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Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Trial of a Tyrant The Assassin of Acreage Book Two by R. L. McIntyre

 


The Trial of a Tyrant
The Assassin of Acreage 
Book Two
R. L. McIntyre

Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Indie publishing on KDP
Date of Publication: 4/24/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7365182-3-6
ASIN: B08WX7TYJ1
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: ~ 90,0000
Cover Artist: Getcovers

Tagline: Nothing cuts deeper than the truth.

Book Description:

Putting a tyrant on trial could cost everything.

Serena, the great Death Sparrow, saw the sacrifices made at Bathon. She knows to dethrone the Tyrant King would require more than even she is willing to give. The only advantage Serena has left is her magic. As she begins to explore this part of herself, the ever-watchful gaze of the General follows her. He knows that his son Wesley, and her are involved, and relishes in this new game of cat and mouse. It isn’t just Serena who is ready to do anything for her friends. Wesley will risk the same to see his father stays far away from Serena, but he cannot stop the King alone. Together they must keep nine lords alive during the trial or risk the gallows ending everything.

Serena vows to do the unthinkable at every turn. Bow before the Tyrant and his General, play the role of a court Lady and use her magic in secret to give them a fighting chance. However, in this game of secrets, it isn’t only the King’s that are under scrutiny.

The Shadow Heir is coming, and he knows everything about the Death Sparrow and her friends, including her magic. 



Excerpt

Serena scowled as she worked on Wesley’s tattered back. The General’s hand, his father’s hand, was crueler than even she realized. He was in considerable pain but hissed through his breaths with controlled ease. Her anger rattled her breaths as she grabbed the nearby bandages.

“Sit up,” she ordered.

Wesley sat up on the bed turning to face her. He removed the remains of his shirt leaving her face to face with his naked chest. Several white scars decorated it, but her eyes rested on the well-formed mountains he had for muscles. His abs were perfect. His whole body reminded her of a warrior God. A blush grew on her cheeks as she remembered feeling his muscles through his shirt, but now she could see them without interference. She sucked in a breath, trying to focus on the task while her eyes wandered every inch of him.

A smirk crossed Wesley’s face. He gently grabbed her hand, pulling her closer.

“Do you like what you see?” He held her hand against his chest. She could feel his muscles shift with his every breath. It ignited a warmth in her stomach she tried to control.
Her face flushed, and she pulled back steadying her breaths. “Stop distracting me,” she said, unrolling the bandage and holding it to his chest as she reached around him to wrap his back. He placed his hand over hers. The warmth of the touch drew her eyes to his. The look in them held her still. Without words she could feel his every thought. The blush on her cheeks grew as the fire in her stomached grew even hotter.

“Stop,” she breathed.

“Are you sure you want me to?”

Serena took a deep breath that filled her nose with myrrh. She nearly whimpered at how it only seemed to make things worse but still she pulled her hand away. She focused on the bandages. The soft, cold bandages. The feel of his naked body against her arms continued to fluster her. His breaths seemed to pull her closer as she tried to finish quickly. Wesley grabbed her waist and pulled her tight. She tripped into him, her momentum almost knocking him onto his back. He chuckled, holding her close as his arms wrapped around her. She glared down at him, while a playful grin covered his face as he looked up at her.

“I fear I am a distraction.” He smirked. Daryl left the room as she bent her head down towards his, so her lips hovered above Wesley’s. There was a hunger in his eyes. She felt it too, but she refused to let him know so easily.

“I may be distracted,” she said, letting her eyes drop to his lips before gently licking her own. He edged up towards her. “but it isn’t enough for me to lose focus.” She pushed him back a smirk gleaming on her lips as she returned to the bandages. Wesley sat stiffly, almost pouting as she finished. His eyes carefully watched her ever move. She began to wash her hands in the basin when he bolted up behind her and snatched her waist. She yelled out, his warmth and presence keeping her assassin instincts at bay as he spun her, pinning her between the pole of his bedframe and him.

“You’re finished now. So, stop teasing and kiss me,”

“Is that an order?”

“We both know I cannot order you to do anything.”

She smirked and leaned up to him. His lips laid on hers. A gentle kiss that filled her with a warmth that chased away the darkness that suffocated her heart. He kissed her harder, igniting the hunger she barely kept at bay. He pulled her waist tight, drawing her even closer to him. She gasped at the sensation, continuing their kiss as she moved her hands to his neck and cheek. She carefully avoided his back as she tried to feel as close to him as possible. Her hands wandered as his possessively held her still.

“Can you please not,” said a voice. She looked at the door, lust heavy in her eyes as she saw Sam. Her stomach dropped as she understood what he just saw.

“Sam-”

“I know you chose him; I’d just not like to see it. Now I was here on business, not pleasure like some people.” He said coldly.

“Sam, that isn’t what-” she started feeling the pain that was in his eyes. It felt like tiny shards of glass piercing her skin.

“Enough, Serena!” he snapped angrily. “I don’t have anything to say to you.” She flinched at those words. The pain quickly turned to anger as she moved past Wesley to Sam. He would not talk to her like that. Of all people he knew better.

She shoved him back into the parlor. He stumbled catching himself before he fell.

“Don’t disrespect your better. You want to keep things all about business. Fine, then remember who is above you, Viper.” She growled. He glared back at her.

“Fine Sparrow, but I wasn’t here to talk to you. So, if you don’t mind.” He growled, turning to Wesley.

“What do you want?” Wesley asked, an edge of annoyance in his voice. She wasn’t sure who he was annoyed at.

