Tag Archives: vampire

Cover Reveal: Becoming D’Vaire by Jessamyn Kingley

Becoming D’Vaire | Jessamyn Kingley

D’Vaire #11

Cover Artist: LJ Anderson, Mayhem Cover Creations

Genre/s: MM, Urban Fantasy, Romance

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Release Date: March 14, 2019

Blurb

There is nothing ordinary about finding where you belong.

High Arcanist Delaney D’Vaire is the world’s only dark wizard, something that has alienated him from his people since birth.

Orphaned as a child, he is shuffled around until the Prism Wizard sees his potential, steps in, and enrolls him in school. Though he never truly feels like he belongs, Delaney excels. Graduating at sixteen, he applies to a unique sanctuary, and his life forever changes when he is accepted.

Delaney has the family he’s always wanted; surrounded by love and support, he’s grown into a young man, giving everything to help the people who still scorn him, though he continues to doubt himself. All he needs now is his mate, but Delaney is skeptical that even Fate could come up with his perfect match.

Vampyr Lord Grigori Volkov is the genius of his family. Numbers line up in his head, and he loses sight of the world around him. At fourteen, young Grigori creates a nearly synthetic version of blood to sustain his people, saving countless lives. Content to remain out of the spotlight, his involvement is kept from the general public.

Since then, Grigori has spent most of his time alone in his lab, learning all he can and pushing his limits. At twenty-six, Grigori is content with his solitude and doesn’t believe Fate has him in her sights.

When the High Arcanist and the Vampyr Lord appear at the same event, they are stunned to find that Fate indeed has a plan for them. Reeling from their discovery, the mates set upon the task of getting to know each other. It does not take them long to find common ground, but as Delaney and Grigori build their life together, old foes will test them and their entire family.

The path Fate has laid out for them is not simple, but they must be strong enough to trust in each other and stand together rather than alone to learn what it truly means to become D’Vaire.

About the Author

Jessamyn Kingley lives in Nevada where she begs the men in her head to tell her their amazing stories which she dutifully writes it all down in what has become a small mountain of notebooks. She falls in love with each couple and swears whatever book she wrote last is her absolute favorite.

Jessamyn is married and working toward remembering to start the dishwasher without being distracted by the scent of the magical detergent. For personal enjoyment, she aids in cat rescue while slashing and gashing her way through mobs in various MMORPGs. Caffeine is her very best friend and is only cast aside briefly for the sin better known as BBQ potato chips.

Visit her website and follow her on Facebook. She loves to engage with readers there.

Other Author Links

Twitter

Google+

Pinterest

Tumblr

Goodreads

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

New Release Blitz: Blood Lust by L.E. Royal

Blood Lust | L.E. Royal

Blood Lust Banner.png

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: February 18, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 73200

Genre: Paranormal, LGBT, Paranormal, contemporary, lesbian, vampire, family-drama, human slaves, horror, dark, paternal murder, blood play, psychic ability

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Add to Goodreads

BloodLust-f500.jpg

Synopsis

The sequel to Blood Echo.

For Rayne Kennedy, the only Hybrid in Vires, a walled Vampire city in Vermont, life is almost over. Despite the new family and temporary happiness she’s found, her vampire girlfriend, Scarlett Pearce, has been given ninety days by the mysterious city government to turn her into a vampire. She’s sure her days as a human are numbered.

Scarlett fights to find a way to avoid Rayne’s death when her father and society have decreed it must happen. Between new relationships formed, old ones reshaped, and a bloody romp through the city’s darkness, Rayne must decide if she trusts Scarlett not to give in to her blood lust. Thrown into the center of an unexpected revolution, Rayne tries to save herself and Scarlett, unsure if her days as a human, and their time being blood bound, are truly coming to an end.

Excerpt

Blood Lust
L.E. Royal © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

“Pick it up.”

Scarlett watched with lazy eyes as my hand shot forward to grab the apple. I hated her a little for how easy she found this.

“You’re scowling, Princess.”

I dropped the apple the minute she let me and did my best to straighten my face.

The revelation that Scarlett and I were blood bound was old news, but its implications were still new to both of us. We’d been spending time when we were alone learning to overcome the phenomenon—or trying.

The vampire stretched, reclining before me on the black satin bedsheets, and I wondered if she felt me compelling her at all. I tried to recreate the feeling inside myself from the rare times I had succeeded in bending her to my will. Silently, I concentrated and willed her to pick up the apple.

She yawned.

Raindrops ran down the sleek glass doors of Scarlett’s balcony, the sky a dreary gray. Even from the great height of the thirteenth floor, I could see little beige specks below that I knew were actually humans. They came from the outskirts of the city—the Fringe, brought in to work around the decadent skyscrapers that housed Vampire families, like Scarlett’s. High up in Pearce Tower we could live under the illusion of safety, for the moment.

Below, the streets of Vires teemed with vampires, Deltas who were genetically advanced enough to walk in the daylight. The non-Deltas would join them at sunset.

A flash of curiosity disturbed me, pulling me back off the dark path I was traveling, thoughts of society in Vires starting to consume me. Without looking, I could feel her watching me, taste her curiosity. Her wish to know what was going on inside my head was clear through the emotional connection we shared. I tried to lock her out, to shield my feelings from her. She tipped her head and when I met her dark eyes, their intensity burned. I figured I was successful.

Pick up the apple.

Her voice was liquid smoke, lingering in my mind, penetrating every corner. My pale hand darted forward and grabbed it again. She smirked. My stupid, smug, beautiful vampire.

My fingers released their grip the moment she bade them to, and the abused fruit fell back onto the sheets.

“Your turn.”

I wanted to grumble, to ask what the point was. We both knew I couldn’t resist the commands she gave. We also knew she could resist mine effortlessly most of the time. I smoothed my hands over my jean-clad thighs and tried again.

