Tag Archives: demons

Release Blitz: Demon’s Wish by Xenia Melzer

Demon’s Wish | Xenia Melzer

Demon Mates #1

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Release Date: January 5th, 2021

Length: 53,035 / 201 pages

Buy Links:

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Series Link: https://www.firstforromance.com/series/demon-mates

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Blurb

Finding love is hard—especially when you’re a demon and your potential mate is your sacrifice…

Sammy is content with running his bookshop and leading a book club consisting solely of paranormal creatures. Despite the persistence of his friends, he has resolved himself to a life without romance, since he doesn’t think anybody could find him and his tendency to spill useless knowledge whenever he gets nervous attractive.

Dresalantion is a demon prince and slightly—make that majorly—annoyed when somebody persistently tries to summon him. He finally decides to show up and put the fear of Dresalantion into his summoners but finds himself rescuing their sacrifice instead.

Sammy intrigues him from the get-go, and when Dre realizes that Sammy can get him the manga he’s been hunting for months—not to mention that he refuses a wish he offered him—the sexy demon decides to get to know this fascinating man better. Much better.

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of kidnapping and an attempted human sacrifice.

Excerpt

“Is everybody set?”

Sammy looked around the group of people gathered in his bookstore. It was Wednesday, which meant there would be a book club meeting after closing hours. Their little group met at least twice every month to discuss books and interesting topics related to books, and Sammy loved it. It had formed half a year after he had opened his shop, Sammy’s Book Corner, and the participants had become something like a family to him, which he desperately needed after his parents had died five years before. He gazed around to make sure everybody had their stash of cookies—this time provided by Mavis and Maribell, the two witches—along with their favorite drink.

The delicious smell of freshly baked cookies mixed with the aroma of two hazelnut toffee lattes, the sharper tang of two Chai teas—heavy on the cinnamon—and his own hot chocolate before the familiar background scent of books, both old and new, made him once again congratulate himself on buying the fancy coffeemaker and establishing the little lounging area across from his cash counter. The members of their book club were seated on the four old couches around two low tables, getting comfortable.

Sammy was especially proud of this setup, since he had found all the furniture at flea markets and had given them each a do-over. The whiskey-colored leather couch hadn’t been much work. Just cleaning and treating the leather with a special balm had made the piece shine again. It now smelled faintly of beeswax, something that made Sammy crave a peppermint tea with honey every time he sat on it. The two chaises had required more effort. He had upholstered them and given them each a new cloth as well. Now customers could sit down on the colors of the rainbow to read their latest purchase. The last item was a lounger whose frame he had painted in pink then sprinkled with golden glitter for good measure. A turquoise throw made the piece stand out. One of the tables was covered in dots of various sizes and colors, and the other one had wall tattoos of Drogon and Smaug looking at each other on a black background.

Sammy was the first to admit that his artistic talent was closer to what a six-year old could produce than the fine artistry people with a real gift made, but he had done a good job with the furniture and his shop. Perhaps it was because he loved his little haven of books so much that it brought out the best in him. Except for the laptop in his office and the coffeemaker, nothing in the shop was new. Most everything had come from flea markets and garage sales, making for an interesting and charming mix of styles. Sammy had dedicated quite some time matching his books with the furniture. His antiques were stacked in open wardrobes that matched their age—or came close to it. The fantasy and science fiction books lived on shelves from IKEA, which he had sprayed silver. The romance books had found their home in old wooden wine crates that were clustered around the shop in small stacks of six to ten. Comics and manga were stashed in big boxes he had built from panoplies and painted in different hues of blue. The shop was Sammy’s idea of home, a feeling that seemed to convey itself, because most of his customers were regulars and loved hanging out in the place.

Sammy looked at his fellow book club members and adopted family and felt a brief shudder when he remembered their last meeting, where Amber the banshee had insisted on providing the baked goods. She might be four hundred years old, but just like every other banshee in the world, her baking skills were those of a blind man who had to find his way in a kitchen with both arms tied behind his back. Nonexistent. According to Emilia, the vampire in their group, this had something to do with their magic, which allowed them to pinpoint the exact time of death for every person. Apparently, the mixture of being able to look into the future without upsetting the balance of time and still warning people of their impending end didn’t go well with any kind of cooking. As to why exactly that was, Emilia couldn’t—or wouldn’t—tell. As the only human in a group of paranormals, Sammy had gotten used to not knowing everything. There was too much going on and he had learned soon after stepping into this world that ignorance truly was bliss in many cases where paranormals were involved. He would have preferred to know about Amber’s anti-talent in the kitchen, though, before he’d accepted her offer to bring snacks.

