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Saturday, July 21, 2018

Comic Review: CYKO KO! #1 of 3 from Alterna Comics

CYKO KO! #1 of 3
(W/A) Rob Feldman
(L) Peter Simeti, Rob Feldman
Releasing July 25th, 2018
Genre: Superhero/Humor
$1.50, 32 pgs, Full Color, Newsprint Interior
Alterna Comics
SuperEarth's greatest hero is here! Cyko KO is the fourth-wall breakin', pinball-addicted, motorcycle-ridin' hero you've been waiting for! When Cuda Cano (Cyko's oldest rival) challenges Cyko to a "friendly" surf off, he just can't resist. But with a remote control giant squid at his disposal, Cuda's playing for keeps!

Like Saturday Morning in the 70’s

Surf’s up! I want to catch some killer waves! I have a need to hang out with the Surf City Surf King!
No, not that guy! Be serious! Who’d want to hang out with him! I said the Surf City Surf King!

Yeah! That’s the guy! Surfs up, Big Kahuna! This guy can surf like it’s nobody’s business! Of course, I’m talking about CYKO KO. Who else? This guy’s the Surf City Surf King, all around pinball playing champion, and the Super Earth Battle Defender! That’s right True Believer! I just read CYKO KO #1 in a three-issue mini-series! (What? Somebody had to do it!)
CYKO KO can be very fun to read, but one must approach the comic with the right frame of mind. In preparation for this comic, I suggest pajamas and a big bowl of sugar cereal, preferably the kind with marshmallows and a toy surprise. Throw away ideas of super powered entities locked in an epic battle with the fate of all mankind hanging in the balance. This is not that kind of comic! Who needs that kind intensity? Give me something light and fun!

In this first installment of a three-part saga, CYKO is on vacation and is looking forward to the big Surf Off in Surf City. However, the dastardly Cuda Cano has taken over the Surf City Surf Off champion title since CYKO has been away. He’s not planning to give up the title anytime soon and he’s willing to take extreme and dishonest measures to keep it! Things get a little dangerous as crazy hijinks ensue! It’s great fun, but maybe not for every young comic reading whipper snapper.

So, who is the target audience? The comic looks and reads like a Saturday morning cartoon from the 1970s. It’s an extremely goofy story with the Saturday morning cartoon feel. The drawing style, the episodic plot, even the gags and pop culture references keep the time jump consistent. As a fifty-year-old nerd boy, I felt right at home. Thanks, Alterna Comics, for a fun comic geared for my generation!
“Grandpa, what’s the Fonz?”

“Well, Kiddo, it’s hard to explain. Those were Happy Days though…”

This goofy fun with the nostalgic feel gets three “Scooby Sheep” from me!

Jonathan Harvey
Author of Shades of Plaid (A Very Unconventional Weekly Journey into Christian Living)
Read my online comic The Terrible Turtle Conspiracy

Friday, July 20, 2018

Character Confessions: ASSET agent Sage Cynwrig talks about her evil author Katie Salidas

SAGE: Looks around cautiously before sitting down. “Thanks for having me here at I Smell Sheep. My name is Sage Cynwrig, and I’m super excited to finally have a chance to speak without the Grand High Poohbah looking over my shoulder.”
GREY: Sneaks up behind Sage“Don’t let Ava hear you say that. Or wait, please do. I’d love to see her string your newbie-ass up.”

SAGE: “First off… Rude! And second, I might be new but I’m not stupid enough to talk crap about her. I was referring to our author.”
GREY: “Do you have any girlfriends?”
SAGE: “What is that supposed to mean?”
GREY: “Just an observation. You don’t seem to get along with women.”
SAGE: “Says the man who has no friends what so ever.”
GREY: *shrugs* “Liabilities.”

SAGE: “What are you doing here anyway? This is supposed to be my show.”
GREY: “Do we really need to revisit the incident with the vampire?”

SAGE: “You mean the vampire you sent to kill me?”
GREY: “I was referring to the one you invited into your apartment!”

SAGE: “One in the same there, buddy. Do me a favor, you’re killing my screen time here, just sit there and look pretty. Let me finish my interview.”
GREY: Adjusts his fedora and winks. “Every time I let you out of my sight you find some new and creative way to get yourself killed. I really don’t want to have to deal with that paperwork. Go ahead, continue this idiocy.”

