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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Featuring Ghost Slayer, a new adult paranormal book, by Majanka Verstraete



Ghost Slayer
Majanka Verstraete

ISBN : 9781947649033

Release date: 24 April 2018

Genre: New Adult Paranormal

Publisher: Fire Quill Publishing

Book Description:

Twenty-one-year-old Kaelyn has spent half her life hunting ghosts and killing them. But she’s not like the other ghost hunters who have to rely on spells and curses to banish ghosts back to where they came from, hoping that they don’t come back. When Kaelyn kills a ghost, they stay dead.

But in Mortimer Hall, a behemoth of a house, Kaelyn is about to face the most powerful and life-threatening ghost she ever met, and what she doesn’t know is that the ghost has been waiting just for her…




CHAPTER 2

Sunlight peeked through the blinds. I rolled over, pulled the covers up to my chin, and groaned. Then the alarm clock started blaring like a fire alarm. I turned back around, hit it as hard as I could, and slumped back on my pillow.

There was no inch of my body that didn't hurt, and the pain in my head resembled that of a migraine attack coming on. Maybe I had a concussion after all.

I mumbled a series of curse words below my breath as I got out of bed. Ghost hunting or not, no way was I going to miss class just because I felt like I'd been hit by a train, then was dragged along for twenty miles until they dropped me on a bombshell that exploded right after. When I was done yawning so loud that my neighbors could probably hear it, I staggered out of my bedroom.

"Well, good morning, Sleeping Beauty," Mom said from behind the stove. She was holding a frying pan, the smell of pancakes filling my nostrils.

"Pancakes? Again?" I smiled, and my stomach growled, emphasizing how hungry I was. To me, all good things in the world started and ended with pancakes.

"Milk? Coffee? Hot choco?" Mom asked while I sat down at the table. The apartment wasn't spectacular, at all. It had a small kitchenette, a table and two chairs, a stitched-up couch that looked as if someone might've puked over it back in the seventies, and a stained carpet that seemed to come straight from a murder scene, complete with blood spills and all.

You'd think ghost slaying would pay well, but if you wanted to live under the radar, and work solo, it was tough finding cases. Besides, the apartment had all I needed. Apart from the living area, it had a decent sized bathroom, and two bedrooms. One of them had been rat-infested when I first moved in, but I'd finally gotten rid of that problem last week when pest control dropped by.

"Coffee." I scratched my head and yawned again. "What time did I get home?"

"About twelve-thirty." Mom hovered behind the kitchen counter and dropped a plate with pancakes onto the table. She made her way around to me and kissed me on the forehead, almost blinding me with her ghostly glow. "You look exhausted."

"Thanks for the compliment." I snorted, digging into the pancakes. "If you didn't make such great food, you'd be in trouble for that," I said, between bites.

"Eat with your mouth closed." Mom grabbed a cup of coffee and put it down in front of me. "You love being pampered, just admit it."

I shrugged, but we both knew it was the truth. Even though I was twenty-one now, and I could watch my own back when I went out ghost slaying, I loved when Mom made me breakfast, combed my hair, or did whatever the heck moms do. The only real perk about spending my days chasing after ghosts, was still having my mom around — even though she'd passed away.

"Lots of classes today?" Mom slumped down on the empty chair opposite me. With the morning light peering through the window behind her, I could barely make out her shape.

"Yeah." I took a sip from my coffee. "Parapsychology, two hours. Then I've got a study break for about one hour, and another two hours of developmental psychology, followed by an hour of English literature."

"Bah." Mom rolled her eyes. She shoved her chair back, and got up again to get me another load of pancakes. Whenever she was annoyed, she would walk. "I have no idea why you take that class. Isn't it enough you have to deal with ghosts every day?" She was talking about parapsychology, the class she'd insisted I drop from the moment I started going to college.

I shrugged and studied her while she floated about in the kitchen. She wore a long, wide dress, gypsy style, with beads and chains, and an herb pouch around her hips. Her braided hair reached down to her waist. The dress had once been a myriad of colors, from purple to green to red. Her hair had once been dark brown, and her eyes had once matched that color. Now everything was dulled to gray and surrounded by the glow of the dead.

"Are you still grabbing a drink with your friends tonight?" She peeked over her shoulder, an eyebrow arched.

