Saturday, July 22, 2017

Friday, July 21, 2017

Bewitching Book Tours Free Book Friday – July 21- Grab Your Free eBooks Today

Mouth Watering
St Leasing
Book One
LP Maxa

Genre: Romance

Book Description:

Corey Cooper, the new guidance counselor at all boys prep school, St. Leasing, discovers nothing is what it seems, especially the mouthwatering coach, Dominic Hardy.


Looking to change her life, Corey Cooper moves across the country to a remote town in Colorado to become the new guidance counselor at St. Leasing, a prestigious all boys prep school. But soon she learns her attraction to the gorgeous head coach, Dominic Hardy, is more than the usual chemistry, and that her students are more than the typical randy teenage boys.


Dominic Hardy loves his life at St. Leasing. As head coach, he's fulfilled by his career, and in the small Colorado town outside the school's gates he has all the entertainment a man could desire. No complications, no attachments, life was good. Then Corey Cooper comes to St. Leasing and Dominic's instincts kick in - she is his, and that's for life. Throw in a troubled teen, a tyrannical parent, and a mysterious disappearance, and all of a sudden everything at St. Leasing has become a matter of life or death for his kind.

Get Your Free Copy Today

Boroughs Publishing     Amazon     iTunes     BN     Kobo     Smashwords

Evelyn's Journal
Darkness and Light Series
Book One 
MJ Gardner

It's cold and dark and Evelyn is in the morgue. In a drawer. She doesn't know how she got there, and Tammi, the morgue attendant who hustles her out into the night, doesn’t have time to answer questions.

Evelyn has been robbed of the gift of immortality her absent lover promised her, and plunged instead, alone, into the night-time world of the vampire. In her search for love and belonging Evelyn must contend with a series of lovers who have their own ideas about what being a vampire means, and who she should be.

Get it Free at Smashwords

Free Book Friday

Mouth Watering
St Leasing
Book One
LP Maxa

Genre: Romance

Book Description:

Corey Cooper, the new guidance counselor at all boys prep school, St. Leasing, discovers nothing is what it seems, especially the mouthwatering coach, Dominic Hardy.


Looking to change her life, Corey Cooper moves across the country to a remote town in Colorado to become the new guidance counselor at St. Leasing, a prestigious all boys prep school. But soon she learns her attraction to the gorgeous head coach, Dominic Hardy, is more than the usual chemistry, and that her students are more than the typical randy teenage boys.


Dominic Hardy loves his life at St. Leasing. As head coach, he's fulfilled by his career, and in the small Colorado town outside the school's gates he has all the entertainment a man could desire. No complications, no attachments, life was good. Then Corey Cooper comes to St. Leasing and Dominic's instincts kick in - she is his, and that's for life. Throw in a troubled teen, a tyrannical parent, and a mysterious disappearance, and all of a sudden everything at St. Leasing has become a matter of life or death for his kind.

About the Author:

L.P. Maxa lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, daughter, 3 rescue dogs, 1 cat - the fish died - and one bunny who doesn't seem to like them. She loves reading romance novels as much as she love writing them. She says, inspiration can come from anywhere: a song lyric, a quote, a weekend with friends. The tiniest things can spark amazing stories. She loves to hear from readers.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bewitching Book Tours Haunted Halloween Spooktacular

Bewitching Book Tours is offering a fun Halloween Themed Book Tour option open to all authors who have a book featuring supernatural characters, terrifying tales, haunted homes, wicked or wonderful witches, vampires, werewolves, demons and more. 

If your book features Halloween, has paranormal elements, spooky settings, or is a terrifying tale of horror join us for Bewitching Book Tours’ Haunted Halloween Spooktacular September 18- October 31.

This special tour package offers authors individual tours combined with the cross promotion of an overall Halloween event, a group Rafflecopter, and a group facebook party.

