Monday, November 11, 2013

Book Blast: Tied by Laney McMann - $50 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!


Tied coverTied
by Laney McMann


Normal people don't believe their nightmares stalk them. They don’t fall in love with boys who don’t exist, either. Seventeen-year-old Layla Labelle, though, is far from normal. Her delusions walk the earth. Her hallucinations hunt her, and her skin heats to a burn every time her anger flares. Or is that all in her head? Layla doesn't know what to believe any more because if none of that’s true, Max MacLarnon must be an illusion, and her heart must still be broken. No matter how much she wants to believe Max is real, doing so would mean everything else is, too. How, then, is that possible? The answers lie in an age-old legend the supernatural aren’t prepared to reveal, and with a curse that could tear Layla and Max apart forever—if it doesn’t kill them both first. In TIED, book one in the Fire Born trilogy, learning the truth will mean fighting an arsenal of demons, and being with Max will put Layla on a path toward her own destruction. Just how far will Layla go to protect the one she loves? The answer may never be far enough ... away.

  

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Excerpt:

My window opened easily. The same way it had so many times before. Climbing out on the ledge, I found the ground empty and dropped from the second floor—a jump I'd made a hundred times. In another life. My feet sunk into the sand, and I followed the well-worn pathway through the dunes.

Even the strong evening winds hadn’t misshaped the deep gully. The ocean's breeze lashed at my hair as the moonlight glinted off the water’s surface. Seagulls flew up from their nesting grounds. They should have recognized me, since I’d been wandering at night for so long. Wrapping my arms around my knees to block the slight chill, I settled in the sand, and the birds quieted in a tight huddle, the wind blowing their feathers in awkward angles. My gaze fell on a figure standing beyond the dunes edge, a shadow hidden within the darkness. My pulse quickened, but I didn't move. Another trick—an illusion. Weary of the games my mind continued to play, I bit back tears and the catch in my throat. I should have been immune to them—the hallucinations—the way they haunted me and followed me, but I wasn’t. Forcing myself to blink, I turned my head away. The visions had grown worse as I’d become older. I’d tried to convince myself they were nightmares—or weird dreams.

Hoped for years they were, but only people who sleep dream. Unable, or unwilling to stop myself, I glanced back over my shoulder, thoughts flooding my brain. Memories I knew couldn’t be memories but I cherished all the same. For years I’d tried to shake them away. To make myself forget. I couldn’t.#**#**# A stone raps against my bedroom window. I creep over and peer through the blinds.

"You’re late." I lean out over the sill, grinning at the boy staring up at me.

"Come on, let’s go before she comes," he says. I climb onto the window ledge.

"Be nice. She’s my friend."

"Okay. Jump." He waves at me to go faster.

"Move, and I will." He takes one casual step to the side.The jump isn’t too high; I make it all the time. He grabs my hand when I land beside him in the soft sand.

"Ready?" I nod. "One, two …"

"I’m going to tell!" Benny runs across my yard toward me, her blonde pigtails flapping in the wind.

"You’re not allowed to talk to that boy, Layla! Your mom said!" Max tightens his grip on my hand.

"Shut up, Benny! I'm old enough."

"You’re only nine. Don't go! "

"Three!" Max and I leave the ground.

“You're going to get in so much trouble.” Benny’s yell rings in the distance. Our feet touch down in the wet grass of the Otherworld, icy sea air whipping at my face.

"Hopefully, she won’t follow us again." Max lets go of my hand.

"She won’t. I told her not to." I lead the way down the cliff face to the ocean. "She never listens to you."

Book Trailer

   



Praise for Tied:


“The author has taken a unique concept and created a brilliantly written story. One of my new favorite fantasy books.” — The Reading Diaries

“I was so engrossed in this story that real life went on without me being aware of it.” — Crazy Four Books

“In the midst of games between parallel worlds, past and present, interrupted by visions and ancient prophecies, you are caught up in the story’s threads.” — Mythical Books

“There's so much amazing creativity that has gone into the Fire Born world; McMann combines and twist legends and the paranormal to come up with the perfect urban fantasy setting. ” — Known to Read
Laney McMann


Author Laney McMann

 With a passion for the supernatural and all things magical, Laney developed a voracious appetite for reading fantasy at a young age. A vivid imagination helped set the stage for creating her own worlds and placed her onto the writing path. By the time she reached her teens, she'd accumulated notebooks full of poems, which led to short stories and finally novels. Young adult dark fantasy, paranormal romance, and mythology are among her favorite genres. A former classical dancer and chef, she grew up in sultry Florida where she still resides with her family.







