Saturday, December 6, 2014

Secret Santas Holiday Collection blitz & Giveaway!

Secret Santas Holiday Collection 
Includes: Calista Fox, Erin Quinn, Mary Leo
Publication date: November 2014
Genres: Adult, Romance


Kissing Kris Kringle
In the spirit of giving and paying it forward, all of the author’s proceeds for Kissing Kris Kringle will be donated to The Animal Welfare League, an amazing organization dedicated to saving animals lives and working to improve the way they are treated and regarded by society.

Kris Kringle is just an average guy living in the tiny town of North Pole, Maine where Christmas isn’t just a holiday—it’s a way of life. But not for Kris. He might be named after the big guy in red, but Kris is more Scrooge than Santa.

Until he wakes up from a night of partying with his friends to find himself in possession of a Santa suit, a toy bag and a puppy. Kris soon discovers that he’s been relegated to Santa’s naughty list and there’s only one way to get his name removed….put on the suit and spread some cheer.

Lucky for Kris every cloud has a silver snowflake and his quest to get off that list lands him in the arms of the woman he’s been lusting after for years.

It takes a little magic, but Kris is about to get everything he didn’t even know he wanted for Christmas.

Naughty St. Nick

‘Tis the season for Christmas miracles…

Having landed himself on Santa’s Naughty List, Nick Santos is given a chance at redemption. Granted, he’s tasked with some daunting challenges—pimping Santa’s ride and fixing the town’s holiday bling in the once year-round Christmas Capital of the World, North Pole, Maine. But playing Secret Santa comes with some unexpected perks, like finally catching the eye of the woman who sparks his deepest desires, Vixen White.

Vixen has no idea what’s come over Nick this holiday season, but his good deeds around town help her to remember the magic of Christmas, long forgotten. And his sexy grin and a searing, stolen kiss under mistletoe have her wishing her dream of being Naughty St. Nick’s one and only will finally come true.

All she has to do…is believe.

Romancing Rudy Raindear

Rudy Raindear thought he’d left North Pole, Main in his rear-view mirror. Now, after several years, he’s returned to convince his beloved grandfather to retire and sell his struggling bakery, Sugar Plums – the linchpin in a potentially lucrative real estate deal – great for Rudy, devastating for the town.

But all is not what it seems in this magical Christmas town, especially after Rudy lands on Santa’s Naughty List. Suddenly Rudy’s nose is turning red for the tiniest of white lies and the one girl he wanted to impress, Jenny Bells, is on his case for trying to close Santa’s favorite bakery.

What’s a guy to do?

Start baking and just maybe Rudy can save the bakery, and convince Jenny that sometimes, being a little naughty, is oh-so nice.


Kissing Kris Kringle

Naughty St. Nick

Romancing Rudy Raindear


Calling all you candycane sweethearts! We have a wonderful way to share the holiday cheer with all your fellow romantics. Share with us your warmest Christmas memory and it could be featured on the #SexySecretSantas Holiday Collection authors' social media! - Erin Quinn, Calista Fox, and Mary Leo!

To have your memory featured, just write a review for "Kissing Kris Kringle", "Naughty St. Nick", OR "Romancing Rudy Raindear", and send the link to your review to with your favourite holiday memory! Include a pic if you like! Mary Leo, Erin Quinn and Calista Fox will select a story to be shared on the their author pages each day!

You can learn more about the Secret Santas Holiday Collection on Erin Quinn’s blog here:

Kissing Kris Kringle:

Naughty St. Nick:

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Erin Quinn is an award winning author who writes haunting romance for the thinking reader. Her books have been called “riveting,” “brilliantly plotted” and “beautifully written” and have won, placed or showed in in number awards. Look for THE THREE FATES OF RYAN LOVE, coming in January from Pocket Books. Go to for more information.


Calista Fox is a former PR professional, now writing fast-paced, steamy books to set your pulse racing--including the BURNED DEEP trilogy, coming in 2015 from St. Martin's Press! She is an Amazon bestseller and has won Reviewer’s and Reader’s Choice Awards, as well as a Best Book Award, and competitions with publication as the prize.

USA Today bestselling author Mary Leo writes contemporary romance, paranormal romance, romantic suspense, and mystery. She loves to travel for research while she’s writing a book, or for that matter, even when she’s not writing a book . . . which always leads to yet another book.

Hands Off blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Hands Off! The 100 Day Agreement 
Candy J. Starr
Publication date: December 5th 2014
Genres: New Adult, Romance


One hundred days without sex? Is that even possible?

