Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Release Day Blitz Spirit of the Sea Witch by Tara West


Spirit of the Sea Witch
Keepers of the Stones
Book Two
Tara West

Genre: YA fantasy

Publisher: Shifting Sands Publishing

Date of Publication: 1.23.18

ISBN: TBA
ASIN:

Number of pages: Est 400.
Word Count: 100K

Cover Artist: Bob Kehl

Book Description:

Desperate to escape the wrath of the vengeful sky goddess Madhea, a group of brave young explorers flee to the sea in search of safe haven for their people while the apprentice witch Dianna steals away Madhea’s dragon to The Shifting Sands.

Though they are an ocean apart, the future of all humanity lies within their entwined fates.

Before they can defeat Madhea, they must stop the vindictive sea goddess Eris from destroying the world.

Amazon     Amazon UK    Books2Read
Sample Scene Two

The dwarf took a swig of his fiery drink, then coughed while pounding his chest, his nose and cheeks turning even redder. Alec wondered why Grim drank that poison if it made him sick, but then he was reminded of his father, always with a tankard in hand. Mother had said that his father drank to forget the past. Perhaps Grim had memories he was trying to bury, too.
            Grim cleared his throat before capping the flask and slipping it back inside his vest. “Aye, there is truth in that, for then the sea witch will have all the power.”
            Gorpat snorted, then her other eye flew open. Her brow drew down, the heavy folds nearly falling over her eyes. “Don’t say ‘witch,’ Dada.”
            The dwarf looked over his shoulder at his giant daughter’s scrunched features. “Sorry, my pearl.” He turned back to Alec, pulling a cloth out of his vest and wiping glistening drops of sweat off his brow. “Her ma don’t like me speaking of the demon fish so.”
            “Demon fish?” Alec was confused. Was he speaking of the ice goddess’s sea-dwelling sister?
            Grim solemnly nodded. “The torso of a beautiful maiden, the tail of a fish, but the heart of a serpent.”
            Alec rubbed his chin, sharing a puzzled look with Des. “You are speaking of the sea goddess, Eris?”
            The dwarf frowned. “Aye, ’tis the same bitch,” he mumbled, casting a wary glance over his shoulder.
            The giant’s eyes nearly crossed as she frowned at her father.
            “I’d no idea she had a fish’s tail. Is she a siren?” As far as Alec knew, the ice goddess Madhea had no tail, though his brother had told him she had wings that buzzed angrily like demonic little pixies. How strange her sister would be so different.
            “Nay, she is no siren.” The dwarf shook his head, snickering. “The sirens are angels in comparison.”
            He snorted. “I find that hard to believe.” Alec had heard too many tales of sirens luring ships to the rocks and then baring rows of shark-like jagged teeth and feasting upon shipwrecked sailors as they screamed for mercy.    
            The dwarf’s eyes hardened. “Then let us hope you never meet Eris and find out for yerself.”
            “Sing the song, Dada,” the giant pleaded, nearly knocking Alec back with a wave of her hot breath. 
            Grim looked over his shoulder at the girl, shaking his head. “Nay, my pearl. ’Tis too sad.”
            “Sing, Dada. Pur-lease.” 
            He flashed her one more doleful look before heaving a resigned sigh. “Very well.” He cleared his throat, straightened his shoulders, and began with a soft hum.
            Alec had to strain to hear at first, but then Grim’s voice grew so deep and strong, it filled Alec’s bones with the reverberations of a snow bear’s roar. 
            “Goddess of ash and sea.” The dwarf’s tone was so rich and pure, Alec’s heart nearly broke from the beauty of it. “Please return my child to me. Though ’tis four score since she wandered this shore, my spirit doth cry Annalie…  Annalie… Annalie.”
            Alec stared at the dwarf through the campfire’s dancing flames, struck dumb for a long moment before he realized his blurred vision was not from the smoke or fiery drink, but from his own sheen of tears. He looked at Des, who was drying his eyes as well.
            Alec didn’t know if Grimley’s beautiful voice or the song’s sad story had stirred these emotions, but sadness soon turned to fear, an icy tendril coiling around his spine like a serpent threatening to choke his last thread of sanity. Realization soured his gut. “Eris steals children?”        

