Tag Archives: mythology

Author Showcase – Karissa Laurel (The Norse Chronicles)

 

Midnight Burning

Solina Mundy lives a quiet life, running the family bakery in her small North Carolina hometown. But one night, she suffers a vivid nightmare in which a wolfish beast is devouring her twin brother, who lives in Alaska. The next morning, police notify her that Mani is dead. Driven to learn the truth, Solina heads for the Land of the Midnight Sun. Once there, she begins to suspect Mani’s friends know more about his death than they’ve let on. Skyla, an ex-Marine, is the only one willing to help her.

As Solina and Skyla delve into the mystery surrounding Mani’s death, Solina is stunned to learn that her own life is tied to Mani’s friends, his death, and the fate of the entire world. If she can’t learn to control her newfound gifts and keep her friends safe, a long-lost dominion over mortals will rise again, and everything she knows will fall into darkness.

 

Arctic Dawn

Alone and exhausted after her month-long sojourn as a shooting star, Solina Mundy flees to southern California to lie low, recuperate, and plot a survival strategy. The one person she trusts to watch her back is her best friend, Skyla Ramirez. But Skyla has been missing for weeks. The arrival of a dangerous stranger and the discovery of a legendary weapon of mass destruction force Solina out of hiding and back into the fight for her life.

Solina knows she won’t last long on her own. She must find out what happened to Skyla and unite her contentious allies if she hopes to track down this devastating weapon before her enemies use it to burn the world to ash.

 

Molten Dusk

While recovering from a devastating betrayal, Solina becomes increasingly drawn to Thorin as he helps her hunt down Skoll, the mythical wolf who vowed to kill her. If she can find and destroy the beast, she’ll bring a swift and brutal end to her enemies’ schemes. But nothing ever goes as planned in Solina’s strange new world.

During her search for Skoll, Solina uncovers a plot to unleash a battalion of legendary soldiers and launch an apocalyptic war. Before she and her allies can locate the fabled army, several ghosts from her past return to haunt her. Solina must fight for life and the fate of the world, or her hopes for love and a peaceful future will go up in flames.

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Midnight Burning Excerpt

As if he sensed my reticence, Val made the move that he must have thought would convince me to agree. But it was the wrong move. He swooped me into his arms and kissed me, hard and possessive. For a heartbeat I saw an image of the earth sinking into a sea of fire, but reality returned in the next moment. Val’s kiss was brutish, like he was trying to claim me. I didn’t care for it at all, and I shoved at him. “Val, stop it,” I said, turning away to gasp for breath. I reached for my fire, but I never got the chance to use it.

This time when Thorin appeared, it wasn’t in his usual silent and sudden way. His arrival was loud, like a steam train roaring into the station, crashing against Val and slamming him into the wall. I gasped and jumped out of the way.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing, Val?” Thorin raged like an angry giant. Fee-fi-fo-fum, indeed. “She made it clear that she wants you to leave her alone.”

Val shoved against Thorin, his biceps bulging from the effort, but Thorin held him in place.

She came to me,” Val said. “Apologizing, hoping to make up. Why don’t you ask her what she wants?” Val’s eyes darted to mine. “C’mon, Solina, tell us. You want me to keep my hands off?”

Thorin shoved him again. “It was a lot more than your hands.”

“Who do you think you are, Thorin? Her father? Her jealous lover? I know for a fact she’s never laid a hand on you.”

“You don’t know anything,” Thorin said.

Val’s certainty wavered for a second, his eyes flickering between me and Thorin. “Bullshit,” Val said, finally working up the force to push Thorin away. Val stormed over to his bed, grabbed the messenger bag containing his things, and slid the strap across his chest. “This is all bullshit.”

Fire simmered just under the surface of my skin, pushing like shaken champagne strains against a loose cork. The little devil on my shoulder urged me to let it out, convert all my feelings into a messy conflagration and burn down both Val and Thorin. Fortunately my voice of reason spoke louder. By the time I recovered my composure, Val was already out the door and making his way down the hall, so I turned my indignation on Thorin.