Each participating author will receive:

* 1 1/2 month Halloween Theme Virtual Book Tour (retail value $235) 
* Custom tour banners
* Professional media kit
* Option to offer review copies

There will be one group Rafflecopter for the event- this will offer a giveaway sponsored by Night Owl Reviews in addition to one item each author wishes to giveaway (optional). Each author can have 3 entry options on the rafflecopter- newsletter sign up, Twitter, and Facebook.

In October there will be a multi-author Facebook party for all Spooktacular Authors. (Retail value $10 per author)

To participate you’ll need to provide details for one book you wish to promote including a high resolution jpeg of your cover and an excerpt. 

You’ll also need to provide a Halloween theme guest blog( which can be recipes, music playlists, costume ideas or DIY tutorial, etc- anything Halloween related), short Halloween flash fiction story, or a Halloween poem. (you may submit 2 of these items)

For the Facebook Party you’ll need quizzes, games and a few small prizes for your author party block (ebooks, $5 gift cards, etc).

The early bird fee for this promotion is $100 per author for one book. If you wish to promote additional books each additional book is $50.

Price goes up to $150 per author August 1.

This event has a limited number of spaces available. Payment is required at time of sign up to reserve your space.

Sign Up Here:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Release Day Blitz Withhold by Andrea Pearson

Mosaic Chronicles
Book Nine
Andrea Pearson

Genre: Fantasy

Publisher: Andrea Pearson

Date of Publication: July 18, 2017


Word Count: 50,000

Cover Artist: Andrea Pearson

Book Description:

With the lives of everyone she holds dear at stake, will Nicole be able to do what it takes to stop the evil surrounding her?

In the ultimate battle between good and evil, Nicole is in a race to stop Keitus before he achieves his plans. If he succeeds, he will crush everyone who has opposed him and enslave Earth and countless other planets. Unfortunately, he is only minutes away from his goal.

With so much at stake, Nicole and her friends must approach Helen, a volatile and dangerous spirit who will probably destroy them regardless of whether she gives them what they want. And the chances of her helping them are slim.

Fast-paced and epic magical fights, exciting plot twists, and non-stop action and adventure await. So sit down, buckle up, and hold on for the explosive, much-anticipated conclusion to the award-winning and bestselling Mosaic Chronicles.

Tagline: With the lives of everyone she holds dear at stake, will Nicole be able to do what it takes to stop the evil surrounding her?

Amazon      Nook       iBooks      Kobo      Goodreads

About the Author:

Andrea Pearson is an avid reader and outdoor enthusiast who plays several instruments, not including the banjo. She is the author of many full-length novels and novellas. Writing is the chocolate of her life – it is, in fact, the only thing she ever craves. Being with her family is where she's happiest, and she loves thunderstorms, the ocean, hiking, public speaking, painting, and traveling.

Tour Giveaway/Bonus

Readers-  To receive your download bonuses, forward your proof of download (a confirmation email or a screenshot) to

Bonuses include:

Discern and Praxis (first two books in the series)

Hope(less) and (Mis)fortune by Melissa Haag
Nemesis by KJ Pike
A fantasy book by Bryan Cohen (title forthcoming)
Bachelor of science degree from Katon University (the university characters attend to learn magic)
Coloring pages
Word search
Fantasy illustration by Andrea's husband (James E. Curwen, professional illustrator)

Maps illustrated by Andrea and her husband

Monday, July 17, 2017

Guest Blog- Revenant: Blood Justice by Leslie J Linder

There are a lot of vampire stories out there, and it’s become quite a trick to come up with a fresh take on the trope. Nowadays we have vamps who sparkle, vamps who are space aliens, vamps with bars and rock bands—where can the aspiring author turn? When faced with this quandary, I decided to turn back the clock. One of the most ancient vampire stories is that of the Egyptian goddess, Sekhmet.

The story is one of the oldest vampire tales in the world. As it begins, humanity is really irritating the Egyptian father god, Ra. Our kind have forgotten who’s in charge. Not only are humans disrespecting Ra, but they are threatening to wreck Egypt. He decides to send his particularly badass daughter, Sekhmet, to cull the humans of their worst element. 

