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Excerpt

Promo Blitz & Excerpt: The Last Crusader Kingdom and Helena P. Schrader

Historical Fiction
Date Published: August 2017
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An armed insurrection, a military occupation, and the dawn of a dynasty….
John d’Ibelin, son of the legendary Balian, will one day defy the most powerful monarch on earth. But first he must survive his apprenticeship as squire to man determined to build a kingdom on an island ravaged by rebellion. The Greek insurgents have already driven the Knights Templar from the island, and now stand poised to destroy Richard the Lionheart’s legacy to the Holy Land: the crusader foothold on the island of Cyprus.
Excerpt

 

The men who forced their way inside were dressed in chainmail from head to toe. They wore scull-cap helmets with heavy nose guards. Most terrifying of all, they wore surcoats with the arms of Jerusalem on them: they were the king’s men.
“Where’s Lord Aimery?” One of them barked at the servants.
“I’m here!” Aimery called from the floor above. Without hesitation the four armored men pushed past the frightened servants to the stairs at the back of the vaulted room. They pounded up to the next floor, and as they emerged out of the stairway, they found the Constable of Jerusalem hastily donning his surcoat while a young squire held his sword ready for him to take.
“Hold that, boy!” One of the king’s men shouted, springing to put himself between the squire and the constable. He pushed the squire backwards, pinned him against the wall, and wrenched the sword out of his hands with little trouble.
Meanwhile, the sergeant turned his attention to the Constable himself. “My lord, you are under arrest for high treason! Either you come with us willingly, or, we have orders to take you by force.”
Aimery de Lusignan was a handsome man in his early fifties. His shoulder-length, blond hair was somewhat disheveled and his face was sprouting the beginnings of a beard, but he had managed to pull on braies, hose and a gambeson over his nightshirt. He stood with his shoulders squared and his head held high. “The charges are false and slanderous!” he told the sergeant firmly. “I will defend myself before the High Court.”
“Maybe. For now you’re coming with us!” The sergeant answered bluntly, ominously lowering his hand to his hilt.
“Where are you taking me?” The Constable asked gruffly.
“To the royal dungeon, where all traitors are held! Now, are you coming willingly or must I use force?”
“Will you at least allow me to put on boots?” The Constable asked back in a voice that was edged with bitterness.
“No tricks!” the sergeant warned, drawing his sword for emphasis before nodding to Lord Aimery to get on with it.
The Constable walked across the room to where his knee-high boots were standing, the soft upper parts flopped over on their sides. He took the suede boots, sat on the nearest chest, and pulled them on one at a time. Then he stood and surveyed the room briefly; whether he was looking for a chance to escape or simply taking a last leave was unclear. The king’s men blocked the door, their swords drawn. They not only ensured he was trapped, they also kept his wife out. He could hear her anxious voice in the hall demanding an explanation. His squire was pinned against the far wall, his eyes wide with shock and disbelief.
“John, get word to your father of what has happened,” the Constable ordered the youth before walking briskly toward the men sent to arrest him. He allowed them to close around him as he passed out of the door. They clattered down the stairs and out into the street, leaving John and Lady Eschiva standing on the upstairs landing in horrified paralysis.
“Treason?” Lady Eschiva asked the squire. “Did I hear correctly? Champagne has arrested my lord husband for treason? But that’s not possible!” she protested at once.
“I’ve got to get word to my father at once!” John answered, his voice breaking with tension as the situation threatened to overwhelm him; he would not turn fourteen for another month.
“Mommy! Mommy! What are they going to do with Daddy?” It was the high pitched voice of eight-year-old Burgundia. Ten-year-old Guy pushed past her, protesting, “They can’t arrest, Daddy! He’s the Constable!”
Eschiva turned toward her children, but then stopped to look over her shoulder to her husband’s squire. “Yes, John, go to your father at once! If Isabella let this happen, he’s the only one who might be able to help us now!” 

