Spotlight & Excerpt: A Shiver of Shadows + Giveaway

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A Shiver of Shadows

The Hell Gate Series Book 2

by Hunter J. Skye

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

 

You’d think stopping Armageddon would buy a girl a bit of R&R with her freshly resurrected boyfriend. But things go south again when celebrity soul wrangler, Melisande Blythe, is abducted and dragged to Europe.

There’s more to the darkness hiding in the reclusive, mountaintop country of Andorra than just garden variety evil. There’s something dangerously wrong with her beautiful immortal hosts too.

Gifted with flesh again by the Grace of God, three-hundred-year-old former ghost, Colonel William Grayford, will move heaven and earth to find his beloved. But Europe’s most wicked monsters stand in his way. Something more painful than death awaits Mel, if Grayford can’t find her in time.

The world’s been living on fifteen thousand years of borrowed time and it’s just run out.

excerpt

“We won’t make it in time, so I need you to do exactly as I say,” she clutched me by my arms then shoved me into a small convenience store that blazed white with artificial lighting. She dragged me down a narrow aisle, passed products with unfamiliar labels, towards a dead-faced man in a turban. His mottled eyes followed us as the woman pushed passed his small counter.

“Santuario,” she whispered to the man and he nodded stoically. Then she turned to me.

“Don’t stop. Don’t look around. Just keep moving.”

“What?” I asked as her hand closed over mine once more.

We hurtled down a dark slender hall to an ancient rat chewed wooden door with symbols painted on it in a dark, drooling liquid. Something about that viscous fluid made my skin crawl. The dingy walls pressed close and suddenly the hallway felt as though it was swallowing me whole.

“Wait.” My voice wavered. “Just wait a second.” Something big hovered on the other side of that door. Something I wasn’t ready for. It peeled away my thoughts. It knew I was coming.

“This is a mistake.” Not a bad tattoo kind of mistake. This was the kind of mistake that would burn through my being. It would hollow me out. I’d already rebuilt myself once. I couldn’t go through that kind of stripping again.

“Whatever’s in there…it isn’t for me to see.”

“Then close your eyes.” She yanked the door open and pulled me through.


A Glimmer of Ghosts

The Hell Gate Series Book 1

 

One night of filming in the wrong cemetery changes everything for a celebrity ghost-hunter with a half dead brain. When Melisande Blythe discovers that a secret society of wraiths wants her killed or worse, Mel will have to do the one thing she promised she would never do… trust a ghost. But does the corporeal spirit of her dreams really want her heart or does he want her newfound ability to enslave souls? With Hell on the horizon, Mel is running out of time. She has to stop the fiery invasion or face the darkness warring in her soul.

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Paranormal romance and urban fantasy author, Hunter J. Skye, was born with a rare nightmare disorder, and raised in a haunted Victorian home. Those two factors predestined her to write ghost stories. A Glimmer of Ghosts, the dark and steamy start to The Hell Gate Series won 5 RWA awards. Book 2, A Shiver of Shadows, released in May, 2021. Look for book 3: A Rapture of Wraiths, Spring 2022.

One thing about the story:Many of the spirits appearing in A Glimmer of Ghosts are based on actual ghost stories from the Olde Towne district of Portsmouth, Virginia. Once a year, these stories are told on the city’s annual Halloween Ghost Walk. These apparitions are well known to the residents of Olde Towne, Portsmouth and the city considers them ambassadors of a sort. One such ghost, Colonel William Crawford, founded the town three hundred years ago and is the inspiration for Grayford- Melisande’s haunting lover.Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads


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Book Blitz: The Angel’s Wrath, by Julia Debarrioz

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The Angel’s Wrath
Dakota del Toro, Book 3
by Julia Debarrioz

Urban Fantasy, Vampire Romance, Romantic Suspense

Date Published: October 15, 2021

After the success of the Outliers’ Revolution, things are far from settled for Don Diego and the vampire coven of Santa Fe. Trouble lurks around every corner this holiday season: an impending duel with a deadly mercenary from Spain with whom Diego shares a violent past, and vampires from Washington D.C. who want control of the entire country. An outsider attacking citizens of The City Different threatens to break the truce with the Preternatural Control Team before it’s barely begun. An inhuman art thief is pinching important paintings, including a priceless Cézanne from Diego’s own wall. But worst of all in the new alcalde’s estimation, Dakota’s globe-trotting ex has returned from the jungles of Guatemala, and Diego knows Henrik Heyerdahl’s renewed interest in his consort is anything but platonic. The archeologist is hiding something, and it’s possible he has brought his own supernatural troubles back from the Mayan ruins of the Petén.

