Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Alexandria Rising Chronicles Book Tour and Giveaway for a $50 Amazon Gift Card and eBooks


Alexandria Rising
Alexandria Rising Chronicles, Book 1
by Mark Wallace Maguire
Genre: Action-Adventure, Conspiracy, Suspense


Rand O'Neal, an ambition-less newspaper reporter, is given a single task upon the death of his grandfather: destroy a mysterious map. What should be a simple errand thrusts Rand into a journey across three countries chased by unknown pursuers into a world he never could have imagined. 

This novel has been described as "superb," "amazing" and "extremely well written," and has drawn comparisons to Dan Brown, Ian Fleming and Robert Ludlum. The book is labeled an action adventure, but contains elements of science fiction, suspense and mystery. It is also linked to a multi-media website that allows readers to engage with the experience in video, images and interactive appendices.





An Excerpt from Alexandria Rising

PROLOGUE
London
1603

The city stank.

It always stank in summer when the scents of the clogged drains, rotten food and sweating bodies combined for a noxious fog that hovered over its hills. Even the Thames stank, its shores lined with flotsam from forgotten ships, animal carcasses and mounds of refuse washed on the rising tides and left for the foragers from the sky and the beggars from the cracked cobbled streets.

But he ignored the stench. Stood at his windows opened defiantly, inhaled deeply, begging for a breeze to cool his beaten brow. Even a simple draft to flutter the tattered drapes would be welcome. Anything to soothe his fevered head, to alleviate the sweat bullets lining his chest, rivulets streaming down his arms, his legs.

He brushed a piece of lank hair from his forehead, sat down to his pockmarked desk, took another sip of watered-down wine and pressed the quill to the piece of parchment. His hand shaking, he pushed the words from his mind, half-muttering to himself as the black ink stained the yellow paper.

“The sight is dismal;
And our affairs from England come too late:
The ears are senseless that should give us hearing,”

He took another deep breath, dipped the quill in the inkpot again. Started to write. Had to take a break. So hot. Leaned back his chair. A breeze? My soul for a breeze, he thought. Beneath his opened shirt, attached to a leather band, a sliver of translucent stone lay on his chest. It shifted colors in the half-light of the candle. Sometimes azure. Other times silver. A passing hue of cobalt. He clenched it. Inhaled again. Opened his eyes and grabbed the quill. Attacked the parchment.

“Let us haste to hear it,
And call the noblest to the audience.
For me, with sorrow I embrace my fortune.”

He leaned back again. Closed his eyes. Focused. Listened. Heard the sounds of the streets below. The usual calls of the pedestrians, the hawkers, the laughter of children, the occasional neigh of a horse or the bellow of a cow being led to slaughter. He heard clattering in the streets, the distinct sound of wagon wheels grinding on cobblestones, a sharp rapport.

He knew that they had come. Come for him. He was late. Again. But, there was so much perfection to do. So much to finish. So much yet to rewrite. But, his time was up. And he needed the money. The squeak of a carriage door, he could even hear the footfalls, knew it was him. The benefactor. Then the words shouted above the din of the crowd.

“William!”

He ignored it. Clutched the stone in one fist. Gulped down the last of the drink with the other. And began writing again, the thoughts racing now, he had to force himself to slow down, lest the writing be unreadable. The shout again from the streets.

“William! Where is it? I need it now. I am coming up and Martin is coming with me. I know you’re there. They told me you were at home at The Fox and The Hound. I see your window is open. Unlock your door.”

He knew he could no longer wait. It was time. He wrote quickly. Dipped the quill in the inkwell for a final push and then finished the last few lines.

“The soldiers’ music and the rites of war
Speak loudly for him.
Take up the bodies: such a sight as this
Becomes the field, but here shows much amiss.
Go, bid the soldiers shoot.”

Heavy thud of big boots on the worn wooden stairs. A knock at the door. He scribbled a title on the first page. Blew on the ink. Rolled up the parchment, wrapped a ribbon around it. Took the chain from around his neck. Lifted the lid of a wooden box on his desk. Dropped it in. Cinched up his shirt. Lumbered to the door. Opened it.

