Pages

Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Harvest Moon" and Compulsion" by K.B. Miller





Compulsion
A family secret kept hidden has been exposed, and the consequences could be deadly. 

After Lilyann Moon's beloved grandmother dies shrouded by a veil of mystery, she and her young family members are yanked from their completely normal lives and catapulted directly into the supernatural world of witchcraft. A world they know absolutely nothing about. 

The town of Hampstead, Maryland has no idea of the monsters that lurk in their midst. Or, of the dangers they will face if the Moon Coven doesn't figure out how to embrace the magick within each of them, especially Lily. 

She's suddenly up to her pointy little black hat in magickal problems. Destiny presented her with a few more, and they're pretty major - vampires, ghosts, and brogadhs.

The only bright spot in this nightmare was meeting Mason. But, is she in love with the enemy? Lilyann is in a race against time to save her town and coven. Will she survive the coming dangers, with her heart and neck intact?

It all comes down to this one night...

All Hallows Eve.


Harvest Moon
Seventeen-year-old Lochlan Moon had been groomed his entire life to accept the torch that would eventually be handed to him, and step into his destiny - to be the most powerful witch in almost five hundred years. He put his heart and soul into mastering a craft passed down through the generations of his ancestral bloodline.

Between the savage murder of a family member, and vanishing classmates, doubts that he'd kept buried began to resurface. Someone or something is on a monstrous killing spree in his home town of Hampstead. Lochlan is determined to help stop whatever it is.

All the while, his future within the family's circle teeters on a deadly precipice.

Will any of the witches survive to harness the magick within... after the Harvest Moon?

Blood Moon


where to buy 


Friday, June 28, 2013

Cover Reveal - "Uh-oh....We turned our brother into a Zombie" by K.B. Miller




Jessica Gibson Book Sale!!!



Hurry now and grab all of Jessica's book as they are only .99!!!!  We don't know how long she'll have these prices so you don't want to miss out on an awesome chance for some great books!!!



http://www.amazon.com/Jessica-Gibson/e/B005OT569M



Book Blitz - "Vigilante Nights" by Erin Richards




Vigilante Nights  by Erin Richards
Publication date: July 18th 2013
Genre: YA contemporary w/light supernatural element

Synopsis:
A "good boy" will do anything for vengeance when a gang rite kills his twin sister. Will Lucas win, or follow his sister Silver into the darkness?
After a hideous car wreck, Lucas wakes from a coma to find that his world is gutted. Not only is his beloved twin sister, Silver, gone forever, but Lucas is broken in body and spirit. He will never be a college athlete, and is robbed of what he now realizes was the most important bond of his life. Although they weren't identical twins, Lucas and Silver shared a bond so fierce it defied reason, and was nearly supernatural.
After her death, that bond seems to endure when Lucas sees Silver everywhere he turns. Either he's crazy, or Silver is trying to tell him something about the California gang initiation they stumbled into that cost Silver her life. Lucas is bent on revenge, turning on Raymond, Silver's former boyfriend; the one Lucas never wanted her to date. He forms a posse of vigilantes to take out the gangsters responsible for Silver's death, but he risks not only his own life, but the love of the new girl on his block, who knows more about Lucas and Silver than can be accounted for by mere chance.

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16287787-vigilante-nights?ac=1

Purchase:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1440562350?ie=UTF8&tag=httpwwwgoodco-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1440562350&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vigilante-nights-erin-richards/1113317499?ean=9781440562358

----

AUTHOR BIO
After bemoaning the lack of young adult books to read, Erin wrote her first novel at the age of eighteen hoping to shift the tide. Then everyday life took its toll on her writerly dreams until 2003 when she couldn’t ignore the writing bug any longer. By then, she had immersed herself in reading adult fantasy and romance novels. Writing paranormal & fantasy romance was a no brainer. Erin has published two adult romance novels: CHASING SHADOWS, a paranormal romantic suspense (EPPIE award finalist and Night Owl Romance 5-Star Top Pick) and WICKED PARADISE, a fantasy romance, released in August 2012. Erin will finally realize her lifelong dream of publishing a young adult novel when VIGILANTE NIGHTS debuts in July 2013.
Erin Richards lives in Northern California. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, photography, and American muscle cars.
Pre-Order your copy of Vigilante Nights before its official hardcover release date of July 18, 2013 and get an exclusive gift! Details at: http://www.erinrichards.com

LINKS
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Sale - Jessica Gibson


How awesome is this??? All of the books are on sale of .99 for a limited time. You know you want to snap them all up while you can :)




***Kindle Best Seller in Contemporary Fantasy***

Magic flows through Jillian Proctor's veins as surely as blood, but so far her life outside Boston has been peaceful. William Morgan blows into Jilly's life like a hurricane, unleashing her magic and sending her out of control. Unknowingly, William brings an enemy who only wants to posses the power of the witch. Jilly must learn to harness her magic before she loses it - and everything in her life is destroyed.

