Audio Spotlight & Excerpt: Mixing the Blue Blood

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Title: Mixing the Blue Blood

Author: Stacy Eaton

Narrator: Alex Black

Length: 8 hours 24 minutes

Series: My Blood Runs Blue, Book 4

Released: Jul. 10, 2020

Publisher: Nitewolf Novels

Genre: Paranormal Romance

 

Officer Kristin Greene returns along with the rest of the characters you have grown to love. Only, this time, it’s not just her life on the line. Now, the entire breed’s existence is in danger.

Olivia Newman has been Kristin’s best friend for years and loves the new life that Kristin is living. Her relationship with Gabriel is bittersweet, and she knows that because she is human. A future between them can never really last.

Gabriel Montgomery takes his position in the Vampire Military Force seriously and never expected to have such intense feelings for a human woman. When Olivia is kidnapped, Gabe, Kristin, and the gang realize they have stumbled upon a human trafficking ring.

Only, this ring isn’t for sex. The leaders of this ring are hell-bent on destroying the breed. Can they rescue Olivia and save their future before old enemies return and destroy the breed? Find out in Mixing the Blue Blood.

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Stacy Eaton is a USA Today Best Selling author and began her writing career in October of 2010. Stacy took an early retirement from law enforcement after over fifteen years of service in 2016, with her last three years in investigations and crime scene investigation to write full time.

Stacy resides in southeastern Pennsylvania with her husband, who works in law enforcement, and her teen daughter. She also has a son who is currently serving in the United States Navy, and two grandchildren.

Stacy is involved in Domestic Violence Awareness and served on the Board of Directors for her local Domestic Violence Center for three years.

Be sure to visit www.stacyeaton.com for updates and more information on her books.

Sign up for all the latest information on Stacy’s Newsletter!

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Narrator Bio

Alex Black is an articulate, engaging, and versatile narrator based in Cambridge, Vermont. He’s worked in theatre, film, audio production, and appeared on radio. As an accomplished audiobook producer with over 90 titles, he’s worked closely with independent authors and publishers.

He’s received more than 500 5 star reviews and specializes in Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Apocalyptic, Mystery & Thriller, LGBTQ+, and Memoirs.

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Guest Post

From Author Stacy Eaton

The fourth book in the series came after a very long break. After I wrote the first two books, I started writing a lot of other books. I got away from Kristin and her gang, and it was hard to get back to it, but I had readers constantly reaching out to me asking if I would be finishing the series.

Finally, five years after My Blood Runs Blue and Blue Blood for Life were written, I bought them back to life. I created the backstory novella, The Pulse of Blue Blood to go between those two books, and starting writing Mixing the Blue Blood. In that book, Kristin kind of took a slight backseat as Gabriel and Olivia, Kristin’s best friends became the center focus. Kristin was still right there the whole way and the stories focused on her, but also the other two.

It was nice to have two minor characters step into the spotlight, and I loved the addition to the series. A new layer added into the mix for vampires and the way they can life. This book had a ton of twists and people never knew what to expected in this one!

 

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Legacy of the Mask + Giveaway

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Echoes of a Song
A Legacy of the Mask Tale
by A.L. Butcher
Genre: Historical Fantasy

 

A dozen tumultuous years after the dramatic events at the Paris Opera House Raoul, Comte de Chagny is still haunted by the mysterious Opera Ghost – the creature of legend who held staff at the Opera House under his thrall, kidnapped Raoul’s lover and murdered his brother. In Raoul’s troubled imagination the ghosts of the past are everywhere, and a strange and powerful music still calls in his dreams.

Madness, obsession and the legacy of the past weave their spell in this short, tragic tale based on the Phantom of the Opera.

Approx 8000 words.

Winner of the NN Light Reviewer Award for Fantasy 2019.

 
legacyofthemask - excerpt

The Angel of Death stalked the De Chagny’s so the whispers said. Maybe it was true. For once the Angel of Death had been a man. A masked man of magic, of music and of murder. The Angel had many names, and many guises; Raoul had once laughed scornfully at Christine’s infatuation with the Angel of Music. But now he understood the terrible bewitchment, for it was his now to bear. This man, this ‘Phantom’, who at once was angel, ghost, maestro, architect, and magician had held them all in his not insubstantial power. Erik – so he called himself – had almost brought the mighty Paris opera house to its knees. Erik’s opera house, so Christine had told him. And in those desperate nights, at least, it had been true.