“I’m not resisting you, sweetheart. I haven’t felt any compulsion to resist yet.” She was amused. It danced in her eyes, in the little tug at the corner of her mouth, but I knew she was trying to be diplomatic, at least.

“Why is this even important?”

She had been playful and light-hearted, secretly enjoying the little game we shared. The minute I asked the question I felt her growing cold, uncomfortable. The pleasant hum of her emotions as they lapped at me waned before they shut down altogether.

The subject we were avoiding hung between us, heavy and suffocating. After almost a week of sleepless nights and uneasy dreams I knew sometimes she could share, I was ready to drag it out into the light.

“I don’t ever want it to be used against us.” She was somber, her expression dark and unreadable.

“Scar, if I’m going to be a vampire anyway…”

She hissed. I prepared to backpedal, wishing I had been a little more tactful, but she was already speaking.

“Why are you so obsessed with becoming a monster?”

“Jade’s not a monster and she’s a vampire.” Dark eyes softened at the mention of her younger sister, one of the people she loved most in the world. Through our connection I had quickly grown to love her too.

“Jade has struggled more than you know.” It was cryptic and caustic and an answer that was oh so Scarlett.

“You’re not a monster, really.”

She scoffed.

We were silent for a few seconds, my reply dancing on the tip of my tongue. It was a large part of what had been keeping me up at night, but I was too afraid of her answer to voice the topic.

“Say what’s on your mind?” It was only half a question, and I could tell it took some effort for her not to command it out of me. Beneath the cold indifference she had painted on her face, tiny tells and miniscule shimmers of her feelings told me she was nervous.

“I don’t want to get old when you’ll always be young.”

She laughed, and the sound was ever so slightly bitter.

“I’m three hundred and sixty-nine years old, Princess.”

I wondered if I would ever stop being staggered by that fact.

“Besides, I don’t think aging is something we have to worry about. I’m almost certain you’ve already stopped, being as you are.”

“Hybrids don’t age?” My voice was an octave too high with surprise, and maybe a little bit of joy.

We hadn’t much discussed what I was, what I had become, what she had made me. Her cool and careful handling of the subject frustrated me, and it gave me the uncomfortable feeling she was making plans without any of us.

“Just a hunch.” She tried to curtail me before I got too fixated on the fact. “But if I’m right and age isn’t a factor, are you still so eager to be turned?”

I shrugged, unsure.

“Being a hybrid is still dangerous. What if the Government eventually discovers that us sharing blood is what caused this? What if they find out we’re blood bound? Wouldn’t it be safer if I was less…breakable?”

Blood Lust Now Available

Meet the Author

L.E. Royal is a British-born fiction writer, living in Texas. She enjoys dark but redeemable characters, and twisted themes.

Though she is a fan of happy endings, she would describe most of her work as fractured romance. When she is not writing, she is pursuing her dreams with her multi-champion Arabian show horses, or hanging out with her wife at their small ranch/accidental cat sanctuary.

Facebook | Twitter


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Blog Button 2

Series Tour: Blood Sealed by Jet Lupin

Nasu | Jet Lupin

Blood Sealed #1

Genre/s: MM, Paranormal Romance

Length: 83000 words/ 156 pages

Release Date: November 25, 2017

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Add on Goodreads

This story can technically be read alone, though there are unsolved things that are further explored in the next book

 

Blurb

Go to work. Come home. Repeat. Phil’s life is boring and he loves every second of it. No excitement, no boyfriends breaking up with him over cereal in his underwear. When everything’s predictable, nothing bad happens. But nothing good does, either.

One night, when his best friend forces him to step outside of his comfort zone, he meets Shige who’s too enigmatic to really be interested in him. He’s trouble, but Phil can’t help ignoring his own advice.

Decades have gone by while Shige’s kept himself locked away. He’s tired of the world, of humans and vampires. He was happy collecting dust until one day he wasn’t. On a whim, he ventures out and meets Phil, setting them on a path that’ll change them both.

Whatever this is between them, it won’t come easy. Plagued by distrust and danger from within and without, but if they survive, it just might be worth it

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

Phil Torres sat in Mercer General’s basement level breakroom for the first time that shift. With a sports drink in one hand and a protein bar in the other, he worked to cram both things into his mouth. He couldn’t remember what he’d eaten last or when. Even so, he had no appetite. Other nurses came and went through the breakroom offering looks of sympathy and pity. He was on the ass end of a 16-hour shift no sane person would envy.

It had been a trial of will. He’d seen some terrible things in the three years he’d been a fully licensed nurse but during this one shift, he’d beheld some of the worst things he’d ever seen, things that would haunt his dreams and hang on during his waking hours. A savage gunshot wound, a leg so badly broken the bone slashed through the skin, a pair of asthma attacks that left the patients blue in the face, gasping, and a stomach bug so virulent, puke covered the floors of two of their closet sized exam rooms. The cleaning staff was going to love this evening’s cleaning detail, but it was just another night at Mercer General.

“What’re you still doing here?” Yolanda came into the breakroom, looking every bit as tired as Phil felt. Her sneakers, damp from the storm she’d weathered out on the floor squelched with every step as she made her way to the lockers. “Didn’t your vacation start an hour ago?”

Phil took a swallow of sports drink to help keep his meager meal down. “Jackie was running late, so I filled in for her, then Shelly needed help tapping a vein… I got trapped.”

Yolanda rolled her eyes as she shut the door to her locker. “More like you let yourself get­ trapped.”

She was right, of course.

During his time here, the older nurse had taken him under her wing, brought him into the fold. They’d become as close as cousins. It helped Phil feel at home out here on the West Coast where he had no family and few friends, but as a side effect, lying to her was now next to impossible.

Yolanda perched on the plastic chair next him. She bumped him with her shoulder. “I’ll never understand why you always drag your feet when it comes time to get out of here. You’ve got an OK place—by yourself—in a decent neighborhood. You know how many people would kill for that set up­? What’s the issue?”