Amazon buy link











After the events of Mark of the Witch, Jilly at last begins to breathe easier though her powers are still growing. But can she harness them in time to confront a new chain of events that threatens to change everything?

Caroline has finally accepted her life as a witch, but when a stranger comes into her life she's forced to question her family loyalty.

The sisters are thrown together to protect a young girl from the enemy determined to hunt her down. Can they save her -- and themselves?

Amazon buy link









Ronan has lived for hundreds of years. In all of his years there has only been one for him. What will he risk to get back what is his by right?

This is a short story and is the prequel to Love and Blood and can be read at any point in the series.

Free on Amazon













Bronwyn Fitzgibbons was young and reckless. It was easy for Ronan to steal her human life and make her a vampire. She ran, but she never forgot him--or how he made her feel.

Rider saved Bronwyn from the new life she loathed and the new self she detested. His love restored her sanity. 

Now Ronan is back to claim her. She struggles like hell against him, but she cannot deny the overwhelming power of her maker. Will Bronwyn surrender to the one who could possess her utterly? Or can she find the strength to choose the one who loves her as she is?


Amazon buy link








Bronwyn left everything behind when she left with Ronan. She became what he needed her to be and forgot the rest. Too bad the past won't stay in the past.

Rider bursts back into her life uninvited, and is not the man she remembers. There is an edge to him that was not there before. Bronwyn is torn by guilt over what he has become and anger at being blamed for it.

When Ronan ended his maker’s life, he inherited a line of vampires and a whole set of problems to go along with it. Bronwyn must decide if their love is worth it, worth the killing, and the constant disruption of their lives.

Is love enough? Can Bronwyn find herself again and strike a balance between who she wants to be and who Ronan needs her to be? Or will she lose herself all over again?


Amazon buy link


Buy them, read them, love them :)


Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cover Reveal - "Scorched Treachery" by Rebecca Ethington




    Title: Scorched Treachery (Imdalind #3)
  Author: Rebecca Ethington
  Expected release date: July 12th 2013
  Genre: Paranormal (with action and romance)
  Age Group: Young Adult
  Cover designed by: Okay Creations

 While Joclyn is trapped in the tormenting hell of Cail’s mind, the battle around her only continues to grow and spread. * Edmund has infiltrated the underground hallways of Prague, guiding the massacre that would end the lives of the last of the great magical race. In her attempts to stop him, Wynifred has been captured and her magic restrained. Chained up in the ancient dungeons of Prague, her fate is left in the hands of her father, who has tried to kill her before. With Ryland’s screams and Sain’s fragmented sights as her only company, Wyn must rely on something that has been hidden deep inside of her for centuries to help them break free. * Ilyan’s whole life has been building up to one purpose. Protect the Silnỳ. He knows what he must do, and he has no doubt in his ability to do so. But when his father’s magic removes Joclyn’s mind from her body, he is left protecting the shell of the one person he loves. Desperate to find a way to break her free of her prison, he makes a choice. And that one choice changes everything. Now, Ilyan finds himself bound to Joclyn in a way that he never knew to be possible. They say that blood is thicker than water, but Black Water burns, and Ilyan’s heart may not be strong enough to keep the water pumping through his veins and give the girl he loves back into his brother’s care. Even if he can, it may not be safe to do so. Reading order: Kiss of Fire (1), Eyes of Ember (2), Scorched Treachery (3)

 photo goodreads-badge-add-38px11_zps1ae6e47f.jpg
  About the Author
  photo RebeccaEthington_zpsdb867f4c.jpg 

 Rebecca Ethington is a story teller and author from Salt Lake City, Utah. She has been telling stories since she was small. First, with writing crude scripts, and then in stage with years of theatrical performances. Rebecca’s first stint into the world of literary writing, The Imdalind Series, was released in October 2012 and since its release each book has been found in several top 100 lists on Amazon. Rebecca is a mother to two, and wife to her best friend of 14 years. Her days are spent writing, running, and enjoying life with her crazy family.
   photo AToMRToursC66a-A00aT03a-Z_mdm_zpsa3cc6896.jpg

