Cover Reveal & Excerpt: Bly + Giveaway

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Today is the cover reveal for Bly by Kelsey Ketch. Bly is a standalone contemporary fantasy book with mystery and horror elements that releases on 22 September 2021.

The cover is designed by Under Cover Designs. This cover reveal is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours.

Bly book cover

Bly
By Kelsey Ketch
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Ghost Story
Age category: New Adult
Release Date: 22 September, 2021

Blurb:
I left the United States to find inner peace. Instead, I find myself confronting a malicious ghost.

Astyr Salt is a spiritual and emotional empath who moved to England with the intent to forget about a traumatic, supernatural event that occurred during her freshman year of college. However, when she takes a spiritual cleansing assignment in a haunted country home in Essex, she is isolated with all her own pent-up emotions.

These emotions energize the ghosts inhabiting the country home, helping them draw their own tragedies to the surface. Searching for the truth, Astyr is forced to relive the past. And the deeper she dives into the country home’s horrific history, the more the intertwined memories place her in the path of an evil and demented predator.

A blend of contemporary fantasy, horror, and mystery, Bly is inspired by Henry James’s classic novella, The Turn of the Screw.

Links:
Goodreads

Bly teaser

Excerpt:
Turning onto a long, gravel driveway, a four storey, stone mansion appears framed in the minicab’s windshield. The style resembles a castle rather than a country home. At least, any country home that I’ve ever seen. Then again, I’m in England, not the southeastern region of the United States. The car pulls in front of the massive oak door, from which I’m half expecting the cast of Downtown Abbey to emerge, and comes to a full stop. Without a word, the driver slides out of his seat to open the trunk and fetch my luggage. My nerves on edge, I gently touch the pentacle bracelet Nolyn gave me to feel his calming energy radiate from the tourmaline. Then, pulling Litten’s backpack carrier with me, I step out of the car. My eyes are unable to steer themselves away from the various gray stones and the muntins of the immense windows. Despite being a bright and sunny day, there is a dark shroud over the house. An ominous aura that is pulsing with both anger and sorrow. It’s obvious this home has witnessed a lot of tragedy.

I pause as everything grows still. The birds overhead stop singing. The soft breeze comes to an abrupt halt. I don’t even hear the driver shuffling my travel bags behind me. Yet, my other senses pick up an unearthly presence as the temperature drops to the point my fingertips grow numb. I turn my head to look up at the parapet surrounding the third-level balcony, focusing near the turret. There is nothing but thin air to the naked eye. However, by the icy goose bumps unraveling across my skin and the raised hairs along my lower arms and neck, I can tell I’m being watched. I can’t determine if it’s the energy of a spirit or something else. All I know is that I have caught its undivided attention.

KelseyAbout the Author:
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist and Data Analyst. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.

For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.

Author Links:
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Giveaway
There is a cover reveal wide giveaway for the cover reveal of Bly. 5 winners will win a e-ARC of Bly, distributed through Bookfunnel.For a chance to win enter the giveaway here:
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Spotlight & Excerpt: Darkness Awaits + Giveaway

darkness awaits

Darkness Awaits

Virtus Academy , #2
by Jamila A. Stone
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Contemporary Fantasy, LGBTQ
Publisher: Black Glory Publishing House
Date of Publication: April 2021
ISBN: 978-1-7356641-0-1
ASIN: B08LVJ7GXD
Number of pages: 524
Word Count: 141,850
Cover Artist: Michael Corvin

Unexpected secrets stand to change two witches’ lives forever…

Having narrowly survived their last semester, Natalie King and Alexandra Aurelius are prepared to revel in victory…but, while preparing to become Juniors, it soon becomes clear that peace has been dismissed. 

Relationships are tested and new ones formed, as shadowy souls push their way into Natalie and Alexandra’s lives. Now, more than ever, the witches must stick together and protect their loved ones. Unexpected secrets stand to change their lives forever. 

Darkness impends from every direction, and even the fiercest friendships will be tested. What harmony that existed between human and supernatural governments has been shaken to the breaking point. Should it crumble, hellish truths are sure to be exposed.   

Despite impossible odds, Natalie, Alexandra, and their alliances will unite against unprecedented evil. After all, the only exit often is a wall to break through… 

——–
 
With her much-anticipated sequel to Strange Things Await, Jamila A. Stone delivers devilish thrills and a dizzying spin on the genre. One thing through the dark is seen: where mystic and mortal subcultures meld, the pages turn themselves. 
 

Black
Glory Publishing House
 

Amazon      BN

 

Excerpt

It’s the last week of January and the new school semester since Christmas break starts tomorrow at Virtus Academy. Nat and all her friends, except Alex, have already moved back to their dormitories. Nat is brushing her teeth, getting ready for bed when she suddenly feels like she’s falling. A moment later, her surroundings change, and she finds herself in a dark alleyway. Nothing makes sense, and she jolts around with labored breathing, trying to understand what is going on. When she turns around to her other side, she spots Alex and momentarily forgets her anxiety. Running over to a hunched Alex, she hugs her and is so distracted that she doesn’t notice the four guys in the alley with them.