Yolanda couldn’t understand it. She had a home waiting for her. A husband and kids who kept her busy. She might not admit it but they filled her life with joy. All Phil had waiting in at home was a dog bent on systematically destroying anything he could get his mouth on.

“I like keeping busy,” he said. “It’s not a crime.”

“Neither is taking time off once in a while.” Yolanda quickly wiped her sneakers down with a paper towel and threw it into the trash. “Since you got here, you’ve never taken more than three days off at a time. You need this break. You’re gonna burn out if you don’t take it easy.”

There was truth to Yolanda’s words, but to hear her tell it, Phil was a workaholic, little more than a care dispensing robot. He knew how to relax. He just didn’t enjoy it.

Work kept him too busy to worry about the lacking areas of his life. He liked helping people and Mercer’s shortage of staff guaranteed any offers to come in on his days off were never turned down. Without work, as rough as it could be on a good day, he’d be left alone. He didn’t know what to do with alone.

“Why can’t it be a week? Or two! I’d gladly do that much!”

Yolanda clucked her tongue in disgust. “I wish they’d let your ungrateful ass give me the two months since you so obviously don’t want it. I don’t see how you let it rack up.”

“Same,” Phil said. “Same.”

Yolanda stood, ready to go back out onto the floor, but she stopped in the doorway. She rested a small hand on Phil’s shoulder. “Your body remembers how to relax, even if you don’t. But you’ve got to get out of here first.”

Read more here: https://jetlupin.me/nasu-excerpt/

Enrai | Jet Lupin

Blood Sealed #2

Genre/s: MM, Paranormal Romance

Length: 54000 words/ 111 pages

Release Date: February 8, 2019

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link

Add on Goodreads

Is it a standalone story? No

Blurb

Phil has a problem.

It’s not his job or the fact that his maybe boyfriend, Shige, is a vampire. He’s a sensitive – an ability he’s had since he was small that lets him peek into people’s minds – and it’s gotten out of control. He can’t turn it on and off like he used to.

He needs help, and he has to fly to the other side of the world to get it. The catch? Shige’s the only one who can take him there, but things with him haven’t been great. Their relationship is in tatters, and he doesn’t know how to fix it or if it’s even up to him. This is so not what he needs right now.

But Phil’s not the only one with issues. Shige’s got a territory to maintain and a mystery to solve all while worrying about Phil. He takes all this in stride, but when things take a turn for the worst, can he get them both home in one piece?

Excerpt

From Chapter 1

PHIL

“Earth to Phil!”

Phil blinked at the sudden snap inches from his nose. He shook himself as the world rushed up to meet him. He’d been adrift in a sea of consciousness surrounding them. There were 30 other people in this restaurant, and at any given time, Phil heard the thoughts of the closest 15 or so, everything from the mundane to the raunchy. None of it was his business, but his instinct was to latch onto every granule of information as he noticed it. Giving in was very easy and very satisfying.

Sorry. I’m here.” But he hadn’t been. Thoughts continued to float in and out of his mind, not all of them his own. Today was particularly bad. It kept getting harder to focus on the things he needed to live his life.

Before, he needed to concentrate to hear other people’s minds, like eavesdropping. Now it was like everyone spontaneously broke into fits of reciting their inner monologues. There was no way to tell when it would start, but nine times out of ten, it was when he needed all his mental faculties.

He’d taken more breaks at work than what his job owed him, just to get away from the noise. People had started to notice. He’d been lucky enough not to hurt anyone yet, but it was only a matter of time.

“You sure?” Jerome said with no small amount of skepticism threading through his words. “You’re a little spacey.”

“I got distracted by a work thing, but I heard every word.”

Jerome cut his eyes at him. “What’s the last thing I said?” He smirked.

“You asked how things are with Shige.”

Jerome sucked his teeth. “Lucky guess.”

The question from his brain reached Phil before Jerome put it into words. It got mixed in the deluge of their fellow diners’ minds, but he remembered because it concerned him directly and hadn’t been about the food. He focused on Jerome, and the feedback lowered to a dull hum, blending with the audible background noise of the restaurant.

“So you got an answer for me? Hurry up, while it’s just us.”

“We’re good. Why would I go on this trip with him if we weren’t getting along?”

The short answer was what Phil told him; things between him and Shige were fine. The truth, as always, was more complex. He didn’t know what they were or where they stood.

Read more here https://jetlupin.me/enrai-excerpt/

About the Author

Stories longing to have words put to them were in Jet’s heart from an early age. Jet enjoys exploring the connections and similarities between people whether they be shifters, vampires, or aliens, rendering the unknowable very knowable indeed.

Jet’s days are spent toiling away at a keyboard, slumped over a pen and paper hunting for those words, or playing around on Twitter with a partner, and two rambunctious cats for company in the temperamental North Eastern US.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

SERIES REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

Instagram Tour Promo: Vampire With Benefits by E. J. Russell

Vampire With Benefits | E. J. Russell

Supernatural Selection #2

VampireWithBenefits.jpg

Out November 26

Direct Links

http://ejr.pub/fb-vampire-with-benefits

Synopsis

A match between a vampire and shifter could be deadly—but one broken beaver doesn’t give a dam.

Silent film actor Casimir Moreau had imagined that life as a vampire would be freewheeling and glamorous. Instead, he’s plunged into a restrictive society whose rules he runs afoul of at every turn. To “rehabilitate” him, the vampire council orders him mated to an incubus with impeccable breeding who’ll mold Cas into the upstanding vampire he ought to be. Or else.

As an inactive beaver shifter, construction engineer Rusty Johnson has fought—and overcome—bias and disrespect his entire life. But when his longtime boyfriend leaves him for political reasons, Rusty is ready to call it a day. Next stop? Supernatural Selection and his guaranteed perfect mate, a bear shifter living far away from Rusty’s disapproving clan.

