Racing the Hunter’s Moon by Sally Clements

Racing the Hunter’s Moon9781633750548_500

(An Under the Hood novella)

Sally Clements

Blurb: Pretending to be a couple may drive them crazy.

Feisty mechanic Betty Smith should have only one thing on her mind—catching the conman who swindled her mother. Not the sexy stranger who kissed her then completely disappeared.

Undercover FBI agent Joe Carter needs to focus on the bad guy who got away, not the gorgeous headstrong brunette who watches too many cop shows and keeps interfering in his case. Unfortunately, catching their prey before he skips town means working together.

But while entering the vintage car rally as a couple seemed like a good idea at the time, faking feelings for each other turns out to be the easiest part. Neither one can allow anything to get in their way, but staying away from each other is impossible. They both know, though, once their plan is complete, so is their time together.

Authors Bio: Sally Clements writes fun, sexy and real contemporary romance, Sally Clements 2partnering hot heroes with heroines who know what they want, and go for it!

She is a full-time author, who lives in the Irish countryside, and when she isn’t writing can usually be found in traffic, driving ‘Mum’s taxi’.

Always a voracious reader, she considers writing for a living the perfect job—the only downside is saying goodbye to her characters at book’s end!


Fun, Sexy, Real Romance!
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Are you willing to do giveaways with the book tour? How many copies throughout the tour?




Betty’s heart pounded hard enough to burst. She swung around, and her startled gaze shot to the man who filled the doorway. A man with midnight-blue eyes.


Her hand fluttered at her throat. What on earth was the stranger from this morning doing here? Had he followed her?

You’re Betty?” His eyes scanned her face with an I-don’t-believe-it look. He took a step forward, then another.

Everything in Betty rioted with the urge to escape. She eyed the doorway behind him and edged farther behind the table, putting solid pine between them. Her mouth was so dry it was as if she’d spent days crawling through the desert. He knows my name. She swallowed. “What are you doing here?”

“Calm down.” As if realizing her agitation, he stopped. Held up his hands palms-out. “I’m Joe Carter.”

You’re Joe Carter?”

“Is there an echo in here?” His hands lowered to his sides. The tension seemed to leave his shoulders and the corners of his mouth lifted in a smile.

Smoothing a hand over her hair, she glanced down at the table. A funny, fluttery feeling on seeing that smile replaced the panic she’d felt moments earlier. Unwanted awareness of him chased the tension from her body and filled it with warmth.

She rubbed the ache blooming at her temple. “Very funny.” To her annoyance, her words came out husky-soft, rather than sarcasm-laced. “I’ve been waiting here for almost two hours for a carpenter to show up, and now you? If you’re Joe, what were you doing grabbing me this morning?”

He avoided the question and looked past her at the open freezer door. “Looks like you were keeping yourself busy. Raiding the freezer, were you?”

Huh. “I was hungry. Someone kept me waiting.” The only reason she would ever break into someone else’s freezer was under desperate circumstances. “What are you, carpenter or…”

“It’s complicated.” He smiled, and once again attraction grabbed her insides with both hands and twisted. “But I have got a job to do this evening before we talk. I’m hungry too.” A black eyebrow arched. “Maybe you and I could have dinner after I’ve assembled the bed?”

Faded jeans rode low on his lean hips and clung to his thighs. Above them, he wore a chunky navy sweater under a battered black leather jacket. Average, everyday clothing. But the breadth of his shoulders, the glimpse of tanned collarbone evident in the dip of the sweater’s crew neck, were far from average or everyday. She scanned down. Work boots. Big work boots. Big feet, big… Cutting that thought off at the pass, Betty’s gaze shot up to collide with his.

Amusement danced in his eyes. “Well? Like what you see?”

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Interview with Sharon Struth

ShareTheMoon600x900Thank you so much for having me here today, Brynna. I loved your interview questions and even admitted a few things kept secret until now!

Thank you for joining me in the shadows. Pay no attention to that odd silhouette over there. Weird things live here.  Where do you hail from?

Answer: I hail from Bethel, Connecticut, a smallish town near Danbury and a place offering some inspiration for my latest release, Share the Moon.

Tell me about your latest book. What makes it stand out from the crowd?

Answer: Share the Moon is—at its core—a romance. But it’s really so much more. The book is best described in the words of this 5-Star review on Goodreads:

“A small town, a big lake, old secrets and ever-raw losses–Share the Moon, first in the Blue Moon Lake Series by Sharon Struth, grabs all of those in a top hat, stirs it up a bit, and manages to pull out magic.”

Share the Moon Blurb:

Sometimes trust is the toughest lesson to learn.

Sophie Shaw is days away from signing a contract that will fulfill her dream of owning a vineyard. For her, it’s a chance to restart her life and put past tragedies to rest. But Duncan Jamieson’s counter offer blows hers out to sea.

Duncan still finds Sophie as appealing as he had during boyhood vacations to the lake. Older and wiser now, he has his own reasons for wanting the land. His offer, however, hinges on a zoning change approval.

Bribery rumors threaten the deal and make Sophie wary of Duncan, yet she cannot deny his appeal. When her journalistic research uncovers a Jamieson family secret, trust becomes the hardest lesson for them both.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Answer: Learn, write every day and listen to advice.

How did you deal with rejection letters? Any tips for unpublished writers?

Answer: Rejection is part of writing. I once had a writing teacher tell me that for every thirteen submissions, you might get one acceptance. Go with those odds and remember—it’s not personal.

What tools of the trade are must-haves for you?

Answer: A supportive group of writer friends. At times, we all need another pair of eyes on our work, or someone to simply talk about the writing process. You husband and kids will eventually lose interest, but not your writer friends.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to research a story?