Cover Reveal - "A Grimm Legacy" by Janna Jennings





Title: A Grimm Legacy
Author: Janna Jennings
Publisher: Patchwork press
Publication Date: October 1st, 2013

The woods of Elorium appear ordinary, at least until elves appear and the birds start talking. Four teenagers, whisked out of their own world, find themselves as the reluctant guests of the strange and secretive millionaire, Mr. Jackson—a man who knows the secrets of their families’ histories as well as the way back home. But nothing comes without a price.

Mr. Jackson’s mother is dying and the only cure is in the hands of a giant barricaded on a floating island. Unable to retrieve it himself, Mr. Jackson strikes a deal with the teens: steal the antidote and in return receive the key back to their world.

Caught in Grimm’s fairy tales with characters short on whimsy and bent towards treachery, the teens begin a race against time. Without any other way home, they are forced into fairy tale roles that may not lead to a happily ever after.


About Janna Jennings: Janna is a Colorado based YA author who loves a good fairy tale. She’s married to her own real life Prince Charming, and will usually admit to being mom of three, including her incorrigible middle child, Benny. Besides wrangling her kids she can be found doing some therapeutic baking, dreaming of the ocean, and of course, curling up with a good book.

Important Links

Check out this series




Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Check out Beary Tales...

Book Blitz - "Playing for Keeps" by Emma Hart





Blurb:



From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Emma Hart, comes the second book in The Game series, and the story everyone wanted after The Love Game…



She's in love with him. 
He's trying not to love her. 
One night changes everything.


Aston Banks never meant to get close to Megan Harper – not even for that one night. Haunted by a childhood he refuses to face, he knew she could break through every wall he’d ever built and tear them down without even realising she was doing it.

Betraying Braden by starting a relationship with Aston wasn’t on Megan’s to-do list, but the second she sees a glimpse of someone other than the arrogant ass she’s come to know, she can’t walk away.

Aston’s childhood is worse than Megan ever guessed, but as he tries and fails to push her away, it’s clear her love is stronger than the demons that cling to him every day. And now, because of it, he finally has to deal with what he’s buried deep down.

What he doesn’t want to face. What he’s fought against for so long.

And they have to do it all without Braden finding out.

Keeping a relationship secret has never been harder.



**This book can be read as a standalone novel, but reading The Love Game (The Game, #1) beforehand is advised.**




Excerpt:

ASTON:

“You okay?”
I shake my head. “No. Every time. Every fucking time he brings her up. I thought he wouldn’t in front of you, but he did.”
“He has his own pain,” she says softly. “It doesn’t excuse it, but he does. He feels guilty for what happened to you – that he couldn’t stop it.”
My mind reels for a second and I look down at her. “He told you that?”
She nods, letting her hand drop from my back and standing in front of me. I stop.
“You’ve never let him tell you.” She reaches up and cups my face. “He hurts, too, Aston. You both hurt. It’s not something that will go away, but you can’t let it rule your lives. If you let pain rule you you’ll get lost in it.”
“What if I’m already lost?”
“You’re not lost. You’re hiding, but you’re not lost. I won’t let you get lost.”
I let my hands come up and rest on her back, pulling her into me. “What if there’s no map?”
“Then I’ll get lost with you,” she whispers. “I won’t let you let them win, Aston. I won’t let you get sucked in by those demons. I won’t let that happen. I care too much.”
And she does. I can hear it in her voice.
She wraps her arms around my neck, and I hold her to me tighter, our foreheads resting against each other.
“I’ll try, Megs,” I promise. “I can’t say I won’t, but as long as you’re here, I think I’ll be okay.”
“And you’ll talk to your Gramps? Just once?”
“I’ll think about it. How about we just focus on stopping me from getting lost for a bit?”
“You just need a place to aim for, that’s all. You need a place to go to.”
“Go on then.” I smile. “Give me a place.”
“Okay.” She pauses for a second, closing her eyes and chewing her lip.
“I’m waiting…” I tease her.
Her blue eyes open, shocking me with their vitality. “Aim for the moon, because even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.”
“I don’t need to aim for the sky. The only star I’ll ever need is standing right in front of me.” I brush my lips over hers. “Maybe the place I need to aim for is nowhere other than where I am right now.”
“Maybe I’d go with you wherever you ended up.”
“Maybe I’d never ask that of you.”
“Maybe you wouldn’t need to ask. Maybe you’ll never need to ask me for anything, because I’ll always be here.”