But then a spell snafu at Supernatural Selection robs both men of their intended husbands. Rusty can’t face returning to his clan, and Cas needs somebody on his arm to keep the council happy, so they agree to pretend to be married.

Nobody needs to know their relationship is fake—especially since it’s starting to feel suspiciously like the real thing.

This is a supernatural story about an accidental romantic union between a vampire and a shifter. 

Tour details

For seven days, November 26 – December 2, some truly amazing accounts will be hosting #bookstagram shots of Vampire With Benefits.

Follow along and get to know this brand new supernatural romance from E.J. Russell.

Presented by: @ej_russell_author & @anoveltakepr

Hosted by:

November 26: @amyaislin @rainbowromancereads @apolishedreader

November 27: @midnightclockwork @bookishdevices

November 28: @readingwithamy @bookish_notes

November 29: @bfdbookblog @being_ronita

November 30: @qhuay @scrollmatesblog

December 1: @mirrigold @suey_library

December 2: @anotheropenbook @_kora_j


Giveaway

Comment on any Instagram tour host photo using #VampireWithBenefits, follow @ej_russell_author & @anoveltakepr, & enter to win one of 2 e-copies of The Druid Next Door by E.J. Russell. Must be 18 to enter.

Open Internationally.

About E.J. Russell

E.J. Russell –grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst and happy endings.

Reality? Eh, not so much.

She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. also loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and B) would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and Satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).

E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.: Twitter | Facebook | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

Review Tour: Quenched In Blood by Ari McKay

Quenched In Blood | Ari McKay

Ashville Arcana #3

RTBanner-3

 

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner Press

Length: 62,216 words 

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Design: Aaron Anderson

QuenchedInBloodFS_v1.jpg
 

Blurb

 

Will love mean rebirth… or death?

Vampire Julian Schaden has been warning the Asheville Paranormal Council of an impending demonic incursion for more than two decades. Over the past two years, he and his friends have fought as hard as they can with little help, since Micah Carter, the demon hunter who should have led them, shirked his responsibility and then perished.

Desperate for anything that might aid the fight, Julian enters the Carter property and finds something he never dared hope for: young Thomas Carter, the heir to a long line of demon hunters.

Thomas knows nothing about the supernatural world. But the prospect of a real life, outside the sheltered, isolated farm where he grew up, calls to him, and the idea of fighting the Unholy feels right.

Julian agrees to train Thomas, but he struggles against an unexpected, unwanted attraction. Thomas is too young and innocent to get involved with Julian, but opposites attract, and this is one battle Julian seems fated to lose. But a prophecy from a dying mage comes with a bleak warning: the upcoming battle will claim Thomas’s life. To keep his home and friends safe, Julian may have to sacrifice the only love he’s ever known.

Asheville Arcana Series

Book #1 – Out Of The Ashes – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 – Forged In Fire – Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Excerpt

 

WHEN JULIAN said they were going to a house where a mage and a werewolf lived, Thomas didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t something as normal as this. The house itself was a two-story Victorian style with a white picket fence and a wide front porch with rocking chairs on it. The front lawn was lush green and neatly tended, and the flower beds along the front of the house were bursting with azaleas in colors ranging from white to blush pink.

Inside, there were tasteful antiques without a single iron sconce containing a flickering torch to be seen, and a teakettle on the stove in the kitchen rather than a bubbling cauldron. Whimsy Hickes-Edgewood, the mage, was a dark-haired, slender man who looked as though he had a good bit of Cherokee in his heritage. He stood several inches shorter than Thomas, but the sheer force of his personality swept Thomas from the front door all the way back to the kitchen before he quite realized what was happening.

Now he was seated at the circular kitchen table with Julian and Whimsy along with the two werewolves, Eli Hammond and Harlan Hickes-Edgewood, and Arden Gilmarin, the half-elf. If Thomas didn’t know they were all connected to what Julian called the supernatural community, he never would have guessed they weren’t normal humans. The only one of them who looked at all unusual was Arden with his pointed ears.

But they were all friendly and welcoming, and Whimsy prepared a dinner consisting of a salad made with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers from Harlan’s garden in the backyard, and spaghetti with a sauce made with herbs Whimsy grew himself. The meal was delicious, although Thomas was too overwhelmed to do more than pick at his food.

Even with only six people in the spacious kitchen, Thomas still felt crowded. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been around more than a couple of people, and he was accustomed to being in a quiet house with just Grandpa, as it had been for years before Grandpa died.

He was also still trying to wrap his mind around the idea that not only were the others not human, but he wasn’t either. Not fully. Julian had said that Grandpa knew what he was and had kept the information from him deliberately, but Julian seemed to think his ignorance could get him killed, although he wasn’t sure by whom—or perhaps, in this case, by what.

He sat quietly and sipped his iced tea, listening to the others laughing and chatting. Questions filled his brain, but he wasn’t sure where to begin, and he didn’t want to interrupt. They seemed relaxed and comfortable with one another, and a great deal of good-natured teasing flew back and forth. Thomas envied them. Grandma had tried to help him make friends when he’d been younger, but it was difficult to sustain a friendship when Grandpa refused to let him visit anyone and rarely let anyone visit him.

“You’re very quiet, Thomas,” Arden, who was on his right, said into a lull in the conversation. He smiled wryly and placed his warm hand over one of Thomas’s. “Please excuse us—we can get a little overwhelming, I’m sure. But you can ask us or tell us anything. If it helps, Harlan wasn’t born into the supernatural community at all, he was brought into it very suddenly and traumatically, sort of like you’re dealing with right now. Isn’t that right, Harlan?”

The big brown-haired man who sat across from Thomas smiled as well, then nodded. “I imagine we’ve got a lot in common. I was brought up as a Quaker three hundred years ago. Then one night I was bitten by a possessed werewolf and turned into a lycanthrope. I had no idea such creatures were real, and suddenly there I was, one of them. And finding out there were more things in the world than I’d ever dreamed possible.”