About the Author

Award-winning novelist Helena P. Schrader offers readers tired of cliches and cartoons nuanced insight to historical events and figures based on sound research and an understanding of human nature. Her complex and engaging characters bring history back to life as a means to better understand ourselves.
Helena P. Schrader earned a PhD in History from the University of Hamburg with a ground-breaking biography of a leader of the German Resistance to Hitler. She has published numerous works of fiction and non-fiction since.
Her Jerusalem Trilogy, set in the Holy Land in the late 12th century, has won critical acclaim, including Best Biographical Fiction 2016 from Pinnacle, Best Christian Historical Fiction 2017 from Readers’ Favorite, Best Spiritual/Religious Fiction 2017 from Feathered Quill.
For details visit http://www.helenapschrader.com or follow her blog: http://schradershistoricalfiction.blogspot.com for updates on current works in progress, recent reviews and excerpts.
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Release Day: Expire by Erin Noelle

 

 

 

 

 

Numbers.
They haunt me.
I can’t look into a person’s eyes without seeing the six-digit date of their death.
I’m helpless to change it, no matter how hard I try.
I’ve trained myself to look down. Away. Anywhere but at their eyes.
My camera is my escape. My salvation. Through its lens, I see only beauty and life—not death and despair.
Disconnected from all those around me, I’m content being alone, simply existing.
Until I meet him.
Tavian.
The man beyond the numbers.
How can I stay away, when everything about him draws me in?
But how can I fall in love, knowing exactly when it will expire?

 

 

 