“Is it ready?”

“Of course, I was just taking a nap.”

The man snatched the roll from his hands. Slid off the ribbon, opened it up. Read the first few lines.

“A nap….Mmmmmm,” a low groan, then, “Interesting opening. I like ghosts. Audiences love ghosts. A good start.”

“Here,” the playwright said. “Flip to Act III, yes, there a few lines down.”

The man did so, patiently, eyes intent.

Then reading. The lines of angst giving way to surprise, then relief. A smile.

“Late as usual old friend, but it looks good. By Jove, I do love these lines here in this act. My God. Very powerful. The very sense of the universe itself isn’t it? The only thing I don’t like so far is the title. Usually you’re very succinct on these, but it looks like this was an afterthought, ‘Hamlet.’ It could be a play about a small village and that wouldn’t draw the crowds would it?”

The playwright ran a hand through his hair. His mind still reeling.

“How about, ‘The Tragedy of Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark’? Yes, a bit more detail. Will that work?”

The man looked at him. Peered deep into his eyes. The playwright answered his own question.

“Yes. That’s it. ‘The Tragedy of Hamlet, The Prince of Denmark.’ By William Shakespeare.”

The man shook his head, let forth a small chuckle.

“It is a bit wordy, like I have a mouthful of stones, but it will work. And I am sure once people see it, they’ll remember it. I don’t see how you do it and keep doing it. You may be late, but you’re good son. You are good. Time may forget you, but I won’t.”

“Time forgets us all, my friend, but for some it takes longer than others.”

Alexandria Reborn
Alexandria Rising Chronicles, Book 2

He can't go home. He's dead in the real world. Everything has changed. Forever. In Alexandria Reborn, the anticipated sequel to Alexandria Rising, Rand O'Neal rises from the ashes to join an elite team in an effort to shift the power struggle set in motion by control of the alchemistic Slendoc Meridian. As this fast-paced adventure continues, Rand will discover the answer to many of his questions, but will he lose hope in the process?



As a preacher’s son, Mark Wallace Maguire spent his childhood crisscrossing the South soaking in the lilting dialects, oral traditions and cultural idiosyncransies. After a brief career in music, he settled behind the desk as a reporter at the Marietta Daily Journal and has spent the last 20 years as fixture in the metro Atlanta media scene.  He currently serves as director of Cobb Life magazine and Cobb Business Journal. His writing has been published in many regional and national publications including Snake Nation Review, Reach of Song, Cobb Life magazine, Neighbor Newspapers and The Blood and Fire Review. He has been honored for his writing by several organizations including The Associated Press, The Society of Professional Journalists and The Georgia Poetry Society. In 2005, he was named the Berry College Outstanding Young Alumni of The Year. In 2017, he was nominated for Georgia Author of the Year for his first novel, Alexandria Rising, which was described as “magical” and “phenomenal.” Letters from Red Clay Country: Selected Columns was published in 2015 and features the best of his award-winning newspaper and magazine columns. When he’s not writing, Maguire produces musical projects inspired by his favorite authors and books as well as painting, gardening and making Star Wars puns with his sons.



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!








Monday, August 21, 2017

Cover Reveal: "The Night Realm," by Annette Marie


The Night Realm
by Annette Marie
(Spell Weaver #1)
Published by: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.
Publication date: October 20, 2017
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy
Clio would love nothing more than to go home. But as the illegitimate daughter of the nymph king, she’s stuck in the human world, exiled until she can earn a place in the royal family. Then her half-bother offers her a chance to prove herself. All she has to do is acquire some magic … by stealing it from the most dangerous spell weavers in the Underworld. 
Lyre prefers to go unnoticed, which is a tricky objective for an incubus. He can’t hide his looks or his coveted spell-weaving skills, but he’s learned to mask his true intentions. As an unwilling pawn of the tyrannical Hades family, he stays alive by keeping one step ahead of his masters.
Now he’s been assigned to watch over a visitor from the Overworld—one who’s definitely hiding something. And with her unholy talent for triggering chaos and catastrophe, his job just keeps getting more perilous. Clearly, she’ll never survive this world. 
The thing is, he’s no longer sure he can survive it either.


