Blog Tour: Reawakened by Carrie Pulkinen

Title: Reawakened
Author: Carrie Pulkinen
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Release Date: November 18, 2016
 
About the Book:
Jules Hume lives in a world where magic is a myth and supernatural creatures are fiction—or so she thinks. As a strong, independent woman, a relationship is the last thing she needs. Then she meets Ian Kincaid, a mysteriously sexy bachelor with otherworldly charm. She’s instantly enamored of him, drawn by an inexplicable magnetism. Ian awakens something magical inside her, opening her mind to things she never thought possible. Things that shouldn’t be possible. But Ian has secrets Jules is better off not knowing. The truth will tear her world apart, making her question everything she once knew to be real.
 
“Who is that?”
Beth looked up to see who I was talking about. “Oh. Umm…that’s just Ian. He owns the place…So, Mom. Have you worked on any interesting cases at work?” She was trying to draw my attention away from the gorgeous man.
“He’s beautiful.” I wasn’t interested in talking about work. I wanted to know more about Ian. “Is he married?”
“No, but Mom. Seriously. Don’t waste your time.”
“He doesn’t…date,” Cameron added.
“Is he gay?” I spared a glance for Cameron to see his reaction but quickly fixed my gaze back on Ian.
“No. He’s definitely not gay.” Cameron chuckled. “He’s just very…picky.”
“Picky. Hmm…”
And then it happened. Ian looked right at me. Our eyes met, and something inside me burned. It started in my core, and a heat pulsed out through me. My body ached to be close to him. I shivered, and he
smiled. I smiled back, then looked away; the intensity of the eye contact was too much for me. If I believed in love at first sight, I would have said this was it. But I didn’t…believe in love at first sight, that is.
“He’s coming over here,” I whispered to Beth.
“Uh-oh.” She looked at Cameron.
“Beth, Cameron, it is so good to see you,”
Ian said. He looked at each of them, and then his eyes focused on me as he spoke. “You must introduce me to your friend, Beth.”
I felt electricity prickling my skin, and it gave me goose bumps. I couldn’t take my eyes off him. Even under the dress shirt and tie, I could tell his body was exquisite. My fingers twitched with the urge to touch him.
“This is my mom, Jules. Mom, this is Ian.” She looked at him incredulously; then she looked at me and back at Ian again.
“May I join you?” Ian asked as he pulled out the empty chair. He didn’t wait for an answer. “Is Jules short for another name?”
“It’s Juliann, but everyone calls me Jules.”
“Juliann.” The syllables rolled off his tongue like music. My heart melted when he said my name. “Cameron, will you please go tell the kitchen to make two of whatever Juliann has ordered?”
“Of course,” Cameron said, and he hurried off obediently.
“Beth, you did not tell me you had such a beautiful mother. How could you keep such a secret from me?” He smiled beautifully as he spoke, and I was enamored. Beth was shocked.
“Umm…Sorry?”
He laughed a deep, masculine laugh and touched her shoulder. “Do not apologize, Beth. I’m only teasing you.” Then he turned to me and took my hand. He raised it up to his mouth and gently kissed it. “You are a vision of beauty, Juliann. I must get to know you better. Are you free tomorrow night?”
I felt my eyes growing wide as I tried to force myself to speak. I couldn’t get the words out; I was so flustered by the magnificent man sitting next to me. Luckily, the waiter brought out our food, so I had a little time to compose an answer…or at least to compose a coherent sentence.
“Umm…Yeah, I think I’m available.”

“Wonderful,” he replied with a dazzling smile.

 
 
     
About the Author:
Carrie Pulkinen has always been fascinated with the paranormal. Of course, when you grow up next door to a cemetery, the dead (and the undead) are hard to ignore. Pair that with her passion for writing, and you’ve got the perfect recipe for an exciting storyteller.
 
Carrie spent the first part of her professional life as a high school journalism and
yearbook teacher. She loves red wine and chocolate, and in her free time, she
likes to read, take pictures, and play with her kids.
 