Sam looked at Wesley’s bandages and scoffed. “I’ve figured out how I can help. I want you to add me to your guards. Once I’m in, I can get into the King’s personal guard. I’ll earn his trust.”

“Can I trust you to not stab me in the back?”

Sam let out a cynical laugh. Serena felt more on edge with that laugh. Her muscles primed for an attack.

“Trust? Is that how you convinced her? I don’t need you to trust me. I can do this without your help if I want, but we all decided on a plan. I just need you to work with me. I’ll repay the favor.”

“That doesn’t answer the question,”

“You truly do not understand assassins.” He looked at Serena a look of mockery on his face. “We do what we must for our own gains. Why she stands by your side is as perplexing as why the moon shines when the sun is out. It is useless.” Sam stepped closer to Wesley who stood stiffly glaring at him. “Do you see yourself holding onto the things you want without my help? A few months from now summer will be in full swing. It will be the perfect time for an invasion, especially since Acreage won’t be sweltering hot like the Samorians are used to. Can you really refuse me?” His eyebrows raised to match his smirk.

“Viper,” Serena warned. Sam rolled his eyes and looked at her.

“I won’t hurt your toy. I refer to your station as long as you keep it, but the moment you lose it I won’t,” he warned.

She took a deep breath, knowing what he meant. If Gwayne heard of her relationship with Wesley, she’d lose her standing in the assassins. Gwayne would destroy her. If Sam didn’t attack her first. Looking at him, she wasn’t sure if he was still her ally or just a convenient blade hired out of necessity. When the necessity ended, was he willing to turn against her? Seeing the pain and anger in his eyes. She knew the answer was yes. So, she needed to make sure he still needed her regardless or she would suffer the fallout.

“You should remember if you want your name cleared you need me.” she retorted.

“Then perhaps when we no longer need each other, I can sever the heart you’ve so enjoyed stabbing.” She felt the pain in her own heart as if he stabbed hers. She held it back. “I expect to be added to the guard’s tomorrow. Be sure it’s done,”

He left the room falling into silence. Serena stood still a few moments calming herself. She still cared for Sam. They grew up together. He was her first everything. His pain was her pain. For so long pain and love had been the thread connecting them. For their history to stop controlling her future she could have to sever their bond, but not until it was safe.

“I should get back to Helen’s. We all have work to do.”

“I’ll walk with you,” Wesley said, throwing on a new white shirt. She looked over at him and sighed.

“I’m fine. I want to walk alone. I want to think.”

Wesley watched her walk to the door.

“Make sure to rest,” she said as she opened the door. Wesley closed the distance between and pressed the door shut. His body nearly draped over hers as she stood looking at the door.

“Serena,” His hot breath caught in the collar of her shirt sending shivers down her spine.

“I should go.”

“I don’t want you to.”

Her knees felt weak hearing those words. She inhaled deeply the scent of myrrh reminding her he was behind her. Not that she could forget. His heat was suffocating, and she didn’t care that her lungs refused to work.

She wanted to be lost with him. Lost from the world full of problems she needed to fix.

“Serena-”

“Stop.” She said forcing herself to think and not give in. Her body and heart roared against her mind. They refused to be ignored but staying would make everything more dangerous. The General could find out. That thought alone warned her that this was not the time to forget what must be done.

“Not tonight.” Her voice nearly wavered. “There is work to be done, and if I stay...” She couldn’t finish the sentence. She opened the door and Wesley stepped back letting her walk alone into the halls. Serena focused. There was no time for distractions.



About the Author: 

R. L. McIntyre is a new fantasy YA/NA writer, from the Philadelphia area, who debuted February 27th, 2021. She is a fan of all things medieval which includes her own personal sword collection. She strives to write complex and realistic characters using her knowledge of psychology. When not curled up with a book and her fur babies you’ll likely find her out on an adventure looking for her next big inspiration.








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Friday, April 23, 2021

Black Moon Rising by Mila Nicks

 


Black Moon Rising
Paranormal Hunters 
Book Two
Mila Nicks

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: 23 April 2021
ISBN: 
ASIN: B08L8W4YCF
Cover Artist: Red Leaf Book Design

Tagline: Dreams aren’t always so sweet

Book Description:

Philadelphia. Boston. New York City. 

Selene Blackstone is finally getting the chance to explore like she’s always dreamed. Once stuck in her hometown Brimrock, with the curse broken, she’s a free witch. Together in their trusty caravan Ghost, she and her paranormal investigator boyfriend Aiden O’Hare are traveling cross-country filming for their show, Paranormal Hunters. 

Their first case brings them to the colonial town Maresburg, Virginia, where the Mhoon Hotel is said to be one of the most haunted in the country. At the century-old hotel, guests experience nightmares so frightening they’re heart-stopping—literally. Selene and Aiden only have a couple of weeks to figure out if this case is a scammer at work, or if there’s some truth to what they say: dreams do come true. And so do nightmares. 


Black Moon Rising Excerpt 1:

“We’re here. Time to get up,” Aiden said, but Selene didn’t budge. He draped her arm over his shoulder and lifted her into his arms, carrying her down the passage leading into the hotel.

The foyer lights were already off except for the desk lamp at the reception counter. He staggered up the stairs, keeping his balance while holding a dozing Selene. He had no clue where her key card was and didn’t have the energy to stop and search. Instead, he fumbled for his own, sliding it into the slot on his door handle. The lock clicked and the door swung open. He delivered Selene to his bed, figuring she would wake up once she realized they were no longer driving.