PROLOGUE
Lyra

10.18.02
The intercom crackles loudly throughout the classroom, interrupting Ms. Sherman’s rather uninspiring Friday afternoon lesson on the life cycle of a star. Even though most of the students around me are furiously jotting down notes about nebulas, red giants, and supernovas, I’m half listening while I doodle caricatures of me and my friends in the margin of my notebook. It’s not that I’m not interested in the material she’s talking about. No, that’s not the case at all. It’s quite the opposite actually; science is my favorite subject, especially anything that deals with astronomy and the unknowns in our universe.
But with a dad who is a super-smart astronomer at Johnson Space Center—or NASA, as most people here in Houston call it—I learned about this stuff she’s teaching before I ever started kindergarten. Heck, just this past summer before fifth grade, Mama and I went to visit him at a planetarium in Hawaii, where he was part of a team that discovered eleven new moons orbiting Jupiter! If I don’t ace this test next week, I better not even go home. I definitely wouldn’t be able to be an astronaut then.  
“Ms. Sherman, can you please have Lyra Jennings gather her things and come down to the office? She’s leaving for the day,” the office lady who reminds me of Paula Deen—Mama’s favorite chef—announces through the ancient intercom system.
At the sound of my name, my chin jerks upward from my pencil sketches to the standard black-and-white classroom clock mounted above the projection screen. The hands read 12:45 p.m., nearly three hours before the end of the school day, when my parents are supposed to pick me up as we head out to Dallas for the weekend to celebrate my eleventh birthday. Ooh, maybe getting out of school early was my surprise they mentioned!
I’ve been looking forward to this day since we came home from this same trip last year, and I know my parents planned something special for this year. Every birthday, instead of having one of those silly kids’ parties with pointy hats and piñatas, they take me to the Texas State Fair. There, we spend the weekend riding as many rides as possible, stuffing our mouths with sausage-on-a-stick and fried Twinkies, playing games until we win the biggest of the stuffed animals, and laughing until our faces hurt and happy tears stream down our cheeks. Hands down, it’s my favorite three days of the year, even better than Christmas. And I really, really like Christmas.
Excitement jets through me as I stand up from my desk and hurriedly cram my spiral notebook and textbook into my purple paisley backpack. If we make it there early, I’ll be able to go swimming at the fancy hotel’s indoor pool before dinner.
“Sure thing,” my teacher calls out in response. “She’ll be right down.”
Hoisting the strap of the bag up on my shoulder, I turn to leave the room and my gaze meets Ms. Sherman’s. Her warmth shines in her bright amber-colored eyes, highlighting the numbers 051123 that I see imprinted in her pupils. The same six white numbers I see every time we make eye contact. The numbers I’m not allowed to talk about. The ones everyone thinks are all a part of my healthy imagination.
But they’re wrong. They’re all wrong.
The numbers are real, and they never change or go away. I only wish I knew what they meant. Mama and Daddy—who, by the way, are the only two people I know that have the same numbers—call it my special superpower, but I know they just pretend to believe me. I see the looks they share when they think I’m not watching. They don’t want me to think about all those things the doctors say about me. I may only be ten years old, but I’m 100% sure I’m not crazy, nor do I lie for attention. I’m an only child, for Pete’s sake; my parents are overly interested in my life. Though I do appreciate their support, even if they don’t understand.
“Have a nice weekend, Lyra. Don’t forget we have a test over CHAPTERs six through eight on Monday. Make sure you’ve read all the material,” she reminds me.
“Yes, ma’am. I’ll be ready,” I reply modestly, not sharing with her or the rest of the class I’ve already read through CHAPTER thirteen in the text, including answering the study guide questions at the end of each section. I may be an overachiever, but I’m not a brown-noser.
Luckily, school just comes easy for me, and my parents get over-Jupiter’s-moons proud when I bring home straight A’s on my report card. It reassures them that I’m normal and well adjusted. At least that’s what I heard Mama whispering to Daddy on the phone one night when she thought I wasn’t listening.
I mouth a quick goodbye to my best friend, Beth, who I pass by as I scuttle toward the exit. With her last name being Blackmon and mine being Jennings, we rarely get to sit near each other, as most of our teachers put us in alphabetical order. Beth’s numbers are 022754, and like Ms. Sherman’s, they light up vibrantly when she looks up at me and mouths the words Have fun before I slip out the door.
I never want to break the rules or get in trouble, so I somehow fight the urge to sprint down the deserted hallway and force myself to walk as fast as my long, skinny legs will let me. The swishing sound from my denim shorts rubbing together fills my ears, creating a soundtrack for my excitement. My cheeks ache from smiling so big while I drop off my folders and books in my locker then make a beeline to the front of the school, where my parents are waiting for me. This is going to be the best of the best weekends ever, one that none of us will ever forget. I just know it.
Only, when I swing open the glass door to the main office, expecting to see my favorite two people in the world, I’m surprised to find my Aunt Kathy standing there, her face puffy and pink, the corners of her mouth pointing due south. Our eyes meet, and I can barely see her numbers—123148—because of how swollen the lids are around them.
The fluffy white cloud of elation I floated in on disappears instantly as a dark fog of dread takes its place. Engulfing me. Swallowing me whole. She doesn’t have to say a word—I already know. Not how or when or where it happened, but deep in my bones, I know.
I was right. This will definitely be a weekend I’ll never forget, only it will be for reasons I’ll never want to remember.
“I’m so sorry, Lyra baby girl,” she cries. “I’m so sorry. They’re… they’re gone.”
gone.
        Gone.
                   GONE.
The word bounces around between my ears, getting louder each time it echoes. The first time, it freezes my movements. The second steals all the air from my lungs. By the third time, I’m pretty sure I have no pulse. I want to go, too.
Go.
       Going.
                     GONE.
With my feet stuck to the floor and my body stiff as a statue, Aunt Kathy rushes over to me and wraps her arms around my shoulders. Pulling me up against her chest as uncontainable sobs shake her body, she breaks down in front of the receptionist and attendance clerk, neither of who bother to hide their open staring. Numb, I stand completely still while she wails for several minutes, and I never once make a single sound or try to break free from the death grip she has on me. My thoughts race so fast they’re standing still.
I’m just… here. And my parents just… aren’t. And they won’t ever be again.
They’re… gone.
Climbing into the passenger seat of Aunt Kathy’s fancy sports car—a car I usually beg to ride in because there’s no backseat—I fasten my safety belt and then close my eyes as I lean my head back on the black leather, warm from the hot southern Texas sun. Even though it’s mid-October, I’m still wearing shorts and sandals, and just last weekend I went swimming at Beth’s house. But as I sit here and wait for my aunt to start the car, my teeth chatter loudly and my entire body trembles uncontrollably. My heart is frozen solid, but I’ve yet to shed a tear.
The phone rings and I jump, automatically looking at the caller ID on the screen, thinking… hoping… praying it’s someone calling to let us know this has all been a big mistake, that my parents are really okay.
“Hey, Mom,” Aunt Kathy answers after just one ring. We still haven’t pulled out of the parking space. “Yeah, I have her now. She’s safe and sound.”