Of course, Mom hoped I'd say yes. She wanted nothing more than for me to spend some time with my friends rather than with the recently or not-so-recently departed. "Yes." The word came out about as unenthusiastic as if I'd announced I needed a kidney transplant. "Although I don't know why you insist on it."

"You need to get out there. Socialize. No need to barricade yourself inside a cramped apartment with your ghost mother. You're twenty-one, for God's sake. It's time you made some friends."

I rolled my eyes before I gulped down another pancake. "We both know that making friends hasn't really been on the agenda." For the last decade, we'd moved from state to state, without settling down anywhere. We went from one town to the next, swiping the entire maleficent ghost population before moving on. Half of the jobs came without pay, and the ones that did barely offered sufficient funds to keep my head above water. But when I saw a case, I couldn't say no, no matter if it paid or not, or whether it was dangerous or not.

"Honey ..." Mom stopped when a shrill sound pierced the room.

I got up, knocking my chair backward onto the floor. "What the ..." Only then did I realize that the unfamiliar sound was the doorbell. I gave Mom a look. We never got company.

She nodded at me and moved to her bedroom.

"Close the door," I mouthed at her.

I grabbed the knife I'd used to cut the pancakes and walked to the door. Nobody ever showed up at our doorstep. Nobody good, anyway. My hand shook when I grabbed the key and twisted it. The knife felt like lead in my other hand, which I'd curled behind my back.

The door squeaked when I opened it. Hesitantly, I moved into the doorway, and my mouth dropped open at the same time I let go of the knife; it fell to the floor with a clattering sound. "What ..." The words got stuck in my throat. My tongue felt like a dozen bees had stung it, making it thick and unable to move.

"Seen a ghost?" The guy standing out in the hall cocked an eyebrow, smirking at me, a smirk he'd obviously mastered through practice. His brown hair, short back and sides, but long in the front, covered his forehead and his left eye. The other one, stark blue like the sky right before a storm, gazed straight at me. He was at least two heads taller than my 5'4". Muscles protruded from under his black leather jacket. He looked like a supermodel who'd taken a break to ride his Harley Davidson. The shadow of a two-day old beard marked his face, as well as a scar beneath his left eye that ruined his otherwise perfect cheek.

"You ..." I spat out the word, almost choking on the nasty taste it left behind in my mouth. "What are you doing here?"

"Not the welcome I was expecting, but all right." He threw an envelope at me. "Payment for yesterday's job."

I caught the envelope and stared at it as if it was the spawn of Satan. "You mean ... you're my employer?"

He licked his lips and conjured up a half smile. "I'd rather pay twice as much to a ghost layer from the other side of the planet than give you a job. Unfortunately, ghost slayers are rare and my client needed help fast."

Even though it had been half a decade, I'd recognize him anywhere. Not just the scar, the leather jacket, the face that had haunted my dreams — and nightmares — ever since I met him. But his voice, that cocky authoritarian voice he used on just about everyone, sounding like he knew all the secrets to the universe, and you were just a dumb newbie who'd never taken on a real challenge. Always challenging, always tempting. That voice, I'd recognize anywhere.

"What do you want?" I put my hands on my hips, and felt the soft fabric of the yoga pants I'd put on before crashing into bed last night. Suddenly eating a pile of pancakes without showering first seemed like the worst idea ever, and I wished I had a genie who could give me some decent clothes in a heartbeat. Tank tops and yoga pants aren't really impressive when you're facing your self- proclaimed worst enemy.

"I came to give you your well-earned money." He shoved past me into my house, stepping over the knife carelessly, invading my privacy without a care in the world.

I clenched my fists, wishing I was still holding the knife, because then I could do some real damage on him. But at the same time, I was glad I'd dropped it as it removed any temptation I might have to hurt him. Although I wanted to do just that, it wouldn't be smart and I'd hate myself afterward. Hurting ghosts was one thing, hurting humans, another — no matter how despicable they were.

"So how was the Main Street Basement Ghost?" he asked, while he slumped down on my chair, in my kitchen, and grabbed one of my pancakes.

Somehow I thought that if we ever met again, my anger would've lessened. That the fury that threatened to overwhelm me last time, would've evaporated over time. No such luck, though. It was back now, fire and flames, pulling at my resolve, setting me on fire, demanding I hurt him the same way he'd hurt me.

I took a deep breath and tried to relax, but my muscles remained tense, prepared to snap at any moment. Without looking away from him, I pushed the door shut. "Easy."