Answer: One morning I worked on a scene for The Hourglass (Etopia Press) and my hero was drinking scotch (or whiskey). To write about it, I honestly felt a need to have the taste in my mouth (not that I haven’t tasted it before). I went into our liquor cabinet and took out one of the bottles my husband enjoys and had a wee bit to drink—even though it was morning and I should have been sipping my coffee

What do you like to read?

Answer: I’m all over the board with genre fiction; romance, mystery, thrillers and even fantasy grab my attention.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Answer: Kristan Higgins. The films I love are romantic comedies and every one of her books makes me laugh and cry like a fool at the end, just like my romcoms. She never disappoints.

Now for the fun questions.  Let’s strip away the veil of invisibility. Do you have a day job alongside writing and will you tell us about it?

Answer: This is my day, night and everything in between job. I write almost seven days a week.

Your favorite book hero?

Answer: I have two answers. First, Atticus Finch, “super-dad” from To Kill a Mockingbird. Favorite “sexiest” hero, would be Jamie Fraser in Outlander.

You finally have an evening free to spend any way you want. Money is no object. Where do you go? What would you do?

Answer: I’d jet myself to Tuscany, where I could enjoy a wonderful meal at an off-the-beaten track trattoria with my family and best friends. Maybe I’d bring my tablet and play Candy Crush (like I do every night) after we eat.

Thanks so much for being my guest today! Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?  Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.

Excerpt from Share the Moon:

Sophie glanced toward his desk, where Duncan remained wrapped up in his phone call. The top button of his crisp white shirt was undone, visible beneath a loosened red power tie. Cuffed sleeves, folded neatly to below his elbow, revealed strong forearms. He lifted his gaze over the rims of his glasses. She froze.

“Hold on, Kevin.” He covered the mouthpiece. “Please. Have a seat.”

“Sorry.” Duncan returned to his call. “We’ll have to wrap this up. My appointment arrived. Anything else we need to discuss?”

He’d requested her for this interview but didn’t seem happy she actually showed up. Did he have another reason, like to retaliate for the parking lot outburst?

She approached an expensive-looking leather sofa and removed a tape recorder pad, and pen to a teak coffee table but, on principle, refused to sit. Jay often remarked how he hated her passive-aggressive behavior. The reality of his observation came to full light with this situation.

An end table held a picture of Duncan with a pretty, dark-haired woman huddled close to two children, the backdrop some European city. Meg had said his wife passed away. Had she suffered a long illness like Sophie’s mother or was her death sudden?

 “Not again?” Duncan sounded annoyed. “You’re right. Okay. I’ll send Carl this time.”

She lifted the photograph. The teenage girl appeared in her early teens and had the cute nose of the woman and her dark hair. The young boy had Duncan’s features, with brighter cinnamon hair and freckles around his nose.

The room’s silence suddenly screamed. Sophie glanced over, afraid Duncan’s angry scowl would have returned. Instead, he studied her with a softened stare. His thoughtful gaze appraised her legs, paused midway then inched the remainder of her torso with a smooth caress. He stopped at her face and those damn crystal eyes pinned hers in place. Sophie’s breath hitched.

Author Bio:S0104078

Sharon Struth is an award-winning author who believes it’s never too late for a second chance in love or life. When she’s not writing, she and her husband happily sip their way through the scenic towns of the Connecticut Wine Trail. Sharon writes from the small town of Bethel, Connecticut, the friendliest place she’s ever lived. For more information, including where to find her other novels and published essays, please visit her at

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Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley

MEDIA KIT SWC Cover (1)Silver Wolf Clan

by Tera Shanley






What happens when monsters turn out to be real? One summer night while camping in the woods, Morgan Carter finds out in a big way. A tall mysterious stranger, Greyson Crawford, risks his life to try and save her sister from the vicious wolf attacking their camp. When he’s bitten and disappears into the night, Morgan can only assume the worst.


Greyson shows up a year later, and he’s a different animal altogether. His eye color shifts constantly and the rumble in his throat sounds more animal than human. She hasn’t any idea where he’s been all this time, but a good guess as to what he’s become.


Grey is determined not to let the darkness of his new existence affect Morgan and the little girl in her care. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Morgan but knows he should stay away and let her live a normal life. That’s easier said than done, though. A new danger pulls him from the shadows to keep her safe, and he’s no wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Can she accept what lurks just below his surface? More importantly, can she survive him?





Grey’s arms and legs were on fire, burning from his very veins, blistering every nerve ending on the way out. Why was the pain tearing through his chest? He tried to hail the woman but nothing came out except a quiet groan. Was he dying? He arched his neck toward her sister. Her body was so mangled it was all but unrecognizable as human. The girl’s eyes were open, fixed, staring back at him. She was dead. Would he die, too? What was that thing? That monster?


Maybe this was all a dream. Maybe he still slept, back in his campsite a quarter of a mile away. He’d been sleeping there only a few minutes ago. Maybe he was just having a vivid night terror and he’d wake at any moment to the relief that this wasn’t real. The girl slid over to him, but he was already panting in pain. Fire in his blood burned him up.


Her mouth moved, but he couldn’t hear anything over the roaring in his ears. Like helicopter blades, the sound drowned out everything. Her lips were full, and when his vision blurred, he tried to focus on her face. She was beautiful. Tiny. Delicate like a hummingbird. Even through spilling tears, the moss green color of her eyes was clear and compelling.


Her voice overcame the screeching in his ears. “What’s your name?”


“Greyson,” he rasped. “Greyson Crawford.” Someone should know who he was. Notify Dad what had happened there in the woods of Enchanted Rock. “What’s yours?” It was getting so hard to breathe. He had to know. He’d leave the world on her name.


“Morgan. My name’s Morgan.”



