Promo: Blood Magic by Danielle Rose

Title: BLOOD MAGIC
Genre: NA Urban Fantasy
Publisher: OfTomes Publishing
Cover Art by Gwenn Danae
Cover Text by Eight Little Pages
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
Avah Taylor thought she had already faced the worst.
As her coven’s chosen one, destined to receive a power that could kill her, Avah was forced to make the ultimate sacrifice when she gave up her mortal life to become a vampire, the witches’ greatest enemy. But just when she begins to adjust to her new life, even as she falls in love with her sire, the high priestess of her new coven is seized by Rogue vampires.
Guided by Avah’s visions of the past, present, and future, Avah and the other vampires set out to rescue their priestess, but their journey leads Avah to the discovery that the conspiracy behind her power runs deeper than she ever imagined. As her visions grow increasingly terrifying, Avah begins to wonder if she may not have a future at all.
Danielle Rose holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine. Currently residing in the Midwest, where she spends her days dreaming of warmer temperatures, when she’s not writing, she enjoys pretending she lives in California, spending an embarrassing amount of time at Hobby Lobby, and binge-watching Netflix. Visit Danielle on the Web: www.Danielle-Rose.com.
Author Links:
Buy Links:
Blood Promise (Pre-Order): http://amzn.to/2vawGhb

Hunter Claimed by A.M. Griffin

Hunter Claimed

Dark Wolf Enterprises, Book #3

Paranormal Romance

Release Date: April 25, 2017

Author: A.M. Griffin

Buy Link: http://ow.ly/vESy30ap9qe

Giveaway:

$20 Amazon Gift card April 25 – May 16, 2017

Rafflecopter:
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Blurb:

When Hunter and Asha’s worlds collide, neither is able to walk away from the other.

Asha has a simple plan for her life—her hopefully soon-to-be immortal life. All she’s ever wanted was to be so powerful that no one could ever hurt her again, and once she becomes a Vampire her dream will come true. Sure, being a Vampire’s protégé isn’t the easiest job a girl could have, but there are far tougher roads she could be walking, like following in her drug-addicted mother’s footsteps.

Hunter Arany hates Vampires, and with good reason. So when Dark Wolf Enterprises is forced to hire a group of the blood-suckers to find out who’s been stealing company money, he’s sure having them around will be a problem. He never figured it would the Vampires’ human servant who causes him the most trouble—trouble of the love and life-mate kind.

He’s hoping to convince Asha a brighter future exists in his arms, but old dreams fade slowly and can become living nightmares—of the dying kind.

Excerpt:

The automatic doors began to close.  “Welcome to Dark Wolf Enterprises,” Andras announced.

The doors reversed on their tracks, opening again. Another Vampire—Hunter sniffed at the air—no, not Vampire. She didn’t have the same floral scent as the others. Human.

Hunter hadn’t expected them to bring their food source to the company and from the telepathic cursing that Andras sent his way, neither had he.  “What is she doing here?” Andras pushed the thought to Hunter.

The air instantly thickened as the Shifters watched the female. The human wasn’t beautiful, not like the Vampires, but she was pretty. And while she didn’t have an intoxicating aroma, she smelled…nice. Her skin wasn’t the pale-ashen one of a Vampire’s, either. Her brown hue radiated with life and energy. Another dead giveaway that she was human? Her beating heart and shallow breathing. The Vampires had neither.

“I pray that she’s an accountant. I’m not watching them drink from her,” Hunter said.

He’d run into plenty of Vampire junkies before and this woman didn’t strike him as the type who would lust after a blood-sucker. While she wasn’t dressed in a business suit like the others, she still looked professional. Her dark hair fell smoothly past her shoulders. She wore it styled in a blunt cut—sharp bangs and sharp ends. She had on a cream, low-cut silk blouse that showed a hint of cleavage. His eyes were immediately drawn to her round and perky breasts. Accentuating her long and shapely legs was a dark blue pencil skirt that went to her knees and the matching blue heels.

“Trudy will freak if she finds out that we’re letting them feed here. Didn’t we forbid this in the contract?” Kristof asked.

While the others arranged themselves in a line, the human did as well, but positioned herself one step behind the Vampires. Her placement told him everything. She was part of the group, but not really. Hunter’s wolf had lingered at the front, ready to come forth and fight if needed. But this time, instead of growling in the back of his mind and being on edge, his wolf was having a different reaction.

Curiosity.

Hunter could picture the wolf’s nose sniffing and poking at the barrier that separated man from beast, trying to find out more about the human who stood by the Vampires. Odd, since his wolf had never been interested in a human before. Whenever Hunter had taken one to bed, the wolf showed his indifference by sleeping. Hunter didn’t try to push back, he let his wolf satisfy his curiosity and afterward he would focus his attention on the Vampires where it should be.

“Forgive us,” Andras said. “We weren’t expecting your…assistant to join you this evening. Our contract is very clear regarding this matter.”

The woman met Andras’ eyes. “I have a master’s degree in IT and accounting,” she replied. “When you hired us, you hired me, as well. Is there an issue here?”

Andras didn’t respond, but power radiated around him at the challenge.

Hunter stepped forward. Pretty or not, the woman wouldn’t disrespect his Alpha.

“Stop,” Andras commanded.

“But she—”

It’s a power play. The Vampires don’t allow their humans to do their talking. They want us to hurt her.”

“What? Why?”

“Because they are sadistic fucks,” Kristoff said.

 

Shifter Claimed: 0.99 FOR A LIMITED TIME ONLY!

Dark Wolf Enterprises, Book #1

Available Now!

Blurb:

The big break Trudy Hollander’s small accounting firm needs has finally arrived, but unfortunately it comes with murder, mayhem and Kristof Farkas, a man she just can’t seem to resist. Even worse, Kristof is the CFO of Dark Wolf Enterprises—the one person who can pull the plug on the job that will take her company to the next level.