“Then you understand how strange and unreal this all seems to me right now,” Thomas said. “I don’t understand why Grandpa hid all this from me, but he went to great lengths to do it. My grandparents homeschooled me. The television broke when I was around eight, and Grandpa never bothered to repair or replace it. Grandpa had to approve anyone Grandma wanted to invite over first. He was particular about who he’d let into the house.”

“I think he believed that by keeping you ignorant, by limiting the people you knew, he could keep you safe,” Julian chimed in. He was sitting on Thomas’s other side, and he, too, had been fairly quiet during the meal, and he hadn’t touched the food. “Losing your father changed him. The Micah Carter I knew could be irascible, but he was basically a good man who wanted to use the abilities he had to protect others. Then, when your parents were killed so tragically young, he withdrew from the world. Somehow he must have come to believe that if you didn’t know about your heritage and never learned about the supernatural world, it could never hurt you.”

“He said they died in a car wreck,” Thomas said, glancing around the table. “Is that even true?”

“Unfortunately, yes,” Julian replied, as Arden and Harlan nodded in agreement. “To be honest, they were on their way to meet me when it happened. I was one of their contacts in a sort of informal network keeping an eye out for demonic incursions. I had reason to believe we were on the verge of a major incident, and I wanted James and Alicia to verify it for me. But they never made it.”

Thomas bowed his head, wishing his parents hadn’t died. Wishing he had any memory of them. “I don’t know what they look like. I don’t know anything about them. There were no pictures of them in the house, and Grandpa refused to talk about them. I think Grandma would have, but he wouldn’t let her.”

“Wait a moment,” Arden said. He stood, then motioned to Whimsy, who got up and followed him. “I need to use your computer. We’ll be right back.”

Julian raised a questioning brow but then turned his attention back to Thomas. “I know it doesn’t make sense, but sometimes when people lose the ones they love the most, they can’t bear to talk about them anymore because it hurts too much.”

“Then will you tell me about them?” Thomas asked. “I don’t understand what the heritage you keep talking about is. You called me a demon hunter. What does that mean?”

“If I may?” Harlan asked, looking at Julian. Then, at the vampire’s nod, he turned to Thomas. “According to the legend, hundreds of years ago an angel was sent to Earth on a mission. While he was here, he fell in love with a human woman. She gave birth to a child, who wasn’t an angel, but he wasn’t really human either. Kind of like Arden, he had traits of both. Angels always know when someone is good or evil. They can tell if someone is lying or hiding something. The legend says that this son could do so as well, plus he had the angel’s ability to fight demons. I did a lot of research after your grandfather was killed last year, because events in this area seem to indicate we could really use a demon hunter. I found stories of the Nephilim, children from the union of an angel and a human. Some thought they were giants, but always they were fierce warriors. Now there are lines of demon hunters around the world. They’re very rare, but the family groups all fight to keep demons away from the mortal world.”

As he was listening to Harlan, Thomas felt like he was hearing someone read a passage from a fantasy novel, and despite everything he’d seen and heard that day, he couldn’t connect what Harlan was saying to himself.

“How do you know I have any abilities at all?” Thomas shifted in his chair to face Julian. “What if I don’t, and that’s the reason Grandpa didn’t tell me anything? I’ve never done anything special in my life.”

“I can see your aura, for one thing,” Julian replied. “You’re definitely a demon hunter. I have no doubt you possess the abilities, and yours might be even stronger than your parents’ were. Your mother was a demon hunter too, you see, though she came from somewhere in West Virginia, as I recall. You have it from both sides of your family.”

“What abilities? How do I access them?” Thomas pushed his fingers through his hair and blew out a frustrated breath. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to know any of this, but if being a demon hunter was part of his heritage, he couldn’t ignore it now that he’d been made aware of it. It sounded like he had a responsibility to uphold. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Unfortunately, there ain’t another demon hunter around who could train you,” Eli said. “But I reckon we can figure out something.”

“Of course we can. We always do.” Arden walked back in the room, holding a stack of pictures. “But first, I think you need to see these. I’m on the Asheville Paranormal Council—so is Julian, but he’s new to it. Your parents were on the council too, and I have pictures of them. Council meetings, parties we threw… thank goodness for scanners and the cloud, because I could access them and print them for you.”

He handed the pictures to Thomas, then resumed his seat, scooting closer so he could look over Thomas’s shoulder. “That first picture is a bit formal, from a ‘get to know your council members’ thing we did maybe thirty years ago.”

Thomas stared at the photo, scarcely able to believe he was looking at his parents at last, and he touched the image reverently. He could see he’d gotten his father’s tall, broad-shouldered build and blue eyes and his mother’s curly blonde hair. They stood with their arms around each other’s waists, smiling at the camera, and they looked so young and happy that tears stung Thomas’s eyelids.

“I can keep this?” he asked.

“They’re all yours,” Arden assured him. “Those aren’t even as good as the originals, which I’m going to find at the council and have better copies made for you.” He grinned. “Look at the next one. It’s your parents and Julian at a Halloween party I had.”

Thomas flipped to the next photo, which showed his mother dressed in a cheerleader uniform and holding a wooden stake and his father wearing a trench coat and fedora. He glanced at Arden. “I assume these are costumes?”

“Yes. There was a movie that had come out shortly before this called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, about a high school girl and the guy who comes to train her because she’s destined to be the Slayer. See how put-upon Julian looks? They teased him all night about staking him.”

Next to him, Julian growled slightly, but Arden stuck out his tongue.

“They look happy,” Thomas murmured. He glanced between Julian and Arden, who seemed to be the only two of the group who’d known his parents. “What were they like?”

“Smart, tough, dedicated,” Julian said. “They could really fight.”

