Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Excerpt & Spotlight

Highland Burn - Tour Banner

BOOK INFORMATION

TITLE – Highland Burn

SERIES – Book one Guardians of Scotland
AUTHOR – Victoria Zak
GENRE – Scottish medieval paranormal romance (shifters)
PUBLICATION DATE – July 22 2014
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 186
PUBLISHER – Victoria Zak
COVER ARTIST – Z creations


Highland Burn - Book Cover

BOOK SYNOPSIS

Will Love’s Flame Quench the Dragon’s Fire? …

The past never stays in the past, it rears its ugly head eventually. James the Black Douglas knows this all too well. With a past that has left him vengeful and his dragon blood thirsty, his reputation as a ruthless warrior haunts his enemies in their sleep. As his allegiance stands with Robert Bruce, the King of Scotland, he must now repay a debt to the king and agrees to marry his daughter, Abigale Bruce. The problem is he doesn’t want a wife. When flames start to burn out of control between him and the auburn-haired lass, he must decide to either kindle the flames of passion or shelter her from the truth and set her free.

It’s What Shines in the Dark That Brings Forth Your True Light…

Determined to keep his daughter safe and out of the hands of the English, Robert hides Abigale behind the safe walls of a nunnery. After eight long years of living her life in seclusion, Abigale is finally set free. But her new found freedom comes to an abrupt halt when she learns of her betrothal to the infamous Bogeyman – James the Black Douglas. She soon finds herself falling in love with the uncontainable and haunted man. Is her love enough to soften his hardened heart?