Then there are the assassins who can jump from three stories up and still be able to run away…

Kristof has no intention of giving in to his inner wolf and claiming Trudy. She’s human. Too fragile to withstand being a shifter’s mate. But the need to protect her is stronger than his resolve, and his desire is more powerful yet. He’ll fight with everything he has to keep her safe, both from those who would hurt her, and from himself.

 

Buy Link: http://ow.ly/xPQP308Jd1D

 

Lover Claimed

Dark Wolf Enterprises, Book #2

Available now!

Blurb:

When Meisha comes home and finds a strange man in her kitchen, she does what any sensible person would do. She beats the crap out of him first, then asks questions after. When he explains her best friend is in mortal danger, Meisha knows the whole mess—including a recent murder and the threats on her friend’s life—may be her fault, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. And no sexy stranger is going to stop her.

 

Lajos Farkas isn’t expecting to meet a spitfire, martial artist when he’s on a mission to figure out who’s stealing from Dark Wolf Enterprises, and he certainly doesn’t expect her to insist on butting in on his investigation. But getting rid of Meisha is seemingly impossible, and when his wolf decides she’s his life-mate, suddenly he realizes he’ll do anything to keep her close and grow old with her.

 

If they can just stay alive long enough to make that possible.

 

Buy Link: http://ow.ly/WzIR308AkLk

 

Author Bio:

A.M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

Where you can find me:

Website: http://www.amgriffinbooks.com/

Subscribe to my Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/A.M.-Griffin/e/B00APK4V4G/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Email: amgriffinbooks@gmail.com

Like me at: www.facebook.com/amgriffinbooks Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/amgriffinbooks Follow me on Twitter: https://twitter.com/AMGriffinbooks Follow me on Instagram: amgriffinbooks

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Orlosian Warriors series by Dariel Raye

ORLOSIAN WARRIORS series

Books 1 & 2

by Dariel Raye

Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

CALM ASSURANCE

Two hearts, two different worlds, uncompromising love.

A straight-laced Nephilim-descendant and a human trouble-magnet?

When Asriel – Orlosian Warrior, descendant of Nephilim, law enforcer – is sent to guard Malina, a human with a penchant for drawing trouble like a tornado, she becomes his obsession.

With no hope of finding love in his dimension, he breaks the cardinal rule, leaving his home to protect her, but she has also drawn the attention of his enemies, and he is forced to face demons from his past. If Asriel chooses to stay with Malina, not only does he risk forfeiting his right to ever return to his dimension, but he will need her blood to survive.

DESTINY’S FAVOR

His world shifted the moment she was born. Now, nothing can stop him from making her his…

Imagine a man who looks like an angel, wings and all. What would you do if you met such a man, and he told you that he exists for only one purpose, to claim you and only you?

Destiny Carter is a feisty, take-charge, Rubenesque beauty with a tough façade. She finds herself caught in that age-old quandary of always being the bridesmaid but never the bride. A string of lackluster relationships leaves her hopeless and ready to settle for whatever comes along, until she meets Japheth, the man her fiancé claims is his best friend. Japheth’s arrival is heralded by an attack on Destiny’s life, but somehow, from some instinct deep within her, she knows this is only the beginning.

Born more than 200 years ago, Japheth looks like an angel, but he’s far from it. In his world, the ratio of men to women is 500 to 1, and although he’s a superior being, he’s willing to break the most sacred law of his brothers, even to drink human blood, if it means having the one that he believes is meant for him alone. When he meets Destiny, he knows she’s the one he’s been searching for. To claim her, though, Japheth will have to betray a friend, risk his life, and, perhaps hardest of all, humble himself enough to win her love.

Still too far away to get a good look at the legendary J, Destiny watched the two men pull each other into a brief man hug. As she did, her mind wandered back to her conversation with Memaw: “Destiny, you be extra careful the next few days, okay? Memaw’s got a feeling.” She wondered what all the sudden drama was about, especially since she was always careful. The older woman was always right, though, so she couldn’t help glancing around cautiously as she walked. Memaw had said those same words to her the night she was attacked, so it was always good to heed her advice, always better to be safe than sorry.

J bent to pick up his one bag, and before she could even close the gap between them, they were heading back toward her.

Destiny overheard part of their conversation as they neared: “Man, I know it’s after two and all, but I’ve never seen people sleepin’ at a bus station like this before. I swear, everybody’s laid out but you.” She also couldn’t help but notice J’s striking gait as he stalked closer, almost graceful but with a natural swagger. All jungle cat in a man’s body, was the only thought that came to mind. Realizing that she was staring far too much, she dragged her gaze from Robert’s friend and surveyed the station, but she was still hesitant to stop admiring him. Something about the way he moved sent a jolt of energy rushing through her, punching her guilt button in the process. Surely, she and Robert were not a match made in Heaven, but that certainly didn’t make it okay to have the thoughts she was having about his best friend.

Even during that beautiful season of the year, the dreary bus station looked and felt dank, grim, and hopeless. The floodlights, although strategically placed, barely pierced the darkness, and the skinny trees left over from the last time anyone cared reminded her of how she really felt about being alone.

A sudden blur of movement caught Destiny’s attention as they walked on, and fear and nausea invaded her, welling up from their hiding places. A tall, dark figure rushed toward her, his hands reaching out like claws, eager to grab her. Time stood still as waves of nausea struck, rendering her unable to move, a predicament she’d never found herself in until that reality-changing attack.

Destiny stumbled and fell to the ground. Every one of her survival instincts kicked in, and she was ready to fight if necessary, but just as quickly as the shadow appeared, it was gone. The station was eerily quiet and still again, and she found herself standing there, with no memory of getting up from the ground. She glanced around, checking all sides, then turned to face Robert and J as they stopped in front of her as if nothing had happened.

