Spotlight & Excerpt: Queen’s Ascension + Giveaway

Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy, #3
Barb Jones
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
ISBN: 9781953271013 / 9781953271020
ASIN: B08DKK66PM
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words
Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart — her friends, her great love — Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people — Chloe and Michael — that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon  /  BN

 

HOLIDAY CHRISTMAS MOVIES WITH TEENS 

Whether you look forward to the
presents, the cookies, the food, the music, there is one part of Christmas that
also stands out.  Yes – THE CHRISTMAS
MOVIES!  No Christmas season would be
complete without the movies.  I’m not
really talking about the Hallmark Christmas Movies, but the movies that can be
seen with the whole family, all ages, for a night of laughter and fun.  I mean, who doesn’t like Buddy the Elf, for
one? 

Take for example, a family with
teens (that’s me!).  It is hard nowadays
to pull them away for baking cookies, decorating the tree, all those holiday
memories that they participated in when they were smaller.  That time has been replaced with technology,
video games, social media, you name it.
Let’s be honest here.  Not many
teens nowadays want to bake cookies but they will be the first in line to take
a cookie fresh out of the oven.

But one thing I can count on in
spending time with my teens during Christmas is watching Christmas Movies.  Not all, but certain ones.  Buddy the Elf, for example, brings forth a
sense of humor, comedy antics and his high level of energy that will engage the
teens as well as the rest of the family.
I put Buddy the Elf on at least once a Christmas season and my teens
will curl up on the couch, with iPhones in their hand, but mostly they are
watching and laughing.  I even had my
oldest text her friends about the funny scenes and soon, one after another, asked
to come over to watch it with us.  To me,
it’s not about keeping the same traditions as your child grows, but to find
ones that still warm them up to the holidays.
The other movie that is a hit is Nightmare Before Christmas!  With these two, we have always had so much
fun keeping the Christmas spirit alive!

I will still bake the cookies,
decorate the house, even if I do it by myself or with my mother.   But the one tradition I can keep in my heart
as my teens continue to grow up is a Christmas Movie.  The key is to find that one movie or two that
they will laugh at, they will love, and no matter how much time is spent on the
movie, you are together with them and at the end of the day, that’s all that
matters.  I know this year will be
different.  Not a lot of people can
gather in one place, but there are creative ways to go about this.  I already told my daughter to set up a watch
party for her friends when we turn on Buddy the Elf!  I will even deliver Christmas cookies to her
friends so the only thing they are missing is being in the same room with
us! 

In fact, I am enclosing a
chocolate bark recipe to make that teens will love!

Ingredients:

Ghirardelli’s Dark or Milk
Chocolate (4 oz at least)

Ghirardelli’s White Chocolate (4
oz at least)

*Miscellaneous toppings of your
choice (I use broken candy cane pieces, sprinkles, etc.)

Directions:

1.       Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

2.       Melt Dark or Milk Chocolate and White Chocolate.    I prefer to melt in a pot compared to the
microwave.  Use a double boiler if you
have one.  You want it to be smooth and
creamy, fully melted.

3.       Pour the dark/milk chocolate over the parchment paper. 

4.       Drizzle the white chocolate over the chocolate. 

5.       Using a toothpick, swirl the white chocolate into the
dark/milk chocolate.

6.       Decorate the top as you desire.

7.       Place in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes.  Longer is sometimes necessary.

8.       Once hardened, break into pieces.

*Serve this with a tasty chex mix
snack on the side!  The combination of
flavors will be a hit – My teens take a bite of bark then a handful of chex
mix!

Excerpt:

Malakai,
Seattle, Present Day

With the
betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and
fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical
commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort
of release.

He enjoyed the
brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But
this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally
met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it.
There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back
of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend
that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in
Eschmun’s scroll.

…her fate is
tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable,
but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to
the queen’s inner heart.

Could this be
the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and
evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite
accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from
the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer
fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by
cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with
Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions
he was feeling. 

***

Zaraquel, Seattle,
Present Day

Walking the
cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents,
Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked
the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected
Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright
red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.

She was elated
that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was
alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had
never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the
cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.

A throaty growl
awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone,
something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel
spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the
undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly
wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people,
which meant ridding the world of this monster.

She punched him
in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him
from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her
and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on
his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking
its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel,
however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep
him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.

“Capite
obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”

She heard the
cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew
off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before
he had risen from the ground.

Zaraquel sighed
in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified
kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind
she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind
her.

About the Author:
Barb Jones was born in Hawaii, a place rich with culture and storytellers. As a little girl, scary tales about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches were her favorite kind — much to her mother’s dismay. Her love for the supernatural never went away, even after moving to Seattle, far from Hawaii’s majestic beaches with unusual colors. Despite the unmatched beauty in Hawaii, Seattle stole Barb’s heart and it’s here where her stories took on a new form, in a book of her own: The Adventures of Little Arthur and Merlin the Magnificent. 

Then, the idea for The Blood Prophecy came while she was sleeping. In a dream, Barb saw a unique storyline involving all the races and an epic battle of good versus evil. It was a modern-day plot with a three-thousand-year-old prophecy, The Blood Prophecy. Barb finished the first book in 2014, The Queen’s Destiny. Two years later, she released The Queen’s Enemy, and the third book in the series, The Queen’s Ascension, arrives on August 17, 2020. 

She is not only a paranormal thriller author but an IT professional and mother of two fantastic children.  Today, she resides in Florida but is still a Seattle girl at heart.

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