Book Blitz: Dark Summer & Excerpt

Dark Summer by S. J. Coles

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Dark Summer (A sequel to Blood Winter)

Author: S. J. Coles

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: July 27, 2021

Genres: M/M Romance, Paranormal Romance, Vampire Romance, Thriller

Tropes: Love against the odds, Forbidden Love, love triangle

Themes: Learning to love, healing, facing fears

Heat Rating: 4 flames      

Length: 50 247 words/ 204 pages

It is not a standalone story. It is the second book in a series.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK  

 

Dark Summer Out Now

Is a human lifetime long enough to learn to love a vampire?

 

Blurb

A sequel to Blood Winter

Is a human lifetime long enough to learn to love a vampire?

The tumultuous events of the Blood Winter are a fading nightmare, and Alec and Terje are trying to build a life together at Alec’s newly restored ancestral home of Glenroe. There’s just one problem… Terje doesn’t appear to be committed—constantly called away on mysterious errands and seemingly unable to forsake his own kind. Alec begins to wonder if Terje is capable of loving anyone, let alone him.

When an old uni friend Jay Singh, recently out of the closet and looking rather too good to be true, returns to Alec’s life, he becomes more conflicted than ever. Things only escalate when Alec is forced into the social and political issues still surrounding the haemophiles’ tumultuous integration into human society and soon it is more than just his relationship on the line.

Can Alec figure out what kind of future is possible with a vampire—and if it can ever be enough for either of them—before it’s too late?

 

Excerpt 

“You’re tired.”

Terje was brushing his long fingers through the hair on my chest. I forced my eyes open, fighting back the warm oblivion that had threatened to steal me away.

“No, I’m not.”

Terje chuckled softly and extricated himself from my arms. I made a noise of protest, propping myself on my elbows as Terje started to collect his clothing from the floor. 

“What are you doing?”

“You should sleep,” Terje said, pulling on his jeans.

“This is the first night we’ve had together in weeks,” I muttered, taking Terje by the wrist and pulling him close. “I’m not going to sleep for any of it.”

Terje brushed a kiss across my forehead. “If you’re sure…”

“Of course I’m sure,” I said, annoyance bleeding into my tone.

Terje, either not noticing or not caring about my reaction, continued to dress, pulling on his T-shirt, shoes and light, black jacket. He always wore muted tones, blacks and grays, sometimes pale blues. It should make someone with his pale complexion look washed-out or even sickly. But against his smooth, pearlescent skin and hair, it just made him look exotic, unearthly, surreal but achingly beautiful.

“Are we going somewhere?” I asked, breaking off from staring to retrieve my underwear.

“I’d like to go for a walk,” Terje said, pulling a band out of his pocket and tying his blue-white hair back into a tail. As I was the only one available to cut it and I wasn’t the best hairdresser, he’d allowed it to grow long again. The shorter strands at the front fell into his eyes, but it left the smooth lines of his neck free.

“Where?”

“In the park,” he replied, fetching a bottle from a bag he’d dropped in the corner. “Below the castle.”

“They have that here,” Alec said, indicating the fridge.

“I prefer my own,” he replied. He opened the bottle, drank deeply and color washed into his cheeks. He dropped the empty bottle in the specialist canister next to the fridge and went toward the window.

“This is a safe place,” I muttered, grabbing a fresh shirt out of my case. “You don’t have to go out of the window.”

“It’s better to be careful,” he said, then was gone.

I sighed, trying to fight the return of my frustration. I finished dressing and hurried out into the busy city night. The air had cooled but the towering stone buildings still retained some of the warmth from the day, giving the air an enclosed feel. The sky arched black overhead, bleached featureless by streetlight. 

Terje was nowhere in sight. I crossed the North Bridge, heading for Market Street and the way down into the Princes Street Gardens. The noise of people weaving between the bars, clubs and restaurants fell away as I descended the stairs into the cool, fresh openness of the park. A train heading into Waverley station hissed by on the rails above. As I ventured farther in to where the only light was from the LED lampposts installed to lower light pollution, the stars finally became visible, glittering like diamonds on a sheet of black velvet. 

Edinburgh Castle glowered from its clifftop, all ramparts, towers and impossibly large blocks of stone. I had always thought it looked forbidding, but when Terje stepped out of the shadows to stand at my side and gaze up at it in quiet wonder, I tried again to see it how he might see it.

“It’s beautiful, in its own way,” he had said the first time we had visited Edinburgh, almost a year before. “It’s a promise to protect as well as to fight back.”

Looking at his profile in the starlight, my anger faded and, for the moment, I was just grateful he was back.

He laced his long fingers through my own. The memory of Jay touching that same hand earlier that day rose in my mind but I shook it away, along with the ghosting guilt. Terje sent me a sideways look and I was suddenly certain, however impossible it was, that he knew. But then he started to walk down the path, drawing me with him.

