Book Spotlight: Whispers In The Dark

If you are looking for the ultimate book to read on Halloween night, look no further!

Welcome to the blog tour for Laurel Hightower’s Whispers in the Dark. This tale will give your goosebumps goosebumps! Follow along for exclusive content and a chance to win a signed copy (US only) or a digital copy in your preferred format (International)!

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Whispers in the Dark

Publication Date: December 7th, 2018

Genre: Paranormal Thriller/ Horror

Publisher: JournalStone

Rose McFarland is a trained killer–a Memphis S.W.A.T. sniper with a secret. Her team knows about the burn scars that lurk under her clothes, a legacy of the house fire that killed her father and brother sixteen years before. Her supervisors know that she spent two years in a rehabilitative facility, healing and learning to cope with the emotional trauma of the fire. But no one knows about the visions that drove her there, angry spirits that consumed her childhood, alienated her from her family and made her doubt her own sanity–the Whispers.

When Charlie Akers, a half-brother she never knew, ends up on the wrong side of Rose’s rifle, she unwittingly sets off a chain of events that puts her family in the middle of increasingly dangerous paranormal visitations. Charlie won’t stay dead, and soon ghosts from Rose’s past are creeping back into her life. People she’s killed in the line of duty, family she thought long buried, every one of them under the influence of Rose’s greatest fear, the Whispers themselves.

As the walls between our world and the world of the dead grow thin, Rose will have to face her old nightmares to stop the Whispers from breaking free. If she can’t, it won’t just be Memphis that falls to the dead–there will be no safe place left on earth for the living.

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Excerpt

His heart thudding again, Zack tried to hold his breath, peering

into the gloom. He didn’t have to wait long. Another shuffle, something

dragging against the grit. A shadow, darker than the rest of the

night. It moved, swayed. Waited.

“Matt?”

No answer, but Zack thought he could hear breathing now. Labored,

wheezing. The way Matt had sounded toward the end. He took a step closer,

stopped. “Matt?”

Zack.” A whisper. Tired, but an uptick of hope at the end.

Zack swallowed. Matt had been waiting a long time. For the first

time, Zack wondered if his brother would be angry.

More dry dragging as Matt moved again. He was close now, almost

close enough to touch. Zack coughed, his asthma tickled by something in

the dry air down here. What was that? What did it smell like now?

Zack?” A hand reaching out, slow, tentative.

Zack smiled tremulously, reached out too. Clasped the hand he’d

waited thirty-seven years to feel again. Felt it pull him closer, into a shaft

of moonlight coming through a broken window high on the wall. He looked

up, into his brother’s face. Faltered.

“Matt?”

No, Zack realized with regret as the bony clutch tightened and

pulled him close. Not Matt at all.

Amazon | JournalStone | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

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About the Author

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Laurel Hightower grew up in Kentucky, attending college in California and Tennessee before returning home to horse country, where she lives with her husband, son and two rescue animals, Yattering the cat (named for the Clive Barker short story) and Ladybug the adorable mutt. She definitely wants to see a picture of your dog, and often bonds with complete strangers over animal stories. A lifetime reader, she would raid her parents’ bookshelves from an early age, resulting in a number of awkward conversations about things like, “what does getting laid mean?” She loves discovering new favorite authors, and supporting the writing and reading community.

Laurel works as a paralegal in a mid-size firm, wrangling litigators by day and writing at night. A bourbon and beer girl, she’s a fan of horror movies and true life ghost stories. Whispers in the Dark is her first novel, though there are always more in the pipeline, and she loves researching anything horror related. She can usually be found working on the next project into the wee hours, sometimes as late as ten at night, as long as her toddler allows. Follow her on social media, even though she’s really bad at it, and she’ll follow you back. Plus you’ll be rewarded by pictures of cute dogs and kids.

