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Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Fighting for Home Descendants of the Amazoi Book One by Kim Richards

 







Fighting for Home
Descendants of the Amazoi
Book One
Kim Richards

Genre: fantasy/historical fantasy
Publisher: Kim Gilchrist
Date of Publication: July 2020
Print ISBN: 978-1-952564-00-0
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952564-02-4
Number of pages: 241
Word Count: 87,616

Cover Artist: DawnĂ© Dominique DusktilDawn  Designs

Book Description:

In 300 B.C.—the Greco-Roman Age—tribes of warrior women thrived near the Black Sea. The area is now modern-day Turkey. The Greeks called them Amazoi (meaning Mankiller).

Inspired by their story, Fighting for Home sings the tale of one tribe as they battle to save their way of life. Healing magic is real! Ilenea and Saphira, the wolf sisters, battle close to home with others of their generation. A healer priestess named Essla travels to a temple of Artemis at Anthela with her male slave, bringing a call to arms for the pending war. She meets and falls in love with a Roman General.

Whatever the outcome, this war changes everyone.

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Excerpt:

Thup. Thup. The second archer cried out as two of Xanthi’s arrows buried themselves into his thigh and hip. He let his own arrow fly. Leaves rustled where his arrows disappeared among the tree branches. He fumbled with an arrow, trying to notch it quickly when he heard the rustle again.

The archer looked up as Xanthi leaped from the bushes with her spear in hand. There was no time for him to raise his bow before the bronze point burrowed its way through his leather cuirass, seeking the tender flesh beneath.

At his wretched cry, the shield man to the left took a wild swing with his sword. He caught Xanthi just below the left collarbone. It sliced through her leather jerkin, taking breast flesh with it.

Crying out from the pain, she fell to her knees as blood poured from the gash. One hand pressed against the wound as her other fumbled for her knife.

Xanthi’s man turned his attention from her. He should’ve advanced. Celete used it to her advantage and swung her axe up the inside of his shield. It’s blade cleaved his stomach wide open. His guts spilled out over her hand—hot and sticky. He toppled sideways, landing in the dirt before Xanthi. With a roar befitting any lioness, she clawed at his face for what he did to her.

 

About the Author:

Kim Richards lives in Northern California with her husband and pets. She loves the genres of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. Her hobbies include reading, writing, sewing, LARPing, and listening to music.












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Monday, December 14, 2020

Death Masks by Kim Richards

 

 Death Masks by Kim Richards




The pumpkin version of this cheesecake became a favorite of my Mom before she passed. I made it for every fall and winter family gathering. Give it a try! ~Kim Richards

Sweet Potato/Pumpkin Cheesecake

For Crust
2 Cups gingersnap cookie crumbs (about 30 cookies crushed)
6 Tbsp melted butter
Or (for a more keto/carb friendly version) substitute crushed walnuts for cookie crumbs and butter.

For Filling:

3-8 oz packages softened cream cheese
½ Cup butter melted
1 1/3 Cups sugar (or mix half brown sugar and half white if preferred) can substitute stevia
1 Cup cooked and mashed sweet potatoes or pumpkin
¾ tsp. ground cinnamon
¾ tsp. ground nutmeg
3 Tbsp bourbon (or 1 tsp. almond flavoring)
1 tsp. vanilla
4 Eggs

Note: The recipe says sweet potato or pumpkin.  You can use either or do a mixture of half pumpkin and half sweet potato if you like.


For Topping:

1 ½ Cups sour cream
2 Tbsp sugar (or stevia)
1 ½ tsp. burbon (or vanilla)
Ground cinnamon

In a medium bowl, combine the crust ingredients and stir to mix well.  Press crumb crust into the bottom and 1-inch up sides of a buttered 10 ½ spring form pan.  Bake crust in a 350 degree oven 8-10 minutes until just starting to deepen in color.  Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl (or food processor) combine filling ingredients, beat until smooth. 

Pour batter into the prepared crust.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Then turn the oven temperature down to 300 degrees and continue baking for 35 minutes; Then again, turn oven temperature down to 250 degrees and continue baking 20-30 minutes until cheesecake is set around the edges and barely jiggles at the center.  Remove from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees.

Mix topping ingredients and spread evenly over top of cheesecake. Dust with cinnamon if desired. Bake for five minutes to just set the topping. Remove from oven and cool completely. Cover and chill for several hours, remove from pan and serve.  

Makes 16 servings.

Death Masks 
Author’s New Updated Edition
Kim Richards

Genre:  Thriller
Publisher: Kim Richards
Date of Publication:  June 3, 2020
Digital ISBN: 978-1-952564-01-7
Audio:  978-1-952564-50-5
Number of pages:  146
Word Count: 53,826

Cover Artist: Dawné Dominique DusktilDawn Designs

Tagline:    Let’s hunt a serial murderer!

