Thursday, October 31, 2013

Where Will You Turn? News and Excerpt

I had planned to publish Where Will You Turn? today, but due to some personal issues with my editor, the book release has been put off a bit. Not only is my editor awesome at what she does, she is an amazing person and a dear friend. For me, family and friends always come first. I would rather take a little extra time and put out the best book I can instead of rushing it. The book will definitely be published in November. I'll keep you all posted when I know more. I appreciate everyone's support and patience.

In the meantime, I thought I would share with you the first chapter from Where Will You Turn? Book Three of the Díon Series.


          Mari got up from the dining room table to stretch her legs. She turned around and pulled the curtains back, looking at the lights of Scarborough. She had quickly grown to love the old seaside town and wished the team was there for rest and relaxation.
          It had been a month since they had stumbled upon the last remaining draugr, Reinn Gunnarson. According to the Díon laws, Reinn should have been killed on sight. As fate would have it, he had lost his life saving his nephew, Aran, from a draugr. Instead of entering Valhalla, Reinn awoke to find he had been turned into the monster he had destroyed.
          Aileana was an original member of the Díon council and Raith's sire. She had demanded Reinn's death, but Raith was able to save him using a loophole in their Díon laws that made him responsible for Reinn's actions.
          If Reinn created another draugr, Raith would be forced to kill him and turn himself in to the Díon for punishment and possible death.
          It wasn't a long-term solution, but it bought them some time. Aileana had ordered that Reinn be kept prisoner in his castle "as a precaution." The Díon council had allowed his human lover, Kylee to remain with him. As if the council had a choice.
          Raith's team had remained in Scarborough, but they had not been allowed to contact Reinn. Since all had been quiet, they assumed Reinn was behaving.
          Mari knew Raith's biggest fear was that Aileana would have one of the Díon teams harm Kylee, forcing Reinn to either turn her, or let her die. Either way, the Díon team responsible would be doomed. Reinn would destroy anyone who harmed Kylee.
          Raith and his team had been busy hunting down key players in the human trafficking ring. They were used to going after rogue creatures, who were threatening humans. But this was a highly organized group of vampires, who knew what they were doing and how to cover their tracks.
          They chose homeless people and runaways - humans who might not be missed, herding them up like cattle and selling them to vampires and other blood-drinking, flesh-eating creatures. The lucky ones died right away. Mari's stomach turned when she remembered what Raith had told her about the fate of humans being kept as blood slaves.
          Their investigation of the human trafficking ring had been done with the help and blessing of the Díon council, but their recent run-in with Aileana led Mari to believe that she was somehow involved.
          Raith didn't want to believe it. He'd been fighting for the Díon cause since Aileana had turned him during the Draugr Wars over one thousand years ago. Mari convinced him to at least consider the possibility and to follow the evidence.
          The rest of the team was on edge. Since Mari and Raith had  decided to investigate the Díon itself, they gave the rest of the team the option of leaving, knowing the danger they'd be in. They had all signed on without hesitation.
          "So what now?" Mari asked, turning to stand next to Raith who was sitting at the dining room table with Aran.
          "We keep playing along like good little Díon members until we can figure out what the hell is going on." Raith sighed.
          Raith knew they had to follow wherever the leads may take them, even if the evidence pointed to the Díon council. He also knew Aileana was ruthless. If she was behind the disappearances of the humans for sale as food, she wouldn't hesitate to kill anyone who got in her way. The fact that she had sired Raith would not save him.
          They didn't know how far the conspiracy went in the Díon, but it was unlikely that Aileana could keep that kind of operation a secret from the other council members.
          Raith wanted to be able to talk with other Díon teams, but there were only a handful of people outside of his own team he could trust now. Aileana was very powerful. The fact that she was using those powers to control and use werewolves, was something he had not expected.
          After the Draugr Wars, the werewolves kept out of Díon business. They had a representative on the council, but they policed their own packs. Their representative was always thought to be more of a spy. A way for the packs to keep track of what the "parasites" were doing.
          Raith, Mari, and the rest of the team had been waiting impatiently for their next assignment. They were secretly investigating Aileana, but she wasn't stupid. Eventually she'd catch on to the fact that they suspected her, if she hadn't already. Raith wanted Aileana to make the first move.
          While the team continued to gather evidence, they decided to remain in Scarborough, waiting for any Díon assignments they were given, keeping up the appearance of business as usual.
          Mari ran her fingers through Raith's hair as she looked into the living room and smiled at the dysfunctional group who made up her new family.
          Marco was trying to keep Steve occupied with video games, which meant they'd be buying new controllers again due to Steve's habit of biting whatever pissed him off.
          Bohdan was pacing and throwing his daggers in the air forcing Pierce to take cover in a corner, scowling. When Bohdan was in a bad mood, daggers had a bad habit of flying off course. Ami pretended to read the same magazine for the tenth time.
          "Wraith." Bodhan froze.
          "Yeah," Raith responded.
          "Not you," Bohdan whispered, pointing.
          "What?" Raith followed Bohdan's direction to a spot above Mari's head, where a faceless specter floated menacingly. Mari glanced up as well. Her feet suddenly rooted to the floor.
          "Oh shit." Raith tried to grab Mari but the creature's decaying claw reached her first.
          Mari dropped to the floor feeling a icy blast that froze her very bones. She couldn't see, hear, or feel anything but the cold. Fear started creeping into her brain, as she realized whatever was happening to her was slowly killing her. She could sense the intense rage in the creature that seemed to be draining the life from her. Despair overwhelmed her.


