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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Better Than the Beach 2017 Summer Reads Giveaway




Be sure to check out more great giveaways from 42 other authors!


Happening until Labor Day with a Grand Prize of $130 Paypal Cash!



Enter using the Rafflecopter below.

More about my prize: Witch's Moonstone Locket





Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead.


Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him. Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger.  




More about my prize: Green Goddess blank notebook by Karen Monkman

Environmentally friendly A5 recycled notebook/jotter featuring  'The Green Goddess' artwork.

Print taken from Karen's original watercolor artwork "The Green Goddess." She sits guard at the doorway between the seasons, taking the green from the leaves to keep safe through the Winter months--a painting about reflection, taking stock & counting one's blessings.

Ideal as a gift or journal for thoughts,dreams, ideas or lists.

The notebook has 36 blank pages. A5 size (14.5 x 21 cm)



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Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

New Release Feature: Dead and Delicious, a PNR by Tara West



Dead and Delicious
Tara West

Genre: PNR


Release Date: July 17, 2017

Book Description:

Two zombies and one skeleton on a road trip to Vegas to kill a witch, stop an apocalypse, and rescue their friends from the belly of a shadow dragon.


Nothing weird about that.

Five things I learned while being a fallen angel zombie:

1. Duct tape works better than embalming.

2. Alopecia is not my favorite hairstyle.

3. Fried demons smell like bacon.

4. This brain breath is affecting my love life.

5.  Nothing ruins a honeymoon like an apocalypse.



Amazon US      Amazon UK      iBooks      Kobo      Nook




Excerpt:

“Omigod, Ash?”
            I turned at the sound of a familiar nasally whine. Dear Lord in heaven, it couldn’t be. But it was. Travis Jones, aka my jerk ex-boyfriend, who’d left me for our chain-smoking cougar law professor.
            I flashed a forced smile. “Oh, hey, Travis. Long time no see.”
            “It talks.” His skanky sugar mama, displaying the latest desperately-clinging-to-youth fashion, camel-toe skinny jeans, a frilly little girl top, and suede stiletto boots, gaped at me as if I was the one with a crotch gap the size of the Grand Canyon. 
            “Of course I talk.” I jutted a stiff fist on my hip. “I’m undead, not brain dead.” I took a step forward, scowling at the basket Travis clutched in his bony fingers. “The world is ending, and you take alcohol, condoms, and cigarettes?”
            Travis grabbed a champagne bottle out of his basket, aiming it at me like he was wielding a baseball bat. “Don’t come any closer.”
            “Thanks.” I lunged forward, snatching the bottle out of his hands. No surprise, he didn’t put up a fight. I’d forgotten how puny his arms were. I was so used to Aedan’s meaty biceps that Travis’s toothpicks, sticking out of his T-shirt, made him look like an elementary schoolboy compared to my husband. I waved the bottle in Travis’s face, laughing under my breath as his eyes followed the movement like Pavlov’s dog. “It’s our wedding day, and we haven’t celebrated yet.”
            Travis stepped back, quaking like he was mid-seizure. “Y-you’re married?”
            “Yes.” I nodded at Aedan, who placed a hand on my shoulder. “This is my husband, Aedan O’Connor. He’s a grim reaper.” I smiled up at my handsome groom. “Aedan, this is Travis, my ex-boyfriend.”
            Aedan didn’t utter a word. He didn’t have to. The look he shot Travis said it all.
            “Um, hi,” Travis squeaked. 
            Aedan nodded at the skank, who needed to touch up her gray roots and remove the fake mole that looked like a tick was eating her face. “Travis, you and your mother need to find shelter. It’s going to get ugly.”
            Mrs. Cougar Club actually had the nerve to gasp. “I’m not his mother!” She stomped a heel on the polished concrete, the sound ricocheting to the rafters. 
            My attention was drawn to the nasty creature with what appeared to be a dislocated jaw. That didn’t seem to deter his mission as he hobbled toward Travis, blood and drool hanging down his chin. The poor guy’s arm had fallen out of the socket, and he didn’t have any duct tape. I almost felt sorry for him.
            “There’s a zombie behind you,” I said casually, as if I was warning Travis the zipper shielding his three-inch pecker was down. 
            Travis spun around, screamed like a little girl, and jumped behind his girlfriend.
            “Oh, Travis. What did I ever see in you?” I heaved an overly-dramatic sigh and set the champagne bottle on a display. I wasn’t in the mood for alcohol, anyway, unless it was spiked with blood and brains.
            “Step aside,” Aedan grumbled, pushing Travis before slicing off the zombie’s head.
            I laughed when the head rolled in front of Travis and his girlfriend. Mrs. Cougar didn’t think it was too funny, though. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she slumped to the floor. Travis didn’t even try to catch her.  
            I tossed Travis a scowl before thumbing at Aedan. “That is how real men kill zombies. Grow a set.”
            I was a little too stiff to turn on my heel and sashay away, so I did the next best thing. I let out a rancid burp, blowing rotten squirrel and bloody beef breath at Travis, smiling when his pale face turned a diaper-doo green. Then I turned, looped an arm through Aedan’s, and walked away. Damn, that had felt good.        
            Aedan stopped me as we came to the broken glass doors. “Hang on. You have another maggot.”
            He wiped my eye. No wonder it had been itching me. I figured it was seasonal allergies, but no, just another worm. “Thanks, honey.” I beamed up at my big, strong hero. “I feel bad making you pick off all my maggots.”
            “For better or for worse,” he said with a wink, looking sexier than should be legal as he leaned against his scythe, scanning the outside. “Remember?”
            “Of course I remember.” I stood on stiff toes and kissed his cheek. “And you’ve already proven that ten times over.”
            He reached for my hand. “I’ll keep proving it for the rest of eternity.”
            Awww. Nobody made my zombie heart flutter like my husband.