As mentioned, Sekhmet is no joke. She often takes the form of a large, supernatural lioness. She is a deity of battle. The scorching winds of the Egyptian desert are thought of as her breath. She is a matriarchal retribution deity, like the Furies of Greek lore. And once she gets started killing humans, she has trouble stopping. Apparently, no one can eat just one.

Before Ra knows it, he’s almost fresh out of humans. He must do some fast thinking or it’s back to the drawing board on the whole homo sapiens thing. Being a party guy at heart, Ra spikes some beer with red ochre and tricks Sekhmet into drinking herself into oblivion. Once she wakes up (and gets over her hangover), she’s off her blood binge.

Close call, right? The problem is that humans never learn. Pretty soon, more retribution is needed. But Sekhmet has learned her lesson. When justice is called for again, she decides to delegate. As an underworld deity with powers over the undead, she decides to send these spectral beings (sometimes called daemons in the Greco-Roman interpretations of the story) to do the job. 

From then on, the ancient Egyptians were careful to tow Sekhmet’s line. You can tell how nervous they were about getting on her bad side by the number of statues and temples that were built in her honor. The city of Itjtawy, one of hers, had thousands of these types of tributes. Just one funerary temple in that town had over 700 statues of her. That’s some serious appeasement, right there.

As the Queen of the Undead, Sekhmet has long been associated with vampires. Her rapacity in the pursuit of human blood is a factor as well. In “Revenant: Blood Justice,” I put two and two together. My vampires are justice daemons created by Sekhmet, and charged with keeping human evil in check. Who better to carry on the goddess’ work than undead, bloodthirsty revenants who were created from amidst the very species they have been sent to judge? 

“Revenant: Blood Justice” follows one such vampire, named Enid. She’s a particularly old-fashioned girl who patrols modern day New York, eating bad guys like it’s going out of style. Unfortunately, it kind of is. Many vamps have blown off the old justice gig. It’s been centuries since Sekhmet has appeared on the earth. Even her other daemons, like the old ones who supervise the revenants, don’t seem to get around much anymore. 

Most of the vamps Enid knows pick their prey based on preferences that have nothing to do with justice. Some, like Enid’s sister, think hunting is maladaptive and get their blood from the red cross. Enid is starting to feel like there’s nothing for an undead justice daemon to live for (so to speak). Just about then, things start to get a little tastier.

The Big Apple is always bustling with things that go bump in the night. But, it starts to feel like a revenant reunion when some of Enid’s old acquaintances pop up in her city. First comes her dreaded ex—dreaded because she never got over him. But, someone even more complicated is lurking around. Countess Erzsabet Bathory is back in town. She and Enid give the concept of a blood feud a whole new meaning. When the two of them get into it, the rules vampires are bound to get bent to the point of breaking. Will Sekhmet take sides? Check out “Revenant: Blood Justice” to get all the gory details.

Revenant: Blood Justice
Leslie J Linder

Genre: Horror

Publisher: Black Rose Writing

Date of Publication: May 26, 2017

ISBN:  1612968759

Number of pages:  283
Word Count: about 93,000

Cover Artist: Layton Washburn

Tagline:  Justice is always on the menu.

Book Description:

You have probably heard a lot about vampires. The bloodthirsty prowling, the rapacious sex—the bats, mist, and mind control. Enid has heard it all too. And since she is an actual vampire, she could tell you which rumors are true. But the first thing that Enid would want you to know is that you humans really have it all wrong. To her, being a Chosen One is all about the distribution of justice. And right now, trouble is brewing.

Any vamp who has been undead for longer than a heartbeat can tell you, when Countess Erzsabet Bathory is in town, things are going to get messy. Enid knows what she would do to a human predator, but has never fought another vampire before.

It is against the old laws. But when the blood starts to boil and their feud breaks wide open, there may literally be hell to pay.