“They were fun. They knew how to have a good time and not take life too seriously,” Arden said, rolling his eyes at Julian. “They were very much in love too. You could feel it whenever you were close to them and see it in their auras. Humans don’t get mates like some supernaturals do, but they couldn’t have been much closer if they had had a mate bond.”

Regret and grief welled up within Thomas as he gazed at his parents. He wished he could have known them, wished he knew what they were like for himself, wished he’d had a more normal childhood. The tears that had been stinging his eyes since he started looking at the photos threatened to spill down his cheeks. He’d never realized what he’d missed out on before, and he longed for the parental love he’d never known.

Covering his face with one hand to muffle a sob, he turned to Julian. His instincts told him they were all good people and he could trust them, but he felt as though Julian had been his rescuer, and he intuitively sought comfort from him.

For a moment Julian was still. Then, slowly and rather hesitantly, Julian slid his strong arms around Thomas and held him gently, and Arden rested one hand on Thomas’s back, rubbing it comfortingly. Where Arden’s hand was warm, however, Julian’s body seemed to hold no heat whatsoever.

When the wave of grief passed at last, Thomas drew back and scrubbed at his eyes. “Sorry,” he said. He’d just met these people, and he’d already made a fool of himself.

Julian withdrew an immaculately white handkerchief from a pocket and held it out to him. “It’s all right,” he said quietly. “It’s understandable. I’m sorry you didn’t get to know them. They were special.”

Thomas accepted the handkerchief with murmured thanks and wiped the wetness from his face. “There’s so much I’ve missed out on. So much I don’t know. I didn’t even realize how much until today.”

“But the good thing is, you did realize it, right?” Arden asked. He still had a hand on Thomas’s back. “You’re young, and you’re a supernatural, so you have a long life ahead of you to catch up and learn everything you want and need to know. And you have friends now. We’re all here for you, okay? One of the first things I want to do is get you a cell phone so you can call any of us at any time.”

“That’s right,” Whimsy said, watching Thomas with sympathy in his dark eyes. “We’ll help you any way we can. You’re not alone anymore.”

Hearing that made Thomas want to cry again, but for a different reason. He swallowed hard and twisted the handkerchief as he fought to control his wayward emotions. “Thanks, I appreciate that.”

“You’re actually going to need us,” Julian said somberly. “I wasn’t kidding about the danger you could be in, Thomas. We need to teach you to defend yourself, but the more immediate concern is your farm. I don’t think you should stay there at night until we can see about getting some wards reestablished. It’s too dangerous.”

“You’re absolutely right, Julian,” Whimsy said, elbowing Arden. “He should stay with you. You’ve got the best-protected property of any of us. Nothing could get to him there. Right, Arden?”

“I agree completely.” Arden’s eyes seemed almost feline as he looked at Julian. “There isn’t a demon who could get through your defenses. Isn’t that what you’ve always claimed, Julian?”

Julian was looking between his two friends, a frown line cutting deeply between his eyes, but then he sighed. “Fine.”

TourGraphic-4.jpg

November 20 – MM Midnight CafeThe Blogger GirlsJessie G BooksNovember 24 – Making It HappenMirrigiold: Mutterings & MusingsNovember 26 – MM Good Book ReviewsNovember 28 – Sexy Erotic XcitingLillian Francis – AuthorBook Review By Virginia Lee

 

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge-watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Website


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Release Blitz: Quenched In Blood by Ari McKay

Quenched In Blood | Ari McKay

Ashville Arcana #3

RBBanner-3

 

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Dreamspinner Press

Length: 62,216 words 

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Design: Aaron Anderson

QuenchedInBloodFS_v1.jpg
 

Blurb

 

Will love mean rebirth… or death?

Vampire Julian Schaden has been warning the Asheville Paranormal Council of an impending demonic incursion for more than two decades. Over the past two years, he and his friends have fought as hard as they can with little help, since Micah Carter, the demon hunter who should have led them, shirked his responsibility and then perished.

Desperate for anything that might aid the fight, Julian enters the Carter property and finds something he never dared hope for: young Thomas Carter, the heir to a long line of demon hunters.

Thomas knows nothing about the supernatural world. But the prospect of a real life, outside the sheltered, isolated farm where he grew up, calls to him, and the idea of fighting the Unholy feels right.

Julian agrees to train Thomas, but he struggles against an unexpected, unwanted attraction. Thomas is too young and innocent to get involved with Julian, but opposites attract, and this is one battle Julian seems fated to lose. But a prophecy from a dying mage comes with a bleak warning: the upcoming battle will claim Thomas’s life. To keep his home and friends safe, Julian may have to sacrifice the only love he’s ever known.

Asheville Arcana Series

Book #1 – Out Of The Ashes – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 – Forged In Fire – Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Excerpt

 

WHEN JULIAN said they were going to a house where a mage and a werewolf lived, Thomas didn’t know what to expect, but it wasn’t something as normal as this. The house itself was a two-story Victorian style with a white picket fence and a wide front porch with rocking chairs on it. The front lawn was lush green and neatly tended, and the flower beds along the front of the house were bursting with azaleas in colors ranging from white to blush pink.

Inside, there were tasteful antiques without a single iron sconce containing a flickering torch to be seen, and a teakettle on the stove in the kitchen rather than a bubbling cauldron. Whimsy Hickes-Edgewood, the mage, was a dark-haired, slender man who looked as though he had a good bit of Cherokee in his heritage. He stood several inches shorter than Thomas, but the sheer force of his personality swept Thomas from the front door all the way back to the kitchen before he quite realized what was happening.

Now he was seated at the circular kitchen table with Julian and Whimsy along with the two werewolves, Eli Hammond and Harlan Hickes-Edgewood, and Arden Gilmarin, the half-elf. If Thomas didn’t know they were all connected to what Julian called the supernatural community, he never would have guessed they weren’t normal humans. The only one of them who looked at all unusual was Arden with his pointed ears.