Per group vote, Amber had been banned from ever bringing sweets to the meetings again, even though Jon, the zombie living in the cellar under the bookshop, had later confessed to Sammy that the stone-hard lumps weren’t that bad, once one managed to get through the crust—the burnt, black crust that may or may not once have been sugar. Sammy swallowed hard. Just remembering the taste made his stomach revolt. And he hadn’t even been able to get to the core of the—he tried to find a fitting word for the deadly pieces of ballistic bakery and finally settled for ‘pastries’. Declan and Troy, the two werewolf alphas, as well as Emilia, had sharper teeth and more strength in their jaws, yet the looks on their faces when the crust gave way had been disturbing, to put it mildly.

“I don’t see what’s so different about these,” Amber declared with a pout while holding up a perfectly shaped chocolate chip cookie. Her pixie cut with the neon green hair went well with the huge, sapphire-green earrings, the thick golden chain with various amulets dangling from her neck, the five leather bracelets with Celtic runes etched into them and the approximately twelve rings she was wearing on her fingers. Compared to her jewelry, her outfit was plain—black skinny jeans, black sneakers and a black shirt with a sparkling unicorn on it, declaring Eat My Stardust, Suckers.

“The difference, my dear Amber, is that these cookies can be eaten without costing you a tooth. I’m so sorry to break this to you, but your baking skills are what I imagine Terry Pratchett had in mind when he created dwarf bread.”

Declan put one of the cookies in his mouth, munched on it with an expression of pure bliss on his ridiculously handsome face and gulped it down. He and Troy, who wasn’t there on that day due to business, looked like everybody’s wet dream. They were tall and had angular faces with chiseled jaws and sharp cheekbones, broad shoulders, slim hips, long, muscular legs and hair so thick and healthy that Sammy knew women would murder for it. Apparently, the good looks were part of the genetic makeup of shifters, but Sammy still found it almost offensive how perfect Declan and Troy were. Like two sides of a coin, one dark and dangerous, the other blond and…well, dangerous, they were a constant temptation for women and men alike. When they’d first joined the book club, Sammy had had some disturbingly hot dreams about threesomes with them and it had taken him almost four months until he had been able to put them firmly in the ‘friend zone’. It had helped—once they’d felt comfortable enough to relax during the meetings—to see their true selves. Because, no matter how perfect their looks were, the two werewolves were almost annoyingly arrogant and overconfident, as was typical for alphas—or so Sammy had been told by Jon. Their saving grace was a great sense of humor and their unusual choice of favorite book—Pride and Prejudice. After they had confessed this, nobody in their little circle was able to take them too seriously anymore, because how could somebody who loved the perfect book be a bad person? The posturing was just that—a façade to frighten potential enemies away—and the paranormal world was full of those.

“Dwarf bread?” Amber lifted one of her meticulously plucked eyebrows, a hint of steel in her voice.

“Don’t take it to heart, dear. If you want, you can come over and maybe we can teach you how to get them right.”

Maribell smiled at Amber and patted her hand. The witch looked like a nice, elderly lady with her flower-print dress, the square handbag and the perfectly coiffed bun at the back of her head. Her thick black hair was infused with gray strands, and around her almond-shaped eyes—a heritage from her Asian father—laugh lines softened her features. Sammy knew better, though. Maribell reminded him of his first-grade teacher, Mrs. Smithson, who had been able to shut unruly pupils up with one stern look. Those who inspired her displeasure quickly learned that there was nothing worse than the wrath of a teacher provoked…except for the wrath of witches. And with Mavis and Maribell, the first lesson was also the last.

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About the Author

Xenia Melzer was born and raised in a small village in the South of Bavaria. As one of nature’s true chocoholics, she’s always in search of the perfect chocolate experience. So far, she’s had about a dozen truly remarkable ones. Despite having been in close proximity to the mountains all her life, she has never understood why so many people think snow sports are fun. There are neither chocolate nor horses involved and it’s cold by definition, so where’s the sense? She does not like beer either and has never been to the Oktoberfest – no quality chocolate there.

Even though her mind is preoccupied with various stories most of the time, Xenia has managed to get through school and university with surprisingly good grades. Right after school she met her one true love who showed her that reality is capable of producing some truly amazing love stories itself.

While she was having her two children, she started writing down the most persistent stories in her head as a way of relieving mommy-related stress symptoms. As it turned out, the stress-relief has now become a source of the same, albeit a positive one.

When she’s not writing, she translates the stories of other authors into German, enjoys riding and running, spending time with her kids, and dancing with her husband. If you want to contact her, please visit either her website, or write her an email.

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Giveaway

Enter to win signed/personalised copies of books 1 & 2 in the Club Whisper series and a $5.00 First For Romance Gift Code!

Enter Here

Notice: This competition ends on 13th January 2021 at 5pm GMT. Competition hosted by Totally Entwined Group.