Raoul pulled out the hidden drawer beneath one of the shelves and read the newspaper – now yellow and faded – as he had every night for three years like a consuming obsession. First the accounts of the ‘accidents’ at the opera: the terrible night the chandelier had fallen killing an employee, the apparent suicide of a stage hand and the murder of one of the foremost tenors. Wild stories abounded about an ‘Opera Ghost’ who’d managed to fool the managers into parting with a fortune, terrified the corps de ballet and whose face was so terrible to behold that any who saw it would die, but who sang with an angel’s voice. The truth was not something that bothered the Paris Tribune too much, but the truth could be strange beyond reason. And the Surete could hardly believe the wild stories of masked men and angry ghosts. They’d searched and asked questions, and considered a cuckolded husband or an angry father, but no perpetrator had been found. The case dwindled into obscurity. Months and years went by and other cases took prominence and now few remembered one death in a city where murder was common and adultery more so. Peering at the faded print in the bad light Raoul found the part he sought in the letters of the city’s more reputable rag.

“Erik is dead,” Raoul said it aloud. Three words. Three words which had haunted him these twelve years.

 

Tears and Crimson Velvet
A Legacy of the Mask Tale

 

Madame Giry finds herself embroiled in the tragedy unfolding at the Opera house; mystery and murder stalk the corridors and, it is said, a ghost haunts the place. Giry knows the truth, for she recalls the caged man she met so many years ago. This is her story, their story.

When murder and mystery begin at the Opera House one woman knows who is behind it, and what really lies beneath the mask. Secrets, lies and tragedy sing a powerful song in this ‘might have been’ tale.

Winner of the NN Light Book Heaven short story award 2020.

  
legacyofthemask - excerpt

Part 1 – The Palais Garnier -1890s

Madame Lise Giry unlaced her shabby black boots and stretched her aching feet onto a threadbare footstool. Her room was cold, the stone walls leeched heat and the hangings did not compensate much. Lise felt cold within – this was the cold of deadly knowledge and sadness. It ate at the soul, and the heart but Lise remained within these walls. She had a duty to do so, but it was not so simple. She had a promise to keep.

The last opera of the season was always the most exhausting; so many expectations, trepidations and often mistakes. Already highly-strung artistes were at breaking point. Even the soloists were not on top form, with Babette tripping during her dance and her partner straining a muscle trying to compensate. The corps de ballet was flighty and nervous, and Lise couldn’t blame them for that. Recent events had brought kidnap, murder and extortion. Lise thought it was like a gothic novel or one of the increasingly popular crime fictions. Yet this was dreadfully real. Terrifying. Tragic. Shaking her grey tinged head Lise let a tear fall now she was alone. She hoped next season would be more settled, at least as far as such things could be in the volatile world of theatre, with its gossip, its affairs, and its micro-world where only those within really understood. Sometimes she’d pondered on retiring and having a ‘normal’ life- whatever that might be, but deep down Lise knew this life and more importantly, this place was in her blood and soul. And there was her gentleman….

“It’s certainly been a more eventful season than usual,” she muttered to the reflection in the looking glass of her room. Madam Giry should not, perhaps, have had this room with its ebony wood and faded silken chaise; the artwork, elderly and rather faded as it was, and the mirror. Yes, the mirror! Rumours abounded about haunted mirrors, and some said they captured the soul. Lise could believe that from all that had happened these last few months. In the charged corridors of the Opera House, it was said Christine’s mirror sang and she had once disappeared through it to a beautiful subterranean palace. Dancers and theatre folk held many superstitions and strange beliefs, but not all were simply foolish tales. Even myth can have a basis in fact.