But they were all friendly and welcoming, and Whimsy prepared a dinner consisting of a salad made with fresh cucumbers, tomatoes, and bell peppers from Harlan’s garden in the backyard, and spaghetti with a sauce made with herbs Whimsy grew himself. The meal was delicious, although Thomas was too overwhelmed to do more than pick at his food.

Even with only six people in the spacious kitchen, Thomas still felt crowded. He couldn’t remember the last time he’d been around more than a couple of people, and he was accustomed to being in a quiet house with just Grandpa, as it had been for years before Grandpa died.

He was also still trying to wrap his mind around the idea that not only were the others not human, but he wasn’t either. Not fully. Julian had said that Grandpa knew what he was and had kept the information from him deliberately, but Julian seemed to think his ignorance could get him killed, although he wasn’t sure by whom—or perhaps, in this case, by what.

He sat quietly and sipped his iced tea, listening to the others laughing and chatting. Questions filled his brain, but he wasn’t sure where to begin, and he didn’t want to interrupt. They seemed relaxed and comfortable with one another, and a great deal of good-natured teasing flew back and forth. Thomas envied them. Grandma had tried to help him make friends when he’d been younger, but it was difficult to sustain a friendship when Grandpa refused to let him visit anyone and rarely let anyone visit him.

“You’re very quiet, Thomas,” Arden, who was on his right, said into a lull in the conversation. He smiled wryly and placed his warm hand over one of Thomas’s. “Please excuse us—we can get a little overwhelming, I’m sure. But you can ask us or tell us anything. If it helps, Harlan wasn’t born into the supernatural community at all, he was brought into it very suddenly and traumatically, sort of like you’re dealing with right now. Isn’t that right, Harlan?”

The big brown-haired man who sat across from Thomas smiled as well, then nodded. “I imagine we’ve got a lot in common. I was brought up as a Quaker three hundred years ago. Then one night I was bitten by a possessed werewolf and turned into a lycanthrope. I had no idea such creatures were real, and suddenly there I was, one of them. And finding out there were more things in the world than I’d ever dreamed possible.”

“Then you understand how strange and unreal this all seems to me right now,” Thomas said. “I don’t understand why Grandpa hid all this from me, but he went to great lengths to do it. My grandparents homeschooled me. The television broke when I was around eight, and Grandpa never bothered to repair or replace it. Grandpa had to approve anyone Grandma wanted to invite over first. He was particular about who he’d let into the house.”

“I think he believed that by keeping you ignorant, by limiting the people you knew, he could keep you safe,” Julian chimed in. He was sitting on Thomas’s other side, and he, too, had been fairly quiet during the meal, and he hadn’t touched the food. “Losing your father changed him. The Micah Carter I knew could be irascible, but he was basically a good man who wanted to use the abilities he had to protect others. Then, when your parents were killed so tragically young, he withdrew from the world. Somehow he must have come to believe that if you didn’t know about your heritage and never learned about the supernatural world, it could never hurt you.”

“He said they died in a car wreck,” Thomas said, glancing around the table. “Is that even true?”

“Unfortunately, yes,” Julian replied, as Arden and Harlan nodded in agreement. “To be honest, they were on their way to meet me when it happened. I was one of their contacts in a sort of informal network keeping an eye out for demonic incursions. I had reason to believe we were on the verge of a major incident, and I wanted James and Alicia to verify it for me. But they never made it.”

Thomas bowed his head, wishing his parents hadn’t died. Wishing he had any memory of them. “I don’t know what they look like. I don’t know anything about them. There were no pictures of them in the house, and Grandpa refused to talk about them. I think Grandma would have, but he wouldn’t let her.”

“Wait a moment,” Arden said. He stood, then motioned to Whimsy, who got up and followed him. “I need to use your computer. We’ll be right back.”

Julian raised a questioning brow but then turned his attention back to Thomas. “I know it doesn’t make sense, but sometimes when people lose the ones they love the most, they can’t bear to talk about them anymore because it hurts too much.”

“Then will you tell me about them?” Thomas asked. “I don’t understand what the heritage you keep talking about is. You called me a demon hunter. What does that mean?”

“If I may?” Harlan asked, looking at Julian. Then, at the vampire’s nod, he turned to Thomas. “According to the legend, hundreds of years ago an angel was sent to Earth on a mission. While he was here, he fell in love with a human woman. She gave birth to a child, who wasn’t an angel, but he wasn’t really human either. Kind of like Arden, he had traits of both. Angels always know when someone is good or evil. They can tell if someone is lying or hiding something. The legend says that this son could do so as well, plus he had the angel’s ability to fight demons. I did a lot of research after your grandfather was killed last year, because events in this area seem to indicate we could really use a demon hunter. I found stories of the Nephilim, children from the union of an angel and a human. Some thought they were giants, but always they were fierce warriors. Now there are lines of demon hunters around the world. They’re very rare, but the family groups all fight to keep demons away from the mortal world.”

As he was listening to Harlan, Thomas felt like he was hearing someone read a passage from a fantasy novel, and despite everything he’d seen and heard that day, he couldn’t connect what Harlan was saying to himself.

“How do you know I have any abilities at all?” Thomas shifted in his chair to face Julian. “What if I don’t, and that’s the reason Grandpa didn’t tell me anything? I’ve never done anything special in my life.”

“I can see your aura, for one thing,” Julian replied. “You’re definitely a demon hunter. I have no doubt you possess the abilities, and yours might be even stronger than your parents’ were. Your mother was a demon hunter too, you see, though she came from somewhere in West Virginia, as I recall. You have it from both sides of your family.”

“What abilities? How do I access them?” Thomas pushed his fingers through his hair and blew out a frustrated breath. He wasn’t even sure he wanted to know any of this, but if being a demon hunter was part of his heritage, he couldn’t ignore it now that he’d been made aware of it. It sounded like he had a responsibility to uphold. “I don’t know what to do.”