"Well, I should think so. It was an adolescent ghost." He shoved the pancake into his mouth. "Delicious."

"He did kill three people in the last fifty years alone." I grabbed the empty chair, my mom's chair, and sat down. "Again, what do you want? I don't buy your story. You didn't just employ me so I could get rid of that kid. I know you're up to something, Alex."

About the Author:

Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels.

Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES which will be published by Monster House Books in October 2018.

Her NA paranormal romance series, Ghost Slayer, has been picked up by Fire Quill Publishing. The first volume will be released in 2017.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.




Twitter: @iheartreads






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.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Witch's Cursed Cabin is now in audiobook! Enter to win a free copy! #giveaway



If you're one of my newsletter subscribers, you can win one of 5 free audiobook copies of Witch's Cursed Cabin: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale, narrated by Katie Otten. 

Not a subscriber? Sign up at: https://www.marshaamoore.com/Mailing-list.php then enter the giveaway at:  https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSc_yi8f80j-ZR-KhnOaiRtV70HuNaUkdLCVz1ElZKoSVcoTwA/viewform?usp=sf_link

Contest ends midnight EST 12-5-17. Five winners will be announced December 6th, 2017.

Genre: urban fantasy
Description:
Eager to be on her own away from home, twenty-year-old Aggie Anders accepts a relative’s invitation to live in Coon Hollow Coven. Although she’s a witch from a different coven, what locals say about the Hollow confuses her. How can witchcraft there live and breathe through souls of the dead?

Aggie’s new residence in this strange southern Indiana world is a deserted homestead cabin. The property’s carriage house serves as the coven’s haunted Halloween fundraiser. It’s a great opportunity for her to make new friends, especially with the coven’s sexy new High Priest Logan.

But living in the homestead also brings Aggie enemies. Outsiders aren’t welcome. A cantankerous, old neighbor tries to frighten her off by warning her that the homestead is cursed. Local witches who practice black magic attempt to use their evil to drive Aggie away and rid their coven of her unusual powers as a sun witch.

Determined to stay and fit in, Aggie discovers not only that the cabin is cursed, but she alone is destined to break the curse before moonrise on Samhain. If she fails, neither the living nor the dead will be safe.

Series description:

The Coon Hollow Coven Tales series is about a coven of witches in a fictitious southern Indiana community, south of Bloomington, the neck of the woods where I spent my favorite childhood years surrounded by the love of a big family. The books are rich with a warm Hoosier down-home feel. There are interesting interactions between coven members and locals from the nearby small town of Bentbone. If magic wasn’t enough of a difference between the two groups, the coven folk adhere to the 1930s lifestyle that existed when the coven formed. 

A note to readers: the books in the Coon Hollow Coven Tales series are written to be read in any order. The series is about one community, and its residents may pass in and out of various books, but each book has its own unique and special story to be told.



***
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.

New release! Dawn of Hope Charity Anthology - all proceeds donated to Cajun Navy and victims of Harvey



I am so proud to be contributing to this charity anthology, Dawn of Hope.

100% of the proceeds will be donated to the Cajun Navy to benefit victims from hurricane Harvey. My daughter’s family endured the floods in Port Arthur, TX. In Tampa, my husband and I faced Irma heading directly for our home, then passing 15 miles east. Hard times. Those who help are so appreciated. 

Please consider purchasing a copy. Available on Amazon.
***
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, November 10, 2017

Featuring Her Dear and Loving Husband, a paranormal/historical sweet romance, by Meredith Allard



Her Dear and Loving Husband
The Loving Husband Trilogy
Book One
Meredith Allard

Genre: Paranormal/Historical/Sweet Romance

Publisher: Copperfield Press

Date of Publication: 4/19/11

ASIN: B004UVQOBO

Number of pages: 289
Word Count: 89,000

Cover Artist: LFD Designs

Book Description:

Love the history, fantasy, and romance of Outlander and A Discovery of Witches? Read Her Dear and Loving Husband.

Professor James Wentworth has a paranormal secret, and he lives quietly in Salem, Massachusetts, making few ties with anyone. One night his private world is turned upside down when he meets librarian Sarah Alexander, a dead ringer for his wife, Elizabeth. Though it has been years since Elizabeth’s death, James cannot move on.

