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That Night: A Nadira Holden Novel by Azaaa Davis (Book Showcase)

All Nadira Holden wants is to preserve the last of her soul and create a new life free of magic, demons, and war. 

Her involuntary bond with a succubus makes her desires impossible. The threat of this disgruntled demon possessing her urges Nadira to find the succubus’s missing body. 

Nadira’s only hope of avoiding demonic possession lies with Derek, the only demon she can tolerate without slaying. Except his hands are full trying to secure his recently-inherited title of prince. Desperate, Nadira agrees to help Derek secure his title by experimenting with the deadly magic they once generated in exchange for his aid in her investigation. 

To untangle herself from the evil that surrounds her, Nadira must be willing to betray her friends and get cozy with her enemies. She may even have to do the unthinkable: break the peace treaty that allows demons and humans to coexist. If she can’t toss aside her scruples, Nadira may not make it out of this ordeal with her soul intact. 

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Below is the first scene of That Night — book two in the Nadira Holden, Demon Hunter seres. Enjoy this sneak peek and pre-order your copy today!

Please note this writing sample is provide before the final round of professional editing.

 

 

He pressed his lips against hers. His were thin, chapped and puckered. He began moaning immediately. His head tilted from left to right and back again. His mouth opened greedily. Long, thin and forked, his serpentine tongue licked her face from lip to brow, cheek to chin. And, she allowed it.

Nadira looked away as her stomach turned. Despite the biting cold waiting for her outside, Nadira pushed away her full cup of hot green tea. Sadly, she realized she would have to find a new hangout spot or accept the fact that demons were now sought after as lovers to teenage bookworms. And with those two unfortunate choices, Nadira stood from her cushioned lounge chair, stretched, then began walking out of Great Escape—her favorite bookstore—with her coat in one hand and a small, hardcover novel titled A Little Princess in the other.

“Miss, miss!” Nadira heard someone shout from behind her. “You forgot your phone!”

She turned and came face to face with the reason she was leaving.

“Thanks,” she mumbled as she carefully took the phone, successfully avoiding skin to skin contact.

The tall, slumped demon narrowed his eyes when he saw her discomfort. His pale skin had a blueish-green undertone that became more apparent when he clenched his jaw in annoyance. When Nadira rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth at his attitude, he swiftly grabbed her wrist and pulled her in close.

Do not kiss me.

“You’re next,” he said. Then, he licked his barely-there lips.

Nadira jerked backward and accidently bumped into the arm of someone sitting close by. From the sound of dishes clinking, the aroma, and someone hissing in pain, she knew hot coffee was spilled.

“Geez, I’m sorry!” Nadira apologized quickly.

Before she could turn around to make amends, Nadira heard someone say, “Sanford?” in a soft, timid voice. The young woman that actually enjoyed making out with the snake-tongued Sanford approached them hesitantly. “What’s … Um. What’s going on, bae?”

They all stood in a line facing each other due to the narrow aisles caused by a small room filled with oversized armchairs.

Shaking her head, Nadira tried to walk away again. She was a hammer—ready to fix problems the only way she knew how—and Nadira saw all demons as rusty, exposed nails in need of a beatdown. As riled up as she was by his cryptic attempt to threaten her, she knew a fight in a bookstore was not the way to go. She reminded herself that she was retired now and demon hunting was illegal.

The strained moment was cut by an unlikely request, “If you bump me with your beautiful butt one more time, you’re gonna hafta gimme your number.”

This man with a coffee stained shirt and a half empty cup stood. The interruption somehow broke the tension and they all relaxed their rigid stances a bit. The flirtaious man’s commanding presence reminded them that they were in a crowded bookstore and had no business causing a ruckus.

“Let’s go,” Sanford said while roughly grabbing his girlfriend’s arm.

He pushed past the rest of them, and his girlfriend mumbled apologies in his wake as she was pulled along. A minute later, they were out of sight in the cozy, cluttered bookstore. Nadira hoped they were gone.

Crink.

She felt an instant flash of pain in the palm of her hand in the same moment she heard the sound of her expensive phone’s screen cracking. Jaime is going to kill me. This made the second cell phone she would need replaced in the six weeks since she started using the minicomputers to make calls and look up “what would millennials do?”

Holding up her damaged phone, Nadira said to the guy wearing his coffee, “My number won’t do you any good today.”