SAGE: “Back to what I was saying.”
GREY: “Which was?”
SAGE: “One more word and I knock that stupid hat off your stupid head.”
GREY: “You said you liked my hat.”
SAGE: “You said you’d be quiet.”
GREY: “Never actually spoke those words.”

SAGE: “Okay just ignore him or we’ll never get to today’s topic. Which is evil authors. Seriously. My author must work for Disney or something. What is the first thing she does? Kill off my mom. Page-freaking-one. Before you all could see how absolutely bad-ass she was, Mrs. Evil Author just offs her. Off screen no less. I didn’t even get the chance to say goodbye.”
GREY: “Complain, complain, complain. You see what I have to put up with all day?”

SAGE: “Says the man who ended her existence.”
GREY: “Your mom was gone long before I dispatched the thing that reanimated her body. And if I hadn’t removed her head when I did, you’d have lost your own. I believe the words you’re looking for are, thank you Grey, for single-handedly saving my life.”

SAGE: “When did your parent die again? How many hundreds of years ago? Give me a break here the wounds are still fresh.”
GREY: “Your mother died in service to A.S.S.E.T. She was revered as one of the best among our kind. Honor her memory by serving the agency in the same fashion and her legacy will live on through you.”

SAGE: “Are you reading from a card?”
GREY: *Shrugs* “I could just tattoo it to your forehead, as many times as I’ve had to say it to you.”
SAGE: “Touché.”
GREY: Tips his hat.

SAGE: “But, I stand by what I said. Our author is evil. She not only kills my mom off, but doesn’t even tell me about my family’s legacy. I mean, c’mon at least give a girl a heads up before throwing vampires, trolls, and ogres at her.”
GREY: “I thought you liked Devon.”

SAGE: “He’s the best personal trainer money can buy. Seriously. PX90 has nothing on an ogre’s workouts. But what I mean is, don’t leave your MC in the dark. Help a girl out. If our author had given me even the slightest clue of what our family is, I’d have freaked out less.”
GREY: “It’s our way.”

SAGE: “It’s our way because our evil author wrote us that way. She could have written us differently, and let our family tell us about the magical world and how we fit within it.”
GREY: “Leave it to you to find the negative in having a magical legacy. If your mom had not been killed.”

SAGE: “Murdered.”
GREY: “Fine. If she had not been murdered, you’d have never known about magic. Our connection to the magical realm is only activated when one of our kind die. You’d have lived an entirely human life, had kids, a dog, whatever, and never known about magic if your mother had lived on.”

SAGE: “Plot hole! How would my mom have lived on as an immortal without me noticing?”
GREY: “You don’t read the manuals do you? ASSET Agent contract, addendum 57 article C. Agents with living relatives must surrender their identity, fake their death for the layman, when it no longer becomes believable for their service to continue in their active duty station.”

SAGE: “I may have missed that section. I didn’t really get a good chance to look at the contract. You guys rushed me through processing and all. But I will.”
GREY: “Life is not fair. Our author isn’t going to be either. Be glad you got a starring role in her books.”

SAGE: “Kiss ass.”
GREY: “I know how to play the game, and keep myself from being killed off.”

SAGE: “Says the man who hates games.”
GREY: “The games you play, yes. Pretending to cast spells and kill dragons. You live this shit every day at work. Why in the Mother’s name would you want to play it with a bunch of humans?”
SAGE: “Because in that world, I can actually cast spells.”
GREY: “Negatron strikes again.”

SAGE: “Did Grey Maddox just make a joke?”
GREY: “I’ll try not to let it go to my head.”

SAGE: “Good because your dad-jokes aren’t that funny.”
GREY: “Can we get back to work now? This is taking forever.”

SAGE: “I still stand behind my point. My author… our author is evil. She purposefully puts us in positions to fail. She kills off people we love without giving us a chance to say goodbye.”
GREY: “This is me playing the saddest tune on world’s smallest violin.”

SAGE: “And she writes me a partner who has the emotional depth of a puddle evaporating in the desert heat.”
GREY: “Hold on. I think I hear the waaaaaambulence.”