AUTHOR Bio and Links:MEDIA KIT author pic (1)


Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love. A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit


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Tera will be awarding a $10 Amazon Gift Card to THREE randomly drawn winners via rafflecopter during the tour.  a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Juliette Cross, author of SOULFIRE

Thank you for joining me in the shadows. Pay no attention to that odd silhouette authorpic6 take 4over there. Weird things live here.  Where do you hail from?

South Louisiana where the food is great and people are a tad odd.

Tell me about your latest book. What makes it stand out from the crowd?

SOULFIRE is a retelling of Romeo and Juliet with half-dragon men, steamy sex, and a happily ever after. While I love shifter books, this isn’t one of them. It’s a fantasy world where humans live alongside Morgons, the dragon hybrid race, and racial tensions are on the rise, especially when human daughters of the aristocracy start playing on the Morgon side of the city.

Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?SF Cover

Yes, I’m currently working on book two in The Vessel Trilogy. SEALED IN SIN continues the story of Genevieve and her demon hunter protector, Jude Delacroix. Book one, FORGED IN FIRE (Samhain) releases this January.  Here’s a link if you’d like to get a taste of Genevieve’s discovery of the demon underworld in New Orleans.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Form genuine relationships with writers, bloggers, and others in the book industry. Find  a sound critique group who will be honest with you, because you need improvement. We ALL need improvement. Learn from others who are a step or two ahead of you and pass along your own knowledge to those a step or two behind.

How did you deal with rejection letters? Any tips for unpublished writers?

There’s no easy way to deal with rejection letters. Rejection sucks, in all forms. But you have to put your big girl panties (or big boy briefs) on and listen to the reasons it is being rejected. Also, understand that this is a seriously subjective business. What doesn’t appeal to one editor/agent may appeal to the next one.

Tips? In the immortal words of Winston Churchill, “Never, never, never give up.”

What tools of the trade are must-haves for you?

  1. My writing playlists, ranging from the Game of Thrones soundtrack to my alternative rock. Pinterest, because visual stimuli keeps my mind spinning with new ideas. And copious amounts of reading. The best way to become a better writer is to be an avid reader.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to research a story?

I took a Ghost Tour in the back streets of the French Quarter in New Orleans. One of the coolest nights ever.

What do you like to read?

My favorite genres are urban fantasy/paranormal romance (Nalini Singh and Karen Marie Moning–my go-to authors) and historical romance (Julia Quinn and Eloisa James).

Who is your favorite author and why?

Truthfully, my absolute favorite is Charlotte Bronte. She created one of the strongest heroines in Jane Eyre and one of the sexiest heroes in Mr. Rochester, then set the story in the coolest, most haunting place of Thornfield Hall. I still reread this Gothic romance to learn from her masterful craft.

Now for the fun questions.  Let’s strip away the veil of invisibility. Do you have a day job alongside writing and will you tell us about it?

  1. Up until earlier this year, I taught high school English to gifted students. I was recently promoted to the Gifted and Talented Coordinator for our district. While I’ll miss the classroom, the free afternoons and evenings gives me more time to write. J

If you weren’t a writer, what career might you have chosen?

Literary agent. Or coffee shop owner. Cliché, I know.

Who is your favorite superhero (or heroine)? Can be from a comic book, movie, novel, cartoon, video game or anywhere else heroes reign.

Hit Girl from KICK-ASS (Marvel comics and the movies). She’s freaking awesome.

Your favorite book hero?

Severus Snape.

Snape? A hero, you ask? Yes. Because he never did anything for glory or fame. He lived a despised life, sacrificing his reputation, happiness, everything, because of his love for the woman he lost, the woman he could not save from death. A love that never wavered, despite the fact she chose another (the wrong man, IMHO). Even death did not quell his love for her and the sacrifices he was willing to make for her post-mortem, to protect her son.

You finally have an evening free to spend any way you want. Money is no object. Where do you go? What would you do?

Depending on my mood and the week I’ve had, either a long, luxurious dinner with my husband at a ridiculously expensive restaurant, washed down with bottles of wine. OR slumming in front of my television in my sweatpants with margaritas and take-out sushi.

You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you? Why?

A dragon. Why? Because they’re…BAD. ASS.

Thanks so much for being my guest today! Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?  Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.

Thank you for having me! Please feel free to check out my upcoming October release SOULFIRE. If you’d like to get early and exclusive news, teasers, excerpts, please join me for my monthly newsletter:


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Interview with Mary Quast

Thank you for joining me in the shadows. Pay no attention to that odd silhouette over there. Weird CrowMagicthings live here.  Where do you hail from?

Thank you for having me, Brynna. Don’t worry about shadows… I live in a log home tucked in the woods of Michigan. I’m used to shadows and the eyes that sometimes are with them.

Tell me about your latest book. What makes it stand out from the crowd?

Eagle Dance is the second book in my Legend of the Spirit series. The heroes of these books are Native Americans from tribes located in Great Lakes Region. They are also either ex- or currently in the military. Erotic Romance stories involving Native American shifters are hard to find and once you find one, you don’t want to let it go.

Do you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it?

I have three more stories I’m working on for this series. Hawk’s Honor, the hero is Special Ops Marine who’s a hawk shifter. Falcon Shadows, the hero is a falcon shifter, also a Marine, who likes to live fast…maybe too fast. Dragon Flight… yes you read that correctly… the hero finds out he is a descendant of the ancient Chippewa Tribe of the Dragon from Wisconsin. Even though he was marked as a shifter, he couldn’t shift. But when he finally does for the first time, he’s a dragon!

OH… the hero’s best bud in Eagle Dance is a Native American wolf shifter who lost part of his hand/paw in a battle. I think I’ll give him his own story as well.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?

