Friday, April 3, 2020

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Baptism of Fire by Jessie Thomas

Baptism of Fire
Jessie Thomas
(Playing With Hellfire, #1)
Publication date: March 31st 2020
Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy

Welcome to Perdition Falls, New York: where arson is considered a recreational activity, the abnormally hot climate makes everything unbearable, and according to one origin story shrouded in myth and legend, our city is an actual Hellmouth.

I’ve learned those infernal tales aren’t just a cheap marketing ploy to lure in tourists and paranormal frauds.

It’s Hell. We’re literally sitting on top of Hell. Fire, brimstone, actual demons–the works.

When an incendiary–the name other pyromancers have given to the infestation of Hellfire-wielding demons–kills my closest friend and fellow firefighter, I’m left with a rare power I barely understand. It’s the only reason I survived. It also makes me a target, something to be coveted by those who know Perdition Falls’ most dangerous, well-kept secrets.

While a demonic arsonist puts the city’s resident pyromancers on edge, I’m reunited with my long-lost childhood friend Javier, who shares the same strange power that runs through my veins. With him, I find my footing in a place I thought I knew and buried memories from our past start to resurface. As our ragtag group comes together, we become the last defense against the incendiaries’ corrupt hold on the city…one completely disastrous mission at a time.

But taking down this homicidal demon with a flair for pyromania might mean trusting one of their own.
BAPTISM OF FIRE is a thrilling, slow burn urban fantasy perfect for fans of McKenzie Hunter, Annette Marie, C.N. Crawford, and K.F. Breene.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

There was no way to know for sure how long I’d been out. It could have been moments. Maybe two minutes or five. I blinked slowly, staring up at the gaping hole we’d dropped through that was now barely visible through the layer of blackening smoke, afraid to move as my body regained consciousness. Everything hurt. That was the first thing I felt—the pain of bruised, strained muscles, the agony that had traveled up my left side.

The next thing was the heat. The upstairs hallway looked unrecognizable now, a narrow passage engulfed in fast-moving smoke and an inferno that blazed up the walls with an overpowering intensity that shouldn’t have been possible. I’d sweated through my clothes, the fabric drenched, my skin and hair dripping with salty perspiration. My helmet had rolled away somewhere during the collision with the floor, and I knocked into Moretti’s with my elbow once I finally decided that lying there waiting for the house to come down on top of us wasn’t that great for self-preservation.

Shit. Moretti.

Over the steady whoosh of the flames demolishing the rooms around us, I heard the melodic chirp of his PASS alarm. A noise I dreaded hearing, a source of nightmares.

And it got me moving.

I sat up and almost regretted it, black spots dancing across my vision as a blinding, gnawing pain spiked through my side. Like it had torn its way in deep, shredding muscle and tissue and causing serious damage. With a shaking hand, I dragged my gloved fingers over my turnout coat to find some kind of debris—I had no damn idea what it was, and at this point I didn’t want to know—sticking out of my left side. I lifted my glove to my sightline to see it smeared with dark crimson.

The gasping whine that echoed in my mask didn’t sound like me at all.

Moretti’s alarm brought me back to my senses. No time.

My pain didn’t matter, not now. I had to work through it.

Groaning, I stayed low to the floor, crawling on all fours to where Moretti lay sprawled and motionless. Every movement pierced the jagged wound in my side, made the heat and the sweat and misery worse. I leaned over him, relieved when I saw the rise and fall of his chest. The orange glow from the fire highlighted the edges of his dark hair, traced the swell of his cheekbones with deep shadows. In the light, I noticed the bright red trickling down one side of his face from somewhere under his hairline.

I tapped his cheek with an open palm. “Moretti,” I called. “Hey, Moretti…come on, open your eyes. Anthony, I need you to wake up.”

Nothing.

“Phoenix!” That was Ramos, her distant shout crackling over our radios. “Moretti! This place is starting to come down!” Well, shit, I hadn’t noticed.

“You have to evacuate now,” Patterson ordered.

“I can’t,” I snapped. “Moretti’s down. He’s…he’s down, but breathing.”

“The stairs are blocked,” Ramos yelled back. “We’re working on it, hang in there.”

Blocked with what? Nothing about this fire made any sense, so why would it start now?

I didn’t know how badly Moretti was hurt, which made me hesitant to move him. But if we didn’t get out of this hallway—no matter how quickly the rest of our team might’ve been working—then we weren’t going to get out of here at all. On my knees, I grabbed the straps of his SCBA and started dragging him around the minefield of burning debris toward the stairs. I grit my teeth against the pain until my jaw ached, exhaling sharply through my nose as I pulled him along with me.

It wouldn’t have been this unbearable if I hadn’t been fucking impaled. Sweat dripped down my forehead into my eyes and I tried to blink it away. With blood loss and the temperature in the hallway, the edges of my vision had turned hazy.