Connect with the Author:
 
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Blog Tour: Domesticated Velociraptors Anthology

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Domesticated Velociraptors

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What would the world be like if you could hire Velociraptor rides for your daughter’s birthday, race them through jungles, or buy them at the local pet store? Fourteen authors from around the world delve into the prospect of domesticated Velociraptors in these stories full of adventure, wonder, and possibilities. Come explore realities where Velociraptors protect the land, take over kingdoms, and get tamed by grandmothers in the second anthology from the Midnight Writers.

Get your own copy of Domesticated Velociraptors: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LZLQBEX

 

 

The Midnight Writers

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The Midnight Writers is a writing group whose goal is to help authors become better writers. They met during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and have since started producing an annual anthology, and started a podcast where they interview authors and share writing advice, particularly for the newer writer. Get more information on their website, http://MidnightWritersSociety.com, on Facebook (http://Facebook.com/TheMidnightWriters), and Twitter @MidnightScribes.

 

 

Blog Tour: When I’m Dead by Erin Lee

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When I’m Dead by Erin Lee

Book Synopsis:
“Beware of Picket Fences”

Violet Hoffman is a planner. She’s had more than enough time—especially on holidays—to think this through. There’s really no point in turning back. Now, armed with a plan, Violet only needs to pull the trigger. She runs through her list of essentials: Motel room, check. Bottle of pills, check. Razor blades, check. Knife, yup. Purpose, check. Voice ready to be heard. Got it. Revenge, coming right up.

Violet is ready. After all, she decides, everyone is born for a reason. For most of her life, she’s been different. Since she was nine years old, she’s carried a secret that made it impossible for her to be normal. For a decade, she’s been torn between loyalties and healing. But now, finally an adult, Violet can let it all out. And it isn’t going to be pretty. But then again, being ‘pretty’ and ‘special’ really aren’t what they’re cracked up to be.

When I’m Dead is the story of an eighteen-year-old abuse victim alienated by her family. Ignored by a faulty system and shuffled from placement to placement, Violet is finally old enough to be heard. Sometimes, the best messages are given without words. And Violet’s always been a person of action. Where will Violet’s plan and actions take her? Will she finally get her message across? What will they think of her, when she’s dead? Will they even notice?
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Book Links:
Author Bio:
Erin Lee is a freelance writer and therapist living with her family in southern New Hampshire.

She’s published numerous magazine articles, particularly on the topic of mental illness. She is the author of “Crazy Like Me” from Savant Books and Publications and “Wave to Papa,” “Nine Lives,” and “Alters” with Limitless Publishing. She’s also author of “Host,” “Merge” and “When I’m Dead.” Her other writing interests include poetry and journaling. She recently completed her master’s degree in psychology and uses a narrative approach with clients.

She is currently writing “99 Bottles” and “Her Name was Sam.”

In her spare time, she serves as an unpaid taxi cab driver for her children and rescue/therapy dogs, Milo and Thomas.

Author Links:
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The Edge of Darkness Blog Tour: Top Ten by A.L. Kessler

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Top Ten Foods of an author…
When the deadlines get to calling, the author gets creative when it comes to fuel. Check out my top ten foods/Drinks while writing.

1) Coffee- Okay come on now, this one was a given.
2) Jimmy Johns- What can I say? It’s quick, they deliver, and I’m not required to call to order.
3) Marshmallows- What? Gotta get that sugar rush!
4) Arizona Green Tea- It helps that my local store sells the gallons for 2 for $5 for most the summer.
5) Anything that can be cooked in a crock pot- deadlines mean I want to spend less time at the stove cooking, the crock pot allows for this.
6) Pringles- I’m not required to touch them with my hand, leaving the key board cleaner. (What you’ve never tipped a Pringles can to eat the chips?)
7) Cold coffee- It’s hot here in the summer, iced, cold, or blended coffee is the way to go in the afternoon.
8) Chocolate-This one should also be a given…
9) Water- this is important when it’s so hot outside, that’s the only reason water made the list 😉
10) More coffee!

