Blog Tour & Giveaway: Chrysalis by Maria MacDonald

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Chrysalis
The Gifted Series Book 1
by Maria MacDonald
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
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Emery never realized the kind of power she held.
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Her whole life had been one long battle. Against other children, bullies,
her abusers. Forever the outsider, living her days isolated and
lonely. She didn’t know that while waging her own battles, another
kind of war was coming.
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In just one night her whole life changed.
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When she finds herself in danger, the power that was lying dormant inside
of her suddenly releases, surprising everyone.
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In the aftermath, a figure appears in the shadows – Elijah. With an
air of mysteriousness and answers she had no idea she needed, Emery
suddenly understands she’s not alone.
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He’s either here to save her or bury her. But with no time to ask
questions, she takes the plunge, grabs his hand, and prepares herself
for a whole new world. One where she will be reborn.
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Prologue

I didn’t look back when they called names. I ignored the sharp pain in my back, from the stones and empty soda cans they threw at me when I walked by. I kept my face hidden from them and controlled my tears by biting my tongue, until the familiar metallic taste flooded my mouth. It’s what I always did.

I was different, and the children within my small town hated me with a passion that I didn’t rightfully understand at my young age.

‘Emma the elephant’ and ‘alien face’ were amongst the common names that were used to describe me as a young child. It progressed and evolved to ‘salad dodger’ and ‘wide load.’ Though the one I was called the most was ‘rat girl,’ which was meant to be like Bat Girl, but it was more of an insult than anything else. They used the name because my teeth were bigger in the front. Like a lot of children, I had to grow into them. I was alone. Isolated. Hated and abused. I had no parents, no one to care for me. My whole life had been hollow, empty, and the feeling, it seemed, was to be terminal.

The day my life changed monumentally is one I’ll never forget. It was the day I was reborn.

Walking from my job at the local bookstore, the sun had set and I wrapped my arms around myself as a chill started to seep into my skin. That’s when I saw them.

My abusers.

In school there was a bigger crowd, but tonight I saw only three. Boys… almost men. They were eighteen now, just like me. They hadn’t stopped dishing out the insults since they began back in first grade. In fact, after returning this last year, it’s become worse.

My looks had changed over the summer. I grew into my gangly body and my teeth, my acne cleared, and my long blond hair is now thick and lush. These boys noticed me, they all did. The taunts never stopped, but I saw it in their eyes—there was an annoyance. Just like it had always been, but now there was also a want… they wanted the new me. They hated craving me. It was new to them and they just didn’t know what to do about it. Plus, none of them were brave enough to admit it. Not that it would have changed anything. Let’s face it, I hated them all, with a passion.

When they approached me that night it wasn’t with caution. It should have been. Fear would have served them well. I was meek, quiet. I didn’t fight back. I was an easy target… that’s what they thought. That’s what I thought. Why would they be frightened of little old me?

When they pushed me into the back alley and tried to rip my clothes off, things changed. I listened to their voices, heard the evil inside them, and felt the cruel enjoyment that wept from their pores. I didn’t understand it then. But I do now. That fight was monumental and thus began my life.

I was reborn. I was new. I became what I was always meant to be. They started that, but they’ll never know, never see. I killed them that day—all three boy-men. They were sons, nephews, boyfriends. Hell, they might have been future presidents for all I knew. Either way, I ripped their lives from their bodies in the blink of an eye.

Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Tawnee Mountain Mysteries

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The
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series is a collection of seven brand new
mysteries from seven award-winning and bestselling authors taking
place at the same final destination, the Tawnee Mountain
Resort.
Each book in this
multi-author series is a standalone novella, and the series can be
read in any order.
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Leona’s Last Resort
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Book 1
by Karen M. Bryson
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
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A small-town mystery novella with a dash of romance and a few ghosts.
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When Max Elliot invites Izzy Grant to a fancy Ivy League alumni reception
at the Tawnee Mountain Resort, the ghost hunters anticipate a
romantic weekend getaway at the premier ski and golf destination.
But when wealthy hotelier Leona Hutton is murdered, and her ghost
asks Izzy to find her killer, she and Max decide to investigate.
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Will Izzy and Max solve the case before more alumni end up dead, or the
killer turns the tables and decides to hunt the ghost hunters?
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Leona’s Last Resort is a part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series, a
collection of seven brand new mysteries, from seven award-winning and
bestselling authors, taking place at the same final destination, the
Tawnee Mountain Resort.
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Leona’s Last Resort features ghost hunters, Izzy Grant and Max Elliot, from
the Izzy & Max Paranormal Mystery series.
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Each book in this multi-author series is a standalone novella, and the
series can be
read in any order.

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Dark Side of the Mountain
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Book 2
by R.J. Rosatte
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Katie Douglas thinks doing a mechanical inspection job at the Tawnee
Mountain Resort is going to be a working vacation. But that’s
before three young mountain bikers go missing while riding the trails
of the mountain and a ransom note is delivered.
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Partnering with a charming guest of the resort, novelist Casey Malone, Katie
soon discovers there is a twisting plot possibly involving the
missing men’s girlfriends and perhaps even the FBI.
When their investigation is complicated by the discovery of bomb making material in a cave on the mountain and the threat of an approaching
hurricane, Katie and Casey go into overdrive to find the missing men
and prevent what could be a devastating attack on an unknown target.
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As Hurricane Patrick pays a rare visit to inland New Jersey, the story
reaches an explosive climax as they and the staff of Tawnee Mountain
Resort deal with both of these threats.
Dark Side of the Mountain is a part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries
series, a collection of seven brand new mysteries, from seven
award-winning and bestselling authors, taking place at the same final
destination, the Tawnee Mountain Resort.
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Deadly Reception
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Book 3
by Karen Randau
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A severed head. A philandering husband. A skeleton in the basement.
This was not the perfect wedding Rita Avery planned for her daughter Zoe!
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Rita Avery and her detective husband Cliff arrive at New Jersey’s Tawnee
Mountain Resort prepared to greet Zoe’s wedding guests in just
three hours. Who would have expected to find a man’s torso in their
closet?
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Things explode into high gear when the victim’s head shows up at the golf
equipment shack. A good look at his social media makes Rita wonder if
a wife murdered her husband as revenge for infidelity. Or did a
secret admirer decide to liberate the wife from her scoundrel husband?