When I got offered an exchange year to the Italian art school of my dreams, I nearly cried. I could barely afford college expenses at home let alone in a foreign country. I had to decline but my rich, uptight grandmother called with her screwed up offer.

If I agreed to her conditions, she’d foot the bill. So I agreed. I figured she didn’t really care about my sex life, she just wanted me to keep my partying off the radar of her fancy friends.

I was so wrong.

The sexy but annoying Chad moved into my apartment to keep me under surveillance. He’s impervious to my charms and for some damn reason, dead set on making sure I lose this deal.

One hundred days is a helluva long time to avoid temptation – even longer when Chad becomes the temptation.




“Let's skip out of here,” Jayne said, turning to watch Chad walk away. “Shit, he's watching us. He's not taking his eyes off you. You are so screwed. Wait, Rebecca is talking to him.”
I span around ready to tell that skank to get her hands off my bodyguard. Even if he was a pain in the butt, he was my pain in the butt. I didn't want Rebecca putting her slimy hands all over him.
But Jayne grabbed my hand and pulled me out of the cafeteria barely giving me time to get my bag. We ran down the hallway, almost running into a guy carrying a giant caterpillar sculpture. We kept running to the lifts.
“No, he'll go here first,” said Jayne and she dragged me to the fire escape. We ran down the three flights of stairs and out the fire escape into the campus car park, which nearly killed me. I wanted to stop for a rest when we hit the outside but Jayne grabbed my arm. She ran behind a car and pulled me down.
We both squatted against the car, trying to get our breath back. Then she popped her head up to peer over the bonnet of the car.
“Can't see him,” she panted.
“He might be hiding, ready to pounce.”
He could probably track me just from the sound of my heartbeat. I was so unfit.
“We have to take my car. He'll know yours.”
Jayne's car was at the other end of the car park. I started to rise so we could make a dash for it but she pulled me back down.
“Stay hidden.”
Jayne did a squat walk to the edge of the car, glanced around to make sure the coast was clear then waved for me to follow. I tried to copy her squat walk then we both did a huddled over run to the next car in the lot.
Jayne squatted back down and waddled some more.
My legs burnt and we'd only gone the distance of two cars. I estimated there were about 30 more car lengths to go. If I kept this up, I wouldn't need Chad to make me give up sex. I'd be physically incapable of ever spreading my legs again.
“Keep up,” Jayne hissed. “Do you want him to catch you?”
I took a deep breath and thought about all the good this would do me – I'd have the tightest butt you could imagine by the time we got to Jayne's car – then I waddled along some more.
We got halfway there without any sign of Chad.
“Maybe he's given up?” Jayne said.
“Maybe he's found a prime viewing position and is laughing his arse off at us waddling through the car park?”
I'd started to develop a technique though and picked up speed. I started to outpace Jayne, figuring the sooner we got to her car, the sooner this embarrassment would end. Hells, what if someone saw us doing this?
I tried to sprint waddle to the next car when Jayne grabbed me, making me jump.
“Chad?” I hissed. But it wasn't Chad, it was a huge great truck heading towards me in the car park. Shit. I could've been killed.
Finally, we made it to Jayne's old bomb.
“My thighs will never be the same again,” I said. “That was a major workout.”
“I thought you'd have strong thighs from all the...” She did a sex sign with her fingers.
“Not as much as you'd think.”
Jayne started the car up, spinning the wheels as she backed out of the parking space. She got to the boom gates.
“Quick, grab the swipe card. I can see him coming.”
“Over there. Quick. It's in my handbag.”
I grabbed her handbag. How much shit did Jayne carry in that bag? Hair brushes and sketches on envelopes and a bunch of pencils in various chewed states.
“Here, let me.” She snatched the bag from me and waved the whole thing in front of the sensor. I could see Chad running towards us. He ran fast and didn't even look like he'd broken a sweat. Maybe because he hadn't been waddling all over the car park.
“Hurry up,” I said when he was within metres of the car.
“I can't leave until the arm goes up, I'll knock the top off my car.”
“Why the hell don't you have a convertible? We'd be out of here by now.”


Candy J. Starr used to be a band manager until she realised that the band she managed was so lacking in charisma that they actually sucked the charisma out of any room they played. "Screw you," she said, leaving them to wallow in obscurity - totally forgetting that they owed her big bucks for video equipment hire.

Candy has filmed and interviewed some big names in the rock business, and a lot of small ones. She's seen the dirty little secrets that go on in the back rooms of band venues. She's seen the ugly side of rock and the very pretty one.

But, of course, everything she writes is fiction.

