Tag Archives: urban fantasy

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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This Time: A Nadira Holden Novel by Azaaa Davis (Book Review)

Legendary demon hunter Nadira Holden paid the ultimate price to end the war between demons and hunters.

Resurrected in present-day New York, many years have passed, everyone moved on without her, and the demons she once battled have made peace with humans. Nadira no longer has a purpose here. Dying again might be her ticket back to that “next life” she experienced.

Except humans are disappearing, and Nadira’s father is one of the missing. Feeling a strong obligation to find him before sorting out her own fate, she begins investigating.

She won’t rest in peace unless she can prove the demons are behind the disappearances. But Nadira is running out of time. The darkness within her is causing her to lose her humanity while the rest of mankind is on the verge of enslavement to the demons they now worship.

Fight with Nadira in a new urban fantasy series that combines monster-slaying action, family drama, and simmering romance. Experience why not even death can stop her.

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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

We’ve all woken up on the wrong side of the bed. However, when Nadira woke up from her “slumber,” she had every reason to be bitchy. 

1.) Nadira clawed her way out of a buried coffin. 

2.) Recently resurrected, she was in a constant battle with hunters and demons. That is when she wasn’t being held captive. 

3.) It was revealed she’d been dead for 25 years. Everyone has aged, unlike herself. 

4.) Bombshells keep getting thrown at her. Some surprise developments push her over the edge; whereas, other revelations give her the power to fight. 

5.) The numerous fight scenes were INTENSE. Weaponry (bone daggers) was unique. And the in-between moments were just as spellbinding to read. 

Recommend: Hell yeah! 

 

Heart rating system:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤❤1/2

 

 

Azaaa Davis is an American author of urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.

She fell in love with reading as a high school freshman and continues to read, write, and draw today. Her background in social work helps her portray realistic characters in otherworldly–and sometimes terrifying–situations. A New York native, Azaaa currently lives in New Hampshire (USA) with her husband and daughters.

She debuted with This Time, A Nadira Holden Novel, in 2018 about demon hunters, family ties and the magic of love.

Azaaa is working diligently to finish writing more fantasy novels while raising her daughters. Thank you for showing an interest in her stories!

 

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Yuletime at Cherrywood Hall: Once Upon a WolfPack Anthology by Veronica Cline Barton (Book Showcase)

Once Upon a Wolfpack

Contributing author, Veronica Cline Barton

I was so honored to have my short story, Yuletime at Cherrywood Hall, Pippa’s First Christmas, included in the #WolfpackAuthors anthology that was published earlier this year. The anthology is a compilation of works by authors of all genres, and all proceeds are donated to the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC) My contributed short story is one close to my heart—it is a prequel to a storyline in the 3rd book of my #cozymystery series, Deadly Receptions; the Debut of Castlewood Manor. It tells the tale of a tainted bridal veil from years gone by and introduces the readers of my series to Aunt Pippa, the beloved ancestral aunt who saved the Cherrywood Hall estate with her marriage to Charles Lancaster, the 4th Marquess of Kentshire.

The short story takes place in the weeks before Christmas. Pippa has been receiving demeaning messages criticizing her every move as an American married to the popular marquess. A chance snowstorm brings her nemesis to Cherrywood Hall. Pippa meets her husband’s previous fiancé, the author of the critical notes–a jilted woman who is filled with anger at the woman who holds the position and privilege that she thought would be hers. As a blizzard rages outside, her mind is set on deadly revenge…Will Pippa’s first Christmas at the hall be her last?

Read more about the #WolfPackAuthors anthology and the great cause it benefits here:

The idea was simple: form a group of authors based on the mantra, “Do good things for the right reasons.” We are a pack – #WolfPackAuthors. Together, we expand exposure for our books, help one another with all aspects of the process, pick each other up when the lonely life of writing gets us down.