Worse, is Zoe in life-threatening danger . . . again?
And will Rita and Cliff escape the trap in which the murderer snares them?x

Murder and a passel of twists that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Zoe’s wedding is the most exciting you’ll attend!

Deadly Reception is a part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series, a
collection of seven brand new mysteries, from seven award-winning and
bestselling authors, taking place at the same final destination, the
Tawnee Mountain Resort.
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Deadly Reception features characters from Karen Randau’s Rim Country
Mysteries series.

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Deadly Misfire
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Book 4
by Laurie Fagen
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KWLF-FM crime reporter Lisa Powers’ boss sends her to a radio news
conference in New Jersey, in the dead of winter, and far away from
her beloved crime beat in Arizona. She goes to the Tawnee Mountain
Resort begrudgingly, afraid she’s going to miss a big story.
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But at the convention, where she is up for an excellence in reporting
award, an unknown stalker torments her for several days. When she
takes the stage to learn the winner, the stalker antes up the stakes
– with deadly force.
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Deadly Misfire is a part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series, a
collection of seven brand new mysteries, from seven award-winning and
bestselling authors, taking place at the same final destination, the
Tawnee Mountain Resort.
Deadly Misfire features characters from Laurie Fagen’s Behind the Mic
Mysteries series.
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Cassidy’s Deadly Exit
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Book 5
by Marla J. Hayes
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Broadway actress Cassidy Quinn finally wins a long coveted Tony award, but the
words in her acceptance speech stir up a new problem – a previously
low-key fan ramps up online rhetoric to the point where her usual
security categorizes this unidentified person as an avidly persistent stalker.
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Cassidy takes control of her career and her safety, while doing her best not
to disappoint her most devoted fans – she travels to the Tawnee
Mountain Resort to attend her first fan convention, a small gathering
of her super fans. After all, what could happen to her when she’s
surrounded by devoted admirers, trusted employees, and the security
precautions of a resort that has hosted large scale political
gatherings without a single reported incident?
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When events at the gathering turn deadly, Cassidy must figure out who
among her fans and her staff wants to kill her, and her career.
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Cassidy’s Deadly Exit is a part of the Tawnee Mountain Mysteries series, a
collection of seven brand new mysteries, from seven award-winning and
bestselling authors, taking place at the same final destination, the
Tawnee Mountain Resort.
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Black Diamond Graves
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Book 6
by Wendy Fallon
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Cali May attends an Artists’ Retreat at Tawnee Mountain Ski and Golf
Resort in North Jersey. She’s appalled to see a figure fall from the
Black Diamond ski lift as she and the other attendees ride the lift
to a small lodge on the first day. She finds herself stranded at the
top of the mountain with several creative souls both dead and alive,
and must uncover a murderer before she too becomes a target.
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The Quinnipiac Disappearance
Tawnee Mountain Mysteries Book 7
by Lee Tidball
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Down in South Jersey, you got your Jersey Devil and the Pine Barrens.
Up here, we got E.T.s and Quinnipiac.”

So says Alan Riddiak, NSA field agent Jake Farrister’s friend, as they
rent kayaks at Quinnipiac Reservoir, site of what locals say was the
most credible mass sighting of a UFO in human history, and just miles
from the swanky Tawnee Mountain Resort, where Alan’s boss, revered
Senator Grant Bilson of New Jersey, is on an August recess retreat.
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Ok…” smirks Jake.But smirks turn to shock when two bizarre disappearances and an attempted
murder suck the rest out of the retreat, and Senator Bilson
commissions Jake to solve the mysteries.

Jake finds nothing but frustration, though, until he finally concedes what
quirky new friend Nikki Hayes has told him all along; when it comes
to Quinnipiac, the only explanations are inexplicable, the only
believable witnesses are unbelievable, and in order to stop the
world-shattering plot at the heart of the mysteries, Jake must do
what he thought was unthinkable—and hope he’s not too late.

