Book Features, Giveaways

Sneak Peek of The Blood Lights by Elaine Pascale

The Blood Lights
by Elaine Pascale
Genre: Horror
The Blood Lights are the last thing you’ll see…
They victimize all…
Jezzie Mitchell is in anguish; with her brother’s murder still on her
mind, she’s noticed strange behavior among the girls in the
residential treatment center where she works. Is there a connection
between the contagion on Cape Cod and the deadly Bahamas vacation
that changed her life?
Jezzie reaches out to former lover Lou Collins, a scholar who has chased
proof of the lights for decades. Will he be able to solve the mystery
of the lights in time?
Intensely competitive, reporter Bridgette Collins knows the lights are a way to
secure fame in her career. And while it’ll put the final nail into
the coffin of her ex-husband’s career, she vows to know the secrets
of the lights. Even if it means unleashing a world-wide epidemic…

The boy knows he is lost.

He is lost, and his former sense of normalcy has completely vanished.

He feels abandoned.

The irony, if he were old enough to understand the term, is that he is lost inside of a closet that is only six feet in length.  In the dark, the closet feels cavernous, endless.  The closet provides adequate space for a trauma that will remain with him throughout his adult years.

His fear is nearly smothered by the heavy olfactory smog of mothballs and cedar chips, yet the fear constantly recuperates:  a phoenix with dread for wings.

The boy’s face feels tight from the dried traces of tears that etch his cheeks.  The hot air rushes his nostrils which are clogged with mucous; the hot air is working against him, forcing him to hyperventilate.  The entire house is unfamiliar to him and his eyes, in the darkness, struggle to make out the walls and ceiling of the place where he is being held captive.

He is not alone.

Elaine Pascale has been writing for most of her life. She took a break from
fiction in order to give birth to two children and complete a
doctoral dissertation. She lives on Cape Cod, MA, with her husband,
son and daughter. She teaches a variety of courses at a private
university in Boston: from English Composition and Communications to
a Vampire Seminar. Her writing has been published in Allegory
Magazine, Dark Fire Magazine, and several anthologies. She is the
author of If Nothing Else, Eve, We’ve Enjoyed the Fruit, and is also
the author of the nonfiction book: Metamorphosis: Identity Outcomes
in International Student Adaptation–A Grounded Theory Study. She
enjoys a robust full moon, chocolate, and collecting cats.

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Sneak Peek of Exile in Darkness by Annalisa Carr

Exile in Darkness
by Annalisa Carr
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy
Heritage and magic matter to the London covens.
Aristocratic witch, Isabella Pethany, has heritage but not magic.
Underworld powerbroker, amnesiac vampire Maldit,
has magic but no heritage.
Lukas Sindis, coven sorcerer and famous psychopath, has both.
Isabella knows her null magic status makes her an embarrassment to her family,
but since Natalie, her sister, was murdered, she is all they have
left. Guilt makes her willing to do almost anything to compensate for
her lack of value, but her grandmother’s proposal to match her with
Lukas, in an attempt to bring strong magic back to their bloodline,
is a step too far.
When Maldit rescues a strange witch from hunting vampires, his main
concern is to limit trouble in his territory. Everyone knows witches
are troublesome, and this one is no exception. Her proximity slashes
through his damaged memory, allowing him to catch glimpses of his
forgotten past.
Drugs have suppressed Lukas’s magic for almost twenty years, filling him
with a reservoir of trapped power. When he escapes, his magic flies
free, washing over Maldit and Isabella, and clearing away the spells
paralysing both of them.
The dark secrets of the London coven are about to explode into the light
of day.
Isabella? Isabella Pethany?
Whispers of her own name floated through her mind. She pushed the pillow aside and sat up, pressing her hands against her ears. It didn’t stop the insistent repetition of her name.
Someone called to her, but who would do a thing like that at this hour of the morning? The family would all be asleep by now, and the only servant awake should be the doorman.
Her imagination was running riot. She lay down, closing her eyes, but the feeling of being summoned didn’t go away.
Isabella. Isabella. Isabella.
Her name echoed around her skull, louder now.
She sat up abruptly. Next to her, Alfie stirred, growling in his sleep. She ran the palm of her hand over his shaggy flank and switched the bedside lamp on, before walking to the window and drawing the curtain back.
Pools of dim light surrounded the bases of the old-fashioned streetlamps.
Between them, the pavement was dark, and the trees in the square cast black shadows over the iron railings. She opened the window and leaned out.
“Isabella?” The voice was a seductive whisper from below. It was definitely real this time, vibrating through the air, rather than her mind.
She squinted into the shadows.
The vampire from the bar stood on the opposite pavement, his figure almost hidden in the darkness.
Maldit.
Her heart beat faster.
His face tilted upwards towards her second-floor window, green eyes glinting.
“What do you want?” She pressed two fingers to the point in her neck where the skin was thinnest. Her pulse hammered against them.
Annalisa Carr lives in the English Lake District, where she shares a view of
the fells with three cats. She spent the early part of her life
working as a protein crystallographer, a job she found fascinating.
She now spends her time writing, in a variety of genres. Science
Fiction, fantasy and fantasy romance are her favourites.