Book Description: 

Bill Cristo reluctantly takes up an exercise routine. One evening, he takes a jog and comes face-to-face with a killer. His local metro park is no longer safe for anyone. Unsure of why he survived that first encounter, Bill is determined to catch the murderer before anyone else dies. Then it sets its sights on his girlfriend.

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Listen to a Soundcloud 15 minute Excerpt 


Excerpt

It took less than a second for the young man to fall. Impact with the hard ground cut off his yelp. He rolled on his back with wide eyes. His fear, thick and tangible, mingled with the stench of rotted leaves and dust as the syringe’s needle pushed into his skin, taking a moment to pierce the earliest layers of flesh.

Standing back, emotionless brown eyes watched him thrash and struggle to scramble to his feet. The poor bastard looked drunk. It waited, breathing steadily as the jogger’s cries faded and his body fell back among loose sticks, pebbles and crumbling leaves. The predator strode a few steps forward to stand over the man’s shuddering form. It bent low, leaning just enough to peer deep into the wide pale blue eyes of its now-paralyzed victim. Then it grasped the man’s ankles and dragged him into the shadows, among the low foliage, and set to work.

About the Author:

Kim Richards lives in Northern California where she works for the County Disease Control Covid 19 Task Force as clerical support for testing. She loves to sew, write, garden, and read. She also enjoys crafting to relax and is always looking for new ways to create.

Author webpage: www.kim-richards.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kim_richards

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KimRichardsAuthor/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kimrichards5576/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kim_richards

Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/KimRichards

Newsletter sign up:  https://forms.aweber.com/form/12/2104744212.htm

Amazon Author Page:  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00APPEHK4






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Wednesday, December 9, 2020

A Demon’s Witch Book One by Tena Stetler

 




Fantastic Molasses/Ginger Cookies

Ingredients:

1 ½ cup brown sugar  ¾ shortening/butter (1/2 cup butter or ¼ cup shorting)
1 large egg
¾ cup molasses
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups sifted all purpose flour  - for high altitude above 4,000 ft., add ¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves (I don’t care for cloves so I replace with pumpkin pie spice)
2 tablespoons ginger
¼ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking soda
Decorating sugar mixed with white sugar for decorating 

Directions:

Cream sugar and butter. Add eff and beat until fluffy.  Add molasses and extract, mix well.  Combine dry ingredients and add slowly to creamed mixture.  It will be a thick dough.  Chill at least 30 minutes.  I chill mine for at least an hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Form dough into one-inch balls and roll in the sugar.  Place the balls on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes, depending on the size of your balls and your oven.  Cool tray on cooling rack for 10 minutes before placing in a container.   
You can also roll the dough out and use cookie cutters.


A Demon’s Witch
Book One
Tena Stetler

Genre:  Paranormal Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Date of Publication:  9-25-2015
ISBN: 978-1-5092-0309-3
ASIN:  B014BVSZIC
Number of pages:  314
Word Count: 82,115
Cover Artist: Kris Norris

Tagline:  Undeniable attraction and dark secrets between demon and witch promises to tear apart their professional and personal worlds.

Book Description:  

Keeping a lid on all the paranormal beings inhabiting Washington D.C., is a daunting job. Bruce, a six hundred year old demon and the Territory Overlord of the Western Hemisphere, keeps his finger on the pulse of DC’s power players through the activities at his highly successful Wycked Hair Salon. His movie star good looks and body builder physique keeps his dance card full and the rumor mills running.  Within these walls, his anonymity is safe, mostly. 

Bruce’s world spins out of control when Angelique, a pint size, gorgeous witch, with an attitude breezes through the doors of his salon. She is the younger sister of Tristian, Bruce’s long time trusted enforcer, whose professional skills are second to none. Tristian is furious at the relationship between Bruce and Angelique, a dangerous situation, but something darker awaits them all. Yet undeniable attraction between demon and witch promises to tear apart both their professional and personal worlds.

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/9e5djB0mwVE

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Kobo      BN       iTunes       Wild Rose Press

Wal-mart     Google Play      Goodreads     BookBub




Excerpt

A feeling of dark foreboding, like storm clouds forming on the horizon before a violent storm, washed over Bruce as he maneuvered the SUV into the parking lot behind The Krystal Unicorn.

Tristian was already there and it wasn’t to give his report. Bruce could feel the fury in Tristian’s magic signature hanging in the air. A silver tipped arrow penetrated the windshield, split the arm securing the rearview mirror, and stuck in the headrest a quarter inch from Bruce’s neck. Blue liquid oozed from the tip and a stream of red mist escaped from the other end of the arrow. 