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Forever Night Stand by Bena Roberts

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The Forever Night Stand
by Bena Roberts
Genre: Romance
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Sara’s world shatters when she stabs her husband’s lover at a party. The
press has a field day, and Sara moves from Scotland and her life of
riches back to her parent’s modest home in West London. She ditches
her married name of MacDonald and becomes Sara Sharma once more. With
no friends and little money, her electronic prison anklet a constant
reminder of what she left behind.
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Living back at home with her eccentric Bollywood loving parents is a
challenge. It gets worse when Sara realizes how badly she let them
down. For the sake of her family, she considers having an arranged
marriage. Could she be the perfect wife again?
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Just as she thinks she might, her childhood love George Wright walks
through the door. Memories of the past come flooding back, including
how he betrayed her. Sara vows never to forgive him, however hard he
mixes things up.
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Unreliable Narrative Books
If you enjoy tarnished unreliable hero stories like those from Gillian
Flynn, Chuck Palahniuk or Sara Lotz mixed up with romance, then you
will enjoy Sara’s story.
Sara’s wild energy and unique perspective of the world is engaging and
endearing. She’s a very unusual person, confined in her parents’
home and a very ‘normal’ world.
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The Forever Night Stand Delivers heavy hitting and thought-provoking
fiction without diminishing the entertainment factor.
**Only .99 cents!**
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Joe’s name brought back the smell of his intestines. I popped two painkillers into my mouth. Fish-gutting feelings lingered like glue on my soul and were a sign I needed my medication. I hadn’t premeditated the act; I didn’t wake up planning to stab Joe. it just happened. Some people have a call to the wild or whatever. I didn’t. The stabbing was my private battle with the dark side. For five minutes the dark side won, and I picked up the pieces.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? Like a movie. That’s what the jury thought, too.

I was the actress and the courtroom my stage.

Getting the story straight, cross-examination, remembering what I wanted to forget.

Brain fog from chemotherapy.

That part, genuine.

My speech, nothing like the reality.

The papers called me “Knife-Crazed Wife.” The Daily roared, “Man Stabber.” Other tabloids shouted, “Psycho Wife Knifes Husband’s Lover.” My love of Hitchcock made me partial to the latter. The headlines exaggerated. The man I stabbed was Joe. My husband’s work colleague, a family friend, champion and my personal-shopper. I knew now; he was a fraud, and in case you are wondering, no. I didn’t kill him.

But Paul was the perfect husband and my group of friends were like blu tack. St. Elmo’s Fire on the outside, ideal life, excellent friends. I craved that image for the whole marriage. Paul was rich, our home a dream, but his personality was more like Billy the Kid, too scared of hospitals to dote on me or drive me to my cancer treatments.

Yes. Blasted humiliating, but I didn’t talk about it. I was the great wife for a very long time. Some dirty laundry needed to stay dirty and locked away in the closet.

The day of the party, everyone was dressed up. It was my afterchemo party, and for a few minutes, I did feel like blu tack. But then it started dissolving when Paul and Joe embraced.

They giggled.

The slow strokes…the way Joe caressed Paul’s side.

I didn’t think anything of the sensual nature, but the looks of pity from my friends as they touched turned my stomach more than the after-effects of the chemo.

With every gesture the pitying looks intensified.

The knife rack in the kitchen; alcohol bubbles pumped through my veins.

The vault door opened.

Blood stains seeped into my skin, they permanently marked the rest of my life. I said that in court. Yes, i said that in court because it sounded dramatic, the fact that it wasn’t right, irrelevant. No. That

is not fair, it was horrible, and the stains would be there. But I didn’t regret hurting Joe.

Lies. How would you feel if you lost your best friend?

Yes. I know I stabbed him, don’t mention that now!

My new dress was bloodier than a butcher’s apron.

My body flew towards Joe; it was the blasted chemo side effects that saved Joe’s manhood; the carpal tunnel syndrome swayed my aim. Again, i didn’t admit it in court, but my hands aimed for his penis. It was the despair.

I was hurt.

Nightmares would ravage my dreams for the rest of my life. Well, at least that is what I told the lawyers. I needed to apologize; unreliable, my story foggier than my brain.

My sentence loomed.

The judge said, “Diminished responsibility.”

Did someone just stand up? I saw a baseball cap and a hat, who was that?

I didn’t jump; I didn’t smile, but I did continue to act like the good wife. To perform and to look were two different things. I sat for the space of a few breaths and then pulled my beanie hat over my cold ears, my contoured face still elegant, despite my hair loss. My lawyers hugged, Paul smiled, but I chose to ignore him. Paul’s glamourous sidearm was gone. I was now the awful wife, the even worse friend. My feelings for Paul emptier than a deserted parking lot. Joe? i couldn’t go there, not yet.

The real courtroom wasn’t like the movies. I had to sit in court through summaries of the trial and the judge’s comments which reminded me of when I found out I had cancer; I was Elizabeth Taylor. Famous for being strong! All lies, and all the wrong reasons. When chemo did start and my hair fell out, I didn’t want to be a film star. The movie was on repeat, the unpaid extra; same thing now. The judge’s words boomed through the court.

“Mrs. McDonald. We have been lenient with you today because of your pristine past and excellent character witnesses. However, what you did was a ghastly attack on someone close to you. You are the one that will have to live with your actions …”

No tears came, time stretched out in slow motion; a zombie, turning off and on. I could hear but not listen. instead, the pain in my hands quadrupled every second and the symptom of every chemo ailment resurfaced. Eyes sore, the follicles in my head stabbing, mushrooms living in my mouth, spots on my body, cystitis and the loss of feeling in my hands and feet. The pain worsened until the judge finally fingered his hammer.

“…We have considered the three months you were detained in Edinburgh. There are three remaining months of your sentence, and you will receive a prison tag or electronic ankle monitor.”

Bang. it was over; all eyes were on me.

My life signed and sealed. Shafted from Scotland to England. I would go back to my parent’s home and I would have community service and electronic monitoring. The movie star, the demure wife didn’t react, but inside my body screamed, Haven’t I been humiliated enough? Then my consciousness caved in. My poor parents.

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Bena Roberts was a journalist and analyst. Now she prefers the title
novelist and romance adventurist. She graduated in England 1994 and
then with a Masters in 1997.