My heart plummets even lower into my stomach than it was before as she pauses to listen to Granny Gina on the other end. Granny Gina is my dad and Kathy’s mom who lives in New Orleans, where she moved about five years ago after my grandpa passed away from lung cancer. Since my mom’s parents both died before I was born, she’s the only living grandparent I have, and luckily for me, she’s a pretty awesome one. But today, nothing is awesome. Not even close.
“I don’t know. She hasn’t said a word. I’m sure she’s in shock.” My aunt talks about me like I’m not sitting right here, as I finally feel the car jerk back in reverse.
Another pause. The car lurches forward into drive then we bounce hard as Aunt Kathy flies over a speed bump. I think I’m going to throw up.
“Okay, I’ll take her home so she can pack a suitcase of whatever she wants to bring, and then we’ll go to my place until you get here. You should be in about 5:00?”
Pack a suitcase of what I want to bring where? Where am I going? Why is this happening to me? I’m a good kid. I make good grades and I’m nice to people, even those people who everyone else makes fun of, and I listen to my parents and my teachers. What did I do to deserve this? Why me?
“Yeah, Mom, I know,” Aunt Kathy hiccups. She’s crying hard again. “I’ll take good care of her, and we’ll see you later. I love you.”
I keep my eyes screwed shut as she disconnects the call, scared she’ll want to talk if I open them. I don’t want to talk to her or Granny Gina or anyone but my parents. I want my mom and dad!
Thankfully, Aunt Kathy doesn’t try to talk to me as we drive, but when I feel the car come to a stop and hear the engine turn off, she gently taps my arm. “Lyra, sweetheart, we’re at your house. We’re going to go inside, and I need you to pack up a suitcase or two of the clothes and things you want to take to New Orleans. Whatever you need.”
“New Orleans?” My lids snap open and I whip my chin in her direction. I don’t even recognize my harsh, scratchy voice. “I’m going to New Orleans?”
“Yeah”—she nods sadly as she swipes at the black mascara streaks on her face with her thumbs—“with Granny Gina. After we take care of, uh, of everything here, you’ll go live with her there.”
Scowling, I cross my arms over my chest and grunt. “I don’t want to leave Houston, or my friends, or my school. Why can’t I stay here with you?”
“You know I travel with my job, Lyra. Sometimes I’m gone a week or two at a time, and there won’t be anybody here to stay with you. Granny Gina’s house has an extra bedroom, and since she doesn’t work, she’ll be able to better give you everything you need.”
What I need and will be better for me is my mom and dad. And my perfect birthday weekend at the fair.
She reaches out to attempt to soothe me with her touch, but I wrench away, banging my elbow on the car door in the process. The whack is loud, and the place I hit immediately turns red, but my brain doesn’t register the pain. I feel nothing. I’m broken.
I glance over at my aunt, and the tears spilling down her cheeks make me feel bad for acting the way I just did to her. What happened to my parents isn’t her fault, but I’m angry and this is all moving too fast. How am I supposed to pack up what I need in a couple of bags? I want to stay in my room, in my house, living with my parents.
“I know this is all unfair, baby,” she says through her sniffles, “and I can’t even to begin to understand what you’re thinking or feeling. I mean, I’m freaking the hell out and I’m a grownup who’s supposed to know how to handle these kinds of situations. All we can do is cling to each other as family and try to get through this together. Between me and Granny, we’ll do the best we can for you, and right now, we think the best thing is if you get your things and go stay with her.”
“How did they die?” I blurt out, completely off topic from what she’s talking about. My mind can’t stay focused on any one thing, but this is the question that keeps popping up. “I need to know how it happened.”
Swallowing hard, Aunt Kathy inhales a shaky breath through her nose and blows it out through her mouth, visibly trying to collect herself before she answers me. “It was a car accident,” she whispers after forever, barely loud enough for me to hear. “I don’t know why they were together in your mom’s car this morning or where they were going, but an eighteen-wheeler lost control and hit them. They were already gone by the time the first responders arrived.”
I nod, still unable to cry. I hear the words she’s saying, but they aren’t really registering. They make sense, but I don’t understand. It’s as if I’ve been swallowed up by one of the black holes Daddy taught me about and the darkness is sucking away my ability to think, to feel. All I hear is the word “gone” still replaying over and over and over.
“Okay. I’ll get my stuff,” I say flatly, finally opening the door and stepping out of the car.
My movements are robotic, and I can barely even feel the key in my hand as I unlock the front door to my house. Stepping inside, I’m overwhelmed by a combination of the sweet smell of my mom’s favorite vanilla cookie candle and the sight of my dad’s fuzzy slippers waiting by the coatrack—the slippers he puts on the minute he walks in the door from work every night. When I realize he’ll never wear those slippers again, nor will my mom ever be able to forget if she blew out the candle when we’re about to pull out of the driveway, an acute pain shoots through my chest and I stumble over to the staircase, grabbing the banister to keep my balance.
“I’m right here, Lyra,” Aunt Kathy murmurs from behind me as she slips her arm around my waist. “Let’s just get your things and head over to my place. Later, once we’ve had some time to deal with everything, we can come back to go through the house and all the stuff… if you want.”
Another nod and I let her guide me up the stairs to my room. I want to scream at her that there will never be enough time to deal with losing my parents, that I’ll never be able to go through their things, but I keep my lips pressed together and do as I’m told.
“Where do you guys keep your suitcases?” she asks, glancing around my room as if she’s doing an inventory of what I have. “I’ll go grab a couple while you start pulling out what you want to take. If you forget something, it’s no big deal, because you and Granny are going to be staying at my place for the next few days. I can just bring you back to get it, or I can even ship it to Louisiana if you remember once you’re there.”
“They’re in the storage cabinets in the garage,” I answer while walking over to my desk, my eyes locked in on a framed photo of me and my parents that sits next to my laptop.
“Okay, I’ll be right back.”
The thud of her heels on the hardwood floor grows quiet as she makes her way back down to the first floor, and just as I grab the picture and plop down on the chair, I hear her open the door to the garage. A few much-needed minutes by myself.
I gaze down at the photograph of the three of us from a day at the beach, me sandwiched between their cheerful, carefree expressions, and the first tear finally escapes. Once the dam breaks, I can’t stop the flow, and as I trace my finger over the outline of each of my parents’ faces, I cry for everything I’ll never have again. A supernova of tears.
Faces I’ll never see smile again.
Voices I’ll never hear say my name again.
Arms I’ll never be hugged by again.
A never-ending galaxy of love that I’ll never feel again.
It’s all just… gone.
After several minutes of vision-blurring bawling, I set the picture frame back upright on my desk. A hot pink heart drawn on my calendar with the words Birthday Weekend Begins written over today’s box catches my attention. I then notice the printed numbers next to my bubbly handwriting that read 10-18-02.
Snatching the picture up again, I stare directly into first my dad’s eyes, and then my mom’s. The numbers I see when I look people directly in the eyes only happens when I’m face-to-face with someone, never in photographs or through a screen or mirror. But even though I can’t actually see the numbers right now in the picture of my parents’ pupils, their numbers are forever etched in my brain from looking at them every day of my life. I used to think the reason they had the same numbers meant they were true soul mates, like God made them to match perfectly together, but now….
My gaze flicks over to today’s date of 10-18-02, then back to my parents’ faces, where I envision their numbers—101802.
My plummeting heart collides with my lurching stomach in an explosion of realization.
It’s my Big Bang Moment.