“Baby, this is Japheth Danaelson, J. J, this is Destiny Carter, my fiancé,” Robert casually said.

She tried to dismiss the hazy monster as nothing more than a flashback, but subconsciously, she knew better; Destiny was convinced that something really had just tried to attack her again, even if it did stop in its tracks and vanish. Despite her disorientation, wobbly knees, and the feeling that she had somehow skipped through time, and despite the fact that her mind was now reeling with doubt over what she’d just seen, Japheth’s presence overshadowed everything else. Up close, he was absolutely breathtaking.

AmazonAmazon Int’lGoodreads


Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and award-winning author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. A counseling psychologist, classically trained vocalist, and pianist, she plays over 11 musical instruments, and naturally incorporates behavioral psychology into her characters. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). She is also a Netflix paranormal TV series binger.

Dariel is currently writing two series: “Dark Sentinels” (wolf shifters), and “Orlosian Warriors” (Vampire-like Nephilim). For more about Dariel, follow her blog or visit her website. She also publishes a new release newsletter. If you enjoyed this book, please post a review on review sites. You can also follow her and contact her on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

Bear with Me by Jennifer Blackstream

 

Bear With Me

(The Blood Realm Series, #)
by Jennifer Blackstream

 

 

 

Blurb:

Betrayal. Redemption. True love.

A beautiful bard looking for her voice

After witnessing her mother’s murder left her blind, Leta had to put away her sword and her dreams of becoming a bard. Now she is resigned to a calm life where the best she can hope for is a good marriage that will take the burden of her care from her father’s shoulders. When her father claims the gods have sent a man to be not just her husband, but perhaps her savior, Leta has to take a leap of faith…and hope she falls in love.

A handsome prince trapped in the body of a bear

Torben is a bear shifter struggling to pass a test laid on him by his power-hungry stepmother. Bound into his beast form during the day, able to be human only at night when the darkness hides him, he must find a wife. She can know him only as a bear and a bodiless voice in the night. For one year, she must let him keep his secrets, trust him as a wife should trust her husband. But what woman will climb into bed with a bear and trust it is a man waiting for her?

Even a blind woman can see when something is worth fighting for…

Available to

Excerpt

 

 A hand settled on her fingers. Heavy, and a little rough, it engulfed her entire hand. She swallowed hard, took in a slow breath, and raised her teacup with a shaking hand, trying not to spill it in her haste to take a sip. It smelled like the tea her aunt had concocted for her, and if the gods were kind, it would have the same effect. She just needed her body to calm down, to stop shaking, and blushing, and everything else. Then she could think. Then she could be logical.“How are you feeling?” Torben’s voice was gentle, his baritone soothing in its increasing familiarity. He gently lifted her hand from his shoulder and cradled it in his.

The warm liquid flowed down her throat, and a tingling rush of magic spread through her body, working into her muscles, seeking out tension and melting it away. She took another large sip, swallowed before taking a deep breath. Her hands stilled and the burning in her cheeks ebbed, leaving her clearheaded, calmer. “Better.” She allowed herself a moment to gather her thoughts, then turned her head in the direction her aunt’s mentor had spoken from. “Mother Strongoak?”

“I’m right here, child.”

“Could you hold my tea?”

“Of course.”

She couldn’t tell for certain, but Leta thought she heard a smile in the witch’s voice. As Leta had asked, she took the teacup, freeing Leta’s other hand. Torben was close enough that his body heat pressed against her like a warm summer day, and she had no problem discerning his direction. “May I touch your face?”

A flicker of tension passed through him—surprise, perhaps. Then he took her other hand and put both of them on either side of his face. It was much higher than she’d expected, and the muscles in her arms pulled as she stretched to keep contact.

“Sorry,” he mumbled.

He shifted beneath her hands, slouching so she could reach him more easily. His head was large, combining with everything else to paint the picture of a very big man. The tea in her belly held her in a protective bubble, letting her mind chew over that information without her body’s panicked input. She ran her thumbs over his cheekbones, appreciating his strong bone structure. His face was rough with the beginnings of a beard, and she smiled a little as it tickled her palms.

Her smile seemed to inspire one of his own, and the muscles of his cheeks flexed beneath her hands. She feathered a finger over velvety-soft lips, then slid her hands over his jaw, up the back of his head.

“Your hair is short.”

“Does that surprise you?”

“It does.” She furrowed her brow. “I’m not sure why. I suppose I just expected you to be more…”

“Shaggy?” he suggested dryly.

She cleared her throat. “Er, yes. I suppose.”

She toyed with the short strands of his hair a bit, then slid her hands back down the sides of his face. His neck was thick, and her hands barely made it halfway around. She’d just opened her mouth to comment on that when her hands fell to his shoulders. She froze. Seconds ticked by as a piece of information surfaced in her mind, conveniently forgotten until just now. The bare skin she’d touched. She suddenly knew with absolute clarity he was not wearing much, if any, clothing. Emotions battered against the wall of tea protecting her from physical reactions.

“Leta? Are you all right?”

“That wasn’t your hip I touched,” she croaked. “That was your shoulder, wasn’t it?”

A tiny laugh exploded into the air, followed by a snort from Mother Strongoak. Leta thought she heard Torben growl, but the sound stopped before she could be sure.

“Torben?”

It took him a moment to respond, as if he were glaring at the room’s other occupants and was reluctant to stop. “Yes?”

“Exactly how…tall are you?”

There was silence then, thick with expectation. Her hands still rested where they’d frozen on his shoulders, and his muscles tightened beneath her fingertips.

“A little over seven feet,” he said finally.

There was hesitation in his voice, a sliver of doubt. Leta pressed her lips together and raised her hands to cradle his face, forcing him to look at her.