But she didn’t. Aiden spent the next half hour showering and shaving. He emerged in his glasses, T-shirt, and pajama bottoms and discovered Selene was still deeply asleep. A frown curled itself onto his lips as he debated if he should try waking her again. He lowered himself at her side on the bed and gave her a gentle shake.

“Selene,” he said. His insides knotted with a strange premonition. “Wake up. We’re back at the hotel.”

Selene was the lightest sleeper he knew. It was what made her insomnia that much worse; the slightest noise normally woke her. She needed a perfect temperature and often even the bed itself kept her up if not comfortable enough. She wasn’t someone who fell into a deep hibernation type of sleep.

Her only answer to him was another sleepy moan. She rolled onto her side and snuggled one of the bed pillows. She really was knocked out.

“I didn’t realize she was this tired,” he said, sighing. He unzipped her boots, tugging them off, and then pulled the bed comforter over her.

He dimmed the lights and picked up his book for some bedtime reading. Before he made it to the armchair on the other side of the room, he stopped short. Outside the door there was an unmistakable whispery sound, like the soughing wind.

It only grew louder as he stood still and listened. The low whispering noise transformed into something rougher—something borderline ragged—and then it dawned on him. The sound wasn’t the wind but one of lungs, intaking a breath. Who those lungs belonged to, he hadn’t the faintest clue.

Aiden’s heart started racing and he straightened his shoulders. The sound was going nowhere, hovering outside the door. He had to check it out, investigate what was going on. In two of his long-legged strides, he crossed the room and pressed his eye to the peephole.

The hall was blanketed in darkness. Staring into the peephole was like staring at the inside of your lids. Yet, as Aiden held his eye against the hole, another strange premonition panged in his stomach. Whatever was on the other side of this door was staring back at him. It was peering into the same hole.

Gooseflesh pricked Aiden’s skin and he backed away. The ragged breathing carried on for another few seconds, an ugly sound to Aiden’s ears, before it faded. Farther and farther away it drifted until the sound died out and silence weighed in.

Aiden hurried over to his desk, grabbing the spirit box, the flashlight, and his copy of War and Peace. The spirit box and flashlight were to detect any unusual activity in the area. The thousand-plus page book was to use as a weapon if necessary. He threw a glance over his shoulder at the bed. Selene was still fast asleep, buried under the covers looking cozy and comfortable. He marched to the door and pulled it open.

Shadows ruled the hallway. Aiden stepped over the threshold, shuddering at the arctic cold in the air. He flicked on both the flashlight and spirit box, which crackled to life. Shining the flashlight down the hall, the shadows scuttled away. Nothing was out of the ordinary. The hallway looked as it always did, a stretch of oil portraits on the walls and doily-like area rugs sprinkled throughout.

The spirit box continued to crackle, its green lights weakly blinking. Aiden scanned the hall some more, his brow furrowed. If there wasn’t anything amiss, then was he imagining the sound? Maybe he was more exhausted than he realized…

He was a second away from turning back and heading into the room. The lights on the spirit box flashed bright and the crackling noise intensified. His eyes snapped to what it had picked up on and his gooseflesh only spread across his skin in a cold wave.

Black ink dribbled from the vent in the hall. It trickled down the striped wallpaper in a slow descent. He walked over and shone his flashlight onto the vent. Selene had been right all along. Whatever it was they were dealing with wasn’t human.

 

About the Author:

Mila Nicks is on a mission to pen heartfelt and entertaining love stories featuring women of color. 

When she isn’t writing diverse love stories, you can find her globetrotting, sampling new cuisines, and spending quality time with her spunky pet Chihuahua, Zayden. 

For more on Mila, including news on upcoming releases and story freebies, check out her website and subscribe to her newsletter: https://www.milanickswrites.com/










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Friday, April 9, 2021

Little Bits of Karma Karma Series Prequel Laura Simmons



Little Bits of Karma 
Karma Series 
Prequel
Laura Simmons

Genre:  Reincarnation/Paranormal Romance
Publisher:  Outskirts Press
Date of Publication:  June 30, 2015 
ISBN:  1478757167
ASIN:  B010P27HZS
Number of pages:  334

Book Description:  

A captivating reincarnation romance of redemption and forgiveness.

Even though Holly O’Rourke is having problems with her longtime significant other, James, she has never entertained thoughts of infidelity…that is, until the day she has a chance encounter with Charlie, a handsome coworker. James promises he will change and work on their relationship, but Holly’s feelings for Charlie just won’t go away. 

Distressed by her mixed emotions, Holly schedules an appointment for a reading with a psychic medium, where she discovers her adulterous past lives and their tragic consequences. Holly learns to do her own past life regression through self-hypnosis and uncovers not only lives that she shared with James and Charlie, but how the other people in her present life have been with her in the past—the threads of their lives interwoven for centuries. 

Holly is stunned by recurring themes and the issues of karmic justice that need to be addressed. Where will her karmic path ultimately lead? Find out in Little Bits of Karma, an entertaining story about spiritual cause and effect.


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Little Bits of Karma – Prequel

She hoped this woman would be able to tell her about her past lives.She arrived ten minutes early to the appointment. Martina was located within walking distance from the Metro. She lived in a small row house with a sign in the front yard indicating her services by appointment only. Holly rang the doorbell, and Martina opened the door.

“Hello. Are you Holly O’Rourke?” Martina Preston asked her.

“Yes. Are you Martina?” she asked excitedly.