          "Don't touch it!" Aran screamed at the other team members as he tackled Raith, who made a move to snatch Mari out from underneath the creature.
          "We can't just sit here!" Bohdan raged.
          "Marco..." Aran started.
          "On it."
          Raith could hear Marco whispering while burning something that made his nose want to close for business, but he had to focus on Mari.
          "Listen to me brother," Aran forced Raith's head around until he had eye contact. "You aren't helping her like this. Marco is working as fast as he can. You have to help her hold on."
          Raith nodded and crawled over to where Mari had fallen. He tried to ignore the cold despair, seeping from the wraith, sucking Mari's life away. He moved in as close as he dared.
          "Mari, listen to me. I need you to hold on. Marco just needs a few minutes. Focus on my voice. Just stay with me, don't give in to the fear and despair. That's what it wants. You have to fight. Fight, Mari!" Raith struggled to keep himself calm. He didn't want to give the creature any more fuel.
          "Marco!" Aran yelled.
          "Done," Marco said, breathing heavily.
          They watched as the wraith appeared to be struggling with something, as it pulled away from Mari and was dragged from the house by some unseen force.
          "Get her some blood!" Raith yelled, as he moved in to scoop up Mari's still body and place her on the dining room table.
          Bohdan ghosted next to him with two bags of blood. Raith tore the top with his teeth and opened Mari's mouth, pouring the thick liquid in.
          "Come on baby, swallow." He continued to pour blood into her mouth and talk to her, while the rest of the team stood by and waited.
          Mari finally snapped awake, swinging her arms in self defense, as if she were still under the effects of the wraith.
          " it's me." Raith crushed her against his chest, and she melted into him.
          "Is it dead?" Mari croaked.
          "It's banished," Raith said. "From here at least."
          "Banished? What was that?" She asked, pulling back, while shaking her head as if to clear it.
          "A wraith," he said quietly, as if saying it louder would bring it back.
          "It's a creature of pure vengeance," Marco added.
          "From what I read, I thought they fed on souls," Mari added, sounding dazed.
          "They do, but they can also feed on energy or emotion," Marco explained.
          "It takes someone very powerful to raise and control a wraith." Bohdan vocalized what, Raith assumed, everyone else was thinking.
          The fact that it had targeted Mari left no doubt who had sent it. Aileana had made her first move. So much for covertly investigating her and the Díon. Game on.

Book one of the series, Where Will You Run?, is still on sale for $0.99 on Amazon.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Blog Tour: A WITTECK'S DREAM by Mireille Chester

It's always a pleasure to have Mireille Chester on my blog. I've been a fan of hers for some time, and I'm looking forward to her newest release A Witteck's Dream. I'm currently reading The Chosen One Trilogywhich comes before this book. The entire trilogy is currently on sale for only $0.99!

A Witteck's Dream

It's been five years since the Chosen One's war and Hayden's pack has been able to enjoy life once again. Of course, things can never stay calm and they soon find themselves caught up in another epic fight and this time it looks like Ternach might hold the key to winning.

Mortal since losing his powers in the battle of Paradin, Ternach decides to take a trip to Sageden in hopes that Hayden can help him get his magic back. Along the way, he meets Sarah; a woman with a secret and an agenda.

It doesn't take long before sparks are flying and Ternach starts to think that maybe being human has it's perks after all.

When he discovers Sarah's secret he needs to make a decision: Does he stay human so he can stay with Sarah, or does he attempt to become immortal again knowing he has what is needed to win...