BUY & TBR LINKS

HB-Teaser-AbigaleFergus

EXCERPT

Chapter one

“Fergus, the water is verra refreshing. Why don’t ye join me?”
The white stallion inhaled deeply then snorted, as he ate from a patch of lush green grass.
“Well, ye dinnae have to be rude about it.”
Long white hair with streaks of gray fell over his muscled neck as the fine steed shook his head and stomped his hoof. He pulled on a blade of grass, indicating that he was perfectly content grazing near the loch’s edge.
A slight giggle escaped her mouth as she splashed at her horse.
Abigale Bruce had ridden hard and fast through the glen most of the morn. Since her father’s recent successful victory over the English at the battle of Bannockburn, Abigale had been freed from the nunnery. Her excitement of finally being able to explore her new-found freedom was too much to hold back as she charged through the forest. Now she rewarded Fergus with a patch of grass while she cooled off in the loch. Oh how she cherished these moments; they were few and far between.
Eight long years at Dunfermline Abbey wasn’t the ideal place to grow up, but she had no choice in the matter. Her father, Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, had placed her there in order to keep her safe from his enemy, the English. Throughout her time at the Abbey, King Edward, the King of England, had gotten close to capturing her a few times, but the small secretive community of nuns had held true to their oath and kept her hidden well.
Unhappy about the newly crowned King of Scotland, the English had captured Abigale’s step-mother, half-sister, and her two aunts, and had also beheaded three of her uncles. Humiliated, held prisoner behind iron bars of a bird cage, and hung from the Tower of London had been the women’s fate. Even though her freedom was taken away, Abigale knew it was nothing compared to what they had endured.
Abigale’s trouble had started as soon as she walked through the gates of the abbey. Robert Bruce had given Dunfermline Abbey a generous contribution to repair part of the church that had been attacked by King Edward. In return he requested that Abbot Benard take his daughter in and protect her. With such a gracious amount of coin given, the Abbot could not refuse. Therefore Abigale, at the wee age of ten, had been left at the abbey and placed in the cruel hands of Abbess Margaret.
Since Abbess Margaret was in charge of twelve nuns, she declared she had not the time to look after the wee brat, so she left Sister Kate in charge of Abigale. Abbess Margaret was a beautiful middle-aged woman with short, raven hair, and possessed the ability to inflict the cruelest of punishments. She watched and waited for Abigale to slip up so she could take pleasure in punishing her. Abigale knew why the woman hated her; she was jealous and thought it unfair that she had special treatment just because she was the king’s daughter.
Abigale was afforded a few exceptions to the rules. Because of her lack of interest in taking the vow to become a nun, she didn’t have to cut her hair like the other sisters. Furthermore, she could marry, and own property. Although there was one rule that had to be followed; she had to be obedient. And Abbess Margaret took great pride in punishing a disobedient Abigale. Sending Abigale on a daily pee pot cleaning always seemed to make the corners of her thin lips twitch. “Ye’re no princess, a bastart child who her own father has abandoned."
After a few missed visits from her father and daily tongue lashings from Abbess Margaret, Abigale started to feel pushed aside and abandoned, yet her spirit held firm.
Sister Kate had kept a watchful eye on Abigale, keeping her work-load full so she would stay out of trouble, but trouble seemed to follow her wherever she went as if she was born into it. Abbey life wasn’t the life for her. She grew to hate the prayer bells, for they rang eight times during the day starting at the wee hours of night. The blasted bell would ring either when she was sound asleep or assisting a monk in surgery. More times than not she was late to prayer and being tardy was frowned upon. The consequences were harsh, in fact they were harsher than falling asleep during worship. Abigale knew this all too well; she had fallen asleep in a choir stall one night. Sister Kate had been the circator that night, pacing up and down the aisle as she shined her bright cresset lamp into the stalls checking if anyone had fallen asleep. A sharp point with a stick to her ribcage had woken Abigale up quickly. Of course she got a rap on the legs for that one. Thank God it was Sister Kate, for she showed her mercy.
Now that she was home, her father was more than ever adamant about keeping his family safe. He vowed to never allow another Bruce woman to be captured by the filthy Sassenach. Just as Abigale thought she’d regained her freedom, here she was once again with it ripped away from her by an arranged marriage to her father’s first in command. Who better to protect her than the Bogeyman himself?