“It’s all right, Anthony,” I said as if he could hear me. “Stay with me.”

The heat flared, a sudden, familiar torrent of hot air passing over us, stoking the same dread I’d felt earlier. A silhouette emerged from the thick smoke and sauntered through the flames, not at all concerned about the heat or the danger of blistering skin and third-degree burns. I peered at the shadow that definitely hadn’t been there seconds before, watching them take shape, the details becoming clearer. A man stood on the opposite end of the hallway dressed in all black, white-gold reflecting off his sleek leather jacket. An arrogant, knowing grin curved his lips into a sneer. He was young. Dangerous.

He’d been with us in the attic.

I didn’t know how, but he’d started this fire.

Author Bio:

Jessie Thomas is a writer of young adult and new adult fiction from Buffalo, New York. An avid reader and history nerd at heart, she enjoys writing historical fantasy, urban fantasy, and paranormal romance with atmospheric settings and dark themes. When she isn't chasing her muses around, Jessie can be found playing with her snaggle-toothed cat named Graham.

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Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Priestess of Storms & Stone by Annie Anderson

Priestess of Storms & Stone
Annie Anderson
(Rogue Ethereal #5)
Publication date: March 31st 2020
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

If there is one lesson I’ve been taught in my life, it’s that fairies are the absolute worst.

Finding a fledgling succubus in Faerie is like locating a needle inside a realm-sized haystack. With a guide I can’t trust and a goal more ephemeral than smoke, my odds of success are tenuous at best. Not to mention, as the last Elemental in existence, I have a giant target painted on my back.

Because one half of Faerie wants me dead, and the other half wants to use me as a sacrifice to open the gates to Earth. But I swore I would find my quarry, and I will. Even if I have to rip the entire realm apart to do it.

There is a storm coming to Faerie, and that storm is me.

Goodreads / Amazon

EXCERPT:

It was never a good sign to be drinking bourbon at ten in the morning, but after the week I’d had, I figured I was due. Self-medicating with alcohol wouldn’t take the sting out of my grief, in fact, it was likely to make it worse. But I’d needed a teensy little breather from my housemates after the last truth bomb had been dropped, and wrapping my head around my new knowledge required booze.

I could feel Della’s eyes on me, her acute vampire gaze boring a hole in the side of my face. She wanted an answer to her question, and she likely wasn’t going to leave me alone until I gave her one.

When are we leaving?

That question echoed against the walls of my brain with enough force to give me a headache. Melody was alive. She was alive, and my sister was dead.

But that didn’t make a lick of sense. Melody died right in front of me. I watched Aurelia send her soul on in a way only a phoenix could do. I watched her body burn in the flames of a funeral pyre. I needed answers before I could answer Della’s question.

Because I wouldn’t be leaving to hunt her down unless I was sure this wasn’t some kind of trick. I’d been tricked too many times in the last week, and I wasn’t falling for another one.

“Melody is dead, Della,” I whispered before taking another sip of bourbon, refusing to face my bodyguard. If I looked at her, I’d see either pity or censure, and I couldn’t deal with either.

“Then why is her son gone?” Della pointed out a big hole in the “Melody’s dead” argument.

Shit, fuck, and damn. I made a promise to Melody to keep her son safe. If it wasn’t Melody who had her son—and I highly doubted it was—then I’d have to go get him.

In Faerie.

Aces.

But hadn’t I earned a break? Hadn’t I earned the right to let someone else take up the slack?

You made a promise. You swore. You can’t turn away just because you’re hurt.

Those words cut through my thoughts sharp enough to bring tears to my eyes. I did. I made a promise to make sure her son was safe. And I’d keep it. Maybe it would make my soul burn just a little less. Maybe if I did this one thing, losing Maria wouldn’t hurt so bad.

Yeah, I doubted it.

I sniffed back the sting of tears, tossed back the rest of the bourbon, and managed to set the glass down without smashing it. I’d been on a smashing kick for the last little bit, and my living room had borne the brunt of it. At the time, I’d wanted to destroy everything Maria had ever touched. If I could just break it, burn it, wreck it, then it would have been like she wasn’t stamped all over every molecule of my house.

Wasn’t that stupid?

Like I wouldn’t see her every time I closed my eyes.

“Okay, I’ll give you that,” I muttered, finally answering Della’s question. “But I can’t just bust down the door to Faerie and find her. If it is her. We need way more to go on than a note and a can-do attitude.”

I peered down at myself. I had on black shorts and a black tank top. It was good enough for summer in Denver. All I needed was some flip-flops. Had I brushed my teeth today? Shrug. Was I wearing a bra? My tank had a shelf bra in it. It would just have to do. Plus, Barrett wouldn’t give two shits about what I was wearing. I located my flip-flops in their spot by the door, shuffled my feet into them, and raised my hand to snap my fingers.