“Yes, I am. It’s great to meet you. Come on in,” Martina said with a smile and extended her hand. Martina’s demeanor was friendly and inviting and Holly instantly felt at ease. 

Martina was a little lady, standing no more than 5 foot1. She was in her mid-30’s with a round, pretty face with crystal blue eyes, medium brown, curly hair that fell past her shoulders, and a voluptuous figure. She was wearing a red checkered sundress and matching solid red espadrille shoes. She led Holly into a small room with gleaming hardwood floors and two white leather chairs and a round wooden table. There were two windows in this room. Martina pulled down the shades to block the sun. There was a large wooden cabinet next to one of the windows.  The room was practically empty.

“Have a seat Holly, and we will talk for a few minutes,” Martina said. The two women sat in the white chairs across from each other.

“So, you are here today for a past-life reading, correct?” Martina asked.

“Yes,” Holly replied.

“First, I want to tell you what will likely happen during this session. I go into a trancelike state, and my voice might change. I sometimes take on the behavior of whatever spirit guide is there to speak through me. Usually it is my spirit guide working together with your spirit guide to access your past lives. Each of us has spirit guides to help us in our earthly incarnations. Your primary spirit guide is assigned to you before reincarnating into your current body. As you go through life, the circle of your guides expands, depending on the work you need to accomplish.  When you reincarnate, you go through a veil of amnesia, and as you learn and grow in this life, you wonder, what the heck am I here for? 

“We come from heaven, a place of total love and happiness. Your enemies in this life are dear friends on the other side. By incarnating into physical bodies, you learn a deeper appreciation for good things and even the bad. The potential growth from experiencing the bad is tremendous. There is no ‘bad’ in heaven, and if you never reincarnate you won’t know the difference between good and bad. There are many wonderful worlds to advance to in heaven after your schooling on Earth and your incarnations are completed.

“We plan our lives before we are born, and our spirit guides are here to help us achieve what we came here to learn and do. They do this by giving us intuitive nudges in the right direction, although we don’t listen to them most of the time. They do their best to keep us on track and guide us for our own good. 

“Today, we will be accessing an area of the spiritual realm called the Akashic Records.  This realm contains detailed records of your past lives and the past lives for every soul who has reincarnated. Your thoughts, dreams, and actions are recorded for eternity. Do you have any questions before we start?” Martina asked.

“No, I understand. We can begin whenever you are ready,” Holly replied thinking . . . Even our thoughts are recorded for eternity?That’s embarrassing . . . Thank goodness not just anyone can access them.

“Okay. I will ask the guides to show the past lives that might resonate with you at this point in time,” Martina replied and became quiet.

It took several seconds for Martina to enter a trancelike state. She began to speak and the voice was not her own. A deep male voice was speaking with a distinct Middle-Eastern accent:

 

“Hello, Holly. My name is Kavi . . . I am your guide.”

“You lived a life in Atlantis and fell deeply in love with your college teacher. He was married and would not leave his wife.You became pregnant with his child . . .” The voice paused for a few seconds.

“You lived a life in India in 1500 BC. You were a man in that life, and we were brothers. Your name was Sanjay. We were devout Hindus and ran a spiritual center together where we helped people better their lives . . .” Again, he paused for a few seconds before continuing.

“I see a life as a Roman Gladiator during the year of 47 BC.You were a prisoner of war and forced into fighting for the Roman’s entertainment . . .” More silence.

“You were a baby left on the doorstep of a monastery in Ireland in the year of 816 and raised by monks. You died young, as the monastery was raided and burned to the ground by Vikings. The Vikings gang raped you before cutting off your head . . .” Still more silence.

“I see a life in Germany in the 1340s. You were a young boy and your mother was mean and cruel to you.You left home on the day you turned 16 . . .” The voice again paused.

“I see you and the man who was your abusive German mother. You are both on a Spanish sailing ship in the late 1480s.You are engaged in a fist fight and you kill him . . .” More silence ensued.

 

Tough Karma: A Race Against Time 
Karma Series 
Book 1
Laura Simmons

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Supernatural Thriller
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication: January 16, 2017
ISBN: 1478783885
ASIN:  B01NCWLQBK
Number of pages: 224
Word Count: 71,664
Cover Artist:  Outskirts Press

Book Description: 

“Tough Karma - A Race Against Time took my preconceived idea and previous experience of Paranormal Romance, rolled it into a tight little ball and slam dunked it in the bin of old experiences.” The International Review of Books

A chilling tale of loss, tragedy, psychic warfare, and eternal love.

Amber Macklin’s world is cruelly shattered when she loses her baby girl three months after her husband’s sudden death. Her cousin, Bryce, comes to her rescue, moving her into his home for fear she will kill herself from the grief. He provides solace and a shoulder to cry on, and he has loved her as more than a cousin for a long time. Amber and Bryce soon discover they are not blood relatives, which opens the door for romance as he pulls her through her darkest hours. When Mike, a college friend of Bryce’s, stops by to visit, Amber senses a deadly secret behind his nice guy persona. She has a frightening dream that Mike is trying to kill her and recurring sleepwalking episodes where she draws detailed pictures of him torturing her. Deeply troubled, Bryce uses his ability to astral travel to investigate Mike and uncover his terrifying past. Mike has had his eye on Amber for some time, and when he learns that Bryce and Amber have become lovers, he is furious. Mike abducts Amber and takes her to his rural Georgia hideaway, and Bryce must rely on his astral abilities to track her down. But will he be too late?