“What are you doing here?” Alex winces in pain, struggling to straighten up.

Using her toothbrush, Nat taps the ring she’s gifted Alex. “Someone must have missed me a whole lot to get me here,” she jokes.

The good news is that the protection spell she had Sheila help her put on the ring works. If Alex ever needs her badly enough, she’ll appear.

“Crap, it worked! So that means…” Nat looks around further and finally takes in the situation. “I guess you’re still having trouble making friends.” Throwing down her toothbrush, she gets in front of Alex, who’s badly bleeding from cuts on her face, and the arm she holds that seems disjointed.

“Nice outfit, girl.” One of the guys speaks sarcastically.

“This is your backup?” Another speaks, pointing at Nat before they all laugh.

“Remind me to take you shopping.” Alex picks up her fallen blade, and it elongates into a sword as it recognizes its owner.

“What!? This is comfortable and my pajamas. I was going to bed.” Nat keeps her eyes on the guys who are starting to approach. She cannot believe Alex is choosing right now to insult her.

“What do you need to be comfortable?” Alex turns fully toward Nat with her face scrunched up. “Did you sprout something since we were kids?”

“No! Can you focus before we die, you asshole? Boxers can be unisex.” She tries to defend herself, but Alex just scoffs.

Nat, annoyed, blasts Alex to the furthest point of the alley and decides to take on the men herself. It looks as if Alex softened them up enough for her to handle alone anyway.

Two of the men reach her before the others. One throws a punch at her face while the other tries to punch her abdomen. Nat is light on her feet and spins away from the one aiming for her face and shoves him into the other male before she uses her magic at the remaining attackers.

“Instead of attacking young women to stroke your egos, maybe you all should go to the gym.” She blasts one with a scar on his cheek into a wall knocking them out before she is blasted herself. In complete shock, she did not keep her guard up, she grumbles as she slowly gets back up to her feet. Nat blocks another blast of magic as she parts her feet for better balance. Nat sends a few blasts back, but her adversary blocks them all. Nat should have known these men were not mere humans if they were able to beat up Alex.

Nat is so preoccupied with the witch that she fails to deflect the attacker on her left properly, who charges her with his clawed hand in the air, ready to come down on her hard. There was little for her to do, so she stopped shielding herself from the witch’s attack, so the attack would knock her away from the attack that would be the deadliest.

The impact of the witch’s attack does the trick and sends Nat backward. The claws of the man from her right give her a nasty gash, nowhere near the damage which would have been inflicted if she did not think quick on her feet and use the witch’s attack to save her own life.

“Alright, playtime is over.” Nat lifts her hands and moves them hastily in front of her creating a linkage of pentagrams all while beads of her blood float into the amber symbols. She sees the shock on the witch’s face, and it makes her grin before she locks her fingers over each other, bends her arms inward, then thrusts her arms out, causing the spell to wrap around the first body, and the man explodes.

Nat moves her arms until everyone is dead. One black eye and a gash on her arm later, Nat walks over to Alex, who is hunched over.

“I should leave you here. I can’t believe you got back without telling me. How long have you been back in town? Tomorrow is the first day of school back from break.” Nat places her hands on her hips, letting Alex suffer for a bit more before she attempts to heal her.

Alex stands straighter, leans her head back against the wall behind her, and closes her eyes. “I forgot how much you love to bitch and moan.”

Nat is opening her mouth to respond, but promptly stops when she spots a smile creeping on Alex’s face.

“I missed it.” Alex turns her head and smiles so charmingly even with her face all beat up, Nat’s walls break.

“Ugh, I can’t stand you.” Nat shakes her head and starts to heal Alex’s easy wounds, then wraps Alex’s good arm over her shoulder and helps her to stand off the wall. “We’re too far from the dorm or my house for me to teleport us both.”

“And here I thought an overachiever such as yourself would have become a pro by now.” Alex coughs then halts her steps taking time to take deep, ragged breaths.

“Hey, that month was our break. I can get us near the school gates, but it might knock us out if I use all of our energy combined. Or worse.” Nat struggles to keep Alex upright.

Alex struggles to stand on her own feet as she pulls her good arm away from Nat so she can grab her cellphone out of her pocket. Nat watches as Alex makes a call, trying to keep her upright by the waist. “Julian, are you on campus? Good, sneak out with Olivia and come find me by the gate…just do as I asked, Olivia, will be able to track us. Yes, us, bye.”

Nat arches a brow at Alex before focusing her mind on the school gates. Once she has that clear in mind, she works on syncing her magic with Alex.

“What’s taking so long?” Alex grumbles.

“You, that’s what. I’m trying to find your source, but you’re too weak.”

“You’re a weirdo.” Alex sighs exaggeratedly.

Nat finally syncs successfully and teleports them. They land hard a few yards away from the school gates. 

 

About the Author:

Jamila A Stone lives in Washington, D.C with her two dogs. Jamila is driven to tell stories without censorship and for the continued creativity in the world of literature. As an African American woman, she understands the lack of opportunity persons of color have to let their artistic creativity be seen on equal platforms, so she created her own publishing company called Black Glory Publishing House. She thinks not just of herself but of the current and future of literature namely increasing the diversity and inclusion within the literary community.