            Grim leveled Alec with a sinister glare, the reflection of the fire dancing in his haunted expression. “Laddie, the witch takes anything she damn well pleases.”

About the Author:

Tara West writes books about dragons, witches, and heroes while eating chocolate, lots and lots of chocolate. She's willing to share her dragons, witches, and heroes. Keep your hands off her chocolate. A former high school English teacher, Tara is now a full-time writer and graphic artist. She enjoys spending time with her family, interacting with her fans, and fishing the Texas coast.

@TaraWestauthor


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Release Day Blitz The Last Line of a Goat Song by Jonathan Doyle


The Last Line of a Goat Song
Jonathan Doyle

Genre: Literary Fiction, Action Adventure

Publisher: Wild Thorn Publishing

Date of Publication: 01/23/2018

ISBN:  978-1948223003
ASIN: B0777KFSSB

Number of pages: 236
Word Count: 63000

Cover Artist: Holly Yvonne Designs

Book Description:

Having lived a life of self-imposed isolation, William suddenly finds himself on a road trip to Mexico with a woman whose life becomes intertwined with his.

Forging an unlikely friendship, they must learn to navigate the dangers and chaos of their adventure while confronting ghosts from the past.

The Last Line of a Goat Song is poetic and poignant, with characters full of longing, pain, and a desire to be seen, if not for who they are, then who they want to be. This is a riveting story of an unlikely friendship. A remarkable novel.
—Edan Lepucki best selling author of California and Girl No. 17


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Excerpt:

   “I’m leaving Monster.” Maggie said. She lit a cigarette that William didn’t know she possessed.
   William put down his journal. He looked over at her with a raised eyebrow,
   “I’m done with him.”
   She loved men like a tourist, William understood. She saw the best in them, was fascinated by their history and etymology, took tours and learned the topography, the geography. Then she left after three days, or a week, or maybe three months. She took pictures, she bought postcards, but she always left.

   “He has a problem with drugs. I deserve something more than that.”

About the Author:

Jonathan Doyle is a screenwriter and novelist based in Los Angeles with his large collection of books and his trusty DVR. A native of Phoenix AZ, Jonathan grew up in Southern California and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University with a degree in Psychology, but still can’t overcome his fear of freeway overpasses. When he’s not busy working on a new novel/poem/song/screenplay, he enjoys reading Virginia Woolf, lamenting a Lakers loss, or watching Siberian tiger videos online.




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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

An Aviation: The Cocktail of The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins by Aletta Thorne


The Chef and The Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins is set in a little town on the Hudson River in 1982.  The early 80’s were not a time for the kind of delicious cocktails that have become common in the past decade or so—but there were still a few bartenders around who remembered the classic drinks from before Prohibition, like The Aviation.  Alma Kobel, the main character of this book, gets to taste one of those antique and potent drinks not long after she meets the ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins. 

An Aviation is a gin drink, served in a pretty martini glass.  It’s an iridescent, slightly purple color, a little sweet and a little tart at the same time.  Potent and suave, it leaves Cosmos in the shade.  You’ll have to find two unusual bottles at a good-sized liquor store or order them online: Crème de Violette and Maraschino Liqueur.  It’s worth seeking them out so that you can strap in and take off!


The Aviation

2 oz good gin (I like Beefeaters for this drink)

¾ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

just under half an oz each of Maraschino Liqueur and Crème de Violette (or less, to taste)
for garnish: a cocktail cherry

Shake the gin with the juice and the liqueurs hard over plenty of ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  Garnish with a cherry.  Note: Maraschino is NOT Cherry Heering!  It’s clear in color and Luxardo makes a good version of it these days.  It’s worth owning some, because you can make Hemingway Daiquiris with it, too.  I’ll include one of them in my next book!  If you can’t find Crème de Violette, you can make the drink without it, subbing a bit more Maraschino.  It won’t be quite as sexy, but it’ll still be darn good.