About the Author:

Tara West writes books about dragons, witches, and handsome heroes while eating chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. She's willing to share her dragons, witches and heroes. Keep your hands off her chocolate.

Tara West's young adult and new adult romances have been Kindle bestsellers. A former high school English teacher, Tara is now a full-time writer and graphic artist. She enjoys spending time with her family, interacting with her fans, and fishing the Texas coast.


@TaraWestauthor


Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

New Release Feature: Illumination, Penton Legacy Book 5, a PNR/UF by Susannah Sandlin


Illumination
Penton Legacy
Book 5
Susannah Sandlin

Genre: PNR/UF

Date of Publication: July 11, 2017

Number of pages: Approx. 330
Word Count: 90,000

Cover Artist: Kim Killion

Tagline: Nik wants to escape his family curse. Shay wants to change the world. Together, they are the only hope to save the vampires of Penton.

Book Description:

He came to Penton seeking peace. Nik Dimitrou joined the Army to escape his family legacy, only to have his psychic abilities exploited as a weapon. Now, as a civilian, he turns to the bottle to veil the images that haunt his mind whenever he touches anyone—except vampires. With them, he has finally found a home. But as Penton, Alabama, moves into open warfare with the Vampire Tribunal, Nik finds himself a linchpin in the deepening conflict, not to mention facing a transformation in his own body more frightening than anything he’s encountered before.

She wanted to change the world. Shay Underwood watched her Peace Corps parents move from one third world country to another—until both died following an outbreak of fever. Driven to her own career in tropical medicine, Shay works in New Orleans to cure the disease that killed her parents—until a careless weekend outing draws her into a world far more dangerous than the diseases she studies: a vampire society engaged in human trafficking and on the verge of all-out war.

Two cities, two strangers, one world. With Penton rebellion leader Aidan Murphy making risky choices and chief vampire lieutenant Mirren Kincaid forced to take a leadership role in Penton, it will fall to two outsiders, Nik and Shay, to find a way for the town—and themselves—to survive in this much-anticipated conclusion to the multiple award-winning Penton Legacy series.





Excerpt:

“Right then. We have an obscenely large vehicle on the other side of that brick wall,” Cage said. “Archer or Nik should be able to help you over. Once I’m sure you’re in the car and locked up tight, I’ll collect Robin and Glory from the cemetery entrance and we’ll all be on our way back to Penton.”
Shay bit her lip. She had absolutely no reason to go to Penton, wherever the hell it was. Her home and life and work were here in New Orleans. She knew she’d have to be careful, but now that the breeding house was broken up and Jonathan was dead, the vampires and their minions had no reason to come after her. Whatever feelings Shay had nursed for Nik Dimitrou in high school, they were long dead. Gorgeous only took a person so far. Besides, he was a vampire.
She’d wait until they got her out of this cemetery, though, to decline her visit to Vampire Central. Maybe the handsome cat boy would drop her off somewhere. But where? She had no money or identification with her. She didn’t even have the keys to her own apartment or lab.
Maybe a police station. They could come up with a plausible story for her disappearance. Maybe even name Simon as her kidnapper, and the warehouse location. Let the authorities make of it what they would.
Shay was distracted by the sight of Archer leaping to the top of the brick wall behind the Le Boeuf crypt, followed closely by Nik. Her old classmate might be injured and hungry, but that wall had given him no challenge. Shay wasn’t sure she could climb over it without a sturdy ladder on a good day. Today had not been a good day except that she hadn’t died.
Nik reached down and motioned to Shay. “C’mon, let’s get out of here.”
Shay looked at the wall, at Nik, and back at the wall. “I don’t think you can lift me. You’re hurt.”
“Trust me.” Nik grinned, giving Shay a glimpse of an older, even more handsome version of the boy she’d known so many years ago. She’d thought she loved that boy; this man, though….was a vampire. Don’t forget that, idiot.