Laurel Hightower | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

WhispersintheDark

Blog Tour Schedule

October 21st

Reads & Reels (Review) http://readsandreels.com

Viviana MacKade (Guest Post) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

The Reading Chemist (Review) https://thereadingchemist.com/

I Love Books and Stuff (Spotlight) https://ilovebooksandstuffblog.wordpress.com

October 22nd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Didi Oviatt (Review) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Banshee Irish Horror Blog (Review) www.bansheeirishhorrorblog.com

Dark Reads (Review) http://darkreads826573417.wordpress.com

October 23rd

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Review) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

October 24th

Musings of a Final Girl (Review) https://musingsofafinalgirl.wordpress.com/

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Review) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

Crossroad Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.crossroadreviews.com

October 25th

Eclectic Reviews (Review) https://eclecticreview.com/

Ity Reads Books (Review) http://www.ityreadsbooks.home.blog

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

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Honesty you say?! Well, take a listen and let me be completely honest with you…..

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Book Spotlight: The Baker’s Guide To Risky Rituals

Trick or Treat? The Baker’s Guide to Risky Rituals by Kathryn Moon is the perfect witchy tale for this time of year! Read on for an exclusive excerpt and a giveaway as sweet as the treats in the book — A signed paperback, swag pack (signed postcard, magnet, and two character buttons), and a $20 amazon gift card!

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The Baker’s Guide to Risky Rituals (Sweet Pea Mysteries #1)

Expected Publication Date: October 18, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Romance

A Kitchen Witch with a bite, a King of Hell on a mission, and a candy coated town hiding bitter secrets.

Josie Benoit, gourmet patissier and kitchen witch, may not be a Sweet Pea native but she’s made the small town her home and she intends on keeping it that way. When trouble rolls into town on the seats of shining motorcycles, and the safety of her home and her own reputation are put at risk, Josie bands together with her coven to protect her world from a dark influence.
If only that dark influence wasn’t so deliciously handsome.

King Beleth is not a demon to be trifled with.
Leader of the Hell’s Bells MC and one of the great warlords of the Bowels, Beleth takes pride in his work and has the patience of a… man who knows what is best is worth waiting for. Known as Bell—to his friends, which you are not—he’s come to Sweet Pea to dismantle the core of good at the heart of the little town. But upon arrival he discovers three things that might just get in the way of his work:
Sweet Pea is more disgustingly adorable than they were warned.
The town has a coven of witches protecting it.
He’s developing a sweet tooth.

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Excerpt

He was painfully handsome, face broad and lips wide, eyes narrow. His weathered leather jacket was fitted to those shoulders with all the care of a lover. His eyes studied Josie until every hair on her body stood on end. She crossed her arms over her chest and lifted her chin, studying him with equal interest as he glanced down at her bakery case and frowned.

“Where are the cupcakes?”

Josie blinked and it took a moment to shake that whisper soft voice out of her head, like shooing away an affectionate stray cat, knowing it could scratch at any moment.

“This is a patisserie. I don’t carry cupcakes.” She could give him the spiel she gave to Mrs. Montgomery when the old busybody asked. Cupcakes could be bought at the grocery store for less than a dollar a piece. Josie’s wares were baked with techniques that took professional training, if not at least regular and studied practice. Mrs. Montgomery still asked every other visit.

“Three dollars for… what is that?” He asked, sneering at the brightly dyed macarons.

“It’s a cookie, but harder to make,” Josie said, cocking her hip. His eyes licked at the movement and the response of her skin was a betrayal, her imagination conjuring warm fingertips stroking up her side and raising goosebumps. She had to stifle her gasp.

“It’s a rip off. I could fit two of those in my mouth for one bite,” he said.

“For six dollars you could.”

Purchase on Amazon and Books 2 Read!

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For a chance to win this AMAZING giveawayA signed paperback, swag pack (signed postcard, magnet, and two character buttons), and a $20 amazon gift card, click on the link below!

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About the Author

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Kathryn Moon is a country mouse who started dictating stories to her mother at an early age. The fascination with building new worlds and discovering the lives of the characters who grew in her head never faltered, and she graduated college with a fiction writing degree. She loves writing women were are strong in their vulnerability, romances that are as affectionate as they are challenging, and worlds that a reader sinks into and never wants to leave. When her hands aren’t busy typing they’re probably knitting sweaters or crimping pie crust in Ohio. She definitely believes in magic.