A pregnant Author’s Disclaimer about the coffee: Before anyone decides to lecture me on the dangers of drinking coffee while pregnant. The amount of coffee I consume in one day has been approved by my doctor and it is in moderation. Please do not worry. 🙂

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Title: Edge of Darkness

Series: Dark War Chronicles #5

Author: A.L. Kessler

Genre: Paranormal Romance

EdgeofDarknessCoverBlurb:
An Original Vampire

Zaaren has spent the last three hundred years asleep and woke to a new world. He doesn’t expect was Lucius’ growth in power and his sister’s defiance. As Zaaren struggles to find where he fits in with Lucius’ plans, he chases a ghost from his past. But his plans change when he befriends a Hunter.

A Hunter

Crystal is no stranger to vampires, but the last thing she expected was to be trading information with an Original. Corruption within the Hunting Society leads her to a trail of betrayal and death. Her own past is catching up to her as she navigates dangerous waters.

In both Societies…things are about to change

Goodreads ~ Kindle Unlimited

 

On Sale July 25th-July 29th

In the Light of the Moon (DWC #1) Kassity’s & Jaxon’s Book (FREE)

Dance in the Moonlight (DWC #2) Renee’s & Coran’s Book ($0.99)

On Torn Wings (DWC #3) Orion’s & Dani’s Book ($0.99)

Past Demons (DWC #4) Tegan’s & Kaden’s Book ($0.99)

DWC Shot Story Collection (Includes In the Shadows of the Moon DWC #4.5, Into the Night, DWC Hunters #0.5, and The Blood of Night, DWC Origins #1) Kassity & Jaxon, Isadora & Ayden, and Zaaren. ($0.99)

EdgeofDarknessAboutAuthorAbout A.L. Kessler

A.L. Kessler is the author of Dark War Chronicles. She dabbles in paranormal romance, steampunk and urban fantasy. Since she was a teenager she’s loved weaving stories and spinning tales. When she’s not at the beck-and-call of the Lord and Lady of the House, two black cats by the names of Jynx and Sophie, training a playful puppy named Zelda, playing with her daughter, or killing creepers and mining all the things with her husband, she’s either reading, participating in NaNoWriMo, or writing in her Blog Writing Rambles. For those who like things on the more spicy side, she leads a double life as Alexandra Webb.

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Dark War Chronicles

Dark War Chronicles

**** Free On Kindle Unlimited****

Beyond the world of humans, a supernatural war rages on. Surrounded by secrets, power, and bloodshed the people of Lucius’ territory struggle to stay in control. With the looming threat of the Vampire Circle raising the Father of all Vampires, it’s every creature for himself — Choose your side.

Reading Order:

The Touch of Night (DWC #0.5) Note: This short story is not required to read to understand the over all arc of the story and is now only available in the boxset.

In the Light of the Moon (DWC #1) Kassity’s & Jaxon’s Book

Dance in the Moonlight (DWC #2) Renee’s & Coran’s Book

On Torn Wings (DWC #3) Orion’s & Dani’s Book

Past Demons (DWC #4) Tegan’s & Kaden’s Book
DWC Shot Story Collection (Includes In the Shadows of the Moon DWC #4.5, Into the Night, DWC Hunters #0.5, and The Blood of Night, DWC Origins #1) Kassity & Jaxon, Isadora & Ayden, and Zaaren.

The Edge of Darkness (DWC #5) Zaaren and Crystal’s book July 25th, 2016

**** Free On Kindle Unlimited****

Here Witchy Witchy

Abigail Collins is the top of her department and handles the high profile cases that come to the Paranormal Investigation Bureau. Come join her adventures as she chases the bad guys while helping with crimes that don’t make it to the authorities.