Trepidation crept over her, sending a shiver through her body as she thought about the man her father had arranged for her betrothal. “The Black Douglas,” she thought. A man with a reputation that would make the Devil himself shudder with fear. A ruthless warrior who had fought in many battles with her father. The English feared him terribly, making up nursery rhymes warning their wee bairns to “hush before the Black Douglas will get ye”. She’d never met the man before, but the deal was done. Her father had arranged the marriage and Abigale was to abide by his orders.
Abigale turned to Fergus who was chewing on a blade of grass. “At least ye don’t have to marry the Bogeyman.” She shuddered. Saying it out loud made it all too real.
For a moment she wondered just what the Black Douglas would look like. Could her father be so cruel as to wed her to an evil, battle-worn old man? Nay, who could possibly be scared of an old man? Then
again, a warrior’s reputation lived on even after death. Or mayhap he really was a monster of some sort, a mythical creature of the night that lurked under your bed waiting to nip at your heels. Abigale was letting her imagination get the best of her. Shaking those thoughts from her head she dipped down into the coolness of the loch, washing away every bit of worry. Today was her day and she was going to enjoy the peace that the loch gave her before it was taken away from her.
Coming back up she lay her body out flat to float on top of the water’s surface. Her light linen shift clung to her petite body, long dark auburn hair spread out and floated with the ripples of the water. Closing her eyes, she opened her arms out wide allowing her fears to fall from her body and sink to the bottom of the loch.
A snapping of twigs alerted Abigale that she wasn’t alone. Quickly she dipped her body down into the water to hide from what was lurking in the woods. Panic pricked up her spine as she searched the glen’s wooded edge for some kind of movement. Nothing… no movement at all. It must be a small animal frolicking through the thicket. Another snap. This time it sounded too close and too loud to be a small animal.
Abigale turned and faced Fergus.
Ears pointing in the direction of the snapping sound, Fergus let out a gut deep neigh.
“Ye heard that too?” she whispered, trying not to draw attention to herself. Abigale slowly moved toward the water’s edge, not making a sound. The last thing she needed was to be attacked by a wild animal or worst yet… a rogue Highlander.
Dripping wet and cold, Abigale stepped out of the water and headed straight for the huge boulder covered in green moss where her dress and her dirk lay. If instincts had taught her anything, it was to never let your guard down and never leave home without your dirk.
A third snap sounded like it came from behind her and way too close. Taking a steady breath, she grabbed her dirk and spun around to meet her attacker face to face. Lunging the blade forward she pointed it at his throat, the tip inches away from piercing it.
“Och lass, I will no hurt ye.” A massive six-foot-four man with vibrant amber eyes stood before her with his hands up in surrender.
Abigale arched a dark brow over deep blue eyes. “How do I know I can trust ye?”
“I have no weapons on me… frisk me if ye dinnae believe me.” With a sly grin he turned around with his arms in the air inviting her eyes to gaze upon every inch of his muscular body.
Abigale took him up on his offer, for she could not will her eyes off him if she tried. Following his every move, her body became alive. Her hands began to itch as she thought about running them down the corded muscles that lined his abdomen. Hulking arms shimmered in the sunrays as if they had been kissed by the sun and she wondered how his arms would feel wrapped around her body. As he turned around, long black hair hung over his big broad shoulders and stopped at his shoulder blades. His lower back tapered in to a firm backside which was covered in a black and gray plaid. Funny… she had a sudden urge to squeeze his buttocks. God could not have forged a more perfect man, she thought.
Being ten-and-eight, innocent, and sheltered behind the walls of the nunnery, she hadn’t had much of a chance to explore the ways of men. In fact if she wasn’t praying, she was in the infirmary mending men severely wounded from battle, or ill. Sister Kate’s nagging voice reminded her that “Ye only have room for one man in yer heart and He would never steer ye wrong.” Only if Sister Kate could see this man standing before her now, even she would blush.
“Ye should no be sneaking up on me like that.” Abigale lowered the dirk, but still kept her grip tight.
The alluring man crossed his massive arms in front of his bare chest. “I was taking a rest while out riding when I saw ye over here. Ye know a bonny young lass like yerself should no be oot alone without an escort.”
“I can take care of myself just fine.”
“Aye, I can see that.” He rubbed his throat.
She stood shivering from the cold or mayhap from the intensity of his gaze; she needed to retrieve her clothes before she caught her death. Then she remembered that she was wearing a thin shift. Surely he could see right through to her naked body? Quickly with her free hand she tried to cover her breasts and still have some dignity. “Would ye kindly turn around now so I can dress?" She motioned with the dirk for him to turn around.
He turned, giving her privacy to dress. “That’s a fine horse ye have there,” he said over his shoulder.