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Giveaway and Spotlight on for Pendragon Gargoyles with Author Sydney Somers


Primal Hunger



Pendragon Gargoyles Book 1

When the sun goes down, passion is unleashed.
Kennedy Beaumont loves her bartending job, even if her spirited nature sometimes gets her in trouble. Like threatening to hose down one of Pendragon’s co-owners. When it comes to Tristan, she could use a good hosing down herself—maybe it’ll help her stop casting him as the star of her wickedest dreams. Since he goes out of his way to avoid her, it ought to be easy to put him out of her head—until he reluctantly offers her a ride home.

Gargoyle shape-shifter Tristan Callaghan hasn’t had time for anything other than recovering the mystical dagger that was used to permanently lock his brother in a prison of stone. The cat inside him should have stopped craving Kennedy’s touch long ago, but now that she’s sitting next to him in his car, his very human need for her is sharper than ever.

The distraction is costly. In a split second, Kennedy finds herself thrust into a dangerous, millennia-old hunt for Excalibur. A hunt that marks her for death—and leaves Tristan with a painful choice—sacrifice his family, his quest…or the one woman meant to be his.

Buy eBook from: Samhain Publishing | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Primal Attraction
Pendragon Gargoyles Book 2

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He’ll stop at nothing to claim her…If she doesn’t kill him first.
A lethal huntress, Sorcha lives to track and eliminate rogue immortals—until her latest assignment turns out to be a sexy, gargoyle shape-shifter. From the start she’s shaken by the lust his touch awakens inside her. Not only that, but the cat is convinced she’s his mate, and for the first time, she’s unable to kill her target.

Still mourning the loss of his mate, Cale is stunned to find Sorcha alive. Yet the woman he aches to possess doesn’t recognize him and is after the only thing that will save his brother—a mystical weapon that will lead to Excalibur.

Determined to protect his family and reclaim his mate, Cale ruthlessly takes advantage of Sorcha’s one weakness—her desire for him. Desire that could unlock their past…or cause him to lose her all over again.

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Primal Pleasure
Pendragon Gargoyles Book 3





He will have his revenge…one wicked seduction at a time.
Emma is used to getting dragged into her twin sister’s magical messes, but this time her predicament is more than a minor annoyance. She’s chained to a cat shifter that her sister encased in a curse of stone. Worse, the unfortunate gargoyle’s waking up. And her sister’s not there to take the heat.

After a century suspended in stone, Cian would do anything to get his hands on the sorceress who put him there. Strangely, his dreams of revenge turn into an animal hunger to put his hands all over her—in every delightfully wicked way imaginable.

Never as talented as her sister, Emma doesn’t trust her own magic. But for now she must let Cian believe she’s the culprit in order to strike a bargain: to permanently lift the curse in exchange for his tracking skills to find her missing sister. The longer she is near him, though, the closer she comes to surrendering much more than her body to the brutal warrior.

As their attraction catches fire, Emma dreads what could happen when he learns the truth. If he will sacrifice her to break the spell…or fight for a love that goes beyond animal instinct.

Buy eBook from: Samhain Publishing | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


Primal Temptation
Pendragon Gargoyles, Book 4
Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.
Publication Date: October 22, 2013



Condemned to darkness…tempted by passion.
Enslaved by a vengeful goddess, forced to live on blood, Lucan can barely remember life as a knight of the Round Table. Yet when one woman’s touch awakens millennium-old feelings that tame the savage darkness within him, he has no choice but to deny their all-consuming passion—for her own protection.

Cat-shifter Briana Callaghan has watched all three of her brothers find their mates, but love isn’t in her future. Especially when her mate turns out to be a lethal mercenary…and the only man ever to break her heart.
When she’s chosen to compete in the Gauntlet, an immortal death match, Briana realizes the prize—the sword Excalibur—is her only hope of severing the fierce bond that has the power to destroy her.

Stunned to find themselves pitted against each other, Briana and Lucan quickly find that the only thing they’re fighting harder than their enemies is their sizzling, heartbreaking chemistry. But even if they survive the Gauntlet, claiming the woman he loves will be as impossible as letting her go.

BUY FROM: Amazon | Samhain Publishing | Kobo | Barnes and Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:




A born and raised Maritimer, Sydney Somers fell in love with writing when she finished her first story, Jenny and the Glowing Green Mittens. After attempting her first book in high school, she set writing aside to focus on school. While getting her degrees in psychology and education, Sydney tried her hand at journalism between part time jobs before finally returning to her love of writing.

Twenty-five novels and novellas later, Sydney is thrilled to spend her days slaying demons, running with shape-shifter packs and making the people in her head fall wildly in love. When she’s not writing or curled up with a good book, Sydney can be found chasing after her herd of kids, talking her way into a gourmet meal, exterminating rogue dust bunnies or joking about the pending zombie apocalypse. She loves hearing from readers and invites them to contact her anytime.