Reading Order:

No More Black Magic-Book One
Deathly Magic-Book Two
(not available on Kindle Unlimited) Demon Days- A Case File of Abigail Collins Short Story, available in A Weird Thing Happened at the Bookfest Anthology

**** Free On Kindle Unlimited****

Just a Little Death

When most kids go to college, they think freedom, excitement, and maybe they are just a bit terrified. My experience was different. In addition to getting to know the new roommate and some serious test anxiety, I found out I was the daughter of Death. But learning that three others and I are supposed to stop the apocalypse from happening was more than just a little terrifying. The world may be ending and angels, demons and horsemen have become part of my everyday life, things suddenly seem impossible. I am Sammy Zadkeil and I am a Child of the Apocalypse.

New Release: New Bloom by A.E. Gamrat

Title: New Bloom
Author: A.E. Gamrat
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Graduating college and knowing how the next chapter of your life will play out is a big deal, right? How much more could someone ask for?

 

Gwen has always followed every rule her mother gave her. With her future planned for her, she never really had the time for fun or boys. Never really learned how to let loose, go with the flow.
What happens when all the plans she thought were laid out for her are pulled out from under her feet? Add in the mysterious man that pops into the flower shop stirring emotions she has never had before, and she is in for the ride of her sheltered life.
Growing up is hard, and Gwen’s in for a growing experience she never planned on.

Growing up writing was second nature that soon become a distant memory. Turning 30 (not saying when) that memory was going to be brought back to life. Lover of all books I try to grab my audience in and never let go. Hoping to get all these thoughts and ideas down for everyone to enjoy, even if it’s a moment or a life time.

This is the new chapter of my life story. Hope everyone enjoys!

 

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Release Day Blitz: Knight of Pentacles by Nina Mason

coverToday we celebrate the release of Knight of Pentacles, book three in Nina Mason’s Knights of the Tarot series. Unlike the first two books in the series, which Nina revised and re-released on May 24, Knight of Pentacles has never been released before.

Knight of Pentacles, an erotic PNR/UF set primarily on Scotland’s Black Isle, tells of the romance between Sir Axel Lochlann, who guards the portal into Avalon, and Jenna Cameron, the daughter of a witch who hasn’t yet discovered her powers. Their love story is based on the old Scottish ballad of Tam Lin, which plays an important role in the book.

 

Here’s the blurb:

The future looks bleak for Jenna Cameron when, after a five-year engagement, her fiancé breaks it off the night before the wedding. Hoping to regroup, Jenna decides to drive alone to the cottage on Scotland’s mysterious Black Isle where they were supposed to spend their honeymoon. When her car breaks down, Jenna wonders if her troubles can get any worse. Then, while cutting through a secluded glen, she sees a handsome man bathing in a waterfall. The next day, she learns the man she saw is the faery knight who guards the portal into Avalon, the otherworld island ruled by Morgan Le Fay.

Jenna, ready to be rid of the virginity she’s saved in vain, offers herself to Sir Axel Lochlann, the shaman knight of Faery Glen. From that moment on, she finds herself inside a faery tale complete with druids, goblins, runic magic, and vampire owls. She also discovers powers she didn’t know she had—powers she can use to break Sir Axel’s bonds to Queen Morgan.

First, however, she must persuade Axel to put his desire to be free ahead of his duty to the queen he’s sworn to serve and obey.

Here’s a little more about the Knights of the Tarot series:

Knights of the Tarot, a four-part series, was born of a relatively simple concept. Nina wanted to write a paranormal/fantasy series incorporating different forms of divination. Tarot cards, astrology, runes, numerology, and the like. From that kernel grew the overarching storyline. The heroes of this contemporary paranormal series are Scottish noblemen of times past who were taken by the faeries into Avalon to serve as breeding drones to the queen, the legendary Morgan le Fay. Each of the books tells the story of a particular knight and the heroine whose love saves him from his unhappy existence.