SAGE: “I’ll leave it to you guys. Read the Agents of ASSET series, A Weapon of Magical Destruction and A Taste of Your Own Magic. You’ll see. Katie Salidas is the evilest of all authors. Even now she is penning our next massive FUBAR assignment Magic in Disguise. The levels of her cruelty know no bounds.”
GREY: “Are you finished?”

SAGE: Smacks the fedora off of Grey’s head. “Yep. All done. Let’s go!
Happy Reading Y’all!”

A Taste of Your Own Magic (Agents of A.S.S.E.T. Book Two)
by Katie Salidas
July 17, 2018
Genre: Urban Fantasy – humorous
Publisher: Rising Sign Books
ISBN: 9781732101449
Number of pages: 306
Word Count: 78k
Cover Artist: Molly Phipps
We Got You Covered.
Everything You Know about Magic is Wrong!

Just when newly minted ASSET agent Sage Cynwrig thought she was getting the hang of this whole magic thing, a smooth-talking Djinn moves in next door. And he's got more on his mind than making her wishes come true.

He'll have to take a number. Between her sharp-tongued, machete wielding partner Grey, and Zack the flirtatious vampire-for-hire, Sage has enough magical men making her life hell.

And then there's the new job. It's all hands on deck at ASSET. Magical creatures are disappearing from the Las Vegas Strip. Rumor has it, the missing creatures are ingredients in a forbidden magical recipe. Someone's attempting to recreate the lost Amulet of Emmuri, and gain power to rival the gods.

Because of course Sage's first official assignment as an agent would require her to, you know, save the world!

To accomplish that, however, she'll have to cross enemy lines and break the very magical laws she just swore to uphold.

Author Reading Sample:

A Taste of Your Own Magic
Sample Chapter 1
Zack launched himself forward with impossible speed, closing the gap between them before she could register the movement. His hand found her mouth, preventing her shocked gasp from escaping. Zack stood nose-to-nose with her, so close she could feel the heat from his breath. “Sweet girl. So naïve to the dangers surrounding you; innocent to the true nature of the world.” His eyes grew darker, choking out all of the color that gave them their unnatural beauty. All predator, ready to strike, he pinned her against the apartment door. “Words lose their meaning with creatures like you. Headstrong. Impulsive... The only thing you learn from is failure.” The timbre of his voice deepened; his breathing slowed to a determined rhythm of raw desire. “A tempting target, giftwrapped for anyone willing to snatch you up.”

Zack let his hand fall from her mouth but kept her pinned to the door with his body. Close as he was, his eyes weren’t the only thing Sage focused on.

Those teeth.

Sharp as daggers. She’d experienced the sting of a vampire’s fangs once before, and that memory made her scars itch. “You’re acting like a real jerk right now, Zack.”

“I know.” He flashed those teeth at her again. “And don’t think I can’t hear how excited it makes you. Admit it. You’re more than a little turned on right now.”

A knot formed in her throat. She swallowed hard, forcing it down so she could speak. “Excited is not the word I would have chosen.” Her voice cracked, betraying the panic she was so desperate to hide. This wasn’t the Zack she knew; he’d morphed into something dangerous, and she couldn’t tell how real his threats were.

“Pick a word then,” he taunted. “Make it a good one.”

“Stop.” She pushed against him, but found his body an immovable wall. “You’re creeping me out.”

“Fear, is it?” Zack laughed coldly. “Good. You should be afraid. Most don’t survive being bitten.” His breath blew against her skin, surprisingly warm, but the effect chilled her blood.

“The last one who bit me didn’t survive.” She attempted again to mask the tremble of her voice with the threat.

“Grey, your great protector, was there to save the day. Where is he now?” Zack’s words struck her like a slap to the face, but before she could respond, he bent his head to the crook of her neck.

She cringed, expecting pain that did not come.

“I could have you right now.” Zack’s lips hovered, tantalizingly close to her throbbing pulse. He inhaled slowly as if savoring every note of her scent. “But the real question is, could you” – He lifted his head and met her eyes once more – “would you try and stop me?”