Abigale finished dressing and began to smooth the wrinkles out from her dress with her hands. “That’s Fergus, he’s a gift from my da. A true warhorse."
Of the few times her father had come to visit her at the abbey, and there were only a few, she remembered the day when he had brought Fergus to her as a gift. A gift perhaps but more like a peace offering for being absent for over a year. Abigale forgave her father, and the white charger quickly became more than a horse, he was a friend.
“Ye may turn around now.” As Abigale glanced up, her heart skipped a beat as amber eyes pierced her, sending a rush of heat through her body. She licked her lips and struggled to swallow past a dry throat. How could this man, who she had never met before, make her hunger for something that she had not yet had? Feeling uneasy, she broke their stare and quickly searched for her shoes.
“Are ye a Highlander?” What kind of a question was that? Of course he was a Highlander… that was a plaid he wore. Way to go, Abigale Bruce, he must think I’m a real dunderhead.
“Why do ye ask?”
“That is a plaid ye wear? “Abigale leaned against the boulder and bent down to slip her shoes on.”
“Aye.”
“Then ye must be a Highlander.”
Indeed the ways of Highlanders were much different from the English-influenced ways of lowland men like her father. Still both parties had fought for Scotland until the crown and riches were in their grasp. Some would say that greed was the root of all evil. Abigale thought differently. The crown was the root
of all evil. Men fought for it, killed for it, and sold their souls for a taste of the crown and the power it held. The crown grew evil in men and she knew that all too well because it was her father's own greed for the crown that left her abandoned at the abbey.
The unsettled nature of Scotland had left Abigale hardened. She’d seen firsthand the aftermath of battles fought; mended wounds, prayed over dead bodies, and even buried the dead. The nunnery where she grew up would set up tents to aid those wounded in battle. Abigale would assist in surgery and her passion grew for healing the sick and mending wounds. Life was to be valued, not destroyed.
In a way she blamed Lady Scotland for her misfortunes. Her father’s growing need to fight for Scotland had caused her to stay hidden, conceal her true identity, and grow up without a family. Her whole family had been affected by the battles fought for Scotland and the greed of claiming the crown. Though it was true she had long forgiven the Lady; she could not forget.
The Highlander seemed far away in thought, because he took a while to answer. “Some would say I’m a Highlander.” He approached Abigale. "May I?” The beautiful stranger reached for a piece of hair that was stuck to her face and tucked it behind her ear. He brushed a callused finger down her cheek to her slender neck leaving a fiery path trailing behind.
He held her stare and captivated her to the point that she could not form a coherent thought. Her body was no longer hers to control, her heart dropped, and desire pooled in her core setting her body on fire. This Highlander was so close to her she could feel his breath on her skin, she could smell his masculine scent and soon she wanted to taste his lips.
The mysterious man lowered his head, cupped his hand behind her neck, and pulled her close to him to claim her lips. Abigale drew in a deep breath in anticipation when suddenly a nudge from behind broke her trance. She turned to find Fergus.
“Fergus!” she scolded. “What’s gotten into ye?"
Another nudge by a wet gray muzzle almost sent Abigale to the ground until strong arms caught her around the waist. “I got ye lass,” he whispered in her ear.
For some odd reason the deep rich tone of his voice soothed her. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath and leaned back against the warmth of his body. Wait… what was she doing? Abigale Bruce, you are to be married.
Quickly she slipped away from his hold and began to gather up the leather reins. “I should be getting back.” Observing the stallion’s actions, it was clear to Abigale that Fergus did not approve of the stranger.
Jumping up on the back of Fergus, she turned to face the Highlander. The man rubbed the back of his neck as if he was thanking the white horse for saving his arse from making a huge mistake.
She dared one last look at him before she rode off into the glen back to her father’s castle where she would prepare for travel to Castle Douglas and marry the Bogeyman. Her eyes roamed his massive body sketching everything about him to memory; his striking amber eyes, strong masculine jaw line, and the way his eyes strayed over her body. She did not want to forget this man.
If only she did not have to go. Mayhap she could run away with this beautiful man and avoid being married to a monster. Deep down, she was drawn to this mysteriously intriguing, charming and pure male Highlander. He made her think that for once she could be in control of her life and make her own decisions. In a way she envied his freedom. It did not seem fair that she had to marry a man who her father wanted her to marry. Shouldnae one marry for love? But then again, he was a stranger… a mystery. Before she ran away with fantasies she knew better than to think of, she squeezed her legs, sending Fergus into a run. She had to marry the Bogeyman.
HB-Teaser-CoupleLaying(1)