She nodded, dried her hands on her jeans as much as she could, and reached up toward Nik. He leaned over, wrapped strong fingers around both of her wrists, and lifted her to the top of the wall with what seemed like little effort, setting her down beside him.
“Swing your legs over, and I’ll lower you down the other side. Or I can leap down with you in my arms.” His grin widened, and her heart beat double-time when their gazes locked. Vampire. He’s a freaking vampire. He’s a freaking vampire involved in a war with other freaking vampires. You cannot trust him. Lust, yes. Trust, no.
“Whatever you do, would you please move your arses?” Cage stood beneath them. “I’m getting soaked and—”
A loud pop sounded from the Washington Avenue end of the cemetery, followed by a splintering noise and another pop pop. Shay had lived in New Orleans long enough to recognize the sound of gunfire.

About the Author:

Susannah Sandlin writes award-winning paranormal romance, including the popular Penton Legacy series for Montlake Romance, and romantic suspense and thrillers, including two series, The Collectors and Wilds of the Bayou, also for Montlake. Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she writes the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series for Tor Books. Suzanne grew up in Alabama halfway between the Bear Bryant Museum and Elvis’s birthplace and lived in New Orleans for fifteen years, so she has a refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of college football and fried gator on a stick. She currently lives in Auburn, Alabama, where she is a full-time author who does copy editing on the side through Reedsy.com.



Twitter: @SusannahSandlin, @Suzanne_Johnson

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

New Release Feature ~ Soul Reaping, Dark Souls Book 4, a PNR/UF by Anne Hope




Soul Reaping
Dark Souls
Book 4
Anne Hope

Genre: PNR/UF

Date of Publication: July 1, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9959602-4-4
ASIN: B0723HC6J5

Word Count: 90K

Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: To save the world he damned, he must sacrifice everyone he loves.

Book Description:

For six millennia, Cal has fought to guard mankind against the evil he unleashed upon it—his offspring, the Nephilim. Now, in order to avert another Great Flood, he must unite the Sacred Four. Problem is, one of these souls once cost him his grace and shattered his all-too-human heart.

Four years ago, Kleio awakened in an unfamiliar body to find her reality completely altered. Her only desire is to see her husband again. When Cal finally comes for her, she believes her prayers have been answered. Until she realizes the Watchers’ leader is nothing like the passionate angel she remembers.

Cal fights his sinful attraction to the woman who led to his fall, aware that for the world to be saved, the Sacred Four must die. But Kleio is determined to make him feel again. For the first time in centuries, he questions his dedication to his mission. When the floodgates open, will he have the strength to sacrifice everyone he loves or will he damn humanity a second time?