“We have a story about a haemophile that lived in the castle in the middle ages,” Terje murmured as we walked. “Did I tell you that?”

“No, you didn’t. I’ve heard lots of ghost stories about it,” I said absently. “Never anything about vampires.”

“It’s one of our stories. Like a cautionary folk tale…”

“Cautionary?”

Terje’s forehead creased slightly in the pale light. “Very few of our kind have ever lived outside of a commune. This one did. Her story, well…it doesn’t end well.”

 

About the Author

S.J. Coles is a Romance writer originally from Shropshire, UK. She has been writing stories for as long as she has been able to read them. Her biggest passion is exploring narratives through character relationships.

She finds writing LGBT/paranormal romance provides many unique and fulfilling opportunities to explore many (often neglected or under-represented) aspects of human experience, expectation, emotion and sexuality.

Among her biggest influences are LGBT Romance authors K J Charles and Josh Lanyon and Vampire Chronicles author Anne Rice.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter 

Instagram  |   Pride Publishing

 

 

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Book Blitz: The Prophecy, by Allie McCormack

the prophecy

 

The Prophecy
When Darkness Falls, Book 3

by Allie McCormack

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance, Vampire Romance

Release Date: July 1, 2021

The truce between humans and vampires has stabilized as the relationship between Alyssa and Lord Damien deepens. When a desperate group of refugees arrive at the city, bringing tales of a barbaric horde overrunning the lands to the west, the city’s resources are strained to assimilate them.

Just as life is settling back to normal, the worst of news arrives from scouts sent out to spy on the horde. The massive army is gearing up with plans to brave the hundreds of miles of stark desert to attack Al Khair itself, and Lord Damien must decide whether to follow their long code of non-involvement of human affairs, or to work with the humans to save their city.

*Please Note, this is a trilogy, with one sweeping story arc divided into three volumes. The books are not meant to be read alone, or out of order. If you prefer, you can buy all 3 volumes of the trilogy together in a boxed eBook set, When Darkness Falls: The Trilogy – Amazon

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Want the Whole Trilogy in One Book?

 

When Darkness Falls: The Trilogy

Release Date: July 1, 2021

Ruled by a gracious, wise Sultana, the humans of the great desert city of Al Khair dwell in uneasy peace with the vampires and demons who claim the lands as their ancestral homelands under the leadership of an ancient, powerful vampire. Their shaky truce becomes strained when a young human woman arrives from distant lands.

Orphaned since childhood and outcast, Alyssa joins a caravan to the fabled Al Khair where she seeks only to make a new life for herself. A life that quickly becomes complicated when she draws the attention of the Dark Lord himself.

A thousand years ago, Lord Damien permitted the humans to build their city. When he senses a new, immensely powerful magical being in the land, Damien suspects the humans of plotting to overthrow him. Furious, he searches for the source of this power, but he cannot stop thinking of the young woman in the tower who had seen through his glamour spell that cloaks him from humans.

When he discovers that Alyssa is the mysterious being he has been seeking, his determination to have her for his own threatens to pit the two races, human and vampire, against each other in all-out war.


About the Author

A former career medical transcriptionist and disabled Veteran, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. Allie now lives in the beautiful southern California with her family and her two rescue cats.

Allie says: “A writer is who and what I am… a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.”

Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

 

RABT Book Tours & PR

Book Blitz & Excerpt: The Dark Lord, by Allie McCormack

the dark lord

 

The Dark Lord
When Darkness Falls, Book 2
by Allie McCormack

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance, Vampire Romance

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Book 2 of a sweeping romantic saga in a medieval Arabian Nights type setting

Held captive in the Catacombs, Alyssa struggles with coming to terms with the loss of the life she had made for herself in the palace. She also has to learn how to deal with her strange magical powers that everyone but her seems to know she has. And she has to find a way to accept her new life with the ancient vampire who insists that she is his… but doesn’t seem to know what to do with her.

Lord Damien never thought to have a human woman in his life, and this one baffles him. He doesn’t understand his own need for her, but knows only that he must have her, at any cost. He had been prepared for anger and recriminations, but Alyssa surprises him with her determination to accept her new life, as well as her unexpected compassion and humor.

*Please Note, this is a trilogy! Books 1 & 2 have cliffhangers and are not meant to be read out of order.

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Excerpt

Chapter 9 – The Craft Hall

Some distance from the city, Damien paused, holding up one hand. “We glamour,” he stated. “Until we reach the Craft Hall.”

Gabrielle and Kayja complied, a faint shimmering disturbing the early morning desert air as all three cast the small spell that would cloak them from untrained eyes. The sun wasn’t yet above the horizon, the days already shortening with the oncoming of fall. Damien focused his attention to the East, storm clouds gathering, building at his command, delaying the effects of the sun on himself and Gabrielle. Kayja, pure demon, was unaffected by the sun’s rising. Damien, with his demon father’s blood, could tolerate the sun until it was fully above the horizon, but Gabrielle would be susceptible to the sun’s influence much more quickly.