The Chef and the Ghost of
Bartholomew Addison Jenkins
Aletta Thorne

Genre: paranormal romance,
mainstream romance, holiday

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Date of Publication: October 26, 2017

ASIN: B076WJK63L

Number of pages: 158
Word Count: 51,000

Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Tagline: What happens if you have a one-nighter—with a ghost?

Book Description:

Autumn, 1982. MTV is new, poodle perms are the rage, and life just might be getting better for Alma Kobel.  Her ugly divorce is final at last. Her new job as chef at Bright Day School’s gorgeous old estate is actually fun.  But the place is haunted—and so is Alma’s apartment. Bartholomew Addison Jenkins’ ghost has been invisibly watching her for months. 

When he materializes one night, Alma discovers Bart—as he likes to be called—has talents she couldn’t have imagined…and a horrifying past. What happens if you have a one-nighter with a ghost?  And what happens if one night is all you want—and you end up ghosting him?  

Some spirits don’t like taking “no” for an answer.

Amazon      Evernight      BN
Excerpt:

A ghost. Of course he was a ghost—even though before that night, she’d never felt anything spooky at her place in the almost-year she’d lived in it. Alma still had the plate with the omelet on it in one hand. Ghosts didn’t eat, did they? She held it out to him anyway.
“Go ahead and have your supper,” he said. “I don’t need food. I take it you understand why.”
Alma nodded, not sure what to say. For a ghost, the man looked rather … dashing, she decided was the world. He must have been muscular in life. There were nicely rounded biceps under that loose shirt, and they showed when he moved his arms.  His knee knickers fit tightly over a flat belly, and his stockings made his calves look like they were made out of smooth, white marble. His eyes were a startling, luminous golden brown.
“Sadly, we are still perfectly able to smell a good meal cooking.”
“We?” Alma said.
The man nodded. “Your dead,” he said, solemnly.
“My dead?” she said.
“Well, you live here, don’t you? So, I’m your dead, now.” He stopped looking so serious then and as if guys in knee knickers and white stockings were born doing it, he opened her refrigerator and pulled out the bottle of Chablis. “Here, give me your glass,” he said, and topped it off. The glow from the refrigerator’s light made him even more luminous—and just the slightest bit translucent.
“Thanks,” she said, although it was her wine. She put her plate and glass down on a little enamel-topped kitchen table she’d bought at a local church thrift shop and pulled out one of the table’s funky old chairs for herself.
“Fork? Napkin?” he said, pulling those things out of the drawers next to Alma’s stove. Alma used cloth napkins from the restaurant supplier—big white ones.
“You know where my things are,” she said, spreading the napkin across her lap.
“That shouldn’t surprise you,” he said. “Eat your omelet while it’s hot. Go ahead.”
Alma took a bite. “Um, the pepper grinder on the stove?” she said. “Could you, please?”
“My lady.” He smiled and handed it to her with a little bow.
 She ground a little pepper over her plate and took another bite and sipped her wine. He sat down across from her, put his elbows on the table, and his chin in his hands.
“I enjoy watching you eat.”
“Okay, I guess. It’s not … weird?”
“No.”
 A ghost is watching me eat an omelet. “What’s your name?”
“Bartholomew Addison Jenkins,” he said. “These days, I just use Bart.”
“These days. But you’ve been here since you…”
“Since 1784,” he said.
“Which was when you died, I guess.”
“I must tell you, dear lady, saying that to one of us is considered rude. In better ghostly circles, that is. Some of us are not aware we are dead. Some of us do not like to be reminded of it.”