“How much is ‘a little over seven feet?’”

His jaw clenched, then relaxed. “Eight foot two.”

It was a tribute to the tea that her heart barely skipped a beat. “Eight foot two? As in…eight feet and two inches?”

“Give or take.”

“Give or take what?” She slowly lowered her hands into her lap and leaned back on the couch. Part of her burned to ask him why he was shirtless, probably pantless, but she couldn’t quite bring herself to make that a part of the conversation.

“Are you all right?”

Something in his voice pulled at her heartstrings. More hesitation, a little shade of fear. He’s waiting for you to be afraid of him.

The thought caught her by surprise, and she sat up straighter. “I’m not afraid of you.”

“I told you,” Mother Strongoak muttered.

Torben made a chuffing sound in his chest that might have been irritation, but she couldn’t be sure. She clenched her hands into fists.

“I know very well what I must seem like to you,” she said calmly. “Feeling about as I walk, shuffling along. Having panic attacks for no apparent reason. Leaping into marriage with a perfect stranger—a perfect non-human stranger.” A glimmer of her old flame burned to life inside her, and she jutted her chin out.

“This is not who I am. Before my mother died, I was going to be a bard. I was going to travel everywhere—alone. I trained for years with different weapons, learned how to survive in the wilderness if I had to. I was very independent.”

“Indeed,” Mother Strongoak agreed. “I did so enjoy seeing you perform competitively as well. Always worth it for a chance that some sore loser would get into a snit, and then lure you into one of those delightful duels.”

Leta waited for Torben to comment on the “duels,” ask if she’d really engaged in combat, but he didn’t. He probably hadn’t even entertained it as a possibility. “This is not who I am,” she said again.

 

Review:

This is a great read. I couldn’t put it down. I really like the characters and world that Jennifer has created. It has some great twists and turns. Readers will definitely want to add it to their TBR lists. I look forward to reading more of Jennifer’s books.

The Blood Realm Series
 


About The Author
 
 
Jennifer Blackstream is a USA Today bestselling author of fantasy/paranormal romance. Urban Fantasy will soon be joining her repertoire, and if she doesn’t get hold of the insidious roving gang of plot bunnies, there’s going to be steampunk sprinkled in there too…
To date, Jennifer has two series:
BLOOD PRINCE SERIES (COMPLETE):
Book 1 – Before Midnight
Book 2 – One Bite
Book 3 – Golden Stair
Book 4 – Divine Scales
Book 5 – Beautiful Salvation
Bonus Adventures in the Blood Prince World:
Book 2.5 – What Big Teeth You Have (free when you sign up for mailing list mentioned below)
Book 4.5 – The Pirate’s Witch
Book 5.5 – Dead to Begin With (available only between Thanksgiving and whenever Jennifer takes her Christmas tree down)
BLOOD REALM SERIES (IN PROGRESS SPIN-OFF OF BLOOD PRINCE SERIES):
Book 1 – All for a Rose
Book 2 – Blue Voodoo
Book 3 – The Archer
For news, new releases, and a free copy of What Big Teeth You Have, sign up for Jennifer’s mailing list.
Jennifer has unfailing affection for the authors who have influenced her, including Laurell K. Hamilton, Jim Butcher, and the sorely missed Sir Terry Pratchett. Her books include humor, romance, and action, with enough darkness to keep things very interesting.
When Jennifer isn’t writing, she can be found re-watching Boondock Saints, Noises Off, or Gross Pointe Blank. With one of those classics in the background, she might also be searching Amazon for something she wants, but doesn’t need (Is there any such thing as a kitchen gadget that isn’t an absolute necessity? And don’t even get me started on office supplies…).
You can find Jennifer at 
 
         

Giveaway

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Presented By

All Who Wander Are Lost by Bruce Blake

ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST

Icarus Fell series, book 2

by Bruce Blake

Genre: Urban Fantasy

If we’re good, we go to Heaven; if we’re bad we go to Hell. No one wants to go to Hell.

Except one man who wishes people would just remember to call him Ric.

In the aftermath of a serial killer’s murderous spree, souls who didn’t deserve damnation went to Hell. The archangel Michael doesn’t seem concerned, but Icarus Fell can’t bear the guilt of knowing it’s his fault they ended up there.

But how can he save them when the archangel forbids him from going and his guardian angel refuses to help?

The answer comes in the form of another beautiful, bewitching guardian angel who offers to be his guide. They travel to Hell to rescue the unjustly damned one by one, but salvation comes at a cost and the economy of Hell demands souls.

Is it a price Icarus is willing to pay?

Chapter One

When your guardian angel and her friend, the archangel Gabriel, tell you to stay put, it’s probably a good idea to listen.

I should have, but I have inexplicable difficulty with authority figures. It gets me in trouble. A lot.

An old Buick sat to the right of my motel room door looking like it hadn’t moved in a decade or so, and it certainly hadn’t budged since I checked in; a few other cars were parked in the motel’s lot but there were no people. I stepped across the threshold and closed the door behind me, the click of the lock firecracker-loud in the winter night.

I paused. Still no one around. I breathed deep and stepped away from the door, the first time I’d been outside the dingy, musty-smelling room in weeks.

A month ago, the police found a tranny prostitute named Dante Frank dead on a bed in a five-star hotel, hairy chest and hairless vagina exposed for the world to see along with the biblical references his killer carved in his flesh. Dante, whom I’d known as Danielle Francis, was the last victim of the serial killer dubbed the Revelations Reaper by the media. The police had a suspect in the string of killings: me.

I didn’t kill any of them but, if the truth be told, their deaths were on me.

Forget the angels telling me to stay indoors, the fact the local news had been flashing an unflattering picture of my face on the screen every night until a week ago should have kept me inside my seedy room. But you know what they say about common sense…it ain’t so common.