Amazon      Amazon.ca      BN      iBooks      Kobo

Excerpt-Chapter One

For four years she spoke his name each night before she drifted off to sleep and each morning when she awoke, but he never came for her. There was a time when all Kleio had to do was think of Calliel and he’d appear, a glorious winged warrior with piercing silver eyes and hair as golden as the sun.
Even when he’d fallen, their connection hadn’t waned. It had grown stronger.
But now, in this futuristic world, where light came from glass bulbs and food could be warmed at the touch of a button, whatever bond had linked them to one another had been severed, setting her adrift.
So she’d adapted, learned these people’s tongue, figured out how to operate their strange new-world machines and live as one among them. They called her Daphne, like the tiny pink and white flowers that had once bloomed in her courtyard. At first she’d argued that her name was Kleio. Whenever she did, her new family would give her that sad, mournful look and a smile meant to pacify, then go right back to calling her Daphne.
In time, she’d accepted the name along with her new life, but not a moment went by when she didn’t wonder about Calliel. What had become of him, of their son, Athanatos? She’d given her soul to save her boy. Why then was she suddenly free?
She’d spent countless hours catching up on her history, trying to understand what had transpired in the past six millennia while she’d slumbered. What she’d learned both fascinated and horrified her. Her entire civilization’s history had been wiped away, all the progress her small village had made thanks to the angels erased and forgotten. Historians called her time period the Neolithic era, neos lithos, the new Stone Age.
How insulting. Her people had invented farming, weaponry, pottery, sculpting…and yet, according to the great minds of today, they’d been no better than monkeys, running around swinging wooden clubs.
She didn’t blame historians for their faulty assumptions, though. She blamed the heavens. As Calliel had feared, a Great Flood had come, wiping out most of humanity...and her history along with it. It had taken thousands of years for mankind to achieve the progress her small civilization had enjoyed in the so-called Stone Age, all because the angels had thrown a temper tantrum.
Kleio couldn’t help but wonder, had the flood wiped out the fallen and their cursed offspring as well?
She couldn’t bear the thought of existing in a world without Athanatos, without Calliel. And yet here she was, imprisoned in a home she could never call her own, living with a family who insisted on addressing her by someone else’s name.

“Daphne, darling, are you ready?” Joyce shuffled into the living room, a large purse strapped over her shoulder. “We’ll have to leave soon if we’re going to beat the Christmas rush.”
Christmas, short for Christ’s mass, meant to celebrate the birth of Christ, yet another pivotal event she’d slept through. “Sure, Mom. Let’s go.” She’d promised Joyce she’d go shopping with her, and Kleio wasn’t one to break a promise.
At first, pretending to be Daphne had been both physically and emotionally draining, but in time it had gotten easier. Joyce and Theo had taken her in, given her a home, helped her recover from her injury. The least she could do to repay them was allow them to believe their daughter had survived the car crash and her subsequent coma.
They had just pulled the plug on the machine that was keeping Daphne alive when Kleio had awakened in the deceased woman’s body. No wonder they’d looked at her as though they’d seen a ghost.
Kleio pulled on her jacket and followed Joyce to the car, tightening the scarf around her neck as a light drizzle began to fall. The probability of a white Christmas in San Francisco was low, but December was rainy season and considered one of the coldest months of the year.
Once ensconced in the white Audi, Joyce gave her a wistful glance. “We used to do this all the time when you were little. You always begged me to take you to Union Square so you could see the Christmas tree.” Joyce watched Kleio for a reaction, hoping against hope that a memory would miraculously unfurl in her mind.
Kleio simply smiled, saddened by the desperation she caught in the woman’s soulful brown eyes. She understood better than most the agony of wishing for something that could never be. “We can pass by and see it, if you like.”
A gleam of pleasure cut through the pain, and Joyce beamed. “That’s a wonderful idea, darling. Maybe—” She didn’t finish her sentence.
Then again, she didn’t have to. Kleio knew exactly what the woman had been about to say.
Maybe the tree will trigger a memory, the past four years will melt away, and you’ll be my Daphne again. Then I’ll stop seeing a stranger each time I look at you.
The rain picked up speed, pummeling the windshield with violent fists. Dark, churning clouds gathered in the distance, blocking all traces of the sun. Funny, the forecast hadn’t called for a storm today.
“I’m starting to think this wasn’t such a good idea.”

“Nonsense.” Joyce kept a firm grip on the steering wheel as the car coasted forward. “It’s just a little rain.”
Cars. That had been the greatest adjustment of all. Who would’ve thought that in the future people would travel around in steel boxes, catapulting forward at inhuman speed?
When they neared the Golden Gate Bridge, Kleio gripped the door handle, as though the futile act could protect her from a two-hundred-foot plunge into San Francisco Bay. The three-mile long suspended bridge always sent ice chips skittering along her spine, and today was no exception.
Joyce assumed her fear stemmed from the car accident Daphne had suffered, and Kleio didn’t bother to correct the woman’s misconception. What could she say?
I hail from a time when the only means of transportation were a stubborn mule and a pair of scuffed sandals. Oh, and let’s not forget the angels.
She’d flown with Calliel a time or two, before he’d been ruthlessly stripped of his wings. She remembered what it had felt like to soar thousands of feet from the ground, the world below fading, becoming a tangled blur of shapes and colors. With his arms fastened around her, she’d felt safe and ridiculously happy, as though there wasn’t a force in heaven or hell powerful enough to pry her from his grasp.
She’d been wrong. 
The wind blustered, shaking the vehicle until it groaned. The bridge seemed to rattle beneath them, and fear snatched the air from her lungs. “Turn back.”
“I can’t.” Joyce gave her a sympathetic grin. “We’re almost there. Don’t worry, honey. We’ll be fine.”
No, they wouldn’t. This was no ordinary storm. Kleio felt it in her bones. Darkness swept over them, cold and greasy and familiar.
The bay suddenly bubbled. Similar to a leviathan rising from the depths of the sea, a giant wave surged, accumulating in mass as the car arrowed forward. Surely, the swell couldn’t reach two hundred feet in height, could it?
Kleio closed her eyes, uttered another desperate prayer. “Calliel, where are you? I need you.”
The darkness thickened, finding purchase in her soul. With a thunderous whoosh, the wave crested over the bridge, washing everything from its path. Joyce screamed as she lost control of the Audi. The sedan flew sideways, sweeping across the blacktop in a graceful glide reminiscent of Cal’s wings.