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Born in 1973, Bena lived in West London until she was 24. Then she lived
and worked in Budapest, Bruges, Prague, Amsterdam, Vienna, Hamburg
and Munich. She currently resides in Germany, between Heidelberg and
Frankfurt. Although she still refers to London as ‘home.’
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Bena successfully created a technology blog which gained funding, had
lunch with Steve Ballmer and was ‘top 50 most influential woman in
mobile.’ Her blog also won several awards including Metro Best Blog.
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Bena has two children, loves small dogs and always writes books with
a cup of Earl Grey.
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Bena’s favorite
literary style is black humor, and she hopes to offer a unique voice
in this area. Her books aim to confront the darkest of life
experiences, with levity. Most of her writing is heavy hitting yet
also entertaining. The second novel out in 2018 offers
thought-provoking fiction which embraces the absurd with reality.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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New Release & Giveaway: A Gift and a Curse: Renata’s Story by Stephanie Deniese Brown

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Romance
Date Published: April 21, 2018
Publisher: Independence Publishing, TLR
 
 
What does one do when your mind says go but your heart says stay?
 
In Stephanie Deniese Brown’s third installment of her Wesson Family Saga, newly divorcee, Renata McKain-Christian learns if giving it up all in the name of love is either the best gift she’ll ever receive or the curse she rather not face. 
 
Renata, fresh off a divorce and ready to start a new life, with no distractions, finds immediate trouble the second she accepts a job from Carson Becker. Carson is established, powerful, and most of all rich. All the things Renata is not and that makes her feel unworthy of his love. But Carson doesn’t care about her pocketbook, he sets out to capture Renata’s mind, body, and soul. Just as he gets Renata to let her guard down and things start sizzling in the boardroom and the bedroom, secrets are unleashed that threaten to take away everything these two have built. 
 
When power and insecurities threaten a relationship everything comes down to figuring out if the love you share is really a gift or a curse.
Purchase Links: 
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About the Author

Stephanie Deniese Brown, a native of Hampton, VA has always loved creative writing. From romance to mystery, she has dipped her pen in all styles of writing. 
 
Stephanie began writing her first novel when she was 21 years old. At first the story was for recreational purposes and was meant to live in Stephanie’s computer. After researching how to publish a novel, Stephanie decided she wanted to release her masterpiece to the world. In 2005 she opened Independence Publishing, TLR and released “Skye’s His Limit“. The novel received high reviews from readers and Stephanie went back to the lab and released the second installment in her series, “Sable’s Karma…The Secret’s Out” in 2008. The novel placed as a finalist in the National Indie of Excellence Book Award. After a ten year hiatus, Stephanie is back on the scene and is releasing the highly anticipated third installment of the Wesson Family Saga.
 
Stephanie currently resides in Richmond with her husband, children, and her adorable cat CiCi.  
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Contact Links
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Giveaway

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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Masked Desire by Alana Delacroix

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MASKED DESIRE
The Masked Arcana #2
by Alana Delacroix
Genre: Paranormal Romance
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A Perfect Disguise
As security chief of the supernaturals’
ruling council, Michaela Chui has seen more than her fair share of
disaster. For centuries, she’s survived through caution and
strategy. But when the only human councilor is viciously murdered,
Michaela knows the coincidences that keep blocking her investigation
are a sure sign of bad things to come. She needs answers fast. And
her only ally is Cormac Redoak: wild, unpredictable, unreliable—and
worse, distractingly attractive.
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A Hidden Truth
An exile from the court of the Fairy Queen, Cormac has all the
experience with careful strategy and veiled intentions he can stand.
But he also has the fey talent for getting his way, and he’s sure
his way lies with Michaela’s. No matter that she can change her
lovely face at will; there’s a clarity to her being that he’d
know anywhere. Working with her will be temptation and frustration
bound together. Somehow, though, he must convince her to trust
him—without revealing the secrets he dares never share . . .
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                Michaela locked the car door and was checking the handle when a soft, low growl came from behind her.

“Councilor. You’re here early.”

Not now. It was too early in the morning. She steeled herself to face Cormac Redoak, exiled fey, special ambassador to the Pharos Council, and world-class pain. “Ambassador,” she said briskly, heaving her bag over her shoulder.

“May I take that for you?” Even after centuries away from the fey homeland, he still had a bit of an accent, almost but not quite Irish.

“No.” She walked towards the door. Although they had known each other for decades, she’d had few conversations with him, and in fact tended to avoid him. Not because of the wild rumors that surrounded his exile from the fey court or because she’d been on the receiving end of more than one of his inquisitions when she’d objected to his schemes. He was too erratic for her. Wild. Unstable. Even his eyes refused to stay a single color. Right now they were a light jade but could easily change to gray or brown depending on his mood.

This criticism was grossly hypocritical coming from a masquerada and she knew it. Her eyes, like the rest of her, could be transformed in a breath to become part of any masque she chose. That was the point, though. While Cormac was at the mercy of his emotions, she needed to keep perfect control at all times. Failure—if her masque slipped and humans witnessed a shift—would result in a breach of the Law. Worse, she could lose her natural self in a sea of other personalities: the dreaded convergence. Cormac said what he wanted, did what he wanted, and damned the consequences. The ambassador was not a man who accepted limits to his desires and it made her wary.

“I want to speak about our discussion the other day,” he said. She didn’t bother to look at him. “By discussion you mean when you attempted, and failed, to humiliate me in front of half the Council?”

He made an airy details, details gesture. “I asked for a simple clarification.”