Zack’s words implied so much more than a simple threat. …. She couldn’t let that happen. But, being pinned against the door severely limited her options. Sage scrambled for the right words to stall long enough to find a way out. “I thought Terras were an acquired taste?” She reached down, toward her pocket.

Before she could dig for the knife she kept folded there, his knee came up, forcing her legs apart, and he growled possessively in her ear.

“One taste of you was such a tease. I need more.”

More than just a bad boy, Zack was pure sin wrapped in a taut body with maybe centuries of experience. A very small part of her, welcomed the excitement, but self-preservation trumped desire. “Get used to disappointment!”

He nuzzled her neck and pecked a kiss at her racing pulse. “Don’t pretend you aren’t thinking about it. I can smell your arousal. I can see the way you look at me.”

Her legs nearly went out from under her.
“You’re going to get yourself killed. I would be disappointed if someone else got to the prize before me.” Zack pulled back enough to meet her eyes again. “Rather than fall victim to the wrong sort,” he whispered, “let me have you.”

Ready to Read More? 

~FREE Sample Chapter 3 - It's Hero Time! ~ 
~FREE Sample Chapter 4 - Don't Blink! Don't Even Breathe! 

About the Author:
Katie Salidas is a best-selling author known for her unique genre-blending style.

Host of the Indie YouTube Talk show, Spilling Ink, nerd, Doctor Who fangirl, Las Vegas Native, and SuperMom to three awesome kids, Katie gives new meaning to the term sleep-deprived.

Since 2010 she’s penned four bestselling book series: the Immortalis, Olde Town Pack, Little Werewolf, and the RONE award-winning Chronicles of the Uprising. And as her not-so-secret alter ego, Rozlyn Sparks, she is a USA Today bestselling author of romance with a naughty side.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Excerpt Spotlight: Reign to Ruin (Myth of Omega #4) by Zoey Ellis + giveaway

Reign to Ruin (Myth of Omega #4)
by Zoey Ellis
July 19th, 2018
168 pages

Genres: Adult, Dark Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
He will ruin her – until she knows nothing but him

The Alpha King

Corruption and sadism plague every corner of his kingdom. He remains in the center of it all; a handsome, charming, master manipulator.

Furious at the knowledge that rare Omegas hide in his castle, King Malloron uses magic and deception to draw one out.

Striking a deal with her that he knows he will not honor, they begin an exchange of wits that intrigues him much more than it should.

He forces her into the depravities of his dark world, determined to destroy her and use her for his own ends, only to find that he may not be the only one with the power to ruin.

The Omega Diplomat

Trained to deal with the devious and treacherous people of the kingdom, Amara never anticipated tackling the biggest deceiver of them all.

Desperate for his secrets, she has to be willing to be corrupted, dominated and shattered to get to the truth, but is soon horrified to learn that King Malloron’s reign goes deeper than just his kingdom; he rules her instincts too.

Reign to Ruin is the first book in this couple’s story, but the fourth installment of the Myth of Omega series. This is a dark, erotic, Omegaverse romance. Cliff-hanger included. For fans of charmingly cruel Alpha anti-heroes, sassy Omega heroines, epic fantasy worlds and captive romances. Discover a magical kind of dark…

Reign To Ruin is an explicit reading experience from sexual scenes to violence and language. Includes disturbing situations and romance of a dark nature. For readers aged 18 and over.

As she hovered in the center of the room, next to a solid wooden table, she heard the doors shut and lock behind her, and her heart began to pound. A room like this was not where she expected the king to take her.

The swish of his cloak came close behind her and she was rotated in the air until she faced him.

Amara had only ever seen the king from a distance. And even then, she tried not to let her eyes wander to him whenever he was nearby. None of the other real servants looked at him directly, and she had always copied their behavior and posture as much as possible to try to blend in. But now that she had the chance to scrutinize him up-close, it was like finally putting a face to the horrible mental depiction she had of the king for so long.

Unfortunately, he was extremely good-looking. It was said that most of the Visant family were, but she’d never seen him close enough to realize just how good-looking he was. His chiseled features and refined appearance suited the room they were in, yet didn’t seem to match his threatening appearance in the corridor, but she knew better than to take anything at face value with him.