About the Author:

Aletta Thorne believes in ghosts.  In her non-writing life, she is a choral singer, a poet, a sometimes DJ, and a writer about things non-supernatural.  But she’s happiest in front of a glowing screen, giving voice to whoever it is that got her two cats all riled up at three AM.  Yes, her house is the oldest one on her street.  And of course, it’s quite seriously haunted (scared the ghost investigator who came to check it out).  She is named after a little girl in her family who died in the late nineteenth century, at the age of two. The Chef and the Ghost of Bartholomew Addison Jenkins is her first romance.



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Monday, January 15, 2018

Pwca in the Grim Series: Storm Crossed Grim Series Book 4 by Dani Harper


There’s a wide variety of Fae beings in my Grim Series, all of them based on Celtic legends and lore. One of the faery creatures making an appearance in my new release, Storm Crossed, is a Pooka – spelled in Welsh as Pwca. (the “w” is pronounced like the “oo” in moon). 

The faery Pwca is a shapeshifter, able to appear as many different creatures but almost always black as coal with glowing yellow eyes. While some stories feature it as a large male goat, a fearsome goblin, a cat or rabbit,  or even a man, its favorite form is that of a powerful black horse with flowing mane and tail. Whatever form it takes, the Pwca has the power of human speech, and is extremely clever.

(The Pwca in Storm Crossed would be very flattered to hear that. His name is Cadell. Not only does he befriend the hero in the story, he’s showing every sign of being a regular in the series!) 

Legend says that the Pwca gallops at great speed over the countryside, usually after dark, often leaving a trail of mischief and bad luck. Fences may be broken down, crops trampled, and livestock chased away. Cows who catch sight of the creature will stop giving milk, and likewise, hens will stop laying if a Pwca has passed by the farm. If berries become overripe or have been killed by frost, it’s said that the Pwca has spit on them and rendered them poisonous!

A Pwca’s most well-known prank, by day or by night, is to coax an unwary traveler onto its back by pretending to be tame. It might even wear a bridle with trailing reins as a lure. The traveler then gets a wild ride he’ll never forget, and ends up tossed into a muddy ditch or a pond! 


Like many fae creatures, the Pwca is capricious in nature – its mischief can turn deadly in an instant. Some stories reveal it as a bloodthirsty creature, hunting down humans and devouring them! Yet it can sometimes be warded off with an act of generosity. It was once customary to leave a few strands of standing grain when a field was harvested – it was called “the Pwca’s share”.  Bread and milk might be left on the porch as an offering for the fae, and the Pwca is said to be quite fond of this treat.

Storm Crossed
Grim Series
Book 4
Dani Harper

Release Date: January 9, 2018

Publisher: Montlake Romance

ISBN-10: 1503948943
ISBN-13: 978-1503948945

Book Description:

The latest stand-alone novel in Dani Harper’s Grim Series will delight old and new fans alike, transporting them to the ancient fae realm beneath the modern human world, where magic rules and menace abounds . . .

Heir to a noble fae house, Trahern is forced to watch helplessly as his twin brother is cruelly changed into a grim—a death dog—as punishment for falling in love with the wrong person. Trahern doesn’t believe love exists, but he will do anything to keep his brother alive—even join the Wild Hunt and ride the night skies of the human world.

Lissy Santiago-Callahan believes in love but has no time for it. She’s busy juggling her career as an academic and her home life as a single mom to a young son with Asperger’s. Her hectic life in sleepy Eastern Washington is made even more chaotic with the sudden arrival of a demanding fae and his unusual “dog.”

Mortal and immortal have nothing in common, and the attraction between Lissy and Trahern surprises them both. But when their desire places Lissy and her child in the path of a deadly faery feud, will the connection last, or will their separate worlds prove too great a divide?


EXCERPT ONE

“What are you doing here?” demanded a new voice, a rich masculine voice, and every one of her friends fell silent.

Oh great, we’ve attracted a park ranger, thought Lissy as she turned to face this new issue. How are we going to explain—

It was no ranger. The first thing her eyes took in was a heavy black cloak, thrown back to reveal strange leather clothing. Ornately tooled and trimmed with silver, it hugged a lean frame.

