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Monday, November 24, 2014

Alpha Male Diner: Vampire Assassin by Amanda J. Greene (A Bewitching Christmas) + giveaway

Hi! You must be new to the Under Realm. Welcome to the Alpha Diner. We have the most deliciously decadent recipes around. I must warn you, every dish we serve is hot to the touch but oh so satisfying.

Ethan Halstead (Vampire & Assassin)
Recipe by Amanda J. Greene
A Bewitching Christmas (Under Realm Assassins, #1) 


1 pair of ice blue eyes
A set of lethal fang
2 heaping cups of alpha male personality (add more to taste)
Equal parts danger and loyalty
4 tablespoons of raw sexuality
2 tablespoons of charm
Sprinkle in some secrets and a little magic

Combine to make a sizzling Under Realm Assassin.

Don’t forget, this dish is tall with dark hair and a body sculpted to warrior perfection.

Taste Test
Cole McRae took a deep breath. The sweet scent of magic filled his lungs. The entire town reeked of mystical energy. This was the perfect hunting ground for Silver. To him, every witch in residence was potential prey.

Cole silently crossed the snow dusted parking lot to the bar entrance.

This wasn’t his kind of hang out, but it would do while he waited for his mark. He preferred his bars to be loud, boisterous and crowded with dark corners where he could entertain a woman or two.

He paused in the entryway, wiping off his boots as he casually scanned the bar, noting all the exits and patrons. A vacant stage stood above an empty dance floor in the left corner, high round tables lined the sidewalls, with the bar located directly across from the entrance. A few bar stools were occupied by men who appeared to be regulars. For such a small, out of the way town, no one seemed interested in him, a stranger. The men at the bar continued to stare blankly at the flat screen TVs that played a never-ending loop of Sports Center. A group of young women sat in a corner, giggling and laughing. A few of the girls glanced his way and remarked on his “dangerous vibe” and “great ass”.

Cole claimed a bar stool and waved to the bartender.

The burly, red bearded human came over, “What’ll you have?”

“Glenfiddich. Straight.”

The man quickly poured the Scotch and Cole asked him to leave the bottle. Yeah, it was one of those nights.

He’d been tracking his target, Silver, for six months. The werewolf was sly, but he wouldn’t escape him this time. That is, if the bastard had come to town. Witches overran this quiet, annoyingly cheery place and the werewolf had yet to make an appearance. Common sense told him his informant had led him astray, but his assassin instincts insisted Silver would show. His target was a magic thief and he wouldn’t be able to resist a tiny town like this. Cole just needed to wait and he hated waiting.

He was an assassin. He thrived on the hunt and the satisfaction of the kill. Sitting on his ass and playing the waiting game was not his thing, but he had no choice. His options were to hang out in a town decorated to the nines for Christmas with happy, smiling, contented humans and witches until Silver showed or head back to New York and wait for another tip. Both involved waiting.

Tension spread throughout his body, tightening his shoulders and his grip on his glass. He tossed back the Scotch and poured himself another two fingers.

Cole had already endured three days in this town. Everywhere he looked, people rushed about, buying gifts, and setting up their lawn ornaments. His favorite was the nauseating couples that window-shopped, holding hands, and sipping peppermint-flavored lattes.

He hadn’t been a fan of Christmas when he was human and nothing changed when he became a vampire. Orphaned at eight years old, he grew up on the streets of Boston, fighting not to die of starvation or exposure year in and year out. There never was anything to celebrate when he was a child. When he came of age, he joined the rebel army and died in battle in 1778 at the ripe age of twenty-two.

Cole took a sip of the liquor and savored the burn as it slipped down his throat.

He refused to think of the past. Those memories he had stuffed in a pine box and buried six feet under over 200 years ago, never to rise again.

Cole was about to take another long drink, when the door swung open. A strong, cold wind blustered in along with the unmistakable scent of female and…werewolf? No, the wet dog stench wasn’t strong enough for the woman to be an actual werewolf, but she had been in contact with one. He could talk to her and see if they knew the same wolf, Trent Millsap, a.k.a. Silver.

He glanced over his shoulder and found a tall blonde with all the right curves. Her green eyes were electrifying and her rose pink lips begged to be kissed. Even if they didn’t have a werewolf in common, he was going to get to know the woman, very well.

He watched her carefully remove her winter layers, his lust rising. This trip may have been nothing but a waste of his extremely valuable time, but he suspected one night with the tempting blonde witch would make up for his troubles.