Then, with an ear-splitting clang, it breached the metal barriers and plunged, nose-first, into the hungry bay.

About the Author:

Anne Hope is the author of emotionally intense romances with a twist—a twist of humor, a twist of suspense, a twist of magic. All her stories, however, have a common thread. Whether they make you laugh or cry or push you to the edge of your seat, they all feature the redeeming power of love and the heart’s incredible ability to heal.

Anne’s passion for writing began at the age of eight. After penning countless stories about enchanted houses, alien girls with supernatural powers and children constantly getting lost in the woods, she decided to try her hand at romance. She lives in Montreal, Canada, with her husband, her two inexhaustible kids, a lazy cat and a rambunctious Australian Kelpie.

Website: www.annehope.com



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Featuring: The Dragon's Playlist, a contemporary fantasy by Laura Bickle




The Dragon’s Playlist
Laura Bickle

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

ISBN: 9781537891965

From the author of THE HALLOWED ONES and NINE OF STARS comes a new novel blending the magical and the real…

“This is war,” the dragon said. And she believed him.

Di fled rural West Virginia to study music and pursue a bright future as a violinist. But when a mining accident nearly kills her father, she is summoned back home to support her family. Old ghosts and an old flame emerge from the past. When Di gets a job as a bookkeeper at the same mine where her father worked, she is drawn into a conflict pitting neighbor against neighbor as the mine plans an expansion to an untouched mountain.

If the mining company’s operation goes forward, there will be more at stake than livelihoods or the pollution of the land: Di has discovered a dragon lives deep within Sawtooth Mountain, and he is not happy with this encroachment upon his lair. When catastrophe strikes, Di must choose between her family’s best interests and protecting the dragon – the last surviving bit of magic in Di’s shrinking world.

In every fight, sides are chosen. And there can be no yearning for what has been left behind.

Read 2 New Chapters Free Each Week Starting June 1
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About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology-Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.

More information about Laura’s work can be found at 



Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. 

JOIN MARSHA'S MAILING LIST and receive a free copy of her paranormal romance story RULER OF THE NIGHT.


Read Marsha's COON HOLLOW TALES of paranormal romance and her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous epic fantasy romance. For a FREE ebook download, read her historic fantasy, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Featuring: The Thirteenth Gate, a fantasy/ mystery by Kat Ross



The Thirteenth Gate
Dominion Mysteries
Book Two
Kat Ross

Genre: Fantasy/mystery

Publisher: Acorn

Date of Publication: June 26, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9972362-8-6
ASIN: B071RQ142S

Number of pages: 380
Word Count: 88k

Cover Artist: Damonza

Book Description:

Winter 1888. At an asylum in the English countryside, a man suspected of being Jack the Ripper kills an orderly and flees into the rain-soaked night. His distraught keepers summon the Lady Vivienne Cumberland—who's interviewed their patient and isn't sure he's a man at all. An enigmatic woman who guards her own secrets closely, Lady Vivienne knows a creature from the underworld when she sees one. And he’s the most dangerous she's ever encountered.

As Jack rampages through London, Lady Vivienne begins to suspect what he's searching for. And if he finds it, the doors to purgatory will be thrown wide open…

Across the Atlantic, an archaeologist is brutally murdered after a Christmas Eve gala at the American Museum of Natural History. Certain peculiar aspects of the crime attract the interest of the Society for Psychical Research and its newest investigator, Harrison Fearing Pell. Is Dr. Sabelline's death related to his recent dig in Alexandria? Or is the motive something darker?