“What the hell?” I said. Thorin glared back at me, his eyes black and bottomless. “Who asked you to interfere?”

“Last night you announced to the whole house you were finished with Val. Then I come around the corner to find him plastered all over you, and you didn’t look like you were enjoying it.”

“Irrelevant!” I screeched. Thorin was intent on making me the damsel in distress, and I was sick of being underrated.

Thorin folded his arms over his chest and glared at me. “Who knew you were such a fickle creature, Miss Mundy?”

“It’s irrelevant because I was perfectly capable of handling Val on my own, but you always underestimate me. I’m not helpless. And stop calling me Miss Mundy. We both know you only do it to get under my skin.” I raged at him over the inconsequential because I didn’t want Thorin to know the depth of my confusion and hurt. Val’s insistence on treating me as some trophy to claim felt like a metaphorical fist squeezing my heart.

Thorin stepped closer and leaned down so that we were nose to nose. “And you continued to humor Val just to get under my skin.”

“Why won’t you understand that what happens between Val and me has nothing to do with you?”

Thorin leaned in even closer and dropped his voice. His warm breath brushed my cheek when he said, “Why won’t you understand just how wrong you are about that?”

“What are you saying?” My voice went dry and raspy as Thorin’s closeness filled my senses. My heartbeat changed from a frantic gallop to an anticipatory lope. My body was so quick to betray my convictions.

He brought his lips mere millimeters from mine and then stopped. His scent was thunderstorms and burnt sky. He cupped my face in his hands and rubbed a thumb over my lower lip. His touch was lightning, and it brought forth images of boiling clouds the color of bruises and winds like artillery, tearing into an army of shadows bearing claws and teeth. He growled, cursing in a language I did not recognize. If I’d had to guess, it probably translated to something along the lines of “damn it to hell.” Then he shook his head, and in a rough and broken voice he said, “I’m not like him. I won’t make his mistakes.”

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All the stories in The Norse Chronicles can be purchased separately.

See below for those links and for A Norse Chronicles novella, not found in the collection above. 


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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky named Bonnie. Some of her favorite things are coffee, dark chocolate, super heroes and Star Wars. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. In the summer she’s camping, kayaking, and boating at the lake, and in the winter, she’s curled up with a good book.

 

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Author Showcase – CJ Matthew (Sea Dragon Shifter Series)

~ BOOK ONE ~

Elusive billionaire and sea dragon shifter, Murdoch Rudraige lives in the shadow of his successful twin and is tired of not being taken seriously within the Clan’s international shipping conglomerate. 

Until Annalisa Bartello, an employee from California, crashes into the front gate of his seaside estate and assumes Murdoch is his twin brother. She is risking her life to bring them proof of a corporate traitor and he is lying to her. 

Murdoch knows immediately that she’s his mate – but how can she love him after she learns he’s the screw-up twin and a sea dragon? 

Until it’s settled, Murdoch isn’t willing to let her out of his sight. Not until he’s certain she is safe, and he has had time to figure out how to explain dragon shifters to the curvy human. 

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~ BOOK TWO ~

Devlin’s predictable life was about to implode… Thanks in part to a mystery woman’s New Year’s Eve kiss. And a competitor’s unprecedented appeal for help.

Sea Dragon shifter Devlin was comfortable with the routine of his Tokyo-based shipping executive job and his solo existence. Until the unexpected events of New Year’s Eve tipped his entire life on edge. Was he ready for the challenges? Was a crash course in drastic change a bad thing?

Like discovering the feisty human female is his fated mate?

And working with her, a virtual stranger, to track down a bomb toting madman?

You’ll love this book because everyone enjoys watching an odd couple become a team and work through their issues together.

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~ BOOK THREE ~

Whenever his Sea Dragon chieftain called, Liam’s life went to shitte…
Hunters attacking the Druid’s secret island? 
No sweat. Call a Zodiac Shifter Guardian. 
Just not him… 

Sea Dragon shifter Liam Rudraige was up to his eyeballs managing Muirdris’s shipping business at the Port of Dublin, plus the Port of Cork expansion, and all the while dodging stalker salesmen.
Until the boss called…and Liam was forced to swim the fastest undersea route to the Druid’s magical island sanctuary.