Amazon      BN     Black Rose Writing      



It was a dark and stormy night. That’s how these things are supposed to start, right? Well, you can forget that shit. This isn’t your average monster story.
Humans use monsters to help them understand what is monstrous within them. For instance, they clutch crosses and run home at sunset, in fear of vampires. They say vamps are former humans who traded their souls for the immortal power to become rapists, killers and child-stealers. But the real rapists, killers and child-stealers are usually waiting for them around their kitchen tables.     
They tell themselves disturbing tales about normal, innocent humans who are bitten by infected animals and cursed to become nocturnal, amnesiac killers. Then in real life whatever or whoever they do when they get black-out drunk seems vanilla by comparison.
Sometimes bad things happen to good people, is how it goes. Sometimes those good people turn into something even worse than anything lurking in the shadows. This can’t be helped. Evil is something that happens to humans, not something that humans do. Talk about a fairy tale.
The roster of monsters, as humans understand them, goes on and on. It scintillates as well as terrifies. It’s a cabinet of curiosities in which to keep those predatory desires. Human vices become something outside the human realm, as well as outside the individual ability to control. Convenient, right?
This is how humans see monsters. But how do monsters see humans? How do monsters see themselves?
These are foolish questions, you may say. Monsters aren’t real. They are a human invention; an entertainment, a release. You wish.
Listen, how humans understand things is not necessarily the truth. The planet Earth isn’t a rec-room. Trees aren’t fences. Pigs aren’t bacon. Rats aren’t a Petri dish meant for studying infections, or testing shampoo. Similarly, monsters are not archetypes for humans to use as sexual and predatory catharsis.
Pay attention to this bit—especially if you are human. What I’m telling you is that monsters are real.
You knew it when you were a child. You still know it when the lights go off, the moon waxes full, or someone you fear moves into the house next door.
Like a deer that catches the scent of a lion, you know it in your bones. Your technology, your bombs, your medicine don’t matter. You still aren’t the top of the food chain. There is no top, because life and death are a circle. Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.
I know this shit may scare you. That’s a good thing. That fear is the birthplace of stories, and you need stories. They were meant to protect you. Even if most stories are wrong.
But hey, even a broken clock is right twice a day. Your stories have their place.
The boogie man teaches children to obey their parents. The werewolf teaches parents to keep those children close and protected. The vampire teaches men and women to keep on the paths of righteousness, and to always safeguard their souls.
Knowledge is power. This is how a species endures. Understanding the beasts of the world can be the key to survival.
But there’s an important detail to remember. Stories tend to be diluted over time. True monsters may be missed while you focus on mere prejudice. What was once encoded with arcane information may now be nothing but soft porn. Especially if you’ve seen it on cable.
Pay attention to this part. It’s important. It’s the moral of the story you are about to read.
Understanding the true nature of vampires can mean the difference between life and death. Knowledge is power, because no one is off the menu.

About the Author:

Leslie Joan Linder, M.Div. lives and works in Downeast Maine. Her nonfiction work has appeared in Circle Sanctuary Magazine, SageWoman Magazine, and the Project Intersect Journal. Her poetry has appeared in publications like Wicked Banshee, Forage Poetry, and Rat’s Ass Review.

Leslie is a member of the Horror Writer’s Association, Horror Writers of Maine, and New England Horror Writers. Recent horror publications include the short story, “Catharine Hill,” in the “Northern Frights” anthology at Grinning Skull Press. Leslie’s debut horror novel, “Revenant: Blood Justice,” is available from Black Rose Writing.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dead and Delicious by Tara West

Dead and Delicious
Tara West

Genre: PNR

Release Date: July 17, 2017

Book Description:

Two zombies and one skeleton on a road trip to Vegas to kill a witch, stop an apocalypse, and rescue their friends from the belly of a shadow dragon.

Nothing weird about that.