But Della pounced on my hand before I could complete the task.

“What?” My whole body was on red alert, my eyes searching my demolished living room and relatively untouched kitchen.

“You can’t go out like that,” Della whispered furiously, her face a picture of panic.

Frowning, I looked back down at myself. Yep, all my parts were covered.

“It’s summer. Shorts and a tank aren’t going to turn any heads no matter how much ink is on display.”

A dawning realization lit up Della’s face before she winced. “You haven’t checked a mirror since you got back, have you?”

Author Bio:

Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she'll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life... interesting.

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Audiobook Tour: Donn's Shadow (The Soul Searchers Mysteries #2) by Caryn Larrinaga

Audiobook Series Blog Tour: The Soul Searchers Mysteries by Caryn Larrinaga

Author: Caryn Larrinaga

Narrator: Jessica McEvoy

Length: 9 hours 51 minutes

Series: The Soul Searchers Mysteries, Book 2

Released: March 2020

Publisher: Twisted Tree Press

Genre: Supernatural Cozy Mystery

Mackenzie Clair finally has this whole ghost-hunting psychic thing figured out. The Soul Searchers are a hit, she’s got pet-parenting down, and she even has a plan to banish the poltergeist running amok at a lakeside cabin. Best of all, Donn’s Hill feels like home. But not everyone loves the town as much as Mac.

A world-famous paranormal debunker thinks the psychics in Donn’s Hill are lying about their abilities. His determination to destroy the Soul Searchers threatens Mac’s livelihood, and when a killer strikes, the sheriff’s suspicions threaten her freedom.

Mac needs all the help she can get to find the real murderer and clear her name… even if that help comes from beyond the grave.

Buy on Audible

Q&A with Striker the cat
  • What is your full name? Do you have a nickname (if so, who calls you this)? Striker Clair. Mac sometimes calls me “my cat” in front of other humans, which is hilarious.
  • Where do you live now, and with whom? Describe the place (home and location) and the person/people you live with. Mac found me a really nice, warm, cozy apartment in a big yellow house not too far from Main Street in Donn’s Hill. There’s a great big tree right by the window, so I can climb up and down whenever I want. My favorite part about it is this cushy bench that runs along the inside of a round turret; it’s sunny there for most of the day and it’s a great place to nap. Usually I sleep in the soft bed Mac bought me though; she’s pretty warm so I let her share it with me.
  • What is your job? I’m in charge of security for a TV show called the Soul Searchers. I travel with the team when they’re filming and make sure no mice or birds interfere with anything. If a ghost shows up, I keep Mac safe. She’s really important. You know… to the show. Sometimes I help my friend Graham sell his sculptures at the Afterlife Festival. He always sells way more when I’m around!
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement so far, why? I’m really proud of how far Mac has come since I’ve been taking care of her. When we first met, she was so lost. She didn’t even have a home. Now I make sure she’s happy and healthy, and she’s really thriving. It’s great to see!
  • Do you have a motto? If so, what is it? “A treat in the hand is worth two in the bag.” Also, “Give me the bag.”

Caryn Larrinaga is a self-described horror evangelist and paranormal junkie. Her debut supernatural mystery novel, DONN’S HILL, won the League of Utah Writers 2017 Silver Quill Award in the adult novel category and was a 2017 Dragon Award finalist. Her short fiction has won multiple honors and been featured in local and international anthologies. Watching scary movies through split fingers terrified Caryn as a child, and those nightmares inspire her to write now. She lives near Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband and their clowder of cats. Visit www.carynlarrinaga.com for free short stories and audiobooks.

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Narrator Bio

Between peddling video games and teaching yoga in her home state of Arizona, Jessica McEvoy attempts to conduct a career as a professional voice actress. This, however, is moderately undermined by the fact that she records in a dimly lit closet with her microphone balanced on a stack of old board games (Junior Scrabble and Powerpuff Girls Monopoly form a strong foundation), but she hopes that no one holds that against her.

Though her main work consists of narrating audiobooks, her first dive into the voice world was through the NoSleep podcast after answering a post from the LibriVox forums. Having been raised on horror movies and scary stories, she was beyond excited to be able to work on the show. Many stories, tortured screams, deranged villains, and creepy little girl giggles later, Jessica hopes to work on the podcast for seasons and seasons to come.