Sarah also has a secret. She is haunted by nightmares, and every night she is awakened by terrifying visions of hangings, being arrested, and dying in jail–scenes from the Salem Witch Trials in 1692. As James comes to terms with his feelings for Sarah, he must also dodge accusations from a reporter desperate to prove that James is not who, or what, he seems to be. Soon James and Sarah discover a mystery that may bind them in ways they never imagined. Will James make the ultimate sacrifice to protect Sarah and prevent a new hunt from bringing hysteria to Salem again?

Part historical novel, part romance, part paranormal fantasy, Her Dear and Loving Husband is a story for anyone who believes that true love never dies.

Amazon     BN     iTunes      Kobo
  
Excerpt:

I am looking lovingly into the eyes of a man, though I cannot see his face because it is featureless, like a blank slate. We are standing in front of a wooden house with narrow clapboards, and there are diamond-paned casement windows and a steep pitched roof with two gables pointing at the laughing, hidden moon. I am certain I hear someone singing sweet nothings to us from the sky. From the light of the few jewel stars I can see the halo of his hair, like the halo of an angel, and even if I cannot see his eyes I know they look at me, into me. I stand on my toes, he is much taller than me, and I point up my face and he kisses me. As the warmth of his lips melts into mine, making me weak from the inside out, I feel my knees give from the thrilling lightness his touch brings. I know the face I cannot see is beautiful, like the lips I feel. His hands press me into him, clutching me closer, closer, unwilling to let me go. I grip him with equal strength, wishing he would carry me inside, yet I cannot bring myself to break our embrace.
“I shall never leave you ever,” he whispers in my ear. I promise him the same.

I do not know how I have been so fortunate to have this man in my life, but here he is, before me, wanting me. I am overcome with the joy of him.

About the Author:

Meredith Allard is the author of the bestselling paranormal historical novels The Loving Husband Trilogy, a great read for fans of Outlander and A Discovery of Witches. Fans of Downton Abbey will love her newest release, When It Rained at Hembry Castle. She is currently writing Down Salem Way, the prequel to Her Dear and Loving Husband. Meredith lives in Las Vegas, Nevada.




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, November 8, 2017

Featuring The Monster of Selkirk, a YA fantasy book, by C.E. Clayton



The Monster Of Selkirk
The Duality of Nature  
Book 1
C.E. Clayton

Genre: YA Fantasy

Print Length: 329 pages

Publisher: DevilDog Press

Publication Date: April 18, 2017

ASIN: B06XSXB14F

Book Description:

Monsters come in many forms, and not everyone knows a monster when they see one. After three hundred years of monstrous, feral elves plaguing the island nation of Selkirk, everyone believes they know what a monster is. Humans have learned to live with their savage neighbors, enacting a Clearing every four years to push the elves back from their borders. The system has worked for centuries, until after one such purge, a babe was found in the forest.

As Tallis grows, she discovers she isn't like everyone else. There is something a little different that makes people leery in her presence, and she only ever makes a handful of friends.

But when the elves gather their forces and emerge from the forests literally hissing Tallis's name like a battle mantra, making friends is the least of her troubles. Tallis and her companions find themselves on an unwilling journey to not only clear her name, but to stop the elves from ravaging her homeland.

Amazon     BN     Kobo     iTunes     Smashwords     Goodreads





About the Author:

C. E. Clayton was born and raised in Southern California where she worked in the advertising industry for several years on accounts that ranged from fast food, to cars, and video games (her personal favorite). This was before she packed up her life, husband, two displeased cats, and one very confused dog and moved to New Orleans. Now, she is a full time writer (mainly in the fantasy genre), her cats are no longer as displeased, and her dog no longer confused.

More about C.E. Clayton, including her blog, book reviews, and poetry, can be found on her website: http://www.ceclayton.com






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, November 3, 2017

MYSTIC READS PNR/UF LOVERS GIVEAWAY

MYSTIC READS PNR/UF LOVERS GIVEAWAY

Enter for your chance to win and choose your own prizes!
http://bit.ly/2zhhRfW


Which paranormal romance or urban fantasy authors are your favorites? Which new books have you been waiting to buy? Enter our giveaway from November 1-18 and could be one of 7 lucking winners to choose the book prizes you want! Plus two winners will also take home a Kindle!