* * * * * *

Analette peeled off her bulky snow jacket and hung it on the coat wrack just inside the bar’s entrance.

God, it seemed like an eternity since the last time she stepped foot in this place. It had been seven years since she had come home to Maine.

She was in desperate need of a drink. Make that several drinks. She would need to be stumbling drunk if she were to forget even for a precious second the image of her now ex-fiancé screwing some enthusiastic women who had twin tattoos of butterflies on the backs of her thighs. Oh, yeah, Trent had been giving that girl a work out. Analette had heard her moans as she walked down the hall to their hotel room. She had known what was going on before she opened the door.

Her fingers curled into fists as the image slapped her in the face again. Trent had been covered in sweat, his chestnut shoulder length hair dripped as he pounded into the woman from behind.

Where had he picked her up? Had he met her at the complimentary hotel breakfast that morning? Or had Trent gone out and found her while Analette had been doing some last minute Christmas shopping?

Analette shook her head. It didn’t matter when or where he had met his afternoon delight. The wedding was off and that dirty werewolf could get run over chasing cars, for all she cared.

She should have known this would happen one day. He was a mongrel and she was a witch. Witches tended to stick with witches, werewolves with werewolves, shifters with shifters, and so on, throughout Other Society.

Just be thankful you caught him cheating now rather than after the wedding, she told herself. Unfortunately, that fact didn’t take the sting of betrayal away. No, only alcohol could do that.

Analette crossed to the bar and took up two seats, one for her, the other for her purse. The bartender sauntered her way. He was cute and looked familiar, but she couldn’t think of his name. It had been ages since she’d come home and after what she just witnessed, she wished she had stayed in New York.

She gave a heavy sigh. She had come to visit with her grandmother who, according Analette’s mother, wasn’t doing well. Her health was fading and no one knew how many more holidays they would all have together. She had to shove aside her bad memories of this town and ignore her aversion to magic in order to come home. She had also hoped to introduce her soon to be husband to her family, but that wasn’t going to happen anytime soon now she was single.

“Dyson? Analette Dyson?” the bartender asked.

She nodded. “And you?”

“Miles O’Malley. We went to high school together. Damn, it’s been a long time.”

“Not much has changed around here,” she said, trying her best not to sound miserable.

“Your sister told me you’re living in New York.”

“Yeah, I’ve been there for a couple years now.” She had the perfect apartment in Central Park West, she worked as an editor for one of the top women’s health magazines in the nation, and up until an hour ago, she had the ideal fiancé. “I’m just in town for the holiday.”

“That’s good. I’m sorry to hear about your grandmother.”

“Thank you.”

“Well, what would you like?” Miles asked.

“Great question.”

Analette had quickly learned in college that she wasn’t much of a drinker, but tonight she would make an exception. She glanced over her shoulder at the table of obnoxiously loud young women. They each had some type of colorful, fruity drink with tiny umbrellas.

No, thank you. However, I could use a tropical getaway right about now.

The men on the opposite end of the bar were nursing bottles of beer, not her thing either. Finally, her gaze fell on the lone man a few seats down. His shoulders were slumped and he leaned over the bar top, his eyes fixed on his glass. She could tell he was tall, despite his posture, his legs were long, his back broad. He seemed so out of place, with his rough, dangerous biker look. She wondered how she hadn’t noticed him when she first came in. He was hard to miss. His profile was strong, with a square stern jaw line, a roman nose, which looked like it had been broken at least once before, and prominent cheekbones. He had short, dark hair that he wore swept back.

I’d like to have him; she thought then shook her head.

“I’ll have a vodka tonic with a little lime.”

Miles quickly made her drink then went to sweep the floor by the door; customers had been tracking in snow.

Analette took a sip and gave an unladylike cough.

“You’ve got to learn to love the burn,” the man said with a deep chuckle.

Once her eyes stopped watering she replied, “Obviously, I don’t drink.”

He took a swig before turning toward her.

Holy, hell! A gasp escaped her lips. The man was not just handsome, he was knockout gorgeous. He had a face and a mischievous smile that would make any woman melt and his eyes were an impossible shade of ice blue.

Was he here alone? She doubted it. Men like him were never single, unless...Oh, God, please don't let him turn out to be a serial killer.
“Rough day?”

She took in a deep breath and slowly exhaled before taking another sip. “One of the worst days of my life.”

He raised his glass and said, “Here’s to self medicating,” then tossed the Scotch back. She cheered and polished off her vodka with one straight shot. Her face scrunched up, the alcohol stung her throat.