“Hold your breath and don’t open the door or windows. The influx of fresh air will spread the poison.” He hissed though his teeth not daring to take a breath.

Air pressure inside the vehicle changed, Angie’s head felt like it was going to explode. “Bruce.” She whispered into his mind, a benefit of being mated.

 “I know, just a few seconds more, I’ve got it handled.” His deep smooth voice floated reassuringly in her mind, as he reached over caressing her shoulder.

The pressure eased and the red mist sucked in on itself disappearing along with the oozing liquid. He pulled the arrow from the headrest, fingering the hole in the upholstery.

Through gritted teeth, Bruce growled. “His first mistake was that he missed me. His second deadly mistake was he risked your life. That is unforgivable.” Those two things also told Bruce that Tristian wasn’t thinking clearly, fury was coloring his judgment. That gave Bruce an edge, though the attack caught him off guard. He hadn’t expected Tristian’s attack to put his sister at risk.

The console between them lowered to seat level. He hoped to add  fuel to the fury burning inside Tristian. Bruce put his arm around Angie’s waist and pulled her against him, his lips pressed against hers then gently covered her mouth as his tongue traced the soft fullness of her lips. He drew back, touched his lips to hers again trailing them down to the pulsing hollow of her neck and whispered, “You’re going into the shop now, Willow is waiting just on the other side of the door. Please stay there, you’ll be able to remain in my mind just don’t interfere. I need your presence there as a calming one. Willow can help you.”

“I don’t understand.”

“I know, there wasn’t time to explain how everything works and I’m not exactly sure myself. Only that I can feel you in my mind and I assume you can feel me in yours.”

“Yes, it’s a weird sensation,” Angie said a tremor in her voice. 

 “We’ll learn together to use it to our benefit, now is as good a time as any to practice.”

She snorted, “Sure, our lives are on the line. No big deal.” She threw up her hands.

About the Author: 

Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance with an over-active imagination.  She wrote her first vampire romance as a tween, to the chagrin of her mother and the delight of her friends. Colorado is home; shared with her husband, a brilliant Chow Chow, a spoiled parrot and a forty-five-year-old box turtle. When she’s not writing, her time is spent kayaking, camping, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the great Colorado outdoors. 

 Her books tell tales of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, adventure and a bit of mystery flourish in her books along with a few companion animals to round out the tales



















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Monday, December 7, 2020

Cover Reveal Hidden Dragon by Genevieve Jack

 

Cover Reveal Hidden Dragon by Genevieve Jack

Hidden Dragon
The Treasure of Paragon 
Book Seven
Genevieve Jack

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Carpe Luna Publishing
Date of Publication: April 27th, 2021
ISBN: 978-1-940675-60-2
ASIN: B08NSL12TL
Cover Artist: Deranged Doctor Designs

Tagline: Her gift was to see—until their future was hidden.

Book Description:

Her gift was to see—until their future was hidden.

Dianthe’s second sight has always been both a blessing and a curse. She can’t control her visions, yet they’re unerringly accurate…until an erroneous prophecy results in the destruction of her homeland. The revelation crushes her spirit and endangers her role in the rebellion to take back the Kingdom of Paragon.

Sylas, dragonshifter and exiled prince, is the leader of the rebellion, but he can no longer rely on his mate Dianthe’s psychic powers. To protect his mission, he has to shut her out, which strains their connection to the breaking point.

When changing circumstances accelerate the rebellion’s plans, Sylas must weigh his loyalty to his people against the instincts his dragon mating bond makes impossible to ignore. Then Dianthe has a world-altering vision, one that she’s certain is true. Can Sylas learn to trust her again before it’s too late? Or will his loyalty to the cause mean the end of their relationship?


Purchase Links 

About the Author:

USA Today bestselling and award-winning author Genevieve Jack writes wild, witty, and wicked-hot paranormal romance and fantasy.

Coffee and wine are her biofuel, the love lives of witches, shifters, and vampires her favorite topic of conversation. She harbors a passion for old cemeteries and ghost tours, thanks to her years at a high school rumored to be haunted.

Her perfect day involves the beach, her laptop, and one crazy dog.







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





Csodaszarvas
By Laura Bickle

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

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

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

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

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

Cover Artist: Danielle Fine

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

Book Description: 

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

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

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

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

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



Excerpt Book One:

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

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

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

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

            This. I’m supposed to fix this.

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

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

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

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

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

            “Will do.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

            I rushed out into the parking lot and stopped short.

            “What the actual hell—”

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

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

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

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

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

            “Stop!” I shouted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 



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

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

Book Description:

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

Book Description:

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

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

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

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

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




About the Author:

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











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