Five things I learned while being a fallen angel zombie:

1. Duct tape works better than embalming.

2. Alopecia is not my favorite hairstyle.

3. Fried demons smell like bacon.

4. This brain breath is affecting my love                  life.

5.  Nothing ruins a honeymoon like an apocalypse.

Amazon US      Amazon UK      iBooks      Kobo      Nook


“Omigod, Ash?”
            I turned at the sound of a familiar nasally whine. Dear Lord in heaven, it couldn’t be. But it was. Travis Jones, aka my jerk ex-boyfriend, who’d left me for our chain-smoking cougar law professor.
            I flashed a forced smile. “Oh, hey, Travis. Long time no see.”
            “It talks.” His skanky sugar mama, displaying the latest desperately-clinging-to-youth fashion, camel-toe skinny jeans, a frilly little girl top, and suede stiletto boots, gaped at me as if I was the one with a crotch gap the size of the Grand Canyon. 
            “Of course I talk.” I jutted a stiff fist on my hip. “I’m undead, not brain dead.” I took a step forward, scowling at the basket Travis clutched in his bony fingers. “The world is ending, and you take alcohol, condoms, and cigarettes?”
            Travis grabbed a champagne bottle out of his basket, aiming it at me like he was wielding a baseball bat. “Don’t come any closer.”
            “Thanks.” I lunged forward, snatching the bottle out of his hands. No surprise, he didn’t put up a fight. I’d forgotten how puny his arms were. I was so used to Aedan’s meaty biceps that Travis’s toothpicks, sticking out of his T-shirt, made him look like an elementary schoolboy compared to my husband. I waved the bottle in Travis’s face, laughing under my breath as his eyes followed the movement like Pavlov’s dog. “It’s our wedding day, and we haven’t celebrated yet.”
            Travis stepped back, quaking like he was mid-seizure. “Y-you’re married?”
            “Yes.” I nodded at Aedan, who placed a hand on my shoulder. “This is my husband, Aedan O’Connor. He’s a grim reaper.” I smiled up at my handsome groom. “Aedan, this is Travis, my ex-boyfriend.”
            Aedan didn’t utter a word. He didn’t have to. The look he shot Travis said it all.
            “Um, hi,” Travis squeaked. 
            Aedan nodded at the skank, who needed to touch up her gray roots and remove the fake mole that looked like a tick was eating her face. “Travis, you and your mother need to find shelter. It’s going to get ugly.”
            Mrs. Cougar Club actually had the nerve to gasp. “I’m not his mother!” She stomped a heel on the polished concrete, the sound ricocheting to the rafters. 
            My attention was drawn to the nasty creature with what appeared to be a dislocated jaw. That didn’t seem to deter his mission as he hobbled toward Travis, blood and drool hanging down his chin. The poor guy’s arm had fallen out of the socket, and he didn’t have any duct tape. I almost felt sorry for him.
            “There’s a zombie behind you,” I said casually, as if I was warning Travis the zipper shielding his three-inch pecker was down. 
            Travis spun around, screamed like a little girl, and jumped behind his girlfriend.
            “Oh, Travis. What did I ever see in you?” I heaved an overly-dramatic sigh and set the champagne bottle on a display. I wasn’t in the mood for alcohol, anyway, unless it was spiked with blood and brains.
            “Step aside,” Aedan grumbled, pushing Travis before slicing off the zombie’s head.
            I laughed when the head rolled in front of Travis and his girlfriend. Mrs. Cougar didn’t think it was too funny, though. Her eyes rolled to the back of her head, and she slumped to the floor. Travis didn’t even try to catch her.  
            I tossed Travis a scowl before thumbing at Aedan. “That is how real men kill zombies. Grow a set.”
            I was a little too stiff to turn on my heel and sashay away, so I did the next best thing. I let out a rancid burp, blowing rotten squirrel and bloody beef breath at Travis, smiling when his pale face turned a diaper-doo green. Then I turned, looped an arm through Aedan’s, and walked away. Damn, that had felt good.        
            Aedan stopped me as we came to the broken glass doors. “Hang on. You have another maggot.”
            He wiped my eye. No wonder it had been itching me. I figured it was seasonal allergies, but no, just another worm. “Thanks, honey.” I beamed up at my big, strong hero. “I feel bad making you pick off all my maggots.”
            “For better or for worse,” he said with a wink, looking sexier than should be legal as he leaned against his scythe, scanning the outside. “Remember?”
            “Of course I remember.” I stood on stiff toes and kissed his cheek. “And you’ve already proven that ten times over.”
            He reached for my hand. “I’ll keep proving it for the rest of eternity.”

