Spotlight: There Will Be Blood + Excerpt

there will be blood

There Will Be Blood

Trinity Smith, #1
by E.C Hinrichs
Genre: Supernatural thriller, paranormal romance
Publisher: Beyond the Fray publishing
Date of Publication: June 2021
ISBN 13: 9781954528079
Number of pages: 258
Word Count: 72,602
Cover Artist:  L. Douglas Hogan
 
A riveting and seductive novel…
 
Evil threatens the world, but a secret organization stands united to stop it. 
 
Trinity Smith, a sentinel agent for H.A.L.O, protects the world from energy vampires. 
 
She may have met her match in her next target, Frank Tennorman, a self-described reverend with a high body count. Distracted by juggling her work and personal life, Trinity must take Frank down before she becomes caught in his crosshairs. 
 
The only thing certain in Trinity’s future is there will be blood.

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Excerpt:

I looked down at my Batman vintage watch that was always 3 minutes behind and noticed that the middle man was late- again. His name was Phipps. No one knew where he came from or why he chose to watch over people or deliver these “S.O.S messages” to people like me. Despite what I had said to Damon, I knew I couldn’t quit. Well, quit that easily. Maybe start slowly- I requested that my next assignment be kept quiet and make everyone think that I had quit. Would that even work? No, maybe not. All I wanted to do was find my journal and write it out but I hadn’t been able to find the darn thing for a few days. I tried to forget about it and turned my attention to the agent I was going to see. He could keep my quitting a secret, right?

And who was the most quiet in all of our underground society? Phipps. No last name that I know of. They said he was a seer. They said that his superpower was to see issues a head of time and to bring the news to the chosen. I always hated being called that, almost as if we are permanently marked away from society. Good bye normal life. I flicked my cigarette as if to spite that cosmos that cursed me with this bloodied affliction.

“Curses… why do you always refer to everything as curses?” Phipps appeared behind me and startled my calm and cool façade. He crossed his long tan arms theatrically as the wind bustled through his silver hair. “It must be the Hungarian blood in you.” I glanced back at him gathering the last reminisces of my calm and cool and gazed into the clear blue of his eyes.

“Of course a German would say that,” I scoffed while I turned fully to face him. “And for God sakes.” I shouted. “Would you make some noise? Or at the very least put a fucking bell around your neck.” He sported a smirk that proved to him that yes- he had indeed gotten under my skin. A thing I knew he had to relish. “So, what’s the story, morning glory?”

“His name is Frank Tennorman. He is 41 years old and he is a sucker.” Phipps started to pace around me; another theatrical trait he indulged himself in. “He moves in younger circles, and singles out the most impressionable. Then he enchants them into believing in him and his “healing” ability. After which he starts to feed off of their energy until they are of no more use to him. Then he discards them when there is nothing left to take. He prefers to feed on the addicted, the mentally unstable and children. Think of it, as his own personal all you can eat buffet.”

“Is he aware that he is doing it?”

“That is questionable, but given his age and the number of offenses it is highly likely.”

“Number of offenses? So, this is defiantly not his first time.”

“Yes,” he said with a thoughtful pause. “He has… a history.”

“So, why didn’t you send one of us before?” His smirk dropped and the icy seriousness of the situation draped his eyes making his face look like the mask of death. Something told me that here was something different about this assignment. Something dangerous- why else send the one with the savior complex?

“We did, and they couldn’t handle it.” I looked up into his face with questioning gaze.

“If they couldn’t handle it why not sic a Reaper on him and end the problem altogether?”

I saw him shift uncomfortably.

“It’s not that simple,” his eyebrows gathered together. “We can’t just sic a Reaper on him. If we do that the Reaper turns into a Sucker and then we have a Reaper-Sucker on our hands.” I hated it when he made sense. He sensed my caving, “And would you want an assassin who can suck life out of people on the loose?”

“No, I guess not.” I chewed on the thoughts that were spinning through my head.Why would you not dispose of someone so dangerous? Why not find some ‘natural’ accident for them to get into? Reapers are the psychic assassins of H.A.L.O. I have only seen them have to kill 7 times and in their rose-scented attack, they were their scariest. I could never figure out why the smell of roses accompanied a Reaper’s attack but it did. Lord knows Reapers aren’t very dependable but the Impressers are. They could make him get into a habit that could kill him. “Okay, why couldn’t you get an Impresser to take care of him?”

“Your assignment isn’t changing.” He said with a forceful glare. “Your assignment remains the same: infiltrate, watch and end the Sucker’s damage.” He said with a gilded eye roll.

“End it? End it so he can try to torture people in a physical sense? C’mon Phipps.” He shook his head and I could tell he didn’t feel like talking about this anymore.