Highland Burn - Author Photo

AUTHOR BIO

Victoria Zak lives in the sunshine state with her husband, two beautiful children, and three furry friends. Before having kids, Victoria spent fifteen years in the veterinary business and volunteered in pet rescue.

“One of my most rewarding jobs was finding unwanted animals their forever homes.”

A writing career was the last item listed on her bucket list, until she discovered that she wanted to put her stories on paper and breathe life into her characters. Her love for Scotland, curiosity of history, and passion for romance has inspired her to write her first book, Highland Burn.

“Fourteenth century Scotland was a fascinating time in history. Not only was Scotland fighting for their freedom from the English king, their own people fought each other; clan vs clan. Though being a woman of the twenty-first century, I wouldn’t want to live in those unsettled times. But writing historical fiction paranormal romance allows me to escape into their world and breathe a fresh air of romance and magic into that era, which I love to do.”

Victoria loves to hear from her readers. You can connect with her through FB, Twitter, G+, and her website

AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS



HB-Teaser-LochDude

Tour giveaway

One e-book copy of Highland Burn

Tour Organized By:
1-MINIBUTTON

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SHE'S GOT HER OWN

Virtual Book Tour


Book Title: She's Got Her Own
Genre: Urban Fiction
Paperback: 196 pages
ISBN-10: 1495455866
ISBN-13: 978-1495455865
Recommended Age Group For Book  18 +
Book Release Date  May 2014

About The Author

Kem Smith is well known as the Owner of K.I.S.S. Fitness Studio. Equally at home in the health and physical fitness sector as she is in the world of words, Smith is the author of both non-fiction and fiction. In 2012, she released her debut title Sexy by the Weekend: A Practical Guide to Living an Extraordinary Life, which encouraged readers to get their sexy back using 7 practical keys for glamorous, alluring, and exciting living. She is also the author of two other titles, Swag on 10, a gripping tale about a young man who believes swag is everything until he experiences God swag and Why I Quit Teaching, a new teacher’s guide to surviving and thriving in the classroom.
Smith graduated from Fontbonne University in St. Louis, MO with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Instruction. A former teacher of English, Reading, Writing and Communication Arts, Smith has taught in elementary, middle and high school as well as serving as an Adjunct Professor for St. Louis Community College. She served as an active participant in Missouri Writers Workshop for over 7 years and has had her poetry published in Missouri Teachers Write magazine. Smith earned post-graduate course credit from University of Missouri in Teaching Writing Inquiry.
In addition to running her fitness business, writing books and nurturing her family, Smith is a writer for Education for All, Inc.'s Involved Parent Magazine and will be featured in the anthology "I Define Me" being published by the Nia Group Stl, Inc. Smith has written for the St. Louis American on education choices, been interviewed on several radio and television shows including Teacha Tigue's Let's Talk Shop on 1380AM The Woman, on Nichelle Womack's Small Business Hour on 690AM, along with segments on Great Day St. Louis and News Channel 9 special program focused on Teaching the Teachers.
The daughter of a military father, Kem Smith was born in Amberg, Germany. She has lived in North St. Louis County since her family returned to the United States. She resides in St. Louis with her husband and children.

About The Book

She’s Got Her Own by Kem M. Smith is a gripping tale of two people desperately wanting to make their marriage and family work, but wanting to find personal happiness themselves!
Sharay and Brian are a young couple trying to cope with a big lifestyle change. Sharay is a successful business woman who has quit her job to homeschool her kids. However, raising four children while keeping her faith and sanity has proved to be a bit more than she can handle. Things get even more complicated when an old boyfriend from her past shows up wanting to ignite a new romance he feels still has some spark left.
Sharay’s husband Brian is a hardworking man who just wants some recognition in church, to see his sons grow up to be strong, successful black men and to have a happy marriage. But he finds his world is slowly crumbling when Sharay doesn’t have the same future in mind.

Social Links:
Twitter: #kissfitnessstudio

Buy Links:
Amazon ebook: http://amzn.to/1uf5tRq
Amazon paperback http://amzn.to/1v1I3mA

Tour Hosted by WNL Book Tours
Follow the Tour: http://wnlbooktours.com/kem-m-smith/


Author Interview

Do you have anything that you have to have while writing?

I can type and create in a noisy cafe, classroom, or even at a party. But I can't do anything while my five year old is around. She has to be totally gone from my presence or sleeping. She is a complete distraction.

What is your writing process?

I get a story idea, create an outline, and write a back story for the main characters and then start at chapter one. I don't allow myself to edit at the same time I write. When I am finished, I walk away for a couple of days in hopes of getting some fresh ideas which I add in when I come back to the story.