When Don Edgar makes an attempt on Dakota del Toro’s life, the bounty hunter shoots her way out, but finds herself suspended from PCT. The future of her career rests in her superior’s hands, and John Steele seems all too eager to extort her into signing up for Knighthood. Determined not to be a pawn in a Super Secret Monster Hunting Society’s game, Dakota digs in her heels, though new powers and the continuation of dreams that feel more and more like memories pull her toward something that feels alarmingly like destiny. Diego knows more than he will say, and Dakota recklessly gambles on the millennia-old demon Sri Devendra for answers. Whether he will help her, or he has his own agenda, is anyone’s guess…

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About the Author

Long ago, a fortune teller read Julia’s palm and told her, “You’d better write this all down.” Julia has been writing, writing, writing, ever since. Somewhere along the line she earned a degree in fine art and traveled the world. For all the places she’s been, New Mexico remains one of her favorite places to be.

Now she lives on a farm in Missouri with her darling husband, two criminal conures, one stubborn bulldog, one bad bunny, a fivesome of ducks, and possibly too many chickens.

But really, is there such a thing as too many chickens?

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Book Blitz, Excerpt & Author Interview: A Place of Magic + Giveaway

Place of magic

 

A Place of Magic
by Merrie Destefano
Genre: Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Fantasy
Publisher: Ruby Slipper Press
Date of Publication: October 12, 2021
ASIN:B09FNSVKZJ
Number of pages:320
Word Count: 73,000
Cover Artist: Elona Bezooshko,
Psycat Digital Ink and Motion

 
Halloween is the wrong time to visit Ticonderoga Falls.
Dangerous monsters hunt in the nearby woods.
 
The Prey…
 
Maddie MacFaddin.
For her, the nearby forest holds many memories, some joyous, some forgotten. But she has no recollection of Ash, the dark, magnificent creature who saved her life as a child, or that his kind preys upon humanity.
 
The Monster…
 
Ash, a Darkling fae.
Trapped in Ticonderoga Falls for a century, he’s required to host a Hunt once a year. Then, hungry, shapeshifting faeries will descend upon the villagers and harvest their dreams.
 
The Hunt…
 
There are rules about harvesting humans; the poor creatures are so delicate. If you take too much, they’ll die. Without dreams, they perish. And perish they do—now and then—despite Ash’s efforts to keep them safe. Then he realizes Maddie is the prey his unwanted guests are after. But, try as he might, this time he’s not strong enough to protect her. The entire village is in danger.
 
Soon the Hunt will begin. And no one will be safe.
 

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Excerpt:

He nodded, head lowered. Then he lifted his gaze until he was staring into her eyes. One hand rested on her shoulder. “I won’t tell anyone your secret, Elspeth. You’re safe with me.”

Then he leaned closer, his scent overwhelming, his thoughts like the wind through the leaves, a wild rushing, his skin like the embrace of the forest. His lips touched hers and she could hear his heart beating. She slid her arms around his waist, leaning into the kiss, suddenly wanting more. She wanted to cast an enchantment, to lead him into sleep, to harvest his dreams. Wanted to walk into a dream with him, to see the hidden world on the other side of his eyelids. Wanted to know everything about him.

The kiss had only just begun and already she wanted another.

His arms were around her then, and the winter chill disappeared. In its place, fire crackled through her limbs, from her fingertips to her feet.

She could see it then, the world inside him. Tender and gentle as a spring morning, the shadows of night lingering at the edge of the wood, a handful of stars scattered across a pale sky.