            Awww. Nobody made my zombie heart flutter like my husband.

About the Author:

Tara West writes books about dragons, witches, and handsome heroes while eating chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. She's willing to share her dragons, witches and heroes. Keep your hands off her chocolate.

Tara West's young adult and new adult romances have been Kindle bestsellers. A former high school English teacher, Tara is now a full-time writer and graphic artist. She enjoys spending time with her family, interacting with her fans, and fishing the Texas coast.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Guest Blog- Why We Love (and Love to Write) Paranormal Romance by Ronelle Antoinette

Why We Love (and Love to Write) Paranormal Romance

Hi guys, I’m Ronelle Antoinette, author of the fantasy-romance series, Elemental Trials. As a reader, and more recently, writer, I’ve worshiped at the altar of paranormal romance for most of my life—or at least since my mom started letting me choose my own books—so that’s what I wanted to talk about today.

Vampires (those that sparkle and those that don’t), werewolves/shifters, angels, demons, spirits, magic… I’ll be the first to admit that there’s something darkly sexy about the paranormal. (Why do you think I wrote “Errant Spark” and “Flash Point”?) Mash it up with a steamy romance and you’ve got yourself a winner by the standards of many a reader. People have been fascinated for centuries and the idea of a passionate fling with an otherworldly being isn’t new, either. The Fae, in one guise or another, have been seducing mortals in stories for ages now. But what exactly is it about these situations and creatures that appeal to readers and authors alike?

Feel Free to Suspend Your Disbelief

Since there’s a high level of either fantasy or sci-fi in paranormal romance, as a reader it’s easier not to nitpick the details. You are, after all, in someone else’s world, playing by their rules, tagging along with their characters. So what if the hero is a bloodsucking, shapeshifting, undead Roman soldier? He’s a hottie with aphrodisiac venom! It’s not like there’s any ‘real world’ parallel with which to compare and/or pick apart for discrepancies. We’re able to stay immersed in the story without our inner cynic wondering just how in Hades that wouldn’t have long-lasting consequences. This is something other romantic subgenres just can’t get away with.

As an author, that willingness to ‘go with it’ is freeing. It gives us room to explore our own realm without biting our nails to the quick over whether anyone actually wore a corset as a stand-alone article of clothing. We get to create, to play, to really let our imaginations go crazy with the comfortable-ish knowledge that no one cares that nothing resembling a zeppelin existed pre-1800. If we want our heroine to fight the forces of evil with a werewolf army and her Fae lover, then they will. If we think this guy should be a dragon-shifter who loves the violin, then he is. The result of this kind of indulgence is often beautiful worlds, complex plots, strong relationships, and deep characters. It’s just plain magical—pun intended.

Enter the Physics Free Zone

This one’s a biggie. Seriously, have you ever had your skin punctured by something? I don’t care how small the needle is or how pointy your baby brother’s teeth were, it flippin hurts! Can you imagine how much worse it would be to have a grown human’s jaw close tightly enough on your neck for their teeth to draw a flow of blood? Oh, and vampires are dead. Have you ever smelled a dead body? Also, necrophilia. And don’t get me started on the excruciating pain and probably permanent disfigurement caused by repeatedly having your body change size and shape. *shudder*

But if we cared about any of that, no one, aside from some extreme fetishists, would read (let alone be turned on by) paranormal romance. Most of us, in fact, would scream like twelve-year-old girls and run the other way. Instead, we find the idea of being bitten by a vampire, shacking up with a werewolf, or going to bed with a member of a fairy court quite appealing. Why? Because of the spin. Authors don’t focus on real world physics in this genre, but rather the eroticism of touch, power, mystery, and a touch of awe and fear. Also, giving the creatures of the night superhuman powers in the sack doesn’t hurt, either.

Why Not?