What motivates you to write?

The characters motivate me. Their stories beg to be told. I know when they speak they are going to help someone. My characters always want people to know they don't have to live in fear. God is a very present help in the time of storm.

When did you know that you wanted to be an Author?

I fell out of love with books some where around 10th grade. I hated the classics schools required us to read. My freshman year of college, my work-study job title was Library Locater. I had to run up and down 4 flights of stairs looking for books. When I finished locating lost books I had free time. I would get lost in the stacks. I read all of the books they wouldn't put in my hands in high school; Langston Hughes, Richard Wright, Zora Neal Hurston. I was hooked on books. So, when I went to composition class, I started earning A's on my papers. The teacher told me I was a great writer. I believed him but I never knew I could make writing a career. I wanted to be an author but I wouldn't make the plunge because I didn't want to insult the 'greats' by not writing the next great American novel. I decided to write what was important to me. I decided to be an Author even if my books never sold.

What is a WIP (Work In Progress) you are working on or have always wanted to write about?

I am currently working on a new book where the main characters have to use the authority given to Christians by God to overcome the enemy and get out of a precarious situation. I am nervous about it. No one writes about spiritual warfare for a reason. I don't want to be perceived wrong so I am moving forward with caution.

Monday, August 18, 2014

COVER REVEAL & EXCERPT


It's A Brand New Cover For:



BOOK INFORMATION



TITLE – Do You Believe In Magic

SERIES – The Magic Series

AUTHOR – Susan Squires

GENRE – Contemporary PNR

PUBLICATION DATE – April 7, 2012

LENGTH (Pages/# Words) - 302

PUBLISHER – Indie




BOOK SYNOPSIS



Tristram Tremaine has never fit in with his large and boisterous family. 

They believe they carry a magic gene that comes alive only when they fall in love with another who

carries that gene. After disappointing his parents one too many times, Tris, the bad-boy brother, hits the

road on his cycle, drifting away from his destiny.

That is, until he meets Maggie O'Brian, a spit-fire rodeo rider with a 

strange ability to calm wild horses. Maggie lives on the road too, avoiding relationships. Her mother left

her, the boy she loved left her, even her dog left her. The last thing she wants in a man is a tomcat with

“love ‘em and leave ‘em” written all over him.

But the connection between Tris and Maggie is instantaneous. After a 

mysterious accident nearly kills Tris, he and Maggie must learn to believe in their destiny and each other

to stay one step ahead of those who will do anything to prevent them from claiming it.

BUY & TBR LINKS





a> – AMAZON PAPERBACK – 





EXCERPT





The sickening crunch of metal was audible even over her Ford’s squealing 

brakes. Two objects flew almost over her hood in an arc of spokes and....

Oh, God. The other flying object had a helmet on. Her truck swerved as she struggled with control. The

big rig’s engine roared to life and it barreled away into the night. The semi driver must have felt the

impact. The smell of burning rubber and brake lining filled her nostrils. Her chest hit the steering wheel

as her truck screeched to a stop.

For a long minute she just sat there, trying to get her breath. Her sternum hurt. But it was kind of a

vague feeling. The highway was empty. The semi was only fading red taillights in the distance. Her

breath came fast and uneven. How had she not seen that truck? And why didn’t the driver stop to help?

Help....

The guy on the motorcycle.... Nobody could have lived through that. Could they?

What to do? No cell coverage out here. She craned around to check the highway. No lights in either

direction. Oh, boy. She was going to have to get out and look for the rider. Hands shaking, she pulled her

rig slowly off to the shoulder. She swallowed past a lump in her throat and got out of the cab into the

cool air of the high desert night. She had to steady herself with a palm on the side of her Ford. Her knees

were wobbly. She took a couple of panicky breaths.

Get hold of yourself. You weren’t the one hit, for God’s sake. She leaned back into her truck and popped

the glove compartment. The flashlight felt solid in her hand. She flipped it on and began walking back,

swinging the beam. It wouldn’t be him. It couldn’t.