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Sneak Peek of Ration by Cody T. Luff

Ration
by Cody T. Luff
Genre: Horror
Set in the far future, Ration is an unflinching take on the ways society
can both thrive and go wrong as pressure to survive builds.
All the girls who live in the Apartments are forced to weigh their own
hunger against the lives of the others living in the building. When
Cynthia is wrongly accused of ordering an “A” ration, she
punished by the other girls. Eventually, she is forced to leave the
Apartments along with Ms. Glennoc, one of the former managers who has
tormented and abused her for years. Together, they encounter a world
of even more scarcity, but one filled with politics and intrigue.
Cynthia struggles to return to the Apartments and help the girls who
are still there.
Forced to reconcile her role in the destruction of these girls with the
greater needs of society to find any sustainable source of calories,
Ms. Tuttle makes one bad decision after another while she grapples
with a mother who is growing more and more impatient with her
mistakes.
Ration is a dark and forceful book, written in a surprisingly nuanced and
accessible way. It combines the darkness and despair of The
Road
and The Handmaid’s Tale, but has notes of
charm like Lauren Oliver’s Replica.
Cynthia stops eating after the scream finally trails off. The power is still out, and the smell of her B-ration hangs meaty and dense in the still air of her Apartment. She’s cross-leggedon the rug in the kitchen, her naked feet white even in the darkness.
A deep glubbing sound burbles in the wall; someone flushes a toilet above her. She swallows and winces as B-ration bits stick to her throat. She waits a moment more, allowing even the biologic gurgle of the building’s plumbing to quiet before she forks another mouthful from the plastic ration pouch. Third floor, she thinks. Scream is on the third floor, still above, just not far above.
After she finishes the last of her ration, the power hisses to life, the ceiling fan jerks to a spin, the fluorescents in the kitchen click to life, and the little radio she keeps by the bathroom door retches static. Cynthia stands slowly, her stomach begging her for another ration even as it disagrees with what she’s given it.
“That’s what we have,” she says. “Hang on to it.”
The door bangs, a flat palm in the hallway slapping the thin wood. Cynthia freezes, finger covering her mouth.
“Cinnie?”
Cynthia hiccups, belches softly, and sags where she stands. Imeld. Of course, it’s Imeld.
“Cinnie, did you hear that one?”
“Just a second.” Cynthia scuffs her barefoot way to the door, one hand pressed to the flat of her belly. She pulls the sliding latch and chain, stepping away as Imeld slips into the Apartment.
“I’m pretty sure that was on the third floor, right? You heard that one, right?” Imeld takes Cynthia’s hand immediately, her cold fingers like water.
“I heard it,” Cynthia says. She closes the door with her free hand and slides the latch. “I would say the third floor, too.”
Imeld is small, even for the Apartments. Dark hair that riots away from her brown face in startled waves. “I don’t know anyone on the third floor. Well, not really. I know Mei and Shuvo, but …” Imeld pulls her hand away, frowning. She brings her fingers to her nose. “You were eating,” she says.
Cynthia stands motionless. She does not meet Imeld’s eyes, instead studying her friend’s stockinged feet. Imeld is wearing the red pair, one brown heel completely nude and wreathed in worn threads, almost like curled springs. “Yes.”
Imeld does not speak, she doesn’t need to.
“It was a B.”
“Cynthia,” Imeld says, her voice nothing more than a whisper.
Cynthia turns away, pulling her arms to her chest. “What could I do?”
The building hums around them, the newly restored power feeding the other Apartments in the complex. From somewhere above, a television laugh track rolls uninterrupted, a hair dryer hisses next door.
Imeld’s fingers find her hands and pull Cynthia’s arms gently apart. “It’s okay, Cinnie.
It’s all right.” Imeld is hugging her, standing on her tiptoes and pulling Cynthia against the sharp angles of her body. “How long was it?”
Cynthia shakes her head; Imeld’s hair smells of government soap and chicory coffee. “I don’t know. Maybe three days.”
“Oh, Cinnie,” Imeld says, and they hold each other for a moment, both cold and glad for the warmth of the other. Without agreeing to, they sit on the little rug in the kitchen, hands still entwined.
Cody T Luff’s forthcoming novel, Ration, will be released by Apex Book Company in
2019. Cody’s stories have appeared in Pilgrimage, Cirque, KYSO
Flash, Menda City Review, Swamp Biscuits & Tea, and others. He is
fiction winner of the 2016 Montana Book Festival Regional Emerging
Writers Contest. He served as editor of an anthology of short fiction
with twelve contributors titled Soul’s Road.
Cody teaches at Portland Community College and works as a story editor. He completed
an intensive MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Cody grew
up listening to stories in his grandfather’s barber shop as he
shined shoes, stories told to him at bedsides and on front porches,
deep in his father’s favorite woods, and in the cabs of pickup
trucks on lonely dirt roads. Cody’s work explores those things both
small and wondrous that move the soul, whether they be deeply real or
strikingly surreal.
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Book Features, Giveaways