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Blog Tour: The Werewolf And His Boy by Warren Rochelle

The Werewolf And His Boy | Warren Rochelle

BANNER2 - The Werewolf and His Boy

Publisher: JMS Books

Release Date: August 26th, 2020

Length: 87,837

Buy Links:

Publisher | Amazon | B&N | Kobo

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Blurb

Their leap of faith could unleash magic—or plunge them into darkness.

Henry Thorn has worked at Larkin’s since graduating high school. He likes it—especially when he can use his secret skill of hiding inside shadows so his boss can’t find them. Without that talent, he would never had survived growing up different.

When a hire enters the store, Henry’s other latent talent kicks in. He can smell an emotional response even before he lays eyes on the redhead.

Jamey Currey came out, and his conservative parents promptly kicked him out. He, too, is different—he senses Henry’s attraction the moment they met. The first time they kiss, torrential rains fall from skies split by lightning.

Their kiss also awakens the Watchers, diabolical hunters who will stop at nothing—even extermination—to keep magic suppressed. With the help of a friendly coven of friendly witches, the boys embark on a quest to discover an ancient key to restoring magic to the world, and to understand mysteries of their own hearts.

The question is, will this quest cost them their lives?

MEME1 - The Werewolf and His Boy

Excerpt

Jamey screamed. Henry’s heart turned over.

Dr. Melloy grabbed a long, carved oaken staff from a corner and stood very still for a moment. “My books, almost all my books, are in this house, and some of these are my mother’s, my grandmother’s,” she whispered, clearly in pain. “Let’s go,” she said, sighing heavily as she threw the heavy zipped bag over her shoulder and ran for the door. Henry hugged his duffel and blanket to his chest and ran after her. He wanted to tell her thank you, thank you, for saving him and Jamey, and that she was one of the coolest — no, the coolest person he had ever met. She had been so nice to him ever since he had moved in and he wasn’t sure he really knew why. I‘ll thank her. When things calm down I will definitely thank her.

Up the stairs, down the hall, in and out of pools of light from this lamp, the other, the overhead, the front door, and down and Jamey stood holding onto the car door.

They looked up.

No stars. No moon. Shadows, winged, darker and blacker than any shadows around them. The lead one keened, high and sharp.

“Watchers,” Dr. Melloy said. Behind the creatures were the beginnings of a storm. Lightning snapped and forked, striking the professor’s house and setting the roof ablaze. Fire came down the roof, down the gutter pipes, the brick wall, over the windows, into the bushes growing against the house and into the pine-straw-covered yard that crackled, snapped, into flame.

“Jamey, Henry, get behind me, now,” Dr. Melloy shouted as the Watchers hovered just above the thicket of cedars that screened the house from the street. They screeched and keened, throwing themselves against some invisible wall between them and the witch and the two naked boys.

Jamey hooked one arm around Henry’s neck, and then he hopped as Henry half-carried him to stand behind the witch. Thunder, loud, close. Lighting struck the house again. Muttering, Dr. Melloy thrust her staff upward and light poured out of it as she threw out a fine, gauzy, sparkling net that spread out and over and above them, shimmering against the darkness. Something shattered, and grey and white chunks of dying light fell into the cedars and the gravel and hard earth of the driveway.

“Dammit! They broke the first ring of wards!” Dr. Melloy yelled over what now seemed like constant thunder and the roar of the fire. The wind tore at the flames, throwing bits and pieces into the air and the now-burning cedars. Flames and heat pushed against the net that glowed between them and the burning house and yard and trees.

“What are we going to do? Henry? Where’d he go?” Jamey yelled back, then stopped. Henry squeezed the arm around his neck with one hand, Jamey’s waist with the other. Henry seemed to be flickering in and out of sight, the way he had done in Larkin’s. Jamey could see the flames through Henry.

Henry looked at his hands, his feet: they were invisible. He shuddered, flickered on and off. “We wait just a few minutes more — oh, werewolves do that — camouflage, on and off. Henry, try to calm down.”

“Wait?” Henry said, his voice trembling. He could feel and smell Jamey’s fear and his own fear. Calm down?

“There are two more rings of wards and this shield-net, and all three have to be breached for those Watchers to get to us. We just have to hold on for a few more minutes. If only the moon were full,” she added. “I’d have a lot more power to draw on. Can’t be helped.”

Something shattered. Chunks of light, this time, gold, fell again. A third shattering followed right behind the second, green chunks of light. Thunder. Lightning. Wind, bits of fire in the air, fire engulfing the house, the trees.

“Get right behind me. Get close.”

The Watchers were right on the other side of the shield-net. They pushed, keened, ripped. The shield quivered. Bits fell.

A siren, another, and then another. The Watchers screamed.

