIN: B005JMJ046


Cover Artist: Phat Puppy Art







Book Description:

Valerie Dearborn wants a cotton candy life, but it’s more like a puffer fish: pointy, unusual, and—if not prepared exactly right—deadly.

In London for graduate school, Val knows she's finally free. Her father and ex-almost-boyfriend are back in California and she's out of the Vampire hunting biz for good. Or is she?

She draws the attention of Lucas, a 1600 year old Vampire, and King to his kind. He’s also wicked hot. As golden as Lucifer, and just as tempting, he makes Valerie an offer she can't refuse— help him find out if the Others (Empaths, Fey and Werewolves) still exist or he'll stop protecting those she loves.

Lucas tells her that Empaths were a Vampire’s biggest weakness before going extinct hundreds of years ago. While the Fey or a Werewolf might kill a Vampire, an Empath could enslave them, seducing or harming with emotions at will. The one detail he leaves out? Valerie is an Empath.

And after 1600 years of an emotionless existence, Lucas wants Valerie like a recovering alcoholic wants a wine cooler.

Can she keep those she loves alive, stop Lucas from munching on her, survive a fanged revolution and still find a way to have that boring, normal life she’s always wanted? Probably not, but boy is she gonna try!

This is a full length novel and contains adult content.





About the Author:

Caroline Hanson grew up in California and moved to London in order to dance and go to pubs. Adulthood ensued and she returned to California, bringing back her very own Englishman.

After becoming an attorney she had two children and now tries to parent, read, write and play tennis. She's heard rumors that other mothers clean and cook but is trying valiantly to keep those rumors from reaching her family.

Caroline grew up listening to Brit pop and reading about vampires. As a teenager her favorite authors were Anne Rice and Jude Deveraux. Now she loves Laurell K. Hamilton, Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, Laura Kinsale, Lisa Kleypas, Loretta Chase, Nalini Singh and JR Ward--that's the short list.

In terms of TV she's big into Game of Thrones, anything by Mr. Whedon, Ms. Plec or Ms. Rhimes because she likes a love story-- the more messed up and disastrous the better!

Her books have been on various Bestseller lists and she loves to hear from fans so long as they understand that Lucas is not real, she can't hook them up, and he CERTAINLY isn't chained to her bed.

Website: http://carolinehanson.blogspot.com/

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/carolinehanson

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Caroline-Hanson/205847429481635

Twitter: Caroline_Hanson






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May 17 review
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May 20 Interview
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May 20 review
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