NY public relations guru, Heather Daniels, despises belligerent sales reps. Seriously, what could be worse? 

Transferring to Ireland to discover she’s expected to clean up after her stalker-zilla predecessor. The aggressive jerk left a real mess. And the first executive listed on her make-amends-inventory, Liam Rudraige, has disappeared.

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~ STAY TUNED, BOOK FOUR ~
~ Coming the end of May 2019 ~ 

 

~ FUTURE RELEASE, BOOK FIVE ~
~ Coming July 2019 ~

 

 

~ CHECK OUT THESE WONDERFUL SERIES BY CJ MATTHEW! ~

Deadly Reboot

Survival Reboot

Maximum Reboot

Extreme Reboot (TBA)

 

 

Blood Tide

Risky Tide

Dangerous Tide

Lethal Tide

Toxic Tide

Fatal Tide (TBA)

 

The Colonel’s Daughters, A Quintet

A Major Seduction

A Major Affair

Compromising the Captain (TBA)

 

 

Stay connected with CJ Matthew at any of these locations…..

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Review of “Death’s Desire: Siren’s Lullaby Anthology” – Tracy A. Ball

Enchanted Anthologies presents Siren’s Lullaby, an intertwined novel told by six authors. 

‘The madness of the eyes is the lure of the abyss.’

Three women are left stranded on a small Island near Sicily, Italy, to starve, but they won’t give up easily. Joining together to fight to survive, they make a deal with a demon of the sea. 

The only catch is they must lure ships to the rocks using their voices and sink the ships along with the men aboard. 

Three pirates–brothers–who haven’t agreed on much since their mother died get back together for a long journey. They long to rid themselves of the curse placed on them by a sea witch. 

An insatiable hunger felt by the seductress sirens and the deadly pirates will join them together in more ways than they could ever have thought. 

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I didn’t know where the others were, but Tristian, Rauel and I were taken to a pen. It wasn’t large or particularly comfortable but a small cave with bars that appeared to have been salvaged from some-long forgotten ship. I imagined lots of things from long-forgotten ships were hoarded in these caves.

Tristian and Rauel belonged to my vanguard. Deadly fighters and trustworthy men. That was, if you considered men who plunder to be trustworthy. I knew enough about them to anticipate what was coming. Tristian was claustrophobic. He hesitated at the cave’s entrance and turned on the siren. 

I drew my sword and turned on him. “We all must die sooner or later. Your choice.”

Rauel went into the cave without a backward glance. He had called me unpredictable on more than one occasion.

“Baldassare, I can’t go in there,” Tristian said.

“You can, and you will.” I nudged him with my sword tip.

It was low, almost inaudible. I felt it before I heard it, snaking its way around my heart. My sword arm went limp. Tristian didn’t notice. He, too, was captured by the siren’s magic. Rauel came forward, enchanted, called by this temptress. The bitch. I didn’t understand what she was doing, but I didn’t want her to stop.

All too soon, she did stop. I was sure we looked as stupid as we felt. 

“Get in the pen.” Her words were cold, but her eyes were black magic. My member stiffened, not for the first time since I’d seen her.

She noticed. 

“There are seven deadly sins,” she said. “I can sing and make you guilty of all of them.” She locked the cage behind us. 

“Wait,” Rauel called before she moved away. He didn’t have anything to say. He just didn’t want her to leave.

She paused.

“Who built this?” He touched the bars.

While he talked, I committed her to memory. I wanted a detailed image when I pampered my erection. 

“You are not the first men to make landfall.” She spoke as if he was impertinent for asking. 

Tristian knelt, pressing his face against the bars, taking deep breaths. “There are other men here?”

“Not any longer.” She thought a minute, then said to me, “Perhaps, you’ll be next.”

“Then I best get busy.” I nodded my head once in the direction of my crotch.