Spotlight of Jill Andersen Mysteries by J. D. Cunegan

Boundless
Jill Andersen Mysteries Prequel
by J.D. Cunegan
Genre: SciFi Superhero Mystery
A little more than two years before the events of Bounty, Jill Andersen
makes a life-altering decision. But this decision comes with
consequences she didn’t foresee, and her first night as the
vigilante Bounty winds up being something for which she was wholly
unprepared.
A crisis of faith eventually gives way to certainty: both in terms of
discovering who killed a young man named Johnny Ruiz and in terms of
coping with the latest change in her own life.
Along the way, Jill defies death and discovers just how deep the city’s
corruption runs. But will she survive the experience long enough to
decide if a life of vigilantism is for her?
**only 99 cents!!**
Bounty
Jill Andersen Mysteries Book 1
Jill Andersen is one of Baltimore’s best and brightest detectives, but she
harbors a dark secret — a secret that threatens to come out when the
body of Dr. Trent Roberts is pulled out of the Chesapeake Bay. Dr.
Roberts’ connection to Jill reveals a past that involves a tour in
Iraq, a secretive cybernetic experiment, and a conspiracy that
involves a native son.
Can Jill solve the case while still keeping her secret? Will her partners
at the Seventh Precinct find out what she’s so desperate to hide?
What was Dr. Roberts looking into that led to his murder? And perhaps
the biggest question of all…
Who is Bounty?
Blood Ties
Jill Andersen Mysteries Book 2
For as long as Jill Andersen could remember, her father was a hero.
But heroes don’t commit murder, do they? The state of Maryland said
Paul Andersen did just that, three times over, and was set to execute
him for it. But Jill and the rest of her colleagues at the Baltimore
Police Department come across the murder of a law student that leaves
her hopeful that she can clear her father’s name.
While Jill and her colleagues work against the clock to clear her father’s
name, new players emerge, hinting to a deeper, darker conspiracy than
what was previously known. An enigmatic faction known as The Order
reveals itself, and the mystery surrounding Paul’s alleged
duplicity leaves more questions than answers.
Along the way, Jill must not only face the possibility that her father was
not who she thought he was, but she must also face the prospect of
her secret being revealed. The stakes are higher than ever in Blood
Ties, the intense follow-up to J.D. Cunegan’s debut mystery Bounty.
Can Jill save her father before it’s too late? Will she even want to?
Behind the Badge
Jill Andersen Mysteries Book 3
For Jill Andersen, being part of the Baltimore Police Department has
always been both a tremendous honor and a serious responsibility. Her
father, before his fall from grace, had instilled in her a great
respect for police and the work they do day-to-day. But when a
teenage boy winds up dead on the outskirts of downtown Baltimore,