She couldn’t hold back her look of utter frustration. He stood there looking at her, really looking at her, as if he could see her past and make sense of it. He nodded gravely, presumably accepting her—aggression, clumsiness, and all.

“I’ll go easy on you since you’re clearly not having a good day,” he offered.

Feigning a look of amazement, Nadira said, “That’s big of you after my blatant attempt to come on to you.”

Matching her mocking tone, he replied, “I can tell you’re clumsy as fuck.”

Nadira laughed. The sound erupted from her—loud and abrupt enough to turn a few heads. She quickly covered her mouth with her uninjured hand. Then, she dropped her hand just as quickly and allowed herself to continue laughing wholeheartedly.

“I—” She tried again when her laugher tampered off. “I think I needed that. Thanks.” She wiped tears from the corners of her eyes while smiling at him. She was intrigued now.

“What’s your name?” Nadira asked, genuinely curious about this twenty-first-century guy.

The animated face he made was filled with reluctant regret. “You’re gonna need to buy me a replacement cup of joe before this gets personal.”

“Done,” Nadira said decisively.

She swung around to face the front of the bookstore and headed for the makeshift coffee stand.

Nadira got in line to order Mr. Tall-and-Handsome whatever he wanted. She wasn’t sure if it was her hunter instincts or feminine intuition, but she knew he would follow her. In fact, she felt the exact moment he stepped in line behind her. The butterflies in her stomach fluttered and the goosebumps on her arms rose. Nadira’s full lips lifted into a satisfied grin. She was grateful he couldn’t see her face.

Stay cool.

There was only one customer ahead of them. After the young woman in front of her with pink-streaked blonde hair ordered herself a five-word, over-sugared, over-foamed, over-caramelized drink, Nadira stepped up to the register. The cashier was running a one-woman shop as she took care of both book purchases and coffee orders.

To stay relevant with all the trendy cafes springing up, the owner of Great Escape added a high-end coffee maker next to the cashier’s stand. The big, shiny piece of machinery seemed out of place in the dusty bookshop lined with shelves that overflowed with classic literature.

“Hi, sweetie. What are you having today?” the cashier asked looking a little frazzled.

Nadira took a dramatic step to the right and presented her new friend.

The cashier paused as she visually devoured the well-toned man of Chinese descent Nadira had presented.

“You willing to share this one, hon?” she asked Nadira.

With a bashful look, Tall-and-Handsome interrupted, “Caffe Americano, please.”

“Not a problem, not a problem at all,” the cashier said while leaning forward and batting her eyelashes. “And, your name for the order?”

Nadira chringed, hoping she wasn’t coming on as overtly as the cashier.

“Shaun,” he answered. The flirtatious cashier then tilted her head to make eye contact with Nadira as if to say ‘now you know too.’

While Nadira and Shaun looked at each other, the cashier continued to try her luck, “You gotta number for me, handsome?”

Nadira couldn’t help the frown that appeared as she wondered why the eager cashier didn’t care if he was her boyfriend or not.

All three of them smiled in the awkward silence that followed the cashier’s question, but Nadira was sure it was for three very different reasons. Her smile was more of a baring of teeth as she subconsciously displayed a nonverbal warning. Shaun might have been enjoying the attention of two women. It was too soon to tell what his preferences were. And the cashier—plump, curly-haired, and older than them by at least ten years—saw nothing wrong with hitting on customers while working.

“Will this cover it?” Between two fingers, Shaun held up a folded five dollar bill.

That was Nadira’s cue to play the role of sugar mama for a moment. She stepped into his personal space, swung her hips, and gently bumped him out of the way. Shaun stepped to the left with a chuckle. Nadira quickly pulled out her wallet and slammed her five dollar bill onto the counter. The cashier flinched, her come-a-little-closer look melting away.

“Aren’t you an eager one?” the older woman asked, chidingly. In a stage whisper, she added, “It’s not that attractive, you know.”

Nadira simply let her eyebrows do the talking. Her look said ‘are you serious?’ with all the sass she could muster while biting her tongue.

Perhaps sensing that the lightheartedness of the moment was over, Shaun chimed in, “I’ll take it to go.”  