Tough Karma is a stand-alone novel. The astral adventures continue in Dark Karma: Sword of Vengeance.



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Tough Karma: A Race Against Time - Book One

Seven hours had passed since Mike shot her up with benzo, and they were a little over half-way to his hideout. As the effects started wearing off, she had a vivid dream . . .

. . . She is running through the woods, terrified because Mike is chasing her. She calls out frantically for Bryce over and over, trying to outrun her pursuer, “BRYCE, WHERE ARE YOU? HELP ME! HE’S GOT ME. PLEASE HELP ME!” She hears his voice echoing through the woods, “Amber, baby, I’m on my way to get you. Hang in there; I WILL find you”. . .

A sudden back-handed smack in the face jolted her awake. “SHUT UP!” Mike yelled. “Do you know that you talk in your sleep? Bryce isn’t coming to rescue you. He will never find you. Get that through your head right now.”

He’s surrounded by black, is that his aura?! That’s why I felt a dark heaviness around him and from the pictures I drew . . . the drugs are making me see things. Don’t backtalk, don’t let him know that Bryce knows where to find me . . . I have to survive this; I don’t want him to kill me . . . she thought and looked down at her hands. He had put the handcuffs back on . . . If I weren’t afraid of dying in a car crash or worse, I would attempt to hit him right now. I can do more with my arms and hands in front of me . . . “I have to pee again,” she stated choking back the tears and still feeling the sting from his slap.

“There’s a rest stop ten miles ahead. We’ll stop there. It’s time for another shot of benzo. If you try to put up a fight, I’ll make sure you hurt the rest of the way, badly,” he said coldly.

“Why are you doing this? Why me? Do you really think that you can abduct a woman and make her fall in love with you?” she asked trying to stay calm and thinking of Bryce’s voice from her dream . . . I wonder if that was really him communicating with me. I want to believe it was. Mike didn’t respond to her question and kept his eyes on the road. He wasn’t used to women behaving so calmly. Then again, he was handling her differently than the others and hoping for better results.

Ten miles seemed like forever to her, and they finally arrived at the rest area. She debated different scenarios of getting away from him and screaming for help. Her legs weren’t shackled, and her mouth wasn’t duct taped, yet. He seemed to read her mind and threatened her as he pulled into a parking space close to the restrooms. He drew a handgun from a side compartment in the door, shoving it into her stomach and said, “If you try ANYTHING, including screaming for help, I will gun down everyone I see, and innocent people will pay for your selfish behavior. I’ll make sure you’re killed along with the rest of them,” he threatened with the coldest look in his eyes she had ever seen.

She was getting angry and even though he had a gun shoved into her stomach she responded with disdain, “I don’t want anyone killed because of me, except for you!”

He just laughed and pushed the gun deeper into her stomach, making her wince in pain. “Keep talking like that and I’ll kill you before we get there,” he said. She decided to cooperate and try to escape at a later time. She didn’t think he would kill her this soon, but she was going to play it safe. He shot her up with more benzo and helped her walk to the restroom while he stood outside and waited. In her drugged state she looked longingly at the small windows in the restroom and briefly contemplated how she might escape through them, knowing that she would never make it. When she was finished, she stumbled out the door and he caught her before she hit the ground.

“Come on, honey, let’s get you home,” he said kindly putting his arms around her to help her stay upright. I hate you and your ugly aura . . . she thought and passed out a few seconds after getting into the Jeep.

******

Bryce was driving down the highway when he heard her panicked voice, “BRYCE, WHERE ARE YOU? HELP ME! HE’s GOT ME. PLEASE HELP ME!” He was shocked and heard it again two more times before it stopped. The tiny flicker of doubt he had about whether or not he was doing the right thing was gone. He replied, hoping she could hear him, “Amber baby, I’m on my way to get you. Hang in there; I WILL find you.” The desperation in her voice was heart wrenching, and tears ran down his face while he flew down the highway, not caring if he got pulled over for a speeding ticket. He no longer wanted Mike to end up in jail. He wanted to be the one to put him in the ground and wished he had taken out a hit on him. He blamed himself for not doing that, knowing she would be home safe and happy with him instead of being at the mercy of a madman who would probably beat, rape, and kill her. He continued down the road, fantasizing about the many different ways he would like to torture and kill Mike. He vowed to make him pay.

 

Sword of Vengeance 
Karma Series 
Book 2
Laura Simmons

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication:  September 7, 2018
ISBN:1977201555
ASIN: B07H6KWZZL
Number of pages: 174
Word Count: 59,221
Cover Artist:  Outskirts Press

Book Description:

“Dark Karma is a fascinating story that would surely be loved by any fan of fantasy and romance. Simmons proved herself a competent author in writing a tale of angst, magic, and determination." Reader Views

What would you do if you woke up one morning and your world was inexplicably changed in the worst way imaginable?

Banished by his enemy into a hellish alternate dimension, Luke Decker fights to understand why his world has suddenly changed, and why is he on trial for the murder of his beloved Nina? What he doesn’t know is she’s not dead. Nina watches him vanish into thin air and is completely bereft, struggling to find out how and why he disappeared. Using all of her psychic talents and traversing the astral realm, she frantically searches for him to no avail. She owns a secret item which holds the key to his salvation, but will she figure it out before he’s condemned to live the rest of his life in a realm of darkness?

This remarkable tale of vengeance, time travel, and dark magic is even more enjoyable if you read Tough Karma: A Race Against Time first.