They reached the city, moving swiftly past through the lines of those waiting to enter through the huge gates. Passing unseen, the trio headed into the heart of the lower city, Damien leading them unhesitatingly toward the Craft Hall. He knew this city, every block, every stone. He had been here when it was a walled village. Had walked the construction at night as the city was built, the palace towering above all. There was no corner, no shadow, that he did not know.

Most of the shops and stalls were closed tight still, aside from a few stalls dispensing tea and thick bitter coffee, and flat bread with beans and fried balls of ground grain and herbs to early workers. The craftsmen, however, would already be up and working in their high-ceilinged hall deep within the city.

Indeed, the wide double doors of the Craft Hall were open, workers within milling about on various tasks. Standing just within the doors, Damien and his companions shimmered into sight of those nearby. There were startled gasps, then a wave of rippling murmurs, followed by silence, spread through the hall as craftsmen, journeymen and apprentices turned toward the great doors. The tension in the suddenly quiet hall was palpable. There was stirring, shifting of a group at one side of the room, and a man emerged, approaching the trio at the entrance. He was stockily built, with graying hair framing a lined face. Sharp, intelligent eyes held a wary defiance; not outright hostility, but Damien sensed little flashes of anger from the man, who wore a Master’s badge on one shoulder.

He knows your little human,” Kayja spoke on their private pathway. “I see her in his mind, his concern for her well-being.”

Damien gave a tiny, barely discernible inclination of his head, acknowledging her words.

The Craft Master came to a halt some few feet from them, bending at the waist in a slight bow.

My Lord Damien.”

Craft Master Ahmed.”

Damien suppressed his amusement as the man started in surprise. He was Lord over these lands. Of course he knew all those who rose to prominence. Craft Masters, even prominent journeymen who were rising swiftly in the ranks; he made it his business to know everything in this city.

The man made a swift recovery, schooling his face to express polite inquiry. “How may we help you, Lord?”

Again Damien sensed that flash of anger from the man, swiftly suppressed.

We have come for furnishings,” Damien told him, his gaze drifting about the spacious circular hall, sectioned into areas… tables, chairs, beds and divans, lounges, lamps, screens. He brought his eyes back to the Craft Master. “You are acquainted with the young Scribe from the palace?”

A swift startled murmur swept the room, starting with those in earshot who passed word to those nearby. Relief crept into Master Ahmed’s face, and some of the rigidity left his stance.

Alyssa? Indeed, I know her well. All of us do,” and he made a gesture with his right arm, indicating the room at large. “She… she is alive, Lord? She is well?”

A rush of impatience swept him. “Of course she is alive,” he retorted. “What did you think I was going to do, eat her?”

Absolute silence. His lips tightened in exasperation. Obviously, they had. Humans! His stern gaze swept them all, meeting their eyes, commanding their attention.

Do you truly believe,” and he raised his voice so that all in the hall could hear him. “That Zahira, your Sultana, would have permitted me to carry off one of her Court… indeed, any citizen of this city… without being assured that no harm would come to her? You do your Sultana a great disservice in this. Zahira would have gone to war, rather. She insisted upon, and received, my promise that no harm of any kind would come to the girl. She was prepared to risk outright war, had I not given her my word on this.”

The silence continued as the last echoes of his voice faded, then shifting and movement as the men and women returned to their various duties. Noises began to fill the hall…. sanding, pounding, hammering. Damien turned back to the Craft Master. The man was smiling, his relief almost palpable.

What is it you would wish to see, Lord?”

Kayja stepped forward at this point. Her tail was twitching, to the apparent bemusement of a nearby apprentice, a boy barely into his teens who’d apparently never seen a demon before, from his fascinated stare. “We need furnishings for Alyssa. A bed to start. A clothing press. Tables, chairs. These will be delivered to the Temple in the desert.”

Ahmed nodded thoughtfully, gesturing them to an area across the hall. “This way my Lord, Ladies,” he added a bit doubtfully, with a glance at Kayja’s red skin, her curved, pointed black horns and shiny black hooves.

This is excellent,” Kayja all but purred on their private pathway. “The human’s mind is already full of what he calls extras to include with the delivery, for Alyssa’s comfort. At no additional charge.”

I can see his thoughts for myself,” Damien reminded her in some exasperation. Kayja huffed, her horned head tossing irritably.

They stopped before a display room, set back off the main hall, filled with bedroom furnishings. There were massive, carved poster beds, and simpler lounges and chaises. Gabrielle stopped before one, a pretty, low bed with soft sheets and a light throw, topped with several pillows. She leaned down to poke experimentally at the mattress, testing its firmness.