She is currently working on Rock Star vs Millionaire - the sequel to Bad Boy Rock Star. Want to know about new releases and secret fan only offers? Join her mailing list -

Author links:

Friday, December 5, 2014

Falling From the Light Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Falling from the Light
Night Runner
Book Two
Regan Summers

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: 11/24/2014

Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 94,500

Cover Artist: Croco Designs

Book Description:

Phoenix, AZ

All Sydney Kildare wants is a minute in the slow lane, some time to decide where she’s going with her vampire lover, Malcolm Kelly. But after sitting out the last battle, the powerful Master Bronson is giving orders again, and he isn’t above blackmailing his former courier to get what he wants.

With Mal sent to track a vicious killer, Syd is forced to infiltrate a pharmaceutical company responsible for a drug that turns vampires into real monsters. She’s unprepared and alone, but fiercely determined. If her investigation doesn’t satisfy the Master, Malcolm will pay the price. A wrong turn throws her into the middle of a vampire power play. Caught between twisting forces, with their freedom at stake, she’ll have to decide what’s more important: love, power or revenge. But choosing what feels right might turn out all wrong.

Available at Amazon  BN   Kobo   Scribd


                    Goya’s warehouse sat on the other side of the parking lot from the office campus. Instead of grass, it was surrounded by scrubby dirt. Instead of fountains, it had banged-up box trucks. And, instead of a soaring lobby, there was a yellow metal cage outside the side door where, presumably, the warehouse folks could trap people and watch them cook to death for their own amusement. Luckily, it was early so it was only really hot rather than fatally hot.
I tossed my fake hair away from my neck and aimed my face at the camera, hoping my murderous glare was softened by a pink smile and midnight-blue eyeliner.
“You the new person?” a voice asked through a tinny speaker. I couldn’t tell if it was male or female.
“That’s me,” I said, trying to make the alias sound natural, “Andrea Franklin.”
The door clicked open.
“You’re late.” It was a woman, her voice low and rough from years of smoking.
I blinked as my eyes adjusted to the darkness and, when I could see again, found myself inside another metal enclosure. Maybe the entire world was just a series of cages laid end to end.
“Nothing to say for yourself?” The woman who stalked up was about my height. She wore a dark blue shirt with the white Goya logo, a smudged oval with a couple of wispy legs, over one small breast.
“I was told to start at nine.”
“Pshhhh. Corporate jackasses start at nine. We start at six, which means you’re late.” Her hair sprayed from the top of her head to her shoulders like a fistful of wheat stalks. Her face was a series of lines. Jagged lines around the eyes. Deep lines around the nose and mouth. A soft, curved line where her first chin met her second, even though she was thin. The uniform shirt billowed around knobby elbows.
“Well, I’m sorry for that.” I showed her my nicest smile. “It won’t happen again. Unless you’re planning to keep me in this cage.” That earned me a humph. She jabbed her thumb against a button to open the door and gestured for me to follow.
“I’m Andrea,” I said.
“I know.” She sounded like she was regretting me already. “I’m Lil. No ‘miz,’ no ‘ma’am,’ just Lil.”
There were four tall stacks of shelving covered in scabby orange paint that stretched to the overhead doors at the far end of the building. Hazard chevrons had been painted in what seemed like random squares every once in a while on the floor, places to park equipment and places where equipment shouldn’t drive. The building was noisy, with big fans fighting the hot air at the top of the building, and bigger AC units roaring away on the wall.
On the main floor two men worked a forklift, one spotting as the other pulled a pallet three rows up. They paused and watched as we approached. When Lil looked at them, they glared back for a moment before resuming work. Before the hair and the designer clothes, the only time I got a second look was when I was in full runner gear and makeup, and then I didn’t have to worry because even when people were looking at me, they didn’t see me.
“I’m not only your shift supervisor, I’m your direct superior.” Lil said superior like the title was a fact separating our worth. “You sick, dying, or thinking of working somewhere else, you come to me first. The cages are for visitors and drivers or anyone pretending to be a driver. We got schedule-four and -five substances in here. You know who came up with the schedules?”
Since I wasn’t sure what she was talking about, I didn’t have a clever answer. “No.”
“The DEA. That’s the Drug Enforcement Administration. Street junkies kill each other and a lot of good people to get their hands on that shit.” She jabbed her thumb toward the white cage. “You a junkie?”
Lil peered at me, hands on hips. I tried to look as unjunkie as possible.
“Do a lot of people try to get jobs in places like this so they can steal narcotics?”
“They try.” She sounded smug.
“But you catch them and bury them where even the buzzards can’t find them?”
She grinned. Her teeth were crooked and her mouth smelled of tobacco. “We do worse. Come on, newbie. I’ll show you your office.” A couple of guys wandered out from the stacks, one carrying a clipboard, the other moping along behind him. We veered toward a darker area partially enclosed by a stack of empty pallets on one side and a yellow metal cabinet on the other.
“Corner office for the day. I hope it’s to your liking, Miss Andrea Franklin.” Lil dropped her hand onto the back of a fabric chair, sending up a cloud of dust. A tiny combo TV/VCR sat on the school desk in front of it, next to a stack of videotapes.
“Safety and procedure training. Finish those tapes and bring any questions to me. Don’t ask these people, ’cause they don’t know anything. You got any questions now?”
I wanted to ask if the chair had been tested for hantavirus, but that would probably irritate Lil. “Where’s the bathroom?”
“Shitter’s back there.” She pointed vaguely toward a shadow far away.
“Great. I—”
“Don’t care.” She scooted away and I blew out a long breath. I knew that spying might be perilous. I hadn’t expected to have to deal with a shitter.