“Do you still take pictures and write?” He said attempting not to answer.

“Okay, now I’m scared… what are you intending on doing with me?” His eyes sparkled with a good humored delight.


About the Author:

E.C Hinrichs born in Canada and moved to the United States. She spent most of her college career writing and studying literature. After her college, she spent her time working in different careers before settling into human services. She has spent the last seven years working with children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities.

E.C Hinrichs spends her free time reading Tudor history, paranormal nonfiction and fiction.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: The Accidental Gatekeeper + Giveaway

the accidental gatekeeper

The Accidental Gatekeeper
The Accidental Midlife Trilogy, #1
by Carla Rehse
Genre: Paranormal Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Pink Squirrel Publishing
Date of Publication: 06/14/21
ASIN: 9798715331397
Number of pages: 299
Word Count: 82,880
Cover Artist: Damonza

 
Turning the big four-five isn’t a problem for Everly Popa—it’s everything else in her life that’s gone to hell in a handbasket.
 
It’s bad enough that Everly’s drug-selling husband is in jail and her adult daughter blames her for the situation. But now the FBI wants her to turn witness, while her husband’s criminal friends want to keep her permanently silent. With no other safe haven, Everly returns to her hometown. A place she hasn’t visited in twenty-seven years. And didn’t leave under the best of circumstances.
 
It’s not that Everly has a problem with her hometown, exactly, but since it sits next to Hell’s Gate, there’s bound to be a few issues. Like the archaic rules set by the angels who run the town. Or the fact that the townsfolk feel Everly abandoned her duties as one of the members of the town’s founding families. But between celestial politics or getting gunned down by a drug cartel, Everly decides to chance finding sanctuary back home. 
 
After a little good-versus-evil stunt at the town’s border, Everly is let back in and for the first five minutes, things are great. Everly’s mom hasn’t started nagging and she has a whole bottle of wine to herself. But after minute six, all hell breaks loose. Everly gets bitten by a hellhound, faints in front of her hot-and-single old high school boyfriend, and accidentally becomes the town’s Gatekeeper to Hell.  A job she never wanted, isn’t trained for, and can’t shake off like gum stuck to her shoe. And as much as she’s flipping out, the celestial ruling body aren’t too pleased about it either. 
 
Before Everly can take a deep breath and figure a way out of this mess, an angel gets killed, humans go missing and the town shuts its magical borders. Now Everly is trapped inside with dying angels, rampaging demons, and a witch with a murderous agenda. Plus, an archangel and his army surround the city and are itching to contain the town’s problems with a heaven-sent big boom. The only way out is for Everly to learn how to use her newly acquired Gatekeeper powers. But with no handbook provided, there’s a snowball’s chance in hell she’ll figure it out in time. 
 
 

Excerpt CHAPTER ONE

If eighteen was the age of exciting self-discovery, then forty-five was the
weary age of having zero shits left to give.

What did it matter if my husband of twenty years was rotting in federal jail? And that our chiropractic clinic had gone belly up, leaving me jobless? Or that my friends had turned from “we’ll help hide a body” to “we’ve got your back until the reporters hit our lawn?” I also didn’t care that the DEA had frozen our joint bank accounts and seized our assets. I never liked that house anyway.

Homeless. Jobless. Friendless.

Add in a pickup truck, beer, and an old dog and it would be the most pathetic country song played on the tiniest fiddle ever. I gritted my teeth as the wipers shrieked across the windshield. Nothing like driving through a late-October downpour to add to your misery, and the constantly patched roads in this part of Central Texas didn’t handle rain well.

My phone rang with its cheerful tone that I kept forgetting to change. Sadie’s name lit up on the display, and I almost knocked it off the dashboard holder while hitting the speaker button.

“Sadie? Is everything okay? How’s Laney?” I really hoped the trembling in my voice wasn’t audible. My daughter hadn’t spoken to me in two months, refusing to answer my calls or respond to my texts. Her girlfriend had even gone so far as to block me on her social media.

“Mom? Where are you? God, this connection sucks.” Her voice had a recognizable anxious edge to it. I wanted to ask if she was taking her meds, but at twenty-one Sadie hated coddling. “Someone needs to talk to you.”

“What?” I eased onto the shoulder of the road, then placed the truck into park. “Who?”

“Mrs. Collins? Uh, Everly Collins? This is Sam Duncan, your husband’s attorney? We really must discuss your husband’s case.”

I glanced at the clock on my dash: 10:33 p.m. Duncan was raking in some serious OT.

“What the hell are you doing with my daughter?”

“Mrs. Collins?” He lowered his voice. “I know you’ve been advised not to speak with me. But you really need to before certain other people do. We can meet anywhere you want.”