“About a subject you had no business with and at a meeting to which you were not invited.” She reached out to pull the door open but he moved in front of her with the fluid grace typical of the fey. For a moment she breathed in his unique pine scent—the one thing she enjoyed about him. Then she silently brushed by with a nod of thanks, mind already on the day’s agenda. She had about ten minutes before she was due to meet Madden, enough time for a few emails and to re-check her calendar.

“I assumed my invitation was lost. Luckily Hiro told me about it.”

She kept walking. “Which he also had no business doing. We have meeting procedures for a reason.”

“Procedures are for the masses.” He paused when they reached her office door. “Look, Michaela, my point remains valid.”

Michaela opened the door. “As I said before—” Her voice trailed off as she flicked on the light. “Good God.”

Cormac peered in, then tried to block the door. “You don’t want to see this.”

Did the man not remember she was the Pharos security chief? She shoved him aside. “That’s Hiro. In my office.”

Cormac stood beside her, his cool skin brushing her hand. “It was Hiro,” he corrected. “It’s not anymore.”

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MASKED POSSESSION
The Masked Arcana #1
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A Man Who Can Wear Any Face
Caro Yeats doesn’t run from much. As a former investigative reporter now
working PR for Toronto’s supernaturals, what she hasn’t seen
mostly isn’t worth seeing. But the assignment to “rebrand” Eric
Kelton’s out-of-control alter egos has her on edge from the start.
Kelton is the heirarch of the Masquerada, beings able to change their
face—their entire persona—on a whim. Eric’s charisma muddles
her instincts. How can she trust a man who can become anybody?
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A Woman Without A Past
Eric has never met anyone like Caro, with her lightning wit and uncanny
insight. But desirable as she is, he’d be a fool to let her near.
Struggling to hide the sudden loss of his powers, Eric can’t risk
becoming entangled with a woman who scorns her supernatural side and
claims not to play politics. The enemies on her trail are strong,
clever, and vicious. And when they force Eric and Caro together, the
fallout could shatter far more than two hearts . . .

Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Vampire Within by Laura Daleo

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The Vampire Within
by Laura Daleo
Genre: Urban Fantasy
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Brandon Cass is not your average teenager. He has a taste for blood—human
blood. For sixteen years, he stumbled through life without a
hitch until the enigmatic aroma of blood awakened something dark
within him. Visions of a beautiful young woman with chocolate brown
hair and ocean blue eyes haunt his mind, yet her identity is a
puzzling mystery.
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His hunger for blood strengthens, and the cravings become too powerful to
control. No one is safe, not even his family. To safeguard all he
once found dear, Brandon sets out on a quest for answers. In an
unfamiliar city, he comes face-to-face with the beautiful young
woman, confronts the dark force which controls him, and learns what
he must endure to reclaim his soul.
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I jumped out of bed at the very last second, took a quick shower, threw on some clothes and raced downstairs. As my mom nagged me about the time, I shoved a piece of toast in my mouth, washed it down with some OJ, then dashed out the door seconds before the school bus pulled up. As usual, my fellow classmates were taunting the new kid, Roger, and Mr. Gilbert, the bus driver, was yelling out his customary, “Knock it off!” at them. I flopped down in an empty seat at the back of the bus and let out a frustrated groan. Could my life be any more boring? I dragged my feet as I made my way into Mrs. Clark’s history class and claimed my usual seat. Whose bright idea was it to make history first period? Staying conscious while Mrs. Clark rambled on about a bunch of dead people who changed the world was near impossible. I slid farther down in my chair and was about to initiate full zone-out mode when Sam walked into class. An electric jolt zapped me upright—I could smell her. The scent quickened my pulse and sent my heartbeat skyrocketing. My mouth watered as a feverish hunger growled in the pit of my stomach. It wasn’t her perfumed skin or freshly shampooed hair. No, it was musky and unpleasant. It got under my skin, and I found it terribly distracting.

As Sam caught me staring, a proud smirk washed over her face. She tossed her golden-blonde hair over her shoulder and slid her slender body into the wooden desk in front of me, then turned around and locked eyes with me, her smug grin widening. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. Her distracting aroma swiftly traveled up my nose, lighting up my brain. Shivers scurried down my spine, spinning my head…what was that smell? As Sam tugged playfully on my hair, she whispered, “I’ve been waiting forever for you to notice me, Brandon.” She paused, looking me up and down. “Meet me after class on the front steps.” I didn’t hesitate to agree. “Okay.” She winked. “I have a surprise for you.” My stomach flip flopped and my palms grew sweaty. Surprise? I had no idea what she meant, but I sure as hell was gonna find out. Sam’s smell manipulated my brain, blurring Mrs. Clark’s words together. Once, I got wasted at one of my parents’ Christmas parties. I’d chugged down every half-finished glass of beer, wine, or hard liquid abandoned on the table to the point where my head spun out of control. Sam’s scent mimicked that same effect. I wanted to gorge on it, whatever it was. The sudden ring of the school bell, announcing the end of first period, snapped me out of the muddled fog. Sam touched my shoulder and whispered, “You go first and I’ll meet you there.” I obeyed and headed straight for the front steps with my heartbeat throbbing inside my throat.