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Dark Karma- Sword of Vengeance – Book Two

Luke awakened before Rogue greeted the day, and noticed thatNina’s side of the bed was empty ... She’s probably in the bathroom.He thought how lonely it was to wake without her lovely, warm bodypressed close to his. He glanced toward the bathroom and the doorwas open and the light turned off ... Maybe she’s in the kitchen. He listenedfor sounds, expecting to hear soft footsteps in the hall or faintnoises from the kitchen ... nothing. Something felt wrong. Getting outof bed, he walked toward the kitchen. It was empty and dark exceptfor a nightlight near the stove. His apprehension grew stronger, theentire house was eerily silent ... I better find her asleep on the lounger.Entering the sunroom he turned on the light and saw her lying on the

chaise lounge, dead. Her throat was slit and blood pooled on the arearug and hardwood floor.

“No! This can’t be happening, I’m dreaming!” he declared, rushingover to the lounger. Seeing her pale, lifeless body and vacant eyesstaring up into nowhere was terrifying, and he convinced himself ithad to be a lucid dream. “I know I’m dreaming, wake up!” he saidto himself. Not being able to wake from what he thought was justa dream, he knelt down and touched her blood with the tip of hisfinger. He’d seen and touched enough blood in his life to know thatthis wasn’t fake.

“This isn’t real, this can’t be real! Who did this to you?” he sobbed,and for the first time in his life felt completely, utterly helpless andtraumatized. Tears rolled down his face, he could barely breathe, andhis stomach indicated he was going to vomit. He forced himself not tospill his guts, and even though her cold, dead body was lying in front ofhim, it still didn’t feel real. His emotional anguish and pain were acute,yet his mind kept telling him that this whole situation was wrong.Pinching and slapping himself hard, he tried desperately to awakenfrom this horrific nightmare. Something whispered to him in the backof his mind, something he should know, yet couldn’t remember whatit was. The one word which came to him was “snow.” Even thoughit was still dark outside, he could see that there was no snow on theground and no white flakes were falling from the sky. I’ve got to call thepolice ... Doing his best to remain rational, he began walking to thebedroom to get his phone when he heard pounding on the front doorand a man’s voice shouting, “POLICE, OPEN UP!”

Clad in just his boxer shorts, he opened the door to find threecops and four patrol cars with their lights flashing so bright he wasmomentarily blinded.

“I’m glad you’re here, I was just going to ...” Luke wasn’t ableto finish his sentence before the officer interrupted and another oneslapped handcuffs on him.

“Luke Decker, you’re under arrest for the murder of NinaPerotti.You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will beused against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. Ifyou cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you. Do you

understand the rights I have just read to you?”

“Yes,” he replied between gritted teeth, growing angrier by thesecond.

“With these rights in mind, do you wish to speak to me?”

“I DIDN’T KILL HER! I LOVE HER!” Luke yelled at the top of hislungs. “I’M ALMOST NAKED, BAREFOOT, AND IT’S FUCKINGCOLD OUT HERE!”

“You shouldn’t have killed her then,” the officer calmly replied ashe and another officer led Luke to a patrol car.

He was losing control, something which was normally second natureto him and that he had cultivated throughout his life. He foughtto hold his tongue as they guided him into the backseat of the policecar ... How do they know my name? He observed that the officers were

dressed in black from head to toe, wearing tall cowboy hats, cowboyboots, and each one was carrying and wearing their own personal arsenalof guns and ammunition. Once he was situated in the back seat,the officer pressed on the gas pedal and they went flying into an abyss.He lost consciousness due to the high rate of speed they were traveling.

*****

Bugs were crawling on him when he woke up cold, shivering,and itching. The bug bites were turning into red welts along his torso,arms, and legs. Sweeping them away from his body, he stomped themto death with his bare feet. Most of the bugs were large and crunchyand oozed slime when he crushed them. The entire floor was crawlingwith insects, and he worked up a sweat in his mission to kill each andevery one.

“It’s a good thing I’m not afraid of bugs,” he muttered, crushingthe last batch. His feet itched and burned with the remains of bugguts stuck between his toes while he surveyed his surroundings withdisgust. He was in a jail cell with a packed dirt floor beneath his feetand a toilet in the corner. Now that the irritating bugs were dead, histhoughts returned to Nina.

He missed her terribly and whispered with reverence, “Nina, Ihope you can hear me wherever you are. I’m so sorry about this. Idon’t know who killed you. I don’t know how they got past me in thenight. But I will find them and avenge your death.”

 

Karma: The Resolution 
Karma Series 
Book 3
Laura Simmons

Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Date of Publication:  February 17, 2021
ISBN: 1977237037
ASIN: B08WYCX2ZQ
Number of pages:  170 pages
Word Count:  59,035
Cover Artist:  Outskirts Press

Book Description:

This story picks up where Dark Karma left off. Enjoy the next thrilling adventure into alternate dimensions!

“From the first time I saw you back in the 14th century to the day I was imprisoned in the dark realm, you have lived in my dreams and my heart,” David said to Maddie. He knows that she is the reincarnation of his beloved Cara. Can he convince her that they shared a past life? Will she still want him once she learns the truth? And what about the evil immortal who wants her dead?

“If I can pull a cat from a dream, I can rescue Mori from where she’s being held prisoner,” thought Noah Colton. Each night Mori comes to him on the astral plane, begging for him to save her and vanishing before he can follow. Terrified that she will soon be killed, he travels to another dimension to rescue her and bring her to his home. But what will happen when her captors track her down?