Her exquisite bottom lip dropped open. It quivered like she had something naughty to say. She came very close to me, reached out to touch me…only she didn’t. Damn. I wanted her to touch me. Her fingers were a wisp away from cupping my groin. Oh, please… 

“I can sing all seven sins.” This time, she did not look back.

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(review request of “Death’s Desire” submitted by the author, Tracy A. Ball,  for an honest critique) 

“Death’s Desire” conveyed beautifully the enticing power of a siren’s call, the magnitude of their power, and the lure of their body.

As we know from mythology, sirens are irresistible and bloodthirsty beings. Tracy capitalized nicely on illustrating their seductiveness and their insatiable hunger to feed on victims that cross their path. She also allowed readers to witness their capacity for the emotion – love.

Twist and turns, love and death, “Death’s Desire” could’ve went on to a full-length novel. As “Death’s Desire” came to a close, I came to realize I didn’t want Baldassare and the sirens’ story to end.

 

Heart Rating System:

1 (lowest) and 5 (highest) 

Score: ❤❤❤❤

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Novelist, Reviewer, Content Editor, Blogger, T-shirt Wearer, and Professional Snacker; Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and a veteran West Virginian whose family is blended from three cultures. She has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She knows people who have committed murder and people who have dined with the Pope.

Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love…and takes naps.

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Author Showcase – Tracy A. Ball (Dragonfly Dreams)

Print Length: 107 pages

Everything changed with one jump.

Shattered, Leaf fled to the last place she wanted to be- Onyx Narpole’s world…Onyx Narpole’s arms.
Leaf Harper was Onyx’s enemy; he made sure of it. Onyx could forget everybody and everything, but he could not forget why.

***

In the Elven world of Cassenia, there are good guys and then there was Onyx. The war was over for everyone but him. He took it upon himself to establish his father as the leader of the Elven Alliance. But, he didn’t count on Leaf. Leaf allied to Roman, Onyx’s cousin, and rightful heir. Leaf, set to marry Bin, Onyx’s sworn enemy. Leaf, trembling in his arms, melting under his touch and setting him on fire…

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Snippet 1 

 

“I’m supposed to trust you?”

“You don’t trust me?”

“We’re talking about a war.” She sipped some more.

 Onyx leaned in again, took the cup out of her hand and kissed her while her lips were still coffee-warm. “Trust that.”

She wanted to. This was so…special. He was…wow. But… “How many girls trust your kisses?”

He didn’t hesitate. “Too many to count.”

That wasn’t good. “You want me to trust something that’s clearly not true?”

“There’s a difference.”

She waited.

“I didn’t ask them to.”

 

Snippet 2

“You didn’t see anything, except what I wanted. I’d been in her bed all night. Trust me, if I had intended to shag her, it would have been accomplished hours before you got there. Hell, her panties were still in place.”

Roman didn’t want to know. “Why are you sharing?”

“Because I now owe you allegiance. And, for some incomprehensible reason, you mean something to her. Your opinion matters…to her. I won’t have you or anybody thinking less of her because of me.”

In spite of himself, Roman felt both relieved and a nagging growing respect for Onyx’s feelings toward Leaf. “May I ask why the charade?” He pointed back down the hall.

“You know my father. Had I not completely compromised her, and took the entire situation out of his hands, would he consent to a Fada?”

“Don’t call her that again.”

“I’ll call her any damned thing I want.”

“I’d rather not see you with Leaf. What’s stopping me from going back and telling them you used me?”

“Leaf knows what did and did not happen between us. I don’t recall her making any denials. I don’t recall her saying anything. You can go back there if you want to stand in the way of her happiness and a truce between our fathers. Besides, when you get right down to it, who gives a shit about your jealousy? I know there’s a part of you that wishes for a different relationship with Leaf. But, you roped it in for West. Keep doing that.”

 

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Novelist, Reviewer, Content Editor, Blogger, T-shirt Wearer, and Professional Snacker; Tracy A. Ball is a native Baltimorean and a veteran West Virginian whose family is blended from three cultures. She has opened her home to foster children, drug addicts, AIDS victims and anyone who needed an assist. She knows people who have committed murder and people who have dined with the Pope.