Low moaning drifted up toward her. She swallowed. Moaning is good. At least the rider isn’t dead. She

cast her light down the shallow embankment. It caught a twisted mass of black and silver metal. The

cycle’s front wheel was canted at the wrong angle. It spun almost silently.

She stalked ahead, determined to be angry at being put in this situation, not weak or timid. She really,

really didn’t want to see what that lump was in the sagebrush just beyond the bike. The flashlight

stuttered over leather, helmet, jeans, boots. Uh-oh. One leg had an odd angle in it.

I won’t think about that. She breathed in and out through her mouth and stumbled over the edge of

the asphalt, sliding down the sandy dirt. As she got closer, she quit fighting her instincts. It would be her

beautiful biker guy. She knew it. She shone her light onto the figure.

Did I have to be right? He blinked against the light, the green of his eyes startling. They were swimming

right now. He raised one hand ineffectually to block—what? Her? Did he think she was the one who’d

hit him and was coming to finish the job? One leg was clearly bent at an unnatural angle below the knee.

Was that something white poking out of his jeans? Bad. Very, very bad. She battled her rising gorge.

Damn it, Maggie! You’re strong. Anger helped. Damn the asshole driver of that big rig. And damn her

motorcycle guy for being in this situation.

His cheek was scraped. Blood dripped toward his jawline. Lip split, chin scraped too. “It’s Maggie,” she

said stupidly. “That truck hit you.” Understatement of the year.

“Truck?”

Of course he’d hit his head with a fall like that. Probably just as well he didn’t remember. She pushed

through sagebrush and knelt in the dirt. This close she could smell the rich, metallic scent of blood. “You

... you need an ambulance. I’ll ... I’ll....” What? What could she do?

“You, uh, you feel any pain in your back or your neck?”

“Just ...” His voice was a croak. He cleared his throat and started again. “Just the leg.”

“Well, at least you can feel your extremities. Could be worse.” Better to make light of it. “Let’s get this

helmet off.” She released the chinstrap and gently lifted the helmet. “That okay?”

“Yeah,” he whispered. His eyes closed slowly and reopened, as if he couldn’t quite get it together to

blink.

She tossed the helmet behind her. “Look, I can go for an ambulance. I figure you’re only alone out here

for a little over an hour. Maybe three hours total to get you to the ER. Or ...” She almost couldn’t offer

it. “If we can get you into the truck, I can take you. Maybe an hour and fifteen total to the ER at Washoe

Med.” She shrugged helplessly.

“Gee, what should I choose?” he said, lips tight. He seemed more aware now.

“We could screw you up worse trying to get you into my truck.” Truth in advertising.

“In ten minutes I’ll start to feel this,” he said through gritted teeth. “I don’t wanna be alone. Call me

chicken.”

“I wouldn’t call you that.” He must know how painful getting to the truck would be. She looked up to the

road. How the hell would she get him up the embankment? “Okay. How about I get my loading ramp?

You roll on it and I drag you up the embankment?”

“You got a horse in that trailer to pull it? I’m six-four, two twenty-five. Plus the ramp.”

“You could push with your good leg,” she said doubtfully.

He rolled his eyes to her. “You’re what, a hundred pounds?”

“A hundred and ten, all muscle.” Well, a hundred and six. That rounded up to ten.

“Get real.” In the baleful glare of the flashlight his pale, sweating face looked green. “I can hop if you can

get me up.”

That would hurt like hell. “Your funeral.” Not the best metaphor. “Let me get the truck.” She scrambled

up the bank, trying not to think too far ahead, and ran for her truck, fumbled with the keys, and backed

it up to where the cycle had gone over the edge.

As she slid down the bank again she could see that he’d pushed himself up on one arm. His other arm

hung limp from his shoulder. Not good. He hung his head. “Go away,” he rasped. Then he vomited into

the dirt. She turned away lest her own stomach rebel in sympathy. Poor guy couldn’t even wipe his

mouth with one arm out of action. She stripped off the flannel shirt she wore over her tee and knelt

beside him.