“I’d like to buy the lady another,” he called.

Miles returned and made up another drink for her.

“It’s all right. I’ve got it,” she insisted.

Ignoring her protests, he told Miles, “Add the rest of her drinks to my tab.”

“Really, that isn’t necessary.”

“I was planning on drinking alone. This way, I can enjoy your company.” He extended his hand. “Cole.”

She hesitantly reached out. “Analette, but you can call me Ana.”

His hand was large compared to hers. The chill of his touch was a pleasurable shock to her system.

She instinctively knew he was Other. He was not a witch, like her. His touch wasn’t hot like a werewolf’s, his eyes didn’t glow like a shape-shifter’s, and his skin didn’t shimmer like the fae. Cole was a vampire. That fact should terrify her. Yet, the thought of him pinning her against a wall and sinking his fangs into her throat was highly erotic.

Vampires were wild, unpredictable. His race was a mystery. It was believed that any human could become a vampire if they were near death and received a vampire’s blood. Rarely did they procreate naturally, though it was possible. The vampire population was small. They believed a mortal had to be worthy to receive the gift of immortality. Blood was sacred and those who changed humans as often as they changed their shirts quickly met their end, as did all their fledglings. She also had heard a rumored that the Under Realm Syndicate preferred to use vampires as their enforcers, soldiers who protected and upheld the law of the Others society.

Analette’s eyes narrowed. What was a vampire doing in her hometown? New York up to Eastern Canada was witch territory; everyone knew that.

“So, Cole, do you visit Maine often?”

He smiled, revealing the tips of his sharp canines. Her pulse fluttered.

“First time,” he answered.

“Visiting someone for Christmas?”

He took a drink. “I was expecting to meet someone, but I’ll be heading to New York shortly.”

“That’s where I’m from. Well, I’m really from here, but my life is in New York.”

“Yes, I heard,” he said.

Analette nodded. Vampires had over active senses. Naturally, he would have overheard her conversation with Miles.

“You said today was one of the worst ever. You’re family a nightmare or something?”

She shrugged. “No. There are certain things we don’t…agree on, but that’s true of every family.”

“Your love life took a hit,” he said so matter-of-factly she wanted to laugh.

“That would be putting it lightly. My love life blew up.”

“I’m sorry. That really sucks, but hey, you can now spend your night with me.”

Staggered, Analette could only blink in response. She blushed when she noticed her mouth had fallen open. Did the sexy vampire just ask her for a one-night stand?



A Bewitching Christmas: Holiday Novella (Under Realm Assassins Book 1)
by Amanda J. Greene
pages: 104
It has been seven years since Analette Dyson stopped practicing magic and headed to New York, where she created a new life, complete with a fabulous job, an apartment in Central Park West, and a sexy werewolf fiancé. She never planned on returning to her small home town in Maine, but when she learns her grandmother is ill, she decides to pop over for a visit and what better time than Christmas? Excited for her fiancé to meet her family, they head up a day early.

Worst idea ever!

After doing some last minute Christmas shopping, Analette returns to their hotel to find her fiancé in bed with another woman. Cursing the universe for her never ending bad luck with men and dreading telling her family about her cheating fiancé, she heads to the bar to self medicate.

Not one to celebrate the holidays, vampire and assassin, Cole McRae, has followed a lead to a rustic town in witch territory. But after a few days of research and waiting for his target to show, he begins to suspect he has wasted his time. That is, until he meets a curvaceous blonde with bewitching green eyes at the local bar. One night with the enchanting Analette could make this useless trip well worth his time.

Their passion is undeniable and unbeknownst to them, their fates are intertwined. Magic and romance will strike on Christmas, changing their lives forever.

~ A Holiday Novella~
Amazon

About the Author:
Amanda J. Greene is an erotic paranormal romance author. When she is not writing, she can be found playing the role of a full time university student, who works part time.

She lives in Southern California with her very supportive, military husband and their sweet Cocker Spaniel.




GIVEAWAY
3 ecopies of 

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Sunday, November 23, 2014

WIP it real good with Urban Fantasy Author Linda Welch

We have a new guest post feature for authors. I love getting snippets from an author's W.I.P. (work in progress). So here is a chance to share a  bit of what you have in store for readers.
Urban fantasy author Linda Welch

-Linda's current WIP: Dark Demon Risen, Whisperings Paranormal Mystery book seven. Coming 2015.

Sharon: ACK! I've been reading Linda's paranormal mystery series, Whisperings, since the beginning. Now I'm worried...