“Unfortunately, there ain’t another demon hunter around who could train you,” Eli said. “But I reckon we can figure out something.”

“Of course we can. We always do.” Arden walked back in the room, holding a stack of pictures. “But first, I think you need to see these. I’m on the Asheville Paranormal Council—so is Julian, but he’s new to it. Your parents were on the council too, and I have pictures of them. Council meetings, parties we threw… thank goodness for scanners and the cloud, because I could access them and print them for you.”

He handed the pictures to Thomas, then resumed his seat, scooting closer so he could look over Thomas’s shoulder. “That first picture is a bit formal, from a ‘get to know your council members’ thing we did maybe thirty years ago.”

Thomas stared at the photo, scarcely able to believe he was looking at his parents at last, and he touched the image reverently. He could see he’d gotten his father’s tall, broad-shouldered build and blue eyes and his mother’s curly blonde hair. They stood with their arms around each other’s waists, smiling at the camera, and they looked so young and happy that tears stung Thomas’s eyelids.

“I can keep this?” he asked.

“They’re all yours,” Arden assured him. “Those aren’t even as good as the originals, which I’m going to find at the council and have better copies made for you.” He grinned. “Look at the next one. It’s your parents and Julian at a Halloween party I had.”

Thomas flipped to the next photo, which showed his mother dressed in a cheerleader uniform and holding a wooden stake and his father wearing a trench coat and fedora. He glanced at Arden. “I assume these are costumes?”

“Yes. There was a movie that had come out shortly before this called Buffy the Vampire Slayer, about a high school girl and the guy who comes to train her because she’s destined to be the Slayer. See how put-upon Julian looks? They teased him all night about staking him.”

Next to him, Julian growled slightly, but Arden stuck out his tongue.

“They look happy,” Thomas murmured. He glanced between Julian and Arden, who seemed to be the only two of the group who’d known his parents. “What were they like?”

“Smart, tough, dedicated,” Julian said. “They could really fight.”

“They were fun. They knew how to have a good time and not take life too seriously,” Arden said, rolling his eyes at Julian. “They were very much in love too. You could feel it whenever you were close to them and see it in their auras. Humans don’t get mates like some supernaturals do, but they couldn’t have been much closer if they had had a mate bond.”

Regret and grief welled up within Thomas as he gazed at his parents. He wished he could have known them, wished he knew what they were like for himself, wished he’d had a more normal childhood. The tears that had been stinging his eyes since he started looking at the photos threatened to spill down his cheeks. He’d never realized what he’d missed out on before, and he longed for the parental love he’d never known.

Covering his face with one hand to muffle a sob, he turned to Julian. His instincts told him they were all good people and he could trust them, but he felt as though Julian had been his rescuer, and he intuitively sought comfort from him.

For a moment Julian was still. Then, slowly and rather hesitantly, Julian slid his strong arms around Thomas and held him gently, and Arden rested one hand on Thomas’s back, rubbing it comfortingly. Where Arden’s hand was warm, however, Julian’s body seemed to hold no heat whatsoever.

When the wave of grief passed at last, Thomas drew back and scrubbed at his eyes. “Sorry,” he said. He’d just met these people, and he’d already made a fool of himself.

Julian withdrew an immaculately white handkerchief from a pocket and held it out to him. “It’s all right,” he said quietly. “It’s understandable. I’m sorry you didn’t get to know them. They were special.”

Thomas accepted the handkerchief with murmured thanks and wiped the wetness from his face. “There’s so much I’ve missed out on. So much I don’t know. I didn’t even realize how much until today.”

“But the good thing is, you did realize it, right?” Arden asked. He still had a hand on Thomas’s back. “You’re young, and you’re a supernatural, so you have a long life ahead of you to catch up and learn everything you want and need to know. And you have friends now. We’re all here for you, okay? One of the first things I want to do is get you a cell phone so you can call any of us at any time.”

“That’s right,” Whimsy said, watching Thomas with sympathy in his dark eyes. “We’ll help you any way we can. You’re not alone anymore.”

Hearing that made Thomas want to cry again, but for a different reason. He swallowed hard and twisted the handkerchief as he fought to control his wayward emotions. “Thanks, I appreciate that.”

“You’re actually going to need us,” Julian said somberly. “I wasn’t kidding about the danger you could be in, Thomas. We need to teach you to defend yourself, but the more immediate concern is your farm. I don’t think you should stay there at night until we can see about getting some wards reestablished. It’s too dangerous.”

“You’re absolutely right, Julian,” Whimsy said, elbowing Arden. “He should stay with you. You’ve got the best-protected property of any of us. Nothing could get to him there. Right, Arden?”

“I agree completely.” Arden’s eyes seemed almost feline as he looked at Julian. “There isn’t a demon who could get through your defenses. Isn’t that what you’ve always claimed, Julian?”

Julian was looking between his two friends, a frown line cutting deeply between his eyes, but then he sighed. “Fine.”

 

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge-watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

Social Media

Facebook

Twitter

Website


Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Series conclusion is a triumph in this paranormal gem

perf4.250x7.000.indd

Quenched in Blood by Ari McKay

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The final part of the Asheville Arcana trilogy brings things to a close and sees vampire Julian get his happy ending with neophyte demon hunter Thomas.

This book pulls heavily on both Christian mythology and Irish/Welsh lore of The Cauldron of Rebirth found in The Mabinogi, and it mixes up well.

Julian and Thomas are a great pair, Thomas’ inexperience and eagerness to learn stirs something in the long lived vampire. It’s moderate steam, this is a Dreamspun Beyond release after all, but the scenes we get are pitched perfectly.

Tensions ramp up as we approach the end of the trilogy and there are suitable consequences for the actions of some participants.

As with the first two, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and was glad to see grumpy loner Julian find the right person to inhabit his gothic pile.

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

View all my reviews

« Older Entries