This was the question that got my Elemental Trials series started. Anything can happen in paranormal fiction (like the realm of Oblivion). Everyone has their own space and those spaces coexist to such an extent that what happens in one has no bearing on another, and the whole place doesn’t implode from sheer diversity. In fiction, fairies are real and unaffected by our belief or lack thereof. Magic works, all gods and none exist, human bodies can shift to another form, things other than the Galapagos Tortoise can live for hundreds of years…you get the point. Here, we can have complete and utter freedom, even from our own inner skeptic.

As humans in the real, everyday world, we know the need for love, for passion, for excitement. Whether those needs are met by a flesh-and-blood person has no bearing on our attraction to romantic fiction, though, because we have and always will live in our heads to some extent. Romance, and especially paranormal romance, is a safe place where we can explore what peels our bananas (or doesn’t) without the involvement of others—or their judgements. It’s also just as much an escape from reality. That escape allows us to go anywhere regardless of it having existed for realsies, be anyone without the need for pesky things like food or sunlight, and love whomever and however we choose without care for race, gender, allegiance, or furriness

I don’t think there’s been much, if any, specific scientific research done on this topic, because, well, AIDS and cancer and vacuuming robots, but what are the things you love

Flash Point
Elemental Trials
Book Two
Ronelle Antoinette

Genre: fantasy romance

Publisher: Ronelle Antoinette

Date of Publication: 7/7/17

ISBN: 1537201891

Number of pages: 320
Word Count: approx. 92,000

Cover Artist: Mar Fandos

Tagline: The choices of a few will ignite a realm

Book Description:

Scandal will shake foundations.

A night of careless passion leaves Battlemage Jex Xander and Adept Enari Alycon in a precarious position. Long-time lovers they might be, but the Imperial ambassador and the daughter of Egalion’s High Mage have rather public roles in the court—whether they wish it or not—and scandal couldn’t come at a worse time.

Treachery will tip balances.

When a hostile kingdom reluctantly agrees to parley, the fate of two-thousand years of peace is on the line. In the midst of negotiations, Enari becomes the target of one of the Greater Maelstrom. She and Jex must race against time to save her life and that of her unborn child. What happens when an earth-shattering secret, a demon bent on destruction, and a kingdom teetering on the brink of war collide is anyone’s guess.

Choices will have consequences.
The decisions of a few will determine the fate of many, and who or what will remain standing in the end is still uncertain. Hearts and lives are on the cusp of irrevocable change…and not necessarily for the better.

And secrets? Those will change everything.