Author Bio:
Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon bestselling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast-paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad), with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities. 

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Prepared Book Tour and Giveaway for a $25 Amazon Gift Card


Prepared
by Courtney Konstantin
Genre: SciFi, Dystopian, Thriller

She thought she was prepared for the end of the world … until it actually came.

Alex Duncan is a mother, a sister— and the daughter of a doomsday prepper. She always thought her father was insane, raving about an apocalypse she never believed in, but when a plague hits the United States and the dead no longer stay dead, Alex discovers heeding her deceased father’s advice is what will keep her family alive. Before he died, Alex’s father created a compound in Montana just in case situations like this arose.

Hell has arrived on earth.

The dead walk, hungry for human flesh. Living in a highly populated city like Las Vegas makes the reality of the plague imminent to Alex. With little time to spare, Alex must make split-second decisions to prevent her family from being devoured. Facing the end, Alex has three goals.

Escape Las Vegas. Get to the compound. Survive.

As the outside world crumbles and grows darker, Alex faces adversity from not just the infected, but the uninfected as well. Government assistance is nowhere in sight, and rumors fly that the nation’s only solution to the growing plague is execution.

Not everyone will outlast the plague. Doomsday is here. Will Alex be up to the challenge, or fall, and rise again as one of the undead?

An exciting apocalyptic thriller that’s intriguing, mysterious, and horrific, Prepared is the debut novel of upcoming author Courtney Konstantin. Stay up all night to read this terrifying tale of pandemics, zombies, and government secrets by one-clicking today!

Releases Sept 1st!

Read the first two chapters free!


As a child, Courtney always had aspirations of being a writer. She participated in journalism in school. At home, she wrote short stories, poetry and filled diary pages. Somewhere along the line, becoming an adult took priority over her writing, and she went to work in business operations.

Now as a mother to three beautiful children, she tells them all the time to follow their dreams and be whatever they want. Those lessons reminded her how much she loved writing. She finally opened the door to making writing a real priority in her life.

Living outside of Portland, Oregon, she loves the green and beauty Oregon offers. When she’s not matching wits with her children, her crazy Siberian Husky or her bi-polar cats, she enjoys binge reading, hikes and touring wineries. Courtney and her husband, the love of her life, enjoy traveling the world whenever they can get a free moment. And cruises … she loves cruising. She’s especially fond of life, laughter and sarcasm -- and she’s excited to share all of that and more with her readers!




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!







Welcome to the Apocalypse Book Tour and Giveaway for a $10 Amazon Gift Card


Welcome to the Apocalypse
Book 1 - Pandora
by D L Richardson
Genre: Apocalyptic Sci-Fi

The Apocalypse Games is a state-of-the-art virtual game designed to entertain doomsday preppers, gamers, and cosplayers. But not everyone who enters is there to play the game the way the creators intended. Some players don't belong at all, and some enter the game to escape reality. 

Whatever the reason, over 100 people hook up to the mainframe computer with one goal: survive twenty-four hours of an apocalypse. Instead of game over at the end, they're plugged straight into a new game. Then another. It's clear to the players the computer has malfunctioned. What isn't clear is why.



CHAPTER ONE

Jack Minnow grabbed a brochure off the rack and his eyes scanned the back page. 

"It says here that rule breakers are ten times more likely to survive an apocalypse. They're adaptable and they rely on cunning and instinct."

Jack was five-foot-eight, and the woman behind the counter, called an operator, was easily six feet tall. Looking at her was like looking at a marble statue atop a pedestal. All white – her hair, her tight-fitting jump suit, her face, neck, and hands, painted to resemble a computer generated character. He allowed himself to imagine that the stage make-up covered places he couldn't see.

She smiled at him. "It also says that rule breakers are ten times more likely to die within the first hour. They're reckless and often act without thinking."

She pushed a plastic tray towards him, the kind handed out at airports to slip under x-ray machines. Jack dropped his wallet, phone, and car keys into the tray. 