What about this?”

No.” His refusal was instantaneous. Ahmed had moved off to point out to Kayja a monstrosity of a bed with heavy wooden posts carved with fantastic animals, sure to appeal to the demon. Maybe he should have brought Aleksei instead. He turned to Gabrielle, leaning close to murmur. “It’s very similar to her bed in her tower room, in the palace. I don’t want it to be a constant reminder to her.”

As he straightened, his eye was caught by a burst of colors across the way. He moved toward the bed that had caught his eye. It was a combination piece, clearly designed for multiple uses as lounge, bed or sofa. A carved wood base rested on wood legs that rose high to support a flat lattice work above, like a canopy. The mattress was low and large, covered in bright turquoise damask. Gracefully carved spindles rose from the base to a smoothly polished banister, framing the bed on three sides, a warm backdrop for an array of colorful cushions, embroidered and sequined, propped against the supporting spindles.

He was aware of his sister and Gabrielle joining him, Ahmed at a respectful distance.

Gabrielle pursed her lips thoughtfully. “It looks more suited to a patio perhaps, or a balcony, than to a cave.”

Kayja glanced her way. “He already has a stone crypt that’s perfectly suited to a cave. That’s why we’re here.”

True.”

It’s suited to Alyssa,” Damien stated, his tone brooking no argument. “That’s what is important.”

Indeed, my Lord, I think she would love this,” Ahmed concurred. “It would certainly brighten a… a cave,” he glanced at Kayja standing beside him. “If that is your purpose, this would do well. And Alyssa loves the jewel tones. Always, the jewel tones are what draws her. There is a chest for clothing that would go well with this. The workmen could put together a grouping to match, it would take perhaps a day or two, no more. Floor cushions, a chaise lounge. A mirror set into a mashrabiyya frame.” He warmed to his theme. “We could create an inlaid table using the same wood, the spindles, and inlay the top with hues to pick up the colors from the cushions.”

Damien nodded decisively. “Bring this bed and the chest, and whatever else you have made now, to the Temple by mid-day. Then the rest as it is completed.”

Ahmed bowed low, far different from the stiff, polite gesture he’d offered when they had first arrived. The man exuded good will.

It shall be done, Lord.” He paused. “If you would send some of your human servants to the city, Lord, the bed will need to be disassembled to transport. We will show them how to put it back together again.”

Leaving the Craft Hall, they again assumed a glamour. Gabrielle hurried for the distant Catacombs, using the preternatural speed of the vampire to outrun the rays of the sun, rising swiftly now above the mountains to the east. Damien, his demon blood making him less susceptible, took longer in following, strolling leisurely through the streets with Kayja as they made their way to the great gates of the city and then taking flight for the longer distance to the mountains.

Entering the Catacombs, Damien made his way to the Great Hall, ringing the bell that summoned the khadam and the other human servants not immediately in service to the vampire they looked to as Liege.

His indifferent gaze scanned the humans gathered before him. “A number of pieces of furnishings are being delivered to the Temple later this morning. At least two males are needed for the heavier pieces. Also I need one of you to visit the Woodworkers Craft Hall in the city for instruction in assembling the parts.”

Instantly two men stepped forward, and several women. One, a bubbly, rounded redhead, jiggled in place, seemingly excited.

Is it for Alyssa?” she asked, apparently flushed with excitement. “Is it a surprise?”

He turned his full gaze on her, little red lights flickering in his eyes. Fangs extending, he snarled at her. She gulped, visibly paling, and the humans closest to him fell back a step, watching him warily.

Not deigning to answer the woman, he turned on his heel, stalking away to his private chambers, where Alyssa still lay deeply asleep, faint smudges beneath her eyes. The sleep of exhaustion. He stood looking down on her. Yesterday had been difficult for her. He must remember she was mortal, and young. He reached down to stroke her hair, his fingers slipping through the short, silky strands.

A surprise. The idiot woman’s words came back to him. As if. He was no fairytale prince. And yet… an image arose in his mind’s eye. Alyssa’s eyes alight, her gasp of delight, her radiant smile as she saw the furnishings.

He straightened, turning away, dismissing the notion with a flick of his hands. He was vampire. Demon. An ancient. He had no place in his world for such human nonsense. And yet the image could not quite be dispelled, lingering in the back of his mind.


Other Books in the When Darkness Falls Trilogy

When Darkness Falls Book I: The Palace

Released: June 3, 2021

 

When Darkness Falls Book III: The Prophecy

Release Date: July 1, 2021

Amazon


About the Author

A former career medical transcriptionist and disabled Veteran, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. Allie now lives in the beautiful southern California with her family and her two rescue cats.

Allie says: “A writer is who and what I am… a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.”

Contact Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

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RABT Book Tours & PR