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TOUR GIVEAWAY: Sydney is giving away a $25.00 gift card to Amazon or B&N 


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Cover Reveal for Ungifted by Kelly Oram


Ungifted

,

Book 2 in the Supernaturals series

YA paranormal/fantasy

Even though her father is running for President of the United States, Grace St. Claire is as normal a girl as they come. She’s clumsy, shy, and an outcast among her peers. She even manages to nearly die in a freak accident in front of the entire school. But when Grace survives a vampire attack she quickly learns that she is anything but ordinary.


There’s something about human Grace that has all the supernaturals around her going crazy. Her best friend’s brother suddenly wants to date her. Her worst enemy has sworn to protect her even against her wishes. Someone with very powerful magic wants her dead, and the vampire that attacked her has developed an obsession with making her his eternal mate.

In order to survive—and not as Count Dracula’s undead bride—Grace dives head first into the terrifying world of the supernatural. She teams up with a charming but mysterious warlock who strolled into town causing trouble and spouting stories of a Prophesy and Chosen One that looks exactly like Grace. Together they must figure out why Grace is different, who wants her dead, how she’s connected to the Chosen One, and who they can really trust.






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Branded Book Blitz giveaway Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki












Branded (Sinners #1) by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Genre: Young/New Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance)

Date Published: June 28, 2013)

Publisher: Self






The Blurb:



Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.

Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.



Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.



Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.



The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.

I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.

My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.







Excerpt


I’m buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams. The rope chafes as I loop it around my neck. I pull down, making sure the knot is secure. It seems sturdy enough. My legs shake. My heart beats heavy in my throat. Sweat pours down my back. Death and I glare at each other through my tears. I take one last look at the crystal chandelier, the foyer outlined with mirrors, and the flawless decorations. No photographs adorn the walls. 



No happy memories here. I’m ready to go. On the count of three. I inhale, preparing myself for the finality of it all. Dropping my hands, a glimmer catches my eye. It’s my ring, the last precious gift my father gave me. I twist it around to read the inscription. Picturing his face forces me to reconsider my choice. He’d be heartbroken if he could see me now. A door slams in the hallway, almost causing me to lose my balance. My thoughts already muddled, I stand waiting with the rope hanging around my neck. Voices I don’t recognize creep through the walls. Curiosity overshadows my current thoughts. It’s late at night, and this is a secure building in High Society. No one disturbs the peace here—ever. I tug on the noose and pull it back over my head. Peering through the eyehole in our doorway, I see a large group of armed guards banging on my neighbors’ door. A heated conversation ensues, and my neighbors point toward my family’s home. It hits me. I’ve been accused and they’re here to arrest me. My father would want me to run, and in that split second, I decide to listen to his voice within me. Flinging myself forward in fear, I scramble up the  marble staircase and into my brother’s old bedroom. The door is partially covered, but it exists. Pushing his dresser aside, my fingers claw at the opening. Breathing hard, I lodge myself against it. Nothing. I step back and kick it with all my strength. The wood splinters open, and my foot gets caught. I wrench it backward, scraping my calf, but adrenaline pushes me forward. The voices at the front door shout my name. On hands and knees, I squeeze through the jagged opening. My brother left through this passage, and now it’s my escape too. Cobwebs entangle my face, hands, and hair. At the end, I feel for the knob, twisting it clockwise. It swings open, creaking from disuse. I sprint into the hallway and smash through the large fire escape doors at the end. A burst of cool air strikes me in the face as I jump down the ladder. Reaching the fifth floor, I knock on a friend’s window. The lights flicker on, and I see the curtains move, but no one  answers. I bang on the window harder. “Let me in! Please!” I say, but the lights darken. 



They know I’ve been accused and refuse to help me. Fear and adrenaline rush through my veins as I keep running, knocking on more windows along the way. No one has mercy. 



They all know what happens to sinners. Another flight of stairs passes in a blur when I hear the guards’ heavy footfalls from above. I can’t hide, but I don’t want to go without trying. Help me, Daddy. I need your strength now. My previous desolation evolves into a will to survive. I have to keep running, but I tremble and gasp for air. I steel my nerves and force my body to keep moving. In a matter of minutes, my legs cramp and my chest burns. 

