Book Blitz: Shifting Silence + Excerpt

Shifting Silence

Shifting Silence
Mane Shift, #1
by Laura Bickle
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Fantasy
ASIN: B08X51X1RQ
Publisher: Syrenka Publishing LLC
Publication Date: February 21, 2021

This witch takes in strays. Stray animals, not stray ex-boyfriends, magical cultists, or shifters. At least, that used to be the rule…

 

Luna Summerwood has always taken in strays. As a witch who runs a veterinary clinic, she’s healed creatures that fly, swim, and crawl. She’s not the most powerful Summerwood witch; her only magic is the ability to communicate with animals. But when an exotic maned wolf is brought to her in the dead of night, Luna is plunged into the shadowy underground world of shifter trafficking.

 

With the help of her ex-boyfriend—who also happens to be a local deputy and someone who pushes all her buttons—she investigates a series of occult crimes involving missing farm animals. After her ex is nearly killed, Luna discovers that the Casimir, a cult of magical collectors, plans to steal the maned wolf. This beautiful maned wolf is more than he seems—he’s a shapeshifting man named Renan.He was once captured by the Casimir and forced to do their dark bidding. Luna is his last chance at finding sanctuary…and perhaps love.

 

But the Casimir want more than just Renan. Centuries ago, the Summerwoods warred with the Casimir. Now, these sorcerers will stop at nothing to possess the Summerwood land and the buried magic of the witches themselves.

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Excerpt

“Oh, hell,” I murmured.

A flat area had been swept clean of pine needles, revealing soft black dirt. In the dirt, a circle of glittering salt had been created. The circle was splashed in blood, with sigils carved into the ground. Those symbols were filled with congealed blood. I recognized them as alchemical symbols—symbols for the cardinal elements, mercury, and sulfur. Bones were scattered around the interior of the circle and beyond, in the shade of trees. The whole place stank like an abattoir.

I heard Dalton come up behind me and exhale.

“What the hell is this?” he said.

“Black magic.” I could feel it, cold and silent, seeping into the earth.

Something rustled to my left, and before I could react, a dark shape launched itself at us. I swung the shotgun barrel down to my hip, but too late. I was knocked off my feet, sprawling in the pine needles. I twisted around, dragging the shotgun out from under me, staring…

…at Dalton wrestling with a grey wolf. All the wolves I’d seen before were the size of large dogs, but this one was much bigger, taller than a man’s waist. The wolf had Dalton rolled over on his back, snarling and snapping at his neck.

“Get off him!” I yelled, pumping the shotgun for effect. I didn’t want to shoot the wolf, but if it came down to him or Dalton, I was picking my ex-boyfriend. He owed me a few beers over time, and I was not about to let that debt go unrepaid.

The wolf turned its head toward me, as if it knew what that shotgun pump signified. It paused, its giant paw pressing on Dalton’s chest.

Dalton had gotten his sidearm free. A bang echoed in the forest, loud enough to rattle birds and pine needles from the trees.

The wolf yelped, and my heart lurched into my throat. Red blood splashed on his flank. The wolf tore away from Dalton, limping, and ran away into the forest.

“Dalton.” I came to my knees beside him. “Are you hurt?”

Nggh,” he said. His uniform shirt was stained red. I ripped open the buttons, running my fingers over his intact bulletproof vest. The wolf’s nails had torn open his shirt and scarred the ballistic material, but it looked as if it held.

What worried me was the bite in his neck. I pressed my hands over it, feeling his warm blood pulsing against my palm.

“You’re going to be all right,” I told him, trying to sound reassuring.

But I didn’t believe it.

About the Author:

Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs and sometimes reads them to her cats. Her books have earned starred reviews from Publishers Weekly and Kirkus. Laura’s work has also been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016. The latest updates on her work can be found at authorlaurabickle.com.

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Spotlight: Vampire Joe + Giveaway

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Vampire Joe
by Jimmie Christo
Genre: Humorous Urban Fantasy

 

Do you even know how much of a pain becoming a vampire is?

All Joe ever wanted was to shoot up some smack, sit in his apartment, listen to some Nick Cave and be left the hell alone.

Now he has to cope with his addictions, his dealer, a new girlfriend,, the mafia, the cops, his christian minister AND an unquenchable thirst for human blood.

How the hell does life get harder AFTER you die!?