Lise wiped her eyes. Tragedy walked the passages and stairways of the Opera House. The Angel of Death dwelled here. Lise herself was not a superstitious woman; she’d seen enough to warrant a belief in ghosts, strange goings-on and mystery but knew most often there was a rational explanation. Most often but not always. She’d been raised a Catholic, but these days no answer came from above or her Bible. Once she’d been told there was no redemption. The rosary now hung on a nail behind her favourite chair, but faith is often tested. Lise had met an angel – she was sure of it but if anything, that had rocked her faith more than anything else. Angels could be damned – of that she was certain. And the angel had a name.

“Poor Erik.” The sound rose in her throat before she even realised. But it was ritual now – she spoke those words every night. Lise did not recall when those two words had replaced her nightly prayer, but they had and now she seldom bothered God.

Lise rose and felt around in the drawer of the old wooden cabinet. The note was faded, brown and barely readable but she knew each word.

A token of regard and thanks for what you have done. The Opera House requires a seamstress. Your application will be accepted.

A friend.

Any sensible person would have questioned such a mysterious offer, and Lise did but desperation and curiosity got the better of caution and she duly presented herself at L’Opera De Paris. The interview with M. Debiene had been strange, in hindsight. He’d been rather nervous and looked around him as though expecting someone to appear. No one else had joined them. No one else obvious Lise had later realised. And so she had become a seamstress and assistant chaperone. The previous incumbent had walked out, refusing to ‘work in such ungodly conditions’, and the junior seamstress had fled the following night, crying about a face in the wall. All this Lise found out quickly after she had accepted the position. Lise was desperate enough to put fear aside and so she kept herself to herself as much as her position allowed. There was no cause for reprimand, and Lise worked hard and seldom complained. It was not easy, but she’d learned, life seldom was. The salary was fair but not generous, but debts needed to be paid, and so extravagance was beyond the widow’s reach.

In the years which passed, she saw or thought she saw him, the Opera Ghost, as she went about her business. A voice echoed in her head, and a song ached her heart raw, but she could not bring herself to leave, as many others had. That song she’d heard before and found she needed it. That voice had filled her dreams. It was like a narcotic, – enchanting, addictive and potentially deadly. More than once Lise questioned what she’d seen and heard, and the gossip which filled the dressing rooms, the flies and understage.

Madam Giry had found the answer when she’d ventured deep in the bowels of Garnier’s masterpiece – the Opera House – for costumes unused for many years. Beyond substage was a lake, for the cellars went deep below the streets and pumping the water out was costly. On that day Lise had heard the song and been drawn down deeper than she’d ever been, deeper than most here knew existed. Then she’d seen him again, the pale, gaunt figure with the angel’s voice, the devil’s face and the tragic soul. That had been her answer and her curse. she knew the truth hiding beyond the lie. In those days truth wore a mask.

The man had stopped, for the ghost was a man, and looked at her with eyes that burned with a deep sadness in the pale mask which covered his ravaged face. Courage and remembrance had loosened her tongue and in that trembling darkness she’d simply said, “Erik.”

“Lise Giry. I trust you are enjoying your new role in my opera house.” His voice was soft, yet powerful; a voice which could and did ensnare souls. Yet here he was gentle but sure of himself and, it seemed, the master of this domain. His words were a statement not a question and his amber eyes burned into her soul.

“So it’s you?” She swept her hand upwards. “All this?”

“If I cannot be a man of flesh I will be a ghost. Even I cannot live entirely in seclusion.”

His eyes burned in the light of the lantern, full of hate, of resignation, full of sadness. Lise shivered, he was intense, like an animal about to strike.

“You might be surprised,” she replied, although knew neither of them would believe it.

“Fear is a powerful tool, that I know more than anything. Maybe even more powerful than love, and more enduring. If I cannot have one I can own the other. Now I command the fear and am no longer its creature. I shall rule this place with rumour and superstition and if I cannot be loved then I will be feared. Oderint dum metuant, said Atreus, and he was correct.”

Slowly she looked around, her lamplight glittered on the black water, like jewels on velvet. Lise tried to assess him –a head taller than her and shrouded in darkness. He kept to the edge of the circle of light. Erik moved like a cat, silent and deadly and she knew that thin frame held a strength and purpose which was unwaning. And Lise shivered. “You are not that person, you have good in you. I have seen it.” Her voice trembled and his laugh filled her with terror.