Enari Alycon and Jex Xander were the last two mages to enter the shadowed chamber.
She hesitated on the threshold, instinct making her clutch his hand as her eyes struggled to pierce the darkness. The single tapers that stood to either side of the altar were small and insufficient to dispel the thick gloom. Dizziness and nausea overcame her as the strong incense permeated her lungs. The room felt oppressive, claustrophobic, and her mind screamed at her to retreat.
Jex’s hand closed around her wrist in warning.
“Remember,” he whispered, “once we step inside, you’ll need to remain absolutely silent until the ceremony is complete. No matter what happens, do not make a sound, understand?”
His breath was warm and the soft kiss he pressed to her temple made her shiver. She nodded and hesitantly followed her Chosen inside.
He closed the door behind them. The soft boom reminded her of the latch on the door to the Hall of the Dead; solid and inexorable.
Jex led her up the aisle at a slow and measured pace, their steps muffled more than they should have been in the stone chamber. The shadows seemed to whisper words too soft to discern, a dark susurration against her senses. The sensation was like cobwebs and moth wings and the touch of a burial shroud all mixed together.
After passing the last row of benches and their silent occupants, Enari discovered that what she had originally taken for a shadow cast by the altar was instead a large, smooth-edged opening in the floor. Her Chosen’s hands guiding her with confidence as he directed her to kneel, adjusted the fall of her skirt, and placed her hands in her lap. He cupped the back of her head and tilted it forward until all she could see were the stones beneath her knees and that yawning pit. The touch withdrew and she heard the rustle of his robes as he took his place behind her.
It was only at this angle she saw the faint reflection of candlelight in dark water. A pool then, and not an empty well as she first assumed.
The realization was not as comforting as it should have been.
“Enari Alycon, daughter of Eryk Alycon and Tanith Hithaerien, today is the day of your Ascension. You have entered this chamber in a state of flux, tempered from apprenticeship but not yet forged as an adept. You are Initiate, the in-between.” The deep, strong voice of her father issued from within the dark cowl of the figure in front of her. “As those who came before were tried, so you shall be. Who among you will stand witness?”
Enari was confused. What trial? Hadn’t she passed all the tests the week before? She’d thought the Rite of Ascension a mere formality, if a secret one, but now it sounded that assumption had been incorrect.
“We will,” came the unified and ringing response from those seated behind her.
Enari shivered again, cognizant of the power behind the declaration. The touch of their voices was the only warmth in this brooding place and she was grateful for it.
“And who among you will hold the door for her?”
“I will,” Jex confirmed, his voice strong and certain.
“Then let it be.”
Her father turned to the altar and picked up the metal fragment. Motioning for Jex to step forward, he pressed the weapon into his hand.
Enari watched from beneath her lashes without raising her head, seeing the glimmer of candle-flame slide along the razor’s edge.
Her Chosen went to his knees in front of her. He raised the shard, letting her examine it for a heartbeat or two, then used the blade to cut her palm and his own. Enari winced at the line of pain that blazed across her skin, biting back a hiss just in time to keep from breaking the mandate of silence. Jex pressed their weeping palms together and laced his fingers through hers.
She could almost taste her own dread now, bitter as a mouthful of lemon rind.
“Blood to blood and gift to gift,” Jex intoned, “I lend you my strength for the test ahead. I will hold the door so you may pass and may it be with joy that I close it after your return.” There was a hint of fear in his emerald eyes as he spoke the final words.
 “Initiate, it is time for you to face The Pool and The Dweller below,” her father announced.
Sweat broke out across her forehead and the back of her neck as her eyes settled on The Pool.
Jex rose to his feet, fingers still twined with hers, and she balked, not wanting to go any nearer to that still and menacing water. He reached behind her and seized her belt, forcing her up and forward. His hand remained at the small of her back to hold her in place once they stood at the very lip of The Pool.
Her stomach knotted and a slithering nausea twisted its greasy fingers around her throat. She swallowed hard and tasted bile.
Jex put his mouth against her ear and began to speak.
“We have to lower you into the water. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and don’t be afraid. It’ll be over before you know it.”
She turned to him, shaking her head. More than anything, she did not want to let that black water touch her. Blue eyes met green and she pled the only way she could.
His expression went flat and his voice hardened. “You asked me to serve as your Chosen. Let me do my duty.”
“Be silent!” the High Mage barked.
Jex gave him a dirty look, but nodded once and the two men took hold of her, each putting a hand under one of her arms and grasping her hands in theirs. With agonizing slowness, they began to lower her.
The first shock of bitter cold stole her breath.
As the velvet of her robe became wet, it dragged on her and clung to her legs. She kicked, trying to free her feet but the heavy fabric stuck fast.
Before she was half-submerged, she started to tremble. The water felt just short of freezing solid and had a slimy quality that disgusted her.
Soon, only her head remained clear and Jex was crouching at her side, still gripping her bloody hand. His other settled on her hair.
“Deep breath, now,” he directed.

And before she could even think to scream, he jerked his hand free of hers and thrust her head beneath the surface.

About the Author:

Ronelle Antoinette lives in western Colorado with her husband, two cats, and one dog-who-believes-he's-a-person. While she is a mother to none, she’s an auntie to what should qualify as a small army. She is an admitted caffeine addict, chocoholic, and hopeless romantic who has carried on a passionate affair with the genre of fantasy since she was old enough to read 'chapter books'. She dabbled in creative writing for many years and even considered it as a major in college. (She ended up getting a Bachelor's degree in Counseling Psychology.) She published her first novel, Errant Spark, in July of 2016.

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