Kathryn Moon | Facebook | Instagram

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I recently wrapped up the books I read in September and spoiler, there were some good ones!

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Book Spotlight: Wild, Dark Times

WDTimes Digital coverWild, Dark Times

Expected Publication Date:July 23rd, 2019

Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

It’s the summer of 2012 and Elizabeth Megalos is a disillusioned art-school grad getting by as a bank teller in St. Louis. One evening, she’s attacked by a possessed coworker and saved by a mysterious, wise-cracking sorcerer named Eddy. He drags Elizabeth and Hugh—a skeptical scholar of the occult—to Europe, where he introduces them to his three magical celebrity friends. Once there, Eddy explains the group’s mission: preventing a Demiurge—a creature out of Gnostic Christian mythology—from fulfilling the visions of doom in the Book of Revelation. The Demiurge has been drawing power from the misguided beliefs in the Mayan apocalypse and is set to start the destruction on Dec. 21st, 2012. Through ritual magic and a series of psychedelic experiences, the group learns that Elizabeth is the key to taking down the Demiurge, though she can’t imagine how she will be the one to stop Armageddon.

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Excerpt

“OK. Seriously. Please. Tell me exactly who you are, what you’re doing, how you made my phone fly into your hand, and why the fuck my co-worker just assaulted me,” said Elizabeth, the last of her patience dwindling.

“You can call me Eddy,” he said. “The milk is for the protection spirit I called to keep us safe for now. As for your coworker… well, she’s possessed by a qlippoth, which is pretty much a vampiric assemblage of cravings, guilt, self-loathing, and a whole other mess of nasty emotional energies. Most are made when the sad and pathetic losers of the world jerk off to some of the sickest porn the bowels of the Internet can shit out. Obviously, there’s a fair number of these icky beasties around. This particular one’s been coalescing around your back alley. Probably feeding off of your used tampons or something. They like those. Used condoms and jerk-off rags too. Genital fluids are like bonbons for these things. And sometimes they’re able to possess people with very little emotional control and/or intelligence during certain astronomical phases. My guess is your coworker wasn’t exactly a shining example of emotional stability. As for the phone: involving the cops would just complicate things, so I used a little arcane prestidigitation to take it from you for the moment.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” asked Elizabeth.

“OK, we need to skip past the whole ‘Spirits? Magic? Are you crazy?’ shit because we’ve got a hungry, demon-possessed hippie trying to break in and drink our nether juices, and I for one don’t want that chick anywhere near my junk.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Austin Case received a Master’s Degree from the University of Amsterdam in Western Esotericism and Mysticism. His academic knowledge of the occult and other peripheral phenomena has given him a unique take on fantasy and speculative fiction.

Austin Case | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


WildDarkTimes

Blog Tour Schedule

August 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

August 27th

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

August 28th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://mybookishbliss.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

August 29th

Inked and Blonde (Review) http://www.inkedandblondeonline.co.uk

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

August 30th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

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Rapid Fire Book Tag you say? I tried to answer these questions on the fly! Thanks to Dominic from Reading Fandom for tagging me to do this.

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Book Highlight: Walking With Ghosts On Ward’s Pond

Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s PondWard's Pond front

Genre: Mystery

Expected Publication Date: July

A hundred-year-old unsolved mystery resurfaces when journalist Charlie Baxter becomes consumed with finding out the truth. After discovering his bloodline includes a potential murderer, Charlie sets out to clear his family’s name—only to find that everyone has an opinion, but does anyone have answers?

In 1906, Chester Gillette took Grace Brown on a secret trip in the Adirondacks, but only he returned. Grace and her unborn child drowned in the lake, and Chester was convicted of murder. Now, his distant relative Charlie Baxter is retracing the steps of that fateful trip in hopes of laying it to rest once and for all.

However, a mysterious guest at the bed and breakfast on Ward’s Pond is drawn into the cold case—not by Charlie, but by the ghost of Grace Brown. When Charlie learns that the guest’s name is Katherine Grace Brown, he can’t deny the connection. Despite running from her own past, Katherine agrees to help Charlie in his quest for the truth.