His eyes were a deep brown, as was his hair, and both complemented his tan brown skin, but the other defining thing about him was his size. The man was enormous, even in the spacious room they were in. Perhaps because he was always well-dressed and surround by men of a similar size, he had never seemed quite so big from a distance.

While she examined him, the Alpha stared at her with interest, his eyes taking in everything about her. He then stepped back and began his assessment over her body, rotating her with the magic that held her to look over all areas of her, front and back. Anger trickled into Amara as he surveyed her. It was obvious he was sizing her up for his slave service, which infuriated her. If he thought she was going to allow herself to be the first Omega in over a century to be prostituted out to his dukes, lords, and noblemen, he had no idea who he was dealing with. There was plenty she had already seen in this room that could be used to enact the suicide protocol, and as soon as she had the change she would be following procedure. He was welcome to give her corpse to those depraved bastards—they would probably still use it anyway.

When he turned her back to face him, he observed for a long moment, an amusement growing among the curiosity in his eyes.

“Your anger is intriguing,” he murmured, lifting a hand to her face. A rough finger trailed from the corner of her eye down her cheek. “I have to wonder what you could possibly be angry about since you are the one conducting illegal activities in my castle.”

Amara held her eyes on him, even more annoyed she could not escape his touch. It sent a shiver down her, sparking a fear of strange men touching her while she was incapable of escaping.

“Admit it,” he said, tilting his head to watch her. “Admit your true purpose here. There is no point in continuing with this denial when I have you so tightly in my grasp.” His hand lowered down her neck to her chest. “I will not allow you any freedoms or any pleasures unless you are completely honest with me.”

About the Author:
Zoey Ellis writes dark-edged, speculative romances bursting with passionate, carnal steam. She loves tortured, possessive, alpha heroes and is obsessed with exploring love in its raw form and how that can manifest in different circumstances and settings.

Her goal is to build a catalogue of thrilling, sexy, fantastical romances that come complete with roller-coaster experiences, unique worlds, and happy endings. Currently she writing M/F Omegaverse series Myth of Omega.

Zoey is a Londoner, a bookaholic and a proud collector of OTT possessive book boyfriends she won't share.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)

$50 gift card to the book retailer of your choice!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Excerpt Spotlight: Melissa's Quest (Finding Magic Book One) by Blair Drake + giveaway

Melissa's Quest (Finding Magic Book One)
by Blair Drake
June 7, 2018
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Magic Quest Books
Number of pages: 233
Word Count: 81,550
Cover Artist: Jennifer Zemanek/Seedlings LLC
What would you do to find your magic?

Lost and bewildered after being unceremoniously dumped by her boyfriend, seventeen-year-old Melissa wants nothing more than to curl up with her pain. But then she’s summoned by the headmaster of Gray Cliffs Academy and finds herself on the roof in the middle of a wild and tumultuous storm. Before she realizes what is happening, a vicious wind sends her flying through the darkness and she lands in the frozen north. It is then she discovers the true meaning of feeling lost. Though full of mystery and magic, there is something sinister about this strange new world…

All Melissa wants is to return home, but first she must learn the rules of this strange new reality and how they will help her in her quest before it’s too late and she’s stuck in this place forever…

She stared at it for a long moment, then ran her fingers over the bright ring to see if it would change. Maybe a genie would appear to help her out, but nothing happened. It was pretty but useless. She glared around her and yelled, “Pretty doesn’t cut it, guys. What am I supposed to do with this thing?”

A voice whispered through her head, “You know what to do with it.”

She froze, her breath caught her in her throat. “Who said that?” She spun around, but no one was here. “Show yourself!”

Nothing happened.

“Don’t go crazy on me now, Melissa,” she said to herself. She bowed her head and struggled to get her thoughts together. The school taught meditation classes to help deal with the stress of exams and being away from their families—or the stress of going home to families.

She didn’t have much of a family life, but she didn’t let anyone know that. She never let anyone know how her quest for a happy home life bothered her. Since Luke moved on without her, she’d been more than lost...and more aloof. The two of them had been an item, and for her, he’d been the only one. Except she hadn’t heard from him since his graduation. It was horrible.

Every day she kept expecting to see him, expecting to hear from him.