Jill finds herself once again faced with those who would abuse their
badges to fulfill personal agendas and uphold biases.
Jill still has a job to do, but she soon finds that not everyone is in her
corner. For the first time in almost four years working Homicide,
Jill finds herself at odds with people who claim to be on her side.
From other cops to suits downtown all the way to the Mayor’s
office, it becomes increasingly clear that Jill will need to rely on
more than just her badge if she’s to solve this case.
But even if she finds justice, what’s the price?
Behind the Badge, the gripping, hard-hitting third novel in the Jill
Andersen series (Bounty, Blood Ties), gives readers another taste of
author J.D. Cunegan’s comic book-inspired brand of fast-paced
prose, with chapters that fly by and plot twists that will leave
readers constantly guessing and waiting for more.
Behind the Mask
Jill Andersen Mysteries Book 4
It’s hard to be a hero when everyone’s out to get you.
Once upon a time, Jill Andersen considered herself a hero. Not just
because of the badge handed to her by the city of Baltimore and the
pledge she once made to protect and serve. Her secret life, as the
vigilante Bounty, had allowed Jill to protect her native Baltimore in
ways her day job never could.
But all that has gone to hell now. One case pushed Jill past her limits,
to the point where she made choices she can’t take back. As a
result, the entire city is on the lookout for her. Allies can no
longer be counted on. People who were once in her corner might very
well be trying to bring her down… to say nothing of those she has
crossed along the way.
But that is the least of Jill’s problems. A shadowy figure emerges
among the chaos, and his link to Jill’s past has the potential to
be her ultimate undoing. Jill thought every link to Project Fusion
has been settled once she solved Dr. Trent Roberts’ murder almost
one year ago, but if she’s not careful, her past might just kill her.
Behind the Mask, the gripping, hard-hitting fourth novel in the Jill
Andersen mystery series (Bounty, Blood Ties, Behind the Badge), gives
readers yet another taste of author J.D. Cunegan’s comic
book-inspired brand of fast-paced prose, with chapters that fly by
and plot twists that will leave readers guessing and waiting for more.
J.D. Cunegan is known for his unique writing style, a mixture of murder
mystery and superhero epic that introduces the reader to his comic
book-inspired storytelling and fast-paced prose. A 2006 graduate of
Old Dominion University, Cunegan has an extensive background in
journalism, a lengthy career in media relations, and a lifelong love
for writing. Cunegan lives in Hampton, Virginia, and next to books,
his big passion in life in auto racing. When not hunched in front of
a keyboard or with his nose stuck in a book, Cunegan can probably be
found at a race track or watching a race on TV.
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