GIVEAWAY HTML code: **OPEN INTERNATIONALLY**


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Link to Chapter One of Playing for Keeps on my website:


BOOK PLAYLIST HTML code:



THE LOVE GAME PURCHASE LINKS:



About the Author


By day, New York Times and USA Today bestselling New Adult author Emma Hart dons a cape and calls herself Super Mum to a terrible two year old and growing bump, due September 2013. By night, she drops the cape, pours a glass of juice and writes books.
Emma is working on Top Secret projects she will share with her followers and fans at every available opportunity. Naturally, all Top Secret projects involve a dashingly hot guy who likes to forget to wear a shirt, a sprinkling (or several) of hold-onto-your-panties hot scenes, and a whole lotta love.
She likes to be busy - unless busy involves doing the dishes, but that seems to be when all the ideas come to life.

Find Emma online at:
Blog: http://www.emmahartbooks.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/EmmaHartBooks
Twitter: @EmmaHartAuthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6451162.Emma_Hart

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Blog tour - Keeper the Dragon Sword" by Linze Brandon





Title:  Keeper of the Dragon Sword - The Dragon Masters by Linze Brandon
Genre:  Fantasy Romance (adult)
Release Date: April 1st, 2013

Summary:

It was definitely not her week. Her uncle had been murdered, her life had been threatened, an old school friend had re-appeared, she had two body guards and a new home. Elizabeth L'Emery was not having a good time as the new owner and chief executive of the largest fabric manufacturer on Xa'an.

Randall Storm had missed his best friend from school, but he had so many secrets that staying away from her had seemed to be the only solution to keep her safe from the uncontrollable lust for blood of his dragon half. But when he was assigned to her protection detail, he didn’t want to be anywhere else.

As they search for ways to control his magic that didn't enslave him - and didn't kill her - more threats came to try and pull them apart. When the opportunity arises to put a weapon of incredible power into her hands, Elizabeth has to decide if the violence of the blood ritual would be worth the sacrifice of becoming the Keeper of the Dragon Sword.

Author Bio:

Linzé Brandon is the pen name of a South African engineer and project manager who taught herself to read before she went to school. She started writing in a time period of her life when she was self-employed as an export consultant, and had much better time management skills. Focusing on writing what she loves to read, fantasy and paranormal romance, she does dabble in SF, erotica and erotic romance when writing short stories. It is her dream to write novels full time, but until then she divides her time between work, writing, marketing her books, cross-stitch, archery and painting mixed media abstracts.






Review:

I loved this book; from the unique bond between Elizabeth and Randall, to the powers and mystery regarding their dragon tattoos.  The story was well paced and I found myself drawn into the story to see what would happen if Elizabeth did become the dragon master and what exactly did that entail (and OMG I was totally shocked by one part...yup I'm not going to mention it but I think I would die literally LOL).  I am very excitdd to see if there will be a second book to this story to read more about Elizabeth and Randall and where their story will lead them

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cover Reveal - "By Blood" by Tracy Banghart







PRAISE FOR BY BLOOD


“By Blood effortlessly transports you to the cobblestone streets and small pubs of Oxford, and Emma’s sassy voice pulls you right into the story with its hot British boys and touch of magic. A must read!” —Susanne Winnacker, author of Impostor and The Other Life

“A five star read from start to finish. Un-put-downable!” —Vanessa Garbin, author of the forthcoming Captivate

"Emma's sarcastic, biting narrative and the lure of Celtic myth and magic constructs a brilliant book to cosy up with...if you dare!" ~ 21st Century Once Upon a Times blog

"Love this book! It's a sweet little gem and I am glad that I got to read it! If you are looking for a story that is fun and quick, then I would recommend this book. You will want to know what happens to Emma in the matters of boys, family and adventure!" ~ Sarah, Me My Shelf And I blog