The true tale of the Gillette-Brown murder has been the subject of many a story, and it continues to intrigue. What really happened at that lake? Was Chester Gillette truly guilty of murder, or was he sent to the electric chair innocent? Perhaps with the help of their ghosts, Charlie and Katherine can find out.

Available at B & N and on Amazon!

Excerpt

A WOMAN’S SCREAM RIPPED CHARLIE from sleep as dramatically as if he’d been doused in ice water. Heart hammering in his chest, he sprang from his bed and raced to the door as another scream pierced straight through him, coming from the room across the hall. He didn’t know the occupant—the only other guest currently in the bed and breakfast at Ward’s Pond—but the compulsion to help…to do something was too great to be ignored.

“Miss? Miss, are you all right? Can I help you?” He pressed his ear to the wall, hearing nothing more than a muffled sobbing. “I only want to help you and make sure that you’re all right. I’m coming in.”

When no response came, Charlie gathered up his courage and grabbed hold of the knob, taking a quick glance at his clothes. Thankfully, he wore modest pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, nothing that would scandalize anyone. After one hard swallow, he gave the door a try, surprised to find it unlocked. He glanced across the room to see a woman sitting up in bed. The moon cast her in white, making her look ghostly. Her long, dark hair was a wild tangle, the tracks of her tears glistening in the light streaming through the window. She was trembling.

Unwilling to seem too familiar or forward, Charlie pulled up a chair—rather than sitting on the end of the bed. He leaned toward her and propped his elbows on his knees, striving to offer her a calm, reassuring presence when all the while his insides were churning from that terrible screaming.

“Is everything all right? What happened?”

The stranger took a shaky breath and drew the covers up to her chest, her knuckles bulging with the strength of her grip. “I…it was just a nightmare. Foolish, really. I can’t even remember it now…I can only recall waking up feeling absolutely terrified.”

He nodded and then gave her a smile. “I know what that’s like. My name is Charlie Baxter and I’m right across the hall. If you need anything—anything at all—don’t hesitate to give a knock. I sleep light.”

He stood as she extended her hand—which he accepted, giving it a squeeze. His skin practically sizzled at her touch, but he held on. “Thank you, Mr. Baxter. I’m sorry I woke you.”

“Nonsense. Like I said, I sleep light! I would’ve been up sooner or later anyway, and please, call me Charlie. My father is Mr. Baxter. I’ll see you at breakfast in the morning. Our hostess, Eva, is an amazing cook.” Charlie crossed the room, taking pause at the door to look over his shoulder. “By the way, what’s your name?”

She smiled, and it was like the sun coming out after a storm. “Katherine. Katherine Grace Brown.”

The name, particularly the middle and last, gave him a start, but he covered it well. “Well, Miss Katherine Grace Brown, may the rest of your night hold nothing but sweet dreams.”

As he crossed the hall, the turning of the lock broke the silence. Charlie didn’t think she was locking him out. Katherine was locking herself—and her mysterious nightmares—in.

Unable to sleep, since his mind was already unsettled from his research, Charlie opened the window and took a deep gulp of the refreshing night air. Late May in upstate New York heralded warmer days and the approach of summer, but the nights were still chilly. He left the window open, flicked on his desk lamp, and riffled through his stacks of papers, his hand landing on the picture of Grace Brown. He stared at the image that was already imprinted on his brain. She looks nothing like that girl across the hall. Her name is just a coincidence.

He started taking notes, but still a voice nagged at him at the back of his mind. Is there really any such thing as a coincidence?


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About the Author

Heidi Sprouse, author of Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond is a resident of historic Johnstown in upstate NY and went to college at St. Rose in Albany.

Heidi started her journey to becoming an author when she was just a child. She would practice creative writing with her friends and continued to write on through college. It wasn’t until her early thirties, after her father passed away, that she began seriously penning words with the intent to write books. As an author, Heidi opens a window into her worlds of sweet romances, historical fiction, and suspense thrillers. She’s always in search of the finding the extraordinary within the ordinary; writing about strong men with old-fashioned values and the women who pick them up when they fall.