About the Author:

Regan Summers is the author of the romantic urban fantasy Night Runner series. As a native Alaskan, she’s used to long, cold nights but thinks they’re better with a helping of sexy vampires. Don’t Bite the Messenger, the first in the series, was a finalist for the 2013 EPIC eBook Awards in the paranormal category.

Life Lived Twice blitz

Life Lived Twice 
Sherrie Wouters
Publication date: June 6th 2014
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Romance


Some promises are made to last forever…

What if you fell in love with a stranger…but that stranger had come from your past, a past you never knew existed until the moment your eyes met?

When Tess Winters locks eyes with a stranger at an airport bookstore, it ignites a feeling of passion somewhere deep inside her that she can’t explain.

Although the encounter is innocent and brief, the intensity of it lingers, leaving her overwhelmed by a yearning for the mystery man now consuming her every thought.

Struggling to break the powerful hold he has over her heart, Tess starts to experience strange but familiar dreams…dreams from the turn of the twentieth century of the charming Mr Addison Taylor.

As her dreams start to materialize into reality, and past and present begin to blur, Tess is forced to put the pieces of a forgotten time together, and soon discovers that love isn’t the only thing that can find you after an eternity.

Captivating, mysterious, and romantic, Life Lived Twice will leave you wondering whether love is so powerful it could last more than a lifetime.




Sherrie Wouters is the author of the romantic fantasy, Life Lived Twice.

A qualified Homeoeopath and Kinesiologist, Sherrie lives in country Victoria, Australia with her husband, and two daughters. She is currently working on the sequel to Life Lived Twice.

Author Links:

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Feast of Fates Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Feast of Fates
Four Feasts Till Darkness
Book One
Christian A. Brown

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Date of Publication: September 9, 2014

ISBN: 978-1495907586
Number of pages: 540

Word Count: 212K

Cover Artist: Brian Garabrant

Book Description:

"I am a new woman. A new creature. I am myself, and yet so different."

Magic and destiny collide in Christian A. Brown's breathtaking debut novel, Feast of Fates.

Together known as the Sisters Three, Eean, the hand of fate, Elemech, the reader of fate, and Ealasyd, the spinner of fate, foresee a war between the Immortal Kings--and only one girl who can stop it.

Morigan lives a quiet life as the handmaiden to a fatherly old sorcerer named Thackery. But when she crosses paths with Caenith, a not wholly mortal man, her world changes forever. Their meeting sparks long buried magical powers deep within Morigan. As she attempts to understand her newfound abilities, unbidden visions begin to plague her--visions that show a devastating madness descending on one of the Immortal Kings who rules the land.

With Morigan growing more powerful each day, the leaders of the realm soon realize that this young woman could hold the key to their destruction. Suddenly, Morigan finds herself beset by enemies, and she must master her mysterious gifts if she is to survive.