 
 

Review from the 28th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards:

There was absolutely nothing conventional about this novel or its author. The author bio is unique – I’ve never encountered something so demeaning yet at the same time funny and strangely endearing. And as for the book? This is a very different take on the vampire theme as we encounter a no-good, drug-addicted lay-about gain immortality and bring other equally antisocial undesirables into the fold. You really want to despise the main character for his attitude, drug abuse, filthy language, squalid and nasty lifestyle and sexism – I wanted to hate him on sight, yet the author manages to draw you into his world and actually start pulling for him. I didn’t even want to read any more at one point as the excessive use of foul language and vulgarity seemed gratuitous. But then my eyes and ears have witnessed much worse, including Trainspotting, and that was a masterpiece. So the author is a skillful writer in the way he manages to drag you kicking and screaming into the story and start actually liking and sympathizing with some of the people. Jimmie Christo is a master at character development humanizing the most deplorably diabolically sick characters. I found myself happily reading right through to the end, tightly clutching my pearls as I eagerly flipped through the pages. The dialogue is well-written, vulgarities and all, the plot is face-paced, the cover is striking in its simplicity, and overall a good read – it’s one I definitely won’t forget!

Born in Carlton in 1979, Jimmie Christo is an author of the lowest calibre.

A criminal since birth (he stole his mother’s heart), he grew in the care of the state until he was 18, whereby said state awarded him the Keys to the Universe (citation needed) after imparting no life skills.

He has literally been using the word literally literally, literally all his life (figuratively speaking) and is a pain in the arse most of the time.

He spent four years in jail for crimes he didn’t really commit to, namely trafficking (We believe the plan was to consume the whole volume in it’s entirety himself, although it was too large an amount for anyone not completely ravaged by addiction to comprehend as such), posession, weapons, burglary and being a not very nice person.

While incarcerated at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, determined to get more out of them than they took from him, he wrote a whole bunch of books and movies. Also, he may have changed his outlook on his existence. That said, he is not returning the Keys.

Vampire Joe is his first published work, read by eleven people to critical acclaim. Everyone else who read it said it was vile rubbish.

He has also written YA sci fi and children’s novels, understandably under a much nicer alter ego, keeping grown up stuff like Joe separate.

 
 
 
 
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Book Blitz & Excerpt: Something Wicked + Giveaway

something wicked

Something Wicked
by Emery Nicolson
(Lockhart Legacy, #1)
Publication date: March 1st 2021
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Something wicked this way comes…

You’d think being the descendant of powerful witches would grant me the power to sort out my life, right? But you’d be wrong. I’m stuck in a rut, disdained by my family, and my romantic life is a disaster. Oh, and did I forget to mention that I have no magic?

When a cursed heirloom is stolen, I should stay out of it and leave the retrieval to those better equipped but everything seems to lead back to me…

With the help of an enigmatic bounty hunter, I may be able to clear my name and retrieve the artefact before death and chaos are unleashed upon my beloved city but doing so could cost me everything — including my life.

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something wicked

EXCERPT:

It feels like I have just fallen asleep when I’m awoken by someone obnoxiously ringing my doorbell, over and over and over again.

Blinking sticky eyes open, I roll over and check the time on my phone screen. Seven o clock! Who in their right bloody mind goes knocking on someone’s door at that time on a Saturday? It is cruel! It is unnatural! But whomever it is they are not buggering off like I hoped they would, leaving me no choice but to get out of bed and answer the door.

“Alright, alright! I’m coming!” I yell, stomping down the hall. I flick on a light switch and peek through the peephole. “Bitch!” I shout through the door as I start releasing the locks.

There are quite a few, so it’s a bit of a slow process, but when you live in a basement apartment, I feel you can’t be too careful.

“Stop your whining Lockhart! I’ve got to be at work in an hour and details can’t wait!”

Pulling the door open, I am faced with the happy smiling face of my BFF Sarah. I have a strong dislike for morning people but at least this pre-dawn menace has the decency to come bearing gifts.

“Do I smell bacon?” I ask, as she marches past me with a brown bag of goodness and a cup holder with two coffees.

“Hell yes, it’s bacon. You think I’d be stupid enough to wake the bear without bringing a sacrifice?” She calls as she makes her way to the front room. “Bring plates in won’t you!”

“Yes dear,” I mumble, more to myself than to her as I yawn and do exactly as I’m told.

Author Bio:

Emery Nicolson is a wife, mother and mad cat-lady living in the South West of England. When she’s not writing, she’s probably reading, baking or out walking through a forest.

Emmy (or Nics, as she’s more often referred to) loves hearing from readers and you can find her online via Twitter (@EmmyNicolson), Facebook (@EmeryNicolsonAuthor) or her website (emerynicolson.co.uk).

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