 


About Erin Noelle USA Today Bestselling Author

 

Erin Noelle is a Texas native, where she lives with her husband and two
young daughters. While earning her degree in History, she rediscovered her love for reading  that was first instilled by her grandmother when she was a young child. A lover of happily-ever-afters, both historical and current,Erin is an avid reader of all romance novels.

Most nights you can find her cuddled up in bed with her husband, her Kindle in hand and a sporting event of some sorts on television.

 

 

Spotlight & Giveaway: My Angel (Bewitched and Bewildered, #9) by Alanea Alder

My Angel
Bewitched and Bewildered
Book 9
Alanea Alder
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Sacred Forest Publishing
Date of Publication: August 29, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-941315-20-0
ASIN: B071ZSV3X4
Number of pages: 282
Word Count: 71,000
Cover Artist: Kim Killion
Tagline: She’s been Bewitched, he’s Bewildered

Book Description:

Vivian Mercy has been running from the past for so long she doesn’t know any other way of life. When a panicked call comes from one of her only friends she finds herself returning to the city of her nightmares where her dedication as a doctor and resolve to help others is put to the test.

Etain Vi’Aerlin has been watching over Noctem Falls for centuries. Sent by his queen he became a silent sentinel in the shadows helping Magnus whenever he could. While the sickness around him claims more lives he discovers what it feels like to be helpless, as an ancient warrior he doesn’t have the skills to fight this unseen enemy.

At any other time finding a mate would be cause for celebration, but Etain wants Vivian as far from Noctem Falls as possible, unfortunately, as the only doctor with an intimate knowledge of diseases she has to stay in the city, and finds herself working tirelessly to discover a cure in the middle of the deadly chaos sweeping the levels.