BY BLOOD EXCERPT #1

The baby was still crying. For a split second, I imagined taking my static-y, synthetic airplane pillow and pressing it against his face, until the blood-curdling screams stopped and there was, finally, silence.
I sighed.
“Come on, you little poop machine!” I muttered, voice edging into desperation. I made yet another silly face and wiggled my fingers at him. I tried bouncing him on my knee. Not that it made a difference. He kept crying, his face an angry red verging on purple. I peeked furtively at the other passengers; their dirty looks were hard to ignore. At any moment the leathery, pack-a-day military guy across the aisle was going to vent his obvious frustration, or the flight attendant intervene.
Mom breathed deeply next to me, her soft, doughy body slumped against the wall of the plane. Her black hair was swept into a low bun, clearly exposing a neon orange ear plug.
“Mom,” I whispered, nudging her more gently than she deserved. She didn’t move. “Mom!” I hoisted the kid into her lap and her arms automatically reached out to cuddle him close. Her eyes opened a slit.
When she saw me looking, she raised an eyebrow in question and removed the ear plug. And winced, as the baby’s wails redoubled.
”Please take Vermin,” I begged, “I’m pretty sure the guys in Row 14 are trying to figure out how they can kill us and make it look like an accident.”
Mom glared. “Emma, don’t be silly. And don’t call him that. Your grandfather would roll in his grave.” I opened my mouth to tell her I didn’t care what Grandpa Fermin did in his grave, but her look when she turned to gaze at her little mutant son stopped me. No scowl for him, even though he was still huffing and sputtering in distress. She tickled his belly – just like I’d done not two minutes ago – and elicited a mostly toothless and more importantly silent smile. Her expression melted into a look of love so obvious I thought for a moment I might be sick. When I slumped back in my seat, my elbow cracked painfully against the armrest.
With a happy gurgle, Vermin reached out and grabbed a chunk of my hair. I gave him a grimace, the closest thing to a smile I could manage. I tried to keep the revulsion from my face. It’s not like he was ugly. He already had a full head of silky dark hair, and wide, deceptively innocent eyes. He looked mostly Filipino, like Mom, except for his milky skin.
It wasn’t his fault I hated him.
But the fact remained that his presence meant my mom was having sex with someone other than my father. His very existence meant that my family would never be the same.

EXCERPT #2

Probably it was just lack of sleep and not the consumption of cider that made my heels skitter dangerously against the cobblestones as I tottered my way back towards the house. As I walked, my mind flickered aimlessly from thoughts of Colin’s wolfish grin to wondering if the graceful swashes of graffiti on the concrete wall I passed were Arabic. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t make myself concentrate on anything useful. Like walking straight. Or where I’d put my purse.
I got halfway down the block before Josh caught up with me. “Hey, wait up,” he said and grabbed my arm when I stumbled a little.
“So did you punch him?” I giggled. If there had been a fight, I was glad Josh won. He kept his hand on my arm as we walked.
“What?” Josh asked.
For a second I couldn’t remember my question; I was too busy imagining Josh’s fist connecting with Colin’s too-pronounced jaw. Ha.
“You know, all that testosterone back there…” My hand reached over of its own accord and squeezed his bicep. “I thought we were going to have an international incident.” I’d never had a guy fight over me before. Not that Josh had fought over me. Not really. Though he’d had a protective vibe going on that was kind of hot. Not that I thought he was hot. Well, I did, but—
Suddenly my heel caught on the edge of a brick and my ankles wobbled. Josh tightened his grip on me and I tried not to lean on him too heavily as he led me forward.
“Jeez. You don’t hold your liquor very well. Are you okay?” He really did have beautiful eyes: clear cobalt blue with dark rings around the irises.
“It’s not like I’ve had a lot of practice,” I replied. “And yes, I’m fine. It’s just my shoes.”
“Not just. But I see your point. Those heels look lethal.”
There was something sexy about a guy who could appreciate my death-defying footwear. I flicked the boot’s stiletto heel in his direction, showing off a little. And teetered. My arms flailed and my elbow made contact with some portion of Josh’s anatomy. He grunted and I wobbled more. Oh crap. I was going down. Even worse, another of my ridiculous giggles spewed out. Just my luck I’d be the silly giggling girl with a broken ankle.
Before I could do real damage, though, Josh caught me, strong hands on my waist. He held me close, chest to breasts, until I was steady again on my feet, and then let his hands move to my wrists, a final reassurance that I wasn’t going to go toppling over.
My eyes trailed downward, drawn by the pressure of his hands on my arms, and widened when I saw a small sparkly box hanging from his wrist.
“My purse!” I exclaimed with relief.
He hastily handed it to me, as if he’d just remembered that he’d been carrying a lady’s purse around. “Oh yeah. I figured you’d be wanting that.”
I threw my arms around his neck, my exuberance knocking him back a step. “Thank you so much. You just saved my life. Seriously!”
Before my brain had a chance to catch up to my body, which was reveling in the feel of his warm, steadying hands on my waist, I stretched up to give him an enthusiastic kiss on the cheek. And somehow made contact with his lips.
I didn’t even have time to close my eyes and enjoy it.
“Whoa, whoa there.” His hands fell from my sides as if I’d burned him, and he took a big step back. “It was no problem. Really.” He reached out, without moving any closer, and gave me an awkward, brotherly pat on the arm. “I think we need to get you home. I didn’t realize one drink would be such a big deal for you.”
Oh no. What was I thinking? I stood frozen, mouth open.
Josh walked a few steps, but when he saw that I wasn’t following he paused.
“Come on, Emma.” His eyes were shadowed, hiding his expression.
I didn’t want to follow him. I wanted slink to the ground and slither away, find a hole somewhere, someplace where I could die of embarrassment.