Available at Amazon and Createspace


from Chapter 2

It was quite a jog from King’s Crown to Fates Row, the modest, middle-class district where Caenith lived on the outskirts of the Faire of Fates, and Morigan took an earthbound carriage for part of the trip. She wasn’t a spendthrift and saved almost all of what she worked for, as Mifanwae had taught, but the urge to see the smith again was a weight as heavy as stone, drawing her in his direction. Her unburdening to Thule and his approval emboldened her further, for he was a father and friend—the only one she had, lonely as that might seem—and his opinions were valued. Never did she forget the cautious side of his encouragement, however, of his unusual but apt warnings of a wolf. The more she dwelled on the idea, the more she found that a wolf was a fitting match for Caenith’s character: wild, noble, and dangerous.
            Once settled with her fare, she was deposited amid squat white houses and tall white shops, with roofs that glittered in the early evening light and streets filled with weary working folk headed home for the day or into noisy taverns, of which more than a few were around. Caenith’s house, she remembered, was in quieter environs a few blocks ahead. She stayed off the road and along the path, asking strangers to pardon her as she strode at a hastened pace.
            Slow down. Get a hold of your wits or lose your knickers, like Thule said. I’m paraphrasing, but still, she warned herself. She didn’t know much about men. She had kissed a few, groped some of the hardness that they kept behind their trousers, but wasn’t impressed by much of it. In recent years, she had given up on courtship entirely, for men weren’t interested in courtship with handmaidens living in less respectable neighborhoods, even though she was sure that they had other uses in mind for her. Perhaps that was what intrigued her about Caenith so much, his biding patience or surety. She knew that he desired her in a ravenous way, and yet she felt none of the frantic insistence that her other suitors had expressed toward her. None of that childlike need.
            You say that, but let’s see how he behaves tonight. This whole thing is silly. You’re acting as if you know this man when you spent maybe an hourglass with him. Therein was the rub: that for a stranger, it seemed as if she knew him so intimately. Or felt as if she grasped the most fundamental aspects of him: honor, bestial pride, and the beauty and destruction of a wild rapid. All that remained was to mine out the details. Why do I trust you? Of all the men I have met, only Thule has earned that right through burying my mother’s body with me, through sheltering me when I was alone. What right have you to command my trust as you do, Caenith? What right?
            She proceeded down the lane with a fury in her step, her riding cloak billowing, her dark skirt sweeping the ground like a black ghost. She was a startling vision to those who saw her, and they moved out of her way as if she was a mad but exquisite queen. A few roughnecks, red in the cheeks and leering from a tavern porch, did not heed her stormy expression and whistled at her from their chairs. Pigs! she hissed with such righteous indignation that the fools pouted into their ales, feeling as if the Everfair Queen herself had shamed them. Night was hungry for the day, and sterling lamplights, their starry magik trapped in hanging glass spheres, were winking on alongside the lane. She arrived at Caenith’s run-down property even angrier from the catcalls, stomped up the stairs, and went to knock on the door. It was wrenched open before her knuckles touched the wood. There was the smith.
            Some civility had found its way into his comportment this evening, though he wore it awkwardly, like an animal stuffed into clothing, and haphazardly, as if he had just dressed himself and not with great success. His highwayman’s shirt was a mess: its laces loose, a sleeve up, the other down, and the hem half tucked into trousers. The boots she recalled from yesterday. He wore a plain ebony ribbon in his hair, which was pulled back from his face. While he had certainly made the effort to be more trimmed than yesterday, she could only call him shorn, not shaved—she didn’t think he could ever be stripped to less than stubble. Still, he was no less disarming or enticing with his cologne of steel, sweat, and the deeper aromas of woods and silky fur, and what portions of his sinewy strength burst against his clothing took the remainder of her focus. She found herself completely drained of her anger and fumbling for words.
            “I…I am sorry. You seem as if you are dressed and on your way out.”
            Caenith stared but did not speak. Distantly and with sorrow, he remembered the Daughters of the Moon, victims of the New Age, with their milky skin and coats of nettles, raven feathers and black leaves: garments with haunting similarities to the lacy bodice and sweeping train that Morigan wore. She was as magikal as these phantoms of the past, but paler and prettier still, and her bust and cheeks were flushed from rushing. He could taste the salty-sweet sweat of her on his palate and hear the pounding of her blood as a rousing tribal drum in his ears.
            “I was waiting for you,” he said.
            Morigan looked around suspiciously. “You…you were?”
            “I—” Smelled you down the street and hurried to make myself presentable. “I felt that you would return today, that the winds would bear your sweetness my way, and I see that Geadhain has granted my wish.”
            “I see. How very…strange,” replied Morigan.
            Caenith welcomed her with a grin; his canines were unusually long, they glimmered in the lamplight. “Cups! I have been working on cups! Come inside, dear fawn.”
            Cups? And there’s that “fawn” talk again. I think he’s some manner of a lunatic, thought Morigan, and against what little sense prevailed in the company of this man, she went into Caenith’s shop. Inside was brighter than she remembered, and small lamps had been lit in vases on the floor. She had to blink to understand them, these twining metal flowers, their petals opened and stigmas made of flame. She stopped to admire one, seeing the wick inside the fire, amazed that this was not magik, but more of the smith’s work, impossibly detailed and manufactured by enormous fingers.
            “Resilience and beauty,” said Caenith, breathing over her neck. “The strength of steel and the beauty—and power—of fire. I was inspired to create them this morning. The metal’s song was clear with how it was to be made. Do you like them?”
            “Yes, they’re…lovely.”
            “I agree,” muttered Caenith, and he placed a hand upon her back, leading her farther into his den. “Cups,” he promised, but said no more.