He turned his head away, but she cupped his cheek to pull him back around. The jolt that shot through

her was like she’d touched a battery cable. Well, not quite. The charge was definitely sexual. What the

hell was that? Slow down, girl. You’re kneeling in the dirt next to an injured guy who just lost it all over

the desert. Not exactly sexy. She set her lips and wiped his mouth and then used the other sleeve to

wipe the sheen of sweat from his forehead.

“We’d best get to it,” he gasped.

She surveyed the situation. Okay. Damaged shoulder was on the opposite side of the broken leg. Don’t

think about how much this is going to hurt him.



AUTHOR BIO



Susan Squires grew up among the giant redwoods of California. She 

thought she was being practical by changing her major in college from theater to English literature.

Immersed in a PhD. Program, she slowly realized that none of her graduating friends had work. So she

dropped out after receiving a Master’s degree to take a paying job in the business world.

As an executive in a Fortune 500 company, she returned to her love of 

writing while continuing to hold her day-job, much to the amusement of her fellow executives. Her

novel Danegeld, had already been purchased by Dorchester by the time she accepted a Golden Heart

for Best Unpublished Paranormal Manuscript from Romance Writers of America. It was the first of an

eclectic group of historical and contemporary paranormal stories known for their intensity. Body Electric

was named by Publishers Weekly one of the ten most influential paperbacks of 2002, for blending

romance and science-fiction. Book List compared No More Lies to the works of Robin Cook and Michael

Crichton, but it was also a Rita finalist for Best Published Paranormal Romance by Romance Writers of

America.

Susan’s Companion Series for St. Martin’s Press, continued to garner 

attention with admiring reviews and several visits to the New York Times Bestseller List. Publishers

Weekly named One with the Shadows a Best Book of the Year, and several of the series received starred

reviews. Her books have won the many regional contests for published works of paranormal romantic

fiction.

Susan no longer has to use tales of romance and adventure to escape 

budgets and projects. She finally left her day job, and researches and writes her books at the beach in

Southern California, supported by three Belgian Sheepdogs and a wonderful husband named Harry who

writes occult mysteries as H.R. Knight.

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

RAVEN COVER REVEAL

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Cover Reveal





Title: Raven
Series: Legends Saga # 2
Author: Stacey Rourke
Audience: NA Paranormal
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Formats: E-book and Paperback  
Publisher: Anchor Group Publishing
Cover by: Najla Qamber Designs
Editor: Melissa Ringsted
Expected Date of Publishing: Sept 22, 2014

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An infamous love, destined nevermore,
For death could not claim, the enchanting Lenore.

Cursed by the malevolent spirit of the Headless Horseman, Ireland Crane ventures to Manhattan in search of a way to break her soul crushing bond. Instead, she discovers the lines between fact and fiction are blurring once more. Croaking ravens. Telltale hearts. Could the works of Poe be coming to pass with handsome Wall Street Midas Ridley Peolte as their unwilling target?

She walks the Earth, a plague on mankind,
searching for he, her rotted heart doth pine.

Together, the two unknowingly release a dark force death itself could not tame. Surrounded by the unrelenting violence and mayhem they’ve unleashed, Ireland feels her control over the Horseman slipping. Before the beast within consumes her, she and her crew must follow the clues of the dead to right a centuries’ old wrong. Will it be enough to sate the Horseman’s appetite?

Hell hath no fury like a ghoul scorned.

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authorgifThe Gryphon Series is written by Stacey Rourke. She lives in Michigan with her husband, two beautiful daughters, and two giant, drooly dogs. Stacey loves to travel, has an unhealthy shoe addiction and considers herself blessed to make a career out of talking to the imaginary people that live in her head. She is currently hard at work on the continuations of this series as well as other literary projects. The Gryphon Series is available wherever fine books are sold.


Contact Info: Visit the author at www.staceyrourke.com
Twitter @Rourkewrites

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