The breeze carried her fragrance. She was behind me; I knew it. My knees wobbled as I turned around. Sam was inches from me, batting her eyelashes and smiling. She giggled and seized my trembling hand. “Come with me.” She steered me toward the park and away from the vigilant eyes at the school. Within the boundaries of the trees and their interlocking branches, we sat, facing each other. “What’s my surprise?” I asked, my breath speeding up. “A kiss.” She grinned sheepishly, then planted her lips over mine. That smell of hers hammered at the inner walls of my brain. Every muscle twitched, and heat spread over my skin. I pulled away and blurted out, “What’s that smell? It’s driving me crazy!” She flinched, and her cheeks flushed bright red. “You can smell me?” “Yes.” “I…I don’t know what to say. This is so embarrassing.” She looked away from me. “I’m on my period,” she whispered. That was it—blood! Rich, dark, delicious blood! Wait, blood? Delicious? Was it? I jammed my fingertips into my temples. Her scent was screwing with my head, but I had to taste her. Cupping her face, I kissed her hard and bit her tongue. Warm, coppery blood spilled into my mouth, bringing to life a slew of delightful shivers. Her high-pitched squeal struck my eardrums, but I didn’t care. Her fluids overpowered all my senses. I swished her blood between my teeth, like mouthwash, before spitting it into the  palm of my hand. A thick, gooey, red substance coated my fingers. Its power hypnotized me and…altered me. I hungered after it. My tongue darted out of my mouth and snatched up the blood staining my skin. Upon my virgin swallow, I released the low growl swelling in my throat. Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of her. Her face had turned a shade of ghastly-white, and her eyes bulged out of their sockets. She opened her mouth wide, blasting out another petrified shriek. It echoed inside my ears, yanking me back to reality. I held my hands up and backed away from her, shaking my head. “I’m so sorry. Please forgive me…I’m so sorry.” She scrambled to her feet, gave my shin a swift kick, and shouted, “Freak!” As she ran away, she threatened, “I’m going to tell everyone what you did. Everyone!” I wandered the park aimlessly with my thoughts spiraling. I bit her! Why, why, why? The blood…it made me do it! My feet stumbled to a grinding halt. Her blood coerced me; I knew it with every ounce of my being. Was that even impossible? Was I losing my mind? I had to get away from the school.

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I was born and raised in Sunny San Diego, California. A creative
writing class in junior high sparked my desire to tell stories;
however, Anne Rice was my true inspiration. Interview With The
Vampire has become one of the best-selling novels of all time, and
was the driving passion behind my desire to write my own vampire
legend. In 1996, Immortal Kiss was born and sat patiently until 2014
for its publication.

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At the present, my published works are Immortal Kiss, Bound by Blood,
The Vow, and The Vampire Within. My current project, The Soul
Collector is my first non-vampire tale. Future projects in the queue:
The Ten, The Old Ones, Vampire Amon, and The Doll.
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In 2016, I started my own publishing company, Story Bound Publishing; a
fresh voice in the supernatural realm of eBooks and traditional
print. We are committed to publishing unearthly tales of Aliens,
Demons, Fairies, Ghosts, Shifters, Vampires, Werewolves, Witches,
Zombies and all other creatures that go bump in the night. In the
vast world of publishing, we firmly believe in keeping things
personable, something all too rare in the industry today.
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Here are some fun facts about me. I love to have my Starbucks coffee when
I write. I’m obsessed with shoes. I have 3 furry kids, Stuart,
Morgan, and Dexter. And, of course, I’m a huge fan of all things
vampire.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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New Release & Giveaway: Zagreb, Milan, Nice, Barcelona by Maya Berger

 

Chick Lit Adventure

Date Published: 19 April 2018

 Maya and Una are two best friends from Croatia, living life a bit more recklessly than they should. This time, they embark on a new adventure along with some friends. Soon their friendship, which seemed tight in Zagreb, becomes challenged on their trip to Barcelona.

 The two girls and their friends experience some misfortunes that shape their voyage in a completely different way from what they were expecting. Luckily, they meet new and interesting people who help them to forget their problems and focus on love, fun, and the beauty of the landscape and places they visit.

Available on Amazon

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About the Author

Maya Berger is the author of Luna Tree, a memoir focusing on personal growth and its sequel, In the Pursuit of Change. She took a break from writing about life and personal growth to write two chick lit adventure stories, Girls with No Plan and its stand-alone sequel, Zagreb, Milan, Nice, Barcelona, a second story about Maya and Una who, this time, voyage through Italy and France to visit Maya’s boyfriend in Barcelona, Spain.

Maya is a 43-year-old living in Zagreb, Croatia, with her husband and their four-year-old daughter. She is a passionate traveler who spends every free minute either planning a trip or traveling with her family. 

Contact Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14794196.Maya_Berger

Amazon Author: https://www.amazon.com/Maya-Berger/e/B01C0OUGR0

Website: http://www.mayabergerauthor.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maya___berger

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Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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New Release & Giveaway: The White Room by C.M. Albert

Title: The White Room
Author: C.M. Albert
Genre: Steamy Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Flower Work Press
Cover Designer: Alivia Anders of White Rabbit Book Designs
Editor: Erin Servais of Dot and Dash LLC
Publication Date: April 17th, 2018
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Blurb:

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The rules are simple:
No Names.
No Commitments.
Two hours.
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They’re put into place to protect us—exclusive clients lucky enough to afford the cost of playing. But everyone knows some rules are made to be broken. When hearts and bodies collide, even the best intentions slip away…exposing the real reasons why we seek the White Room in the first place. Will the White Room set you free? Step inside and find yourself.
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USA Today Best Selling Author C.M. Albert writes heartwarming romances that are both “sexy and flirty, sweet and dirty!” Her writing infuses a healthy blend of humor, inspiration, and romance. She’s a sucker for a good villain but is a die-hard believer in everlasting love. In her spare time, she and her husband wrangle their two kids and enjoy spending time outdoors. When not writing or kid wrangling, C.M. Albert is also a Certified Medical Reiki Master, chocolate chip cookie aficionado, kindness ambassador, and seeker of naps.
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Author Links:
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Buy Links:
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Exclusive White Room Excerpt from USA Today Bestselling Author C.M. Albert
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“Stand for me, Wendy,” he commanded. Her sundress dropped to the ground and Asher took in the shape and delicate curves of her body as she stood before him, completely bare except for her long double strand of pearls. “My God, you are beautiful.”
Vironica stepped out of her sundress and kicked it gently to the side. She ran her hands down her chest, over her pert breasts, and to her stomach. It was slightly curved from the birth of her daughter, but she was trim, fit for her age. Her legs were long, and made to look longer in her high-heeled wedge sandals with complicated straps running up her taut calf muscles.
“Dear God, please leave those on,” Asher said, pulling her close. “Those, the pearls, and that f***ing sexy braid are going to give way to many fantasies long after today,” he growled.
Her lips curved into a knowing smile. “A woman has to have a secret weapon or two,” she murmured. “But one of us is overdressed,” she said, wetting her mouth with her soft pink tongue as it slid over her full lips.
She tugged at Asher’s baby blue tie, loosening it and sliding it out from under the starched white collar of his button-up shirt. “Don’t you look adorable in your derby finest,” she said, eyeing his frame appreciatively. “You come from good stock.”
She smoothed her fingers up and down his biceps after she dropped his tie to the sofa. He leaned over to pick it up. “Not so fast, Wendy. I have something in mind for this.”
She rubbed her naked body against him and shivered. “Tell me what you want to do with it,” she whispered before finding his mouth. She bit playfully at his lower lip, her hands trailing up the hard muscles that lay beneath his crisp white dress shirt.
He grabbed both of her wrists and held them in one of his large hands. “First,” he said slowly, wrapping the tie around her wrists and securing them, “I am going to tie this so your hands are bound.” He yanked the tie to tighten the knot he’d formed. Her wrists weren’t going anywhere. “Then, I’m going to pick you up, bring you to the bed, and have my dirty way with you. Do you understand me, Mrs. Mason?”
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Blog Tour & Giveaway: Snapshots from my Uneventful Life by David I. Aboulafia

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Snapshots From My Uneventful Life
by David Aboulafia
Genre: Comedy, Autobiography
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In this hysterical, irreverent and sometimes thought-provoking
collection of essays, the author takes us on a journey through
everyday, real-life events that started out as “uneventful,” but
wound up being anything but. “Snapshots” is a book that everyone
will identify with, and that will have you holding your stomach with
laughter and scratching your head in wonder!
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SNAPSHOTS FROM MY UNEVENTFUL LIFE
“A Funny Gag, But No Laughing Matter”

POOR COCO, my one-year-old, chocolate brown, 65 pound, positively loony Standard Poodle, was about to get his balls chopped off.

Look, there’s just no delicate way to describe it, and I’m not sure whether I should tiptoe around anything or sugar coat the true nature of the event. Employing a more acceptable term such as “neuter” would not alter the graphic significance of such a procedure, at least to any human male.

While convinced of the necessity for this long ago, and despite the sage assurances of the capable veterinarians we consulted (who, I assure you, would just as quickly have recommended the de-balling of my canary or koala), I could not shake the disturbing notion that my loving pet’s very soul would be affected in some way.

Maybe he would come out of surgery like a Stepford wife, or like one of those pod people who are just like the humans they replace, except that they’re not.

That bothered me. That, and the fact I couldn’t even discuss the issue with the vet without two hands shielding my gonads. Hey, don’t wave a red flag in front of a bull, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, my wife took him to the vet that day. Before Coco left, I approached him with bowed head as if he were going to the gallows. I said I was sorry I had failed him, that I had done everything I could, but, that it would be over quickly, and he wouldn’t feel a thing.

French poodles are among the smartest dogs on the planet, and Coco is no exception. He is also a crap expert, as most dogs tend to be, and is fully able to recognize it when it is exiting the mouth of his human. He looked at me with disdain and disbelief, snarling at my disingenuousness, and I didn’t blame him a bit.

The task of retrieving my pup fell to me several hours later. This is a duty that has always caused me great pain and anguish. How it is possible that a man gets as anxious over the health of his dog as the health of his children I cannot imagine, but I do. I drove to the vet with feelings of dark anticipation and dread.

My anxiety expresses itself through my comedy, I suppose, or in the attempt, at least. I guess it’s a way of expelling bad thoughts. I entered the clinic and approached the five sweet-but-always-distracted female administrators who crowded the small area that was the front office. Separating them from the patient waiting area was a four foot high barrier, which they no doubt thought steep enough to fend off any large beast weighing more than any of those sheltered behind it.

“I’m here to pick up Coco,” I announced stoutly. “I believe that he was spayed,” I added.

On the one hand, I was quite proud of my use of complex medical terminology. On the other hand, I didn’t mind disclaiming a precise awareness of the procedure, so I would at least have culpable deniability if anyone were to think me cruel or unfeeling for having so mercilessly mutilated my pet.

“You mean neutered, I hope,” pleaded one of the oh-so-kind assistants, reminding me that the term “spay” is most often used in connection with the female of the species. She spoke with a curious narrowing of her left eye as if to assess whether I might have brought the animal in for a sex change.