(Sponsored by the 40 authors listed below)

Aldrea Alien • Amanda Uhl • Ari Thatcher • B. Brumley • Bec McMaster • Beth Caudill • Calinda B • Carrie Pulkinen • Casi McLean • Crystal Dawn • D.N. Erikson • Dani Haviland • Jennifer Hilt • Jina Bacarr • Jo-Ann Carson • Joynell Schultz • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kel Carpenter • Kim Petersen • L.D. Rose • Leigh Anderson • Linda Nightingale • Lisa Blackwood • LJ Swallow (Anna Hub) • Marilyn Peake • Marsha A. Moore • Mary Abshire • Mary E. Twomey • Pauline Creeden • PG Forte • Rachel Medhurst • Sedona Venez • Shereen Vedam • Sherrie Lea Morgan • Stella Marie Alden • Tena Stetler • Tmonique Stephens • Traci Douglass • Aileen Harkwood

Shop Our Book Fair

And while you’re at it, shop our awesome book fair with 38 fantastic PNR/UF titles, many FREE, but none priced above $2.99.


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, November 2, 2017

Featuring Deceived from the Bitter Harvest Series by Ann Gimpel



Deceived
Bitter Harvest
Book One
Ann Gimpel

Magic shattered the world, but the worst is yet to come.

“Provocative and engaging. A fast-paced, supernatural ride.” Michelle Fox, NYT Bestselling Author

Book Description:

The sea may have been a harsh mistress, but Viktor longs for the challenges of wind and weather, for the sound of waves crashing over his hull. Turned by a Master Vampire, he hates what he’s become, but there’s no escape. Not from Ushuaia that’s turned into a city of bones, or from the Vampire who rules him.

Ketha and eleven other Shifters traveled to Ushuaia to harness the power of an eclipse and were trapped there when the world turned upside down. Ten years later, they’re staying one step ahead of Vampires who blame them for the cataclysm.

With her luck running low, Ketha turns her badly depleted magic on the Vampire assigned to lock her away and gets sucked in by her own spell. Maybe magic can’t save the world, but love might be able to salvage what’s left.

Author Store     Amazon     BN     Kobo     iTunes     Google Play

Deceived Excerpt:


.....Ketha woke in the middle of a dozen Vamps. Iron burned her skin where manacles circled her ankles and wrists. If she’d thought the smell was bad before, it was an absolute reeking horror now. Vampires smelled of blood and death and rot. How could any Shifters worth their vows align themselves with these bastards? Taking care to be stealthy, she glanced about an oval room, inlaid with wood. It had a church-ish feel that was clinched when she spied a Christ figure attached to one wall.
Close to a dozen Vamps crowded into the space. All of them held an eerie beauty, but Ketha wasn’t fooled. Their striking good looks ran less than skin deep. Skilled, ruthless killers, they counted on blood to survive. Living blood. Blood tapped from dead things ran a poor second.
The back of her head throbbed painfully, and she shut her eyes to buy herself time to think. Maybe no one had noticed she wasn’t unconscious. The Vamp standing nearest kicked her, right before he ordered her to wake up.
She flinched away from her attacker. Eyes flickering open, she regarded the one who’d struck her. Long, dark hair fell around his perfect face, and he augured fog-colored eyes her way. Ketha edged beyond easy reach of his booted feet into a sit, awkward because of her bound limbs. She didn’t waste words telling him she was already awake, or that no one could rest easy in their midst. She stared at a newly dead rat clutched in his hand and beat back a knowing smile. If they were using rats for blood, the Vampires were in as desperate a predicament as she’d assumed.
“You’ve captured me,” she sneered, opting for defiance. “Now what? Do I get to be everyone’s dinner?” She swung her head from side to side, encompassing the room full of Vamps. “At least remove my shackles. If I’m going to die, I’d rather face you as a wolf.”
The rat-wielding Vamp didn’t answer.
“I’m Ketha.” She held onto her slender advantage and flowed to her feet. Once she got her balance, she folded her arms as best she could beneath the swell of her breasts. “Rat got your tongue?” She jerked her chin at the rodent still clutched in the Vamp’s hand.
Before he could answer, she kept right on rolling, taunting him. “If you’re going to kill me, get on with it, but know this—” She summoned what magic she could, given the iron circling her wrists and ankles. The air about her shimmered with the blues and golds unique to her castings. “You will never escape Ushuaia without us.”
The Vamp faced off against her. “What makes you think we want to escape, Shifter?”
Ketha shrugged, favoring him with the full force of her gaze. “You like it here? Soon there won’t be anything left to eat or drink, and then all of us will die. Even Vamps. But if you’re good with that”—another shrug she hoped spoke for itself—“I suppose there’s nothing to talk about. Go on.” She made shooing motions with her bound hands. “Get on with it. I’m prepared to die. We don’t have too many more months here at the ass end of the world before none of us will be left. Take a chance, Vampire. Face my wolf.”
The Vamp smiled coldly. “I’ll pass. I suppose you have the answer to all our problems.”
“I do.” Ketha let a small, secretive smile play about her mouth. “But I’ll never tell you. Funny thing about being captured. It quiets the tongue.”
The Vampire’s chilly expression didn’t change. “Show some respect. No one addresses me that way.”
“It appears I just did.” Ketha tossed her shoulders back. She’d be damned if she’d let the blood-sucking bastard intimidate her. “You need us. Unfortunately, we need you as well, but what I had in mind was equal partners at a conference table, not being knocked over the head and dragged here.”
Satisfaction warmed her when a vein throbbed in the Vamp’s temple before he crushed the rat to bits of bone and tissue, splattering her with blood. Apparently, she’d gotten to him. What that meant remained to be seen. He summoned one of the others, a Vamp named Viktor. Ketha watched with interest when the other Vampire—clearly some minion—didn’t race to comply, but took his sweet time making his way to where they stood.
Another gorgeous man. This one had copper-colored hair that fell to his shoulders. A high forehead, square jaw, and emerald eyes made him movie star dazzling. Ketha bit down on her lower lip to force her thoughts away from his allure. Like the other Vampires, he was dressed in a motley collection of rags. Either they couldn’t sew—or they had no idea how to create garments that resisted decay.
As Viktor drew near, she assessed him with magic and shielded her surprise. He didn’t feel anything like the one with bloody rat remains on his hands, and the characteristic rot smell was absent Moving with the unholy speed characteristic of his breed, Rat-Vamp slapped cuffs atop her manacles and snapped, “Take her to the caves,” all but shoving her into Viktor’s arms.
Viktor latched a hand firmly around Ketha’s elbow, focused his attention on the other Vampire, and asked, “What then?”
Rat-Vamp sent a sharp look his way. “Lock her up and return. I’ll decide her fate once she tells us whatever she knows about escaping Ushuaia.”
“I already explained how that would happen.” Ketha made her tone pointed. No reason to be subtle around these fuckers; they didn’t deal in nuance. “At a conference table as an equal. So long as you hold me captive, my wolf and I will die before we help you do anything.”
Rat-Vamp shifted his gaze her way. “It appears we’re at a stalemate. Perhaps some cell time will alter your perspective.”
“Don’t count on it.”
She turned her magic toward Viktor, wanting to know what was in his mind. The answer shocked and thrilled her. This one was different, malleable. It wasn’t her imagination that he’d dragged his heels reacting to Rat-Vamp’s command. Viktor might be her ticket to freedom. He might actually let her go—if she played her cards right.
“Lead out.” She hip-butted him to spur him into action. “This room stinks of Vampires, and it’s giving me a headache.”
Rat-Vamp snarled and lunged for her, wrapping his hands around her shoulders and shaking her until her teeth rattled. “Never forget who runs things in Ushuaia. This is blood’s dominion. My dominion.”
Ketha stood her ground. “Funny, but I thought I and my Shifters were in charge. Besides, if you were going to kill me, I’d already be dead.” Ketha could’ve said more. Could have voiced her suspicion that he was intrigued by what she’d said, but she opted to keep her mouth shut. The sooner the weak one left with her, the sooner she’d be free.
Hopefully.
Rat-Vamp drew back his lips and extended his fangs, bloody from his earlier skirmish with the rat, but he didn’t say anything further before Viktor herded her from the room.
“Remain quiet,” Viktor said sternly and shepherded her toward a stairwell. “Vampires have excellent hearing.”
Ketha took a chance. Easy enough since she had nothing to lose. Could he hear telepathy? Now was as good a time as any to find out. “I’m sure they do, and you don’t want them to know what’s in your mind. Lucky for you, Vamp magic can’t hold a candle to mine, even bound as I am by iron.”

They’d started down stairs dimly illuminated by long-unwashed windows. A startled look flashed across his face, and it gave her hope. “Son of a bitch. You heard me.”