No, some instinct decided, not lean but lithe. Lithe like a big cat, all coiled agility and snake-strike muscle in a deceptively relaxed package. She was forced to tilt her head to see the strong jaw that underscored the man’s angular face—and the scar that ran diagonally across his throat.

Still, he could have been called handsome if it wasn’t for a strange otherness to his perfect features that was impossible to describe. Human, yet decidedly not. And no human she knew boasted hair like that. Pulled into a thick braid that fell halfway down his back, it was white in the way that snow was white—not a single shade, but many.

She had to remind herself to breathe. This was no lost cosplay enthusiast or a Lord of the Rings extra, but an actual living, breathing member of the faery race. Somewhere in the back of her mind, a faint thought protested that such a thing was completely impossible. It wasn’t very convincing, however, not with a flesh and blood dog the size of a goddamn Volkswagen already in front of her.

The man’s pale hair glowed in the fire’s light. A fistful of loose strands fell across his face, and beneath them his eyes were watchful, alert. A panther scanning for prey.

And he had found her.

The stranger’s unnerving gaze lingered for only a moment before apparently dismissing her. “What are you doing here?” he asked again, and Lissy realized he spoke to the enormous canine behind her.

“Wait a sec. This is your dog? Yours?” All the shock and fear of the past few minutes transmuted into anger. She’d been prepared to die defending her child, and this man, this being, was totally responsible! It was as if a switch inside had been thrown. Normal-everyday-college-science-professor Lissy was abruptly replaced with I-will-savagely-tear-apart-ten-man-eating-lions-to-save-my-kid Lissy. She stepped directly into his line of sight. “What the hell were you thinking, letting this animal run around loose like that?” she demanded.

He merely looked around her, as if she was a tree or a bush or a goddamn rock, and that just ramped up her fury. “You! I’m talking to you!” Without thought but backed by a considerable amount of adrenaline, she shoved him with all her strength. The element of surprise gave her an extra advantage, and the tall man stumbled back a step.

Now she had his full attention.

Most nature documentaries she’d watched advised against locking stares with wild animals, yet Lissy stood her ground and met the stranger’s riveting gaze boldly—despite her resentment at having to look up to do it. She all but bared her teeth as she stated her case: “You. Endangered. My. Son.”

“There was no danger to your offspring. The hound does not devour mortals.”

Was he mocking her with that imperious tone? “Yeah, well us mortals had no way of knowing that your monster dog doesn’t snack on humans. You have no right to frighten people like that!”

“I require no rights from you. I ride with the Hunt.”

Her gaze flicked to a faint ripple of movement at his side. The heavy cloak drew aside as if by its own volition, and the fae’s hand casually rested on the handle of a large coil of plaited leather at his hip. Ghostly tongues of bluish light flickered continuously over the heavy whip, here then gone in an instant only to reappear in a different spot, as if they were living things. 

Lissy could hear some gasps from her cluster of friends, and some hurried words between Morgan and Brooke. Though she’d never encountered the Wild Hunt herself, she knew that had to be what the stranger referred to. As a mere human, she should be utterly terrified.

Instead, she couldn’t care less if he was a unicorn. “Well, I require a goddamn apology from you, Mister,” she heard herself say, and folded her arms to wait.


About the Author:

Legend, lore, love, and magic. These are the hallmarks of Dani Harper’s transformational tales of faeries, shapeshifters, ghosts, and more, for a mature audience.

A former newspaper editor, Dani’s passion for all things supernatural led her to a second career writing fiction. There isn't anything she likes better than exploring myths and legends from many cultures, which serve to inspire her sizzling and suspenseful stories.

A longtime resident of the Canadian north and southeastern Alaska, she now lives in rural Washington with her retired mountain-man husband. Together they do battle with runaway garden gnomes, rampant fruit trees, and a roving herd of predatory chickens.