I plunge to the ground, scraping my knee and elbow. A moan escapes from my chest. Gotta keep going. “Stop!” Their voices bounce off the buildings. “Lexi Hamilton, surrender yourself,” they command. They’re gaining on me. I resist the urge to glance back, running into what I assume is an alley. I’m far from our high-rise in High Society as I plunge into a poorer section of the city where the streets all look the same and the darkness prevents me  from recognizing anything. I’m lost. My first instinct is to leap into a dumpster, but I retain enough sense to stay still. I crouch and peek around it, watching them dash by. The abhorrent smell leaves me vomiting until nothing remains in my stomach. Desperation overtakes me, as I know my retching was anything but silent. My last few seconds tick away before they find me. Everyone knows about their special means of tracking sinners.

I push myself to my feet and look left, right, and left again. Their batons click against their black leather belts, and their boots stomp the cement on both sides of me. I shrink into myself. Their heavy steps mock my fear, growing closer and closer until I know I’m trapped. Never did I imagine they’d come for me. Never did I imagine all those nights I heard them dragging someone else away that I’d join them.

“You’re a sinner,” they say. “Time to leave.”

I stand defiant. I refuse to bend or break before them, even as I shiver with fear. 

“There’s no reason to make this difficult. The more you cooperate, the smoother this will be for everyone,” a guard says. I cringe into the blackness along the wall. I’m innocent, but they won’t believe me or care.

 The next instant, my face slams into the pavement as one guard plants a knee in my back and another handcuffs me. A warm liquid trails into my mouth. Blood. Their fingers grip my arms like steel traps as they peel me off the cement. The tops of my shoes scrape along the ground as I’m dragged behind them until they discard me into the back of a black vehicle. The doors slam in unison with one guard stationed on each side of me, my shoulders digging into their arms. Swallowing hard, I stare ahead to avoid their eyes. My dignity is all I have left. The handcuffs dig into my wrists, so I clasp them together hard behind me and press my back into the seat, unwilling to admit how much it hurts. Did they need so many guards to capture me? I’m not carrying any weapons, nor do I own any. I don’t even know self-defense. High Society frowns on activities like that. The driver jerks the vehicle around and I try to keep my bearings, but it’s dark and the scenery changes too fast. Hours pass, and the air grows warmer, more humid the farther we drive. The landscape mutates from city to rolling hills. They don’t bother blindfolding me because they escort all the sinners to the same place—the Hole. Twenty- foot cement walls encase the chaos within. There’s no way out and no way in unless they transport you. They say the 
Hole is a prison with no rules. We learned about it last year in twelfth grade. To the outside, I’m filth now. I’ll never be allowed to return to the life I knew. No one ever does. 

“All sinners go through a transformation,” one of the guards says to me. His smirk infuriates me. “I’m sure you’ve heard all kinds of stories.” I don’t respond. I don’t want to think about the things I’ve been told. “You won’t last too long, though. Young girls like you get eaten alive.” He pulls a strand of my hair up to his face. Get your hands off me, you pig. I want to lash out, but resist. The punishment for disobeying authority is severe, and I’m not positioned to defy him. They’re the Guards of the Commander. They’re chosen from a young age and trained in combat. They keep the order of society by using violent methods of intimidation. No one befriends a guard. Relationships with them are forbidden inside the Hole. Few have seen the commander. His identity stays under lock and key. His own paranoia and desire to stay pure drove him to live this way. He controls our depraved society and believes sinners make the human race unforgivable. His power is a crushing fist, rendering all beneath him helpless. So much so, even family members turn on each other when an accusation surfaces. Just an accusation. No trial, no evidence, nothing but an accusation. I lose myself in thoughts of my father. 

“Never show fear, Lexi,” my father said to me before he was taken. “They’ll use it against you.” His compassionate eyes filled with warning as he commanded me to be strong. That was many years ago, but I remember it clearly. My father. My rock. The one person in my life who provided unconditional love. “Get out,” the guard says while pulling me to my feet. The vehicle stops, and I’m jerked back to reality. The doors slide open and the two guards lift me up and out into the night. A windowless cement building looms in front of us, looking barren in the darkness. The coolness of the air sends a shiver up my spine. This is really happening. I’ve been labeled a sinner. My lip starts to quiver, but I bite it before anyone sees. They shove me in line, and I realize I’m not alone. Women and men stand with faces frozen white with fear. A guard grabs my finger, pricks it, and dabs my blood on a tiny microchip. I follow the man in front of me into the next room where we’re lined up facing the wall. Glancing right, I see one of the men crying. “Spread your legs,” one of the guards says.

 They remove my outer layers and their hands roam up and down my body. What do they think I can possibly be hiding? I press my head into the wall, trying to block out what they’re doing to me. “MOVE!” a guard commands. So I shuffle across the room, trying to cover up.

   One. 

   Two. 

   Three. 