When she isn’t writing, she adores spending time with her husband Jim, her son Patrick and her furry canine kids. She also has a rewarding career as a Pre-K teacher.

Heidi has a long list of titles credited to her name. We hope that this month you’ll check out her latest endeavor, Walking with Ghosts on Ward’s Pond available for preorder or for direct purchase on July 2nd.

Heidi Sprouse | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads

WalkingwithGhosts

Blog Tour Schedule

July 1st

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

B is for Book Review (Spotlight) https://bforbookreview.wordpress.com

Kim Knight (Interview) http://kimknightauthor.wordpress.com

The Legal Alien (Review) https://thelegalalien.com/

Devouring Books (Review) https://devouringbooks2017.wordpress.com/

July 2nd

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

LoopyLouLaura (Review) https://www.loopyloulaura.com/

July 3rd

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Reviews and Promos by Nyx (Spotlight) https://nyxblogs.wordpress.com/

Triquetra Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.triquetrareviews.blogspot.com

July 4th

Cup of Toast (Interview) https://cupoftoast.co.uk

Reading Nook (Spotlight) http://readingnook84.wordpress.com

July 5th

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Port Jerricho (Review) http://www.aislynndmerricksson.com

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

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Check out my Booktube Real Talk tag video where I answer questions regarding books and the bookish community!

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Book Highlight: Maiden’s Peak

Welcome to my stop on the Maiden’s Peak blog tour! If you are looking for a good mystery with a hint of the paranormal, you will want to read on! I have an excerpt for you, and a chance to win a copy of the book!

Maiden’s Peak

Book Cover

Expected Publication Date: May 7th, 2019

Genre: Murder Mystery/ Paranormal

Publisher: Between the Lines Publishing

Victor Shelton ran from his family’s legacy of prophetic dreams at seventeen but finds at twenty-eight that he is unable to run from the nightmares that plague him. Haunted by images of his own death each night he follows the fleeting memory of the town limit’s sign in his nightmare to a quaint Colorado town.

Beckoned to a forbidding mountain peak with a past riddled by ghost stories and legends, Victor must figure out who is friend or foe. Can he unravel the secrets of the enigmatic citizens of Carver’s Corner and solve his own murder before it happens?

Perhaps the answers are in the siren song of whatever is calling him to the caves under Maiden’s Peak. The song in the darkness urges him on, but whether it is to his death or to his salvation, Victor can’t say. All he knows is that once before he had not heeded the call of his dreams and someone had died. He can’t let that happen again.

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Excerpt

A solitary scrap of paper was swept from the cold pavement by the updraft. The gust of wind lifted my hair and ghosted a frigid breath across my neck, causing the hairs there to stand on end. I’d come to this small town chasing a dream, but not the kind that beckons a person to great things. No, the dream that had brought me here is the kind that leaves you huddled in a corner, quietly sobbing.

Two months had passed since the nightmares began, and I hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep since. Even as I thought about it, flashes of the nightmare came to the front of my mind, and I quickly veered my thoughts away to keep the images at bay.

Somehow, I thought coming here to Carver’s Corner would make it better. This place was featured in the nightly horror show that my dreams had become. Being here didn’t make the dream come into clarity or logically fall into place. I had never been to this town and probably would not have missed its presence in my life if I hadn’t been beckoned here by the insistent dreams.

My grandmother insisted that we had some cunning folk in our family tree. Cunning folk, in case you’ve been blessed with ignorance, is another name for wise men and women who heal and help others through both natural and magical means.

That might not seem so bad, but at seventeen, I rebelled with every fiber of my being. I wanted so much to be like everyone else. I tried so hard to pretend that I wasn’t plagued most nights by dreams that were seemingly not my own.