Dani Harper is the author of Storm Crossed, Storm Warned, Storm Bound, Storm Warrior (the Grim Series), as well as First Bite (Dark Wolf), for Montlake Romance. She is also the author of a Yuletide ghost story, The Holiday Spirit, plus a popular shapeshifter series, which includes Changeling Moon, Changeling Dream, and Changeling Dawn.

For more, visit her website at http://www.daniharper.com



Twitter - https://twitter.com/Dani_Harper  or @Dani_Harper


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Interview - The Dark Proposal by Megan Cashman



Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

My name is Megan Cashman, and I’ve been an aspiring author for as long as I can remember. I’ve always had an interest in vampires, and I knew sooner or later, I was going to write a vampire book.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?

They are mysterious, sexy, supernaturally powerful, old and they’ve seen it all. As I write about vampires, I realize they live parallel to the human world, and they cannot be without humans, as much as they fear to admit it. Anyway, the more I write about vampires, the more fascinated I get. They truly are intriguing creatures and you can write just about anything about them. OK, I’m rambling now…

What inspired you to write this book?

I was inspired by two things: firstly, the HBO show, “True Blood”. While I was watching “True Blood” I would think about how cool it would be to have a vampire in my life. But then I was like, “wait! Vampires are murderous, evil beings!” So that was how my “evil” vampires were born. From there, my second inspiration was born. When I was younger, I used to have lousy boyfriends, and “The Dark Proposal” was a way for me to express the fears I had from those guys. It was a cathartic, therapeutic experience to write this book.


Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

Both. I chose the name Claire it means “light” and that counters the dark tone of this story. Daniel was a common name for French men in the medieval era, and it is a common name nowadays, so that fits. I don’t pick names out of the blue; I put a lot of thought into them. Even Claire’s niece, named Ava, is a deliberate choice because it means “life”.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

I enjoyed both Claire’s friend and roommate, Samantha DiCarlo, and Daniel’s maker, Hilde. Both are fearless and tough, so that was fun. As I write the sequel to “The Dark Proposal”, I am delighting in writing about Hilde because she is a tough vampire in a world that is difficult to survive in.


What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

I have two scenes: the one where Daniel reveals he is a vampire, and the ending part. When Daniel reveals he’s a vampire, I had a lot of fun with some parts of it. It was also the first scene I ever wrote of “The Dark Proposal”. The second to last scene is really intense, and I felt so sad over what Claire experiences. Plus, there’s some twists in it.

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?
I did some research on the history of vampires, and learned just about every culture in the world has some sort of a vampire creature in it. Those creatures also date back centuries, so it helped create my vampire world.


With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? Can these books be read as stand alones?

The first book, “The Dark Proposal” being the first, it can be a stand alone. But there’s more that happens to Claire and Daniel as they deal with a changing world for the vampires. Also, in the second book, which I am almost done with, there are other characters who either are introduced or are more flesh-out more than in the first book.


Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

I write better in a coffee shop than at home, LOL. I just find it easier to focus when I’m out in public. At home, I’d be distracted with a lot of things. So, going to a coffee shop is like going to work for me. I guess the change of atmosphere demands that I focus more.

Do you write in different genres?

Not yet, but I plan to. I have more paranormal story ideas, along with historical fiction ideas for books. I even have some screenplay ideas in mind, but they aren’t paranormal. Not yet, anyway.

When did you consider yourself a writer?

Oh boy, that’s a tough one. Because I’m also a freelance journalist, I’ve been published in other respects. But I would say, when I self-published “The Dark Proposal”, I considered myself an author then.

What was the last amazing book you read?

Probably “And The Mountains Echoed” by Khaled Hosseini. He writes so beautifully and captures the human heart and mind so well.


What can readers expect next from you?

I’m just about done with the sequel to “The Dark Proposal”, and it is titled “Between Light and Dark”. It takes a look at how Claire is adjusting to the vampire world, a world she never wanted to be in. It also takes a look at how Daniel is, now that he has been promoted in the vampire world, and how that is effecting him. Plus, the relationship between Claire and Daniel continues, this time as maker and progeny.