Two, out-of-this-world romantic fantasy stories unfold as David and Noah battle dark forces to save the women they love. Find out what happens when the unexpected intervenes and changes everything in these interconnected stories.



Amazon       BN  


Karma: The Resolution – Book Three

Luke and Nina’s Wedding

February 14, 2015

Maddie couldn’t pull her eyes away from David’s adoring gaze.Before she had a moment to speak, he kissed her. She returned his kiss,opening her mouth to deepen the experience. When their lips parted,he still held her close and whispered in her ear, “Cara, my love. I neverthought I would see you again.”

“Maddie… my name is Maddie,” she replied, breathless andshocked because the sexy man from her dreams had called her Caratoo, although she never saw his face. She realized she should feel insultedbecause he had been brazen enough to kiss her and then call herby another woman’s name, but she wasn’t.

“Maddie, please forgive me, but I know that you are her. Don’t youfeel the connection between us?”

Loosening herself from his embrace, though still gazing into hiseyes she took a deep breath. “My middle name is Cara. And yes, I feellike I’ve known you before. Whether or not I’m the reincarnation ofyour Cara, I don’t know. Although, I’ve had dreams about you for the

past several weeks.”

He replied with an affectionate smile, “Maddie-Cara, I think thaton some level you knew we would find each other. From the first timeI saw you back in the 14th century, to the day I was imprisoned in thedark realm, you have lived in my dreams and in my heart. I know this is

all so very sudden, and you have no recollection of a past life with me.I don’t mean to be so forward with you; it’s just that I wasn’t expectingthis. When Nina showed me your picture it was all I could do tostay composed. I was stunned because you are the exact image of Cara.

I didn’t think you would look so much like her in person. I thoughtperhaps I was seeing what I wanted to see. But your voice, the way youwalk, your facial expressions, your height and figure… you and Caraare one and the same.”

She loved the way he said her nickname and middle names together.“Did you tell Nina about this?”

“No,” he answered shaking his head. “I only said that you lookedlike someone I used to know, and Noah asked if that was good or bad.I just shrugged my shoulders and changed the subject because I didn’twant to talk about it. The pain from losing you… I… I mean Cara, is

still so fresh. I was mourning your death when I was sent to the darkdimension.”

“How did Cara die?” she asked.

He hesitated a moment, eyes glazing over as he thought about LilyNolan, the evil witch who’d poisoned Cara because he had fallen inlove with her and spurned Lily’s affection. He was about to reply whenNoah walked into the room and said with a grin, “I thought I wouldfind you two here. Maddie, your mom is looking for you.”

David was thankful for Noah’s interruption; it bought him timeto consider his response to her question more carefully. Although hewanted to tell her the tragic story, this was a happy occasion and hedidn’t want to spoil it for her. After what Maddie had gone through theprevious night, he now wanted her to have a good time at her sister’swedding and forget her troubles for a while. When she asked him againlater how Cara had died, he told her she was poisoned by a jealous andbitter woman, then swiftly changed the subject to get Maddie to talkmore about herself. He had a good reason for delaying the inevitable.Would she still want him once he’d told her the truth?

 

About the Author:  

Laura Simmons grew up in northern Virginia and spent most of her career working for various Department of Defense contractors in the Washington, DC area. She has a fascination with all things metaphysical. She enjoys adult coloring books, writing, jigsaw puzzles, vacationing at the beach with her husband, and studying tarot cards and other types of divination systems.

Author web links:  On my website, I have a page with a Play List for three of the books in this series.  These songs made me think of my characters and their situations. They are the “movie” soundtracks for these stories.







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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Darkness Awaits Virtus Academy Book 2 by Jamila A. Stone

 


Darkness Awaits
Virtus Academy  
Book 2
Jamila A. Stone

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, LGBTQ
Publisher: Black Glory Publishing House
Date of Publication: April 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7356641-0-1
ASIN: B08LVJ7GXD
Number of pages: 524
Word Count: 141,850
Cover Artist: Michael Corvin
Tagline: Unexpected secrets stand to change two witches’ lives forever...
Book Description: 

Having narrowly survived their last semester, Natalie King and Alexandra Aurelius are prepared to revel in victory...but, while preparing to become Juniors, it soon becomes clear that peace has been dismissed. 

Relationships are tested and new ones formed, as shadowy souls push their way into Natalie and Alexandra’s lives. Now, more than ever, the witches must stick together and protect their loved ones. Unexpected secrets stand to change their lives forever. 

Darkness impends from every direction, and even the fiercest friendships will be tested. What harmony that existed between human and supernatural governments has been shaken to the breaking point. Should it crumble, hellish truths are sure to be exposed.   

Despite impossible odds, Natalie, Alexandra, and their alliances will unite against unprecedented evil. After all, the only exit often is a wall to break through... 

--------

With her much-anticipated sequel to Strange Things Await, Jamila A. Stone delivers devilish thrills and a dizzying spin on the genre. One thing through the dark is seen: where mystic and mortal subcultures meld, the pages turn themselves. 

Black Glory Publishing House 

Amazon      BN


Excerpt

It’s the last week of January and the new school semester since Christmas break starts tomorrow at Virtus Academy. Nat and all her friends, except Alex, have already moved back to their dormitories. Nat is brushing her teeth, getting ready for bed when she suddenly feels like she’s falling. A moment later, her surroundings change, and she finds herself in a dark alleyway. Nothing makes sense, and she jolts around with labored breathing, trying to understand what is going on. When she turns around to her other side, she spots Alex and momentarily forgets her anxiety. Running over to a hunched Alex, she hugs her and is so distracted that she doesn’t notice the four guys in the alley with them.