Each hero grapples with a different relationship with their cruel and selfish queen. Callum Lyon, the knight of book one (Knight of Wands), is free of Morgan’s influence, having escaped Avalon after faking his death. Leith MacQuill, the knight of book two (Knight of Cups), was expelled from Avalon after the queen discovered his affair with one of the ladies of her court. To punish Leith, Morgan cursed him so any women he should fall in love with in the future would die.
In Knight of Pentacles, Axel Lochlann is still enslaved to the queen, who he serves as a guardian of the portal between the mortal and immortal realms.

The Knight of Swords (book four) is Finn MacKnight does not yet know he is destined to fulfill an ancient prophecy telling of the queen’s overthrow by a natural-born drone.
The knights are blood-drinking shape-shifters who can assume the form of any creature, real or mythical, but generally take the form of their alter ego. Callum’s preferred form is a lion, Leith’s is a Kellas Cat, Axel’s is a gyrfalcon, and Finn’s is a jaguar.

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Haven’t read the first two books in the Knights of the Tarot series?
No worries. Both are on sale this week for only 99 cents!

Knight of Wands
Knight of Cups

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giveawayAxel Lochlann, the hero of Knight of Pentacles is a Highlander of Viking descent who uses runes for divination and magic. For those who don’t know what runes are, they’re the letters of an alphabet called the Futhark, the first system of writing developed and used by the Germanic peoples.

More than just letters to make words, each rune is an ideographic or pictographic symbol of some cosmological principle or power. When written together in various sequences, the powers can be invoked to cast protective spells. Individual runes carved into stones, bone, or wood are used to seek the guidance and wisdom of the Old Norse gods, especially Odin, who discovered the runes after hanging upside down for nine days from Yggdrasil, the Old Norse tree of life .

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GIVEAWAY!

Order Knight of Pentacles today for a chance to win the beautiful blue-onyx runes pictured above. To enter, simply email your proof of purchase to NinaMasonAuthor@gmail.com.

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Here’s an excerpt from Knight of Pentacles:

As the sputtering engine gasped its last, Jenna Cameron set her forehead against the steering wheel and groaned. Could this day get any worse? As if it weren’t enough her world had turned upside down, now her car decided to quit in the dead of night on a desolate stretch of road with no bloody cellular signal.

If not for the dream she’d had last night, she’d be Mrs. William Comstock right now, on her way to the honeymoon cottage she’d rented with the man she’d waited five long and frustrating years to marry.

The thought of William sent a chill through Jenna. In the dream, she’d seen herself driving off the edge of a cliff. She was married to William and utterly miserable. As her car soared over the edge of the precipice, she heard her mother’s voice. “The right man is out there, waiting for you to find him. But it will never be if you bind yourself to a man you don’t love.”

As soon as she awoke, she rang William. When she told him about the dream, he said, as she’d secretly hoped he would, “I was willing to overlook that your mother was a witch because I believed your father had safely guided you away from the path of darkness, but now I see that, like her, you have been led astray. I pray someday you will embrace the Light of God, Jenna. I truly do. But, for now, I cannot risk my own immortal soul by marrying someone so susceptible to the darkness.”

William, a Presbyterian pastor like her father, blamed everything he did not understand on the devil.

As relieved as Jenna was to have escaped, the sudden change of course had thrown her life into chaos. Expecting to be married, she’d given up her job and flat in Edinburgh and, consequently, was left with no source of income and nowhere to live.

So, she was on her way to the rented cottage in Rosemarkie, a small seaside town on Scotland’s Black Isle. Since she couldn’t get her deposit back, it seemed like a good idea to use the cottage to reflect and regroup.

Coming all this way alone had suddenly lost its appeal, but here she was—and wallowing in self-pity was not going to solve anything. According to the Google map she’d printed out, she wasn’t far from her destination. She might as well suck it up and walk the rest of the way. When she got there, she could ring a garage about her car.

Grabbing her purse, her forest-green wool cloak, and the battery-powered torch she kept in the glove box, she climbed out of the car and set off along the rural tree-lined road, which was dark and a little spooky. No cars passed her in either direction. Crickets chirped all around and small rustlings from the surrounding woods startled her sporadically. Senses alert, she stopped repeatedly to check her mobile for a signal.