As Vivian’s past is revealed she finds herself not only combating the terrible virus but also the rebellious faction of the Founding Families. Etain vows to stand by her, even if it means abandoning the post assigned by his queen.

It’s a race against time to unravel the lethal secrets the virus is hiding before the city itself is lost forever.

Excerpt: 


“Do we want to know?” Dimitri asked.

Kendrick shook his head. “Honestly? Probably not, stay dumb and happy.”

Viktor gave Kendrick a dirty look. “Are you always like this or do you have something against vampires?”

Kendrick thought about it a moment. “No, I’m pretty much always like this, no offense,” he smiled at them brightly. The warriors scowled at his flippant response.

Godard eyed Kendrick. “Since you are a member of the Alpha Unit, maybe you should come train with us tomorrow. That is, if your soft archivist hands can stand getting a little dirty,” he teased.

Kendrick gave him an evil smile and rose to his full height. He stood nearly half a foot over them. “You will find that I am not as easy to manipulate as two certain innocent witches. I look forward to seeing you first thing in the morning.”

About the Author:
USA Today Best Selling Author, Alanea loves reading almost as much as she loves writing. She began writing at a very young age, some of her first scribblings are treasured in a keepsake box and written in green marker. She started when she was still in grade school and continued on through college.

She believes that love truly conquers all and that everyone no matter what, deserves a chance at that love and a place they can call home. She absolutely loves to hear from her readers so don’t hesitate to reach out to her. As always, her promise to her readers remains, “If you keep reading, I’ll keep writing!”

Newsletters  http://bit.ly/2eazN2l

Amazon http://amzn.to/23P41XW

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Blog Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway: Cinderella Necromancer by F.M. Boughan

About the Book:

Title: CINDERELLA NECROMANCER

Author: F.M. Boughan

Pub. Date: September 5, 2017

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC

Pages: 324

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: AmazonB&N,  iBooksTBDGoodreads

 

CINDERELLA,NECROMANCER is CHIME meets ANNA, DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. But since then, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her mean daughters.

When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her freedom.

Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting of Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival.

But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince once more? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother?

As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, she will have to decide whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

Excerpt:

(Excerpt from Chapter Twenty-Six: The Second Ball)

They left. I did not hesitate.

I set up the parlour as if by rote, though the ease with which I fell into the routine stirred a concern. I buried it.

The spirits did their work, and I would do mine.

I had no doubt of my power, though if anyone had asked, I couldn’t have explained why I continued to tempt my eternal fate. I was as though driven by some force—something unseen—to use the ability, now that I had it.

I don’t excuse what I did. I only wish to explain why I continued to seek retribution despite my misgivings.

What is more, I longed for something deeper. Harsher. More severe, for a part of me believed that no matter what, I still held control over the spirits and what they did. And that same part of me wanted to see Charlotte suffer.

And so it was with this in mind that I turned further pages in The Book, knowing full well what I sought.

“To inflict harm,” I read, “make an image of wax on the day and in the hour of intent, in the name of the one to be harmed. Thus, you should use wax of candles burned at a funeral, and on the likeness, fashion hands in the place of feet, and feet in the place of hands.”

And so I did. With candles from my room that I had saved from Mother’s funeral, I molded a crude figure of my stepsister. With my fingernail, I inscribed Charlotte’s name on the wax doll’s forehead, and on its chest and shoulder, carved the book’s images of circles, planets, and five-sided stars.

Then I called my spirits. With the bridle still, I had no need of the first spirit. To the second, I had only to repeat my request. And to the third, I gave the wax doll, which he consecrated with spit smeared over the doll’s eyes.

“What would you have me do?” Oliroomim spoke with an unsettling eagerness.

From my hair, I drew a pin. With a hollowness in the pit of my belly, I pierced the spine of the doll.

About F.M. Boughan:

F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

You can follow Faith on Twitter (@FaithBoughan) for plenty of flailing about food (she likes to cook!), TV shows (she watches too many), and world dance (did you know she’s been performing & instructing in Bollywood-style dance for over 8 years?).

Or catch her on Facebook where she just might post pictures of her adorable cat & bird… among other things.