Copyright © 2019 — Azaaa Davis


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Author Showcase / Interview – Tracy A. Ball (The Tiger and The Snake)

HOWDY, Tracy Ball!

 

1.  For those who might not be familiar with you, would you be a dear and tell the readers a little about yourself? How did you get your start in the writing business?

Tracy: As with most writers, I am a life-long book lover, but, once figuring out the story became a habit, the next logical step was creating my own. I have a fairly colorful bio which has exposed me to some unique characters. Everyone thinks their life should be in a book. I try to accommodate.

 

 

2. Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? If so, please share how you handle it.

Tracy: I stay too busy to notice. If I’m not writing, I’m editing, researching, rewriting, reading, marketing (I hate marketing), etc., or writing something else. I usually have at least three projects in need of attention at any given time.

 

 

3. Contrary to what some people envision about a romance writer’s life, it’s not all glitz and glam. Well not for the majority of us. With that bubble sadly busted, when you’re not writing, how to do you spend your time?

Tracy: I read (of course). I paint. And, most importantly, I have an eighteen-month-old grandson.

 

 

4. I know many writers, such as myself, keep their pastime/career a secret. Do those close to you know you write? If so, what are their thoughts?

Tracy: Everyone knows I write. My family is more supportive than I deserve. Sometimes more critical, too. But I love it. They keep me honest.

 

 

 

5. Will you share with us your all time favorite authors? If you’re like me, it’s a long list so give us your top ten.

Tracy: I tend to bounce between romance, fantasy, and young adult. These are not in any particular order:

J. R.R. Tolkien

George R.R. Martin

J.K. Rowling

Rick Roidan

Jenifer Blake

Sharon Kay Penmen

Karen Marie Moning

Christine Feehan

Clair Delacroix

Sherrilyn Kenyon

Kam: You and I have multiple authors in common. Maybe we need to start a book club and dish about them and their wonderful creations.  😀 

 

 

6. If you could choose one book to go to the big screen, yours or otherwise, which book would you choose and whom would you love to see casted in the parts?

Tracy: KAYOS, definitely. 

Lareina- Ajiona Alexis/ Keke Palmer/ Zoë Kravitz – Lareina

Christian – Alexander Ludwig/ Theo James/ Tom Felton- Christian

Commander Joffener – Edward Noton

Lieutenant colonel Briggs – Robert De Niro

I’m open if anybody wants to produce it (lol).

 

AREINA ELLIOT, guidance counselor for Presque Isle Academy, discovered her idea for making students loyal to the government is being implemented in the Excellence Program to further the war. It has become her life’s work to undermine that effort. When she is arrested for being a Revolutionary sympathizer, her brothers, KAIDEN, FISHER, and SILAS rescue her with help from three of Lareina’s top students; ALEC, ORION, and YUKIYO. On the run but armed with intelligence and more, they seek to learn how she was exposed and by whom.

CHRISTIAN DEVERELL, the agent assigned to Lareina’s case is relentless. She can’t escape him. It doesn’t matter that he and Lareina are on opposite sides of the law, or that their history is dirty. It doesn’t matter that he commissioned her adopted brother, Silas, to assassinate her. The only thing of importance is his love for Lareina and his promise to protect her.

Silas MCKADE, soldier elite, Lareina’s secret weapon. The man who never misses is on the Government’s payroll to do whatever he likes to whomever he chooses. He has a death warrant for Lareina—the woman who means everything to him—and a heart full of hatred for Christian—the man he wants to be. He’s either going to break Lareina’s heart or stop it altogether. 

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7. Would you care to tell us what you’re working on now? That is if it’s not top- secret information. If so, just whisper it in my ear. I swear it’ll go no further.

Tracy: I just finished a short story for a charity anthology – It’s a sweet fairytale. I am working on a romance. The tag for that one is: Hope Floats meets Castaway. And, I am drafting another dystopian romantic suspense after the fashion of Get Out and The Stepford Wives.

(Tracy) Dragonfly Dreams is my short story contribution to the Anthology. The Anthology is due to release on Feb 15th.

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8. Where can we find your stories and is there a particular reading order?

Tracy: All my work is on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, just about anywhere books are sold.

They are all stand alone with the exception of The Tiger & The Snake. That one is a tie-in to KAYOS. I offer it as a free download.

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9. Would you please share how your present and future fans can contact you?