“I know what I am, madam. I know what the world has made me, let it rue its creation. But I am keeping you from your business.” Erik turned away from her and continued quietly, “What you seek is in the storeroom above this staircase. Do not come this far again, for it is guarded by a siren. Keep to the upper levels and you’ll be safe enough. Keep my secrets and you’ll never be hungry again. I repay my debts.”

So on that afternoon in the subterranean catacombs of the mighty Opera House the widow nodded, held out a hand in friendship and the Opera Ghost bowed his head then was gone. Her heart pounded, and her soul rejoiced, then plunged into despair. There had been murders, apparently suicides and the cursed operas. It was, so one of the managers said, good for business. The public liked gossip and there was gossip aplenty, but his co-manager, M. Debiene held the view they would be ruined. Lise held her opinions to herself.
Lise knew she should have reported what she had discovered but she could not, would not. This man had been caged once before and that sight had haunted Lise for many years. She’d promised never to let him be caged again.

Even so many years later when the bodies began to pile up Madam Giry held her tongue. She told herself it was through fear, but deep within knew that was not entirely true. She was afraid, but for herself as well as Erik. His voice held her captive, as it would many others, but she had seen his soul and could not endure the thought of it being captured again. Some souls were wild and free, the morals and laws of men failed to tame them; such souls were fearsome and beautiful, and to cage them was a crime beyond any other.

Shortly after that particular encounter, Lise had been promoted to box keeper, specifically for Box Five – the Ghost’s box – and her salary increased, and a small dressing room and chamber put aside for her use should she wish it. It was a step up from her former life, not wealthy but certainly more comfortable.

Erik was true to his word – her belly was never empty, and although her salary was not large she was not hungry or as desperate as once she had been. Her step-children had ensured she received nothing from the early death of her husband save a few trinkets and her daughter Meg, a child barely acknowledge by her siblings. Her stepson had even voiced suspicions about the captain’s death, for he’d been a hearty man and his demise had been swift and unexpected. Lise had nothing to hide, but the gendarmes asked awkward questions, and young M.Giry held some influence and so reluctantly Lise had packed what little she’d been allowed and left. But debts had a way of following and growing.

Lise knew other woman, widows and ex-mistresses often fell to earning their keep in more physical ways. Paris was rife with prostitutes of all kinds and in years past Lise had almost been desperate enough to join their ranks to feed herself; she’d survived those dark years by taking in sewing, washing, and mending, selling paper flowers and making lace. Her life was not what she’d imagined it would be, she had hoped to make a happy marriage, continue her husband’s line and live content and cherished. Lise’s mother had said she had a hopelessly romantic soul. It was true, Lise reflected. Then there was him. The angel, the ghost. She would not betray him. Could not.

British-born A. L. Butcher is an avid reader and creator of worlds, a poet, and a dreamer, a lover of science, natural history, history, and monkeys. Her prose has been described as ‘dark and gritty’ and her poetry as ‘evocative’. She writes with a sure and sometimes erotic sensibility of things that might have been, never were, but could be.

Alex is the author of the Light Beyond the Storm Chronicles and the Tales of Erana lyrical fantasy series. She also has several short stories in the fantasy, fantasy romance genres with occasional forays into gothic style horror, including the Legacy of the Mask series. With a background in politics, classical studies, ancient history and myth, her affinities bring an eclectic and unique flavour in her work, mixing reality and dream in alchemical proportions that bring her characters and worlds to life.

She also curates speculative fiction themed book bundles on BundleRabbit – for the most part the Here Be Series

Alex is also proud to be a writer for Perseid Press where her work features in Heroika: Dragon Eaters, Heroika Skirmishers – where she was editor and cover designer as well as writer; and Lovers in Hell – part of the acclaimed Heroes in Hell series. http://www.theperseidpress.com/

Awards: Outside the Walls, co-written with Diana L. Wicker received a Chill with a Book Reader’s Award in 2017.