EXCERPT #3

“This time we’ll each invoke the element of nature we want to draw strength from. Each of us will make an offering—” Simon pointed to the empty bowl. I swallowed. “—and then I’ll close the circle by submitting our offering to the universe.”
I didn’t have a clue what he meant by that, but the last ritual had been pretty easy to follow.
He opened the Grove the same way he’d done before, flashing the sword at East, South, West, and North, and invoking each of the four elements. Again, I felt the tingle of the living Earth beneath my feet. The air was much clearer tonight; a gusty breeze rustled through the watchful trees and set Simon’s candle flickering.
Again, Simon said, “Now that we have called on the elements, we may proceed with the work of the Grove.” And Harrison, Simon, George and Molly purified the circle by air, fire, water and earth.
We’d started tonight’s ceremony later, and long shadows played against our faces. Bryna’s hair flamed in the glow of the setting sun. Tonight felt different; there was an edge to the anticipation. Ash wasn’t smiling. But we were all waiting, tensed to see what would happen next.
Simon set the bowl with the votive on the ground and held up the flask and the sword. “I invoke the spirit of flame to infuse this Grove with strength.” His voice was strong. He took a sip from the flask and then walked to the center of the circle. “By my blood,” he said and nicked his palm with the blade.
I watched a thin trickle of blood drip into the bowl. My face felt hot. When Diana and I were ten, we made ourselves blood sisters, pricking our palms with needles and squishing the tiny drops of blood together. That had been fun, silly even. We’d giggled through the whole thing.
This—this felt real. There was real power in the words Simon said, in the drops of his blood in that bowl. I breathed deeply, watching in fascination as Simon resumed his place and handed Ash the flask and sword. She wiped the tip of the blade against her bare leg and took a drink from the flask.
When she spoke, she did it with authority. “I invoke the spirit of all warm living, breathing things to give this Grove strength. By my blood.” A few more drops of cherry red blood fell into the bowl.
“I invoke the spirit of unyielding stone.” George hissed when the sword slid against his skin.
“I don’t know if I can do this,” Molly declared, looking askance at the sword. But in the end, she invoked the spirit of spring – rebirth, she said – and made a little cut on her palm with a squeal.
It was my turn next. I felt the weight of the sword in my hand, looked down to see my white dress shimmering in the gloom of twilight. What strength did I want from the earth? What power did I wish I had? As I thought, I stepped to the center of the circle and took a gulp from the flask – the flavor was different this time. Spicy, dark. Like red wine, but sharper. It left a coppery taste, like blood, on my tongue.
Suddenly, I remembered the calm I’d felt Saturday, meditating with Ash. The flow of my breath, inhalation, exhalation like waves. “I invoke the spirit of the sea,” I said, and my voice didn’t shake. “By my blood, I ask the ocean to lend us its strength.”
Quickly, so I didn’t have time to think, I swiped the tip of the sword against my skin. The cut burned, but it was shallow and only a few drops of blood leaked out. I stepped back to my place and passed the flask and sword to Harrison.
“I invoke the spirit of air,” he said, gesturing to the incense in the bowl at his feet. I could smell the sandalwood faintly; it mixed oddly with the spicy dark flavor in my mouth.
Bryna went last, and she cut herself the most deeply. I gasped at the small stream of blood as it flowed into the bowl. She invoked the spirit of thunder.
I pressed my palms together and felt the sting of my cut; it had almost stopped bleeding, but I didn’t want to get blood on my dress.
Walking to the center of the circle, Simon held the blood-filled vessel up to the sky. “By earth, air, water and fire,” he said, his voice ringing, “and by our blood, we invoke the strength of flame, of living, breathing things, of stone, spring, and the sea. We invoke the strength of the very air around us and in our lungs, and we invoke the strength of thunder.”
As he said the words, a great gust of wind blew through the glade, whipping my hair off my face. I could almost feel the earth shift beneath me, almost hear the faint rumble of thunder in the distance. My mouth was full of the taste of blood, and my skin shivered under the touch of the wind.
For a moment, we all stared at each other, our eyes wide.
Did that just—what was that?