"So it's a win/win day for a guy with a superhero complex," he said.

Superman, his mother had called him after he'd brought home a stray dog for the fifth time. "Can't help but save things," she'd told the dog ranger. Even as a boy, Jack knew what happened to the mutts who were handed over to the ranger, but he still brought dogs home for one last night of fun. His superhero complex was the reason he'd entered The Apocalypse Games. Save everyone. Save the world. Nobody dies. Not for real anyway.

The operator removed the tray and he stood there waiting for a voucher. None came. A warning flared up into his brain. What did he really know about this operation? 

 "Seriously, about those odds," he said. "Exactly how much testing has gone into the program? I mean this is opening day. There must be kinks to iron out."

"We use the same technology as they do at NASA," she said. "The nutrient tubes and mist emitters feeding into the simulation pods are the same as those used in space travel. The structural integrity of the pods was tested by NASA engineers only last week." She tilted her head to the side. "We'll take good care of you, Mr Minnow. I'll see to it personally."

He didn't know her name, or anything else about her, but he felt he could trust her. He had to trust her; he was placing his life in her hands.

She stepped out from behind the counter, slipped her arm through his, and guided him toward a set of doors where he caught flashes of shiny surfaces and bright lights. A sign indicated the room was called The Launch Pad. 

"How will you see to it personally?" he asked, dragging his gaze back to her dazzling blue eyes. "Will you be in the game with me?"

She shook her head. Pity. He was sure he'd enjoy cyber-sex.

"You've got a good crowd here for the opening. How many players you reckon? Eighty? Ninety?"

"There are one hundred and five players taking part in today's auspicious event." 

Jack's mood sank a little. "Won't it get crowded?"

She placed her other hand on his arm. Others might have found the gesture too friendly, but not him. Attention from a beautiful woman – genuine or as part of a customary service – warmed his insides. 

"There are many apocalyptic scenarios on offer," she said. "Some players have chosen to be placed randomly, in which case we'll load them into scenarios that other players haven't pre-selected. It's highly unlikely you'll all be playing the same game." She stopped at a machine similar in size to an ATM and ran a laminated pass across the scanner. "I understand you'll be teaming up with two other players, Reis Anderson and Kelly Lawrence."

"Kelly's my sister," said Jack, not wanting to give the woman the wrong impression. "I'm being a good brother and chaperoning her."

The operator nodded. "Have you chosen an apocalypse to survive? Or will you opt for the random selection?"

"I don't mind surprises, but Kelly's…let's just say she's a novice at this. We've decided to play—"

Her fingers swiftly landed on his lips. "Don't tell me. If I don't know then I can't reveal any spoilers."

She slipped the laminated pass around his neck and continued ushering him toward The Launch Pad. 
At the doorway, she gently pried her arm away and her azure-blue eyes twinkled. 

"I assure you, Mr Minnow. You will be in the greatest of care. Please make your way inside and enjoy your complimentary champagne. It won't be long until you're taken to the simulation pod."

The doubt still niggled at him. "So when we die in the game, what happens?"

She looked off to another player signing up at the desk.

"Miss…Operator?"

At last she turned around and smiled, revealing dazzling white teeth. "You can't die in the game."

"But it'll feel like it. That's what the brochure says."

"Yes, it will feel like death," she said before walking briskly away.

Welcome to the Apocalypse
Book 2 - CyberNexis

Getting out of the game used to be all that mattered. Now all that matters is getting back in. 

THEN... The Apocalypse Games is a state of the art virtual game designed to entertain doomsday preppers, gamers, and cosplayers. But not everyone who entered was there to play the game the way the creators intended. Some players didn't belong at all and some entered the game to escape reality. Whatever the reason, over 100 people were hooked up to the mainframe computer with one goal: survive twenty-four hours of an apocalypse. Instead of game over at the end, they were plugged straight into a new game. Then another. It was clear to the players the computer has malfunctioned. What wasn't clear was why. 

NOW... The players find themselves in an offsite facility far from their original location, unsure why or how CyberNexis moved them. Getting out of the game used to be all that mattered. But not anymore. The world has changed and CyberNexis is keeping a secret that needs to be exposed.