She never knew that humans could be filled with so much magic.

It was her first Hunt and she had chosen her prey wisely.


Author Interview:

1. Tell us a little about how this story first came to be. Did it start with an image, a voice, a concept, a dilemma or something else?
This book began because I had a long bout with insomnia. It was as if I had forgotten how to fall asleep. When I couldn’t sleep, I began to imagine what sort of creatures might prey on people when they were sleeping. That was when I came up with the idea for the Darkling fae, magical creatures that draw their powers from human dreams.

2. What, if anything, did you learn when writing the book?
That every book is hard to write. They’re just all different. I rewrote this story so many different times. It took a long time for me to get the setting and characters in place. The first time, it was set in Pasadena, California. But it made more sense to have fae creatures in the wilderness of the San Gabriel Mountains. So, I moved the story to a mountain town based on Big Bear.

3. What surprised you the most in writing it?
The ending. I usually know how my stories will end, but not with this one. Although I was surprised by what happened, I love it! I tend to be a Discovery Writer, so I don’t outline as much as some authors. I enjoy the journey and finding new things along the way.

4. If it’s not a spoiler, what does the title mean?
It means that this place is where the Darklings are allowed to be magical. They have to hide who and what they are most of the time. Also, it relates to Maddie, the writer, too, since this is where she came to try and restore her ability to write magical stories.

5. Were any of the characters inspired by real people? If so, do they know?
Yes, although it was unintentional. Maddie is very much like me and her sister, Kate, is very much like my sister Kathy. Sadly, I don’t think I ever told my sister about it—I may have only realized it during the rewrite. My sister passed away a few years ago. I loved my sister very much and, for that reason, I often have stories with strong sister or strong sibling relationships. Some of those books include Fathom, Fairytale Magic, Valiant, and Lost Girls.

6. Do you consider the book to have a lesson or moral?
Yes! Our dreams are what motivate us and give us hope. We should never allow someone else to steal them. In the book, if a Darkling fae harvests too many dreams, it will kill the human. Without dreams, we will die. It’s a paraphrase of Proverbs 29:18.

7. What is your favorite part of the book?
Any scene with Samwise! This book has been published twice. Once under the title Feast: Harvest Of Dreams by HarperCollins. Then now by me, with the title A Place Of Magic. When I decided to rewrite the book, one choice I made was to include deleted scenes where the dog had his own POV.

8. Which character was most challenging to create? Why?
Definitely Ash. He’s complex and can come across unfeeling at times, since he’s fae. But that’s not true. He’s conflicted. He sees the good and the bad in almost any situation. It was hard to get him to a point where he didn’t seem heartless, since that’s far from the truth. He’s actually deeply wounded and broken and trying his best not be bitter over what he has lost.

9. What are your immediate future plans?
I’m still deciding if I want to finish my half-written fae book or my half-written vampire book. I love both of them!



About the Author:


Multiple-award-winning author Merrie Destefano writes lyrical tales of magic, mystery, and hope. Her traditional books have been published by HarperCollins, Entangled Teen, and Walter Foster, while her indie imprint is Ruby Slippers Press. Her novels have won awards in both the science fiction and fantasy categories.

She worked for Focus on the Family, The Word For Today, Engaged Media, and PJS Publications, and her magazine experience includes editor of Victorian Homes magazine, Zombies magazine, Haunted: Mysteries And Legends magazine, American Farmhouse Style magazine, Vintage Gardens magazine and founding editor of Cottages and Bungalows magazine. Her co-authored art books include How To Draw Vampires, How To Draw Zombies, and How to Draw Grimm’s Dark Fairy Tales. Her edited books include The Man God Uses by Chuck Smith, Oil Pastel Step-By-Step by Nathan Rohlander, and The Art of Drawing Fantasy Characters by Jacob Glaser.

Born in the Midwest, Merrie now lives in Southern California, where she runs on caffeine, and shares her home with rescue dogs and cats. And although she dearly loves science fiction, in her heart of hearts, she still doesn’t believe airplanes should be able to fly.

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