          She looked at him over the fire and frowned.
          “What?” Greg was sure he hadn’t done anything to warrant being glared at.
          She shook her head. “Nothing.”
          “Well, if I’ve done something, let me know. By the moons, I don’t know whether I’m coming or going half the time when it comes to your moods.”
          She looked at the fire. She knew she should try harder to be nicer to him. Since they’d been on their own he’d been nothing but a gentleman. There were even times when she felt comfortable with him. Other times she was downright attracted to the man. It wasn’t his fault. It was just that so much about him reminded her of a past she would rather forget.
          “I’m sorry. Really, I am. You must be regretting asking me to come along.”
          His gaze softened. “Not at all. I just… I’m sorry I remind you of him.”
          She started to laugh. “By the moons, what a stupid thing to be sorry for. It’s not like you do it on purpose.”
          He smiled. It still didn’t happen very often, but he was sure it was getting easier to get her to laugh.
          “I was… I was just thinking, that’s all.” She looked into the fire.
          He frowned. “About what?”
          “Oh, nothing. It’s none of my business.”
          He stood and went to sit by her side. “Ask away.”
          She took a deep breath and looked into his eyes. “Well, I was wondering if you were born here or if you crossed.”
          He smiled. “I crossed. I was fifteen when it happened. I was found at one of the crossings and brought to Paradin.”
          “Oh.” She waited for him to ask her something in return. When he didn’t, she volunteered the information. “I was born here.” She couldn’t look away from his eyes. She’d never looked at them this closely and she noticed quite a few things that set them apart from her mate’s. They were a lighter green, for one, and had a gold ring by the pupil. The lashes around them were longer, thicker. She blinked.
           “Anything else?”
          She shook her head. “You’re lying.” He smiled. “How do you know I’m lying?”
          “Because your nose wrinkles when you lie.” His smile vanished as the sight of her swallowing hard. “I’m sorry. He used to say that to you, didn’t he?”
          She nodded. “Stop apologizing. It’s me that’s sorry.” She frowned and decided to ask what she’d originally been thinking of asking him. “Who…your nose and your jaw…who did that to you?”
          A dark shadow passed over his features quickly. He smiled and she wasn’t sure she’d see the change in him. As of yet, she still hadn’t seen any indication that he might have an angry or vicious bone in his body. He could fight and was a deadly shot with his bow and arrow, but she was sure she’d never seen him angry.
          “Braw did.”
          “Well, where I come from, a fifteen year old boy is exactly still that. A boy. Here, your fifteenth birthday comes around, you turn of age, you start your training in whatever army you are a part of. I told him he was nuts. I refused to join his army.” He took a deep breath. “He didn’t like that. They tied me to a table and went to town.” He was looking into the fire and she was sure she’d never seen him frown for this amount of time before. He closed his eyes at the feel of her hand on his arm. The frown disappeared and he smiled at her once again.
          “Do you ever wish you could go back?”
          He shook his head. “I wouldn’t know what to do with myself there anymore.” He almost added, and you wouldn’t be there, but managed to stop it before it made its way out of his mouth. He cleared his throat. “So, are you ready for bed?”
          “Oh, um… yes.” She made her way to her blankets and watched as he made his way to his. The night was cool and she shivered. It was almost as if he’d been watching her.
          “Do you want one of my blankets?”
          “Then you’ll be cold.”
          “I’ll be fine.” He started to sit up.
          “No. I’m fine.”
          “Alright. Let me know if you change your mind.” He rolled over. That’s how it always was between them; always an awkward politeness.
          She snuggled deeper into her blankets unable to warm herself. She made a quick decision and stood before she could change her mind. Greg started as she lay beside him and pulled her blankets over his. She could feel him, tense beside her and she knew he was scared to say or do something that would cause her to get angry and get up.
          “We’ll be warmer this way.” Her body felt the heat from his behind hers and she soon found herself with her back pressed against his side. By the moons, he was so warm. Why in the world had she been freezing every night when he’d been just a few feet from her?
          She felt him turn and she moved back again so that her back was just inches from his chest. He slowly put his arm around her then pulled her closer when she didn’t pull her dagger. She felt the tension leave him.
          “Good night, Red.” His breath was warm against her neck.
          She took a deep breath. “Good night, Greg.” She felt sleep take him, but for as tired as she was, she couldn’t follow suit. Something about tonight wasn’t right. Even with Greg’s warmth behind her she couldn’t stop her skin from crawling. They were being watched, she was sure of it. She listened for any indication she might be right. Nothing. She placed her dagger where she could reach it, took a deep breath, and closed her eyes. No, it was no use.
          “Greg.” She waited for a response. “Greg, wake up.”
          “Hmm?” His arm tightened around her.
          “We need to move.”
          He blinked a few times to wake himself. “Sorry. I didn’t mean to hold you.”
          “No, no, that’s not it. We need to move from this site. It feels wrong.”
          He yawned. “Alright.” He didn’t argue. She always seemed to be right when it came to things like this.
          They quickly packed their things and started to move farther north. The clouds moved to cover the moons and Red tensed at the scurrying sound off to their left. Greg put a hand on her arm. She turned so that they back to back. The sound came again, this time from their right. Whatever they were, there was more than one of them.
          “Where are we? Do you know?” She reached back to see where he was and moved back until she touched his hip. He did the same with his other hand.
          “Not really. We should be in dragon territory. Do you think that’s what these are?”
          “No. Dragons would have just killed us.” Something ran past and Red cried out as claws raked across her thigh. She sucked in a breath and got ready for the next attack. “Aim low, Greg.”
          The scurrying came again and Red stabbed down just as teeth sank into her leg. The creature screamed, the high piercing sound hurting her ears. Greg grunted and fell away from her. She reached down, grabbed a handful of fur and stabbed again. The thing let go of her leg then scurried away. Greg hissed as teeth pierced his arm. The clouds moved and Red’s eyes widened at the sight before her. 
         Jainks! The small wolf like animal let go of Greg’s arm then aimed for his throat. Greg managed to get his arm in the way once more. The silver, long haired creature growled, its silver eyes looking deep into his green ones. Red remembered a story that had mentioned a jaink could hypnotize its prey into being submissive simply by staring into its eyes. She saw Greg relax and threw her dagger as hard as she could then ran toward them. The jaink yelped and looked up just as Red slammed into it. She pulled her dagger out of its side but couldn’t manage to kill it before it ran away. She looked around, waiting for another attack. Greg groaned.
          “Greg! Are you alright?” She knelt by him and looked him over. His arm was bleeding badly and she knew she’d have to stitch him up, but other than that, he seemed fine. So why was he just lying there?
          “Ugh. It’s my head. It feels like it’s going to explode.” He tried to open his eyes and the pain tore through him.
          “It was hypnotizing you.”
          He groaned again. “Help me move. I think I’m going to black out. Let’s get somewhere a bit more protected.” She looked around. “This is about as protected as we’re going to get.” She got their blankets ready then rolled him onto them. “Get some sleep. I’ll make a fire and keep watch.” He mumbled something.
          “What was that?”
          He lifted his head, groaned, and lay back down. “Sorry.”
          The adrenaline was starting to wear off and she started to laugh. “By the moons, Greg, stop apologizing all the time. This was hardly your fault.” He grunted.
          “I need you to hold still. You have three spots on your arm that need stitching.” By the time she was done cleaning him up he was out to the world. She checked her leg and was glad to see no serious damage had been done. She sat beside Greg and watched him sleep. Every once in a while he would frown and groan. When one particular frown refused to disappear, she ran her fingers over his brow lightly. She couldn’t help but bend over and kiss him softly between the eyes. She straightened abruptly. She remembered the panic she’d felt when it had crossed her mind he might have been badly injured. Could it be that even though she’d tried her damnedest not to she was starting to have feelings for the man? No. It was probably the fear of finding herself alone. So he means nothing to you, then. She frowned. Did he? She looked at him and took a deep breath. Fine, he does. So what? She was allowed to have friends, yeah?
          She got up and built up the fire and saw him shiver. She lay down beside him and pulled him close. It wasn’t because she gave a damn, she scowled at herself. It was simply necessity. It took a few minutes before he warmed enough to stop shaking. Well, then, he’s warm, the sensible half of her brain was saying. You can let go now. The more emotional side didn’t reply and she was surprised when her heart answered instead. Shut up, it said.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