Whisperings series
Along Came a Demon (book 1) is always free

Downside Novels
Downside Rain (book 1) sale $.99
Baelfleur (book 2)

Sunday Swag: Dani Harper


Sunday Swag Team!
Riverina Romantics 
 I Smell Sheep 

Featured Author: Dani Harper


About the Author:
Dani Harper is a former newspaper editor whose passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing paranormal fiction. There isn’t anything she likes better than exploring myths and legends from many cultures, which serve to inspire her stories. A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, Dani now lives in rural Washington with her retired mountain-man husband, Ron. Together they do battle with runaway gardens, rampant fruit trees, and a roving herd of chickens, with the assistance of three dogs and several grandchildren.

Dani is the author of Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn; as well as Storm Warrior and Storm Bound, the first two books in the Grim Series; plus First Bite, a Dark Wolf story. Upcoming releases include Storm Warned and The Holiday Spirit. Learn more athttp://www.daniharper.com   


Dani has a new set of postcards out!


Head over to Riverina Romantics and win more Swag!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Comic Review: THE STRAIN: THE NIGHT ETERNAL #4

THE STRAIN: THE NIGHT ETERNAL #4Writer: David Lapham
Colorist: Dan Jackson
Cover Artist: E. M. Gist
Genre: Action/Adventure, Horror
Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date: November 19, 2014
Format: FC, 32 pages; Ongoing
Price: $3.99
UPC:7 61568 19195 0 00411
Read the comic! Watch the series!

The final chapter in the Strain Trilogy—by Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan—begins here!
It’s been two years since the Master’s plan succeeded and a near apocalypse coated the world in darkness. Now able to roam freely, the Master’s legion of vampires rule the world—a horrifying police state where humans are harvested for blood.
Known as the Born, he works with the rebellion, but he’s a vampire . . . Who, or what, is Mr. Quinlan? And what, exactly, is his connection to the Master? This issue sheds light on the past of the mysterious and badass bloodsucker slayer who is bent on destroying the Master’s strain and ending his reign.

The final chapter in the Strain Trilogy—by Guillermo del Toro and novelist Chuck Hogan—begins here!


This issue of the last book in The Strain trilogy is about Mr. Quinlan’s past and his connection to the Master. The Master tells the story of how he served the Roman Emperor Caligula. For his payment, he is given seven virgins. Not for sex, but for their blood. But the last victim is not a virgin, and is with child. He wanted to kill the unborn, but got called away to help the emperor at the time, he returns to find the soldiers took her, but she killed two of the guards and escaped. She finds a cave, where she gives birth and raises the child, ignoring the call of her master. When Quinlan is almost grown up, his mother is killed by the Master and he escapes. Through years of fighting as a gladiator, he is eventually bought by a Roman senator who realizes what he is and who he serves, battling in wars. His being able to walk in the sunlight helps him. His life ends up serving the other Ancients against the Master until he helps the humans fighting the vampires in New York City.
This issue is all about a true badass vampire. He may not be handsome as many paranormal romances write vampires as, but he truly has an interesting past. He may not be stone-faced ass kicker like Blade, but he holds his own as well as that daywalker.

5 sheep
 




Pamela Kinney

Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Review: The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2) by Jeffe Kennedy

The Tears of the Rose (The Twelve Kingdoms #2)
by Jeffe Kennedy
Paperback, 352 pages
November 25th 2014 by Kensington
Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir; the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition; and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous.

Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive…

Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?

The Tears of the Rose is Princess Amelia’s story, the youngest daughter. It starts with her heart breaking reaction to her husband’s death, who was struck down attempting to save her sister, Andi. The devastating news transforms Amelia into a person who I don’t much care for. She strikes me as a spoiled child who has never really had to live in the real world. Her complete disregard for the people around her is frustrating.

That said, the character development in this story is excellent, and I can tell you by the end, the growth in Princess Amelia is astonishing. The spoiled child truly turns into a queen. Dare I say that by the end of the book, I actually liked Amelia.

In addition, I really enjoyed the romantic interest in this book. He was an intriguing character, with an interesting backstory. He definitely starts Amelia thinking and helps turn her into a new woman. You romance lovers will not be disappointed.

All in all, the book was a great read. I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. I am looking forward to the oldest sister’s story, which I am assuming is the final book in the series.
Review: The Twelve Kingdoms: The Mark of the Tal


5 Transforming Sheep




LisaA

About the Author:
website-FB-twitter-blog
Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with awriting career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of theFacets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, will hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and a fifth, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, will release starting in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.