D L Richardson likes many things. Reality isn't one of them. D L Richardson is the creator of Welcome to the Apocalypse series as well as the author of YA fantasy and horror novellas that can be likened to "Goosebumps for adults." 

The author's world is her dog, her husband, coffee, and her writing. Not always in that order. You won't find the usual tropes in D L Richardson's books. You will find unique stories, engaging characters, and thought-provoking situations.




Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!







Sunday, August 20, 2017

Knight Quests Book Tour and Giveaway for a Print Book and $5 Amazon Gift Card


KNIGHT QUESTS
by C.C. Wiley
Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: 7/25/2017



For a Knight of the Swan in 15th century England, falling for the enemy is an act of treason...

Orphaned as a young girl, Brigitte de Marnier has learned to live by her instincts -- which doesn’t explain why she accepts protection from a soldier in the service of the enemy crown. But something about Drem Ap Dafydd has her leaning into his strength and surrendering to his intoxicating kiss, even knowing he is duty bound to destroy her... 

As a newly appointed Knight of the Swan, Drem is eager to prove his allegiance to the English crown in the battle against France. But in his sheltering arms, beautiful Frenchwoman Brigitte arouses in him another instinct -- to love, honor, and protect. Then Drem discovers his beloved has a price on her head, and he must choose between his vow -- and his heart’s desire...



C.C. lives in Salt Lake City with her high school sweetheart of over 35 years and their four wacky dogs. When given a choice, she prefers a yummy, well-written, historical or contemporary romance that is chock-full of hope, love and a Happy Ever After. She believes there are wonderful courageous characters waiting for someone to tell their story. It's her hope that each adventurous romance she writes will touch the reader and carry them away to another place and time, where hopes and dreams abound.


Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!








Cover Reveal: "Salvaging His Soul," by Samantha A. Cole


Salvaging His Soul, by Samantha A. Cole

Think you know everything about the Sexy Six-Pack? Think again! This is the story fans will never see coming! Jaws will drop and hearts will pound because everything is not as it seems!

Jase Atwood is a man with a forgotten past and an unsure future. Living on the island of Caicos, he spends his time sitting in a bar drinking, scuba diving for sunken treasure, and working as a mercenary of sorts. Some referrals are by word of mouth, while others come from the United States -- Tampa, Florida, to be precise. Trident Security is a private, special ops company that occasionally uses the ex-pat for missions in South or Central America or the Caribbean, since returning to the US would be far too dangerous for him.

Brie Hanson has lived on Caicos since she was ten. After her father’s death, she took over Daddy-O's bar/restaurant, popular with tourists and locals alike. Her three-month relationship with Jase has been just for sex -- no dates, no getting involved in each other’s lives, and no letting their emotions rise to the surface. However, when her sister disappears, Brie's lover steps in to help find the missing woman. But unbeknownst to either of them, Jase’s past and present are about to collide. Will it destroy their future?

Amazon - http://smarturl.it/SHS_Amzn
iTunes – http://smarturl.it/SHS_iBooks
B&N – http://smarturl.it/SHS_BN
Kobo – http://smarturl.it/SHS_Kobo
Google Play – http://smarturl.it/SHS_GP

***Pre-orders and first week orders will receive a bonus short story about a fan-favorite couple!

Fun Stuff!
Jigsaw Puzzle: http://www.jigsawplanet.com/?rc=play&pid=062ff359820c
Crossword Puzzle: https://crosswordlabs.com/view/trident-security-series
Word Search: http://thewordsearch.com/puzzle/270160/trident-security-series/

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Helena Hawthorn Series Book Tour and Giveaway for a T-shirt and Mug


Russian Roulette
Helena Hawthorn Series, Book 1
by May Freighter
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Who could guess that one brush of a fingertip over a shimmering soul-string could flip your world upside down and inside out? 

Nineteen-year-old Helena’s life changes when her spirit enters the Angel Realm in search of her father. But things don’t go as planned. Against her guardian angel’s warnings, she binds her soul to a vampire—a creature she thought only existed in horror movies. 