Sometimes the dreams came true; sometimes they merely taunted me. The embarrassment of misinterpreting a dream was something one truly had to experience before you could appreciate it. The looks on people’s faces when they had deemed you unbalanced was something you never got used to. The straw that finally broke the proverbial camel’s back came at a party in my junior year of high school. For weeks, I had dreamed of a fire at that party. It was the only reason—other than my then-crush, of course—that I had gone. As it turned out, I’d read the signs wrong, and the dream was more my anxiety than anything else. Needless to say, Betsy Stevens didn’t appreciate me ruining her party by screaming about a fire that never came to be.

A couple weeks after the incident, I left and went to live with my dad, who was on the East Coast—far away from talks of cunning folk and prophetic dreams. The move had worked in many ways. My dreams even stopped for a time, but as with all good things, it did not last.

Pre-Order Now!

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About the Author

Kristy E Carter

Kristy has been making up her own stories for entertainment for most of her life. Eleven years back she decided that perhaps others would want to walk through the worlds she has created. With over 10+ books in both urban fantasy and cozy mystery, Kristy has allowed readers to venture into realms where magic lives and murder mingles with humor. She currently lives with her family in the Southeastern United States where she helps other authors when she is not writing her own novels as a freelance writer and editor with eleven years of experience. With many projects in the works, there are sure to be more worlds for courageous adventurers to delve into.

Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

For your chance to win a digital copy of Maiden’s Peak by Kristy E. Carter, click the link below!

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I recently got back from my vacation to Ireland and Scotland and made a video about it. Feel free to check it out if you want to see how my trip went!

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Book Highlight: The Scented Bones

Congrats to Angelina Kerner on the re-release of her novel, The Scented Bones! Today we have an exclusive excerpt, and a chance to win a signed copy of the book!

The Scented Bones e-book coverThe Scented Bones (The Svabodina Case Files #1)

Publication Date: February 25th, 2019

Genre: Paranormal Forensic Fiction / Strong Female Protagonist / Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Churchell Hill Van Cleef Publishing Inc

Angel Svabodina is a rookie forensic anthropologist, enjoying the beginning of her new career. That joy comes crashing down when she figures out the skeleton she’s working on is not human and then it vanishes.

She throws herself fully into the case without thinking about the parties involved, a psychopomp associate, and paranormal mafia families made up of vampires and werewolves–or the consequences.

When she sees there’s no avoiding the inevitable, Angel has to suck it up and work with the werewolves to solve the case but can she trust them?

Werewolves and witches are in a centuries-old feud, but that doesn’t stop the shivers running down her spine from one wolf in particular. Rights and wrongs become blurred, as she is tormented by her past and accepting who she truly is while searching for the skeleton. What’s more, nothing comes for free, including information. To get what she needs from the werewolf don, Angel has to meet with the fae queen. Can she meet her without repercussions and solve the case?

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Excerpt

A parking attendant asked for my car keys and let me know that he’d bring it back when I was ready to leave.

As Laura and I got out of the car, I noticed a couple talking under a tree to the right, by a fountain. They looked to be enjoying themselves, which made me smile and hope for a good time.

I looked at Laura to see her also sizing up the house. Our attention returned to the young man by the massive front door.

He was wearing a suit and a Christmas tree tie.

Laura smiled and yelled, “Lorenzo!” Then she ran up the steps, and into his arms.

Lorenzo was taller than her, and she was wearing heels. He looked fit, healthy, and confident. His blue eyes were striking, and his hair was slicked back. If it weren’t for the tie, I’d have thought he was an international businessman, not a chef; though, I guessed one could be both.

“Hi, you must be Angel, Laura’s roommate,” Lorenzo said.

“And, you must be Lorenzo, her friend,” I said slowly.

He laughed, a nice lilting sound. “A little more than that. Welcome to Paulo Abelli’s house. He’s my boss, but really cool, so just relax and enjoy the party.”

“Thanks,” I replied.

Lorenzo grabbed hold of the crescent-shaped handle, pulled the imposing front door open, and ushered Laura inside the house. “Come on, babe, let me introduce you to some people.”

Laura threw me an excited look, and I followed the happy couple.

Interesting, I thought to myself.