Her heart pounded and, despite the chill in the air, she was sweating under her cloak and sweater. The only good thing she could say about her present predicament was that her fear of being torn to pieces by wild animals had temporarily eclipsed her other worries.
She didn’t know how long she’d been walking when she came to an old stone bridge. Just beyond was a sign. She shone the beam of her torch at the words carved into the wooden plaque.

Faery Glen.

extra pictureJenna took heart. She’d read something about the glen on the website for the cottage, so she shouldn’t have much farther to go. Unfortunately, she needed to pee rather urgently. Might there be somewhere to go in the glen?
Venturing into a forest in the middle of the night might not be the smartest thing she’d ever done, but her bladder was bursting and she wasn’t about to tinkle by the side of the road. Just because no cars had gone by since she’d started walking, didn’t mean one wouldn’t appear the moment she dropped her knickers. Besides, there was a carpark abutting the glen, so there might be a public lavatory there as well.

Up above, the sky was an indigo canvas splattered with specks of white, some larger than others. She crossed the small asphalt lot. Finding no bathroom, she squatted in the bushes. When she’d finished her business, she shone the torch into the glen. Everything outside the beam was pitch black. Water ran somewhere nearby. Thirst drew her down the footpath. All that crying had made her as parched as a dry sponge.

I’ll only go a little ways, find the stream, and take a wee sip.

The hollow clomp of her footsteps disturbed the silence as she crossed a wooden bridge. On the other side, the path curved sharply. In a clearing just beyond the turn were the falls. In the silver light of the full moon, the cascading water reminded her of the bridal veil she might never get a chance to wear.

Then, she saw him. A man in the pool below the falls. He was stark naked, soaking wet, and had his back to her.

Alarm electrifying every nerve ending, she stepped back into the shadows. Her first thought was that he might be a homeless man who’d taken refuge in the woods. He had a beard and long hair, so it seemed the most logical explanation. Her next thought was that he might be performing some sort of ritual. She was on the Black Isle, after all, in a place called Faery Glen on the night of a full moon, so his being a New Age warlock or druid didn’t seem all that infeasible. A long shot, perhaps, but not meters outside the realm of possibility.

When curiosity overrode her apprehension, she stepped closer to get a better look at him. The moonlight bathing his glistening physique revealed a tall, slender frame with broad shoulders, narrow hips, and a shapely bum. Wetness and poor lighting made telling the color of his hair impossible. Light brown, maybe, or dark blond. She started a little when he bent over and shook his head like a dog. As he threw it back, he raised his muscular white arms to push the clinging wet hair off his face.

Despite her long engagement and having achieved the ripe age of twenty-five, she’d never seen a naked man before. Not in the flesh, anyway, and watching this one bathing in the wild was making her feel things she shouldn’t. The prospect of being caught spying on him was even more unsettling.

Ducking behind the thick trunk of the nearest tree, she watched as he continued his bath. Drunk on a tart cocktail of shame and lust, she took in the graceful slope of his shoulders, the long muscles supporting his serrated spine, and the alluring dimples just below the small of his back. His beautiful form and the way the moonlight sparkled on the droplets clinging to his skin made her pulse race and her knees weaken.

A strong urge to touch him welled up inside her. How badly she wanted to run her hands over every glistening curve and indentation of his manly form—both for prurient reasons and to absorb some of his confidence the way plants absorbed sunlight. As exposed as he was to the elements, he seemed admirably comfortable in his skin.

She’d never felt that at ease with herself, even when alone. All her life, she’d been made to feel inferior. As much as she didn’t want to believe that she was, part of her did.
Mesmerized by the man in the pool, she went on watching. Something told her he was like her mother. Esoteric rather than religious. Open-minded instead of rigid. Accepting, not judging. She couldn’t say how or why she sensed this about him. She only knew she felt it deep down in some instinctive part of her psyche.