SOUNDTRACK FOR BY BLOOD

To get in the mood to write By Blood, I listened to British pop music for the fun Oxford touristy bits and dreamy, atmospheric songs for the Druid rituals. Some of my favorites:

Follow Me Home, Sugababes
Sin Sin Sin, Robbie Williams
You Never Get What You Deserve, Starsailor
Goodbye My Lover, James Blunt
People Got a Lotta Nerve, Neko Case
On My Way Back Home, Band of Horses
Your Heart Is As Black As Night, Melody Gardot
First Love, Adele
Cannonball, Damien Rice
Criminal, Fiona Apple
If You Want Me, from the movie Once
Finding My Own Way, Charlotte Church
The Moon and Sky, Sade


GUEST POST ~ THE BEAUTY OF A BADASS CHICK

One of my biggest role models when I was in high school was Buffy Summers, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Growing up, I constantly felt like I had to prove I was just as strong/smart/brave as the boys.  And here was Buffy, a short, dainty blond chick who was constantly underestimated…and then totally kicked people’s butts.

The truth is, being a girl can be awfully scary sometimes. It’s just a fact of nature that we’re often shorter or weaker than our male counterparts, and that can lead to moments where we feel powerless or out of control.

Emma, the main character in By Blood, is a short, curvaceous chick, but it was really important to me that she also be strong enough to take care of herself. Not with special powers, but with knowledge and a little skill. Her dad’s a cop and she helps him teach self-defense classes, so she has the tools to defend herself (which, yes, she has occasion to use in By Blood! ;-)). Here’s a little peek at one of these classes:

Dad moved to stand behind me, then simulated a slow-motion attack so I could demonstrate as I explained the best techniques to evade or incapacitate an assailant. I walked the girls through “SING” – solar plexus, instep, nose, groin – and they laughed at the funny face Dad made when I pretended to hit him in the crotch.
“Remember,” I said, “it doesn’t matter how tall or short you are, or whether you’re in shape.” I made a grand gesture that started at my black sneakers and swept up purple leg warmers, black leggings, to the loose gray tunic that clung to my curves. “I’m not exactly intimidating, right? I’m shorter than most of you for one thing. But that doesn’t mean I can’t protect myself.” I shifted my position, ready for the next move. “The more we practice, the more muscle memory we build, so our instincts when in danger will be the right instincts.”
Now came the best part—the part that got the oohs and aahs. Dad reached over my shoulders and before you could say “speeding ticket” I had him on the floor, belly up on the mat. The girls started clapping and a couple laughed in surprise. Dad grinned up at me. I loved that he let me lead the class, and that he was okay with me throwing him around in front of a bunch of girls. Not all cops were cool like that. Not all Dads either.

There are lots of places to take self-defense classes, and resources online and elsewhere that can give you tips on how to protect yourself. As Emma says, you don’t have to be in great shape or a black belt to save yourself in a scary moment. All you need is knowledge – and maybe a little practice!

Here’s an example of some good self-defense tips! http://lifehacker.com/5825528/basic-self+defense-moves-anyone-can-do-and-everyone-should-know






TRACY E. BANGHART AUTHOR BIO

Tracy E. Banghart is a cheesy movie–loving, fantasy football–playing (go Ravens!), globe-trotting Army wife who began “practicing” her craft at the age of five, when she wrote her first story. She loves visiting the international friends she met while pursuing her MA in Publishing and spends a portion of every summer at her family’s cabin in Canada, where she finds inspiration and lots of time to relax on the dock. She lives with her husband, son, two lazy dogs and one ornery cat. When not writing or spending time with her family, she is on a mission to bake the perfect cupcake.

Tracy’s next novel, Moon Child, a companion to By Blood, will be available this August!



a Rafflecopter giveaway