Which is why she writes sweet stories about tough love…and takes naps.

 

KAYOS: The Bad & The Worse

The Tiger & The Snake

The Right Way To Be Wrong

Dragonfly Dreams 

 

Coming soon:

Left on Marriottsville (Our Secret Nook Anthology)

The Villain (Siren’s Lullaby Anthology)

 

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Author Showcase – Jo Zebedee

Amy was five when she vanished during a family trip, only to be found hours later, clutching a golden acorn and claiming to have visited fairies. Now she’s eighteen, and the fairies are calling her back. 

While attending a wedding deep in the Antrim glens, the voices grow darker and their song takes hold. Not sure if she’s mad or if the fairies are real, she flees, drawing well-meaning Simon into her fairy-fuelled road trip. 

To escape their hold, she must confront long-hidden secrets, and find a truth which may not be hers to unearth. 

But, even then, the fairies may not let her go…

 

 

If there’s a line between fantasy and madness, then Jo Zebedee’s characters are dragged kicking and screaming across it. A dark fable about belonging that is rooted as deeply in Northern Ireland as it is in the fantasy genre, with shades of Graham Joyce thrown in for good measure. – Stephen Poore, Longlist Gemmell Award

Waters and the Wild had me in suspense from the first page to the last. Ancient legends meet the modern world in a powerful tale of haunting ambiguities. – Teresa Edgerton, author of the Green Lion Trilogy

Waters and the Wild is a sinister, heart-stopping tale of fairy abduction in the beautiful glens of Antrim. You need it. So read it. – Peadar O’Guilin, Author of The Call

 

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The alien invasion is over. Humanity lost. 

In Belfast, John Dray protects his younger siblings by working for the local hard man. Set up, he’s sent to the formidable alien prison, Inish Carraig, a fate Henry Carter, the policeman assigned to John, can’t stop. 

Once there, John discovers a plot which threatens Earth and everyone he loves. To reveal it, he has to get out and there is only one person who can help.

 

 

A bestseller in Alien Invasion, Inish Carraig is an original science fiction novel ‘blessed with an entirely novel storyline’ Alexander Stevenson-

‘A thoughtful and intelligent writer’ – Allen Stroud, British Science Fiction Association reviewer

An exceptional novel. The pace is incredible with hard hitting characters and a powerful plot.’ Sffchronices.com

‘Tight and dramatic throughout.’ Sfbook.com

‘Onto my pile of best novels of the year.’ JLDobias, author of the Cripple Mode series.

 

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“If Kare could, he’d walk away, useless to anyone. Except – he looked at the thin ribbon of blue vein on his wrist – they’d have to take his blood, too.”

Kare doesn’t want to inherit his mother’s galactic Empire. He, more than anyone, knows the cruelty she is capable of. But there is no one else who can stand against her. 

From hunted child, to the agony of being his mother’s captive, his life has never been his own. 

His destiny lies in the Empress’s city of Abendau. There, he faced her torture chambers, his mind picked apart. He’ll have to return if he is ever to forge his own future. 

 


“Zebedee possesses the rare skills to charm you with pleasantness before choking you on tragedy” – Tim C Taylor, author of the Human Legion series.

“A bright and fresh new voice in the genre” – Francis (Julia) Knight, author of Fade to Black.

“Bravura plotting and the promise of a climatic confrontation doesn’t disappoint” – Steven Poore, author of The High King’s Vengeance.

“This is shaping up to be a series that will place the author up there with the ‘names’ in science fiction'” – Andy Angel, book reviewer.

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Jo is the author of five sf and fantasy novels, based either in her native Northern Ireland or her Space Opera world of Abendau. Described as a ‘thoughtful and intelligent writer’ by the BSFA, Jo has been an Amazon bestseller across a range of categories. She also teaches writing speculative fiction and attends conventions when she can. When not writing, she runs a consultancy, runs after not-so-small-children and thinks cloning technology is the only way forward.

 

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