“Listen to me, you scum licker. Tell my husband and his thug buddies to leave my kid out of their mess. I’m not afraid of their flaccid threats and won’t be intimidated.” I slapped at the phone to turn it off, sending it careening to the passenger floorboard, out of reach and therefore away from temptation.

I didn’t have the money to replace the stupid thing, but the desire to take out my frustration on the helpless and innocent electronic device was strong.

Part of me wanted to turn the vehicle around, race to Sadie’s apartment in Austin, and kick the crap out of that attorney. But I knew the truth. Sadie had taken her dad’s side and was angry I’d snitched on him. She would do whatever she could to get him out of trouble. What was a little money laundering for drug dealers, after all? She might have my dark hair and eyes, but unfortunately, she inherited her father’s defective moral compass.

A lesson for all the kiddies: choose the sperm donor for your progeny well.


About the Author:

 
Carla holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Angelo State University. Although not a native Texan, Carla prides herself on having mastered the correct usage of the colloquialisms “y’all” and “bless your heart.”
 
Find out more about Carla and her books at carlarehse.com and connect with her @CRehse on Twitter or her website.


 

Spotlight & Excerpt: How to Kill a Dragon, by J.A. Culican

how to kill a dragon

How to Kill a Dragon
Heir of Dragons, #1
by J.A. Culican
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Dragon Realm Press
Date of Publication: 4/29/2021
ISBN: 9798728327523
ASIN: B0913DJ46D
Number of pages: 368
Word Count: 72k
Cover Artist: Christian Bentulan

  The dragons are gathering, which can only mean one thing. Death.
 
Minx, a royal Fae has been tasked with saving her people. Problem is, the only way to do that is by slaying a dragon and bringing their hide back to Paddling Grounds. The magic that resides inside dragons is strong and without it her people will die.
 
Except Minx has never slayed a dragon, she hasn’t even ever seen one, but she knows where to find them. With help from her Faelyr, half fae and half tiger companion, Minx sets out to Talon Range.
 
Kaleb, the dragon heir to the Pyra clan isn’t looking for war. But then again no one has ever asked him what he wants. He has a duty and he will do whatever is needed to keep his people safe. Even if that means taking on the darkness himself.
 
When Kaleb and Minx come face to face, a battle erupts. Neither are giving up, neither will fail. Until they realize they share a common enemy and only together can they defeat them.
 
With a pull between them that is strictly forbidden, Minx and Kaleb find they are on their own and time is running out.
 
A fae, a dragon and a war neither are prepared for. The end of both species is near and only they can save each other.
 
How to Kill a Dragon is the first book in the Heir of Dragons trilogy by USA Today Bestselling Author J.A. Culican. Full of dark magic, dragon shifters, and forbidden romance. Fans of Jennifer L. Armentrout and Sarah J. Maas will love this new epic fantasy romance with a dose of dragon-riding and magic bonding.

Amazon

 

 