Lucious has spent his immortality looking for the monsters who killed his sire. The last thing he needs is to be vulnerable because of a bond with a reckless girl. Yet, he sees how he can turn this to his advantage. Believing that Helena possesses great power, he plans to use her against the Council as a bargaining chip. 

When Helena meets the gorgeous and also terrifying vampire with whom she’s now stuck sharing an emotional bond, she realises that her life will never be the same. Despite fighting against Lucious’s manipulative ways, she can’t deny their attraction. 

As their desire for each other intensifies, she needs to know if she can trust him. After all, her life and soul are on the line.

For readers who enjoyed The Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith, Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, or A Shade of Vampire by Bella Forrest



**.99 on Amazon!**

Read an Excerpt

A shiver induced by the stone wall ran through Helena. Her heart kicked into the next gear when she noted the restraints around her wrists. She struggled, tugging at the unforgiving shackles time and time again.

“Looks like she’s finally awake,” someone said in a gruff voice.

“Then get on with it,” another replied.

She whipped her head around in search of the voices. The sudden action blurred her vision, causing her to squint. A low-wattage bulb at the end of the room exposed crates and stacked boxes. A bald man sat at a table, his legs crossed at the heel whilst his beefy hands held the local newspaper.

The second man pushed away from the grimy wall, sauntering towards her. His unnerving grin revealed a set of elongated canines.

A breath caught in her throat.

“Aren’t you a tad bit young to be working for Alexander?” he asked.

A deep frown creased her face while her attention darted between her captors. She didn’t work for Alexander nor did she ever want to see him or Lucious again.

The stranger stopped a foot away from her. Dark, greasy hair clung to his scalp in thinning streaks. A few strands separated at the front, curtaining his heavy-lidded eyes. He reached out, grabbing her hair with a sharp twist and lifted her head to meet his narrowed eyes. “I asked you a question, human.”

Her nose wrinkled in disgust. His breath -- a mixture of cheap tobacco, beer, and something else -- caused her stomach to churn. Panic will not solve anything, she thought, yet her heart ignored her rationalisation.

“I don’t work for him,” she said, surprised her voice came out unshaken.

He waved at her thin shirt and smart trousers. “We saw you leaving his club looking like this.”

Helena fought the urge to roll her eyes. If he’d been inside, he would know Alexander’s staff didn’t wear uniforms. Well, the bouncers did… “This is what anyone would wear to an interview!”

His eyes flared with a light-grey glow, and she instantly regretted her snappy tone. She flinched under his menacing stare which made her think of a glowering two-year-old she used to babysit. The kid always shot daggers her way if she didn’t give him any candy.

“…you listening?” He let go of her hair with a sudden shove as he shouted at her.

Helena’s head dunked, encouraging the faint ache to blaze into a full-blown headache.

“I think I hit her harder than I thought.”

“Rick--” The companion set his newspaper on the table, “--if you can’t get anything out of her…”

“I can!”

Helena figured the one who ran the operation was not ‘Rick’. His literate friend held an authoritative confidence the man in front of her lacked. She imagined Rick struggling to read a novel by Tolstoy. The image alone made her lips twitch upwards.

“What’re you smiling about? Don’t you understand what’s going on?” Rick snapped.

She glared at him. Arguing wouldn’t help, but her mouth lost its filter. “Should I?”

Her left cheek exploded with a burning sting as he backhanded her across the face. Automatically, she moved to rub the pain away and realised with a sickening feeling what situation she was in—chained to a wall with two unknown men in a dingy room.

As a dull ache settled in her arms, she bit her lower lip to suppress her bitter tongue from bringing more trouble.

Rick leant in and peered into her face. His lips hovered next to her ear. “Let’s see how much you know.”

He grabbed the sides of her head, forcing her to look at him. When their eyes locked, he grinned.

Helena struggled, screaming, “Let go!”

“Calm down, human.” His harsh tone switched to a soothing melody.

Right on cue, her body relaxed at his command. His glowing eyes became the centre of her universe. Anything he said would be a binding instruction.