About the Author:

Christian A. Brown has written creatively since the age of six. After spending most of his career in the health and fitness industry, Brown quit his job to care for his mother when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma in 2010.

Having dabbled with the novel that would eventually become Feast of Fates for over a decade, Brown was finally able to finish the project. His mother, who was able to read a beginning version of the novel before she passed away, has since imbued the story with deeper sentiments of loss, love, and meaning. He is proud to now share the finished product with the world.

Uncross the Stars blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Uncross the Stars 
Janell Rhiannon
Publication date: December 15th, 2014
Genres: Romance, Young Adult


Fiona Lavender is the new girl at school. She has a chip on her shoulder and a penchant for poetry. Dario Martinez is the star quarterback, and the most unattainable guy on campus. Their stars cross when they are paired to study Romeo and Juliet for a senior English project. Their attraction is fragile and undeniable. But, Dario is afraid of what love will do; and Fiona is waiting for love to claim her.

Will they uncross the stars and find the love they both need to heal their pasts?


Will be found here come release day:


Chapter 1
At midnight, Fiona and her mother finally pulled into the driveway of their new rental. Her mom cut the engine, but not the parking lights.
“Looks like we made it, Fee.”
“Barely. I thought you were going to kill us a few times weaving all over the road like you were,” Fiona said.
“It’s not easy driving and towing a U-haul trailer. It’s heavy,” her mom replied and began rummaging through her purse.
Fiona ignored her mother and squinted through the dust and bug splats on the windshield at the dark house. She noticed the crooked light fixture on the left side of the garage, and the rain gutter hanging askew.
“Looks like we’re the haunted house on the block,” Fiona said.
Her mom hit the high beams spotlighting the garage door like a stage.
“Not so helpful, Mom.” Fiona got out of the car and stretched her neck and back. She inhaled the cool fall air. Peering through the darkness, she noticed the bushes lining the dead grass yard needed trimming, the thinly branched tree in the front stood naked of leaves, and mounds of dried up flowers filled the flower bed under the front window. Shadows darkened the walkway to the front door. A pair of windows stared out at the street like rectangular evil eyes.
“Looks sturdy and dirty. And creepy. I can hardly wait to go inside, Mom.”
Fiona peered inside the car. Under the dim dome light, her mom had dumped the entire contents of her purse on the passenger side seat.
“Mom, what are you doing?”
“I think I left the key back in Watsonville.”
“Great,” Fiona said. She glanced back at the windows. They remained staring blankly into the night. Fiona looked down the street in both directions. Every single house had a lit porch, except theirs.
“Ahhh-ha! I found it. It was in the ash tray. I forgot I put it in there for safe keeping.”
“Hurry up, Mom. It’s dark outside.”
“Fine. I’m coming. Have some patience, Fee,” her mom said, as she got out of the car.
They walked the dark pathway to the front door. A powdery dust covered everything. Fiona’s mom tried to fit the key in the lock and open the door. She jiggled and twisted the knob, syncing the internal mechanisms with difficulty, until the door finally creaked open into a darkness blacker than night.
“Where’s the light switch?” her mom asked, as she ran her hand over the wall next to the door frame. “Ah!”
Fiona heard the light switch click. She heard her mom toggle it up and down several times in rapid succession, but nothing happened.
“Ummm,” her mom mumbled.
“There aren’t any lights on outside either. Don’t tell me we don’t have any electricity,” Fiona said.
“Well, either that or we need several dozen light bulbs,” her mother answered.
“Figures.” Fiona heard her mother rummaging through her purse again. “What are you doing?”
“Wait. I think I’ve got it.”
Fiona heard jangling keys, a soft snap and a beam of blue light appeared from her mother’s hand. “There we go.” Her mom walked into the house waving the thin light in front of her. When she found the kitchen, she searched through random drawers. “There we go,” she said again.
“There we go what?” Fiona asked completely annoyed.
“Candles. Now, all I need is some fire.”
Fiona flipped a pack of paper matches at her mom.
“Where’d you get these? You aren’t smoking again, are you?”
“From the counter, Mom! Jeez. I smoke one time three years ago and you act like I’m going to die of lung cancer or some crap. Light the dumb candle already.” As her mom lit the candles, it occurred to Fiona, “Did you call ahead to get the power turned on?”
“What?” Her mom asked.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me.”
“Maybe I can get my old job back.” Fiona’s mom rerouted the conversation.