Icarus Fell: living proof.

I didn’t think that because they finally stopped plastering my face all over the six o’clock news they’d stopped looking for me. Every cop in the city likely still carried my picture like they were at war and I was their girl waiting for them back home, but after four weeks in my motel-room-prison, the prospect of remaining inside held as little appeal as being girlfriend to a bunch of cops. I’d spent every moment of the last month thinking about my role in the deaths, wishing things were different. Another minute trapped alone with my guilt might prove one too many.

I slipped away from the motel and down a side street, disappearing in shadows and down alleys wherever I could. The taste of impending snow in the early December air fortified my lungs.

As I ranged farther from the motel, the garbage strewn on the streets and graffiti tags spray-painted on walls — ‘Big Turk Wuz Hear’ and other poetic gems — became less frequent until they disappeared completely. I’d made my way to a neighborhood where people cared, a fact which should have rang alarm bells in my head and made me more careful, but the lack of hookers and drug dealers lifted my spirits and my worry ebbed taking caution along with it.

Dumb ass.

I paused at the intersection, the lights of an approaching car reflecting on the frost-rimed pavement as I waited to be sure it would obey the stop sign. Without the fresh air loosening my wits, I’d have waved him through, but freedom made my head light in the way of a non-smoker after a few drags on a cigarette. The car’s brakes squeaked as it rolled to a halt. I stepped off the curb and raised a hand in thanks, squinting against the lights, but couldn’t see the driver. Hand replaced in pocket, I continued on my way, thinking nothing of it until I heard the hum and chatter of a power window in need of repair.

“Hey, you.”

The words weren’t spoken with the timbre of someone in need of directions. The caution and worry the beautiful night had leeched from me flooded back; I quickened my pace.

“Stop.”

I broke into a run before his engine roared and tires chirped. Cutting across a well-manicured lawn, I hopped a fence, ran through a back yard dominated by an inter-locking brick patio and an in-ground pool emptied for the winter, then vaulted another fence into a rear lane, cursing my stupidity with every step.

Despite a house between us, I heard the car’s engine rev and labor as the driver gave chase. I dove through a line of tall shrubs, their branches scratching my face, and into another yard, keeping my flight to places the car couldn’t go. Ten minutes of fence-jumping and shrub-diving later, I emerged on a sporadically lit street. Familiar graffiti scrolled across the side of a building; Big Turk and his poor spelling were back. Close to my motel. My lungs labored, the cold air hurting my chest instead of refreshing it as a stitch in my side dug in and grabbed hold. I stopped to catch my breath, bent at the waist, hands grasping knees like the world’s worst marathoner run out of steam, but rest didn’t last long. A siren wailed behind me and I forced my legs back into action.

I darted into an alley and the all-too-familiar stink of garbage and piss, depression and decay hit me immediately. I’d lost so many days and nights of my youth in alleys like this, sleeping off a bottle of vodka or poking a needle in my arm. I forced the thought from my mind. This was no time to self-analyze by way of shitty memories.

Tires screeched at the mouth of the alley. I didn’t look back, my attention taken by a figure stepping out of the shadows into my path. A Carrion, I assumed–a human-shaped demon sent to collect souls and make my life difficult–but I quickly realized the silhouette was smaller and more feminine, leaving two possible people. Angels, really. I halted a few paces beyond arm’s-reach in case I was wrong.

“Hey, mister. Long time, no see.”

I recognized the voice immediately. The angel stepped into the light and I saw her gingerbread hair, glimpsed the freckled skin of her cheek.

“Gabe.”

The Archangel Gabriel is the messenger. She brings scrolls with my assignments inscribed on them: who’s scheduled to pass, where, when, and where to take them when it’s done.

I couldn’t think of a worse time for her to show up.

“Did you miss me?”

Her pure voice echoed off the alley walls and a chorus of swallows which always accompanied her, but that I couldn’t see in the dark, chirped and chittered on a fire escape overhead.

“Don’t have time right now, Gabe,” I said breathlessly and glanced over my shoulder. The alley remained empty, but it wouldn’t for much longer.

“Here.”

She offered a scroll which hadn’t been in her hand a second before.

“Really, Gabe? I don’t–” I gestured toward the alley at my back, offered a pleading look. She shook the scroll at me and raised an eyebrow.

I’d learned the hard way that harvesting wasn’t the kind of job you could slack off at; the hard way seems to be how I learn pretty much everything. I gave in without any real fight.

My finger brushed hers as I grasped the rolled parchment and an electric charge prickled the hairs on my arm, bringing with it a longing to spend time with her, to be in her presence as long as possible. I nearly forgot the man chasing me.

“Gabe, I–”

She smiled and shrugged. “You don’t have time, remember?”

Swallow wings beat the air above my head as she walked away. I stared after her for a second before pulling myself from the angel-induced stupor to look at the scroll in my hand. This was my second assignment since everything went down: the deaths, the media frenzy, the explosion at the church. What happened to souls during my seclusion? Did they make other arrangements or were they okay with everyone going to Hell for a few weeks while I got my wits about me? Great vacation for me, but kind of sucked for everyone else.

Unrolling the scroll unnerved me. After being given one inscribed with my son’s name, I couldn’t help but hold my breath. Probably would every time I did it.

Shaun Williams.

I set my captive breath free. Didn’t know him. The address scrawled on the yellowed parchment wasn’t familiar either, but I knew the city well enough to recognize it was close. I read the time of death, then checked my watch.

Two minutes from now.

The sound of shoes hammering pavement reverberated off the alley’s brick walls. I got my legs moving again and took a corner, feet tangling in a pile of garbage bags and spilling me to the pavement. My shoulder hit hard and I skidded a couple of feet along the damp ground, filth snow-plowing onto my jacket. I scrambled to my feet, glanced ahead and behind as the footsteps grew louder, and realized the futility of my flight. Facing my pursuer seemed the only option. Maybe I could talk my way out of it before my appointment came and went.