As with wolves, words can be dangerous or healing. The reintroduction of the wolf, hunted to the brink of extinction, carries such far-reaching results as to make vegetation grow on what was once barren, and to change the paths of rivers. Considering these powerful facts, we chose to donate the proceeds of this anthology to Lockwood Animal Rescue Center /LARC, a facility with a unique mission. They are one of the few organizations focused heavily on wolves, integrating military veteran rehabilitation into the caretaking process.

In this collection of work, you will find a showcase of many of our members’ talents: A young girl betrothed to a werewolf, yet her father, a human, is the true monster. Two snipers who lay in wait, an otherworldly supreme being watching them, in the form of a majestic wolf. A she-wolf sets her sights on a young woman, married to the man she loved. The paradoxical story of the big bad wolf, who through no fault of his own sets out on a calamity filled adventure. A batch of witty private investigators at work solving crime. A sarcastic banshee, a shapeshifting detective, and a vampire, all friends, investigate a string of murders. There are many others, varied in style or genre.

Come on an adventure with the WolfPackAuthors. We’ve got the stories you want; together, we hope to make the world a better place for wolves, humans, and those who dare to dream.

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Cozy MysteryYuletime at Cherrywood Hall: Veronica Cline Barton
Fairy Tale/ ParodyUnfairy Prosecuted: J.W. Crawford
Fairy TalePoppy: Tia Fanning

Fantasy/ SupernaturalFor the Love of the Pack: Sharon Lopez
Horror/ Meta horrorThe Untold One: B.L. Clark
HorrorFrost Harbor: Alexander Pain

LiteraryOmega Road: Lee M. Tipton
Magical RealismAn Early Snow: Andi Marchal
P.I./ DetectiveThe Wolf: Joe Congel 

P.I./ Detective, Cozy MysteryMrs Solberg’s Problem: CW Hawes
PoetryWolf Pack United: Angie-Marie Delsante
PoetryWelcome to the Den: Lori Katherine

Romance/ SupernaturalThe Soap Maker’s Mother: Christina van Deventer
Science Fiction/ MilitarySacha: Jeff DeMarco
Science Fiction/ ParanormalWolf Cry: Z Gottlieb
Science Fiction/ ParanormalCircus of the Night: Stefan Angelina McElvain
Urban FantasyTrue Nature : Luna Selas

 

Veronica Cline Barton earned graduate degrees in both engineering and business and has had successful careers in the software and technology industries. Her lifelong love affair with British murder mysteries inspired her to embark on a literary career. The Crown for Castlewood Manor and Cast, Crew, & Carnage; the Filming of Castlewood Manor are the first and second books in what she calls her My American Almost Royal Cousin Series. When not traveling and spinning mystery yarns, she lives in California with her husband, Bruce, and her two cats, Daisy and Ebbie.

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Molten Dusk: The Norse Chronicles Book 3 by Karissa Laurel (Book Review)

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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(review request submitted by the author for an honest critique)

 

I decided to write an acrostic poem summing up Molten Dusk. Enjoy!

 

Mystery and deception go hand in hand in the battle for ultimate power.
Odin and Thor’s descendants call forth their allies; no one plans to cower.
Lord of the Rain Dance shall stand by his Sun.
The Valkyries will fight to protect the chosen one.
Every move they make is being watched.
No room for error; their plan must not be botched.

  

Do not let your guard down when you see a wolf or a raven.
Unite and fight or retreat to a safe haven.
Solina must survive; she shall not perish.
Keep her safe Thorin for she’s the one you truly cherish.

 

Okay, I don’t know if that poem is cheesy or not but I love it. Guess what else I love? If you said Molten Dusk then you’d be correct. 

Like the other stories in the series, Karissa gave us more than one suspenseful – lives on the line – battle scenes. We also finally got what we were all waiting for….. Solina and Thorin give in to their feelings for one another. Like Baldur said, “It’s about time.”

Similar to Midnight Burning and Arctic Dawn, Molten Dusk has deception, blood, surprise twists, tears, and love. It was a great book and I highly recommend others buy it today.

 
Heart rating system:
1 (lowest) and 5 (highest)
Score: ❤❤❤1/2
 

 

Want more? Check these out! 

 

 

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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