Twisted
Bitter Harvest
Book Two
Ann Gimpel

Book Description:

A small group of Shifters sails south from Ushuaia, determined to assess what’s left of the world. A Vampire attack, a possessed priest, and a gateway to Hell mean fallout from the spell gone bad that pinned them in Ushuaia for years is far from gone.

Back on a ship again, Juan reconstructs what’s always been a comfort zone. The sea is the only life he’s ever known—if you don’t count the ten years he spent as a Vampire. His new magic, fueled by a bond with a mountain cat, brings its own set of challenges, but they pale in comparison with the white-hot need knifing through him whenever Aura is anywhere close.

A historian by trade, Aura deals in prophecies for her Shifter pack. Attraction for Juan ignited when they fought the Cataclysm, but she figures he left a string of broken hearts during his years as chief navigator on cruise ships. They have to work together. A self-indulgent affair could ruin everything. She does her damnedest to keep distance between them, but the ship’s not big enough to escape yearning for a future together.

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Twisted Excerpt:

“Watch it!” Her cat was near the surface, and a snarling hiss punctuated its words.
Aura ground to a halt. She’d pulled well ahead of everyone else with her leggy stride. Viktor and Ketha strolled with their arms wrapped around each other as lovers often did. Karin and Rowana brought up the rear, chatting.
“Watch what?” she asked her bond animal.
“I caught a whiff of wrongness. Check for yourself.”
“What is it?” Ketha pulled up next to her. “Why’d you stop?”
“My cat thinks something’s not right.”
Viktor slipped the rifle off his shoulder in a fast, fluid motion that spoke to his familiarity with it.
Aura shut her eyes, urging her senses to preternatural sharpness. Something unpleasant and eerily familiar zapped her. She curled her hands into fists and dug deeper. She had to be wrong.
Before she was through dissecting what she sensed lay beyond, perhaps in the barracks a couple hundred yards away, Ketha muttered, “Shit! It isn’t possible.”
Aura opened her eyes and gripped the other Shifter’s arm. “You picked up on Vampire emanations, right?”
Ketha nodded, eyes wide with disbelief. “How? They’re all supposed to have transformed into humans or Shifters.”
“Why are you talking about Vampires, dearie?” Rowana asked. She and Karin had finally caught up with them.
“I have no idea how,” Aura gritted out the words, “but they’re here.”
Karin narrowed her eyes to slits. “Vampires? Don’t be ridiculous. The Cataclysm altered them, removed the Vampire mutation in their DNA.”
“Or not.” Rowana twisted her face into a grimace.
“Check for yourself,” Ketha told the other two women.
Aura scrubbed the heels of her hands down her face, urging rational thought, and then scanned the place that felt menacing one more time. “It’s not quite right for Vampire, at least not the Ushuaia variety,” she muttered.
“Not exactly,” Ketha agreed. “But there are at least two of whatever they are, and their emanations are closer to Vamp than anything else.”
“The question of the hour,” Viktor said, “is whether we move forward or retreat. It’s a group decision.”
Aura thought about it, and when she spoke, her words came hard. “We left Ushuaia to figure out what was left in the rest of the world. If we turn tail and run the first time we encounter anything, we may as well never have set sail.”
Viktor grinned wryly. “Spoken like a true explorer. Shackleton would have been proud of you.”
“I remember reading about him,” Aura muttered. “If this is Grytviken, isn’t he buried here?”
“He is, indeed,” Viktor said. “His grave is on the far side of the post office, but only because his wife told the ship with his remains to bring him back here. I guess he was quite the philanderer, and she wasn’t interested in footing the expense of bringing his cheating ass home.”
“Interesting,” Aura said, “but we’re stalling. My vote is to see what the hell feels like Vampire.”
“Mine too,” Rowana said.
“I’m in,” Karin said. “If we could survive Armageddon against the Cataclysm, how hard could this be?”
Viktor cocked his head to one side. “Depends. If they’re Vamps, only beheading with iron will do them in.”
“Maybe they’ll be friendly.” Ketha screwed her face into what might have been a hopeful expression, except it came off more like a grimace.
“Friendly and Vampire in the same sentence is an oxymoron,” Viktor said in a flat, dead tone. “It appears we’re all game, so all of you get behind me and stay close. Deploy your magic. It’s still far more finely honed than mine.” He shouldered the rifle. “If I have to, I’ll use this. It should at least slow them down.”

About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

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

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