Write what you know! This particular series started from legends and tales told by a Native EagleDanceAmerican friend while sitting around the bonfire during my childhood. You’d be amazed with how many wonderful adventures and stories come from our own experiences.

How did you deal with rejection letters? Any tips for unpublished writers?

I haven’t received a rejection letter in years. LOL However, I have them in a folder to keep my humble. My advice for unpublished writers is pretty simple.  1. Finish the story. 2. Review your words. Don’t use the word WAS and limit use of words such as felt, touch, and against. Always show, don’t tell. 3. Have another writer read your work and then polish the story until it rocks!

What tools of the trade are must-haves for you?

Let’s see… wine, chocolate and my Labrador under my feet.  Does that count? Otherwise, I need a quiet place or at least my headphones to drown out my three boys. I’d say I need to have my research assistant handy as well. That’s my hubby… he volunteers to give my one-liners for my heroes and offers to help work through tough to write love scenes. LOL

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to research a story?

Don’t ask my “research assistant” he’d tell you about the time I ordered some Kama Sutra books. However, I’d say when I traveled to England and sat in the shadows outside castle ruins to write a scene. It was soooo cool. After tourists left, we got a private tour!

What do you like to read?

I go through phases. Sometimes I’ll get stuck on historical or vamps. Currently I’m stuck on Larissa Ione and Sanda Hill with their angle stories. While I wait for the next installments of their series, I’m reading a lot of military romance by Kallypso Masters and J.M. Madden.

Who is your favorite author and why?

I really can’t say I have one favorite author. I’m friends with so many and truly enjoy their works. However, I can say I love Desiree Holt just because of HER. I haven’t read a lot of her work, but I’ve meet her and been with her at several conventions. She is the nicest lady and I wish I could adopt her and take her home with me. When I grow up I want to be just like her.

Now for the fun questions.  Let’s strip away the veil of invisibility. Do you have a day job alongside writing and will you tell us about it?

I was a professional artist for 20 years until I developed Lupus. Now I have a hard time holding a pencil or doing artwork for very long. I’ve been writing seriously since 1999. When I’m not writing, I’m a full time mom. Ah… make that Football Mom. I have three boys, all athletes… football in the fall, track and baseball in the spring. My eldest is a freshman at college this year which means we’ll spend more time on the road. I love my guys, but they certainly keep me busy. My friends and I are known as the shakers and movers of our school district.

On another note… I’m working with football moms to create a cookbook “How to Feed Your Teen Athlete”. We plan on using the proceeds to send student athletes to sport camps.

I also guest lecture at the high school and local college on Journal Writing.

If you weren’t a writer, what career might you have chosen?

I can’t imagine not being a writer. Even in college, I double majored in art and biology but my minor was creative writing. Over the years I’ve been so much and done so many things…I simply have to tell people about them. I’d probably be the lady who visits the library to tell stories.

Who is your favorite superhero (or heroine)? Can be from a comic book, movie, novel, cartoon, video game or anywhere else heroes reign.

When I was a kid, I had a crush on Batman’s sidekick, Robin. When he grew up into Nightwing! He has the nicest hair, the slickest costumes, and the best backside in comics, plus a weird propensity for accidental villainous bondage. Damn… why didn’t I think of him first?

Your favorite book hero?

Acheron from the Dark Hunter series by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I haven’t read his twin brother’s book yet so I hope Dark Hunter fans don’t go jiggy on me.

You finally have an evening free to spend any way you want. Money is no object. Where do you go? What would you do?

Hubby is a pilot and once he flew me to Hawaii for dinner and then breakfast on the beach. I would LOVE to do that again! But maybe add a midnight swim to the evening.

You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you? Why?

That is similar to a question I ask my fans. LOL After growing up with Native American shifter stories, I’ve always imagined myself as different animals. Now that I’m older, I’d like to be albino crow. The glistening white feathers combined with the intelligence of the crow would be lovely.

Thanks so much for being my guest today! Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?  Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.

Thank you so much for having me today. I think the shadow behind you just moved. LOL I’d like to invite everyone to celebrate SHIFTER MONTH with me. I’m giving away some nice prizes. Visit my blog, Romantic Interludes or my website

Here’s my Amazon Author Page to view my books.

Enter the contest via Rafflecopter for a chance to win a piece of Legend of the Spirit inspired jewelry.


Spotlight: Black Widow Witch by A. J. Locke

blackwitchwidowTitle: Black Widow Witch

Author: A. J. Locke

Release Date: 5/15/2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy


A deadly curse, a deadly assassin, and one shot to save everyone she loves…


Malachi Erami can’t fall in love. After she’s caught with Knave, the witch Queen’s favorite lover, she’s cursed to savagely butcher any man she falls for. Exiled to live among humans, Malachi runs a bar that serves magic-laced drinks, but since her curse labels her high risk, she’s also closely monitored. Julian Vira is her latest babysitter, but he’s also the first man since Knave that she’s been attracted to. Good-looking and nonjudgmental of her horrible curse? Yeah, he’s hard to resist.


But when Malachi finds a body behind her bar, she knows she’s in trouble. If the Witches Control Council gets wind of it, she’ll be accused of murder and sent to her death. And when her friends start getting framed for murder, she realizes she’s not the only target. Malachi and Julian dig into the evidence to clear her name, but the closer they get to answers, the closer the curse comes to taking over. So when Malachi uncovers a plot to kill the witch Queen, she finds herself suddenly recruited into service, with the promise of having her curse lifted and a reunion with Knave as well. But if she fails, Knave will die. And she and Julian might not live long enough to see that happen.



Chapter One


Today was the anniversary of the worst day of my life, and I’d been trying to forget about it by consuming a vast amount of booze. The fact that I owned a bar greatly helped with that endeavor, and the fact that I was drunk was an accomplishment, since witches weren’t easily susceptible to alcohol. Humans were onto something with this whole drinking-to-forget-one’s-crappy-life thing.