Damn it.

Bad things happen to good people when I miss appointments. And to bad people; also, the Swiss.

I backed down the alley and didn’t have to wait long for the man chasing me. He rounded the corner, avoided the garbage bags which had tripped me, and skidded to a halt in a pool of light cast by a security light mounted high overhead. The dress pants he wore looked a year or so beyond their best-before date; a long wool coat covered a rumpled dress shirt which may never have made a dry cleaner’s acquaintance. I might have noticed more but the gun in his hand distracted me.

“Mr. Fell,” he said between panted breaths. “If that’s really your name.”

“It’s the name the bastard gave me,” I muttered glancing from gun to a face I’d met a few times and seen many more on the news. The muscles in my jaw clenched and released as I silently counted the passing seconds in my head. “We seem to meet under awkward circumstances, don’t we, Detective?”

“Sometimes happens between serial killers and cops.”

“I didn’t kill anyone.”

“Right.” He leveled the gun, his eternally tired eyes unwavering. “And I’m Serena Williams. Put your hands behind your head.”

A little firework went off in my brain, interrupting my mental countdown. He obviously wasn’t Serena Williams — wrong sex, wrong skin color, and he didn’t look like much of a tennis player — so why pick her out of a thousand possible celebrities to use sarcastically? I chanced pissing him off and stole a peek at my watch: t-minus one minute. My gut wrenched one twist to the right.

If I don’t get out of here quick–

The thought cut off half-formed, bullied aside by another. The detective was the lead investigator in the Revelations Reaper case, the guy the newscasts interviewed no matter how uncomfortable he looked on camera, so I’d seen his face a hundred times on TV. And every time they showed him offering his oft-quoted ‘no comment’, they emblazoned his name on the screen in white letters.

How did I miss it?

Detective Shaun Williams.

I raised an eyebrow. “Detective Williams?”

“Yeah, that’s right. Now that we’ve been properly introduced, put your fucking hands behind your head before I shoot you.”

I peered past him, then to both sides. With his name on the scroll in my back pocket, there had to be someone waiting to ambush this man scheduled to die in about forty-five seconds.

“You need to get out of here,” I said, eyes still searching the shadows. “You’re in danger.”

“Me?” He stretched his arm toward me, pushing the barrel closer. “If you don’t get your hands up right now, you’ll never walk again.”

The seconds ticked off in my head, echoing down the hallways of my mind. I gritted my teeth, fought the compulsion to try and save him.

Not my job.

They sent me to retrieve his soul after his death, not prevent it. But so many already died because of me and my poor choices. Maybe this was an opportunity to make amends–with myself, if no one else. My eyes found his and held his gaze for a second; I didn’t have much more than that.

“You’ll thank me for this later,” I murmured and darted toward him, moving faster than he expected an out-of-shape-almost-forty guy like me could.

He squeezed the trigger but I was on him before he got the shot off. The gunshot nearly deafened me, the explosion echoing through my head, ringing in my ears. My arms encircled him, pinning his at his sides, and inertia carried me forward, driving him to the ground. Breath whooshed out of his lungs when we hit, but I didn’t let go.

“This is for your own good,” I said into his ear. His body jerked but my grip held. The last few seconds counted down in my head.

Five…four…three…two…one.

When I reached zero, I held on a few seconds longer in case my timing was off or my watch was slow. Nothing happened. No gunshot, no one jumping from the shadows; a grand piano didn’t drop from a balcony. Nothing.

I leaned back, a hand on his gun arm to prevent him from shooting me. Some thanks that would be for saving his life. I gripped his wrist expecting him to squirm away, but he didn’t. His lack of movement should have tipped me something was wrong, but I was too concerned with making sure we weren’t about to be attacked to notice. Nothing moved in the shadows, no one approached down the alley.

Could the scroll have been wrong?

Unlikely, but it happened before, when other forces manipulated events. How did I know the same wasn’t the case this time?

I didn’t.

A small movement caught my eye and I looked left to see a figure standing five yards away. Fear forced bitter, electric saliva into my mouth like I’d bitten down on a piece of aluminum foil, and I snatched the gun from Detective Williams’ hand, jerked it toward the silhouette. The man didn’t react, but simply stood watching. His presence made a knot form in my stomach which worked its way quickly into the back of my throat. The figure stepped forward into the light and the muscles in my forearm tensed, my finger brushed the trigger. It only took a second to realize he wasn’t as opaque as he should be.

This wasn’t a man, but a dislodged soul.

“What–?” I began but the lump in my throat got the better of my voice.

My brain finally registered the detective’s lack of movement and I looked from the soul to the detective’s face. His tired eyes stared up at me blankly; a dark circle of fluid spread across the grungy pavement beneath his head.

“No, I–”

The sight of his glazed eyes hit me like a spinning kick to the gut, stealing my breath and energy. My gun arm sagged, the police-issue .38 resting against my thigh, forgotten. I resisted the urge to shake him by the lapel of his wool coat or slap him awake, call out his name. I already knew what the result would be. The overhead light reflected in the pool of liquid around his head making a grisly halo.

I was responsible for another death.

I shook my head in disbelief and looked back at the spirit. There were no black bags under its eyes or worry lines at the corners of its mouth, but there was no mistaking to whom the soul belonged: except for the felt fedora tilted over the soul’s left eye like he’d stepped out of a Mickey Spillane novel, the spirit wore the same clothes.

“I didn’t–”

My words stuck again. Or maybe I didn’t want to complete the sentence because it would make what happened real. No need to worry, the ghost took care of that piece of business for me.

“You killed me.”