F.M. Boughan is represented by Bill Contardi of Brandt & Hochman.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

 

Giveaway:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of CINDERELLA NECROMANCER & a signed bookplate, International. (Wherever The Book Depository Ships)

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Tour Schedule:

 

Week Two:

8/28/2017- BookHounds YA– Guest Post

8/28/2017- A Dream Within A Dream– Review

 

8/29/2017- Wandering Bark Books– Guest Post

8/29/2017- Portrait of a Book– Review

 

8/30/2017- Morbid Romantic– Excerpt

8/30/2017- A Weebish Book Blog– Review

 

8/31/2017- Arvenig.it– Interview

8/31/2017- Pandora’s Books– Review

 

9/1/2017- Rainy Day Reviews– Guest Post

9/1/2017- The Autumn Bookshelf Review

See the complete schedule

Release Day Launch, Excerpt: Dragon Burn by Donna Grant

 

 

From New York Times Bestselling author Donna Grant, comes DRAGON BURN, a new novella in her Dark Kings Series, brought to you by 1,001 Dark Nights! Be sure to grab your copy today!

 

 

About DRAGON BURN:

In this scorching Dark Kings novella, New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant brings together a determined Dragon King used to getting what he wants and an Ice Queen who thaws for no one.

Marked by passion.

A promise made eons ago sends Sebastian to Italy on the hunt to find an enemy. His quarry proves difficult to locate, but there is someone who can point him in the right direction – a woman as frigid as the north. Using every seductive skill he’s acquired over his immortal life, his seduction begins. Until he discovers that the passion he stirs within her makes him burn for more…

Gianna Santini has one love in her life – work. A disastrous failed marriage was evidence enough to realize she was better off on her own. That is until a handsome Scot strolled into her life and literally swept her off her feet. She is unprepared for the blazing passion between them or the truth he exposes. But as her world begins to unravel, she realizes the only one she can depend on is the very one destroying everything – a Dragon King.

 

 

Grab your copy of DRAGON BURN today!

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Excerpt:

“You’re really going through with it? With a mortal?” Sebastian asked in dismay.

Ulrik smiled and raised a mug of wine in salute. “Who am I to question love?”

Sebastian looked out over the vast rugged glen and the loch below from their perch atop a mountain on Dreagan. “What of children? None of the other humans have carried a bairn to term? Your line could die out.”

“Only the cosmos knows if I’ll be a father.” Ulrik shrugged and took a long drink. “I’m happy. That’s all I care about.”

Sebastian didn’t have the heart to mention that years from now, his friend might feel differently. He didn’t understand why Ulrik wasn’t considering every possibility, because once he was mated, that was it. He would be bound for eternity. Though, to be fair, a King didn’t go through with a ceremony if there were doubts, and it was obvious Ulrik wanted the human for his mate.

Ulrik released a sigh, his gold eyes bright. “One day you’ll find love, Bast. I hope I’m there to see it.”

“Finding love is the least of my worries.”

“Ah, that’s right.” Ulrik nodded, a frown forming. “So your brother is intent on marrying that young dragon?”

Sebastian drained his wine. “Aye, and that’s a sore subject. Let us move to happier things. Like your mating ceremony. I hear the feast is going to be one spoken about for ages.”

“It’ll be the first time so many mortals, Dragon Kings, and dragons will be in one place.”

“Are you worried at all?”

Ulrik laughed and placed his hand behind him, leaning back. “Why would I be? You sound like Con, always fretting about something or other. We’ve lived in peace for over two centuries now. My mating will be the first of many such alliances. Just wait and see.”

Their peace wasn’t exactly stable, but with Ulrik’s euphoric state of mind he likely wouldn’t recall the growing unrest of the humans or the continued displeasure of the dragons. It was something the Kings spoke about often. Only a few hours earlier Con had met with some mortals to ensure the peace continued.

As usual, Ulrik saw only the good in everything. No matter the trouble or difficulty, to Ulrik there was always a silver lining. It was one of the things Sebastian admired about his friend. And it was why Ulrik was so popular with dragons, Kings, and mortals alike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Donna Grant:

Donna Grant is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the sizzling Dark King series featuring dragons, immortal Highlanders, and the Fae.

She was born and raised in Texas but loves to travel. Her adventures have taken her throughout the United States as well as to Jamaica, Mexico, and Scotland. Growing up on the Texas/Louisiana border, Donna’s Cajun side of the family taught her the “spicy” side of life while her Texas roots gave her two-steppin’ and bareback riding.

Despite deadlines and voracious reading, Donna still manages to keep up with her two children, four cats, and one long haired Chihuahua.

 

 

 

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