And never did.

That abandonment had been complete, surgically quick, and without explanation. Even now she felt the loss whispering through her soul. If he was out there, would he know what happened to her? Would he care? So many things in her life she wished she could change. He was the one bright light that kept her going, and she had no idea what she did to make him cut her out of his life like that—to hate her so much.

Despite Luke’s silent departure, she loved being at the school—knowing she belonged to something special, that she made it into something so much more than she thought she deserved, that an exciting future was out there for her.

And none of that helped her right now. She sat with a thud. And pulled her knees to her chest, burrowing her face in her arms. She wouldn’t last much longer. Not in these temperatures.

Still, she was alive and that surprised her. This cold was brutal. She could still feel her fingers and her toes. As she pondered that, she wondered, as cold as she was… she wasn’t numb. Hypothermia hadn’t set in. She wasn’t dying… at least not yet.

Hearing a tiny scratching sound beside her, she leaned over and scooped away some of the snow. A small arctic mouse stared at her, its nose twitching as if figuring out what she was.

With a delighted gasp, she whispered, “Hey, little one. Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you.”

In an odd movement, it stretched up, its huge eyes studying her.

She chuckled, afraid to move too fast and scare it off. As it was the only animal she’d seen, and it was alive, she welcomed his presence.

He wasn’t terrified of her and clambered over the snow to see her closer.

She lowered her hand to the side so he could sniff her. Her smile widened at the sight of his whiskers going crazy, but the mouse kept getting closer.

“Are you hungry?” she asked instinctively. Yet, she didn’t think she had any food in her pockets. She turned her pockets out, looking for something, but found nothing edible, not even a mouse-size snack.

Terrified of scaring the little one away, she continued to talk to him in a low, crooning voice. She’d never get this close to a mouse in her world. She was surprised to see this guy in such an inhospitable place as this. “How do you survive, buddy?”

The little she knew about mice said they burrowed under the snow all winter. With her luck, she’d sat on his tunnels and collapsed them.

The mouse stretched out a paw and placed it on her finger. She caught her breath and waited.

A second paw landed beside the first. She grinned when the mouse hopped up on her hand, totally unconcerned she might be a danger to him.

Too bad no one witnessed this. She was too scared to pull out her cell phone for a quick photo in case she disturbed the little guy.

“I’m going to call you Winter,” she whispered.

The mouse didn’t seem to mind. He sniffed her jacket, then wandered up her arm.

She stared, transfixed. For all the shittiness of her situation, this little guy was a light in her otherwise dark world.

Still, if the mouse was here, maybe someone else was here too. But, if she yelled right now, the mouse might take off.

She closed her eyes and whispered, “Anyone there?”

And got the shock of her life.

A voice inside her head said, “I’ve always been here.”

She struggled to recognize the voice. She thought the speaker was male, but the words were distorted and distant, so she couldn’t be sure. She kept an eye on the mouse sitting on her sleeve. He worked his way up to her shoulder, his nose and whiskers wrinkled at every step. She had to admit she wondered if the mouse had talked. “Who are you?”

“Somebody who loves you very much.” The voice spoke inside her head again.

Her mind struggled to identify the speaker who had no trouble making such a bald-faced lie. With the cold her thoughts were sluggish, her mind fogging up. Surely that voice was her imagination. No one cared about her—she wasn’t sure anyone ever had. “Can you get me out of here?” she asked hopefully. “Help me go home?”

Silence was her answer.

She frowned. “Is this a trick?”

The voice was sad, heavy. “No, it’s not a trick. I’m sorry to see you so distrusting.”

“How can I not be? Look where I am. I have no idea how this came to pass or who did this to me.” She shook her head, momentarily forgetting about the mouse. “Am I really here, in the middle of some kind of winter wonderland, all alone?”


“I don’t even have a proper coat for this weather. Am I going to die here?” Melissa asked, wiping the tears burning the corners of her eyes. “Can’t you help me?”

“I’m not even supposed to be talking to you.”

“Why are you then?” she asked in frustration, more tears burning, clogging her throat. “It’s despicable to torture me like this.”
“I tried to talk to you many times, but a wall was always between us. Right now the wall is thin, like crepe paper,” the voice said in exasperation. “So I tried again. This time I got through.”