“Finally,” Dr. Melloy muttered.

“The fire department can stop these things?” Henry asked as he helped Jamey get as close to her as they could, their bodies bumping against hers.

“Watchers fear disclosure more than anything. Nothing attracts attention like a fire truck. And it looks like everybody in the neighborhood is out in the street. They could ignore the first few, but not this mob.”

More thunder. The sirens were getting closer. The heat of the burning house and trees pressed against the shield-net. Sweat dripped down Henry’s face, his back. His eyes burned from the salt, even as he tried to wipe it away with his free hand. With his other hand he held on tight to Jamey. Henry could feel Jamey’s sweat on his bare skin; he knew if he licked Jamey’s skin, he would taste salt. The Watchers charged against the net, and ripped, their claws caught in its shimmer and sparkle, frantic to beat the coming fire trucks.

“Get in the car. They’re almost here.”

Henry shoved Jamey into the backseat and crawled in after him and jerked the door closed. Dr. Melloy threw out one last layer of net, this time over the car, and slammed her door closed just as the sirens slowed down. Heavy tires crunched on gravel. He heard water hit fire as one truck started with the burning trees. With the Watchers screaming in the air above them, Dr. Melloy stepped on the gas, barreled down the driveway, hung a left onto Three Chopt, and drove through the crowd. Then she really floored it.

About The Author

Warren Rochelle lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, and has just retired from teaching English at the University of Mary Washington.

His short fiction and poetry have been published in such journals and anthologies as Icarus, North Carolina Literary Review, Forbidden Lines, Aboriginal Science Fiction, Collective Fallout, Queer Fish 2, Empty Oaks, Quantum Fairy Tales, Migration, The Silver Gryphon, Jaelle Her Book, Colonnades, and Graffiti, as well as the Asheville Poetry Review, GW Magazine, Crucible, The Charlotte Poetry Review, and Romance and Beyond.

His short story, “The Golden Boy,” was a finalist for the 2004 Spectrum Award for Short Fiction. His short story “Mirrors,” was just published in Under A Green Rose, a queering romance anthology, from Cuil Press. “The Latest Thing,” a flash fiction story, is in the Queer Sci Fi anthology, Innovation.

Rochelle is also the author of four novels: The Wild Boy (2001), Harvest of Changelings (2007), and The Called (2010), all published by Golden Gryphon Press, and The Werewolf and His Boy, published by Samhain Publishing in September 2016. The Werewolf and His Boy was re-released from JMS Books in August 2020. The Wicked Stepbrother and Other Stories is forthcoming from JMS Books in late September 2020.

Social Media

Author Facebook (Personal): https://www.facebook.com/warren.rochelle

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/warrenwriter/

Author Twitter: https://twitter.com/WarrenRochelle

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/38355.Warren_Rochelle

Giveaway

Warren is giving away a $20 Amazon gift card with this tour

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I’m running out of superlatives to describe this utterly brilliant urban fantasy series

54477020._SY475_On the Wings of War by Hailey Turner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beyond good, so much so I’m struggling for words to review just how brilliantly Hailey has crafted this instalment in the fabulous Soulbound series.

This time we’re in both London and Paris as the search for the Morrigan’s missing staff sees Patrick forging an uneasy alliance with vampire Lucien.

I have to say, with each book Hailey impresses me more and more with the way she reaches into the lesser-known mythologies and folklore of the world.

Here I’m taken back to my childhood reading Andrew Lang’s Red Fairy Book, where I first encountered the Slavic character of Baba Yaga in The Death of Koschei the Deathless.

I love this about this series, the titles always give a small clue as to what the mythologies might touch on.

You never know which way Hailey will take her versions, will they aid or hinder Patrick and my heart was in my mouth for the vast majority of this book.

I read it in one afternoon because I knew once picked it up, I wasn’t going to want to stop for anything.

The pacing was perfection, so many small tension-inducing moments all building up to a cataclysmic final few chapters where I honestly wasn’t sure what the outcome would be.

I can honestly say that the ending wasn’t one I saw coming and OMG, the squeal when I realised what was happening could probably be heard the next valley over!

This book isn’t even out until next month but I am going to be dying until Soulbound VI is announced and I can find out where Hailey is taking Patrick, Jono and the pack, and their friends and allies next!

And speaking of, our mage and his werewolf are just fabulous, their bond becoming even stronger irrespective of the magic connection the Gods gave them.

They’re a pair who have found their footing and know instinctively that the other will have their back, no matter what.

Together with Sage, Wade and the rest of the gang, the friendships forged in this series are among my favourite in any genre.

As ever, no plot spoilers from me, just confirmation of another adrenaline filled exploration of just how well crafted urban fantasy/paranormal can be in the hands of a talented author.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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