As Harry uncovers troubling connections to a serial murder case she’d believed was definitively solved, two mysteries converge amid the grit and glamor of Gilded Age New York. Harry and Lady Vivienne must join forces to stop an ancient evil. The key is something called the Thirteenth Gate. But where is it? And more importantly, who will find it first?

Excerpt:

The Greymoor Lunatic Asylum made a grim impression even in daylight. It crouched at the end of a long, treeless drive, barred windows gleaming beneath a peaked slate roof. After her first interview with Dr. William Clarence, Lady Vivienne Cumberland had taken a hard look at those bars. She’d strongly suggested to the asylum superintendent that he move Dr. Clarence to a room with no window at all.
That had been just over a month ago. Now, in the darkest hour of the night, with rain coursing down the brick fa├žade and thunder rattling the turrets, Greymoor looked like something torn from the pages of a penny dreadful, hulking and shadowed despite the lamps burning in every window. At the wrought-iron front gate, a black brougham drew to a halt. Following a brief exchange with the occupants, two officers from the Essex constabulary waved it through, immediately ducking back into the shelter of a police wagon.
“I told them to watch him,” Lady Cumberland muttered, yanking her gloves on. “To keep him isolated from the staff and other patients. Clearly, they didn’t listen. The fools.”
Alec Lawrence gripped the cane resting across his knees. He had been present at the interview, had looked into Dr. Clarence’s eyes, a blue so pale they reminded him of a Siberian dog. The memory unsettled him still, and he wasn’t a man who was easily shaken.
“We don’t know what happened yet,” he pointed out. “Superintendent Barrett can hardly be faulted considering we withheld certain information. I rather doubt he would have believed us anyway.”
Vivienne scowled. “You may be right, but it was only a matter of time. I’ve known that since the day Clarence was brought here. The S.P.R. made a very bad mistake entrusting him to Greymoor.”
“We still don’t know for sure—”
“Yes, we do. The killings stopped, didn’t they?”
“That could be for any number of reasons,” he said stubbornly.
“Including that the creature who committed them is behind bars. Or was, at least.”
Alec Lawrence buttoned his woolen greatcoat. This was not a new debate. “Perhaps. But there’s not a scrap of hard evidence against him. Nothing but a single reference in a report by some American girl and Clarence’s own odd demeanor. Had there been more, he would have been locked up tight in Newgate Prison.”
Vivienne turned her obsidian gaze on him. With her high cheekbones and full lips, she might have been thirty, or a decade in either direction. Only Alec and a handful of others knew better.
“That American girl is Arthur Conan Doyle’s goddaughter and she seemed quite clever to me. It wouldn’t have mattered anyway,” she added quietly. “Walls don’t hold Dr. Clarence’s sort for long.”
“Look,” he said, softening. “For what it’s worth, I think we did the right thing taking him off the streets. I just....” He trailed off, unsure how he meant to finish the thought.
“You don’t trust my judgment anymore. Since Harper Dods.”
“That’s not even remotely true. I simply think we need to keep open minds on the matter. The signs aren’t there, Vivienne. I’m the first to admit Dr. Clarence is an odd duck, perhaps worse. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t human.”
Vivienne arched a perfectly sculpted eyebrow. “And yet here we are, summoned by Sidgwick in the middle of the night. I wonder if he’s regretting his decision?”
The note from Henry Sidgwick, president of the Society for Psychical Research, had arrived in the form of a small, bedraggled messenger boy pounding on Lady Vivienne’s front door in St. James an hour before. It was both vague and ominous, citing an “unfortunate incident” involving Dr. Clarence and urging all due haste to the asylum.
“I suppose we’ll find out in a minute,” Alec said, turning his collar up. He swiped a hand through chestnut hair and jammed a top hat on his head. “Off to the races.”
A gust of rain shook the carriage as it slowed at the front entrance. A six-story tower capped by a Roman clock and white spire anchored two wings extending on either side. Unlike most asylums, which had separate annexes for men and women, Greymoor’s residents were all male. The north wing housed those poor souls suffering from garden-variety disorders like dementia and melancholia. The other was reserved for the so-called “incurables,” a euphemism for the criminally insane. Violent, unpredictable men deemed unfit for prison.

Despite his doubts, Alec Lawrence would have happily had the lot of them over for tea rather than spend five minutes in the company of Dr. William Clarence. In his heart, he wondered if Vivienne’s instincts were correct. But he wanted her to be wrong because the alternative was far worse.

 About the Author:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She's the author of the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day, the Fourth Element fantasy series (The Midnight Sea, Blood of the Prophet, Queen of Chaos), and the new Dominion Mysteries. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios.





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