“Oh, yes, I’m sorry,” I cheerfully agreed. Wishing to clarify the matter, I simply added that Coco had been brought in to get his balls chopped off, and that was the long and the short of it.

As you can imagine, this remark was received with some disapproval.
Then, I got an idea. I giggled to myself. I forced myself serious, and looked around to see if any- one was in earshot of my thoughts. Finding no one – and somewhat disappointed – I leaned forward.

“May I ask you something?” I inquired of the wholly efficient two-kids-three-cats-mom assistant in front of me.

“Of course,” she replied.

“Can I keep them?” I asked.

Everyone in the office area stopped what they were doing and looked up.
“Excuse me?” she asked.

Timing was everything, and I knew it. I floated a pregnant pause and replied.

“Can I keep them?” I repeated.

“You want to keep them?” she asked.

“Yes…well, actually, it’s my wife who wants them.”

“Your wife?”

Everyone was at full attention now, and I had achieved what I had set out to; namely, to make a complete spectacle of myself.

“Yes,” I replied. “She wants to keep them in a jar on the mantle.”

“In a jar?” she asked with some astonishment.

“Yes,” I repeated.

“On the mantle?” she asked.

“Yes….” I replied, and quite eagerly, now. I was ready for my close-up, baby; ready to deliver the punch line.

“She wants to display them right next to mine,” I added happily.

Well, I thought it was funny. Most of my audience laughed, getting the gag.

But, in relief, I am sure.

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More Snapshots? From My Uneventful Life
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More Snapshots is the cheeky sibling of its predecessor Snapshots From My
Uneventful Life. Chatty, hilarious and often poignant, David I.
Aboulafia takes us on a journey through every day, real-life events
that start out as uneventful, but that wind up being anything but…

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Continue reading

Blog Tour & Giveaway: Hunter Moon by Bella James

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Hunger Moon
by Bella James
Genre: YA Psychological Thriller
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I am made of a thousand ghosts, and only you can shoot me down.”
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The sequel to Bella James’ The Girl Who Cried Wolf, invites you to
return to the story of Anna Winters, a young woman facing a
portentous struggle through depression, disordered eating and
dependency.
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Terrified of emanating her violent father, Anna turns her back on all that has
become most precious to her. She journeys the deep labyrinth of her
soul, relentlessly shadowed by a black wolf. He is her deepest fears,
the darkness within her, and the only one who can set her free.
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Anna returns to her past and makes sense of the nightmare she created, to
recognise of darkness and light, there is beauty in both. As she
refuses to relinquish her power to addiction, a frightened girl
begins to create new pathways, from being a lost and defenceless
teenager to discovering the strength that lies within womanhood.
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A young heart can be broken, a fractured soul can be mended… But can
you ever be ready for the fight of your life?
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Twenty-one years ago, I almost came into this world.

Before my life had begun, a cruel act of hatred stole me from the warmth of my mother’s womb, into the realm in which I now reside.

She would have called me Adora, and I was supposed to be her gift.

An elder sister to Anna and little Isabel.

My existence was to be miscarried.

A violent blow from a violent father. The very one who created my life inside my mother. Remember Me roses in a pretty garden mark the life that was taken from me.

I could not reach them, especially Anna with her fearful heart and destructive ways. But she is I, and I am she. I was meant to protect her from our father, until the chance to guard her was ruthlessly snatched.

So, I adopted the form of a powerful white wolf, and I watched her from afar. I waited for her to come to me so I could guide her through the pain and fear.

Sadly, my beautiful light creates an inevitable dark shadow, the black wolf that resides within each of us. His shadow is my anger at being taken with violence from their world, from the family I was supposed to be part of.

And he follows me everywhere.

Until I learn to make peace with the dark wolf, he will persistently pursue, and as Anna’s guardian in the afterlife, my constant nemesis will determinedly shadow her also.

Anna thinks it is I who chases her through her blackest dreams, but the truth is, it is she who chases me.

She searches for her spirit-sister. The one who was supposed to save her.

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The Girl Who Cried Wolf
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A growing up story with a difference, and a startling debut, The Girl
Who Cried Wolf shows the tumultuous transition from teenager to young
woman and is a story about believing in something, whether love,
faith or simply yourself.
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Anna Winters is beautiful, reckless and entirely self-absorbed. She spends
more time thinking up reasons to call in sick to school than she does
studying for her A levels. She shies away from her family, from
responsibility – from anything in fact that doesn’t involve peach
cider and endless parties with her friend Jules.
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Anna assumes that her headaches are an inconvenient symptom of her wild
lifestyle, until a doctor tells her that she has cancer…
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As a terrifying black cloud descends upon her, Anna finds solace in
Michael, another patient in the oncology ward. Michael shows Anna a
chink of light in the darkness and sees beauty behind her illness and
loves her sassy wit. He makes Anna forget she is ill.
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Michael recovers; but Anna’s prospects worsen. And in emergency surgery, as
she hovers between life and death, she is given a stark glimpse of
why her life is so broken, and as she realises the simple fulfillment
of being truly content, fears it may now be too late…
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Bella James is the author of The Girl Who Cried Wolf, and the sequel Hunger
Moon.
She writes gritty and intense YA novels that pull no punches in the
trials of transitioning from child to adulthood.
Bella worked for many years with young people who were facing exclusion
from mainstream schools, and is a passionate crusader in dispelling
the challenges we face all our lives -trying to fit into a world that
doesn’t always accept us for who we want to be.
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Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
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We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.