          Red put a hand on his forehead. He seemed fine, so why wasn’t he waking up. It had been two days since they’d been attacked by the jainks.
          “Greg. We need to get moving.” She knew it wouldn’t help. She’d tried everything from whispering in his ear to yelling that they were under attack. She blew out of her nose, picked up a stone and threw it into the woods. She frowned at the sound of it hitting something metallic.
          “What was that?” She got up and made her way in the direction the stone had gone. The sunlight flashed through the trees and a glimmer to her left caught her eye.
          She knelt and picked the dagger up from under the leaves and snow. It was rusted and had obviously been here a while. Once back at the campsite, she placed it into her pack. She knelt by Greg once more. She remembered a story she’d been told by a woman who had crossed over. The name of it escaped her, she’d been seven or eight when she’d heard the tale, but she remembered how it had been about a princess who wouldn’t wake up until her prince had kissed her. She smiled. The roles were reversed and it was just a story after all, but nothing else had worked so far.
          She spent the last two days arguing with herself over her feelings for Greg. It had taken a bit, but she’d finally admitted to herself that she did care for him. She wouldn’t go so far as to say she loved him, mind you, but he was nice to have around… when he was awake.
          She bent slowly, the butterflies in her stomach fluttering about. Her lips touched his lightly and she pulled back, looking for any sign he might have noticed. Nothing. Of course, that wasn’t much of a kiss, she thought to herself. How was a prince supposed to kiss a princess, anyhow?
          She straddled him to get a better angle and cupped his face in her hands. Her thumb ran over the scar along his jaw. Damn Braw and all of the foolish notions he’d ever had. What would she do if this didn’t work? What if Greg started to get worse? She closed her eyes and her throat tightened at the thought.
          “Please wake up, Greg.” It was just a whisper. She jumped at his groan then relaxed at the feel of his hand on her face.
          “Red, would you mind getting off of me before I forget how much you dislike my presence. I might decide it’s a good idea to kiss you.”
          Tears of relief streaked down her face and she laughed. “Thank the moons, I was starting to think you were never going to wake up.”
          He smiled and brushed the tears from her cheeks. “You mean you might have missed me?”
          She snorted and hugged him tightly. “Yes, I would have missed you.” His arms wrapped around her and she lay on his chest. “I swear I tried everything! I tried whispering in your ear, I tried yelling we were under attack; I tried splashing water on you… I even tried kissing you!” She stopped suddenly, very aware that she could hear his heart beating in his chest, aware of how strong his arms were. His arms tightened and his heart beat a bit faster. She blushed.
          “You mean the kiss didn’t work?” He grunted. “I’m surprised.”
          “Well, it wasn’t much of a kiss.”
          There was an awkward moment of silence while Red tried to decide how that statement must have sounded to him. Maybe he’d think she didn’t care enough to actually kiss him properly. Greg, on the other hand was trying to think of something to say that wasn’t, “would you mind showing me now”.
          “I, um, well, I was about to try again when you woke up.” There, that showed she cared.
          “Oh.” That seemed like the safest thing to say. To be quite honest he was enjoying just having her lying on his chest like this and was scared to say something that would cause her to get up. What he wanted to do was run his fingers along her back just to see if what she would feel like against him when she shivered, but he kept his arms as still as possible. He let out the breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding.
          The breath was hot and tickled down her neck. Red shivered.
          Greg cleared his throat to hide the groan that escaped him. “Um, how long was I out?”