Inside, she screamed, fighting his overpowering control, but nothing happened. Why couldn’t Lucious influence me and this idiot can?

“Are you paying attention?”

“Yes.”

“Will you obey my commands?”

Flat and emotionless, she answered him in an instant. “Yes.”

Leaning in to the point their noses almost touched, Rick asked his golden question. “Do you work for Alexander?”

“No.”

The grey glow in his eyes intensified, causing her to feel like she was floating. Her wrists throbbed. The metal cut deeper into her skin, and a groan escaped her.

“Do you know Lucious?”

“Yes.”

The vampire’s fingers dug into her jaw, and she winced. “Where is he? What do you know about him?”

“Russian Roulette. He wanted to meet me to undo the link.”

The silent partner sprang from his chair, knocking it over as he rushed to his feet. “What kind of link?”

Words failed her as she fought through her jumbled mix of emotions.

Rick jerked her head backwards and hissed, “Answer his question.”

“I’m not sure. It was an accident.”

In his frustration, Rick shook her. “I’ll suck you dry if you don’t give me some proper answers!”

His partner pulled out his phone, typing something on the smooth glass screen. “She doesn’t have much information, but she can be useful in other ways.”

Rick trailed his fingers along her arms, inching his way closer to her jugular. “Can I play then?”

His influence on her dropped, and Helena glared at the side of his greasy head.

“You can feed but nothing else. We may be able to fetch a decent price for her later.”

Shivers ran through her when Rick faced her with a growing grin. There was little she could tell them about the link, so she couldn’t use that information as leverage. She didn’t know much about Lucious, Alexander, or their plans.

Helena groaned. Her headache transformed into a constant droning. Closing her eyes, her thoughts turned into a prayer for Michael to appear and tell her some good news. News, of any kind, was better than being with these monsters.

The leader glanced at them before his attention returned to his phone. “You have two minutes.” He strode out of the room without another word.

With Rick’s overseer gone, her smart remarks would lead her to an early grave. She eyed the closing door, willing the second man to return while her heart battered against her ribs.

Rick fished out a folding knife from his jeans pocket. Light bled back into his irises as he teased the blade open.

Helena squeezed her eyes shut. She wasn’t going to be his puppet again.

The cool metal tip touched her cheek. “If you don’t open your eyes, I will cut this pretty little face of yours until you do.”

She wavered. The stinging in her cheek hadn’t gone away, and she wasn’t keen on finding out what being chopped to pieces felt like. After all, he threatened with more than a paper cut. Clenching her teeth, she lifted her eyelids. One second of contact was enough to fall under his rule once more.

“Good. Don’t move.”

Her body refused any further movement, and she berated herself for being so weak.

One by one, the buttons of her blouse popped onto the concrete. With the last one gone, he pulled the material apart. His eyes twinkled as if he was a child, opening his Christmas present. He appraised her chest, and her heavy breathing filled the silence.

No matter how hard she fought his mental hold, she could do nothing. He grazed the knife across her pale skin. Blood rushed to the surface, trickling down her small breasts and staining her plain bra. He slid the dull side of the blade across her chest, entranced by the sweet perfume of her blood.

She was certain it couldn’t be her lack of feminine curves that kept his attention.

His mental hold slipped, and she regained control of her limbs. When the knife touched her waist, her hips bucked. In one painful second, the sleek metal sank into her skin. An agonised scream escaped her, bouncing off the walls of the enclosed space.

The boss reappeared, shouting, “I thought I told you to feed and nothing else.”

Rick jerked the blade out. “This bitch is hard to control. Unless I’m looking right at her, she breaks the bloody hold.”

“I don’t give two shits about that,” the man growled. “Leave her be until he comes for her. We must prepare.”

Grumbling under his breath, Rick licked her blood off the blade and let out a satisfied groan. With a fleeting glance in her direction, he stashed his knife away and left with his partner.

Her mouth went dry. She studied the gash. Dark red tendrils descended her side. She rested her head against the wall, focusing on the chipped white ceiling to stop nausea from claiming her in its rising waves.