The travertine foyer opened up into an expansive living room with floor to ceiling windows, capturing the magnificent view of the pool, lined with tall cypress trees next to a perfectly manicured lawn. The focal point of the room was the marble fireplace situated in direct view of the front door. It was the two-story Christmas tree next to it that took center stage, with gold and bronze glass balls in assorted sizes, twinkling white lights, and porcelain angels adorning each limb.

Two leather couches with an enormous, square, stone table in the middle were sat in front of the fireplace, facing each other. Another smaller, stone table covered with a cheese and nut tray and bowls of fruit and sweets was at the end of one of the couches. There were matching side tables with vases of red roses and pine branches, giving off the scent of Christmas. As I walked further into the room, it opened up to reflect a larger area off to the left that could be used for dancing and mingling.

I glanced through the windows to get a better look at the pool and back deck and saw marble pillars wrapped with white Christmas lights.

It all looked so. . . Normal— to an outsider or a mundane. However, there was that special scent hanging in the air that let me know the house belonged to a paranormal family.

Hopefully, they were friendly.

At times like these, I felt stupid for locking up my magick. I weaved my senses throughout the house and realized it was full of them–paranormals. I just couldn’t tell what kind they were.

My forensic case involved a paranormal girl, and now I was in a paranormal household. I didn’t believe in coincidences.


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About the Author

Angelina Kerner

ANGELINA KERNER is an author of paranormal and lighthearted romance. She’s the wife of a photographer/physicist, and the mother of a cute little toddler, but she’s also been a dancer, a psychologist, an anthropologist, a geographer, a dreamer, and an adventurer. She does her best writing while being bothered by her cats, taking care of her son, in dressing rooms while waiting for family to try on clothing, and at home in sunny California. Angelina loves to play goddess-dragon matchmaker, transporting readers to a place where young goddesses have lovable flaws, the Fates plan to dethrone, the universe is endless and untamed, and dragons roam free! She also loves to write carefree romance where one can finish reading with a smile.

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Book Highlight: Touch of Smoke

Welcome to the Touch of Smoke tour! This beauty is the latest offering from author, Karissa Laurel. If you like your romance mixed with the supernatural, then this book is for you!

In addition to an exclusive excerpt, you will also have the chance to win a signed paperback copy, and some sweet bookish swag! Be sure to enter the giveaway at the bottom!

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Touch of Smoke

Publication Date: February 12th, 2019

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Three years ago, Rikki Albemarle watched her best friend die at the hands of supernatural evil. Certain she was slated to be the next victim, Rikki fled her small Smoky Mountain hometown, vowing to never come back. Plagued by nightmares and knowing she’s the only one who believes Mina’s death was no accident, Rikki returns with hopes of finding answers and holding the killer accountable.

Rikki is convinced the key to unlocking the secret of Mina’s death lies with Owen Amir, the alluring young army vet who once claimed her heart. But the deeper Rikki digs into Owen’s past, the more she’s torn between the urgings of her heart and her memories of him on the night Mina died.

After falling further into the rabbit hole, Rikki lands at the feet of an ancient and powerful evil determined to finish what it started years before. To survive, she’ll have to make a decision: believe Owen is the monster she always feared he might be or trust him enough to stay and fight for a second chance at love.

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Excerpt

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Owen huffed and shook his head but fished in his pocket until he found a small key ring. He selected an old brass one that he jiggled into the bolt lock over the warehouse’s rusty door handle. “Would have told you to put on jeans and boots if I’d known you wanted to go inside.”

Glancing at my shredded jean shorts and low-cut Chuck Taylors, I thanked Jesus I’d recently boosted my tetanus shot. “Not asking for a grand tour. Show me what you can from the threshold.”

Owen shook his head again, but he shoved his shoulder against the heavy door. It squealed as it gave way, swinging open on rusted hinges. I pushed past him, stepping farther into the room, but stopped at the edge of the small illuminated square thrown by Dolly’s headlights. “Just give me the general idea.”