Excerpt

“It sounds like the Fae are going to have a big fight on their hands,” said Kaleb, arms crossed. “We’ll find some way to protect the realm—”
“I’ll say we will,” interrupted Minx.
“I’m going to find myself a dragon’s hide and get it to the elders before time runs out. That’s the mission. Nothing’s changed.”
The dragon shifter sighed, kneading his brow with a few fingers. “We’re going to find a way to protect the realm,” he repeated. “Another way.”
“If we don’t reset the shields, then—”
Kaleb raised a hand to silence her.
“You want to protect your home, your people. I understand that. In fact, I respect it.” He donned a genuine smile, motioning at the chair she’d just abandoned. “You know, that’s what I was raised to do, too. To defend my kind at
any cost. You only get one homeland, one people. Only a coward wouldn’t risk
everything to defend their own. But what you’re asking for…” He shook his
head. “There has to be another way. And together, I think we can find it,
Minx.”
***
Watching the movements of the sword very closely, he’d managed to reach out and grab the Fae’s thin arm before she could connect with her weapon, and applying his forceful grip, the dragon shifter put pressure on her forearm till she cried out in pain and the sword fell from her grasp. She fell to her knees, tugging and panting but ultimately unable to pull away from him.
He heard the smooth nocking of an arrow, the drawing of a bow. “No!”
Minx had wasted no time. With her opponent disarmed by the dragon shifter, she’d loaded a fresh shot and prepared to deliver a point-blank coup de grace. The arrow had begun to fly, only to meet its terminus in Kaleb’s waiting hand. The sharpened tip of the arrow sheared the skin of his palm neatly, but he was able to stop the thing before it reached its intended target, and he cast it away with a wince.
“What are you doing?” demanded Minx, pulling another arrow from her quiver.
At this, he reached out and took Minx by the arm, pulling her close with such unexpected force she dropped her bow. A wide-eyed rag doll in his furious gaze, she found herself nearly nose-to-nose with him, his hot breath streaking across her reddening cheek. “No more. You can’t kill her, Minx,” he ordered. “The fight is over. Understand?”
They remained in this way for several beats, the race of her pulse felt clearly against his wounded palm. From this distance—closer than he’d ever been to her before—he couldn’t help taking in the faint quiver of her soft lips, the innocence of her wide, watery eyes.
Sure, she was a Fae—but he couldn’t deny her loveliness. She didn’t pull away from him, didn’t make an immediate effort to break free, and the quickening of her pulse almost gave him the impression she liked being in his grasp.
Get ahold of yourself, he thought, letting her go gently when he was sure she would no longer lash out. He shook his head, sporting an almost embarrassed grin. There are more important things to worry about. Are you really going to let yourself get carried away with this girl? She’s a Fae, after all! What are you thinking?
Minx’s face had taken on an uncharacteristic flush. She drew away from him, lowering her gaze and slowly picking up her weapon. Running a hand through her dark, tousled locks, she couldn’t seem to find her voice and stood silently beside the cage where Mau watched in silence.
He had to force himself to look away from Minx, to distract himself and quiet the thumping of his own heart. A Dragon and a Fae? You’re really losing it, aren’t you? But then, maybe…
***
Kaleb, having regained his breath, struggled to his feet. “You’re not taking her anywhere, you understand me?” He stood upright with a pained grunt, arms hanging at his sides.
Torrent pointed at the dragon and shot Alla a sharp glance. “I’d love to leave them out of it, but they insist on butting in. I suppose I have no choice.” He thrust out an open palm, fingers arrayed rigidly like claws, and turned toward Kaleb. “You should have stayed down the first time.”
There was, in the next instant, a flash of blinding light.
The sound of splitting metal and splintering trees sounded, and Minx felt a powerful burst of wind wash past her. It came so intensely that she fell onto her back, unable to remain seated on the ground, while Kaleb was hurried off his feet entirely and thrust against the nearest tree.
When the dust had settled and her eyes had adjusted after the brilliant flash, Minx turned to Kaleb and began crawling toward him.
And then she halted, heart seizing and guts churning.
Slack-jawed and moaning, Kaleb had been pinned to the massive trunk of the tree—not by any invisible force or psychical trick, but by arrows. Three stone-colored arrows, conjured by Torrent, had penetrated Kaleb’s dense armor and impaled him at various points through the chest and stomach. The tips of said arrows had passed straight through him, and were buried in the trunk of the ancient tree, which had rattled and creaked as though a mere sapling.
It was impossible. Everything she’d witnessed was impossible. No normal arrow could hope to pierce Kaleb’s thick plate armor. But Torrent had stuck the dragon shifter with three at once, summoning them from thin air. He remained pinned to the tree, bleeding profusely. His end was very near. No one could sustain that kind of damage and hope to recover.
***

I’ve not only disgraced my father, but my entire people. I’m not worthy of the title of Dragon Hunter—or Royal Fae, even.
I feel like I’ve betrayed them all…

“What are you talking about?” blurted Minx.
“He very nearly killed you, Kaleb! We need to be careful around him.”

“You’re right,” he conceded, “but he faced me this way, man-to-man. Let’s see how he fares man-to-dragon.”
***

Minx had been waiting for this day. The wait had seemed to her an eternity. Journeying across the land with Kaleb and Mau, finding herself in one mess after another, she had begun to wonder whether the fateful clash would ever arrive. Now, as Kaleb lumbered on with her on his back, the wait was over. She squinted into the distance, spying untold hordes bearing down on her precious homeland. There were more marchers flooding in from the horizon than she could hope to slay with a hundred full quivers, and she felt almost dizzy at the immensity of their ranks. It’s like a dream, she thought absently, clinging to the dragon shifter’s scales. Minx knew what it meant to fight in a battle; this, however, was a war.

  

About the Author:


J.A. Culican is a USA Today Bestselling author of the middle grade fantasy series Keeper of Dragons. Her first novel in the fictional series catapulted a
trajectory of titles and awards, including top selling author on the USA Today bestsellers list and Amazon, and a rightfully earned spot as an international
best seller. Additional accolades include Best Fantasy Book of 2016, Runner-up
in Reality Bites Book Awards, and 1st place for Best Coming of Age Book from
the Indie book Awards.

J.A. Culican holds a Master’s degree in Special Education from Niagara University, in which she has been teaching special education for over 13 years. She is also the president of the autism awareness non-profit Puzzle Peace United. J.A. Culican resides in Southern New Jersey with her husband and four young children.

For more information about J.A. Culican visit

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