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Spotlight & Excerpt: Takakush + Giveaway

takakush

This is my stop during the blog tour for Takakush by Raine Reiter. Takakush is the first book in the contemporary dark fantasy series Genus Magica where a family of priestess deal with normal life and fight monsters.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 1 till 14 March. See the tour schedule here

Takakush

Takakush (Genus Magica #1)
By Raine Reiter
Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/ Dark Fantasy/ Urban fantasy
Age category: Adult
Release Date: 25 January 2021

When Professor Elena Lukas returns to her cozy Pacific Northwest hometown with a broken heart, she’s plunged back into the fate she tried to escape. Like her mother and grandmother before her, Elena must now dedicate her life to a powerful ancient Lithuanian goddess. Although she is prepared to live as a priestess hiding in a contemporary tourist town, she arrives to find that a series of so-called animal attacks have terrorized her forest.

With the help of a handsome detective from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Elena uses her expertise in invasive and endangered species to identify that these are no normal animal attacks. The woods are stalked by a dark, mystical creature bent on ravaging the area in an attempt to quell its insatiable hunger. When her little sister goes missing, Elena realizes that the beast can only be vanquished if she is brave enough to face it in-person, embrace her identity as a high priestess, and expose her powers to the man she is growing feelings for.

“A fantastic tale that weaves a spell of ancient mysticism and modern charm.” –Tim Marquitz, Author of the Demon Squad series

Links:
Goodreads
Bookbub
Amazon
Kobo

Excerpt:

Regana – Home
Regana stood between the two worlds, watching her sleeping body. When did I become so old?
The wrinkled face, spun-sugar mop, and gnarled fingers in Real-Time bore little resemblance to her divine avatar in the Penumbra. Marks of time mean nothing. She chuckled.
Lithe and nimble as a sprite, Regana kicked off from the boundary and floated through the between, sorting threads of possibility as she passed.
“Goddess of the Crossroads, why draw me here?” She waited for an answer.
Thick fibers of probability whirled and pulsed with light around her, while others faded into implausibility and blinked out.
Soon, her temper frayed. Braiding destinies and untangling misfortunes amused Regana, but her fatigued human body in Real-Time called for rest. “Show me the blasted job and let me get out,” Regana said. “Lady of thresholds, doors, and portals, your priestess readies to serve you.” Her cry echoed through the Penumbra. “What must I do?”
A scarlet rope, thick as an anaconda, whipped out of the tangle and garroted her waist. Hot, near burning, it reeked of dark magic and death.
“See.” The voice hit her like a hammer, and a kaleidoscope of images overwhelmed her mind’s eye. “Be present,” ordered her goddess.

Across the field, wind stirred the chimes, bells, and bamboo noisemakers hanging from the eaves of the main house.
Galahad dozed in the pasture with an ancient horse blanket covering him.
Frost on the grass and pasture fence resembled snowfall. A freezing fog surged along the paddock, encircling his legs.
He woke. Something was different, unfamiliar. It wasn’t fear, it was curiosity.
With drowsy eyes, he surveyed the tree line. His nostrils flared, sampling the air. There. Hiding beneath the aroma of evergreens, a sickly-sweet stench. A predator.
The old warrior’s heart sped as he readied for a fight. At sixteen hands, he was massive and courageous. Last spring, he ran off a pack of coyotes come to snatch a newborn kid.
Galahad snorted and shook his mane. The frigid air transformed his breath into plumes of steam. He pawed the earth, kicking up divots of soil.
The wind ceased. The chimes quieted.
It struck Galahad, mounting him from behind and wrapping its limbs around Galahad’s belly. The horse arched his back as incisors sank into his neck.
Claws raked his abdomen and up his flanks, scoring slashes through the blanket into his hide. The metallic tang of his blood joined the beast’s stench.
Galahad’s hind legs kicked into his attacker’s midsection, but it only embedded its fangs deeper. Blood spurted from the wound.
The embrace tightened. He bucked, rearing and struggling for footing. The attacker threw Galahad to the ground and remounted.
The stallion screamed.
Teeth ripped flesh from Galahad’s throat, severing his jugular. His sight darkened, and his blood melted the frosted grass. Passing through and away, the horse saw the blackness clinging to his murderer.
The malignant thread released, and Regana’s vision ended. In the mundane world, her eyelids flew open, her heart hammering in her chest.
“Blood-red magic rings the waxing moon.” Her voice croaked with the remains of sleep. “Medžioklė begins.”

About the Author:
Raine Reiter weaves together an empowered, female-centered narrative with rich descriptions of nature and an ever-present sense of mystery. Her vivid, flowing prose takes readers of dark fantasy into a world that looks and feels real, while still evoking the enticing paranormal creativity shared by authors such as Richelle Mead and Kat Richardson.

A fifth generation Washingtonian, Raine lives in the gloomy Pacific Northwest and prowls the rainforest with her silly spaniel, Luke.

Author links:
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Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Takakush. 4 winners will win a Takakush prize pack containing a Takakush t-shirt, sticker, magnet and a signed copy of the book. US Only.For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
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You can find my review over on See Sadie Read.

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