His boot steps echoed in the open space as he moved behind me. Taking my shoulders, he shifted me until I faced the warehouse’s rear, where the light failed to reach. “The back wall there”—he pointed, leaning over my shoulder—“will be where we’ll line up the distilling tanks.” He wrapped an arm around my waist and spun us around like partners in a slow dance. A warm thrill raced through me as his lips brushed my ear. “And over there will be the café.”

My pulse throbbed in my ears, my chest, my lips. It wouldn’t be enough, these limited touches, these coy games, this not-so-subtle flirtation. With Owen, my options were sink or swim, and no matter how much reason and logic urged me to do otherwise, I was sinking, utterly drowning in him. I stumbled back and fought for a breath to clear my head, but my heel connected with an obstacle hidden in the shadows. I lost my footing and squeaked a feeble protest as gravity waged war against my balance.

The moment I was certain I would hit the floor and smash my tailbone, Owen grabbed my arm and yanked. Still off balance but with the added element of momentum, I plowed into him, tackling him to the floor.

Or that was what should have happened.

Instead, the world jumped up and swirled around me in a blur of blue sparks and shadows, air roaring in my ears like a tornado. I blinked, and the impression of someone—or something—huge, dark, and beastly burned behind my eyelids. When the dizzy moment passed, I found myself back on my feet, upright, and firmly wrapped in Owen’s arms. His heat blazed against me, filling my head with his smoky scent until I felt drunk and woozy.

“What…?” I shook my head and cleared my throat, but the intoxicating sensation remained. “What just happened?”

“You stumbled. I caught you.”

“No.” I squirmed, and he dropped his arms, releasing me. A thousand minuscule candles seemed to flicker in his eyes, giving them an otherworldly aura. I inched back, my steps wobbly. “We were falling. We should have hit the floor.”

His lips twitched. “I’m quick on my feet, Rikki. Give me some credit.”

Squinting, I studied him, his wide stance and the set of his jaw, full of self-confidence. He rolled his broad shoulders and grinned, obviously enjoying my scrutiny. Again, his presence seemed larger than the mere height and width of his physical body. Like a cowl and cape, dense shadows draped over him, and they seemed tangible enough to touch. When I reached out to stroke them, Owen drew back.

The shadows fled.

I shivered.

With no better explanation than to assume an overdose of adrenaline and desire had colored my perception, I dismissed my concerns and shrugged, heading for the door. “You’re not quick on your feet. You’re The Flash on steroids.”

His laughter followed me into the parking lot, but it was callous and more than a little cold.

The drive to my house was quiet, the atmosphere between us thick. If humans had animal instincts, then the wild creature inside me was insisting the man sitting in the passenger seat was more predator than appearance suggested. Something about Owen had changed. He was a tiger, I was his mouse, and I should run before he swallowed me whole. When I caught him staring at me, the dark look on his face implied he might do that very thing, given the chance.

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About the Author

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Karissa lives in North Carolina with her kid, her husband, the occasional in-law, and a very hairy husky. Some of her favorite things are coffee, chocolate, and superheroes. She can quote Princess Bride verbatim. She loves to read and has a sweet tooth for fantasy, sci-fi, and anything in between. In the summer, she loves to be on the water, on the boat or in her kayak. When it snows, you’ll find her on the slopes.

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Blog Tour Schedule

March 11th

Reads & Reels (Review) http://www.readsandreels.com

Where Dragons Reside (Excerpt) https://kernerangelina.live/

Crystal’s Book World (Excerpt) http://crystalsbookworld.wordpress.com

The Writer’s Alley (Review) https://www.jacobrundle.com

March 12th

The Most Sublime (Review) https://themostsublime.com

Breakeven Books (Excerpt) https://breakevenbooks.com

March 13th

SnoopyDoo’s Book Reviews (Excerpt) http://snoopydoosbookreviews.com/

March 14th

Bobo’s Book Bank (Excerpt) http://bobosbookbank.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Review) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Jessica Rachow (Review) http://jessicarachow.wordpress.com

March 15th

Misty’s Book Space (Excerpt) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

The Hufflepuff Nerdette (Review) https://thehufflepuffnerdette.wordpress.com/

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