Behind the bar, I poured a shot for an eager customer. Amaretto, Southern Comfort peach liqueur, and sweet-and-sour mix went into the glass, then I held my hand over the drink and let a stream of purple magic, the same color as my eyes, flow into it. The drink glowed purple for a few seconds, then I handed it to the customer, who drank it with no hesitation. After slamming the glass down, he grabbed the tipsy woman who’d been hanging on him and gave her a sloppy kiss, then led her out of the bar. I smiled and shook my head. The magic I’d put into the shot, aptly named Piece of Ass, would ensure they didn’t leave the bedroom tonight.


Somewhere in the room I heard riotous laughter, and above that the voice eliciting that laughter. Xiune was having a good night for a change and wasn’t holed up in my office. Though since she was just a head inside a clear acrylic box, it was understandable that sometimes all she wanted to do was hide.


“Malachi, darling!” Xiune called. “Seven handsome young men have requested the Challenge!” I smiled slyly. I loved administering the Challenge.


“It’s time for the Seven Deadly Sins Challenge!” I announced, filling up eight shot glasses with vodka, one of which I downed. “Which sin will it be and what will its victim do?” People shouted their guesses while I sent tendrils of magic into the shots. My magic sparked like tiny bolts of lightning, and like the shot I had just made, the liquid briefly glowed purple. I focused on one of the glasses and started whispering a spell, channeling the essence of one of the seven deadly sins through my body. For a brief moment, my body became flushed with a feeling of ravenous desire, then it flowed out of me into the shot glass. I felt rather charged and wondered if this had been the right sin to choose tonight. But hey, I was drunk, and I kind of wanted to see someone suffer. Misery loves company right?


I levitated the shot glasses onto a tray and sauntered over to the table where Xiune was entertaining the men who thought they were up for the Challenge. With her flawless complexion, golden eyes, and vibrant red hair, Xiune didn’t need a body to be beautiful. I’d known her when she had one though, and if she’d been sitting there in all her glory, she’d have every man kneeling at her feet. Her allure was only heightened by the fact that she was a bodiless beauty who used her magic to float herself around in a box. The box wasn’t necessary for Xiune to move around, but she felt safer inside it when she was out in public. That way if a witch hater spat on her, she’d have a shield. It also prevented those on the other end of the spectrum, people who were fascinated by witches, from getting too close. I set the shot glasses down and motioned for the men to stand around the table. They looked like your typical college fare: unkempt hair, sagging pants, and some sort of ironic or sports themed T-shirt. High-fives and shit talking all around.


“Now boys,” I said, leaning forward on my forearms, giving my cleavage time to shine. “Are you sure you’re ready for this? One of you is moments away from experiencing a sin you may or may not enjoy.” They assured me they were man enough to handle any sin, and I smiled. The fun thing about the Challenge was that everyone handled it differently. One man caught with gluttony had run across the street to McDonalds, spent over a hundred dollars on food, then sat on the floor and gorged himself. A woman under the same gluttony spell had tried to eat her friend’s purse.


“Let’s hope it’s lust and let’s hope it’s me,” one of the men said, winking at me. He stood a couple of inches over six feet, had brown hair and a lanky physique. If he started spending time at the gym, maybe his lame come-ons would give him more luck getting laid.


“Honey, I would eat you up,” I said with a slow smile. Normally I would never have said such a line, but all the alcohol I had consumed was speaking for me. He probably had no idea how true those words were though, because his smile never wavered. However, for a moment after I spoke, I saw another face in place of his, and it cut through my drunken haze like a knife. I gasped, and he must have thought that was a sign he had a chance with me, because his smile became more lascivious. Lucky for him, he did nothing for me.


“Malachi, let’s get this show going.” Xiune slid her box over to nudge me, and I shook my head and turned back to the waiting crowd.


“All right, it’s about to go down!” I yelled. “For anyone who hasn’t witnessed the Challenge before, I’ll explain how it works. One of these shot glasses is infused with the essence of one of the seven deadly sins, and the recipient will be overcome with that sin for the next half hour, while the others will experience the most euphoric feeling they’ve ever experienced from a shot of alcohol.” I motioned for the men to pick up a glass, and Mister Flirtatious had one more wink for me.


“Gentlemen, take your shot of sin!” They took their shots to the head. When they slammed their glasses down, every eye in the room was on them. After about twenty seconds, one of the men—not Winky—suddenly gasped, whipped his head around, and bolted from among his friends to accost a mildly attractive woman standing nearby.


“Fuck me! Fuck me, please!” He shook her by the upper arms while she stared at him, mortified, as his friends tried to pry him off her. I brayed with laughter, as did Xiune and everyone else in the bar.


“Oh god, I’m so horny. Someone please, fuck me!” He struggled against his laughing friends, trying to reach any female in sight, with his erection leading the way. Lust had been the winner tonight, and for the next thirty minutes this poor sap would be lusting after every woman he saw, whether she was twenty-eight or eighty-two. He even lurched toward Xiune, but she floated out of the way. Xiune was one sexy head in a box and had a mouth she could work wonders with. She often came out of her box to work those wonders on any willing man. There were more than you’d think.


“Right sin, wrong guy, right?” brown-haired dude said to me.


I rolled my eyes. “You and your friends will have your hands full for the next half hour. I suggest you hold on to him real good and don’t be surprised if he turns to one of you when it starts to look like he won’t be getting any women.”


He laughed and pulled out his cell phone. “I’ll call his girlfriend, though she’ll probably be too pissed at him for doing this to alleviate his lust.” He left the bar to make the call, while the other five continued to hold on to their friend, laughing like they’d never experienced anything so hilarious in their lives. Some of the more mischievous or drunk women teased the guy by parading in front of him and doing dirty little stripper moves. Only his friends’ hold stopped him from tackling one of them and trying to rip her clothes off.