Hope fluttered in her heart. Could he be the one her mother spoke of in the dream? Scoffing at her romantic delusions, she smashed the thought with the rock of reason and headed back to the footpath.

About the author:
NM_Author PhotoNina Mason is an incurable romantic who strives to write the same kind of books she loves to read: those that entertain, edify, educate, and enlighten. In addition to the Knights of the Tarot series, she is the author of Royal Pains, an erotic historical series following a Scottish duke and duchess through the hedonism and intrigues of the Restoration period, and Sins Against the Sea, a paranormal romance steeped in the myth and magic of the Scottish Isles.
Born and raised in Southern California, Ms. Mason currently lives with her family in Woodstock, Georgia. When she isn’t writing, she makes art dolls and works as a consultant for Pure Romance, a line of relationship-enhancement products.

Visit Nina’s website: http://ninamasonauthor.com
Follow Nina on Facebook: http://facebook.com/ninamasonromance
Follow Nina on Twitter: http://twitter.com/ninamasonauthor
Subscribe to Nina’s newsletter: https://vr2.verticalresponse.com/s/authorninamasonsnewsletter

New Release: Just a Little Death by A.L. Kessler

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Just a Little Death

by A.L. Kessler

Release Day May 16th 2016

Available on- Amazon

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When most kids go to college, they think freedom, excitement, and maybe they are just a bit terrified. My experience was different. In addition to getting to know the new roommate and some serious test anxiety, I found out I was the daughter of Death. But learning that three others and I are supposed to stop the apocalypse from happening was more than just a little terrifying. The world may be ending and angels, demons and horsemen have become part of my everyday life, things suddenly seem impossible. I am Sammy Zadkeil and I am a Child of the Apocalypse.

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A lone figure stood to our left, his back to us. His black robe billowed in the howling winds. His brown hair moved with the air and wrapped in his arms was a scythe, as if he was leaning on it during a hug.

Death.

My gaze moved back to Ruthie and she nodded and motioned towards him. “Go.”

“Alone?” I whispered, my eyes wide. I’d never met him, like hell I was just going to walk up. What was I supposed to say? Death chuckled. “I can hear you. Ruthie, I didn’t expect you to bring a friend. I wanted to speak to you specifically.”

“Sorry, my friend is my charge. Perhaps you heard?” She offered, and we both took a few steps towards him. He spun around. His face was angular and his pupils had skulls in them. My heart stopped at the sight of him. I had expected myself to be filled with hatred if I ever met my father, but now…now I wasn’t sure what the emotion flooding through me was.

“Pest, Famine, and War told me what the boys were up to. I didn’t know you were playing a part in it. What did you learn?” His gaze fell to me and the smirk he wore disappeared.

“Impossible.”

“So…I’m your daughter, apparently, and my mother was an angel at some point in life…my name’s Sammy.” I waved my hands around like an idiot as I talked. It sounded stupid, but it was the best I had at the moment.

He walked around me and I could feel his gaze studying. “Yeah, you’re mine all right.”

Neon signs anyone? I kept my sarcasm down for the moment. I bit my lip as I stared up at him. I couldn’t help but wonder where he had disappeared to and why he didn’t think to look for me himself. Why were Pete, Aeron and Kaleb given the task? I clenched my fist.

“What is it?” He asked, his voice even.

I tried to think about how I wanted to word it. “Where the hell have you been for the last eighteen years?”

His eyes widened slightly. “I didn’t know you existed.”

“Yet, at least four other people thought to come find me, and you sat here, not even curious as to why you couldn’t knock up another angel?” I growled through my locked jaw.

He raised a brow. “I assumed it wasn’t my time to have a child and I thought that War and Pest had lost it and were on a wild goose chase.”

“This is too much.” I turned away from him. “Demons, horsemen, fallen angels, and a long lost father.” I shook my head. “No.”

“No?” Death asked.

“No. I’m not doing this. Send me back home.” I snapped.