Tracy: Facebook / Twitter / Webpage 

 

 

10. Before we conclude this enlightening interview, do you have anything else you’d like to share? The stage is all yours.

Tracy: Most of my stories tend to be genre-bending because I write about love. When, where, and how it happens. Sometimes that’s on a farm or boat, other times it’s during the last Civil War or next one coming. Some of it is fluffy-sweet and some of it is rolling in heat and muck. But all of it is tough love because none of my main characters belong together. Their stubborn hearts refuse to listen. 

 

 

**I know Tracy A. Ball is one helluva author but check out what others are saying about her.**

 

Reviewer K. Coly(5⭐): “I’m a huge fan of Kayos, by Tracy Ball. I couldn’t pass up the chance to revisit the world of mind games, conspiracy, and romance. The only disappointment was that the story wasn’t longer!!!! The glimpse we get into the couple’s tumultuous past is riveting and nothing like what I was expecting. If you’re tired of the boring romance where everything works out just as predicted, The Tiger and The Snake is definitely worth the read. Without getting into spoilers, the witty banter and unabashed manipulations make this couple a welcome change. You don’t have to read Kayos to love this, but you’ll want to read (or re-read) Kayos when you’re done. Hopefully this just the beginning of what would be an amazing series.”

Reviewer Bruce Logan (5⭐): “Set several decades into the future, this book is reminiscent of, and every bit as avant garde as was George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four when released in 1949. For the fan of dystopian fiction, it’s a feast and for and for anyone interested in a good yarn with equal doses of love and warfare, it’s a page-turner. This work is exceptionally well written by an author with a lively imagination. A spirited read. Well done, Tracy.”

Reviewer J.L. Cook (5⭐): “Such a brilliant way to tell a futuristic love story. Even amid a dystopian society, love wins! This book captured my attention from the beginning, and left me wanting more (in a good way) in the end.”

 

 

This prequel to KAYOS: The Bad & The Worse is the need-to-know origin of Lareina and Christian’s impossible relationship and includes the how and why the members of KAYOS are who they’ve become.

 

Print Length: 40 pages

Love thy enemy. Thoroughly.

“Oh, Lord. He’s back.”
Lareina and Christian had the love of a lifetime, a lifetime ago. Now, they’re frienemies with not enough benefits for either of them. 

Christian wants to get past their problem, but Lareina is not having it, or him. Until a desperate call and a fateful day changes him; changes her; changes everything. Love has forced them to play a dangerous game called KAYOS.

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Lareina hated Christian. She hated loving him. She hated being her best, happiest self with him. She hated how he made her laugh…and cry. Damn the man. Why did he ever make her cry? 

An amazing dinner. A perfect moonlight stroll. His touch was electric and his kisses held every promise she ever wanted. But…

He was working. The evening was a carefully crafted delusion meant to fool an observer into believing they were in love. She wasn’t his woman. She was bait. It didn’t matter what he made her feel. Tonight, she was bait. 

Other than to indicate the men following them, and when a team member happened to be near, Christian said very little about his game or her part in it. Being herself was all he required from her. She toyed and flirted and let him see the depth of her feelings. Promising him tomorrow would be an altogether different day.

“How will we know if this is working?” She asked on the way back to the hotel. She curled up under his shoulder as he drove.

“We won’t. You’ll have to spend the night with me to be sure they believe I’m fully distracted.” 

“In your wildest wet dreams.” She used the opportunity to rub his crotch. “And, you are fully distracted.”

“Do it again. I dare you.”

“Nope. But only because you want me to.”

“Coward.”

“Absolutely.” Over their quiet laughter, she said, “You have me for one more hour, Christian. Once we’re done here, you are going to stay away from me for the rest of the weekend. Understand?”

“You know better. One, I’ve put you out there, I have to protect you.”

“I can protect myself.”

“I have to protect you. Two, avoiding me would blow my cover. And three, you don’t want me away from you any more than I do.”

“You’ve got one hour. Make it special.”  She squeezed his leg and slid out of his reach.

 

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The ‘Being Me’ Series by Tricia Copeland (Author Showcase)

📚BOOK ONE 📚

Have you ever chosen a path that led you astray?