I wasn’t afraid of things getting out of hand because I could break the spell any time I wanted. There was always a point where things stopped being amusing and started getting annoying. I left them and headed back behind the bar, while Xiune found another table of people to entertain. She was a wonderful songstress, and soon her melodic voice filled the bar as I went back to making magicked drinks. I glanced at my watch, noting that it was almost midnight, which meant the day was almost over. That didn’t actually mean anything though. The day passing didn’t mean I would forget the curse that was hanging over my life.


“Hey, Malachi, can you pass me a knife?”


“Knave?” I quickly turned to the busboy, James, who was bent over a box behind the bar.

“No, I said knife,” he said. My throat was suddenly tight, but I reached under the bar, got a knife, and handed it to him. I stood back and ran my hands through my short black curls, blowing out a slow breath as I tried to rein in my reaction to thinking I had heard the name Knave. That was the name attached to the face I did not like to think about, but no amount of alcohol and rowdy college boys taking the Challenge could truly put him from my mind. I didn’t want to see Knave’s face, didn’t want to think about the hard muscles my hands used to slide over, following the planes of his body to his waist and not stopping until I touched something that arched his back and made him whisper my name. I didn’t want to think about the nights we’d spent wrapped in each other’s arms, feeling our hearts beating against each other. But of course, since his name crossed my lips, he was all I could think about.


Falling in love with Knave was why I was cursed. And I could only blame myself. I should have known better than to take someone else’s lover to my bed. Especially if the woman crossed was a witch queen who was powerful, sadistic, and known to curse people just for sneezing out of place.

“Malachi? Excuse me, Malachi?” I blinked and brought myself out of my thoughts, turning to see that one of the other busboys, Dan, was trying to get my attention. He held a box of empty liquor bottles and needed me to move so he could pass. I shuffled out of the way, but thinking of Knave and my curse, along with all the beer and shots I’d drunk tonight, made me feel slightly unstable. Suddenly, the rowdiness in my bar wasn’t fun; it was obnoxious, and I wanted to get away from it. I headed through the door Dan had passed through, into the hallway that led to my office and the Dumpster out back. Halfway down the hallway, I heard a crash, followed by a scream. I ran through the back door, taking in several things at once that left me rooted to the spot. One, the revolting stench that went far beyond what our single Dumpster could give off. Two, Dan standing rigidly a few feet away with broken bottles scattered at his feet. And three, the thing that had caused him to drop the bottles and scream. Behind the Dumpster was a dead body.


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A.J. Locke is an author and artist, originally from Trinidad, now residing in New York City. Black Widow Witch is her second published novel, and other than writing she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, graphic design, and watching too much television.




Twitter:  @maqueripe



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Affairs of the Dead

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Please Pretty Lights by Ina Zajac

Please Pretty Lightsplease pretty lights

Ina Zajac


Blurb: It’s September when good girl Via Sorenson stumbles into a Seattle strip club, drunk and alone on her twenty-first birthday. Matt and Nick—best friends, bandmates, and bouncers—do their best to shield her from their sadistic cocaine-trafficking boss, Carlos. They don’t realize her daddy issues come with a forty-million-dollar trust fund and a legacy she would do anything to escape.

She is actually Violetta Rabbotino, who had been all over the news ten years earlier when her father, an acclaimed abstract artist, came home in a rage, murdered her mother, then turned the gun on himself. Young Violetta was spared, hidden behind the family Christmas tree, veiled by the mysticism of its pretty lights whose unadulterated love captivated and calmed her.

Now, desperate to shed her role as orphaned victim, Via stage dives into a one-hundred-day adventure with Matt and Nick, the bassist and drummer of popular nineties cover band Obliviot. The rock-and-roll lifestyle is the perfect distraction—until she is rattled by true love. As Christmas looms closer, her notorious past becomes undeniable. How will she ever untangle herself from her twisted string of pretty lights?


ina1About the Author: Ina Zajac is an award-winning journalist, avid people watcher, and lover of quirk and contrast. Her writing is heavily influenced by her fascination with music, art, and her hometown of Seattle.

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Twitter: @InaZajac



Chapter 1

SoHo, New York City, December 21, 2004


*** Via

Back to the wall, Via shuffled through the candy cane wilderness, careful not to displace piles of presents or disturb crystal angels. It was so close. Branches prickled against her chin and neck as she stretched into the corner. Needles latched onto her green St. Anne Elementary School sweater. After months of waiting and wondering, there it was—white with a gold bow. She reached out. Her fingertips grazed the paper, the tag. It would have her name on it.

“No peeking,” her mother called from the kitchen. “Cookies are almost ready. Come and help.”

Guilt settled in and crowded out her naughty curiosity. Mama’s feathery voice lingered in the air, and mingled with the smell of gingersnaps.

The front door slammed shut. Her body tensed against the wall as it recognized the rumble of her father’s approach. Her arm retreated to the safety of her side. The hardwood floor vibrated his location in the foyer. He wasn’t supposed to be home from the country yet. He needed his rest.

“Ingrid!” he yelled. “Violetta!”

He called her Violetta when he was angry. When he was happy, he said she was the heartbeat of the universe. Now that she was eleven, she wasn’t a little kid anymore, but she still called him Daddy. He made her promise she would always call him Daddy.

His voice was muffled. The floor was still. He must have stopped to check the front bedrooms, but for how long? That tummy pain was back, the one that burned from the inside out; the one Dr. Peyton said fifth graders shouldn’t have. Being the daughter of Joseph Antonio Rabbotino wasn’t easy. Kids at school called her Rabbit and were never allowed to come over and play. The floor trembled more and more. He must be standing nearby, maybe next to the piano, she thought. She couldn’t see past the tree’s festive colors, and prayed he couldn’t either. She had promised to be a good girl.