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ON UNFAITHFUL WINGS

To some, death is the end; to others, a beginning. To Icarus Fell, it should have been a relief from a life gone seriously awry.

But death had other plans.

Icarus doesn’t believe that the man awaiting him when he wakes up in a cheap motel room is really the archangel Michael, or that God’s right hand wants him to help souls on their way to Heaven. Icarus doesn’t believe there’s a Heaven, so why should they want his help?

But the man claiming to be the archangel tempts him with an offer he can’t ignore–harvest enough souls and get back the life he wished he’d had.

It seems Icarus has nothing to lose, until he botches a harvest and the soul that went to Hell instead of Heaven comes back to make him pay by threatening to take away the life he hoped to win back.

To save the wife and son he already lost once, Icarus will have to become the man he never was. Somehow, he will have to learn to believe.

Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.

Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn’t really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” than he does shovelling (and watch out for those pesky double l’s). The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of a burlesque diva.

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Lover Claimed by A.M. Griffin

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Lover Claimed
Dark Wolf Enterprises, Book #2
Paranormal Romance
Release Date: March 14, 2017
Author: A.M. Griffin

Buy Link: http://ow.ly/WzIR308AkLk

Giveaway:
$20Amazon Gift card March 13 – April 13, 2017

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Blurb:
When Meisha comes home and finds a strange man in her kitchen, she does what any sensible person would do. She beats the crap out of him first, then asks questions after. When he explains her best friend is in mortal danger, Meisha knows the whole mess—including a recent murder and the threats on her friend’s life—may be her fault, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. And no sexy stranger is going to stop her.

Lajos Farkas isn’t expecting to meet a spitfire, martial artist when he’s on a mission to figure out who’s stealing from Dark Wolf Enterprises, and he certainly doesn’t expect her to insist on butting in on his investigation. But getting rid of Meisha is seemingly impossible, and when his wolf decides she’s his life-mate, suddenly he realizes he’ll do anything to keep her close and grow old with her.

If they can just stay alive long enough to make that possible.

Excerpt #1:

Since the man lying on her kitchen floor had been so brazen about his break-in, it meant only one thing. All her threats to the people in her apartment complex were starting to fall on deaf ears. She needed to take this punk out into the courtyard and give the neighbors a reminder as to why they should leave her and her stuff alone.
She squinted at her captive. He was big, too big for her to drag out the door, down the stairs and into the courtyard.
Roll him?
Piper went back up to his face and swung a leg that looked as if it couldn’t support her fat body over the intruder’s neck, straddling him, trying to hump him to death. “Make sure you keep that up. When I get him out in public you can embarrass him all you want.”
Her burglar frowned and groaned. “Pft. Get off me, dog.” He tried to move his arms. Meisha smiled. She had tied them behind his back. His eyes flew open in panic.
Meisha pushed Piper aside just in case she needed to knock him out again. As soon as Piper was out of his way, the intruder landed his eyes on her.
She was right. His eyes were pretty. Light brown with a hint of gold speckles.
He squinted, his glare focused on her. “Untie me,” he ground out.
Meisha glared at him. “No.”
The color of his eyes flashed from brown to green.
She leaned closer to get a better look. “Holy shit, how did you change the color of your eyes? Is that some kind of trick?”
“I don’t want to hurt you,” he warned, ignoring her question.
Meisha raised an eyebrow and chuckled. “Really? You? Hurt me?” There was no way he was getting out of the bindings. When she’d first moved to the US from Japan, her mother had told her that she wanted her only daughter to experience a normal American childhood like she had. That meant enrolling Meisha into the Girl Scouts. Thanks to that organization, she’d learned to tie a wicked knot.
The intruder grunted. His face turned red as he tugged at his bindings.
Meisha nodded at his arms. “If you haven’t noticed, you’re all tied up. I could do whatever my little heart desires to you.”
The side of his mouth quirked up. “And tell me, love. What does your heart desire?” His voice had dropped an octave.
She caught her breath. The dimple in his cheek was…cute. Her heart fluttered. She scooted away from him. That was what she needed—distance.

Excerpt #2
Meisha squinted, trying to see what he saw. It was dark and the street lights weren’t much help. On this block all of them except for two were broken. She scanned each house, first trying to figure out which one was pale blue. Then she looked for one that had a second floor. “I don’t see it,” she finally said, giving up when she couldn’t make anything out.
“It’s on the next block. I wouldn’t expect you to.”
“The next block,” she exclaimed, not bothering to whisper any longer. “How the hell can we stake out a house that we can’t see and that’s not even on this block?”
He turned, flashing his pearly whites at her. “I can see it just fine.”
Oh god, I love those dimples.
She pulled her gaze away from him. No involvement, Meisha.
“Okay, you can see it with your super non-human eyes, but now what? You just sit here and watch it? Shouldn’t we try to get closer? Don’t we need to find out how many Shifters there are and maybe ambush them?”
“There are six Shifters in the house and another who just entered that liquor store on the corner.”
She turned back toward the direction of the house. Okay, the liquor store she could see, but she definitely couldn’t make out anyone going into or leaving out of it.
“Wait, how are you so sure about the numbers?”
He tapped his nose again.
“Yeah, right. The best in the business,” she mocked.
“Exactamundo.”
“So we’ve come all this way to find out how many of them there are? I thought you needed to find out who hired them to kill Mark and Trudy? For that, wouldn’t we need to capture one and torture him into telling us what we want to know?”
He glanced at her. His eyes seemed to grow brighter in the dark night. And they were on her, making her feel… She really didn’t know how they were made her feel. There were too many emotions raging in her at once. She fidgeted uncomfortably on her seat.
“Sweetheart, you jumped straight to torture. I don’t know if I should be turned on or a little scared.”
She tried her best to appear nonchalant, as if she hadn’t just had a spark course through her body when he looked at her like she was the only woman on the face of the Earth, making her feel like she was. Another man would’ve cringed away from her at the mention of torture, but Lajos wasn’t an ordinary man.