Ruthie stepped up and put a hand on my shoulder. I pulled away. “Sammy, we can’t do that. We need to figure out what is going on and the first step is here, with your dad.”

“A dad isn’t someone who just pops into your life. This isn’t about reconciling with family, it’s about all the crazy stuff that I’ve been dragged into in the course of two days.”

“I know,” Ruthie kept her voice even and faced me. “But you’re not going to face this alone. You’re not going in alone. We are here to help. All of us. For now, let’s just focus on the here and now.”

I took a deep breath and tried to push all the anger and confusion out of the way. I could get used to Death being my father, I could handle demons and crazy things…maybe.

“So…now what?” I asked after a moment of silence.

“Now we start training you on your job. The boys can be called back now that we know you exist.” He came to a stop in front of me. He let the scythe fall from his hand, and like Aeron’s sword it disappeared. He wrapped his arms around me and held me close.

I didn’t know what I expected, but he was warm against me and wrapped in his arms I had the feeling of being home. I belonged there, with him, and some of my anger melted away. I wrapped my arms around him and took comfort in his embrace. For a moment, I forgot about the demon and the crazy math teacher.

He let go and looked down at me. “Had I known, I would have come for you sooner. Your mother never even tried to contact me.”

“I have a feeling she’s going to be as shocked as you are.” I glanced at Ruthie. “Though there’s a reason we were going to contact you.”

He turned to the angel. “Yes?”

“Famine is missing, and judging by the plague that’s about to wipe out a fourth of the United States, Pest is missing as well.”

Death’s eyes snapped back to me and I held my hands up. “I swear I have nothing to do with that part.”

He gave a bob of his head. “I’ve noticed their presences were weak. They are still alive, but not on this plane of existence. It’s why I called you here. I wanted a status on what was going on. Them disappearing from both planes means one thing…”

“They’ve been sealed away again.” Ruthie snarled. “I was worried about that. There’s been more demon activity lately, we had a demon show up at the school.” He paced back and forth for a moment. “You and Sammy work with the boys to figure out what is going on. I’ll do what I can from my realm, here. If need be, I’ll come help you fight, but once you figure out where the seals are you let me know. I’ll be the one to release them.”

“Sammy is going to need to learn to fight and control her abilities when she gets them.” He glanced at me and a small smile crossed his lips. “We have her come here to work with me. After classes and when her mother’s not around. I don’t want to involve her.”

“That won’t be a problem, I chose the college farthest away from home that I could get in state.” I shrugged. “I wanted to make sure she didn’t go all mama bear and visit every weekend.”

They both laughed. Death put a pale hand on my shoulder. “Then you’ll come here and I’ll teach you. Like I should have been since you were a child.”

“I guess it’s time I decide that this isn’t a dream.”

“Far from it. We’ll start tomorrow.” He looked to Ruthie. “Keep her safe until then. Keep an eye out for the Sins.”

“The Sins?” I asked.

Ruthie nodded. “How much do you know about the Seven Deadly Sins?”

“If you’re lucky, I might be able to name them.”

Ruthie put the palm of her hand to her head. Death sighed. “The Seven Deadly Sins are high level demons. They work closely with the Devil in causing havoc. I can promise you if the other three horsemen disappeared, they have something to do with it.”

Wasn’t that a pleasant thought. “Lust, Envy, Sloth, Gluttony, Pride, Wrath and Greed.” I muttered.

“If all seven of them get together in the same place…” Ruthie whistled. “Chaos, think about it like a frat party gone nuclear.”

I didn’t want to think about it, I was still trying to wrap my head around everything. “So how do we stop them?”

“We fight against them.” She said easily.

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A.L. Kessler is the author of the Amazon Best Selling series Here Witchy Witchy. She’s a member of the Pikes Peak Writers and Midnight Writers in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Her newest book

Just a Little Death is her newest release. Her coffee and chocolate addiction get her through her busy life of being a mom, wife, student, and author. You can find out more about her at http://www.amylkessler.com

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