Her mother’s voice rushed over from the kitchen. It was shrill. “Oh, my God,” she said. “Put that down. You’re not yourself right now.”

Put what down? She wondered. Sometimes he brought home presents or pets.

“You think I’m crazy?” He let out a harsh laugh she had never heard before. “You think you can drug me and leave me in Connecticut to rot?”

A bell near her elbow began to jingle. Don’t be a spaz, she told herself. She had to stop shaking; she just had to. Being invisible meant being silent, so she leaned to the right and smothered it. Her other arm met up with something pointy.

“But, you wanted to go, remember?” Her mother was talking really fast. “Dr. Goldman said you should rest, give the new meds some time.”

Daddy had a lot of doctors. Daddy took a lot of pills.

“I know what you think of me,” he said. “That the critics are right. That I’ll never paint again.”

“It’s okay, it’s all going to be okay,” her mother insisted. “But you’ve been drinking. We’ve gotten through this before. Remember?”

“Why do you do this to me?” he asked. “Evil little actress. Acting like you love me.”

“I do. You know I do.”


“Please, put that down. We’ll call Dr. Goldman.”

“You sent me away. Do you know what it was like there? Knowing you betrayed me? All you had to do was love me, but you’ve ruined me!”

“No, you wanted to go. You needed to rest. Please remember. Please.”

“Where’s my Violetta?”

“Still at school.”

“She should be home by now—home with us. We should be together now. She hiding under her bed again?” His words turned and trailed back toward the front bedrooms. “Violetta! Come when I call you!”

“Mama?” She called through the branches.

Her mother didn’t seem surprised at all to hear her. “Shh,” she said, faint but firm. It was not her normal ‘shh.’ Something was wrong.

Her father’s voice was already growing louder again. “Violetta!”

“I’m right here,” she tried to say. She decided that she would come out; then he would be angry with her, not her mother. But, a strange sound surrounded her, like baby birds and chimes. It seemed to come through the Christmas tree lights. She blinked. They were such pretty lights—colors she had never seen before. Buzzing into a haze around her, they were mesmerizing.

Shh, its all okay, the lights told her, but not in words.

She felt their meaning in her teeth and bones.

Come and play with us, they urged. Come play pretend.

They flurried about. She tried to speak, but they settled against her tongue like candy-coated snow. They loved her. She watched them spin and shine and gleam and glow. They were everything she needed in that moment, and so she relaxed into the soft aura of Christmas.

Her mother was screaming, “She’s not here! She’s not here!”

The purest colors were born and danced within reflections of those who had come before. Youre not here, they echoed. Youre with us. They snuggled in and tucked themselves around her. Be still, they insisted. This isnt real. She knew they were right. Nothing was real. She was everywhere and nowhere at all, safe between worlds. Her mother’s golden wall clock started to ding its hourly announcement—once, twice.

“You did this,” her father said.

A third ding.

“You made me do this.”


Mama’s voice fluttered. “Remember who you are.”

A loud noise exploded throughout the apartment. Ornaments rattled and slipped from their homes, and Via with them. Her hands came up to cover her ears, but his voice soon rode the wave of ringing and broke on through.

“Why?” he cried. “Why did you make me do this?”

Another explosion ripped away the space around her. She sank down overcome by the bells ringing around her. Why? Why were the bells so loud? It was a gun, she realized. The sound vibrating through her was gunfire. Her shoulder came to rest against the edge of the big box—white with a gold bow. Air came into her lungs in notches, each tighter than the last. She didn’t know what to do. Her trembling hand grasped a branch with a candy cane hanging from it. She began to pull it back.


Dont look, the pretty lights urged her. Its not real. Its not her.

But it was too late. She had already peered past the angels—and through to the other side.


Mouth open, heart lost, she released the branch and it sprang back into place. Its candy cane held strong. The pretty lights spoke no more, but hummed and tingled. The murmur of their adoration grew faint and she began to panic. She curled up into herself, tight and small, desperate to disappear back into their protection.

“Please, pretty lights. Please don’t go.”

She blinked and the lights were just lights. The floors roared. New voices overtook the fading bells. People were yelling. People were coming. An alarm shrieked overhead. The taste of gingersnap dust burnt through the air.

“Please, pretty lights,” she called out again, even though she knew they were gone.


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Mean Streak by Sandra Brown


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  • 10 Autographed copies of Mean Streak (International shipping available)




Book Blurb


Dr. Emory Charbonneau, a pediatrician and marathon runner, disappears on a mountain road in North Carolina. By the time her husband Jeff, miffed over a recent argument, reports her missing, the trail has grown cold. Literally. Fog and ice encapsulate the mountainous wilderness and paralyze the search for her.


While police suspect Jeff of “instant divorce,” Emory, suffering from an unexplained head injury, regains consciousness and finds herself the captive of a man whose violent past is so dark that he won’t even tell her his name. She’s determined to escape him, and willing to take any risks necessary to survive.


Unexpectedly, however, the two have a dangerous encounter with people who adhere to a code of justice all their own. At the center of the dispute is a desperate young woman whom Emory can’t turn her back on, even if it means breaking the law.


As her husband’s deception is revealed, and the FBI closes in on her captor, Emory begins to wonder if the man with no name is, in fact, her rescuer.



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Author Bio:1403_SandraBrown_050-B-Sm


Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE (2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), and CHILL FACTOR, all of which have jumped onto the Times bestseller list in the number one to five spot.


Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.


Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She served as the president of the Mystery Writers of American in 2012 and was named ITW’s Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.