“What job?” Fiona asked, rolling her eyes.
“The one at Red Lobster. Ah. There we go. Light.” Fiona’s mom smiled triumphantly, holding up a lit candle.
Fiona stared at her mother through the candlelight. “Are you serious? That was ten years ago.”
“I was good at that job. The manager, oh, what was her name? Mandy?”
“Who cares what her name was. It was ten years ago. No one’s going to remember you.”
Undeterred by Fiona’s negativity, her mother continued, “I think it was Valerie. Yes, I’m pretty sure it was Valerie. Maybe she’s still there.”
“Ten years ago, Mom. And nice try.” Fiona said.
“Nice try what?” Her mom paused. “I noticed you didn’t use the F-word. I’m proud of you sticking to your promise.”
“Nice try not answering my question. The power company. You didn’t call ahead, did you?”
“I was so busy getting the U-haul loaded—”
“I’ll take that as a no,” Fiona said flatly.
“I’m sorry, Fee. I’ll get on it first thing in the morning.”
“Can we just unload some things, so I can go to bed, preferably not on the floor?”
After an hour of wrestling the flimsy mattresses to their rooms, moving boxes, and ignoring her mom the whole time, Fiona finally had the solitude she craved. She found the box she’d packed Mr. Lion-Bear in for the trip from Watsonville to Sierra Crest. She opened it and pulled him out and hugged him to her chest, like she did when she was a little girl.
Ten years ago, when her mother decided in her typical impulsive fashion to get married to Dominic, some guy she barely knew, two important things happened. Her mom had a huge yard sale and lion-bear became her best friend. Fiona hated the yard sale because she watched bits and pieces of her life walk away, like her little Star Wars figurines, her too small ballet shoes, and her favorite Beauty and the Beast comforter. She had cried so hard that her mom bought her a new stuffed animal. The instant she saw him she’d loved him because he promised with his fuzzy black nose to her neck that he’d never leave her. She named him lion-bear because he was a lion, but soft like a teddy bear. She had whispered all her secrets into his fuzzy ears.
Within days of the dreaded yard sale and the purchase of her beloved companion, they had packed up the remaining pieces of wreckage from their life in Sierra Crest, crammed them into the car, and drove two hundred miles northwest to Watsonville never to look back.
At the time, Fiona’s mother reassured her that Dominic epitomized fun and happy, and most important of all he had a job and promised to take care of them. They’d been struggling for months, going without electricity or water more than once, because her mom couldn’t keep a steady job. Her mom always made a game out of the darkness and the droughts. She said it was good to find the silver lining in the rain clouds. Usually, that meant her mom reading to her by candle light.
“Here we are again, Mr. Lion-Bear. Back where we started,” Fiona said to the worn stuffed animal in her lap. “This time better be different. If my mom meets another guy, I swear I’ll never talk to her again. I’m so absolutely sick of moving. Sick of changing schools.”
Moving to Watsonville was supposed to have been a fresh start for Fiona and her mother, but once they got there the beautiful dream quickly eroded into a familiar disaster. Dominic turned out to be as flaky as all the rest of the men her mom dated. Fiona couldn’t believe anyone could be worse at holding down a regular job than her mother, but Dominic proved otherwise. Dominic also turned out to be some kind of moody jerkwad. Weeks before Fiona’s mom had decided to leave for good, he had been diagnosed as bi-polar—which answered a lot of questions, but the damage had been done. Her mom packed them up to move again. She promised Fiona life would be different this time if they went back to Sierra Crest and recovered the life they dumped years ago.
“I hope Mom’s being honest with herself. I want to finish my senior year at the same school. I don’t think I can take moving one more time.” She plopped Mr. Lion-Bear on her bed. “We need some blankets, little friend.” She opened another box marked FIONA’S ROOM and pulled out a well-worn quilt. “This’ll do.” Fiona smoothed it on the top mattress, blew out the candle and lay down exhausted. “God, I hope she’s being honest with herself.”


Janell has been writing since she was in grade school. In high school, her 9th grade English teacher suggested she consider a career in writing. After a decade in college and a Master's degree in history, she settled into teaching.

Writing never stopped. Stories never stopped. READING fiction never stopped. Now, she writes and publishes on-line. Invisible Wings is her first YA novel, a compilation of short stories centered on teenage life triumphs and tragedies. She believes being a teenager is difficult and wrote Invisible Wings to let teens know they aren't alone. That they matter. That even though life is rough, they can still find beauty and love.