The Dark Proposal
The End of Eternity
Book One
Megan Cashman

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication: September 14, 2012

ASIN: B00D6WJFUU

Number of pages: 211
Word Count: 79,050

Cover Artist: Karri Kwaliter

Book Description:

A young woman copes with being forced to become a vampire as the man she loves reveals he is more evil than she can comprehend.

Claire McCormick has graduated from college and is eager for her childhood dreams to come true. She thought it would happen when she began dating Daniel Bertrand, who was everything she wanted in a boyfriend. But just as her dreams are about to happen, Claire’s life is turned upside down when Daniel reveals to be a bloodthirsty vampire, with the intent on making her his eternal companion. Frightened, Claire desperately tries to rid herself of him, but Daniel is too evil to defeat. She has to come to terms with reality, as she faces a vampire world fighting to survive in modern times, with many of them unaware of how devious Daniel can be.

The Dark Proposal is the first book in a trilogy that follows what becomes of Claire and the vampires.

WARNING: contains thematic elements, graphic content and some strong language


Amazon     Smashwords

Excerpt:

There was a pregnant pause with both waiting for the other to speak or make the first move. For a second, she wondered if this was going to be the moment he would make her like him or kill her instead.
“No, Claire,” he spoke suddenly. She jumped, startled. “It’s up to you to say yes. And remember I did tell you I can read your thoughts.”
“Then please stop, because you’re freaking me out,” she said.
He arched one eyebrow, and for a moment, she feared he would attack her. But instead, he crossed one arm across his chest and put the opposite hand under his chin, as though contemplating something.
“I see you’ve accepted somewhat of what I revealed to you,” he finally said.
“A little.” She felt like she was preparing for war.
“What?” He sounded curious. “Is there something else you can’t comprehend?”
“Yeah,” she said in a shaky voice. Her eyes were downcast, and when she was ready, she lifted them to look right at him. “I did some research while in New Jersey. There’s a lot of websites about real vampires.”
“Yes?” Daniel raised his eyebrows.
Taking a deep breath, she said, “I think you killed Colin Willis.”
His face expressionless, he lowered his arms and closed his eyes, shaking his head. He ran one hand over his face as Claire continued.
“I read a blog about his murder. There are rumors going around that he had two holes on the side of his neck. There was no blood in his body.” She swallowed and asked, almost pleading, “Did you really do it? Honestly, Dan?”
Removing his hand, he looked right at her and said, “I think you know the answer to that question.”
She did, and whatever hope she had that he did not murder Willis quickly dissolved. She began to pant in horror at first, but then in anger. “I mean, you knew as everyone else that there was no evidence of foul play,” he was saying, nonchalantly watching her. “Plus, there were no suspects -”
Claire suddenly pounced on Daniel, arms flailing as she hit him in the face and chest. She was screaming about him being a murderer and how evil he was.
It didn’t last long because he soon caught her flying fists and held a tight grip on her wrists, holding them away from him. His grip was beyond solid, like a steel machine, and his eyes were hollow with rage. For a moment, she thought he was going to attack her again. No, he was going to kill her. She dared to hit him, dared to defy him and now she would pay the price.

He held her in his harsh eyes for a moment, and then shoved her hands away, practically pushing her away from him. “Honestly, who else would’ve done it?”


About the Author:

Born and raised on Staten Island, NY, Megan Cashman currently lives in Brooklyn, where she can be seen checking out the borough’s numerous coffee shops to work on her writing projects. She has a Masters’ degree in journalism, and has worked for cable news, both local and national, as well as a major New York newspaper. She is currently a freelance journalist and an adjunct professor at the City University of New York (CUNY). When she’s not writing or teaching, Megan can be seen taking nature photos with her iPhone, crocheting, doing yoga and Pilates, and trying out new dinner recipes.



@MeganCashman





 
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