“Can you tell me who you are?”

The voice paused, then said in a low tone, “No, I can’t.”

“Then what can you tell me?” she asked, trying not to cry. But the wind and cold were stealing her spirit. Until she caught a movement out of the corner of her eye. The mouse had crawled up to her shoulder, where it settled down in the crook of her neck. She couldn’t see it tucked in there, but she could feel it. Her spirit warmed from the inside, along with her heart.

“I’m allowed to tell you that you have to get back on your own. Time is running out. A clock started ticking from the moment you landed. Your life force is also disappearing.”

Her head jerked up at that. “What do you mean, my life force? Like my health? Do I have a disease? Have I been shot or something? What are you talking about?”

“Your talisman.”

“Talisman? Is that what this is? I wondered. It’s my school pin but…different. Somehow it transformed on whatever weird trip I took to this place,” she said, slowly trying to figure this out. She stared at the talisman in her hand. “Is that what the ring of lights on the outside means?”

“Yes. When those run out, you will not have enough energy to get back again.”

“So it is possible to get back again?” Her mind locked on to the one thing she could handle.

“Yes, definitely. That’s what this is all about. You’re on a quest to learn what you can do, what talents you might have, but you have to start moving fast.”

Instantly, she scrambled to her feet, only to freeze at the startled squeak from her new friend. She reached up a hand to stroke the mouse gently, amazed it was still here with her. It was a least used to the terrain whereas she was starting to shake violently as the wind whipped her face and body. Hunched against the cold, and trying to move carefully, she took several steps forward. Her mind caught on two words. Quest? Talents? “I’m happy to move. Just tell me where to go.”

“I can’t.”

Frustrated and angry, and terrified she would lose the voice in her head, she rushed to say, “Can you tell me whether to go up or down?”

“I have to go now. I’ll try to contact you later.”

“Wait,” Melissa cried out, “Can you give me a hint? Something? I’ll freeze to death soon.” Even as the words leave her mouth, her teeth start to chatter.

Just as the voice disappeared from her mind, it let out a sigh and whispered, “Think of a portal.” And then the voice was gone.

About the Author:
Blair Drake believes in magic, especially the magic of stories with fantasy, adventures, romance, action, and surprises. She has loved writing and living in the stories of the Finding Magic series and is so excited to share the quests of the Gray Cliffs Academy students with her readers.

When she’s not writing about magic, she’s reading about it. Her influences are Cassandra Claire, Neil Gaiman, Rick Riordan, Garth Nix, and many more.

In the mortal plane, following the lure of magic has drawn Blair into strange and wonderful adventures from Australia to New York City, with many stops in between. She currently lives near Denver. Her very favorite spot is a red loveseat in her office, frequently shared with two cats, an outnumbered Dalmation, and occasionally her bewitched husband.

She might have gone to a school similar to Gray Cliffs Academy and would love to go through a magic portal. In the meantime, she’s creating her own in more books of magic.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Cover Reveal: Betrothed (Angelbound Origins, #1.5) by Christina Bauer + giveaway

by Christina Bauer
January 30th, 2019
Published by: Monster House Books
Genres: Fantasy, Young 

***An action-packed novella from Prince Lincoln’s point of view***

When it comes to fighting demons, Prince Lincoln is the greatest warrior in the history of his people, the thrax. Now Lincoln faces his hardest fight yet…and it’snot on a traditional battlefield.

Lincoln wants nothing more than to marry Myla Lewis, the part-demon girl who has captured his heart. However, an evil thrax noble—the powerful Earl of Acca—is prepared to do anything to stop Lincoln and Myla from having a future.

But Lincoln won’t give up on his Myla. Ever.

To fight Aldred, Lincoln works to create a different kind of marriage—an Alliance of the lesser thrax houses against Acca. Sadly, just as Lincoln starts to makes some progress, the nobles who’ve joined his Alliance begin to vanish. Is Aldred behind the disappearances, or is someone else vying for power? When Lincoln discovers the truth, it upends his entire world, threatening his future with Myla in ways no one could ever have imagined.

About the Author:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.
Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.