Beside the YA stories close to her heart, she adores Mythology and Fairy tales. Anything magical and mystical. And dragons. And gargoyles.

She currently lives in CA.

Visit her at Facebook @Janell Rhiannon Author. If you want to see what projects are in the works or find out more about the her, visit

Author links:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Song Magick Tour, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Song Magick
Elisabeth Hamill

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Fire and Ice Young Adult

ISBN: 1612358675

Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 104K

Cover Artist: Caroline Andrus

Book Description:

In a realm where magic was thought to be lost, young bard Telyn Songmaker is able to cast powerful spells with her music. Exiled from home in the violent aftermath of her song magic gone awry, Telyn endures a solitary freedom…unaware of the price on her head. 

Bound to the Wood by blood and by oath, Mithrais is dispatched to protect her by the dying sylvan gods he serves. Only Telyn can perform the dangerous counterspell that may save them. But love may be the most unpredictable magic of all…

Available at Smashwords  FireandIceYA  Lulu  Amazon  BN


“Is it true that there was a murder in the Sildan court last year?” a calm male voice called from the end of the room furthest from the dais. Telyn felt herself grow cold, her fingers stilling on the harp strings, and forced her voice to remain neutral.
“There was an unfortunate incident involving the son of Vuldur, Lord of the East. He was killed, but it was not murder. Lord Vuldur seems to have gone mad with grief and views it as such.”
“That is understandable,” the voice continued mildly. “After all, it was his only son. Isn’t that right?”
 Telyn could not see who was asking the questions, and indeed, the voice now seemed to come from nowhere and everywhere at once. She took a deep breath and answered, “Yes, it was his only son.”
Mercifully, the voice did not come again, and Telyn let her fingers move on the strings of her harp in the beginnings of the interrupted song, forcing herself to calm and concentrate on her music. Her heart was racing. It was entirely possible that the question was an innocent product of rumors filtering west of the Sildan capital, but even Riordan hadn’t heard anything about the incident until this afternoon. She played the song with single-minded focus, rigidly employing her disciplines until her breathing was normal and her heart slowed. It seemed that none of the guests had noticed her discomfiture and were smiling with pleasure at the music. It was just a rumor repeated, she told herself. It had to be that.
“I promised Lord Riordan a love song for his lady,” Telyn said, disciplining her voice to carry nothing but cheer. She glanced at the head table. Riordan smiled at her encouragingly with a reassuring nod, and Lady Ciara beamed at her. Mithrais, although he appeared relaxed, looked ready to fly to her side at an instant’s notice.
She closed her eyes and began to play one of the oldest Sildan love songs she knew, letting the haunting and beautiful music carry her song magic to the audience, enhancing an atmosphere of romantic anticipation. She had just taken a breath in preparation to sing the first verse when the sting of pain, a jangling discord of strings and the crunch of wood startled her eyes open.
Telyn looked down and saw the feathered end of a small crossbow bolt. The point was buried in the shattered soundboard of her harp, directly over her heart. A warm trickle of blood welled from a shallow cut on the back of her hand where the bolt had grazed. 
Several women screamed; in the sudden confusion, Telyn sat frozen with the harp in her lap. Mithrais was suddenly there, appearing out of thin air to pull her to the floor and shield her with his own body while Riordan protected Ciara, bellowing orders to his guards to find the person who had fired the bolt.
Ciara was pointing toward the rafters. Telyn clawed her mask off and tried to look up, but between Mithrais crouching over her and the guests running to and fro she could see only the floor, Mithrais’ discarded mask, and the shattered remains of her harp on the stones beside her. The dark iron crossbow bolt stood out in stark relief against the pale wood.
“This way!” Riordan beckoned Mithrais, who lifted Telyn up to her feet, still shielding her from the unseen marksman, and hurried to where Riordan was pointing. Behind the tapestry on the dais was a hidden hallway, and Riordan and Ciara followed them in. “It leads to my library. Go!”

About the Author:

Elisabeth Hamill is a nurse by day, fantasy novelist by night. In seventh grade, she had “Famous Author” inscribed under her name on her yearbook cover – an aspiration that, while delayed, was never forgotten! Her first published work, SONG MAGICK, saw its first draft finished during recuperation from cancer treatment and surgery, and is the fulfillment of that lifelong dream of being an author.

She lives in eastern Kansas with her family, where they fend off flying monkey attacks and prep for the zombie apocalypse.