What am I going to do? No one knows where I am, she thought.

A silvery voice came from her right. “That’s not true.”

Her eyes darted to the side, and she grunted. A headache hit her like a hammer to the face. Her guardian angel stood three feet away with his angular features encased by his long, straight mane of golden hair.

She glared at him. “Where have you been?”

Michael bowed his head in apology. “I should have come sooner, I know. I wanted to find out who they contacted, so I followed—” He paused mid-sentence and rushed to her side. His hand hovered next her injuries. He gritted his teeth. “He hurt you.”

“I’m alright, but can you--” She stopped short of asking him to untie her. This whole situation was too comical not be in a TV drama. He was right there, but he couldn’t save her. His ghostly presence forced him to become a mere observer in her realm. He couldn’t help her in this predicament even if he wanted to. She knew it, he knew it, and the hurt on his face proved it.

Michael sighed. “He will come.”

“And if I don’t want to see him?”

“Helena, you know what will happen to you if you don’t leave this place.”

She arched a brow. “You called him names mere hours ago, what changed?”

“If he can get you out of here, I will adjust my terminology.”

Helena snorted. This day keeps on getting better and better.


Demon Gates
Helena Hawthorn Series, Book 2

Uncertain whether she is human or not, Helena is forced to undergo new nightmares while her mental battle continues with a demon called 'Lazarus'. Without her guardian angel to protect her, she is left to rely on vampires who have their own reasons for everything. 

The attraction between her and Lucious grows, whether it is a side effect of the soul-bond they share or of their own volition. Yet, how can they be certain? 

With the help of her new friends, they must seek out a Demon Gate and enter the Demon Realm to stop Lazarus from claiming her and Lucious' souls. But, will they succeed or perish as the only weapon that can kill a demon has been lost centuries ago.



Crumbling Control
Helena Hawthorn Series, Book 3

After attending a funeral in Aberdeen, Helena meets with a member of the European Vampire Council. Vincent shares his concerns about the imminent dangers local vampires are facing. After all, the hunters are gathering in London, local packs of werewolves fight for territory, and Eliza is up to something that will save them all. 

Lucious is staying away from Helena. The hunters shot him full of tracking bullets and every time he stops, they catch up to him. To prevent those he cares about from being in danger, he ends up calling in a favour from the man he never wished to see again. 

Helena’s feelings for Lucious begin to waver as she cannot get in contact with him. Andrew remains by her side and makes her laugh when everything else is going to hell. 

How will Helena and Lucious overcome their new trials once the hunters come knocking on their door, demons escape through the Demon Gate, and the Council begins to crumble?




Fated Origins
Helena Hawthorn Series, Book 4

Helena’s life is back to normal. College, friends, family … everyone’s happy. Yet, she can’t understand what is missing. No matter how hard she tries to fake her excitement about a new movie or laugh over a cup of coffee during lunch, it doesn’t feel right. 

Peace doesn’t last long. A demon appears, claiming to be her friend and lifts the memory block Lucious had put up. Outraged he had done this to her, she decides to go against her family’s wishes and pursue him in London. Only one problem remains: She’s losing control of her body. 

Lucious is unable to mend his broken heart. He grew complacent and cares little about the proceedings of the Council while Kallias takes the lead. With the hunter threat growing and the werewolves no longer willing to help stabilise London, to unify the vampires all over the world, Kallias believes it is time to awaken the one true leader—Arthemis. 

The full cycle comes to an end. Lilia and Helena are faced with the original vampire. Despite their differences, a choice must be made with grave sacrifices. Will they save humanity or let vampires rule the world?




May Freighter is an internationally bestselling author from Dublin, Ireland. She writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Sci-Fi mysteries that will keep you entertained, mystified, and hopefully craving more. Her only pets are cacti. They're the only things that survived. It may be too dangerous to entrust her with an animal while she's engrossed in writing. 

On sunny, rainy, and overcast days, she spends her time with her fictional friends, putting them through dangerous adventures while wishing them the best of luck. Her hobbies are photography, drawing, and plotting different ways of a characters' demise.




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