   Four. 

Five of us sit in the holding room. One by one, they pull people into the next room, forcing the rest of us to wonder what torture we’ll endure. An agonizing amount of time passes. I lean my head back and try to imagine a place far away. The door opens. “Lexi Hamilton.” A guard escorts me out of the room, and I don’t have time to look back. As soon as the door closes, they pick me up and place me on a table. It’s cold and my skin sticks to it slightly, like wet fingers on an ice cube. Then they exit in procession, and I lie on the table with a doctor standing over me. His hands are busy as he speaks.

“Don’t move. This will only take a few minutes. It’s time for you to be branded.” A wet cloth that smells like rubbing alcohol is used to clean my skin. Then he places a metal collar around my neck. Click. Click. Click. The collar locks into place, and I struggle to breathe. The doctor loosens it some as I focus on the painted black words above me.   

The Seven Deadly Sins:
Lust   Blue
Gluttony   Orange
Greed   Yellow
Sloth   Black
Wrath   Red
Envy   Green
Pride   Purple

“Memorize it. Might keep you alive longer if you know who to stay away from.” He opens my mouth, placing a bit inside. “Bite this.” Within seconds, the collar heats from hot to scorching. The smell of flesh sizzling makes my head spin. I bite down so hard a tooth cracks. “GRRRRRRRRR,” escapes from deep within my chest. Just when I’m about to pass out, the temperature drops, and the doctor loosens the collar. He removes it and sits me up. Excruciating pain rips through me, and I’m on the verge of a mental and physical breakdown. Focus. Don’t pass out. Stainless steel counters and boring white walls press in on me. A guard laughs at me from an observation room above and yells, “Blue. It’s a great color for a pretty young thing like yourself.” His eyes dance with suggestion. The others meander around like it’s business as usual. I finally find my voice and turn to the doctor.

“Are you going to give me clothes?” A burning pain spreads like fire up from my neck to my jaw, making me wince. He points to a set of folded grey scrubs on a chair. I cover myself as much as I can and scurry sideways. Grabbing my clothes and pulling the shirt over my head, I try to avoid the raw meat around my throat. I quickly knot the cord of my pants around my waist and slide my feet into the hospital-issue slippers as the doctor observes. He hands me a bag labeled with my name. “Nothing is allowed through the door but what we’ve given you,” he says. I hide my right hand behind me, hoping no one notices. 

A guard scans my body and opens his hand. “Give it to me,” he says. “Don’t make me rip off your finger.” He crouches down and I turn to stone. I don’t know what to do, so I beg. 

“My father gave this to me. Please, let me keep it.” I smash my eyes shut and think of the moment my father handed the golden ring to me. “It was my mother’s ring,” he’d said. 

“She’s the strongest woman I ever knew.” With tears in his eyes, he reached for my hand and said, “Lexi, you’re exactly like her. 

She’d want you to wear this. No matter how this world changes, you can survive.” I turned the gold band over in my palm and read the engraving.  

You  can overcome anything… short of death.

 “You’re going to take the one thing that matters the most to me?” I say, glaring into the guard’s emotionless eyes. “Isn’t it enough taking my life, dignity, and respect?” A hard blow falls upon my back. As I fall, my hands shoot out to stop me from smashing into the wall in front of me. The guard bends down and grabs my chin with his meaty fist. “Look at me,” he commands.

I look up and he smiles with arrogance. “What the hell?” He staggers a step backward. 

“What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong with your eyes?” “Nothing,” I respond, confused. 

“What color are they?” “Turquoise.” I glower at him. “Interesting,” he says, regaining his composure. “Now those’ll get you in trouble.” Reality slaps me across the face. I have my father’s eyes. They can't take them from me. I twist the ring off my finger and drop it in his hand. “Take the damn ring,” I say. I walk to the door. He swipes a card and the massive door slides open to the outside. “You have to wear your hair back at all times, so everyone knows what you are.” He hands me a tie, so I pull my frizzy hair away from my face and secure it into a ponytail. My neck burns and itches as my hand traces the scabs that have already begun to form. Squinting ahead in the darkness, I almost run into a guard standing on the sidewalk. “Watch where you’re going,” he says, shoving me backward. His stiff figure stands tall and I cringe at the sharpness of his voice.

 “Cole, this is your new assignment, Lexi Hamilton. See to it she feels welcome in her new home.” The guard departs with a salute. “Let’s move,” Cole says.

I take two steps and collapse, my knees giving out. The unforgiving pavement reopens the scrapes from earlier and I struggle to stand. A powerful arm snatches me up, and I see his face for the first time.  
















About the author's



Abi and Missy met in the 
summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.




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