 

 

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
 
 
$20 Amazon giftcard,
Free Audible edition of both books (UK, US, DE),
Signed print copy (or large print – winners choice) of either book,
Free copy of Kitchen Imps and Other Dark Tales (fantasy) in either ebook, signed printed edition or audible.
-1 winner each!

Spotlight & Excerpt: Cursed + Giveaway

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Cursed
Dark Kindred Spirits, #2
Athena Floras

Genre: YA PNR
Date of Publication: January 4th, 2021
ASIN: B08P21DRQM
Number of pages: 104
Word Count: 25 299
Cover Artist: Nicholas Mallet
 
Happiness and true love can come from sacrifice and the deepest sorrow.
 
All hail the Misfits and the Cursed…
 
There is a sanctuary for anyone who needs refuge. It’s called Beyond the Horizon. When a group of teens are invited to spend their summer vacation at the sanctuary, they think they just got lucky. But little do they know that things are too good to be true. Not everyone is who they seem to be at Beyond the Horizon. There are enemies amongst them waiting for the perfect time to strike.
 
For her entire life, Brianna Meadows has been misunderstood. Everything she does and says is wrong. She’s a klutz and always getting in people’s way. All she ever wished for is to be accepted, liked, and normal. When she gets an invitation to spend her summer vacation at Beyond the Horizon, she thinks her wish may come true. But she must be very careful what she wishes for, because it can turn into her worst nightmare.
 
Chase Hamell doesn’t have much time left. The family curse has started to take its toll on him. The first-born male in the Hamell clan will turn into a monster when he turns eighteen, which is just months away. When he hears that the sanctuary is owned by witches who can undo the curse, he seeks them out. But to break the curse involves making a huge sacrifice, one that Chase might not be able to commit to, because in order to end the curse, someone he loves must die.
 
Can Brianna and Chase find what they both need and desire before their enemies succeed in snuffing them out?
 

Amazon      Amazon.co.uk     Amazon.ca

 

Excerpt:

The blood moon set high in the sky was the Earth’s guardian angel tonight. It stood watch while all the Earth’s blessed and damned creatures roamed freely. It guided them to their redemption or eternal damnation.

The enchantress took a deep, channeling breath while she absorbed the magic and the energy this night brought forth. It was the perfect time to seek the answers she’d long sought.

If the omnipotent transcendental powers would not reveal them to her tonight, then all hope was lost.

She perched the silver chalice engraved with defined runes on the altar in the garden. She poured the spellbinding liquid into it and began to chant the spell she’d memorized.

At first, nothing happened, but like everything else in life, she needed to be patient and persistent. She continued on with the ritual until the potion started to twirl, then churn. It soon glowed a celestial blue.

Peering into the aquatic abyss, she asked, “Reveal to me the means to restore the harmony. The balance must be brought back to the line.”

An image gradually morphed in the chalice. It appeared to be a tall, thin girl with unruly shoulder length red hair who knelt on the floor. She seemed to have fallen and had scraped her knees because blood trickled onto the uneven
concrete.

The enchantress cocked a brow while she curiously observed the scene. Why was the Voyeur Chalice showing her this teenager? The girl was no older than seventeen. How did she fit into the whole scheme?

Knowing that she wouldn’t get more answers until she performed the next part of the ritual, the enchantress raised the chalice and languidly sipped the elixir. The bitterness made her shudder until a transcendent voice spoke to her in her mind.

The enchantress’s eyes glazed over and she remained perfectly still paying acute attention to what was said.

Once the answer and all its details were divulged to her, she lit the candle ending the liturgy.

With leaden legs, she walked back into the building. The ritual had taken its toll on her. She’d need to rest to fully recover. But before she could, she had to send a message.

The kindle needed to be laid down so that the catalyst could catch fire and set off the next chain of events.

Unprecedented things would soon begin to happen.

About the Author: 

Athena Floras is a wife and proud mother of three who loves to read and write suspenseful and romantic stories. When she isn’t busy being a mom, she spends her spare time in her den, totally immersing herself into the whimsical, fantastical world of fiction. She hopes the stories and characters she creates will bring readers as much pleasure and entertainment as they have her.

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