Excerpt #3
His wolf projected pictures, first of Meisha’s back, meaning she was mad at them. Yes, Lajos already knew that. Then of Lajos on the ground incapacitated. Yeah. If Meisha tried to leave him they wouldn’t be able to function without her.
“There are two things we have to clear up. One, you can’t go with me and my team tonight. It’s too dangerous. We’ll catch the Shifters and deal with them appropriately.”
“I really don’t want to hear this shit anymore. I’m going with you this time.” She dangled her keys in the air. “Like I said, this is a free country.”
He held up his hands. “Just hear me out. There’s a perfectly good reason why I want to keep you here where it’s safe.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “If you tell me one more time I’m too weak, I swear to Oprah that I’ll fuck you up, right here and now.”
He tried his best to hold back his chuckle. Keeping all of his teeth depended on it. He’d read all the ways she’d wanted to hurt him before he fell asleep, and he had to give it to her, her list was quite comprehensive. “Meisha, sweetheart, you’re my mate. If anything happened to you I wouldn’t survive. We couldn’t—my wolf and I would die without you.”
He watched her reaction, waiting to find out how she would take the news. Curious? Happy?
She frowned. Not the reaction he was looking for, but hey, this was all still new to her. “Just because your wolf likes me, you’ll die if I die?”
“He liked you the first time we first met. Imprinting is something deeper. It means we’ll be together for the rest of our lives.”
She nodded. “Um hm. Just like you told me before, we’re stuck with each other now.”
He grimaced at her choice of words. “I really wouldn’t say that. We’ve found each other. We’re mated—for life.”
“Did I miss something?”
“Huh?”
Although on the outside she appeared calm, he could almost feel the energy from her anger crackling through the air. “You and your wolf mated with me and now you expect me to be stuck with you for life.”
“Look, maybe I’m not explaining this right. I’ve never had to explain this to a human. A wolf would automatically know what this meant. Maybe I should call Andras and have him explain it to you.”
“And I would want to hear this from Andras because…?”
“Because he’s your Alpha.” He searched his brain for another comparison. “Um, just think of him as your boss.”
When both of her eyebrows rose, he was definitely sure he’d gone about this the wrong way.
“So you’re my mate. You’re in charge of protecting me because I’m a weak and fragile human. And, since I’m too dumb to understand the logistics of what this means for me, Andras, my new boss, will explain it to me.”
He wanted to shake his head, but although she was saying it in a less than desirable tone, she still had the gist of it.
“And the decision to mate with me and bond our forces forever was made without my knowledge and input,” she added.
“I told you there’s no planning for it. No wolf plans for this. It just happens.”
“So for humor’s sake, tell me something. If you had the choice, who would’ve you picked?”
“Honestly?”
She nodded. “Honestly.”
“I would’ve picked another wolf. Someone who wouldn’t expose the Pack to vulnerability. Someone who would live as long as I would. Someone who I wouldn’t spend the rest of her life worrying about.”
She turned away from him, but before she did he saw the pain in her eyes. “I’ll find someone who respects me. Someone who loves me. Someone who sees me as an equal and someone who wouldn’t mind spending the rest of his life worrying about my wellbeing.”
He rested his hand on her shoulder, needing to feel her skin under his fingertips. He wanted to make this right, but not at the cost of possibly losing her. “I’m not upset that we’ve joined. You…you’re…”
How could he find the words to tell her that she was more woman and wolf than any female he’d ever met? That her vulnerabilities were perfect, that her weaknesses were also her strongest points and that he’d go to the ends of the earth for her?
She pulled away from him. “No need to explain yourself, we were being honest. But you and your wolf are forgetting one thing, Lajos. I’m not a Shifter. I don’t have to abide by your rules.”
“Meisha—”
She turned around and faced him. Her eyes were red and watery. “I reject your claim on me.”

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Shifter Claimed
Dark Wolf Enterprises, Book #1
Available Now!
Blurb:
The big break Trudy Hollander’s small accounting firm needs has finally arrived, but unfortunately it comes with murder, mayhem and Kristof Farkas, a man she just can’t seem to resist. Even worse, Kristof is the CFO of Dark Wolf Enterprises—the one person who can pull the plug on the job that will take her company to the next level.
Then there are the assassins who can jump from three stories up and still be able to run away…
Kristof has no intention of giving in to his inner wolf and claiming Trudy. She’s human. Too fragile to withstand being a shifter’s mate. But the need to protect her is stronger than his resolve, and his desire is more powerful yet. He’ll fight with everything he has to keep her safe, both from those who would hurt her, and from himself.

Buy Link: http://ow.ly/xPQP308Jd1D

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Hunter Claimed
Dark Wolf Enterprises, Book #3
Available April 25, 2017
Blurb:
Asha has a simple plan for her life—her hopefully soon-to-be immortal life. All she’s ever wanted was to be so powerful that no one could ever hurt her again, and once she becomes a Vampire her dream will come true. Sure, being a Vampire’s protégé isn’t the easiest job a girl could have, but there are far tougher roads she could be walking, like following in her drug-addicted mother’s footsteps.
Hunter Arany hates Vampires, and with good reason. So when Dark Wolf Enterprises is forced to hire a group of the blood-suckers to find out who’s been stealing company money, he’s sure having them around will be a problem. He never figured it would the Vampires’ human servant who causes him the most trouble—trouble of the love and life-mate kind.
He’s hoping to convince Ash a brighter future exists in his arms, but old dreams fade slowly and can become living nightmares—of the dying kind.

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Author Bio:
A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.
Where you can find me:
Website: http://www.amgriffinbooks.com/
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