Amanda has no trouble choosing a college or picking a major. What she does have a problem with is what she would have least expected, a guy. Smart and sexy, Doug is focused on school responsibilities and post-graduation plans. Their paths intersect and Amanda must accept his help or risk losing her scholarship. Determined to maintain appearances, Amanda begins to lie to family and friends. The ease at which she repeatedly deceives those closest becomes disturbing and leaves her questioning: “Is this me?” 

Can Amanda find her way out of her contrived world?

 

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📚BOOK TWO 📚

After the happily ever after…

Did you ever wonder what the family thinks when the girl rides away with her prince? Amanda’s parents think she’s abandoned her friends, goals, even morals to be with Doug. The assessment is ludicrous, but Amanda can’t convince them otherwise. Their disapproval undermines her self-confidence and she is determined to prove them wrong. To make things worse, Doug has a huge roadblock thrown in his path. Amanda isn’t able to talk about the situation with anyone except Zack, her ex-boyfriend. Can she endure the strain of keeping Doug’s secret? Can her already fragile psyche survive a whole summer with parents who condemn everything she does? Amanda begins to doubt she can, and there’s no castle, no fairy godmother, no magic wand to rescue her.

 

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📚BOOK THREE 📚

 

March 20
This isn’t fair! Isn’t it enough that I see his image every time I close my eyes? That I hear her words echo in my dreams? Now his face is immortalized on a front page? How much worse can it get? My rage and guilt are just as raw as if it were yesterday. I can’t let him control my feelings. He can’t win. I won’t let him.

–Amanda
 
Amanda’s first year of college is fraught with drama and parental scrutiny. With her relationship secure and a clean break from her parents, all she wants is a normal term. But fate steps in and deals a shattering blow. You Don’t Know Me will keep you guessing from the first chapter.

 

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📚BOOK FOUR 📚

“The loneliest moment in someone’s life is when they are watching their whole world fall apart, and all they can do is stare blankly.”-The Great Gatsby

In attempt to manage her rage and shame after a violent assault, Amanda loses touch with reality. Her spiraling physical state forces her to act or die. To face her demons, she must revisit the emotions she ran from in the first place. Still unsure of what life she wants, but determined to pick up the pieces, she seeks out the right path. Can she mend broken bonds with her friends and family? Will her epic love survive? Find out in this roller coaster finale of the Being Me series.

 

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Tricia Copeland grew up in Georgia but now lives outside the mile-high city of Denver, Colorado. She not only draws from personal experiences, but creates adventures and fantastical journeys for her characters. She feels it is important to portray bravery in the face of turmoil and challenge.

Her contemporary romance Being Me Series includes the novels Is This Me?, If I Could FlyThink You Me, and the finale,Being Me. These new adult books follow a college co-ed named Amanda, from her freshman year to her senior year, as she navigates a huge crush, first love, and an intense personal tragedy. More than just romance novels, the series chronicles a young adult’s journey, diving into coming of age, personal growth, and recovery themes.

Tricia also writes in the young adult space. Her first YA paranormal work, entitled Drops of Sunshine, features Nina who hopes to escape her family drama at a summer camp for the visually-challenged. Problems ensue when she realizes the campers can hear her thoughts. This novella is available free in Spellbound, a summer themed anthology of YA stories. Tricia’s second YA work, a dystopian tale featuring Jema and Troy, is entitled Lovelock Ones: Native One, and can be found in The Butterfly Box. In addition to Native OneThe Butterfly Box includes seven adult healing themed novellas. All proceeds from this anthology benefit Doctors Without Borders. A follow up to Native OneBred One, will be available January of 2018!

Copeland’s latest books are the YA paranormal fantasy romance, Kingdom Journals Series, including Kingdom of Embers and Kingdom of Darkness. In the first journal, you read a first-person account of a modern-day vampire-witch hybrid named Alena who finds her soul-mate, Hunter, who realizes he is a witch. The second, gives a glimpse into the mind of a girl who believes she suffers from schizophrenia. Camille discovers, she is the witch of the trinity, destined to break the curses put on the witch and vampire species. The third and fourth books of the series, Kingdom of Honor and Kingdom of War, are due out in September of 2017 and June of 2018, respectively.

An avid runner and paranormal fan, Tricia enjoys hiking, trivia, and Scrabble. You can connect with Tricia and other readers on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Find all of Tricia’s books on her website at www.triciacopeland.com!

 

 

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