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Interview with Marie Harte

MH4_smallThank you for joining me in the shadows. Pay no attention to that odd silhouette over there. Weird things live here.  Where do you hail from?  Hi. I hail from Central Oregon, where there is no humidity, and I can stare at beautiful snow-covered mountains every day. J

Tell me about your latest book. What makes it stand out from the crowd?  My latest book is How to Handle a Heartbreaker, the second in my McCauley Brothers series. This book stands out for its humor, its tight family bonds, one ugly dog named Mutt, and some steamy scenes with a romance writer and her muse.

9781402287374-PRDo you have anything new in the works and can you tell us a bit about it? I always have something new in the works. *grin* On August 5th, How to Handle a Heartbreaker follows Brody Singer, the unofficially adopted member of the McCauley clan. He has some heartbreak to deal with, but his affection for Abby helps him deal and grow. And Abby is such a fun woman. Neurotic, loving and finally able to believe in herself. I love these characters!  Then on August 12th, Dark Fates releases, an anthology of paranormal stories containing Jackal’s Measure, my novella about one of Anubis’s cursed guards and a human female who’s much more than she seems.

What advice would you give to writers just starting out?  To hone your craft before releasing it to the masses. I’m a very impatient person, and I have to force myself to sit on work before I let editors or readers see it. Many layers of edits are necessary, then polishing, then more edits before the project is ready to go. And one more thing—never let anyone tell you that you can’t. You’re only as good as you believe you can be.

How did you deal with rejection letters? Any tips for unpublished writers? I don’t like rejection. Then again, who does? I collect my rejection letters and tuck them away into a binder, so I have them to push me to persevere. I keep writing, ignoring bad reviews or rejections (and yeah, everyone gets them, because no matter how many people like you, someone else won’t) so that one day I can have that mental “I told you so” moment for all my detractors. Juvenile? Sure. But it keeps me going.

What tools of the trade are must-haves for you? My coffee warmer plus filled coffee mug, spiral notebook with my notes, mechanical pencil, and my desktop computer, of course.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done to research a story? A four-way with shapeshifting aliens…  Kidding. LOL I haven’t done that much crazy, though I had one awful interview with a plumber for my McCauley brothers books. It was like pulling teeth just to get the guy to tell me if he used a wrench on the job or not. Thankfully, I disengaged after the longest five minutes of my life, then found a terrific guy who told me a ton. (And no, he was never material for my book, just a very nice person who shared his knowledge. haha)

What do you like to read? Fiction, particularly romance. J I’m partial to paranormal, science fiction, and sexy contemporary romance.

Who is your favorite author and why? That is too hard a question because I have so many favorites in different genres. My most influential author has to be Madeleine L’Engle, because reading her A Wrinkle in Time as a child made me see outside the box. That remains one of my all-time favorite books.

Now for the fun questions.  Let’s strip away the veil of invisibility. Do you have a day job alongside writing and will you tell us about it?  Writing is my day job. I’ve been fortunate (knock on wood) thus far that I make a living writing. It’s a constant struggle as publishing changes, but I count it as a blessing every day.

If you weren’t a writer, what career might you have chosen?  Supervillain. Bad guys have more fun.

Who is your favorite superhero (or heroine)? Can be from a comic book, movie, novel, cartoon, video game or anywhere else heroes reign.  I absolutely love Wonder Woman. An Amazon princess with a lasso of truth? Come on. She totally rocks.

Your favorite book hero? Dragos from Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound. He’s a snarly dragon, one of the most powerful creatures in the world, yet vulnerable to love. I have reread that book many times.

You finally have an evening free to spend any way you want. Money is no object. Where do you go? What would you do?  I go to a private Caribbean island with my kids and spend the day swimming and watching the sunset with a nice Corona and lime in hand.  In the R-rate version, my kids have a babysitter and I spend that same day entwined with three of four of any of my written heroes doing things that put a perpetual smile on my face.

You’ve been gifted (or cursed) with the ability to shift into another form by a witch. What kind of shifter are you? Why? Fun question. Hmm. I’d shift into an avian shifter, a bird of prey. That way I could soar above everyone, see everything and feel superior. I mean, have you ever really looked at a bird? They smirk. They’re all so arrogant!

Thanks so much for being my guest today! Anything else you’d like to share with my readers?  Don’t forget to give us links to your website etc.  Thanks for having me! I have a ton of books releasing this year. And if you’re like me and prefer a completed series, the McCauley Brothers books will all be released as of November 2014. I’m always working on my computer and love talking to readers. You can reach me at, and thanks for having me!



It’s lust at first sight when Brody Singer first lays eyes on Abby Dunn. The dark-haired beauty looks a lot like a woman he once knew, who died years ago. At first, Brody fears his attraction is a holdover from that secret crush, but Abby’s definitely different. She’s a lot shyer, a lot sexier, and despite her attempts to dissuade his interest, absolutely mesmerizing.



Abby isn’t having it. She’s still trying to put her last disastrous relationship behind her and overcome the flaws her ex wouldn’t let her forget. But somehow Brody isn’t getting the hint. It doesn’t help that when writing her steamy novels, she keeps casting Brody as the hero.

Brody is more than happy to serve as her muse and eager to help make sure her “research” is authentic. But when their research turns into something real…will she choose her own happily ever after?

USA Today bestselling author Marie Harte writes erotic romance and has over ninety titles in print and digital format. A caffeine addict, boy referee, and romance aficionado, Marie is a confessed bibliophile and devotee of action movies. She served in the U.S. Marine Corps and worked for Fortune 500 companies before becoming a full time writer. Whether hiking in Central Oregon, biking around town, or hanging at the local tea shop, she’s constantly plotting to give everyone a happily ever after. She lives with her family in the Pacific Northwest. Visit and fall in love.

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