“What are you doing here?” Alex winces in pain, struggling to straighten up.

Using her toothbrush, Nat taps the ring she’s gifted Alex. “Someone must have missed me a whole lot to get me here,” she jokes.

The good news is that the protection spell she had Sheila help her put on the ring works. If Alex ever needs her badly enough, she’ll appear.

“Crap, it worked! So that means…” Nat looks around further and finally takes in the situation. “I guess you’re still having trouble making friends.” Throwing down her toothbrush, she gets in front of Alex, who’s badly bleeding from cuts on her face, and the arm she holds that seems disjointed.

“Nice outfit, girl.” One of the guys speaks sarcastically.

“This is your backup?” Another speaks, pointing at Nat before they all laugh.

“Remind me to take you shopping.” Alex picks up her fallen blade, and it elongates into a sword as it recognizes its owner.

“What!? This is comfortable and my pajamas. I was going to bed.” Nat keeps her eyes on the guys who are starting to approach. She cannot believe Alex is choosing right now to insult her.

“What do you need to be comfortable?” Alex turns fully toward Nat with her face scrunched up. “Did you sprout something since we were kids?”

“No! Can you focus before we die, you asshole? Boxers can be unisex.” She tries to defend herself, but Alex just scoffs.

Nat, annoyed, blasts Alex to the furthest point of the alley and decides to take on the men herself. It looks as if Alex softened them up enough for her to handle alone anyway.

Two of the men reach her before the others. One throws a punch at her face while the other tries to punch her abdomen. Nat is light on her feet and spins away from the one aiming for her face and shoves him into the other male before she uses her magic at the remaining attackers.

“Instead of attacking young women to stroke your egos, maybe you all should go to the gym.” She blasts one with a scar on his cheek into a wall knocking them out before she is blasted herself. In complete shock, she did not keep her guard up, she grumbles as she slowly gets back up to her feet. Nat blocks another blast of magic as she parts her feet for better balance. Nat sends a few blasts back, but her adversary blocks them all. Nat should have known these men were not mere humans if they were able to beat up Alex.

Nat is so preoccupied with the witch that she fails to deflect the attacker on her left properly, who charges her with his clawed hand in the air, ready to come down on her hard. There was little for her to do, so she stopped shielding herself from the witch’s attack, so the attack would knock her away from the attack that would be the deadliest.

The impact of the witch’s attack does the trick and sends Nat backward. The claws of the man from her right give her a nasty gash, nowhere near the damage which would have been inflicted if she did not think quick on her feet and use the witch’s attack to save her own life.

“Alright, playtime is over.” Nat lifts her hands and moves them hastily in front of her creating a linkage of pentagrams all while beads of her blood float into the amber symbols. She sees the shock on the witch’s face, and it makes her grin before she locks her fingers over each other, bends her arms inward, then thrusts her arms out, causing the spell to wrap around the first body, and the man explodes.

Nat moves her arms until everyone is dead. One black eye and a gash on her arm later, Nat walks over to Alex, who is hunched over.

“I should leave you here. I can’t believe you got back without telling me. How long have you been back in town? Tomorrow is the first day of school back from break.” Nat places her hands on her hips, letting Alex suffer for a bit more before she attempts to heal her.

Alex stands straighter, leans her head back against the wall behind her, and closes her eyes. “I forgot how much you love to bitch and moan.”

Nat is opening her mouth to respond, but promptly stops when she spots a smile creeping on Alex’s face.

“I missed it.” Alex turns her head and smiles so charmingly even with her face all beat up, Nat’s walls break.

“Ugh, I can’t stand you.” Nat shakes her head and starts to heal Alex’s easy wounds, then wraps Alex’s good arm over her shoulder and helps her to stand off the wall. “We’re too far from the dorm or my house for me to teleport us both.”

“And here I thought an overachiever such as yourself would have become a pro by now.” Alex coughs then halts her steps taking time to take deep, ragged breaths.

“Hey, that month was our break. I can get us near the school gates, but it might knock us out if I use all of our energy combined. Or worse.” Nat struggles to keep Alex upright.

Alex struggles to stand on her own feet as she pulls her good arm away from Nat so she can grab her cellphone out of her pocket. Nat watches as Alex makes a call, trying to keep her upright by the waist. “Julian, are you on campus? Good, sneak out with Olivia and come find me by the gate…just do as I asked, Olivia, will be able to track us. Yes, us, bye.”

Nat arches a brow at Alex before focusing her mind on the school gates. Once she has that clear in mind, she works on syncing her magic with Alex.

“What’s taking so long?” Alex grumbles.

“You, that’s what. I’m trying to find your source, but you’re too weak.”

“You’re a weirdo.” Alex sighs exaggeratedly.

Nat finally syncs successfully and teleports them. They land hard a few yards away from the school gates. 

About the Author:

Jamila A Stone lives in Washington, D.C with her two dogs. Jamila is driven to tell stories without censorship and for the continued creativity in the world of literature. As an African American woman, she understands the lack of opportunity persons of color have to let their artistic creativity be seen on equal platforms, so she created her own publishing company called Black Glory Publishing House. She thinks not just of herself but of the current and future of literature namely increasing the diversity and inclusion within the literary community.

https://jamilastone.com/

https://twitter.com/AuthorJStone

https://www.facebook.com/JamilaAshaStone


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