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Cover Reveal - Where Will You Turn?

Yay! It's finally here! My book cover for Where Will You Turn? is hot off the presses. That means I have to write a synopsis. Yuck. Not my favorite. I have a hard time trying to say enough to make it sound interesting without giving too much away. If everything goes as planned, I'm hoping to publish it on October 31st. That's right, Halloween! So stay tuned!

Also, I'm still offering Where Will You Run?, the first book in this series, for $0.99 through October and November.

While Raith, Mari, and the rest of the team desperately search for leads that will tie Aileana and the Díon council to the human trafficking operation, Aileana has her own plans to rid herself of the problems that Raith is creating by silencing his team forever.

When Aileana puts her plan into action, she makes a move no one sees coming, forcing Mari to reach out to new allies and old friends. As the world she knows begins to crumble around her, Mari doesn't know who she can trust. Putting her faith in her team, Mari makes a decision that could save them all, or be the end of everyone she has come to love.

Don't forget I'm going to be in Dallas doing for a gigantic book signing with a ton of other authors. Get the details here!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book Signing in Dallas and Dion News!

Hi everyone! Sorry I've been away so much lately, but I have been writing like a freak. I finally found a writing schedule that works for me! I have finished Where Will You Turn? which is the third book in my Dion series. I'm so excited about this book. Normally, I'm very critical of my work, but I had a blast writing this one. It's crazy! It's more urban fantasy than the other two books, so the romance is more of an underlying story. Yes, I spared myself the agony of writing a sex Believe me, this book is packed full of so much action, you won't miss it. I'll be posting a cover reveal soon! My tentative release date for Where Will You Turn? is October 31st. Sooner if possible. I'll let you know. I'm sending it off to my editor this week. In celebration of finishing, I'm having a sale on the first book in the series, Where Will You Run? You can pick it up on Amazon this month for just $0.99!

In other news...If you are going to be in the Dallas, Texas area on October 12th, I'm going to be there doing a book signing along with a group of other talented authors, including several from Australia and Canada! It's going to be amazing! We're going to be selling/signing books at Half Price Books, 5803 Northwest Hwy, Dallas, TX 75231 on the 12th from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. Hope to see you there!