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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Audiobook Tour: Two Thousand Years (The Empire Saga #1) by M. Dalto

Audiobook Blog Tour: Two Thousand Years by M. Dalto

Author: M. Dalto

Narrator: Amanda Abeillan

Length: 8 hours 20 minutes

Series: The Empire Saga, Book 1

Publisher: The Parliament House

Released: Feb. 3, 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Two thousand years ago, the prophecy of fire and light foretold the coming of the queen empress who would lead the empire into a time of peace and tranquility. But instead of the coming of a prosperous world, a forbidden love for the empress waged a war that ravaged the land, creating a chasm between the factions and raising the death toll of innocent lives until the final, bloody battle.

Centuries later, Alexandra, a 22-year-old barista living in Boston, is taken to an unfamiliar realm of mystery and magic where her life is threatened by Reylor, its banished lord steward. She crosses paths with Treyan, the arrogant and seductive crown prince of the empire, and together, they discover how their lives, and their love, are so intricately intertwined by a prophecy set in motion so many years ago.

Alex, now the predestined Queen Empress Alexstrayna, whose arrival was foretold by the annals of the empire, controls the fate of her new home as war rages between the crown prince and lord steward. Either choice could tear her world apart, as she attempts to keep the empire's torrid history from repeating itself.

In a realm where betrayal and revenge will be as crucial to her survival as love and honor, Alex must discover whether it is her choice - or her fate - that determines how she survives the empire's rising conflicts.

Buy on Amazon

M. Dalto is a Young Adult and New Adult author of adventurous romantic fantasy stories. Her bestselling debut novel, Two Thousand Years, was a 2016 Watty Award winner (Wattpad.com). She has since released two companion novellas, and its sequel, MARK OF THE EMPRESS. Her sophomore release, LADY MUTINY, has been signed with Magnolia Press for publication in 2020.

She was recruited to participate in Wattpad Paid Stories program for serialized authors in March 2019, and has since been invited into the Wattpad Stars program. She continues to volunteer her time as a literary mentor and freelance developmental editor, where she hopes to engage, assist, and inspire new writers through their literary journey.

She spends her days working as a full-time real estate paralegal, leaving her evenings to pursue her own writing agenda. When she’s not typing furiously at her computer, she enjoys reading fantasy novels, playing video games, and drinking coffee. She currently lives in Massachusetts with her husband, their daughter, and their corgi named Loki.

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Narrator Bio

Amanda Abeillan has narrated over a thousand hours of audio included in books, educational videos, commercials and more. She loves telling stories and making them come alive for her audiences. She also enjoys singing, playing the piano, and learning French. In her spare time, she can be found watching British panel shows and history documentaries.

WebsiteAudible

Music Playlist

TWO THOUSAND YEARS was originally inspired by the Billy Joel song of the same name, and when I initially began drafting it, it was almost used as an outline of sorts to help move the plot forward while I was writing. The version now is far different than what it was then, but the same essence of what I want to convey remains, with the song that inspired it all still at the hear of my story. As for the remainder of the songs on the playlist, I don’t necessarily find songs that fit into certain parts of the story, but rather if I hear a song that I feel could fit a scene, that’s when it gets added. Music is a great added benefit to my storytelling, and I hope that’s conveyed through this playlist!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/1UUlB8UbkZjKASJt6oX12D?si=gvChlDa2S4m_vPT__P8oWQ

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Blog Blitz & Giveaway: Reaper Unexpected by Debbie Cassidy

Reaper Unexpected
Debbie Cassidy
(Deadside Reapers #1))
Publication date: March 26th 2020
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Your dead are our business.

Got a loved one who’s passed? Want to ask your dead aunt where she hid that elusive will? Head over to Necro city and look no further than Soul Savers Inc.

One day the world was normal, and the next, it was filled with ghosts. And then the reapers came. Blood-sucking hot dudes with wings and wicked scythes.  They took control, and now we have a system.

Now we have Necro city, the hub of all things untethered.

As a soul relocation agent, it’s my job to rehouse the dead until the reapers come to collect, but with so few of those dudes about, the wait isn’t pretty. Thank goodness for decent coffee, frosted donuts, and a pending promotion.

Things are looking good until they’re not.

One bar fight and a dead reaper later, I’m left holding the scythe.

Not just any scythe, but a scythe belonging to one of Lilith’s four favored sons—the most powerful reapers in the world.

For some reason, it’s chosen me.

Now, three very large, very pissed off reapers are on my case.

It looks like that promotion is going to have to wait.

A kickass Urban fantasy with a why choose romance. Vampires, ghosts, angels, and demons. Perfect for readers who enjoy forbidden romance, enemies to lovers, or friends to lovers.

Goodreads / Amazon


Author Bio:

Debbie Cassidy lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuits are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Obsessed with building new worlds and reading about them, she spends her spare time daydreaming and conversing with the characters in her head - in a totally non psychotic way of course. She writes Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Reverse Harem Fantasy. All her books contain plenty of action, romance and twisty plots.

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